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Dark Descent (Dark #11) Turn Coat (The Dresden Files #11)

"This sounds like friends with benefits."

Reptile Isle is one of the oldest reptile shops in California. The brick shop front is covered in an enormous rainforest mural, complete with lizards and turtles and snakes, oh my. I walk past giant pieces of driftwood and tropical plants flanking its recessed entrance and push open the door.Inside, my eyes adjust to diffuse light as the thick, musky scent of substrate and snake fills my nostrils. Hundreds of tanks and terrariums line the walls, their UV lights and heat lamps creating a warm atmosphere. Most of the reptiles here are for sale, but the people who own the shop also have a breeding program in the back, and they do a lot of educational outreach.

Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1)

A large checkout counter sits near the entrance, but Lennon’s not running the register, so I glance around the expansive shop and try to spot him. Under wooden beams that crisscross a large, open ceiling, I wind around aisles stacked with plastic caves, plant replicas, and endless reptilian supplies: tank thermostats, feeding dishes, lizard hammocks. In the center of the store, inside a massive habitat cage, the skeleton of an old tree stands, its bare branches decked with tiny wooden platforms. Tropical plants hang from the cage’s ceiling and flowering vines creep up its screened walls.This is where I spot Lennon.He’s standing inside the cage with a giant green iguana draped around his shoulders.

My Oxford Year

Her name is Maria, Lennon is telling a child standing on the outside of the cage with her nose pressed to the screen. She’s from Costa Rica.How old is she? the girl asks.

She’s five years old, Lennon says.

That’s how old you are, the mother reminds her.What… I began to ask.

It’s destroyed, Derek. I destroyed the gate. The evil spirits who were still on this side of the gate are no longer able to survive Earth’s atmosphere without any remaining link connecting back to Cruor. They will soon, or have already, withered away.Which means… I ran back through the corridors until I reached the innermost chamber. Another guard lay on the ground, blood drenching the claws of his right hand; Ibrahim’s, no doubt. Where the gate had been, there was no sign that anything other than solid stone floor had ever existed.

Cabel's Story (Wake #1.1)

I left the chamber and headed toward the outer layer of The Sanctuary until I reached the exit. I yanked the door open and, although the witches still surrounded the temple in a tight circle, the army of vampires who had previously been battling against the shield now lay strewn on the ground.Seeing that Ibrahim had caught up with me, I asked, So they’re gone? F-forever? I found it hard to fathom the implications of what we had just accomplished.

As long as no new gates are created. I don’t know if our kind will ever be capable of developing the kind of magic our Ancients wielded in order to create the gates. Once a power like that has been neglected for generations, it’s almost impossible to rekindle. Then Ibrahim turned to the witches and said, You can relinquish the shield now. Our work here is done.They did as instructed and sounds from the island met my ears again. The screaming had stopped and instead my ears were met with the crash of the distant waves against the shore and the rustling of leaves. It was as though the island itself was sighing with relief.

So… so that means that… I was still stumbling over my words and trying to grapple with the situation. Hawks and Elders… there’s no way they can trouble us anymore? We’re free?Just as I said the words, the Ageless manifested herself in front of the fountain, just a few feet away from us. She looked sternly at me but then fixed her gaze on Ibrahim.

So, I see you were successful, she said. And now you understand what remains to be done?What? I asked. What remains to be done?

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