Hi, friends. Another glimpse into what our friend Julia gets up to in the near future.

Thanks to transitory07 for pre-reading and putting up with my insanity :) And thanks to my beta validator, Kherisma, for being fantastic. And sharing her shoe obsession with me.

Thank you for reading.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Julia and her friends are figments of my imagination. And they are fine.

Chapter 16: Future shot - Barcelona, 2017

(Future shot)

This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization
It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away
Your love will be
Safe with me
"re: Stacks" - Bon Iver

La Rambla is one of my favorite places in Barcelona. I spend hours on the long avenue during both daylight and nighttime hours, watching the shifting patterns of humans as they go about their daily lives. I like to walk through the markets and spend time in the bars, drinking in the buzz of activity. There are countless moments to capture in photographs and a million half-heard conversations floating through the air.

This city appeals to the artist in Gabriele, feeding his love of art and music in ways that slowly open his shyness. We roam through the churches and museums dotting the city, learning how to interpret the tightly bound mixture of architecture and art. We explore the cavernous Sagrada Familia together after dark, Gabriele's gleeful laughter echoing softly through the shadows four hundred feet above the ground. I watch his rapture unfold from a box seat in Liceu, the music of Puccini or Wagner blossoming around us, and his lips hungry on mine.

Gabriele finds ample prey within the city and the surrounding provinces while I hunt in the forests and parks to the north, sometimes crossing the border into France. He accompanies me on these trips, his hands strong around my waist as the Triumph flies over the motorways. I have not been able to persuade him to hunt animals yet, though he is curious and enjoys watching me stalk deer and chamois. We talk of an extended trip into the wilderness, perhaps in Poland or Slovenia, and he plans to be used to hunting animals by then.

We play and write music together in the music room of our rented townhouse. Gabriele uses his gift to accelerate my learning of new instruments, though I am still drawn to the piano and my cello. We make a project of organizing the compositions Edward and I wrote so many years ago. We catalogue and store the fragile paper in archival boxes tucked in the bottom of my trunk. After much coaxing, Gabriele persuades me to play a few of his favorite pieces for both piano and cello while he records me, his eyes shining.

"You should send copies to the Cullens," Gabriele says softly as we listen to a track completed earlier in the day. We are standing by the window in the music room watching a summer storm roll over the city.

"Of the sheet music, you mean?" I smile when the grey cat springs from the floor to perch between us on the windowsill. His purr fills the air when I scratch his long ears.

"Yes, and of the recordings we have made," Gabriele replies, running one hand gently along the nape of my neck. "I would imagine he'd like to hear your playing after all this time. Particularly those pieces you worked on together."

I focus my attention on the raindrops falling on the glass and the dark clouds crawling across the sky. Memories fill my head of how much Edward enjoyed playing the pieces he wrote during those years. His perfect memory does not need the sheet music to play the pieces. But I know seeing these compositions will affect him immensely. Like me, he collected mementos sparingly over the decades, saving only the things that carried some kind of emotional significance and feeling of personal history. Edward's years in New York and Boston were the result of a tremendous shift in his philosophies, as well as a time of discovery and change, much of which he grew to regard with shame. The stack of sheet music will remind him that some good came of the time he spent away from Carlisle and Esme.

"Perhaps you're right. I'll think about it," I murmur.

Having been on his own for much of his immortal life, Gabriele is curious about other vampires and only vaguely aware of the deeply buried culture of our kind. We talk of those we have met in our travels and the laws that govern the vampires' world. I tell him what I know of the rebellious factions in the southern U.S. and Mexico, as well as the history of the Volturi and their enemies. Covens are of special interest to him, particularly large groupings like the Cullens their extended family that is spread across the world.

"And you've never come across any of the Cullens during all these years?" We are walking home after the opera and discussing the few covens I have met.

"Not quite. I crossed Carlisle's scent trail, years ago, when I was in London," I reply, linking my hand easily in his. "There was another scent I recognized but couldn't identify, probably his wife's."

"You didn't seek them out?"

"No. The trail was fairly fresh, but I didn't have much interest in seeing him."

"You would have been uncomfortable?"

"It wasn't too long after I had cut ties with Edward and the Cullens," I acknowledge with a nod. "I wasn't sure how many in the family were present... if Edward and his family were there. It seemed easier to go along my way."

"What if you were to see them now?" He asks, eyeing me intently. "How would it make you feel?"

"I'm honestly not sure," I reply with a shrug.

