By: Jennifer Estep | Other books by Jennifer Estep
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Published: Sep 27, 2011
ISBN # 9781439192641
Available in: Secure Adobe Epub eBook
And I plan on murdering someone before the night is through.
Killing used to be my regular gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, assassin-for-hire. And I was very, very good at it. Now, I'm ready to make the one hit that truly matters: Mab Monroe, the dangerous Fire elemental who murdered my family when I was thirteen. Oh, I don't think the mission will be easy, but turns out it's a bit more problematic than expected. The bitch knows I'm coming for her. So now I'm up against the army of lethal bounty hunters Mab hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister's head. Keeping Bria safe is my first priority. Taking Mab out is a close second. Good thing I've got my powerful Ice and Stone magic—and my irresistible lover, Owen Grayson—to watch my back. This battle has been years in the making, and there's a good chance I won't survive. But if I'm going down, then Mab's coming with me . . . no matter what I have to do to make that happen.
Old habits die hard for assassins.
And I planned on murdering someone before the night was through.
That's what I did. Me. Gin Blanco. The assassin known as the Spider. I killed people, something that I was very, very good at.
Tonight I had my sights set on my most dangerous target ever--Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who'd murdered my family when I was thirteen.
I'd been plotting the hit for weeks. Where to do it, how to get past security, what weapon to use, how to get away after the fact. Now, on this cold, cold night, I'd finally decided to carry out my deadly plan.
I'd been on the prowl for hours. Three hours, to be exact. Each one spent out in the bitter February frost, including climbing my way up the side of a fifteen-story mansion one icy foot at a time. Hard bits of snow pelted my body as I tried to keep the shrieking wind from tearing me off the side of the building. It wasn't the most comfortable that I'd ever been during one of my hits, but it was necessary.
Too bad Mab knew that I was coming for her.
Oh, I hadn't expected it to be easy, but slipping past the massive net of security, first in the snowy woods around Mab's mansion, and then closer to the house itself, was a bit more problematic than I'd expected. The whole area was teeming with the giants that the Fire elemental employed as her personal bodyguards, not to mention nasty land mines and other traps strung through the trees like invisible spiderwebs. Of course, I could have dropped the giants, killing them one by one as I went along, but that would have resulted in the alarm being raised, and the security net tightening that much more.
So instead I'd opted for a silent, nonlethal approach--at least for now. It had taken me an hour to work my way through the woods, then another one to get close enough to the mansion to slither up the stairs to a second-floor balcony and then heave myself up onto part of the roof that sloped down there. After that, things had gotten easier, since there were no sensors, alarms, or giants posted on the roofs that covered the various parts of the massive structure. Not many people bothered with such things above the second floor, since most folks weren't brave or crazy enough to climb any higher, especially on a snowy night like this one.
I wasn't particularly brave or crazy, but I was determined to kill Mab.
A strong gust of wind slapped and then backhanded the mansion, screaming in my ears and hurling more frozen snow off the eaves and onto me. The chunks punched my body before disappearing over the side of the roof and dropping down into the eerie silver dark of the night.
I grunted at the hard, stinging impacts. As an elemental, I could have used my Stone magic to protect myself, could have tapped into my power and made my skin hard as marble so that the rocklike wads of snow would bounce off my body like bullets off Superman's chest. But elementals can sense when others of their ilk are using their powers, and I didn't want to give Mab any hint that I was here.
At least, not before I'd killed her.
By this point, I'd worked my way up to the sixth floor, where the mansion's blueprints had indicated there was a particularly large dining room. According to some chatter that my foster brother, Finnegan Lane, had picked up from his various spies, Mab was hosting a fancy dinner party this evening. Finn hadn't been able to determine what the party was for or even who had been invited, but that didn't much matter. Mab was getting dead tonight--I didn't care who was in the room with her.
I'd been in position for more than an hour now, outside the dining room window, lying flat on a part of the roof that plateaued...