It had been a long sleepless night. Three weeks had rolled by quicker then I’d imagined, and I hadn’t heard from anyone in almost two of those weeks now... and the truth was, I was starting to worry. So when I rolled out of bed from tossing and turning, there was a twinge in my lower back. With a groan, I finally managed to get out of bed and step into a hot shower to ease the pain.
The day dragged on wondering why I couldn't get ahold of anyone. I mean, normally Marcus would be checking up on so much I would be going crazy with his nagging! But he hadn't, and after chewing my thumb nail into nothing, I tried to call Nicolas one last time hoping he would tell me what the hell was going on with everyone... but he didn’t pick up. “Damn it...” I sighed rubbing out another pain.
I looked over at the clock on the nightstand and saw the time. "Only six thirty... damn I wish this day would just be over." I growled. I had barely eaten today, and knew I should head down stairs and make myself something to eat, but first I had to deal with this back pain. “Maybe another hot shower would help.” I murmured getting undressed and walking into the bathroom.
After twenty minutes of the hottest water my body could tolerate, I came out of the shower looking like a lobster, but feeling a bit better. I got into my comfy sweatpants and baggy t-shirt, then pulled on my fluffy sweater coat, before rubbing my belly from as one of the babies gave me another whooper of a kick.
I was just heading down stairs wondering what I was in the mood to eat, when my new granddaughter started crying... again. In the last couple weeks Aggie has had very little sleep, along with me and the three men left here to protect us. Little Katie was absolutely beautiful, but was just a bit colicky which had her cries echo throughout the house at all hours of the night.
With a sigh, I made my way down stairs chewing on what was left of my thumbnail, when I made my way to the kitchen. Uptum, Mitchum, and Alexanders best friend, and right hand man Timothy, all sat at the table whispering to one another. “Alright guys, what’s going on?” I asked grabbing a cup for my tea.
All the men looked up, then jumped up. “Ye’r highness, I just got word from the king that he wants ye and Augustine moved.” Timothy stated.
That had me stop, and look over my shoulder at the three of them. “Is there something I should know about?”
Mitchum glanced over to Uptum who shook his head. “I’m afraid that the disenfranchised werewolf queen was told our location, and the king believes that our enemies our on their way to us now.” He explained.
“How could she find me? I haven’t been seen in months, and I’m sure Marcus has set a rather elaborate scheme that I’m fighting all over the world.” I argued.
“From what we gathered, something happened at the vampires committee meeting tonight. But however it happened, Alexander wants ye and Aggie heading tae Scotland in twenty minutes.” Timothy ordered.
“Is Alexander going to meet us there?” I asked trying to put all this together, but then the sound of Aggie scream stopped us all, and the sounds of her footsteps running down the stairs with little Katie screaming in her arms.
“MOM, MOM!” She cried running into the kitchen waving her cell. “Mom, he’s got him, he knows the truth about us... he’s going to kill him!”
“Kill who sweetheart?” I asked taking the phone from her shaking hand and opened it. Then I saw what had her so upset. “Oh shit...” I murmured.
Mitchum came over looking at what I saw seeing and then glanced quickly up at Uptum. “We need to call the king, immediately.” He growled taking the phone from my hand and handed to Uptum.
"What is Ryklin going to be able to do?" I asked. "I can't even get ahold of him."
Uptum frowned giving the phone back to me and looked up at Timothy. “Get the women ready to leave in five minutes.” He ordered before turning to leave.
My arms went around Aggie trying to calm her down. “Don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll think of something.” I whispered, trying to sooth her.
“What mom, what can we do?” She sobbed, and at the moment, I honestly didn’t know.
As I held Aggie and the men hurried around us got everything ready for us to go, when Aggie’s cell started to ring. “Hello Irvington...”
“So you’ve decided to call me by my first name, that is a good sign.” He chuckled.
“Well, I like to be on a first name bases when I intend on killing that person.” I hissed.
“Temper, temper my dear. But as far as I see it, I’m the one holding all the cards here. Now, do you want to make a trade... or do I just cut off the traitors head right now and save myself the trouble?” He asked as David hollowed in agony in the background.
“You hurt him anymore, than the deal is off. I’m not trading myself in for damaged goods.” I growled, hoping to stop the torture.
