By Tanya Huff

Fearing for his sanity, 450-year-old vampire Henry Fitzroy calls upon his sometime-lover and comrade, ex-cop Vicki Nelson, whose good friend and previous associate is in the course of a homicide research concerning a museum mummy. unique.

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He couldn't stop himself from ducking. The woman was more commitment shy than any man he'd ever met. He frowned as he guided the car around the Queen's Park circle. It was too early in the morning for deep philosophical questions on the nature of his relationship with Vicki Nelson-things were going well, he shouldn't fuck with that. Gratefully noticing the ambulance and the police car pulled up in front of the museum, he made a U-turn across the empty six-lane road and dumped the problems of his love life for more immediate concerns.

The surrounding ka, more souls than had been near him in millennia, called him to feed. Slowly, he reached for memory. Then, just as he brushed against self and had only to reach out and grasp it and draw home the key to his freedom, the movement stopped and the lives went away. But the nothingness didn't quite return. And that was the worst of all. Sixteenth Dynasty, thought Dr. Rax running his finger lightly along the upper surface of the plain, unadorned rectangle of black basalt. Strange, when the rest of the collection was Eighteenth.

Dr. Rax's smile had begun to show more teeth. Dr. Shane grabbed his arm and propelled him down the hall. 'We've just received a new Buddha," the curator of the Far East Department called after them. "Second century BC. A beautiful little thing in alabaster and jade without a mark on it. " 'Soon," Dr. Shane agreed, her hand still firmly holding her superior's arm. Not until they were almost at the workroom did she let go. 'A new Buddha," he muttered, flexing his arm and watching the preparators maneuver the crate through the double doors of the workroom.

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