Monster Crush

EMMY is ODD numbers
Installment #1
  1. Jen was supposed to be on a plane. Amherst started in a week.  
  1. But Jen was looking forward to going back to Amherst for her Junior year like you’d look forward to an appendectomy.
  1. And there was also the issue of Ian. Sandy blonde hair, strapping physique, sparkling gray eyes.
  1. Why, oh why had they met on the last day of her Colorado vacation? It wasn’t fair.
  1. She had watched him all night as he tended bar. Since she was only 19, she couldn’t drink.
  1. But he had made her a virgin Harvey Wallbanger that was pretty darn tasty and served it with that tasty smile of his.
  1. When Jen had gotten up her nerve to approach him, they’d hit it off. As the regulars drifted out, they’d talked into the night…
  1. A night that ended with her in his arms and him kissing her all over.
  1. Kissing on the mouth is boring, he’d said. Instead Ian had kissed her on the shoulder, the neck, the palm of her hand.
  1. And what his mouth didn’t touch, his hands did.
  1. Jen walked up and down the length of the bar now. She couldn’t wait to see Ian again.
  1. He would be so surprised, and so psyched that she had decided to stay in CO.
  1. Who knows, Jen thought. Maybe I can even get a job here at the bar.
  1. She knew her parents would flip out, but Amherst was their idea, not hers. In fact nothing was ever her idea—except this. Ian.
  1. Finally, around 8:30, Ian walked in. Jen jumped up from her stool and rushed to his arms. He looked surprised, that’s for sure.
  1. She knew that look. It’s the look someone makes when they’re surprised by a hair or a bug or a razor in their strawberry cheesecake.
  1. Yep. It’s a kind of look you really don’t want to see when the surprise is… you! 
  1. What are you doing here? he said. His gray eyes flashed angrily.
  1. I-I-I wanted to see you again, Jen stammered. Ian stalked behind the bar and hung his jacket on a hook.
  1. He ran his hand through his hair and sighed. He leaned across the bar. I thought you understood last night was just a one time thing.
  1. Jen slumped into a nearby booth. She couldn’t believe this. Sure, he’d said that. And yes, she’d agreed. But how could he still feel that way?
  1. The way they’d talked, and laughed, and shared – a one time thing? He was wrong. It was more than that.
  1. She decided to stay & talk to him later, once the crown thinned out. She watched him, pouring drinks for the regulars, chatting and laughing.
  1. A pretty blonde woman spit out her drink at something Ian said.
  1. Ian was funny, JEN admitted. And everyone seemed to like him.
  1. But not funny enough to laugh like a donkey in front of everyone, like the bottled blonde at the bar.
  1. A scruffy man in coveralls noticed Jen noticing Ian. He’s an odd duck, the man said. Been tending bar here for a few years now.
  1. He lives up in the woods somewheres, the man said, picking his teeth with a matchstick.
  1. The old man patted Jen’s shoulder kindly. If I were you, he said, I’d set my sights on someone a little more… run of the mill.
  1. Jen watched Ian go to get ice from a cooler out back. She followed him, proud of herself for being assertive for once in her life. 
  1. Why couldn’t she have been this direct with her parents when they sat her down and forced her to pick Amherst over Colorado College?
  1. Ian makes me feel strong, Jen realized. Like a stronger version of myself.
  1. Jen cleared her throat. Ian spun around.Why are you being like this, Ian? she asked. I don’t understand.
  1. Of course you don’t understand! Ian snapped. You don’t know anything about me. You need to get on a plane and go back to your life, kid.
  1. Kid? Jen shook her head. Just because I’m under 21 doesn’t mean I don’t know what I want.
  1. Yeah? What do you want? Ian asked.
  1. I know when we were hanging out last night everything felt right, to me. Jen said.
  1. There was just no way he didn’t feel something. Maybe he didn’t feel the same was she did, but he had to feel SOMETHING.
  1. Listen, she said softly, if you say you feel nothing for me, then I’ll have to accept it. But for me, last night was … magical.
  1. Ian looked at her with a sadness in his eyes she felt she could fall into forever. I just can’t, he said. I’m sorry-it can never be.
  1. He went inside. She should have left. Of course she should have. And before Ian, she would have.But she didn’t.
  1. She had grown this brand new backbone because of him, so technically it was his fault, right? Right, she told herself.
  1. She waited in a coffee shop across the street, drinking cup after cup of the brackish house roast… 
  1. When he closed the bar at 2 am, she followed him.
  1. He went up, past streets with the little, slumbering Victorian houses sitting in a row. Up into the woods.
  1. It seemed like he hiked for hours, up through the pines and aspens. The ground grew rocky underfoot.
  1. Jen followed from a distance, scared by the sounds of the forest, but determined to learn more. Once he stopped and turned, as if he’d heard her.
  1. Even if he can’t hear me, she thought to herself, then he can probably smell the sweaty stank I’m emitting all over this poor forest.
  1. What did he mean, It can never be. Why? Was it just because she was a college girl and he was a bartender? That was stupid.
  1. Finally, she saw Ian approach a rock wall at the base of a cliff. And she saw a dark opening in the wall – a cave. Nofreakingway!
  1. Ian lived in a cave?! Oh man, Jen thought, just my luck. The first guy I really feel something for is some kind of spelunking fanatic.
  1. Then she cringed. He could be homeless and ashamed of it.
  1. Maybe that’s why he’s pushing me away.
  1. Too bad so sad for him, Jen smirked to herself. I’m not going anywhere. Except…
  1. Just as Ian ducked into the cave, Jen heard a sound behind her. She turned and caught a glimpse of something tall. Something wild.
  1. A bear? A gorilla? A huge-freaking-something coming at her.
  1. The huge-freaking-something picked up a rock the size of her carry-on luggage.
  1. BAM, carry-on luggage to the head. And everything went dark.
Installment #2
1.When Jen woke up, the constant rhythm of a headache thumped at her temples.

