Claimed by Shadow Page 0,1

nothing to complain about in his newest incarnation. I had to regularly remind myself that I was here on business and he wasn't even trying.

"I don't care about your problems," he told me fiercely. "How much to take them away?”

"This isn't a money matter. You know what I want." I tried to discreetly pull the tight satin shorts I was wearing into a more comfortable position, but I think he noticed. It's hard to look intimidating in a sequined devil costume complete with pointed tail. Sinful Scarlett did not go well with my strawberry blond curls and whitest of white girl's complexion. I looked like a kewpie doll trying to play tough guy-no wonder he wasn't impressed. But I'd had to think of some way to reach him without being recognized, and borrowing a costume from the employee locker room had seemed like a good idea at the time.

Casanova lit a tiny cigarette with a brushed gold lighter. "If you have a death wish, that is your affair, but I won't put my head in a noose by crossing Antonio. The man is psychotic about revenge. You should know.”

Considering that Tony, a master vampire and my old guardian, was at the head of the list of people who wanted me in an urn on their mantel, I couldn't argue the point. But I had to find him, and the person I strongly suspected was with him, or the urn wouldn't be necessary. There wouldn't be anything left of me to require a funeral. And since Casanova had once been Tony's second in command, it was a good bet that he knew where the crafty old bastard was hiding.

"I think Myra 's with him," I said shortly.

Casanova didn't ask for details. It wasn't exactly a secret that Myra was the most recent person to try and help me shuffle off the mortal coil. It hadn't been personal-more of a career move, you might say-until I'd put a couple of holes in her torso. It was safe to assume it was personal now.

"My sympathies," Casanova murmured. "But I am afraid that is all I can offer. You understand that my position is somewhat… tenuous.”

That was one way of putting it. That Casanova had occupied such an important place in Tony's criminal organization was unusual, to say the least. Demons are normally considered unwanted competition by vampires, but incubi aren't exactly tops on the demonic power scale. In fact, most other demons view them as something of an embarrassment. Casanova was an unusual incubus, though.

He'd taken up residence in an attractive Spanish don centuries ago, thinking he was simply trading an aging host body for a newer version. He hadn't realized until the possession was in progress that he'd actually invaded a baby vampire, one too young to know how to evict him. Before the vamp figured it out, they'd reached an understanding. The centuries of practice Casanova had in seduction helped the vamp feed easily, and having a body that wouldn't age and die on him suited Casanova. So when Tony decided to organize the incubi of the States into a moneymaking deal for him, Casanova was the perfect choice to run it.

His Decadent Dreams spa is located in a monstrosity of a building adjacent to Tony's Vegas casino, Dante's. While vacationing husbands throw away the family fortune at the roulette wheel, their neglected wives take consolation in the extravagant spa treatments, among other things, on offer next door. Tony gets rich from the proceeds, the incubi get more lust to feed from than even they can use, and the ladies come out with a glow that lasts for days. It's actually one of Tony's less reprehensible businesses, except for being highly illegal-unlike some people seem to believe, prostitution is not okay with the Vegas PD. But then, vamps have never paid much attention to human law.

"What's the penalty for slaving these days?" I asked idly. "Bet it makes that noose look pretty good.”

For the first time, Casanova lost his superior look. He dropped his cigarette, and hot ashes splattered his suit, leaving tiny burn marks on the silk before he could brush them away. "I never had anything to do with that!”

I wasn't surprised at his reaction. Tony had been breaking both human and vampire laws by engaging in the very profitable but extremely dangerous trade of selling magic users. The Silver Circle, the council of mages who act for the magical community the way the Senate does for vamps, are

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