Home > Magic Bite (Supernatural Bounty Hunter #1)(4)

Magic Bite (Supernatural Bounty Hunter #1)(4)
Author: Leia Stone

“You’re going to drive us both crazy with your non-stop pacing. You know that, right?” Cass said, as snarky as ever.

“Well, what do you expect me to do? I can’t leave the damn house.”

He knew that, of course he knew that. I’d only mentioned it a million times.

“But do you have to pace?”

“What else am I supposed to do?” I growled.

“I dunno, look for a new case for us. I have expensive tastes, you know. I need the income.” The thick gold chain he wore around his neck caught the light of the sun when he grinned. On anyone else, the smile would have been hideous. But I had a soft spot for the ugly imp, who had bizarre sex appeal for certain segments of the supernatural community. Can’t account for tastes, apparently.

“How am I supposed to work a case while locked up in the cabin? I can’t, that’s how.”

“So defeatist,” he tsked. “Since when do you let a man bring you down?”

Oh, but he wasn’t just any man. He’d blown my mind wide open, and made me realize that I should’ve been having sex all along, especially sex like that.

“You’d better not go making gaga eyes like that when the alpha’s around,” Cass added.

“I did not make gaga eyes.”

“You did too.” He fingered his gold chain.

“I did not.”

“What are you, five?”

Crossing my arms over my chest, my lip jutted out. Fine, I was being a petulant child, but I was used to getting my own way. Even if I had to work for it, I usually got what I wanted.

The imp arched his brow at me, making him look ridiculous... and cute, in the he’s-so-ugly-he’s-cute kind of way.

“Fine,” I huffed. “I’ll call Mack to tell him we’ll be here for a while, and ask if he’s got word on a local case.”

“Good girl.” Getting up, Cass started to walk away.

“Wait. Where are you going?”

“To find me some tail,” he announced.

“You can’t leave me.” I really didn’t want to know more about his active sex life so I chose not to comment on his need for “tail.”

“Sure I can.” He waltzed toward the front door.

“You can’t drive.” I put a hand on my hip. How dare my best friend leave me while I was bored out of my mind on house arrest!

“I have my ways.” He winked and pulled a cigarette from behind his ear, his magical skateboard tucked under one arm. His tiny wings couldn’t take him that high or far without getting fatigued, but throw a little demon magic under his skateboard, and he could hover-fly to a location a good twenty minutes away before the magic wore off again.

“You’re going to fly all the way into town?” I looked at him, doubt sketched all over my face. The imp was a lot of things, including lazy. There was a reason for that pot belly.

He shrugged. “If I have to.” Both of his hands swept down the many curves of his small body. “I can’t deny the ladies all this, now can I?”

There was no way in hell I was touching that question. Still, I couldn’t help but smile. Cass amused me even when he was pissing me off. “You can’t go because Brock is just waiting for us to leave the house empty. The second we do, he’ll tear it down. You know he will.”

“I have no doubt he will. The alpha looked all business.” Cass’ face lit up. “But only you have to stay here, not me.” He was entirely too happy about that fact.

“So you’d leave me? All alone? To fend for Gran’s cabin?” My bottom lip really got into the frown now. Cass was a sucker for my puppy-dog eyes and pout.

“Of course I would.” He grinned, and the fucker’s eyes sparkled.

“Remember that Gran did a lot for you too. She took you in like you were her own,” I reminded him.

“Come on, that was no effort. I’m loveable. Everybody wants a piece of this.”

I knew the real Cass behind all the attitude. He appreciated what Gran did for him. A lot. He just wasn’t going to admit to it.

Daggers shot from my eyes at him as he placed his little knobby hand on the door handle. “You know if you really needed me here, I’d stay.”

Yeah, I did know that. “I do need you.” Why was I being so whiny? Oh yeah, because I was used to living in downtown LA, and going out every night. Staying cooped up in this tomb of memories was going to kill me.

“No, Evie, you don’t. You’ll be fine.” He pulled the door open. “Don’t wait up. You know how it goes. Once the sun goes down, I’m all fire.” His pink furry ass, stuffed into too-tight leather shorts, strutted outside and he slammed the door behind him.

“Fucking imp.”

“I heard that,” he called, far too happy with himself.

Fine, he wanted to leave, no problem. I had things to do anyway. I was a damn fine bounty hunter. I’d have a new case for us by the time he got back.

Twisting the lid off a beer—thank you, grocery home delivery—I booted up my laptop. Gran never liked the idea of Wi-Fi, invisible and insidious; dial-up was the only internet she permitted. I roamed the house looking for the hookup, surprised I’d forgotten where it was.

I hadn’t been back since I was sixteen. Once I’d been admitted to prestigious Hunter Academy in LA, I’d left and never looked back. Gran visited me about three times a year to see my big city life, as she put it. She respected my hatred of this town, the place where my parents died, and where the Black family had mercilessly teased me for being a dud.

