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.After a few minutes, he shook his head.“Nothing here, Tisi.I’m sorry.” He looked at his watch.“We better get going if you want to play poker.”I felt guilty about doing anything besides looking for my sister and the women.I felt like a failure.I felt helpless.There were no leads as to where Jason Helm lived, I had no idea what Lamia was doing or if she was still alive, and there was no portal to make contact with the gods.Or to get home.My fury flushed through me, and before I could calm it, I punched a hole in the wall.Archer said, “Hey, stop that before you break your hand.”He came over to me.“Listen.It’s not just us looking for this guy anymore; it’s the boys in blue now.I’m going to knock on a few doors, see if I can’t get some answers about where Jason moved to, and then I’m going to visit Tommy.Now that I have a face to flash him, he’s bound to know something.”“I’m going with you.”“No,” Archer said.“You stay here, play poker with Rumour, learn whatever she needs to teach you, and try to keep an eye on the Shadow Bar.Maybe he’ll show up.”I hadn’t thought of that.I nodded.“Okay, I’ll speak to Sam.”He kissed me on the cheek.“Don’t worry.We’ll get this guy, we’ll get your sister back, and we can all go home.”His confidence was inspiring.“You seem so certain.”“Hey, why shouldn’t I be? I’ve got a hellhound sleeping on the couch, a dragon snug in a chair, and a goddess standing right in front of me.I couldn’t be more confident if Rambo was in the room.”“Who is—”Archer held his hand up.“Not now.I gotta go before Tommy hits the sack.” He opened the door.“But when we get back to your world, I plan on watching a lot of movies with you.” He winked.“In bed.”I smiled at him, my heart tugging a bit, as the door closed behind him.“That’s not possible, Archer,” I whispered.For the first time in my life, a tear rolled down my cheek.The lump had subsided some, so I refroze the cold pack.I decided to leave Indigo and Cerberus in the room to rest, leaving the door ajar.They’d both had a long day, and since I was only going to play poker until Archer returned, I thought it best to give them time to refuel.Tomorrow would be a big day, after all.Rumour was tapping her foot impatiently when I arrived.“It’s about time.” She narrowed her eyes at me.“Did you have sex?”“Yes.”“Wrong answer.You just failed lesson number one.”Oh.“Where’s the mortal?”“He left to do some investigating.”She made a buzzer sound.“Wrong again.”Dammit.“Stop that.”Rumour darted her eyes around.In a hushed tone, she said, “The proper response is: He works as an acrobat in a nightly show.That’s why the sex is so good.”I sighed.What had I gotten myself into? “Perhaps this was a mistake.”“Lighten up, Tisiphone.I’m only having a laugh.” She grabbed my arm.“Come on, let’s hit the poker table.You’ll learn the true benefit of lying.”She dragged me through a sea of cigarette smoke and gamblers to the Texas Hold’em table.It wasn’t far from the Shadow Bar.“I’ll be right there.I just need to check on something,” I said.I popped my head into the bar.Sam was there.I asked him if anyone had been in looking for me, hoping he got my meaning.He told me no, and that he’d been there all evening.It was close to midnight when we handed our currency over to the dealer.He passed our chips to us, wished us luck, and put a sign on the table that read NEXT GAME IN FIFTEEN MINUTES.Someone tapped my shoulder.I turned to see Stacy Justice standing behind me.She was wearing dry shorts, running shoes, and a tank top.She pulled out the chair next to me and sat down.The dealer said, “Fifty-dollar buy-in, miss.”Stacy looked at him.“I’m not playing.I just need to speak with her.” She pointed to me.The dealer shook his head.“Sorry, I need to leave the seats open for players.Rumour walked over and whispered something in the man’s ear.The dealer’s eyes widened.He looked at Stacy, then at me.“Five minutes,” he said.Stacy thanked the dealer.I looked at Rumour, who was gleefully stacking her chips.How had she done that?Stacy leaned in to me.“I have a message for you from Bill.”“Hickok?” Odd.Once a shade was rested, Hades rarely allowed them to travel ethereally.I supposed perhaps they knew the portals had been destroyed.She blew out a sigh, ran her fingers through her hair.“That would explain a few things, so, yes, let’s go with Hickok.” She pulled out a piece of paper.“He says to tell you all hell broke loose, but they’re handling it.They’re on lockdown now, no gods in or out, but the head honchos are trying to find a way to bring you home.”“Lockdown.” I shot a glance to Rumour.She raised an eyebrow [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]