2.She found she couldn’t move – she had been tied up with some kind
of homespun twine that smelled like wet Chihuahua.
3.Jen looked around, taking in her surroundings with disbelief and
spiraling dizziness. The walls and floor and ceiling were rock.
4.The air smelled musty and damp and masculine. Musky, even.
5.Jen was lying on some kind of bed made out of piles of animal
skins. Hello? She called. Ian?
6.What had happened to her last night? She remembered seeing the
bear-gorilla-thing before she was hit. What the eff WAS that thing?
7.Jen shifted to get a better look at the cave. There were more
animal skins, lots more, and also some strange tufts of wool, piled up
in the corners, like snowdrifts.
8.Stinky, hairy snowdrifts. Sweet.
9.A few human objects were here and there – some folded clothes, tin
mugs and plates, and a mirror and wash basin set on a small ledge.
Definitely a man-cave, she thought to herself. The only things
missing were a neon beer sign and a dart board.
11.There was even a poster tacked up onto one of the boulders – a
street in Cairo at twillight. Huh.
12.This is where Ian lives? Jen thought. But why? And did he kill
all these animals himself? Hadn't he seen Bambi?!
13.It all seemed… less than ideal. The opposite of ideal.
14.No cable, no running water, and the nearest Starbucks was
sweaty-eight miles of hiking away.
15.Then again, so was civilization and with it her parents and the
subtle but constant pressure to become a stock broker like her dad.
As she glanced around, the cave and its possibilities began to
flourish with appeal.
17.Then she remembered she was there more as a hostage than a guest.
After all, people didn't usually tie up their overnight guests.
18.Well, unless they had been reading 50 Shades...
Hello? Ian? I'm awake, she called.
20.There was movement at the head of the cave but it was too dark to
see anything.
A single candle offered the only light, and its glow only
illuminated so much.
22.Maybe with more candles she’d see a toilet and a flat screen. One
could hope, right?
23.Ian? She called. I’m sorry I followed you. I shouldn’t have.
24.She tried not to panic. Please, she prayed, don't let Ian be some
kind of creepy serial killer.
25.And then she saw it.
A towering form entered, hunched considerably by the cave
ceiling. Eight feet tall, maybe more. Covered with long, wooly fur.
27.The hands of an ape. The face of a monster.
28.Probably the teeth of a shark, but Jen didn’t foresee him smiling
anytime soon.
29.He was… he was… there was no use in denying it. He was a sasquatch.
Jen felt like she was gonna go nuts, but he was real! Not legend, not a myth. She was looking at a big, living breathing freaking big foot.
31.One that knew how to knock humans unconscious and bind them in
homespun ropes.
32.The beast shuffled forward, holding something in his giant, wooly
mitt. He grunted and then lunged forward.
33.Jen struggled and kicked, trying to back away. Get away from me!!!
she screamed. The huge animal pulled back.
34.The daylight from the cave’s entrance went dark as he backed out.
And then the sunlight returned.
The small waft from his exit caused the lone candle flame to
dance. He was gone.
Good, she thought to herself. Maybe he realized how close he was
to getting his squatchy balls kicked.
And then she saw that the sasquatch had set something down - a tin cup full of blueberries. The cup lay close to Jen, right at her side.

