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 Bullet Book 19

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Nyx_Vampire
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Female Брой мнения : 659
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Birthday : 27.12.1994
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Age : 23
Местожителство : България,Добрич
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ПисанеЗаглавие: Bullet Book 19   Чет Дек 16, 2010 8:27 am



The triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude, necromancer Anita Blake, and werewolf Richard Zeeman has made Jean-Claude one of the most powerful vampires in the U.S. He's consolidating power in himself and those loyal to him, doing in America what Belle Morte did in Europe when she was at her height of power. She almost owned Europe, and there was those who are determined that Jean-Claude won't do the same in America. Jean-Claude's motives may be kinder, but as any lawyer will tell you: motives matter, but you're just as dead.

Assassins are coming to St. Louis to kill them all. Anita knows they're coming, but even being forewarned doesn't mean you can win.

The music came back up and the next group of little girls, slightly older, came out. There was a lot of that in the next hour and change. I liked dance, and it was no reflection on the kids, but my will to live began to seep away on about the fifth group of sequined children…

My name is Anita Blake and I am back in St Louis and trying to live a normal life - as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a US Marshal. I have my lovers, my friends and their children, school programmes to attend. In the midst of all this ordinary happiness a vampire from my past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, the dark creator, and it's hard to kill a god. She has reached out to me here - in St Louis, home of everyone I love most. She has decided she has to act now or never, to control me, and all the vampires in America.

The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with me and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to emigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken; I'm about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing my body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can't succeed in taking over my body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to me, has sent word: 'Run if you can …'

