Leader Murders: Case One
Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.
The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.
Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
THE SUN shone brightly, blinding heat licking over my exposed skin. I lounged there in the sand, loving the way it tickled my nape. My first summer vacation after a couple years of slavery, aka the corporate world, freedom tasted damn good.
Getting fired was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I had lots more free time and could travel, explore, and rest whenever I damn well pleased. On the other hand, the idea I was now unemployed loved to nibble at my serenity and torment my sleep. I liked to think of it as more of an in-between jobs moment since I’d sent out some applications before coming here, or maybe a prolonged vacation and a much-needed one. I’d been wishing for this for a few years. Sun kissing my skin, a cool cocktail tickling the inside of my throat, and no rush whatsoever to get up and do anything.
Now and then, I opened my eyes and allowed my gaze to slide up and down mostly naked, gorgeous bodies. My favorite today was a guy a few feet away. His skin had the kind of olive-tinted glow that stuck throughout winter. My tan, if I managed to build one, would go RIP as soon as fall began. He had gorgeous black hair, a bit curly, sort of wild—it touched the line of his forehead. Trimmed dark hair made a happy trail down from his chest to the line of his remarkably snug Speedos. I’d ogled him earlier when he was lying down, but when he got up and walked into the water, he had my most rapt attention. His legs were long, his hands gorgeous and strong, his shoulders wide, contrasting the narrow hips, his muscles firm and luscious as he moved—in short, total eye candy. But his moment of grace was when he got out of the water, a well-tanned god of the beach with the sun shining behind him like a halo. That’s when I met his gaze, an incandescent black that sucked the breath right out of me. Sweet Jesus, the guy was hot.
I licked my lips, despite my best intentions not to get involved on this vacation. I was going to search my soul or some such crap and plan my next move, not get laid by the gorgeous boys of summer. I was finally on my own. I could do anything. The sky was the limit. And yet, instead of celebrating this much craved for moment of total freedom, I wanted to celebrate the summer god’s skin by licking him all over—the one who was walking toward me now. I gulped, feeling my resolve crumble as my dick thumped in sync with my heart. I got into a sitting position, half embarrassed at my visceral response to him and half thrilled. It had been a while since I’d had such an enthusiastic response to anyone, or any enthusiasm by large really.
My ex, Mitch, used to work hard to get a hard-on out of me—especially in the last couple of months. He was an attractive man, sure, wasn’t as if I wouldn’t want his body. Mitch’s problem was the body came with the foulest personality ever in existence. I could get over his atrocious personality for a good while, because outside of his moments of total shithead-ery he was a good lover, very dedicated to achieving his goals. But the spark had died a good while ago and then everything between us felt mechanical, some sort of process he had a mental strategy for and goals set for each trimester. That was Mitch for the win, a manager to the bone. And he managed my dick for almost three years after the initial spark died, because Mitch was, without a doubt, an overachiever. I won’t lie. The fact that I was working as his personal assistant and enjoying job security, good pay and practically living in Mitch’s penthouse didn’t hurt either.
I was genuinely in love with him, though. I would’ve let him manage my dick into oblivion as long as it got him off. It all went to hell the last time he got shitfaced drunk and somehow decided I was fucking someone else on the side—which I wasn’t. I’m not sure how he arrived at that conclusion but when he did, he threw me through the glass divider between the bedroom and the living room. That wasn’t fucking fun, that’s for sure. None of his “attentions” that left bruises were fun. Of course he was every bit the doting lover while I was recovering every time, putting extra effort into managing me entirely, not just my dick. I could still see those gorgeous green eyes of his in my mind, haunted by the clear realization everything was fucked and over with between us. I didn’t walk out on his ass when he hit me first, though I should have. Because I’m the idiot who fell for those green eyes to begin with, I stuck through the rough weather hoping I’d see some of the blinding sunshine from our beginning. It never happened, though, and after four or so years together, we were smack in the middle of a nuclear winter, with no chance of ever seeing the sun again.
Mitch’s way of managing that? If I walked out on him, I’d be fired with some nasty mentions on my record too—because he was a giver like that. So I did the only thing I could do. I threw the first punch and fucked up that nasty grin of his, then told him to shove my records up his ass and stormed out of there. I finally decided that I was a man, not a fucking punching bag. Maybe Mitch would get the point and he’d be less of a fuck-up with the next guy in line, though my hopes weren’t high.
Now, looking at this gorgeous man, I remembered that delicious tingle down my spine and the itchy palms that only such a tight ass might fully scratch. I bit the inside of my lip and willed my dick to get a grip, which of course made me think of him gripping it for me, which only made things worse. Maybe I was imagining it all and the man wasn’t even looking in my direction. Wishful thinking could sometimes fuck with a guy’s reasoning, especially after sitting in the sun. Maybe that was all there was to it. I exhaled slowly and looked away from him, telling myself he wouldn’t walk up to me after all. But he did.
“Hey,” he said.
I looked up at him, the deep tone of his voice making the little hairs on my nape stand up on end. Goddamn, he had the sexiest voice I’d ever heard.
I smiled. “Hey.”
His eyes were almost scary intense as he stood there before me and gazed down into my eyes. Most guys would feel awkward about prancing around in snug Speedos and talking to someone who’s sitting down right in front of them. This guy had no issue whatsoever with it. Why would he? He was a god of summer, with the skin and the eyes and the package to make it work.
The longer we stared at each other, the bigger his grin grew. Those lips had a wicked effect on my pulse. My heart began to pound. And the more awkward I felt, the more he seemed to get off on it. Whatever this guy might’ve been thinking, I wasn’t a blushing virgin. Or at least I wasn’t a virgin, with the heat and all I couldn’t tell if I was blushing or not. Hell, who even cared? I sure didn’t.
