I’m pasting all my retail books here:
Being a Vampire in Retail Sucks:
Description: Scarlet Summers has been through hell since her last mission left her in the hands of an evil necromancer. She got out thanks to the Moon Wolf pack, but not without a price. When three of the werewolves in the pack go missing it is up to her to solve the case. In order to do this she has to go undercover at a supernatural retail store called Fiona’s Corner and Café to find the missing girls.
I killed my ex-boyfriend, but that was because he killed my lover. I also killed Kelsey. She deserved it for going after vampires who were harmless to society, and especially since she killed Dante’s family. Not that I go around ending lives for the hell of it. I worked for the Killer Contract Agency–hired to rid the Crystal Crest realm of society’s slugs. Like rapists, pedophiles, and hunters who go after innocent supernatural creatures. The weapon made me insane, and after an undercover case, I decided to be a detective instead of an assassin. My name is Scarlet Summers, and I’ve been through hell.
The Moon Wolf Pack are the werewolves who helped me escape from the evil necromancer, Rick. A mystery is on my hands when some of the girls went missing. Oh, and the girls all had one more thing in common. They worked at Fiona’s Corner and Café, a retail store in the Luxor realm that allows creatures to buy the items they need to survive. Here is my story of these events.
A fire is burning in the fireplace and it makes the living room warm to combat the cold air conditioning running through the rest of the house. I use this time off to banish the memories of my last case, and the previous ones when I was with the agency. I finally have a chance to try to get my mind off my past once and for all.
It all started when Nathan killed Zion, my lover, since he was an abusive and jealous jerk. My grief led to me wanting retribution so fiercely that I was hired by The Killer Contract Agency. I then went on a killing frenzy eliminating Nicole, Megan, Kelsey, Kyle, and Nathan. I got my revenge, but not without a price. My final step was to swallow Nathan’s soul but, it caused me to go crazy and I ended up gunning down innocents. I was changed into a vampire to stop the rage from consuming me. Once I turned, the rage stopped and I became sane again. Then I was captured by a crazy necromancer named Rick, and he tried to turn humans into creatures by performing horrible experiments on them. I stopped Rick with help of the Moon Wolf pack. All of the old case files went into the fireplace, and the bracelet I still have as a reminder of what I have been through. I turn away from the fire and the past.
I look around the apartment I love. We moved into it after I became a vampire and we transferred to the Luxor realm. It is a big place with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, kitchen, and even a library piled high with books. The walls in the living room are charcoal black and the carpeting is the color of warm blood with a gothic theme throughout the house: cobweb wallpapers with candelabras, and magical statues of wolves and dragons placed in the house to guard it from intruders.
Sitting down on the black leather sofa, I let the warm fire relax me. There is incense burning and the smell of apples and cinnamon take me to a place of comfort. The necromancer situation still haunts me, since I was tortured horribly. I don’t want to go into details, but I hate them. The asylum case was just as horrid. Especially seeing all those supernatural creatures hurt when they did not deserve it. I exhale and let it all go. I am on my vacation after all.
Dante, my lover, is rustling around papers in the office we share. Since I have nothing better to do, I go see what he was doing in the office. And maybe play around a bit on the computer.
“Come in.,” he replies after I knock on the door since he loves to keep the door closed to concentrate.
“What are you working on?” I ask as I walk into the room and stand behind him, peering at his screen. I know he hates it when I do that but I just can’t help but rile him a bit. He sighs and stretches, making me stare at the muscles flexing underneath his shirt.
“Shit loads thanks to the damn necromancer-werewolf-agency issues. I dislike Rick, and his bullshit about falsely helping people without powers. He just had to work in the Crystal Crest realm with the psychics to experiment on innocent creatures. At least the asylum is a black crater in the ground now. And all of their data on us is destroyed. “
“Fun, I love paperwork. But at least we no longer have to worry about the Crystal Crest realm becoming like ours.”
He laughs and it lights up his entire face, making his soft silky black hair undulate around his handsome face. I stare at his muscles as they ripple with the simple gesture of him sweeping his hair out of his eyes. He turns his attention back to the screen in front of him and I sit down in a plush chair in the corner and watch him work.
I don’t pay attention to the time until I feel a gentle hand brush my long red hair behind my ear. My green eyes come back into focus after staring at nothing but remembering the experiments.
“Brooding again?” He asks concern in his brown eyes. He knows I dwell too much on the past, especially since it was a shock to my system.
“Yes,” I reply sheepishly, “I was just thinking about our latest mission. All of the things the necromancer said he would do to my friend’s dead body still haunt me.” I shudder, trying not to think about it, and try to block out the images that are flooding my mind.
