It's SUCH a good thing that Anita didn't get blood all over the sexy jammies she claimed she didn't want anyway.
So even though Edward had to hand over his boxers, Anita sit around whining about how uncomfortable she is and how annoying it is that they won't let her shower yet. Also, apparently LKH thinks that nobody else in the world has gotten blood on their skin and knows how it dries.
They had given me a blanket to hold around my shoulders in the chill of the night air, but the cement of the open balcony area was damn cold under bare feet.
So why didn't you put on socks? I mean, maybe she can't access HER socks, but I doubt the other marshals would have a problem lending her a pair.
Then again, it gives Anita something else to bitch about. Because an Anita book isn't an Anita book unless she's cataloguing things that make her uncomfortable.
We're also told how very uncomfortable it is for poooooooor Anita to hold a blanket around herself while also brandishing her phallic gun. Even though she's surrounded by people with guns, most of whom are a LOT deadlier than she is, she insists that she wants a gun because the Harlequin tried to kidnap her. Or, you know, she doesn't want any of the Macho Manly Men Of Manliness to see her without a substitute penis. They might think she's a GURL!
Not to mention that if you're in a chilly climate and complain about cold.... don't wear transparent lace porn jammies!
Detective Lorenzo was taller than me, but only an inch or so taller than Edward, about five-nine.
I DON'T CARE HOW TALL HE IS. This guy is just a generic background cop who has no impact on the "plot" at all.
His hair was thick, and though cut short it had waves to it. He'd have had to shave his head to not have waves, so that, though short, his hair would never be neat.
- Since when is "wavy" synonymous with "messy"?
- And no, short men's haircuts cannot be wavy unless it is styled that way. Waves require greater length than curls. DUMBASS.
- For that matter, why does she even assume that he DOESN'T want waves? Does she think it's not... white bread enough?!
- Also, who gives a fuck about his hair?!
His eyes were a dark, even brown, his face open and friendly, and cute in that boy-next-door way.
Cute = someone LKH thinks would be attractive if he weren't human and/or a cop. This means he will be ineffectual and forgettable, rather than being someone she hates.
He was probably thirty because of the detective shield, but he didn't look it.
Have I mentioned that Anita likes men as young as legally allowed? I guess that is why she's nattering on about his looks.
There was some bulk under the suit that let me know either he had naturally good shoulders or he hit the gym, or maybe both.
"Ma'am, are you listening to me? I'm trying to take your statement."
"I could tell that he swam. Or lifted weights. Or did push-ups. I wasn't sure which."
"MA'AM, can you hear me?"
"Or maybe he had naturally good shoulders... broad, sexy, manly shoulders like the ones I would have if half my body weight wasn't my giant tits..."
Technically the Marshals Service could have kept him out of things, but most of us tried not to alienate the local police if we could help it.
Does anyone else grind their teeth when Anita proclaims the marshals as "us"? Maybe it's just me, but it annoys me that Anita considers herself the peer of people who actually worked and trained to be marshals. Especially since LKH has basically confirmed that no training is necessary to be a vampire executioner, not even ANATOMY TRAINING. Yet Whorenita gets handed a prestigious badge and position because she can kill vampires someone else has captured.
The preternatural branch especially ended up being alone a lot in the field. We relied on local police more than most other federal officers, even the rest of the Marshals Service.
I CALL BULLSHIT. I'm sorry, but in a world where a good portion of the crime seems to involve vampires, werewolves and the like, who have immense strength, speed and superpowers... I don't see why the ONLY law enforcement that deals with them would be this underfunded neglected wittle thing. They would be one of THE top law enforcement agencies in the country! They would be like the FBI or the CIA!
One of the nicknames among other cops for the preternatural branch was "lone wolf."
... and this is the reason why: if Anita were part of a large well-funded important organization, she would be subject to rules, regulations, and expected to actually work UNDER people and be NICE to others.
I wondered how the nickname worked when there were this many of us. Can you say "lone wolves" and not sound silly?
I honestly don't care. Can we actually get to something interesting?
