Page 43 of The Demon in Him

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Finally sick of the silence, I turned to Emrick to start formulating a plan when the balcony door behind me shuddered. A sicklybangechoed out again as someone was thrown against the door from the other side a second time, the recognizable sound of an unconscious body slumping to the floor followed. Emrick reached behind him, pulled out a revolver, and checked the bullets before pointing it directly at me.

“Get out of the way, you fucking idiot,” he said, pushing the words through gritted teeth. I scowled at him and stepped to the side, giving him a clear shot of the door as it burst open, and a young man with messy dark hair stormed into the room. He was rage and fire and radiated enough power for me to know this wasn’t a lightweight, although he wasn’t as old as me.

Beyond his anger, his nature was clear as day.

Another demon.

“Where is she, youfuck?”He raged, directing his anger at Emrick who rolled his eyes, ignoring the way the younger demon was shaking, his hands balled into fists at his sides. Emrick slid the gun back into his pants and crossed his arms over his chest. It took me a moment, but beyond his twisted expression, I recognized this demon. He was Frank’s younger brother, Cade, and I had no idea he was living on Earth. Sibling relationships weren’t strong amongst demons, and if you put a dozen demons who were related together, they were more than likely to tear each other apart than a dozen strangers who would fuck each other.

Demons had two modes—fuck or fight—and if they couldn’t do one, they’d resort to the other.

Cade stormed across the balcony, stopping when Emrick held a hand between them. Although Cade’s shoulders were heaving with every aching breath he took, he simply glared at Emrick and waited for him to speak.

“What are you talking about?” Emrick sounded almost bored, and this only seemed to enrage Cade more.

“Nikki! She’s fuckinggone, and I found your fucking product in her car.”

Emrick barked out a laugh, and Cade’s lip twisted. “Maybe she likes the snow,” he said, chuckling.

Cade roared an indistinguishable sound not made up of any words. “She wasclean.She’s always beenclean.You must’ve dropped some of your shit when you took her.”

Emrick threw his hands up. “You’re a fucking idiot. I thought maybe you would have grown a bit in the years since I’ve seen you, but apparently, you’re still as naïve now as you were then.” He lifted a hand again when Cade went to interrupt. “Why,dear Cade, would I leave some of my product behind if I were going to kidnap someone?Whywould I leave behind something that led straight back to me?”

“Then who took her?”

“What makes you think I know anything?”

Cade closed the space between them, pressing his finger against Emrick’s chest. “You’re involved. I know you are. You’re always involved in this shit. Everything that goes down in this city has your grubby fingerprints all over it. She’s a fucking cop, Emrick. You won’t get away with this.”

“I’d say I’ve done nothing, but it’s a lie. But this is the truth, I hadnothingto do withthis.”

“Who’s Nikki?” I spoke up, sick of being on the outside of Emrick’s bullshit interactions, who seemed to somehow be in a fight with everyone he came across. First Ray, then Evie, and now Cade. The guy certainly hasn’t made himself many allies.

“My…” Cade seemed to be searching for the right word, and Emrick chuckled when Cade finally settled on ‘partner.’

“Oooh,” Emrick goaded. “Didn’t she ever bond with you? That’s too sad. Mike here has bonded before, and he’s already started a new one.”

“Shut the fuck up, Emrick.” I hissed, only enticing another laugh.Fuck, I hated him.

Emrick casually rubbed his chin, able to ignore the burning rage from the demon in front of him. “You know, Cade, you might benefit from looking for Tate.”

“Tate? Who the fuck is Tate?”

“Do you remember all those years ago when you first came to see me? When you were convinced I was involved in Nikki’s drama? Do you remember how you two juststrolledright on into my club and up here to see me without question?”

“What are you getting at?” Cade barked. “Spit it out.”

“Tate saw Nikki, and he told me to let her up here to see me.” Cade’s eyes widened, but he said nothing as Emrick continued, “If anyone has her, it may be him.”

“What’s the connection between them?” Cade asked.

Emrick lifted a shoulder. “Don’t ask me. But there are always those around who tend to know these things.”

Cade roared again, “FuckingEarl,”and he punched the wall next to the balcony door, cracking the plaster and drawing a snarl from Emrick. “I’ll kill that son of a bitch.”

Before I could ask anything further of the demon, he ran down the stairs, his feet pounding on the metal as it creaked under his weight.

I turned to Emrick. “What the fuck was that all about?”