Home > Four Psychos (The Dark Side #1)(4)

Four Psychos (The Dark Side #1)(4)
Author: Kristy Cunning

I told them who One was; they just weren’t paying attention when I referred to him, obviously.

“Are you in my head?” I ask him, since he sort of echoed my thoughts just now.

He frowns. “No.” Then he looks at them.

Then they all look at me.

“What?” I prompt.

“Why would you ask that?” Jude asks me.

“Because I was thinking I needed to start thinking about you with your names instead of your numbers. And you asked that.”

He bristles.

“Anyway, Two’s—I mean, Ezekiel’s room is where I usually stay at night, but I’ll start keeping watch in the hallway instead. Now that you can hear me, I’ll wake you up if I hear anything.”

Now I feel like I can finally do something for them. Protect them even.

“Who’s One?” Gage asks.

“You are,” I say without hesitation, causing his smile to grow as they all give Kai a look.

“I’m Three?” Kai asks dryly.

“The selfish one, yes,” I agree, even give him a little nod.

His eyes narrow, but I ignore him as I go on. “I’d ask you why you all need to share a woman when you have needs to sate, but I don’t really want to question my good luck. As soon as I’m whole, I’ll have you and see if it’s worth all the hype.”

Jude laughs quietly, his eyes raking over me.

“Any particular reason why you’re wearing that? Think it might be what you were wearing when this happened?” Kai asks me, gesturing to my skimpy little lingerie.

It’s been so long since someone could see me, that I forgot they could see what I’m also wearing. Or barely wearing.

“That’s actually one neat thing I learned early on. When I think of something I want to wear, it seems to just be there.”

I imagine a long, elegant silver gown, and it appears, making me look a little classier, if I do say so myself.

Kai takes a step back, and Jude takes a step closer, his eyes hungrily raking over me.

“It’s been my one constant source of entertainment, because I can do it all day and never get tired. I usually dress in something very sexy, just in case my dreams came true of being whole. I wanted to be ready. You know.”

I shrug a shoulder, and Ezekiel lets his eyes wander over me.

I remember that time he bought a girl a red lace slip, and I imagine it. The second it appears, he grips the chair he’s in hard enough to cause it to whine.

That’s certainly a confidence booster.

Jude is more into leather, so I imagine a saucy little leather underwear set that has some straps attached to the lace-trimmed thigh-highs I’m suddenly in.

He instantly grabs for me, cursing in frustration when his hand swipes right through me, and those tingles just tease me all over again.

“Something less alluring would be appreciated right now. If we get worked up, you’ll have to watch us with yet another girl tonight before we even finish this conversation,” Kai tells me flatly.

“I’m okay with watching,” I say with a shrug. “Once you get over the indecency of it, it’s actually pretty hot. Though I admit I won’t be okay with watching once I’m able to be a participant.”

Jude groans. “We have to figure out a way to make her whole.”

“Just because you want to fuck her that doesn’t mean we need to be focusing on her right now. That’s probably what they want,” Kai growls.

“She has nothing to do with them. Whatever she is, it’s linked to our own mystery of who we are. Something is going on, and you know it. Everyone knows it.”

“I don’t know it,” I decide to point out as a pair of flannel pants and a T-shirt appear on me. “I’m actually a little fuzzy on the details of what it is you guys do and what you are. I see the souls and stuff that you take—”

“You see the souls but they don’t see you?” Kai interrupts, sounding more curious than hostile for a second.

“Yes. It’s why I have no idea what I am. Clearly I’m not the same as them. And I know you go to this other place, but I have no idea where it is. I just hop a ride when you do your disappearing thing.”

“You can trail our siphons?” Jude asks, interested.

“You call it a siphon? Then yeah; I can trail that. I just have to be close enough when you do it.”

He moves toward me. “Then hold on. We can just ask someone who might know what’s going on.”

My fingers go to his body without hesitation, and Kai snaps at him not to do it just as we disappear.

The wind whirs in my ears much louder than before, and we appear in the back of an alleyway.

“We’re seeing your pawn shop friend, aren’t we?” I ask him.

He doesn’t even bother asking me how I know that.

“Yes,” is his only reply as the other three join us.

Kai stalks forward. “Until we figure out what’s going on, we can’t risk our very important friends by exposing them to a possible threat.”

Jude ignores him, leading the way, and Ezekiel trails me as we walk out of the alley.

I move through the wall of the pawn shop, causing Ezekiel to curse. “She’s going to draw attention. It’s not late enough for this,” he hisses.

Only a few people are on the street. I forgot I could be seen.

They, fortunately, seem too inebriated to notice an apparition passing through walls.