38.Oh geez, she thought. The sasquatch was gentle. He meant no harm.
And apparently he had opposable thumbs, too.
Jen looked at that tin cup for a long time and then her mind
pieced together what must be happening.
40.Ian had somehow tamed a sasquatch. He takes care of it and acts,
somehow, as his protector.
41.It explained why the animal had attacked her the night before. The
sasquatch must have thought she was a threat.
It didn’t know that she loved Ian too. Or maybe it did, and it
was jealous of her. And maybe it should get over it.
43.I’m sorry, Jen called. I understand you won’t hurt me. Come back,
please, Mr… Beast-thing-fellow.
44.The sasquatch stuck his shaggy head into the cave. Please, Jen
said. Can you untie me?
45.The sasquatch grunted in the affirmative.
46.Or at least, that was what it sounded like; her Aunt Lucy always
made that same sound when offered a second helping of fried chicken.
47.His giant fingers were clumsy with the twine. She tried not to
shrink back from him. Animals smell fear, she reminded herself.
48.He began to grumble in frustration. Easy now, Jen murmured. But
the animal bared his teeth!
49.A scream died in Jen’s throat as the sasquatch leaned forward and
bit through her bindings.
50.Not her wrists. Not her throat. Just the dumb rope!
51.Thanks, Jen said, wondering when, when, WHEN Ian would show up!
52.He grunted in reply. And Jen officially decided he must me related
to Aunt Lucy.
53.Jen got to her feet, wearily. She saw a canteen filled with water
and drank from it eagerly. She couldn’t ever remember being so
54.Luckily, she had a Nature Valley Granola Bar in her purse. So what if they were a sort of little-kid-ish – they were delicious!
E: She gobbled it down, then assaulted the tin cup of blueberries.
A: What she would have given for a double red eye with a foam cap! But still, it was breakfast.
55.The sasquatch watched Jen eat and drink. When she was done, he
raised a hairy paw and pointed toward the mouth of the cave.
56.You want me to go? Jen asked. He grunted.
57.I want to wait for Ian, Jen said, pleading. I need to talk to him
before I go. The sasquatch pushed her towards the daylight streaming
into the entrance.
58.I don’t want to hurt him! Jen said. I'll never tell his secret –
that he’s your protector. I just want…I want to tell him I love him!
59.It had slipped out of her mouth, but Jen realized it was true. She
did love Ian.
60.The idea of insta-love had always repelled her. All those idiot
Disney princesses falling for a guy after a ballroom dance and a kiss.
61.But here she’d gone and done the same thing. And they hadn't even
had a real, good kiss yet for goodness sake!
62.The sasquatch watched her, his eyes looking almost sad.
63.Maybe he’s seen other lovesick girls up here, trailing after Ian,
Jen thought.
64.What a great reality show this would make! Jen thought as she
polished off the last blueberries. He, She and It!
65.Then there came a horrible animal bellow from outside.
66.The sasquatch growled—more fiercely than Aunt Lucy ever had.
67.He rose and prowled out of the cave. Jen stumbled to her feet.
68.The sounds that came from outside were horrific: snarling,
pounding, branches and skulls cracking.
69.She slowly approached the mouth of the cave, afraid of what she would see…
70. Outside, the sasquatch fought another of its kind. Teeth gnashed.
Fur flew.
Their howls and war cries filled the woods. The beasts attacked each other with a deadly grace.
And somehow, it all seemed personal. The sasquatches were pissed – at each other.
71.Ian’s sasquatch threw the other into a tree and finally, the attack ended.
72.The other brute slunk away, giving Jen a dirty look over its
shoulder. She wondered if it would understand the middle finger.
73.Was that… was that about me? Jen asked. Ian’s sasquatch grunted in
the affirmative as it squatted on the ground to lick its wounds.
74.I’m sorry, she said. I promise I will go as soon as I have the
chance to talk to Ian.
75.The beast shot her a look that said, You’d better. Together, they
settled in to wait.
Installment #3
1. Where could Ian be? Maybe he had a day job he hadn’t mentioned to Jen. That seemed likely.
2. Well, she said to the sasquatch. Might as well make myself busy!
3. She started to tidy up a bit. The cave certainly needed it.
4. Jen took the animal skins outside and beat them against the rock wall of the cliff, holding her breath from the stank that wafted up.
5. She folded Ian’s clothes and put them in a tidy pile.
6. She wanted to smell them, to take in his scent, but for some reason she would feel humiliated if the big foot saw her do it.
7. The sasquatch was keeping busy too, running some secret sasquatchy errands, Jen supposed. Every so often he came and checked in on her.
8. For the moment, it was just squatting by the entrance to the cave, watching her and picking its teeth with a twig.
9. Jen’s stomach growled. Loud. The sasquatch gave a huff. A laugh, maybe? He beckoned to Jen.
10. I hope he doesn’t think I speak sasquatch, Jen thought. His body beard will grow gray before that happens. He grunted again.
11. I’m coming, I’m coming, Jen said. She followed the massive animal up a switchback path that lead to the top of the cliff.
