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Jun 05, 2020 8:07 AM
storms & palatinates in the anita blake-verse
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Tau's quiet for a moment. "Might be Batiste. Might be someone higher up the food chain. Either way, it's dangerous."

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Oh, God, she hopes it isn't Batiste. She already has enough to deal with. Adding Adrienne Batiste to the occasion is a recipe for disaster. Especially for Anita.

"I knocked it back. Told Frankie I don't work for vampires. Not for any amount of money."

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"To be expected. But I hope it was Batiste in that case. She's better at taking 'no' for an answer than some of the others. Be careful, Neets, something feels wrong."

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"I'm always careful," she says as she opens her trunk and puts the tools of her trade inside. The rising sun leaves the sky a soft orange. She's running late for home. "You need a ride anywhere?"

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"Nah, it's a nice morning for a walk, and I've got a couple of trees to shake that are best shook when they're half asleep. We running tomorrow?"

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"Wouldn't miss it." She closes the trunk and smiles at her. "Thanks for coming out. Means a lot."

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"Hey, any time, you know that. You'd do the same for me."

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She really would. "I'll give you a call if anything happens in the meanwhile. And tell John he still owes me dinner after last time."

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"Oh I will. Between both of us, he might even stand good for it."

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"I'll believe it when I'm eating it." She gets in her car and quickly does all the safety checks. Seatbelt, mirrors, lights. All check. "Also remember to sleep at some point, Tau. Remember sleep? That thing you do with the bed and blankets?"

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"It's on my schedule. For some time in the next week." It's a joke, really, but there's a faint ring of truth to it. "Good night, Neets. Sleep well."

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"Good morning, you mean." But she leaves it at that, waves her friend goodbye and makes her way back home. To bed. Blessed bed.

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And then her phone is ringing.

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- ugh. She forgot to turn on her answering machine, didn't she? She lays buried under her blanket for a few moments before giving up, getting out of her beautiful comfy bed and answering the phone.

"What."

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"Oh, gosh, I'm sorry, did I wake you?" A woman's voice, a little scattered.

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If this is a cold call, she is going to turn to violence. "Who is this?"

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"Oh. It's Monica. Monica Vespucci?"

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The name means nothing to her.

“Yes.” She tries to sound helpful, encouraging. But it comes out more like a growl.

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"Oh, oh- um. I work with Catherine? Catherine Maison?"

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Her thoughts are sluggish and tired and her temper rising. She just wants to sleep. She has no memory of Catherine ever mentioning a Monica. But it could have happened.

"Right, Monica." Her tone still sucks, so she tries again. "Sorry, I got off work at six and had just gotten to sleep."

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"Oh, man, you must want to kill me right now!"

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...she will not respond to that. She has some manners. "Did you need something, Monica?"

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"Oh! Yes! Sure! So, I'm kind of throwing a surprise bachelorette party for Catherine, what with her wedding next month?"

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"Yes. I'm in the wedding."

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"Oh, of course. Pretty bridesmaid's dresses, huh? Oh. Gosh, sorry, I'm rambling and you desperate to actually sleep!"

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