Home > Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francisco #1)(5)

Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francisco #1)(5)
Author: K.F. Breene

Body shaking, I watched the Ferrari head back to that service driveway as the fake or too-old mace dried on my fingers.

He had stopped his business earlier to follow me. He’d admitted he couldn’t kill me outright here, which meant he’d thought about killing me in the first place. And now he had my license plate and could easily find out where I lived.

The question was, would he? And if he did, what was it about me that had triggered such a hardcore reaction? I was a nobody, and this was the Wild West of San Francisco—if he was really that important, he could’ve just run me over and kept going. Stopping and tracking me like prey, then letting me go, spoke of a big cat playing with its food.

I had no illusions of my place on the food chain in this duo. And now he knew how to find me.



“How was your day?” Frank asked as I fitted the key into my front door lock later that evening. His thinning gray hair streaked across his balding head in a bad comb-over. His thin lips pressed into a slightly downturned line and his watery blue eyes were draped in loose skin.

I slumped against the door, really not in the mood for Frank’s idle chitchat.

“Kind of crappy, actually,” I said, wiping moisture off my forehead. Fog rolled and boiled around us, August one of the worst months for it in San Francisco. While Valens, the Demigod at the pinnacle of our magical governing body, could affect the weather, he didn’t bother in the dual or non-magical zones.

“At lunch, some rich, handsome guy stalked me around a shopping complex—”

“That doesn’t sound crappy,” Frank interrupted. “A pretty girl like yourself? Rich and handsome is what you deserve.”

Frank had lost touch with how the world worked.

“You must’ve missed the word stalked, but sure—”

“We don’t call it stalked, honey, we call it interested. You need to alter your perceptions a little, is all.”

Or maybe Frank was just creepy.

“What have I said about calling me ‘honey,’ Frank?”

“See, now, that’s just it.” He waggled a gnarled finger at me. “You’re too prickly. You need to loosen up if you ever hope to land a husband.”

I laughed, and a woman with short hair gave me a wary look as she passed by on the sidewalk.

I quieted and analyzed my keys. It was best to keep my head down. The non-magical government couldn’t kick me out of the neighborhood because it was a dual-society zone and I was closer to the magical line than not, but if all the Chesters banded together, they could make my life hell until I had no choice but to leave. I couldn’t afford that option.

Best to keep my weird on the down-low.

“The last thing I want is a husband, Frank,” I whispered, turning the lock. “I already have two people to look after; I don’t need one more.”

“Ah.” Frank nodded like it all suddenly made sense. “One of those bra-burning feminist types, huh? You don’t need a man. You want to roar. I get it.”

“But do you?” I leaned against the door as a smile crawled onto my face. For reasons unknown, it tickled me how out of touch Frank was.

“Sure, sure. Women’s lib. Flag burning. Damn shame.”

“Nope. Those are different things.”

He waved the thought away. “Someday, when you realize that it’s a tough world out there, you’ll come to your senses and want a man to take care of you.”

“Well, if you know any rich ones who want to actually take care of me, or even know how to use their words as opposed to creeping me out with penetrating stares, send them my way, would ya?”

“You may have missed your chance. Earlier, at the shopping mall.”

“That guy didn’t want to take care of me, Frank. He wanted to scare me. Or…actually, I’m not really sure what his end game was, now that I think of it. But it certainly wasn’t to propose and take me away from this charmed life.”

“Ah now, it ain’t all that bad.” Frank reached out to chuck my chin.

“Stop that. No touching, remember?”

“Right, right.” Confusion stole over Frank’s expression. “No touching, right.”

“Anyway.” I put my hand on the doorknob. “I was late getting back to work and my boss gave me a warning. One more and I’m done.”

Frank stared down at his shoes for a moment. “No touching, no… Where am I?”

I grimaced and turned the knob. Frank was about to slip into one of his episodes. He would head home for some alone time, where, much to his cohabitants’ dismay, he’d likely move everything around and open all the cabinet doors.

“See ya around, Frank.” I nodded at him and slipped into the house.

