She blinked as the implications fell into place. “You’re insane! She wasn’t involved.”

I scoffed. “Mac, get real. Your source is a vampire, and we were attacked by vampires.”

She crossed her arms and speared me with a stare. “A vampire might be responsible, but it wasn’t my vampire.”

A shadow of doubt appeared on the edges of my mind. Mac seemed too confident, too unconcerned her source might be to blame. I looked at Adam. “Mac, just give us a name so we can be sure.”

Mac slammed her hands on the arms of the chair and stood. “I gave you that address because I was trying to help. And now you’re accusing my friend of trying to kill you? Un-fucking-believable.”

I picked up the gun. “Mac, it’s not my intention to offend you, but I’m sure you can understand we can’t just take your word for it.”

She looked down at the weapon. “You’re insane. I’m not giving you the f**king time of day now.”

I glared at her. “Why don’t you just call her, then? See if she agrees to meet with us.”

“Get the hell out of my apartment,” Mac said, pointing to the door.

Just then, a door down the hall behind Mac creaked open. A drowsy voice called, “Honey?”

Mac froze. I grabbed my gun and rose. The were threw up her hands to still me. “Everything’s okay. Go back to—”

The scent of copper hit me. Well, well, well. “Come out with your hands up,” I called over the rest of Mac’s sentence.

“No! Stay there!” Mac shouted.

A couple of tense seconds passed before a titian head emerged from the dark hallway. It was the vampette who’d come to Mac’s club a few days earlier. Her mysterious contact. And lover.

The vamp didn’t raise her hands until she saw the gun pointing at Mac. The huge demon and muscular mage might have factored into her decision, too.

Her pale digits went skyward. The move raised the hem of her T-shirt to reveal a pair of white cotton underpants. “What the hell is going on?” She made sure to flash some fang.

“Tell her, Mac,” I said, my gun aimed at the were’s chest.

Mac looked like she’d rip my head off at the first opportunity. “This is Sabina Kane, the one I told you about.”

The girlfriend’s expression went all pinchy, like she was confused. “Wait, I thought we were helping her.”

“We were,” Mac gritted out.

“They why does she have a gun pointed at you, Mackenzie?”

“Apparently she has some trust issues.”

“Where were you at two a.m.?” I demanded.

She frowned. “At Mac’s club.”

That didn’t prove anything. She could easily have set up the ambush by phone from the bar.

“How long have you been working for the Caste?” I demanded.

Without hesitation or glancing at her lover she said, “The who?”

Mac shot me a superior look.

“What’s your name?” I said, trying another tactic.

She frowned. “Georgia.”

“Well, Georgia, it seems we are at an impasse. Because you gave Mac an address. And at that address, we were jumped by a group of vampires. Can you see why we might be suspicious of your motives?”

“So there were out-of-town vampires there?” she said, echoing Mac’s earlier statement. “Are you guys okay?”

Either they were diabolical masterminds who’d planned for this eventuality and gotten their stories straight ahead of time. Or Mac was telling the truth and I was a colossal ass**le.

I sighed. Adam cursed under his breath. Glancing from the corner of my eye, I caught the oh-shit look he and Giguhl exchanged.

Swallowing, I lowered my gun a fraction. “Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you’re telling the truth—”

“There’s nothing hypothetical about it,” Mac barked.

I ignored that and soldiered on. “Why did you give Mac that address?”

“You don’t owe her an explanation.” Mac took a step toward her girlfriend. I raised the gun, a clear warning to stay put.

“Obviously someone needs to clear this up,” Georgia said. Turning to me, she said, “Mac said you needed help, so I gave her the only information I had at the time— a rumor that some vamps were moving into the Prytania house.” She shrugged. “But now I have a question for you.”

I titled my head. “What?”

“Did the guy who attacked you tonight wear a cape?”

My heart kicked up a notch. My fingers gripped the gun tighter in case Georgia wasn’t as innocent as she claimed. “Why do you ask?”

She smiled at the tension in my voice. “Early this evening, I was in the Marigny trolling for tourists when this male vamp in a cape approached me.”

“With a cane?” Adam asked.

“That’s him.” She rolled her eyes. “Total douche.”

My mouth fell open and I lowered the gun to my side. “I’ll be damned.”

Now that the gun wasn’t pointed at her, she lowered her hands and scooted closer to Mac before continuing. “He said his name was Rupert and he represented a group that was recruiting vampires. The guy was weird, right? So I told him I wasn’t interested and started to leave. He grabbed my arm and his entire demeanor changed. Suddenly he was all veiled threats. He said there was a new power in town who was recruiting foot soldiers or some shit.”

“Did he give you any names?” I asked.

She shook her head. “No, but he indicated it was a powerful female. Must be the one Mac said you’re after, right? The one we need to avoid?”

I cringed inwardly. Mac had made good on her promise to warn her friends about Lavinia. I lowered my gun to my side. “Yeah, probably.”

“Anyway, he says any local vampires who don’t fall in line under her leadership won’t live long. I acted interested and offered to spread the word for him.” She shook her head, as if still surprised he’d bought her act. “He seemed happy with that, but before he could keep talking, his cell phone rang. He didn’t speak, just listened. After a few seconds, he hung up. All the sudden he couldn’t leave fast enough. As he ran off, he yelled back that he’d be in touch soon to check on my progress. He seemed to be in a major hurry.”

By this point, Adam sat on the arm of the sofa next to me, and Giguhl leaned against the wall, listening with rapt attention. As the seconds ticked by, my stomach tightened more and more. Not only because we’d obviously accused the wrong person, but also because we were now further away from knowing who called Rupert with our location.

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