Home > Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25)(10)

Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25)(10)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton

“Wait. Did you say that Blake is going to be your best man?”

“Yep,” Edward said, trying to get back into Ted-space, and failing worse than I’d ever seen him before. He was usually the master of disguise, but something about Logan just threw the hell out of his usual suave self.

“And your fiancée isn’t bothered by Blake being in your wedding?”

“Donna encouraged it.”

“Well, you know what they say: all the good ones are taken,” Sheridan said, which meant she hadn’t been subtle about being attracted to Edward. He was five-eight, blond, blue-eyed, naturally slender but in great shape, and if you went by the reaction from other women, very attractive. I didn’t see it, but then he’d threatened to torture or kill me, which put a real damper on me seeing him as cute. Now we were so close as friends that it was almost an incest taboo.

I tried to swipe for more pictures on the computer, but we were done. “This can’t be all the pictures, Ted.”

“It’s not, but it’s the ones they’ll let me share with you.”

“Gentlemen and lady, are you really that prejudiced against my psychic gift?”

“It’s nothing personal, Blake,” Pearson said.

“The hell it’s not.”

“The hell it is,” he said, and then he seemed to think about what he’d just said. “I’m having one of those flashbacks to that American cartoon where it’s always duck season and never rabbit season.”

“You’re hunting vampires; my necromancy could help you do that.”

“The dead do not walk in Ireland, except as ghosts, Marshal Blake.”

“Bullshit, and you know it. You have a vampire problem.”

“We concede that,” he said.

“Then let Anita come in and help me help you,” Edward said.

“Sorry, Forrester, and no insult meant to Blake here, but necromancy doesn’t work here.”

“Is it outlawed?” I asked.

“No, not exactly.”

“Ireland is supposed to be one of the most magically tolerant countries in the world. I’m feeling seriously picked on,” I said.

“It’s nothing personal, Blake.”

“I do not think that means what you think it means,” I said.

He gave a small laugh. “Thanks, we needed that.”

“Anita can help us,” Edward said.

“Are you admitting that the high-and-mighty Ted Forrester, the one that the vampires have nicknamed Death, can’t handle things here without his sidekick, the Executioner?”

“Death and the Executioner—has a nice ring to it,” I said.

“So does Death and War,” he said.

“That’s catchy, too.”

“War is Anita’s newest nickname from the vampires and wereanimals,” Edward explained.

“Why didn’t you get a new nickname?” Sheridan asked.

“Death suits me,” he said, and I could almost see him give her that terribly direct eye contact from his pale blue eyes. It was like having a winter sky stare at you.

I could hear the shiver in Sheridan’s voice over the speakerphone when she said, “Yes. Yes, it does.” Her tone told me that our bid to get her to back off the crush by talking about Donna and the wedding hadn’t worked. Edward was handsome, but this level of persistence made me wonder what he’d done to impress her this much.

“Go back to sleep if you can, Anita.”

“I don’t feel like I’ve been that big a help.”

“You’ve helped as much as you can when they won’t let me share information with you freely.”

“Yeah, because they wouldn’t want the big bad necromancer to fuck up their case.”

“There’s no need for that, Marshal.”

“What?”

“Cursing like that.”

“Logan cursed.”

“But he didn’t say that.”

I realized he was upset that I’d said fuck. “If you don’t let me cuss when I talk, I may have to just smile and nod.”

He laughed as if he thought it was a good joke. I hadn’t been kidding, but since they didn’t want me to help them any further I wouldn’t have to shock them with my language anymore.

“Don’t mind Pearson,” Sheridan said. “The rest of us curse. He just doesn’t like the F-word and we are having the meeting in his office.”

“I’ll try to be better if we talk again. Best of luck with your vampire problem.”

“Thank you, Marshal. That’s most kind,” Pearson said.

“Don’t mention it.”

Edward picked up the phone and went off speaker so at least they couldn’t hear my side of the conversation. “What did you do to cause Sheridan to have such a crush on you?”

“I don’t know.” I didn’t press, because it was probably the truth. Since Edward could flirt and seduce to get information out of people without any emotional qualms, I knew he meant it.

“You just don’t know how charming you are.”

“I will try to use this superpower for good, or personal gain, or to hunt down my enemies and slaughter them so I can dance in their blood.”

“You have the most cheerful analogies, Edward.”

“We all have our strengths, Anita. Sleep well. I’ll call you again if everyone will agree to it.”

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