Broken Angel (Bad Things Book 4)(2)

By: Cynthia Eden


Her eyes widened just as a hard hand clamped around Rayce’s shoulder.

A snarling voice demanded, “We got trouble here? Because trouble belongs out on the street—”

Rayce grabbed the hand that didn’t belong on his shoulder. He wrenched it around hard and fast and the fool who’d grabbed him screeched in pain.

Then the idiot swung at Rayce with his left hand. Rayce easily dodged that blow, only to come up fast and slam his forehead into the would-be bouncer’s face. Another screech came from the fellow. And then he was screaming for help. More big, burly bouncers rushed at Rayce as the crowd starting yelling and shoving and fighting…

That was the way of fights. They tended to spread like wildfires, and damn if the whole place wasn’t igniting around him. Fair enough. Rayce laughed. He loved a good fight. His hands fisted as he launched into the fray.

***

It sounded as if all hell were breaking loose.

Lila glanced up at the ceiling above her. It was creaking? Shaking? Both. She could hear screams and curses and the band had stopped playing.

“What’s happening up there?” she whispered as she nervously tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.

“Nothing good,” was the curt answer she got back. Hardly an enlightening response.

Lila hunched her shoulders deeper into the coat that she wore. She had her hood up, hoping to hide as much of her face as possible. “Let’s just finish the deal so I can get out of here, okay?”

The man across from her just grunted. He was tall and thin, almost skeletally so, with pale, pale hands. He was standing behind a wide counter and he had a large, round monocle over his right eye. He leaned down and put that monocle over the object he’d been examining.

“How much will you pay?” she asked him, hating the tremble in her voice and wishing desperately that she could just escape that room.

“I have to make sure it’s real before I pay anything.”

“It’s real.” No doubt. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.” Here…the basement room of a loud bar. The secret room for secret deals—where anything could be bought and sold. Anything at all. Drugs. Weapons.

Magic.

“I’m supposed to believe…” he drawled, still staring at his prize, “that you just found an angel’s feather on the street?”

No, I didn’t find it. It’s my feather, and I’m selling it to survive.

There was another loud crash from upstairs. More shouting. A few high-pitched screams. Lila’s hands fisted right before she shoved them into her pockets. “We have to hurry.” She didn’t want to get caught in whatever was happening upstairs. She should just cut and run, but she needed this deal. It had been days since she’d eaten. And, yes, her body was different from a human’s. Even so, she still needed sustenance. Not as often, sure, but Lila needed food to survive. If she didn’t get something soon…

“This feather is tainted.”

Her body stiffened. “What?”

“The angel you took this from…that angel is dangerous.” He slowly lowered his monocle and stared hard at her. “If I were you, I’d be treading very carefully around that individual. You don’t want that angel as an enemy.”

Her heart slammed into her chest. “What are you talking about?”

“I can see it on the feather.”

Bull. There was nothing to see on the feather. Was he trying to scam her? The guy was a dealer—not drugs, but magic. The very dark kind. As far as Lila was concerned, he was the dangerous one. He was also her last hope.

“This angel…this angel knows darkness.”

Her heart kept racing too fast as she tried to ignore the noises from above.

“I think she’s fallen.” He stared straight at her. “And I think she likes the darkness.”

“How is she dangerous?” No, jeez. Shouldn’t have said she! I need to stop talking!

He gave a satisfied smile. “Angels change, you know. The longer they are on earth, the more permanent that change becomes. They can evolve. Become something brand new.”

Dust fluttered down from the ceiling. She needed to get this deal finished. “How much for the feather?”

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