walking in circles [sam moods]
Thursday, August 8, Samantha Evans met with Cold Crescent's den father to discuss the fate of the baby the Glass Walker rescued from a burning building.

Friday, August 9, Samantha Evans had herself a son, and a plethora of changes and adjustments had to be made. She purchased most of the things she needed Thursday night when she first accepted the responsibility of raising a supposed Black Spiral Dancer infant. The rest of that afternoon had been spent rearranging, cleaning, and assembling. The second bedroom of her condo is no longer her studio, but a nursery. There is a crib and a changing table and a mobile that she hastily threw together herself. There's a baby monitor on a shelf, though the place is small enough Sam will surely hear Jake from anywhere.

That first night was kind of terrible.

Sam has friends. She has family. But she has no one immediately available to trade off Oh Shit The Baby's Howling at 2:27AM with. To make matters worse, Sam has nightmares. She's old enough and strong enough these days that REM sleep comes and goes without her jolting awake in the middle of the night, her sheets soaked with cold sweat, visions of nightmare still dancing before her eyes like the afterimage of a camera flash. But there are times when Jake wakes her up and she's out of her bed and out of her room and in the hall before she's fully awake, heart hammering because she's not sure if she's here in her home or on a street in Vermont watching her little brother Change for the first time.

Even so, she powers through. That first night, even though she was tired and scattered and scared and frustrated and asking herself over and over Holy shit what did I get myself into?, never once did the thought even enter her mind that she should take him back. She agreed to do this. She agreed to handle the good as well as the bad. That's what parenting is all about, right? Loving this little larval being that does nothing but ooze strange substances from everywhere and cry and eat and sleep, only to wake and start the whole thing over again.

Saturday her dad called. That was an interesting conversation.

"Hey, Dad."
"Hi, your mom and I just wanted to check in, see how your first night went."
"It was...alright. Long."
"You sound tired."
"Ah, yeah. Jake woke up so I woke up and then I couldn't fall back to sleep."
"You know I think I have something that'll help with that hang on..." His voice grows suddenly distant.
"Hey, Mom, where'd Dad go?"
"Ah, he's, um......" "Give me the phone." "No." "Shelly. Give. me. the. phone."
Sam hears her mom sigh before she hears, "Your dad wants to--"
"Sammy!" Dad again. "Hold out the phone."
"Dad...Dad, no, it's too ear--"
"Samantha, hold out the phone."

With a sigh not at all unlike her mother's, Sam goes into her somewhat spacious living room, and she points her phone out away from her.

There is a gift that high level Glass Walkers can learn. It lets them step sideways, into the phone line. It lets them travel great distances in an instant. In this way, Sam and Reese's father is literally only a phone call away. Until right now, when Sam holds her phone away from her. There's a shock of light, a sizzle of electricity, and then he's there, standing in the middle of her condo in Denver where a moment ago he was all the way out in Montpelier.

Something's off, something's weird, and it takes Sam a moment to realize what's missing. Marshall Evans is an Ahroun, an Athro who is nearly an Elder, and he has the Rage to match. His presence in this small condo should fill it to overflowing, the power of his Rage should knock Sam to her knees or at least send a jolt of something like fear down her spine, tensing up her shoulders. She can't usually spend much time with her dad when she goes to visit her family, she tries but it's always difficult to stand against that ferocity. All of that is gone. He stands there in the middle of her living room and he is only himself, an older man only a little over average height, with short cropped hair that's a little more silver these days than red. Even so, Sam has always been a little in awe of her father. He is barrel-chested and broad-shouldered, a powerhouse, a tank.

And that tank, that monster of Rage and power and destruction, he beams down at her and he steps forward and he wraps his eldest and smallest daughter up in his arms, remembering only at the last second that she doesn't like being lifted up off her feet anymore, hasn't for more than a decade. There was a time when Sam might have resisted being nearly crushed to death by fatherly affection, when she would have rolled her eyes from something other than a healthy fear and respect for what he could do and said Dad come on stop. Today she wraps her arms around his shoulders and she squeezes right back.

She's missed this. She's missed having easy access to her parents and her younger siblings. She's missed being able to spend more than a few days at a time with them. And yes, she even misses the times spent in the northern wilds.

He lets her go and he tries to ask after her life and her health but his dark blue eyes - Sam's eyes - keep darting over her shoulder and down the hall. Winslow has vanished and will not return unless or until Sam goes into her room and closes the door. Maybe not even then. Sam does end up rolling her eyes, but the look is affectionate if more than a little tired. With a nod of her head she leads the way to the baby's room, Jake's room, and there she and her dad loiter in the doorway, talking in hushed whispers. He tells her to go get some sleep and she, not wanting to miss a moment with her father, resists at first. But Marshall Evans, though a softie down to his core, has a way of getting what he wants. Sam goes to take a nap.

He stays the night with her, even though there's only an air mattress for him to sleep on in the living room. He helps her when Jake wakes them both up in the night. He helps her put him back to bed. He tells her stories about her own babyhood, and her brothers', and her baby sister's. He helps. In the morning, he gives Sam another squeeze before calling and then going home. He'll be back, but for a proper visit with her mother, who has already purchased a plane ticket and arranged for a hotel for them for next weekend.

Sam isn't lonely in the wake of his leaving, how could she be? She has a cat and a baby and in many ways a brother to look after. She has friends. She has work, though this week she'll be doing all of it from home, coding and programming while in another window she contacts real estate agents and starts the search for a new place to live. Somewhere close to work but perhaps not so close to the target of the Beloved Horror's relentlessly stubborn assault. Someplace with a basement with concrete floors that she can turn into a workshop, and an attic she can turn into a studio. She also looks for someone to rent out this condo. Could be a good source of extra income, not that she really needs it. And and and...

So much to do.

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