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At the window was a man all in black, except for the white square at his collar. A priest? Also interesting was the cup the priest was holding out to him. His own coffee, which he had left on the roof of his car. Feeling foolish for the second time that night, he rolled down his window.

He took the cup gave it to his disciples and said, "Thank you, Father. It was pointed at his head. When Manny stepped out into the garage, he saw the man in black standing next to Roger's car. Roger was in it, and the car was running. He started to walk toward them. Manny's car was beyond Roger's and he could say good night. He did not recognize the other man. The tall man, all in black, who lifted his arm. His hand held a gun. His finger pulled a trigger. At point-blank range, the bullet's entry was fairly clean, but its exit was as messy as they get.

A priest. The guy was a priest, or dressed like one. The good father pointed his gun at Manny's chest and put a bullet in it. The killer began to walk toward the maintenance man's prone form, but the sound of an engine filled the garage. It was a car coming up from the lower level. Time for him to go. Later, when the police arrived, Manny was still twitching, not as dead as the priest would have liked. In the late Roger Martin's car, blood and coffee settled into the upholstery. It was going to leave quite a stain. Most of the events are catastrophes, most of the people are dead.

When he wants to think of something pleasant, he has to concentrate. But such is the nature of memory, and of time. His name is Octavian. But it isn't, really. Or at least, it was not always. He has been a prince, a warrior, a monster, a murderer, a wanderer, and a thief. Now he can only observe and remember. And sometimes he can help. The radio alarm clicked on at P. He hit the snooze with none of the annoyed reluctance that usually accompanies such an act.

He was in a good mood. He had something to do tonight. Not as if he usually had trouble finding something to do, but he always preferred that it find him. Often the nightly news was his only source of entertainment, and that he loved.

When a world’s fate rests on her sword, will a loyal soldier obey her king or follow her heart?

It amused him so to see the bickering between nations and individuals. He had become quite good at predicting events long before they happened. One of his favorite observations was that "history repeats itself. So how come nobody was intelligent enough to be able to put that axiom to use? Ah, well, they never had been. The more you fought against it, the faster it came.

Inevitable as. Peter stood up from bed and walked in darkness to the shutters that hid the outside from him, and him from it. He opened them and looked out. The moon and the stars were very bright, effectively illuminating the street eight floors below. He opened the window a bit and let the cold air in, sucking it into his lungs. Snow; tomorrow, maybe tomorrow night. He left the window open and walked to the bathroom.

Eyes shut, he flicked on the overhead lights. He yawned and stretched. Already naked, having slept that way, he stepped into the shower and pulled the curtain. He loved the steam and the hot water, and the chill that he knew would run up his spine when he got out. He had left the window open for that purpose. The shower was a strange thing for Peter. He hardly sweated, so he never smelled particularly bad. His hair looked clean without washing.

But this could not prevent his hair from becoming disheveled as he slept, so he washed it.

He rinsed his long brown mane and stepped out, anticipated chill giving him a shiver. He toweled dry and went to the mirror, blew dry his hair, and pulled it into a ponytail, slipping an elastic around it. As he brushed his teeth, shining the smile that had won thousands of hearts but when was the last one? The snooze timer had given up, and the deejay was yattering about something. Here's a little reminder from yours truly that you'll be in big trouble if you don't pick up some sweets for your sweetheart. And, with a little reminder of their own, here's the Spinners with 'Cupid.

The mirror image checked him out. He looked pretty good He smiled at his own joke. The same jokes seemed always to amuse him, and probably always would. He stepped out of the bathroom, still naked, and shut off the radio. The phone rang and he began to get dressed as the answering machine picked up on the third ring. No one is here at the moment, but if you leave a message and your telephone number, someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Just calling to check in. I spoke to Ted Gardiner earlier, but the cops haven't got a clue. If you need anything from me, please call.

Inside the holster was his. If it was good enough for Spenser. Really, though, it was for show. If he had to hurt somebody, it was just as easy, and generally more satisfying, to do it with his hands. The part of him that craved that satisfaction frightened and revolted him, but he refused to deny its existence.

To overcome something, he knew, one must first accept it. So he did. But he kept a tight rein on that atavistic urge. Very tight. Tonight he was on a personal job.

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Frank Harris was a friend, one of the few Octavian could claim, and his only daughter had disappeared. Peter knew better than most what it was like to lose someone, he'd lost plenty over the years, and he'd do whatever could be done. Frank had given him little enough to work with. Janet Harris worked for a big Boston law firm as a paralegal. Six days earlier—that would have been Wednesday— Janet left work at her usual time, went to her usual bar with her usual friends, and left early with an unusual but far from extraordinary headache.

