Michael rose to his feet and padded down the last few steps silently, came up behind Kim, and leaned over her to say, I vant to drink your blood in a heavy, fake-Dracula accent. She shrieked, flailed, and a zombie ate her brains on-screen.

I can smell the crazy on that man from here. I have a nose for it.

Jeez, Claire. If I didn't love you, you'd scare me.

Go to hell and take that with you! She shouted it right in Amelie's face. Eve.

Lewis and I played my-God-how-tacky-is-that? with Patrick's collection of objets d'crap, finally coming to the conclusion that only a going-out-of-business sale at a whorehouse could really explain a lot of it.

It is a natural stronghold for them—they can infest this maze of iron and water like a horde of starving cockroaches, and they'll be just as hard to anticipate and to kill in such close quarters.

It's called being polite; they probably didn't teach you that at home. Doesn't mean I like you or anything.

Well," Claire said, "at least we have tacos. Everything goes better with tacos.

Tempting. But you see, I can simply insist on a lifetime contract with none of your silly restrictions, or kill you right now.

Dear girls, I can let anyone get hurt because in my world, my safety and well-being come first.

He also knows that a gun can't protect you unless you protect yourself mentally, emotionally, and logically. It's the punctuation at the end, not the paragraph.

Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.' Stupid.

Okay, that really shouldn't have happened. And we're not going to talk about that, right? Ever?

Bad men skulking in the darkness have always been there, and always will.

I'm a vampire, idiot. I don't have x-ray vision." "Some supernatural monster you are, remind me to trade you in for a werewolf, bro. Probably be more useful right now.

I love arguing with you, Claire. You always surprise me. And occasionally, you even make sense.

Maybe she'd seen too many Japanese horror movies, and maybe it was just a tingle of warning from generations of superstitious ancestors, but suddenly she knew that what Alyssa wanted was not to be saved, but for Shane to join her. In death.

Sure. Knock yourself out. No, really. Hammer to the head, works every time. Claire.

It's dreadfully unfair to say things like that when this is likely the last time we will speak and we both know you don't mean what you say. It's pure selfishness that you want to keep me here.

I love it when you talk dirty physics.

You should have trusted me. I'm really tired of people not trusting me.

Follow me,' Myrnin said. 'And do stay together. And by the way, this is the last time I go anywhere with you people. You are all insane.

I knew you'd come,Claire.I knew you would.Dear God,you took your time.

You know it's desperate," she said. "Shane is going to the library.

I'm insane, not forgetful.

My vampire boss, who would like to maybe be my boyfriend, just dropped in to tell me he was running away because Morganville's too dangerous.

It's like disco inferno up in here.

Let's say that it belong to me as much as it belongs to anyone alive today. If I am, strictly speaking, living. The old word was undead, you know, but aren't all living things undead. I dislike imprecision.

Oh hell no. Guys don't talk about that crap.

You think that because I want to do what's right, because I want to make things better, I'm weak, Claire said. Or that I'm stupid. But I'm not. It takes a lot more strength to know how bad the world is and not want to be part of that, give in to it. And I do know, Kim. Believe me.

I'm glad I've escaped a hell I had hardly even recognized when I was burning in it.

You can't go around... licking things that come out of a water treatment plant. That's just... unsanitary.

The world doesn't end, Claire. In the morning, the survivors start to build again. It's way of things. The human way.

I've bowed to you for too long, and if I continue to do it, we will all suffer.

Welcome to Morganville.You'll never want to leave.And even if you do...well, you can't. Sorry about that.

I stopped in the full force of a patch of sunlight in the lobby window and let my skin soak up the energy. I hadn't realized I needed it until it reached inside and stilled me in a way that only David's touch had been able to achieve. Why does that feel so good? I asked. And don't tell me it's because we've been shut in a room for.

You were leaving, and you didn't even know if I was okay.

She was also wearing vampire bunny slippers. Myrnin had given them each a pair for Christmas, since they'd all found his so hilarious, and as Eve marched toward Claire, the rabbit slippers' mouths flapped up and down, their red tongues flashing and plush teeth biting the ground.

We never wanted to conquer the world, only our fears.

This one is named Eve," I said. "And don't check my teeth like I'm your livestock. I bite back.

Bite me, Dracula.

When I want to know your opinion, I'll consult your entrails.

You okay? Eve asked her. Claire nodded, still gasping. Yeah, I know. Terror Aerobics. Just wait until they get it at the gym. It'll be bigger than Pilates.

Suddenly the enormity of it crashed down on me . . .

In an insane world, sanity made very little sense.

Chief Hannah Moses, she said. You must be Mrs. Grant. Heard of me? You left an impression. You may be the first combat librarian I've ever met. That earned an almost-full smile from the other woman. I think most librarians are combat qualified, she said. It's not as peaceful a job as it looks.

You let me believe all this time that I bound myself to you in exchange for getting published and being successful. Kathleen's mouth worked around the bitterness of the words. You assumed that. And you know what they say, when you assume you make an ass out of...

Claire hated to say it, but she knew the answer, in her heart. Because he feels something for me, and he wanted to give me a chance to live. Like him. With him. But I refused.

As Jess watched in numb horror, the man tore a page from the book and stuffed it into his mouth.