What's a Lord of the Dead to do? Hades' bride of several thousand years has served him with divorce papers and she doesn't just want him out of her life, she wants the palace and the dog, too. Hades' nephews and his faithful ferryman, Charon, are determined to find their uncle something to distract him before he expires of brooding misery.
Tiberius Snyder had a good future, until his mother dies and his employer shuts down. When he finds himself alone with nowhere to live, he turns to panhandling and to drink, depression slowly killing him.
He just wants a place to sleep out of the cold wind, but Death finds him in a dirty alley. Odd. Ti never thought Death would be so hot...
Genres: Gay/Contemporary Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Mystery/Detective
Heat Level: 2
Length: Extended Novella (40k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...“My lord, I don’t think this is how it’s usually done,” Charon protested as he trailed Hades into the complex’s garage. “Client contact first. Then case. Then investigate.”
“How will clients know to rely on us if we have nothing to our credit?” Hades thumbed the button on his car remote and the Viper flashed its lights in eager welcome. “And it isn’t only the wealthy that need justice. Those who can pay for our services, will. Those who can’t, shouldn’t need to wait for the authorities to care.”
“Point taken. Just don’t start calling yourself the Dark Knight.”
He regarded Charon across the car’s roof with a puzzled frown. “Why would I?”
“Never mind, my lord. Idle chatter.”
Despite Charon’s odd, opaque sense of humor, he was a practical being and had suggested that the Viper might attract unwanted attention in places where they might not wish to be remembered.
He stroked the Viper’s hood and whispered, “Aoratos.” The metal beast obediently faded from sight.
“I do wish you would wait until we were in the car.”
“It’s not as if the door has moved.”
Charon had developed the disturbing and thoroughly modern habit of rolling his eyes, which he did just prior to fumbling the door open and vanishing inside.
The police radio, on which they had first heard the reports, had been an interesting addition to their home. Most of the condominium’s contents had been in place prior to their arrival, ordered by certain nephews and nieces who were all excited about helping Uncle Hades as if he were some sort of new challenge to their collective ingenuity.
Hermes had chosen most of the furniture, heavy, masculine pieces in dark, soothing colors. Dio had stocked both pantry and refrigerator, with as much thought to pleasing food as to drink. Hephaestus, after coaxing from his brothers, had chosen artwork for the walls and sculptural pieces both decorative and useful, some of which he had forged himself. Aphrodite had been more than pleased to be included in the boys’ project, insisting that they leave the choice of dishes, glassware, and linens to her.
But the radio, Charon had produced. Once he explained its uses, Hades found it not only a valuable addition but also a fascinating window into his new city. The codes were a bit of a mystery, at first, but Charon located information on his infernal all-knowing machine that explained them. After that, the calls served as a map and timekeeper of lawbreaking, showing where and when certain crimes happened with the greatest frequency.
At the first murder, a knifing, Charon had shrugged. “The very poor are susceptible to violence, my lord. Theft, drugs, simple bad luck. A man without a home has few defenses.”
The second murder of a homeless man, a shooting, still left his faithful ferryman unconvinced. “They hardly seem related, my lord. Different parts of town. Different methods.”
But Hades kept all the details tucked in a corner of his mind, so by the third murder in four days, a strangling this time, he was ready to act.
“You’re suggesting a systematic extermination, my lord?” Charon had asked in alarm.
“I suggest nothing on such sparse knowledge. But we need to be out there. To feel the flows of minds and hearts. Something is amiss here.”
While Charon protested, he didn’t press. They had known each other too long for that. As he eased the invisible Viper out onto the street, their first foray into investigation began...