Name: Ryan

Day/Time: Sunday, 2:50 AM

Current state of mind: Chill

What are you wearing? Black sweats and a Celtics t-shirt

What are you listening to? Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses

What are you drinking? Beer

Where are you? On the loveseat in my room

What’s up? I’m Ryan. For all you newcomers who haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know me, I’m Nick’s best friend, second-in-command, and the coven’s trainer. I’m gonna be honest, I feel like I’m back in school with this blogging gig. Remember at the beginning of the year when your teacher made you write an essay about yourself and then read it aloud to the class? That’s what this feels like. Schoolwork. And I gotta tell you, I’m not a fan of schoolwork. But, I’ll cooperate and go along with Amelia’s nonsense. Maybe I’ll get something out of it – like some time off.

Speaking of free time, tonight was my night off – which is a rare luxury around here these days. Normally, I would’ve hit up one of the local bars with the rest of the group, but I was in no mood to deal with a bunch of drunken fools. None of us were. You know how it goes, some dumbass drinks too much and thinks he has balls bigger than his damn head, then decides to start shit. And don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t enjoy a good fight – hell, I fucking love it. Nothing beats cracking your fist against some asshole’s jaw and hearing it shatter. But I’ve had enough of the fighting and drama lately. These past few weeks have been chock-full of it and I’ve been long overdue for a break. We all have.

It’s why we decided to relax at home. We cooked some food, tossed back a few drinks around the bonfire, and listened to some good tunes. It was exactly the kind of chill night all of us needed. I’ve gotta admit, there’s something satisfying in seeing everyone relaxed and happy for once. I know it’s temporary and tomorrow it’s back to business as usual, but I live for these moments.

And yeah, I’m all about the adrenaline and action, but everyone needs some rest and relaxation – even me. Hitting the brakes every now and then is important. Everyone needs a timeout, especially when you’ve got a vital job like mine.

Now, I know when many of you hear “trainer,” you automatically think of the personal kind you get at your local gym. But I’m more than that. I’m responsible for keeping the coven up on the latest and greatest fighting techniques. It’s my responsibility to make sure they stay sharp, so everyone comes home safely at the end of the night. It’s a high-pressure job and it’s one I take seriously. And for those of you who know me, you might think that I don’t take much seriously, but when it comes to the coven’s lives, I don’t play around.

The thing is, I’m good at my job – or I wouldn’t be doing it. Some people think I’m cocky, and maybe I am, but I’m confident in my skills. I learned not to second-guess myself a long time ago. Second-guessing yourself around here can get you dead, and fast. It’s why I work hard with these guys. I’ve even worked with Nick’s little sister, Aria. Though, she’s more like family to me. Hell, the entire coven’s like family to me, especially Nick.

The two of us go way back. I’m talking over a thousand years. We grew up together and have been tight throughout our lifetimes. We’ve got a lot in common, from our asshole fathers, to our love of sports, sparring, cars, and more. But, I’m not gonna get into all the details. The two of us are like brothers and there’s not much I wouldn’t do for the guy – except maybe clip his toenails. That shit’s just nasty. I never understood the entire foot fetish deal, but if that’s your thing – have fun with it. I’m gonna try my best to keep the judgment and vomit out of my mouth.

And look, I’ve seen plenty of nasty shit and it takes a lot to gross me out. But the toe-sucking, foot-licking deal is enough to make me want to toss up my drink. I’m gonna switch gears and talk about something less repulsive. It’d be a shame to waste a perfectly good beer.

Anyway, I’m a pretty easygoing guy for the most part, with work being an exception. When you’re dealing with ruthless and unpredictable enemies, there’s no room for distractions. Any mistake, no matter how small, can be fatal. It’s why I gotta keep my head in the game and make sure everyone else does the same before they go out in the field. If they don’t, they get benched. And I’m no exception. Neither is Nick. We all do our best and keep each other in check. It’s not a perfect system, but it works.

Sure, we all argue and complain whenever we get pulled, but we get the reasoning behind it. Sometimes it takes a little time for the logic to kick in – for some longer than others. *Cough* Daniel. *Cough* Marissa. But we get that it’s not meant as punishment. It’s for our own good. Yeah, getting benched sucks. But it keeps us breathing and keeps us from endangering anyone else. War’s a nasty but serious business and we’ve gotta run a tight ship.

It’s why downtime’s so damn important. It’s our chance to recoup and recharge. Nick and I try to give everyone at least a couple of nights off, but it doesn’t always work out, especially since we’re down a couple of hybrids. Sometimes we only get one night, but it’s better than none. Once we’re back at full capacity, we should all be able to get some more R&R time in.

Aside from fighting, there’s nothing I look forward to more than time off. Forget the schedules and itineraries. I’m all about the spontaneity and going with the flow. Give me good food, good booze, and good company, and I’m a happy guy. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, as long as I’m with the people who matter the most.

That’s all I’ve got for you. I’m gonna go ahead and hit the sheets. If you’ve got any questions or want to chat, hit up the comments section below and I’ll get back to you – after I get some sleep. Have a happy and safe Summer Solstice.

Ryan