“You’re heartless to the end, but that’s what I love about you so much. I think we’re going to make a perfect, and terrifying, team you and I.” He chuckled.
“Just tell me what the hell you want so we can get this over with.” I snapped.
Mitchum came into the kitchen and stopped when he saw me talking on the phone. “Molly, what the hell are you doing?” He growled, but I held up my finger for him to stop.
“That’s easy... I want you, and for that I’m willing to free David.” Mr. West replied.
I was quite trying to think how I was going to pull this off. I needed to get David, but Uptum, Mitchum, and Timothy weren’t going to let me out of sight... “Done. Where do I meet you for the exchange.”
“There’s no need for you to go anywhere... Just give me your location and I’ll come and get you.” He offered.
“Not a chance, give me a neutral spot or the deals off. I wont let you near Augustine ever again, David or no David. I’m willing to sacrifice his life for my daughters.” I growled.
“But you’re willing to sacrifice yours for his?” He questioned.
“Aggie has suffered enough by you. I’ll do what I have to keep her safe and happy.”
“Ah, a mothers love.” He chuckled, then sighed. “Fine, than give me your general location and we’ll meet in the middle.” He offered.
He was quite, probably trying to figure out what I was up to, but honestly... I was just trying to by me some time to come up with a plan. “I’m in London.” He answered.
“I’m in Bath...” I lied.
“Do you know that you have this tone in your voice when you’re not being truthful?” He offered, and I could hear the smile in his voice, but then I heard a text came in from his cell. “But as luck would have it, it makes no difference now. I know where you are.”
“You’re lying, you have no idea where I’m at.” I accused, but saw Mitchum sneer, and then pull out his cell and text someone as he continued to listen in.
“You leave your location, David dies, you plan something devious for when I get there, I’ll slit his throat in front of you and Augustine. So don’t play games with me Molly, you know I can be a very cruel man when I want to be. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes.” I hissed.
“Very good, then I’ll see you soon.” He said, then the line went dead.
“What the hell have you done?” Mitchum growled snatching the phone away.
“I’m saving David.” I countered.
“Mom, but you cant!” Aggie cried shaking her head.
“Mitchum, we need to get Aggie out of here...” I started, but there was a knock on the front door. “Damn it, he came quicker than I thought he would, and I have no idea what I’m going to do yet...” I murmured as I started to waddled out to the front room.
“Great!” Mitchum fumed coming up and taking me by the arm. “You’re not going anywhere your highness. You leave this man to us.” He ordered.
I shook my head knowing I have to let Mr. West see me so I could figure out a way to get David in the house before all hell broke loose. “Aggie, you and Katie go hide... now.” I whispered. She looked at the door, then at the baby and nodded. When I saw she was up the stairs I tried to break free of Mitchum strong grip. “Damn it, you know I’m not going to just let him take me!” I hissed.
“That’s right, because we’re not going to let him.” He snapped as he nodded his head to the door when Uptum and Timothy turned the corner. “We’ve got company... and not the good kind.”
Timothy had his gun in his hand as he went to answer the door, while Uptum stood to the side, with his sword in hand ready to strike. Timothy started to count to three with his fingers, and then swung the door open... but not the company we were expecting. Instead a tiny blond stood there with a very irritated dragon.
“Where’s Molly?” Georgie’s commanded in her high pitched squeaky voice.
Uptum stepped out from hiding looking Georgie up and down. “You... I remember you. You came with her highness to the Autumn Kingdome.” Uptum stated.
“Ah yeah genius. Now, where is she?” She growled crossing her arms at the two men.
“Georgie, please behave yourself.…” Ryuuji sighed.
“Hush, you’re already on my list mister!” She hissed.
Mitchum let go of my arm as I made my way to the door. “I’m right here George.” I sighed... like Ryuuji.
She pushed her way through the men and ran to me. “I could kick your ass for just up and leaving without a word all this time. But, I had a feeling that you were pregnant after I talked to you in Amsterdam.” He giggled pulling back and rubbering her hands all over my bulging belly. “And you are!”
“Yeah, I told you to trust me didn’t I.” I winked, but then frowned. “Hey, how did you find me anyways?”
She glanced over her shoulder and scowled. “Ryuuji has know the whole time where you were...”
“I only had an idea of what was happening, everything only became clear yesterday.” He argued.
