We’re not worth his trouble.

I’d just need to withdraw some money from the bank account to buy everything we need. We’ll need clothes, food, and shelter. Hopefully Marshall hasn’t drained all the money already. The last time I checked our savings we had about fifty grand in there.

Twisting my hair up into a messy knot, I frown at myself in the mirror. My eyes are dark and my skin is pale. I look like I haven’t slept in a year.

What should I wear? When I drive the kids to school I usually just throw on some sweatpants, a baggy t-shirt and go sans makeup. I don’t normally care who sees me like this, dropping off the kids isn’t a catwalk moment.

If I don’t want to tip anyone off to my plans I should probably keep things as normal as possible.

If I’m really lucky I can get the kids and myself out of this mess without them ever realizing what is going on or what kind of danger we’re in. If I act fast enough I can spare them the confusion of our situation.

That small spark of hope gets my butt moving.

Usually getting the kids up for school is a bit hectic. There’s always something that keeps it from going smoothly so I know I have act fast.

Throwing on my morning clothes, I wake up the kids and help them get dressed for school. Neither one of them seems to be aware of anything that happened last night. They slept through it all, and they’re sleepy and grumpy as usual.

Things almost feel normal as we sit down and have a cold breakfast together. Once we’re full, I gather up their jackets and backpacks and step out the door. Maybe this won’t be as hard as I thought.

“Mom?” Adam asks as I’m locking the side door behind us. “Whose car is that?”

“Huh?” I say before turning my head. Twisting the key in the lock, I almost snap it off.


There’s a sleek black sedan parked behind mine in the driveway blocking me in.

Dammit. I should have known better.

“Mom?” Adam asks again, his big green eyes looking up at me for an answer.

Sighing, I settle my purse on my shoulder and try to sound as unconcerned as possible. “I don’t know, honey. Maybe they’re lost.”

“Wrong house?” he suggests.

I smile tightly and nod my head. “That’s probably it.”

I take a step forward and the driver’s side door of the black sedan pops open. Out steps a freakin’ Viking dressed in a black suit.

Little Evelyn gasps and grabs onto my leg and Adam’s green eyes go even wider in his head. I don’t blame them. I too feel a little intimidated by the giant man staring us down. He must be at least 6’4 and is built like an NFL linebacker. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and a thick blonde beard.

His voice is rumbly and deep as he says, “Ma’am. Lucifer has asked me to drive you today.”

Glancing up and down my street, my heart races in my chest and this morning’s cereal is threatening to come back up. Can I get away from this guy? Do I dare involve my neighbors by asking them for help?

I don’t want to get anyone innocent killed on my behalf.

Parked a couple of houses down the street I notice another black car.


That car isn’t usually there. How many people does he have watching me? How far can we make it if we try to make a run for it now?

Probably not far.

The Viking doesn’t speak another word. He just stares me down, watching me. He’s big and I bet he’s slow. I might be able to outrun him… if I didn’t have two little children with me.

What choice do I have?

Licking my lips, I ask, “What did you say your name is?”

His hands relax and he seems more at ease as he answers. “Peter.”

Tears of frustration prick at my eyes but I can’t break down in front of my children, I just can’t. The both of them already seem freaked out as it is.

Reaching down, I grab Evelyn’s hand and say reassuringly, “It’s okay, honey. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Peter is just going to give us a ride to school.”

“Why? Who is he?” Adam asks. He’s always been an inquisitive child, and I know I have to be very careful with what I say or he’ll figure out something’s wrong.

“Oh, I completely forgot I need to take my car to the shop. It needs some work done.”

Prying Evelyn’s little fingers off of my leg, I check my watch. “Come on. We need to hurry up or you’ll be late for first bell.”

Adam gives me a skeptical look and frowns. Evelyn drags her feet, literally, as I walk us up to the black car.

Peter comes around the front and opens the back door for us. Evelyn shies away but Adam only looks up at him with curiosity like Peter is an equation he wants to figure out.

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