When Rael goes undercover, he discovers a whole new world and an unexpected friend.
When Rael went undercover to investigate a luxury resort, he never expected to gain an octopus best friend or to fall in love with a centuries-old vampire, Jean-Luc.
Petru, a new lieutenant under Zale Zelinski, is sent by his Alpha to accompany Rael. The moment he meets Alvin, the resort’s entertainments officer, he knows he’s found his mate.
Alvin is concerned that he could lose his job if his relationship with Petru becomes public, and Rael agrees that Petru can pretend they’re spending time together to protect Alvin.
But the resort holds danger and deceit, and Rael becomes a target. His relationship with Jean-Luc begins to feel one-sided. And, worse yet, Jean-Luc accuses him of deceit when he receives photographs showing Rael and Petru together.
When danger strikes Rael, it becomes a race to save his life and Jean-Luc’s that will involve the combined effort of all his friends.
General Release Date: 4th July 2023
A low groan escaped Alvin as he glanced at his watch, and he picked up speed. Daryah had called a senior staff meeting for the resort, and he was on the verge of arriving late.
There’s a lot to discuss, especially given it’s Christmas in just over a month. I love the summer—the heat, long sunny days, warm sea water—and Christmas is the cherry on the cake, not to mention our guests seem to get hornier the hotter it is.
Dotted throughout the resorts were trees in white, green and even blue, adorned with shells, silvery strands and baubles. Each time he saw one, Alvin smiled, the Christmas excitement building.
On reaching the conference room, he tapped on the door and went inside. Inwardly wincing as everyone looked up at him, Alvin plastered a wide grin on his face.
“Glad you could join us.” Vaha winked as he spoke, and Alvin glanced around.
“Sorry. Time got away from me.”
“We hadn’t started, Alvin. Take no notice of Vaha.” Daryah smiled at him.
As the joint owner and executive manager of the resort, along with her wife Jennifer, she would normally present a touch of glamour, but today she looked all business. Her black hair was piled high and held in place with jeweled combs, and her dress was gray, like the sea on a stormy day.
“Thanks.” Alvin sat next to Vaha, who good-naturedly jabbed him in the side with his elbow.
“I have the list of upcoming guests, and we are going to have to be at the top of our game.” Daryah waved a sheet of paper. Jennifer has confirmed the bookings and is going to organize the accommodations. Van, we’ll need your assistance.”
“Mine?” Van cocked his head, his dark hair flopping forward.
“The first guests of note are patupaiarehe. Not only that, but the honeymooner is a prince. His name is Tarata, and his husbands are Oliver and Bradley.”
“Fuck!” Vaha shook his head. “A big step up.”
“Exactly. His stay is being paid for by Zale Zelinski. Tarata is his brother-in-law. He and his new husbands have the penthouse suite, but we’ll need some treehouses, too.” Daryah consulted her sheet again. “Now, we have a mix of guests staying, but there could be some headbutting. We have a high-ranking lycan that is new to Zale’s pack—a distant cousin, as I understand it. His name’s Petru. They’ve suggested he may be a possible for pack Beta, although I wonder if he’s coming to keep an eye on Tarata.”
“Mmm,” Jennifer murmured. “Patupaiarehe don’t normally leave their forest home.” She tapped her pen to her chin.
“And who else is a problem?” Vaha asked, scrubbing a hand over his face.
“Some members from Honoria’s cadre.” Daryah held up her hands as Vaha openly groaned. “Now normally, given Zale and Honoria’s relationship, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. But one of the vampires is Jean-Lucques du Rei. He’s a high-ranking vampire in his own right and has only newly come to Honoria’s cadre. He may not be so ready to mix with lycans as others. Sorry, Vaha. You are in charge of security. But, as our entertainment’s manager, Alvin will help you.”
“Is that it?” Alvin asked, his mind a whirl with what was going to be needed.
“Not entirely. Marcus Ripley’s coming at the same time.” Daryah drummed her fingers on the table. “It’s quite a combination.”
“Yes, Marcus, the playboy.” Jennifer nodded. “Before you ask.”
“Now, I thought he was going into a Swiss retreat to get some cosmetic treatments, but seemingly not.” Daryah tapped the paper with an elegant finger. “So, I need all the staff notified about that in case he makes a play for them. With his reputation, it’ll only be for one night, so if they aren’t interested, don’t accept. Naturally, as my senior team, I expect none of you to consort with the guests. Alvin, you’ll need to create a night version of our resort. Whatever we offer during the day will need to be duplicated—for after sunset.”
“For the vampires.” Alvin nodded.
“And the patupaiarehe. They like evening entertainment, too. Plus, the treehouses, as they won’t want to be indoors for the duration.” Daryah sighed.
“I’ll sort those.” Van grinned at him. “You just tell me how you think they need to look. I’d imagine lots of outdoor lights.”
“Food and drink, Daryah?” Tony asked.
Alvin glanced at the chef. Thanks to his talent in the kitchen, The Pearl of the Pacific resort already had a one-star Michelin rating.
“I have crates of champagne coming.” Jennifer consulted a clipboard, flipping over a page. “I also have a special vintage for the vampires, along with a substitute—although they are bringing minions, too. Foodwise, I’m leaving all that in your hands. You have a mix to cater for. Work out your menus, tell me what you need and I’ll find a way to get it.”
“I just hope no joker switches off my fridges like whatever idiot did the other day.” Tony scowled. “And who the fuck mixed up the wines? Do we know yet?”
“Marianne’s due back soon, isn’t she? How is your father-in-law?” Daryah asked, clearly diverting Tony’s attention and not answering his questions. Tony’s face instantly lit up.
“She’s doing well, now. Fucking covid. My oldest boy’s been helping in the kitchen, and our daughter has stepped into her mum’s role. She’ll be an asset to a hotel or restaurant one day, when she has completed her studies.”
Alvin grinned. There was no way to miss the warmth in Tony’s voice. His family, even more than his Michelin star, were the pride and joy of his life.
Daryah waited until he’d left the room, then looked at each of the others in turn. “I didn’t want to say anything in front of Tony. I’ll speak to him personally later. He’s already got so much on his mind. Has anyone gotten another note?”
Alvin looked around, but everyone shook their heads, and Daryah sighed.
“Unfortunately, I did.”
“Same as the other one?” Vaha asked.
“Yes.” Daryah’s shoulders visibly sagged. “That they’re going to make sure that this place—and me along with it—are ruined.”
“I can’t believe it’s someone working here.” Jennifer banged her fist on the table. “We’re like an extended family.”
“But if it isn’t, then it must be a group, because guests have come and gone.” Daryah patted Jennifer’s hand. “We have a large number of employees, both permanent and casual. I guess we need to review everyone.”
“That’s a fuck-ton of work.” Vaha’s normal jovial expression darkened. “And what’s it really going to tell us? We vet everyone before employing them.”
“What else can we do?” Daryah asked.
“Watch.” Van’s voice deepened. “They’re hidden from us for now but can’t remain hidden permanently. It’s just bad timing that we have such illustrious guests at this time.”
“I’ll go through everyone’s records.” Jennifer sighed. “We might have missed something. That’s better than my feeling useless.”
“You do a lot already.” Daryah clasped her wife’s hand. “Don’t ever doubt that.”
“The rest of us will up our vigilance.” Vaha sighed. “It’s going to be a difficult run-up to Christmas with a saboteur to find.”
“But they’re going to find that they aren’t taking on one person.” Van scowled. “We may all be different, but we’re family. Right?”
“Right.” Alvin joined in the group response. Van’s right. We are family. An attack on one of us is an attack on us all…as our mysterious person is going to find out.