“We don’t want to go back. Don’t worry. We’ll stay close,” Reyna said.
It was only when they turned the corner and Reyna got a good look at the building they were about to enter that she started to sweat.
“We’re going to Ferrier House?”
Gabe’s eyebrows shot up his forehead. “You’ve been here before?”
“Yeah. I saw you fight once.”
“Yeah?” he asked, beaming.
“You’re a fighter?” Jodie asked, eyeing his body corded with muscle. He was only about average height but he looked scrappy.
“Yeah. I dabble here and there.”
“Why are you bringing us here?” Reyna groaned.
“Where did you think we’d go?” Gabe asked. “I have some business. Plus, this place is as safe as it gets as far as you’re concerned.”
“The last time I was here, there was a riot!”
“That almost never happens.”
Reyna shook her head and tried to calm her racing heart. Just because there had been a riot the first time she had been to Ferrier House didn’t mean it was going to happen again. Except she couldn’t shake the feeling that she usually found trouble wherever it was lurking.
An enormous bouncer loaded with weapons grunted at them as they approached. “Gabe.”
“Brought some strays,” Gabe said with a fierce grin. He greased the bouncer’s palm and the guy pocketed the cash.
“They’re not your usual.”
“Nah. Have to keep them fresh.”
“No fangs, right?”
“No guns. No fangs. No trouble,” Gabe quoted the motto for Ferrier House back at the bouncer. The guy nodded and the door popped open for them. He gestured for the girls to go in first.
“You frequently bring girls here?” Jodie asked with a grin.
“Girls are an easy cover.”
“I’m sure,” Jodie drawled.
Reyna wasn’t paying attention to their conversation as she stopped short in the doorway. When she had last been at Ferrier House, it had been a fighting ring. Now it was completely bedecked in flashing red lights, half-naked women, and club music. The transformation was complete with an enormous bar on one side and a dancing platform for the talent, which mostly consisted of women in lingerie seductively dancing for the crowd.
“What the hell,” she muttered.
“Pretty crazy, huh?” Gabe asked, running a hand back through his russet hair.
“I thought it was a fighting house.”
“Yeah. It cleans up pretty nicely when it wants to.” He reached out for her hand and she pulled back hastily. “Just to get us through the crowd.”
Reyna chewed on her lip and nodded, taking his hand. Jodie slapped her palm into Reyna’s and as a trio they snaked across the room. She kept her head low, but it didn’t seem to matter much anyway. The room was dark enough that Reyna could hardly make out more than a couple feet in front of her. She didn’t think anyone was going to be checking under her baseball cap.
“This is amazing,” Jodie cried behind her. “I cannot wait to get out on that dancefloor!”
“Jodie, we probably shouldn’t.”
“This is our one night of freedom. I am not squandering it.”
Reyna bit her lip and said nothing. She used to throw herself into everything without a care in the world. Now she was afraid to go out on the dancefloor? Maybe Visage really had broken her down. Scrubbed away the parts of her personality that she had loved the most.
They stopped and Gabe spoke to the bartender, a busty blonde who eyed him like a choice piece of meat. Jodie was already dancing to the music, lifting her arms and swinging her hips to the rhythm.
Gabe drew Reyna close, slipped an arm around her waist, and said into her ear, “I have to meet up with a contact. You two can stay and dance. Just stay near the bar and out of the lights. I need to be able to find you. I’ll be back in ten minutes. Sonya can locate me if you need me before then,” he said, nodding his head at the bartender.
“Chin up, babe.” He knocked her chin playfully with his fist and then winked before he disappeared again.
Jodie had already found a group to dance with. She reached her hand out to Reyna, who obediently moved toward her friend. They were both dancing and trying to forget the cares in the world. Jodie turned to face a sexy Hispanic man with total arm porn. Reyna closed her eyes and tried to meld into the crowd with Jodie. All she wanted was a few hours where she didn’t have to think. Jodie tugged her close and their bodies moved in perfect harmony. She had been in a big nightclub like this a total of one time and it had ended poorly. Though they’d had seedy bars back in the warehouses and she knew how to move.
Hips against hips.
Touching, teasing, tempting.
The temperature spiked and Reyna slid Gabe’s leather jacket off of her shoulders. She tied it low around her waist while Jodie threw his long-sleeve shirt over Reyna’s head and used it to drag her in closer.