You're dead," I repeated. "So why are you in my dream?" He raised the bill of his olive drab ball cap with one finger. " Good question. Morbid, isn't it?" "What?" "Dreaming about dead peolpe. Creepy. You ever see a therapist about that?" "I'm not -" Even in dreams, I couldn't win an argument. Even when he was dead.
Won? He's one of them! How exactly is that winning?" Michael shook his head, moved up behind her, and put his hands on her shoulders. He kissed the nape of her neck gently. "I don't know, Eve. I'm just telling you what I heard. He got some kind of agreement out of the vampires. And it was because Amelie loved him." "Yeah, loved him enough to kill him and turn him into a bloodsucking fiend," Eve said grimly. "How sweet. Romance isn't dead. Oh, wait. It is.
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I'm saying a prayer. Maybe you ought to, too. It's going to take us a miracle to get through this." Whether he was serious or not, Claire sent the prayer up toward heaven, and she thought the others did, too. So it seemed kind of miraculous when the doorbell rang. "At least they're getting more polite when they try to kill us," Shane said.
Dammit, Michael, get out of my room, you pervert!" Could you even be a pervert if you were dead? She supposed you could, if you had a working body half the time. "I swear, I'm going to start taking my clothes off!" The cold spot stayed resolutely put until she got the hem of her T-shirt all the way up to her bra line, and then faded away. "Chicken," she said, and paced the room, back and forth.
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He let Shane drop back down in his chair, and walked out, back stiff. Furious. Shane sat with his hands clutching at the armrests. He exchanged a stunned look with Eve, and they both stood up at once. "No," Shane said. "I did it. Let me fix it." He went off after Michael. Eve chewed her lip and said, "Well, we're either going to see half the house destroyed, or their bromance is going to go all the way.
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Eve hugged her, hard. "It's beautiful," she said. "What happened to the old frosting?" Shane, sitting at the table, raised his hand. "Took one for the team." "Jesus, you ate it? All of it?" "Nah." He held up the bowl that was sitting in front of him. There was still about half a cup left. "Couldn't finish it all." Eve blinked and looked at Claire, who shrugged and said, "I always thought he was sweet.
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Claire, I-Look, my life is one long series of screw-ups and bad decisions, and I know that. I own that. But you...I just want you to be happy. And it cuts me when you're not." "I'm happy with you." She heard the smile in his voice this time. "So what do you really want? A storybook life in Vampireville, with your life on the line every day and a half?" "I'm considering it," she said. And she was.
Shane looked faintly injured. 'I make it my business to know everything about silver. And I saw your notes. I study up on everything when it comes to your boss, anyway.' There was a flicker of jealousy about that, but she didn't have time, or energy, to consider it very much. Not even whether or not she liked it.
Claire hated to say it, but she knew the answer, in her heart. 'Because he feels something for me, and he wanted to give me a chance to live. Like him. With him. But I refused.' Shane turned and looked at her, a blank expression on his face that turned quickly into... something else. Claire was glad Myrnin had gotten out while he still could. 'Great, ' he said. 'I knew it.' 'It's not like that. He's-' She shook her head in frustration. 'It's not like he's in love with me or anything; it's more complicated than that. I don't even think he understands it, exactly.' 'Yeah, he only loves you for your mind, ' Shane said...
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It's been happening since I was in kindergarten. Not them all the time, but other kids, you know. Every day. It never stops, and it never goes away, thanks to the Internet-it just keeps happening every minute, every day. And I just want it to stop. I think about how to do it, you know. How to kill them. All kinds of elaborate things, like trapping them in pits and burying them alive, or covering them with concrete.
What are you going to do? Are you going to live in the dark, locked in here? Afraid to look out, answer the door, leave? Yes, he's out there, and he's clearly not going to leave you alone until one of three things happens: he hurts you and gets arrested, or he makes a mistake and gets arrested, or you stop him.
Well, " he said, "I think we've found our way in. We just wait until they're duking it out, but trust me, these Humans First types don't have a lot of staying power or they'd have been at the gym with me before. I doubt Grandma Kent there is going to do a lot of damage." He pointed at a gray-haired, hunched lady in a shawl, carrying what looked liked a gardening tool. "It's like Plants Versus Zombies, and I'm not rooting for the zombies, weirdly enough.
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Nothing here is like fighting vampires, ' I said. 'It's more like fighting smoke. I think I liked it when I had an actual enemy to face.' 'Oh, don't worry, you have some. We just haven't seen them yet, ' Jesse said. 'But we will. And wham we do... ' She showed fang, just a flash; anybody who happened to catch a glimpse would have doubted their sanity, especially since the teeth disappeared in a flash. 'When we do, we'll settle this Morganville style.
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Not nearly enough. Not recently, anyway.' And she was sad about that. 'I know, ' he said, and kissed the back of her hand. 'We'll fix it. Get some sleep.' 'Night, ' she said, and watched him walk toward the door. 'Hey. How'd you get in?' He wiggled his fingers at her in a spooky oogie-boogie pantomime. 'I'm a vampire. I have secret powers , ' he said with a full-on fake Transylvanian accent, which he dropped to say, 'Actually, your mom let me in.' 'Seriously? My mom? Let you in my room? In the middle of the night?' He shrugged. 'Moms like me.' He gave her a full-on Hollywood grin, and slipped out the door.