12. There she saw an abandoned campsite, with a fire blazing cheerfully in a pit. So the sasquatch was a boy scout?
13. Two skinned rabbits were roasting above the flames on a spit and a skillet filled with wild onions sat steaming off to the side.
14. A boy scout and a chef? Jen couldn’t remember the last time she cooked—burned—something without a microwave.
15. You did all this? Jen asked the sasquatch. He shrugged in a demure way that nearly made Jen laugh aloud.
16. Who knew sasquatches could be demure?! And…Who knew sasquatches could shrug?
17. The food was delicious. The sasquatch squatted on his haunches and ate along with Jen, both of them tearing into the food with abandon.
18. She knew if Ian were here, she’d probably try to be a little feminine and maybe chew her food. But she felt as wild as the bigfoot beside her.
19. Eating like a beast – with a beast – on the top of a mountain cliff! My parents should see me now! Jen thought. She felt fierce!
20. Ian makes me brave and this sasquatch makes me feel wild. She thought. Then, Okay – am I really assessing how a sasquatch makes me feel?
21. Yum, Jen said. She lay back on the ground watching dreamy clouds drift above.
22. It felt like watching nature’s mobile, with the wind in the scrub oak as her lullaby.
23. I could get used to this, Jen said. And she drifted off to sleep as the sasquatch sighed.
24. When she woke, it was the late afternoon. She sat up with a start. Was Ian back yet? Where was her ‘squatch?
25. From the shadows, the giant beast grunted to her. He had been keeping watch, she realized. It was kind of sweet.
26. Did he have a crush on her? Did sasquatch even get crushes? Did sane people ask themselves if sasquatches got crushes?
27. The fire burned, making a pretty glow as the sun, finally, began to set. The sasquatch started crooning. His song was somehow… familiar.
28. Nothing like the feral howl of any animal…. Is that What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction???!!! She asked in shock.
29. The sasquatch grunted in the affirmative and kept on humming. He was… he was pretty good!
30. If his mouth could form words, he could be the sixth member of One Direction! Jen thought.
31. …They could really use a basso profundo. She shook herself out of her One Direction reverie.
32. When will Ian be back? Jen asked the beast. Do you think… do you think he’s staying away because I’m here?
33. She was certain that was it. He didn’t want to face her.
34. Tears slipped from Jen’s eyes. She couldn’t help it. What was she doing here, on a cliff top, with a sasquatch, watching the sunset?
35. …while he serenaded her with a teen pop ballad?
36. Suddenly the sasquatch patted her on the back. She looked up. There was a kindness in his gray eyes.
37. He pointed out to the sunset. Yes, Jen said. It’s beautiful…
38. And then the sasquatch began to shake. Violent spasms tore through his body.
39. What is it? Jen cried. Are you okay? What’s happening?!
40. He was shaking so hard some fur was flying off. Then she realized ALL his fur was coming off. Like mange at the speed of light.
41. As the sun flared behind the horizon, a golden light burst out too from the body of the sasquatch.
42. Jen gasped. It was… He was…
43. Ian. He stood there in all his naked glory.
44. And “glory” was the understatement of the millennium.
45. Jen backed away, looked away, and then took another good look. Yep, it was Ian all right.
46. She would know those…uh, shoulders…anywhere.
47. Jen, Ian said. I never wanted you to see. To know about me.
48. You-you-you’re a sasquatch, Jen stammered. A man by night and a bigfoot by day.
49. Yes, Ian answered simply. That’s what I couldn’t tell you. The reason we can never be together.
50. It was too much for Jen. The tears that had fallen before were nothing compared to the sobs that wracked her now.
51. Disappointment and confusion overwhelmed her. Ian knelt and held her in his arms.
52. Which made it a million times worse.
53. I fall in love, she said. I fall in love and it’s with a freaking big foot!
54. We really prefer the term sasquatch, Ian said. He cracked a smile and Jen laughed.
55. They laughed together, first chuckling and then roaring in the twilight. Jen wiped the tears from her eyes, when the laughs finally let up.
56. You do realize you’re naked, right? Jen asked.
57. Yeah, Ian answered. His bashful grin made Jen blush. You stay here, he said. I’ll be right back.
58. He came back a few minutes later, fully dressed— the same clothes she’d folded into a neat stack—and carrying some skins for them to sit on. He handed her a metal flask.
59. Is that whiskey? Jen asked. You know I’m underage.
60. No, he laughed. It’s coffee. Coffee! She said. Where was it? I would have killed for some coffee before!
61. You have to know where to look, Ian said. I have a lot of stuff hidden away in that cave.
62. Do you have a hot shower hidden there? Jen asked dryly.
63. God, you’re funny, Ian said. Jen grinned and poked the fire with a stick. And beautiful, he continued. It was all I could do to keep my hands off you all day.
64. That would NOT have been cool! Jen laughed. Being macked on by a sasquatch! No thanks.
