Sorry I'm behind, you guys. Without turning in to Overshare Man, I'll just say that my mental health/med situation is nowhere near as good as it could be. Still, I think things are improving. I'm back on the med that I know works now, it's just a matter of waiting for it to kick in.
Onward to Anita. I'll try and do as many of these as I can so I can catch up with Dottie.
Anita is trying to protect Asher from all the people with guns. For some reason all the cops use "ain't."
It's only been five years since Addison v. Clarke, apparently, the landmark case that awarded vampires the same basic rights that living people enjoy. Before this cops were allowed to just shoot vampires on sight.
Anita is all I WILL HAVE YOUR BADGES IF YOU SHOOT and the bodyguards are like WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING BADGES and weirdly all the cops turn on the bodyguards with guns drawn. What? A moment ago they were ready to blast Asher away but now they're all on board with this?
I am confused.
Apparently Asher knows better than to just fly in to a group of cops while Anita is on the job, so something is "very wrong."
Could this be plot?
Though really, this little stunt ought to impact Anita's ability to get work in the future. Don't worry though, it definitely won't
Everyone fucks off except Nicols and the court reporter, effectively killing whatever tension LKH has managed to build. Nicols reminds us of the AB tradition whereby characters make perfectly obvious, logical conclusions and are praised for them all out of keeping with reality. In this case Nicols asks what's so important that Asher needs to fly in, and Anita thinks "Damn, he was too good a cop."
Standards are low in this universe, is what I'm saying.
Anita makes a Star Wars reference as Asher and Nicols exchange pleasantries because if you're absolute shit at keeping your books relevant you should just have your MC fall back on hokey references to pop culture.
Okay so the next bit is confusing. I'll do my best. So Belle Morte is soudre de sang for J.C.'s bloodline, meaning she's the source of vampiric life for all other vampires that follow after her. This gives her special status in terms of vampire politics. Belle Morte has been fucking with J.C. and Anita through her vampire mind powers for awhile now, yet for some reason she's sent an ambassador of sorts in the person of a vampire named Musette. Asher has turned up to inform Anita that 1) Musette has arrived ahead of schedule and 2) Musette is apparently injured. Except she's not, because that is evidently Asher's way of keeping the truth from Nicols and the court reporter while still getting Anita to understand the seriousness of whatever is going down.
All right, I don't understand why saying she's been horribly injured is less incendiary than what is actually going on. Especially in front of a court reporter. You'd think an immensely powerful vampire arriving only to suffer a debilitating attack would be front page news, plus a reason for any group in opposition to J.C. to plan an attack. Whatever.
The judge is magically still here despite LKH telling me everyone left but Nicols and the court reporter. Sigh. Anita and Asher are going to leave to go handle the Musette situation but we have to pause so Anita can describe Asher's appearance for like three paragraphs, sure to mention his "blue, blue" eyes.
Asher is a tragic guy because oh my god, he has scars and people look at him with pity. Okay fine, but I know the real angst is whether his penis works or not. Kinda takes the oomph out of his personal angst arc, doesn't it?
Asher and Anita get in the car and start driving. According to Asher, Musette showed up an hour ago, which is an insult considering she and J.C. were still in negotiations about what sort of entourage she's allowed to bring.
Then we get this gem:
"His voice held sorrow so thick you could have squeezed it out, tears in your cup."
The first half of that sentence is so vague that it has no connection to the cup image at the end. His sorrow has to be as thick as something that would usually go in a drink for that to even have a hope of working. Not to mention there aren't many darkity dark things that go in to a cup, so I think this one might be a lost cause.
Despite Asher's voice having that much sorrow in it he's apparently hiding how he feels because his expression is blank. Wat.
Anita tells the reader once more that she's J.C.'s human servant since apparently we didn't understand after the first two mentions. She has memories of having sex with Asher through J.C. which I find particularly gross since Anita is a homophobic little shit and has no right to know about their lovemaking. It further pisses me off that even though she's in some way experienced the strength of their connection, she still keeps them apart because again, she is a homophobic little shit and for some reason seems to feel that her Midwestern upbringing justifies her bigotry.
Note: it does not.
Asher babbles some French stuff. The end result of all his title dropping is that Musette both speaks for Belle Morte and does Belle Morte's dirty work, not unlike Anita's position as Richard's bolverk.
Anita doesn't understand why they don't just retaliate against Musette (who she refers to as a "bad little vampire" gag) and thereby Belle Morte for this insult. Asher is appalled because that is simply "not done." I am leaning towards Anita's side on this matter, but I also think she's likely to fuck everything up by coming out guns blazing. Her track record in this regard is not good. For once I'd like to see her forced to play politician. That would be a lot more interesting than the constant cheap gun porn.
The woman in the car next to them stares at Asher, because the scarred side of his face is uncovered now that he's moved his hair back. "Americans are taught not to stare at anything that isn't perfect." I don't know why exactly but this statement gets on my nerves. There's some truth to it but then I can't help but think of the reality TV craze, or how that woman who has turned herself in to a Barbie Doll gets treated when she walks down the street (not kindly, in case it needed to be said).
So, Anita is supposed to be a vampire expert? Remember? Yet she keeps saying she doesn't get why they can't just attack Belle Morte, to the point where Asher says, "Mon Dieu do you not understand what it means that Belle is the mother of our line?"
She says no she doesn't understand, and furthermore she needs an explanation. Vampire expert, people. Woman who has been a Master vampire's servant for at least two books now. But she doesn't understand why a soudre de sang is nigh god like to their bloodline?
Basically, Asher calls Anita an ignorant American who doesn't understand what it is to have a monarchy of sorts, or that it would therefore be treason to raise a hand against Belle Morte. He does it in a nice enough way to where Anita doesn't take it as an insult, but the idea of Asher dressing her down makes me happy so that's how I am going to interpret this bit.
Anita is all, if we don't stand against Belle Morte now she'll think we are weak and will be better motivated to take over in St Louis. Now that, I can get behind. Asher makes a pronouncement of certain doom. Wow, I sure hope they all get out of this alive. Just kidding, I still don't give a fuck about any of these people.