“Thinking of it only makes it worse. He is dead. The Asylum is a graveyard. You are going to drive yourself bonkers if you keep thinking about it. I agree with how horrible the whole situation was, and I wish I could pass on my extra abilities on to you. Then you would never have to fear. Do you think I like seeing you like this?” He asks.
“No, and I know it was hard on you as well. I’m sorry I still get lost in the past. At least the werewolves were able to save me.” I say with a smile trying to focus on the good side of my experiences.
“They did but it also means you owe them a favor. Werewolves always collect their favors and sometimes it is dangerous. I know I owed them once, and payback nearly made me tied to a member of their pack.” I sigh, not wanting to think about what they will want in return for saving my life.
“I want to check my email,” and I hop behind the desk across from Dante’s. My mind jumps to more essential everyday things like work and coupon shopping. I need some new clothes from Gothic Gear and Witch Cauldron and I hope that there are some money off coupons in my inbox.
I quickly get comfortable in the leather chair since it fits the shape of my body perfectly. I turn on my high-powered desktop and log into my personal email. I am disappointed when my inbox has nothing but Spam. No, I don’t want another vampire groupie, not after the last one died. Nope, I don’t want to meet single vampires in my area. Absolutely no to getting the biggest erection of my vampire life. All junk and no fun coupons for me. Frustrated, I decide to check my work email. Even though I am on vacation there might be something interesting going on to take my attention.
“Hey, look at this,” I tell Dante and he moves behind my chair. He looks over my shoulders to read what is on my computer screen.
“Why does he want to see you? I thought you were on vacation. I was looking forward to relaxing with you.” He sighs, “Do you want me to go with you to the office?”
I nodded, “Special assignment sounds fun, but it also sounds like a handful. I just hope a necromancer isn’t involved in this one. I hate those guys.” I shudder again and push away the images from my past. Necromancers are notorious for getting zombies to do their dirty work. It is helpful to send one after someone you want dead because they are hard to kill. The only way to stop them is to cut off their head. “Let’s change, and then hit the road.”
A little bit later, we slide into Dante’s Strider X, the fastest type of car in the realm. We quickly get to the store since Derrick is impatient. The sun is a horrid ball of heat frying everything in its path. The soft tank top I am wearing allows the cool leather from my seat to relieve my skin from the inferno. I don’t like the heat. I would rather it be an in-between temperature, not too hot or too cold.
Roger’s Video store is a front for the detective agency in the Luxor realm. King Alexander and Queen Diana Battle don’t want anyone to know about either Derrick’s Detective Agency or its partner the Killer Contract Agency. They work together to help solve crime and catch criminals for the crown.
Dante looks up at the sun. “At least the sun here is not toxic to us. I was a surfer before I changed into a vampire you know. I like still being able to surf; it is more fun with powers. And the donors and blood bags definitely make life easier. What about you Scarlet, do you love it?”
I consider my transition to being a vampire, “I love it, and it is so much better being sane. Thank you for turning me. I love having my magical powers and my spirit guardian.”
“Of course I remained after you changed. You need me to guide you and help in combat.” Nightshade speaks in her melodious voice in my head.
“I am happy to have you too. You have saved my ass plenty of times. I will always be grateful to have you in my life.” I commune back.
Nightshade has watched over me ever since I came into my power as a witch. I have been her charge to guide even before I received the bracelet. She became my permanent guardian when I put on the bracelet, and when I kept my powers during the transition she decided to stay with me. She is a spirit that stays by my left ear and is visible when she desires.
“It is amazing that you still remember when we first met,” She comments knowing I am brooding on the past again.
“I always will because you saved my ass more times than I can count.”
“I think we need to go into his office now,” Dante interrupts and I notice we have reached our destination. He knows about Nightshade and doesn’t mind when we talk, he talks to his guardians too. The hell hounds: Cloud and Enforcer. Derrick is an impatient man and we both want to see what he wants.
“Sorry.” I reply sheepishly. “Nightshade was talking to me.” Dante is standing over me holding the door to the car for me to get out. He is such a gentleman! He takes my hand and squeezes it gently, then smiles warmly.
“Would you like it if I was in your mind more, not just when you are in danger?” Because Dante is my sire, we can talk telepathically. It comes in handy during battle or undercover cases when we need to speak privately. It also makes the romance between us so much better. I nod in response to his questions and we walk to the store to see what the boss wants.
Roger’s Videos store is a bright beige building with a black and white sign denoting the name on the front of the building. The bell tinkles as we go through the door. I look around the room with brightly lit shelves and neatly placed videos. We might need to rent one if the news sucks. Syron waves to us from behind the counter as we make our way to the back of the store. Past the public restrooms, we go into the office to find out what the boss wants.