Trail could be awfully cold by now. The cops, as usual, had done no more and no less than what was mandatory and then gave up the girl for lost. They figured she had run away with the milkman, or some such, and had unofficially quit on Monday night. It was Tuesday, and Frank and Peter had spoken three times during the day. Normally, Octavian would have been up by , but he'd been out of state for a few days—and out during the day—and he'd needed some rest.

He probably would have woken up earlier if Frank hadn't kept interrupting his slumber. But how do you explain such an unnatural need for rest? Now it was P. The first things to draw his attention were the eyes of Courteney MacGoldrick, which were giving him a very vigorous appraisal.

Caught in the act, she blushed slightly, but did not look away. He kept his eyes locked on hers as he crossed the room and gave her a long-practiced, lopsided grin. The grin won her over, but it wasn't the only thing she noted. His eyes were gray, flecked with silver, which gave them a slightly hypnotic quality.

His six-foot-four frame was wiry, and he carried himself like an old western gunfighter. His face was ageless, but most people's best guess, and Courteney MacGoldrick's, since she happened to be thinking about it right then, was that he was probably in his early to midthirties. The answers depend on the questions.

He laid both on the bar. Courteney recognized the picture right away. Flirted a lot, a nice, funny woman. But she left alone, always. Only once talked about a guy at work she was attracted to, I don't remember his name. The night I saw her last, she got a headache after two beers and left. I already talked to the cops, but I'm sure nothing will come of that. Peter got up to go. Out the door and into the street, on his way back to the State House parking lot, where he had left his car, he thought of her, and then forgot her, storing only what she told him.

He had driven tonight, which was rare, but he was in the mood for music and had picked up the latest Seal disc. He hoped there was no ticket on the Volvo. The night was quiet; and then it was not. Sirens pierced the air and Peter winced. His ears were sensitive.

Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe

An ambulance and police car sped past, rounded the corner, and stopped in front of the garage beneath the secretary of state's building. Peter was right behind, following on foot. He couldn't help it. He survived by curiosity and a sort of prescience that told him which things deserved his attention. This was one of them. Two cop cars were already there when this latest arrived with the ambulance.

The paramedics were getting out their gurney and wheeling it inside. He hoped that Janet Harris would not be on it when they returned. It seemed he had spent several lifetimes delivering bad news, and he was tired of it. He smiled at Peter. They weren't good friends, but there was respect there, and that was about as close as Peter usually got.

Hey, you know, you need to get out more. A little Florida vacation. You need a tan. He knew about Peter's aversion to the sun, a medical thing, he'd been told, and he was just sarcastic enough not to care whether it upset the PI or not. Just concerned about your health, Peter. You look like a fucking vampire. They had arrived at the scene, and the paramedics were bagging the body. Peter saw that the car door was open, and a lot of photographs were being taken of the interior. He looked at the corpse with the back of its head gone.

Occupation, yuppie. Cause of death, pistol fired approximately six inches from the victim's forehead. Clean shot. Roger was nice enough to roll down the window for the guy. Motive, definitely not robbery— cash and credit cards still in the guy's wallet. Unless, of course, there was something of significant value in Roger's briefcase, because it seems our man rifled through that particular piece of baggage.

The other ambulance had come and gone by the time you showed up. From what we know, he probably saw the guy who did it. But he won't be talking to anyone for a day or so. Bullet in the chest can do that to a guy. He bent down, looking closely at the wound, and took a deep breath.

Shadows in the Sun () - IMDb

Ted raised an eyebrow. Was this guy smelling the corpse? God, that was gross. But then, everything Octavian did was peculiar. If you check his work area, and don't find any trace of alcohol, then he must have gone somewhere local to drink and come back here afterward. Find out where he went, and what was in the briefcase, and you'll be that much closer to finding his killer. He was wondering whether or not to get involved, and decided against it.

If he was supposed to be involved, the mystery would follow him until he paid attention to it. But just in case. Call me tomorrow and let me know how this thing turns out. And while you're at it, 14 Christopher Golden scoop me a copy of the missing-persons file on Janet Harris. I would have called you right away, but I thought you were still out of town. God, it's awful. Frank's been holding up, but just barely.

And officially, I'm not even supposed to be on that case. I'm sure I'll need your help on this one. It was twelve midnight, exactly. He would probably have to move on soon, and it would not be easy. Boston had been his home for ten years and he had come to care a great deal for it and its people. Sometimes it seemed like he had wandered through every major city in the world, staying in each only as long as it was healthy.

