Slashback (Cal Leandros)
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I stopped and let them circle me, first because it was intriguing and, second, because, honestly, what could they do? Only knives, but all armed, and that made them even more interesting. Interesting. Fun.
Taking on bloodthirsty supernatural monsters is how Caliban and Niko Leandros make a living. But years ago—before they became a force to be reckoned with—the brothers were almost victims of a very human serial killer.
Unfortunately for them, that particular depraved killer was working as apprentice to a creature far more malevolent—the legendary Spring-heeled Jack. He’s just hit town. He hasn’t forgotten what the Leandros brothers did to his murderous protégé. He hasn’t forgotten what they owe him.
And now they are going to pay…and pay…and pay.…
simply disappeared. Oh, and those slices to the bone of the victim in your cell phone picture? That’s a J. He likes to sign his work.” “Who then?” Niko demanded. “Who is he?” “Spring-heeled Jack. Spring-hell Jack.” He gave a laugh, but I didn’t hear any amusement in it. “One and the same. Either way if it is Jack, then he has brought Hell to New York. And I don’t know if there is anything we can do about it.” 4 Niko Twelve Years Ago Hell. I’d wondered off and on if the monsters came from
knowing. I looked away and back at the street. “Now finish cracking your teeth on what used to be food and let me concentrate.” Then because I felt bad about letting Cal lie to Mrs. Spoonmaker, I muttered under my breath, “I think I’ll get her car washed too.” Cal knew the signs of my guilt. In knowing me there wasn’t much Cal didn’t pick up on instantly. “Isn’t lying to borrow her car better than letting a murderer kill somebody?” He wasn’t wrong. Cal had grasped the gray shades of morality
that cheer draining away. “Tips are not mandatory, but they are appreciated and guarantee you’ll be greeted with a sunny disposition next time you’re back.” I demonstrated said sunny disposition with a grin that wasn’t that different from his Nice-to-see-you, Grandma snarl—except more effective. Several more bills were shoved across. After an assessing glance, I grunted, and let him go. “Thank you, sir. Now get your cheating, cheap ass out of here, tail between your legs just the way I like.” I
This is not a part of town for a good churching up.” I grinned, sharp and gleeful. “Not a steeple in sight.” Seven men, young but malnourished. No problem. Seven knives out and slashing if not with trained efficiency, then with wild enthusiasm. More of a problem, but it could be handled. Seven sets of eyes burning with the fire of the martyr. Seven psychos willing to die for something, who the hell knew what, willing to die like their buddy if they could take me with them. Seven knives against
I knew for a fact. For the past four weeks he had shown up nearly every night I worked at the bar at closing to make sure I made it home in one piece. Sadly for his sex life, this was not new behavior for him. Not at all. My nearly getting killed inevitably turned him into a hybrid of babysitter/bodyguard/and human Terminator. It was past time to break that cycle. For his sake. As for the walking instead of the elevator, it wasn’t all about the cardio. Never take the elevator. Ask anyone who’s