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 Angel's Secrets

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Hunt for the Host

By The Hostess

Summary: Angel seeks help at Caritas.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, the characters aren't mine, blah, blah, blah. Please don't sue.

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Angel's gaze scanned the Friday night crowd at Caritas until it came to rest upon the shapely, green-skinned figure of The Hostess emerging from the curtain behind the stage. The spaghetti strap on her low-cut dress slipped down her shoulder as she reached for the microphone, and she made no attempt to return it to its former place. Ever the performer, she turned her back to the audience and struck a pose as the music started to play.

"I've been a bad, bad girl," she sang, turning her head to glance seductively over her left shoulder, "and I've been careless with a delicate man. And it's a sad, sad world, when a girl will break a boy, just because she can..." She spun around and did a slinky little dance as she continued to croon the rest of Fiona Apple's song, Criminal.

As the final notes of the music played, she stepped off of the stage to work the room. Shaking hands with one of the regulars, a harmless Rethra demon whose name she could never recall, she noticed Angel across the room by the bar. She hurriedly made her excuses to the Rethra.

"Angel," The Hostess beamed as she approached him with her arms open wide. She hugged him tightly. "How have you been? I haven't seen you in a while..."

"Something's up," Angel interrupted, a worried look on his handsome face.

"Tell me about it," she replied. "Would you believe that the cops gave me, me a speeding ticket? Two minutes left before the school zone ended and they nailed me. Murderers are free; rapists are free. But the cops are absolutely on top of the speed demons that are eleven miles over the limit..." She trailed off as she remembered that she wasn't alone. "But that's not why you're here, is it."

"Lorne's missing," Angel explained. "We haven't seen him for two days. Have you heard anything?"

"No," The Hostess replied. "The last time I saw him was a month ago when he asked me to watch the bar while he was helping you." She turned to the bartender and ordered a drink. With her daiquiri in hand, she thought for a minute. "It's not like him to disappear without telling anyone." She thought for a minute more. "Come to think of it I've never known him to disappear at all. He's very social and being alone would be like a punishment for him. Plus when you look like we do, you don't exactly have free-range to travel as you please." Looking off she added, "I'm just glad the cops bought my going-to-a-costume-party line."

"Can you think of anyone who would want to hurt your brother?" Angel asked. The Hostess looked around before leaning forward a bit.

"You know he's not really my brother, right?" she whispered in Angel's ear. "We just tell people that so the regulars will keep coming in." Angel gave her a look that conveyed he already knew that. She smiled. "In that case, thanks for playing along." She stepped back and sipped her drink. "To answer your question, I can't think of anyone who would want to hurt Lorne."

"Neither can I," Angel admitted. "That's making it tough to find leads."

"I'll ask around here," The Hostess offered. "If anyone knows anything, believe me, I'll find out."

The End?

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