It’s really hard to find a non-spoilery snippet. This is the best I can do.
Ten minutes before midnight Curran appeared. One moment the doorway was empty and I was listening to Desandra primping in the on-suite bathroom, then I blinked, and here he was, standing light on his toes, radiating that a contained physical energy that pulled me like a magnet. My heart made a pathetic attempt to jump inside my chest.
I scrutinized his face. He seemed on edge, his expression worn, the line of his mouth tired but firm. His eyes said that he was annoyed, and if you got in his way now, he’d snap your neck without hesitation and keep going about his way.
Derek rose from his spot on the floor and moved himself out of the way.
Curran entered the room, striding toward me, like a predator on the prowl, paw over paw. I stood from my chair. “Where—“
Curran gathered me to him and kissed me. It was a long, lingering kiss, made from fading exasperation, relief, and happiness. He smiled at me, those eyes so warm and welcoming. “I wanted to do this all day.”
Okay. I waited to see if question marks would sprout all around me, but the air stayed clear. I kept my voice level. “Where have you been?”
“The Italians and the Howlers wanted to discuss things and I had to sit in as a witness.”
“For five hours?”
“More or less. They are trying to hammer out some sort of agreement to unite against Kral.”
“Did they succeed?”
“Hell no. Everybody was tired from the hunt and irritable as fuck. They bickered about inheriting the pass, and did their grandstanding, and accused each other of things. Radomil fell asleep. For a few minutes it looked like they might actually agree on something. Then Gerardo’s younger brother – Ignazio – decided it would be a grand idea to jump up and announce that when his nephew was born, at least he would be born smart like his father, so he should inherit the pass and not the other kid, who’s been fathered by a citrullo.”
“What’s a citrullo?”
“From what I gathered, it’s either a cucumber or a half-wit.” Curran shook his head. “Then Howlers started yelling. The Italians yelled back. Radomil woke up and someone clued him in that he has been insulted but apparently not who’d done it, because Radomil went after Gerardo and called him parazeet and viridok.”
“Parasite and bastard,” I translated. Voron was Russian. I spoke well enough, better now that I had someone in Atlanta to practice with, and I’d hung out enough with Ukranians to pick up the language. Curses were the second thing you learned, right behind yes, no, help, stop, and where is the bathroom?
“Ahh.” Curran nodded. “That explains why Gerardo’s mother went furry.”
“So what happened?”
“Then I roared. Then every one got insulted and declared that they wouldn’t stand for this and the meeting was over.”