Home > Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francisco #1)(7)

Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francisco #1)(7)
Author: K.F. Breene

“All of that is a no.” I shook my head at Daisy. “Hard no. You are not going to sell fake drugs—or real drugs, for that matter, to anyone—and you most certainly are not going to offer PG-rated sexual favors. I’ll get the money. I have a plan.”

“You always say you have a plan. Working and saving is not a plan.” Daisy looked over her clipboard. “And fine. I’ll draw the line at selling him the fake coke. I don’t know how that would go down anyway. But the fake weed is harmless. And it’s not sexual favors, give me a break. He’s cute. I’d totally hit that.”

“You’re not hitting anything. You are way too young. Do we need to have another sex talk?”

Her face soured. “I meant I would kiss him. Not have sex with him.”

“You don’t have a firm grasp on your sexual slang,” Mordecai mumbled.

“Shut up. Like you know.”

“Okay, okay,” I said, putting out my hands. “Enough. Daisy, no fake anything, and no extorting money for kissing. Have a little respect for yourself.”

“I have a ton of respect for myself. I’m a damn good kisser. People should be paying for that shit.”

“No. Stop.” I looked at her in exasperation. “No swearing, no getting money for kissing—just no to everything. No across the board. Like I said, I’ll get the money.”

A sound very close to a growl rose out of Daisy’s throat before she stomped to the junk drawer and extracted a pen. She wildly scratched items off the list on her clipboard.

“Stop stomping around; it’s giving me a headache,” Mordecai grumbled.

“Also…” I put my finger in the air. “I’m pretty sure you guys shouldn’t be talking about sexual stuff. Right? You’re too young.”

“Oh my God, you are the worst at parenting,” Daisy said.

“Yeah. I know. That’s why you two need to help me. Because, spoiler alert, I’m not actually your parent.”

“We’re not children, and we’ve seen far too much to be sheltered now,” Mordecai said, ever the voice of reason. “And don’t worry, your mother, God rest her soul, wasn’t any better.”

My mother was the one who’d taken in Mordecai when he was five. She’d gone to a local market to steal food, and had ended up saving a starving boy instead. He’d lived in my crammed room until she’d died of an undiagnosed internal infection six years ago.

“Thanks for trying,” I said, heading back to the vegetables, “but she somehow managed to support three strays and her daughter on a meager salary. I can barely feed you two ingrates.”

“I think you’re forgetting that you’ve been working since you were Daisy’s age. She had two meager salaries.” Mordecai smiled sadly. “I miss Jane and Eddie, though. I wonder what they are up to. We haven’t heard from them in a while.”

Jane and Eddie, both of them my age and old enough to go out on their own, had taken off after my mother passed. They’d worked, too, but my mother had insisted they save all their money so they could get a good start when they flew the coop.

“They both have families now in the Midwest. They’re busy.” I washed off the cursed Brussels sprouts.

“When are you going to settle down and have a family?” Mordecai asked.

I huffed as Daisy said, “Don’t worry, Samwise. Master will never leave us. No one would have her.”

“Well…I might leave,” I grumbled.

“Okay, so fine.” I heard scribbling on the clipboard. “Fine. No selling fake drugs. So I’ll just take his offer to work for the family vet business under the table. I’d rather not clean up dog poop, but I will do it.”

I stilled as guilty excitement ran through me. “You shouldn’t have to work at your age.”

“Kids my age don’t work because they are usually in normal school. Since I can’t go to normal school because my society thinks I’m a missing person and likely dead, and my online classes can be done at any time, I can just move my studying to the evening or night, when I’m not working. My social life is limited. I have time for all this stuff. Like you guys.”

She had a point there. Mordecai was forced to be a recluse because of his condition, Daisy was forced to be a recluse because of her situation, and I didn’t have any money to go out and meet anyone. The extent of my social life was the local pub filled with derelicts where the owner, an ex-boyfriend who knew I was dirt poor and enjoyed lording it over me, paid for my drinks. His pity tasted like stale beer and stress relief. Dumping him was the smartest thing I had ever done.

