What happens when a dragon asks a vampire who owns a nightclub for a little help keeping his property safe? The vamp decides to build a resort for all sorts of things that go bump in the night, of course. Building on Julia Talbot's Bloodrose series, Cereus: Building moves from the city to a luxury getaway in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. With stories from Sean Michael, Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga, Cereus brings together werewolves and werecats, vampires and demons, all working to build a place where their kind can play the kinds of games they love best.
My story is Smoke and Gold, featuring Daniel the Dragon and Zee the Demon as they stomp and growl and snarl at each other in the best way possible. (They were so much fun to write.)
Here's a little taste of their first meeting:
Zee walked around another one of the play rooms, checking it carefully and shaking his head. He was going to start growling soon, like he was some dog. The play rooms were beautiful -- padded, sound proofed, fully stocked. And not one of them had a fucking panic button installed.
He grabbed a construction worker by the arm. "Who do I yell at about problems?" He could feel the fire in his eyes.
"Duke, probably." The guy shrugged. "I just follow orders, man."
"You don't have a foreman?" Duke knew he wanted panic buttons in the play rooms. He'd been very clear. In fact he'd been told they were on the blueprints.
"Sure I do. Chayton. The Indian dude with the big nose."
"Thank you." He managed to push the words from between gritted teeth and made his way toward the main office where he hoped he could find this Chayton. He was going to have someone's hide. And he was beginning to not care whose it was.
He turned a corner, slamming into someone hard enough that his teeth clacked together. His nostrils flared, his anger rising and he had to take several breaths to keep from pushing his power out and flattening whoever he'd run into. "Watch where you're going."
"Fuck off. You're the one that's the size of Godzilla. You watch."
"Oh, I will. I will watch as your ass goes rosy red under my hand, boy." He wasn't Duke's head top for nothing.
The man snorted, shoved him away, long gold hair swinging. Zee grabbed hold of one arm, feeling strength and power there. This one was a shifter. He drew in a deep breath through his nose, and then another. A shifter, but not a wolf, not a cat... A low rumble filled him, the suddenly flash of heat shocking him.
"Jesus." He was impressed. And it took a lot to impress him. "You're a dragon."
Look for this on September 14!