65. Ian handed her the coffee. It was black and strong, just how she liked it.
66. I should take you back down the mountain while there’s still a little light, he said sadly.
67. No. But I- I want to-
68. You want to what? He said, a desperate anger rising in his voice. Stay with me? Live this insane life with me – beast by day, man by night.
69. It’s absurd. You have to go.
70. Maybe later, Jen said. But I waited all day to talk to you.
71. All right, Ian sighed. What do you want to talk about?
72. Well, for one thing – who hit me on the head last night? It was a sasquatch, but it couldn’t have been you because you were, um, in your man form.
73. My “man form,” he chuckled. I like that. It was Edna, he said. She, uh, she likes me.
74. Edna? Jen screeched. There is a girl sasquatch named Edna?!
75. Yeah, Ian laughed. Edna from Minneapolis. She used to be human at night too, but after a few years, your human hours dwindle away.
76. Ian looked into the fire. His future was grim, Jen realized. Oh Ian, she said. I’m so sorry.
77. There are up sides to being a sasquatch, he said. I have super-human strength and I heal crazy, crazy fast. And I don’t have to see my Dad anymore.
78. But I do miss my mom. And I’ll never get to travel. I’ll never get to see the pyramids at Giza, or the Taj Mahal.
79. But look, Jen gestured to the mountaintops, the sandstone vista painted purple and navy by the early evening. This is better than the Taj Mahal.
80. I’m dreading going back east, Jen confided. My parents are waiting for me to conquer the world of high finance and I’d rather fall off a cliff.
81. Ian shot her a glance. Not this cliff here, she joked. But you know what I mean.
82. Ian took her hands in his. You’re going to go back and tell them you’re changing your major, Ian told her.
83. And then you’re going to find a great career and marry some great guy and be happy, Ian said.
84. He looked so sad, Jen felt like her heart was collapsing inside her chest.
85. Instead of speaking, Jen leaned over and kissed Ian on the cheek. Then the back of his hand. Then the delicious area under his jaw.
86. An area that now smelled nothing like wet Chihuahua and everything like the Ian she knew and craved.
87. The skins they lay on were warm and the fire burned brightly against the blue-black sky.
88. She couldn’t keep her hands off him and he couldn’t keep his off her either.
89. I should get you down the mountain, he murmured. We need to stop.
90. Don’t tell me to stop, she pleaded. Not when we just got started…
Installment #4
1.             Jen awoke to the feeling of Ian’s fingers brushing a few strands of her hair out of her face. She opened her eyes and looked at him.
2.             What a great view to wake up to, Jen thought. He looked like a blonde Jensen Ackles. Supernatur-yummy!
3.             He was sitting up, gazing down at her with an expression so tender and full of regret that Jen’s heart caught in her throat.
4.             It was the kind of look that had “never” written all over it. As in they could NEVER be together.
5.             But Jen ignored his glum expression. There had to be a way to work it out.
6.             If he loved her... if he wanted to be with her as much as she wanted to be with him - they could find a way to make it work. They had to!
7.             Jen stretched. She expected to be stiff from sleeping on nothing but animal skins over the rocky ground, but she felt great.
8.             Physically, anyway. Her insides felt like a cocktail of love, hope, terror and desperation.
9.             It will be dawn soon, he told her. Let’s get going. I’d like to get you as close to town as possible before I turn.
10.         But there’s something you never told me, Jen insisted--
11.         I have to be really careful around town, Ian interrupted. If anyone catches sight of me as a sasquatch, I’ll be hunted day and night.
12.         There’s just one thing I want to know, she stalled.
13.         She wanted to know if he loved her as much as she loved him. But somehow her nerve failed.
14.         How did you get this way? she said.  If he says ‘I was born this way’ I’m going to freaking pass out, she thought.
15.         He rubbed his stubbly face. I guess you deserve the story, he said.
16.         I had a fight with my dad and I left home in a stupid fit. I was determined I would make it by myself, he told her.
17.         I was only 16 and I got a job washing dishes down at the tavern. Then this woman came in. She was… she was gorgeous.
18.         There was a faraway look in Ian’s eye that Jen did NOT like. She snuggled nearer to him to remind where he was—and where he wasn’t.
19.  She was exotic. Sophisticated. Wild. At the end of the night she said… she said… Well, it doesn’t matter what she said. She kissed me.
20.  Jen REALLY didn’t like the way he looked now! He was clearly lost, remembering a kiss from the past.
13.  Jen gasped. She realized that for all their making out and romantic moments, they still hadn’t kissed on the lips.
14.  This mystery woman not only enjoyed a permanent space in Ian’s memory, she’d also enjoyed his lips!
