The Last Lady of Lună, Season 2 Cover

A woman sits with her back to the viewer looking at an oversized moon. An image of dried, cracked earth is superimposed over the image.

I was a child when enemies destroyed our clan. My mother escaped and raised me in secret. Without my fathers’ blood, she aged and died. Now I am the last head of the Lună vampire clan. My enemies think I am dead, my clan is scattered to the winds, and I am starting to come into my powers. I will claim my birthright, rebuild my clan, and destroy our enemies. I’m just going to need a bit of help.

Luckily, I knew where to find it. A hot team of human mercenaries specializing in security have sworn themselves to me. We’re finally learning to understand each other, and good thing we are — because I have unknown allies in my home and enemies at my door. Now we need to survive, learn to work together, and rain hell on our enemies.

And if Lună is still watching out for me, maybe I’ll finally get laid.

Season 2 of The Last Lady of Lună starts now.

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Last Lady of Lună (S1, Season Finale)

Season Content Notes: abduction, blood, sexual content, violence


Whatever Karen had expected — and she tried not to expect things — it wasn’t for the drone’s departure to be followed by a beefed-up SUV. She signaled Victor, who moved quickly to the master bedroom. The room had a big picture window that was a security nightmare, but it gave the sharpshooter a line of sight on the driveway and the front yard. Benj was still in the kitchen, and Karen left him there to cover the back door.

The front door with its cut-glass windows opened onto the landing of the split-level staircase. Karen set herself up at the top of the stairs. If their intruders were going to pretend to be friendly to get in the house, it would be knife work. She caressed the hilt of the old kitchen knife, now sitting at the small of her back. It was a good knife. Well balanced. So many people underestimated the value of a solid paring knife. Karen hadn’t had time to check the edge, but that was okay. It would still stab just fine.

While she waited, Karen ticked over the setup. Experience let her lay out several possible timelines depending on what the intruders did. Marcus was still downstairs, and Leyla would be with him as close support and medic. They’d watch the garage door and be ready to throw Nastasia in the van and run if they had to. Emil, Nastasia’s ‘grandfather’ was out for the day, and Ozanna was downstairs where Marcus could worry about her. With Victor and Benj in place, they had the house, and it’s too-many-doors, as covered as possible.

They waited, and Karen allowed herself to reach back and “Two exiting the car,” Victor said in her ear. “No visible weapons. Might be others in the back.”

Karen frowned and tapped her comm. “They are weapons.”

“Fuck,” Benj muttered from the kitchen.

“Looks like they’re headed for the front door.”

Okay, Karen was up.

She waited until she saw them on the walk. Two, like Victor said. There was something about the way one of them moved… “Hey, boss-lady?” she asked as she started down the stairs, “Should I be able to recognize another vampire?”

Nastasia answered just as one of their visitors knocked on the door. “I think so?… Yes. Ozanna says yes.”

“We got one vamp then.” She waved through the cut-glass window in the door. “They’re being polite. What’s the play?”

“Think you can get Leyla some tea?”

“On it.” Karen pasted a smile on her face and opened the door. “Hi, can I help you?”

Two people, one with boobs, one without. Both dark and pale like Nastasia and her ‘grandparents.’ The taller one (boobs) smiled back. “We’re sorry to show up without warning like this. I’m Tamarra Sudworth.” She offered Karen a business card. Karen gave it a quick glance before stuffing it in a pocket.

“Private eye. Do private eyes do door-to-door sales now? Thanks, but we’re good.”

Even Karen knew no one did door-to-door sales anymore, but she’d long ago learned that sometimes her best weapon was just being herself.

‘Tamarra’ reached out to keep Karen from closing the door. “No. No, I’m not. That’s not…” Her friend, the one Karen thought was a vampire, smiled and offered his hand. (Karen was assuming his. More people needed to start wearing those pronoun necklaces.)

In Karen’s ear, Victor started cursing, “Two more SUVs coming up the street.”

Karen smiled back at the vampire but didn’t take his hand. They were out of time for tea. Thank God… or should she be thinking ‘thank Lună’ now?

“I don’t think you’re a PI, and I’m afraid I’m not good at the social thing. So I’m going to cut to the chase. How about you tell me what clan you’re with and why you’re here, so my team and I know just how dead we need to make you, okay?”

As she spoke, she darted left, out of reach of the pair. Behind her, Benj would be at the top of the stairs, gun drawn. Karen knew they’d seen him when they froze.

“Moving,” Karen murmured, barely loud enough for the com to pick up. Then she was. With the visitors distracted, Karen grabbed the woman’s wrist and yanked, making her stumble over the short step into the house. She heard Benj yelling “Don’t move!” at the vamp. Another yank turned the stumble into a fall, and then Karen was straddling the woman, knife at her throat. The woman was smart enough to go very, very still and keep her hands where Karen could see them.

The vamp snarled, fangs on show. Yup, she’d called it.

