Here’s a teaser scene from the book:
Azriel appeared beside me as I walked up the road to the cab rank. “The face shifter theory is an interesting one.”
His voice was still very formal, and irritation swirled. But did I really want the easy going, warm version when desire raged so badly inside me? Yes, that insane part of me whispered. Most definitely. I ignored it and said, “It would certainly explain why no one can find Nadler.”
“If he is being so cautious with who sees him, it is also probable that not only is he keeping an eye on his lawyer’s movements, but would have ensured the lawyer could not actually describe him.”
I stopped and looked at him. “Mind tampering?”
He nodded. “It’s possible.”
“But that implies our fake Nadler is more powerful than we’d thought.” And probably more dangerous–although his actions with the soul stealer gave more than enough warning about the lengths to which he was willing to go.
“Exactly,” Azriel said. “I do not think it wise for Jak to accompany you to this ball.”
“There’s no way in hell he’s going to remain behind. He wants this story, Azriel.”
“Maybe so, but that is neither here nor there. Do you agree that it would be better for him not to appear?”
I frowned. “Yes, but if we stop him, he’ll be furious.” And knowing Jak as well as I did, I had no doubt he’d pursue the story without us, and that, ultimately, could be even more dangerous. At least this way we had some control over his actions.
“He can be stopped and yet still think he was there,” Azriel commented.
My gaze searched his for a moment–although why I have no idea, given he was still in retreat mode. “Meaning you’ll keep him at home somehow, but feed him false memories afterward?”
“Won’t work. He’s a reporter, and reporters talk. He’ll discover soon enough that no one can remember seeing him there and suspect I’ve done something.”
Azriel raised his eyebrows. “But what if–as far as everyone was concerned–he did appear?”
Meaning he’d become Jak? “How is that going to keep him safe? I mean, for all intents and purposes, every one will think he was there.”
“True. But remember, Ilianna warned you that more trouble could be headed your way tomorrow night, and the timing coincides with this gala. It’s possible the faceshifter we know as Nadler is ready to react at the slightest hint of a problem.”
A taxi pulled into the rank up ahead, and I started walking again. “I’m not sure you could pull something like that off convincingly.”
He fell in step beside me again, his clasped lightly behind his back and the warmth of his presence doing more damage to my breathing than the wash of Jak’s excitement had. “Why not?”
“Because-” Because he’s warm and real, and you’re not. Not in a flesh and blood sense, anyway–even if he felt altogether too real right now. “You can’t inhabit the personality of a person you hardly know.”
“You’d be surprised at just what I can do,” he said softly.
No doubt. I took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “If you think you can be convincing, then it’s worth the chance. As much as I hate what Jak did to me and my mom, I don’t want to see him hurt.”
“This will at least keep him safe from whatever trouble Ilianna has seen coming tomorrow night.” He hesitated, then added, “But it has a second benefit.”
I glanced at him. “That being?”
“He doesn’t get to dance with you.” And with that, he winked out of existence again.
Goddamn you, Azriel. You can’t keep running like that.
Why not? his thought came back. You do.
That’s it! Well, except for a contest. Just send an email to kez @ keriarthur Dot com (no spaces), put dames contest in the subject line, and you’re in with a chance to win a signed copy of Darkness Devours. The contest will run for one week and winner announced here on our blog. Good luck!