What Slays in Vegas, Chapter One
Shiloh rushed down a long hallway at the back of The Seven Deadly Sins Casino and cringed as she pushed through the human-repelling energy shield.
The static electric shock zinged her down to her toes. Half the time it frizzed out her hair. She so didn’t need that tonight.
She was late.
She was starving.
She was about to be ambushed by a loopy bear of a hellhound. A smile tickled the corner of her lips. “Hey, Rufus.”
The hound’s red eyes brimmed with excitement as he danced in place, waiting. Rufus might be a well-trained guard, but he was still a puppy at heart.
As soon as she came within striking distance of the Video Surveillance Room, Rufus shoved his head against her hip and buried his wet nose in her hand.
“Attention hound,” Shiloh said, scrubbing him on his coal black head. She didn’t really have the time, but she had a soft spot for the beast. Shiloh had always wanted a hellhound.
Maybe someday—if she ever got a life of her own.
Rufus whined and followed her with adoring eyes as she turned the corner toward the She-Demons assignment desk.
A middle-aged fairy hovered behind a work station that had seen better days. His bowl of candied Mag Mell Mushrooms sat within easy reach. A bribe. Shiloh should know. She’d given them to the jerk last night—anything to get a better post than the one she had.
“You’re late.” The fairy glared at her over his Elton John-style reading glasses.
“I know.” Traffic on the Las Vegas Strip was hell this time of night. And Shiloh refused to live at the resort and casino, like the rest of the succubi. For one thing, she liked to think she had some life apart from her devil of a boss. For another, well, it’s not like the rest of the demons accepted her anyway.
Shiloh planted her hands on his desk. “Please tell me you’ve got something good for me, Jeebers.”
She’d been stuck in Gluttony for the past week and if she had to finger-feed one more pork chop to those overgrown louts, she’d scream.
Oh for the days of the Romans. At least most of them had wanted grapes.
The fairy wrinkled his nose. “That’s Mr. Jeebers to you,” he said, sounding like a munchkin. He adjusted his glasses and ran a tiny finger down the screen of his laptop. “Succubus 14…I have your assignment right here. Entertainment Room Three. Sloth.”
Gah. “You have to be kidding. I’ve been off Lust for a month. I’m starving!”
The fairy began filing paperwork. “You’re only a half-breed. You can make it longer than the regular girls.”
“You don’t understand. I need to eat too.” She fed off lust. The boss didn’t allow takeout. She had to eat here at the casino and only during her shifts. How was she supposed to make it a week in Sloth?
All she did there was lie around and massage men’s temples while they snoozed. She needed sex. Now. Or she was going to flip over one of the sloths and have her way with him.
“Mr. Jeebers. Give me a break. Please.”
He stopped filing for a moment and gave her a long-suffering look.
“I’ll buy you a six-pack of the good stuff.”
“A case,” he countered.
“Fine,” she said, although she wondered what a case of Fitz’s Root Beer would run her. It didn’t matter. She was desperate.
Jeebers selected a large red file. “Hmm…” he said, removing a work order, “we only have one left. And we’re not done checking him out.”
“I’ll take it.” Shiloh snatched the eight-by-ten glossy photo from the fairy’s hand.
“Damien,” she said, noting the striking man in the picture. It was a security photo, taken near the gambling tables downstairs. It appeared this man liked to play poker for stacks of cash. How very human. Although the alternative—playing for lost souls—made her stomach curl. She didn’t like to think about those tables, even if she’d never had a soul of her own. It was just creepy.
She shook off the feeling. A demon like her couldn’t change the way things were done. She just needed a decent meal. And from the looks of him, Damien would be a five-course feast.
He was ruggedly built, with broad shoulders and great taste in suits. The one he wore fit him like a dream. He had a well-defined face, sharp around the edges with dark hair that was deliciously unkempt.
She tried to picture him in leather. Mmm…yes. He could be a bad boy. Then she pictured his hard body wearing nothing at all.
She ran a French-tipped fingernail down the photo. Still, something bothered her. He had a certain air about him that appeared wholesome, maybe even angelic. “Damien—” she chewed on her generous lower lip, trying to locate the source of her niggling doubt. “Just Damien? No last name?”
The fairy shook his head as he reached for the photo. “Lies don’t stick to the page.”
She held it out of the fairy’s reach. “Tell me something I don’t know.” She slapped the photograph down on the desk. “I’ll take him.”
