Read The Frozen Witch Book One Online

Authors: Odette C. Bell

Tags: #urban fantasy, #urban fantasy detective, #fantasy gods detectives, #mystery fantasy gods, #romance fantasy mythology

The Frozen Witch Book One

All characters
in this publication are fictitious, any resemblance to real
persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

The Frozen
Witch

Book One

Copyright ©
2016 Odette C Bell

Cover art stock
photos: Aerial View Of Chicago © maxim, Hathor Temple ©
mountainpix, and flowing folded fabric © vitaliy_sokol, Jumping
girl in full of dust place © konradbak, Fire ring © Trinity, and
Blue and gold old floral cover book © lollok. Licensed from
Depositphotos.

www.odettecbell.com

 

The Frozen Witch

Book One

 

She’s in trouble – of the mythic
kind. When Lilly White finds a strange box, it changes her life. It
ignites the ice that has always lain dormant in her heart. Oh, and
it brings her to the attention of him.

And who is he? The god of revenge.
He drags her into his world. A world of magic, of crime, of
retribution.

She’ll never escape him. And soon
she’ll realize she doesn’t want to….


The Frozen Witch is an
action-packed urban fantasy sure to please fans of Odette C. Bell’s
Angel: Private Eye.

Prologue

He leaned back, his leather chair creaking
as he rested his hands on the desk before him.

Larry McGregor cowered in his seat, back
hunched and shoulders jutting out as he stared at the room. There
was no light on in the office, and dark shadows danced over Larry’s
face.

“Please, just give me another chance.
Another chance,” Larry begged, words quick and spluttering like
blows from a whip.

The other man didn’t say a word. He
remained there, still and silent, as he watched in the half gloom.
His eyes were practically luminescent, the deep blue pools
achieving a color rarely seen. “You had your chance,” he said,
voice a rumble like the ocean during a storm.

“Please, just one more chance. Give me
just one more chance!” Larry pushed up from his chair, got down on
one knee in a supplicating position, and brought his hands up as if
praying to God. And in many ways he was – except this god wouldn’t
listen.

The man behind the desk rose slowly,
clutching a hand onto the polished mahogany wood and pushing up.
The chair clattered over behind him as he took one strong step
towards Larry.

Along the side of the room, a large
plate-glass window offered an unrivaled view of the city beyond. At
3 o’clock in the morning, with its lights aglow under the dappled
starlight from above, it looked like a painting, each stroke
carefully selected by a master. The view, however, couldn’t match
the godlike man as he made his slow, deliberate way across the
room. He was wearing a fine, pressed suit made of the most
expensive Italian wool. It couldn’t hide his build. With broad
shoulders, a tall frame, and an angular jaw, he looked like a
carving from old. His stature was nothing compared to his eyes. Set
in a strong face, outlined by a halo of golden hair and a thick
flax-colored beard, he almost didn’t look real.

But real he was.

His muscles and joints creaked as he leaned
down and locked a hand over the back of Larry’s neck.

“No, please, stop. I’ll do anything,
absolutely anything, if I’m given one more chance,” Larry
begged.

“Anything?”

Larry’s face slackened with desperation, for
even though he was terrified, he was still frozen by the look
playing in those impossibly deep blue eyes.

“Will you really do anything?” the other
man repeated, voice once more like an angry ocean being swept
around by a violent storm.

“Yes. Yes. I’ll do anything. Just one more
chance.”

“Two weeks ago, you sold this item.” The
man reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He unlocked
it with a slow move of his thumb. The screen was already waiting on
a picture, a picture of a simple box. Ancient, made of old,
chipped, dark-brown wood, it had a single rune carved over the top
by a hasty hand. It was almost as if the craftsmen had been forced
to finish the box at the point of a sword.

Larry gasped, his shuddering breath shoving
hard into his torso as he almost crumpled forward. The other man
wouldn’t let him.

“Two weeks ago,” the man repeated slowly,
each word like a drumbeat, “you stole this item from my office. I
want it back. You have two days. If you fail—” He didn’t finish.
Instead, he turned and walked back to his desk. Picking up his
chair in a smooth move, he sat. Just as he did, the door behind
Larry opened with a creak.

“That… that box – it will be impossible to
get back—” Larry began.

The other man tilted his head and stared
with the power of 10,000 suns. “Then it will be impossible for you
to live. For, Larry McGregor, unless you bring that to me in two
days, you will die.”

Chapter 1

“No, Larry, I can’t work tonight. Are you
serious? I already told you I need the day off. My grandmother’s
barely got a week. Do you have any idea what my mom will do to me
if I miss saying goodbye to her?”

“But you need money, don’t you, kid?
Rent’s gone up again, hasn’t it?” Larry said in that smooth,
sanctimonious voice that half made me hate the guy and yet always
made me chuckle at his sheer ballsiness.

“Yeah, sure, I need money. But she’s my
grandmother.”

“And you can thank her when she leaves you
a chunk of cash in her will. But right now I need your help, kid.
Who’s more important? A grandmother who always hated you because
you didn’t live up to her crippling expectations, or me, a guy who
dragged you out of the gutter and gave you the job you always
dreamt of?”

