The Dimidiums last part of Chapter Thirteen

Janna hadn’t seen or heard from Trevor for a long time. When he did phone, he informed her that Stefan was going to hold a court and make his final judgement on her. Trevor would pick her up and take her to the office.

Rather than you having to chase the story on Wattpad, here is the last part of the chapter:

At 8 a.m. Janna sat on the porch wearing the same dress she’d worn when she last saw Trevor, the yellow dress with a smiling sun embroidered on it. Her hair, now longer to honor his request to let it grow, held a clipped sunflower to control the loose strands. And she wore the necklace she had recently bought in Las Vegas.
She waited nervously. Somehow, she needed to get him to realize how much she loved him, and she intended to convince Stefan that she and Trevor belonged together, that she’d never hurt his son again. Whatever Stefan decided, she wouldn’t disagree, no matter the punishment.
Trevor pulled up in the Cadillac XTS. He went to the passenger side and opened the door for her and waited. He watched her walk to the car and he wanted to grab her into an embrace and never let her go, but that wasn’t going to happen. Once she got in, he drove to the freeway.
“How’ve you been?” she asked furtively.
“The same.” He looked her over yearningly. “You’re lovely in that dress.”
“I wore it for you. I’ll do whatever you want if you’ll keep me,” she said.
Trevor said nothing.
“I didn’t mean to call you a freak,” she blurted out. “I was upset. Just forgive me and give me another chance. You said that you can’t live without me, but I can’t go on without you. It’s like you told me. Our binding makes me miss you so much. I want you, Trevor. I love you, and I ache for you.”
He didn’t respond. They drove in silence and eventually she napped, waking occasionally then nodding off again. She woke when they arrived at the office.
“Stefan is holding a court. I’m not permitted. He’s sending me on an errand to pick up a prisoner.” Trevor’s jaw was set tight. “I have no say in this. Understand that.”
She took his hand and he gripped hers tightly.
“I love you, my husband,” she said.
He kept his gaze away from her. “As I do you, my wife.” He swallowed hard. He hadn’t been sure after the last time that he saw her that she really loved him, and he still wasn’t sure that he could believe her now.
They took the elevator to the fifth floor and he left her there, taking the stairs back down. Two guards signaled her to follow. They entered a padded room that held a single table with cuffs for the neck, wrists, and ankles. A doctor stood nearby, and she realized there was no court, that Stefan already selected her punishment.
When Trevor reached the main level, Lainie was waiting. They took the elevator to the basement then hurried up the back stairs to a door on the fifth floor and listened quietly.
“This is where you’ll be executed,” said Stefan flatly to Janna. He sat behind a small desk and motioned to the guards. A burly one picked her up and laid her on the table and the other strapped her in.
“It’s goodthat you don’t fight,” said Stefan. “It’ll be over sooner this way.”
“I won’t shame my husband again or cause anymore dishonor to Karla, Trinity, and Ulrich. You, I don’t care about. I think you’re a hateful man and nothing I’d ever do would please you anyway because I’m one of those despicable humans. I know you don’t trust me, but I’m sorry for the trouble I’ve caused.”
He released the guards, but the larger one refused to move.
“Topu, you may leave,” Stefan ordered in a stern voice.
“One witness is required.” Topu stood his ground.
“You’re correct, of course, but this time I’m instructing you to leave.”
“We, that is, all the guards stationed here are under orders by High Council Member Karla Dittmar. If the wife of Trevor Dittmar were to be brought in for punishment, one of us must remain as witness then immediately inform the High Council Member of your verdict.”
Janna could feel the tension. She realized that Karla made this order to ensure that Stefan couldn’t hurt or kill her.
Stefan didn’t reply, but his anger was obvious. He gave himself a moment to calm down before speaking to her. “Your choices are to die or be changed. Do you have a preference?”
“I prefer to live my life with my Halbling husband Trevor Dittmar, whom I love with all my heart, exactly as I am, as a human because he accepts me and loves me and I’m lucky to be loved by him.”
Outside the door, Trevor closed his eyes in agony. Lainie patted his back.
“You have no trouble saying what you think, do you?” asked Stefan. “You should be pleading with me.”
“Why? It wouldn’t make any difference.”
“You broke our law. You hurt my son. You disgraced our family.” Stefan shuffled papers and started writing on a blank form. “Karla has forbidden me to kill you, but if you chose it, she wouldn’t be able to interfere. Trevor, my other children, Ina, and even Lainie have begged me to forgive you. This has been difficult on all of us. It would make it easier for me if you picked death. Then we could find my son an appropriate wife.” He motioned for the doctor. “Use the other one first.”
The doctor set down a needle with a tube attached and readied a different IV.
“You can scream, if you wish,” said Stefan. “The room is soundproof.”
“And your ego would love that. I won’t give you the satisfaction nor will I shame my husband.”
Trevor had his hand on the doorknob, ready to burst in, but Lainie stopped him.
Without saying another word to Janna, Stefan picked up the paperwork. He motioned to Topu, but the guard didn’t move. “I’m not the one who’s going to hurt her, am I?” asked Stefan. He left and the guard reluctantly followed after him.
The doctor started the IV. “What’s in this?” She asked, afraid.
“It’s to put you to sleep so when I start the IV to transform you, you won’t feel the pain.”
“No, wait. You can’t do this. Stefan can’t do this. It’ll kill me. It’ll kill Trevor.”
“Stefan has been ordered not to hurt you, and so he’s not touching you. This will take about 20 minutes for you to fully be out and then I’ll be back.”
Janna could feel the medicine moving through her. Her limbs relaxed. Please, Trevor, I beg you, find me before it’s too late.
The doctor waited until her eyes slowly closed before he too left.
She didn’t know how long she’d been out, but she couldn’t fully awake. She could feel the liquid still coursing into her veins, but she also heard hurried whispers; a woman’s voice first. “Come on. We have to work quickly. It’s a good thing I knew about this back door.”
“I’m cutting as fast as I can. These straps are thick. How did you discover this door anyway?” Was that Trevor’s voice?
“I’m nosy. What can I say? When I first got assigned here, I checked out every drawer, door, and closet.” Lainie?
Someone ripped the IV from her arm and smacked her face. “Wake up,” whispered the female voice.
Janna blinked into the blurry face of Lainie.
“She’s waking. Hurry, you dork. Good thing today’s my day off.”
“You should get out of here. If he finds out you helped, he’ll punish you.”
“I know, and worse than what he ever gives you, his favorite. It’s not like I haven’t been in trouble before. She wears the prettiest clothes.”
“I got this for her. The first time I saw her, she wore a yellow top. It was like she was this bright sun beckoning me to her. I was so aroused.” Trevor brushed his hand against Janna’s cheek, down her throat, and across her chest. “I never wanted a woman more. After she met with Stefan that first time, I knew what was coming. I bought her clothes and packed them with mine and Ulrich stashed it on Karla’s jet. It was only a matter of time.
Trevor continued, “I’d planned to propose. I’d hoped that Stefan would accept that commitment and give us more time. Neither of us wanted marriage yet. We’d both been hurt from previous relationships. I even arranged to give her a human wedding. Ulrich was researching all the details for me. I tried many times to explain myself to her, but I couldn’t let her find out I was a Halbling and a killer. If I had, maybe she wouldn’t find me repulsive. I lost her anyway.”
“You haven’t lost her, you idiot. She loves you. How many times do I have to tell you that? You’re so insecure about her love. You should have seen her when I visited. She misses you badly, it broke my heart. She wept, Trevor, for you. You two are meant for each other. Humans are afraid of any species stronger and smarter than they are. And vampires terrify them. Keep in mind that I lived in a human community. There’s all these dumb legends out there. But don’t you ever doubt that she loves you. She’ll get over the shock and the revulsion. She’s the sort of person that needs time to accept things. Aren’t you done yet? The great Shaolin master can’t cut through straps?”
“How come your human friends aren’t afraid of you? You’re not aging like they are.”
“Humans move around a lot, so the new neighbors just see me as I am without question. My friends from my childhood, I had to let go of them, but I make new friends easily. It’s husbands that evade me.”
“You understand my assignment? Are you sure they won’t tell on us?” Trevor murmured.
“Unlike you, I make friends everywhere, not enemies. Everyone likes me. What do you think is in this tube with a needle attached?”
He hissed. “It looks like changing serum, but I can’t be sure. Normally, it’s administered from a vial and the human drinks it. Stefan was going to have it injected in her, then it would have been too late to stop the treatment, and she would have died from an overdose. I got the last strap finally.” He and Lainie helped her to sit up. Janna was dizzy and weak and placed her head on his shoulder.
“What was the doctor giving her?” asked Lainie.
“Something to make her sleep.”
“Why? You don’t think that Stefan was really going to change her?”
“What does it matter? I wouldn’t have let him do anything to her. I’ve already called Karla. Help me get her out the back way.”
They lifted her off the table and then he picked Janna up and carried her down the stairs and out a back door while Lainie kept watch.
The fresh air felt good and Janna breathed it in deeply. Lainie opened a car door and Trevor laid Janna carefully on the floor. He covered her with a blanket. “Don’t move.”
“Get going.” Lainie hurried away to another car. “If you need anything else, call me. Just get her somewhere safe.”
“He’s going to find out, Lainie.”
“Go. Just go, you stupid dork!”
He jumped in and drove to the gates. The guard opened them and Trevor revved the jeep out into traffic. That was the last thing Janna remembered before she fell back asleep.

