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TitleMoon Called
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Page 249

He looked like someone who could kill as easily as I could change a tire, with
as little thought or remorse.
Then his mobile brows climbed his forehead—and he was suddenly the same

vampire who’d painted his old VW bus to look like Scooby’s Mystery Machine.
“You don’t look happy to see me,” he said with a quick grin that didn’t show

his fangs. In the dark, his eyes looked more black than brown—but then so did
“Come in.” I backed away from the door so he could; then, because he’d

scared me I added snappishly, “If you want welcoming, try stopping by at a
decent hour.”
He hesitated on the threshold, smiled at me, and said, “By your invitation.”

Then he stepped inside my house.
“That threshold thing really works?” I asked.
His smile widened again, this time I saw a glint of white. “Not after you’ve

invited me in.”
He walked past me and into the living room and then turned like a model on a

runway. The folds of his duster spread out with his turn in an effect nearly cape-
“So how do you like me ?”
I sighed and admitted it. “Scared me. I thought you eschewed all things

gothic.” I’d seldom seen him in anything other than jeans and T-shirts.
His smile widened even more. “Usually I do. But the Dracula look does have

its place. Oddly enough, used sparingly, it scares other vampires almost as well
as it does the odd coyote-girl. Don’t worry, I have a bit of costuming for you,
He reached under his coat and pulled out a silver-studded leather harness.
I stared at it a moment. “Going to an S&M strip club are you? I didn’t realize

there was anything like that around here.” There wasn’t, not to my knowledge.
Eastern Washington is more prudish than Seattle or Portland.
He laughed. “Not tonight, sweetheart. This is for your other self.” He shook

the straps out so I could see that it was a dog harness.
I took it from him. It was good leather, soft and flexible with so much silver

that it looked like jewelry. If I’d been strictly human, no doubt I’d have been
taken aback at wearing such a thing. But when you spend a good part of your
time running around as a coyote, collars and the like are pretty useful.

Page 250

The Marrok, the leader of the North American werewolves, insists that all of
the wolves wear a collar when they run in the cities, with tags that identify them
as someone’s pet. He also insists the names on the tags be something innocuous
like Fred or Spot, no Killers or Fangs. It’s safer that way—both for the
werewolves and the law-enforcement people who might encounter them.
Needless to say, it’s as popular with the werewolves as the helmet law was with
the motorcyclists when it first went into effect. Not that any of them would
dream of disobeying the Marrok.
Not being a werewolf, I’m exempt from the Marrok’s rules. On the other hand,

I don’t like running unnecessary risks either. I had a collar in my kitchen junk
drawer—but it wasn’t made of nifty black leather.
“So I’m part of your costume?” I asked.
“Let’s just say that I think this vampire might need more intimidation than

most,” he answered lightly, though something in his eyes made me think there
was something more going on.
Medea wandered out from wherever she’d been sleeping. Probably Samuel’s

bed. Purring furiously, she wound her small self around Stefan’s left leg and
then rubbed her face against his boot to mark him as hers.
“Cats and ghosts don’t like vampires,” Stefan said staring down at her.
“Medea likes anything that might feed or pet her,” I told him. “She’s not

He bent down and scooped her up. Being picked up isn’t Medea’s favorite

thing, so she yowled at him several times before going back to purring as she
sank her claws into his expensive leather sleeve.
“You aren’t cashing in your favor just to appear more intimidating,” I said,

looking up from the soft leather harness to meet his eyes. Unwise with vampires,
he himself had told me so, but all I saw was opaque darkness. “You said you
wanted a witness. A witness to what?”
“No, I don’t need you in order to appear intimidating,” Stefan agreed softly

after I’d stared at him for a few seconds. “But think intimidation is why I
have a coyote on my leash.” He hesitated, and then shrugged. “This vampire has
been through here before, and I think that he managed to deceive one of our
young ones. Because of what you are, you are immune to many vampiric
powers, especially if the vampire in question doesn’t know what you are.
Thinking you a coyote, he’s probably not going to waste his magic on you at all.
It is unlikely, but he might manage to deceive me as well as he did Daniel. I

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