I want to thank everyone who's kept on reading the story. I finally got to the good stuff, wink wink. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Sweet Angel, Ana, Chandelier, KM4, Kathleen, Bluesky, Johanna, Dani, Crystal, all the Anonymous. Please keep commenting, it's the fuel that drives me.
Here's Chapter VIII
And here's the Table of Contents in case you're new to the story.