Home > Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1)(10)

Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1)(10)
Author: Laura Thalassa

“What would you be willing to give me?” he says, prowling towards me. “What dark and terrible secrets would you share?” he asks, moving in close. “You’ve heard that secrets are my favorite, haven’t you?”

I want to back up, but a primal sort of fear roots me in place.

His eyes rove over me. “But for a siren … oh, I would make an exception. Anything I want, you would have to give to me. Tell me, cherub, could you give me anything I wanted?”

I swallow as he steps in close.

“Could you kill for me?” He asks, his voice low. His lips brush my ear. “Could you give your body to me?”

Oh God, is he telling the truth? Could he really make me do those things?

He runs his nose down my cheek and laughs at my obvious fear.

Stepping away from me, he says, “Like I told you before, I don’t bargain with minors. Don’t ruin your life owing me.”

The air shimmers.

He might’ve scared the shit out of me, but at this point, I’m too far gone. I can’t let him leave. It’s as simple as that.

The siren surfaces, stretching out just beneath my skin. I lunge for him and catch his wrist, my hand glowing. “Make a deal with me,” I say, putting as much glamour into my voice as possible. “I’m not a minor.”

I’m really not. In the supernatural community, the legal age of adulthood is sixteen. It’s some archaic law that no one’s ever bothered changing.

And right now, I am not complaining.

The Bargainer stares down my hand, like he can’t believe what’s happening, and I feel an instant’s worth of remorse. It’s crappy to take away someone’s free will.

Desperate times.

His features sharpen, his brows knitting, the rest of his face turning, in one word, sinister.

He rips his arm out of my hand. “You dare to glamour me?” His power rides his voice, and it’s petrifying, filling the whole room.

I step back. Okay, glamouring him might’ve been a shit idea.

“It doesn’t work on you?” What kind of supernatural is immune to glamour?

The Bargainer eases closer to me, his boots clinking ominously. He’s furious, that much is obvious.

He leans in, so close that several strands of his white blond hair tickle my cheeks. “You want to piss your life away by making a deal?” His mouth curves up ever so slightly, his eyes sparking with interest. “Fine, let’s make a deal.”

Present

“I have to say, sleep does not become you.”

I roll over in bed and rub my eyes. When I pull my hand away, I see the Bargainer standing off to the side of the bed, his arms folded and his head cocked. He’s studying me like I’m an exotic bird, which technically, I sort of am.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, still groggy from sleep.

“In case you’ve missed it, the day is done. I’m here to collect more of my payment.” The way he says payment sends shivers up my arms. Behind him, the moon shines brightly into the room.

I groan. I slept the entire day away. Ever since that phone call …

He snaps his fingers and the blankets that cover me slide off.

“Des, what are you—?”

He tsks, interrupting me. “Your pajamas don’t become you either, cherub. I was hoping those would improve with age as well.”

I stifle a yawn and push myself off the bed. “Because I care what you think,” I mumble, padding past him. Where yesterday his presence filled me with old pain, tonight all I feel is annoyance. Well, and a little lust, and a shit-ton of heartache. But right now I’m focusing on annoyance.

I make my way to the bathroom, discreetly wiping away a bit of drool from my mouth.

The Bargainer follows me, enjoying just how much he’s ruining my evening. “Oh, but I think you do,” he says.

In response I slam my door shut in his face. Probably not the wisest way to deal with the King of the Night, but right now I don’t really care too much.

I take two steps away from the bathroom door, and it blasts open behind me. I spin around and stare at the Bargainer, his body filling up the space. My door hangs off its hinges at a funny angle.

“I wasn’t finished,” he says calmly. His eyes glint as they watch me; he’s beautiful and terrible to behold.

“You owe me a new door,” I respond.

He chuckles, and it’s full of dark promise. “Why don’t we work on paying off your current debts before you talk about what I owe you?”

I glare at him, because he has me. “What was so important that you had to blow off my door to tell me?” I ask, folding my arms across my chest.

A watch forms over his tatted wrist and he taps the face of it. “Time, Callie, time. I have some important appointments to keep. You need to be ready in twenty minutes.”

“Fine.” I walk over to my shower and turn on the facet. This would have to be a fast shower.

When I turn back around, the Bargainer has made himself comfortable on my bathroom’s tile countertop. He leans against the wall next to the mirror, one of his leather-clad legs stretched out in front of him, his other leg bent at the knee.

“Get out,” I say.

He gives me a lazy smile. “No.”

“I’m not kidding.”

One of his eyebrows quirks up. “Nor am I.”

I run a hand through my hair. “I’m not getting naked in front of you.”

“That’s fine with me,” he says. “Shower with your clothes on.”

   
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