Dominick frowned. “Attacking Kory like that…it was like he was trying to attract attention. He wanted as many people in there as possible so they could be exposed to whatever it was he did to them. And I don’t know where the hell his strength came from. He’s human, but I smelled something else on him too. Something rotten.”
Frances cleared his throat impatiently.
“So tell me again why I should help you?” Frances asked.
“We practically grew up together. I’ve saved your life more than once,” Pixie said indignantly.
“I’ve saved your life more than once, too,” he pointed out. “And I shanked my half-brother last month for ratting me out to the cops. He’s still in the hospital pissing into a bag. Sentimentality doesn’t count for shit with me. You know that.”
Dominick stifled a growl, and Pixie kicked him in the leg. She couldn’t risk having his bad temper alienate Fraser; they needed his good will if they were going to survive here.
“I work for a security firm. There are a lot of favors we could do for you,” Pixie said, tension twisting in her gut. She could feel the seconds ticking away, along with her friends’ chance of survival.
“Not if they all die.” He leaned back in the chair and propped his feet up on the desk.
“That’s a horrible thing to say!” Hillary burst out, blinking back tears.
Pixie resisted the urge to smack her. Hillary was just being Hillary. She didn’t understand the basic rules of negotiating; don’t reveal your emotional investment. Pretend you’re willing to walk away at any time.
Fraser winked at her, and leered. “Fraser Maxwell, professional asswipe, at your service.” Hillary glowered at him and sniffed indignantly.
“My boss is very rich. If you help us, and we’re able to save his life, he can reward you handsomely,” Pixie said. “Half a million dollars, in cash.” Kenneth was good for it, easily.
“And if I do my best to help you, and he dies of whatever ails him, I won’t get jack shit,” Fraser pointed out.
“What do you want?”
“A million dollars if he lives. If not…how about your professional services for one month? For thirty days, you work exclusively for me. You do anything I say.” He leered again, and waggled his eyebrows.
At that, Dominick leapt to his feet, letting out a rumbling growl. Fur rippled over his face, and his ears turned round and tufted. His fangs shot down, and his face lengthened. Pixie couldn’t believe it. He was acting every bit as if he were her jealous mate. Dominick. Acting jealous of her.
Pixie jumped to her feet as well. “Dominick! Cut it out!” she hissed. What the hell? Between him and Hillary, she was amazed that Fraser hadn’t tossed them out on their asses yet. How was she supposed to negotiate with these two morons undermining her every move?
“Fine, lover boy. She’s yours. I mostly wanted her services as a thief, anyway. Mostly. How about I take this one instead?” He turned to Hillary, raking her with a long, slow, appraising look.
Hillary gasped and went pale. She pressed her hand to her chest, and took a step back, shrinking into herself.
“I believe I’m experiencing a myocardial infarction,” she announced in a quavering voice. “If I die right now, please move my body to a better neighborhood and come up with a suitable cover story for my mother.”
Pixie whipped her switchblade out of her pocket, lunged forward, and slammed her knife in the desk an inch from Fraser’s hand. He started, sitting up straight and glaring at her.