I made phone calls.
Most were to a psychic hotline.
My friend Catherine Maison-Gillette was an attorney. She'd been with me on more than one occasion when I had to make a statement to the police about a dead body that I helped make dead.
What? They don't just throw a parade for her, since apparently your worth is entirely determined by how many people you "make dead"?
And just how many people has she murdered? LKH is trying to keep it vague, but I want to know why the hell she's killing people outside her usual execution work. Oh wait, because it makes her sound "tuff."
So far, no jail time. Hell, no trial. How did I accomplish this? I lied.
Again, our heroine. I think we know perfectly well why Anita sneers about "truth justice and the American way" - LKH thinks that constantly bucking the justice system is what a REAL hero does, because it allows her heroine to rape, murder and oppress however she likes. If half the shit she does were made public, they would seal her in a concrete block and drop her into the Mariana Trench!
And yet, LKH is the kind of timid, terrified person who would cling like a limpet to The System and The Justice And Law if she ever got in trouble. Funny, how?
So there's a rather pointless conversation with Anita's friend Catherine Gillette-Maison, whose name means "Razor-House." Okay, I sort of made up part of that. Anyway, we have a boring conversation first with Catherine's husband and with Catherine herself, and this whole scene could have been summed up in a single sentence. BORED NOW.
Bob, Catherine's husband, answered on the fifth ring, voice so heavy with sleep it was almost unintelligible. Only the bass growl let me know which of them it was.
That, and all the four-letter words.
"You at a police station?" he asked. See, Bob knew me.
He knew how many times I had been arrested for drunkenly peeing on small children.
So Anita says that she doesn't need a lawyer, and for some reason this doesn't prompt Bob to immediately say, "Fine, then call back in the morning" and hang up. He hands it over to his wife, who he must hate because he's waking her up with no apparent reason in mind.
Catherine's voice sounded normal. She was a criminal attorney with a private firm. She was wakened a lot at odd hours. She didn't like it, but she recovered well.
Take another shot for a string of very short choppy sentences that barely have anything to do with each other!
Ah, that tastes of mild disappointment!
I told her the bad news. She knew Richard. Liked him a lot.
She particularly liked his knack with balloon animals and hamster-training.
Didn't understand why in hell I'd dumped him for Jean-Claude. Since I couldn't tell her about Richard being a werewolf, it was sort of hard to explain. Heck, even if I could have mentioned the werewolf part, it was hard to explain.
It must be my hidden fetish for sleazy effeminate Frenchmen who talk like Pepe Le Pew, and are worse at sexual harrassment! At least Pepe is kind of cute in a delusional way.
"Carl Belisarius," she said when I was finished. "He's one of the best criminal attorneys in that state. I know him personally."
How deliciously convenient! Does she have a conveniently-placed friend in EVERY state in the country, and perhaps a spattering of foreign places as well?!
"He's not as careful about his clients as I am. He's got some clients that are known criminal figures, but he's good."
So in other words... he's a lawyer. KILL THEM ALL!
But oh woe, Anita can't do anything unless Richard agrees, so they dicker about this for a few minutes. Since the whole subject has shifted to someone other than Anita, it's time for a random, hilarious compliment!
She sighed. "I know you'd go to this much trouble for any of your friends, you're just that loyal."
"Especially the ones with enormous penises. I'm sure that's not a factor HERE."
So unsurprisingly Catherine asks if Anita is doing this because she still "loves" Richard. DUUUUHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Anita refuses to comment, which is basically saying, "I so totally am, but I refuse to say so because I screwed around on him."
Catherine gave a soft laugh. "No comment. You're not the one under suspicion here."
"Says you," I said.
"Haha, because accusations of rape are JUST LIKE being asked if you love someone. It's humorous!"
So now, it's time for Anita to exposit about the job she does occasionally, whenever she feels like it. And when her Queen of the Vamp/Wereworld life doesn't interfere in it.
I hung up and called my main job. Vampire killing was only a sideline.
... and again, we have NEVER been told why the hell she is a vampire executioner. I mean, WHY? I would expect someone who does that to have a REASON.
Buffy? She has a destiny to do that whole slayer thing... and you know, the human race is constantly under threat!
Blade? He has revenge for the attack on his mother, the effect on his life, and saving the human race AGAIN.
Van Helsing? He's trying to save an entire EMPIRE, not to mention the entire cast, from being turned into insane slaves and/or vampire brides for an ancient evil warlord!
D? He believes he's exterminating the remnants of a race that are "transient guests," and he tries to also protect the humans from the vampire overlords.
I don't know. Sure, she's bigoted against them at the beginning of the series (and their biggest cheerleader by the middle), but unless you're friggin' OBSESSED with what you're bigoted against, you don't usually devote yourself to killing them. And it's not really justified, because unlike the vampires in ALL THE OTHER SERIES I mentioned, Hamilton's vampires don't really threaten the main population much, nor do they have diabolical plans for world domination. Mainly because they're fucking inept, but that's another story.
And no, we never find out why she IS bigoted against vampires. I mean, does she hate them because they did something to her? No. Did they hurt/kill anyone she knows or loves? No. Do her talents make her unusually susceptible to vampire powers? No, just the opposite.
So... why has she gotten a job that she DOESN'T NEED, killing creatures she has no reason to hate?
I can only assume that Anita is obsessed with killing things in messy bloody ways, and that is why she became a vampire executioner. Normal, healthy, sane people with any kind of morals do not take jobs to hunt down and slaughter intelligent creatures JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT, with no possible motivation whatsoever! Maybe the reason she never goes home is because too many neighbors found her in the woods, torturing squirrels.
I raised the dead for Animators Inc., the first animating firm in the country. We were also the most profitable.
... because a Sue could NEVER work for a firm that is less than prestigious, despite their staff never doing work!
