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Evangelina, Page 1

MaryJanice Davidson

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page


  PART ONE - Lue




















  PART TWO - Art
















  PART THREE - Mercy













  Praise for the novels of

  MaryJanice Davidson

  "A hilarious romp full of goofy twists and turns, great fun for fans of humorous vampire romance."


  "Delightful, wicked fun!"

  --Christine Feehan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dark Predator

  "Move over, Buffy. Betsy's in town, and she rocks! . . . I don't care what mood you are in; if you open this book, you are practically guaranteed to laugh . . . top-notch humor and a fascinating perspective of the vampire world."


  "One of the funniest, most satisfying series to come along lately. If you're [a fan] of Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake, don't miss Betsy Taylor. She rocks."

  --The Best Reviews

  "Undead and Unwed is an irreverently hilarious, superbly entertaining novel of love, lust, and designer shoes. Betsy Taylor is an unrepentant fiend--about shoes. She is shallow, vain, and immensely entertaining. Her journey from life to death, or the undead, is so amusing I found myself laughing out loud while reading. Between her human friends, vampire allies, and her undead enemies, her first week as the newly undead is never boring . . . a reading experience that will leave you laughing and 'dying' for more from the talented pen of MaryJanice Davidson."

  --Romance Reviews Today

  "Creative, sophisticated, sexy, and wonderfully witty."

  --Catherine Spangler, national bestselling author of Touched by Light

  Titles by MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi

  Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace

  Jennifer Scales and the Messenger of Light

  The Silver Moon Elm: A Jennifer Scales Novel

  Seraph of Sorrow: A Jennifer Scales Novel

  Rise of the Poison Moon: A Jennifer Scales Novel

  Evangelina: A Jennifer Scales Novel

  Titles by MaryJanice Davidson

  Undead and Unwed

  Undead and Unemployed

  Undead and Unappreciated

  Undead and Unreturnable

  Undead and Unpopular

  Undead and Uneasy

  Undead and Unworthy

  Undead and Unwelcome

  Undead and Unfinished

  Undead and Undermined

  Derik's Bane

  Sleeping with the Fishes

  Swimming Without a Net

  Fish out of Water



  (with Laurell K. Hamilton, Rebecca York, Eileen Wilks)


  (with Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor)

  Kick Ass

  (with Maggie Shayne, Angela Knight, Jacey Ford)

  Men at Work

  (with Janelle Denison, Nina Bangs)

  Dead and Loving It

  Surf's Up

  (with Janelle Denison, Nina Bangs)


  (with P. C. Cast, Gena Showalter, Susan Grant)

  Over the Moon

  (with Angela Knight, Virginia Kantra, Sunny)

  Demon's Delight

  (with Emma Holly, Vickie Taylor, Catherine Spangler)

  Dead Over Heels

  Mysteria Lane

  (with P. C. Cast, Gena Showalter, Susan Grant)

  Mysteria Nights

  (with P. C. Cast, Susan Grant, Gena Showalter)


  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada

  (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

  (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

  Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi--110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand

  (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,

  South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


  An Ace Book / published by arrangement with the authors


  Ace mass-market edition / September 2011

  Copyright (c) 2011 by MaryJanice Davidson Alongi and Anthony Alongi.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors' rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  ISBN : 978-1-101-54362-7


  Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  ACE and the "A" design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  For our children,

  who tolerate our deadlines with good humor.

  They are better people than we were at their age.

  For aught that I could ever read,

  Could ever hear by tale or history,

  The course of true love never did run smooth.



  Well, p
ossible motives for murder are profit, revenge,

  jealousy, to conceal a crime, to avoid humiliation

  and disgrace, or plain old homicidal mania.


  Hey, gang! Guess which author wanted the lame

  Shakespeare quote? Now guess which one wanted

  the line uttered with perfect coolness by John Travolta?

  A game the whole family can play!

  --A & MJ


  This is the sixth book in the Jennifer Scales series. The first five formed a long story arc, which finished in Rise of the Poison Moon. If you haven't read any of those five books, don't worry: you'll have no trouble figuring things out. Welcome to the race.

