The trick with her was not to make any sudden moves. And to pretend to be more incapacitated than he truly was. Probably not the way to start a relationship, but Chapman wanted to buy as much time with her as he could.
Relationship. Is that he wanted with her? And just how was that supposed to work?
Josie knelt down next to him with a bowl of hot soup that she obviously intended on spoon-feeding him. She even blew on it before raising the spoon to his lips.
“This is easier to swallow than—” she paused, “whatever else you eat.”
He wanted to laugh, but that hint of fear and hesitation in her eyes warned him to curtail that sick sense of humor of his.
“I chopped the potatoes and onions into small pieces,” she told him.
Being brood, he couldn’t taste potatoes or onions, just hot liquid warming his mouth and sliding down the back of his throat. She kept staring at his mouth every time he opened it.
“Something wrong?” he struggled to ask after she’d fed him a few spoonful’s of hot water.
She stared back at him with wide, soulful brown eyes. He would never have imagined them to be this pretty, but then, he’d never been this close to her before.
Josie looked even more uncomfortable than she had been since he’d been here.
“Can I see your teeth?” she asked, hesitantly.
Ah. His teeth. Chapman understood and spread his lips revealing his pearly whites.
“You don’t have brood teeth,” she said surprised.
He shook his head. Of course she looked confused.
Chapman had gutted and impaled himself. He’d tried poisoning himself. Each time he’d tried to kill himself, the Djinn showed up, waved his magic fingers over Chapman, recited some incantations and brought him back.
“They grew like normal teeth,” she murmured.
Over time. Yes. But at first, they grew back like brood teeth, razor sharp, serving only one purpose. Chapman lost track of how many teeth he’d pulled and how many times.
“Helped me-to ssstop,” he finally said, leaving it at that.
“So you don’t—”
“No,” he mouthed.
She didn’t look completely convinced.
“Haven’t eaten-you,” he reminded her.
She did give that statement some thought before continuing to feed him that bowl of hot water.
When the bowl was empty, Josie still had questions. “I thought all the brood were dead.”
She preferred sitting by the door and that knife of hers was never far away.
Chapman just shrugged. He really wasn’t interested in talking about the Djinn and his guilty conscience.
“Why’d you build this house for me?”
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Excerpted from Josie and the Brood by Jayde Brooks. Copyright © 2018 Jayde Brooks. Excerpted by permission of Spirit In the Dark Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.