after me to grab me,” I added. “Now, are the two of you going to tell me what’s going on yet? I don’t appreciate being grabbed on the street and dragged into an empty house.”
“Where do you appreciate being grabbed?” Evert shot back, with a smile that was anything but warm. It was that cold, calculating smile that stopped me from slapping him, because I had the good sense to have a small prickle of fear. The smile gave me pause, as did the part where he could probably have torn me in half one-handed, if he wanted. Something about that smile sent a shiver through my body and behind it came a shudder of revulsion. His chilling welcome transformed him from simply good looking to dangerously handsome. Dangerous being the operative word. This guy seemed like he would devour good little witches like me for breakfast. And then order up another for lunch.
“You’ll never find out where I like to be grabbed,” I assured him coolly.
He shrugged in a supple roll of muscles that seemed to contain a pretty clear we’ll see . “Come through. Then you can explain.”
“Wait just a minute. I can explain? You two are the ones with explaining to do. And some serious apologizing, too.”
Evert just walked off in the direction of one of the rooms leading off the hall. Even steaming with indignation, I silently followed him and Rebecca. This room wasn’t quite as bare as the rest of the house. It had a bed shoved into one corner, a couple of simple folding chairs, and a few bags of clothing tucked carefully away. Somehow, this looked more like squatting than renting and the more I looked around, the more I became certain of it.
A couple of spirits flitted about the ceiling, more collections of raw emotion than anything, left over from all the years the house had been standing. I had to admit, there was something comforting about their presence. Not that they could do anything, but it still seemed better than being alone in a room with Evert and Rebecca. Of course, almost as soon as I thought that, they floated up through the ceiling and away.
Some of the contents of the room gave me a pretty good clue when it came to what Rebecca and Evert were doing there. Along the back wall, stacked according to a system that probably made sense at the time, there was enough assorted surveillance equipment to keep a small government agency happy for years. A camera pointed out of the window, along with a shotgun microphone, both hidden away behind partly closed curtains. A laptop on a small table showed video feeds obviously taken from wireless cameras dotted around the area.
“No one notices all the electricity that gear is using?” I asked.
Rebecca shrugged. “The rent is paid for a month. No one cares.”
I nodded, turning my attention back to the surveillance gear. There was a floor plan of a house taped on the wall, and every camera was pointed directly at Niall Sampson’s property.
“Really? You’re watching Niall Sampson? Why?”
“So that Evert can do his job,” Rebecca said, gesturing to one of the folding chairs.
I sat in it and immediately regretted it. I squirmed in the hard seat. “If this chair is meant to be torture, you’ve succeeded.”
“It came with the house,” Evert said, “and trust me, you don’t know anything about torture.”
I smiled tightly. “Which presumably means that the work you do for the coven doesn’t involve dropping round knitting patterns for the older members?”
Evert gave me another of those eloquent shrugs of his. “It turns out knitting isn’t my forte.”
“So, what is your forte?” I asked. “Are you going to tell me?”
“Be careful what you wish for.” Evert stretched, and those tattoos of his seemed to move. It was both threatening and curiously sensual.
“What is this all about?” I demanded, not wanting to back down from such a casual display of testosterone and nerve. “You two are completely interfering in my work and my life.”