Magic and Mayhem Chapter 1


“Driving all over the fucking mountains just to ask random fucking insane people if they’d happened to see a truck full of gold just lying around where it didn’t belong.” I couldn’t stop grumbling as I drove around the curve in the mountain because it’d been a long-ass fucking day. “Because that makes perfect sense and that’s how police work is done when everyone knows everyone else.”

Sure it fucking was.

And no, the idiots I worked with in the sheriff’s office didn’t know everyone in the entire goddamned Blue Ridge Mountains—but it sure felt like I’d been driving over the whole fucking thing.
Just go around and ask nicely. It’s time you met a few more of the locals, buddy.

“There is no way I’m still in the right state, much less the same fucking county where I actually work.” But fuck if anyone would actually point out the goddamned boundaries. “But nooo, it’s all very normal.”


Nothing about the job worked like it did anywhere else in the fucking US, and the only boundaries seemed to be where the aliens stopped and the normal clueless variety of humans were actually living. That got more and more obvious every time I turned around because the FBI didn’t casually make phone calls asking local sheriffs to poke around for missed armored trucks.

“Stupid old men with glowing eyes.” That was not an eye condition no matter what everyone tried to make it out to be.

Well, you know, people don’t like to talk about conditions…it’s rude to ask. We ain’t nosy like you city people.

Coming from fucking Raleigh didn’t make anyone city people, and the glowing eyes thing was not a fucking condition that came with hoarding tendencies and a bad temper.

I just wasn’t sure what it was.

“Stupid idiot cops who want a change of pace and something new to tackle deserve to be the butt of fate’s jokes and end up having to argue with aliens about the number of cars they were collecting on their property and if they’d happened to add an armored truck to their list of new acquisitions.”

Fucker was hiding something and it wasn’t just whatever fucking planet he came from. Aliens didn’t seem to lie any better than regular humans and he was up to something.

“Of course, searching his fucking hoard of junk is out of the question because that would be rude.” I’d somehow stumbled into the craziest fucking job ever.

But it was in a pretty area.

And it came with free housing.

And no one seemed to actually commit any regular crimes…the closest we got to that was a cute little kleptomaniac who couldn’t stop stealing five-dollar watches from the local version of the dollar store because they were sparkly.

“So it could be worse.” Maybe? “Where the fuck am I?”

Glancing down at the phone I’d been issued, which was just about the only tech in the entire fucking department, I realized I was coming up on my turn and slowed down.

We do things differently around here, buddy. Don’t worry. We really don’t need computers and that fancy shit.

“That’s fucking bullshit too.” But since I was also supposed to be pretending I hadn’t seen my asshole boss kill three fucking coffee makers just by touching them, it probably made sense.
Whatever kind of alien he was clearly didn’t play well with electronics.

He even had a goddamned rotary phone.

It’d only taken me about twenty-four hours to realize I’d been hired because I could use Earth tech without making smoke explode out of it, and I could handle talking to the outside world without sounding like I was from fucking Mars.

I should’ve realized something was up when I found out it paid better than any police job I’d ever seen.


But I was a well-paid idiot and even had a badass pension plan.

And I didn’t mind going to get the money for the watches anymore. That guy was cute and always very confused about how he’d ended up with the gaudy things. If there’d been a spark between us, I’d have asked him out, klepto or not, but he just seemed sweet and friendly.

I didn’t mind that he was an alien too.

I wasn’t speciesist or anything, but he would have to stop stealing sparkly shit if we actually dated, and I wasn’t sure he could do that.

“Fucking moron.” I was an idiot. “People who work for the government in any capacity shouldn’t date aliens. Every fucking sci-fi movie proved that point.”

But I had to stop grumbling and pay attention as I started up another windy road. “Who the fuck lives out here?”


How far exactly was I from town?

My list of names and addresses had come on a piece of notebook paper and hadn’t included helpful commentary like careful, he’s nearly feral. My boss and I were going to have a chat about that because some of the delightfully interesting aliens I was supposed to be protecting didn’t have a damned bit of self-preservation instincts when it came to cops. “Fuckers are probably bulletproof, anyway.”

One last turn had me pulling up to a house that looked more like a wooden gingerbread castle than a cabin in the woods. “What the fuck?”

