Everything Is Illuminated
Café Diem was decked out in so much green it looked as if Ireland had exploded inside. Zane pulled the door open, eyebrows shooting so high that they almost reached his hairline at the sight of Vincent dressed as a leprechaun, complete with red hair dye. St. Patrick's Day, of course. Zane grinned as he held the door for Jo, stepping aside to accommodate her protruding stomach. Jo did not share his enthusiasm.
"Really, Vincent?" She asked, exasperated. Vincent was unabashed.
"There's no reason we shouldn't celebrate in style, Jo," he said, flitting around her like an overexcited butterfly. "Here, let me help you to a table." Zane winced, anticipating mutiny. She'd handled the first week of maternity leave with aplomb, but the closer they were to her due date the greater her outrage at his 'coddling' had become.
"Actually, Vincent, I'd much rather take the sofa if that's alright…" Jo requested, trailing off. She reached a hand behind her to massage the small of her back, wincing. Vincent shooed a couple off the couch at the back of the café, gesturing for Jo to take a seat. Zane followed, a wry expression dancing across his face.
"And what'll it be for the expecting couple?" Vincent all but cooed, and Zane couldn't help but glance at Jo, wondering how much longer this could go on without her snapping and going for the taser, but the expression on her face was entirely distracted – Zane suspected she hadn't registered the question at all.
"Jo? Food?" He prompted her, and she snapped her head up.
"Oh! Right… you know, I think I'll just have a fruit salad and a smoothie." She requested quickly. Vincent nodded and turned to Zane, looking expectant. Zane switched his focus momentarily, just long enough to order a pastrami melt before turning his attention back to Jo, who was now resting her head against the back of the sofa, eyes closed.
"Jo-Jo," he said quietly, so none of their neighbors overheard, and nudged her. "Would you rather we get it to go?"
"No," she murmured, not opening her eyes. "I can't possibly stand another minute sitting around in that house." Zane eyed her, faintly concerned by her exhaustion. It was true that in the past month she'd been tiring more easily than either of them was used to, but she usually made it past noon before needing a nap.
Vincent reappeared with their meals promptly and Jo pried her eyes open to receive the bowl of fruit salad, which she rested unceremoniously on her sizeable baby bump, the coffee table being roughly inaccessible over her stomach. She looked down at her stomach and groaned.
"I look like a beached whale," she scowled. "I've seen tanks that were easier to maneuver." Zane hid a smile in his pastrami melt. Jo sighed and began picking at her fruit salad. Zane raised his eyebrows as she employed her typical seek-and-destroy approach to the kiwis and pineapples.
"You know, Vincent would probably just give you kiwi and pineapple if you asked nicely." She frowned at him absently.
"But then I would miss the watermelon and cantaloupe," Zane opened his mouth to reply, and then thought better of it.
Jo paused suddenly and glanced down, looking distracted. Delicately, she placed her fruit salad on the nearest flat surface – which turned out to be Zane's thigh – and used her arm as leverage to push herself onto her feet. Zane hastily thrust the plates onto the coffee table and leaned over to help her, but she waved him off.
"I'm fine," she said impatiently. "I just need to use the restroom." She crossed the room, navigating carefully between tables until she vanished into the hallway. Zane, shaking his head at the inherently stubborn nature of the woman he loved, turned back to his sandwich.
About fifteen minutes later, Zane, long since having finished his sandwich, was beginning to wonder if he should be going after her. Before he could begin stacking plates, however, Jo reappeared in the café, her face unreadable. She spared only a cursory glance for her meal.
"Let's take this home," she suggested. Zane cocked his head at her meaningfully, now completely puzzled, but she ignored him. With a sigh and a half shrug – sometimes he wondered if he'd ever understand what went on in her head – he began gathering the food and the plates, bringing them to Vincent for disposal and requesting a container for the fruit salad. To his credit, Vincent didn't bat an eye – if he was offended by the apparent rejection of his salad, he managed to keep it to himself, rather than ruffle the feathers of an already irritable pregnant woman.
Zane commandeered the keys from his inscrutable girlfriend, surprised that she'd permitted him to do so, and slid into the driver's seat of her car. Jo opened the door to the passenger side while Zane rummaged around in the front, but paused for a moment, sucking in a deep breath, holding it for a moment before letting it out in a gusty sigh and carefully maneuvering her way into the seat, closing the door behind her a little more forcefully than usual. From his spot beside her Zane gave her a quizzical look, but she smiled back at him, her eyes crinkling at the corners, and he brushed off his vague sense of unease as simple paranoia.