Jeebers snatched it up. “He requested a full succubus.”
“He’s not going to know the difference.” Not the way she was keyed up.
Jeebers looked like he was about to protest.
“A demon is a demon,” Shiloh said quickly. “Besides, don’t you want that sweet, fizzy Fitz’s Root Beer? I’m the only one who can get it for you.” Thank Hades she had a friend in St. Louis, where they made the stuff—a human friend who had more than fairy money to spend.
Jeebers looked torn.
“You haven’t had Fitz’s Root Beer in how long?”
“Two years,” he answered pitifully.
“That’s too long to wait,” Shiloh coaxed.
“Do not tell anyone,” Jeebers snapped, his tiny fingers pounding her change of assignment into his computer.
“Nobody.” She threw up a hand. Succubus’s honor.
“Napthulo will have my wings.”
“Napthulo isn’t going to know anything.”
She didn’t want to screw up her relationship with the boss, either. Napthulo was the all powerful demon lord of Las Vegas, not to mention the only one in the last millennium who’d offered her a steady job. There was a lot of prejudice against half-breeds.
“Be upstairs in ten minutes sharp,” the fairy said, snatching up the photo and stuffing the entire work order into another file.
“Are you kidding? I’ll be there in five,” Shiloh said, resisting the urge to kiss the fairy on his knobby little head.
She dashed for the changing rooms. It took everything she had not to rush up to the Lust room in jeans and a T-shirt.
Fawzi the ifrit stood guard outside the She-Demons’ dressing room. His copper skin gleamed. Gold cuffs on his wrists bound him to the casino and their master, and long spiraling horns cropped up above each ear. He’d been Shiloh’s bodyguard for the past four centuries and it drove him crazy that he couldn’t follow her home.
“You look happy,” he said, his voice low and rocky even as she reached up and planted a quick kiss on a bulge of muscles between his elbow and his shoulder.
“Lust,” she sang, dancing past him.
“Perfect,” he grinned, showing a set of ultra-white teeth. “You’ve been a bear this month.”
Shiloh banged through the door, knowing he’d follow her.
She shoved her way past a clothes rack displaying everything from gowns to sequined panties. “No more Gluttony. No more Greed.”
“Now I can protect you from more than day traders and mountains of shrimp cocktail, yes?”
“Wear the gold.” Fawzi tossed a shimmering gown toward Shiloh as she ducked behind the dressing screen.
“Las Vegas Barbie. How original.”
“It’s your lucky color.”
True. Although she’d had her luck tonight talking Jeebers into giving her this assignment. Anything else was gravy.
Shiloh slipped into her favorite pair of gold spike heels. She kept all her shoes back here, where no one fiddled with them. She could have hidden a whole marching band behind the screen. None of the other girls bothered with modesty as they dressed.
She zipped the dress up the side, under the swell of her breasts.
Shiloh brushed past the ifrit to make a quick check of her makeup in the battered mirror behind her dressing table.
He wrinkled his nose. “Do I smell barbeque sauce?”
“Probably.” Fawzi had the heightened senses of his genie ancestors. At least that’s what she told herself. Friggin Gluttony room. Two mineral baths and she still felt like she’d been slathered in KC Masterpiece.
To be safe, Shiloh dabbed Chanel No. 5 on her pulse points.
Sure, she had natural allure. She was half-succubus, and pleasure demons positively oozed sex. But her other half was human, so she also had to count on Chanel, MAC, Lancôme and that little trick where she dabbed Preparation H under her eyes after a particularly grueling night.
“Hold this.” She handed her purse to Fawzi while she shoved her street clothes into her locker. The ancient ifrit pinched her lime green bag between two fingers as if she’d asked him to tote around a dead possum.
As if she was asking much.
She took the bag from wussy boy, shoved it on top of her clothes, and spun the combination lock. “All set.” She slipped her arm around his and let his soupy warm power wash over her as he sifted them up to the sixty-ninth floor.
They reappeared in an ornate hallway dripping with Jazz-era charm. Gleaming sconces cast a warm light over hunter green walls and plush red carpeting. Carved wood doors lined the hall.
An echo of cinnamon incense hung in the air.
“You ready?” Fawzi asked.
“Overdue,” she said, disengaging herself from his arm.
