Dane by Dane

Dane by Dane

Author:Dane [Dane]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2011-01-16T23:38:37.671000+00:00

“However, I don‟t.” The Cyclops blocked her, eyeing the pair of them like some giant, supercilious butler who‟d spotted vermin. “Where‟s your card?”

Card? Eva and Pinot exchanged furtive glances.

“I forgot it?” Eva offered, having no idea what he was talking about.

The big eye narrowed. “You don‟t sound too certain.”

“We‟re friends of the three Brethren of Misericordia who entered earlier,” Pinot piped up.

“Yes! Right. There they are,” Eva said, spying Signor Russo beyond the Cyclops. At the far side of the room he and his companions disappeared through a red velvet curtain. Smiling with what she hoped was confidence, she took Pinot‟s hand and again tried to sidle past the guard.

And yet again, he blocked them. “No card, no admittance. Not without the boss‟s approval.” Leaving Cerberus to stand watch alone, the Cyclops took her arm in one hand and Pinot‟s collar in his other, and hustled them both inside and through the velvet curtain.

They quickly found themselves in what appeared to be an elegant sitting room dotted with small tables and couches. Perhaps two dozen people were ensconced there, mingling and chatting. Unfortunately, Signor Russo and his companions were not among them. No one glanced up as they entered, and Eva gathered it would have been considered gauche to take too much notice of anyone in particular. There was something indefinable in the air here that encouraged discretion.

Before they got much farther, a masculine voice stopped them.

“Mademoiselle Delacorte?” Dane‟s brother Sevin was approaching.

“What are you doing here?”

“I might ask you the same question,” Eva parried. He was dressed more formally than when she‟d last seen him, in black silk. She‟d been so intent on Dane when they‟d met in the ruins that morning that she hadn‟t really noticed how handsome his brother was. His hair was dark like Dane‟s, his lips full and sensuous, his eyes a clear sparkling blue, his shoulders broad.

“I‟m the proprietor.” Sevin waved the guard off, then acknowledged Pinot with a nod and took her elbow, leading them both farther into the room. His touch was firm and masculine and confident, yet it didn‟t affect her in the same melting way Dane‟s did. “You‟ve come ahead of schedule, actually,” he told them. “Once you‟d resided in this world for six months, you would have received an invitation.”

“It‟s the Salone di Passione, isn‟t it?” Pinot guessed suddenly, sounding excited. Trust him to have heard of this place. He sniffed out information like a bloodhound.

A corner of Sevin‟s mouth curved upward in tacit confirmation.

“What?” Eva asked blankly.

Just then, a young man passed them, gesturing toward Pinot as if to draw him away. He was tall and slender, and attractive in a boyish fresh-faced way. Eva looked down at Pinot and saw him blush.

“He‟s a friend,” Pinot explained, making to leave them. “I‟ll just be a minute.”

Once he left them, Sevin steered her to one side of the room so she could better take it all in.

“A passion salon?” she queried. “What is this place and why haven‟t I


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