Part of that was due to our boss, Bert Vaughn. He could make a dollar sit up and sing. He didn't like that my helping the police on preternatural crimes was taking more and more of my time.
That greedy BASTARD! How dare he want her to do her job, which she gets paid for, instead of traipsing off to tell the police the fucking obvious like "this corpse was ripped apart by someone with superstrength"!
If Bert kept pushing me, I was going to have to quit, and I didn't want to.
- If that bastard keeps expecting me to do my job instead of running off whenever I feel like it, I will TOTALLY quit.
- I mean, it's just SO unreasonable!
- And despite trying to depict him as the most unreasonable rigid a-hole ever, Anita still has a job after the next book, when she went scampering to another STATE.
- And no, she never even comes close to quitting. LKH's incredibly narrow-minded brand of feminism demands a job of some kind, or you aren't "tuff."
- And honestly, I don't think LKH wants Anita to do the hard work involved in making her own business.
I had to raise zombies.
"... which is why I often go for several books without doing it!"
It wasn't like a muscle that would wither if you didn't use it. It was an innate ability for me. If I didn't use it, the power would leak out on its own.
I don't think LKH knows what "innate ability" means. It doesn't mean that you need to do something OR ELSE, just that you have the ability to learn it easily.
In college there had been a professor who committed suicide. No one had found the body for the three days that it usually takes for the soul to leave the area.
- Uh, how did this guy commit suicide? Did he hide his own body afterwards?
- Why does it take three days for the soul to leave? What is that based on?
- And why would someone finding the body make a difference?
One night, the shambling corpse had come to my dorm room. My roommate got a room switch next day. She had no sense of adventure.
Yes, that boring-ass bitch had NO appreciation for rotting corpses lurching into her bedroom in the middle of the night. She should have been THRILLED.
Seriously, this highlights another one of Anita's qualities: total lack of empathy. Yes, this poor girl was probably scared shitless by the sight of a ROTTING ZOMBIE tottering into her bedroom while she was sleeping, and it's entirely possible that the professor was someone she knew. Does Anita feel any compassion for her? Nope! She just criticizes her for not being as hardcore as Anita is.
And no, this anecdote is not funny.
I would raise the dead, one way or another. I had no choice.
... but for some reason she never raises anyone cool.
But I had enough reputation that I could go freelance. I'd need a business manager, but it would work.
Then again, I might actually have to work. That would suck.
But Anita whines about how she doesn't wanna leave, because she apparently has friends at Animators Inc. Yeah, those BEST friends that are basically never mentioned. Oh, and she can't bear to freelance because... she's dating Jean-Claude.
I, Anita Blake, scourge of the undead—the human with more vampire kills than any other vampire executioner in the country—was dating a vampire. It was almost poetically ironic.
- ... doesn't irony only work when you're smart?
- It's more perplexing that JC wants to be involved with HER, since she's a self-professed bigot. It's like a Jewish person stalking a Nazi until the Nazi agrees to sleep with him.
- Yeah, no matter how many times LKH says that Anita has killed more vampires than anyone else, I just can't buy it. She's a small lightweight woman who has proven herself to be clumsy, not particularly skilled, and not really trained. Why would SHE have more kills than, say, a 230-lb ex-Navy Seal with lots of muscles?
- And wouldn't you expect vampire executioners in larger cities to have more kills? LKH acts like her home city is the center of the world, but St. Louis is currently 58th in population size in the US. Why don't the vampire hunters have more kills in, I dunno, Vegas? Detroit? NYC? Baltimore? Washington DC? Dallas?
But then, OH NOES, somebody rings the doorbell! That's Anita's cue to freak out, because of course someone who deals with VAMPIRES could never have someone ringing her bell at NIGHT for any non-dangerous reasons. She's so worked up that she stops to notice her decor: Anita's entire apartment is lodged in a time-warp where the eighties never ended, except for a rug and cushions that JC gave her.
I went to the door with my favorite gun, a Browning Hi-Power 9mm, in hand, safety off, pointed at the floor.
In case you haven't noticed that Anita is a gun expert, let her name-drop her FAVORITE gun!
Then she freaks out because she's wearing a sexy nightie, and she doesn't want to answer the door in a nightgown.
If I'd been wearing one of my usual extra-large T-shirts, I'd have just answered the door. But I was wearing a black satin nightie with spaghetti straps. It hung almost to my knees. One size does not fit all. It covered everything but wasn't exactly answering-the-door attire.
- Teehee, she's wearing sexy clothes!
- And you know, a T-shirt would probably be MORE revealing than the nightie, since they don't hang as low.
- Have you noticed how freakishly tiny Anita is? Have you? Have you? She's so teeny it goes down to her knees! MARVEL AT HOW TINY SHE IS, DAMN YOU!
"It is Jean-Claude, ma petite."
Hooray! Creepy Effeminate Frenchman has arrived!
Yes, that image above is an OFFICIAL depiction of Jean-Claude, approved by the author. Marvel at those pasty bread-roll-like abs, the cantaloupe-shaped crotch and the limp lacy shirt that is just sort of hanging there. He's supposed to be insanely sexy and seductive. He looks like the human incarnation of Pepe Le Pew.
I clicked the safety on the gun and opened the door. The satin nightie had been a gift from Jean-Claude. He'd seen me in less. We didn't need the robe.
"I decided we should fuck on the doormat, so I let my nightie fall to the floor. I opened the door.... and found JC standing next to that creepy old pervert from 1-G."
I opened the door and there he was. It was like I was a magician and had thrown aside the curtain to show my lovely assistant.
You know, it amazes me how ANYONE can perceive Jean-Claude as masculine when Anita compares him to.... this.
I mean, I'm sure there are male "lovely assistants" out there... somewhere. But I've never seen one.
