“Does someone want to explain how the hell this happened?” I demanded, turning on Adam and Giguhl.
Giguhl was too busy glaring at the males waving dollar bills at his true love to answer. Adam wouldn’t meet my eyes but mumbled, “She snuck out while Giguhl was taking his sweet time in the john.”
“Shut it, mancy. It’s not my fault magical travel gives me stress diarrhea.”
Just then, a gasp rippled through the crowd. Onstage, Valva had unfurled her peacock tail in all its blue, feathery glory.
“She’s amazing,” Fang said with dollar signs in his eyes. “They love her.”
I shot him a glare. “How long do you think it’s going to be before word gets back to the Dominae you’ve got yourself a new demon stripper?”
That got his attention. “Get her off there. Now!”
I rolled my eyes. “If we run out there and make her get off the stage, it’ll cause more of a scene than any of us want.”
“Um, guys? Whatever we do we better make it quick,” Adam began, nodding at the gaggle of pissed vamp strippers gathering on the edge of the stage, “or this place is going to turn into catfight city.”
Valva ignored the venomous stares of the redheaded, pasties-wearing posse and continued to taunt and tease the males at the foot of the stage into a frenzy. The pile of dollars at her feet was quickly growing into a mountain.
I opened my mouth to tell Fang to cut the music, so we could plead technical difficulties. But right then, a stripper in assless chaps made her move. One second, Valva was executing a jaw-dropping one-legged spin on the pole, and the next, Chaps had her by the hair and was dragging the demon across the stage. The gaggle of strippers fell on her like vultures on roadkill, much to the excitement of the crowd of vampire males, who sensed imminent blood sport.
I cursed and ran toward the stage. It’s not that I worried Valva would get hurt. As a demon, she could hold her own. Instead, I worried that in addition to starting a riot in Fang’s club, I’d also be responsible for his girls being harmed—an offense he would never forgive.
As I made my way through the crowd, customers started taking sides in the stripper battle. Suddenly fists, chairs, and even some bodies flew through the air like shrapnel.
Behind me, Adam and Giguhl waded into the melee, shouting to each other over the din. I elbowed a couple of male vamps in the face on my way, but didn’t stop to engage. My sole goal was to get to the stage and stop Valva before things escalated from what the hell to oh shit.
Somehow, Adam and I reached the pileup of boobs and fists at the same time. I turned to yell for Giguhl. He was most likely to be able to handle Valva. But my yell turned into a yelp as someone grabbed a fistful of my hair from behind.
I grabbed the hand and held it close to my scalp to lessen the pain and twisted around to deliver a fist to a taut, glittered midsection. My opponent wore a pair of pasties shaped like stars, a green-spangled G-string, and a pair of Lucite heels with flashing lights in the soles. But what she lacked in clothing, she made up for in fury.
If this had been a run-of-the-mill mortal stripper, she’d already be dead. But Fang’s vampettes were some tough bitches who liked to fight dirty. Too bad I didn’t remember that before the harpy scored my face with her neon-green dragon lady nails.
“Godsdammit!” I yelled, sidestepping just in time to avoid the stomp of her platform heel. I hooked my ankle around her knee. She slipped and slammed to the stage easily thanks to the baby oil slick.
I turned to find Adam with six strippers clinging to him like big-breasted leeches. Gods love him, he tried to look like he wasn’t enjoying himself, but he hadn’t zapped any of them, either. I grabbed one by the arm and flung her away. Nearby, Valva picked up Assless Chaps and threw her across the room. Four male vamps broke her fall and toppled like bowling pins.
“Valva!” I yelled. “Stop!”
She flashed me a smile. Right then, Guns N’ Roses gave way to the opening chords of Heart’s “Barracuda.” Valva ignored me and executed a swan dive off the stage. The men in the audience roared in approval as she began to crowd surf. A trio of strippers noted her escape and started fighting customers in an attempt to reach their prey.
Adam and I stood onstage, panting. In horror, we watched the bar devolve into a bare-breasted brawl. Fang and his bouncers attempted to hack their way through the mosh pit of doom. My old friend glared at me through the smoke and projectiles with an expression that promised retribution. Looked like our welcome had been officially revoked.
As if the scene wasn’t enough of a clusterfuck, Giguhl dove off the stage and wrecking balled his way into the crowd. Vampires flew through the air like discarded trash. Totally oblivious to the chaos she’d created—or maybe because of it—Valva couldn’t have looked happier.
“Valva!” Giguhl yelled, punching a rough-looking male vamp in the face.
I grabbed Adam’s arm. “Can’t you do some spell or something to stop this?”
He ran a hand through his hair. “What do you want me to do, Sabina? He’s your demon.”
Oh. Right. “Giguhl!” I screamed. “I command you to stop!”
Giguhl’s fist paused midstrike. His arm shook as he strained to deliver the blow, but my minion couldn’t deny a direct order. Probably I’d hear an earful about this later, but right then all I cared about was stopping the fight.
I jumped off the stage and pushed my way toward the action. Unfortunately, a few of the patrons mistook me for a stripper. But I endured the gropes and leers because they were easier to get through than fists and kicks.
Finally, I managed to reach the horde of vamps parading the demon around the bar. “Valva! Get down from there right now!”
She ignored me. Unlike Giguhl, Valva wasn’t officially my minion. That honor belonged to my sister, Maisie, which meant Valva didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do.
Going for a more direct approach, I pushed a guy out of the way and grabbed her leg. I yanked on her leg, but the males were having none of it. Someone grabbed me from behind and before I knew it, the world tilted and gravity reversed itself. They lifted me right up next to Valva.
“Hi, Sabina!” she said. “Isn’t this great?”
Before I could answer, the crowd surfed us over to the bar. Valva landed gracefully on the surface, blowing kisses and flicking her tail flirtatiously. One of the males carrying me decided to grab a handful of my left ass cheek before helping me onto the bar. Frustrated and pushed beyond patience, I slammed my fist into his nose. The cartilage gave with a satisfying crunch.