15.  I’m going to kiss her right out of his memory! Jen decided.
16.  She put one hand on the back of Ian’s neck and drew close to him, closing her eyes as her lips moved toward his—
17.  No! Ian shouted. He stood up. Are you crazy?!
18.  Crazy to want to kiss you? Jen cried aloud. You’re foaming at the mouth about some old biddy from the past.
19.  And I’m right here in front of you. I feel like a chump!
20.  Ian strode away from Jen and faced the edge of the cliff.
21.  She turned me! Ian said softly. Edna kissed me on the mouth and turned me into this half-man/half-beast.
22.  Edna? Jen gasped.
23.  Edna, Ian spat her name out like a curse. She wanted me for a mate. She still does. It’s dangerous here for you.
24.  But she’s the one who hit me over the head that first night... Jen said. Shouldn’t she have been in a human form then?
25.  Yeah. I don’t know why, but after a few years, Edna stopped turning into her human form at night. Maybe there’s some kind of clock running down...
26.  Do you think that’s what will happen to you? Jen asked. That’ll you stop turning into a human?
27.  The glowing sky was growing brighter by the moment.
28.  The question hung in the air like a pestering mosquito.
29.  I don’t know, Ian said bitterly. I’ll probably die a monster. Hiding from hicks with iPhones. Eating rabbit and foraged weeds. Alone.
30.  I’m not like Edna, he said. I’d never turn someone to keep me company.
31.  He looked down into the woods as if Edna were there, watching them. Listening.
32.  Jen tossed a dirty glare toward the tree line, just in case she was. She wondered if Edna would understand the middle finger.
33.  Ian kicked at a rock and sent it tumbling down the hill.
34.  It felt like all Jen’s hopes and dreams were on that rock, now irretrievable.
35.  Why don’t you just go already?! He shouted. Go now, before I turn!
36.  Okay… Okay, Jen said. The sun was cresting the mountain. But she didn’t move. Couldn’t.
37.  Ian began to shake. He gritted his teeth, growling: GO!
38.  But you love me! Jen cried.
39.  No! I don’t! He snarled. GO!
40.  It was just too much. Jen tore down the cliffside, tears coursing down her face.
41.  She loved him, she loved him. She did. But it was impossible. Ian knew it already.
42.  And she’d better start getting used to it.
43.  Crashing down the mountain, roots seemed to grab at her ankles and branches snatched at her hair.
44.  No de-tangler would win in a fight against her rat’s nest of a hairdo now!
45.  She ran and ran, getting nearer to civilization all the while when she tripped over one last rock.
46.  Jen fell, sobbing to the ground. Dirt in her mouth, hair, nostrils. She didn’t care.
47.  This was the end of something big. This was the end of something she wanted more than anything else. An end before it ever really began.
48.  Sitting there, weeping in the clearing, Jen realized she’d left her purse in Ian’s cave. She snorted with a derisive laugh.
49.  What was she going to do? Hike up the hill and face sasquatch Ian again?
50.   Or maybe she’d just leave it, cancel her credit cards and start over. It wasn’t like Ian was about to use them anytime soon!
51.  Only then did she hear the snarl.
52.  Jen looked up. There, on top of a boulder, was a mountain lion, poised. Ready to spring.
53.  She reached out and grabbed a stout scrub oak stick.
54.  In a flash of golden fur and jagged teeth, the beast was upon her.
55.  Jen pushed against the snarling lion with the branch, shoving it away as it swiped with razor-sharp claws.
56.  It turned out she did have fight left in her, even it was just pent up frustration. She whacked the massive feline with the branch.
57.  Help! Jen screamed. Ian, if you can hear me -  Help!
58.  The lion clawed her ear and neck with its claws. A scream rang out—a scream that mingled with Jen’s.  It was the lion. Her victory cry.
59.  And then Ian, sasquatch Ian, was there. He grabbed the cat by the back of the neck the way a housewife would handle a kitten.
60.  Well, maybe not as gentle. Depending on the housewife.
61.  He threw the cat off to the side and squared off, ready to fight. Jen watched the lion, tail twitching in anger, size up the sasquatch.
62.  It was sizing up Ian. Her Ian.
63.  Jen pressed her hand against her neck. There was blood. Lots of blood. And her ear. It was… it was torn and dangling.
64.  She was glad she couldn’t see it. As it was, she was trying to keep from passing out.
65.  Maybe she was in shock. Maybe she’d lost too much blood. Maybe she was dying.
66.  She fought to regain full consciousness. Her eyes struggled to focus. On Ian. On the lion.
67.  Just as Ian the sasquatch moved threateningly toward the giant cat, a third figure stepped into the clearing.
68.  It was just a blurry shadow in Jen’s vanishing sight. But she knew what—who—it was.
69.  Edna! She launched herself at Ian, grappling with him.
70.  What was she doing? Why was she choosing this moment to show up!
71.  Jen got her answer as the mountain lion turned its merciless golden eyes back onto her. Not the fighting sasquatches. Her.
72.  It licked its chops and let out its blood-congealing victory SCREAM…Then it took a step toward her.


