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"Please don’t I don’t want you shedding any scales on Dolly’s interior"

Manny, rinned "No, as coveted Old Detroit steel Manny always babied Dolly up the Inferno parking ramp because he knew I’d urative and literal one--if he didn’t

Dolly was parked under the porte cochere so I zipped inside for my keys I returned to find Quicksilver in the back and Manny riding shotgun Wow Quick must like the friendly demon to cede his place to him Quick could make faster work of Manny’s tail than I could

Here’s a secret to as: cultivate the hotel and casino staffs Big shots and whales you have alith you and they coly little fish are canny friends to have in a pinch

"You drive like aconphistia," Manny coled down into the red leather upholstery like a cat in a faux fur shop

Soon the lights of the Strip were getting us tourist stares, but Dolly cruised up to the Inferno’s frenetic entrance unmolested The moment I disembarked, Manny slid into the driver’s seat

"I know No more than fifteen as" He patted Dolly’s dashboard and moved away at barely above idle

Quicksilver had leaped out to escortin It was nine-ten phtly Seven Deadly Sins shows and I intended to have lances, but he was taken for a service dog He had that all-business look about hied people to assuray body fur obscured a harness

Of course, not everybody employed by the Inferno could be described as people

One of the a short zebra-striped dress and fuchsia lipstick vivid enough to snarl traffic

Ooh, our favorite fashion-forward shape-shifter is here, Irarden party?" Grizelle asked in a put-down tone

True, nineteen-forties daytis" Grizelle’s face and voice were harder than granite as her luridly green eyes s

Snow’s security chief cherished a major hate for me, one part deserved and three parts not But that one part had been a lulu

"I intend to see Snow," I said, scrupulously avoiding the verbs "want" and "need"

"Besides," I added, "Asta the wire-haired terrier is acting out just fifty feet away at the bar"

"He’s a CinSirowled so deeply it sounded like he had laryngitis He’d taken a hunk out of Grizelle’s hide once when her inner white tiger had attacked s," she repeated

"I’ll leave him with Asta, then I’m sure you’ll report my visit to Snow before I can reach the elevator"

Quick and I walked on, his growl still ruh, sitting beside Nick’s stool where all the gathered lady tourists and CinSi and having such great hair You’d think he was a Fabio CinSiht Thank God that had been a color fil for h to make my ears pop

The elevator door opened on the penthouse foyer and rooiant ice sculpture snowflake, all white and silver and cold Against this dazzling background stood Snow, up close and way too personal in his onstage outfit of skin-tight white leather open to the navel above a jeweled fly, the only color in the entire scene I was aht on it Then I realized there probably hen he was onstage

"Was it necessary to ruffle Grizelle’s fur?" he asked

"No, but it was fun"

"I have a feeling this visit will not be fun At least not as lad his back was turned as he headed for the glittering bar, though I couldn’t help wondering if the whiplashes I’d transferred from Ric to him were still present I was startled to notice the Metropolis cyborg standing statue-still and apparently dormant beside the bar setup

I wandered to the all that fralitter Sohts and red aviation warning lights They were still under construction, giant erector-set skeletons of vertical concrete coluined the pharaohs gazing on such a sight and wondering how the heck our twenty-first-century civilization had built ladders straight up to the sky

One such ugly behemoth crowded the fiery exterior sheath of the Inferno itself Somebody sohostlike behind lass seemed to levitate from his to my hand His other hand held a milky Albino Vampire martini

"I have thirty-five minutes," he said "Will that suffice?"

"Easily" I turned frohtscape and set the drink down on an end table by the cushy white leather sofas that undulated through the spacious roo to do, adopt Ric?"

"Excuse me if I sit" He did as pro hardwood floors nights" He de a foot shod in a white snakeskin boot PETA would have his ass even though I wouldn’t on a bet

"You certainly don’t tire ofin my life," I said

"Works both ways, Delilah" Snow idly slouched down onto the couch "Inviting Montoya to move in here is purely a business offer I need to protect the Metropolis CinSim and your"


"your partner has had the bad or good luck to have a unique relationship with the most desired object in the supernatural fir to do with you"

"I areed"

"My offer would protect Montoya as well You know better than he does what supernatural scum will be on his tail now They mean to have the hidden power of the Metropolis robot, and they’ll want the et off on putting otherentities through the ringer, like you do"

"A better ument, but neither of us can make use of a dead man"

That’s a trick answer, Irma warned Snowretort, Snow’s sunglasses took aim at my feet