Bitter Bite(Elemental Assassin #14)(18) by Jennifer Estep
She showed up in Ashland after being gone for decades, weaseled her way into Finn’s life under false pretenses, and managed to get an invite to tonight’s party—a party that was ruined by robbers an hour after it started. Those were a whole lot of coincidences, even though I couldn’t see how setting up this sort of small-time score would benefit her at all.
I looked at Deirdre, but she was on her knees, her arms wrapped around her chest, staring down at the floor. She didn’t seem scared, not like other folks who were trembling, crying, and shaking, but she wasn’t making eye contact with the robbers either, like some of the underworld bosses were. Those fools were glaring at the robbers and practically daring the men to shoot them.
And more than a few of the underworld bosses were also staring at me, expecting me to do something, expecting me to rise up and save them and their baubles. If it had just been me in the lobby, I would have been happy to unleash the wrath of the Spider, confront the robbers, and kill every single one of them. But there were far too many innocent people here for me to take out the robbers without some collateral damage, something I tried to avoid at all costs.
Until one of the robbers yanked Bria to her feet.
“Hey, hey, pretty lady,” the robber crooned, pressing his body up against hers. “Why don’t you be a doll and take off your shiny necklace?”
Bria glared at the robber, not responding to his taunts, although her fingers twitched, as if she was thinking about blasting him in the face with her Ice magic.
“I said take off the bling, bitch,” he growled, twisting her arm up and behind her back and dragging her even closer.
Finn surged to his feet. “Get your hands off her!” he hissed, shoving the robber away from Bria.
The robber stumbled back a few feet and stopped. Beneath his black ski mask, his dark eyes narrowed, and his lips twisted with rage. I knew that look all too well. The robber wasn’t going to be happy with just taking Bria’s necklace. Not after Finn had challenged him.
So I scrambled to my feet, putting myself between Finn and the robber. Owen got up too. So did Deirdre, although Tucker remained sitting on the floor, staring up at the gunmen instead of trying to help his boss. Some assistant.
The robber looked back and forth at all of us, before tossing aside his bag of loot and snapping up his gun. “What do you think you’re doing? Get your asses back down on the floor! Now!”
Everyone froze, even the other robbers, and all eyes focused on us.
I stepped up so that I was right in front of him, with his gun pointed straight at my heart. “You’re making a big mistake, pal. You have no idea who you’re jacking.”
“Listen up, bitch,” he growled again. “Unless you’re Gin Blanco herself, then I don’t give a fuck who you are. And I especially don’t care how important you think you are.”
A cold smile curved my lips. “Why, sugar, you said the magic words. Because I do, in fact, happen to be Gin Blanco. And if you know anything at all about me, then you know that you’ve just gotten yourself into a whole heap of trouble.”
The robber snorted. He didn’t believe me any more than the grave robbers had. But I kept staring at him, my face as hard as marble, my gray eyes glinting with deadly intent, my fingers curling into tight fists. Whispers rippled through the crowd, confirming my claim.
Confusion filled the robber’s eyes, along with the realization that I was telling the truth, and his anger quickly melted into a horror that I found quite satisfying. Everyone might not know me on sight, but they at least knew my fucking name—and the death that came along with it.
“Oh, shit,” he whispered. “Shit, shit, shit!”
“Yeah,” I drawled. “That about sums it up.”
Desperate, the robber glanced over his shoulder at the giant gunman for help.
But I didn’t give him the chance to get any advice.
The second the robber turned his head, I stepped up, punched him in the throat, and yanked his gun out of his hand. I tossed the weapon over to Finn, who easily caught it and aimed it at the next-closest robber, while I palmed one of the silverstone knives tucked up my dress sleeves.
The robber I’d punched tried to stagger away, but I grabbed his arm, spun him around, and pulled him up against my own body, using him as a human shield, even as I jabbed my knife against his throat.
“If I were you, bitch,” I hissed in his ear, “I wouldn’t move. Unless you want the closest and last shave of your miserable life.”
The robber started to nod but stopped as the blade dug into his skin. Once I was sure that he wasn’t going to do anything stupid, I looked out over the lobby. The other five robbers had their guns trained on me, except for the giant leader, whose weapon was pointed at Finn. Weird. Sure, Finn had a gun, but you’d think that the giant would be targeting me, since I was the one with the knife at his guy’s throat. Maybe there truly was no honor among thieves.
My stomach clenched at Finn being in the line of fire, but I didn’t let any of my worry show. Instead, I fixed my gaze on the leader. “I’ll give you a choice. You and your men drop your weapons, and I’ll let the cops deal with you.”
The giant narrowed his eyes. “Or?”
I smiled again, my expression even colder than before. “Or you can be an idiot and try to fight your way out of here. A few of you might even make it. But you won’t be breathing for long, since I will make it my mission to track you down and end you myself. Now, you seem to be a fan of precision timing, so you have ten seconds to think it over.”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online