Gabriele's face draws down in a gentle frown, his eyes becoming troubled. "Is that why you don't go back to the States? To avoid Edward?"

I slow then, drawing him to a stop and pulling him around to face me. "Gab, what's going on?"

"Will you answer the question, Julia?" His voice is earnest, almost concerned, and his hands rub soothing circles over my shoulders. "Please. It sounds to me as if you are hiding. I'd like to know if that's true."

"Avoiding Edward was the reason I came to this side of the world," I reply. "It was a way of distancing myself from him and his family, to begin understanding how to live truly for myself. Call it hiding, if you prefer. But it wasn't long before I discovered that I liked it here. That is the reason I stayed.

"There are so many places I have yet to see, dear heart," I say, reaching to brush the backs of my hands over his cheeks. "Why shouldn't I roam wherever my feet want to take me?"

"Of course you should," he says with a grin, leaning to press a kiss against the corner of my mouth before drawing me close against him as we walk. But there is a tension in his eyes that his smile can't hide.

Gabriele is a gentle soul, modest and unaware of the power of his beauty. He has a seemingly limitless capacity to feel and love, which allows him to accept my many failings with patience and grace.

I sense a change in Gabriele after our conversation on La Rambla, and an undercurrent of sadness that I cannot pinpoint. He grows more reserved as the weeks pass, pulling away by slow degrees, and acting both needy and aloof in turns. For the first time since we met, he excuses himself from my company when he is not hunting. He returns from these periods of solitude craving my touch, overwhelming me with fevered kisses and caresses.

Gabriele has been absent for the better part of several days when I find myself sitting in a Stiges cove late one night. While I see him briefly each day and we exchange texts at all hours, he has found reasons to stay away far more than ever before. I watch his intentions with some reluctance, feeling like a spy and preparing myself for indications that he is planning to leave. Though I see none, I find this continued and slow separation too painful to dismiss.

I let myself into the house, relieved to find his fresh scent trail leading upstairs to the roof. It is quiet on the deck, and the air is damp with a mist that softens the grey light. Gabriele is sitting by the pool, his eyes trained on the twilit sky. He appears very human in the chair, his chin resting in his hands and elbows propped on the table. He has been hunting and his scent mixed with smell of prey is luscious: sweet vetiver, birch, and blood.

He turns his head when he hears my footfalls, his eyes anxiously searching me out in the mist. He holds out one hand, palm upturned and open, welcoming my touch. I crouch between his knees, angling my head back to look into his face, and his fingers curling around mine to pull me closer. There is a deep melancholy darkening his crimson eyes even as the corners of his mouth lift softly in greeting.

"Gab, what is it?" I ask, letting go his hand to run my fingers through his windblown hair.

His brows draw together at my words. "What makes you think anything is wrong?"

"You're a musician not an actor, you silly creature," I tease affectionately. "I can tell when you're bothered by something. I've hardly seen at all this week and when I do, you're not yourself."

Gabriele doesn't chuckle as I had hoped but instead looks wholly miserable, as if my words granted him permission to falter. He opens his mouth to speak, but stalls and looks down at our joined hands, his thumbs running lightly over my knuckles.

His voice is hushed when he speaks, the words filling the space between us. "Is it always going to be like this, Julia? Me loving you while you love him?"

"Oh, Gab." I cradle his face in my palms, feeling the weight of his insecurity. I wait until he reluctantly lifts his eyes to meet mine before speaking again. "It's not like that. You are in my thoughts. Don't doubt that."

A worried line appears across his forehead and I know he is silently fretting, unsure how to phrase the feelings that plague him.

"Is that what's been going on with you these past weeks?" I trace the lines of his lips softly with my thumbs. "Where is this coming from?"

"I don't know," he replies unhappily. "I just wish I could be sure about you, Julia."

A sigh escapes me as I move to slide into Gabriele's lap, and I thread my arms around his shoulders when he leans back to make room. No matter how much time we spend together, he seems unable to conquer feelings of self-doubt, about himself, about my desire to remain with him, and especially about Edward's place in my stone heart.

"Sure of what, dear heart? I'm not going anywhere without you."

Gabriele does not answer right away, instead pressing his face against my neck. The rich smell of blood is strong on his skin, prodding my thirst before I push it down.

"I know," he says though doubt throbs quietly in his voice. His hands are strong around my waist and he sighs softly when my fingers creep back into his hair.