And now it's time for a Smeyer-style diarrhea explosion of purple prose! Time to rhapsodize about how hot the vampire is! WHEE!
His shirt was a conservative business cut with fastened cuffs and a simple collar.
So... a men's shirt.
It was red with the collar and cuffs a solid almost satiny scarlet. The rest of the shirt was some sheer fabric so that his arms, chest, and waist were bare behind a sheen of red cloth.
Classy. Does he turn up to board meetings in that outfit?
And you know what's REALLY sad? This is one of his least ridiculous outfits.
His black hair curled below his shoulders, darker, richer somehow against the red of the shirt. Even his midnight blue eyes seemed bluer framed by red.
Yes, yes, now tell us how his perfectly white, marble-hard, ice-cold skin turns you on.
It was one of my favorite colors for him to wear, and he knew it.
... and he also knew that he had a better chance of getting laid if he wore the color of the blood of her enemies.
He'd threaded a red cord through the belt loops of his black jeans. The cord fell in knots down one side of his hip.
Yes, because belts are too pedestrian for a hilariously cliched Frenchman.
The black boots came almost to the tops of his legs, encasing his long, slender legs in leather from toe to nearly groin.
Yes, this is another one of LKH's fetishes. She thinks that the sexiest thing a man can wear is crotch-high leather boots, which probably prevent him from sitting down or moving like a normal person.
And they probably smell five minutes after he puts them on.
And they probably need hydraulics to pull them on over his pants.
And... WHY? Are a pair of Italian leather shoes just too mundane for him? He has to wear these ridiculous pirate-stripper boots? And we're not talking SOME of the time! This is the only footwear he ever wears!
When I was away from Jean-Claude, away from his body, his voice, I could be embarrassed, scratchy with discomfort that I was dating him.
"I hated to admit that I was dating a guy who looked more girly than I did."
So Anita babbles for a few paragraphs about how mind-blowingly hot JC is, and how horny he makes her. It's basically the same schtick as Bella Swan, but with more obvious references to sex instead of oblique ones.
He smiled, and it was the smile I'd grown to both love and dread.
It was the smile that said, "Bring out the popcorn, it's time for a Uwe Boll film marathon! First up is Alone in the Dark..."
The smile said he was thinking wicked thoughts, things that two or more could do in darkened rooms, where the sheets smelled of expensive perfume, sweat, and other bodily fluids.
EWWWWWWW... did you have to bring the smell of sex fluids into the comment? That's just gross, and it completely yanked me out of the moment.
He thought it was charming. It embarrassed me.
"You son of a bitch," I said softly.
Yes, she's calling her boyfriend an SOB for being sexy and causing her to blush. Mature.
So it turns out that the sexy dream was apparently some sort of telepathic vampire thing, which causes Anita to be both angry and horny.
Because the hot summer wind was blowing the scent of his cologne against my face. Exotic, with an undercurrent of flowers and spice. I almost hated to wash my sheets for fear of losing the scent of him sometimes.
... ewwwwwww! We were talking about the smell of SEX FLUIDS a minute ago, and now Anita's talking about how she hates to watch her sheets? GROSS.
"I asked you to wear my gift so I could dream of you. You knew what I meant to do. If you say other, then you are lying. May I come in?"
... how does that work? Is he not capable of having a shared dream with her if she doesn't wear a gift from him, or does he just think sweats and a T-shirt aren't sexy enough?
And... you're not really dreaming of someone if you aren't SLEEPING.
It irritated me and pleased me, like so much about Jean-Claude.
... yes, clearly this is a relationship based on real emotions and not Anita's throbbing private parts.
So Bella... I mean, Anita ogles him for a moment, and LKH tastefully decides to tell us that JC is not wearing underwear. And it turns out that Anita fussing about JC having sex with her in her dreams is something she allowed. So... she's being grumpy because she CAN. Because she brings new bitchiness to the word "bitch."
He turned then, and his eyes were full of a dark light that had nothing to do with vampire powers. "You welcomed me with more than open arms."
- Keep it classy, JC.
- After all, if you say tacky shit in a French accent, that automatically makes it seductive!
- What the hell is "dark light"? Is it like that "dry wetness" or maybe the "evil goodness"?
So Anita blurts out that Richard is in jail, and it turns out that the Master of the City already called him to tell him that it TOTALLY was not his doing. Yes, the Master of the City of... of... TENNESSEE. Which is not a fucking city, but A STATE. Does LKH know ANYTHING about the United States outside of Missouri?!
The laughter trailed over my bare skin like a small, private wind.
Yes, the Anita Blake series also has odd expressions of how things feel and sound. All emotions must either be tasted on the tongue, or lodge themselves in the throat. All things having to do with vampires feel like something on your skin.
But oh noes! This Master of the City of a STATE has told JC that no no no, he may not come to Tennessee. And if JC comes barging onto someone else's turf, it will be WAAAAARRRRR!!!!!!
"Why should he care?" I asked.
"He fears my power, ma petite. He fears our power, which is why he has made you persona non grata in his territory as well."
What a twist! What do you wanna bet that Anita causes massive trouble and a bunch of deaths by charging in ANYWAY?
So it turns out that this Colin guy actually has a decent excuse for his behavior, and it sounds like JC is thinking, "Yeah, I can totally understand why this guy is acting this way." But since Anita has no empathy at ALL, she's enraged by the idea that ANYONE might think she was dangerous to his little kingdom. The idea!
"She was trying to kill us," I said.
"Technically," he said, "she had set all of us free save you. You she wished to make a vampire."
What a horrifying idea. An eternity of Anita whining, assaulting people and being a demanding bitch.
"Like I said, she was trying to kill me."
He smiled. "Oh, ma petite, you wound me."
"Ma petite, how could you call being turned into one of the undead 'killing'? Ma petite, my little French ego is bruised, ma petite!"
