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Monday Puzzler > 10th September 2012

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message 1: by Aly is so frigging bored (last edited Sep 10, 2012 03:50AM) (new)

Aly is so frigging bored | 857 comments Mod
I am in a urban fantasy mood so I'll be sharing one of those books :) This is the introduction to the relevant characters of the series, couldn't stop laughing while reading it.


I know it's very long, but I didn't know what to edit since I love it whole :D


Aly is so frigging bored | 857 comments Mod
I felt my stomach twist into a knot and my heartbeat speed up. I tried to slow my suddenly accelerated breathing, knowing what was coming if I couldn't get a grip, but all I could think about was Heroine’s best friend. [...] came around eventually, which rather surprised me. One of these centuries, I fully expect to die in the middle of some berserker rage and never even know when it happens. I've come close more times than I can recall, waking up broken and bleeding, surrounded by bodies in places I didn't recognize and sometimes days later than my last memory. This was better than most. There was something sharp pinning my shoulder to the wall, and the burn of familiar pain helped me concentrate enough to pull the rest of the way out of the trance. I knew when I'd succeeded by the fact that my shoulder suddenly felt like it had caught fire. As an added bonus, I was the proud owner of an aching jaw, a pounding headache and a severe urge to vomit. The redhead was holding the rapier that had me skewered like a butterfly on a pin, rendering my left arm temporarily useless, and my host was using both hands to hold my right. I was glad to see that they looked more than a little beaten up. The redhead's pretty white sweater was stained with blood that didn't smell like mine, and the brunet had a long gash down one side of his face that had barely missed his right eye. It wasn't deep, though, and it started to close over as I watched. Damn.
“My lord, I do not mean to interfere, but perhaps restraints... ?” The voice had a faint French accent, which explained why I hadn't known him. The redhead was a Senate member, but from the European version, not the North American. And I hadn't been to Europe since a very memorable visit during the Great War. He was looking a little spooked, which would have pleased me under other circumstances. At the moment, however, I was distracted by my host moving one hand up to grip me around the throat.
“I would put you over my knee if I thought it would do any good,” he told me grimly.
The other vamp looked like he'd just been slapped. I laughed. “He thinks you're being kinky,” I said, pausing to spit out a tooth that had come loose. No worry. I'd grow a replacement soon enough, and at least it was a back one this time. I grinned at the French vamp, who looked vaguely ill at the thought of anyone doing anything with me, except maybe planting a stake in my ribs. “You didn't tell him, did you?”
The brunet sighed and released me, pausing to yank out the rapier as he did so. I didn't wince. At the moment, the pain almost felt good, a reminder that, once again, I'd beaten the odds and lived. Not that I'd been in serious danger this time. He wouldn't kill me when he needed my help. Well, at least not until I turned him down.
“I was planning introductions, had you given me the opportunity,” I was told acerbically.
The redhead's expression was now bordering on revulsion. There must be a brain inside that pretty head, because he appeared to be putting things together, but not willing to believe what his instincts were telling him. I decided to help him out. I turned to my host, who was looking down at me with an annoyance he wasn't bothering to hide. I threw my good arm around his neck and gave him a robust kiss on the cheek. “Hello, Daddy!”
Fifteen minutes later I was lying on the floor howling, and it wasn't from pain. I hadn't laughed that hard in years, to the point that I almost couldn't breathe and my ribs actually hurt. Of course, that could have been from one of the new bruises I was sporting—between the bar fight and blacking out, I was a little under the weather—but at the moment I didn't care. I wiped my streaming eyes and tried to sit up.
Heroine’s father, better known as Daddy dearest when he bothered to acknowledge the connection, was sitting on the sofa with folded arms, waiting me out. The French guy had poured himself a drink—stiff even by my standards—and taken it to the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the darkened cityscape. He had his back to us. I wasn't sure whom he was trying to block out, the abomination or the one who made her.
I crawled into an armchair and valiantly fought to restrain myself. It was difficult, with what I'd just been told. I don't have a chance to do this often, so I savored the moment. “Would it be out of line to say I told you so?” I asked, with almost a straight face.
“I have never known you to be concerned with proprieties,” was the caustic reply.
“Du-te dracului,” I said automatically, before realizing how ironic telling him to go to the devil was under the circumstances.
“I am proposing to send you to him instead,” Heroine’s father replied evenly. I nodded at the other vamp. “You tell your friend there that this is a suicide mission?” I glanced at the handsome vamp. “Got a death wish, buddy?”
The Frenchman ignored me, but Heroine’s father decided to be contentious. As usual. “He won't be going alone. That is why I went to the trouble of locating you. His job is to trap Vlad. Yours is—”
“Did you tell him that you could've taken Uncle Drac out last time, but were too busy seducing some Senate member to bother?”
“—to keep him alive. He doesn't know my brother; you do.”
“Which is precisely why I'm not going anywhere near him.” I stood up, stretched and looked around for my coat. Heroine’s best friend had bought it for me after a hunt ruined my last leather number. She'd hoped it would be more resilient, being washable and all, but I wasn't so sure. My wardrobe is constantly updated since I trash clothes like other people throw out Kleenex—a hazard of the job. The last time I saw the coat, it had been covered in goo along with my T-shirt. I decided that I must've left them lying in the bathroom.
“Where do you think you're going?”
“To see if my dry cleaner can get out whatever it is Varos demons secrete when they spit at you. Pinkish purple ooze, smells like a family of skunks and eats into fabric like acid.”
