Dahlia had a problem: a stalker with powers that threatened not just her life but also her carefully crafted identity. Jacks had a problem, too: a magical doom that had destroyed his entire family. Only by trusting each other can they solve the problems destroying their lives.
Midwife to Divinity is an urban fantasy focused on strength, challenges and claiming what you thought you’d left behind.
Midwife to Divinity
By Meyari McFarland
1. Cold Comfort
The answering machine light blinked at Dahlia. She stared at it, heart hammering in her ears, an angry lump up in her throat. Dru had been right. Everything she said was right. Dahlia bit her lip, watching that light flicking on and off like a strobe sweeping ever closer to her.
Her apartment was cold, dark, in contrast with the beautiful colors that had tempted her into staying here originally. Dahlia had taken to leaving blankets and sweaters everywhere so that she could curl up under them. Even after she finally figured out how to deal with this problem she’d probably keep them out. The comfort and color was so enticing that Dahlia knew she’d keep doing it.
Comfortable blankets or not, it wasn’t safe to turn on the lights. Turning up the heat was a problem, too, given what she’d been able to figure out about Jacks. As nice as it would be to have warmth in here, she didn’t dare do more than keep the pipes from freezing. Better to be cold and live in the dark than risk Jacks realizing that she was still here. She’d spent too many years building this life to abandon it so suddenly.
The entire mess was Dahlia’s fault. Despite Dru’s warnings, she’d had to go out, had to take a night off and go to the bar with her oblivious coworkers. That last night of warmth and laughter had been so wonderful until it all went wrong. Dahlia’s fingers tightened around the keys clutched in her hand, squeezing until her knuckles ached and the edges threatened to break her skin, spilling out power and blood in equal measure.
At least the cold kept the garbage from smelling. Dahlia hadn’t taken the trash out for three weeks now. Pretty soon she would have to but for now the bags, stuffed to the point that the drawstrings barely held them shut, sat patiently by the front door.
More air freshener would take care of the residual stink of rotting orange peels and apple cores that Dahlia couldn’t avoid. It didn’t help the empty fridge, though. That was something that Dahlia had to take care of soon or risk going to the mall next to work. Which she wouldn’t do.
Jacks would be there, his eyes too bright and his fingers curling as if they could feel the muscles of her biceps struggling to escape already. How he got away with his stalking was the mystery. Dahlia didn’t see how anyone could miss the man’s predatory expressions, the way he cornered young women, pulling them aside and forcing them to smile, to look up at him, to slip away with him. She didn’t know how people missed that the women came back bruised, frightened, sometimes bleeding and all, all, of them with gaps in their memory that covered the hours of the time with Jacks.
Dahlia already knew that some never came back at all.
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