And LKH obsession with size continues when she rambles about how big Raborn is, while also assuring us that he's fat and pissy. And... this entire paragraph is pointless because you don't usually describe a character four chapters after they've been introduced!
Then Anita bitches about how Raborn is DARING to ask her perfectly reasonable questions like "How did you know it was claws that cut Karlton if you didn't see them?" That BASTARD! How dare he ask QUESTIONS of Anita! She will just have to put him in his place by reciting all the things she knows that other people don't!
And again, this guy is supposed to be a federal marshal in a world where vampires and werewolves have ALWAYS EXISTED. And he doesn't know what claw marks look like?! That's like having a seasoned cop who doesn't know what a fucking bullet hole looks like!
And the conversation goes on like this:
Anita: Blahblahblah speshul knowledge only I have blah blah blah.
Raborn: Inexplicable ignorance of important facts!
Anita: Condescending repeating of something I already told you.
Raborn: Comment about Wolfmen!
Anita: Snotty comment that I never said it was a werewolf.musical sting
Edward: Revelation that marshals call all half-man forms "wolfman" and for some reason Anita doesn't know it.
"I told you, the really powerful lycanthropes can shift just their hands, so it's just claws springing out."
I know LKH loves her awkwardly-phrased imagery like that, but "just claws" would not be shifting their hands. It would be, like, shifting their fingertips. I'm pretty sure a werewolf would have... you know, FUR.
"I never said it was a werewolf, Raborn."
"Wolfman is what we call all the shapeshifters in half-man form, Anita," Edward said.
As much as I love Anita being put in her place for being a pedantic dumbass who doesn't know 1/10th as much as LKH thinks she does, WHY THE HELL does the Sooper-Awesome Expert not know this? Especially since she's supposedly SO into the marshal stuff... while dealing with werewolves and vampires... supposedly knowing more than ANYONE else about the cops AND the supernaturals... and she doesn't know what they call general half-man forms?!
Also, remember that in this shitty series, all weres are called lycanthropes. LYCanthropes, as in wolf. Yet calling their forms "wolf-man" is worthy of correction by Whorenita.
Although maybe I shouldn't enjoy Anita being showed as an ignoramus, because LKH seems to be totally unaware of this. She just launches off into... MORE FILLER.
He was trying to use his Ted voice, but there was too much of the real Edward leaking through, so it came out cold.
... why? Does he randomly do that when mentioning basic facts? This is like having your drama teacher sounding like Hannibal Lector for no real reason while talking to you about romantic comedy tropes.
You think Edward does that for no reason while doing other stuff?
"Hello, welcome to Kentucky McBurger Bell, where our cheap meat-like products are salted with real tears of suicidal despair."
"I would like... two chocolate shakes.... a quarter-pounder that tastes of the blood of my prey... and a side of fries."
"All right, sir. Pull up to the second window, and please don't shoot the cashier again if he doesn't give you the right change."
So then some random marshal we're never heard of before mentions that OH YEAH, the guy was wearing a cloak, so he could have been in wolfman form completely. Which, again, Anita should have KNOWN. So yeah, that entire previous conversation about transforming just the hands? Completely pointless!
And since LKH is padding this out like an overstuffed chair, she devotes a WHOLE PARAGRAPH to describing him. Yes. This character who will have little to no effect on the plot, except being a cheerleader for Anita and Edward. And of course adding more padding.
He was about the same height as Edward and Lorenzo; we were having an average height day on the crime scene, at least for the men.
- HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN HOW TINY ANITA IS? MUST I FLOG YOU AGAIN?!
- No other women around. How shocking. One ethnic minority/token girl, and she vanishes after one scene, leaving it an All Penis Zone.
- It is weird how LKH feels the need to tell us that there are men of AVERAGE HEIGHT, and that she thinks that is unusual and worth noting. Then again, if you populate your fantasy world with big-schlonged hobbits...
He was carrying a little more weight around the middle than Raborn, which meant if he didn't hit the gym soon he'd fail his physical retest. The preternatural branch had to test with the HRU, Hostage Rescue Unit, which was the marshals' equivalent of SWAT. But it was a new requirement since an investigation late last year had ended with fault laid on lack of physical fitness on the officer's part as a major contributing factor to his injuries and the deaths of two civilians.