Back at the house, Jo left Zane at the door and made a beeline for the bedroom, stripping out of her clothes and pulling on a pajama set as soon as she stepped through the door. She sank into the bed, bracing her lately unwieldy body with her arms and dragging her exhausted legs up after her. She pulled the covers over her and drifted off, one arm wrapped protectively around her stomach.
"Jo? Your brother was going to come by around…" Zane reached the doorway and trailed off as he caught sight of her, curled around the bulge in her abdomen and fast asleep. "Huh." He muttered, but stepped away, not wanting to wake her up. He knew she could use the sleep. He shut the bedroom door softly and went to call Daniel. Behind him, Jo winced in her sleep and wrapped herself more tightly around her stomach.
Zane was sitting on the couch, television set playing low in the background, when Jo reemerged from the bedroom, strain written on her face. The moment Zane got a good look at her expression, he realized immediately that his sense of trouble brewing earlier had been justified after all. It wasn't a particularly comforting thought.
"Jo? Is everything alright?" He jumped to his feet. Her responding smile was lacking in enthusiasm. Zane licked his lips nervously, eying her.
"Zane, I – " she broke off suddenly, knuckles going white with the strength of her grip on the doorframe. She took a deep breath. "I think we need to go to GD." Zane frowned at her, not quite grasping what had put this look on her face.
"Jo, you're already on maternity leave – you're really not supposed to be in GD at all – did Carter call?" He questioned, striding over to her.
"Zane," she said, with deliberate calm, "I've gone into labor." He froze, eyes darting between her face and the swell of her abdomen.
"Now?" He asked, his voice breaking on the word like it hadn't done since he was thirteen. She gave him a long-suffering look.
"Did you have a better time in mind?" She asked him pointedly.
"Right! Right, I'll get the car, and the keys, first the keys, and then we can, ah, go…" He babbled as he flailed around looking for his keys. Jo grabbed them off the kitchen counter.
"Car. Now." She said threateningly. Zane stared at her.
"You can't drive while you're in labor!" He protested. Jo rolled her eyes, fed up, and threw the keys at his head. Her aim was perfect, as usual, and the keys bounced off his forehead and onto the floor with what Jo judged to be an obnoxiously cheery jingle. She managed to stride to the door, purposefully, in spite of her bulk. She paused in the door frame to look back at Zane, who was frozen by the coffee table. contraction.
"Move!" She hissed at him, which finally, mercifully, spurred him into action.
The drive to GD was simultaneously the longest and the shortest of Jo's life. Zane was speeding the whole way there, and Jo was finding it increasingly hard to muster the will to make him slow down. Her hands were clenched around the leather seat, knuckles whitening with another contraction. She felt herself holding her breath, as if by not breathing she could ameliorate the pain. Jo was pathetically grateful that Carter and Andy had yet to make an appearance – they would be obliged to pull her and Zane over, and though she was certain they would let them go, she didn't think she could bear Andy's programmed concern or Carter's poorly hidden worry. Zane's outright panic was more than enough to contend with.
"Zane," she said through gritted teeth. "Remember how you need to breathe?" It was one thing for her to be holding her breath, but speeding would do them less than zero good if Zane passed out from a lack of oxygen. He cast a glance at her, her chest heaving in an effort to catch her breath, and his face went white.
"You're not having her here, right? We're not going to be those people who have their baby in the middle of the road?" The pitch of his voice went high with panic. If he didn't kill them both by driving into a tree while staring at her, she might just off them herself. Surely, at this point, it would be a mercy killing. That was when something dawned on her.
"What do you mean, her? Why did you say her? Why not it?" She saw him stiffen with alarm, feeding her growing suspicion. Suddenly something was more interesting than that disconcerting feeling that her internal organs were about to be squeezed out like so much toothpaste.
Zane licked his lips nervously.
"I didn't mean she, she," he protested. "I just… didn't want to call our baby an it." She could tell by the way that his eyes were suddenly fixated on the road that he was trying to avoid meeting her gaze.
"You seemed awfully certain about that she." Jo said pointedly. There was a long silence, and another contraction hit like a wave. Jo clenched her teeth and contracted her muscles and tried to ignore it, fixing her eyes on Zane instead.
