Raising Innocence(Rylee Adamson #3)(18) by Shannon Mayer
Milly directed him up the stairs, through the castle, and out the front gates where there was, of all things, a horse drawn carriage waiting for them.
They stepped in and the carriage rolled forward before Milly spoke again. “I don’t want to hurt her, but she needs to see, to understand how deadly a game she is playing without even knowing it.”
O’Shea closed his eyes. At least he had that much control. At the moment, anyway.
The witch kept talking. “Faris, he’s special. He will be the new emperor. And I will be his counsellor.” She paused. “You may speak your mind.”
“Are you f**king nuts?” O’Shea roared.
Milly lifted an eyebrow. “Crazy? No. Pragmatic? Yes.” She smoothed her clothes out over her body, hands lingering near her belly button, confirming his suspicions and freaking him out at the same time.
“You’re pregnant with the vampire’s child?”
She burst out laughing, leaning her head back and giving him a perfect view of her throat. The image of his teeth burying into the slim white column burned into his mind, giving him something to look forward to. Particularly if it was the vampire’s child she carried.
“No,” Milly said, her eyes softening. “Ethan’s child. He’s the leader of the Coven I was a part of.”
O’Shea said nothing, and she went on as if he’d encouraged her.
“Ethan is the most powerful warlock in the western hemisphere.”
“So you threw your family under the bus for a lay? I hope it was worth it.” O’Shea said, glaring at the sultry, slutty witch.
She glared back. “I love him, and he loves me, regardless of his past. And as soon as he can, he’s going to come here to be with me and the baby.”
He smiled, a mere baring of his teeth; then laughed. “Let me guess, he had a wife and he told you that he would leave her for you? That you were the one he’d been waiting for? Please, with all the men you’ve f**ked, you can’t tell me you actually bought that line?”
“You don’t know him! He’d not like the others. He won’t leave me. Besides his wife is already dead,” she said, her green eyes snapping with anger.
“Why’d you let me speak? You didn’t think I’d actually agree with you, did you?”
“No, I didn’t. But every man on death row should be allowed to have a final say.”
Her words hit him square in the chest, sucking the air from him. Fighting against whatever spell held him against his will did nothing, his muscles didn’t even tremble in response to his demand to move.
Milly leaned forward and ran a finger along his jaw. “What, you didn’t think I was going to let you live, did you? Rylee won’t let Faris help her until she’s alone, until she has nowhere else to turn for help. You’re going to kill Alex, and then Rylee will kill you. That will break her and make her open to Faris’ advances. Which is what I, and my true master, wish.”
She thought she had it all planned out? Fuck, he had to keep her talking, there had to be a weakness.
“You don’t know her very well if you think that. She’ll kill you for this, Milly.”
“Not when I’m pregnant, she won’t.” Her self-satisfied smile grated across his nerves.
“What about Eve and Giselle?”
“I left something, a surprise for Eve. Giselle . . .” she closed her eyes and pressed her fingers to them, the first sign of remorse he’d seen. “Giselle will be last. It will be a mercy to end her life.”
Lowering his voice, he all but growled at her. “You are going to die, witch. A long, slow, painful death, and one that your vampire, or true master, whoever the hell he is, won’t save you from. Because in the end, they don’t give a shit about you. You’ve bet on the wrong horse. You should have bet on Rylee.”
The carriage lurched over a bump and she raised her hand to him, her power curling around his upper body. “You forget your place, wolf. You are no long an FBI agent—you’re hardly even a man. You should try to remember that while we’re here.”
Through grit teeth, he asked the final question before she silenced him once more, “Where is here, exactly?”
She smiled. “London.”
Pamela sat with her legs dangling off the edge of the chair, a sandwich in one hand, can of pop in the other, Alex staring up at her from the floor with big begging eyes and whispered pleas for her to share. We’d found her some clothes to replace the sack that had been masquerading as a dress, and a pair of shoes that sort of fit, but all I saw were her blue socks, like a beacon to my eyes. Giselle had been raving about blue socks for the last few months, but surely this was a coincidence? No, even I knew better than to question this chain of events. Pamela was needed, and the only thing Giselle had been able to see of her in the future was her blue socks. I shook my head. Unbelievable. A last gift from my mentor, one that I’d have never seen coming, not in a million years.
Will touched my right elbow, drawing my attention to him. “You can’t keep this girl. We’ve got to return her to her family.”