Daisy dropped her clipboard onto the table and grabbed a bell pepper from in front of me. “That’s settled. Pretty soon we won’t be forced to be vegetarians.”

“I don’t think it’s a bomb,” I heard yelled through the front door. “But you may want to be careful, just in case.”

I exhaled and slumped against the counter. Freaking Frank. I sure wished he’d find somewhere else to be on a permanent basis.

“Looks pretty benign…” Frank’s words were muffled, but I still heard them over Mordecai and Daisy’s chopping. “There’s hope for you, after all. He’ll do just fine. Strong and sure. He’ll make a good match if you’d let someone take care of you.”

“What is he on about now?” I muttered, debating going to the door to check.

“What?” Daisy asked.

“Is it Frank?” Mordecai dropped the knife next to the chopped potatoes.

“You’ll want to come out and grab it before someone steals it off your porch. I’ve got my eye on things, but you never know,” Frank said.

“Yes, it’s Frank,” I said.

“Oh, gross.” Daisy shook her head.

“No note that I see, though,” Frank hollered, clearly desperate to be heard. “He’s trying to be a secret admirer. Well, I won’t spoil it for him. I don’t want to quit his game, as the kids say.”

“They don’t say that,” I muttered, losing my battle to curiosity and heading to the door.

“Say what?” Mordecai asked.

“Don’t encourage the situation,” Daisy told him.

I took the few steps out of the kitchen and to the front door. Frank stood on the stoop, his back to the house and his head moving from side to side, standing guard.

“What’s the—” The words died on my lips. Shock bled through every fiber of my being.

Just off to the side, behind the browning bush, sat an opened brown bag with Bed, Bath & More written on the side. Inside lay the gravity blanket I’d been fawning over. The one that had been way too expensive for me to seriously contemplate buying.

The super-handsome psychotic stalker had bought a blanket for a sick kid.

Tears clouded my vision and gratitude melted my heart.



“I probably shouldn’t accept it, right?” I asked Frank quietly, a tear running down my face. “I mean, when he first followed me, he didn’t even know about Mordecai. Maybe he just intended to bully me. I mean, later on, even after hearing about the blanket being for a sick kid, he talked about punishing me. That suggests dangerous intent. Not to mention, rich and powerful people only perform acts of goodwill to get something in return or as a tax write-off.” I wiped the tear away with the back of my hand. “The situation is suspicious, at best. I mean, he looked up my house! He just took his stalkerdom to a whole other level. Despite the blanket situation, that’s not good.”

“It’s a gift to a woman,” Frank said, lifting his eyebrows as though I were dense.

“Yeah? And?”

“Of course he wants something. Gifts are down payments for sex.”

I ran my hand down my face. “Great. Good input,” I said dryly. “Except I don’t think that applies here.”

“Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it? You’re a pretty girl.” He scratched his permanent white five o’clock shadow. “Granted, you could put in a little more effort. Some makeup and a hairbrush, for starters. Maybe clothes that actually fit—”

“Yes, Frank. Thank you. I know what I look like.” And I did. My stringy blond hair was in a ponytail with a messy halo of flyaways. My sports bra flattened what a padded bra could turn into a C-cup, minimizing my already scant curves, and my pants ended at my ankles because the cheap-o store didn’t have my size in long. Except for good skin that hadn’t seen much of the sun (living in eternal fog will do that to a person), I was a wreck when it came to most beauty standards. But I worked in a place that merely tolerated me, with people who rarely spoke to me, and had the resources of a pauper. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, and no one wanted to be impressed by me. There was no point in getting gussied up, even if I had the energy. Or makeup from this decade.

I smoothed my somewhat wrinkled shirt down my stomach, thinking of the stranger’s chiseled face, his stylish jeans, and the way his plain T-shirt fit his perfect body in all the right ways. Somehow, the arrogance he wore like a cape didn’t detract from all that unreal beauty, or that power and athletic grace.

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