“Sorry, man,” Benj said, “We were willing to keep things nice and shoo you on your way if it was just the two of you. But your friends just upped the ante.”


Karen heard car doors slamming, and the vamp looked to the driveway, then paled.

“Those are not our friends.”

“Fuck,” the woman whispered. “Where is Lady Sandra?”

“My mother is dead,” Nastasia said from the bottom of the stairs. “I am the Lady of Lună clan now.”



I looked up the half flight of stairs at the first strange vampire I could remember seeing. This close, I could taste Lună’s power on them. These, whoever they were, where ever they had come from, were my clanmates.

I had so many questions, so many feelings, but there was no time.

“Come in, child of Lună,” I said. The stranger stepped inside and shut the door, keeping an eye on the top of the stairs the whole time.


“Your mother had good taste,” she said. “These are friends?”

Friends? I didn’t know how to answer that. I didn’t know them. They had come looking for my mother, thought she was still alive.

“Let her up,” I said instead of answering.

I felt Marcus and Leyla at my back, Ozanna standing to the side. She said nothing: either she didn’t recognize these people or didn’t trust them.

One step at a time, I climbed the stairs. Karen moved as I did, shifting to the other side of the foyer where she could cover me. Our bond sang between us. Marcus stayed at my shoulder, but Leyla waited below with Ozanna. She spoke quietly into the comm, keeping Victor filled in. I heard him reply, but my focus was here. Now.

The one on the ground — human, my senses told me, sotii — had rolled out of the way but stayed down. I took the last step onto the marble of the foyer and stopped. “I am Nastasia, Sandra’s daughter. These are my sotii and my advisor.

“You are?”

The vampire said nothing, just looked at me.

We didn’t have time for this!

Victor over the comm, “I don’t know what they’re waiting for, but we’ve got 10 bunched up around two cars, armed.”

“You are?” I repeated.

“Vasile,” he said finally. “I don’t know who is outside.”

Victor, “Looks like they’re going around back.”

Marcus, “Stay on them as best you can. Benj, get on the backdoor.”

I struggled to focus, to remember the clan etiquette Mama and Emil had taught me. He should have acknowledged me as clan leader. Why hadn’t he? Was I doing something wrong?

Marcus’ hand was on my shoulder, steadying me. He had no idea what was going on. None of them did. Maybe not even Ozanna. But I was Lună’s lady, and I had promised Marcus I wouldn’t fail them again.

“Vasile.” I stepped forward, catching his eye. I reached for Lună, letting her power fill me, even though she was far from the sky. “I suppose I should welcome you to my home.”

I didn’t do anything with the power, just held it in me and let him taste it.

His eyes widened. “Lady.”

He didn’t bow or anything. That, Mama had told me, drew too much attention around humans. But he didn’t need to.

Not with that look in his eyes.

“I’ve got a lot of questions, and I’m sure you do too. But we have some other business to deal with first. Would you both like to help me greet my other guests?”

They looked at each other, Vasile and the woman whose name I still hadn’t heard. Then they smiled. “Lady, we would be honored.”



Once they reached the top floor, Karen switched places with Marcus. Leyla stepped in close, letting Marcus step back and focus on the overall situation rather than Nastasia’s immediate safety.

They moved smoothly, and Nastasia moved with them, even without the training they should have given her. Leyla didn’t understand all the magic vampire stuff, but she knew people. Whatever awkwardness or problems there had been between Marcus and Nastasia, Karen and Nastasia, they were gone now. Those three had started building something solid together.

Leyla knew that she wasn’t part of that yet. Like Benj and Victor, she was connected to Nastasia only by magic (and some mutual lust).

But that was okay. Marcus was the head of the team and (though she’d never realized it) Karen was the heart of it. The one who tied them all together. They had needed to connect with Nastasia first — to build the foundation Leyla and the others could rely on.

Leyla was looking forward to doing just that. After kicking some vampire ass.

That’s it for Nastasia and co — for now anyway. They’ll be back next year. And Karen will finally get to see the knives. (As you might guess, she’s rather impatient about that.)


Return to:
Last Lady of Lună S1, E1
Last Lady of Lună S1 E11

Continue to:
First Came Trust S1 E1
Webserial Catalog

Last Lady of Luna (S1, E11)

Season Content Notes: abduction, blood, sexual content


I didn’t know what was happening. One moment we were talking, the next Victor was on the counter top, and I was being bustled downstairs between Leyla and Karen. They brought me back to the training room, opened the closets, and started pulling out gear.

Marcus came in behind us with a gun drawn. Ozanna looked in from her bedroom, then ducked back, and a moment later, I heard her on the phone with Emil.

I watched them go through practiced motions. Leyla finished getting her gear on and stepped back, leaving room at the closet for Marcus. She dashed out of the room.

Why? To help Victor and Benj? To trade places with them?

I didn’t know what was happening and I was getting pissed off.

