Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, pointed to a tennis bracelet in the middle of a glass case full of jewelry. The shimmer of the gemstones matched the sparkle of greed in his eyes.
I looked at the price tag beside the diamond-crusted monstrosity. "You do realize that the cost of that bracelet is within spitting distance of my going rate as an assassin, right?"
"You mean your going rate back when you were actually killing people for money," Finn said. "Or as I like to call them-the good ole days."
Finn gave the diamond bracelet one more greedy glance before moving over to a display of shoes. He grabbed a purple pump off a shelf and waggled the shoe at me before holding it up and inspecting it himself. He gazed at the shoe with a rapt expression, as though it were a work of art instead of merely overpriced pieces of leather sewn together.
"It's the latest style," he said in a dreamy voice. "Hand-stitched lavender suede with custom-made four-inch heels. Isn't it marvelous?"
I arched an eyebrow. "Have I ever told you how scary it is that you know more about shoes than I do?"
Finn grinned, his green eyes lighting up with amusement. "Frequently. But my impeccable fashion sense is one of the many things you love about me."
He straightened his gray silk tie and winked at me. I snorted and moved over to look at some dresses hanging on a rack near the wall.
The two of us were out shopping, which was one of Finn's favorite things to do. Not mine, though. I never paid too much attention to what I was wearing, beyond making sure that my jeans and boots were comfortable enough to fight in and that my T-shirt sleeves were long enough to hide the knives I had tucked up each one. As an assassin, I'd learned a long time ago not to invest too much money in clothes that were only going to end up with bloodstains on them.
But here I was, along for the consumer ride. Finn had shown up at the Pork Pit, my barbecue joint, just after the lunch rush ended and had dragged me all the way up to Northtown, the part of Ashland that housed and catered to the wealthy, social, and magical elite. We'd spent the last hour traipsing from store to store in an upscale shopping development that had just opened up.
Now we were browsing through Posh, the biggest, fanciest, and most expensive boutique on this particular block. Racks of ball gowns and evening dresses filled the store, starting with all-white frocks on the left and darkening to midnight-black ones on the right, like a rainbow of color arcing from one side of the store to the other. There wasn't a dress in here that was less than five grand, and the shoes arranged along the back wall went for just as much. Not to mention the minuscule handbags that cost ten times as much as a good steak dinner.
"Come on, Gin," Finn wheedled, holding the pump out to me. "At least try it on."
I rolled my eyes, took the shoe from him, and hefted it in my hand. "Lightweight, nice enough color. Not the worst thing you've shown me today. And that skinny stiletto would make a decent weapon, if you took the time to snap it off the rest of the shoe and sharpen the end of it."
Finn sighed and took the pump away from me. "Have I ever told you how scary it is that you think of heels in terms of their possible shiv potential?"
I grinned at him. "Frequently. But my impeccable sense of improvised weaponry is one of the many things you love about me."
This time, Finn rolled his eyes and then started muttering under his breath about how he couldn't take me anywhere. My grin widened. I loved needling Finn as much as he enjoyed teasing me.
"Tell me again why I have to go to this shindig with you," I said when he finally wound down.