I had to admit it was prettier than the car guy’s trailer and not as creepy as the alien with the weird garden who looked like a college professor who’d gotten lost in the woods, but fuck if I was going in there without backup. “I’m gonna get eaten like Hansel and Gretel.”

Fucking aliens.

Climbing out of the car, I tried to remind myself that I had to be nice to the aliens no matter how weird they looked. “Glowing flashy eyes are probably rude but not dangerous.”

I hadn’t ended up with special powers or dead yet, so it had to be some kind of I’m pissed species thing. I just wasn’t sure if all the aliens could do it but didn’t because they had better fucking manners.

“Hello?” Stopping at the bottom of the stairs, I didn’t even consider getting closer to the beautiful house.

Unlike some people, I had very good self-preservation instincts even though I was stupidly curious.

“It’s Deputy Winslow from town.” Pausing, I was glad that the front door was open with only a screen door in place, but it didn’t seem to be helping me at the moment. “Can I get a moment of your time?”

Again, silence.

I’d just about decided to head back to the car when a bubbly voice called from somewhere around the back of the house. “I’m coming. I heard you. I just got distracted.”

The voice sounded innocent and excited as it echoed around the yard and made me want to smile for some unknown reason.

Fucking aliens.

But the cheerful voice was getting closer, so as he chattered away, I waited to see who’d come around the corner. “The company I order paint from isn’t making it right anymore and I have to find a new one. I don’t care if the original one is toxic. I’m not eating it.”


None of that made enough sense for me to respond as a slim, bouncy man with wide, sparkling eyes came nearly skipping around the side of the house.

If he wasn’t a little, I’d eat my hat or the fucking coffee maker that’d exploded last week.

But something about the bubbly man screamed alien just as obviously as the rest on my list had because his eyes twinkled as he smiled in a definitely not-quite-human way.

Fuckers came in kinky too, damn it.

“Hello, Mr.—”

Before I could even finish a sentence, he smiled and jumped right in like I was adorable. “I’m not Mr. anything. I’m Kenzie. Well, technically it’s Mackenize, but only my mother calls me that.”

He was a cutie.


Had to stay focused on stupid shit before I could get to know the little alien.

“It’s nice to meet you, Kenzie.” He didn’t offer his hand for me to shake but that might’ve been because he couldn’t stop wiggling. “I’m just here to introduce myself and to see if you might’ve come across an armored truck full of gold bars.”

Yep, it didn’t get any more logical no matter how many times I said it.

Weirdest fucking job ever.

And just like every other alien, Kenzie didn’t seem to think it was strange at all. He took it very seriously and frowned, bouncing his head back and forth like thinking took wiggles too. “No, I haven’t seen that. I’ve got the cutest antique toy ambulance, though. Do you want to see it?”

How did I get myself into these situations?

Enter the alien’s lair or be rude to the cute little offering to show me his toys?


I was going to end up eaten by an alien just because I was a nice moron. “I’d love to see it. Thank you.”

My stupid decision got a beaming smile from the bouncy alien. “That’s wonderful.”

When he actually reached for me, it was just to grab my hand and tug me to come with him. “It’s new and I can’t wait to show you. I’ve got to figure out how to fix one of the wheels, though.”

His random chatter about broken wheels made more sense than the paint part of his rambling had earlier, and by the time we reached a gingerbread-looking garage, I’d figured out that the paint he was upset about was for the ambulance and was no longer being made to the original specifications.

Old toys needed old paint.

Got it.

“Can you get it specially made?” I had no idea what would be helpful, but it was the first thing that came to mind. “I dated a guy a few years ago who was an artist and he made his own paint. Could something like that work?”

None of the aliens seemed to care that I was gay, so I’d given up expecting anything but complete acceptance from them, and Kenzie the alien little was no surprise. He completely skipped over the I’m gay part of the conversation and beamed at me. “Oh, that’s a very good idea.”

Bouncing as he walked me through the open garage door, his eyes and his personality got even sparklier as he thought about the paint. “I have a list of ingredients for it somewhere. Maybe it’s in a notebook? I wonder if someone around here could do it. They’re very smart.”


The same kind of aliens or different kinds?

Different species would explain a few things.

“I’m sure you could.” Trying to be helpful would probably just end up making me look stupid, but I couldn’t resist trying to make him smile again. “What about the guy on the other side of town with the interesting plants? Didn’t someone say he liked making…things like that?”