“Marcus,” I demanded.

He turned back from the closet to look at me. He was impatient, almost annoyed.

“What is going on?” I asked.

“Now is not–”

“Are we under attack?”

“Not yet, but…”

I ignored the rest of what he tried to say. In that moment, I realized something.

All the problems of the last week? It was my fault. I hadn’t told them what I wanted and needed from them. I had let hurt and insecurity keep me from pushing when they pulled away. I was the last Lady of the Lună Clan, and I wasn’t supposed to wait. I was supposed to lead.

I straightened my shoulders, firmed my voice, and stepped up.

“Give me the 10-second version and get me tied into your comm network. I know what our enemies can do better than you do, and I have abilities of my own.”

He stared at me a moment, then shook his head. “I really fucked up,” he said.

“I was thinking the same thing,” I smiled.

The moment seemed to stretch, and I remembered all the reasons I had wanted this man as sotii, as first.

Then he nodded briskly. “Victor spotted a military drone over the house. We don’t know who sent it or why, so we’re shifting to a higher level of security and keeping our eyes on it. Once everyone is suited, we’ll decide our next moves.”

“I understand.”

He waited a moment, then went back to the closet. When he came out again, he had an earpiece and showed me how to fit it into my ear.

While we’d been talking, Karen had left, and Benj and Victor had come and started suiting up.

When Marcus was done explaining the comm, I pushed into the closet next to them, digging out my vest, throat guard, and knives. Since no one else was talking, I activated the comm and started the run down I should have made sure they had before I first tasted their blood.

“Combat is usually fang, blade, and magic. Guns draw too much attention. But if they can make it look like a gang killing or are sure they can get away cleanly, they might use guns.

“This isn’t Vânt — they can control birds, so they wouldn’t use a drone.”


Marcus kicked himself for a dozen kinds of fool. What the hell had he been thinking? He’d fallen right into treating this like a standard celebrity gig. He hadn’t even made sure the principal — that Nastasia had body armor. Never mind getting intel on the threats they faced or any a dozen other things.

Listening to Nastasia’s info and Karen’s updates on the drone, he admitted that he’d panicked.

The morning after taking this gig, he’d woken up with a scratchy throat and already feeling at least five years younger. Nastasia was a beautiful young woman — emphasis on the young, nearly half his age — who looked at him like she wanted to lick him all over and made him feel things no self-respecting man his age would. When she’d said she needed blood, his cock had nearly ripped a hole in his pants, and he’s panicked.

The blood went in a cup, his cock got shut down hard, and he dug in his feet, ignoring both magic and his to-attractive employer.

And this was where it got him. A threat literally hovering overhead and an unprepared team, less than half an hour after their princi- after Nastasia had nearly broken down over how they’d been treating her.

They didn’t have time for him to beat himself up, but he couldn’t manage not to.

Maybe management had been right. Maybe he should have retired already…

“Stop it,” Nastasia said — not over the comm. “The bond doesn’t like whatever you are thinking, and I can guess what it is.”

Marcus paused in double-checking his gear and looked at her.

She’d pulled her fall of dark hair back into a high ponytail. Her eyes stood out darkly against her face. Black body armor covered her chest and neck.

She looked like a deadly vision.

He was so fucked.


“You’re my first, Marcus,” I said. “I picked your team — you — for a reason.”

He licked his lips, and I breathed through the rush of desire. In the background, I heard Karen say that the drone had shifted to a wider circle, not as focused on our home.

“We both fucked up, but you need to understand something.” He tapped his earpiece but didn’t take his eyes off of me. “You aren’t team lead anymore. You aren’t in charge of everything.”

He started to shake his head, but I drove over him. I refused to fail them again.

“I am the clan leader. I am in charge. And that makes it my responsibility.

“But I can’t do it alone. So please stop beating yourself up, and work with me. Help me not to fuck up again.”

He stared at me for a long moment, and the bond sang between us. Lună whispered in my ear.

I drew one of my knives and offered it to him. “Will you be first of my sotii, Marcus Lear of the Clan of Lună?”

He didn’t hesitate. He took the knife and sliced it lightly across his forearm. Blood welled up, shining against his dark skin and just as potent as the first time he’d offered it to me.

“I will be your first, Nastasia. I will be your guard, advisor, friend… and maybe one day more. And I will not fail my team again.”

I barely had time to put my mouth to his arm and taste his blood when the comm crackled.

“Sorry to interrupt, love birds, but we’ve got incoming.”


Return to:
Last Lady of Lună S1, E1
Last Lady of Lună S1, E10

Continue to:
Last Lady of Lună S1 Finale

Last Lady of Lună (S1, E10)

Season Content Notes: abduction, blood, sexual content


For once, Leyla didn’t want tea. She wanted a cold drink and an hour with her battery-operated boyfriend (his name was Steven). Watching Karen and Nastasia try to devour each other was the hottest thing she’d seen in years.