“Whatever... but he didn’t tell me because it wasn’t time, or something to that effect. Then he came and told me that something had changed and we were to go to you.” She shrugged.
“What’s changed?” I asked looking up at Ryuuji.
“The fighting has stopped.” He offered.
“Okay, so what’s so big about that?”
“You don’t understand, all the fighting has stopped. It’s as if our enemies have walked off the battlefield, and as I see it, they are now regrouping and making their next move... think of it as the silence before the storm, and you are in the middle of it.” He explained.
“Perfect! And where the hell is everyone going?” I asked.
“There coming here Molly. They’re all coming here.” He explained.
“Shit, and I’m completely useless right now!” I groaned rubbing my hands over my face.
“But that’s why we’re here, to protect you. And, the girls should be here anytime now.” Georgie giggled.
Timothy was on his phone then got off and came over to us. “I just talked tae the King, and agrees that we donna have time tae get ye to Scotland, but wants us to hide ye and Aggie now...” He started, but I put my hand up to stop him.
“You’re not going to have time to hide us you guys... we have no choice but to stay here and come up with a plane to get David free, and then kill that son of a bitch Mr. West.” I explained.
“We cant do that, we need to leave!” Uptum fumed.
“You don’t get it... we can’t leave.” I argued as I pointed to the window.
“Uptum, you need to come over and see this!” Mitchum growled.
They all walked to the window and saw what I had pointed at. Out on the horizon, cars, trucks, and motorcycles, started pulling in and blocking the only exit we had to leave the property by vehicle. “I told you we didn’t have time.” I murmured.
“How did you know?” Ryuuji asked,
“Because it’s what she would have done.” Georgie sighed. “Okay, so now that we’re totally screwed, do any of you have a plan to get out of this alive?”
“Yeah, I think I’ve got something.” I nodded.
“Thank goodness... If one of these guys came up with something, we’d all be dead for sure.” She giggled.
Timothy swore under his breath pulling out his cell and started texting. “Fine yer highness, we’ll listen to this idea of yer’s. But will only implement it if we need more time for back up.” He said walking me over to the sofa. “But if Ah don’t like it, then we’ll come up with something, alright?”
“I just received a text from our king. He says that he has gotten ahold of the vampires and they are on their way here now.” Uptum informed us brining in a big leather bag full of weapons and dropping it to the ground. “But until that time, we defend her majesty with our lives... and that includes you dragon.” He ordered.
“Marcus is going to loose it when I tell him what I'm thinking of doing." I sighed sitting down on the sofa.
Georgie growled as she collapsed next to me. “You got that right! We’re not going to be able to get shit done with Mr. Bigmouth stomping around here.” She pouted crossing arms.
“Don’t worry, I can deal with him.”
“Yeah, right... we both know he’s going to be going around marking his territory, and barking orders.” She replied with a dramatic display of rolling her eyes.
“Nicolas will be here to keep him in line George.” I assured her, then motioned for everyone to come closer. “Now, here’s what Merlin told me, and here’s why I think we can come up with a plan to bring down Mr. West for good.” I smiled.
Alexander stood at the table in the war room trying to figure out Agatha’s next move, especially since all her army just seemed to up and vanish without a trace. “Where the hell is that woman!” He growled as his fist hit the table.
One of his men walked in with news. “Sire, we’ve scouted out the last area of her known location, but we’ve found no clues in the whereabouts of the queens.” He offered.
“She’s not that inept tae be doing this on her own... she’s got tae have help.” He growled staring down at the map on the table. “Call Ryklin. I have a feeling his brother is no longer in the Four Kingdoms...” He grumbled, but before that could happen called in. The picture came up on the screen on the wall. “What news do ye have?”
“All tracks lead to some remote woods in England sire, then it just... vanishes.” The captain reported.
Alexander shook his head remembering how Agatha left no scent when he snuck in, and out, of his castle. “Damn that woman... what is she up tae?” He growled then glanced up at his captain, only to notice the vegetation on the screen. “Where are ye at captain?” He asked, knowing he’d seen that particular area before.
“Nowhere in particular sire, just a small village outside of...” He started to explain, but then one of the men shouted out to get his attention.
“Captain, captain, I think I’ve found something sir.” I officer growled handing over a piece of paper.
The captain read it, and his eyes flashed up to Alexanders. “Sire, I believe you do know this place. There was a message left here for you.”