"Cut the crap. This Colin can't really believe that we are just going to leave Richard to rot."
"And I can't just talk to him on the phone! I need to actually barge in there so I can have se... I mean, convince Richard where his beloved family has failed!"
So anyway, apparently this guy Colin can and is denying them passage in his lands. Which, you know, seems reasonable. Anita has the tendency to kill off anyone who's more powerful than her, and she's stupid enough to randomly decide that it's all HIS fault and try to kill him. As for JC, he's a snake. Right now, anyway. In another book or two, he'll just be another emasculated puppy.
"He has the right to deny us safe passage," Jean-Claude said.
"Because we killed another master in her own territory?" I asked.
"No, because of that Christmas party where you got drunk and tried to stake him."
"I only did that ONCE. Why won't he just get over it?"
"How do you vampires get anything accomplished?"
"Slowly," Jean-Claude said. "But remember, ma petite, we have the time to be patient."
Yeah, I'm starting to see why the vampires haven't managed to conquer the earth despite having every superpower imaginable. Their plan for global conquest is probably still in the "where is everyone going to sit during meetings?" stages.
"Okay, Gothydarknessoffear, our plan is to first-"
"Wait, Pierrot! We can't possibly plan anything without snacks!"
"Are you serious!"
"Gothydarknessoffear is correct, mon petit butor. We cannot possibly debate anything unless we have snacks."
sigh "Fine, so just bring some people in here."
"It's not that simple, Pierrot! We must figure out whether blood is the only thing the humans can provide, or whether the people can go to town on them. And we must figure out what every single vampire personally likes. Otherwise, they will be gravely offended and war will break out!"
"I DON'T CARE. I just want to get past the first damn sentence!"
"Well, I don't, and Richard doesn't."
"You could have eternity if you would both accept the fourth mark," he said, voice quiet, neutral.
WHAT A DOUCHEBAG. Hello, Richard is IN JAIL right now, accused of a crime that he didn't do. And JC is busy trying to push the fourth mark for his own ends.
"Besides, eternity my ass, the fourth mark wouldn't make us immortal. It just means that we live as long as you do. You're harder to kill than we are, but not that much harder."
... yeah, that superstrength, super-speed and array of superpowers like flying, telepathy and mind-control just by making eye contact don't make them much harder to kill than humans. Makes perfect fucking sense.
So since Richard is facing imprisonment for rape, not to mention being outed as a werewolf and losing his job even if he DOESN'T go to jail, Anita decides to ogle JC some more. So we get told stuff about how he's wearing so much leather, and she can see his nipples, and his clothes are SO see-through.
Not only is it boring, but it makes her out to be a totally inconsiderate whore. Yeah, you are obviously SO worried about Richard's well-being, you're going to sit here drooling on yourself because your boyfriend is hot.
He raised himself upward with his hands propped on the couch arm like a mermaid on a rock.
HO-LEE SHIT. Wow, why don't you just carve off his balls with a butter knife, lady? Because I guarantee it, there is no phrase in the English language more emasculating than describing a man as "like a mermaid." You know, those pretty half-naked things with shell bras? They are TOTALLY like JC!
I've actually had people tell me, "No, that's not true, JC is SO masculine!" No, he's not. Having a penis does not make you masculine, it makes you MALE (in most cases). When the author herself keeps describing him with all these feminine similes, she HERSELF is depicting him as being feminine. There is just no denying that he's girlier than a magical girl!
So it turns out that JC turned up to tell Anita in person, and that Asher is trying to convince Colin to let Anita go into the territory.
Asher was his second banana, his vampire lieutenant.
Nothing makes someone sound unimportant than calling them a banana.
I frowned. "Why me and not you?"
"Because you are much better with police matters than I am."
Yes, because polite yet oily charm is not nearly as effective as violence, threats, contempt and racial slurs. JC could be just as good at police matters if he just acted like a bitchy asshole more often!
He threw one long, leather-clad leg over the couch arm and slithered over it to his feet. It was like watching a lap dance without a lap.
So it was like watching someone waggling their ass around on... nothing?
Also, I have done something like that in the past. It's not sexy-looking, and it just kind of hurts your crotch. Then again, JC could be sprawled on an armchair, picking his nose and scratching his ass, and LKH would be babbling about how sexy and graceful it is.
To my knowledge, Jean-Claude had never stripped at Guilty Pleasures, the vampire strip club he owned, but he could have.
Uh, he said in First Death that he "no longer" gave lap dances. That sort of points at "yeah, he did."
And honestly, does anyone think he would really tell Anita? I know she has a major stripper fetish, but at this point nobody really knows that. At this point, she was barely out of a half-decade of celibacy.
He had a way of making even the smallest movement sexual and vaguely obscene. You always felt like he was thinking wicked thoughts, things you couldn't say in mixed company.
That sounds... REALLY BORING. Can you imagine hanging around with someone who is always making sexy gestures and comments, and who sexualizes everything he does? It would get old after about five minutes. Sexuality IS part of any romantic relationship, but it takes more than suggestive comments/body-language to be sexy. This would just seem creepy and weird, especially since REALISTIC romantic relationships have... I dunno, people interacting OUTSIDE of sex.
Can you imagine how DULL it must be to be doing ordinary everyday things with someone who is literally ALWAYS oozing around, waggling his crotch and making suggestive comments? That's someone you make booty calls on, not someone you have a relationship with.
I mean, it IS possible to have characters constantly being attractive and sexy without making them into absurd caricatures like this. Jim Butcher's Thomas Raith is an incubus, meaning he is constantly exuding sexuality and sexiness, to the point where his very heterosexual BROTHER notices that hey, this guy is hugely attractive. And his sister Lara Raith is always slinking around being sexy and alluring, even when she's swooping down to kill people.