So you know why she bothered to insert this whole paragraph? Because IRL, Laurell K. Hamilton has discovered the joys of exercising, and has now become one of those people who won't shut up about it until someone else crams a sofa stuffing burrito in her mouth.
So of course, she inserts a paragraph about how the marshals have to be physically fit OR ELSE, and how this is a super-new-awesome regulation. Oh wait, it's not. The US Marshals DO have fitness/health requirements already, and somehow I doubt LKH inspired that. Or researched it. I'm sure she'd be outraged that women are required to do fewer pushups than men, since everybody knows Anita is stronger than ANYONE!
I must have looked at him too long,
If you're standing there cataloguing his hair, height, weight, and thinking about fitness requirements, then yes, you are looking at him too long. Stop scaring the REAL marshals with your dead blank stare.
So then Anita insists that, "He was too human-shaped even under the costume. If he'd been in half-man form, there would have been differences in his legs, his arms; the shape isn't perfectly human even covered up like that." Bullshit. Anita basically didn't see ANYTHING about the guy except a swooshing cloak. Also, the testimony of someone who had just woken up is probably not the most reliable.
"And how would you know that?" Raborn asked.
I gave him glare for glare. "Experience."
"I've banged dozens of them! Want to hear what wolfman penises look like?"
"No, I'm good."
"I'll just bet you have experience with wolfmen." His voice was low and angry, and disdainful.
Again, we're supposed to go BOOOOOOO EVIL COP BOOOOOOOO! But it's hard to be indignant when... he's right. She HAS banged wolfmen, she bangs another one in this book, and she even had a pregnancy scare complicated by the possibility that banging wolfmen would give her an accelerated pregnancy. Which didn't stop her from continuing to bang wolfmen.
So why are we supposed to hate this guy when HE'S CORRECT?
but Lorenzo broke in and said, "The news crews are filming us. Maybe stepping inside Marshal Forrester and Tilford's room would be a good idea?"
... why the fuck is the media there? Did the federal marshals CALL THEM IN for some really bad publicity?
Come to think of it, where the hell did the news crew come from? I don't remember them earlier in the chapter! Did they sneak in like ninjas?
He was trying to smooth things down. Good someone was.
Heaven knows SHE isn't.
"Blake here likes publicity, don't you, Blake?" Raborn asked.
Well, since she has frequent public sex with an audience, she sure doesn't mind it, does she? And even though she's apparently being filmed by a news crew.... IN HER UNDERWEAR... she doesn't seem to be at all perturbed.
So they all wander off into a room, and Anits lectures us on how wolfmen are different from human forms.
- It's not very interesting.
- It's not possible for her to see all this IN A DARK ROOM COVERED IN AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING DARK CLOAK.
- She should be doubting herself right now, since she had a very vivid dream INVOLVING THE HARLEQUIN. It never even occurs to her if it might be coloring what she saw SECONDS AFTER WAKING UP.
- And finally.... why do these people not fucking know this?! This is their JOB, even more so than Anita's since her REAL job is allegedly raising zombies. These people do this shit FOR REAL, and they don't know the basics?!
"You should give a lecture next time we have training. This would be good stuff to know out in the field," Tilford said.
"I'm always happy to share information," I said.
THIS IS SUCH BULLSHIT. Again, weres and vampires have always existed in this world! They are not new! They are not unknowns! There is NO reason for a US law enforcement division devoted to policing supernaturals to NOT KNOW THIS SHIT...
... except to make Anita look like an expert, even though logically she should know much LESS than the others because she doesn't have access to labs, forensic details, secret government crap, etc.
"Well, aren't you just the center of attention anytime a roomful of men shows up," Raborn said.
Again, are we supposed to hate him for pointing out the obvious? Especially since previous books have had enormous rooms of men gawking adoringly at Anita for no real reason because she's SO smexy.
And again, Anita is standing there in skin-tight transparent lace underwear that also is a pushup bra for her ginormous titties. And she shows not a single iota of modesty or embarrassment about this, despite pulling the "I'm so virginal!" card whenever possible. So yeah, I can only assume that she's sitting there thrusting out her tits at these guys, and that's why they are paying such rapt attention.