Fawzi shrank into a wisp of yellow smoke. He hovered near her ear. “As I am sworn to protect—”
“So you will be at my side.” Yeah, yeah. Whoever thought it was a good idea to repeat the blood oath every night had been smoking the hookah too hard. Fawzi would stay by her side until she had the human under her thrall. After that? Well, neither one of them really wanted him watching.
Shiloh touched her hand to the bronze handle of the Lust room. She straightened her shoulders, shook out her hair and put on her most delicious smile.
Come and get me, boy.
The room smelled of cinnamon and sex. The crimson-veiled sconces on gold walls gave the room a warm glow. Heavy curtains blanketed the windows. At least a half dozen men and women lounged on suede couches, amid tables laden with candles and discarded clothes. Her fellow succubi had started without her. That’s okay. She could catch up.
The mysterious Damien sat stone-faced on an oversized chair apart from the rest.
Yow. He was even better looking in person.
He was dressed down for the evening, in seductively snug blue jeans and a silk club shirt, yet he still looked like a million bucks. It was the way he held himself, she decided, like he belonged there.
She sauntered toward him. Joe Cool, this one. She’d warm him up.
He studied her, his sharp features betraying nothing.
“I’m Shiloh. I hope you haven’t been waiting long.” She draped herself on his lap, running her fingers through the chocolate brown curls at the nape of his neck. “And if you have, I’m worth it.”
He smelled divine, like fresh grass and sunshine.
Then he did something strange. He looked her in the eyes. It surprised and delighted her. Most men were too busy looking at her other assets. But Damien simply watched her.
She smiled, feeling quite beautiful as she drew her fingers over his strong jaw. Shiloh admired his lovely hazel eyes as she let her fingers snake past his collarbone, down his chest. “What do you want to do, Damien?”
He caught her wrist. “Talk.”
Her mouth curved. “I think I’m insulted.” She rubbed herself against him.
His desire was evident. He didn’t need to hold back.
She wanted this as much as he did. Probably more.
Shiloh straddled his lap, trailing kisses along the salty skin of his neck. Her nipples tightened; the pleasure rose up from her very core as she rubbed herself against him.
She felt herself grow wet, needy. Hades, she was desperate. She didn’t even know how desperate until—
“Stop.” His absence struck her like a blow as he lifted her away by the shoulders.
“What?” She blinked, pushing the hair out of her eyes.
A muscle in his jaw twitched as he glanced behind her, at the couples scattered through the orgy room. “Let’s go somewhere private,” he said, almost to himself.
“My pleasure,” she said automatically, relieved that it was merely a change of location. She wouldn’t—couldn’t—stop now.
Her dress rubbed painfully over her swollen breasts as she slipped a hand into his. His grip was warm and firm as she led him to her favorite room in the back.
The purple silk pillows and gold trim reminded her of the pleasure houses in the Far East. Sandalwood incense burned in the small gold tin at the door. Tiny white lights glittered over the ceiling like stars.
“Lie with me,” she said, tumbling down onto the pillows with him.
He reached inside his jeans. But instead of taking them off, he withdrew a small bottle of shimmering blue liquid. “Drink this,” he said, his voice husky.
“What is it?” She asked, helping him along with the buttons of his Levi’s 501 jeans.
He caught her wrist. “It’s my own private cocktail.”
Fawzi hovered near her ear. She’d almost forgotten about him. “I don’t like it,” the ifrit growled.
“Oh yeah?” Well, if she could get Damien to stop talking, she was all for it.
Besides, it wasn’t like she couldn’t handle it. She could drink gasoline, for sin’s sake. It gave her quite a buzz, but then again, Amoco Unleaded tasted better than tequila.
No. The wisp of yellow smoke hovered between Shiloh and Damien. I do not like this.
And I need to get laid.
She caressed the tiny bottle.
Damien reached for the buttons on his jeans, seeking to undo her work. “Is there a problem?”
She covered his hand with hers. “None,” she said.
I wish you to leave, Fawzi.
The ifrit dissolved away.
She’d pay for that later. But now? “I’ll drink.”
The corner of his mouth tipped up in response.
“Kiss me first,” she purred.
He cupped a hand under her chin, effectively stopping her sultry advance. “Drink.”
Shiloh smiled. She liked a man who knew what he wanted. “You win.” Her breasts tightened with anticipation as she made quick work of the buttons on his shirt.