"You found out the baby's sex without me." Jo said flatly. More silence. "How?" She growled. He was so dead.
"…you probably don't want to know." He admitted. Jo exhaled sharply as she was surprised by another contraction, sooner than she'd anticipated it. They'd become both stronger, and closer together.
Jo exhaled sharply, as another contraction began to hit. She clenched her teeth and tightened her muscles but this one was longer, stronger, harder. As much as she wanted to glare at Zane, she couldn't focus on anything but the wave of pain washing over her until finally it slowed. For a moment, she dropped her head back against the seat, just to ameliorate the ugly tension that was building up at the base of her neck. Finally she spoke.
"Zane," she said, sweetly. "When Allison finds out you broke into her computer system – and she will find out – " the additional, because I will be seeing to it, personally, remained unspoken though heavily implied, " – she is going to eviscerate you. And use your intestines for party streamers. And I will laugh."
Oddly enough, this seemed to steady Zane's hands on the steering wheel. He cast a quick glance at her, bed hair and all, and his lips curled into that familiar smirk.
"You look beautiful, Jo-Jo." He said.
Jo tossed a dime at his head.
It took longer than Zane would have liked for them to reach the infirmary, though they probably made it there in record time. When they finally arrived, Allison was waiting for them at the infirmary door, looking anxious.
"Jo! I'm so glad you're here – you could have come sooner, you know," Allison scolded. "I started to worry when I didn't hear from you after noon." Zane threw Jo an accusatory glance, and she had the grace to look abashed.
"Well… they really weren't that bad until just before we left," she said to him, defending herself weakly. "I didn't want you to panic." She pushed away from Zane to cross her arms across her chest accusingly. "Which, by the way, you did." Allison cut in smoothly.
"Let's get you somewhere more private," she suggested, which was when Jo cried out and grabbed at Zane, her hands clenching his arm tightly. He clamped his mouth shut, holding back his own yelp of pain.
"That would be good," Jo finally managed to gasp out. Zane rubbed a hand down her back in an ineffectual attempt to soothe, as Allison swept into action. She directed Jo to a nearby cot and grabbed a hospital gown from a nearby doctor, which she tossed to Jo before tugging the screen surrounding her closed. Allison glanced at Zane, tipping her head to indicate the area behind the curtain.
"You may want to give her a hand," she suggested. "She's bound to have another – " A stifled moan from behind the curtain stopped her short, and Zane gave a quick look of comprehension to Allison before he dashed behind the curtain. Allison pulled out her phone, dialing quickly.
Behind the curtains, Jo was half-on, half-off the mattress, clinging to the frame of the bed. The hospital gown was abandoned next to her. As he watched, Jo let out a deep, slow breath and opened her eyes.
"Hey," she said, sounding weary. He picked up the hospital gown and offered it to her tentatively. She didn't take it, but instead lifted her arms and gave him a meaningful look.
"Oh," he said, startled, and stepped forward. It was strange, he reflected, as he tugged the shirt awkwardly over her head, to be undressing her for more G-rated purposes. He reassessed that thought as Jo's whole body tensed for another contraction. R-rated. This is probably going to be R-rated. She smacked his hand away from her, where he had been unbuttoning her pants, just managing to shake her head before the contraction hit with full force. Zane realized her legs were about to give out beneath her just seconds before it happened. He only barely managed to get his arms around her in time.
When the contraction passed, they were both half on the floor. Jo was gulping in air greedily. Zane just looked at her.
"I think we'd better get you onto the bed," he said.
Between the two of them, and between contractions, Zane and Jo managed to wrestle the maternity pants off of her legs. The hospital gown was more of an issue – Zane had to prop her up to get it secured properly. Zane seemed to think it was important, though Jo's patience with the whole debacle was wearing rapidly thin. It seemed more than a little like false modesty when everyone else was going to get front row seats to her – The next contraction hit before Jo could finish the thought, and she found herself bellowing like a bull being branded, her fingers digging into the muscles of Zane's arm. He rubbed his arm with a wince.
"I think you may have bruised straight down to the bone." He commented ruefully. Jo gave him a baleful look.