There was so much wrong with that statement.
Firstly, he hadn’t dragged me out of the gutter. And secondly, I
really doubted late-night waitressing gigs for a somewhat shady
catering company was my dream job. I didn’t actually know what my
dream job was, but I was relatively certain serving alcohol and
finger food to inner-city businessmen wasn’t it.

I brought a hand up and peeled my curtains
back, gazing at the view. I pressed my phone closer to my ear and
glared at the clouds as they marched across the horizon. The last
few days had been miserable. It was meant to be midsummer, but I
couldn’t tell that with the gusty wind chasing through the streets
and rattling everything that wasn’t tied down. It felt more like
deepest winter.

I brought a hand up and rubbed the center of
my chest, right over my sternum. My skin was cold. Call me crazy,
but my chest had been cold for weeks now. It felt like I’d
swallowed a small fragment of ice, and it had become stuck above my
heart.

“Come on, kid – you owe me. Now, I’m not
taking no for an answer,” Larry said, words more snapped than
usual.

Don’t get me wrong, Larry was hardly the
politest guy in the world. If they gave out an award to slightly
balding, potbellied men in their mid-50s who’d made a career out of
shouting at people for dropping wine glasses, Larry would win
hands-down. Still, I kind of liked to believe that underneath that
extremely frosty exterior was a nice guy. Deep, deep underneath.
Heck, you’d probably have to get some geologists from an oil rig to
plumb the depths of his soul before you found a grain of good, but
I was certain it was there. And that was the only reason why I took
a deep sigh and let my shoulders deflate.

Dropping the corner of the curtain from my
fingers, I whirled and marched through my room. “All right, fine.
I’ll do it. But, Larry, listen to me. You owe me.”

He let out a sharp breath of his own.
“Yeah, sure. I owe you like I owe Franklin Saunders. I’ll take a
debt to you any day over that guy.”

I frowned. Sure, Larry talked shit. It was
a combination of the fact he never slept and his liquid of choice
wasn’t water but whiskey. Still, though I let most of his insane
comments slide, this one was weirder than most. “Um, sorry, are you
in debt to Franklin Saunders? What the hell does that
mean?”

Larry took a hissed breath, one that
rattled down the line and proved to me he hadn’t been conscious of
what he was saying. “Never mind,” he said with a snap. “Just be
here by six for prep. I’ll text you the address. And, for the love
of god, put a little bit of effort into your appearance this time.
This is one of the highest class gigs I’ve had in a long time, and
I don’t want you ruining it by looking like something the cat
dragged in.”

I made a face at my mirror as I poked at
the deep, dark circles around my eyes. “Yeah, got it,” I snapped
back. “But seriously, Larry. What do you owe Franklin—” I
began.

I didn’t get the chance to finish; Larry
hung up.

Like I said, he was usually rude, but Larry
never hung up on you. You were usually the one to hang up on Larry.
He could talk your ear off, and he often did, warning me with
colorful insults to do my hair and makeup so I didn’t look like a
dog-eared doll (his words).

Frowning at my phone, I chucked it on the
chipped wood dresser before me and went back to poking the circles
under my eyes. I sure would like to look nice tonight, but the fact
was, I’d barely slept in weeks. I was working around the clock in
four different casual jobs, and it still wasn’t enough to pay the
bills. So yeah, Larry was right – I didn’t exactly have the luxury
of passing up this job. And maybe he was right about my
grandmother, too. She’d never liked me. I’d never been able to
match her crushing expectations, as Larry had put it so
succinctly.

It hadn’t always been that way. Back when
I’d been a kid, she’d doted on me, giving me anything I asked for.
But something had changed. If you asked her, it was me. I’d changed
when I’d grown up, when I’d no longer been the angel she’d loved.
According to her, sometime in my teens, I’d started down a bad
path. According to my dear grandmother, I’d lost my morality. And
to her, morality was everything.

Frowning at my reflection in the mirror, I
pushed back and bared my teeth at it. “It was always different for
you, wasn’t it? Nona, you grew up in a world where you didn’t have
to struggle to survive. Everything was handed to you on a silver
platter. You had money, you had prestige, you had class. And I’ve
got nothing,” I said as I tried but failed to swipe a hand through
my knotted hair. Getting even more frustrated, I gave the door a
petulant kick as I walked out into my tiny kitchen.

My apartment had three rooms: my bedroom,
a bathroom, and a glorified kitchen. It had just enough space for a
tiny table, a tiny chair, a stove, a fridge, and a sink. It gave
close quarters a whole new meaning. I didn’t have to take a single
step to reach the cupboards when I was cooking, and if I needed
something from the sink, I had just to pivot on my foot.

My grandmother, on the other hand, had grown
up in a mansion. But Larry was wrong: when she died, there was no
way I was going to inherit a cent. She’d already made it crystal
clear that I’d been struck from the will. I wasn’t ready for my
inheritance according to her. In fact, the old ditty had written
those exact words in a card she’d sent to me barely a week ago.
That same card was now lodged under my fruit bowl, a few tattered
apple leaves covering it.

I still wasn’t entirely sure what to do
with it. Burn it? Chuck it out the window? Write a quick, snarky
reply and send it back to her along with a gorilla gram? Or should
I keep it because, like it or not, Nona was on her way out, and
this would be the last letter I would ever receive from
her?

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