  1. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this story. It's enicing, suspenseful, unique, heart-felt, emotional, and splendiferous! I cannot wait for the next installment. Thank you for posting this wonderful story.

  2. When will part 5 be posted?

    1. Go to Emmy's site she has it.

    2. could you tell me what emmy's sites address it?

  3. Why is this not a book! God! I want more! HAAA! This is such a great story!

  4. Please oh please make this a book! this cant just be a short story its to short to be so good! you all hav to make it a book! please oh please!

  5. I agree as well. This should be a book not a short story! It's interesting, fun, and keeps you think every second just like everything else I have read of your.

  6. I love it you should totally make it a book!

  7. Don't leave me hanging!

  8. What's Emmy's site address
    Don't leave me hanging

  9. Here's a link to Emmy's website. You'll have to scroll down we blog for a bit for the lat installment.

  10. I can't find it on Emmy's website! Help!

  11. Here is the last installment:

    1. Its not on her site anywhere.

  12. its so good i dont want to stop reading it

  13. I'm gonna die of suspense. This is so freaking awesome!!!!!!!! Anna Banks, if you keep writing like this I'm gonna buy your books 100 times over, and you will be a millionaire!!! thanx

  14. Where is the next installment? It isn't on Emmy site so could you post it on yours????

    P.S Can't wiat for "Of Neptine" :)

  15. OH MY GOSH THIS IS SO AMAZING! I was sitting here checking the dates for 'Of Neptune' when I see this, it's... crazy! I LOVE IT! Looking forward to the next installment!

  16. i need next installement now please find it and add it