This is one of those cliches that nobody even questions anymore, but the paragraph about this is kind of precious:
They looked like agents. I don’t know what it is about FBI training but Feds always just seem to look like what they are. All flavors of cops tend to look like cops, but only FBI looks like FBI and not plain cops. Don’t know what they do to them down in Quantico, but whatever it is, it sticks.I am never using "flavor" to describe anything. Not even ice cream. Not ever again.
Chester Fox is Native American. We get a long skreed on how Native American cops have to spend all their time dealing with Native American cases, and that their ethnicity will define their careers forever. Somehow this explains why Chester was so pissy on the phone. Because it couldn't be, you know, that Anita Blake is a horrible cop.
Chester's buddy is Agent Franklin, fresh in from New Mexico. Given that New Mexico was Obsidian Butterfly, and it involved a villian who got really creative with reanimating severed body parts (his skin was blinking) my first instinct would be to grab any other survivors and spend several hours reaffirming that yes, we are both alive and yes, that bad shit is in the past, and yes, I will buy the next beer for you. Anita and Franklin promptly get into a dick measuring contest. Something else that actually reads more like "This is a terrible cop and I don't want to work with them" than, you know, an actual dick measuring contest.
Who the fuck names their kid Bradley Bradford?
We spend a few more minutes discussing how supernatural crimes got split off from normal ones, and how certain cops are against it and some aren't. A book exploring this would be really interesting, but instead it's all about Anita's ego.
Chester knows Micah from the wereleopard attack that left our favorite raping super-penis all furry. Goody. Franklin gets pissy that Anita brought a civilian in on a federal case--again, this is a perfectly reasonable concern given that a future defense attorney will be nit-picking like a first-time mom during a lice infestation--and Chester Fox effectively tells Franklin to sit down and shut up.
Good FBI agent, bad FBI agent. I gotcha.
Anita worries about Micah...specifically about how she can't offer any comfort without revealing that she's sleeping with him, something that she wants to hide from Franklin.
WHY ARE YOU EVEN THINKING ABOUT THIS?
In St. Louis this "PROTECT MAH SEX LIFE" obsession made sense: Anita's behavior has a direct effect on the lives and reputations of everybody she works with. She could get Richard fired from his job. She could get Jean Claude killed and/or manipulated into a situation where he loses power over his city. She could destroy a court case Dolph and Zerbowski spent months on. She could torpedo Animator's Inc. She has friends and family who have certain expectations that she would like to meet. I'm not saying that any of this is right, but the politics in this book are constructed in a way that puts Anita under a freaking microscope. She's in a situation in St. Louis where she does have to think about what people see her do on a regular basis and at least consider the repercussions of, say, being seen in public with her hands on Micah's ass. One of my big issues with her character is that she doesn't care, that she continually does things that absolutely 100% would get her loved ones killed just because she wants to do things her way. (And also that the book is stacked so that these situations exist.)
But the thing is? THIS IS NOT ST. LOUIS. She might need to play nice with the Master of the City here, and any odd Alphas, but she's not under the same microscope. She could sleep with a different guy every night and, as long as she does her job well, and isn't sleeping with an investigator or a suspect (so the defense attourney can't question her integrity re: the case), the FBI isn't going to care about the traffic level in her hotel room. They don't have an emotional investment in her the way people do back in St. Louis. She's got every right to walk around Philly with her hand in Micah's back pocket, and to tell anybody to go get fucked. In fact, openly bringing a boyfriend along for the ride would probably take care of the akward "She brought a civilian" issues.
And only one of these guys knew her before today: Franklin. Who knew her from New Mexico. Anita went to New Mexico to put her romantic life on hold. She had Richard and Jean Claude, but she wasn't interested in actively dating either for a while. She spent her entire time in New Mexico having the crap kicked out of her by random Mayan vampires. She did not have sex with anyone. She did not have the ardeur, she did not have a stable back home. I don't even remember her bringing it up. So again: There's no reason to assume that either FBI agent would take issue with Anita having Micah along for the ride. Especially because she's not here to investigate shit. She raises a zombie, she lets them ask questions, she puts the zombie down, and then she spends a couple days in Philly with her boyfriend enjoying herself on the government's tab. This is not unreasonable.
“Jesus, what is it about her?” Franklin said. “She blinks those big brown eyes and everyone just looks the other way while she breaks a dozen rules and bends the very law we’re sworn to uphold.” He turned around in the seat as far as the seat belt would let him. “How do you do it?”You know something's wrong when even the characters are questioning the basic plot. And again: He's not bringing up sex. Anita is the one who makes it all about sex.
What's interesting to me, however, is that Fox repeatedly tells Franklin to back down because of Micah. That what Micah went through proves that both Micah and Anita can be trusted. Anita gains Fox's trust, not because of anything she's done, but because Micah got hurt several years ago and Fox respects him for surviving. Because it's not like Micah betrayed other shapeshifters to a meglomaniacal serial killer with DID, or raped Anita because he felt like it, or stalked her because ditto.
So Franklin asks one more time why Micah has to be brought along, and Anita says it's because she needs to have sex three or four times a day and...
...wait. Didn't that almost kill Nathanial? And he was only getting drained once or twice a day? I know Micah is supposed to be the Uber-Penis but come on, this should technically be putting his life at risk.
Fuck it. Franklin pouts because that can't possibly be the truth, and Anita is smug for the rest of the ride. End of chapter.