"You don't believe me?" I trace the edge of his ear with my nose, hearing his breath hitch when I press a soft kiss against the apple of his cheek.

"Sometimes, I don't know what to believe," he admits, his lips moving in a low whisper against my throat.

He winds his arms around me, pulling me closer. Desire pulses like cold fire in my belly. I want to wrap myself around him and help him get lost with me in pleasure. Instead, I let out a long, slow breath, pressing my lips to his ear. He grows still against me, listening to my murmured words.

"I'm a lot of things, Gab, but I'm not a liar. I'll always tell you the truth. I'm not going anywhere."

Gabriele pulls back, his hands almost rough as they move over my neck and jaw to tilt my head back, pinning me with his gaze. A deep sadness simmers in his eyes as he watches me and whispers over my skin beneath his lips.

"I need you," he murmurs between kisses, moaning softly when my tongue darts out to touch his upper lip.

"I'm here," I tell him. My fingers trace his hairline and our breaths quicken and mix.

Gabriele releases my head, his hands sliding over my throat and under my shirt collar to stroke my collarbones before continuing lower.

"Do you need me?" he murmurs, dipping to press his lips on the hollow of my throat.

He has unbuttoned my shirt before I reluctantly stop him, smiling at the grunt of impatience he makes when I stand. Taking his hand, I lead him downstairs to the bedroom, braiding our fingers together. He takes his time undressing me, torturing me with light touches. His fingers trail over the scar on my shoulder and then circle the marks on my wrists, leaving me aching. I sigh when he steps back to disrobe, his eyes burning.

Gabriele lays his hands over my breasts, drawing a shaky groan from me when he bends to take one in his mouth. His arms move around my waist, lifting me up and backward onto the bed before he sprawls next to me, one knee between my legs. His hands run over my back and hips, and he trails kisses over my neck and jaw while my fingers sink into his hair, pulling him against me desperately.

I feel his mouth draw up in a smile against my skin when I grind against his thigh with a little gasp.

"Feels good, doce," he murmurs.

My desire blooms, expanding through me when he moves to settle between my legs. Our hands never stop moving, whispering and pressing over skin, always drawing one another closer. Gabriele is hard against my belly, his breath stuttering when I reach down to take him in my hand.

A lump fills my throat without warning and I have to bite my lips against the deluge of feelings crashing over me. My skin feels close to bursting with need.

"God help me, I missed you," I can't help murmuring. Any hope I had that my voice was low enough for Gabriele to miss hearing are dashed when I feel him still against me.

He pulls back to look down at me, with dark eyes. His low voice is almost angry. "Do you mean that?"

"Yes," I whisper, screwing my eyes shut.

His forehead comes to rest on mine and he shifts over me, groaning deeply when I guide him inside. Lying back, I pull him tightly against me and listen to the rumbling sounds escaping him as he sinks deep inside me. I meet his thrusts, my hips bucking up to meet his.

"You're beautiful," Gabriele says, his voice raspy.

I open my eyes when his right hand comes to rest on my jaw, cupping my face almost delicately. He is bracing himself above me with his right arm, his left hand continuing to move over my body, maddening me with his touch.

"So are you," I reply, running my trembling hands over his chest and drawing a gasp when I pluck his nipple, a moan when I squeeze his backside.

He twists his hips as he pumps, wiping my mind clean of rational thought, and making me moan. Two fingers press against my lips to quiet me, Gabriele's eyes narrowing when I take those fingers in my mouth. He bites back a groan when I suck hard and lift my legs to wrap around his waist, pushing him with my heels.

Pleasure explodes inside me without warning, speeding outward and consuming me in its wake as he pulls his fingers from my mouth.

"Oh, God," I cry, grunting helplessly as my body stiffens and pulses under and around him.

Gabriele's eyes are rapt as he watches my shudders, steadying me even as his thrusts become erratic, and he pants my name loudly in the quiet room. His moan is deep when he follows a moment later, his face crumpling as he falls against me and whispering garbled words against my neck.

He lets me hold him for a long time, pressing tender kisses over my breasts while our limbs tangle around each other in the sheets. Those lips grow hungry when I pull his mouth to mine, and he chuckles throatily when I reach again to stroke between his legs. His laughter stops when his fingers slip inside me and I groan his name.

The sun is low in the sky when I close my eyes, seeking my only escape from watching Gabriele's intentions to leave form again and again. "When are you going?"

