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Meredith Gentry Series #4
A Stroke of Midnight

by Laurell K. Hamilton


p.16 "Are the two of you having sex with the princess at the same time?"
     "No." Frost fought not to frown. We were lucky the reporter hadn't asked if they slept together with me. Because we did. The fey sleep in big puppy piles. It's not always about sex; sometimes it's about safety and comfort.

p.18 The cameras and attention turned to Nicca like lions spotting a newly wounded gazelle.

p.28-29 I'd also learned that all bodies are an it, not he, not she--it. Because if you think of the dead body as a h e or a she, they begin to be real for you. They begin to be people, and they aren't people, not anymore. They're dead, and outside of very special circumstances they are just inert matter. You can have sympathy for the victim later, but at the crime scene, especially in the first moments, you serve the victim better by not sympathizing. Sympathy steals your ability to think. Empathy will cripple you. Detachment and logic, those are your salvation at a fresh murder. Anything else leads to hysterics, and I was not only the most experienced detective in the hallway, I was also Princess Meredith NicEssus, weilder of the hands of flesh and blood, Besaba's Bane. Besaba was my mother, and my conception had forced her to wed my father and live, for a time, at the Unseelie Court. I was a princess and I might one day be queen. Future queens do not have hysterics Future queens who are also trained detectives aren't allowed hysterics.

p.39 Ameraudur meant a war leader who was chosen for love, not bloodline. Ameraudur meant that the man who called you this would give his own life before he saw yours fail. It was the word that the Welsh had used for Arthur, yes, that Arthur.

p.40 With Doyle touching me, I could let myself remember that awful day. It's funny how your mind protects you. I saw the bloody sheet and the stretcher. I held my father's hand, cold but not stiff, not yet. I had his blood on my hands from touching him, but it wasn't him. It was just cool flesh. That feeling of terrible emptiness when I touched him was like going into a house that you thought would be full of people you loved, only to find it empty, and even the furniture taken. You walk from room to room, hearing your footsteps echo on the naked floors. Your voice bounces back from the empty walls, where the lines of beloved photos still show like the line around a body at a crime scene. He was gone. My tall, handsome, amazing father. He was supposed to have been immortal, but there are spells to steal even the life of a god, a once-upon-a-time god.

p.47 She turned back to me, and her eyes shone as if there was a light behind them. It was watching the moon behind grey clouds, pushing light up through the colors of her eyes, but the eyes themselves did not truly glow. It was an effect I had never seen in any other sidhe's eyes.

p.55 "If you want something done, don't call a politician or a bureaucrat. Call a cop."

p.95 She wrapped her arms around me, hugging me tight. It surprised me for a heartbeat, but then I hugged her back just as tight. Here was someone else who wasn't touching me to gain anything. She hugged me because, just because. Hugs for no reason, just because were nice, and lately I wasn't getting enough of them.

p.98 Frost said, "Come down, little one, so we may question you."
     The tiny face scooted back among the good china, like a mouse ducking back into its hole. Her voice was like the sighing of the wind, a delicate spring breeze that warmed the skin and made you believe that the flowers merely slept under the snow. And were not dead. Her voice brought a smile to my face before I had time to think glamour.

p.109 I went to stand by Doyle, so Rhys could see me better. "How many people are there?"
     "Counting the local cops or the feds?" Rhys asked.
     "Feds? I said. "You mean FBI?"
     "Yep."
     "I didn't call them into this."
     "They say you called an Agent Gillett."
     "I called him, but not to invite the FBI."
     "Well, Agent Gillett called the local contingent of feds and invited them to the party. He told them, or implied, that you wanted federal help."
     "Are you calling to ask if the feds get to come inside?"
     "Not exactly, I'm calling because the area around the faerie lands is federal property, and the feds are trying to tell the locals they have no right to be here."
     "Please tell me you're exaggerating," I said.
     His image blurred for a moment before I realized he'd moved his head. "I'm not exaggerating. We have a major mine's-bigger-than-yours contest starting out here."

p.130 "And now, children, let's go talk to the nice policemen before they freeze their badges off."
     "Badges?" Dogmaela said. "Is that some new slang for balls?"
     Rhys grinned at her. "And when we walk over there they will all get their badges out and flash them at the princess."
     Frost and I both said "Rhys" at the same time.
     Dogmaela said, "What an odd custom."

p.157 "Say what it is you want, Amatheon."
     He closed his eyes, and swallowed so hard it sounded painful. When he opened his eyes again, he was calmer, but there was something in those flower-petal eyes that was still cautious. His voice was a whisper, as if he didn't want to speak his wish too loudly, as if someone might overhear him. "I want you to ride me, to press my naked body into the dirt. I want to watch your breasts dance above me. I want to feel your body slipped over mine like a sheath to a sword. I want to watch your skin shine, your eyes and hair dance with power while I shove myself into you as far and as often as I can. I want to hear you cry out my name in that voice women use only at the height of their passion. I want to pour my seed inside your body until it spills down the sides of you, and trails down my own hips. That is what I want."

p.206 "To say someone was like Ivi's hair was to say that they were compelling, whether you willed it or no. To be caught in ivy meant to be entrapped. To be ivy climbed meant that your lover was destroying you in some way," Frost said.

p.222 "Why is that any tender endearment from you always sounds like you're telling me to go fuck myself?" -Queen Andais

p.231 There was that purring edge to her voice that either meant sex, or that you were about to be hurt, really badly. Sometimes it meant both.

p.248 "as if someone had broken a kaleidoscope and thrown the colors into the air, and those colors had stayed"

p.271 "You're going to have sex in a bathtub with a six-foot-tall man with wings." Rhys grinned and shook his head. "I think I want to watch this."

p.272 I looked at him, studied that dark face. "I didn't know you enjoyed watching."
     "I don't. Very few among the guards enjoy voyeurism."
     "The queen beat it out of us," Galen said.
     Doyle nodded. "Almost literally."