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Breaking Her Rules (Red Stone Security #6) Inside Out (Insiders #1)

Ambassador Chitt has some business in Janardan, I answer. You should go with him.

There’s a huge crowd waiting to be served. When I catch the eye of one of the bartenders, he signals that he’ll be a minute.I really wish you went to BC with me, Tansy says glumly. We could do this all the time.

Night Study (Soulfinders #2)

I know. I would’ve loved to attend Boston College with her, but they rejected my application. I didn’t have the grades back then; my relationship with Eric pretty much torpedoed my ability to concentrate on school. I went to community college instead, until I was able to transfer to Briar, where I don’t have to pay tuition since my father works there.Sweet. They’re showing the Bruins game. I gaze up at one of the monitors mounted from the ceiling. A blur of black and yellow whizzes by as the Bruins go on an offensive attack.Hurray! Tansy says with mock enthusiasm. She doesn’t give a crap about hockey. Her game of choice is basketball. As in, she only dates basketball players.

Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas #5)

I try to flag down the bartender again, but he’s busy serving a group of chicks in teeny dresses. The pub is surprisingly packed for ten thirty at night. Normally, people are still pre-drinking somewhere else at this time.Tansy checks her phone again, then types something. Where the hell is he? she mutters.

Just did. He’s not answering for some rea—oh wait, he’s typing. She waits until the message appears. Okay, he’s—oh my God, you have got to be kidding me.

What’s wrong?I rock back in my seat, away from his heartlessness. He takes my distance to mean something else. Do not worry, Viraji. The runaway rani will not affect your rank tournament. The rajah may wed only one hundred women in his lifetime. Even if one of his wives dies or leaves, she is still counted as his.

Manas’s effort to pacify me leaves a foul tang in my mouth. I stay bent away.The guards open the city gate and wave us along. Our camels lurch forward, and we pass through the city wall. Haggard-looking women, bow-shouldered men, and half-naked children fill the yards, roadways, and rooftops. Though we sit on the camels, high above people’s heads, the buildings dwarf us. Huts are crammed so closely together that a child can scarcely squeeze between them. The crowded streets stink of unwashed human flesh and animal waste decaying in the hot morning sun.

Fire Study (Study #3)

Manas pulls back on the reins to let a woman balancing a basket of grain on her head pass.I have never been anywhere like this. The heat, the bodies, the noise, and the stench tighten my chest into a snarled coil. To level my breathing, I pretend that I am in the Samiya Temple chapel, surrounded by a sea of daughters wearing calming blue saris.

Deven rides up to a road dammed with tents and dismounts. Manas helps me down after him. This new swarm of people and tents and animals shatters what is left of my composure. I gasp, trying to inhale enough air to feed my body, but my head spirals like water going down a spout.I shut my eyes. I have come this far. I can make it to the palace.

Soft lights shine behind my eyelids. I focus on their serene brightness and ease my breathing one mouthful of air at a time. My chest loosens ever so slowly, and my head clears. On a steady breath, I reopen my eyes.The camels are too big to pass through the market. Deven hands the reins of our camels to a peasant boy with a face smudged with dirt. These are yours. Trade them and give what you earn for them to your parents.

My parents turned me out. The boy juts his chin. I’m on my own.Then trade the camels and go to Brother Shaan at the temple. You can trust him. Tell him Captain Naik sent you. He will help you find a place to stay. Deven bends so that they are eye level and passes the boy a gold coin. For taking the camels off our hands. The boy gapes at the coin in his dirty fist. Go on. Say hello to Brother Shaan for me.

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