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Unfinished Business

Less Than Three Press LLC

Heat Rating: SENSUAL
Word Count: 58,000
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REBORN by Carlo Angelo—Several days ago Ilya confessed his feelings to Ridley, and since then matters between the two men have been strained. With Ridley sick and their case about disappearing men still unsolved, Ilya is almost relieved to take on an easy case of dispelling a rogue at the Netherworld estate. But the more of the estate he sees, the more he realizes the easy case might just leave him dead.

YOU MAY NOW KISS THE (CORPSE) BRIDE by Stephanie Rabig—Nora is at her wit's end. She died several months ago, and knows she should move on, but can't get thoughts of her husband out of her mind. Though ghosts technically aren't allowed to contact the living, she finds a Private Investigator, Sanaa, who's willing to bend the rules for her. Sanaa's willing to help, but she has shadows in her past, including a vengeful former client. Just because she's dead doesn't mean she won't need her .38.

THE THRILL OF THE CASE by Cassandra Pierce—At first, Geordie thinks his case will be run-of-the-mill: an aging millionaire wants him to tail his sexy young boytoy to see if he's been cheating. Expecting to be bored even more than on most surveillance missions, Geordie follows his target to a private nightclub and manages to slip inside. What he finds turns his whole world upside down. But he's got a job to do, even if it's not nearly as routine as he'd anticipated, and being discovered as a detective will get him killed fast. The attraction to the club's owner isn't helping matters.

GODFREY AND THE DETECTIVE by Megan Derr—Godfrey makes a point to live a quiet, unassuming life—'mostly because vampires are a lot less likely to get dead that way. Finding a dead body in his yard is very much the last thing he wanted, though he can't be entirely upset about the hot, scruffy detective assigned the case. The problem with humans, however, is that they don't know when to quit...

Excerpt

Reborn by Carlo Angelo
Ridley had Alec wrapped in his arms before he dove in for a kiss. As the distant pumping of the bass from inside the club almost drowned out the moans shared between them, he slammed Alec against the brick wall. Ridley felt the desperate need pouring from Alec as he pushed his groin against Alec's thigh. A smile was felt through Alec's lips as Ridley allowed himself to be pulled down closer. Alec's hands encircled over Ridley's shoulders. Ridley, in turn, reached down to cup a firm arse.

"Alec, babe," Ridley whispered after he broke the kiss, his deep voice gravelly with desire. Ridley was reeling from a heady rush. "Should we continue this at my place?"

Alec sheepishly grinned before planting kisses along Ridley's stubbled jawline. Just as he felt Alec inching lower towards his throat, he brought his hands up to grasp Alec's shoulders and gently pulled himself away. He chuckled under his breath as Alec pouted up at him.

"Yes? No? Or perhaps we'll grab another drink?" Ridley teased as he brought a hand up to ruffle Alec's shaggy blond hair. Alec snickered, ducking his head and hiding his face from Ridley's view.

Moments passed without any words. The air shifted slightly as the silence began to drag a little too long. Then, Ridley put his hands in the pockets of his jacket, and then let out a tired sigh. He took a good look at Alec, and with a small smile, he shook his head. Then, the smile disappeared. The flirtatious glint in his eyes was eclipsed by a knowing glare.

"So," he began, fingers grazing the roughness of a wooden stake. "The men you were with last? Where are they?" A brief pause followed.

"What? What are you saying?" Alec laughed. "Look, I'm not one to sleep—"

"Colton Moore?" Ridley bit out. That shut Alec up. "Pacey Norwood? Jaerim Lee? Just a few names I'm certain you'll recognise."

The change in ambience was immediate. Alec's gaze darted around, trying to find something focus on. Ridley could feel Alec's erection waning against his thigh.

Alec glanced up. His lips were pressed into a tight line—a little too tight. Yet Ridley could see through the expression on Alec's face. There had been a glimpse of Alec's canine teeth lengthening. Ridley remained unfazed as he gripped the wooden stake in his jacket. He was more surprised that Alec had foolishly let his guard down so soon.

