A Bride, A Blueberry Farm, & Bigfoot

Seven Years before The Might of Gabriel…

Of all the things the newly named Isabella Grant was good at, packing certainly wasn’t one of them. It was exactly the reason she ended up with her ass in the air while she hung over the middle console of her husband’s SUV digging through her bags. She rifled through them blindly, trying to figure out if she’d packed her potions bag in the chaos of trying to get out of the house. The last thing she wanted was to find herself face-to-face with a demon and not have her potions. While she was confident she’d be able to handle the situation, her potions made it easier.

From the driver’s seat, her husband, Michael, reached over and put a hand on her ass, squeezing hard. She let out a small squeak, enjoying the way it made him laugh. The idea of having a favorite sound was a silly one to her, but that deep rumble of his was absolutely hers. She could listen to it forever. 

“That’s my ass!” Isabella exclaimed.

“Oh, I know. If you put it out there, I’m going to touch it,” Michael replied. “Why couldn’t you be wearing one of those sexy little skirts you got for work?”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” 

“Yes, yes, I would,” he agreed all too readily. She let out another squeak when he playfully smacked her, but it didn’t deter her from her search. “That’s exactly why I said it. My wife has a nice ass.”

“Still going on with the wife thing?” Isabella teased. Every chance he got, he called her it. She loved it, but she wasn’t about to stop poking fun at him for it. 

“I somehow managed to wrangle and keep the elusive Isabella Vaughn,” he announced loudly. “You bet that gorgeous ass of yours I’m going to brag about it every chance I get. It’s our honeymoon! Anyone who listens is getting an earful about my wife.”

“Hopefully, you don’t tell them that much,” she muttered. Under her breath, she added, “Goddamnit… where’d I put it?”

“Honey, darling, dollface,” Michael began, “you want to tell me what you’re looking for down there? Maybe I can tell you where it’s at.”

“My potions. I swear I packed them. I thought I packed them. Maybe I dreamed I packed them… I probably dreamed I packed them, didn’t I?” she whispered, knowing full well it wouldn’t be the first time she did so. He slammed on the brakes, and she gasped as it threw her forward. He wrapped an arm around her waist, tossing her back into the front seat hard. His brows came together tightly in frustration, making her cringe.

“What’d we say?” he demanded. 

“Okay, but it doesn’t hurt—”

“Izzy.” He sighed, putting the SUV in park on the side of the road to better face her. While his expression softened some, she could tell he wasn’t thrilled. She smiled sheepishly. “It’s our honeymoon. Can you forget the potions, guns, knives, and demons for the next week? Please? We worked our asses off to make this trip happen, so let’s actually enjoy it. We’ve earned this, baby.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” she retorted. “You’re naturally armed all the time. I’m not!”

Michael was a descendant of Uriel. He was Earth Bound and Air Bound, meaning he had the elements at his disposal no matter what. She, on the other hand, was a descendant of Raphael. That made her practically unbreakable in every way, but that was it. She had no offensive power to speak of.

“And, Lord and Uriel help us, if something happens, let me protect you,” Michael pleaded. “Please, Izzy? The last thing we need to do is make this some kind of wild ride of a honeymoon.”

She considered him, taking the chance to study his handsome face as she did. His eyes were the brightest and palest blue eyes she’d ever seen, haunting and almost unnatural in coloring. Rich chocolate hair was cut short on the sides and overgrown on top, unkempt and sticking out all over the place under his aviators. His facial hair was just a touch of a shade lighter than his hair and neatly cut, a pleasant change of pace, as he often forgot to maintain it in between the chaos of demon hunting and work. 

“Okay,” Isabella agreed, nodding to reassure him. “I’ll keep everything in the bags.”

“What does everything include, Izzy?”

“My knives, three guns, a first aid kit, my hunting clothes, your hunting clothes, a few new pieces of lingerie, my potions, if I can find them.”

“The lingerie can stay,” he cut in quickly, smiling. “The lingerie can definitely stay.”

“Oh?” She raised her eyebrows as his grin widened. “I mean, if we don’t want a wild ride of a honeymoon, then perhaps I should leave them in the bag. They are pretty risque.”

