“Whatever you do, don’t open the door of the guest bedroom until the sun goes down.”

I turn to find Jake sprawled lazily in the recliner, remote control in hand, ordering PayPerView movies. I heard him come in sometime after four in the morning and it sounded like he wasn’t alone, but I was too tired to investigate. Now, I wish I had. “What have you done this time?”

“I liberated a few people last night. And they’re really sensitive to light.” He says this as though it’s the most normal thing in the world. And the sight of him and his SEAL-gear is becoming normal around here too. The three year old is wearing a camouflage t-shirt and I’ve begun referring to trips to the grocery store as missions, so I know the madness has spread far and wide.

“What do you mean, sensitive to light?” I snatch the remote out of his hand and he looks mortally wounded for a second, but rebounds quickly. He’s not in uniform and there’s a surfboard propped next to him, and now I know why one of my heroine’s has suddenly disappeared. Damn, I need to find this guy his own woman and fast.

“They’re Darkyn something or other,” he says.

“Darkyn? As in, vampire-like Darkyn?”  Oh crap. He’s really done it this time.

He shrugs. “I guess. Don’t worry, they’re cool.”

“You need to get them back or their author’s going to kick your ass.”

“I’m hoping their author kicks your ass in gear,” he said. “Rumor has it she’s ex-military.”

“What are you talking about?”

“She writes a lot. You’ve been doing a whole lot of not writing lately. I’m thinking, if I hold her characters hostage for a while, eventually she’ll cave to my demands.”

“And those would be?”

“She’s going to motivate you. Make you get up early to write. She’s going to get you into a routine.”

“No one can motivate me but me. And it’s a nice try, but their author doesn’t hang around here. PBW’s too busy to bloghop around like that. She’s busy.”

“Writing?” Jake suggests in his most helpful tone of voice which is so not helpful at all. He smiles despite the fact I’ve just given him my best, ‘cover your balls’ look.

I hate it when he’s right.

I make a mental note to get his CO involved in this mess, and I remember that I already sent Saint to get Nick away from the poolhouse. I also remember Saint telling me sometime last year that there wasn’t a woman born yet who could handle Jake, but I figured he was just pissed at the time because Jake had tried to take over his book. Now, I’m beginning to realize he might be right.

“How did you get past PBW anyway?”

He manages to look insulted. “Do you think you’re dealing an amateur? I can get past anyone. It’s called E&E, honey. Evade & Escape.” He pauses. “Besides, she was typing like a madwoman. I tried to talk to her but she started mumbling things like,’you know how to do your own laundry” and  “I don’t see any blood so why are you bothering me now?” and ‘I need more green tea.’ So I had to alter my plan and do things a little differently.”

“By liberating an entire coven?”

“Look, PBW wants them to have a life. And those vampires? Man, they really know how to party. The Dancehall’s never going to be the same.”

“You’re not going to get what you want this time,” I tell him. “And Cece’s going to hurt you. ”

“I’m shaking,” he says. “No really, I am. And you can tell Cece I’ve got plans for her.” He gets up and grabs the surfboard that’s propped up next to him. Then he saunters off, bypassing the motorcycle he’s parked in the middle of my living room and calling over his shoulder, “by the way, Odil’s chick is still here and she’s eating all the ice cream. Says her author’s talking crazy talk and she’s not going back.”

“And what did you tell her?”

“That I sympathize.”

I groan and start counting the hours until sundown.

Steph T.