The way his hands freeze mid-circuit over my skin tells me I have surprised him. "I'm... not sure."

"I think it will be tonight." I am surprised at the lightness in my voice, its steadiness. "Will you text me to let me know where you are?"

He rises up on his elbow to look at me then, waiting patiently until I open my eyes before he continues. "Of course. I'll be gone for only a few days. I need some time to clear my head."

"Take the bike, if you'd like," I say, running my hand over his messy hair, admiring the gold between my fingers.

He smiles uncertainly, but his tone is teasing. "You don't have to bribe me to come back, doce. I just feel the need to get my thoughts straight."

"I'm not bribing you," I reply gently. "I can see that you're not planning to take off forever. At least not right now."

Gabriele shifts in the bed immediately, pulling me up with him, and pressing our joined hands against his chest.

"I'm coming back, Julia," he says fervently. His eyes are hard and determined, and his hands are urgent as they offer comfort I do not feel.

"All right," I tell him softly, more to quiet his distress than anything else.

The house is quiet after Gabriele leaves, driving the car we lease into the predawn. Though he has no set itinerary, Gabriele feels drawn to Alentejo where he was born, and promises to text along the way for as long as he can. We both know coverage will be spotty the further into the region he travels. He takes one of the cameras but leaves his guitar, though I suspect that is more a gesture of comfort for me than anything else.

A strange restlessness settles through me as I move through the rooms, making it impossible to concentrate on a book or anything that keeps me still. I begin combing through the large collection of sheet music and composition books in the music room, knowing the project will occupy me for hours. Inside a notebook, I find an escapee from the archived boxes of old compositions, written in my hand with Edward's comments in the margins. My curiosity piqued, I retrieve the storage boxes from my trunk and hunt for the place where this sheet belongs. I clean as I go, meticulously removing errant marks from the pages and re-inking faded notes.

My phone chimes throughout the day with Gabriele's texts as he travels. Saragossa, Madrid, Caceres, Badajoz, tracing his route west through Spain and into Portugal. The messages are brief and, I think, illustrative of the way he has been closing in on himself during the last several weeks. I shouldn't have let him go.

I scan the fragile pages of music carefully to digitize the notes into an electronic catalogue, ignoring the day slipping by; it is evening by the time the project is complete. Before returning the boxes to storage, I sit at the piano to play each piece, surrendering completely to the music for the first time in years.

Memories assail me with bruising clarity as I play, washing through me in a deluge. Miranda's gentle smile as we walk through Union Station, the humans of St. Louis streaming slowly around us. Racing bicycles through Central Park with Edward at my side, our wild laughter echoing like bells in the moonlit air. Demetri's eyes appraising me across a crowded nightclub in West Hollywood, and his smile as I play. Lying on a Wyoming prairie next to Daniel, watching the stars explode while he whispers in my ear. Gabriele, stretched out on the floor in a pool of afternoon sunlight, lazily scratching the grey cat's ears.

The notes send me soaring so high it hurts, filling me until I am close to bursting. For the first time since Gabriele left, I am grateful for his absence. I'm uncertain I could explain the many reasons behind this outpouring of emotion; my shaking hands and gasps would only distress and confuse him. It is this thought that helps me regain control, to finish playing and pack up the boxes.

As I often do when I need distraction, I surround myself with humans by walking among the city's night crowds. The weather is balmy, drawing locals and tourists to congregate on every possible foot of La Rambla and the surrounding neighborhoods. I'm grateful for their hovering, noisy activities and slip among them quietly in hopes of absorbing their collective energy.

I don't know when my hunger wakes. A sudden gush of venom in my mouth surprises me as I watch a group of prostitutes doing business from a side alley. I have already begun to assume a hunting posture, moving stealthily into the darker shadows, when I come to my senses. The tremor running through me is more fury at my near mistake than thirst. Rather than hiding in the house, I ride the motorcycle north out of the city to hunt, glutting myself on deer until I can drink no more.

It is raining when I climb the stairs to the roof, sitting on the building's edge to enjoy the hushed city around me as dawn approaches. It's been hours since Gabriele and I exchanged texts and I wonder if he has made it to his family's old home. I wonder if his sky is clear, or smudged with clouds like the one above me. I wonder if he is thinking of me…. or if he has made up his mind to return or to leave.

