Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7)(11)

Written By: Sherrilyn Kenyon

“Ca viens, ma bebelle cher.”

Her gorgeous smile only made his condition worse. “One day, I have got to learn Cajun.” She scowled at him. “For all I know, you could be insulting me with that deep smooth drawl of yours.”

Nick dropped his backpack as casually as he could from his shoulders and pulled it around to the front as an added layer of protection—just in case. “Non, cher. I would never do that to ma belle.”

Brynna laughed. “I don’t know, girl, long as I’ve been here, I still haven’t gotten the hang of it.”

Shon tsked at her. “Y’all break my native heart!”

Nick broke out into his thickest Cajun drawl. “They just don’t know, cher … they just don’t know. What we gonna do with the likes of them?”

“I vote we feed ’em to some gators later.” Shon winked at him.

Brynna scowled at Kody. “You ever feel like you need subtitles when he does that?”

“No. Unless he’s actually speaking Cajun, I can understand it, even when it’s thick and fast. But Bubba and Mark … I definitely need subtitles when they get excited and start babbling. I’ve no idea what language they’re speaking.”

“That be middle Tennessee good ole boy,” Nick teased. “Their accents aren’t that thick.”

“For you,” Kody teased. “But you have to remember that English isn’t my native tongue, anyway.”

Brynna’s eyes widened. “It’s not?”

Kody went pale as she realized that she’d slipped up in front of Brynna and Shon. “Um, no. I was born in Greece, and my mother’s Egyptian.”

“Really?” Brynna gaped as she passed a glance to Nick. “We were just talking about Greece. So did you learn Greek or Arabic first?”

Nick arched a brow as he waited to hear this.… While the language of modern Egypt was Arabic, Kody’s mother was an ancient goddess. So she’d grown up speaking hieratic and demotic Egyptian—languages long dead and forgotten. Even her Greek predated Kyrian’s native Koine Greek dialect that was very different from the modern-day spoken language of Greece.

“Greek,” she said quickly.

Nice save.

Kody slid an irritated frown toward him. Don’t take that tone with me. I’ll have you know, I’m fluent in Arabic, too. My dad spent a number of years living in North Africa and traveling among the nomadic tribes there.

That was something he hadn’t known before. Weird.

“I’m impressed,” Shon said. “You have no trace of an accent. How did you manage to be so lucky?”

Kody shrugged. “Good genes. While my parents pick up languages fast, they never could quite shake their accents. But my brothers did.”

Brynna gaped even wider. “I didn’t know you had brothers, too. Why don’t they go to school here?”

You are letting out all kinds of secrets today. What? Someone cast a truth spell on you? Nick shot his thought to her.

I know! Help me!

Nick cleared his throat. “Her brothers are a lot older. Neither of them live in the state.”

“Ah.” Brynna nodded. “Believe me, I get it. My family’s huge, and spread all over. It’s such a pain.”

The bell rang.

Nick groaned out loud as students scrambled for their classes. “Where’s my hemorrhoid? Not like him to not have attached himself to my hip by now.”

“Maybe he’s sick,” Brynna offered innocently, not knowing that Caleb, as a demon demigod, couldn’t get sick.

Well, he had gotten sick once, but there were extenuating circumstances and it shouldn’t have happened again.

God, he prayed that hadn’t happened again.

As they broke away to head for class, Caleb came rushing down the hall toward them.

Nick arched a brow. “Something wrong?”

“My alarm didn’t go off.”

“That’s odd.”

“Yeah,” Caleb said sarcastically. “You’ve no idea. Aeron overslept, too.”

That was strange. Lucky Charms Legolas would give Nick’s mom a run for her money on his ability to keep accurate time and never be late. Not to mention, he kept a rigid military schedule that was terrifying. Instead of a god of war, he should have been one of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Nick screwed his face up. “Zeitj?gers again?”

“Not funny.”

“Really not trying to be.”’Cause time guardians carrying adamantine sickles they used to behead those who abused the time sequence weren’t something to joke about. Especially not when they looked like jacked-up plague doctors that had escaped from some voodoo horror movie on an acid trip.

And they dripped blood all over your only pair of shoes while they followed you around like gruesome shadows you couldn’t shake.

Yeah, Nick would never joke about that.

Maybe there was a good reason for having more than one pair of shoes, after all. Girls might be on to something with that.

He was still having nightmares and flashbacks from his last encounter with those creepy things.

“You know,” Nick said slowly. “I’m thinking we could all benefit from some therapy. But then given the stuff we deal with … if we ever began to talk about it to an outsider, they’d lock us up and throw away the key.”