Home > Fashionably Dead Down Under (Hot Damned #2)(15)

Fashionably Dead Down Under (Hot Damned #2)(15)
Author: Robyn Peterman

“Enough.” Greed stood up. “It was lovely to meet you, Astrid. We’ll be seeing you at the gathering shortly. Enjoy my shoes and remember, everything comes at a price.” She winked and all three of them disappeared in a flash of glitter and smoke.

“Holy shit,” I muttered looking at Greed’s shoes and wondering what kind of hellish price tag they came with.

“That was nothing,” Dixie said and flopped down on her couch. “They were on good behavior. Just wait till you meet Wrath.”

I glanced over at my cousin and gave her a smile that I was sure resembled a grimace. I had a lot to digest from this little get together and it exhausted me. “I can’t wait. Truly. I can’t fucking wait.”

Chapter 6

The Devil’s estate was called the Dark Palace. From the way Dixie picked at her nail polish on the car ride over made me think being called to the palace wasn’t a good thing. At all.

“The Dark Palace is Daddy’s main residence,” Dixie explained as she ripped off a large intact piece of polish while driving. “I grew up there.”

“Is the weather always so nice?” I asked the most benign question I could think of, wishing I had some of my own polish to rip.

“Yep. Warm, breezy and balmy all year round. We have more varieties of exotic plants and animals than Heaven. That really pisses Uncle God off royally.” She giggled and seemed to relax a bit.

I glanced out the window of the car and took in the beauty. The palace property was loaded with streams, ponds, rolling hills and meadows filled with blindingly colorful wild flowers. Dixie’s bungalow was tucked into the far northwest corner of her father’s land. Her yard boasted huge weeping cherry trees, orchids and scads of bougainvillea. Absolutely beautiful and the total antithesis of what I expected in Hell . . . although the Basement might cause me to reconsider.

I learned the palace itself sat on forty very manicured acres. It looked like a giant gothic cathedral. It was the grandest castle in the world, including Heaven and everything in between.

“We’re a little early,” Dixie said as she handed her keys to a valet in front of the massive doors of the palace.

I was a bit nervous, but my cousin was a wreck. She was chewing her nails like she hadn’t eaten in a month. “Are you okay?” I whispered and pulled her fingers from her mouth.

She giggled and wrung her hands. “I’m just a little nervous that my dad is going to hand down my punishment for feeding the hungry humans tonight.”

“Surely he wouldn’t do that at such a public event.”

“You don’t know my dad.”

Shit—and I really didn’t want to.

Dixie had dressed with care. Her very fitted Prada cocktail dress was the bomb and her Lanvin stilettos were the stuff my dreams were made of. I knew I was no slouch either. The Stella McCartney rocked and Greed’s shoes capped it off perfectly. I suppose if I had to be in Hell it was nice to dress up in clothes that equaled my entire salary as an art teacher for two years . . .

Of course the jewelry my cousin had lent me made me a bit uncomfortable. From the size of the rocks in my ears I’d assumed they were fake . . . Never assume. That makes an ass out of you and me. To my horror they were real. Six freakin’ carats in each ear. I was wearing a house—a really nice one. I tried to take them off, but Dixie insisted I wear them and informed me I’d be keeping them . . . as a gift from her and her father. She was in for a rude awakening because she was getting them back. I couldn’t even imagine the price that would go along with that gift.

As our Jimmy Choos and Lanvins clicked on the fieldstone tiles that led to the huge carved teak door, I jerked to an abrupt halt.

“What the fuck?” I gasped. Two of the most vicious looking animals flanked the door and watched us with beady little yellow eyes. I was so not walking past that.

“What?” Dixie asked with alarm.

“Those things,” I said under my breath, just in case they understood English. “Those things look hungry . . . and pissed off.”

“Oh, the Hell Hounds?” Dixie laughed and leaned in close. “You can’t tell a soul, but the

Hell Hounds are just big ugly puppies with razor sharp fangs and claws. I love them and they love me. Those two are my favorites, General George Patton and Bambi. They slept in my room until I moved out of the Palace a couple of years ago.”

“For real?” I asked doubtfully. They did not look anything like puppies to me. “What in the

hell do they eat?”

“Cheese pizza.” She giggled. “I want to go love on them, but Daddy would be furious if word got out that the Hell Hounds were big cuddly, slobbery babies. I don’t mean to imply they’re wimps—if anyone even looked at me, my sisters or Hell forbid, my dad sideways, the Hell

Hounds would kill them in two seconds flat. Other than that, they’re sweet.”

“Awesome,” I said, still not moving.

“Come to think of it, they’ll automatically protect you too.”

“Right.”

“No, they will. You and I have the same blood. We’re related. They can tell.”

General George and Bambi purred as we passed. I instantly relaxed. Dixie giggled and blew them covert kisses, bumping into Bambi on purpose. I gently ran my hand over General George’s head. His fur was soft and silky and he smelled like brownies. Who was I to judge things by the way they looked? I was in love with my Baby Demons and they were definitely not winning any prizes in the looks department, but they were beautiful to me. I glanced back at the Hell Hounds and they both gave me a slobbery smile and a quick wink. Of course I made friends with the weirdos . . .

   
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