When half-elf Gideon's elf brother Braden runs afoul of a powerful old vampire, Gideon steps in to help him, suggesting it might be a good idea to recruit a dhampir. Reluctantly, because the only one he knows enjoys flirting with his lover, the witch Delilah, Braden agrees. Thus sexy Edan joins the team, and immediately sets his sights on Gideon.
Vampire Vicario lives in New Orleans, so the team heads down there, staying at a B&B owned by another witch, Maeve. She agrees to help them, and together they come up with a plan to destroy Vicario. A plan complicated by the fact Vicario's tame sorcerer can see dhampir when they're invisible, thus potentially making it impossible for Edan to take Vicario's head.
To succeed in saving Braden will require all their combined skills. At the same time, Gideon is facing a personal battle: how to deal with his growing attraction to Edan. The sex is great, but there is more to a relationship than that, as he well knows. Can the two of them move beyond the physical -- if they survive the conflict with Vicario -- or will their differences tear them apart?
"All right, what's going on that you needed to visit?" Edan asked.
Braden puffed out a breath. "For starters, I'm in deep shit with Vicario because of something I did."
"So I've heard." Edan smirked. "Stole a lot of cash from one of his casinos."
"Not stole so much as took advantage of a couple of weaknesses." He paused, shrugged, and said, "Okay, yeah, technically I stole it, but it was for a good cause." He went on to explain what he'd done with the money.
When Braden finished, Edan said, "Very admirable of you. I'm impressed, and I mean it. Yeah, I know, don't faint." He chuckled when Braden lifted his middle finger. "I take it you need me to get him off your back. Let me tell you, it won't be easy getting to him, even for me. He's an Old one, as in very old, and well protected. Sure, he visited your brother with only two of his goons -- that he saw." He shot a look at look at Gideon. "Would you have known if there were other vampires around and invisible?"
"Probably not," Gideon admitted.
"Exactly. I'm sure Vicario knows that Braden's a full elf and fairly powerful in his own right. Fairly being the operative word of course, but Vicario's not known for taking chances where his life is concerned so he's undoubtedly taken that into consideration."
Gideon leaned back, took a sip of his coffee, and then asked, "Why haven't you dealt with him? From what Braden said you're no small shakes in the dhampir department."
"I also don't have a death wish. As I said, he's been around for a hell of a long time. Little old me, all on my lonesome, up against a vampire like him would be suicidal. However, perhaps, just perhaps, between the three of us we'd stand a chance."
Edan tried not to smile when he saw Gideon swallow hard before saying, "I'm not so sure I'd be an asset. My magic isn't terribly strong and I'm not a fighter."
"Do you know which end of a sword to use?" Edan asked.
"Can you cast a glamour to hide yourself?"
Gideon waggled his hand. "For a while."
"I can hide both of us," Braden put in. "I'd say all three of us but I know you're quite capable of hiding your presence from vampires. It's part of what you are."
"True. We're not walking into his lair, however, and that's presuming we can find it. So far, I haven't been able to. Gid, before you ask, and your brother is probably aware of this already, Vicario never goes to his clubs without two or more powerful vampire hangers-on."
"Like a rock star with his groupies?" Gideon replied, not reacting to Edan's familiarity in using his nickname so soon after they'd met. Or so Edan presumed. He'd done that to find out if it would be as easy to push Gideon's buttons as it was Braden's. Apparently not.
"He makes it appear that way, but they're all well trained to protect him while keeping their eyes open for any possible trouble from someone like me."
"How could they detect you when you're able to conceal your whereabouts?" Gideon asked.
Edan smirked. "They can't."
"So what's the problem? Find out which club he's visiting and take him out."
"In all this discussion I've sort of neglected to mention one very big problem," Edan replied. "He always travels with a powerful sorcerer who can see me when I'm invisible, the same way I can see any vampire if they go invisible."
"Neglected?" Braden said, scowling.
"Okay, I hate the idea I'm not able to get to Vicario because of the sorcerer. It's my one big failure, which pisses me off."
"Hurts your ego?" Braden smiled knowingly. "I guess I understand since I've got a big one too when it comes to some things."
"Don't we all," Gideon said under his breath before asking, "Do you know if he, I'm presuming he's male, could also see through any glamour Braden or I put up?"
"Honestly, I haven't a clue," Edan told him. "I've never seen him. I've only heard stories passed on by dhampir who got the hell away from Vicario and his gang when they found out this sorcerer had seen them and told the others they were there."
"This isn't going to be easy," Gideon commented sourly.