Night Embrace (Dark-Hunterverse #3)

(As Ash left the house, the back door slammed shut, catching the tail end of his long black coat. Ash jerked to a stop and cursed. Nick howled with laughter at the sight of Acheron trapped.)
Don’t it take the bad-ass right out of you? (Nick)
(Ash arched a brow. The door opened by itself, freeing his coat, then it slammed shut again. Nick sobered instantly.)
And that puts it right back in you. (Nick)

(Ash used his powers to lift Zarek from the floor and pin him roughly against the ceiling.)
Stop pushing your luck, boy. I’ve had it with you. (Acheron)
Have you ever thought of hiring yourself out to Disneyland? People would pay a fortune for this ride. (Zarek)

Be a part of the world, but never in it. Because of what we do, we have to interact with people. But we must be unseen shadows who move among them. Never let anyone know you. Never give them a chance to realize you don’t age. Move through the darkness ever watchful, ever alert. We are all that stands between the humans and slavery. Without us, they all die and their souls are lost forever. Our responsibilities are great. Out battles numerous and legendary. But at the end of the night, you go home alone where no one knows what it is you have done to save the world that fears you. You can never bask in your glory. You can never know love or family. We are Dark-Hunters. We are forever powerful. We are forever alone. (Acheron)

Can you take human form in daylight? (Talon)
Obviously so. Ever tried to answer a phone without opposable thumbs? (Vane)

Clean it up, hell. Do you know how many cameras just caught your stunt-jump from upstairs? My mom now thinks you’re on the drugs she suspects Kyrian sells. We’re screwed. My life is toast. I’m about to get lectured about working for drug dealers…again. My mom, bless her heart, is so goofy, she doesn’t even realize she works for bears. I’m so screwed. (Nick)

C’mon, Tally. Don’t you want your clothes, your keys? Oh wait, how about some dignity? (Kyrian)

Come home with me, Acheron. I’ll make it well worth your while. (Artemis)
I have a headache. (Acheron)
You’ve had a headache for two hundred years! (Artemis)
And you’ve had PMS for eleven thousand. (Acheron)

Eleven thousand five hundred and fifty-one years old, and yes, I feel every day of it. (Acheron)
Wow, I had no idea. Hell, I didn’t even know we had people back then. (Nick)
Yeah, I was part of the original Bedrock crew who worked in the quarry on the back of dinosaurs and ran with the Flintstones. Barney Rubble was short, but he played a good game of stone-knuckle. (Acheron)

Ewwww-eee-wwww. Hey Ash, you vant to suck my blud? (Fang)
No, thanks. The last thing I want is to catch parvo from you, or some other freaky dog disease that makes me lift my leg around hydrants. (Acheron)

He was like some wild, untamed creature that you could keep and feed for a time, but in the end you knew you'd have to let it go for its own sake as well as yours.

He who lets fear rule him, has fear for a master [Acheron]

I am Darkness. I am Shadow. I am the Ruler of the Night. I, alone, stand between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. I am the Guardian. The Soulless Keeper. Neither Human, nor Apollite, I exist beyond the realm of the Living, beyond the realm of the Dead. I am the Dark-Hunter. And I am Eternal…unless I find that one pure heart who will never betray me. The one whose faith and courage can return my soul to me and bring me back into the light. (Dark-Hunter Creed)

If everyone does as I’ve instructed, then things should work out the way they’re meant to. (Acheron)
And if we don’t? (Talon)
We’re all screwed. (Acheron)
Gee, Ash, you’re just so damn comforting. (Nick)
I try to be anyway. (Acheron)
You fail admirably. (Nick)

Next time I’ll just send the three of you e-mails. What was I thinking when I decided to have this meeting? (Acheron)
Oh, I know. That men who are a couple of thousand years old could actually behave like grownups? (Nick)
(Zarek elbowed Nick in the stomach.)
Oops. Involuntary arm spasm. (Zarek)

Nick, fetch my car, fetch my clothes, sweep the chimney, make my bed, watch my psychopath, fetch my slippers.

Nick’s right, you are psychotic. (Talon)
The correct term is sociopathic and yes, I am. But at least I have no delusions about myself. (Zarek)
Meaning? (Talon)
Take your meaning wherever you can find it. (Zarek)

Nick was dressed in jeans, a dark green sweater, and bomber jacket–the perfect image of a rich college student. Talon looked like a biker who had just left Sanctuary, New Orleans’s premier biker bar. Acheron looked like a refugee from the Dungeon–the local underground goth hangout. Valerius was the professional contingent, and Zarek…Zarek just looked like he was ready to kill something.’ (Talon)

Oh, yeah, insanity ran deep in the roots of that family tree.’ (Talon)

Only a fool took a remote from a god.

Shut up, Nick. (Talon)
'Shut up, Nick, heel, sit, fetch.’ Love you too, Celt. (Nick)

So, does this make you visibly challenged? (Nick)
No, but if you don’t lay off me, I’m going to make you breathing impaired. (Acheron)

Sunshine, I... Starla's voice broke off as she entered the room and caught sight of him standing naked in the corner. She eyed him in an odd, detached way, as if he were an interesting piece of furniture.

Talon and modesty were strangers, but the way she stared at him made him damned uncomfortable. In spite of the sunlight, Talon grabbed the pink blanket off the bed and clutched it to his middle.

You know, Sunshine, you need to find a man like that to marry. Someone so well hung that even after three or four kids, he'd still be wall to wall.

Talon gaped.

Sunshine laughed. "Starla, you're embarrassing him.

Talon glanced wistfully at his drink as he debated what should take priority. 'Coffee… Daimons… Coffee… Daimons…

Tell me, is it better to know love and have lost it or to have never known it at all? [Camulus]

Well", Fang said, mimicking a thick Southern drawl. "I must say its mighty nice of them Daimons to clean up after themselves when you kill them" He held his hands up to them. "Look Ma, no mess."

"Does Fang have an off switch?" Talon asked Vane.

What are you? (a Daimon)
Oh please, let me give you the job description. Me, Dark-Hunter. You, Daimon. I hit, you bleed. I kill, you die. (Zarek)

You are the only warmth in my heart. The only sunshine my winter has ever known. (Talon)

You know, I met a wise man centuries ago in China who said to me, ‘He who lets fear rule him, has fear for a master. (Acheron)
Confucius? (Talon)
No, Minh-Quan. He was a fisherman who used to sell what I’m told was the best zong zi ever made. (Acheron)

You know, I’ve had a really wonderful night tonight. I got to tell Kyrian and Julian that Valerius is in town and spent, oh I don’t know, three, four hours trying to keep them from going after the Roman. Then, just when I could relax and do my job, I find out there are Daimons in the swamp and no Talon to kill them. And why wasn’t Talon here? Because Tarzan was swinging off a balcony to save Jane from Cheetah. Now all I can do is stand here and say, next fiasco, please, right this way. (Acheron)

You, psycho-ass, and Talon, I’ll cover, but not him. (Nick)
Psycho-ass? Hmm, I like that. (Zarek)
Nick– (Acheron)
It’s all right, Greek. I would rather die than have his plebeian help anyway. (Valerius)
Make that three votes, then. I would rather he died, too. Now all together, let’s vote this asshole off the island. (Zarek)