"You poor thing, that must have been terribly painful for you," she said flatly. "Want me to kiss it better?" Zane looked as if he'd like to defend himself, but he clearly thought better of it. Instead, he went to get Allison. Jo flopped back against the pillow and shut her eyes –
"Jo," Allison said. Jo opened her eyes to see Allison at the end of her bed, lips pursed.
"What?" Jo asked, resigned.
"If you could just – " Allison gestured at her legs, and Jo slid them up obediently. Allison took a quick look and frowned.
"I don't think we're going to have time to arrange a private room," she said, regretful but firm. "If I move now, we can use the epidural – " Jo started shaking her head violently the moment she saw the needle in Allison's hand.
"Jo, this should dull the pain," she said, but Jo shook her head swiftly.
"No, no needles," she insisted. "I hate needles." Allison gave her a doubtful look.
"Jo, are you sure?" She asked.
"I've been shot before," she reminded Allison. "How much worse could it get?" Allison pursed her lips, but Jo missed whatever it was she said next in the face of an oncoming contraction.
This time, she clutched at the bed rather than Zane, and he watched guiltily. When the contraction eased off and she released the bed, Zane captured her hand with his, rubbing a thumb soothingly over the back.
"Some things are worth the pain," he conceded, smiling at her apologetically. Jo gave him a tight smile in return, but before she could say anything further, Zoe came barreling through the curtain.
"Jo!" She panted. "I came as soon as I heard – I missed Dad's call – he sends his best, by the way, should be by later – how far along are you?" She asked. Allison glanced at Zoe and smiled.
"You're not too late," she assured her, and turned her attention back to Jo. "A little while longer and it'll be time for you to push." Zoe beamed; Jo mustered up a tense smile.
"Just say the word, Allison," she said. Almost as soon as she had, she found herself tensing once more. The contraction hit harder and faster than Jo expected, catching her by surprise. She gave up on all pretense of restraint. Beside her, Zane flinched at the sheer decibel level of her shouts.
"Will you keep it down?" Came an irritable voice from across the room, stunning them all into temporary silence. Allison closed her eyes and sighed with annoyance.
"Larry," she stated simply. "He slipped on a wet floor earlier and – " But she was cut off by none other than Jo.
"Larry!" She howled back, even as she braced herself again for the start of the next contraction. Zane's eyebrows shot up – he hadn't heard her so outright enraged since the incident with the RSS device. "I'd like to see you try to push something the size of a watermelon out of your – " she cut herself off with a shout of pain, which subsided into gasps for air. Stray strands of her hair were sticking to her forehead with sweat, and her hazel eyes were glittering with murderous intent. Larry, made foolishly brave by Jo's perceived weakness, piped up from behind the curtain.
"Suck it up!" He told her. Heavily pregnant and well into labor as she was, Jo lunged for the gun she'd deposited with her clothes on the chair next to her bed.
"Jo!" Three voices chorused in panic, no doubt at all in their minds that she could hit Larry, curtain or not. Zane placed a placating hand on her shoulder.
"Jo, you don't really want to raise this baby from jail, do you?" He asked her carefully. Jo glared at him but put her gun back on the table. Zoe swiftly stepped in to remove it from arm's length.
"I only would've winged him," Jo muttered resentfully. Zane grimaced.
"I doubt the DOD would've taken that into…" but he trailed off as Jo's whole body tensed up for the next round. When it ended, Jo was left limp, gasping for breath.
"Allison," she asked hopefully, "is it time to push yet?" Allison gave her a regretful shake of her head.
"Just a little longer," she promised. "I know it hurts." Jo didn't even have the extra strength necessary to protest. She nodded mutely, screwing her eyes shut as another contraction started, right on the heels of the last. She had only barely sucked in air when the next contraction hit, and then another. Jo panted for breath, hair plastered to her forehead. Zane was hovering over her anxiously, and Jo was suddenly, vividly certain that it was time for this to be over with.
"Allison, so help me God, if you don't let me push right now – " she managed to grit out through her teeth, between contractions. Allison nodded firmly.
"When the next contraction comes – go ahead and push," she instructed her. Jo managed to spare a strained smile for Zane, who smiled back, trying not to yelp as her hand tightened around his. She took a deep breath as the next contraction began.
"Go on, Jo, push!" Allison said sharply. Jo braced herself and pushed, her breath tearing out of her in a yowl of pain, every muscle in her body as taut as a bowstring, and – there was an audible snap, and Zane gasped sharply, his whole body freezing up. His eyes were clenched shut with pain. When Jo finally released her vise-like grip on his fingers, he withdrew his hand slowly. Jo frowned at him.