"Dude, I think I saw nipple!"
"Jealous?" I asked.
"Of what, the men?"
"You're jealous of something. If it's not the men, then what the fuck is it?"
... or... just maybe... he's not jealous. Maybe he just doesn't like the murdering inept slutbag who is horning in on his investigation, and whose presence just got one of his people INJURED AND ALMOST KILLED.
News flash, LKH: Not everyone in life who dislikes you is "just jellus." Sometimes they have actual reasons for dislike.
"Are you calling me a homosexual?"
Yeah, she is. Because though Anita considers all homophobes to be the scum of the earth and immediately claims that everyone she hates is homophobic, she never hesitates to toss out "You're gay!" as an insult to people she hates. Classy.
So for the third time in one chapter, Anita makes a big deal of how she would TOTALLY KICK ASS if someone hadn't stopped her first. Yeah, such a tough heroine.
"What is his problem with you?" Lorenzo asked.
"I have no idea," I said
Again, I could come up with a laundry list of problems a REAL marshal would have with Anita. Why does everyone else find it so mystifying that someone would hate Anita's worthless skanky ass?
"It feels like you have history," Tilford said.
"I swear to you that I've never met Raborn."
"Maybe you have a friend in common, or an enemy," Lorenzo said.
I'll give you a big spoiler: They don't. In a better written book, this would be foreshadowing to find out that Anita... I dunno, staked one of his relatives, or her ineptitude led to the death of his fiancee, or something like that.
But this is an Anita Blake book, where anyone who hates Anita is just a jellus meanie hater, and they're never given any dimension beyond that. Any suggestion to the contrary is just used as filler.
"Hey, I'm not just another pretty face," he said, and grinned. It made me smile, too, which I needed. Men often make women smile or laugh when they don't know what else to do. It's not a bad survival skill in a relationship.
- ... or.... just maybe... he made that joke because he wanted to be funny.
- Or maybe he's trying to score with the slut in the see-through porn jammies.
- You notice that even when a guy makes a joke about himself, Anita somehow manages to turn herself into the center of attention. It can't be that he made a joke - it must be because he's insecure around her, and trying to make HER laugh because he doesn't know what to do.
- Also, that is NOT a normal way to react. A guy makes a joke, so you somehow interpret it as "this professional well-trained marshal doesn't know what to do around me!"
There was more talking, but we didn't learn anything new.
That describes this whole book so far.
So Anita showers, puts on some Manly Underwear belonging to Edward, and the porn jammies are never mentioned again. I guess Anita doesn't need them now, since she's been prancing around in the parking lot with her crotch, ass and tits on full display.
Yeah, it would have been more attractive with just the overly long T-shirt on, but I wasn't going for cute, I was going for professional, and it's just hard to be professional without pants on.
- "Yeah, it would have been more attractive if I wandered around flashing my coochie at everyone, but teehee, I'm such a professional."
- I guess that explains Anita's general lack of professionalism - it's because she's never wearing pants.
- Or underpants.
- Or much of anything.
- Uh, wearing drawstring boxers doesn't make you look professional. It makes you look like you need to buy some underoos of your own.
- Also, please quit with the "I'm not going for cute! I'm PROFESSIONAL!" shit. Two minutes ago, Anita was pouting and strutting around in skin-tight transparent lace without a single shred of embarrassment or modesty. There's only one kind of professional who wears that sort of stuff on the job.
I was going to show pictures of drawstring boxers, but I... um, got disoriented by all the enormous bulges. They're a lot sexier than they used to be.
So Anita sits there whining about how I wanted my clothes, but honestly, I wanted my weapons more. After all, how can she demonstrate what a manly man of manliness she is without a substitute penis. To shut her up, Edward allows her to have some of HIS guns, but since she's so teeny tiny, she can't wear any of the holsters.
We finally got to sleep after the hospital had confirmed that Karlton was going to be okay.
... and by "sleep," LKH means we have a whole scene of filler BEFORE they sleep. After saying they got to sleep. EDITOR!
