In this scene, DJ has gone to Old Barataria to visit Jean. It’s early in the book and he is recovering from a little close encounter with a vampire that left him with yet another injury….
Jean settled into his favorite chair with a sigh, and I turned to study my host.
Not just my host, or my job assignment. My friend. How strange that seemed, given that we’d started out trying to kill each other. Although, in retrospect, neither of us had tried very hard.
“You look tired.”
Jean smiled, a hint of the old playful twinkle returning to his cobalt eyes. “Such flattering words, Drusilla. I will become overfull of myself.”
Like he needed help with his ego. I laughed and took at seat on the end of the settee nearest him. “I hate that you got hurt again.”
He shrugged, then winced. “One grows weary of pain, but it is a temporary thing. However, as pleased as I am to see you once again in my home, to what do I owe the real nature of this visit?” Jean reached toward the side table to pour himself a brandy, but I could tell each movement brought a jolt of pain. His movements were too careful, too slow.
That, I could remedy. “I almost forgot. I brought something to help you heal faster.”
While he poured the brandy into a glass, I dug in my messenger bag for the jar of sweet olive and clove ointment that had been infused with magic. Wizards’ physical magic didn’t work in the Beyond, but potions and charms—nice, geeky Green Congress stuff—seemed to work fine. “Spread this on the wound, and it should cut the healing time by about two-thirds.”
Jean sipped his brandy, studied me a moment, then set the glass aside. “Perhaps you might assist me, Jolie.”
He stood up and slowly unbuttoned his tunic, and I wasn’t sure where to settle my gaze. He wanted me to look at him, damn it, and I wasn’t falling for it. Even though my eyes itched to check him out.
I studiously examined my cuticles, which really needed a good manicure. Maybe I’d treat Eugenie to a nice, relaxing mani/pedi on the Elder Express card when we got back to New Orleans.
Jean’s soft laugh drew my gaze upward and there he was, shirtless and sexy, the white bandage wrapped around his belly and a ragged scar on his left bicep only accentuating the tanned skin and firm muscle. He was two-hundred and forty-three years old, damn it, and I was in a committed relationship. Never mind that most of Alex’s and my commitment seemed devoted to arguing right now.
“Would you tend to my needs, Jolie?”
I gasped. That was outrageous, even for Jean. I cleared my throat and hazarded a fierce look at his face. He was grinning, which sent laughter bubbling out of my sore ribcage and I snorted like a pig, which made me laugh harder.
Finally, with some effort, I got myself under control.
“You have a charming laugh, Drusilla. I hear it too seldom.” Jean picked up the jar of ointment, unscrewed the lid after some finagling, and sniffed it.
Come to think of it, I’d laughed twice since arriving in Old Barataria. I don’t remember the last time I laughed in New Orleans; the years since Katrina had been a somber shade of black. Maybe I should visit the Beyond more often.
I kind of love the relationship that DJ and Jean Lafitte have forged. Definitely friends, always with the potential for something more, and we never quite know where he’s going with his innuendos. Better, DJ never quite knows where he’s going with his innuendos. This time, he was just playing her.
Don’t know what things are like where you are, but it’s H-O-T down South right now. Expecting 96 degrees F today and 98 tomorrow and Tuesday. Whew. I shall stay indoors.
Now…did you win a book this week? If you see your name, please contact me at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the relevant info:
TIFFANY WEBB won this week’s Reader’s Choice contest and picked JT Geissinger’s Darkness Bound–let me know if you prefer print or digital.
JEN M and JAMIE MARTIN won copies of my book Lovely, Dark, and Deep–choice of print, digital, or audio!
CARL SCOTT won the three-book mystery stash from my TBR for commenting on Teri Anne Stanley’s post–all of you guys came up with hilarious town names! (To Sullivan McPig: I do want to know the story behind The Lord’s Pants!)
JOLENE won the choice of Betty Bolte’s Traces (digital) or Hometown Heroes (print). Let me know which you prefer!
Th-th-th-that’s all for today, folks. A new Reader’s Choice will be here tomorrow. In the meantime, does this website load really slowly on your computer? It’s ridonkulously slow for me, both to post and to open up, so I’m thinking about changing to a different WordPress Theme to see if that will speed things up. Other people with WP blogs don’t have such issues so it has to be something in the way this site is set up. Hm….