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Tales of the Otherworldby Kelley Armstrong
Synopses & Reviews
Aaron stumbled from the tavern and gasped as the first blast of cold air slapped him. He paused in the doorway and took a deep breath. Geoffrey jostled him from behind, and Aaron gave him a good-natured shoulder that sent his friend staggering back.
Move it, you big ox, John said, kneeing Aaron in the rear.
Just push me out of the way. Aaron shot a grin over his shoulder. Or maybe you should squeeze past instead. You're skinny enough.
Aaron stepped onto the cobblestone street and grimaced. So much for fresh air. The narrow street stank of shit--horse shit, dog shit, human shit; that's what came of living so close you couldn't take a crap without piling it on someone else's. Give himfarm life any day. Plenty of shit there, too, but at least there was room to spread it around. He squinted up and down the street, his ale-soaked brain struggling to remember which way they'd come. That was another problem with towns. You couldn't see a damn thing. The buildings not only crowded your view, they crowded out the moonlight, and thelanterns dotting the street added more smoke than light.
Inn's this way, Geoffrey said, smacking Aaron's arm. Come on before the mistress locks the door.
She had locked them out the last time, and it had been a long, cold night on the street. Aaron and Geoffrey came to the city every other month, bringing goods to market. They'd finished their work this morning, but their families didn't expect them backuntil Sunday night, knowing that any young man who stayed home to help his parents on the farm deserved time to sample the cosmopolitan treats he was forgoing.
One of those treats peered out from a side street as they passed. She met Aaron's gaze and batted her lashes in what he supposed was meant to be a come-hither look, but seemed more like soot caught in her eyes. She couldn't have been more than twelve, the bodice of her dirty dress stuffed to simulate the curves she wouldn't see for another few years . . . if she lived that long.
Aaron walked over, and pressed a few coins into the whore's palm. A look--part relief, part trepidation--sparked in her eyes, then they clouded with confusion as he returned to his friends.
John bumped against him. How drunk are you? You forgot to take what you paid for.
Oh, Aaron never has to pay for it, Geoffrey said. When a tart sees him coming, she closes her purse and opens her legs.
If you don't want it, I'll take it.
John started to turn, but Aaron grabbed his shoulders and steered him forward.
What? John grumbled. It's paid for.
As they stumbled past an alley, a whimper snaked out from the darkness, followed by the crack of a fist hitting flesh. Aaron stopped.
Ya gotta have more than that, a voice rumbled. Find it . . . or I will.
Aaron . . . Geoffrey said, plucking Aaron's sleeve. It's none of your business. And, for once, let's leave it that way, or we'll spend another night on the street.
Aaron brushed his friend off and strode into the alley. As he walked, his steps steadied, the effects of the ale sloughing off as he focused on the voices. He pulled himself u
Devotees of the Otherworld series can share special moments with some of their favorite superhuman characters--as well as discover deeper insights into the lives of some of the lesser-known players--in these seven tales of friendship, adventure, and enduring romance.
“Fans and newcomers alike will relish Kelley Armstrong’s eerie tales.” —The Globe and Mail
“Armstrong’s longtime fans . . . will be delighted.” —Publishers Weekly
“Terrific . . . a superb compilation.”—Midwest Book Review
From the Paperback edition.
About the Author
\Kelley Armstrong is the New York Times bestselling author of the Women of the Otherworld series. She has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed. Today she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves while safely locked in her basement writing-dungeon.
Table of Contents
Rebirth — Bewitched — Birthright — Beginnings — Expectations — Ghosts — Wedding bell hell — Case of El Chupacabra.
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