But here's the thing: they have dimensions that have nothing to do with sex. They have whole conversations that never touch on sex. Not everything about them is about their sex powers, and people notice stuff about them that is NOT sexual.
The reason JC is different is that bored, sexually-frustrated housewives like to come up with "true loves" who cause their Sues to ALWAYS be in a sexual frenzy, because apparently they think this is a part of true love - constant horniness. Like, say, someone else I could mention.
"Why didn't you just call and tell me all this?" I said. I knew the answer, or at least part of it. He seemed to be as enamored of my body as I was of his. Good sex cuts both ways. The seducer can become the seduced, with the right victim.
- I love how Anita isn't even PRETENDING to be humble about this. She's the RIGHT VICTIM, the only person who can seduce the seducer, and who can enthrall a centuries-old vampire with her soon-to-be-magic vagina.
- Also interesting how LKH isn't even pretending this is love. It's all just hormones.
- And how does Anita even know what good sex is? She fucked ONE GUY before JC. She barely has a reference to work from.
- And she definitely isn't qualified
He gave a small movement of his body and the satin edge of the nightie moved gently against my bare legs. Most men would have had to use their hands to get that kind of movement. Of course, Jean-Claude had had four hundred years to perfect his technique. Practice makes perfect.
Yeah, I think we know what that gesture was. Observe:
"Why face-to-face?" I asked, my voice a little breathy.
A smile curled his lips. "You know why," he said.
"I want to hear you say it," I said.
"Because my television is broken, ma petite, and I am in danger of missing Covert Affairs."
"THAT'S your reason?"
"But of course! I am enamored of Piper Perabo!"
"I could not let you leave without touching you one last time. I want to do the wicked dance before you leave."
- I'm sorry, but WHAT? We're told a paragraph later that that's his favorite euphemism for sex, but UGH. That is so cheesy you could slice it up and serve it on crackers.
- And the worst part is that this is meant to be a SERIOUS moment. He's not being goofy or anything! He is trying to be seductive!
- Also, is LKH allergic to the words "make love"? She's always using the word "fuck" to describe any consensual sex, and here she makes up a silly euphemism for it because apparently JC can't say the words "make love."
- And funny how Anita isn't even VAGUELY offended that the only reason JC wants to screw her at the moment is because he wants to plant his phallic flag on her hill. Yeah, he basically admits this.
So Anita goes off to start packing clothes - probably not very many, since packing clothes instead of vast sacks of guns is "girlie" - while JC rolls around on the bed, trying to eyefuck her.
I went into the nearby bathroom to get toiletries. I had a man's shaving kit bag that I kept all the small stuff in. I was traveling out of town more and more lately. Might as well be organized about it.
But of course, they don't make any toiletry bags for WOMEN. Anita is a man with a vagina, so she needs a MAN'S bag.
Seriously, why does LKH have to mention that it's a MAN'S shaving kit bag that she uses instead of just a special bag? Aside from trying to convince us that Anita is totally manly?
Jean-Claude was lying on his back, long, black hair spilling like a dark dream on my white pillow.
I think something just popped inside my head at that sentence. Dark dream? What does that even mean?
So because JC tries to fix everything with sex instead of communication, he tries to get Anita to fuck him. When she says no, he transforms into a whiny little insecure bitch.
He crawled towards me over the bed, moving in a rolling glide like he had muscles in places he wasn't supposed to have them.
... his kneecaps? His pinky toes? His scalp?
"Am I so unappealing, ma petite? Or is your concern for Richard so overwhelming?
He sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed, "I don't want you to go."
Yes, this is what the series' puppetmaster has been reduced to: pathetically whining and begging for sex, because WAAAAAHHHH he thinks his girlfriend might dump him.
Yes, I know that later in the book it's revealed that this was all his plan all along, but I don't think LKH was thinking of that at this point. I honestly think she slapped that in when she realized how pathetic this makes JC, since this whole scene is just one long ego-stroke for Anita. How awesome she is, that even the master seducer can't bear to live without her!
That stopped me in my tracks. I turned and stared at him. "Why, for heaven's sake?"
... maybe because you're a total whore, and JC knows the last time you left your boyfriend behind to meet up with Hot Guy You're Not Dating, you ended up fucking the Other Man in a bathtub full of weregoo?
And for some reason Anita also doesn't wonder why, if JC doesn't want her to go, he's gotten Asher to negotiate ANITA'S passage there instead of... I dunno, sending Asher himself. It just makes JC look bipolar.
"For centuries I have dreamed of having enough power to be safe. Enough power to hold my lands and finally, at long last, have some sense of peace. Now I fear the very man who could make my ambitions come true."
"Yes... I'm afraid of Donald Trump!"
So JC boohoos about how he's worried that Anita will dump his ass for Richard's big hairy angsty-man self, and just WHINES and MOANS for eons. He's jealous of Richard, and Richard is jealous of him, and Anita hasn't snogged him even though he showed up in his tacky transparent shirt, and he is the walrus and the egg-man, kookookachoo.
I swear, this would sound pitiful from ANY character, but from a guy who's supposed to be the Chessmaster, it's just SAD. He's just so pathetic here, and the ONLY reason for him to be this whiny and needy is to reestablish that he only wuvs Anita, and that he's petrified of losing a woman he's been fucking for a few months without any kind of trust or emotional connection.
With his arms around me and his legs squeezing against me, I was effectively trapped. But I was a willing captive, so it was okay.
... yes, that doesn't make this sound any less RAPEY.
"What I want to do is go down on my knees and lick the front of this nifty shirt. I want to know just how much of you I can suck through the cloth."
- Someone please tell LKH to not write "sexy talk." She really sucks at it.
- For one thing, "nifty" is not a word that should be in sex talk. It doesn't work.
- Also... "how much of you I can suck through the cloth"? What the fuck? Like a garlic press?
