“It was nice talking with you gentlemen. Happy Hunting,” Gregson said.

“And same to you.”

Gregson walked back to Tanya.

“I’ve got to get on the short list,” he said.

“For what?”

“To play the most dangerous game. We’ll need to make an appointment with Dubois. Would you put on your sexiest dress, and we’ll knock on his front door.”

The white house was ugly on the outside, with Greek columns and gargoyles sticking their tongues out at them.

Gregson knocked. He looked at Tanya’s knockers. She displayed them well in her red dress. Dubois couldn’t refuse.

“Hello,” came a stuffy voice.

“We’re here to see Dubois.”

“Do you have an invitation?”

“Well, no—but it’s of the utmost importance.”

“He’s playing the piano right now. I don’t dare interrupt him. He keeps his gun on the piano stool.”

“When will he be done?” Tanya asked.

“Oh—maybe, right now. Let me check. Why don’t you wait.”

The sound of thunder filled the house—it was a torturous, improvised explosion of passion. Madness echoed off the walls like midnight.

“Moonlight Sonata,” the butler said. “My master always plays it before the full moon.”

Then the music stopped, and the silence was terrifying.

“Who did you invite into my house!?”

“Only some guests. They seem to know you.”

Dubois walked out of the music room, carrying an antique dueling pistol. “Oh—it’s only you,” he said. “How can I serve you?”

His pupils dilated, staring at Tanya’s bosoms, like a hungry predator.

“We heard about your hunt, and we want to play in the finals,” Gregson said.

“I’m sorry. The price for admission is a clean kill, and the money you take off the body. No can do.”

“What if we buy our way in?” Gregson asked.

“How do I know you’re not a cop?”

“Do I look like a cop?”

“You don’t, but she does.” Dubois pointed at Tanya. “There aren’t many women who can look like that and be in charge.” He leveled his pistol at her breasts.

“She’s my girlfriend, and if she looks that way, it’s because I need to be dominated. Nobody is more alpha than me,” Gregson said. “And I need to be tied up.”

“Really?” Dubois said, but he appeared to be satisfied.

“Just pay the entry fee of 50,000 dollars and I’ll put you on the shit list. I have a couple head hunters who might make the cut. They’re hunting a lawyer right now, and what they lack in experience, they make-up for with enthusiasm. They were dominated by a female boss, and now they have the chance to get even. I’ll have a private jet chartered at my hanger in 24 hours. Be there, or be square. Many men lose their nerve. What about you, young lady?”

“I was born to kill,” Tanya said.

“Excellent. Here’s my calling card.” He gave her a queen, with a bullet hole through the head. “Directions are on the back.”

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