Finally, I found the dial-up next to Gran’s apothecary of herbs, all neatly labeled in her hand. Just seeing her writing, the one that had penned so many old-school letters to me, had tears pricking at my eyes.

But just because Gran was old school in most things, didn’t mean she didn’t know how to break her own rules. She was a traditional witch, and she’d often told me that the old ways, when available, were best. “Why reinvent the wheel?” she’d say. But she’d also say, “Use it when you have it,” when she got the hankering down for a particular bit of tech, or modern invention.

The internet fit the bill. A world of information at a witch’s fingertips—and a witch could do a lot with little.

The last three days without internet and with my cell phone turned off had been rather nice, just me and Cass drinking beers, watching Gran’s old movies, and playing poker.

I turned the modem on and tried to link to it. When it asked for a password, I frowned. Shit. Gran hadn’t left me a sheet of instructions. She hadn’t expected to die. Hell, she’d expected to live another half century, at least.

A shiver ran through me and I shook it off immediately. There it was again, that feeling that something was wrong. Yet, Gran had died peacefully in her sleep. Witches lived a long time by human standards, but they weren’t immortal. I didn’t like it, but there it was. At least she’d gone quickly. No one had reason to kill her—well, beyond the alpha. But as bad as he was, I didn’t think he’d actually kill Gran over the land. Besides, I’d had a bounty hunter buddy look over her body and speak to the medical examiner, while I was trying to wrap up my last gig in LA and get out here. He’d found nothing out of the ordinary, and I trusted his instincts.

However, the feeling was still there, nagging at me. I wished I’d been able to get here sooner, see her body, inspect the scene.

I pushed the unease away, and directed my mind to something useful. What password would Gran pick? After running through a dozen possibilities, I was about to give up for good.

She loved me as much as she’d ever loved anyone. After Grandpa Mick died, I was all she had. EvieBlack I typed in, just for the hell of it... and then I was in the system. I furiously blinked tears away. I was strong. I wouldn’t let Gran’s death bring me down like this. She was with our ancestors, and that was a great honor in my family, one I wouldn’t tarnish with my tears. She wouldn’t want that.

This also meant, holding on to her cabin, no matter what.

Opening my email, I jerked straight up on the couch when I saw the subject line from my boss, Mack. “Sirens again.”

Mack was a satyr and head of the Supernatural Bounty Hunter Service. There was no organization better at hunting down the bad guys—at least not in North America—and he didn’t mess around, even though Mack was prickly as fuck.

The subject could only mean a case, especially since he’d emailed me when I was on bereavement leave, but I still hesitated to open the message. See, I knew plenty about sirens, as I’d been the one to take down the last we’d seen of them during a case. But something about that situation had never sat right with me, and I had a very bad feeling about this one. Sirens were devils in disguise, with pretty hair and pearl earrings.

I sighed and clicked open the damn email—I was a rip-the-Band-Aid-off kind of girl.

Right away, I wished I hadn’t.

“You fucked up, Black. One of the twin sirens broke free, and has been spotted in your neck of the woods. Track her and bring her in, or you’ll owe me half the bounty you got for them.”


My stomach sank. No, “Hope you’re well” or “Take care.” No “Sorry the only family you ever had just died.” Nothing. Fucking Mack. He was good at his job, but that was about all I could say for him.

He knew damn well I’d already spent the bounty—all of it. It had been a tidy sum, but after I’d split it with Cass and, you know, lived for a while, it was gone. Gran left me this cabin, and her 1973 Cadillac Deville, but that was it. She didn’t have gobs of money lying around for me to inherit. Not like Brock the Cock’s daddy probably left him when he died.

“Motherfucker,” I shouted to the empty living room. Then I got my shit together, like I always did. I’d decided long ago that the only way to be a badass was to believe you were one, so I’d play the role until I got my groove back. I wasn’t going to let this siren bankrupt me.

I wanted to email Mack and tell him it wasn’t my fault the siren had broken free. I’d done my job of turning her in, but I knew better. Cass and I had dropped the siren twins off at bounty headquarters, and let some rookies transfer them to the human courthouse. If one broke free before getting there, that was on me.

Now she’d been loose for three days because I’d been too busy babysitting the cabin, and my battered heart, to worry about work.

Still pissed off, I clicked on the links at the bottom of the email. No doubt they were from Stella, the uber-efficient secretary of the hunter service, who kept everything running when Mack was off, banging some fae in his office. Satyrs’ sexual appetites were almost as bad as Cass’.

My hand stilled as a photo popped open on my screen. It was a grainy zoom-in of security footage, but with her long green hair and vicious eyes the color of the ocean, I’d recognize the chick anywhere. My stomach dropped when I realized where she was in the security photo. Right in front of the bar I’d been at a few nights ago. Where I’d met the alpha.

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