He laughed soft and low. The sound raised goose bumps up and down my body, tightening my nipples and other places.
Yes, the raw uncensored sexuality of this series is evident, in how she says "other places."
His laughter was a touchable, intrusive thing. He could do things with his voice that most men couldn't do with their hands.
For instant, his voice could juggle, do card tricks and make shadow puppets.
He rested his face on my chest, cradled between my breasts. He rubbed his cheeks softly back and forth against me, making the satin slide against me, until my breath came faster.
Come to think of it, Vince Vaughn is acting a lot like JC here - horny, bipolar and annoying.
"I don't plan to leave you for Richard. But he's in trouble, and that comes before sex."
- Yeah, way to reassure him, bitch. Tell him you don't PLAN to leave him for Richard, but if you trip and fall on Richard's dick, oh well, shit happens.
- Just wait a few more books, and then all the trouble ANYONE is in can be fixed with sex. Forget the lawyers, Anita has a magic vagina.
- "What's that? Richard is in jail, accused of rape? Quick, an orgy to give him magical power so he won't shapeshift! Uh, on second thought, let him lose his job because he's the author's ex-husband's avatar and everyone hates him. Can we still have the orgy?"
So JC whimpers that he wants a kiss to verify that Anita loves him, and she does... on the forehead. Wow, how reassuring. Nothing says sexy romantic love like a kiss you'd give to a close relative.
"I thought you were more secure than this."
"I am," he said, "with everyone but you."
"You're so much more speshul than everyone else in the world! I turn into a whining whimpering insecure bitch around you!"
I pulled back enough to study his face. "Love should make you feel more secure not less."
"Those are the rules, and by fuck you WILL follow them. Be more secure, or I'll have to flog you."
"Yes," he said quietly, "it should. But you love Richard, too. You try not to love him, and he tries not to love you. But love is not so easily slain—or so easily aroused."
"Especially if you're a Mary Sue. Then not only is everyone in love with you, but they will all pine after you for the rest of their lives. And it's always TRUE love, not just an infatuation because you have big boobs and are really easy. The same applies to Bella Swan."
So apparently the word "aroused" has uh, that effect on Anita. She immediately starts making out with JC and groping him on the bed... yeah, so much for "saving Richard comes before sex!" Say the A-word to her and she's ready to bunnyfuck.
I bit lightly along his upper lip, and he made a small sound.
"Hey bitch, that's MY thing."
But then JC nips the inside of her mouth, and... Anita doesn't react. Then he wants to bite her neck, and suddenly Anita goes all Twilight-prudey and refuses to give him any blood. I don't know WHY. She claims it's because she's "not food," which is pretty fucking ironic since in a few books she will be referring to random pretty men as her food.
Also, it makes no sense because in LKH's universe, vampires can't get an erection unless they drink blood first, meaning that if JC wanted to do the snerksnerkheeheewaahaaaaaa... "wicked dance," he would have to feed first. Which means he shouldn't be wanting her blood for food. Which Anita should know.
So this kills sexytimes immediately, and causes JC to utter another hysterically awful line: "I can enter every orifice of your body with every part of me, but you refuse me the last bit of yourself."
Yeah, he regularly enters her nose with his big toe, and her ear with his lumbar vertebrae. Their sexytimes are just THAT sexy.
And this lovely image is also retconned later in the series, since LKH belatedly realized that "enter every orifice" does not just mean oral sex, but buttsex as well. Which means in about four books, JC will be insisting that there will be NO BUTTSECKS with Anita because she's never even done it before.
"I am not food," I said.
"Lots of OTHER people will end up becoming MY food, but I'm speshul and am nobody else's."
"It is so much more than mere feeding, ma petite. If only you would allow me to show you how very much more."
Again, isn't this something the Super-Speshul-Vampire-Expert should know? She's supposed to know more about vampires and weres than anyone else, but she doesn't know that vampires regard blood exchange as more than just food?
"I have offered you all that I am, ma petite, yet you withhold yourself from me. How can I not be jealous of Richard?"
... wait, that makes no damn sense. So he's jealous of Richard because Anita won't let him drink her blood... which Richard isn't drinking either.
Honestly, this sounds like a guy trying to convince his girlfriend to do sexual stuff that she's not comfortable with. "Honey, I've done everything I can for you, but you still won't have the kind of sex I want! Of COURSE I'm jealous of your ex-boyfriend!"
"You're getting sex. He's not even getting dates."
"You're getting sex, so shut up and like whatever crumbs I throw you."
"You are mine, but you are not mine, not completely."
"I'm not a pet, Jean-Claude. People aren't supposed to belong to other people."
... which is why she later refers to various boytoys of hers as "her people" and "my men," and has a "pet" werelion who sleeps at the foot of her bed like a dog.
"If you could find a way to love Richard's beast, you would not hold back from him. Him you would give yourself to."
Pictured: JC in this scene.
Seriously, SHUT UP. Quit whining. Was he always this much of an insecure bitch?
"Damn it, Jean-Claude, this is stupid. I chose you. All right? It's a done deal. Why are you so worried?"
... maybe because it's NOT a done deal? LKH belongs to the archaic order of people (also containing Stephenie Meyer) who think that if a woman fucks a man, she has to be in a relationship and STAY with him or she's a slut. But in real life, dating someone is not a "done deal," particularly if there's no real commitment.
But then, Anita seems to be unaware that she could dump JC whenever she wants and go back to Richard.
"I have no doubt that you love me in your way, but you love him, too."
"Or at least you will for another two books. Then suddenly Richard will become the devil, and I will become your favorite pimp."
"We are not having this argument. I'm sleeping with you. I am not going to donate blood just to make you feel more secure."
"Stop demanding emotional commitment, you whiny little bitch. I'm having sex with you, and that's all you get. Now take off your shoes and get back in the kitchen!"