Though they'd have to wait on the lycanthropy test to see if she was clean.
To hell with the floating sentence fragments.
So then Edward declares that Anita will be sleeping in his'n'Tilford's room. Since she's a Strong Tuff Woman Who Can Take Care Of Herself, she doesn't get any say in the matter.
"I can get another room," Tilford said, and fought for blank face.
"Frankly the idea of you two doing the nasty is making me nauseous."
"I know the rumor mill has me screwing most of the men I'm close to, Tilford; it's okay."
Except when people she doesn't like say it. Then BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Also, why would she take offense at that rumor? It's TRUE. She IS screwing most of the men she's close to, and the ones she ISN'T screwing are currently on the short list.
"Karlton is lucky to be alive."
Because of Anita. Thanks for that. Wanna bet everyone insists Anita SAVED Karlton even though Karlton wouldn't have been in danger if Anita gave a crap about anyone else?
So then Edward declares that "I'm not risking Anita," and that he'll even pay for his own room if need be. Yep, the pussification of Edward has begun - suddenly he's obsessed with protecting Anita, instead of figuring that if she can't take of herself then she deserves to die.
Raborn threw a fit and all but accused me of seducing both Tilford and Edward, but he stopped just short of anything I could really bitch about or that would get him into trouble with anyone listening. He was too senior a man on the scene to sweat much.
Bullshit. Once again, LKH shows that she doesn't have the faintest idea how sexual harassment laws work, or that someone like Raborn would have been immersed in lava up to his neck YEARS ago. This isn't the 1980s, LKH. An entire generation of law enforcement has been raised with the idea that you don't openly discriminate against the opposite sex.
Also, if Raborn had a problem with Anita, he would have more than enough material to make a case against her. He could easily take her out just for her association with Jean-Claude or all the vampires and weres who turn up mysteriously dead in St. Louis and are never investigated BY HER. Haven's death alone would raise suspicions - a mob enforcer who moved there to join the harem, had some disagreements with Anita and turned up dead? He doesn't NEED to throw tantrums about what a whore she is - an actual marshal would quietly get her removed from the case, with the large quantities of ammo he has.
In the end Tilford opted not to share the room with us, something about his wife not allowing it.
... and the only reason the wife isn't demonized is because Tilford is chubby and human, and thus not of interest to Anita. If he were a hot weregerbil, she would call up the wife just to tell her that she sucks and Anita is going to bang her husband.
So because we need to have Edward and Anita sleep in the same bed, Edward suddenly decides to put one of the hotel mattresses against the window. Why? Because we need contrived sexual tension! Of course, LKH won't say that, so she has Edward announce that even if the Harlequin break in, "It will slow them down," he said, "and give us time to shoot." Yes, because in a world where the least powerful shapeshifters can LIFT CARS, the creme de la creme of the shifter world will be slowed down by a MATTRESS instead of just blasting through it.
Or, you know, GOING IN THE DOOR. Like they did last time.
Anyway, after ten-plus books of readers demanding to know, "why the hell doesn't Anita eat a sandwich? Then she wouldn't need to feed the ardeur every time minutes!", LKH is finally bothering to include that. Anita states that she's got it under better control because she eats protein now.
Of course, this opens up a whole new can of plot holes. Like, how come she didn't do this in any of the other books, where she eats.... uh, coffee. I'm serious; I can't remember Anita eating anything since the days back when the books didn't totally suck, and there she was whining about how she gained a whole four pounds because JC made her eat things instead of racing around on coffee and adrenaline. Wait, I think I know why Anita hasn't eaten anything in forever - she's so vain she'd rather endanger others than bloat up her hambutt.
This also doesn't explain why she has had "food" trailing after her during some of her previous trips, and now it turns out she didn't need it if she stopped off at a restaurant.
"I've gotten better at controlling it. I'll need solid food, protein. Staying fed physically helps control all the other hungers."
"Like my overwhelming hunger for CHOCOLATE!"
And by the way, this development happens to coincide with LKH discovering the joys of food.