The silence did not last. Everything became a blur. Alec lunged forward to sink his fangs into Ridley's neck. When they toppled over onto the ground, Ridley was sprawled flat on his back, with Alec straddling his waist. Alec snarled, his fangs at full length and dripping with saliva. Ridley gripped Alec's neck, chest, shoulders—any part he could get his hands on to restrain movements.

Alec took hold of Ridley's wrists. He lowered himself towards Ridley's face until their noses almost touched.

"Sorry, but I'm sworn to secrecy," Alec growled. Gone was that innocuous tenor that had disguised Alec's true intentions. He adjusted himself until his mouth was close to Ridley's neck. Ridley gritted his teeth as he tried to shake off Alec's grip. Licking his lips before giving a lascivious smirk, Alec sunk his fangs into Ridley's neck.

Ridley cried out at the parasitic sting. The gradual haziness of blood loss began to sap the strength from his muscles, weakening the fight to break free. The world before his eyes slowly faded to a fuzzy grey, dangerously darkening to black.

 

 

The Thrill of the Chase by Cassandra Pierce

Geordie had done work for well-to-do gentlemen before, including high-ranking politicians and even a blue-blooded college vice-president. His current client's abode, though, took the proverbial seven-tiered designer cake. This guy had sprung for it all: gated entry, uniformed guard who checked for Geordie's name on an appointment list, penthouse, and a glass elevator that seemed to float through the sky, leaving the grime-encrusted streets to the peasants far below. Geordie was glad he'd had the presence of mind to wear his best suit to the interview, though his client probably owned boxer shorts that cost more than his entire outfit put together. He supposed the guy's name, Orville Pennington III, should have tipped him off about what he'd be dealing with. Who else but the spoiled rich had Roman numerals after a five-syllable name, anyway?

A handsome, broad-shouldered guy with a military-style buzz cut but dressed like he was heading for the gym let him in. Geordie wasn't sure if he was The Great Orville's butler, bodyguard, or some combination of both. Whatever he was, Geordie figured that with calf muscles like the ones filling out his yoga pants, the guy could kick some serious ass. Speaking of that, his ass wasn't too bad, either.

"I'm Geordie Chase," he said when the guy just stood in the doorway, looking him up and down. "Mr. Pennington's expecting me."

"I know that. The gate guard already called your name up."

Geordie tried not to feel foolish, even though the guy obviously considered him a simpleton. He was practically rolling his eyes. "Okay. That's cool. Nice to know he's on the ball."

"I'm Rex. His bodyguard." Rex issued the information seemingly as a warning rather than an introduction, but at least he stepped back enough so Geordie could enter. "This way."

Geordie glided through a virtual showroom filled with white leather furniture, spotlessly clean silver rugs, art that looked like it came from a museum, and even stained-glass windows overlooking the city. Through a glass door, a rooftop pool sparkled with bright blue water. The place looked like a movie set created to house some fastidious Bond supervillain.

Without a word, Rex led him down a short hall and into an office space that smelled like citrus aftershave. A gleaming mahogany desk with a high-backed leather chair took up more space than Geordie's entire office had. Small mesh baskets and wooden cubbies held pens, papers, and gold paperclips sorted by size.

"Geordie Chase, Mr. P." Finally, Rex spoke up. At first, Geordie couldn't tell whom he was talking to. Then he saw Orville Pennington III standing in the corner with his arms crossed, taking in a jaw-dropping view of the harbor while a huge maroon drape half-obscured him.

He was a trim man of medium height, probably about sixty, with stiff white hair cut in a generically conservative style. Shallow lines framed his mouth and gave him a vaguely puppet-like look—but it was the look of a scheming, malevolent puppet from a freaky late-night movie, rather than a jovial one from a kids' show.

"Thank you, Rex." Stepping away from the window, Pennington motioned Geordie to an upholstered chair on the other side of the desk. He took the fancy swivel one for himself. By the time Geordie had seated himself, Rex had vanished.

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