"What we really need is a virgin."
Nicholas Pryce, Viscount Somerton, tossed out the comment as easily as he discarded the seven of clubs in his hand. Through a haze of alcohol fumes, he watched the card skid across the perfectly polished surface of the mahogany table that had been delivered from G. and R. Gillow & Co. only that morning, so intent on his game, he did not notice the sudden silence that fell over the small but fashionable assembly.
Nick took another drink and waited for Arthur Hexam, who was seated next to him, to play a card. Only when Hexam failed to do so did Nick bother to look...