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Nathaniel admitted that what Rankin offered him that kept getting through his shields was the illusion that he would be Micah for him. That this version of Micah would want him completely and utterly, in every way physically. Micah wants to try to meet more of Nathaniel's physical needs, but he doesn't think he'll ever be able to meet them all. There are men in our poly group who can and will, but if Micah and Nathaniel are going to be the ones marrying each other, then is it okay that they don't meet every need? We're talking about couples therapy for us, too.

Olaf went back home, wherever that is, and I answered his question. I preferred Adler to Irene. He preferred Holmes to Sherlock. I suggested Moriarty for him, but he said it didn't match the naming convention. He was right, so there you go. We had pet names for each other. I don't have pet names for most of the people I'm living with, so having them with Olaf seemed even weirder. I need to find a lion to call before my lioness forces the choice, and it cannot be Olaf, damn it.

Peter is healing more than human-fast. He comes up inconclusive for lycanthropy, but inconclusive isn't testing as human normal either. He may still be able to join the armed forces because he doesn't change form; he still doesn't test positive for a contagious disease yet. It's still made Peter even more eager to join the other half of the family business, because world-class assassin and monster slayer will be all that's left of things he wanted to be when he grew up if he does go from inconclusive to testing positive. I'd promised years ago that I would go with Edward on Peter's first hunt, and I will go, but I'm still wishing a different life for the boy I met all those years ago. Something gentler and kinder than hunting monsters.

Melanie saw the Internet story about Christy and Andy's baby and the monster that we killed. She talked to Nathaniel when we got home, and he brought it to us. Melanie's original name was Echidna, the mother of monsters. She'd been afraid I'd use the knowledge to get a warrant of execution and kill her. I guess I wasn't the only one still disturbed by our first meeting, years ago. She thinks the family in Florida are her descendants and that maybe, just maybe, she might have enough power left to help them lift the curse, or maybe get them closer to her own transformation. Something that they could control and that perhaps could be directed, so that they could choose how the change comes out. She used her own venom to change human men into pseudo-lamia mates for her once, so she wants to talk to the family about trying to modify their shape-changing. There are no promises, but there is hope, and that was what Micah really wanted for Christy and her new daughter and the rest of their family. Maybe it wasn't a happily-ever-after ending yet, especially for Christy, who had lost her husband, but sometimes when you fight monsters and are trying hard not to become one of them, hopefully-ever-after is a good place to start.

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