Authors: Nicolette Scarletti
Whatever It Takes:
Book One of the Indigo Eye Series
Whatever It Takes
Copyright 2015© by Nicolette Scarletti
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brand, media and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. This book contains mature material. The author acknowledges the trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with or sponsored by the trademark owners.
For more information about this and other books written by Nicolette Scarletti you can visit her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NicoletteScarletti
Table Of Contents:
This book is dedicated to the One who made it possible, God. I would also like to dedicate this book to my grandparents who stood by me no matter what dreams I had. And lastly to my husband, who has edited every one of these books. Thank you all.
Also a special shout out to all my Indies. You know who you are. Because without the support system you all make up this book might not be here.
Dammit, this bog water sucked. Every few feet it mired down my gown, which was already weighed down with its heavy beading. I guess my friends were right my obsession with Haute Couture really was going to be the death of me. Although, I think they meant figuratively not literally. At least I was smart enough to leave my shoes behind, when Sabine and I had escaped the mill where we were being held by the Nocturns.
Now, my gown kept getting sucked down in the brackish waters that seemed to make up most of the Scottish Moors. Who would have thought a stupid gown would slow us down? Of course I hadn’t anticipated running for my life through a marshland or else I would have dressed for the occasion. Something along the lines of combat boots and a pith helmet.
This was supposed to have been a simple snatch and grab; I was supposed to have gotten Sabine and gotten out. No fuss, no muss, and definitely no running for my life. Somehow the Council of Elders had underestimated the Nocturns. The mill where they had held us had been crawling with Nocturn goons who seemed to know exactly who I was and what I was there for. Hence, why we are now running for our lives.
They had also said that I’d only be facing street thugs high on Pixie Dust; Fae blood that was sold dehydrated on the black market. On the street it was called Pixie Dust because of its iridescent shine and the shiny patches addicts bore on their arms from usage. But despite its name, it was no sissy drug; think a combination anabolic steroid and meth. Yeah, it was some strong crap. Now that you know about Pixie Dust, let me tell you our pursuers were not using the stuff; selling yes, using no.
I hadn’t thought the goons who held us were smart enough to put two and two together. If you asked me, I owed all this trouble to Josef. That big oaf had blown my cover at the biggest gathering of Mythos gangsters ever. Everyone who was anyone had been there. As a matter of fact Kristoff, evil vampire extraordinaire and grand high puba of the Nocturns, was also there.
He’d been my target, but what I hadn’t known at the time was I was his as well. I had thought his beef with the Luna family died with him murdering my grandpa sixteen years ago. That once Kristoff had killed him, he wouldn’t bother coming after me. Even though I didn’t hide the fact that I was gunning for him.
Yet, last night Josef had basically handed me to him on a silver platter. Of course it hadn’t been on purpose, he had thought that I was the one meant to be his alpha female. I don’t know who on earth gave him that idea, because I wasn’t anyone’s anything and that was just the way I liked it. So whatever his issues were, I wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for him. Hey, I liked to give credit where it was due, shoot me.
What could I tell you about Josef the Architect? Yes, that was what they called him in the circles he ran with. He had gotten the name because he planned all the covert ops missions for the Council of Elders. He’d once been a very sought after mercenary, that was before the Council had claimed him. Josef was known far and wide in the Mythos. So it came as no surprise when Kristoff’s men had put two and two together. Seeing Josef sniffing around me, must have tipped them off to the fact that I wasn’t a legitimate buyer of Pixie Dust.
They were already suspicious because Kristoff was looking for me. He obviously wanted to get me, before I did him, vengeance was funny like that. Often at the end of a vendetta two graves were needed instead of one. Revenge was a cruel mistress; most who journeyed out on its road never came back the same, if they ever even came back at all. But it was a price I was willing to pay, to right a wrong that shouldn’t have happened. I no longer cared that my vengeance would never bring my grandfather back to me. All I cared about was ending Kristoff the Cruel’s reign of terror.
The Nocturns became suspicious when they noticed Josef dogging me. Normally, they would have missed me, even with a price as big as the one that seemed to be on my head. You see, Kristoff did not employ the smartest of henchmen. I swore he hired them through Craig’s List. Yet now, I was running for my life. Go figure.
Josef had blown my cover and put Sabine’s life in jeopardy; yet what pissed me off the most was at the first sign of trouble he had taken off. He was a typical mercenary wanting to score the run himself, not allowing anyone else the glory. To think I almost believed all that crap he had been spewing about us being mates. I swear when I get out of this swamp I am going to strangle him and whoever had given him such a harebrained idea.
My footing faltered yet again and I took that as my cue to stop and wreck the dress. I just hoped it didn’t take more time than we could afford. If we took too long the creeps from the mill would catch up to us and then we would be screwed and royally so. I needed to act fast, squeezing my eyes shut I resigned myself to the task at hand. My stomach lurched at the thought.
“Thank goodness.” Sabine plopped down on a dry patch of grass. “I thought we’d never take a break.”
I didn’t want to tell her this wasn’t a permanent thing. I was going to destroy one very expensive gown and then we would be on our way. She had been through enough, so I let her enjoy a moment’s rest, without further worry. I could at least give her that much.
She stared up at me wit
pale silver eyes, they made her seem far older than her twelve years. Then again it was said that the Fae have a different life span than Norms. Aging ten times slower than the rest of the world, it made them damn near immortal. An advantage to some but in Sabine’s case it was a curse. After what the Nocturns had done to her for a week, a long life meant an even longer memory
I watched as Sabine sat rubbing along the cut lines in her wrists where they bled her. She would remember the pain for a long time and the horror of it all a lot longer. I looked at her and wondered if she would ever recover.