It doesn't strike me that I am following him until I am astride my bike with the rain splattering against the helmet's shield. Barcelona is behind me when I realize this is the rashest thing I have done in the last fifty years, a thought that makes me laugh. I know little about Gabriele's birthplace, only the name of the nearest town and that the farm is a couple of miles into the hills with few close neighbors. Whether any of his extended family still resides there is a mystery. I'm not sure Gabriele is even in Alentejo; his last text was just after crossing into central Portugal.

Rain and clouds darken most of the day, allowing me to travel unhindered and stop only for petrol. I cross into Portugal at sunset as the skies clear, and it is fully dark when I reach Monte de Viseus. The motorcycle draws the attention of many, and I feel curious eyes on me as I walk through the tiny town's center asking for directions. There is no sign of our car and no trace of Gabriele's scent, though this doesn't surprise me. His stopping here would be a calculated risk given his family was well known and he had reached age twelve before leaving.

Some old men playing chess outside the cafe set me on the right path to the Carvalho farm. They direct me south, toward a dirt road, and draw a rough map on a paper napkin that they press into my hand.

"Você não encontrará ninguém lá, menina," says an old man with particularly sharp black eyes. "A fazenda ainda é abandonada."

"Abandonada?" I ask softly. It surprises me to think that the farmhouse and land would be unused for so many years.

"A terra é trabalhada, mas ninguém que vive estadias lá." His gaze is piercing, wandering over my face, and following my hands when they move.

"Obrigado, Avô," I reply, intrigued by his choice of words: no one living stays there. I can't help wondering what he suspects truly happened to the last survivor of the Carvalho family.

The directions are faithful and soon I am parking the Triumph near the shell of what was once Gabriele's home. The silence surrounding the farm is absolute after the roar of the bike's engine, and nearly oppressive. I walk the property, my boots crunching on the dirt, looking at the remains of the dwelling. The old man's words echo in my head when I pause by a crumbling wall. The farm is still abandoned. The land is worked, but no one living stays there. I am the only thing near human to have walked here in some time; there is no trace of Gabriele anywhere.

The moon is not full but bright, throwing a nearby copse of cork oak into relief, the tree branches rustling invitingly in the breeze. The air is heavy with heat and the sweet smell of grass as I arrange myself under the trees. I watch the moon's easy circuit through the sky, marveling at the brightness and number of the stars before they are slowly swallowed by the dawn.

I see few signs of life from my spot in the shade during the hot, lazy hours of the day and no humans at all. From behind closed eyes, I listen to lonely birdsongs, the vibrations of insect wings, and the whisper of tiny mouse feet. Surrounding them all is the constant rustle of warm breezes traveling through the grass. A little brown dog finds me at midday, and stretches out beside me under the tree to nap. His playful, sleeping growls are loud in the enormous silence and I cannot help my smile as I watch him twitch, wondering what he is chasing in his dreams.

The weather turns as the day wanes, clouds slowly rolling over the horizon like a cloak. By dusk, the rain has begun, prompting the brown dog to make his way home. Evening settles over the hills and the rain continues, soaking into the earth and gathering on the leaves over my head. Without the moon and stars, the night is a depthless expanse of inky black broken only by the sound of the raindrops.

I smell Gabriele at the same moment I hear his footfalls on the wet ground, approaching from the south, a direction I did not anticipate. My yearning to rise and embrace him is powerful and I wind my arms around myself to keep my composure. The scents of birch and sweet vetiver fill my nose as he settles himself next to me, close to my side but not touching.

"What are you doing here?" His voice is soft and touched with wonder.

"I didn't have anything better to do," I reply lightly, looking steadily at the ground.

His voice is curious and gently amused. "So you decided to camp by a burned out farmhouse in the middle of nowhere?"

"In the rain," I remind him. "I'm getting in touch with my inner Hemingway. Minus the bullfighting, of course."

I smile, feeling Gabriele's gaze on the side of my face, though I can't bring myself to meet his eyes.

"How long have you been here?"

"Since last night."

"That would explain why you haven't responded to my texts."

Grimacing, I push the wet hair from my face with my fingers. "I'm sorry about that. I wasn't trying to ignore you. I... let my impulse get away from me. Again. This trip wasn't planned out very well."

"It's not entirely your fault," Gabriele says kindly. "I decided to go to Porto first, on a spur of the moment. Otherwise, I might have been here last night, too." He still has friends and family in Porto that he tracks, carefully concealing his tracks to avoid alerting them.

We sit quietly for a time, listening to the rain before Gabriele speaks again. His low voice is charged with emotion. "Why are you here, Julia?"