“How risque?” 

“Let’s just say… ” she murmured, leaning toward him. She walked her fingers up his chest, wringing her fingers into his shirt and using it to pull him close. “You won’t see them in any store windows. You’d have to go back to the special section of the store to find these. Sadly, I even found that shade of purple you like.”

“The one that brings out the greens in your eyes?” he asked, his lips hovering over hers. 

“The one that brings out the greens in my eyes,” she repeated and kissed him, keeping it brief. She watched the wheels turn in his head as he digested her words. 

“Buckle up, buttercup. No more stopping,” Michael told her. He threw the SUV into drive, merging onto the road. He reached across the console as she laughed, taking her hand and bringing her knuckles to his lips. “We’re going straight to the inn.”

“Oh, I’m sure we are,” Isabella said. She reclined in her seat, putting her bare feet out the open window to enjoy the warm wind for the rest of their drive.


Her fingers entwined with his, and her steps were slow and cautious. Even though Isabella trusted Michael to guide her, she still preferred to take her time. Branches plucked at her lacy dress and leaves brushed against her bare arms. Neither was encouraging considering it was dark out. She was out of her element and uncomfortable, even as she tried to remind herself it was going to be okay.

It also didn’t help that she was blindfolded. 

“I promise you,” Michael was saying, “you will love this.”

“Once I get past the borderline crippling fear that something’s going to jump out at us,” 

she countered with a nervous laugh. She was only half joking with him. Being blindfolded in the dark did something wicked to her hunter instincts. Her body tingled head-to-toe, desperately trying to compensate for her lack of vision. 

“Exactly.” He chuckled. “For the record, I worked really hard to make this happen.”

“What does that even mean?” 

“You’ll see,” he promised, prompting a frown out of her. Surprises weren’t her strong suit. He took her other hand and guided her closer. When his lips caught hers, she melted into him. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she kissed him over and over. The naturally earthy aroma of his skin was intoxicating, the influence of his power clinging to every part of him. A tiny, content sigh passed through her. She couldn’t imagine anything ruining such a moment with him. 

That was, right until Michael tried to put something in her mouth. 

“No!” Isabella exclaimed, taking a long step back. She tore the blindfold off, staring at him ludicrously. “What was that?”

“It’s a blueberry, you distrustful fiend! It’s about as fresh as you can possibly get!” Grinning wide, he gestured around them. True to his word, they were deep in the middle of a long line of blueberry bushes. Nearby, a stack of small wicker baskets were set on a folded flannel blanket with champagne and golden glasses. The dim glow of a camping lamp illuminated the several containers of cheeses, crackers, and fruits that were neatly arranged and ready to be eaten. “What did you think I was trying to do?”

“I don’t know! It’s dark! We’re in the middle of Lord and Raphael knows where! I wasn’t thinking you had food on you!” 

“Honey, I know I’m not impressive,” Michael began, chuckling, “but we both know it’s not that small.”

“I know that!” she retorted hotly, her neck flushing with embarrassment. “I didn’t think it was that! But I didn’t guess it was this!”

“You know, I thought marriage was built on trust.”

“It is built on trust,” Isabella insisted. “But I also have a husband that’s trouble!”

“That’s a fair point,” he said, shrugging. He picked up the blanket and spread it out on the ground, dropping carelessly onto it. Holding out a hand to her, he continued, “Now, we can sit and enjoy a dinner of sorts, in which I can’t promise I won’t be kissing you at some point. Or we can start with blueberry picking, in which I also can’t promise won’t involve kissing you at some point.”

Unable to stop the smile spreading across her face, Isabella took his hand. He yanked hard, catching her as she fell into his arms and inciting a surprised yelp from her. 

“See! Trouble!”

“I make no apologies,” Michael told her. She settled between his legs, his arm wrapping around her waist lazily as she went about unpacking the boxes of food. 