Chapter 1

I WAS WORMING my way through a mass of parents and children with a
tiny clown hat clutched in one hand. In my navy blue skirt suit I looked
like a dozen other mothers who had had to come straight from work to
the dance recital. My hair was a little curly and a little too black for all the
blond mothers, but no one gave me a second glance. The one saving grace
as I threaded my way through the crowd of parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents,
and siblings was that I wasn’t one of the parents. I was just here as
moral support and last-minute costume rescuer. It was just Monica
Vespucci’s style to leave part of her son’s costume at her house and need
an emergency save. Micah and I had been running late with client meetings
so we got to ride to the rescue, and now since the vast majority of the
performers were female I was the only one safe to go backstage without
scandalizing the mothers. What did little girls who only had male relatives
do at things like this? My dad would have been at a loss.
A little girl and her mother damn near knocked me down the stairs in
their rush to get up past me. The little girl was knocked into me so that
my suit jacket pushed back and she was staring at my holstered gun and
U.S. Marshal badge. The child’s eyes went big as she met my eyes. The
mother never noticed, dragging the silent child up the stairs. I let them
get ahead of me, the little girl’s huge, dark eyes following me until the
crowd hid her from sight. She couldn’t have been more than five. I wondered
if she’d even try to tell her mother she’d seen a woman with a gun
and a badge.
I started pushing my way up the stairs, keeping the hand with the clown
hat in it close to my jacket so I wouldn’t flash the gun by accident anymore.
I was going to try to keep my occupation a secret from the screaming
children and their frantic mothers. They didn’t need to know that I
hunted bad little vampires and wereanimals for the preternatural branch
of the U.S. Marshals Service. They certainly didn’t need to know that I
raised zombies as my day job. I blended in as long as no one figured out
who I was.
I got to the upper hallway and there was one lone male over the age of
twelve being herded by his mother. She had an almost embarrassed look
on her face, as if apologizing for not having a girl. I knew there were more
men up here, because some of them were mine, but they were safely away
from the estrogen-rich room of little girls.
Monica’s son was under five, so he didn’t count as male yet. He was just
a generic child. Now if I could only find the generic child, hand his mother
the hat, and flee to our seats where everyone was waiting for me, I’d count
it as a win, though knowing Monica she’d need something else. I didn’t
like her at all. But her husband had been one of Jean-Claude’s vampires
who died sort of in the line of duty, so Jean-Claude made sure that he and
others stood in for her lost husband. It was honorable, I even approved of
it, but I avoided Monica when I could. She’d betrayed me and a shared
friend to some bad vampires once. She’d apologized, and she depended on
Jean-Claude’s people for emergency babysitting and things like tonight.
She’d been bad because the old Master of the City had been bad; now that
we had a good Master of the City, Jean-Claude, she was good. Sure, and
the Easter Bunny is a friend of mine.
The fact that I had a key to her house in case of emergencies still
bugged me, but Jean-Claude was right; someone who could go out in the
daylight needed to have the key. He also knew that no matter how much
I disliked Monica, I’d do the right thing. He was right, damn it. A herd of
pink, sequined little girls barreled past me. I hugged the wall and let the
teachers chase them down. There were so many reasons I didn’t have
children yet.
I heard my name squealed out, in that high-pitched generic toddler
voice, “’Nita, ’Nita!” I had no idea why, but just lately Matthew, Monica’s
son, had taken a liking to me.
He came rushing at me in his bright multicolored clown outfit with the
little balls on the front that matched the ones on the hat. His hair was a
deep auburn like his mother’s, but there was something about his threeyear-
old face that made me think of his dead father. Robert hadn’t been
my favorite vampire, but he’d been handsome and Matthew was a cute kid.
He came running with his arms up and launched himself at me. He was
not big for his age but it was still startling. I caught him and swept him up
in my arms because to do anything else would have either knocked me flat
or been churlish.
He put those little hands on my shoulders and leaned in for a kiss. I
offered a cheek, but he touched my face and shook his head, very solemn.
“I’m a big boy now, ’Nita. I kiss like a big boy now.” Cheek kisses had been
fine until about two weeks ago, and now Matthew was very certain that
cheek kisses were baby kisses. It made me wonder if Monica was being
overly friendly with the new boyfriend in front of the kid. It was Monica;
there would be a boyfriend.
I’d told Monica about it and she thought it was cute. Matthew puckered
up and planted one on my mouth, which meant he was wearing my very
red lipstick. “Now you’ve got my lipstick on you, and that’s more big girl
than big boy,” I said, as I looked around for some Kleenex or something
to wipe his mouth with. I was also looking for his mother. Where was
Monica?
“It is big boy if it’s your lipstick.”
I frowned at that tiny face just inches from mine. “What do you mean,
it’s big boy if it’s mine?”
“All the big boys kiss you, ’Nita.”
I had a sinking feeling that maybe it wasn’t just Monica and a boyfriend
in front of Matthew that were giving him ideas. “Where is your mother?”
I said, and began searching the room for her a little desperately.
She finally separated herself from the mass of women and girls of
various ages and came toward us beaming. It creeped me out a little that
Monica seemed to think I didn’t hold a grudge about her betraying me five
years ago. I did hold a grudge and I didn’t trust her. She seemed unaware
of that.
She had Matthew’s curly auburn hair, cut shorter and more styled, but
her face was thinner, more of a sharp triangle, as if she’d lost weight since
I saw her last. Once upon a time you could have asked if she was feeling
all right, but now women dieted for no reason at all. Monica was shorter
than I was by a few inches, and I was five-three. She was still in her skirt
suit, too, but her blouse was white, and mine was blue.
Matthew kept his arms around my neck while she used a wet wipe on
his mouth. Then she put a paler shade of lip gloss on his lips, though they
didn’t seem to need any to me. She took the hat from me and put it over
his curls. If he’d been any older the outfit would have been embarrassing
to any boy I’d ever met, but at three it was actually . . . cute. I would not
admit it out loud, but it was.
“Thank you so much, Anita,” Monica said. “I can’t believe I forgot it.”
I could, but I just smiled and kept quiet. Quiet usually worked better
between Monica and me. A mass of little girls dressed in the girl version
of his outfit bounced up, and he wiggled to be put down. I did so,
happily.
Monica watched him run away with the others in his class with that proverbial
mother’s look: pride, love, and almost possession. I never doubted
that she loved her little boy. It was one of the reasons I was nice to her.
She turned to me, still smiling. “I’m so glad the recital is tonight so I
can concentrate on the business tomorrow.”
I nodded, and tried to make my escape. Monica was apparently a better
lawyer than she was a human being, or at least Jean-Claude trusted her to
do up the contracts that might, or might not, be getting signed tomorrow.
I trusted Jean-Claude to be a good businessman.
“Agreed,” I said, and tried to slip away.
She grabbed my arm. I don’t like to be touched by people that I’m not
close to. I stiffened under her hand, but she didn’t seem to notice. She
leaned in and whispered, “If I was being offered a seventeen-year-old boy
toy I’d be more excited, Anita.”
Matthew was out of sight so I let my eyes show just how happy that
comment made me. Monica let go of my arm, her eyes a little wide, face
surprised. “Oh, come on, Anita, what woman wouldn’t be flattered?”
“First, I haven’t agreed to letting him stay in St. Louis when they bring
him in from Vegas tomorrow. Second, don’t ever call him a boy toy again.”
“Touchy,” she said, and then her face softened and her eyes glittered with
some thought that I knew I wasn’t going to like. “Defensive of him already,
Anita. My, my, he must be better in bed than I remember at that age.”
I leaned in and hissed in her ear. “We were all mind-raped by one of the
scariest vampires to ever exist, Monica. She used me to feed on his power
as a weretiger. She used me, and him, and all the other tigers in a bid to
survive even if it meant destroying all of us. You tell me, what part of that
was a good thing?” I had grabbed her arm somewhere in all that.
She spoke low. “You’re hurting me.”
I let go of her, and stepped back. She looked up at me, and I think for a
moment let herself see me, really see me. She was angry, and for just a
moment I knew that she didn’t like me any more than I liked her, not really.
Then I watched a different look cross her face, one that most men
would have thought was a good look, but a woman knows when another
woman is about to drive the blade home.
“Funny how it’s never your fault when you have to have sex with all
these men, Anita,” and with that she walked away. She walked away with
the proverbial knife stuck deep and hard right through my heart. Nothing
cuts deeper than when another person says exactly what you’re afraid to
say out loud. Hell, Matthew had said it, too, in his way. All the big boys kiss
you, ’Nita.
I fled the laughing costumed children and Monica’s knowing eyes. I
waved at Matthew as he called my name, all lined up with the little girls in
his class. I wanted to be in my seat so I could see him; he’d go on second.
Yeah, that was it, I hurried to my seat to make sure I’d see his performance,
but I knew that wasn’t the truth. I ran toward my seat and the men waiting
for me, because part of me believed that Monica was right and all my
words were just a case of the lady protesting too much.

_________________

O lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint ! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white,alas!
My heart beats loud and fast:
O press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last!
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Bullet Book 19

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