Ace Castle, detective in the Detroit Homicide Unit, works in the paranormal division known as the 77th Precinct. He and his partner deal with the weird, odd, and downright strange cases popping up in the city. Ace has been doing the unusual work since he started at the DPD, and since then, he has learned that the monsters children swear are under their beds just might really be there.
Now, when a girl is murdered in the city, it’s up to Ace and his partner to find the killer along with his motive for ending her life. Yet Ace soon discovers the victim was no ordinary human, but an Undine, and he’s pretty sure her killer is also one of those aforementioned monsters.
Finding a murderer is hard enough without constant interference from demon lords and fallen angels, so when Dulles, a fallen angel Ace has known for years, is determined to make Ace fall in love with him, his job soon becomes twice as difficult...
Genres: Gay/Dark Fantasy/Shapeshifter/Witchcraft/Magic/Paranormal/Mystery/Detective/Action/ Adventure
Heat Level: 2
Heat Level: 2
Length: Extended Novella (32k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...As a coroner’s van pulls up to the scene, I separate myself from a group of shopkeepers I’d been interviewing. While I could’ve sent Beamer to talk to Dulles, I want the privilege of standing next to him. Pathetic for a man of my age to act like a star-struck teenager, but I can’t help the way he makes me feel.
I arrive at the van just as he steps from it. Every inch of my body takes notice and I silently swear at myself. Dulles is perfection in human form—or as human a form as a fallen angel can take. Yep. The coroner who works on the paranormal homicide cases is a fallen angel. Not something you would think—or hear—every day.
Yet it works because Dulles is able to think beyond the normal realm of human capabilities to discover if the killer was human or paranormal. Plus his being an angel—fallen or otherwise—puts him at the top of paranormal society. So while he can help me when I need to go talk to beings that look down on humans, it also puts him far beyond what I can hope to achieve.
His dark blue eyes meet mine and he smiles. The scar burnt into his cheek pulls the corner of his right lip, so it looks more like a sneer than a grin, but I know he’s happy to see me. I’ve never figured out why he enjoys my company.
“Sorry to pull you away from whatever you were doing,” I say as he approaches me.
“While I wish we could meet under better circumstances, Ace, I don’t mind coming out when you’re the one calling.” Dulles takes my hand in his and squeezes.
My cheeks heat, causing me to duck my head. I don’t yank away from his touch because it’s been a while since I’ve felt another person’s touch, and just the brush of Dulles’s skin on mine shoots fireworks along my nerve endings.
“I still appreciate you doing this.”
Because let’s be honest, as a fallen, he can do pretty much whatever he wants. It’s not like he needs to work for a living. I step back to let him get to the back of his van. He already has on the black coveralls he likes to wear at crime scenes. I don’t like them because they hide his ass, which is truly a work of art.
Like that statue in Rome—the one they call David that’s supposed to be the representation of the perfect male form. I’ve never laid eyes on that piece of marble, but I have laid eyes on Dulles and I think he might have modeled for the artist. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen him naked, so I can’t be a hundred percent sure.
“Castle? Are you here?”
Blinking, I turn to look at Beamer, who stands next to me. “What?”
“Do I take the doctor to where the body is or are you going to do it?” Beamer smirks, and I glare at him. As he clears his throat, he steps back from me. “I’ll keep canvassing the area.”
“Call O’Grady. See if the bastard will tell you the name of the homeless lady who saw the guy in yellow dump the girl,” I tell him. “Then see if you can find her. When you do, ask her to come back here. Tell her Ace would like to talk to her.”
“Why do you think that’ll make her come with me? Most of the homeless around here want nothing to do with the police.”
Beamer’s right. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the economic downturn hitting this city. Though not all those who live on the streets are there because they’re poor. Some are addicts. Some have mental problems they’re unable to handle or control. Some have lost everything and the anonymity of the streets makes them feel safest. Whatever their reason, they have no love or trust for the police who will force them back into a world they can’t be a part of any more.
“Of course she’ll come with you. Just tell her Ace wishes to speak to her. The homeless know him and they trust him.” Dulles comes to stand next to me. He rests his hand on my shoulder while talking to Beamer.
I can’t risk looking at him because I’m afraid of what my expression will show. Dulles has been around during some of my less-than-stellar moments when the whiskey overcame my mouth. He’s the holder of my secrets. I thank God in the dark of night that I didn’t spill my guts about my attraction to him. Pitying me because of my family and where I came from is one thing. Feeling sorry for me because I’m longing for something outside my sphere of reality is something else entirely...