  Our thanks to Leis Pederson at The Berkley Publishing Group for her patience and assistance.


  The following is a transcript of a recording recovered from the Saint George's Secure Medical Facility in Moorston, Minnesota.

  According to staff at the facility, the conversation took place in a secured room in what would have been the facility's psychiatric emergency care center.

  Authorities have blacked out some offensive language and certain names of people under investigation regarding the death of Dr. Collin Loxos, severe injuries to several staff, the disappearance of at least one other patient at the facility, and the fire that consumed two wings of the main building.

  [Recording begins.]

  LOXOS: September 18, 5:12 P.M. Dr. Collin Loxos, conducting our second interview with a female patient, age approximately twenty, height five feet eleven inches, weight one hundred fifty-five pounds, hair black, eyes gray, refers to herself as , no given surname. has been with us at Saint George's for just under twenty-four hours; she was a voluntary self-admit. She has barely spoken to anyone since her arrival. Her first interview an hour after entry was, in the words of my colleague Dr. Eisenstadt, "an hour-long staring match with the table." Since then patient has become increasingly agitated. Under Dr. Eisenstadt's direction, staff have attempted sedation with a progressive schedule of benzodiazepines. None have had any discernable effect. Patient has submitted to restraints, which I have recommended due to the increasing danger she presents to staff and herself. has made multiple vague references to deaths, and to the town of Winoka. This has caught our attention, for obvious reasons. I have notified authorities, but would like to see if I can learn more prior to their arrival. , I am Dr. Loxos. You can call me Collin.

  [Long silence.]

  LOXOS: ? Are we going to have another staring match with the table? you, Collin.

  LOXOS: , I wonder if you can tell me why you came here.

  : I wonder if you can tell me what you think these restraints and all the drugs are for.

  LOXOS: We're taking measures for your safety, and the community's.

  : I've heard that line before.

  LOXOS: Where? In Winoka?

  : I didn't come here to talk about Winoka.

  LOXOS: But you're from there, right?

  : You don't know about Winoka.

  LOXOS: I know there was a natural disaster there--

  : The Regiment is not a natural disaster.

  LOXOS: What is the Regiment?

  : You know what the Regiment is. They run this place, or run those who do. That's why I'm here. Well, it's the first reason I'm here. You're taping this interview, which means they'll get a transcript. Right?

  LOXOS: Let's suppose for now that this "Regiment" exists. What message would you like to send?

  : I would like to tell them, they are wasting their time.

  LOXOS: How so?

  : The people they're hunting don't have the information they want.

  LOXOS: This Regiment is hunting people?

  : Doing a good job of it, too. I'm sure you've seen the occasional headline.

  LOXOS: I have. Some of the details in these cases are gruesome.

  : Nothing worse than what I've seen for years. It's easy to treat people like that, when you consider them "not human."

  LOXOS: What do you mean, "not human"?

  : Don't insult my intelligence, Collin. Everyone listening to this tape or reading this transcript is going to know who's dying and why.

  LOXOS: Because this "Regiment" of yours is killing them, is that right?

  : It's not my Regiment, Collin. It's yours. You're a member.

  LOXOS: Who else is a member?

  : What, you want a directory? Pay your membership fee. I don't know. I just know you--

  LOXOS : . . . have you considered that you may be a member of this Regiment? Or more precisely, that the Regiment is nothing more than a psychic construct you use to distance yourself from your own awful actions? That all of the hunting you are talking about . . . that it's you doing it?

  : That's not true. That's not who I am.

  LOXOS: You're so sure of that?

  : I'm sure. You're not going to confuse me with psychiatric games, Collin.

  LOXOS: You think these are games. Yet you checked yourself in here. Nobody came in with you to St. George's. How long have you been alone, ?

  : Months. Maybe years.

  LOXOS: What about before that? Did you live in--

  : Let's stop talking about Winoka. You're trying to pump me for information. You're stalling until the authorities show. It's not going to work. I'm here because I want to be here, Dr. Loxos. Like I said, I wanted to get a message to your friends in the Regiment.

