Something in Riverside is attacking those connected to Café Serenity, one of the local hangouts. The not-quite human owner and her misfit group of anything but human friends and employees band together with the police to solve the mystery.
Simple task: just work with or around the Paranormal council of Elders, discover unknown soul mates, protect each other, and do it all without arising the suspicion or notice of the normal in town.
Just another day at Café Serenity.
Darien set the drink in front of Berk and then leaned on the bar.
Berk took a drink of the pink concoction and grinned before looking around at the others. “So,” his gaze moved over each one of the nine men present, “it’s just the males at this middle of the night meeting?” He smirked. “Not that I’m complaining.”
Darien tipped his beer bottle toward him and then took a sip. “It wouldn’t be a meeting if all the women were here.”
“No, it would be a party.” Baker added with a grin.
Kyran tasted the drink in front of him carefully, like he was unsure if he should be drinking it. “Not bad. What is it again?”
Darien saw the look pass between Attis and Pascal. He knew the look and felt a twinge of pain for the unsuspecting detective.
Pascal grabbed several shot glasses and placed them on the bar. “It’s a python,” He picked up a bottle of tequila and started to pour it, “patent pending.”
Shrugging, Kyran drank some more of it. “It’s good.”
Darien looked away when the human glanced at him. “Before we get into more of the libations, I’d like to brain storm and see if we can come up with a list of possible suspects that might have something against Serenity or Remi.”
Finn downed his tequila and washed it down with a mouthful of blood. “See I don’t get that anyone could have a thing against Remi.” He shrugged. “She’s…”
“The most brilliant…” Boden paused and studied his empty shot glass.
Baker winced as he swallowed his drink. “Graceful,” he croaked.
Darien watched Pascal set another drink in front of Kyran. He looked at the glass the vampire pushed toward him and downed the rest of his previous drink in one gulp, placing it in the hand waiting for it. Raising an eyebrow at Pascal, Darien tried not to smirk and the nonchalant expression on the scheming vamps face. He’d be pouring the detective in a cab later, Darien decided.
“Remi’s the most fucking understanding person I know.” Emery added in a strained voice.
Bates pointed at him, “And you’d know,” he blinked a few times. “You tried to fucking kill her you supreme asshat and she forgave you and then adopted your sorry ass.”
Choking on another shot, Kyran looked at Emery with his eyes wide. “You did what?”
Tipping his beer bottle toward the startled normal, Emery took a long drink and then nodded. “When I was turned, I was left on my own to figure out what the fuck I was.” He shook his head quickly. “I didn’t even know about paras,” he waved a hand motioning to the others sitting along the bar, “never mind I’d need to drink blood to survive.” He chortled softly and looked at the bottle in his hand. “I spent three nights dragging my ass around from one abandoned dive to the next, puking my guts out every time I tried to eat.” He glanced at Attis and Pascal, who Darien noted, had a look of understanding on their faces. Leaning forward he stared down the bar at Kyran, “And then this tall sexy chick walks by,” he waved a hand around, “I think this was the fourth night of the new me.” Shaking his head, he briefly made eye contact with Darien and looked away quickly. “I remember thinking if I wasn’t dying,” he grinned, “because let’s face it I couldn’t even find a fucking pulse in my own body and thought I was, well, dead.” He snorted. “Who knew?” A serious look appeared on his face. “So I see this woman and briefly thought if I wasn’t dying I’d jump that.” He sighed. “Then like a possessed man I did.” Eyes wide he looked at Darien. “I was just going to ask her for a buck or two so I could try some juice or something and the next thing I know I can smell her blood.” He cleared his throat and glanced at Attis. “She smells like fucking paradise and my favorite meal all in one…” He stops talking and picks at the label on the bottle in his hand.
Darien knew he was reliving it. The curse of a vampire, as far as he was concerned, wasn’t that they couldn’t go in light and lived on blood, it was that they felt intense emotions over and over again. Forever.
“So you bit her?” Kyran asked, his voice slightly slurred.
Emery opened his hands and then clapped them together and leaned on the bar. “Yeah, I lost it and bit her and it was…” he waved his hand around searching for the word.
“Tasty.” Finn added with a nod.
Darien turned and glared at him.
“Sorry.” A serious look covered his face.
“What happened?” Kyran accepted the next drink from Pascal without taking his eyes of Emery.
Watching him take a drink, Darien hid his smile behind the beer bottle against his lips and looked back at Remi’s son.
Blowing out a breath, Emery leaned both elbows onto the bar. “I’m thinking I’m going to drain this poor woman, but can’t stop myself and the next thing I know there’s this enormous guy flashing fangs at me and pinning me against the wall.” He motioned to Attis and continued. “I’m scared shitless staring into the face of this red eyed seething man while another larger than life guy is holding Remi and licking her throat to close where I bit her.”
Kyran accepted the shot of tequila from Pascal and downed it. “So, how did you get from that to being her precious son?”
Emery lifted a hand, a confused look on his face.
“I’m ready to rip his throat out,” Attis said in a lethal tone, “when Remi comes too and tells me not to hurt him because he’s scared.” He glanced from Emery to Darien, “to bring him home with us.”
Darien shook his head, still remembering how conflicted he was when they did just that. Setting the empty bottle on the back counter, he moved down to the fridge and grabbed several more. “I’ll never forget you walking in carrying her,” he glanced at Pascal, “it was a week before my heart rate settled down.”
Pascal laughed. “At least you got to look after Remi,” he jerked a thumb toward Emery. “We got left with junior here.”
“Hey, I didn’t know.” Emery added with a grin, accepting the bottle Darien handed him.
Kyran nodded his thanks to Pascal as he slid him another python. “I’m just gonna forget I heard anyof that.” He waved a hand around and then pointed at Darien. “Now you.” He took a sip of his drink. “Remi’s your mate?”
Darien leaned back and crossed his arms, knowing he was about to be harassed by all of them in a few moments time.
“So why the fuck,” Kyran paused in a dramatic way, “haven’t you told her?”
Several sounds of agreement sounded. Taking a deep breath, he looked down at the floor. “It’s complicated.”
Finn leaned forward so Darien couldn’t help but see him. “It was complicated, now he’s just procrastinating.”
Darien stood there and kept his eyes on the floor, someday they would all get tired of nagging him.
“Complicated, whatever.” Kyran muttered. “Have you seen Remi?” Darien looked up at him, his eyes were wide and glazed over. “Seriously, aside from the fact she’s smoking hot, she has a brain and a personality.” He finished his drink and pushed the glass toward Pascal with a nod for another. “Don’t even tell me what the hell she was doing with a dickwad like Peterson, that’s just wrong.” He slumped against the bar and squinted at Darien. “What the fuck are you waiting for?”
Darien felt his wolf stir, he knew Remi was the type of woman every man looked at, but hearing it wasn’t always a safe thing.
“New topic.” Berk said loudly. “Anything. Now.” He stood up and tapped his hands on the bar top. “Why are we here?”
Finn moved around to behind the bar, putting three vampires between Darien and the detective that shouldn’t be talking about his mate.
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