Which was odd because Leyla wasn’t a voyeur, and Karen had never turned Leyla’s gears, but she wanted to join them. Put Nastasia in the middle, rub against her, bite her neck. Lick Karen’s blood from Nastasia’s lips.

Later, that part might disturb Leyla. But now, the faint scent of that blood ratcheted her up — it smelled like sex, but better.

Next to her, Marcus tried to discreetly adjust himself, and Victor was half out of his seat. Benj groaned, and the sound broke the moment. Nastasia and Karen broke apart, and Nastasia giggled.

Fucking hell, that giggle. It was like a shot of espresso straight to Leyla’s sex. She’d convinced herself that she’d imagined it. That it wasn’t that sexy. Nothing could be that sexy.

It was, and Leyla was off her seat and halfway around the kitchen island before she caught herself.

Clearing her throat, she redirected herself, offering Karen a hug and a (chaste!) kiss on the cheek. “I think this is where we say congratulations?”

“Wow…” Benj said under his breath. Then grunted. Victor must have kicked him.

“That sounds about right,” Victor said. Then he grinned at Nastasia. “No offense Ma’am, and I’m not her brother, but I think this is also the part where if I was, I’d be supposed to point out that I know where you sleep.”

Nastasia giggled again and said, “I am appropriately threatened.”

“What–?” Karen started to ask, and Leyla patted her shoulder.

“Nothing to worry about. Macho posturing. I’ll explain later.”

“Oh, thanks Leyla,” Karen smiled at her.

At that moment, Leyla understood — really understood — that the confusion she felt over this whole sotii thing was Tuesday for Karen. Because she lived in a world that never made sense. If Karen could deal with that shit every. Damn. Day. For years… then Leyla and the rest of them could deal with this sotii stuff. “I’ll try and do a better job of explaining things from now on.”

“Okay. I’d like that.”

Marcus started to get up, and Nastasia glared at him. “Sit.”

He sat back and raised his hands in surrender. “Karen, I can’t say I’m not worried, but if you are happy, then I’m happy.”

“What he said,” Benj added roughly. Leyla didn’t think it was tears he held off just them. Not that she was one to talk — her panties were soaked through.

Still, they had a problem or two to deal with. Leyla squeezed Karen’s hand, then stepped back to lean against the counter. “I don’t want to take away from the moment — but I think the rest of us need to get a better handle on where we’re at.

“So, Nastasia — what did you expect when you asked us to be sotii?” Leyla tried to make the question gentle, but Nastasia still flinched slightly and reached for Karen’s hand.

Then she squared her shoulders and looked Leyla dead in the eyes. “I expected to become part of a team. I expected my sotii — you — to work with me, support me, advise me.” She paused, looking around the room. “After that night… after I had a chance to meet you… I expected that we might be friends.”

“And then we went professional on you.”

“Is that what you call it?” Nastasia snorted. “You became distant. Silent. You went on duty, and everything stopped. Karen even stopped asking to see my knives.”

Karen meeped and jumped on Nastasia. “I forgot about the sharps! Damn it, I forgot about the sharps.” She buried her face in Nastasia’s neck, and Leyla would have said something, but Nastasia pulled her close. “I’m sorry. Work messes with my brain.”

Leyla sighed. “I’m starting to think it messes with all our brains.”


Victor was listening, but he was also watching. Two doors, a window, and one skylight. His back to one door because sitting at the island counter didn’t leave him much choice. At first, he didn’t really notice the black shape circling overhead. Turkey vultures weren’t common, but you still saw them. But it kept circling. Coming around again and again.

And its movement was wrong. Victor couldn’t say how he knew. How he saw it so clearly when it was so far away. Bit by bit, he stopped listening. Karen would fill him in later. Her timeline for something she saw and heard herself would be sharp as her knives. Marcus and Leyla between them would sort things out with Nastasia. Sounded like a failure to communicate anyway. But that spot. It was bigger now, and the shape was wrong for a bird. It reappeared in the skylight a bit too regularly, its circle too exact.

Understanding came like ice in his veins. “Eyes in the sky. Get Nastasia out of here.”

He rolled onto the countertop, Glock out, and tucked by his side. He didn’t see Leyla and Karen hustle Nastasia out and down the stairs, but he heard them.

“Threat level?” Marcus asked — through Victor’s comm, he must have gone down with them.

“Unknown. Looks like a high-end drone.” Now that he had a clearer view of it, Victor realized that he saw the thing with an impossible amount of detail. That vamp virus thing taking effect, maybe? It looked like one of the newest spy drones he’d seen in the trade mags. “Might be some kid with a new birthday present, but I don’t think so.”

“Acknowledged.” Marcus was quiet for a moment. “You’re sighting, your call.”

Victor said nothing for a moment. “I might be able to take it out, but they’ll know we caught them. With the privacy screen on the skylight, it can’t have seen anything yet.