Mordecai sat wrapped up in his inadequate blankets on the worn couch. He looked up from a book at my entrance, and his smile revealed straight white teeth that I was forever proud of. I’d been hounding him to keep those pearly whites in tiptop shape ever since I took over this outfit. His light hazel eyes sparkled with happiness in his dark face, the contrast exceptionally striking. He’d be a real looker when the treacherous journey through puberty finally ended.

He fitted a bookmark into the roughed-up paper before closing the volume.

“What’s today’s lesson?” I asked as I dropped my purse onto the small stand by the door.

“I’m reading a really neat book about trees. Did you know that they can communicate with each other?”

“Really?” My keys clinked as they fell into the bowl next to my purse. “Do they use sign language with their branches?”

“They communicate through fungi in the soil.”

I added my shoes to the others neatly placed by the door and crossed the trampled brown carpet to the tiny kitchen with its cracked flowered countertop and scuffed linoleum. “That right? What do they say to each other?”

I heard him grunt before his skeletal form drifted into the kitchen after me. A knit cap covered his tightly curled hair, still falling out in patches. If I could just keep us fully stocked with the anti-morphing serum, his body wouldn’t have to constantly fight the shifter magic snaking through his genes.

Mordecai was a rare case among shifters. He had plenty of magic to shapeshift, but the human part of him treated that magic like a virus. The surge of magic it would require him to shift would send his body into defense mode, putting him in shock. He’d never shifted because of this.

Thankfully, he had enough power to keep from shifting, even at the full moon, but a war constantly raged inside of him, depleting his energy and inviting in other sicknesses. Shifters could heal at amazing rates in animal form, and somewhat in human form, but that mostly just kept him alive. It did nothing for the pain.

That was where the anti-morphing serum came in.

Lesser-powered shifters used it to control the urges to change at inopportune times, especially at the full moon. For Mordecai, it dulled his body’s reaction to the magic. It calmed the internal fight, and relieved much of the pain. Not all, but a lot of it.

Unfortunately, it was incredibly expensive, and without magical medical insurance, we often ran out for a good week before I could get more.

I’d appealed to the shifter pack he’d come from, begging for their help. That had been about as useful as asking a starving man to share his steak. The current pack alpha wouldn’t hear it. He’d taken over after Mordecai’s father and mother had died, and didn’t want to risk their kid rising up to steal his mantle.

I’d explained that I wasn’t asking for the somewhat risky medical procedure that would cure Mordecai’s health issue (huge dream), just asking for a steady supply of the anti-morphing serum to keep him healthy (small dream). No go. It turned out that killing a kid outright was frowned upon, but letting nature take its course was considered acceptable.

Fucking shifters.

I’d then appealed to the local Demigod’s office, asking for help.

I’d been told it was a shifter problem, and to take my concern to them. When I explained I had, they returned with “It seems his fate has been decided.”

Fucking Demigods.

So here we were. Nestled in the crack of both societies, just trying to stay alive.

I plastered on a smile to hide the fear and sorrow filling my middle. “Through fungi, huh? Neato-mosquito.”

He sat at the round table straddling the line between living room and kitchen. “You sound like your mom.”

I frowned at him. “Not cool, man.”

His carefree laughter warmed my soul. “How was your day?” he asked.

“Normal.” No need to worry him. He wouldn’t have the same regressive view as Frank about being stalked, and he’d blame himself for my being late at work as soon as I showed him the blanket, which would ruin the surprise. “You?”

“Good. I straightened up a little in between lessons.”

“Yes.” I glanced at the crumbs littering the yellow countertop and the pile of dirty plates and utensils in the sink. “I saw the shoes.”

“That’s as far as I got.”

I nodded, pain stabbing my heart. Maybe I should’ve just given him my blanket. San Francisco didn’t get that cold, after all. It wouldn’t have killed me, and then I could’ve put that thirty bucks toward more of his medicine.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francis
» The Beekeeper's Promise
» Sea of Memories
» Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters #4)
» Gypsy Origins (All The Pretty Monsters #3)
» Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters #2)
» Gypsy's Blood (All The Pretty Monsters #1)
» Natural Dual-Mage (Magical Mayhem #3)