Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jealousy excerpt

The always lovely Devon Monk posted an excerpt of Lili St. Crow's upcoming book, Jealousy, on her blog. Yes that sounds a little weird having an author post an excerpt of a book on her blog that isn't hers, but it was a contest and they are friends. So here's the excerpt!

It took three glowing-eyed djamphir, all of them torn-up and bloody, to pick up Ash and start carrying him away. I pulled against Christophe's hands. "No, please—no, I've got to go with him, no—" "Stay still." Christophe dabbed at a scratch on my forehead, one I couldn't remember getting. "No broken bones, no bleeding. Dzie;kuje; Bogu, moj maly ptasku…" Blue eyes sharp, he glanced at my face. The blonde highlights had slid back through his hair as his aspect retreated. The fox had vanished, but I wasn't worried about that. "Be still." "I want to go with him." I glared at Christophe, my throat full of something. "Where were you?" "Keeping watch on your window. I told you I wouldn't leave you unprotected. I also told the wulfen to take care of you. When I get my hands—" Which brought up another question. I tried to slide away again. "Shanks. Did you see him? Is he—" Christophe grabbed my shoulder. "Robert? He's wounded but otherwise hale. Where is the loup-garou? I would have thought he'd be with you. Now please, Dru. Be still, calm down, let me work." "Work? Jesus Christ, those were vampires! Ash—is he—" "He may live. I would never have believed a werwulf could do this. But he's Broken, and…well. In any case, you're safe. Everything else is immaterial." "Reynard!" A familiar voice. Benjamin rocketed around the corner, his sneakered feet slipping in greasy crud and rotting vampire blood. He took in the scene, dark eyes passing over everything in a brief contained arc. "What the hell are you doing here?" He looked like hell. He was beat up and battered, bruises puffing up along one side of his face, his hair wildly disarranged. His clothes were torn too, and I saw with no real surprise that he was holding a single malaika in a white-knuckle grip. He saw me, too, and almost choked. His eyes blazed. "There you are!" He took a single step forward. "Where were you? What were you doing? How did you escape? We were about to—" "Leave her be," Christophe said mildly, and Benjamin turned white and almost swallowed his tongue. "Your cadre?" "Still efficient. Some slight wounding." But the djamphir's shoulders straightened and he actually looked proud. "My faith in you is restored." But Christophe didn't look away from my face. His eyebrows drew together. I swallowed hard and slumped against the wall. "Assess the damage to Milady's chambers, if you please, and send me Leontus. Thank you." I think it was the first time I ever heard a djamphir actually dismissed, though not in so many words. Benjamin made curious little salute with his free hand, glanced at me. His hair stuck up wildly. "Milady." And he vanished back down the hall, running flat-out. "Have you been sparring hard?" Christophe's hand came up. I almost flinched, but he rested his fingertips against my cheek. I'd almost forgotten the shadows of bruising on my face, thought that maybe the confusion would cover it up. I should have known better, he didn't miss much. "Anna." The single word blurted out, and I instantly regretted it. Christophe's face hardened, and he let go of me. A swarm of djamphir filled the hall now, mostly older students. They were making certain the vampires were out of commission, and the cracking and tearing sounds made my gorge rise. The hall was full of nose-scorching smoke too, from vampire blood eating into fabric. Christophe started barking orders, and every single one of them hopped to obey like he was a teacher or something. They even looked relieved that someone was there to tell them what to do. I know that feeling. I always felt better when Dad was around to tell me what the hell was going on and what my part in it was. I tried not to look at the mess on the floor. Every bruise and muscle I owned began to shake. My hair hung in my face, blonde streaking through the curls and retreating as the aspect boiled through me and receded. A lean blond djamphir arrived at a dead run with, of all things, a can of Coke. Christophe plucked it from his fingers with a nod and turned to me. "Here. You need the sugar." "Reynard." Leon appeared out of thin air. "The Council's got wind of this. They're en route." "It doesn't matter. She's safe." Christophe pressed my hand around the cold aluminum, the can already sweating condensation. "And I can afford to be caught now that I've run my course."

Jealousy comes out in paperback on July 29th. The excerpt was found on Devon Monk's blog at

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