Home > Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2)(14)

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2)(14)
Author: Darynda Jones

“If those demons make it back through the gate,” he continued, “they’ll have the key and my father can escape. Which is exactly what he’ll do.” He leaned back in the chair and clasped his hands behind his head. “You know how people have prophesied about the end of time since pretty much the beginning of time?”

“Yes,” I said, knowing instinctively his anecdote would end badly.

“They have no idea what hell awaits them if my father gets this key.” He dropped his hands and leaned forward. “And the first thing he would do is come after you.”

“I don’t care.”

He fixed a dubious scowl on me. “Of course you do.”

“No. I don’t. You can’t just let your body die. We don’t know what’ll happen. They could get you either way.”

“Let’s say, for argument’s sake, they were no longer a threat, that you were able to vanquish them all.”


“There’s still this one little problem I have called life behind bars. I’m not going back to prison, Dutch.”

What? He was worried about that? “I don’t understand. You can leave your body anytime you want. It’s not like those bars can hold you.”

“It’s not that simple.”

He was being evasive again, holding something back. “Reyes, please tell me.”

“It’s not important.” He reached up and turned my computer screen off as if it suddenly bothered him.

“Reyes.” I placed a hand on his arm, coaxed him back to me. “Why isn’t it that simple?”

He worked his jaw and glanced down at his boots. “There’s … a side effect.”

“When you leave your body?”

“Yes. When I leave, my body mimics a seizurelike state. If I do it too often, the prison doctors put me on drugs that keep me from seizing. Drugs that have an unacceptable side effect.” His gaze traveled back to mine. “They keep me from separating. I’m stuck in prison and you are completely vulnerable.”

Oh. “Well, then keep running. I’ll help you. But let me get you medical attention for now. I have a friend who’s a doctor, and I know a couple of nurses. They would see you for me. They wouldn’t turn us in, I promise. Let me find you and we can worry about prison later.”

“Because if you find me, he finds me. And I go back to prison no matter who you know.”

That again? “Who finds you?”

“The guy your uncle has glued to your tail.”

That took me by surprise. “What are you talking about?”

“Your uncle put a tail on you, probably in the hopes that I’d show up.”

“Uncle Bob put a tail on me?” I asked, appalled.

“Aren’t you supposed to notice those types of things? You know, to detect them?” He winked teasingly.

“You’re changing the subject,” I said, trying to recover from the wink.

“Sorry.” He sobered. “Okay, so you want me to stay alive because there is a slight possibility I could be sent back to hell. Does that about sum it up?”

“Reyes, you escaped from there. The same being that was created with the map to the gates of hell on his body. You’re the key to their freedom, and you absconded with it. You were their general, their most powerful warrior, and you betrayed them. What do you think will happen to you if you’re sent back? Not to mention the fact that if you are sent back, your father—who just happens to be Satan, by the way—will have the key to escape from hell himself.”


“And it’s an if I’m not willing to risk. Hell has to be torturous enough without being public enemy number one. And to risk Satan getting out?” I crossed my arms. “Tell me where you are.”

“Dutch, you can’t just come after me. Even if you could vanquish them all—”

“Why do you keep saying that?” I asked, exasperated. “I’m a bright light that lures the departed in so they can cross through me. I’m kind of like one of those bug zappers, if you think about it. And I’m fairly certain Vanquisher of Demons is not in my job description.”

A soft grin slipped across his handsome face and somehow managed to melt my kneecaps. “If you had even an inkling of what you were capable of, the world would be a dangerous place indeed.”

That wasn’t the first time I’d heard such a thing, and worded just as vaguely. “Okay, why don’t you tell me, then?” I asked, knowing he wouldn’t.

“If I told you what you were capable of, you would have the advantage. That’s a risk I can’t take.”

“What on planet Earth could I do to you?”

With a growl he stood and pulled me to him. “God, the things you ask, Dutch.”

He wrapped his long fingers around my neck and tilted my chin up with his thumb a split second before he captured my mouth with his own. The kiss skyrocketed from hesitant to demanding instantly. His tongue dived inside my mouth, and I reveled in the taste of him, the earthy smell of him. I leaned into his embrace, tilted my head to allow the kiss to deepen, then held on to his wide shoulders for dear life.

One hand wound around the nape of my neck while the other held me to him as he walked me back, pressed me against the wall. Taking both my hands into one of his, he fastened them against the wall above my head as his other hand explored at will. He cupped Danger, brushed over her peak until it hardened beneath him and I couldn’t stop a soft moan from escaping my lips.

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