Broken Angel (Bad Things Book 4)(3)

By: Cynthia Eden


His head tilted. His head was completely shaved and the light gleamed off his forehead. “Do you have more feathers?”

“I’m not talking about more right now. I’m talking about the one you’re holding, and if you aren’t making a deal, then I’m out of here.” Lila hoped that she sounded tough and no-nonsense. He didn’t need to know that her knees were shaking.

“One thousand.”

That was it?

“After all, like I said…that angel is tainted.”

She wanted to hit him. To punch him right in the face because he was—

Right. Damn him, he’s right. I’m not supposed to want to hurt anyone. That’s not what an angel does. An angel helps. An angel loves. An angel knows kindness.

Angels didn’t trade dark magic in dimly lit rooms.

“Take it or leave it,” he added curtly. And then he also cast a nervous glance toward the ceiling. It actually took her a few moments to realize just why he was suddenly so nervous. He’d been fine moments before but now he was sweating a bit because…

There’s only silence from above.

“I…” Leave it. Leave him. Get out of here! But her stomach was in knots and she hurt from hunger. The feather had fallen out, anyway. It wasn’t as if she could do anything with it now. “I’ll take the thousand.”

A smirk twisted his thin lips. “I knew you would.”

Lila glared at him. Her shaking hand slid out of her pocket when he lifted a bag toward her.

“The money’s in there, dear one.”

She wasn’t his dear one. She wasn’t his anything. Lila took the bag, but his fingers flew out—so very pale—and locked around hers with a claw-like grip. “I’ll be wanting more,” he told her.

Too bad because she wouldn’t be selling more. She’d use the money to keep running and she would not be returning to this little town. “There isn’t anymore,” she whispered. Lila jerked her hand free and glanced into the bag. There was plenty of money in there—a thousand dollars? Looked that way. Lots of bills. Should she count? What was the etiquette on something like that?

“Liar, liar…”

Her head snapped up. He had that monocle to his eye again, only this time, he wasn’t looking at the feather. He was looking through the thin glass and staring straight at her.

“I see you,” he said as he peered at her. The eye behind the monocle had widened. “And aren’t you something special?”

Lila shut the bag and stumbled back.

***

That had been fun. Rayce smiled as he glanced around the bar. Not so crowded now. Not so loud. And not nearly as smoky. Sure, the furniture was broken. The band had grabbed their instruments and run for the door—as had most of the humans with sense. A few unconscious fools littered the floor. Hell, Rayce hadn’t even hit most of them. Just the ones who’d been dumb enough to swing at him. The rest had been battling themselves.

Humans. Didn’t they get it? If you weren’t strong enough to win the battle, then you shouldn’t start the fight.

He sauntered back to the bar and cleared his throat.

The bartender slowly rose from her hiding position. He was glad she’d taken his advice to duck.

“Hi, there.” Rayce flashed her a smile but made sure not to reveal any hint of fang. He’d done a good job of holding his beast back during the skirmish. A little more bloodshed, though, and his wolf would be out and looking for his howling good time. “About that secret room…”

She lifted her hand and pointed to the door marked “Employees Only.” Ah, yes, figured that would be the one.

The bartender licked her lips. Her voice was weak as she said, “Go in there and then…then pull back the curtain on your right. You’ll find stairs waiting.”

He’d also better find an angel or he’d be seriously pissed.

Rayce stalked forward and kicked open that “Employees Only” door. It flew back and slammed into the wall. His gaze jerked to the right. Ah, there were the curtains. He stilled a moment, pulling in scents—lavender and candy apples. I’ve got you. His angel was close. He rushed forward, yanked open that curtain and found another door waiting. He started to kick it open, too, but it flew inward right at that moment, wrenched open from the inside, and he found himself staring straight into a pair of wide sky-blue eyes. Eyes that he knew he would never, ever be able to forget.

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