“It’s my cheese!” Isabella squeaked out with excitement as she got to the third box, inhaling its strong, savory scent. She groaned happily, appreciating the inclusion of her favorite cheese. Michael chuckled, nipping her bare shoulder with just enough pressure that she could actually feel it through the durability of her skin. The hard touch sent a shiver down her spine, and she leaned back into him. “How did you manage to sneak that into the car without me noticing?”

“Because my wife was too busy packing weapons,” he commented. She made a noise, not bothering to argue it with him again. Maybe she was a little too deep into hunting prep, but she’d never apologize for it, even if he wanted her to trust in his power. She worried about him and worried about being able to protect him. It was something that seemed impossible to make him understand. “Are you going to share? Or just hoard the cheese? Should I call you my little dragon?”

“Don’t make fun of my love for cheese,” she retorted but shifted nonetheless to better slip a piece in his mouth. His thrilled grin was the perfect reward, and she leaned in to kiss him. As her lips brushed against his, she faltered. 

Scrape. Snap. Scrape. 

The hairs on the back of her neck prickled.

Isabella sat upright, her head on a swivel. It was damn near impossible to see anything beyond their private spot. The camping lamp only offered so much in the way of brightness. It was useless.  

“Izzy, what’re—”

She shushed him, covering his mouth. 

Scrape. Snap. Scrape.

She climbed to her feet, keeping her movements slow. The last thing she needed was to be ambushed by giving away her position too early. 

“Izzy, get back here,” Michael chastised. 

“Don’t you hear that?” she asked in a hushed voice, and he sighed. 

“Honey, darling, sweetheart… it’s nature,” he stated. “Things make sounds out here.”

“Not like this.”

Snap. Snap. Thwip

The sounds grew closer. Her chest constricted, her heart pounding hard in her ears as she held her breath. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end while her instincts screamed in the back of her mind. 

Something was coming.

“Not everything is a demon, Isabella,” he said. There was an edge of annoyance to his tone that gave her a momentary pause, making her doubt herself. Maybe she really was overreacting. His mouth opened to say something more, but a bellowing roar drowned him out. 

“That sure as hell sounds like a demon!” she hissed, gesturing madly in the direction it came from. 

“Maybe it’s Bigfoot!” Michael snapped back as if that was a viable option. Even so, he shot to his feet and moved closer to her. His hand slipped across her stomach as he gently guided her behind him. 

“Bigfoot’s a demon?” she demanded. Her eyes scanned row after row of blueberry bushes, desperately searching for something to move. 

“Can you imagine the conspiracy theorists?” he muttered. In the dark, his eyes swirled with a deep green light. The very ground beneath their feet rumbled, sending out widespread shock waves as Michael drew on his connection to the earth. His very veins shimmered, the light shifting through his body in an unsettling way. Tendrils of white mingled with green and swirls of air danced between his fingertips. The wind picked up, tugging at her dress and pushing at the bushes. His voice was barely a growl as he told her, “Go. Get back to the inn.” 

“I’m not just going to leave you,” Isabella scoffed. Even though she didn’t have an aggressive power like he did, she wasn’t about to leave him to fight alone. She wasn’t useless in a fight. 

A gust of wind spiraled powerfully through the bushes once more, ripping off branches and sending a cascade of blueberries through the air. The response was another violent roar shattering the night. Rising from the shadows, a massive creature stood on two feet, towering well over Michael’s head. Dense fur covered a bulky body and short antlers twisted out of its head, shoulders, and back. 

“Oh… oh, shit,” she whispered, taking an involuntary step back. 

“Go!” he shouted. “Go! Now!” 

The ground balled up at his feet, rolling through the aisle in a rising wave until it crashed into the demon. Crashed was an underwhelming word. The force of the collision ricocheted into the surrounding field. She lost her balance, but Michael dragged her upright. Isabella’s breath hitched in her throat at the lack of impact his power had. 

The demon never wavered. Not once.

Red eyes illuminated the darkness as it threw its head back and howled. Its hooves beat into the dirt, and its antlers grew in length, sharpening at the ends.

The wind increased in strength, and Michael’s mouth moved as he yelled over his shoulder. His words were lost on her as the demon charged. He sent out another powerful blast. 

It was just enough to slow it. 