"Zane, what's – " He cut her off.
"I think my fingers may be broken," he said, and flexed them experimentally, making himself gasp with pain once more. "Definitely broken." He concluded. Jo blinked at him slowly, only half-comprehending.
"Zane, I'm so – " Jo's words morphed into an incoherent shout with the onset of the next contraction, as she clutched helplessly at the mattress and sheets beneath her. The next few minutes were a blur of pain and tears and ohgodohgodohgod –
For a moment, time itself seemed to stop, and then one, shrill wail split the air.
Jo flopped back against her pillow, virtually boneless. She took deep, gulping breaths, and brushed back the strands of hair now plastered to her damp forehead with a shaky hand.
Across the room, Allison finished cleaning the still wailing baby and wrapped it in a blanket with practiced ease. She bounced it for a moment or two, as the wails diminished to silence, before handing it to Zoe. Zane's attention remained fixed on Jo, who was still trying to get her breathing back to normal.
"Hey," he said softly, running his thumb over the back of the hand she had loosened where it was wrapped around his, ignoring the sharp pain it elicited from what he was now sure were broken fingers. "You did it." Jo gave him a tired smile.
"I can't believe it's over," she murmured. Zoe approached, carefully holding the now-quieted baby wrapped in a soft blanket. Jo and Zane broke their gaze, Jo releasing Zane's hand, and turned their attention to Zoe, who was grinning at the display of affection between her friends. It was hard to believe Jo had ever worried about the way this would impact their relationship.
"Jo," Zoe said, unable to contain her excitement. "I'd like you to meet your daughter."
"Oh, we've met alright," Jo said wryly, rubbing her abdomen. "She has an impressive front kick, as I recall." But Jo's breath caught in her throat as Zoe lowered the cloth-swaddled bundle to her level. Zane, too, was uncharacteristically quiet.
"You know how to hold her, right?" Zoe asked carefully. Jo nodded mutely, remembering the times she'd spent with Jenna in the last year. Zoe leaned in and offered the tiny bundle to Jo, who handled her with the same caution and delicacy she'd once used to diffuse bombs. Pulling back the soft blanket, Jo stared, transfixed, at her daughter's face.
"Oh," she exhaled softly, feeling tears spring to her eyes. With the utmost care, Jo shifted the baby until her head was resting in the crook of her arm, and Jo reached out a cautious finger to stroke the tiny face. Her daughter's small reddened face crinkled in response, turning towards her hand. Then her little eyes opened, and Jo caught her breath at the first sight of her gray-blue eyes.
"Zane," she whispered, turning her head to find him peering over her shoulder at their daughter. She smiled. "She has your eyes."
"Most babies are born with blue eyes, actually," Allison broke in quietly, but Jo ignored her. Zane pressed a fervent kiss to Jo's forehead.
"She's perfect, Jo," he said, voice rough with emotion.
"I was thinking," Jo said slowly, her eyes still glued to the tiny bundle. "Claire?" She asked nervously, tearing her eyes away with difficulty to look at Zane. "After your grandmother," she added, though it was probably obvious. Zane stared at her, speechless, and Jo turned a little pink.
"We don't have to," she said hurriedly. "I just thought – " Zane cut her off.
"Claire," he said, his eyes warm with gratitude. He looked back down at the baby – at Claire - and reached a hand out to brush a finger across the top of her head, marveling how tiny she was in comparison. "Claire Donovan," he said, glancing at Jo for confirmation. She merely smiled and raised her arms, proffering the tiny bundle.
"Do you want to hold her?" Jo asked. Zane gave her a look that was half-terrified, half-enthralled. He wet his lips nervously and looked up at Allison, who was standing unobtrusively to one side, monitoring the small family.
"Can I?" He addressed her, and she moved to his side.
"Hold out your arms like this," she demonstrated patiently, "and remember to support the head." Allison lifted Claire carefully from Jo's arms and placed her in Zane's. He could feel his heart pounding as she pulled away and the full six pounds and eleven ounces of baby rested in his arms.
"Hello there," Zane breathed.
"Hey Carter," he heard Jo say, as if from a distance, and he managed to tear his eyes away to turn his head. The sheriff stood at the corner of the curtained room, though his daughter was nowhere to be seen.
