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February Cookie

It is February, the month for Valentine's and Chinese New Year's, which at Casa Cherry Bomb means we plan a Chinese banquet with my signature pink cocktails.

And as there were requests for this and it seemed to fit in with the Mood of the Month...



Liannan turned away from them.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” she remarked. “Summon one of you. Make you see what it’s like. I call on the one the Goblin Market calls a traitor. I call on the liar, the demon lover, the murderer. I call on Alan Ryves!”

Alan stepped out of the shadows of ruins and into the moonlight, limping across the night-gray grass to the circles where magic fires were blazing. There was a sudden hiss rising all around the Market, like a nest of snakes waking and uncoiling, ready to strike.

The demon smiled and beckoned Alan on.

“I do hope you won’t think I was being too harsh,” Liannan murmured.

“No,” said Alan. “It was just the truth.”

“It always is,” Liannan told him. “And people always hate hearing it.”

She was standing at the very edge of the place where the circles joined, magic glowing palely at her feet. Alan stopped about an inch away from her, still standing on shadowed grass.

“Come,” Liannan coaxed. “This little girl promised me a kiss, and you know what happens to her if she can’t keep her promise.”

The threat was clear and the thought — possession — like a blow to the stomach, but even though Mae felt sick and winded, she didn’t feel afraid. Alan wouldn’t let it happen. Not in a thousand years.

She opened her mouth, trying to think of some way to phrase, Sorry, I know saucy demon action wasn’t what you had in mind for tonight, but Alan looked at her and smiled with his ridiculous amount of charm.

“It’s all right, Mae,” he said. “It’s all right, Liannan,” he added in the same warm voice. “I don’t mind.”

“And what if the Market folk stone you to death?” Liannan asked. “Will you mind then?”

“I probably will mind that, yes,” said Alan, as calm as she was.

Liannan shrugged, a loose, sinuous movement. “Men have died for less than a kiss from me before now. What do you desire, Alan Ryves?”

They were watching each other. Mae was surprised at how disturbed she felt by the sight of them, both so clearly fascinated.

“Safe passage.”

“Nobody’s ever safe,” Liannan said. “But you will come to no harm from me tonight. Now take it off.”

Alan put one hand up to his shirt collar and flicked open a couple of buttons, then drew out his talisman, crystals catching magic light in a brief moment of beauty. He reached into the circle and placed his talisman in Mae’s outstretched hand, the knotted leather the talisman hung from coiled neatly under it, Alan’s only protection gone.

He closed her fingers over the talisman with his own. Its warning glow was hidden from sight.

Alan stepped into the demon’s place where the circles overlapped and two worlds collided, where Liannan stood waiting for him.

He stood looking down at her. He wasn’t trembling as Mae had been. He looked across his breakfast table at a demon every morning, Mae thought. It made a strange kind of sense that he wasn’t afraid.

Liannan reached out and ran her icicle fingers down Alan’s cheek, light but still drawing blood at the first touch. A bead of blood welled up and then ran down his face to follow her hand, tracing down Alan’s throat to the exposed hollow where his talisman should have rested.

“I have a memory of you,” Liannan said slowly.

“Yes?” Alan asked. “Well, have another.”


Hope you enjoyed! Next up, Maureen and Sarah's Excellent Adventure.

Comments

( 98 comments — Leave a comment )
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stephanieburgis
Feb. 10th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
Mmm, yummy! :)
kessie
Feb. 10th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, this is going to be fabulous! I can't wait for May.

(I hope Cork city is still standing!)
kohikari
Feb. 10th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
--I just noticed your fantastic icon, and thought at first that it was an upside-down cupcake, and then realised that it's a dress. Is it strange that I still think it looks delicious?
(no subject) - kessie - Feb. 13th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
elucreh
Feb. 10th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
I LOVE ALAN'S STEALTH BADASSERY
sarahtales
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
I enjoy how Covenant gives us a new view of Alan. ;) I hope others will also!
woldy
Feb. 10th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
I'm starting to love Liannan more & more :-D. And Alan, come to think of it. Great cookie :-)
altogetherisi
Feb. 10th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I am excite! Thanks Sarah!
allaboutm_e
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
“Well, have another.”
:)

Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
adamei
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
My love for Alan knows no bounds. The mood in these cookies has been wonderful: sinister yet enticing. Can't wait to read the whole thing.
kathleenfoucart
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
More please! :)
katiebgood
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Yum!

The phrase "demon lover" is supposed to give me flashbacks to "Kubla Khan," right?
somehowfurious
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
I love this. It's so tense and spiteful, and Alan's badass (as per usual). I really, really love the last line of this extract as well; it sent a shiver down my spine. Perfect. Why isn't it May yet, I don't understand!
(Deleted comment)
lavinialavender
Feb. 10th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Icon love. :D I think I had that one uploaded for a while.
khasael
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
*squee*

Oh, I love this new view of Alan. And I always love Liannan. Why is May not here yet? This book will be my just-barely-belated birthday gift to myself.
evelynlela
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yum! That scene reads like so much fun especially since there are at least fifty people watching in total horror and whatever that compulsion is to watch the cars crash. Oh I wish you were doing a book from Alan's pov. How, informative, and interesting that would be having the tale told by the storyteller whose been filling the silence with solid convincing lies since he started looking after Nick.
sarahtales
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Heh, I feel like it'd be kinda dull. ALAN: Here is my plot. Now let us sit for a few hundred pages watching everyone else stumble their way to the end game.