Biggest Challenge of Being an Indie Author

Ruth Ann Nordin's Author Blog

I recently had a very good question posed to me.  “What is the biggest challenge you face as an indie writer?”

I had to think over this one for a while, but it finally came to me: the biggest challenge indie writers face is taking over the role of a publisher.

Writing is the easy part.  (And yet, it has its own challenges because you have those times when the story isn’t “coming” to you because the characters are silent or you are going in a direction the characters don’t want you to go in.  There are also days when you don’t feel like writing but have to anyway.)

But the hardest part is playing the role of publisher.  I’ll give you an example of what tasks I have on my list to take care of in the next two weeks.

Marketing and Promoting: I need to get ads scheduled…

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An interview with Arnold Pratt

Roger Lawrence: one of my favorite authors.

Three hoodies save the world

Arnold Pratt is my new hero (sort of) and features in my latest novel. I caught him as he was resting between dodging two police forces and MI5, all of whom want him with a vengeance.

“Hello, Arnold. You look a bit harried.”

“You’d look harried, too if you was being chased by the law and the secret service. Especially if you haven’t done anything wrong. But they aren’t going to get me. I’ve got a plan.”

“Well if you haven’t done anything wrong, then why don’t you just hand yourself in?” It seemed a logical question but somehow seemed to make him even angrier, although it was really hard to tell as what I could see of his face in the gloom was covered in mud, blood and something smelling of cow poo. I tried to steer the conversation away from anything that might involve me and by extension…

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