Fang shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
Adam and I opened zippers, and the cat and peacock emerged from their canvas cocoons. After some exaggerated stretching and whining about animal cruelty, they settled down enough for me to say the incantation that allowed them to change forms.
A loud pop sounded in the small room, followed by two plumes of smoke—one green and the other blue—that smelled of rotten eggs. The stink cloud finally cleared enough to reveal the demons in all their naked glory. Fang stumbled back.
Obviously amused to see the big bad vamp’s shock, Adam didn’t even bother covering his shit-eating grin. Fang’s fear was short-lived. Hard to be intimidated by two nude demons doing the pee pee dance, I guess.
I threw a pair of sweatpants at Giguhl and a long T-shirt to Valva. I’d learned the hard way to carry extra clothes in a backpack for them. The switch between forms always resulted in exposed demon junk. Not pretty.
Giguhl pulled on his pants quickly. “It’s an emergency.”
“Me too,” came Valva’s high-pitched voice from inside the T-shirt as she slipped it over her head.
Fang’s eyes tracked the demons’ every move. “Bathrooms are down the hall.”
“I’ll go with them,” Adam said. I nodded my thanks, grateful for a second to talk to Fang without an audience. The trio disappeared and shut the door behind them.
Once we were alone, Fang blew out a breath. “What the hell have you gotten yourself into, Sabina?”
Between hunting down my grandmother, who’d kidnapped my twin, and trying to avert a war, not to mention the crazy secret cult who wanted to kill me before I could accomplish that goal, I wasn’t really clear on which drama Fang was taking issue with. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to be more specific here, dude.”
“I know you’re on the Dominae’s shit list, but surely you didn’t have to resort to slumming with mages and demons.”
His venom set me on edge. “Those are my friends, Fang. If you have a problem with them, you have a problem with me.”
He held up a hand. “Wait. I’m sure they’re fine if you trust them. It’s just, if the Dominae find out I was harboring both you and a mage, I’d be good as dead.”
I sighed. “Look, I’m sorry to drag you into this. I just didn’t know where else to go. The Dominae will be watching hotels and the regular haunts. Hell, they probably already upped the price on my head.”
“Since you mentioned it…” Fang walked to the desk and picked up a stack of papers. “I know you said you were back in town to find someone, but you’re not going to get very far with these circulating.” He handed me the first sheet from the stack. “They’ve plastered these all over the city.”
My own face looked up at me with a sly smile. I remembered the picture had been taken at a party at my old friend Ewan’s bar. That night we’d been drinking hard, and Ewan had captured a rare unguarded moment. Little did I know then that a year later he’d be dead and I’d be on the Dominae’s hit list.
The flyer claimed I was missing and feared kidnapped. It also said my family was offering ten thousand dollars for information leading to my safe return.
Acid filled my stomach and my fangs ground together. “Shit.” Normally when the Dominae put prices on vampires’ heads, they spread the word quietly among the fanged community. But now, they’d cleverly recruited humans into helping them, too. And, of course, the irony of claiming I’d been the one kidnapped was a little extra dig. I crumpled the paper in my palm and silently promised my twin, Maisie, I’d find her and make Lavinia pay. Painfully.
To Fang, I said, “Only ten grand? I think I’m insulted.”
He wasn’t impressed by my bravado. “If I were you, I’d forget whoever you’re looking for and get the hell out of Dodge.”
I shook my head. “I can’t. They have my sister.”
“You have a sister?” His eyes widened. “Is she as good lookin’ as you?”
I appreciated him trying to lighten the mood, so I forced a small smile. “Actually, she looks exactly like me.” While he digested this with a whistle, I carried on. “The Dominae kidnapped her from the mage compound in New York last night.”
“And you figure they’ve got her at the Dominae estate in Malibu?” When I nodded, he continued, “Damn, Sabina, good luck. Between the flyer and the Dominae’s security, you’re gonna need a miracle to get her back.”
I nodded to indicate the truth of that statement. “I know, but I’ve got to try.”
He sighed and crossed his arms. “How can I help?”
“I was kind of hoping you could put us up for a couple of nights.”
Fang sucked air through his teeth. “I don’t know, Sabina. You know I’d do almost anything for you, but—”
I held up a hand. “The last thing I want to do is put you or your girls in danger, but you have my word we’ll be careful not to implicate you in anything. We just need a place to crash. Otherwise, you won’t even know we’re here.”
Fang relaxed a tad, and I was convinced he was about to relent when Adam burst through the door. The heavy bass of the club’s music had been muffled until that moment, but now it flooded into the room with a vengeance.
One look at the expression on Adam’s face and my heart skipped a beat. “We’ve got a problem.”
“Oh shit,” I said. “What did Giguhl do now?”
He shook his head. “Not Giguhl. Valva.”
Catcalls and whistles echoed down the hallway—loud enough to be heard over the ear-bleeding volume of Axl Rose welcoming us to the jungle. Someone really needed to talk to Fang’s DJ about updating the playlist.
Giguhl stood in the shadowed hallway. Just beyond him, an archway opened up into the club. The demon’s eyes were locked on the stage. His posture was stiff, and his fists clenched liked rocks at his sides.
I skidded to a halt next to him with Adam and Fang behind me. “G, where is—” My voice trailed off as I followed his glare to the stage.
“Oh shit!” I yelped.
Apparently, I needed to have a little chat with the Vanity demon about the meaning of the phrase low profile. It certainly didn’t involve spinning on a stripper pole fully nude. Yet that’s exactly what she was doing.
Her golden skin might have looked like a bodysuit to the unfocused eye, but if you looked long enough, it was hard to miss the two pert, gilded nipples and a bush that sparkled like Christmas tinsel.