“Watch it for now, and prepare for all hell to break loose.”

“Concur,” Marcus replied. “We’re suiting up; Karen and Leyla will relieve you and Benj as soon as they’re ready.”

“Roger that.”

“Sure, boss,” Benj said across the room. He was tucked in the corner furthest from the island, where he could keep an eye on the window and both kitchen doors. “Here’s hoping for another round of ‘hurry up and wait’.”

Return to:
Last Lady of Lună S1, E1
Last Lady of Lună S1, E9

Continue to:
Last Lady of Lună S1, E11

Last Lady of Lună (S1, E9)

Season Content Notes: abduction, blood, sexual content

I looked around the kitchen, at my five sotii, and sighed. Benj was right. The bonds were hurting. All of them. The bond with Marcus, my first, most of all, but he may not have noticed, think it was just part of his magical ‘flu’.

“Look, I’m not handling things well. I’ll try to do better so it doesn’t spill on all of you. I’m just… I guess I’m a bit overwhelmed right now. I knew I’d never have normal sotii — not when anyone I bonded with wouldn’t have grown up with the clan. I’m lucky one of you even knew that the vampire clans existed.”

I nodded to Leyla, who’d convinced the others to believe me. She smiled back, and I let myself feel the pull of that smile. The urge to hop down off the counter and go to her. Did she feel it too?

I looked away.

“And I knew tracking down whatever’s left of our clan wouldn’t be easy, but it’s still frustrating to do nothing but fail hour after hour. So I guess I’m acting out a bit.” I tried to smile. “I’m surprised Emil hasn’t pulled me up short yet, actually.”

Vincent started to say something, then stopped. He, Leyla, and Benj looked to Marcus. Karen was still digging through the fridge.

“Nastasia,” Marcus said after a moment, “we’ve been running blind for a week. I should have sat down with you the first day. We all should have known a lot more about what is going on here. So I’d rather not see anything pull you up short.”

I blinked. “Running blind? I don’t understand.

“When I brought you here, you said we would talk the next morning, but we never did. I waited, and when I did go to you, needing to feed if nothing else, you were curt, distant. No more laughing, no more teasing.

“Professional, you said.

“I told you to tell me what you needed, and I would see to it, but you never did. None of you did. You just… started shadowing me, standing watch. Being bodyguards.” I blinked once and widened my eyes, holding back tears I would not let them see. It wasn’t their fault I had let myself hope for more.

“I thought you wanted distance. I’ve been trying to respect that.”

Next to Marcus, I saw Benj rub his chest, and I winced, remembering what he’d said about feeling the bond. I didn’t know much about how the bond worked, not nearly as much as I should. But he was feeling something, so I needed to find some calm.

It was harder to call on Lună during the day, so instead I focused on breathing, finding my center, the core everything ephemeral orbited around.

Karen came out of the fridge juggling a bunch of fruit and a pitcher of iced tea. I’m not sure how she carried it all to the island without dropping anything, but I guess someone who catches knives for fun can do stuff like that. I hopped off the counter and turned around to pull some cups from the cabinets.

“What does sotii mean, ma’am?” Benj asked.

I nearly dropped the last cup. “I…” Fuck.

“You didn’t look it up?” Karen asked, pouring tea for everyone. “It took me a bit, but you have to spell it with ‘i’, not ‘e’. I think.

“I could be completely wrong, though. The Romanian is pronounced differently and… well, I get stuff wrong a lot.” I was staring at her, shocked, terrified even, and she smiled at me. “I wouldn’t mind being right, though. If, you know, that isn’t out of line or anything. No offense.”

Butterflies. Those were honest to Lună butterflies in my stomach now. I ducked my head but couldn’t help smiling back at her. “I couldn’t ask,” I told her. “I had no right to even think… I needed bodyguards and blood. Anything else is…”

“It’s okay,” she said, “I never know when it’s okay to ask stuff either.”

I have no idea what would have happened then if Marcus hadn’t cleared his throat. “No, Karen, it didn’t occur to me to look it up. I didn’t think Google translate had a setting for ‘vampire'”

“Oh! Sorry, Marcus. I should have said something, huh?” She paused. “Oh. This is going to be one of those awkward social things, isn’t it.”

I covered my face and nodded. “Yup. Really awkward.”

She patted me on the shoulder and turned to give Marcus his tea. “It’s Romanian. I think. Nastasia hasn’t actually said if I’m right.”

“I’m pretty sure you’re right,” I muttered. “If not, this is going to be even more awkward.”

I did not see Benj and Leyla giggling. I heard them. I’d have been pissed, but I’m pretty sure if I was them, I’d have been laughing too. I did see Marcus trying hard not to smile. I doubted any of them would be amused in a moment.

“It’s Romanian, well, a Romanian dialect,” I said, “there isn’t any ‘vampire’ language. Though most of the surviving clans came from Romania before it was Romania. The way we speak, it doesn’t exactly line up with the modern language.

