“You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house and if you got a glass jaw, you should watch yo mouth: cause I’ll break yo face” — 50 Cent.
Brianna and Joey come into Portland looking for a fight and find themselves looking into the unusual “curse” that hangs over the underground fight syndicate in the city. Brianna also enters the world of White Court politics in Portland.
“Since the life of every creature is its blood, I have told the Israelites: You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; whoever eats it must be cut off.” — Leviticus 17:14
Brianna’s cousin Quincy comes to Portland with some family business and a shadowy man following him. What secret agenda does this man have and will Brianna have to call in the favor that Nerise owes her?
“I don’t recommend steroids for everyone, and I don’t recommend growth hormones for everyone. But for certain individuals, I truly believe, because I’ve experimented with it for so many years, that it can make an average athlete a super athlete. It can make a super athlete – incredible. Just legendary.” — Jose Canseco
When fighters start turning up with extraordinary strength and stamina, Brianna Karkana begins to suspect supernatural tampering. But will she let this encroachment upon her territory go unchecked?
“You want to hire me as a body guard? Watch. I’ll show you my ability.” — Sanjuro (from Yojimbo)
Brianna is hired by Nerise to be a bodyguard for a Raith dignitary. But she still has enemies from her previous fight that are interested in seeing her fall. Can she protect the Raith and keep her own enemies at bay?
“I went on what the movie advertisements refer to as a ‘roaring rampage of revenge.’ I roared. And I rampaged. And I got bloody satisfaction.” — Beatrix Kiddo
Brianna Karkana and Madeline Raith are heading to Seattle so that Madeline can get satisfaction for the attempts on her life by the Margrave of the Red Court that presides there. Can Brianna keep an increasingly angry and vindictive Madeline safe in an unknown environment? And what about her territory back in Portland—who will keep it safe from her own enemies?
“The iron chain and the silken cord are both equally bonds.”—Friedrich Schiller
While following up a new lead against their enemy, Brianna Karkana and Joey Aragon encounter a pixie with a sob story that may lead them to another person that needs their help. Can they follow both of these leads and protect Brianna’s territory in the process?
“…Some are satin, some are steel, some are silk, and some are leather, they’re the faces of the stranger, but we love to try them on… ” — Billy Joel, “The Stranger”
Brianna meets a new fight promoter that sparks her interest. Her past continues to haunt her as old enemies seek revenge. Finally, she learns a bit more about herself and what she wants on a visit to Seattle to see her cousin.
“In this life, we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices.” — James E. Faust
Brianna is called home to Colorado on the basis of her actions in Seattle while Ezekiel faces scrutiny for similar reasons from the White Council.
“Making believe this is what you conceived from your worst day, I’m taking a dive…” Jeff Lynne, “Living Thing”, ELO.
Brianna goes undercover into the law firm of Hartram and Wolf to investigate a series of killings for the Venatori Umbrorum. Has she gotten in too deep in this world of intrigue and will it get her marked as a target?
“Like he had for thousands of years, Krampus came not to reward, but to punish. Not to give, but to take,” Omi, Krampus (2015)
While out on a date with Loomis, Brianna and the Seattle cop witness a strange creature menacing a teenager. As they dig deeper into the mystery, they discover a sinister plot by a revenge-seeker whose chosen weapon has gotten out of control…
“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” — Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.
“There’s some take delight in the carriages a rolling, and others take delight in the hurling and the bowling, but I take delight in the juice of the barley, and courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early…” Whiskey in the Jar, The Dubliners.
Hubbard finally calls Brianna in for her first job, per their arrangement, and it’s a bit unusual to be sure. But as with all things fae-related, it becomes far more complicated than it seems and Brianna finds herself enmeshed in a bit of fae politics. Can she find her way through the minefield Hubbard has landed her in?
“I’ve had some lovely extraordinary experiences on New Year’s Eve,” Debbie Harry.
Brianna receives an invitation to the annual New Year’s Eve Ball at Nirvana, as well as a gown to wear to it, from Nerise as a birthday present. Brianna and Loomis finally consummate their relationship and Loomis attends his first White Court function. Meanwhile, Hubbard calls in Brianna on another job, this one being a bit of more in her wheelhouse than the last one. But when Brianna tries to beat the fey at his own game, she may put the life of a mundane mortal at risk.
“We used to have more than 90 long houses along the Snoqualmie River and its tributaries – the highways used to travel from village to village. Fish, game, trees, and roots provided everything needed to live. These things were given to us by Transformer during ancient times when animals could talk and before so many things became the way they are now. Snoqualmie Indian Tribe members are People of Moon who have lived, hunted, and fished this area as long as the earth and rivers remember. We are still here today caring for the land, water, fish, and game given to us.” — Snoqualmie Tribe Website
Loomis is called by to “The Rez” to investigate the murder of someone he used to know, This brings up a lot of old resentments in Loomis about his childhood and resentments in tribal elders about Loomis’ leaving the reservation. The elders of his community thought his gifts made him special, maybe some kind of “savior” of the community—instead he got into trouble and then left. Loomis feels a bit guilty about that. Brianna accompanies him on his journey and they both discover that there is something more sinister afoot with the killing than was first thought.
“I learned how to comport myself among trolls, elves, hobbits or goblins. I learned that a friend can be lost to greed and avarice. I learned that solving riddles may be as important a survival skill as bowmanship. I know how to talk to a dragon, and that it’s best not to.”—Karen Joy Fowler
Brianna receives a strange visitor in the form of a “Mr. Bradbury.” Bradbury reveals that Nerise Patel and Clive are in his custody and that he is now the holder of the favor Brianna owes to Nerise. And he knows exactly how he’d like to use that favor…