“Don’t get too comfortable, Sabine. We are moving soon.”
She stopped rubbing at her wrists and folded her slender hands in her lap, than she looked up at me once more with pleading eyes. I knew she was tired, so was I. We had been running for the last three hours. As an Indigo Child it wouldn’t have been a problem for me; we were stronger than most Norms. Shadowing the line between humans and Mythos beings, because we had a foot in both worlds most just called us Inbetweens. Stronger or not tonight I could barely catch my breath with my ribs bruised the way they were. I was barely keeping a steady pace; besides the Nocturns had sampled some of my blood, causing weakness to seep into my system.
Sabine hadn’t had a problem keeping pace at first either. After three hours she was tripping as much as I was. The amount of blood she had lost during her time with the Nocturns would have rendered a lesser being helpless.
We had run all the way from the abandoned mill, where the Nocturns had held us. For the first hour we had been ahead of them, but it seemed that the goons who pursued us weren’t the typical slowed by the sun vampires. Your everyday vamp wasn’t supposed to be at full strength during the day. While sunlight wouldn’t kill them, it did make them a little more human. Slower, easier to evade, even.
Yet it would seem that the vampires in the employ of Kristoff the Cruel took some sort of anabolic. They had damn near chased us all afternoon and they hadn’t slowed even once. We had been able to out maneuver them only because of the density of the Moors. Yet now the sun was sinking below the horizon and we were out of time.
Sabine watched in the fading light as I pulled the titanium ring off my right hand. It had been a Christmas present from my best friend, Angie. She had seen it in the window of one of those spy shops in Greenwich Village. Hidden inside the band was a small saw toothed knife. Think fashionable Swiss Army, nice on the eyes and very MacGyver chic.
“Wicked.” Sabine exclaimed when I opened the blade.
I guess to a twelve year old it was, to me it was something out of my worst nightmare. I was moments away from trashing a Zuhair Murad beyond repair; although the prospect of getting recaptured by the Nocturns was slightly worse. Eyeing the tiny blade suspiciously I began to cut the fabric at mid-thigh. It was supposed to be able to cut through two or three inch thick twigs. So I guessed silk and chiffon shouldn’t pose much of a problem.
When the knife slid through the fabric like butter, I stifled a whimper. Tiny Swarovski beads popped from their stitches and shot out into the brackish water. My gut clenched as the material tore free. I had half a mind to write to Zuhair Murad, because if their gowns were this easy to take apart, they shouldn’t cost so damn much.
I began to cut a strip of fabric small enough to look like it had torn free while running. “What’ch doing, now?”
My gaze shot in Sabine’s direction. “Making a distraction. And don’t use slang your father won’t like it.”
He wouldn’t. Sabine was being groomed to be married off to a high roller on the Council of Elders, poor kid. Some days I was glad I was just a lowbrow Inbetween. You see, Inbetweens were mortals with special abilities and most of the Mythos looked down on us. Not to mention mortals thought we were freaks, or just wanted to use us for our abilities.
I’d had to scrap and claw to make a place for myself amongst the Mythos world. It helped that I ran a successful private eye business, one that specialized in Mythos related crimes and that I had finally received a Head Hunters license; which now made me a Mythos bounty hunter and part of their law enforcement. Besides I proved several times that the things that go bump in the night didn’t always sport fangs or claws. None of that could make me marrying off material, which I was very glad for.
I didn’t do this for status; I did it to right a wrong. Oh, who the hell did I think I was kidding; I did it in hopes that I would nab Kristoff the Cruel one day. Then my grandfather would finally be avenged and my grandma could come out of wherever grandpa had hidden her. Till then I wouldn’t rest. I’d take every case I could and hope to save as many of the lost as possible, maybe then my dreams would finally be silent.
Pulling my feet clear of the muck, I put my finger to my lips. “Now, wait right here.”
Sabine’s eyes grew panicked. “Please, don’t leave me.”
I watched as she rubbed at her wrists again. She was all black and blue from the syphoning of her blood. By the time I had gotten there, they had almost completely drained her. That would have been a tough one to explain to her father. I could see it now, sorry Vicktor but I was too busy ignoring Josef to save your little girl. Yep, that would go over about as well as barbequed armadillo.
Let’s face it, if that had happened I wouldn’t have to worry about revenge or status. Nope, I’d be worried about what method of execution I would be treated to. A shiver ran through me at the thought. I guess it really was a good thing I got there in time.
I knelt down in front of her, “I promise no one will ever hurt you again.”
It was going to be a tough promise to keep but I made it anyway. I’m sure some private eye manual somewhere wouldn’t approve of this, but let’s just call it an executive decision and be done with it.
She grabbed hold of my hand and refused to let go. Her panic laced the air so heavily it almost choked me. Needing to stay alert for trouble, I couldn’t even shut down my empathic ability to block her out. Her fear almost brought me to my knees, but I had an advantage, I’d known fear at the same level. Still I knew if she didn’t calm down her fear would lead the vampires straight to us.
“Ok, we’ll make a deal.” Sabine nodded. “I need to lay a false trail. See that knothole in the tree?”
Her eyes shot up, without hesitation or instruction she stood and moved toward the tree. Damn, the Supe Sect needed members like this girl. Ask no questions, just do as you’re told and everyone gets out alive. I would have to suggest it when I got back to the states. Maybe then I wouldn’t be called to so many crime scenes and I could have a personal life of some sort.
She knocked on the trunk. “It’s hollow. And I think I can fit.”
Before I could say anything, she was scurrying up the trunk. I had no idea the Fae could climb like cats. You learn something new every day in this line of work. Sabine tucked herself deep inside the tree. Satisfied that she would stay safe for fifteen minutes, I headed off in the opposite direction.