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Necroscope V: Deadspawn (Necroscope #5) Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher #15)

An almost cruel smile twisted Lucian’s lips. Nah, not at this minute.

Even with my best efforts, I’ve failed to convince him. Of anything.Just as she thought her cause utterly lost, a figure shifted nearby. Mariko’s betrothed moved toward her from his place beside ōkami’s cell, his torch still wavering in his grasp. It is not the sight of suffering or death that should thrill you. It is the sight of our sovereign’s justice. Prince Raiden’s thick eyebrows gathered. His eyes raked over her, not in appreciation but in consideration. As he caught sight of her tears, the tension in his arms seemed to abate. I imagine the idea of torture must be disturbing to you, nonetheless, as a woman. Though Raiden’s manner oozed of superiority, his expression looked tinged with something … strange. Something unexpectedly earnest. Something Mariko had yet to encounter within these walls.

Misery

Compassion? From this brutish boy?The very idea made Mariko feel as though insects were scuttling across her skin.When Raiden drew even closer, his body curved protectively around her, as though he were a cocoon and she a wingless creature caught in a trance. Mariko stepped away out of habit, twisting to meet his gaze. When Raiden realized what he had done—that he’d instinctively moved to protect her—furrows formed on either side of his mouth.

Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega #5)

In that moment, Mariko knew it was more important than ever for her to begin channeling every skill of Asano Yumi she could espouse. Even then it would likely never be enough. A certain amount of confidence was needed to navigate the waters of artful seduction. Mariko was confident she did not possess it.These worries fraying at her resolve, Mariko forced herself to keep her thoughts at bay. Gazing up at the stern and unforgiving countenance of Raiden, she brought to mind a different face. One of a boy in black with scarred lips and a sly smile. A boy who understood pain in a way these fools could not even begin to fathom. The same boy who undoubtedly watched her from his cell, in calculating silence.

Please, my lord, Mariko said to Prince Raiden, her words measured and clear. I wish never to see the son of Takeda Shingen ever again. He stole me away from my family. Away from my future. Away from … you, she breathed without a sound. A fat tear trickled down her cheek. Mariko lowered her lashes, her body tingling with awareness.

It’s too much. It won’t work.I studied Rinaldo’s earnest face. He needed a shave. Renewed rain beat against the windows. A sudden gust of wind rocked the sturdy car. I was glad to be out of the rain. And I was out because of Rinaldo. He had been there for me when I needed him. I had never done anything for him except tip well. Yet he knew only what the general public did, nothing confirmed by my own words and my own trust. You’re right. We are friends. I’m not human. These are the clothes I wear when I’m tracking a vamp.

Goo’ enough. Dat a start. Rinaldo opened an umbrella and jogged through the storm to Ebo’s, leaving the sedan and the heater on so I’d stay warm. It felt odd having a . . . a new friend. I hadn’t had many—none if I was honest—in my life until earth witch Molly Everhart and I became pals, and I was grown by then. This felt . . . itchy.Rinaldo jogged back through the rain, a huge paper bag under an arm. The car door closed on the storm once again and he handed the bag to me, offering with his other hand the second twenty and change. Keep it, I said. I unfolded the bag and held it out to him. Want one?

The First Lie (The Lying Game #0.5)

Rinaldo, who had no idea how hard it was to give the first boudin ball away and not chow down on it myself, took a ball and a handful of coarse napkins. Jist dey one. I watching my girlish figure, donchu know.In companionable silence, Rinaldo and I ate and made the ride back to Yellowrock Securities while wiping grease off our faces and hands and licking our fingers. There was nothing like the food in this city. Not even back home in Asheville.

I sat on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket, surprised that it was only near midnight, that dawn hadn’t found the world yet. I had agreed to be fed vamp blood by Dacy Mooney simply because I was more tired than I thought I would be, even after eating a steak and fries, and I needed to be in fighting form. With a master vamp nearby to feed me, I was taking the cheater’s way out because the night wasn’t over. I had too much to do. Too much to think about. So I drank the blood of the heir of Clan Shaddock while she told me why she was in town, visiting from Asheville. She was checking on Shaddock’s scion, Amy Lynn Brown, which was no surprise. Amy was the miracle vamp whose blood brought new vamps from the devoveo—the madness that freshly turned vamps experience for ten years or so after rising—in record time. It was expected that the European vamps would want Amy for their very own slave, and no one was giving her up. Amy could easily be the cause of a World Vamp War.I listened with half an ear, drank maybe a half cup of Dacy’s revitalizing blood, and made little ummm noises in the appropriate conversational places. I watched as Dacy fed Eli again and carried my hunky partner up the stairs to his room, Alex sprinting along to make sure the blond Tennessean didn’t try anything inappropriate with his blood-drunk brother. I watched as Tex and then Wrassler fed Edmund again, and the Onorio twins, Brandon and Brian, helped my primo—my primo, for good and real, now—into bed in his nook under the stairs where we kept our weapons.

Brandon—or maybe it was Brian; I didn’t look for the mole that differentiated them—said, He’s living in a Harry Potter room. Long fall for a master of his own clan.The other twin said, No windows. There is no room with no windows but this one.

Indeed. The conversation ended. There was no doubt that they had intended me to hear it. They had nothing to say to me as they closed up the shelving unit that secured the daytime sleeping place of my primo. I had nothing to say to them either, remembering Edmund’s memory of the dying slave in the blizzard. Silently, I watched as they all left the house.Moments later, Alex stood in the opening to the foyer, shoes on his feet, real pants—the kind that covered his legs to his ankles—and plaid shirt over his T-shirt. Since my blood-drunk brother is healed and sleeping off the treatment, I plan to go out. Okay with you?

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