Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Croc on the Menu
Shifter's Regime: Book Four
Keeping the Peace: A shifter enforcer discovers his mate in a human whose connections make him question Fate.
As owner of an authentic Irish pub, Sinjin Gallagher thought he'd seen it all. That all changes when a huge bruiser of a man enters his establishment looking for one of his regulars. To Sinjin's surprise, the guy isn't there to cause trouble...but to stop it. What's even odder is when he finds himself aroused by the man's efficiency as he deals with that threat. As a pacifist, Sinjin doesn't understand his unexpected desire.
Tideus Solverman ran across information that Councilman Goldstein would be attacked while eating at an Irish pub. As a Council Enforcer, it's his duty to stop it. Even with the distraction of the hot pub owner--Sinjin, his mate--he gets the job done. Realizing his size and abilities intimidate Sinjin, Tideus still believes with a little patience and the mate-pull, he will prevail. Well, he does until a bit of information comes across his desk--it was Sinjin who told the rogues when the councilman would be there.
Can Tideus trust in Fate and get the answers he needs, or will he walk away and leave extracting the truth to an impartial enforcer?
Excerpt - Croc on the Menu
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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“Why the fuck aren’t they answering their phones?”
Tideus Solverman snarled under his breath as he pressed harder on the accelerator. Weaving in and out of traffic, he ignored the speed limit, praying he wouldn’t pick up a cop…or his motorcycle’s tires wouldn’t slip on the rain-slicked roads. He needed to get to the pub…ten minutes ago.
If the information Tideus had been sent was accurate, rogue shifters were going to kidnap Shifter Councilman Vincentius Goldstein while he enjoyed dinner at an Irish-themed pub that evening. Somehow, an ex-enforcer had found out about the reservation.
Note to self, tell the councilman never to make reservations in his name again.
Tideus worked as a council enforcer himself, and he couldn’t understand how the half a dozen ex-enforcer shifters had justified going rogue. A pair of shifters who’d been council-members had been found guilty of crimes against their kind. Instead of enforcing the remaining council-members’ decision to keep them under house arrest while they figured out the extent of their activities, six shifters had helped them flee.
It seemed now their numbers were growing. Those shifters that were egotistical, believing their race was superior to humans and shouldn’t mate with them, saying Fate would never pair a shifter with someone so inferior. Other shifters who sided with them claimed the same about Fate and same-sex pairings.
Tideus thought they were all idiots. There was more than enough evidence to prove that Fate paired people based on who they needed in their life. A mate was a gift from the gods, a blessing, regardless of whether the person was man, woman, human, or paranormal.
I can’t wait to find my mate. I’m gonna take ever-so-good care of him or her.
Having been with both sexes over the course of his centuries long life, Tideus couldn’t give a shit what sex his mate turned out to be. Hell, he would accept an old man or woman and do his best to make their lives as amazing as possible even at an advanced age.
Tideus knew it helped that as soon as a human bonded with a paranormal, their aging practically screeched to a halt. The person would also gain increased health and vitality. Their bones would be harder to break, and their libido would skyrocket.
His crocodile rumbled in the back of his mind, making Tideus smile. “You and me both, buddy.” At over two and a half centuries in age, he was beginning to lose patience.
When the Irish pub came into view—The Dancing Leprechaun—Tideus returned his focus to what he was doing. He veered into the parking lot, ignoring the honk of a car he’d cut off in the process. Tideus came to a stop in the slashed section at the end of the parking aisle and jumped from his motorcycle, whipping his helmet off in the process. Hearing the headgear hit the ground, Tideus knew he’d be sorry about that…but later.
Shoving his keys into his pocket, Tideus jogged across the parking lot. He yanked open the door and rushed through. After a quick scan of the interior, he spotted the councilman, his mate, and his pair of guards at a table.
Tideus also noticed the four big men who’d just risen from a nearby table. One of them was an ex-enforcer named Richard. He’d retired almost two decades before, but Tideus knew his views had often mirrored those of the disgraced ex-councilmen’s. Not surprising that they would have reached out to the black bear shifter.
Guess they’re running a few minutes behind.
Never would Tideus be so grateful for whatever had delayed them. According to the information that a fellow enforcer had sent him—a spy by the name of Nkosi who was hidden within the bad guys’ ranks—the shifters intended to take the councilman when he was twenty minutes into his meal. His reservation had been at seven, and right then, it was seven-thirty.
As Tideus started forward, a young woman stepped into his path. “Sir? Can I help you? Table for one?”
Tideus paused and leveled his look on the human, and she took a step backward as she held the menu to her chest as if it was a shield. Knowing what he looked like, he couldn’t fault her for her unease. His skin a deep chocolate color and standing six-foot-five with broad shoulders and a heavily muscled frame, along with the fact that he wore torn jeans and a motorcycle jacket and boots, Tideus cut an intimidating figure.
“No, I’m here to see a friend,” Tideus stated before brushing past her. He had just rounded the corner, leaving him five tables away from the councilman, when a pleasant aroma tickled his senses. Whipping his head around, Tideus paused, his mouth watering.
Once again, his crocodile rumbled in his mind.
Tideus met the deep brown eyes of a much shorter man, maybe standing five-foot-ten. The man hesitated an instant, then continued toward him. His expression firmed as he straightened his shoulders.
From the apron he wore, Tideus figured he worked there, maybe a manager. Considering his slight paunch, he might indulge in a little too much of his own product. Either that or he stood in one place for a lot of his day.
Without the green bandana around his head, Tideus thought his black curls would flop over his face. He found himself wondering how soft the man’s hair was. His fingertips even twitched with his desire. Tideus could brush it away from his forehead as he nibbled along his slightly stubbled jaw.
What would this man taste like?
“Please, sir. Please, doona cause trouble here.”
The stranger’s softly spoken urging, coupled with his beautiful, lilting Irish accent, yanked Tideus out of his thoughts. It also made his balls tingle. Damn! He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gotten so distracted by a handsome face…and this guy wasn’t even what someone would call classically handsome. Instead, he was cute in that boy-next-door kind of way.
As Tideus took in a breath so he could reply, the human’s scent tickled his senses again, more intensely.
Tideus nearly gaped as his crocodile whispered in his mind.
Well, holy shit!
Then Tideus began to grin.