“What does it say?” He growled.
“I know you've been hiding here... you’ve lost and I’ve won my love. All hail the true queen, Agatha.” The captain read aloud, then looked back at the screen.
“Turn around and show me the surroundings...” He commanded.
The captain nodded and slowly started to show him the view. The tree’s where thick and over grown, the ground wet and mossy, but he would never forget the clearing that he had found Molly naked and shot in head so long ago now, and by Agatha’s own hand... “Captain, get ye and ye’r men to Chelmsford Rd outside White Roding, now! Their going after my queen!” He snarled, and then shouted at the men in his vicinity as he ran out of the room. “We leave for White Roding this instant, and get me Timothy!”
Meanwhile in an old vacant where house...
Marcus whipped blood off his hands with an old rag throwing it on the ground. “You always were a tight lipped bugger Hamby.” He growled, then glanced over his shoulder at Nicolas, Matthew, and Spencer. “We’re going to put some more pain to this wanker to get him to tell us what we want to know.”
Nicolas got up from his chair and walked towards Marcus. “Than I believe you’ve done all you can do mate... let me have a go at him.” He grinned pulling out a knife. “Even though we’re no longer mortal, I’m sure I can inflect enough pain to make the blaggard spill his guts, even if I have to skin him like a dear.”
Spencer chuckled slapping Matthew in the back. “Bloody hell, I’m glad you remember seeing that sod around that Mr. West. I definitely would want these two crazy blokes pissed at me, especially when it comes to their woman.” He chuckled.
“Ah yeah, glad I could help.” Matthew murmured looking at the dangling vampire from the ceiling, and the two men who had been torturing him.
Nicolas ran the blade down Hamby’s chest ready to get to work when he glanced over at Marcus. “Did you check his phone to make sure he didn’t give our birds location away? He hasn’t given us an answer to that question, and I have a bad feeling about it?”
“Damn it man, I’ll check it over once again if that will satisfy you. But let’s get the old bastard to spill his guts on what he knows, and who else he has working for him inside the committee.” Marcus growled.
“Talking about spilling some tossers guts… I’ve never seen you so bloody loose lipped before in my life! ’Were hiding her in the country… bugger to hell, why didn’t you just tell the sod we knocked her up and be done with it!” Nicolas fumed as the tip of the blade started under the first layer of Hamby’s flesh.
“I knew Hamby and I had bad blood in the past, but never would I think that he could be such a deceitful prig.” Marcus snapped, when his cell went off in his pocket. When he saw the number, he snapped his fingers to get Nicolas attention. “Alexander, you have news?” He asked.
“Ye need to get to the cottage, now. Mr. West has David and is threating to kill him if Molly doesn’t hand herself over!” Alexander seethed.
“Bloody hell, how did he find her!” Marcus snapped, and then his head turned to Hamby who, despite his pain, had his own grin of victory on his face. “You conniving bastard, you told them didn’t you, you sold us out...” Marcus seethed.
“You call me a prig, but look who was so easily fooled. You even thought I wouldn't tell your enemies where to find your woman. You’re so damn arrogant Marcus that I had you believing I was on the side of the committee for bloody centuries, you stupid git!” Hamby laughed.
“What the hell is going on Marcus?!” Nicolas growled.
“Yes, why not tell your mate who’s already lost so much, how your stupidity has now endangered the woman he loves... tell him how Irvington will have your Molly any moment now and kill everyone within sight... tell him how it’s all your fault, again!” Hamby snarled.
“What?!” Matthew shouted as he jumped up and ran over to the vampire. “What do you mean kill everyone?”
“Do you think your wife holds any value to Irvington now? After tonight, all of his enemies will be dead... why keep such complications around when it’s easier to just destroy them.” Hamby smirked.
“No!” Matthew hollered, his hands going to his hair.
Marcus punched a box and then threw another across the old warehouse when there were they had Hamby strung up for their questioning. “We have to go home, now!”
Spencer went over to Nicolas waiting for him to jump into the void. “What are you doing, we should leave now if we want to have time to help your woman.” He offered.
Nicolas looked at Hamby with that smug grin, and all the rage that he had held back for so long now, snapped. “Just a minute more...” He seethed grabbing onto Hamby’s shirt and taking him into the void. After a second, Nicolas was back and standing next to Marcus. “Let’s go.”
