Did curiosity kill the cat? Maybe.
Obilian got off the bike, even though Peaches was telling him in her own certain way to not bother. He pocketed his keys, informing Peaches that he wasn’t going to listen to her, and went back into the bar.
He glanced at the back of the vests that the bikers wore. None were Sidewinders. They were Skulls, famous gangs throughout the country. Maybe they knew where the Sidewinders could be holing up.
Obilian slammed shut the door to the bar, causing the bikers to stop talking and look up at him.
“I’m looking for Sidewinders,” Obilian said. “Any idea where they might be?”
“Left one on the pavement a few miles back,” said one guy, and the rest of the group laughed.
“I’m looking for a girl.” Again, he pulled out the picture. The gang passed it around between them, studying the picture.
“I’ve seen her,” said the woman with the knives. “Over by the Red Cactus. Turning tricks there, I suppose.” The woman handed the picture back to Obilian. Their hands touched. She wasn’t lying.
“Thanks,” said Obilian, and left the bar. He wouldn’t come back there, but go right to the Red Cactus.
First, he needed backup.
Fae magick utilized nature. Unfortunately, Obilian couldn’t use the magick here in the American Southwest, because his blood didn’t come from there. It came from the Aztecs and probably another tribe that the Aztecs absorbed when they conquered Mexico.
All the indigenous tribes had stories of the “Little People”. Some were beneficial, some were not. His mother had been of the fae, his father a human in her captivity. So his father said. He didn’t know his mother.
The Red Cactus was a single-floor sprawling motel with a courtyard or pool in the middle. He pulled up to the main entrance and dismounted. Red cacti decorated the front door. He didn’t know there were such things. But then, he was from Texas and they didn’t have much cacti in Houston.
Obilian pushed open the glass door and was immediately assaulted by cool air. No cacti lived in here, but green, brown, and yellow plants that had seen better days and much more water decorated the base of the walls. Beyond the hallway of dead and dying ferns was a large black woman watching soaps.
He walked up to the counter. The woman didn’t look at him while she spoke, “Whatcha want?”
“I’m looking for a girl.”
“You come to the right place, Jack.” She shifted her body to face him. “How long?”
“How long you gonna need? Fifteen minutes?”
He certainly hoped not. “Thirty. And a specific girl.”
“That costs extra.”
Obilian shrugged, pulled out his wallet. “How much?”
He frowned. That wouldn’t leave him with much. “Seventy-five.”
“Fifty for fifteen.”
He grumbled and counted out two twenties and two fives.
“Got a name of the girl?”
“That mousey little slut? To each his own.” She handed him a key. “Past the pool, at the end.”
Obilian left through the back door, passing the empty pool, and counting the doors until he reached the one with the key on it.
He knocked. “Leah?”
He unlocked the door and slowly pushed the door open. There was no air conditioning in this room, and he could smell the overpowering scent of old sex and sweat. The room was hot and dim, the heavy curtains cutting out any light.