“Sotii still means basically the same thing, though.” I took a deep breath and made myself look at them. “It means spouses.”

Stunned silence, of course. Well, except for Karen, who smiled at me delightedly.

I didn’t understand Karen. I don’t think I ever will. But no matter what weirdness I’ve thrown at her, she just… accepts it, and I guess that’s all I really need to know. Having Karen there made me strong enough to weather what came next.

“Spouses,” Marcus finally growled. “Spouses. You expect–”

“No!” I cut him off. They had reason to be angry with me, and I knew it, but I would not be blamed for what I had never done. “I expect nothing,” I spat, embarrassing myself. I couldn’t look at him, at any of them. “I hoped… maybe.”

The pain and hopelessness of those three words broke through the dam, and words came spilling out of me.

“If we survive, we are bound together for centuries,” I said, “and yes, I hoped that maybe someday you might… wish that. Want more.” I swore. “I’m not human, but I do have feelings, and there is no one else for me. I told you that.” Unable to stay still, I started pacing the kitchen. “And you felt what it was like to share blood. That’s why you’ve been bleeding into cups for me. Isn’t it? Because you don’t want to share that.

“Have I complained? Have I even said anything? No. You set your limits, and I accepted them.

“I needed — desperately — help to keep my clan alive. I didn’t — don’t — expect anything else. No more than what I told you, what I asked for. What you agreed to give.

I stopped and glared at them. “I will never ask for what you don’t wish to give.”

Tipping my head back, I looked up through the skylights. Marcus hated those skylights Mama had put in all over. ‘Weak points.’ I just wished it was night so I could see Luna.

“I’m not even supposed to have sotii yet,” I murmured. “I’m supposed to be flirting with the humans of my clan, learning what it means to be clan leader, getting drunk with my friends…

“Well, I got to do that, at least.”

I looked at them again. Everyone but Karen had their faces locked down, showing nothing. “You’ve got a lot of reasons to be pissed with me, and I won’t apologize for doing the best I can to survive. But I sure as hell never wanted to trick you or force you into…

“I didn’t tell you that ‘sotii’ means ‘spouses’ because I was afraid you would think I expected it. And I knew better.”

Karen made a sound of protest, and I smiled at her, afraid to believe, afraid of how the others would react, but not willing to refuse her. “I thought I knew better.”

“Karen–” Marcus started, but this time Leyla interrupted.

“What did you expect?”

Before I could get my thoughts in order, Karen replied. “I’ve never even had a girlfriend, you know that? You are my family. You gave me a place to belong, but I’m lucky to find someone cool with my weirdness for casual sex, never mind a relationship. I expected to be alone. Especially since we all knew higher would likely break the team up as soon as they forced Marcus to retire.” I was staring at her open-mouthed when she reached for me, her hand shaking a bit. I took her hand immediately and gripped it tight.

“I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons why Nastasia did something wrong and I should be upset. Or at least, you all are upset, and she says there are.” Karen shrugged, “You know I’ve never understood all of that. Why is this wrong, but assuming I’d want to join a team was okay?”

Marcus went pale and said, “Karen…” again, but in a completely different voice.

She shook her head, “It’s okay, Marcus. I’m glad you brought me onto the team. It’s just…” she trailed off and looked at me.

Somehow — maybe Lună was whispering in my ear — I knew what to do. I let go of her hand, went over to the knife block, and pulled out a well-used carving knife.

“I don’t have a ring,” I said, offering the knife to Karen, “and it isn’t K-bar. But this was my mother’s favorite.”

Karen didn’t even look at the knife. She just took it, put it carefully on the counter, and kissed me.

Yes, of course I bit her lip.


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Last Lady of Lună S1, E1
Last Lady of Lună S1, E8

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Last Lady of Lună S1, E10

Last Lady of Lună (S1, E8)

Season Content Notes: abduction, blood, sexual content


Benj’s head was still stuffed with cotton. Talking was… not fun. But even if professionalism hadn’t required him to be here, he would have been drawn to Nastasia. He felt the bond, felt her. It felt like something was wrong. Like it was sick, too.

He hadn’t thought anything of it, that first morning, when Marcus had insisted on being the one to feed her and bled into a cup. He’d been a bit disappointed when Nastasia accepted but for all Karen’s quips, this wasn’t really a romance novel, and… whatever they’d all felt when they exchanged blood the night before, it wasn’t real. They were here to be Nastasia’s guards, not her harem.


And then the fever had hit, and he hadn’t been able to think of anything.

He didn’t feel much different. A little lighter on his feet maybe, but not likehe could go fifteen rounds with a pro fighter or anything like that. Marcus though… Benj had seen his wrinkles smooth out. The grey that had threaded his blond hair was gone, too. And whatever that.. magical virus?… was doing, it wasn’t done.

