I’ve said before that Bones was up to a lot of stuff that Cat wasn’t aware of, both during the four years that they were apart, AND during the time when they were together after he found her again. That’s why BOTH FEET IN THE GRAVE felt more like a new book for me while I was writing it, versus just a retelling of established events, but that’s off topic. What is on topic is the new snippet, but before we get to that, I promised to showcase the teaser quotes I’d been posting on my socials this past week, so here they are:
And now, to Bones and Justina. The below snippet is one of those incidents that was never in the Night Huntress books because they were told through Cat’s point of view, and Cat NEVER found out about this. To this day in the series, she still doesn’t know. Of course, I’m not going to show the entire confrontation between Bones and Justina because I don’t want to spoiler, but let’s just say that Cat wasn’t the first person Bones confronted face-to-face once he found her again. No, in typical vampire style, Bones went right for the jugular and confronted Cat’s scheming mother first–not that Justina remembers it. Ah, gotta love vampire mind control, right? *winks* Enjoy!
Copyright Jeaniene Frost. All rights reserved.
Sunlight streamed through the bay windows as Bones entered the house on the other side of town. The statuesque brunette inside didn’t see him. Her back was to Bones as she considered two dresses. One was a washed-out beige frock with a high-necked collar and stiff lines, and the other was a shoulder-baring, Greco-style purple dress with a slit past the knee.
“Oh, the purple one, definitely,” Bones said.
Justina Crawfield whirled. For a second, her blue gaze only registered shock, not recognition. To be fair, the last time she’d seen him, his hair had been short and platinum blond, and now it was his natural brown shade and brushed past his collar.
“Hallo, Justina,” Bones drawled. “Miss me?”
At once, rage mottled her features. “You!” she shouted, and swung at him with both fists.
Bones grabbed her wrists before her blows landed.
“None of that, now, and no biting,” he added when she instantly tried to gnaw his fingers away from her arm. “Really, who’s the human and who’s the vampire here?”
“Animal!” she screamed.
“Quiet,” Bones replied, unleashing the power in his gaze.
Justina’s mouth snapped shut. Then, her eyes bulged when she tried to speak and couldn’t.
“Should’ve done that years ago,” Bones muttered.
She kicked him. Bones considered letting her continue since she was only hurting herself, but that would be petty.
“Stop that,” he ordered. “Now, sit down, and only speak when I ask you something.”
Justina sat on the edge of her bed. Her scent was so acrid from rage that she smelled more like a burned-down building than a woman. Bones would pity her, if she hadn’t nearly ruined Cat’s life while also doing a damn fine job of ruining his.
“Be calm,” Bones said next. When her heart rate slowed to a normal rhythm, Bones gave her a thin smile.
“You’d kill me if you could, wouldn’t you?”
“Yes,” she said without hesitation. “And dismember you.”
“Anything else?” he asked in a dry tone.
An emphatic nod. “I’d burn your pieces into ashes and then use you as fertilizer for my garden!”
Bones snorted. “Must run in the family. Cat planted several vampires in the back of your family’s cherry orchard after decapitating them. She ever tell you that?”
Doubt creased Justina’s features. “You’re lying.”
“I’m not,” Bones said, his gaze compelling her to realize that. “What did you think she did with all those bodies? Or did you not bother about the details, as long as you had as many dead vampires as your teenage daughter could slaughter?”
Justina only said, “Shut up and kill me already.”
Bones let out a grim laugh. “Oh, the thought’s crossed my mind over the years, but no. I won’t even lay a finger on you, and here you’d cheerfully murder, dismember, and cremate me were our situations reversed. Who’s the real monster, hmm?”
As a reminder, you can preorder BOTH FEET IN THE GRAVE at #Ad Amazon,* B&N, Apple Books, Libro, Audible, Indiebound, and Kobo. Also, be sure to check back next week for a new snippet AND a new contest.