Book 1, Chapter 68

Rachel’s entry on the field shifted the momentum of the game in her team’s favor. It ended in a very close win, and her squad – thanks to team work with FunJoe – had moved from last place on the team to a solid middle ranking. In the second game, another member of Rachel’s clan joined their squad and the three of them – Rachel, FunJoe, and PeanutButter&wich – slaughtered the opposing team.

Rachel spent the third game escorting 666WILLDESTROYU around, giving him tips on loadouts, how to best use the terrain and graduating him from learning to walk to learning to strafe.

Before a fourth round could start, Rachel excused herself.

“U R GOOD.” 666WILLDESTROYU typed. “JOIN ME AND WE WILL CONQUER THE WORLD.”

Rachel laughed. “Thanks, but I already have a clan. If you need help again some other night, though, feel free to PM me.” She sent Willdes a friendship request, waited for him to accept it, and logged out.

All of this: dominating the virtual battlefield, helping noobs and turning down offers to change clans was still very much a part of a normal evening for her.

To unwind, she started a bath. It involved candles, bubbles, a fantasy-steampunk romance novel and, in the end, a very fluffy bathrobe. Since I am no more a voyeur than being omniscient – and tormenting Ean – requires, I’ll leave the rest of the details to your imagination.

Besides: This was not a terribly unusual activity, either.

After reading another chapter and brushing out her hair, Rachel sat and wrote about her day in her diary while she waited for it to dry. Then she changed into a long, flannel night shirt and went to bed. Freckles the cat curled up on the other side of the bed, near Rachel’s feet. Rachel slowly drifted off to sleep.

And that’s when the weirdness in Rachel’s life decided to make itself evident.

Et Alia, Book 1: Aliens, Ninjas, Demons and Pie

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