Anita is spying on the dudes that were following her from before. They're at the Circus in the parking lot. These guys have hilariously poor vehicles for people trying to be stealthy, namely a blue Jeep and a gold Impala. That said I am not going to shit on this too much because at least it's some sensory info. These books often have floating head syndrome, where people are yammering at each other but there's not even the barest clue as to their surroundings. Or LKH tries and it turns into the room was green, green, green, curtains, bedding, green.
Basically, Anita finds these people suspicious because they are just sitting in their cars, without reading newspapers or drinking coffee. She feels most people don't sit in their cars doing nothing. I guess Anita has conveniently forgotten all the arguments she gets in, in her car, without drinking coffee or reading the newspaper.
You KNOW this shit is going to get fucky at any moment.
Anita keeps referencing Kasey Krime Stoppers. I assume this is something LKH made up and I have no fucking clue why its never come up before. Anita thinks they might be Renfields, or vampire servants that don't have any vampire marks. She's not sure though because "most Renfields aren't the brightest of people."
1) Why not?
2) Even someone with a split open watermelon for a head can work out that when following someone, it makes good sense to not, you know, look like you're following someone. Changing your appearance a bit and changing out vehicles is some 101 bullshit.
"how can you be friends with so many bloodsuckers, and still be so damned disdainful of them?"
THAT IS AN EXCELLENT FUCKING QUESTION. Imagine you have some trait about you that makes you a member of a target group. Now imagine you're friends with someone constantly referring to you with slurs, and acting like you're going to give in to your obviously dangerous nature at any second. Someone who routinely calls you a monster, and only pays attention to you when they want to get some sweet, sweet narcissistic supply from you.
Bobby Lee asks what Anita wants to do about the guys following her. For a split second she thinks he's referring to Asher and J.C. Apparently this is such an egregious lapse that it could get her "killed in a firefight."
Anita has a good sense seizure, where for a moment she realizes that the guys in the car could be dangerous and that she'd better focus so people don't get killed unnecessarily. YOU CAN'T FOOL ME WITH THIS, LKH.
She expresses her concern to Bobby Lee, but before he can say much Claudia turns up. She's wearing makeup. This is weird to Anita. She concludes that perhaps Claudia doesn't need makeup.
Okay. No one needs makeup. Beauty and worth are not determined by whether one uses makeup. I LOVE makeup. I have a huge stash of it. But that doesn't imply that I am so ugly I need to spend an hour on making my face into a beautiful transcendent canvas, or that ergo Claudia is so naturally beautiful she doesn't have to bother with all that feminine nonsense.
Claudia is only wearing a sports bra and jeans. This is apparently because Claudia is such a serious weightlifter that she has trouble finding shirts that fit. But don't worry. Claudia could "never be mistaken for masculine." There are only two genders! I'm not a bigot it's just biology! Women with muscles are disgusting! Make America Great Again!
I am a powerlifter and yes it can be challenging to find shirts and jackets that fit your arms and shoulders, but it is not so impossible that your only recourse is to swan around in your underwear.
Anita asks Claudia how her arm is. Somehow Claudia managed to regenerate it even though she'd been shot with silver bullets.
"One of my favorite things about hanging with the monsters is the healing. Straight humans seemed to get killed on me a lot, monsters survived. Let's hear it for the monsters."
This is like that obnoxious white uncle who likes to assure you he has tons of black friends and therefore can't possibly be racist, whilst peppering his speech with liberal use of the N-word over Christmas dinner.
Anita babbles on about how the Circus has a hidden loft and an exposed catwalk and some lookouts or some shit I guess.
Bobby Lee references some plan that I am not entirely sure has been mentioned or discussed before now. It involves driving a car and Claudia is going to do it. Anita points out that Claudia doesn't look "normal" and tries to save her own ass by adding "no offense." Protip: no offense always actually means full offense.
Bobby Lee doubles down on the gender bullshit by assuring Anita all will be well with the following line: "she'll throw a shirt over the muscles, take out the ponytail, and look like a girl."
Okay first off you fuckwagon, she IS a girl. She identifies female. Secondly, so she can get shirts after all? I know that's a minor detail but come on. In what world do people just walk around in the underwear?
Bobby Lee gets the lobotomized walking penis treatment: Anita, trying to point out that Claudia isn't harmless no matter what she wears, says in effect if she had to arm wrestle one of them she'd have better chances against him than against Claudia. Bobby Lee can't comprehend the meaning of this glaringly obvious statement, because his skull is just a bowl of custard slowly turning in the sun.
LKH is trying to do some female solidarity shit here but because she's a homunculus poorly shaped by the hands of a senile wizard holed up in a dank basement somewhere, she can't grasp what sexism actually is. It's not a man being so stupid he can't possibly comprehend female strength. It's not a man being this fucking dumb just because he's "spent most of his life being muscle."
Finally, Bobby Lee understands when Anita asks if he really thinks Claudia, who is six six and built like a brick shithouse, is less intimidating than some random male wererat they could have drive the car instead. He says that most men are sexist enough that they would always find a woman less intimidating, no matter how big and ripped she is. I think I agree and disagree at the same time. Yes, men are constantly shitting on female strength. Sometimes I feel like every time a woman gets an amazing powerlifting or weightlifting record, the reaction to it goes something like this:
1) Accusations of doping, because the only way a woman could possibly leave men in the dust strengthwise is if they are on gear and,
2) Discussions of whether such a strong woman is still fuckable, as if anyone asked their opinions in the first fucking place
But, I also think a powerfully built, tall woman like Claudia could inspire more intimidation because she's daring to tread on poor fragile male toes by reminding them that they're not the end all and be all of strength.
Anita makes some comment about having breasts. I don't even know. Claudia says,
"give it up Anita...just give it up. They're men. They can't help it."
They absolutely, completely, and totally CAN help it, and the pervasive notion that they can't is responsible for so many atrocities it makes my guts churn.
"I had to admit even I was less physically afraid of another woman, but it seemed wrong somehow."
Also wtf is this attempt at dissecting internalized misogyny? Anita lives in a world where women can be werewolves, vampires, and so on, all of whom have super strength and senses. Werewolves can literally cannibalize each other if they're pissed off enough.
Claudia takes her hair down and both Anita and Bobby Lee are mesmerized. Anita says some bullshit about how spectacular Claudia could look if she put any effort into looking like "a traditional girl." Even though she is also transfixed by the sight before her the fact that Bobby Lee also is makes her dislike him, thinking that she had assumed he was "better than that."
Anita natters on internally about how no matter how exceptional a woman is, she's still just a girl to most men. Yes, fair enough. From Anita though? Really?
Some tortured bullshit about different gender friendships blah blah fucking kill me. Claudia will be underestimated because she's a girl. Sigh.