10. Girl Crazy

“Gomen. So sorry,” said the third old man, his small head pushed forward, neck elongated, like a turtle peering out of its shell. “We apologize for our rudeness. “You are . . . ?”

“Clément,” sniffed Clément with a toss of his head full of dark curls.

“Ah, Clément,” the old man repeated. Reaching toward one of the yakuza henchmen with a hand towel and nodding toward the clerk.

Clément grabbed the towel between thumb and palm and twisted it around what was left of his hand.

“And you work for . . . ?”

“No one.”

“Ah, but I have heard rumors,” the old man whispered, eyes squinting as he studied the creature self-destructing before him. “They say that Orison has an oni, a devil, in his garrison—a powerful demon with supernatural powers. And now we seem to have a goblin in our midst, for your performance is certainly inhuman. So has Ryu brought us Orison’s infernal henchman? Are you that devil . . . Clément?”

“Do I fascinate you?” asked Clément. “It’s invariably the clever ones who find me exciting.”

“I’m simply being polite, since other methods proved somewhat . . . ineffectual.”

The ghoul sighed. “Let me ask you this,” he said tiredly, “given my capabilities, if I were in league with Orison and the Consortium and I already had the microchip, why would I be here?”

“Because we have something you want?”

“Now you’re talking.”

“We want the microchip. What do you want from us?”

“It’s a secret,” the ghoul said with a smile. “Just know that it will not cost you a penny.”

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 10/Girl Crazy


  • boldlow

    Erin – Love it! You know exactly where to end these snippets to create maximum curio-agony. I don't see how anyone reading these excerpts can resist buying Dead Love and going at it until the book is done. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?