But I am glad you enjoyed the snippet. First make-out scene, audience of horrified spectators! Alan, so much crazier from everyone's point of view but Nick's.
(no subject) - tsubaki_ny - Feb. 10th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karaethon - Feb. 10th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - evelynlela - Feb. 11th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - darkveela7 - Feb. 22nd, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_moriel - Feb. 10th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - evelynlela - Feb. 11th, 2010 11:02 am (UTC) - Expand
antimony_medusa
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
This is delightful! MAN, I want to know how it ends!
hollyxu
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
Alan's secretly ruling the world, isn't he?

indecentfantasy
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
Haha when Liannan said "take it off" and Alan started to undo his buttons, I sat up in my seat in anticipation of a strip scene(!). What a tease...maybe next time.
savvy_implet
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Bahaha, that was totally my initial thought too! I was all, "YEAH, ALAN, TAKE IT OFF!"
courtneysmyth
Feb. 10th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, how I wish to be Liannan..... With the clear absence of Nick, Alan is really in his own there... Kiss me, Alan! I wanna memory! ;-)

And Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is seriously an, eh, excellent movie - judging by your bizzare tweets this week, Maureen and Sarah's excellent adventure is sure to be also, eh, excellent! Can't wait! ;-) xxx
kohikari
Feb. 10th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
"Now take it off."

I do hope I'm not the only one who thought at first that Liannan was commanding Alan to start stripping. I shall feel very lonely if I am.

Also, I didn't think it was possible but every glimpse of Covenant makes me love the characters so much more. Liannan got to summon a human! Such a delicious role reversal, however flimsy. Perfect style, too--she'd know, having been summoned that way for centuries. Calling him by what others think of him--perfect parallel to the whole Nick thing, where the entire summoning process is based not on some "true demonic name" but on the history and perceived identity of the demon from the eyes of the human world.

And what will the Goblin Market think? "Oh, there's that deranged Ryves boy again, first he's raising demons and now he's making out with them, what will he do next, try to become one? so grateful his poor father isn't here to see this, it'd break his heart, I don't know what has become of youth today, all this loud rock music and consorting indecently with the otherworld..."

(Also, this is really making me want to read Throb. ;) )
aimeesworld
Feb. 10th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
Definitely not the only one.
(no subject) - sarahtales - Feb. 10th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kohikari - Feb. 10th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
I am ridiculously excited for this book! :)
lavinialavender
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOSH THAT'S SO INTENSE. *flails* I'M WORRIED ABOUT ALAN. I mean, not about what's happening to him in this scene, but where on earth Nick is and how he's coping with that and what Liannan called him (traitor!) and auuuuuuuuuugh.

He looked across his breakfast table at a demon every morning, Mae thought.
Great line and insight.
sarahtales
Feb. 10th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
Nick is elsewhere, but considering Alan is about to bring the mack, his baby brother being elsewhere may be a bit of a relief. ;)
(no subject) - lavinialavender - Feb. 10th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Feb. 10th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lavinialavender - Feb. 10th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Feb. 10th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
timeripple
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
Hurray! I am looking forward to this book so very much, especially since I keep flailing and pressing my copy of The Demon's Lexicon on my friends.

I am especially happy that we will get a new view of Alan in this book. I admit, I was expecting Alan to be my clear favorite in The Demon's Lexicon and was thus completely astonished and bowled over by my sudden love for Nick. Not that I don't love Alan too! But it will be fascinating to see him through a point of view not belonging to Nick, through a different lens with its own set of feelings and notions about him. Can't wait!
sarahtales
Feb. 10th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Different points of view are great fun - I've loved writing Nick and Alan (among others) with three very different slants.
flamecurls
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Um, EEE! Definitely *not* a kiss I would have guessed... but quite exciting, especially with the hints of plot too.
harborshore
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I love her already! I accidentally gave my sister my copy of "Demon's Lexicon" to read, and she took it on the plane back to college, and so now I'm bereft, Sarah, bereft. But these cookies are doing a wonderful job of keeping me appeased until we get the next book. (Also, my copy of "Ash" arrived.)
sarahtales
Feb. 10th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Liannan, d'you mean? Well, I'm glad!

Sisters cannot be trusted. I steal my sister's books all the livelong day.
(no subject) - harborshore - Feb. 10th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
lady_moriel
Feb. 10th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
O_O

Argh why is it not May yet, and also I am shipping Mae/Alan harder than ever now. I just want to pet him and keep him safe.
sarahtales
Feb. 10th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
I would not have thought this snip would inspire Mae/Alan love, but it is all most pleasing!
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