  LOXOS: Yes, you said that was the "first" reason you were here. Was there another reason?

  : Yes. I wonder if you know a ?

  LOXOS: Of course I do. She's a patient here.

  : Why?

  LOXOS: I don't see why that's relevant--

  : Let's get to the point. You preach the fiction that suffers from severe, chronic psychosis.

  LOXOS: She's been experiencing secondary delusions since she got here. Possibly since childhood.

  : Her "delusions" are reality. The facts are documented and disseminated worldwide, on unedited video--

  LOXOS : Please, . We both know the Internet is a storage house for manufactured fantasy. Those special effect films she crafted to impress the world were nothing more than a clever stunt to get attention, after the death of her mother and subsequent emotional abandonment of her father--

  : Who believed her, after the rise of the poison moon.

  LOXOS: You are referring, I presume, to the unusual but completely explicable phenomenon of the "green moon," which happened most notably in Winoka. Astronomers have noted that certain phases of the moon, when viewed through an aurora borealis, can give the impression--

  : You and I can interrupt each other all day long, Collin, but we know has never suffered a psychotic episode. Neither did her father.

  LOXOS: Well, he's no longer alive to tell us what he has seen, is he?

  : Yes, that's very convenient for the Regiment.

  LOXOS: Convenience has nothing to do with it. He died in a military training exercise at the air base he commanded. He was highly decorated and received a hero's funeral. I suspect he would be very sad, as are we all, to see the depths to which his daughter sank after his demise.

  : The Regiment is all over the military. All over law enforcement. And it's growing . . .

  LOXOS: You're suggesting that the Regiment killed 's highly trained and decorated father, during a military exercise. That doing so somehow supported their false case that she should be committed. That she never suffered any delusions about dragons, and enormous spiders, and interdimensional travel, and pixie dust. That these things actually exist. That there is a conspiracy to hide this truth.

  : Not hide it, Collin. Destroy it. Murder it.

  LOXOS: Murder it, like you've murdered innocent people?

  : I've never murdered anyone. Not in this lifetime. Not yet. You might be the first, Collin.

  LOXOS: You believe that will scare me? I don't know who you think you are, but let me tell yo
u where you are. First, you're strapped down in a bed with steel and leather restraints.

  : I noticed.

  LOXOS: That bed is in a locked room, here with me, inside the most secure wing of the most secure psychiatric facility known to North America, and likely the world.

  : I'm feeling more repressed by the minute.

  LOXOS: We use highly trained private security forces, at an unprecedented guard-to-guest ratio, to ensure the safety of everyone inside and the surrounding community. You walked in here, , but you are not walking out. You're a woman with deep emotional problems, who likes to hurt people to avoid the awful truth.

  : What truth is that, Collin?

  LOXOS: You're a monster. And you belong here. You cannot be cured of your need to kill.

  : Why don't you turn off that recorder so we can have an honest conversation about your intentions, Collin?

  LOXOS: What are my intentions?

  : You do the Regiment's bidding. You're not going to hold me here--at least, not for any longer than it takes for the Regiment's assassins to arrive.

  LOXOS: If this is a place where we assassinate people, why wouldn't we have killed your friend by now?

  : She's not a problem to the Regiment, now that she's in here. The Regiment only murders those it fears.

  LOXOS: The Regiment being . . . you.

  : Are the authorities here yet?

  LOXOS: Probably. Why?

  : Because I want to interrogate them after I'm done.

  LOXOS: What do you--what do you think you're doing?!

  [Snapping sounds.]

  : I think I'm getting up off this table.

  LOXOS: There's no--

  : No, no, it's my turn to talk. Then I'm taking out your guards, disarming any Regiment assassins, and beating on them until I learn something useful. Then I think I'm rescuing my friend from a lobotomy factory. How much of this institution remains standing, will depend on how well she is when I find her.

  [Crackling noises.]

  LOXOS: Oh, . Nurse!

  [Struggling noises.]