“Run, run, run!” he hollered, whirling on his heel and half dragging her down the aisle. 

Isabella made the mistake of glancing over her shoulder. 

The demon barreled after them, gaining speed as it charged. Every so often, the wind knocked it back enough to deter it, but they barely managed to stay ahead of it. When the row they were in came to an end, Michael shoved her one way as he turned to go the other. 

“Go! Go, go, go!” He pointed wildly in the direction he wanted her to run. “That way!”


Her words were cut off as a gust of wind smashed into her stomach, lifting her clean off her feet. She crashed through the dirt, toppling over herself and through bushes. She dug any part of her body she could into the ground, slowing her momentum until she came to a full stop. 

Dress hiked up, covered in dirt and smashed blueberries, and her hair in her face, Isabella huffed out several quick breaths. Her skin was untouched, her bones weren’t broken, and nothing hurt. It didn’t, however, stop how unbelievably pissed she was at him for the audacity of such a move. 

No one tossed Isabella Grant without her permission. 


Slipping off her sandals, she surged to her feet in search of the chaos. It wasn’t hard to find Michael, his power glowing like a beacon in the night as the demon tossed him around. The ground shook violently, and the wind gathered unnaturally. The demon bellowed, a deep sound that blended with the ever-present rumbling of the earth. 

Even if Michael was trying to protect her, she wasn’t about to let him handle the demon alone. On tiptoes, she made her way toward the fight in silence. It was hard to do, watching the demon toss around her husband, but she had to be smart about her approach. 

Venire ad me,” Isabella commanded in a hushed tone, putting her hand out in front of her. 

Come to me.

The air glimmered with emerald magic as it swirled together in a beautiful display. It wasn’t hers. It was her cousin’s on loan, lending her the ability to pocket her most treasured weapon in a loophole to the Coven’s rules against her using magic. Forming in the light, a bow stretched along the length of her hand and settled in her palm. Its weight was comforting as it landed in her hand, solidifying and becoming real. She drew an arrow from the mounted quiver, touching the arrowhead to her lips. 

Invenire mihi scopum,” she whispered.

Find my target. 

She desperately thought the words even though she knew the chanted spell would do the job. 

She wasn’t scared. 

She was terrified. 

She needed to help Michael. 

Her bow was all she had. 

Arrow notched, she drew back and waited with bated breath for an optimal opening. Her eyes tracked the demon’s destructive path in the glow of Michael’s power. She needed to make sure he was out of the way before she fired. As much as it hurt to watch her husband get thrown into the bushes, it was the safer option. 

When he was out of the way, Isabella released the arrow. It soared through the air while the demon was distracted. Before it ever hit its mark, she notched a second arrow and fired. Both arrows buried deep into the demon’s heart. Isabella silently prayed to Raphael they’d be enough. Some demons were much harder to kill than others. There was a fifty-fifty chance her arrows would do the job. If they didn’t, she wasn’t sure what to do next.

The demon stumbled and wavered, falling to his knees. She drew a third arrow, waiting in case she needed it. The demon collapsed face-first into the ground, and she held her position. Her heart pounded hard in her chest as she waited for any further movement. 

Instead, flecks of flesh and fur became ash as the demon began to dissolve. 

Isabella let out a heavy sigh and lowered her bow.

“Michael!” she yelled. Her eyes scanned the darkness, looking for him.

“I’m fine! I’m fine!” Michael hollered, lurching to his feet and out of the bushes with his power still glowing in his eyes and skin. His steps were unsteady as he righted himself. He was bloodied, hurt, and covered in blueberries. When he caught her gaze, a cocky grin broke his serious expression. “Are you more or less inclined to lick the blueberries off of me?”

“One of these days, Michael Sullivan Grant,” she muttered, shaking her head. Leave it up to him to poke fun at the situation. He limped toward her, groaning as he went. She hurried to him, and he draped an arm around her shoulders, leaning into her for support. 

“You okay?” he asked quietly. 

“Other than my husband tossing me, I’m fine.”

“Good.” He pulled her closer, kissing her hair. “I did my job then.”

