Curses & Blood (The Dark Files #4) - Kim Richardson Page 0,1

flare for the dramatic. Always had, even from the very first day I’d summoned him in his triangle. Instead of being pissed at me, like any normal demon would have been when trapped in a summoning triangle, Faris, well, he was thrilled. He even clapped his hands and bowed in a way of greeting. Yes, Faris was an odd one.

And true to his mid-demon nature, he enjoyed the company of human females, gin, selling souls, and of course, his time here on this side of the planes. Even more so, ever since I’d reunited him with his great-great-granddaughter Cassandra, something was visibly different in him. It seemed like a deep wound had been lifted and healed, as though he had a second chance at life to make past wrongs right again. It suited him, but it also made him insufferably annoying. And then some.

A month had gone by since Vossler and his mages had poisoned and killed some half-breeds and tried to pin it on the witches. I’d killed him, but his actions had left a mark. The paranormal community’s wound was still deep and fresh, and I knew it would take time to heal for the races to trust each other again.

It gave me pause at seeing the dead faerie. At first, I wondered if this could be retaliation from the witches. Maybe the animosity had risen again. But one look at the hole in the faerie’s head told me this was something different entirely.

“Does the pointy-eared bastard have a name?” questioned Faris next to me. The scent of his cologne—a mix of musk and lavender—was a welcomed distraction amid the stench of blood. “Can I call him Spock?”

“No.”

“No, he doesn’t have a name? Or no, I can’t call him Spock?”

“No.”

Faris made a discontented noise in his throat. “Space, the final frontier,” he began as he moved around the body. “To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new lifeforms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Damn he was annoying tonight. “Don’t start, Faris,” I grumbled. I looked over his shoulder to see the two Council officers parked outside the vault’s steel door, watching us with identical frowns like they thought we were going to steal something. I pegged them as a male vampire and a male werewolf by the smell of old blood and wet dog.

The officers were dressed in gray uniforms that screamed Star Trek officers, hence Faris’s sudden love for all things Trekkie.

These gray bastards weren’t your normal, everyday officers or agents. They were known as GHOSTS: Gray Council Higher Officers Supernatural Tactical Security. A mouthful, yes. They were more like the Gray Council’s paranormal police squad. GHOSTS were made up of every half-breed race. The Gray Council didn’t discriminate when it came to choosing new officers. Their motto was “The crueler the better.” They were brutal, and it was their mandate to enforce our laws. Being part of the GHOSTS meant you were just a few steps down from being up on the Council and wrapped in a heavy gray robe. It made them feel superior to everyone else, not to mention violent and nasty.

They loved to boss me around, and I just loved to tell them off. Judging by how they were giving Faris and me hard stares, I’d say that opportunity was fast approaching.

I glanced around the vault. We stood in a ten-by-ten concrete box with shelves running along three walls. They were all crowded with boxes, glass jars with questionable body parts, containers with a vast array of magical ingredients, crystal balls, tarot cards, enchanted pendants, collections