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by Gypsy Gray

New Orleans in July was two and wet. Spike was not pleased. After living with the implant for a year he had finally heard of a fix. A voodoo woman who could perform psychic surgery, no questions asked. It had taken him a month to get here, and now he strolled down the shadowed streets of the old French quarter at one in the morning. The woman in question refused to see him until the next day, so he was left to his own devices in the meantime. He passed houses rich with the scent of age and decay, cemeteries reeking of death and sorrow, and humans that carried all those scents mingled with sweat, clove cigarettes, and sex.

The vampire's teeth ached for want of all that rich blood, while the implant throbbed in his forehead. He needed a drink. Turning into the first bar he passed, a blast of machine conditioned air hit him first followed by a cloud of stale smoke. Both carried a familiar scent. Stepping into the gloom, he followed the smell to it's source. The stage.

Black enamel floor, black curtains, only the footlights for illumination. A single figure in head to toe black swayed slowly in the center of the stage. Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Dreams" droned from the speakers on either side of the stage, and the crowded bar was all but silent, in thrall to the performer. 

The dancer moved with snake like grace, winding slowly from one pose to another it glided across the stage covering it's entire length. Suddenly the figure froze in place. The music changed, and now the original Eurthymics version of the same song pounded out across the crowd. And then the dancer was moving again. Stalking forward with the aspect of a stalking leopard, it thrust itself into the single spotlight now aimed at the center of the stage.

Xander writhed to the beat of the music. Completely ignoring his audience, he ran his hands up and down his body. First the shirt was opened one button at a time. Slowly it moved down his arms and then fell to the floor. The pants were next, leaving him standing in a black silk g-string that left nothing to the imagination. He prowled the stage, thrusting and rolling his hips as he walked. And now, there was nothing but the audience. He teased and tempted and promised and prophesicised. And then the song was over.

New Orleans was two things in and wet. And definitely the best place to be. Spike was thrilled.