What I’d actually overheard at the grocery store was that plant guy was a prick most of the time but he could whip up a potion to fix anything, but I didn’t think volunteering that information would be necessary.

“Oh.” Kenzie’s eyes got even wider and he skipped again before somehow tripping over his own feet and nearly face-planting before I caught him. “Oh, thank you.”

While he looked around in confusion like he couldn’t understand how he’d tripped, Kenzie’s mind just kept going. “That would be a challenge, but he might be able to fix the toxicity issue too.”


Alien technology should be impressive even if they couldn’t use it for everyday shit without everyone else figuring it out.

His eyes were back to doing the happy twinkly thing as he looked at me like I’d hung the moon just for him. “You’re so smart.”

For a human?

For a cop?

For a Daddy?

I had no idea how to take it, so I smiled and nodded. “Thank you.”

It seemed to make the little alien happy, though. He giggled and tugged me through a door in the back of the garage that led to…a toy store?

A second glance said it was a workshop, but it had an old general store vibe to me. With shelves of toys and workbenches that were laid out around the room and filled with half-finished projects, it looked a bit like my grandpa’s workspace from when I was a kid. But above the tables were shelves full of toys, old and in varying condition.

Yep, toy store.

“This is incredible.” I was smart enough to connect a few dots, so I turned back to the wiggly cutie after taking it all in. “You’ve done amazing work.”

That I’d realized right off the bat that he’d been working on fixing the old toys seemed to make his year. I got an ear-to-ear grin and his sparkly eyes twinkled like they had diamonds in them before easing back down to almost human. “Oh, thank you.”

For telling him he’d done a good job?

For recognizing that he was good at what seemed to be his job?

For understanding that aliens were functional members of society?

“You’re welcome.” Resisting the urge to kiss the cute alien’s head, I looked over at the ambulance that was in pieces on one of the long tables. “Yeah, I can see why that one needs paint. It looks like someone’s terrier got a hold of it.”

Scratches that looked like a dog had used it as a fun new chew toy marred nearly every surface, but I couldn’t see too many things that were actually damaged beyond repair.

Kenzie sighed, frowning at the toy. “A beagle, actually. It’s not in terrible condition, but I need the right paint to fix it properly.”

“Yeah, that’s not something you can run down to Walmart and get a can of spray paint to fix.” It was clearly an antique, not something that he’d bought at a dollar store.

His giggle said he thought that idea was hilarious. “No, the owner would not be pleased with that.”

Getting the answer to one question just gave me a dozen more. “So you fix toys for other people too? I wasn’t sure what kind of business you had.”

That got more wiggles for some reason, but he nodded and smiled, so I couldn’t have pissed him off. “I do a little bit of everything. I fix broken antique toys for other people, like the ambulance, but I’ll also find them myself and restore them to either keep or sell online.”

“It sounds like you have the best job ever.” Especially for a little. “How long have you been doing it?”

Nearly bouncing as he rocked back and forth, he smiled at his toys. “Since I was a kid. My grandfather did woodworking and fixed all kinds of things. My father makes furniture and I found toys fascinating.”

Understatement of the year right there.

“It looks like you found a wonderful passion and a great job.” No matter who owned the gingerbread house, he seemed like he’d found his place.

“Thank you.” Aiming those twinkly eyes and that beaming smile at me, he sighed. “What do you think about grown-ups that aren’t very grown-up all the time?”

Want to read the rest?

Aliens. Deputy Talon Winslow is pretty sure he’s protecting aliens, but he’s starting to get the hang of it…aside from a few interesting issues that keep popping up, like an armored truck going missing. His new job pays too well to be as simple as it looks, but he hadn’t expected glowing eyes and adorable littles who almost sparkle they’re so fascinating. But if aliens come in cute and kinky, does it really matter they’re not human?

Dragons. Kenzie can’t quite decide if the new deputy he’s planning on keeping knows about dragons and mages or not. However, it doesn’t take him long to decide it isn’t the most important question when dating the handsome, slightly puzzling human. When will he get to call him Daddy and if the deputy knows Kenzie is keeping him are much better questions.

When a small mountain town isn’t as boring as it seems, a slightly confused human and a dragon with a toy hoard will learn that there’s always a bit of magic involved when falling in love.