MoonFish–Surprise Visit! Part 5

Okay– super short this time– there will be more next week, I promise. I am almost done with the big edit and ready to start on my next book but first–first–I need to finish this novella.

I also have to say it will all be easier now that Mate has his own car back. My office has been… occupied this week, by someone else besides me.


And before I start the MoonFish– I have to tell you about the hats.

See, Mate took the kids to a Republic game this weekend, and the hats were on sale. Mate has one already–but he’s worn it to a sweaty soggy salty mess because it’s his favorite, and he likes the little round brim and not the big showy flat brim and he saw them on sale and said to the salesgirl, “Wow! That’s awesome! That’s my favorite kind of hat!”

The salesgirl grimaced apologetically. “We actually call that one the ‘Dad Hat’ on the invoice.”

Mate didn’t care. He bought three. Squish wore one today as she finished her DNA project with beads and pipe cleaners and tears.

Dad hats– now you know!

And now, some MoonFish–

Surprise Visit–Part 5

Ellery managed to wait until his mother was–hopefully–asleep in the next room.

“You weren’t going to tell me?”

“Tell you what?”  Jackson sat on the bed in his boxers, looking ridiculously sexy for a guy who’d spent half the last year in the hospital, and made moon faces at the cat. Billy Bob batted his lips, no claws.

“Tell me there was a hit out on my mother.”

Jackson didn’t even look up. “Why would there be a hit out on your mother?”

“I don’t know– you tell me!”

“Well, since she hasn’t told me I don’t know what else I can tell you!”

Ellery had never really considered homicide until he’d fallen in love. “What. Did. She. Say?”

Now Jackson did look at him, his green eyes open and sparkling and as innocent as a lamb’s. “She said she was here for a visit.”

“I will beat you,” Ellery threatened, which was a laugh and a half because they were both getting their wind back enough to run around the neighborhood.

“Would you like equipment for that, or are you doing to use a household item, like a wooden spoon, or a shoe?”

“Augh!”  He didn’t control his volume, either, and Jackson showed some emotion then by flailing his arms.

“You will wake the beast and we’ll both be fucked!” he hissed.

“No we won’t, because we don’t have sex while my mother is here, remember?”

Jackson pursed his lips. “Look, this isn’t my fault. She showed up on the doorstep. That’s all I know.”

“That’s obviously not all you know because we’ve been walking around Sacramento with you running point and me running cleanup like an actual police detail all day. Care to explain that?”

Jackson gave a sigh, and Ellery thought, “Oh ho! The jig is up! I shall have some answers!”


“All I know– all I know–is that Burton left Ernie’s apple fritters on our doorstep yesterday, and your mother was told to stay in public places.”

Ellery blinked. “That… is not reassuring.”

“You are telling me.”

“Give me one good reason not to put us all into protective custody.”

Jackson shrugged. “Because it was donuts and not directions for burying our remains?”

“I”m having mine donated to science,” Ellery muttered. “The rest you can burn and scatter.”

“I could donate my remains to science too,” Jackson said helpfully, but Ellery just rolled his eyes.

“Most of your remains have already been stitched together and replaced. I don’t think you have anything left to give. Now scoot over. I need to brood.”

“You need to get in bed to brood?” But Jackson was scooting over.

“No, I need to get in bed to touch you so that we can think together. Jackson, there’s a hit out on my mother! What are we going to do?”

Jackson shrugged. “We’re going to turn on the house alarm–“


“And let the hit men watching over us do our job. Also, we’re going to take your mother places because they said to stay public.”

Ellery narrowed his eyes. “It’s like you’re on her side.”

Jackson glared back. “Ellery, she was threatening to take my coffee away from me–not in so many words but–“

“She did not, you big baby–“

“You pretend not to hear it, but we know what this means. ‘Jackson, I think you would enjoy tea so much more than coffee. Has Ellery allowed you to taste some of the more robust blends with almond milk and honey?’ What do you think that means?”

Ellery tried to hide his pleased expression and failed.

“See? It means she’s trying to take away my coffee! No! Not even the doctor has tried to do that!”

“That’s because you lied to the doctor about your intake!” This had been a sore point between them. Their idea of a “moderate” amount varied vastly.

“One pot is not excessive!” Jackson defended, wounded. “And see? Now she’s got you on her side! Just leave the professionals to take care of it and don’t press her any further!” He flounced over onto his side, beat up his pillow and settled in for the night.

Ellery let out a breath. “Do we even know who it is?”


“Did you ask?”

“You sacrifice something you love. Watch. You ask her and she’ll try to take away your car.”

Ellery sat up in bed. “She would not!”

Jackson threw a pout over his shoulder. “Want to risk it?”

“No.”  Ellery slid back down into bed again and kissed the back of Jackson’s neck. “Damn.”


“We were on a hot streak.”

They’d both been recovering, but yes. Somebody had come at least once a night since they’d gotten out of the hospital. Jackson hadn’t had this much sex when he’d been banging everything that moved–and Ellery knew because Jackson told him so.

“I know,” Jackson said glumly. “We’re going to have to think of something else to do before bed.”

Ellery laughed. “We could start reading books.”

“Dirty ones?”

“How about Jane Austen?”

“I hate you.”

“I love you Jackson.”

“I love you too, counselor. What are we doing again tomorrow?”

“God, I forget. We’ll remember when she wakes us up in the morning.”


Jackson rolled over just enough to kiss him.


Except whatever it was she had planned,

Jackson’s phone rang in the charger that morning, and he snagged it before Ellery could crawl over his body and claw out its eyes.

“K?” Jackson mumbled. “For real?”

Then Jackson sat up in bed, looking panicked. “No, seriously, did you look for him?”

“Who?” Ellery asked, rolling out of bed and looking for the khakis he’d worn the day before, as well as a sweater and some sturdy shoes. “Who’s missing?”

“Anthony,” Jackson muttered, hopping out of bed to get dressed too. “Yeah, K. Keep us briefed. We’re getting in the tank now.”

He paused, and looked at Ellery apologetically. “Why the tank? Because it’s a long story that we can’t talk about and Ellery’s mother is coming.”

Ellery moaned. “Goddammit.”

“Yeah, Ellery– go tell your mom that she’s coming with us up to Foresthill.”  Jackson spoke back into his phone. “Don’t get too excited–I think we were coming up tomorrow anyway, and tell Rhonda we can’t stay so she’s off the hook. Keep us briefed. See you soon.”

He hung up and started his own search for yesterday’s jeans and a fresh pair of undershorts, while Ellery dressed as quickly as he could.

Oh man. Their complicated day had just gotten a whole lot more complicated.

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