Bone Crossed

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs Read Free Book Online

Book: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Briggs
fixed him.
    He frowned at me. “What’s wrong?”
    But you can’t marry someone to fix him, even if you love them. And I didn’t love Samuel the way a woman should love her mate, the way I loved Adam. Samuel didn’t love me that way either. Close, but not quite. And except in horseshoes and hand grenades, close doesn’t count.
    “I love you, you know,” I told him.
    His face went blank for a moment. He said, “Yes. I do know.” His pupils contracted, and his gray eyes lightened to icy winter. Then he smiled, a sweet, warm thing. “I love you, too.”
    I went to bed with the distinct feeling that, this time, close might really be just enough to do the trick.
    SAMUEL WAS RIGHT—MORNING DID COME TOO EARLY I yawned as I turned my van onto the street where my shop was—and stopped dead in the middle of the road, all thoughts of sleep gone.
    Someone had taken spray paint and had fun last night all over my place of business.
    I took it all in, then drove slowly into the parking lot and parked next to Zee’s old truck. He came out of the office and walked up to me as I got out and shut the van’s door, a tallish, thinnish, graying man. He looked like he was in his late fifties or early sixties, but he was a lot older than that: never judge one of the fae by their outward appearance.
    “Wow,” I said. “You’ve got to admire their dedication. They must have been here for hours.”
    “And no one drove by?” Zee snapped. “No one called the polizei?”
    “Umm, probably not. There’s not a lot of traffic here at night.” Reading the graffiti made me realize that there were themes and insights to be gained from the canvas that someone had made of my garage.
    Green Paint, I was almost sure, was a young man whose thought patterns paralleled Ben’s if the words he used were any indication.
    “Look, he misspelled whore. I wonder if he did it on purpose? He spelled it right on the front window. I wonder which one he did first?”
    “I have called your police friend Tony,” Zee said, so angry his teeth clicked together as he spoke. “He was sleeping, but he will be here in a half hour.” He might have been upset on my account, but mostly, I thought, it was the state of the garage. It had been his business long before I bought it from him. Last week I’d have been angry, too. But so much had happened since then that this ranked pretty low on my list of worries.
    Red Paint had a more pressing agenda than Green Paint. Red had painted only two words: liar and murderer, over and over. Adam had installed security cameras so we’d know for sure, but I was betting Red Paint was Tim’s cousin Courtney. Tim had killed his best friend before he attacked me, and there just weren’t all that many people left who’d have gotten this worked up over his death.
    I could hear a car approaching. An hour later, when traffic started to build up with people headed to work, I wouldn’t have noticed. But it was quiet this early in the morning, so I heard my mother’s approach.
    “Zee,” I said urgently. “Is there any way you could hide this”—I waved my hands at the shop—“for a few minutes?”
    I didn’t know much about what he could and couldn’t do—outside of fixing cars and playing with metal, he didn’t use magic much in front of me. But I’d seen his real face once, so I knew his personal glamour was good. If he could mask his face, surely he could hide a bunch of green and red paint.
    He frowned at me in deep displeasure. You didn’t ask for favors from the fae—not only was it dangerous, but they tended to take offense. Zee might love me, might owe me for freeing him from a tight spot, but that would only take me so far.
    “My mother is coming,” I told him. “The vampires are after me, and I have to get her to leave. She won’t do it if she knows I’m in danger.” Then, because I was desperate, I played dirty. “Not after what happened with Tim.”
    His face stilled. Then he grabbed my

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