Then he would drift into another city, perhaps in another country and under a different name. But this city was so much warmer than New York, London, Paris—than any of the cold, flashy cultural centers of the Western world. And the Eastern world was not the safest place for his kind. Buildings of the future stood side by side with buildings older than the nation. It was a city with a small-town attitude. It was a political city, but the politics were oldfashioned baby-kissing politics and didn't show a sign of change.

Networks of acquaintance crisscrossed from the highest office to the lowest shop. Even so, you could always hide away in the hustle and bustle if you wanted to, or needed to, as Peter did from time to time. A small, quirky, contradictory city, but it had taken in an orphan of the world, and he was grateful.

Peter parked the Volvo in front of an old house with a new coat of pea-green paint. Getting out, he looked 15 Christopher Golden 16 up at the second story, where Janet Harris and Meaghan Gallagher shared an apartment. There was a single light on. The house was off of Huntington Avenue near Northeastern University. It was a far cry from the city's best neighborhood, but it wasn't bad.

Trees lined the road, bare this time of year, and streetlights cast a ghostly light across small but well-manicured lawns and the cracked and potholed pavement. The silence and the cold of the night combined to lift him, energize him. The wind brought the smell of fireplaces not too distant, and a major snowstorm coming in from the northeast.

Peter let himself into the foyer and scanned the few names on the battered black mailboxes. He pushed the buzzer. After a few moments he pushed it again, this time holding the button down for a few seconds. Still, there was no answer, so he buzzed once more and turned to leave. He had the outside door open, but paused a moment.

His hesitation paid off when he heard a sleepy female voice. Janet's father? I'm sorry Mr. I was kind of vegetating for a sec. Come on up, I was having trouble sleeping anyway. That scratchy, sleepy tone had been kind of sexy. He smiled, inwardly laughing at himself. It had been far too long since he'd had sex, and even longer since Christopher Golden 22 where together.

Come sophomore year, we started rooming together, and as you can see, we still are. I don't know how healthy it was for us to be so close—it certainly didn't leave much room for others. There were rumors flying around that we were lovers. They both heard the whistle from the kitchen, then. It had been going for some moments before either noticed it. I'll be right in. He stood up and looked around Janet Harris's bedroom. He ran a mental check on any place she might have personal things that he hadn't checked.

Shadow of the Sun

There was one place left. He'd almost forgotten. He stood at the foot of the bed and lifted the mattress up off the box spring. Holding one end of the mattress up with his right arm, he used his left to retrieve the one thing that was hidden there. Janet's diary. After returning the mattress to its normal position, he went into the living room, diary in hand.

He could hear Meaghan moving around in the kitchen, and he thought about what she'd said. She came into the room with a tray and put it down on the coffee table in front of him. She did not notice the diary in his hands. Were you and Janet lovers? There was always something more important to do, but he was beginning to feel the itch again. Unfortunately, now was not the time, and he was glad he had more pressing matters to attend to. He knocked twice, softly, and he could hear first the chain and then a dead bolt sliding back.

A pair of chocolatebrown eyes peered around the door at him. Peter had made his way inside and taken his jacket off. When he turned around, he noticed her scrutinizing him. She smiled. What do detectives look like? Only that most of the real-life cops I've met are. Peter shook his head, chuckling. They both laughed, easily and comfortably. And then Meaghan sobered. He thought she looked charming.

An old-fashioned word, but it fit. She stood there in her tattered blue terry robe, a couple of sizes too big, and what looked like a man's button-down oxford shirt underneath. The apartment had hardwood floors, and she wore sport socks to walk around. Her auburn hair was wild from the pillow, and she brushed the last of the Sandman from her eyes.

She took his jacket. Peter glanced about the apartment: two bedrooms, 18 Christopher Golden one bath, kitchen, living room, dining room. The place was attractively decorated in white with soft blues and pinks, and the furniture definitely had a New England feel to it, sturdy yet elegant.

Full bookshelves almost completely covered one wall, and throw rugs decorated the floors. Framed prints adorned the walls, from Monet to completely indecipherable modern art, as well as a large photograph of whales with their tails out of the water. Oldfashioned iron radiators stood in several places around the living and dining rooms, but it was a bit chilly in the place. He liked it. They sat down, he on the couch and she on an armchair across from it.

It took him a moment to notice she was looking at him expectantly. The cops sure aren't gonna do any good. Miss Gallagher. First things first, I guess. Would you mind if I had a look around Janet's room? It might give us a clue. The room was spartan, but elegant. One bureau, two night tables, each adorned by a lamp, and a wicker chair in the corner. A large brass bed, a small TV set, a goodsized throw rug on the floor. A floral print hung over the bed. Janet Harris's only real vice seemed to be clothes. She had a huge walk-in closet filled with them.

