Red Glove (Curse Workers #2)

A man may daydream of how he would spend a million dollars, but playing the same game with a billion dollars sours the fantasy. There are too many possibilities. The house he once wished for with all his heart is suddenly too small. The travel, too cheap. He wanted to visit an island. Now he contemplates buying one.

Baby," she says in a harsh whisper, "in this world, lots of people will try to grind you down. They need you to be small so they can be big. You let them think whatever they want, but you make sure you get yours. You get yours.

Changing is what people do when they have no options left.

Gifts are very useful to con men. Gifts create a feeling of debt, an itchy anxiety that the recipient is eager to be rid of by repaying. So eager, in fact, that people will often overpay just to be relieved of it. A single spontaneously given cup of coffee can make a person feel obligated to sit through a lecture on a religion they don't care about. The gift of a tiny, wilted flower can make the recipient give to a charity they dislike. Gifts place such a heavy burden that even throwing away the gift doesn't remove the debt. Even if you hate coffee, even if you didn't want that flower, once you take it, you want to give something back. Most of all, you want to dismiss obligation.

He looks like the good boy he's never been.

I can learn to live with guilt. I don't care about being good.

If you keep it," Daneca says, "he'll have his claws in you."
Everyone has their claws in me. Everyone.

I got bored," he says. "Besides, you know what's creepier than walking around your dead brothers' apartment? Sitting alone in a hearse in front of his apartment.

I know how to be the witness to her grief. I don't know how to be this kind of villain.

I'm afraid my voice is going to break. I am afraid she is going to hear how much this hurts.

I need you to be happy. I need one of us to be happy.

I survive at the edge of friends circles.

It hurts to think of her, but I can't stop. It ought to hurt.

After all, hell is supposed to be hot.

It's not that I don't know that it's a bad idea. It's that, lately, bad ideas have a particular hold over me.

I wonder if he really could rationalize what I did to him, really treat betrayal like the slight transgression of a recalcitrant business partner. I wonder if I hurt him. If he can rationalize what I did to him, itÂ’s easy to imagine how he rationalized what he did to me.

Let me look out for you. Let your enemies become mine.

Life's full of opportunities to make crappy decisions that feel good. And after the first one, the rest get a whole lot easier.

Magic gives you a lot of choices," Grandad says. "Most of them are bad.

Mutually assured destruction.

No trouble ever got fixed late at night," he said. "Midnight is for regrets.

Oh- and grab the plastic bag over by my suitcase."
I slug down the last of the coffee and get up. The bag contains panty hose. I put them on her desk.
"They're for you."
"You want me to look homeless, desperate, but also kind of fabulous?

Sam frowns at me, suddenly serious. "You know, I thought--for most of the first year we lived together--that you were going to kill me."

That makes me nearly spit out beer, I laugh so hard.

"No, look--living with you, it's like knowing there's a loaded gun on the other side of the room. You're like this leopard who's pretending to be a house cat."

That only makes me laugh harder.

"Shut up," he says. "You might do normal stuff, but a leopard can drink milk or fall off things like a house cat. It's obvious you're not--not like the rest of us. I'll look over at you, and you'll be flexing your claws, or I don't know, eating a freshly killed antelope."

"Oh," I say. It's a ridiculous metaphor, but the hilarity has gone out of me. I thought I did a good job of fitting in--maybe not perfect, but not as bad as Sam makes it sound.

"It's like Audrey," he says, stabbing the air with a finger clearly well on his way to inebriated and full of determination to make me understand his theory. "You acted like she went out with you because you did this good job of being a nice guy."

"I am a nice guy."

I try to be.

Sam snorts. "She liked you because you scared her. And then you scared her too much.

The moment she was cursed, I lost her. Once it wears off- soon- she will be embarrassed to remember things that she said, things she did, things like this. No matter how solid she feels in my arms, she is made of smoke.

The truth is messy. It's raw and uncomfortable. You can't blame people for preferring lies.

This, the language of deception, we both understand. We were born to it, along with the curses.

You are the best kind of killer, Cassel Sharpe, the kind that never has blood on his hands. The kind that never has to sicken at the sight of what he's done, or come to like it too much.

You don't have to protect these people, Cassel."

I am these people.

You're a pretty cool customer, huh?" says Agent Hunt.

"I hide my inner pain under my stoic visage."

Agent Hunt looks like he would like to put his fist through my stoic visage.

You're like this leopard who's pretending to be a house cat.

You sure you want to cross me?"
In that moment she's her father's daughter.