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A Merciful Truth (Mercy Kilpatrick #2) The Arrangement 16 (The Arrangement #16)

New York? Had they moved all of the big testing machines and scanners out already?

Oh no! Juliet said, crestfallen. Did drinks last night go badly? She pointed down one of the short, labyrinthine halls, directing me. We entered a room with several large stone lounge chairs, sort of like the adjustable kind you see at the pool. There was a small hot tub in the center of the room, which smelled pleasantly of eucalyptus. Bethany and a beaming Tara were already sitting in the stone chairs.Hey, Tara, I replied, happy for a way out of the conversation with Juliet. How’s the baby this morning?

The Blade of Shattered Hope (The 13th Reality #3)

She put both hands flat on her stomach. Oh, wonderful. No nausea at all.But Juliet wouldn’t be deterred. You met with the building manager, right? she continued, sitting down at the side of the hot tub and dangling her legs in.Yes, and it was fine. I followed her lead, sitting on the other side. The water felt deliciously warm as it hit my feet, which were still a little sore from all the walking yesterday. Between that and my recently unkinked back muscles, I was going to have a hard time staying upright through this conversation. They didn’t hand out caffeinated beverages at the spa, unless you counted unsweetened green tea, which I most certainly did not. But he wants me to help him interview cleaning companies after we’re done here, I said in my most regretful tone. I’d come up with this particular lie on the cab ride back to the Venetian the previous night.

Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse #5)

I checked my watch, which I’d insisted on keeping even during my massage. I needed to get going if I was going to meet Jameson. I’m afraid I’m going to miss dance class, and possibly more than that. I hung my head, trying to look contrite.The others all voiced their sympathy, even Bethany, who was obviously faking it. Are you sure you need to? Juliet said anxiously. I feel terrible that we’re having so much fun, and you’re stuck at work.

Oops. Maybe I’d overdone it a little. I gave her a smile. Don’t worry, Jules. I’m sure he’ll take me out to a nice brunch, and although I’d much rather be with you guys—not exactly the truth—it won’t be so bad.

Well, it’s great that Dashiell trusts you so much, Juliet replied, looking more or less pacified. Will you call me when you’re done, so we know when to expect you?No. I need you in LA. But Jesse . . . I paused for a second, trying to figure out what it was that I was so afraid of. If I come at this thing head-on, blow my cover, the skinners are going to come after me. They’ll pretty much have to.

You have allies there, right? The cowboy, the bodyguard, that witch—You make them sound like a bad Village People cover band, but yeah. Probably. I thought of Jameson, but he had his own plans. I couldn’t count on him to leave the Holmwoods and play for Team Scarlett.

The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia #5)

Then let the skinners come. Maybe that’s how you find them. Just wear your bulletproof vest, okay? he added hurriedly. And call me every day, please.There was a moment when I could have said . . . what? That I appreciated him? That he was important to me? That his pep talk had meant more to me than I could ever say? Instead, I just said a simple, Thanks, Jesse.

When I hung up the phone, I sat there for a long time, thinking about Jesse’s words. No matter how I tried to shove the square peg in the round hole, I couldn’t see myself as some kind of champion. Just the word champion kind of made me want to barf, like when you see a white dude who’s made a man bun with his dreadlocks. The only heroes I’d ever met were scary badasses, like Lex. And I felt about as scary as the average Yorkshire terrier. The teacup kind.But then, maybe I didn’t need to see myself as a champion to the overlooked. Maybe it was enough that Jesse did. And Wyatt.

I thought that over for a long time, and then I swallowed my pride and called Dashiell back.Hello again, Scarlett, he said. He’d restricted himself to just a hint of smugness.

I need a favor, I said without preamble. Can you find out if vampires have disappeared in other cities the Holmwoods have visited?A beat, and then he said, You’re thinking the skinners are following them from town to town?

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