The police are tasked with clearing up the mess from the last chapter i.e. a lot of injured people and a lot of chunks of snake littered about. Anita is ushered into a side room, interviewed and left. There are a lot of people to interview and deal with.
I was getting a wee bit tired of being ignored.
Oh, I’m sorry that there are people who need medical assistance and who have to be interviewed. I’m sorry that people are being paid more attention than you, the Great and All Powerful Anita Blake. It must be so hard to not be the centre of the universe for a solitary hour.
I hate her. I really do.
Anita gets to sit with Cowboy Boots Stephen and the nude bed man, who is now identified as being ‘Richard Zeeman’.
I could gaze at his muscular upper body as long as I wanted to. His stomach was flat with a triangle of dark hair peeking above the sweat pants. His upper chest was smooth, perfect, no hair at all. I approved.
Well, at least something in the universe is working out for you. FYI, Stephen is pretty seriously injured. But, you know, ogling men must take precedence. She doesn’t want to pay any attention to Stephen, who is icky and not pretty after turning into a wolfman and killing a giant snake. She just wants to stare at Richard.
His face was all angles, high-sculpted cheekbones, and firm jaw. A dimple softened the lines of his face and made him a little too perfect for my taste. I’ve never been comfortable around men that are beautiful. Low self-esteem, maybe. Or maybe Jean-Claude’s lovely face had made me appreciate the very human quality of imperfection.
… but you just said that Richard looked perfect. I do not understand you Anita!
Richard starts talking to Anita, and he at least displays some concern for Stephen. He’s lost in a deep sleep; changing shape takes a lot of energy, and changing from human to wolfman and back again within a two hour period basically used up all his batteries. Richard knows all about this because he teaches science at a junior high school. Of course.
Anita is surprised by this information, despite having a degree in preternatural biology. Anita, what did you do at university? It seems like you didn’t learn anything at all. Did you just go to parties and scream at all the other students? I mean, come on! If a science teacher (who has no need to know about werewolves, really, because I hardly think it’s on the national curriculum) knows more about what you’re supposed to be an expert of, there’s a problem here.
Richard then goes on to talk about how shapeshifters aren’t allowed to teach and how the one shapeshifter who tried to become a teacher was firebombed. Wow. Nice world you all live in.
JC then comes in to rhapsodise about how tactful Anita is being. I don’t know why. He then bitches about how Anita finds Richard soooo much more attractive than him. Maybe it’s because he isn’t a patronising dick.
“I’m attracted to you, but I don’t love you. We don’t have stimulating conversations. I don’t go through my day saying ‘I must remember to share that joke with Jean-Claude, or tell him about what happened at work tonight.’ I ignore you when you let me. The only things we have in common are violence and the dead. I don’t think that’s much to base a relationship on.”
I hate Anita, but sometimes she manages to become a good character. That was an awesome comeback. I might call Anita’s good side ‘Hannah’. Hannah is cool.
“If you think your only shortcoming is being a vampire, you’re wrong.”
“Yeah. You’re an egotistical, overbearing bully.”
You go Hannah! Four for you Hannah! Never leave me!
JC whines about how she’s his human servant, how she carries his marks, that if he hadn’t have marked her Little Miss Nikky from book one would have killed her. He just wants to give her two more marks so that they can have a ‘marriage of flesh, blood, and spirit’. Nope. That doesn’t sound at all appealing. Then he forces the memory of a kiss into her mind because mind rape is love, right? Right?
I hate Jean-Claude too.
The police come over to see if Anita’s okay when she starts screaming, but JC sends them off cheerfully. He then continues to mind rape Anita. What a romantic, attractive guy.
Hannah – as she’s still in Hannah mode – asks JC where he was last night, finally getting back on plot i.e. the dead blond guy. JC skirts about the issue, teasing her, and saying how Richard is his human servant. Hannah just asks him if he knows anything about the murder and the rogue master vampire on the loose. He doesn’t answer, giving Hannah the time to morph back into Anita and talk at length about how she once nearly stroked a tiger at the zoo. Yeah right. When she resurfaces from this, JC talks about Yasmeanie for a while before finally saying that he’s not sure if there’s a rogue master vampire in St. Louis.
You’re Master of the City, JC. You’ve got one job, dude.
Basically, he’s in a weak position because no one likes him due to how ineffective he is as a leader. They’ve got a point.
The police come in and ask to talk to JC some more. Richard says that he is stranded at the Circus because he and Stephen were driven here by the woman who got the fang in her shoulder. Because this is a world where no logic exists, it is Anita who offers to drive him home instead of the police. Whose job it is. Lordy.
Richard came back wearing a long black coat. It looked like real leather. It flapped like a cape around his bare chest. I liked the way the leather framed his chest. He buttoned the coat and tied the leather belt tight. The black leather went with the long hair and handsome face; the grey sweats and Nikes did not.
Anita’s narration only gets like this for JC, who she wants to jump. Is Richard going to become a love interest?
Smart, handsome, junior high science teacher, degree in preternatural biology, what more could I ask for? Give me a minute and I’d think of something.
You know what? I might like Richard. He brings out Hannah, the likeable version of Anita. More of Richard please.