Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7)(6)
Written By: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Yeah, that was the lie he was going to go with for now. It allowed him to sleep a few hours at night so long as nothing scratched at the windows or walls.
Pushing it out of his mind, he headed for Kyrian’s and tried to focus on the next forthcoming near-death experience—facing his immortal boss with bad news.
Nick blinked at the deep, thick, indefinable accent that belonged exclusively to Acheron Parthenopaeus. An accent that came and went on Ash’s whims, much like his bizarre hair color that often rivaled Xev’s for garish hideousness. But in Ash’s case, it was a personal choice. As were the facial piercings and extreme Goth wardrobe. Something Acheron did in order to be off-putting and intimidating.
Not that he really needed it given his mammoth six foot eight inches of height. And that was without the additional three inches he gained by wearing his red Doc Martens combat boots. Or the terrifying aura that said he’d rather rip your spine out than converse with you.
A normal person with any kind of survival instinct would run for cover.
Luckily, normality had waved good-bye to Nick a long time ago and taken his sanity with it.
Turning to look at Ash, he raked a teasing grin over the ancient immortal’s intimidating lope and let it linger on his waist-length hair. “Nice shade of green you got going on there, buddy. Should I call Commissioner Gordon and let him know the Joker’s back in town?”
Ash didn’t comment on his snide tone as he used his inhuman powers to close the door behind him, as he drew closer to Nick’s location. ’Cause that wasn’t unnerving at all.
Good thing Nick was used to Ash’s idiosyncrasies, otherwise Kyrian would be looking for new help. After having to clean up a massive urine stain from his expensive carpets.
Ash paused beside Nick to frown down at him. “So, if I’m the Joker, that would make you—”
“The Boy Wonder.”
“Ah, so what are you doing in here … Dick?”
“Ouch! Somebody call me a burn unit!” Shaking his hand, Nick laughed and tried to deflect Ash’s attention from the fact that he’d been caught in Kyrian’s solarium where his boss kept the ancient Greek statue of his three sisters. It was one of the few things Kyrian had in the house from his days as a Greek prince. While he was proud of his heritage, Kyrian didn’t keep a lot of his past around. It was as if it was too painful for him to bear.
His sisters, however, were another matter. At least once a night, he’d come in here and “visit” with them. Sometimes he’d even leave flowers at the base of their feet.
Nick screwed his face up, unwilling to admit that he’d come in here trying to use the Eye to see if he could detect scenes from Kyrian’s past. “Nothing.”
Ash arched a brow that said he knew Nick was lying, but didn’t feel like calling him out on it. “Where’s Rosa?”
“She wasn’t feeling well. I beat her down and made her go home early.”
“What act of Congress did that take?”
Ash wasn’t joking about that. Kyrian’s ornery housekeeper never neglected her duty or Kyrian, whom she saw as another child and treated with utmost care and regard. There was only one other male who had any kind of power over her …
“An act of Miguel. I’ve learned to play dirty. One call to the son and the mothership caves.”
Ash sucked his breath in sharply. “That’s harsh, Gautier.”
“Yeah, I fight to win.”
“I’ll remember that in the future.” Ash started to withdraw.
“Hey, Ash?” Nick hesitated as Ash paused to look back at him. “Can I ask you something?”
“How do you live when you know the future?”
Ash snorted. “Wow, you just dove right in there with no preamble.”
“Yeah, I tend to do that sort of thing. You taught me to drive. You know how I am. Full throttle. All the time. Trash cans and pedestrians be danged.”
“And I’m still in therapy over it, too. Eleven thousand years without any serious trauma, and five months of driving with you and I have more PTSD than five tours as a war vet.”
“You laugh,” Ash scoffed. “I’m serious.”
“So am I.” Nick sobered as he touched the Eye he still held in his pocket. “How do you cope with knowing what’s going to happen to everyone around you? Doesn’t it ever freak you out?”
Ash let out an elongated breath before he answered. “I try not to look.”
Nick rolled his eyes. “I’m serious,” he repeated.
“Me, too. It’s all you can do. Because when you look in and see what’s coming for those around you, that’s when you really screw things up.”
“How do you mean?”
“Simple. You try to avoid this and cause that, and the minute you do … you get blindsided by an unexpected twist caused by the actions you took. Case in point, the worst events in my life were a direct result of someone trying to help me. I’d have been better off had the ones who loved me just let fate play out, instead of trying to circumvent it. It’s why I try really hard not to involve myself in the free will of others.”
“Does it work?”