Cloud City (Anna Strong Chronicles #9)


"Prendergast?" My voice croaks with disbelief. "You have to be kidding. Where will he go?"

"Oh, he'll still be around. But he's merely human so Jonathan will run the show. It will be the life Jonathan craves. Better than he deserves after the hell he put me through, but as long as he's out of me, I don't care."

Prendergast is staring at us as if he realizes we're talking about him but is too scared to find out why. I try to imagine Jonathan in that oily haired, New York urban chic metro-male persona and can't. "Jonathan is never going to go for this."

That brings a snarl from Sophie. "Did I say I was giving him a choice?"

"What about Prendergast? Don't you think he should have a say?"

"Why? He's going to get everything he wants, too. I imagine Jonathan will want to reclaim his estate as soon as he makes the adjustment."

Leticia has been standing to the side, waiting for something-anything-to happen. Since Sophie and I haven't moved in five minutes, and I'm shielding my thoughts, her patience comes to an end. She stomps over to us.

"Where's Jonathan? I want to talk to him."

"You'll soon be able to talk to him all you want," Sophie replies. "You'll be able to talk, kiss, fuck. Pick up right where you left off a hundred years ago. Course some things will be different. He won't look the same."

The tease in her voice snaps Leticia's ire. "What do you mean?"

Sophie's eyes drift to Prendergast. "I'm afraid Jonathan's physical body is gone. Now I know there's a certain ick factor to fucking your great-grandson but you're a vampire. I'm sure you've done worse."

I can feel Leticia's anger grow. I don't know why Sophie is baiting her like this, but it's not wise to push a vampire. It's downright dangerous.

As if to prove the point, Leticia shoves Sophie against the bar. "Witch, you are trying my patience. I want Jonathan. If the only way that can happen is to place his essence in the mortal shell of that miserable excuse for a man, do it. But I warn you. It better be Jonathan in every other respect. If you damage him in any way, I will know. And you will pay."

Leticia isn't whispering. In fact, her voice thunders in the small bar. Prendergast catches every word. He leaps to his feet. "What the hell are you talking about?"

With two steps, Leticia is in his face. "It's wonderful irony. You will become what you have searched for all those years."

She leans close, one hand grasping Prendergast behind the neck, the other snaking down to cup his genitals in her palm. "I can already feel there will be some disappointments. Oh well, you know what they say. It's not the size…"

Prendergast squeals as she squeezes. She laughs. "Just think of the perks, worm. Specifically, me." She glances back to Sophie. "He doesn't have a family, does he?"

"Not one he's close to in spite of his story. A sister in Australia. A cousin in the Midwest. I checked. He does have a fiance, though."

"Good. A fiance is easily disposed of." She lets him go. "Well, witch, what are you waiting for? Let's do it."