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Below me in the Keep's courtyard, music played and the teenage members of the Pack were doing their best to follow the beat. Somewhere in the crowd Maddie and Julie danced. Or rather Maddie danced and Julie played along, waiting to catch her friend if she fell down. The forced coma had wreaked havoc on Maddie's musculature. It took two weeks after we administered the panacea before she could move. She still used a wheelchair on occasion. The other day I caught her and Doolittle holding brooms and ramming each other with their wheelchairs in the hallways. Apparently they were having a joust.

Doolittle was probably down there too, listening to the music and complaining about the noise. Being in a chair didn't seem to slow him down. George had fared worse. Her arm reattachment didn't take. For whatever reason, her body rejected the limb, even after Doolittle reattached it for the second time aboard the Rush. The arm was gone now. George had to learn how to use her left hand for everything, and it drove her up the wall. Desandra was helping her. She had adapted well. Eventually the fact that one of her children was a lamassu would have to be dealt with, but for now everyone was ignoring it. There was some friction in the Wolf Clan as to where she would fit into the Clan hierarchy, and when Jennifer attempted to chastise Desandra in her very formal way, Desandra told her to cool her tits. Every time I thought about it, I laughed.

We buried Aunt B on a sunny hill behind the Bouda House. There was no body in the grave, just the things she had taken with her on the trip. I came to visit her every other week. The left tower of the Keep was named after her. That was where the kids stayed when they had to be treated with panacea. I never thought I would miss her, but I did.

Curran stepped out on the balcony and sat next to me. I leaned against him, and he put his arm around me.

"Are you okay?" he asked me.

"Yes. Sometimes it doesn't seem real that we made it." I leaned closer against him.

"Kate?" he asked.


"I am an ass. And an arrogant egomaniac. And a selfish bastard."

"The first two, yes. But you're not selfish." I stroked his arm, feeling the muscle underneath the skin. "You are the way you are, Curran. You have your valid reasons. I am the way I am and I have my reasons, too."

He kissed my hand. "I love you," he said. "I'm glad you're with me."

"I love you, too." I looked into his face. "What's wrong?"

He took out a small wooden box and handed it to me. What the hell could be so important about a wooden box for that kind of speech?

"What's in here?"

"Just open it," he growled.

"I'm not going to open it after you said all that. It might blow up."

"Kate. Open the box," he said quietly.

I opened it. A ring looked back at me from black velvet, a pale band with a large brilliant stone with a pale yellow tint. I knew that tint. He'd given me a ring set with a piece of the Wolf Diamond.

"Are you going to say psych?"

"No," Curran said.

Oh boy.