Home > Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1)(3)

Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1)(3)
Author: Laura Thalassa

“I’m going to record this exchange. Please say yes out loud and give your consent to this interview.”

Micky’s brows stitch together as he fights the glamour in my voice. It’s no use. “Yes,” he finally says between clenched teeth. This guy is no fool; he might not understand what’s happening to him, but he knows he’s about to get played. He knows he’s already getting played.

As soon as he agrees, I begin.

“Have you been embezzling money from your mother?” His senile, terminally ill mother. I really shouldn’t have read the file. I’m not supposed to get emotionally involved in cases, and yet when it comes to children and the elderly, I always seem to find myself getting angry.

Tonight’s no exception.

I take a bite of the bread, watching him.

He opens his mouth—

“From This moment until the end of our interview you will tell the truth,” I command, the words lilting off my tongue.

He stops, and whatever he is about to say dies on his lips. I wait for him to continue, but he doesn’t. Now that he can’t lie, it’s only a matter of time before he’s forced to admit the truth.

Mickey fights my glamour, though it’s useless. He’s starting to sweat, despite his placid features.

I continue eating as though nothing was amiss.

Color stains his cheeks. Finally, he chokes out, “Yes—how the fuck did you—”

“Silence.” Immediately he stops speaking.

This sicko. Stealing money from his dying mother. A sweet old lady who’s biggest failure was birthing this loser.

“How long have you been doing this?”

His eyes flicker with anger. “Two years,” he grits out against his will. He glares at me.

I take my time eating the last of the bread.

“Why did you do it?” I finally ask.

“She wasn’t using it and I needed it. I’m going to give it back,” he says.

“Oh, are you?” I raise my eyebrows. “And how much have you… borrowed?” I ask.

Several silent seconds tick by. Mickey’s ruddy cheeks are turning a deeper and deeper shade of pink. Finally he says, “I don’t know.”

I lean in close. “Give me your best guess.”

“Maybe two hundred and twenty thousand.”

Just hearing that number sends a slice of anger through me. “And when were you going to pay your mother back?” I ask.

“N-now,” he stammers.

And I’m the Queen of Sheba.

“How much money do you have available in your accounts at the moment?” I ask.

He reaches for his glass of water and takes a deep swallow before answering. “I-I like to invest.”

“How much money?”

“A little over twelve thousand.”

Twelve thousand dollars. He’s emptied his mother’s coffers and here he is living like a king. But behind this façade, the man only has twelve thousand dollars at hand. And I bet that money will get liquidated soon as well. These types of men have butterfingers; money slips right through them.

I give him a disappointed look. “That’s not the right answer. Now,” I say, the siren urging me to be cruel, “where is the money?”

His sweaty upper lip twitches before he answers. “Gone.”

I reach over and turn off the camera and the recorder. My client got the confession she wanted. Too bad for Mickey, I’m not done with him.

“No,” I say, “it’s not.” Those few people who know me well enough would recognize my tone’s changed.

Again his brows draw together as his confusion peeks through.

I touch his lapel. “This suit is nice—really nice. And your watch—Rolexes aren’t cheap, are they?”

The glamour makes him shake his head.

“No,” I agree. “See, for men like you, money doesn’t just vanish. It goes towards… what did you call it?” I look around for the word before snapping my fingers. “Investments. I moves around a bit, but that’s all.” I lean in close. “We’re going to move it around a little more.”

His eyes widen. Now I see Micky—not the puppet controlled by my magic, but the Micky he was before I walked into this room. Someone shrewd, someone weak. He’s fully aware of what’s happening.

“Wh—who are you?” Oh, the fear in his eyes. The siren can’t resist that. I reach over and pet his cheek. “I-I’m going to—”

“You’re going to sit back and listen, Micky,” I say, “and that’s all you’re going to do because right now, you—are—powerless.”

Chapter 2

May, eight years ago

The air wavers in my kitchen, like I’m staring at a mirage, then suddenly, he’s here, filling the room like he owns it.

The Bargainer.

Holy shit, it worked.

All I can see of him is a good six feet of man and a whole lot of white blond hair tied together in a leather thong. The Bargainer’s back is to me.

A whistle breaks the silence. “That is one dead man,” he says, staring at my handiwork. His heavy boots clink as he approaches the body.

He wears black on black, his shirt stretched tight over his wide shoulders. My eyes drop to his left arm, which is covered in tattoos.

Callie, what did you get yourself into?

The toe of the Bargainer’s boot nudges the corpse. “Hmm, I stand corrected. Mostly dead.”

Hot Series
Most Popular
» Cursed Mate (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #5)
» Devilish Game (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #4)
» Dark Secrets (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #3)
» Wicked Deal (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #2)
» Once Bitten (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #1)
» Storm Forged (Death Before Dragons #6)
» False Security (Death Before Dragons #5)
» Elven Doom (Death Before Dragons #4)
» Tangled Truths (Death Before Dragons #3)
» Battle Bond (Death Before Dragons #2)
» Sinister Magic (Death Before Dragons #1)
» How to Rattle an Undead Couple (The Beginne