Carte Blanche (Camille Anthony in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Seven

“Coincidence” brings Ali and Chassy to CC in the museum. After the usual greetings, we get this:

She [Chassy] smiled at him [CC], but it didn’t reach her eyes. It hurt to see her bright beauty. Hurt to know she would never love him or shine for him, never light up from inside at the sight of his face. Not like she’d lit up for Darian the night before. The light in her eyes had been like a thousand incandescent candles, hot and vibrant and burning with lust and something deeper. [EWWW, where is all this honey coming from that’s plastering my eyes after reading this paragraph?]

After some very deep dialogue (CC: What do you want?, Chassy: Dare., CC: You want Dare.), CC agrees to bring Chassy there, after which Chassy shines again like a lightbulb.

But first, they have to bring Ali home. Travelling alone with a guy, apparently, is not as compromising as asking a shop-owner directly, where he went. [Oh, please, please, please, please, be consistent with the rules you make up…]


The Lightbulb and CC are on their way to Dare’s place. Of course, they start talking about Dare and Chassy learns that CC and Dare are brothers, which she didn’t know before. She’s shocked.

She blinked. When she looked again, she saw Dare in C.C.’s long limbs and bone structure. The broad forehead and strong jaw, the length of arms and legs, even the shape of the eyes, though the color was different. [They look like identical twins in different colours and you didn’t notice that they might be related, even though they were standing next to each other, when you first met? Observation is not your strong suit, right?]

They talk quickly through the family situation [everything sucks], then CC tells Chassy that he knows about the Carte Blanche offer. And that Dare was really hurt and angry. Chassy is embarassed.

The heat of embarrassment burned so hotly, her flesh felt inflamed. His eyes when they met hers were a hard, clear blue, fanning the heat to a higher blaze. [Yeesh.] “You don’t approve of my offer to him, do you?” [What do you care? Who should approve of your offer is Dare and he doesn’t, obviously, so drop the matter already.]

CC tells her that he’s happy that she didn’t choose him, because she knows how to breaks hearts, which prompts a “I don’t want to lose your friendship” reply from Chassy and then they arrive at Dare’s place. Chassy has a minor breakdown of the “I can’t do that”-variety, but CC shakes her out of it, reassures her that she has his friendship and then:

“If this thing between you and Dare doesn’t work out, don’t overlook me as a possible replacement.” [Ew, dude, ew…]
Chassy closed her eyes and thought about that, thought about missing Dare, needing him, and finding his phantom echo in the lines of Chezann’s lithe body. Her soul rebelled against the notion, knowing it would kill her as surely as a knife through the heart. She raised a hand and rubbed the skin between her breasts, feeling the ache on a spiritual plane. [This would actually be the same reaction I would have to such an offer, a very understandable one. But this bit is completely destroyed by the purpleness of the prose… “feeling the ache on a spiritual plane” makes me want you to ache on a strictly physical plane.]
She wasn’t aware of shaking her head so frantically her hair broke loose from its moorings and tumbled about her shoulders. Cognizance came back when C.C. rocked her against him, a hand smoothing from shoulder to waist and returning in a calming pattern. [And I’m at this point again… if the society – for whatever reasons and through whatever means – adopted Regency standards, then please stick to them. It’s bad enough that you’ve had her travelling alone with a guy to another guy’s apartment, but having him hug and stroke her? I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened.]

Well, seeing Chassy react so violently, CC pulls back his request. They decide to be BFF [What about Ali?] and then it’s time to face Dare.


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