“Come on. Let’s get you cleaned up.”

“It really isn’t as bad as it looks,” Michael admitted. “It’s mostly blueberries… and blood… definitely my blood.”

“I know,” Isabella whispered. Saying nothing more, she kept him upright as they made their way back to the inn. She didn’t know how she was going to sneak him past the innkeeper, but if that was the worst of her problems for the rest of the night, she’d be grateful.


“Why are you descendants of Uriel so damn powerful yet so damn reckless?” Isabella demanded sourly. She sprayed an antiseptic into his shoulder wound, listening to him inhale sharply as he looked away. Shirt off, he sat on the edge of the bed as she patched him up. Thankfully, underneath the layers of blueberries and sweat, he wasn’t nearly as bad off as she’d expected. Other than the spattering of bruises building on his body, two shallow gashes cut his left shoulder. He wasn’t bleeding badly, but she still wasn’t happy. She grumbled, “So damn reckless.”

It shouldn’t have happened at all. 

“I think it’s because we’re so powerful that we’re so damn reckless, as you call it,” Michael replied with a slight tremble in his voice. For such a big, bad hunter, the sight of blood made him queasy. “We’re almost certain nothing can break us.”

Despite not needing to, she sprayed him once more and listened as he let out a deep groan. 

“Not so unbreakable now, are you?” she snapped. 

“No,” he let out quietly. “No, I’m not.”

I’m the unbreakable one,” she reminded him. “You’re not.”

“I know.”

“And if you ever toss me again—”

“Hey, I was trying to keep you safe!” Michael interrupted. Her eyebrows came together in frustration, and she glared at him. “You’re durable! I knew it wouldn’t hurt you!”

“I could’ve helped!” Isabella exclaimed. “I did help!”

“And I was trying to keep you safe!”

“And I’m the one who saved your stupid ass tonight,” Isabella told him. Her tone was harsh, and she knew it but didn’t care. His gaze fell to her bow on the bed. 

“Have I ever told you,” Michael began, changing the topic as he ran a hand along the riser of her bow, “just how grateful I am that you have this thing?”

“Better safe than sorry, right?” she whispered. “Veni, ego pugnavit, vivo.” 

I came, I fought, I live. 

The words echoed in her head as she watched swirls of emerald magic wrap around her bow, dissolving every piece until it was gone. 

“Definitely better safe than sorry,” Michael agreed. Fingers brushing against her chin, his intense gaze caught hers. He offered a pathetic smile. “Still can’t blame a guy for trying, can you? As a gesture of my undying love for you, my wife?”

“Considering you look like crap…” Isabella pretended to mull the question over. “Yes, yes, I really can blame you.”

“You’re not going to let me live this one down, are you?” he asked. 

“Do you know me at all?” she teased, laughing. His expression softened with the sound, and his grin widened. “I will say, though, Bigfoot’s a demon.”

“I don’t know. It looked more like a goat demon when I got up close and personal with it,” he retorted. His arm snaked around her waist, guiding her close to him. Her hands settled on his chest as she studied his handsome face. “You know those bad Halloween costumes… the… the Satanic god-looking ones?”

She made a face, shaking her head. She was almost certain he was making shit up. 

“We’ll call it Bigfoot,” Michael conceded. He doted on her, pressing kisses to every inch of her face until she was putty in his arms. He whispered against her skin, “That’ll be a story for the kids one day, right? Dad kicked Bigfoot’s ass.”

“You, Mr. Grant, got your ass kicked by Bigfoot,” she corrected with a widening grin. 

“You, Mrs. Grant, aren’t going to let me get away with shit ever, are you?”

“You wouldn’t have married me if I did.”

“Touché,” he said. “So, tomorrow… should we actually try to have a honeymoon?”

“Only if I can bring my gun.”

“One gun only and you have a deal. Lord and Uriel know I need my big, strong wife to protect me.”

“Exactly,” Isabella replied. She kissed him once more, knowing full well it wouldn’t be just one gun. It was going to be more like one gun, a few knives, and some potions, just in case. 

There was nothing wrong with being prepared.