I felt more than saw Pamela still. “We don’t even know her last name, so how are we supposed to track down her family?” I hoped she picked up the hint.
Will bent down, crouching in front of the young witch. “Honey, what’s your last name?”
Her eyes met mine over his head. “I don’t remember.” Good girl.
Will turned his head to glare at me.
I shrugged. “I didn’t say a thing.”
“You didn’t have to.”
“I think I know what we’re after; what’s taking the kids.” A change of subject was needed and this was a legit switch of topics. I shifted closer, lowering my voice. If I was wrong, I’d look like a fool in front of all these suits. Not something I was eager to experience, so for now it would be just between me and Will.
He closed the gap between us, his hands just suddenly resting on my hips, his lips moving very little. “If we look like we’re having an affair, people won’t take you seriously.”
“They also won’t follow me around if they think I’m sneaking off to get laid. It’ll mean I can move around more freely,” I said, also moving my lips as little as possible.
His hands slipped around my waist, totally inappropriate in any circumstance, and I could feel the stares from around the room settling on us. The thing was, I felt nothing, no tingle, no flush of heat. Will was handsome, young, available.
But he wasn’t Liam. Not by a long shot.
“Necromancer.” I said.
Will actually jerked away from me, his eyes bugging. “You’re shitting me.”
“Do you have proof?”
I pulled the papers that Harold the caretaker had given me and slid them across the desk. I kept my voice low. “Here you go. Pictures and everything. The grave ‘robberies’ stopped right around the time the kids started to go missing from the hospitals. Seems like our boy was looking for fresher meat.”
Before Will could pick up the papers, Alex whimpered and scooted closer to Pamela. Watching them interact, it was interesting to see how quickly she accepted the supernatural. Then again, I’d been the same way when Giselle had found me. I’d accepted it within days, less maybe. It seemed that kids just saw what they saw and it became a part of their world almost seamlessly. Unlike the adults who got introduced to the supernatural. My thoughts again drifted to O’Shea. He’d caught on; it had just taken a while.
Pamela held up a piece of bologna from her sandwich. “Alex, sit.” He sat up, tail thumping.
“Now, lay down.” He flopped flat to the ground, all four limbs sprawled straight out.
“Roll over.” The werewolf rolled across the floor and right into the red clad legs of the woman who’d screamed at us when we first arrived. She tumbled to the floor with a screech that made Alex clap his paws over his ears and howl.
Pamela giggled, one hand covering her lips, shoulders hunched as she laughed.
I jumped into the fray and yanked Alex away from the woman, who was still screeching.
“Are you all right?” I bent over the woman, not normally so worried about the stunts Alex pulled, but after the incident with O’Shea, I was hyper aware of the possibilities that could arise from a simple cut or even a scratch.
The woman jerked her arm away from me and clambered to her feet, her hair—which had previously been in a tight bun—in complete disarray. “Do not touch me.”
I lifted my hands up, palms facing her. “Fine. I was trying to be nice.”
She brushed past me and clamped a hand down on Pamela’s shoulder. “I’m here to escort this child to her foster home. Until we can find her family, she will be in protective care.”
Pamela pulled back, or at least tried to. “I don’t want to go. I want to stay here.” Her eyes pleaded with me.
Shit, this was about to get ugly. I could feel it just under the surface of my skin.
I cleared my throat. “Ms. . . .?”
The woman in red glared at me. “It’s Dr. Daniels.”
Great, a PhD and an attitude. Bad combination when it comes to dealing with people. Of course, I wasn’t exactly known for my tact at the best of times. But for the kid, I would try.
“Dr. Daniels, Pamela doesn’t want to go. Doesn’t she get a say in her own life?”
The doctor snorted. “She’s a child. She knows nothing of what is good for her and what isn’t.”
Pamela glared up at her. “I’m almost fourteen. I’m not a child. And I don’t want to go with you.” I could feel her power surging, and I shook my head at her.
“Pamela, don’t do that,” I said.
Dr. Daniels looked at me, then Pamela and back again. “Don’t do what?”
We were saved by Will. “Excuse me, but Pamela is integral to our current case. We believe she may have information regarding the missing children, that there may be a connection between her case and theirs. Therefore, she is required by law and under the legislation of SOCA to be remanded into police custody until we are satisfied that we have all the information we need.” He reached out and put a hand on Pamela’s other shoulder.