I’ve probably used this excerpt from War of Nytefall: Loyalty before, but it’s definitely one of my favorites. It shows Chastity at her best and the relationship that she has with Mab. At least at the start because they stopped picking on each other about halfway through the series. Enjoy.
Standing on top of the bar, Chastity Sullivan whistles while pouring a bottle of whiskey into the mouth of a slender half-elf. The attractive mortal eventually starts to choke and spits out the drink, which causes him to lose a bet. Instead of handing over money, the man drunkenly heads for a doorway off to the side and takes the stairs to one of the curvaceous vampire’s private quarters. Chastity blows him a kiss before roaming the crowd, her black hair trailing behind her like a dark bridal train. Her yellow eyes spark with mischief as she asks every person if their hands match the bright pink prints that are scattered about her dress. The hunt stops when she comes to a vampiric elf maiden, who gleefully goes to await the hostess on the top floor. Cheers erupt from the crowd and Chastity spins with her arms wide, but freezes when she catches sight of Clyde. Excited to see her old friend, she sends a spectral servant to tell the two above to start the festivities without her and runs to give the man a hug. She pouts when Mab steps in her way and the woman skids to a stop that puts them nose to nose.
“I see you’re still holding a grudge,” Chastity says with her arms crossed. She puffs out her chest in an attempt to push the scowling burglar back, but stops when she feels a claw against her stomach. “Don’t go attacking me in my own home, Ms. Winthrop. That’s so rude and it really would end our friendship. Glad to see the rumors were true about you being alive, darling, but I really wish you came to see me sooner. Then again, I’m sure the horrible beast over here has been keeping you on a short leash. Seriously, our people live for far too long to let some minor misunderstanding get between friends.”
“Minor misunderstanding?” Mab hisses, her fangs sliding between her lips. She takes a step back and retracts her claws, but never looks away from the grinning woman. “I caught you riding Clyde like a . . . a . . . I don’t know how to describe it without getting angrier. You were my friend and you slept with my boyfr . . . partner. Undead creatures or not, that’s a line you don’t cross. Especially on his birthday and after I asked you to help me pick some sexy clothes for me to seduce him with. You’re lucky I don’t rip those chunks of fat off your chest and beat you with them.”
“Don’t blame me for your mistakes, dear.”
“How was that my fault?”
“You agreed that I would take your form and do the things you refused to do.”
“That was your gross suggestion and I wasn’t paying attention when I nodded.”
“And I apologized for not making sure, which means I’m in the clear.”
“I’m going to . . . Close your mouth, Mr. Illusions Are My Specialty.”
“He never could see through mine.”
“I challenge you to a fight!”
“Fine, but we all know how this is going to end.”
The two women head for the dance floor as Titus and Bob emerge from a back room, the pair joining their friends near the stairs. Mab takes off her jacket and tosses it to Clyde, who makes no attempt to take it off his face. She snarls when Chastity acts like she is about to do the same with her dress, the tease getting a cheer from the crowd. People begin taking bets, the vampires siding with the hostess while the charmed mortals believe the emerald-eyed burglar looks tougher. More patrons come sliding up the poles while the half-dressed couple upstairs hurry down, the employees having spread word of a fight. Within minutes, the main floor of the Scrumptious Siren is packed and only the square dance floor is clear for the combatants to move around.
“Are you sure you want to do this again?” Chastity asks with a teasing giggle. The instant Mab pops her claws, she rapidly snaps her fingers and casts her favorite spell. “This is a mistake as usual, dear. I’m going to be nice and not embarrass you. Simply surrender and offer to settle things in private.”
“I give up and want to be with you in private, mistress,” Mab says in a droning voice. The booing crowd snaps her out of the charm spell and she unleashes a shriek of frustration. “Every damn time! One of these days, we’re going to have a physical fight and you won’t be able to use that enchantment. Give me a mug of calico and we’ll try again. Pretty sure I know why I keep falling for it.”
“Sorry, but I have better things to do,” the hostess declares while the crowd disperses.
Por Mab!!! 😄 So frustrating to go up against Chastity.
One of my favorite fights in the series.
Good one, Charles.
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Wonderful section, Charles.
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