Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7)(8)

Written By: Sherrilyn Kenyon


“What do you mean?”

Kyrian sighed. “Just that I took mine for granted. Didn’t realize how lucky I was until the day I left home and saw the homes other children grew up in.”

“Your friend Julian?”

He nodded. “Yeah. He opened my eyes to a lot I’d never seen before.”

Nick would have liked to have met Kyrian’s mentor. The more he heard about the ancient Greek general Julian of Macedon, the more he respected him.

“Speaking of … you ready to train tonight?”

“Sure. I can always use another butt-whipping. Stone didn’t stuff me in a locker today or slam my head into a fountain. I was beginning to feel neglected.”

Kyrian laughed. “Boy, you are all kinds of wrong.”

“I know. I blame it all on my mom. She hugged me so tight when I was little, it deprived me of oxygen. Gave me brain damage.”

When Ash returned, he had the same grimace on his face that Bubba wore whenever someone told him zombies weren’t real.

Or that Oprah was being preempted for another program.

Yeah, those were bad days for everyone.

“What’s going on?” Kyrian asked.

“Squire’s Council. There were a couple of deaths last night.”

“Couple?”

He nodded slowly.

Nick didn’t like the sound of that any more than Kyrian did. “By the look on your face, I’m assuming they didn’t choke on a bad plate of red beans and rice.”

“Of course not.”

Nick wrinkled his nose. “Do I want to know?”

“Given your reaction the last time one was killed, probably not. But at least we’re not in my car now so I don’t have to worry about you clawing up my upholstery again.”

“You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?”

“You all but stained my seat.” He passed a dry stare to Kyrian. “Wonder if we neuter him if it would calm him down any?”

Kyrian laughed. “Might, however his mother would neuter us afterward. Don’t know about you, but I would miss those body parts.”

“I could definitely live without them,” Ash mumbled in a barely audible tone. “Unfortunately, the beast I have to endure couldn’t, and she’d make me miserable.” He growled in the back of his throat. “Anyway, it was bad.” He spoke those last four words much louder and in staccato. “They’re thinking Daimons got to them.”

Nick went bug-eyed at the thought. “Okay … I don’t care for this thought of Daimons eating Squires.” Even if he was a Malachai. It just seemed like bad form.

“Don’t worry. We won’t let them eat you. Alive anyway.”

Nick snorted at Kyrian’s dry tone. “Thanks, boss,” he said sarcastically. “Now I’m glad I didn’t save you any of Rosa’s cookies. You’re not worthy!”

Kyrian clapped him on the back. “That’s okay. You’ll have earned them before the night’s over.”

“How you figure?”

“It was payday today. Artemis dropped my money in the pool. You get to dive for it.”

Nick bristled indignantly. He hated that the ancient Greek goddess Artemis couldn’t get with the times and pay her Dark-Hunters in cash or electronically. No, she still thought it was the Dark Ages, and once a month plopped a buttload of gold bars and gems on them. Saddest part was that, for a goddess renowned for her unerring archery skills, she had no aim. She always dumped it somewhere extremely inconvenient—then again, she might be doing it on purpose. That made the most sense.

He glared at Kyrian. “Are you…” He paused as he realized what that look on Kyrian’s face meant. “No, not there again. Anywhere, but there.”

“Oh yeah … it landed at the bottom of my pool in the backyard. Have fun digging it all out. Make sure you don’t miss any diamonds this time.” And with that Kyrian walked off with an evil laugh echoing behind him.

“I hate you!” Nick called after his departing back. “And I quit!”

“You can’t quit. I own your sorry ass, and your mom won’t let you quit until you pay off the hospital debt you owe me.”

Nick mocked his words while Acheron laughed at him. He grimaced at the ancient being. “Don’t you need a cute, tacky-shirt-wearing, indentured servant?”

“Like a hole in my head.… No.”

“You both suck.”

“Yeah. It’s what the fangs are for.” Acheron ran his tongue down one of them to emphasize his point.

Sighing irritably, Nick shook his head. “Fine. Just don’t let me get eaten like those other Squires. Remember, you can’t kill me ’til I’m twenty-four. That’s our bargain.”

Acheron shoved at him. “You’re so weird.”

“And yet you like me. What’s that say about you?”

“That I don’t get out much.”

As Nick headed for the door, Ash stopped him. “You want me to lend a hand with the pool?”

“Nah, I got it. Go save the world. But if you want to zap me some swim trunks, I’m sure Kyrian’s neighbors would be eternally grateful. Otherwise I’m going commando.”

No sooner had he spoken than a pair appeared on his head.