Sneak Peek: Notorious Nix "Ice Cream Pacts" pre-order today! #notoriousnix #jjreichenbach
“A business deal,” Danny said, changing tracks. “All right then. But you’ll have to agree to our terms.”
“Lay them out for me,” Nix declared, spreading her hands wide. Ice cream dripped from the spoon in her right hand and landed in a slushy little puddle on the table top. She set the spoon down and wiped her arm across her chin.
Rachel, meeting Danny’s eyes, said, “First things first. No murder. You’re to treat all living things humanely. No killing, no maiming, no harming of any kind.”
“Pfft, easy,” Nix said.
Danny added, “You stay with us at all times, and you do as we say. We set the rules, you follow them, no questions and no complaints. You don’t speak unless spoken to, and you don’t talk to strangers, period. I ain’t puttin’ up with any fake kidnapping bullshit in public, understand?”
Nix huffed in irritation. “It’s not actually a fake kidnapping,” she pointed out. “In fact, this is pretty much the definition of actual kidnapping you’re doing right here.”
“I ain’t repeating my terms, demon.” He glanced up as the waiter strolled by the table. “I mean, Callie. I’d just as soon force you outta that kid and into somebody I ain’t never gonna miss and take the both of you out for good. If my girl weren’t so convinced we need you, I’d have already done just that. This is your one chance at salvation and I won’t offer it again.”
Nix considered this. They had reached something of a stalemate. They all wanted her out of Callie—that was their common ground—but getting Nix out was the tricky part. They weren’t wrong—if they gave her the opportunity, any opportunity, she’d jump. But if they tried to trap her in some way, she’d flat out refuse to leave until the circumstances were more favorable. They couldn’t get her out of Callie without serious damage to the kid unless she left willingly. The only way to pull this off was to trust each other. That was never going to happen. But stalling for time could give Nix a chance to figure something else out. “That’s…yeah, I suppose I could do that. But what if you ask me to kill someone, will I be in violation of the first rule or the second? Or both? And what if someone needs a little maiming, you know? I shouldn’t have to ask permission every time—there could be extenuating circumstances. And what about—”
“We ain’t gonna be asking you to kill anyone, so get it out of your head. Like Rachel said, no murder. Full stop.”
“But what if—”
“No. No murder.”
Nix sat back and picked up her spoon, pushing it around the edge of her bowl, the metal and porcelain making a screechy sound as they rubbed together. The others flinched at the noise. “And if I agree to these terms, what do I get out of the bargain?”
“You get to live,” Rachel said. Nix could hear the lie in her voice. It was so obvious that Nix was almost embarrassed on her behalf.
Danny’s tone was softer, level. Nix could tell he really meant it when he said, “We transfer you to a new host, level the playing field. Go our separate ways and never cross paths again if we can help it.”
“Pops—” Elliot started.
Danny raised his hand, paused—presumably upon realizing Elliot couldn’t see it—then placed it on Elliot’s shoulder. “No, son. We have to think of the greater good here, do what’s right. Revenge is never worth the price. Kevin knew that, and we honor all of them by puttin’ the mission before our own personal vendettas.”
Elliot was silent.
“We have a deal?” Danny asked, holding his hand out across the table.
Nix dropped the spoon with a clatter and reached out, letting Danny’s mammoth hand engulf Callie’s tiny one. She could already tell this whole thing was going to hell in a handbasket. All she could hope for now was that it would be a wicked ride and she’d end up on top.
Nix Series: Book Two
Now Available for Pre-Order!
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Horror writer, author of NIX Series, spinner of tales, weaver of webs, twisted mind.
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