"Carter," Zane acknowledged, his voice a bit rough. He winced as Claire shifted in his arms and jarred his exceptionally tender fingers. Carter grinned.
"You going to introduce me?" He asked. Zane gave him what he was sure was a somewhat dopey smile.
"Jack Carter - Claire Donovan." He said. Carter stepped closer.
"May I?" He asked, gesturing to the newborn. Zane hesitated momentarily, or at least until his fingers gave another meaningful twinge. He nodded, and Carter carefully lifted the tiny bundle from Zane's arms. Allison offered Carter a chair, and Zane resumed his seat by Jo.
"Well, hello Claire Donovan," Carter all but cooed as Allison began fussing over Zane's increasingly swollen fingers. "Welcome to Eureka," he said, shaking her tiny hand with his index finger. Jo watched with tired pleasure as her daughter squeaked and kicked her feet, loosening her swaddling, only to bark out a startled laugh when Claire landed a solid kick on Carter's solar plexus, making his eyes widen as she knocked the breath right out of him.
"Allison," Jo said quickly, alerting the other woman to Carter's suddenly weakened state.
"M'okay," he gasped. "Got her." He managed to drag in another breath. Reassured, Allison watched with amusement written on her face. "She's gonna be – a soccer player," he rasped.
"I told you she had a good front kick," Jo grinned, relaxing back against her pillows. Zoe chose that moment to reappear, with Daniel in tow.
"Hey, big sis," Daniel stood at the foot of her bed, hands tucked into the pockets of his jeans. Jo forced her eyes back open and tried to push herself back into a sitting position, but winced and changed her mind. She gave Daniel a tired smile.
"Hey, Danny," she said.
"I hear I have a niece." His eyes strayed across the room, where Zoe was now leaning over Carter's shoulder to look at the baby. "How are you feeling?" He asked. Jo chuckled softly, not unaware of the way the jostling irritated her aching body.
"Like a train hit me," she told him. "But it's worth it."
"Yeah?" Daniel asked, eying Claire with trepidation. Jo smiled brilliantly, her eyes warm and soft as she watched the tiny form of her daughter.
"I wouldn't change a thing."
When the room finally cleared out, Allison left the new family alone together with a gentle smile. Jo had Claire cradled in her arms, though she looked exhausted. Her expression was equal parts awe and breathless exhilaration as she watched the tiny baby sleep.
"She's so small," she said, sounding faintly surprised. She ran a finger down Claire's cheek and watched, all fascination, as the baby turned her head towards the sensation reflexively.
Zane felt his chest constrict with the strength of his emotions as he watched the two most important people in his world.
"Marry me," he said, surprising himself, but he didn't take the words back. Jo's eyes darted to his, wide with shock, and Zane felt his resolve grow. "I don't - I don't have the big elaborate plan. No writing in the sky. But you already have my ring - " he could see the gold chain where it hung around her neck " - and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want you to wake me up too early in the mornings and keep me up too late at night and I want you to throw olives at me just because you can. And yes, I want to raise our baby girl with you." Jo's eyes were huge.
"Zane," she breathed. Her eyes darted back to Claire, unable to hold his gaze. She was frozen, again – she could feel it yawning beneath her, that dark terrifying void that had stopped her short the first time he'd asked this question, in a completely different time and place. A primal terror. This is it. Then -
"I could go down on one knee," he offered, and Jo's eyes snapped back to his face.
It was written there, all of it, everything for her to see. Hope. Fear. Faith. Trust. Love. His face was lit with it. And more - for just that one moment, Jo could see it all: kids, grandkids, lazy summer days on the shore by the cabin, sticky pancake breakfasts that required baths and left the kitchen floor slippery with grease. Quiet nights by the fire with the only man she'd ever really needed. And, yes, an errant olive or two.
It was beautiful. It could be hers.
It was everything she'd ever wanted.
"Yes," Jo said, finally. "Yes."
Disclaimer: Eureka isn't mine.
A/N: Well! Here concludes Everything Is Illuminated. Stay tuned for the SEQUEL, which (for the curious) will be a rewrite of Season 4.5, set in the Everything Is Illuminated 'verse. Don't forget to sign up for author alerts if you're planning on reading the aforementioned sequel ;)
Thanks for reading!