"Shutdown" is the second eShort story published between books #22 Affliction and #23 Jason. It was free for download for the duration of the US government shutdown in 2013, although the end date of the availability was extended until October 25th, 2013. After that day the story was removed, and hasn't been republished.
Have you ever had to have lunch with your lover’s fiancé? It was a first for me, too. There were four of us at lunch, but only one of us was new to half the table.
Richard and his new fiancé, Dr. Ellen Radborne (who bears significant outward resemblance to Anita but has considerably more vanilla tastes), arrange a Saturday lunch meeting in a public setting with the three of them and Micah. The plan is for Dr. Ellen to come to terms with the fact that even if Richard has needs that Ellen cannot meet it doesn't mean that Anita is going to steal Richard from her. Although Dr. Ellen must be quite open-minded (or deeply in denial) to have reached the fiancé status despite being aware that Richard tops both Anita and Asher and donates blood to Jean-Claude, actually meeting Anita for the first time triggers an inferiority complex and unearths previously buried prejudices towards their lifestyle choices. Given that Anita keeps thinking that Dr. Ellen doesn't quite manage to live up to Anita's standards, and that Dr. Ellen with her more vanilla tastes is inherently incapable of comprehending polyamory or BDSM, this isn't very surprising. The situation escalates into Dr. Ellen storming off and Richard not following.
Dr. Ellen Radborne - 5' 3", thick shoulder-length dark hair, brown eyes, pale tan, curvy, and fit, although none of those quite as much as Anita. Dr. Ellen teaches biology in college level, and is fond of hiking and other such outdoor activities that Anita used to do with Richard back in the day.
Anita's parents, stepmother Judith, and stepsister Andria
|Anita Blake Series|
|Novels||Guilty Pleasures • The Laughing Corpse • Circus of the Damned • The Lunatic Cafe • Bloody Bones • The Killing Dance • Burnt Offerings • Blue Moon • Obsidian Butterfly • Narcissus in Chains • Cerulean Sins • Incubus Dreams • Micah • Danse Macabre • The Harlequin • Blood Noir • Skin Trade • Flirt • Bullet • Hit List • Kiss the Dead • Affliction • Jason • Dead Ice • Crimson Death • Serpentine|
|Short Stories||Magic Like Heat Across My Skin • Blood Upon My Lips • The Girl who was Infatuated with Death • Those Who Seek Forgiveness • Selling Houses • Beauty • Dancing • Shutdown • A Girl, a Goat, and a Zombie • Wounded|
|Comics||The First Death • Guilty Pleasures & Handbook • The Laughing Corpse • Circus of the Damned|