Iced - Page 36/120

If he was serious about what he just showed me, he showed it to the wrong Unseelie prince. Because what he showed me is that he sees the same things in her I do.

He knows she’s worth waiting for.

And when it’s time, he intends to be the one. That’s why he’s keeping her close. To those of us who live forever, a few years isn’t long to wait.

Not for something worth waiting for. Not for a once-in-a-lifetime girl.

A few years are a mere blink of an eye to men like us, for whom women crush sweetly like rotting pumpkins after Halloween. Sex isn’t easy for me anymore. I’m always holding back. Human women are breakable.

Not this one.

He sees her like I do: at seventeen, twenty, thirty. Superimposed over the fourteen-year-old, he sees the woman she’ll become.

And he’s staking his claim.

Over my. Dead. Fucking. Body.

And I can’t die.

But I know one of his kind that recently did, and I know how. I hear there’s a Hunter up there in the night sky that likes Unseelie royalty.

Soon I’ll have the wings to find him.

My superpowers come back three blocks from Chester’s. I know because I’ve been trying to tap a finger in hyperspeed on my thigh the whole way back. Finally did it. I still haven’t managed to make only my eyes move like Ryodan but I’ve been practicing and can get certain parts of my body to speed up for short amounts of time. Only problem is, the place where the part connects to my body gets a little sore, like I stressed out the muscles where the slow-mo and fast-mo parts are having a kind of what-the-feck-are-we-doing-here battle with each other.

But it’s not like I could sit in the Humvee with the dude, who would love to know sometimes I’m helpless, and practice trying to freeze-frame my whole body. If he stopped sudden, I could go shooting straight through the windshield and then I’d be all cut up for days on top of my usual bruises.

I look at him, irritated. “Why are you never bruised?” What is he? Like the exception to everything? And if so, where do I apply?

“Participating and all that bunk,” he says. In other words, I don’t get to know because I’m not in whatever his inner circle is. Fine. Don’t want to be there anyway.

“You got some kind of magic salve, dude? Because it’s only fair to share stuff like that.”

He pulls up to the curb out front of Chester’s. I hop out of the Humvee the second he parks and instantly start bouncing from foot to foot, sideways, in between steps forward, to make sure I’m working right again. No way I’d go inside Chester’s with no superpowers. I whip out a candy bar, devour it then munch three more in quick succession, stockpiling energy. “Aren’t we done for the night? What else have you got for me to do?” I just spent an hour in an electrified sardine can with Ryodan, after losing my powers. He saturates confined spaces, like he’s got ten people’s stuff crammed into his body. He’s pissed at me for not inspecting the scene before it blew. I’m pissed at me, too, but it wasn’t like I had any choice. Without superpowers, I’m not getting anywhere near one of those scenes. It was a sucky drive. I want some time alone, or time with Dancer. He recharges me. Hanging with him is simple and pretty much perfect.

He doesn’t answer me and I look at him. He’s staring up at the roof of a building across the street and he’s got an amused, smug look on his face. I search the shadows of the roofline but I can’t figure out what he’s checking out. There’s nothing up there. “Dude, you listening to me? Hello? Do you even know I’m here?”

He continues looking at the roof like he’s seeing something I can’t see. Like that stupid drop of condensation I’m still not sure I believe was there.

“I always know you’re there, Dani. I tasted your blood. I feel you all the time.”

Okay, that’s disturbing.

“You mean like when I’m around,” I clarify for him.

“How do you think I found you at your little boyfriend’s place.”

“You need to look at him harder if you think he’s little.”

“And so breakable.”

“Stop talking about him. He’s none of your business. Just what are you saying? That you could find me, like, anywhere, anytime?” There’s a right answer and wrong answer to that question.


That was the wrong answer. I get so mad I’m breathless. “Bull. Liar.”

He laughs and looks at me. “Want to play hide and seek, little girl?” He purrs it in a voice I’ve never heard him use before, and he actually makes it a question.

His fangs are out.

“Dude, you are one weird … whatever you are.” I’m nearly at a loss for words.

He laughs again and I can’t even stand to look at him so I charge off to the door in the ground that is the new entrance to Chester’s.

He holds the door up for me. I sigh gustily as I descend the ladder. I hate Ryodan.

So I’m walking across the dance floor, cutting a beeline straight for the stairs to head up to Ryodan’s office to do whatever it is he wants me to do, when I see her.

She’s moving across the main dance floor with Jericho Barrons behind her, and it looks like they’re heading for one of the subclubs, though I can’t figure out why. Mac doesn’t like it here any more than I do.

I freeze.

I hate seeing her. I hate not knowing what’s going on in her life. I hate what I’ve done. Can’t change it, though, so no point in feeling it.

Ryodan slams into my back, knocking me forward into the crowd. “Walk much?” I say testily as I careen off of a hulking Rhino-boy that gnashes yellowed tusks at me.

As usual, he doesn’t miss a trick. His gaze does that ocular-shiver thing all over my face. “I thought you and Mac were friends.”

“We are friends,” I lie.

“Then go say hi.”

Shit, I hate how much he notices. “We might have had a tiny tiff.”

“Tiny, my ass.”

“Quit nosing into my business.”

“Learn not to wear it on your face, kid. Except in private, with me and no one else. You need some serious training. Telegraph like that, it’s only a matter of time before somebody hoists you on your own entrails.”

“Dude, who uses words like entrails? Or hoists?”