But something was wrong. If Benj had been the only one feeling weird, he might have ignored it. But when Karen started muttering about the timeline being off…

Benj didn’t understand Karen. The one time he’d said anything, Vincent had said something about ‘probably neurodivergent’ and ‘not our business as long as she’s a team player.’ One thing Benj had learned: she had an uncanny way of putting together odd bits of information. She’d make a picture no one else could see, but was usually pretty accurate. When her timelines got screwy — when she couldn’t put that picture together — there was an elephant in the room somewhere getting ready to smash them.

So when whatever was going on pushed Karen out of her guard routine, Benj backed her. Because she was his teammate, because he trusted her. But also because the bond told him Nastasia needed them. Needed him to step up.

“Ma’am,” he rasped, “You need to tell us what we’re doing wrong.”

Nastasia scowled at him, then looked away. “You are doing nothing wrong. You are good bodyguards.”

“Then why are Karen’s timeline’s not lining up?” He rubbed his sternum. “Why is this bond hurting?”

But Karen cocked her head, getting that distant look that meant the pieces were falling into place. “We are good bodyguards. Are we good sotii?”


For the second time in an hour, I wanted to run. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t be the leader my clan needed. I couldn’t even form a proper bond with my sotii! Instead, I stepped away, putting my back to the wall.

Benj came closer, and, for a moment, I thought I would freak out completely, but he just leaned against the wall next to me. Close, but no longer between me and the doors. Karen was murmuring in the bluetooth, saying something about my panic to the rest of the team.


I wrapped my arms around myself and looked at the floor.

I jumped when Benj touched my shoulder. “That’s it, isn’t it? We’re being bodyguards, but you need more than that.”

For a moment, I let myself lean into that touch, but Benj… Benj had made it clear that he became sotii for Marcus’ sake, not because of any draw he felt towards me. I pulled back, and he dropped his hand. “I need bodyguards. And I won’t ask for what you don’t want to give.”

“What if we want you to ask?” I looked up in surprise. Leyla was standing in the door. Victor was behind her, and even Marcus, leaning on the wall.

As soon as I saw Marcus, I forgot everything else. Even as weak as our bond was, I felt how he — my first — suffered. I stepped away from the wall and stormed across the small room. “What by Luna are you doing out of bed?” Up close, I could see his eyes were still glassy from fever. His skin was too dark to show a flush, but I knew if I put my hand next to his cheeks, I’d feel the heat pouring off him. “Bad enough Benj insists on following me around; you need to rest.

“Told you he needed to come,” Victor murmured to Leyla.

I glared at him. “I’ll deal with you later.” Then I pushed through them and grabbed Marcus’ arm. “Come on.”

He tried to pull away, but their blood, even taken from a cup, had strengthed Luna’s blessings. I was strong enough to hold on unless he made it a real fight. Well, and he was still weak from the fever.

“I’m well enough,” he protested. “Karen said there’s a problem we need to talk about.”

“No,” I said, trying not to hunch, to cringe away from the reminder. “I’m just stressed.”

I could feel them looking at each other, trying to decide how to handle me. I had no interest in being handled, but I knew them well enough by now to know that Karen, at least, would not let it go.

“Fine. We’ll go to the kitchen. If we’re going to talk, then we’ll do it with you and Benj sitting down.”

Still holding Marcus’ arm, I headed down the hall, then up the stairs to the kitchen. The others followed, and I waited, arms crossed, while Marcus and Benj sat at the granite-topped island. Mama had loved that counter. She said the black granite with white speckles reminded her of the night sky.

She would have been so disappointed in me.

I hopped onto the white counter next to the sink, pulled my legs up and hugged my knees. Leyla and Victor sat down with Marcus and Benj while Karen went digging in the fridge.

So… talking.


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Last Lady of Lună S1, E1
Last Lady of Lună S1, E7

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Last Lady of Lună S1, E9

Last Lady of Lună (S1 E7)

Season Content Notes: abduction, blood, sexual content


I stood up from my desk and stormed out of the room. Karen, who had been at my back, followed, and Benj peeled off from the door to follow us. In the last week, they had fallen into a routine, and I had found that even Karen was serious and focused on duty. Behind me, Benj murmured into his fancy Bluetooth — comms, the team called them — letting Marcus know about my ‘change in status.’

I ignored him, ignored both of them. I had wanted sotii who would be bodyguards first; I would not complain when I got my wish.

But right now, I needed someone to talk with.

My office and the ‘grandparents suite’ were both in the basement. I turned left out of my office. Right would have led me to where the hallway turned on the way to the garage. Left took me to the rest of the house, but I wasn’t going far. Before Benj had finished speaking, I was knocking on another door. Ozanna answered it a moment later and immediately sighed.

“Nastasia.” She pulled me into a hug, and I let go a bit of my anger as she squeezed me.

“I can’t do this!”