Jude doesn’t say a word, just walks to the back counter where the familiar older man with a broad grin greets him.

“Need another pint of the good stuff?” Harold asks, lifting a bottle of the clear liquid they buy a lot of from here.

Apparently it’s the only way they can get drunk.

“I’ll take two of those and some quick answers about what she might be. We’ll pay good,” Jude tells him.

Harold immediately looks around like he’s searching for something. His eyes pass right by me without so much as a second glance.

“Who?” he asks.

My heart stutters. Have I gone invisible again?

My four boys look at me, then at each other, then back at me.

“You can’t see her?” Jude asks, causing me to relax a little.

Wait, why can’t Harold see me if they can?

That man I crashed into certainly saw me. I swear he looked a little horrified. I must have had a seriously pissed-off expression on my face if he felt that threatened.

“See who?” Harold asks like he’s crazy.

Harold can see souls…

But he can’t see me?

“No one,” Jude says tightly. “Just had too much to drink, I suppose. But I’ll take two more,” he goes on.

The other three guys go along with it, even though I can see the way Kai is frowning at Jude and me.

Harold rolls his eyes, but sells him two bottles. We leave without a word, and Jude steps into me again. I feel the tingle of our electricity, and I breathe him in like I can touch him if I try hard enough.

Doesn’t work.

Next thing I know, we’re back in their monstrous home, and he’s stepping away from me. The other three appear behind him, and all four study me.

“The assassin who broke in saw her,” Gage, One, says. “He was so distracted by her that I was able to kill him before he even realized I was awake.”

“The assassin was a high-level royal mercenary. The crest was on his skin before the body vanished,” Kai says quietly, his eyes raking over me like he’s seeking answers in my appearance.

“She also hit him. Maybe that had something to do with it,” Ezekiel suggests.

“Maybe,” Jude answers, no one sounding too attached to any particular theory.

“I need more sleep tonight. I’m not sure how well I’ll sleep knowing we’re being haunted by a possible threat,” Kai says as he turns and walks out. “We have orientation for the trials tomorrow, and her as a distraction is going to get us killed,” he adds on his way out.

“I’ll stand watch while you all get some sleep,” I tell them, burying my own selfish desire to talk to them until I can’t possibly say anymore.

If the trials are that dangerous, I sure as hell don’t want them distracted. I’ll even wait until after they’re rested to ask what the hell these trials are and why they need to do them. But not tonight.

Ezekiel yawns, but he turns and walks out next.

Jude and Gage just stand there studying me.

“You’re able to follow us into purgatory?” Gage finally asks.

Frowning, I tilt my head. “Purgatory is where you go? It’s way nicer than I expected it to be. It has some seriously bad PR. But the people there seem horrible, so that much now makes sense.”

Jude’s lips twitch, and even Gage appears amused.

“Purgatory is a little bigger than the section we’ve visited. That’s for special events. The inhabitants of purgatory who are forced there against their will wouldn’t agree that it’s just bad PR.”

I swallow down the lump in my throat. It didn’t seem as real before as it suddenly does now.

I have no idea what they even are.

“Tomorrow, you can explain what that means. It’s always very hard to focus there for me. But tonight, you need to sleep. I don’t want anyone getting hurt because I kept them awake to talk.”

Jude steps forward as Gage slowly starts walking backwards, moving toward the door, but holding my gaze for a moment longer. As soon as he’s finally out, Jude reaches for me.

His fingers pass right through me, but that strong tingle has me close my eyes as the pleasure washes over me. He moves in closer, lowering his head until his face is near mine, and I sway a little.

“There’s something about you that feels far too comfortable. But if you hurt my brothers, I’ll end you, somehow or another. And it’ll be painful.”

Now he’s not my favorite anymore. I thought we had something special going on.

He steps back, and I ignore the painful tug at my heart. He’s the one I just knew would be in my corner, though I have no idea why I thought such a thing.

They’re not quite as awesome as I’d hoped they’d be if I ever got the chance to finally be seen and heard. I also thought touch would come with that, but now I’m glad it didn’t.

I think they’d kill me.

Feeling like the air has just been sucked out of me, I don’t say a word. Instead, I pass through the wall to go stand guard.

As long as I’m close, I can peek in and get my fix every ten minutes to keep from fading.

Jude really hurt me. I’m not sure why, but they all hurt me, if I’m being honest. I was amusing and then disposable.

I’ve waited five years to be able to speak to them, stupidly thought there’d be an instant friendship between us.

And no one even said good night.

Chapter 5

Nothing happens during the night. I mostly peeked in on Gage, since he sleeps the hardest and I knew he wouldn’t notice me. I was afraid one of the others would wake up and be annoyed with my presence.

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