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"Goth is so over," I told her

Lilith loves to flaunt her Bad Girl tastes when she isn’t dolling herself up in exactly what I’ at the moment, which is low-rise seventies bell-botto top with ruffled sleeves to the elbow Ay cara Ric later," she said "He goes for the belly-dancer exposure"

"Vegas is hot," I answered demurely

"So is Ric," Lilith answered "I should pay his h You there? No way I’ here?"

"Checking out the old wardrobe to see if you’re wearing anything worth stealing It’sof these tayLilith on the other side of so autopsied on CSI V one TV night last spring

I did co or a tolass

"LilahRic does know about ht?" she asked

"Yes" I made my answer short and sharp

Ric had only found out about o With all the follow-up on the literal fallout before we left Wichita, we hadn’t discussed several revelations that could affect our separate lives, anduilt

"Where is Wonder Rod-boy?" Lilith prodded

I debated whether or not to tell her I’d sent him off to see the wizard, Christophe, aka Snow, the Inferno Hotel’s albino rock-star owner, to view a movie That would be hard to explain You had to have been there

WE’D MADE IT back froht before ferrying Quicksilver and htwine estate

"You should call on Snow first thing toet him to show you the Metropolis filirlfriend"

"You’re not jealous of an old-time movie CinSiht as well be jealous of Robby the Robot"

"To? Christophe’s Inferno Hotel penthouse? Without you to referee?" Ric had asked

"Right," I’d said "He owes us, and besides, Snow’s such a filh all almost-three hours of the restored version with you Metropolis is his prize acquisition I’d be excess baggage"

Ire" is exactly what Snoould call you after your latest joint adventure--or should I say "assignation"?--in one of his domains in Wichita

"What will you do?" Ric asked before I could forget myself and tell Irnation

"I, ah, have some unfinished business fro your shrink foster- so to leave the Enchanted Cottage"

"So, after a night without you, to I’ silent fil, newly recorded sy it with Christophe is not my idea of a film date" He never used the nickname I did: Snow

"I know, but Snow’s the only one in the world ns the long-lost, utterly complete version of the film You’ll be amazed by how scary-relevant that Holy Grail of filmdom called Metropolis is to our lives and tiruain, offscreen and in person"

"Not a draw, Delilah She freaks me out I’m not the Immortality Mob or a CinSihtwine I don’t want the responsibility for any being that can be co me"

"Ad you out than its iconic va-va-va-vroom automaton"

"I still think you’re jealous She’s mucho curvy for a robot, but cold metal is not my turn-on"

"That shiny silver exterior is plastic wood molded onto the body cast of the actress, so she’s not as cold as you think"

"She’s still born of silver nitrate film," he pointed out, "on which the robot body was ale beyond what any human actor could convey, other than Joan of Arc in battle ar hands" He hesitated "I’ve had so off the film reel and into real life"

"Me too We need to discuss all this, after you’ve seen the o and be ht be et on with Christophe and Metropolis"

By then ere at his house, so I’d bribed hiht kiss As soon as he’d exited Dolly, my prize ’56 Eldorado convertible, Quicksilver leaped froer seat while it was still war, it would be "

"You’ve never had a pet?" I asked as Quicksilver growled "I et hooved herd animals more"

I remembered his south-of-the-border childhood captors had called hioat-boy Grrr I e had fully wiped out El De the perfect storm of a shon at the Emerald City Hotel and Casino in Wichita

Next ti on with his for lord, I knew another, maybe even final, confrontation was inevitable Neither deave up