Home > Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25)(8)

Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25)(8)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton

   “I told them to put protection details on the earlier victims,” Edward said.

   “Did they do it?”

   “They’re having a little trouble convincing their bosses to approve the overtime.”

   “Jesus, don’t they realize that the vampires can call their one-bite victims out again?”

   “I explained it to them.”

   “What we have a hard time understanding is, if this is true, then why isn’t America overrun with vampires? If one bite enslaves a person, then you should all be slaves by now. You yourself are engaged to a vampire, Marshal Blake. If it were that easy to be enslaved, I don’t think you would still be trusted as a police officer,” Pearson said.

   “If you donate blood willingly without being completely bespelled by the vampire’s gaze, then he can’t enslave your mind and call you at his whim. Done willingly with the minimum of mind tricks, it’s not much more than a hickey or a love bite.”

   “Do you donate blood to your fiancé?”

   “I’ll answer your question if you’ll answer one of mine about your sex life,” I said.

   “I’m not asking about your sex life, Marshal.”

   “Yeah, you are.”

   Micah squeezed my hand and looked a caution at me. He was right; if I wasn’t careful I’d be telling them more about my love life with Jean-Claude than I’d shared with my friends on the force here. Sometimes avoiding a question reveals more than just answering. I was sort of screwed on this one, very damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

   “They call it coffin bait in the States,” Logan said.

   “Coffin bait is the equivalent to a badge bunny, someone who will fuck any cop just because they’re a cop. I’m actually only dating one vampire currently, so I don’t qualify as coffin bait.”

   “How insulting a term is that considered to be in your country?” Pearson asked.

   “He’s basically called me a whore who will let any vampire both fuck me and bleed me, so pretty damned insulting.”

   Micah had let go of my hand so he could stand up and start massaging my shoulders through the robe, because I’d suddenly become very tense. Imagine that.

   “I’ll apologize on Logan’s behalf and on behalf of all the Dublin Gardai.”

   “Gardai?” I made it a question with an uplift of the word.

   “That’s what the Irish police call themselves,” Edward said. “Gardai is plural. Garda Síochána, literally Guardians of the Peace. Only between twenty and thirty percent of them are even trained with weapons.”

   “You’re joking.”

   “No, I’m not.”

   “Wow, that’s different from here.”

   “It only went over twenty percent because they had some foreign lycanthropes get out of hand about two years ago.”

   “It made the international news,” I said. “Wasn’t there a sorcerer involved, too? It was like a gang of preternatural criminals, right?”

   “Not like, Marshal. It was,” Pearson said.

   “The sorcerer was homegrown, but the shapeshifters were immigrants, if I remember correctly.”

   “You remember correctly.”

   “And now you’ve got your first vampires. What’s changed about your country in the last few years?”

   “Nothing that I’m aware of,” he said.

   “Then why does Ireland suddenly have supernatural crime?”

   “I don’t know, but it’s a good question.”

   “Do you have a good answer?” I asked.

   “Not yet, but I may know who to ask for one now.”

   “We’ve all been trying to figure out why we have our first vampires,” Logan said. “She hasn’t told us anything that we didn’t already know.”

   “She asked the question differently from anyone else; didn’t you hear it?” Pearson asked.

   “It’s hard to hear anything when you have your head shoved that far up your own ass,” Edward said.

   “You won’t always have other cops around you, Forrester.”

   “Is that a threat?”

   “That would be illegal and I could jeopardize my career, so of course it’s not a threat.”

   “Let’s pretend it is a threat, because you need to understand that the other officers aren’t keeping me safe from you; they’re keeping you safe from me.” His voice had started in Ted mode but had sunk all the way down to that cooler, slightly deeper Edward mode. What was it about Logan that made it so hard for him to stay in character? I’d been insulted worse than this before, and we’d both worked with bigger pains in the ass, so what had Logan done to get on Edward’s serious shit list? Usually you had to be a bad guy to piss Edward off this badly.

   “Enough out of both of you,” Pearson said.

   “I’ll play nice if he does,” Edward said.

   “We’re not playing here, Forrester. We’re trying to catch these vampires before they kill more people. That’s not a game.”

   “What good is playing if the stakes aren’t high, Logan?”

   “What does that even mean, Forrester?”

   “It means that life and death are the ultimate stakes to play for.”

   “Ted, you might want to tone down the big-and-bad routine a little.” It was the best I could do to warn him that he was being all too much Edward and not enough Ted. It was like Superman putting on Clark Kent’s glasses but showing up to the Daily Planet in his super suit. If you’re dressed up like Superman, the glasses aren’t going to hide who you are.

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