The Undoing Excerpt
Ski pulled open the front door to the Protectors’ Pacific Palisades’ home and blinked in surprise at the panting, sweaty Jacinda Berisha standing there.
“Hell…hell…o.” She took in deep breaths.
“Are you all right?”
She held up her hands for a moment, then placed them on her knees, and bent over at the waist. Ski patiently waited until she could speak again.
“Uh…” she finally got out, “is that…is that job still open?”
“Great…I’ll…geez…” She took more breaths in. “I’ll take it.”
“Are you sure? You seemed pretty adamant that you didn’t—”
“I’m taking it.”
“Okay.” Now ski held his hands up, but for a different reason. “Actually, that would be great.”
“Okay, good.” She finally stood straight, but her hand rested against her side like she had a stitch in it. “So if any of the Crows call asking…I’ve taken the job. I’m working with you. Understand?”
“Sure, but…why would they ask?”
“Just…just promise me you’ll tell them that if they call or ask.”
She turned to go.
“Don’t you want to know how much we’re paying?” he asked casually, fascinated. “Where you’ll be working? How long? What you’ll be doing? Any of these interest you?”
She shook her head. “No. See you tomorrow. I’ll start tomorrow.”
Then she took off running again.
“What was that about?” Gundo asked from behind him.
“We got her. Jace. She said she’d do the translations for us. She’ll be starting tomorrow.”
“Oh. Okay. What changed her mind?”
“Where did she go?” he asked, looking out the door.
Ski pointed. “She took off running that way.”
“I could be wrong…but I think she’s running back to Malibu.”
Gundo blinked. “The Bird House is like twenty miles from here.”
They stared at each other a second before shrugging and going back into the house.
Jace was running down the sidewalk when she heard a car horn. She refused to look at first, in no mood to get lecherous attacks from idiot men, but the horn didn’t stop. So she put on her best glare and looked over, nasty words in Albanian on her lips. But it was Danski Eriksen.
“I can drive you,” he said through the open passenger window.
With a stitch in her side and sweat pouring down her face, Jace decided that might be a good idea.
Flying she might be good at and could do for hours, but running…clearly not her strong suit.
She walked to the corner and the car stopped in front of her. She got in and closed the door.
The car was nice. Really nice. A top of the line Mercedes. Like her father, Jace had a weakness for cars. She didn’t drive much, though. In fact, she’d only gotten her license two years back when she’d become a Crow. And she’d never driven her sister-Crows anywhere. Ever.
Eriksen pulled back into traffic. When they stopped at light, she brought up the Bird House address on his GPS and let it do the rest of the work.
They drove in silence for a good twenty minutes until Eriksen asked, “So what made you change your mind? About working for us?”
“Does it matter?”
“It might. You’re a Crow. For all I know the whole lot of you could be up to something.”
“Well that’s good.”
Jace continued to stare out the window, believing the conversation was over.
“So what made you change your mind?”
“Ah. I see. Timing is always very important.”
“Will your sisters have a problem with you working with us?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you worried?”
“No.” But she was worried this conversation would never end. Why wouldn’t it end? Was he going to insist on talking to her while she was working, too? She doubted that. They needed the translation done, so she doubted Eriksen or any of the Protectors would waste precious time by insisting on painful chitchat.
Jace knew that almost all of her sister-Crows would take this time to get to know someone as handsome as Danski Eriksen. Except that Jace didn’t really have anything to say. Nothing of importance anyway.
And she’d promised herself two years ago, when she’d landed in her Second Life that she would never force herself to indulge in “small talk” ever ever ever again.
Even for someone as adorable as Danski Eriksen…who was still talking.
Studying everything around her outside of the car, Jace made her move.
Ski heard the passenger door close and he looked to see the seat beside him empty.
“Did she combat roll into the street?” he asked absolutely no one.
Hitting the brakes, Ski stopped his car and jumped out, gazing over his roof while ignoring the honking horns and cursing coming from the drivers around him.
Mouth open, he watched Jacinda Berisha run across the Pacific Coast Highway—managing somehow not to get mowed down by anyone—and run up John Tyler Drive.
“Thank you!” she yelled out as she kept running. Running like the devil himself was behind her.
“Move your car, asshole!”
Annoyed, Ski snapped his head around. The female driver squeaked in shock and Ski realized he was not keeping control of himself. It was never good to show the Unknowing—as they were called by the Clans—what his kind truly was. They simply couldn’t handle it.
Ski got back into his car and drove until he could make a legal U-turn.
She is really shy, he thought to himself. Because that had to be the answer, right?
He couldn’t be that repulsive, could he? Could anyone?