I raise my gaze to his beautiful face, seeing a mixture of caution and nervousness in the fine features. I smile softly at him. "I'm here for you."

Gabriele's expression grows serious as we watch each other. "You didn't trust me to come back?"

"I did trust you," I reply. "I trusted you to make the right decision for yourself."

"But..." he probes, his expression encouraging.

"But, if the time has come for us to part ways, I wanted to find you to say goodbye. And to let you know how much I will miss you." I shrug, licking my lips as I gather my thoughts. "I never had the chance to say goodbye with Miranda or Daniel; those friendships ruptured. Daniel and I... we will never be friends again. And even if I knew where Miranda was, I'm not sure our friendship would be intact.

"My friendship with Edward was very different," I say, watching the way the skin tightens around his eyes at the mention of Edward's name. "I've told you how hard it was to make the decision to cut ties. But it was the right thing to do and certainly, what I needed. Edward and I went about it the right way... together."

"You also love him, Julia. Certainly that has something to do with it," he says in a measured tone.

I nod readily. "Love is a small part of it, certainly, but it's by no means everything, Gab. I don't see Edward and that has been my choice. But I don't begrudge him his happiness."

"Even though he's happy with someone else."

"Yes. And I want that with you. If you're ready to leave, I mean. If we're not together, I want to take pleasure in your happiness."

Gabriele's eyes and voice are grave as he watches me. "What if you're the one that's ready to leave?"

Without taking my eyes from his, I find his hand and bring it to rest between my own, both of us sighing at the contact. If my heart could still beat, it would be hammering out of my chest. "I've told you, Gab; I'm not going anywhere without you. Unless you ask me to."

"I don't want you to go anywhere, doce," he says, cupping my cheek with his free hand, fingers cool on my wet skin.

My breath hitches in my throat as I lean forward to press my mouth to his ear, my lips moving to whisper the things I feel, the things he wants to know. Gabriele's hands cradle my head against his before moving around my shoulders, drawing me closer until I am in his lap, my arms tight around his neck. Wrapped around each other there in the dark, I find a spark of light.


Gabriele joins me at the desk as I am dropping the tiny drive in a mailer. He curls one hand on my hip while using the other to balance the cat, draped and purring over his shoulder.

"What's this?" he asks, his eyes alight with curiosity.

"Copies of the compositions Edward and I wrote," I reply with a grin, my pen poised over the name card I planned to include with the drive. "I took your advice and made copies of everything; I'm going to send them to him."

He smiles brightly, looking so pleased I roll my eyes. "Are you going to give him our address? I think you should, even if it's just an email address."

I cock my head at him when he lays his hand along the side of my neck. "Why should I after all this time?"

"Precisely because it's been a long time, doce. And you're done hiding," he says.

And, just like that, it's easy to write an email address at the bottom of the card before dropping it the mailer with the drive. Gabriele leans to press his lips just in front of my ear, pulling me close when the grey cat leaps to the ground and stalks off.

"That looked an awful lot like my email address on the card, Julia," he murmurs.

"That's because it was," I reply. "That's what you get for being so smart."

I manage to grin at his outraged expression and press a quick kiss against his chin before darting out of his grasp and racing for the roof. His growl is loud but playful when I let him catch me inside the door, dissolving into laughter that mixes with mine.


You thought Julia was going to crush that sweet boy, didn't you? Tsk, tsk ;)

Thank you for reading and reviewing, if you leave one. I love hearing from you. I have another future shot that is beginning to take shape. I'm also working on a Canon Tour entry, details on my profile if you're interested.

I have been asked to add violence warnings to my chapters and will begin doing so this week. I hope to avoid sending you all notifications of "new" old chapters as I do this work. If you do receive notifications, please know I am not purposely trying to annoy you and that I appreciate your patience and understanding.

Belated thanks to my buddy, Skullshank Willy, who lets me bounce all manner of absurdity past him, from motorcycle models to euphemisms for... the johnson. Yes, really.

Notes: I used an English-to-Portuguese translation website for the dialogue between Julia and the old man in Monte de Visueus. All mistakes are mine.

doce = sweet, gentle

"Você não encontrará ninguém lá, menina. A fazenda ainda é abandonada." = You won't find anyone there,.

"A terra é trabalhada, mas ninguém que vive estadias lá." = The land is worked, but no one living stays there.

"Obrigado, Avô." = Thank you, Grandfather.