They catch Tedward up on the situation; he automatically believes Rankin isn’t human simply because Anita says so- she’s cool like dat. They spot Rankin outside; looks like he’s waiting for someone. Tedward notes he looks like he’d fit in with Anita’s crew. Anita’s kinda meh, but Nate likes what he sees. Micah says it’s the first time Nate talked about another man in front of him.
Rankin is slender, like Micah (since when?) and everyone notes that he kind of looks like Mike, too. Lots of cops around now, so it looks like they found something. So much activity helps Nate focus on the missing woman, Bettina, and not on Rankin and what he said to him. Huh? Soon as he saw Rankin, Nate wanted to get closer, and Rankin wanted Nate to tell him what he’d done, to confess. Micah could tell Rankin was mind-fucking them, but he couldn’t fight it. Rankin’s power is like a promise, a tease- being near you guys and touching you is real.
Using Undue Magical Influence or Magical Malfeasance, especially if someone dies, gets you the Death Penalty in every state. But if he does it in a state without the Death Penalty, he might not get fully charged under the law, so he might not get Death Row. (is it me or this utterly nonsensical?) They don’t mess around with weres & paranormals; trial & execution are so fast, your head’ll spin.
A cop comes over; Anita and Ted flash their badges, so the cop confirms they’ve got something, and it’s pretty bad- sounds like it’s Bettina. (which would be consistent with none of Anita’s people getting hurt since they all know Denny)
Det. Rankin spots them and chews out the cop for talking to them as only Anita & Ted have badges. Micah observes Rankin wants to attract attention to them. Tedward steps up to talk to him and the hissy fit continues- in front of the press and everyone with a smartphone.
Rankin turns his attention to Nate, telling him he should confess what he did. Nate, dazed & confused, agrees. Anita moves to intervene, touching Rankin’s shoulder, and ends up just as mind-fucked as Nate (sic). 357 pages.
(LKH *really* likes using the term “mind-fucked” for some reason.)
Anita panics, but JC helps her break free by letting him through her shields and she feels a kiss- it’s Ru, as her Bride, serving her needs. Now everyone’s got pics of Ru kissing Anita Blake. Tedwards arguing with a group of cops, so maybe Anita should go help out. Problem is explaining what just happened. 361 pages.
The female cop, Dalton, arguing with Tedward is the local psychic- the only one in the area. She has enough curves to not look like a boy in a polo and slacks. Dalton felt the mojo, and not knowing about Rankin thinks it’s Anita’s fault for bespelling people (well, of course, but LKH makes it seem like she’s a dipstick for it). Anita decides to correct her terminology, calling it a mind-fuck (there it is again!). Dalton concedes it felt pretty strong, so maybe… mind-rape? NO! No maybe; it was MIND-RAPE!1! So how can you be so calm about mind-raping an officer, Blake? NO! Not me- him; HE MIND-RAPED ME!
Rankin shows up to chime in- yeah, it wuz Anita. Anita asks Dalton if she’s felt this power before- yeah. Then it couldn’t have been me since I just got to town! Hmmm…
Rankin slides over to touch Dalton… (to MIND-FUCK HER!!!) and her eyes glaze over. Anita steps in, moving Rankin away, and keeps talking to Dalton. Tedward comes to help out, repeating Anita’s point and asking her to check out the boys in the car to see that it’s not them.
Anita and Rankin square off; Anita focusing on his chest. If someone’s gonna attack you, they have to move their center mass first. That’s where their arms are attached- think about it (sic). (The More You Know)
Rankin tries calling out to Dalton but Anita cuts him off. She pulls his card, raising her voice loud enough to be overheard that this won’t help them find the other missing woman. Rankin gets desperate, tries to push past Anita to get to Dalton but she blocks him.
It’s already too late for your friend, Blake! Dammit!- it was Denny! Nope; but that’s all you’re getting from me! I’m a Fed! And your buddies are suspects!
Suddenly, another cop- Capt. Tyburn- shows up, demanding answers from Rankin. Tyburn’s wife sent him a video- from the INTERNET!- of Rankin yelling at Blake and co., and it looks like you’re playing up to the cameras. (Damn, that was fast!) So you and I are gonna have a talk- now! 367 pages.
(Don’t know about y’all, but I’m feeling pretty MIND-FUCKED myself right now)