• Always On My Mind (Lucky Harbor #8) Bethany's Sin

    Is that so? she whispered, lashes lowering.

    Dev lowered his gaze to his glass. So, are we going to talk about it?Talk about what? Lucian lowered the glass to his lap. You’re going to have to give me a little more detail. There are so many things we could be talking about.

    Ghost Moon (Bone Island Trilogy #3)

    Dev didn’t answer immediately. Instead he finished off the drink. The funeral. The press. The charity drive our father was supposed to host at the end of the month. The scratches along his neck.Lucian almost laughed. Wow. Gabe’s not here, so you’re actually going to talk to me about these things?Desperate times, my brother, desperate times, Dev murmured.

    Superior Saturday (The Keys to the Kingdom #6)

    That would actually hurt my feelings if I had them.A small twist of a grin appeared. Our father may’ve believed you were a giant waste of the de Vincent name, but I know better. Dev’s gaze lifted to his. I’ve always known better. Don’t forget that.

    Lucian raised his glass to that. A moment passed and then he let himself say what was never spoken for years if not decades. Maybe we can now stop calling him our father. We all know the truth. We’ve known it since we were kids. So did he. After all, the way the will was written and how the company would be divided said it all.

    None of that matters. He raised you and Madeline. You two have just as much right as Gabe and I. There’s nothing else to discuss in regards to that.They’re both over two hundred years old, Raisin said over the speaker, her voice scratchy. The message is, we are here and our masters are more powerful than yours. They have kept us young for centuries. They always were pretty boys, with excellent manners and lovely penmanship.

    Excellent fighters, Del said. Del was arguably the most influential human in New Orleans, and last I knew she was in Atlanta. Leo must have called her back to deal with the current problems. Today, even in the cold air, she wore a sleeveless dress in an odd shade of black, one with a red tint that became redder when the light hit it just right. Like blood-soaked cloth. She wore a sword at her side. Del was one of Leo’s people that these blood-servants would have to kill if they wanted a chance at Leo and his fiefdom. The others were the Enforcers: Derek and me. Ducky.Dacy Mooney, her mother and the heir to the Asheville clan, stood just behind her. I hadn’t seen Dacy since she healed Edmund of silver poisoning. I’ve watched video of them taking apart other swordsmen, Dacy said to her daughter. You’re better.

    Lock and Key

    Open the doors, Del instructed Derek, her voice quiet. Derek, an earbud in his ear and a mouthpiece hanging below his chin, relayed the message.When the two visitors stepped inside and the doors to the airlock had closed behind them, the one on the right said, Macario and Gualterio Cardona, primo and secundo servants of the blood to Louis le Jeune, Capetian King of the Franks, turned by Eleanor of Aquitaine during their marriage . . .

    I tuned out the titles and bloodline mumbo-jumbo and then grinned, lips wide over my fangs, thinking of what they would do when they got a good look at me in half-form. Wondering what they might do if I told them their speechifying was boring claptrap. Between fear and insult, they’d skewer me before I could enjoy the show. Inside me, Beast snorted. Less than five humans against more than five humans. Jane/Beast, Bruiser-mate, and blood-drinkers of Leo. Good hunters, more than five. We win.Probably, I acknowledged, taking in the Cardonas’ scents: blood and sweet peppers and rich cream. Watching the way they moved and shifted or stood completely still, as when Del began to respond. Adelaide Mooney, primo blood-servant to Leo Pellissier . . . I zoned out on her words and watched the men, letting some of Beast shine through, knowing that my eyes were taking on a golden glow. It attracted the attention of the unwelcome visitors, and my grin widened as they focused on me in the shadows with laserlike intensity. Taking in my casual clothing and my apparent lack of weapons. Like theirs, mine were mostly out of sight. But my eyes, my fangs, and my pelt scared them. Beast purred inside, enjoying the change in their scents. Beast and I chuffed in amusement, showing more fang.

    They flinched the tiniest bit but it wasn’t because of me. I zoned back into Del’s intro, replaying it in my memory, looking for what had spooked them even more than I had.She had been talking about Leo’s territory in terms of states, which I knew, but had added, . . . over four hundred thousand square miles of territory under his personal domain, with more swearing fealty to him. Ah. The emissaries of the EVs had forgotten that the U.S. took up a lot of map space, nearly three times as much as the original fifteen countries of the European Union. Which meant that Leo, under his personal control, had way more hunting territory than any single EV monarch had and maybe more than Titus the emperor had. Go Del. It was a lawyer’s zinger and I wanted to applaud. Didn’t. But wanted to.

    Del finished with, No parley time has been decided upon by our negotiators. No parley location has been decided upon. No parley numbers have been decided upon. Yet you are here. Is this a declaration of war?Macario and Gualterio both reacted to that too, showing surprise, even if it was only by their scent patterns. One of them said, We are here to finalize the negotiations, not create an incident. We wish peace between us and between our masters.