The man in the chair fidgeted. I still couldn’t see his face, but his voice was deep and rich. “You mean to tell me that your twelve-year-old daughter is responsible for the death of your wife? Forgive me, Ernest, but this sounds a little… far-fetched.”
My father ran a hand through his tangled, graying hair. “I assure you, Maverick, Dahlia…” He looked at them in turn. “This is no deception. I curse the day that child was born!”
“Ernest,” the woman—Dahlia—said, “I know the papers didn’t go into detail about your wife’s death, but I find it hard to believe that your daughter—”
“She is at fault!” Father insisted. “My wife was not the first victim. There have been others. That demon must be stopped before she kills anyone else!”
Others. I knew what Father meant, but none of it had been Remiel’s fault.
The man in the chair chuckled. “I must say, Ernest, from what I’ve seen in pictures, the girl greatly resembles—”
“I know!” Father slammed a fist on his desk. “I know what she looks like! But she deserves this, for killing my wife! For killing her own mother!”
Anger stewed in my chest. I wanted to storm into the room and defend my little sister, but the next snippet of conversation rooted my feet to the carpet.
“And your son?” the man asked. “What has he to do with this?”
Father buried his face in his hands, and his voice was muffled by his fingers.
“I don’t want Ciarán involved.”
His words provided no consolation. If Father wished harm on Remiel, he was condemning me along with her.
“This is an unusual proposition, Ernest,” Dahlia purred, “but for the right price, I’m sure we can arrange something. I have the perfect associate in mind to give the job to. She specializes in quieter methods of her trade.” She smoothed one hand over the man’s shoulder. “Wouldn’t you agree, darling?”
The man in the chair—Maverick—drummed his fingers on the armrest. After an agonizing pause, he drew himself up to his full, towering height, and I saw a man whose image I would never forget.
“You have a deal, Ernest.”
He reached a hand toward Father, who grasped it in a desperate handshake.
“We will kill your daughter for you.”