Then Asher calls, JC talks to him, and Anita gets paranoid because they're talking in French.
I suspected strongly that sometimes the vampires spoke in front of me like you would speak in front of a child that doesn't have enough grown-up talk to follow the conversation. It was rude and condescending, but they were centuries-old vampires, and sometimes they just couldn't help themselves.
... or maybe since that Anita has a hamster on a wheel in her head and gets violent at the slightest provocation, it's just them being SMART.
It turns out that Colin has refused to let any of JC's people into his territory, but Anita refuses to accept that, and insists she's going down there even if it causes a war. Yeah, it's SO rude that JC and Asher treat her like a child, when her response is to throw a tantrum and demand her way even if it KILLS PEOPLE.
So Jean-Claude calls Colin... yeah, apparently he has the dude's personal number MEMORIZED. I don't get that.
"This is he." His accent was pure Middle American. It made him sound less exotic than some of them.
Booooo! He must be a villain, because he doesn't have a sexy French accent!
"I know who you are," he said. "You're the Executioner."
"... keeper of the most pretentious and unearned title in the entire series."
So Colin says that he doesn't want Anita to come over because then two-thirds of a triumvirate will be on his turf, and he doesn't want anyone ELSE to come over because the Council is scared of JC. I assume they're supposed to be scared of him because Anita keeps killing super-powerful vampires in ridiculously contrived ways, despite her being really stupid and him being a total wuss right now.
"Colin, look, I don't want your power base. I don't want your lands. I have no designs upon you whatsoever."
"That won't come for another ten books, when JC and I start plotting to rule the whole country. For everyone's good, of course."
So Colin is obviously scared out of his wits, and thinks that JC is planning to invade his lands. I actually feel kind of sorry for the poor guy - he's obviously terrified to the point of paranoia, and given that Anita tends to bump off any powerful vampires who aren't screwing her, I can see why he doesn't want her ass on his turf.
"What happens to your third is not my concern. Protecting my lands and my people, that is my concern."
Oooh, what a bad person he is. What a bastard. Doesn't he know that Anita protecting a guy she's hot for is WAY more important than him protecting HIS people?!
"Listen, you little pip-squeak, I am coming down there. I am not letting your paranoia hurt Richard."
"We will kill you then," he said.
"Look, Colin, stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours. You fuck with me, and I will destroy you, do you understand me? It's only war if you start it, but if you start something, by God I will finish it."
- Yeah, this is our heroine. Rather than trying to calm him down or find some way to work around his fears for his lands and his people WITHIN THE RULES, Anita starts shrieking threats over the phone at him.
- Again, this guy has done NOTHING WRONG. He's completely within his rights to tell Anita that no, she can't come onto his lands.
- Here's a comparison: if a hit man called you up and announced that he/she was going to come charging into your house and stay there with an equally deadly pal, would you expect ANYBODY to sympathize with the hit man?
- And of course, if a war breaks out it's HIS fault, even though another vampire's violent trigger-happy human servant is INVADING HIS TERRITORY and has repeatedly threatened him. But if anything bad happens, it's COLIN's fault.
- And yet, we're supposed to sympathize with Anita because BOOHOO she's not getting what she wants.
"I would say I am speechless, ma petite, or that I don't believe that you just did that, but I do believe it. The question is: Do you understand what you have just done?"
Probably not, because Anita has the brains of a dead squirrel and the self-control of an undisciplined toddler.
So Anita keeps babbling about how she's going to rescue Richard, even though she could do just as well by sending some crack lawyers over there... and actually, it would probably do MORE good than going herself, since Anita is the WORST person you could have on your side in a legal battle. She'd probably end up pissing on the judge, insulting the prosecuter's mother, and being dragged screaming from the building.
JC keeps trying to tell Anita that HELLO, this guy is "within his rights to see it as the beginning of a war," and Anita just keeps insisting that she's going whether Colin likes it or not. Why hasn't JC killed her, again?
Jean-Claude sighed. "He is within his rights to see it as the beginning of a war. But Colin is very cautious. He will do one of two things. He will either wait and see if you initiate hostilities, or he will try and kill you as soon as you set foot on his lands."
I shook my head. "What was I supposed to do?"
Uh, wheedle? Negotiate by asking if ASHER can go in since then only one-third of their triumvirate would be there? Beg if necessary? ANYTHING but fucking threatening the guy for daring to enforce THE RULES when they aren't convenient for your whiny ass?
Now keep this in mind: Anita's stupidity just pissed off the guy who basically runs the preternatural underworld of an entire STATE. Now she and her happy little band are traipsing into his territory right after she screamed insults and threats at him over the phone. That's right, Anita: anything bad that happens is BECAUSE OF YOU. If people die or are injured, it's YOUR FUCKING FAULT. They would totally have been okay - they wouldn't even have BEEN there - if you weren't such a brat.
"It doesn't matter now. What's done is done, but it changes the travel arrangements. You can still take my private jet, but you will have company."
"Are you coming?" I asked.
"No. If I arrived with you, Colin would be certain that we had come to kill him. No, I will stay here, but you will have an entourage of guards."
Yes, because nothing says "we're not coming to invade and kill you" like a psychotic vampire hunter and her personal posse.
Of course, Anita has a problem with this, because... well, she's Anita and she whines about everything. But JC points out that if she goes and gets her ass killed, he and Richard will probably croak as well."
"The binding that makes us a triumvirate gives power, but it does not come without a price. It is not merely your own life that you are risking."
Yeah, we see VERY LITTLE evidence of actual power gain from any of them. Mostly they just get a telepathic link and talk a lot about waves of power on Anita's skin or whatever. We certainly don't see the triumvirate giving them ANYTHING to justify the risk to all their lives.