Then Anita starts whining that since Edward is sleeping next to the bedside table, she will have to put her pwecious gun on the floor and she can't reach it. Because yeah, she's supposed to be SOOOOOOOOO short that her arm doesn't even reach to the floor. Which is complete crap. I'm the same height as Anita, and I have fumbled on the floor of many a hotel room without leaving the bed.
Or maybe Anita was just lying so Edward would give her a bigger metal penis just to shut her up. Which he does.
"My MP5 is in the other room," I said as I checked out the feel of the new gun. I'd shot one, in fact this one, but only at the shooting range with Edward. It was a sweet gun, but the MP5 was a nice gun, too. I put the bigger gun on the side of the bed, practiced rolling over, and I could reach it better than the handgun.
I love the smug way LKH talks about this. She's like one of those people who reads a "Idiot's Guide" and immediately considers themselves an expert on whatever the hell they read about. This entire stupid scene is just there to reaffirm that ANITA HAS GUNS YES SHE DOES BUT SHE NEEDS SUPER BIG GUNS!
Then came that awkward moment when we were actually supposed to get into a twin bed together.
It would be especially awkward because a twin bed is not made for two people.
Yeah, apparently LKH doesn't know the difference between a twin bed and a bed intended for two people. BED FAIL.
I slept with and had sex with a dozen men on a regular basis, but suddenly it was awkward.
Marvel at how virginal she is, that town bike! Seriously, she was unashamedly strutting around in see-through lace lingerie a few minutes ago, so I'm not buying it.
Edward and I weren't lovers, and never would be. We were friends and damn near family.
... except that in this series, self-imposed sexual taboos are made to be broken. And it's pretty obvious LKH is testing the waters in this book for the inevitable Anita/Edward hookup. She's probably trying to work past her revulsion at the idea of Anita banging a human, even if that human IS a hit man (which she thinks is the sexiest job ever and makes you automatically superior to those stupid COPS).
How, you ask? In this book, Edward mostly flutters around Anita fretting about her safety, and talking about how hey, he wouldn't mind feeding the ardeur, heh heh.
So Anita starts whining about how awkward she feels, and Edward starts piling on the bullshit.
"You know, you may be a succubus and a living vampire, but part of you will always be the small-town girl who isn't sure she should be doing all this."
"You're just so chaste and virginal and tough and manly. Even though you've banged dozens of men you barely know, you're so very shy about sleeping next to a guy you're not interested in. Clearly you're not a slut!"
"No, it's part of your charm that no matter how many men you have in your life, you never quite get comfortable with it."
BULLSHIT. She's clearly quite comfortable with banging a few dozen men. After she whines about how she's not a slut and life is complicated, she happily adds the new ones onto the ever-expanding harem. I mean, in this book she fucks a new guy that she literally knows NOTHING about, and gets fussy because someone points it out! Does she experience any doubts at all? NO! Does she show any discomfort? NO!
Also, she claims her life doesn't even function unless she has a boytoy to do everything for her. That sure sounds comfortable to me.
I had a thought.
That IS shocking.
"What would you have done if I'd said that I'd need to feed the ardeur when I woke up?"
He lay down, spilling the sheet over him. I already had the sheet over me. He turned and looked at me with the lamp still on. "Dealt with it."
"What does that mean?"
"It means we would have dealt with it."
YOU SEE? This is the quote I hold up to any LKH fans who deny that Edward and Anita will eventually screw.
You see what I mean? The fact that Edward is hinting that he would have screwed the Doomcrotch shows that he's fine with the idea of having sex with Anita. That's the first danger sign for any male around Anita. Also add these:
- Repetitive descriptions of his hair and eyes.
- Hit man, because LKH thinks murder is sexy.
- He's been slowly becoming more and more pro-Anita even as she became a monster.
- He's suddenly overprotective in this story.
- He came up with this whole lame "the mattress will DEFINITELY stop the superhuman bad guys!" idea, thus making Anita sleep in the same bed as him.
He was right; we'd deal with it, the way we dealt with everything else.
We'd kill and rape people, the way we did with everything else!
As if this scene weren't teeth-grindingly annoying already, Anita makes a joke about spooning with Edward. The fact that he takes it seriously says a lot.