Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Buildup!

First things first: I'm pushing the release date back to June 22. Why, may you ask? Because I feel like a bitch asking my editor for two rush jobs in a row. And because I want to make sure this gets done right. After that, you guys will get the next Frankie Post book Labor Day weekend, followed by Jude right around Halloween and Cari about two weeks before Christmas. And then next year: Winged!

Moving on. To keep you on your toes about what's going on with Jude, take a look at this. Warning: It's a little longer than usual, but I couldn't find a place to cut it. I still don't think I picked a good spot, but whatever.

“I’m concerned because part of my job is seeing justice done. I don’t care if Felipe belongs to you, Jude, or the Pope himself.” Duprees crossed himself before he’d finished his sentence and I bit my cheek to keep from giggling. “If I’m right, he’s already killed two individuals. And he’ll kill more.”
“Don’t you remember, Detective? We’re already dead.” Again the brief and twisted smile. “Since you can accomplish more in your role as police liaison than I can hope to simply through harassment and bribery, we’ll try things your way for now. I’ll have Mickeal begin inquiries.”
“Thank you.” Duprees stood, glancing at the ceiling. I rolled my eyes because I knew what was coming. “I’ll just head upstairs. See what everyone’s up to.”
Williams waited until the door shut quietly behind him. “Why would he want to see what shenanigans are occurring?”
“He doesn’t. He’s looking for Danie.” I picked up the tea, not surprised to find it only lukewarm when I took a sip. “He has a thing for her.”
“A ‘thing’? Could you possibly define that for me?” Williams pressed the fingers of one hand to his temple, holding the other palm out. “Never mind. I trust you to deal with it. To deal with her.”
“I don’t think anyone knows how to deal with her.” Although there was a quirk spurt of pride at his belief in my abilities. “She’s so angry. And not the crazy temper fits dhampirs are prone to having.”
“I see you’ve been doing some research.” The edges of his mouth tilted up for the barest of seconds. “I was more than a little unprepared the first time the rage came over her.”
“Well, she helped.” I set the tea aside, settled back into the cushions. I was going to be ready for a nap here soon. The baby books hadn’t joked about the energy drain. “After the first one she told us what had happened, what to look for, what to expect. Now whenever her eyes start glowing Mickeal or one of the guard haul her up to her room and lock her in.”
“How much furniture has she damaged?”
“Surprisingly little.” I wouldn’t tell him about the bed hangings. Elizabeth had stood in the door of Danie’s room and cried when she saw what Danie had done to the velvet. Apparently it was older than even Lisette had been. “But still, she’s so angry. And I don’t know why.”
“Her mother’s dead. Her family shunned her before Danie’s birth, mostly due to her association with my brother.” Williams started tapping his fingers on his knee again, head tilted back, eyes closed. “The only family she has is a father she never met and never will and an uncle who has more experience in dealing with the females of a whorehouse than a teenage girl. I believe you’d be angry as well.”
“I was more concerned with surviving.” I pressed a hand against my side when one of the bumps gave an extra hard nudge. “Ouch.”
“For the love of God, do not say that.” Williams’s head jerked upright as suddenly as if it was attached to a pulled string. “Do not say or do anything to imply that something is amiss with your condition.”
“One of them just kicked a little. Calm down.” I couldn’t keep the laugh out of my voice because his reaction was so typically male. The easiest way to clear a room these days was for me to do anything pregnancy related. Almost everyone with a penis fled like they were being chased by wildebeests. “They like to express their own views on some situations and the kicking is how it tends to happen.”
“And what view was being expressed?” The smile was bigger this time and I smiled back before I could catch myself. Something was very wrong with my hormones.
“If I had to guess, I would say one of them didn’t care for me being sarcastic towards you.” I winced when there was another kick, this one just a little sharper. “That would be a yes.”
“Interesting. But I’ll take all the friends I can get.” Williams blinked, the lazy amusement in his eyes clearing. “Has Danie taken to listening in on people’s conversations?”
“What?” Before I could ask him to explain, the door opened without any announcing knock. Theo left the door open, crossing the room to stand behind the sofa. His lips on the top of my head were as scorching as a sunburn and I bit back a sigh. “Something wrong, Theo?”
“I caught Duprees roaming the hallways, looking somewhere between lost and embarrassed.” Normally I didn’t mind when he worked at the almost ever-present knot between my shoulder blades. But I had a feeling he was in the room more out of jealousy than a need to dote. “I sent him down to the kitchen.”
“What’s Danie doing in the kitchen?” My eyes widened as I remembered who else had been there. “Tell me Elizabeth finished the accounts.”
“Rian talked Elizabeth into joining Lies and Samuel in a game of cards.” I wanted to be thankful at the amusement I could hear in Theo’s voice but I knew it was only momentary. “Of course, you can’t really play cards with three, so he was obligated to join them.”
“One step forward. I wonder what’s going to cause the two steps back.” I frowned as my brain finally started piecing things together. “Danie’s in the kitchen? Are you sure?”
“She was when I left her not five minutes ago. And while she’s made it her life’s mission to find every secret passage in the house, she seemed determined to cook something, I’m not sure what.” Theo’s hands tightened almost painfully on my shoulders but I held back the wince. “Why?”
I ignored him and addressed Williams, who was watching us with only a smidgen of curiosity. “Why would you ask if Danie had started eavesdropping?”
“Because I can feel the presence of a dhampir. Very slight, but I do feel it.” Williams frowned and tilted his head to the side. “Or I did. I don’t feel it now.”
“What is that, another predator thing?” How many special abilities did a species need?
“Since dhampirs kill us, it’s more of a prey instinct.” Williams arched an eyebrow. “This is interesting. If it’s not Danie, who is it?”
“Well, it’s not me. And it’s not Theo.” I tilted my head back to look up at him. At his head shake I lowered my chin to look at Williams. “And it’s not you.”
“That would seem to be everyone in the room.” As soon as Theo finished his statement, one of the bumps kicked me hard enough I saw stars for a moment. The pain caused me to double over, fight for a deep breath. “Jude?”
“We’re not the only people here.” I had a sick, sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Or it might have been my heart. “Twins, remember?”
“Yeah, I remember.” Theo came around the couch, sat on the sofa next to me. “And?”
“Theo.” I turned towards him, took his face in my hands. Blind denial looks a lot like stupidity if you don’t look hard enough. “We can pretend it never happened, but it did. Just as sure as the next night happened.”
“I’m sorry.” Williams’s apology was full of politeness and question. “Are you implying what I think you are?”
                “That God or Fate is playing a very cruel joke and giving the two bumps two different fathers?” I sucked in a breath when I felt two kicks, one of each side. “Yeah. That’s what I’m implying.”

1 comment:

  1. Oh, L.M. you did it this time! I love the twist in Jude's story! Very sweet. Can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks for this preview.