Derrick Sanders, the owner and head of the detective agency, sits at his desk wearing his favorite camouflage clothes. His constant self-imposed distractions tell me he has seen more horrors than he will admit to. I don’t want to interrupt him so I wait until he stops typing and looks up at me before I speak.
“You wanted to see me sir?”
“Yup Scarlet,” he replied in his former army tone. He leans back in his chair and continues in the voice he used when he sent troops out for battle. “There is an issue that has come up involving Fiona’s corner and Café, the retail establishment. Some of the women from the Moon Wolf Pack have gone missing and all of them worked for Fiona’s. ”
My eyes widen, “The ones who helped me escape from the asylum?”
He nods, “Afraid so. The last place they were seen was their work place. Here are the files on the girls who are missing.” He hands me the files, and I take them with caution wondering who the unlucky girls are, and if I know them. Shania Wolfson, Sonya Simone, and Merica Laker. Phew, I never knew them personally. They are all very beautiful, and belong to Rex’s pack. Since they are part of the pack that rescued me from the necromancer the least I can do is try to find them. All three girls disappeared a few weeks after starting to work at the store.
Terrific, a retail store gone rancid, why am I not surprised? Honestly, it is not surprising to hear, especially since the boss is a 1,000-year-old vampire who use to use the store as a front for hurting creatures through horrific experiments. Luckily, it had stopped thanks to Derrick’s Detective Agency. At least I thought it had.
“Is this another find the missing women case or an undercover one?” I ask dreading the answer. I have a bad feeling I knew where this was going when his face changed to a look of sympathy.
“I want you to go undercover to find the missing girls. You will need to pose as an employee at the store. It is the best approach to get information on both the girls and the company. The werewolves have asked for you specifically, as payment for your debt.”
“I can’t wait to see you in an adorable little uniform!” Nightshade teases, he voice filled with mirth.
“Great,” I comment with feigned enthusiasm, “Just what I always wanted to do; work retail!” I sigh, and he gives me the rest of the paperwork that I need to go undercover. I have my new identity as a vampire named Lily Stone, as well as all of the legal documents to support the story.
Dante laughs, “At least there are no necromancers this time. This should be way easier than that was, and you don’t have to deal with crazy people.” His mirth is not concealed as he grins from ear to ear, “And it could be worse, you could be at Fang’s Fast Blood and have to deal with hungry vampires. Fast food would definitely be worse.”
“True.” I laugh, “I have been to one, and the vampires are way too picky about it what they want.”
Derrick joins our laughter, “No necromancers at all, unless they are customers buying their items. The only creatures you will have to deal with are a few vampires, witches and werewolves. There is also the sorceress who is the owner of the store and her vampire lover Ren.” He smiles at me and his next words change the mood in the room, “I am really happy to see you in one piece. I know the last case was not easy for you. After this assignment, I want you to take a long far away vacation.” He pauses, “then you have to come back for another case.”
“No worries, I will come back to work,” I grin at him, “Honestly, I think a trip to the islands is in order. I want to learn to surf.” I look at Dante and he smiles.
Dante and I leave, walking side by side on our way to the car. I am hoping that the case is straightforward, but my history has taught me otherwise. I browse through the files Derrick gave me as Dante drives back to our home. Derrick’s note point to his suspicions he has about Fiona Stagea and my main purpose is to spy on her. Werewolves never do well at her store; they either quit quickly or disappear. Ren, her lover, was the last person that was seen with Shania. The two had been seen fighting a week before and no one had seen her since.
As I think about what going undercover in retail means, I begin to get angry. I won’t have weekends off anymore, not that I ever shop on weekends. I don’t like crowds so I tend to stay away from stores when they are crowded. I will have to deal with customers and I have seen how nasty some people are to retail workers. Many people take out their own problems on the employees, using them as verbal punching bags, which is not right and now I will have to deal with it. I used to work retail, and I hated it. I had to deal with all of the problems while I was trying to pay my way through witch school. I think about the amount of time it usually takes me to solve a case. The asylum took a few months, and that was after Nightshade woke me up from the drugs they were making me take.
“Thanks for that by the way,” I intone to Nightshade and I hear her laughter ringing through my head. At least I am never alone. I go back to my brooding and think about my time frame. There are only four months until Christmas, and even less before the shopping season ramps up. So I don’t lose my sanity again I decide I have to solve the case before then.
