SENSUAL MAGIC by LAUREN DANE
part of the WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…AFTER DARK anthology
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Harlequin Enterprises
Releasing May 1
In the narrow alley, Nell crouched, turning her face to the stiflingly hot blast of air apparently referred to as a breeze in these parts. She shut out all other stimulus, simply waiting for the magic to come to her. Tendrils of energy hung in the air, spicy and unique to the individual who worked the spell. The taste of it wove through her system. Nell’s own magic broke it down, analyzed it, identified the owner.
It was her particular talent. Hunting. Tracking. A family trait she inherited from her mother. Not just a gift but a calling. Who she was as well as what she did on behalf of her Clan.
She stood and tapped a finger against her iPod. Music filled her senses, drowning out all other noise. Dio’s Rainbow In The Dark kept her company as she made a few notes before tucking the pad into the back pocket of her jeans.
Mage magic. The metallic flavor identified it as other. Not the earthy tang of her own magic. Witch magic like hers was inherent and came from the earth beneath her feet, from the air around her and the water under and aboveground. Mages weren’t born with magic, they traded for it. Most of the time with the kind of creatures best left alone.
It cost a lot to trade for power. It cost in lives, energy, dark gifts and money too. This Camarilla was on Nell’s shitlist because they were in possession of nearly a hundred thousand dollars belonging to the Owen Clan.
The Owen Clan—a circle of witches and the Clan Nell belonged to and worked for—didn’t take thefts of any kind lightly.
And what they took seriously, Nell took seriously. Frankly, this Camarilla, their little name for a group of them, seriously pissed her off. She’d spent the last two months traveling from city to city until she’d finally locked onto Las Vegas. Summer in Las Vegas was not Nell’s idea of pleasant and she planned to take her annoyance out in someone’s hide.
A man stood just a few feet away, eyes warily scanning the area, body taut, ready to spring should it be necessary. Galen, Nell’s partner and the physical muscle to her magical strength.
“Got it?” he asked as he stalked toward her, golden skin rippling over roped muscle. His hair was close cropped, pale blond against his skull. He slid dark sunglasses up over his eyes, all velvet cool and alluring.
A smile canted the left corner of her mouth. “They’re here. We need to get in to see that ex-boyfriend of hers. It can’t be a coincidence she’s in the same city.”
Galen shrugged, his dark sunglasses reflecting her face. “Dunno, Nell. From all accounts she screwed him over but good. Could be a coincidence. She might not even know he’s here.”
Nell rolled her eyes. “Please. How could she not know? That bitch knows where the money is. He’s got it big time. Of course she knows. Right now though, I have a trail, let’s follow it to see where it leads.”