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Michael rose to his feet and padded down the last few steps silently, came up behind Kim, and leaned over her to say, 'I vant to drink your blood' in a heavy, fake-Dracula accent. She shrieked, flailed, and a zombie ate her brains on-screen. You sabotaged me!' Kim yelled, dropped the controller, and smacked him hard on the chest. 'I can't believe you just totally sabotaged me!' Can't let him lose, ' Michael said, as Shane hit the high score and the victory music sounded. 'Gotta live with the dude.' They high-fived. You're seriously going to take that as a win, ' Kim said. 'When he totally cheated for you.' Yes, ' Shane said. 'I seriously am.
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When I want to be lectured on strategy, I'll consult someone who's actually won battles, ' Amelie said. 'Not one who ran away from them.' 'Snap, ' Eve said. 'You know what they're talking about?' Shane asked. 'Don't need to know to get that one. She smacked him so hard his momma felt it.
Anybody else think that was weird?' Shane asked as they got into the car. Eve sent him an exasperated glance; the three of them were, of course, in the backseat. Amelie had the front, with Michael. 'Ya think? In general, or in particular?' 'Weird that we got through the entire thing, and I didn't have to hit anybody.' There was a moment of silence. Michael said, as he started the car, 'You're right, Shane. That is strange.
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I'll do it!" "No, you won't, " Shane and Michael said, at virtually the same time. Shane continued. "You're barely on your feet, Claire. You don't go anywhere, not without me." "And me, " Michael said. "Hell, " Eve sighed. "I guess that means I have to go, too. Which I may not ever forgive you for, even if I don't die horribly.
If you see Myrnin, tell him I said I want my slow cooker back." "Your- You let him borrow something you put food in?" Hannah's smile disappeared. "Why?" "Um, never mind. I'll make sure it gets disinfected before you get it back. But don't lend anything to him again unless you can put it in some kind of sterilizer." That made even Hannah look nervous. "Thanks. Tell crazy boy I said hey." "I will" Claire promised. "Hey, if you don't mind me asking - when did he borrow it from you?" "He just showed up at my door one night about a week ago, said, 'Hi, nice to meet you. Can I borrow your Crock-Pot?' Which I understand is pretty typical Myrnin.
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Oh, come on, just this once, " Eve said. "Protects your neck. As in your arteries and veins? That's kind of crucial, right?" "Thanks for the thought, but it doesn't go with my shoes." "You're seriously going to worry about what people think right now?" "No, I'm worrying about people taking pictures and putting them on Facebook. That crap never dies. Kind of like you, Mikey." Michael, straight-faced, said, "He's got a point, because I would definitely take pictures. So would you." Eve had to grin. "Yeah, I would. Okay, then. But you'd look glam. I could fix you up with silver eye shadow to match.
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Does it give you deja voodoo how alike the houses are?" "That's deja vu, and I hate you right now." "For narcing on you to your mom? Wait until you hear what I tell your dad." From the sly grin on his face, she knew what he was thinking. "Don't you even think about it." "I could tell him about the time we-" "Hell, no.
I'm so glad you're okay." "So, how do we celebrate my okayness? It's my day off. Let's go crazy. Glow-in-the-dark bowling?" "No" "I'll let you use the kiddie ball." "Shut up. I do NOT need the kiddie ball." "The way you bowl, I think you might." He grabbed her in an exaggerated formal dance pose and whirled her around, backpack and all, which didn't make her any more graceful. "Ballroom dancing?" "Are you INSANE?" "Hey, girls who tango are hot." "You think I'm not hot because I don't tango?" He dropped the act. Shane was a smart boy. "I think you are too hot for ballroom or bowling. So you tell me. What do you want to do? And don't say study.
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She was staring at you.' 'What can I say? Irresistible.' 'Shane, it's not funny. I just-you should be careful. 'Always am.' Which was an absolute lie. Shane's eyes fixed on hers, and she felt a burst of heat inside that crept up to burn in her cheeks. He smiled slowly. 'Jealous?' 'Maybe.' 'No reason. I like my ladies with a pulse.
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Eve hugged her, hard. 'It's beautiful, ' she said. 'What happened to the old frosting?' Shane, sitting at the table, raised his hand. 'Took one for the team.' 'Jesus, you ate it? All of it?' 'Nah.' He held up the bowl that was sitting in front of him. There was still about half a cup left. 'Couldn't finish it all.' Eve blinked and looked at Claire, who shrugged and said, 'I always thought he was sweet.
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She was almost at the top of the steps, and Shane was right behind her, when she heard Myrnin say, in a quiet voice that was like the old Myrnin, the one she actually liked, "I'm sorry, Claire. I never meant - I'm sorry. Sometimes I don't know... I don't know what I am thinking. I wish... I wish things could be like they were before.