Richard’s account of the conversation he had with Summers on Monday was entirely useless in terms of figuring the blonde out. Somehow, Anita was not surprised. She listened to the message on her answering machine for three whole times before deleting it in a fit of anger.
Anita Blake was used to dealing with two sorts of people. The strong and the weak. There were some shades of grey in between, but even those could be grouped as either strong or weak. So, two kinds of people. Not three, not one. Two.
People like Nathaniel were weak. They were submissive to almost everyone, they were aimless if left on their own devices and they craved contact with others like they craved air. That did not necessarily make them less, she had learned, only different. Just like every hero needed a villain by default, every strong person needed at least one weak person to define themselves by.
It was the way of the world. Well, at the least the supernatural world. But the Executioner found that in most situations the supernatural was only a more pronounced and stark reflection of the regular world. Emotions were wilder, fights harsher, love more intense. Everything was the same, only the gears were higher.
Strong people were people like her - and she said that without arrogance – people who were in control of things, themselves and potentially, others. The dominant personalities that everyone had in their lives, for better or worse. Some of them ruled every aspect of their lives with an iron fist, control freaks the lot of them. Others were less…demanding. Still, when they talked, people tended to listen and when they yelled, people tended to cower.
It was the way of the world. There were two kinds of people. Anita had ways for dealing with both kinds. The strong she either shot or made her allies. The weak she either protected or shot. It was a nice, clean world view.
And suddenly, one tiny, blonde girl walked in and threatened to destroy everything.
Elisabeth Summers was weak. She didn’t stand up for herself at school. She bowed to social expectations. She had avoided a confrontation with Richard for as long as possible. She only spoke when spoken to. She had no opinion on anything. She was the perfect piece of furniture to put into a corner and simply forget about.
Elisabeth Summers was strong. She scared the people around her. When she spoke, she managed to reduce people to stuttering messes in seconds simply by handling the truth without any form of delicacy. She named things. She didn’t let people hide. She confused them. She irritated them. She led a secret life, independent of what anyone thought of her.
The problem? Both sides, both ideas, both definitions, matched. And Anita had no clue whether she should treat the girl as a threat to herself and her people or offer her protection from whatever she seemed to be hiding from.
After almost a week of brooding she had come to the conclusion that something supernatural was going on with the girl. As such, it was her business to find out what. But she had no intention of getting killed in the process.
Angrily, the animator flung the brush she had been combing her hair with at the mirror. It clattered onto the vanity uselessly. This was all so frustrating. When had she decided to think things through before acting? Thinking only complicated matters, no matter what Micah and Jean-Claude said. She was action-girl, not plan-girl. Plans made her itchy and cranky and annoyed and her finger very trigger happy.
She shoved the brush back into the drawer it had come from and got to her feet, looking around for her cell phone.
It seemed it was time to call the Circus of the Damned and see what Jean-Claude thought of the mess Richard had probably gotten himself into without knowing.