Witch's Bounty

Witch's Bounty by Ann Gimpel Read Free Book Online

Book: Witch's Bounty by Ann Gimpel Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ann Gimpel
get here. What’d you do, jump the slow boat to China?”
    “Behave yourself, sweetie,” Jenna called as she walked closer. “We have company.”
    “What? Who? Is that why it took you hours to show up?”
    “We, um, found a Sidhe along the way. Or he found us. Showed up in our shop.” Colleen held the phone a little farther away and turned its volume down.
    “They’re the reason we ended up demon stalkers in the first place.” Roz’s voice was shrill. “Send him back to wherever the fuck you found him.”
    “I don’t think he’ll want to go,” Colleen said. “At least you could reserve judgment until—”
    “Why the hell would I want to do that? The only good Sidhe is a dead Sidhe.”
    “Goddammit, Roz.” Jenna stepped right next to the phone. “You don’t like it much when people say that about us. And they do.”
    “Where are you?” Colleen cut in.
    “Right where I told you I’d be. At Coven HQ.”
    “But I tried to find you, and couldn’t,” Jenna protested.
    “I would hope not. I have personal wards deployed and I’m in a warded room.”
    “We’re in the basement. Which floor are you on?” Colleen asked.
    “Top one. There’s a conference room in the attic.” Roz sounded slightly less surly.
    “Be there soon.” Colleen tapped the end call button and pocketed her phone. “Interesting that Roz knew about the Sidhes’ role in our demon stalking abilities.” She shot Jenna a puzzled look.
    “Hmph.” The other witch snorted. “Even more interesting she never mentioned it to us before.”
    Duncan started to gather magic to teleport up a couple of levels, but reconsidered. It would probably be better to just walk. That way, he could get a sense of how the building was laid out.
    Colleen caught his eye and nodded; he realized she’d been in his head again. It was eerie how she could manage it without him knowing. Usually, even full-blood Sidhes had trouble catching him unawares. She made a clucking noise with her tongue against her teeth and Bubba came at a dead run. He threaded his body around her legs, purring furiously. “You’ll be safer as a cat until we get past the first floor,” she told him. The changeling retreated with a short hiss that seemed to indicate he didn’t agree.
    “It must be frustrating for him when he can’t talk,” Duncan ventured.
    “And frustrating for us when he can,” Jenna cut it. “He has opinions about everything.” Bubba meowed furiously and took a swipe at her ankle, but she jumped out of the way.
    “Come on.” Colleen beckoned. “Let’s see if we can’t find a back staircase or something. As I remember this building, the whole front of the main floor is leaded glass windows, tucked in between Victorian fancywork and turrets, with a clear view of the street. It would be better if we could avoid it.”
    Duncan gazed around the basement and saw two doors. One sat atop a half staircase and clearly led to the outside. He headed toward the other and depressed the latch. The door rattled against its stops, but didn’t move. Locked. He sent magic snaking outward and the deadbolt withdrew from its hidey hole in the doorframe.
    “Pretty neat trick,” Colleen murmured.
    “Yeah, we’ll have to look him up next time we decide to case a joint.” Jenna smirked.
    “Ssht.” He shot a meaningful glace at both witches. Bubba was right next to where the door would open. “You too.” He tapped the cat’s back. “No racing off anywhere on your own. You stay with us.”
    He eased the door open and swept the part of the hallway he could see with seeking magic, tuned to sense fell creatures. Satisfied nothing lurked nearby, he pushed power beyond his immediate visual range. A faint tinge of evil pinged back at him, but it was days’ old. He stepped onto a linoleum floored hallway, lined with cinderblock walls. Florescent lights recessed into the ceiling every twenty feet or so, cast a sickish yellow pall over everything.
    The building smelled old,

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