With her New York Times bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels, Laurell K. Hamilton wraps readers up in stories of suspense and sensuality. Cerulean Sins is no exception. Now, Anita learns what it's like to be at the new end of a centuries-old bloodline-and just how far she'll let herself get pushed around…
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March 16, 2004
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Excerpt from Cerulean Sins by Laurell K. Hamilton
IT WAS EARLY September, a busy time of year for raising the dead. The pre-Halloween rush seemed to start earlier and earlier every year. Every animator at Animators Inc. was booked solid. I was no exception; in fact, I'd been offered more work than even my ability to go without sleep could supply.
Mr. Leo Harlan should have been grateful to get the appointment. He didn't look grateful. Truthfully, he didn't have the look of anything. Harlan was medium. Medium height, dark hair, but not too dark. Skin neither too pale nor too tan. Eyes brown, but an indistinguishable shade of brown. In fact the most remarkable thing about Mr. Harlan was that there was nothing remarkable about him. Even his suit was dark, conservative. A businessman's outfit that had been in style for the last twenty years and probably would still be in style twenty years down the road. His shirt was white, his tie neatly knotted, his not-too-big, not-too-small hands were well groomed but not manicured.
His appearance told me so little that that in itself was interesting, and vaguely disturbing.
I took a sip from my coffee mug with the motto, "If you slip me decaf, I'll rip your head off." I'd brought it to work when our boss, Bert, had put decaf in the coffeemaker without telling anyone, thinking we wouldn't notice. Half the office thought they had mono for a week, until we discovered Bert's dastardly plot.
The coffee that our secretary, Mary, had gotten for Mr. Harlan sat on the edge of my desk. His mug was the one with the logo of Animators Inc. on it. He'd taken a minute sip of the coffee, when Mary had first handed it to him. He'd taken the coffee black, but he sipped it like he hadn't tasted it, or it didn't really matter what it tasted like. He'd taken it out of politeness, not out of desire.
I sipped my own coffee, heavy on the sugar and cream, trying to make up for the late work the night before. Caffeine and sugar, the two basic food groups.
His voice was like the rest of him, so ordinary it was extraordinary. He spoke with absolutely no accent, no hint of region, or country. "I want you to raise my ancestor, Ms. Blake."
"So you said."
"You seem to doubt me, Ms. Blake."
"Call it skepticism."
"Why would I come in here and lie to you "
I shrugged. "People have done it before."
"I assure you, Ms. Blake, I am telling the truth."