Also, and maybe this is just me, but if I were a vampire I would probably give SERIOUS consideration before even THINKING about making a triumvirate with anybody. I mean, think about it. This is like getting married, but more so. You're talking about an unbreakable psychic bond tying you to two other people who ALSO become immortal, and you can never
get divorced break it, and you'll die if you try. If you decide you hate each other in five years, too bad. You're stuck with each other for eternity, and you can NEVER get away from the others.
And yet, JC forms it with a violent sullen bitch he's known for a year or so, and a wangsty werewolf who always seems to be getting in fights. Why? Because he wanted to screw Anita, and he's apparently so dumb that he thinks this arrangement will work forever.
That stopped me. "I hadn't thought of it that way," I said.
THAT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE FUCKING STUPID.
"You will need an entourage now that befits a human servant of mine, and an entourage that is strong enough to fight Colin's people, if need be."
"Also, we will need an entourage in case there is soccer. Asher is amazing as a goalie."
"Who do you have in mind?" I asked, suddenly suspicious.
"Leave that to me."
"I don't think so," I said.
"Even though allegedly we're in a relationship, I don't trust you to do ANYTHING!"
"Ma petite, you cannot tie your own shoes without fucking it up."
"So what?! I still know best!"
Unsurprisingly, JC finally loses his temper and yells at her for being a hotheaded moron who just managed to screw up this entire situation by opening her huge mouth. Anita keeps whining that "It would have come down to an ultimatum in the end, Jean-Claude. I know vampires. You would have argued and bargained for a day or two, but in the end, it would have come down to this." Well, you dumb bitch, we'll never really know, because your A plan is to spit in his eye and knee his testicles. Stop trying to cover your enormous ass.
I can just imagine how OTHER interactions go for Whorenita.
"Ma petite, what have you done? I was asking for a doggy bag and you suddenly beat the waiter to the ground with your chair, smashed a vase over his head, repeatedly kicked him in the stomach, and stuck a gun in his ear, ma petite! Ma petite!"
"I needed him to give me the check!"
"But ma petite, he would have given it to you anyway! Now we are banned from that restaurant!"
"It would have come to this anyway, JC! He would have never brought us the check unless I threatened to kill his whole family!"
Of course, Colin is not actually scared of JC, but of Anita. After all, despite being totally inept and dumb as a brick, she's the "bogeyman of vampirekind." Yeah, because a small clumsy foulmouthed woman who needs an ENTOURAGE is the most terrifying person in the whole WORLD.
"We have to get Richard out before the full moon. We've only got five days. We didn't have time to do this slowly."
"Who are you trying to convince, ma petite, me or yourself?"
"The readers, of course!"
"Ah, ma petite, but of course. After all, that is the only way they will see you as anything but a royal screwup trying to cover her own derriere, ma petite."
I had lost my temper. It had been stupid. Inexcusable. I had a temper, but I was usually better at controlling it than that. "I'm sorry," I said.
Jean-Claude gave a very inelegant snort. "Now she's sorry."
I love how finally JC has finally gotten tired of Anita's shitty self-serving excuses, and is finally just telling Anita she's a pain-in-the-ass who's fucked up this whole mission, and may have singlehandedly destroyed his whole little vampire empire.
"I will have Asher and the others pack."
"Asher?" I said. "He's not going with me."
"Why not, ma petite?"
"Because I automatically disagree with everything you say. It's supposed to make me look tough and independent, but really makes me just a whiny bitch."
"Fine, ma petite. Asher is NOT going with you, ma petite."
"Yes he is! I want him to come along!"
So Anita starts whining like a little kid, but JC points out the excellent reasons why HE should decide who comes along with her. Anita's mature response? "That's not fair." Mooooommmyyyyy, that's not faaaaaaaiiiirrrr. I wanna choose my vampppiirrres myself! I don't want JC to do iiiittttt... MOOMMMYYYYYYY...!
JC points out that if they don't have time to be polite, then they don't have time to be fair. I'm amazed he doesn't smack Anita to the ground for being too stupid to live. Then he states that since Asher and Damian can't dine out while they're in Tennessee, they'll need to bring their lunches along.
"You want me to volunteer some of the wereleopards as walking provisions?"
Why not? It's not like they're good for anything else.
JC comments that he's dropping in some werewolves too, but Anita decides to whine about how she has to be consulted about the werewolves too. If JC said that they had to go by car, she'd whine that she needs to okay the mode of transport. If he said he was serving chicken for dinner, she'd whine that she wants beef. DAMMIT BITCH, SHUT UP.
Richard had made me lupa of the werewolves when we were dating.
"He said in retrospect, he shouldn't have been drunk when he decided that."
Lupa is often just another word for the head wolf's girlfriend, though usually it's another werewolf, not a human.
Hilariously, it's also a word for the lowest kind of prostitute. Oh, irony.
We're also told that she's queen of the wereleopards because they're, well, pretty much useless and completely pathetic. They're basically there so Anita can be queen of something, before she became queen of EVERYTHING.
I extended my protection over them. My protection, since I wasn't a wereleopard, consisted of my threat. My threat was that I'd kill anyone who messed with them.
For some reason, everybody immediately burst out laughing.
No, of course everybody was terrified of Anita, because she's just SO badass and has killed SO many weres. Even though, you know, she's a VAMPIRE executioner, and it's not legal to run out and execute weres.
Jean-Claude put the receiver up to his ear. "It is getting so that a person cannot insult a monster in Saint Louis without answering to you, ma petite."
Yes, because the only monsters in town are the werewolves and wereleopards. Oh wait, there are lots of other weres like the hyenas, rats, swans, bears and later lions and tigers.
And guess what? Soon Anita will be queen of them all, except for the unsexy ones like rats.
If I hadn't known better, I'd say Jean-Claude was angry with me.
I guess, this once, I couldn't blame him.
Ding! Token guilt moment over and done with. Anita will never feel bad about fucking things up again.