Demon Marked

Demon Marked by Anna J. Evans

Book: Demon Marked by Anna J. Evans Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anna J. Evans
gang members, the Death Ministry wouldn’t have trashed her apartment and left. If they were looking for answers, they would have stayed and cut them out of Emma’s body—piece by piece.
    So it must have been someone else. But who? And why?
    â€œHow’s Miss Emma?” Little Francis asked around a mouthful of cashews. Andre’s cousin—an exact replica of Uncle Francis minus twenty-odd years, right down to the curly black hair and barrel chest—had a passion for cashews that was probably unnatural and definitely unhealthy.
    â€œShe’s going to be okay.” Andre silently willed the words to be true as he gestured toward the bowl of nuts on Francis’s desk, changing the subject. “You know how much fat is in those, right?”
    â€œYeah. I heard, gym rat.” Francis smiled. “Real men don’t care about fat. Real men don’t even know what foods have fat in them and which don’t.”
    â€œReal men are ignorant. Good to know,” Andre said, unable to resist the dig. He and Francis had been digging on each other since Andre joined the family business as an apprentice bounty hunter when he was sixteen.
    It was how they showed their cousinly love ... and made sure the other knew the competition for future alpha dog was still ongoing, despite the fact that Little Francis’s father was the commander in chief. Andre would never want to run the family—women and practicing law kept him plenty busy—but he was among the increasing number of Contis who thought Jace would be a better replacement for Francis when the time came, even if he was technically a Lu. Jace had roamed the Southie streets for nearly a decade. He was skilled at dealing with thugs and was the smart choice to lead the Contis in this new era of gang-mob cooperation. If they didn’t learn to work together and keep the bounty numbers high and the death toll of innocents down, the police and the National Guard would be swarming all over Southie the way they had in the early days of the emergence.
    And that would be bad business for everyone.
    Little Francis had picked up on the shifting winds of favor, but you’d never guess it bothered him. He was an expert at keeping his emotions close to the chest, at least whenever Andre was around to observe them.
    â€œReal men aren’t ignorant; they just keep their heads full of things that matter. Like running their businesses and knowing who’s doing what in their territories.” Little Francis paused and reached for another handful of cashews. “So why don’t you tell me what you know about Emma? How’s she involved with the Death Ministry?”
    â€œWhat?” Andre asked, feigning ignorance even as he cursed Mikey for opening his big mouth. Why did today have to be the one time Michael felt compelled to give his older brother the complete scoop? “I don’t know her that well, but I seriously doubt Emma’s involved with a gang. Pretty girls like her get their drugs from other places, small-time dealers.”
    â€œYeah. So I heard.”
    Andre ambled over to the window, watching the hot summer sun glint on the peaceful waters of the river, taking his time before responding to the unspoken question in Francis’s tone. “And I’m sure Jace made it clear to her that the Contis and friends of the Contis stay out of Death Ministry business as long as they stay out of ours.”
    â€œProbably,” Little Francis agreed, though when Andre turned back to look at him, he didn’t seem any more certain than he had a second ago. “I bet he made it clear the Contis don’t care for demon drugs, either, but it don’t look like that lesson took.”
    Andre shrugged. “I guess it’s like eating too many nuts, Francis. People don’t always make healthy choices, no matter what people tell them.”
    â€œYou’re a smart-ass, Andre.”
    â€œNo, Francis,

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