Page 12 of Taming Seraphine

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When I reach the front door, it’s locked, with no sign of keys—not even for the balcony.

Clenching my teeth, I sneak back into the gray bedroom, slip the knives under my pillow, and curl up into a ball.

Leroi can’t keep me here forever. Eventually, he’ll let me out, and I’ll use that opening to find my brother. If he doesn’t, I’ll kill him in his sleep and pick through his handsome corpse.

The next time I wake up, sunlight sears through my eyelids. I can’t block out the glare, even when I squint.

On the bedside table is a tray filled with bottled water and nearly a week’s worth of rations. I reach for a cracker and slip it into my mouth. The cheesy flavor is a welcome distraction from the bitterness that coats my tongue.

A soft knock on the door has my hand reaching for the steak knife. Heartbeats later, Leroi strolls in, holding two steaming mugs.

My throat tightens under his appraising glare. His eyes are so dark, and his mouth so sharp that he makes me feel like prey.

“Do you drink coffee?” he asks.

I stare up into his eyes, searching for clues behind his expressionless features. He seemed okay yesterday. Maybe a little impatient, but decent. It’s hard to tell with men. One minute, they’re nice and the next, they’re feral hounds barking to be euthanized.

When the corners of his eyes narrow, I realize he asked a question. Mom never let me drink coffee, saying I was too young. I was too young for a lot of things when she was alive, but that was a lifetime ago.

Leroi steps toward the bed with the mug, and my muscles tense, ready to lunge with the blade if he throws the hot liquid. Instead, he places the coffee on the bedside table before backing away.

“It’s there if you want it.”

I nod.

“Are you hurt?” he asks, his voice deceptively soft.

My jaw tightens, and I don’t answer. I’m not about to reveal any vulnerability. This might be a trick.

“Do you have a family I can contact?”

Nanna is dead. So is Mom. Leroi killed Dad. Not that I’m mourning the bastard; he handed me over to the twins and never once looked back.

“My brother,” I rasp. “His name is Gabriel.”

He exhales a long breath. “The man on the screen?”

I nod.

“Do you know who’s holding him?”

“Gregor and Samson Capello.”

His lips tighten. “They’re dead. Did they have any associates who knew about your brother?”

I gulp. “Maybe their driver?”

“His name?”

“They called him Pietro,” I whisper.

“That’s a start.” Leroi rolls up his sleeves. “Leave it with me. I’ll put out some feelers and see if we can track him down.”

My breath catches.

He runs a hand through his hair. “I need you to stay somewhere else tonight. A few associates are coming over to play poker. You don’t want to be in the same space as them. They’re dangerous.”

My breath catches. My heart skips several beats. Is this where he hands me over to another man and I become his prisoner?