I headed for the door, but before I could get there, Daddy was in the way, reclining against the doorjamb. “Sit down.”
I sighed. I hadn't really expected it to be that easy. “There's no point.” Heroine’s father just stood there, so I elaborated, more for the benefit of the idiot who'd gotten roped into this mess than for dear old Dad. Maybe the poor bastard could still weasel out of it. For his sake, I hoped so, since he was certainly doomed otherwise.
“London, 1889. Dark and stormy night. Ring any bells? I think the exact quote was, 'If you do not finish this tonight, if you leave him any avenue by which to return, I wash my hands of the whole affair. Next time, you will hunt him alone.' ” I glanced at the French guy, who'd turned around to stare at us. “I was a lot more pretentious back then,” I explained, “but you get the drift. Barely survived the last go-round, not doing it again, especially when all you're planning is to put him in another of those oh-so-secure traps and wait for him to find another way out. And that's assuming he doesn't eviscerate you and anybody dumb enough to follow you first. Now get out of the way, Daddy dear; I have a real job to do.”
“This is your job, until I say otherwise.”
[…]
“I'm risking a lot here,” I told them in what had to be the understatement of at least my last century. “I don't think it's asking too much to know why I can't have decent backup.”
I never saw it coming. Despite the fact that I've survived longer than anyone would have bet by being unbelievably paranoid and very good at defense, I didn't see a thing. I also didn't hear, smell or otherwise have a clue what was happening. One second I was facing off with Heroine’s father, and the next I was facedown on the ground, being pinned very effectively by the hard body pressing into mine. My reaction was immediate and unthinking. When you've been in literally more fights than you can count, often against opponents much bigger than you who have no compunction at all about fighting dirty, you learn a few things. I used them all and then some, yet the face-to-the-carpet thing didn't change. I was stunned almost into disbelief. This simply wasn't happening. I would have believed that Heroine’s father was helping out, except that he had moved off to lean against the bar. I could see the toes of his perfectly shined shoes and the knife-edge pleat of his trouser cuffs, meaning that I was, incredible as it seemed, being held by only one vamp. Son of a bitch.
“We can continue this as long as necessary,” an infuriatingly calm voice said near my left ear, “but we are wasting time. Agree to my mastery and we can begin to plan how to overcome our prey.”
“Bull shit!” I tried unseating him again, but no luck. The asshole was strong, but no way would any single vamp have pinned me if I'd been expecting it. I tried to ignore the little voice reminding me that one of the first lessons I had ever learned was to always expect it.
“You cannot seriously believe you could lead a mission of this magnitude,” he continued. “You know your place, dhampir. Stay in it and you may be of some use to the family. Fail to do so and I will be pleased to remove this stain on my lord's honor. Permanently.”
“You will do no such thing.” Heroine’s father's less-than-pleased voice startled both of us.
“I want your word, Hero, that you will neither harm nor allow harm to come to my daughter if you can prevent it.”
“My lord, you know what she is!” The voice above me sounded startled, as if he hadn't thought twice about threatening Daddy's little girl in his presence. Apparently, he didn't understand Heroine’s father's family obsession. Which was odd, considering that, as Radu's get, he was part of our dysfunctional clan.
“Your word.”
It sounded like Frenchie was choking, but he got it out. “You have it.”
I bit back a smile and took advantage of his distraction. I relaxed all my muscles as if I had fainted, which, considering that most of the air was being pushed out of my lungs, wasn't far from the truth. The best I'd hoped for was that he would let up on the pressure enough for me to get a little room to maneuver, so it was a real shock when he suddenly pulled away altogether. “I do not question your judgment, my lord,” I heard from far above my head, telling me that the idiot had actually stood up, “but obviously this... woman... is not up to the task. May I suggest—”
I never found out what he had in mind, because I seized the opportunity he had so foolishly provided. Two seconds later, pretty boy was finding out what the rug smelled like as I ground his head into the pile. “I DO question your judgment,” I told Heroine’s father, “at expecting me to work with anybody this stupid.” I paused to let Frenchie experience more of the pleasures of rug burn.
“I thought you two would get on,” Heroine’s father murmured.
“Hey, still talking here. If you want me to do this, I do it my way. If you aren't available 'cause your manicurist can't switch appointments or whatever, fine. I'll put a team together. I have a couple names in mind already—all you need to do is get them out of jail for me—and I'm sure Marlowe can come up with a few more. I heard there was some sort of dueling whiz over from Europe to help the Consul with a challenge. Someone like that might be able to keep Drac busy long enough for me to deal with him.”
“I quite agree,” Heroine’s father said, pouring himself a drink.
“Then get busy and see about finding him,” I said testily. I wanted things arranged before I let the sneaky creature beneath me off the floor.
“I don't need to find him,” I was told calmly. “I already know where he is.”
Good, at least one problem was out of the way. “Somewhere nearby, I hope.”
Heroine’s father downed a generous measure of scotch in a single gulp. I grinned—most unmannerly. But the pleasure quickly faded at his next words. “Oh, yes. You're sitting on him.”


message 3: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2093 comments Mod
No clue.


message 4: by Monica (new)

Monica | 548 comments Mod
Not a clue here either!


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1017 comments I know it! Oooh, this one was so fun.


Shh I'm reading! (thequietone) | 92 comments Definitely have not read that one.


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Midnight's Daughter (other topics)

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Karen Chance (other topics)