“What are you doing?” he asked, moving to stop her.
She caught his wrist with her hand. “I’m drinking it my way.”
He hesitated a moment, then relaxed. “Good.” She pushed the shirt the rest of the way off. His chest was smooth and firm.
His eyes darkened as she tipped the bottle and made a pool of blue liquor right above his belly button. His breathing quickened as she drizzled it up over his chest and toward his heart. She stopped right above his left nipple.
Shiloh felt her own pulse speed up. “Delicious.”
She eased the top of his boxers lower on his hips and touched her tongue to the groove of skin at his hip bone. He groaned as she licked her way upward, teasing him until she found the cocktail she’d poured.
Her tongue tingled. Mmm…it tasted like SweeTarts. She lapped up every drop. And then she went back for more.
He watched her as she took his nipple between her teeth and bit down. He gasped.
She smiled. It was like he’d never been touched before.
“How do you feel?” he croaked, breathing like a man half-possessed.
“I could ask you the same question.”
He met her halfway for a searing kiss. He wrapped his arms around her and hauled her against his chest. Heat poured through her as her thirsty body responded. She moaned, eager for more.
She pushed. He pulled. They shared a brief, hot moment of passion before he shoved her away again.
He wore a steely expression, as if he were fighting it.
Why? He’d come to her for pleasure.
She raised herself up on her knees and slipped the gold straps from her shoulders, baring herself from the waist up.
His eyes blazed.
She could feel his desire like a physical presence. His lust rose up, feeding her own.
He surged for her, wrapping his arms around her once again. His warmth felt glorious against her bare skin as she sat in his lap and kissed him over and over again. Her core pressed against the hard length of him, grinding, pushing until they were both shuddering with need.
Oh yes. She needed lust.
He tore his mouth away. “Hold it,” he said, breathing hard. He blocked her with his hand as if she was about to strike him instead of kiss him again. “Now it’s time for you to tell me about your boss.”
What on earth gave him that idea? “No.”
“Listen,” He unwound himself and stood facing her, his jeans open, his boxers low on his hips.
“Ah, but see…” She slipped off her panties and stood naked in front of him. “I am not a very good listener.”
Damien clearly couldn’t take his eyes off her. So why was he backed against the wall?
She grasped his pants and his boxers and dropped to her knees. Before he could make any more silly requests, she had the full length of him in her mouth.
He tasted delicious, like nothing she’d ever had before. The lust flowed through her, feeding her. She felt glorious, alive.
He gasped as she worked him.
His lust soared and so did hers. She fed off his desire and her own. She craved him. Needed him. Wanted to please him like no other.
Her power surged and slapped against his.
He had power.
Amazing. Oh, what a bonus. He wasn’t human. He was different. The same, yet gifted. Special.
She slid her tongue down the full length of him.
“Shiloh,” he groaned.
What was he? She had to have another taste. And another. And—
He seemed almost desperate now as he bucked against her. He was saying something else. She didn’t listen. She didn’t care. The only thing she needed was to taste him.
He drove his hands through her hair. “You don’t understand.” Each word came out as a short, desperate attempt at speech. “I can’t.”
They rolled down onto the pillow-strewn floor. Had he seen his erection? “Oh, I think you can.”
He cupped her breasts, running his thumbs over her nipples. An amazed expression crossed his face as she practically purred. “I don’t—” he began.
They lay side-by-side, cocooned in silk. “Then why did you come here?”
They were both slick and hard, out of breath.
He shook his head slightly, as if he couldn’t quite understand how he’d gotten there. “It’s impossible for me to—”
“What?” she asked, cocking a leg over his hip and slipping him inside of her.
His expression—pure ecstasy mixed with shock—might have made her smile. If she hadn’t been so turned on. Because at that moment, he flipped her over, grabbed her hips and drove into her.
His power rose up again, slapping against hers as he took her hard.
Yes. She shoved back against him, giving as fiercely as she got, reveling in the pleasure as he gave her the strength and the energy and the surge of pure heat she’d craved for as long as she could remember.
Instinct ruled as they exploded into a frenzy of caresses, licks, kisses and pounding need. There was no drawing back this time. No control. She basked in the wild passion, the utter possession.
Opening her senses, she drank in every bit of him, naked and sweaty under the twinkling white lights. She gloried in his moans, his wild abandon. Her body arched under his as they both shuddered and reached the final climax.