Heroes are boring. Seriously, how much effort does it take to be good? Fortunately, we don’t know! The Butt-Thology authors are back again with their latest action-packed, suspenseful, horrifying thriller…Butt Villains On Vacation. Okay, it might be a comedy.
Find out who Designation Enforcement are pursuing at The Flaming Skull B&B, if retired villain Drunkboy can find love without accidentally killing someone, what happens when Assassin Bandit’s travel agent books him into a resort with the good guys, and why villains and arch nemeses Master Malevolence and The Fluffy Monkey have morning sickness symptoms after hooking up with each other!
© Copyright 2016 Ally Blue
Riley Jackson had worked at Cajun Alley for almost seven years. He’d met a lot of oddballs here. But until tonight, he’d never seen an alien.
He watched the tall, angular stranger from under his eyelashes while he pulled drafts. It wasn’t the tight, glittery black jumpsuit that said not human. This wouldn’t be the first guy who’d walked in here with a hard-on for the seventies. No, it was something about the man himself. Something in the cut-glass cheekbones and blue-black skin, in those cold, dark eyes, in his graceful movements and regal bearing.
A drunk tourist stumbled into Alien Guy, spilling beer on the retro jumpsuit. “Whoops.” The drunk man made a clumsy, ineffectual attempt to wipe off the beer. “Sorry, dude.”
The alien snarled, baring gunmetal-gray fangs.
Okay, that was definitely off-the-scale alien. Riley stared, a full pint in one hand and his other already sneaking under the bar to the pistol he hid there just in case.
“RJ, what the hell?”
He came back to himself in a rush. Heart thumping, he handed the beer to the woman who’d ordered it and aimed a half-assed smile at Ginny, his manager. “Hey. What?”
She narrowed her brown eyes at him. “Look, I know he’s hot, but I need you to focus on the customers, not the ass you might get later.” She cut a quick glance at Alien Guy. “And by the way, I don’t think he’s interested. Sorry.”
Riley peered sidelong at the alien and wondered what exactly she saw. “Um. Yeah. Probably not.”
She patted his shoulder. “Three Dark & Stormies for table eight.”
She bustled off. He mixed the drinks on autopilot, his mind preoccupied with the alien and what in the seven hells a being from another planet would be doing in a podunk bar in coastal South Carolina.
He caught Ginny’s eye from across the room when he’d finished and set the drinks on the bar. When he turned around, he found himself face-to-face with Mr. Fangs.
He stopped, pulse hammering in his throat. “Uh. Hi. What’ll you have?”
The alien regarded him with cool appraisal. This close, those dark eyes were huge, black as deepest space, speckled with bright blue dots like distant stars.
Riley found the sight hypnotically beautiful. He smiled.
Starman peered down at him like an aristocrat eyeing something mildly interesting that had crawled across his shoes. “This residence is noisy. It displeases me.” His voice was deep and resonant. Commanding. Haughty, even.
Amused, Riley planted his palms on the bar and titled his head. His flirty twink pose, Ginny would’ve said. “It’s a bar. It’s supposed to be noisy.”
The alien’s wide, full-lipped mouth pursed, hiding the fangs. “Why is a bar?”
Oddly enough, Riley thought he caught the gist of the question. He grinned, watching with curiosity when the blue in Starman’s eyes shaded to pink. “People come here to drink. Well, to meet each other, too. But mostly to drink.”
Those strange eyes fluttered shut for a moment. The alien sighed, a startlingly human sound in its put-out-ed-ness. “Alcohol.”
Starman turned his head right, then left, studying the people around him like a scientist observing monkeys in their natural habitat. Probably not far from the truth, Riley mused. Then the alien stepped closer, resting his long, graceful hands on the bar top. One pointed pewter-colored fingernail tapped the scarred wood. “I would like alcohol.”
Riley fought back the urge to laugh, since he was pretty sure Starman wouldn’t appreciate it. “What kind of alcohol?”
The high, smooth forehead puckered. “I do not understand.”
Okay. This was going to be impossible without giving away that he knew this guy was an alien.
Leaning closer, Riley lowered his voice. “All alcohol that’s safe for humans to drink is pretty much the same. But it comes in lots of different flavors, and we mix it with different stuff, so there’s a million different ways to experience it.”
The starry eyes narrowed in dawning suspicion. “I know. I am a human male.”
This time, Riley didn’t try to hold back his laughter, though he kept it low. “No, you’re not.”
Blood-red swallowed the blueish-pink in Starman’s eyes. “How do you know this, human?”
Shit. Riley raised both hands, palms out. “I don’t know, okay? I just… feel it. And I can see you how you are, not how everybody else obviously sees you.” He glanced around at the other patrons. None were sitting close enough to overhear, thank God. “Listen, if they’d noticed the fangs? They’d be long gone, trust me.”
Starman stared at him. Several uncomfortable seconds dragged by before the red bled out of the alien’s eyes and cool, calm blue returned. “What is your designation?”
Huh? The lady sitting a little ways down the bar made the universal sign for gimme another beer, and Riley started pulling her a fresh pint. “Are you asking for my name? ’Cause my name’s Riley. Riley Jackson. My friends just call me RJ, though.” He grinned at Starman’s fierce frown. “What’s your name?”
That seemed to throw Mr. Alien Dude for a loop. He blinked, then flicked a forked tongue around the tips of his fangs. “My name? My name is… is Skip.”
Riley almost choked on his stifled laughter, because there was no way this guy’s name was Skip. But, hey, whatever. Maybe Riley could talk his real name out of him later on.
“Okay. Skip.” He grinned again, because, damn. “Are you just visiting our fair planet?”
A completely unexpected fire flared to life in “Skip’s” eyes, turning the starry pinpoints to rainbow-colored sparkles. Riley stared, mesmerized. God, that was gorgeous. He wondered if Not-Skip had any idea how his eyes reflected his emotions.
“I do not visit,” Starman insisted. “I am a businessman now. I have a bed and breakfast. I wish to make humans happy with rest and sustenance.”
Oh, that was too fucking cute. Riley handed Happy Lady her beer without looking, all his attention focused on the fierce determination glowing in Not-Skip’s weirdly beautiful face.
A sudden realization hit him. “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to own the Flaming Skull B&B down the road, would you?”
Not-Skip’s eyes swept down. Up again. The corners of his mouth curled in what passed for an alien smile. His fangs glinted in the low light. “That is my domicile, yes. You are perceptive for one of inferior origin.”
Riley decided not to point out that the only alien in town plus the Addams Family house equaled an obvious match. He wasn’t anxious to find out what those impressive teeth could do to his throat. “Thanks,” he said instead, figuring it was meant as a compliment. A couple at the other end of the bar beckoned him over. He nodded to them. It was still early, but before long the place would be hopping with the usual Friday night crowd. “Listen, you seem like a, um… being of discerning taste. Why don’t you let me mix you one of my special homemade Sangrias? On the house.”
Skip tilted his head back, peering upward with a puzzled frown. “Why on a house?”
Don’t laugh. He won’t like it if you laugh at him. How Riley knew that, he couldn’t say. Maybe it was the alien’s super-serious demeanor, like he was some sort of royalty.
Hell, maybe he was. Wow.