From the look on Meaghan's face, he could see that she hadn't known Janet was keeping a diary. Maybe, maybe not. If you want to read it before me, that's fine, but if I'm supposed to be finding out what happened to Janet. She was very quiet. She picked up the diary and simply stared at the cover for a moment. She opened to the first page, then shut it again, closed her eyes, and rested her chin on her hands. When her eyes opened, she had made a decision. I do not consider myself a lesbian, though then again, I have nothing against those who do.

I'm not judging anybody. Now, please. She took a deep breath and continued.

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You never know what could be important in finding her, so someone should know the truth. Though I've only been with one woman, and it was a long time ago, I don't think it's something you can stop being. You're right that the woman was Janet. There's nobody in my life I need to hide things from. I just don't want Frank to find out; it would kill him. He's an old-fashioned kind of guy, and Janet's situation is different from mine.

She's far from promiscuous—as I said, she's a private person. Her dad talks about her all the time, though. Right now I'm almost more worried about him than about Jan. I guess it's just wishful thinking, but I have this feeling she's okay. Since I stopped some kids from breaking into his restaurant.

After that he gave me the run of the place when I needed to take clients out.


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I only go in there once in a while, and even then it's very late. I always work at night, that's when the bad guys come out. I've been considered a bad guy once or twice, but then again, who hasn't? You'll be able to help me find things. I never even asked to see your ID. I guess if you had wanted to have your way with me, you'd have made your move already. And call me Peter, okay? Don't make fun of the picture.

Now that's bad! I told you not to make fun of the picture. Would you like some coffee? I've been drinking too much coffee anyway. Peter was holding up a white plastic vibrator with a glowing tip, which he had just pulled out of the drawer next to Janet's bed. He continued his search, which had so far proven fruitless, moving to the night table on the opposite side, but his mind was elsewhere—on Meaghan Gallagher.

An unusual woman, he thought, independent and intelligent, with an ironic sense of humor, not to mention attractive. She was outgoing while at the same time Peter could see 24 Christopher Golden her, there have been at least a couple of women besides myself, as recently as last year. This is a little hard to talk about to a stranger. I've only ever told a couple of people. Something in his eyes, on his face, told her it was okay to continue.

He projected an acceptance that was unique in her experience. There was an understanding that radiated from him that would have been impossible to explain. It was, in a way, like the attitude of people who are truly old, who have lived it all and understand your feelings better than you. She was calm now. The next summer we talked about one of us moving out, but realized it didn't matter.

I don't really want to explain it to you, but that part of our relationship stopped. We went on being good, loving friends and constant companions, but there was nothing physical about it. We double-dated, set each other up on blind dates, the whole deal. Every once in a while, when one of us got badly hurt, things might happen, but. I really thought she was going to marry Simon, and I think she did, too. Then he got a job as a photojournalist down in Central America, and she stayed here. Things didn't work out with Max and me either, so Janet and I ended up where we started.

I've never been attracted to any others. I don't know why it happened. She seemed almost to have forgotten she was revealing so much of herself, and now her candid speech shocked her. He shook his head in amusement. It really had been too long. He knelt and began to search under the bed. He was starting to get the idea that this whole thing was a dead end, but he wanted to be thorough. Meaghan came back in.

How's it going in here? I'm trying to figure out if I've missed anything. Let's take a break for a minute. Tell me about Janet—how you met, that sort of thing. I speak for her from what she told me, 'cause we first met in college, Introduction to Political Science with Schmelter. We started talking one day early in freshman year, the way girls do when they're looking for friends. I could see that like me, she was a pretty private person, and neither one of us had any close friends.

So, by default really, we ended up with each other. Sucks, huh? Anyway, she came to me then because she didn't have a shoulder to cry on. Her dad needed support himself, and she didn't want him to see her weakness. I lost my parents in a plane crash a week before the surprise sweet-sixteen party they were throwing for me. While there was mention of him keeping his shadow knowledge, there was no evidence of him struggling to adjust once he just flipped the switch to full sun mage.

I was expecting a bit of mishmash and didn't get it. Also, the entire ending of the book seemed to trail off as if the author was so excited to wrap it up that things got glossed over. When suddenly you have people in the tower again and no idea how they got there or what happened it's a bit jarring. It is a HEA and no cliffhanger so no worries there, I just would have liked a bit more flesh to go with that post battle ending. The brother and ex lover and both kings were all marginalized at the end as well as the war that was brewing but maybe not anymore but I dunno because we weren't really told how that was resolved.

In summary, this is a really good unique story with just a few nits. I'd definitely recommend it. See all 66 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.

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