“What happened to Hamby?” Matthew asked not sure if the vampire was going to reappear or not.
“I threw his bloody arse into the fucking void, after I beheaded him. We won’t have to worry about the sod any longer!” He seethed as Marcus put his hand on his shoulder. “Now, let’s go.”
Spencer looked at Matthew and winked. “You see what I mean. Bloody fucking scary buggers!” He chuckled, and then they were gone.
Aggie had run down stairs to tell me that even more people had started to show up surrounding the cottage. When I got up I watch as more and more men poured in block our exit and trying to look intimidating. “You're all so damn lucky I can't go out there right now. I would kill all of you in the most painful ways I could think of. But don't worry, I know what you’re up to, you bastard.” I hissed under my breath.
Georgie came over and stood next to me taking in the view. “Looks like they wanting to start a war with us.” She whispered.
“Or wanting to end one.” I countered.
“Yeah... that too.” She sighed
“Either way we better get ready, because this isn’t going to be pretty.” I whispered.
"Yeah, I was thinking that too."
"When will the girls be here?" I asked.
"Soon, but I thinking not soon enough to be of any help to us right now." She admitted.
"Lovely..." I sighed turning to walk into the front room when a pull of wind caught my attention, and then four men were standing in the foyer.
“Matt?” Aggie shouted as Matthew ran over to her and took her and the baby in his arms. But while those two had a happy reunion, Uptum, Mitchum, and Timothy went to Marcus and Nicolas, and I was sure they were tattling on me about the plan I came up with.
What I expected was Marcus to loose his shit, and Nicolas to have my back to help calm Mr. Grumpypants down. What I didn’t expect was for the rolls to be reversed. I could see Marcus brain thinking as he glanced over at me hearing what the men were saying. But Nicolas, he was pissed, so pissed in fact that I took a step back when he turned and started walking towards me... “Look, we have no choice but to pretend that I’m going to make this trade with Mr. West. If I don’t, he’ll kill David.” I explained.
“Kill David... kill David?! I don’t give a damn about David at the moment! What do you think that bugger is going to do to you?” He fumed.
“He’s not going to kill me Nicolas. And I think with what I came up with, we could easily kill two birds with one stone.” I offered.
“Terrible wording Molly…” Marcus growled.
Nicolas body shook with anger as he took me by the arms and gave me a slight shake. “I have already buried one wife, and have had three children taken from me. Now you except me to jolly well let you stroll out to this bastard hoping this idea of yours will let us kill him?! No, I will not trade your life for David’s!”
“Calm down mate, you’re scaring our bird.” Marcus warned.
“She has to see reason Marcus!” Nicolas snarled over his shoulder.
“But he’s coming for me regardless of what you think, and he’s got a lot of people out there to make sure he get's what he wants, and we have only us. Please, I know what I’m doing, and I know how this mans mind works. Just, trust me...” I whispered.
His eyes stared into mine, then took me in his arms. “I’m sorry luv, but you’re asking a lot of me, and this time, I don’t think I will be able to give you what you want.” He murmured into my hair.
“Do you remember what I told you about Mr. West and I canceling out one another’s powers, we can use that to our advantage Nicolas.” I explained.
Marcus came over shaking his head. “Molly, that doesn’t mean anything. Even if he loses his powers, you are still heavy with child and vulnerable to everyone around him bird. That’s the truth of it.”
“But with Nicolas here, as soon as I cut my hand and stab Mr. West with the blade… you and Nicolas can take him out. You can fry his ass, and then Nicolas can throw him into the void, done!” I countered.
“Yeah, and when you guys are dong that, me and Ryuuji and start taking care of the other assholes.” Georgie giggled.
“I don’t think a werewolf, two elves, and you and I my darling, are enough to stop the man power that has gathered outside.” Ryuuji confessed.
“Then it’s a good thing I’m here then...” A voice came from upstairs. We all looked up and saw Ryklin coming down the steps taking me from Nicolas and wrapping his arms around me. “I missed you angel.” He growled before kissing my lips.
“Tell me you brought reinforcements.” Marcus asked.
“I did, but they’re at the one of the gates to the east of the estate waiting for my signal.” Ryklin told him.
“That’s good, because first I have to go turn myself over to Mr. West before you can attach him.” I murmured.