She tsked at me and dragged me into her and Emil’s bedroom. I felt more than heard Karen and Benj tense behind me, sotii or bodyguard instincts kicking in. But they didn’t say anything, either because they trusted Ozanna already or… other reasons. Instead, Karen followed me in while Benj stayed on the door. Again.

Ozanna pulled me to the loveseat that took up the entirety of the closet and pushed me down. Then she scowled at Karen and pointed to the cushion next to me. “Sit.”

Karen looked unhappily between me and Ozanna, then sat as far from me as she could get and still be on the loveseat. That had started the day after I brought them home. The teasing and playfulness and touch disappeared into… distance and professionalism.

Ozanna sat herself on the bed that took up most of the main room. “What can’t you do, fica?”

“I can’t find them,” I said, wrapping my arms around myself. “I thought that finding my sotii, that being able to be safe while searching for the clan, would be the hard part. But even with all the work you and Mama did, it’s all dead ends.” I was whining. I was whining and acting pathetic, and Karen and Benj could both hear me, and I couldn’t stop myself. I couldn’t…

“Nastasia.” Ozanna’s voice wasn’t a comfort this time, it was a command. “Nastasia, listen to me. You knew this would not be easy. You know this would not be fast. But you are doing it. Every dead end is progress. It is eliminating the wrong knowledge so you can focus on what is useful.”

Her eyes held mine, and I clung to them. I breathed as Emil had taught me as a child, and I clung to Ozanna’s eyes. After a few minutes, she nodded and sat back. “I should not need to tell you this.”

I flinched.

“I should not need to tell you this because you should not be doing this alone. Where are your sotii?”

Confused, I gestured to Karen sitting on the other side of the loveseat.

“Nastasia,” she chided. I never understood how she could say so much with just my name. Not even Mama could pull it off. But I would not be chided this time.


“Fine,” she gestured to the room’s second door. “We built in a training room for a reason. I haven’t seen you in there for a week. Use it, work your frustration out. That, at least, your sotii should be willing to help you with.”

I nodded, stood up, and, once again trailed by my guards, stepped into the small ‘training room.’

Mama told the builders it would be the ‘sitting room’ for the grandparents’ suite. Just a private extra room when they wanted some quiet time together. But as soon as the builders cleared out, Mama, Ozanna, and Emil went to work. They covered the floor with canvas, turned the closets into weapons storage, and covered the one high window with privacy film so no one could see in.

It wasn’t a big room — maybe 100 feet square. But it was enough for sparring and some knife work. Close combat, which is what Emil said I would need most if we were discovered before we were ready.

Not even taking my shoes off (and Emil would chew me out for that later) I walked up to one of the punching targets on the wall and started hitting it.


Karen didn’t know who worried her more, Nastasia or Benj.

Benj should still have been in bed. Karen knew better than to try to send him away.

Nastasia had been right to compare what happened to them to a bad flu. It had hit Victor, Leyla, and Karen hard and passed quick. But it had snuck up on Benj and Marcus, so Benj had been doing close guard most of the first day or so, then fell on his ass.

Not that Karen could complain. She’d spent most of that first day on her ass. When she was on her feet and tracking again, everything felt off. Nastasia wasn’t being Nastasia. And the team was… was being the team. But that wasn’t right, was it?

Karen let her eyes flick to the closet. Nastasia’s knives were probably in there. Why hadn’t Karen seen the sharps yet?

But no, she was on duty. She had to focus.

Benj was pale in the doorway, too pale, but he was being stubborn. With Marcus still down, they needed Benj in the rotation. For two days, she’d been telling herself that was why things felt wrong. That with the team lead down and Benj still sick, of course things felt off. But…

Focus. She never had this much trouble focusing on duty. That’s why she loved working. It let her let go of thinking, letting her senses and trained reflexes take over so her brain could rest.

Ozanna had expected Karen and Benj to train with Nastasia, to help her stay in practice. And they usually did that with their protectees. Worked with them so they could move with the team, help the team help them. As soon as he was on his feet, Marcus would…

No. No, this was wrong. Something was wrong, something…

She clicked the comm, asking Benj if everything was okay. He clicked back twice. Safe, he didn’t see any danger. But then he clicked again, just once. Everything okay?

And it wasn’t. It wasn’t. It wasn’t.

Reflexes. Karen couldn’t focus because she was fighting her reflexes. Because her reflexes didn’t want to treat Nastasia like a protectee.

As soon as she stopped fighting, reflex had her across the room in a moment. She put out a hand, catching Nastasia’s next punch, grabbing vamp-lady’s attention.

“What?” Nastasia growled, and Karen couldn’t answer. Couldn’t put words to her feeling that something was wrong, something was…

But it was Benj who answered. Benj, who had words she didn’t.

“Ma’am,” he rasped, “You need to tell us what we’re doing wrong.”


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Last Lady of Lună S1, E1
Last Lady of Lună S1, E6

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Last Lady of Lună S1, E8