Many of the creatures in the Luxor realm used to live in the Crystal Crest realm, like me, and we tend to keep up the habits of our human lives. We celebrate the same holidays because it helps remind us of our humanity. The other downside to working the busiest season of the year in retail means that I will probably slip up and bite someone. Blood bags and donors have helped me conquer the urge but when my temper is high, I have been known to lose control.
Dante and I spend a magical weekend together before my new nightmare begins.
Tales from Behind the Counter:
Description:If you think the customer is always right, you’ve never worked at a place like Kyle’s before. Angeline has seen it all–crazy, stupid, and even mean. For the last five years, customers have tormented her daily in over five departments at her workplace, Kyle’s General Store. In one chapter, she gives advice on surviving retail and shares her biggest pet peeves in the departments she has worked in. Join Angeline down memory lane as she tells her stories about crazy customers and the downright stupid questions they ask.
Angeline has stories of when she worked in jewelry, shoes, the fitting room/answering phone and apparel. If you have worked retail you will understand and if you haven’t then keep an open mind.
Pet Peeves of Cashiers!
Don’t get mad at the cashier over long lines since they have no control over it.
It’s not the cashier’s job to find an item that has a barcode, and they can’t move from the register. Make sure every item has one, or get a like item to avoid it.
Cashiers don’t control the prices so you can’t blame them for ringing it up wrong when all they do is scan, bag and hit a button.
If they bag items wrong don’t be rude about it instead be nice. Don’t make me cry because I will if you are that mean.
They have no control over your card don’t blame them for it.
Never be on your cell phone when checking out since if you want to be that rude I might actually double scan your items since you aren’t paying attention.
Never leave your cart by the corral or counter since you pass by it as you come out the door. Be nice and take it with you to the front.
In the parking lot put it in the cart place instead of leaving it in a parking spot.
Don’t make the comment “it’s nice day” to the cashier and then go “too bad you are stuck here.”
Never put your money on the counter instead put it in their hand.
“Never be rude to them and ignore their nice greeting.
Don’t leave items at the register put them away before you check out.
Use the divider when possible, and don’t be rude when saying it’s separate. A jerk actually said “aught” like I was a naughty child when he didn’t say when his stuff ended.
Don’t point out the difference between parsley and cilantro since I’m sure they know it. They are looking for the code to type in the system.
“You can’t use a gift card to get a gift card.
They know how to count change since the register does it. Give them the change before they close the register.
Don’t stand too close to the person in line give them space. I’ve even had a customer get in my space, and he said he was not trying to steal my pin like he was trying to be funny about the fact that he was too close.
If a coupon expires don’t yell at the cashier about it since you are too stupid to read the date.
Never give them boob or sock money since that is disgusting.
Grab your bags yourself and don’t blame the cashier for forgetting to give you your bags since it’s also your responsibility to get your stuff, too.
Don’t have your kids be rude in handing the cashier items. I had one kid glare at me, and hand me stuff forcefully.
Also your kids should not play on the bagging area. It’s annoying and I want to get you out as fast as possible.
Don’t be rude to the cashier if they ask you if you have a store card or want to donate. Politely decline but never bite their “heads off about it. Melissa tried to threaten my job if I didn’t ask it.
If the register is down or the machine doesn’t work then it’s not the cashiers fault and out of their control. Don’t yell at them about it.
If you want it bagged a certain way then be nice about it, and don’t get mad if you don’t speak up since we can’t read you mind.
Tell us when it’s a separate transaction.
We can also hear you if you make fun of us.
I really don’t care why you need a particular item get your shit and leave me alone so I can serve the next asshole.
Never wave cards, cash or checks in my face for the cards just shut up and use the reader. One bitch on a cell phone waved her money in my face like I didn’t see it since she wasn’t paying attention I hated her for it.
Don’t run out to your car because you forgot your wallet and make sure you have it before you shop.
No, it won’t charge your card twice if you swipe it again. It will only charge you when you get the receipt.
Slide the card or insert it instead of telling me what you have since the register will say it.
It’s not hard to tell what kind of reader it is a chip reader has a slot at the bottom, and the regular one you just slide. You follow the directions, and stop staring blankly at the cashier like you can’t use your own card.
Don’t be rude or nasty and you won’t end up being talked about by me or my coworkers; and every time you be rude to a retail person, you will be the laughing stock to their family and friends.
These pet peeves are common sense, and just being a decent human being. Treating “the cashier/sales associate like a person can make their day. I hope you learned how not to treat the person behind the counter, and that it made you laugh. Employees are people and not mindless robots. Treat them with kindness, and they will be nice right back.”
Also lists the various retailers here: https://www.books2read.com/u/49PjWd