“So,” I said in a strained voice, “how was the water?”
He hummed a bit, as if he was thinking on that. It was water. How difficult could it be to say something about it? Instead of saying anything, though, he reached out a hand and kept it that way until I grabbed it. He got me up to my feet, gave me one of those blinding grins, and began walking toward the water and dragging me along.
“So you’re one of those ‘show, don’t tell’ kind of guys?” I asked as calmly as I could.
He chuckled. “Definitely.”
We walked until the water reached about my nipples and just about his elbows. He was taller than me, not by a huge lot, but tall enough for me to gaze up a bit to look him in the eye. He seemed older than me. Looking at him from closer up, there were a few discreet gray hairs along his temples. Very few, but they were there. Some people get them at twenty, though I was thirty and I had none. But there was something about him, I wasn’t sure what, that just made me think he was older than I was for sure.
The water felt slightly warm, but cool enough after sunbathing. I got goose bumps all over when I felt his hand travel over my stomach, his dark gaze fixed on mine.
“Okay?” he whispered.
Fuck okay, just perfect, I thought. I nodded, my throat suddenly constricting. His hands felt like heaven as they slowly explored my torso, rubbing slightly against my skin with the kind of effortless intimacy lovers should have, not perfect strangers. But I couldn’t quite find a problem with him touching me like that as I looked into his eyes. I wanted to kiss him, so I stepped closer, almost gluing our chests together. His hands traveled over my back, kneading my ass and traveling back up my spine. I shivered and leaned up, trying for a kiss. But he just chuckled and leaned his forehead down on mine, effectively cutting my chances of getting to touch his lips with mine.
The tips of his fingers slipped under my trunks and I swear I’d never felt anything greater than the pads of his fingers massaging my ass. I inhaled sharply, fully hard now, and looked around. Was anyone looking? I tried to pull away, deciding this needed to be taken into a hotel room, his, mine, anyone’s at this point really. I tried to step back from him, but he gripped my ass cheeks hard and pulled me close.
“Going somewhere?” he almost growled.
“I’m hoping into a room, with you,” I answered and grinned.
“But I like it here,” he whispered right against my ear as one of his hands traveled to the front.
Oh, damn! He gripped my dick decisively and started rubbing it, not quite delicately but the roughness somehow worked with the whole rumbling voice and his lips rubbing against the shell of my ear. I was just about to try returning the kindness when his hand went lower to grip my balls a bit firmer than I might have expected. I gripped both of his arms and squeezed as he rolled my balls in his grip.
“Oh, shit,” I gritted out.
He laughed, a weird kind of rumble that made me shiver again, and nipped my ear, the bite sharper than I remembered anyone’s nibbling. Then he worked me harder, faster, and suddenly I was coming. It hit me like lightning, a hot flash of pleasure that traveled from the roots of my hairs all over my body down to my balls and then tingled up my dick erupting into utter delight. I leaned into him as the afterglow had my legs totally weak. He hummed again, a very content sound that made me feel even better in my moment of mindless bliss, and then he bit down sharply on my shoulder. I shuddered, the pain piercing through my bliss. When I tried to step back, he let me.
I ran my hand over the spot he bit and found some blood on my palm when I looked at it.
“What the fuck?” I muttered.
He just grinned, his gaze so intense I couldn’t quite stand to look him in the eye.
“Behave until we meet again,” he said then grinned wickedly.
But my question had no chance of getting answered. My nipping god of summer turned his back to me and simply walked away, drawing many stares as he did so. I stood there and just watched him go, dumbstruck and still confused about the whole thing. I made sure my trunks were okay, and pressed my hand against the sore spot on my shoulder. A weird burning spread from the place into the rest of my body, so I got out of the water and made a quick way back to my room.
By the time I got there, my head was pounding horribly, I felt feverish. No amount of water made me feel better, and despite setting the AC to a decidedly cool temp, I was still sweating buckets and my flesh felt as if it was boiling in my own sweat. At some point, I must have passed out.
I WOKE up the next morning not feeling much better. I decided the first order of business would be to get tested for any freaking thing, because who knew what the fuck I’d gotten and from where. Maybe some digestive virus or some shit like that. The nasty headache wouldn’t have been so bad if not coupled with an urgent need to eat followed by the revulsion toward any kind of food I contemplated. When I finally tried to eat something, I ended throwing up everything, probably including half my stomach, it hurt that bad. After a couple of new waves of sweating and throwing up, I fell unconscious on the bathroom floor. Sounds and odd bits of images flashed through my mind, a senseless mix that kept me twitchy and disoriented.
During my plight, I got many flashes of my hottie, of his smooth olive skin and those penetrating black eyes. Finally deciding I was sick, I crawled to the phone and asked room service for a doc. It might not have been the smartest thing to order, but it got the job done. I was rushed to the hospital, and all I could think about was Damn, if this is how beach vacations go, it might have been better to go without. Though to be fully honest, I wouldn’t have wanted to give up on my “show, don’t tell” guy. And that right there should have been clue enough there was something very wrong going on, but there’s only so much a man can worry about as he’s being rushed to the hospital.
I love it when tough, crazy alphas can get all gooey when the situation calls for it.
Read the full review at
I recommend it to anyone who likes detective stories, non-human creatures, hot sex, and powerful-but-loving men, served with a side of social issues.
This was my first Lycan book and I must say it was interesting.
I liked it and when I finished the last page, I knew I wanted to read more about their world.
I loved Olteano’s paranormal world that exists alongside ours.
It keep me entertained, I liked the issues the story explores, and I found the world building engaging.
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