“What?” He snapped looking down at me, then up at the others. But before anyone else could answer his question or tell him of my plans, the damn cell started to ring. I pulled out of Ryklin’s arms and quickly picked it.
“Hello Irvington.” I hissed going over to the window watching a very expensive SUV drive threw the crowd.
“Molly, I’ve come to collect you my dear.”
“Yeah, I see that.”
“Good, so lets be quick about it. You will come out by yourself, and in return I let David go free. If you don’t, then I might get angry and my generous offer will be taken off the table.” He warned as the truck stopped and he step out of his white SUV in his black suit.
“You know, I could just kill all your people if I wanted to and save myself the trouble of this little scene you're putting on... and all before you could lay a finger on me to take my change away.” I seethed.
“Yes I suppose you could. But, by that time I would have your son in laws head already severed from his body, and have Augustine back in my hands... along with her new baby.” He chuckled.
I glared out the window at the bastard when a large MM pulled a very beaten, and bloody, David out of the truck and brought him to Mr. West. David was then forced to his knees as Mr. West took a handful of his hair and pulled his head back. “Are you coming?” He asked as his hand transformed into a claw, and a long sharp talon went to David's throat.
“Fine, I’m coming out.” I hissed.
“No tricks my dear, or I swear, I’ll slice off his head.” He stated, then hung up.
Timothy came up behind me and looked out at what I was seeing. “Ye all need tae see this...” He growled.
They all came over, Georgie and Ryuuji included as saw everything I was. What was out now outside was not only the ex-queens army of werewolf’s, but Agatha herself.
Tipton leaned against Mr. West Truck with a grin on his face and his arms crossed, as his army of elves and Nanohumans joined forces with Mr. West MM’s, and Agatha werewolves. It seems we'd just been called out to be on the losing end of a fight.
“Ah hope more are coming than just ye'r army, ye'r highness.” Timothy growled.
“Alexander and Lennox are on their way with their troops... I just hope they make it in time.” Ryklin confessed, watching Tipton walk up and stand next to Mr. West.
“That doesn’t matter now. We cant stall him forever, so someone get me a small knife so we can get this shit over.” I mumbled.
“Molly, what are you saying...” Ryklin asked.
“Just be ready to get your men into the fight as soon as Nicolas jumps into the void with Mr. West.” I ordered.
Marcus put his hand on Ryklin’s shoulder to stop the argument that was going to happen, and sighed. “We’ve not truly trusted our bird many times when we should have. I admit, I’m not happy with what Molly has planned. But, I do believe she may have a point at this being our one opportunity to kill this bugger.”
“Looks like Mr. Bigmouth is finally starting to make sense.” Georgie winked at me.
Ryklin didn’t say anything to George’s comment, but now looked just as angry as Nicolas had. “And you are willing to put our wife and children in harms way by doing so? Have you lost your mind?!” He snarled.
“No, because you of all people know I would never let anything happen to our bird. There’s only one thing we need to change... don’t get your men on the field until Molly is safe in Nicolas arms and out of the path of danger.” Marcus stated.
Ryklin was quite, but finally nodded. “If anything happens to her or the babies... I will kill you.”
“If anything happens to them... I’ll let you.” Marcus frowned looking out the window as Mr. West waited with David in the headlights. “Go Molly. We’ll be right next to you as soon as we smell your blood, so be quick is stabbing him with the dagger.” He said placing a small knife in my hand.
“Okay...” I nodded, then pulling at my sweater coat trying to cover my belly, and then fix the knife in my hand so the sleeve covered it. I took a deep breath before I turned the nob, and then walked outside.
The sun was almost set making the horizon a blaze as I walked down the long gravel driveway. I glanced over at all the men who were now standing near their vehicles waiting for the exchange to take place. But when I saw Tipton standing there with Mr. West I knew my hunch had been right. After they had me, they planed on killing David then Augustine, and whoever else was in the house.
My grip tightened on the handle of the knife as I walked up to Mr. West and stopped. “Well, here I am, so now let him go...” I hissed looking David over.
“Hello Molly. So glad you decided to keep our appointment.” Mr. West laughed.
Right then, with Tipton standing right next to Mr. West, David barely able to move, and me in the condition I was in... I knew this wasn't going to be as easy a task as I had thought it was going to be.