If there was one thing Jazz hated more than birthdays, at the moment it was Gavyn Donatti—ex-thief, current boyfriend, and completely hopeless co-navigator.
She nosed the sedan to the top of the rise, tires spinning in the muck. How they’d gotten onto a dirt road was beyond her. Rain battered the roof and sheeted down the windshield, the wipers at top speed barely affording a glance at the few feet of desolate nothing the headlights picked out. No signs, no lights, no goddamn asphalt. No miracle turn-off to this supposed dream cabin.
Only Donatti could get them this lost with a map and detailed directions. Hell, he’d get lost with a GPS and a personal tour guide.
“Your car’s a piece of crap,” she said.
Donatti slouched in the passenger seat. “Sorry, babe,” he muttered. “Haven’t had time to upgrade lately.”
“Don’t ‘babe’ me. We’re lost.”
“No, we’re—” He straightened and peered out the windshield. For a long time. “Okay. We’re lost.”
“How perceptive.” Jazz nudged the shivering car through a series of deep ruts, fighting the jerks and tugs of the wheel. Christ. She’d driven getaway cars at a hundred miles an hour with bullets tearing through the back end, and had less trouble than this. The four-banger under the hood ground its gears and let out a couple of disconcerting clacks. “When’s the last time you changed the oil in this thing?”
“Jesus, Donatti. You’ve got to take better care with vehicles.” She refrained from bringing up what he’d done to her van. He knew what she meant. “What happens if we throw a rod out here? I didn’t bring a spare engine.”
He flashed a quick frown. “I’ll fix it.”
“Oh, no. I told you, I don’t trust that magic stuff.”
“Jazz, come on. You know it’s real. You’ve been—”
“What do I have to do, turn lead into gold?”
“Nothing. Don’t do anything, okay? In fact, let’s make this a magic-free weekend.” She glared through the dark and the rain. Yes, she was being irrational. Donatti had just found out a few months ago that he was part djinn, and she’d seen him do impossible things. Like make himself invisible. And kill two thugs with one spell. But that didn’t mean she had to like it. For God’s sake, nobody believed in genies, any more than they believed in fairies and unicorns. “Promise me no magic.”
“Fine. I promise.” He let out a sigh. “Look, why don’t you pull over a minute? I’ll see if I can make any sense out of the map.”
Jazz shook her head. “If I get off this mud-bog excuse for a road, we won’t be able to get back on.”
“All right. You’re the boss.”
“Damn straight.” She allowed herself a smirk, but it faded fast. This was a mistake. Celebrating her birthday, which she didn’t give a shit about anyway, at some remote frigging romantic cabin with the thief who’d gotten her pregnant and then vanished for three years, only to turn up again just in time to completely eviscerate the life she’d made with Cyrus.
Okay. Maybe not eviscerated. Disrupted, definitely. Donatti had smoothed things over pretty quickly, and Cy had taken right to his father like he’d been there all along. But between her and Donatti, there was just an old spark. She might have loved him once. Now she wasn’t sure. Hell, she didn’t know anything these days. Sometimes she wanted to strangle him with his own intestines…but he was adorable even in his incompetence, and she couldn’t stay mad at him for long. He wasn’t bad, really. Just unlucky as hell. And he’d turned out to be a good father, once she’d finally managed to inform him that he was one.