GENRE: Gay Mystery Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 89,178 words
Sequel to Family Bashings
Former cops Doyle and Kord, together now for six months, struggle to keep their fledgling PI business afloat. Kord is unhappy with boring divorce cases, but Doyle will take any case that pays the bills. But things are about to change.
When shop owner Brandon hires them to find his missing business partner, they dive into the case. Experienced investigators, they methodically check every lead: Gary’s new fiancé, family members, business connections, gambling associates, and even Brandon are questioned in an effort to find the missing man. When, Owen, the fiancé produces a letter purportedly from Gary saying he’s away on a buying trip, the investigation is nearly derailed, but Doyle insists they continue the search until the letter is proven genuine.
Just as they hit their stride, someone from an old and violent case finds Kord, and his intentions could be lethal. Fearing the man may harm Doyle, Kord decides to handle things on his own. Distracted now, Kord can’t pull his weight on the missing persons case. But when Gary is found dead, the investigation turns a corner. Even their client, Brandon, may be the murderer.
Things turn violent but Kord, still preoccupied with the old case, fails to help Doyle when he’s needed most. Will they be able to overcome this serious breech that threatens to derail the investigation ... and their relationship?
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
Once in the kitchen Doyle turned to face Kord. He'd seen something in Kord's eyes when he shook hands with Brandon. Something like fear or dread. Instead of feeling protective, Doyle felt angry because Kord was keeping secrets again. When he tossed that big smile at him, Doyle knew for certain something was wrong and Kord was trying hard to pretend that everything was just fine.
Doyle was about to confront him when Kord attempted to encircle him in his arms. The look of surprise on his face when Doyle pushed away, was painful, but Doyle was determined to find out what was wrong.
"What's up? Not in the mood?" Kord asked and managed to sound innocent.
"Something's up and you know better than I do what that is."
Kord shrugged. "Not a clue."
"Don't bullshit me. You're holding back and I don't like it."
"You're making a mountain out of a molehill."
"It's a pretty big molehill as far as I can see. So, give. What put that look into your eyes?"
"It's nothing I can't handle."
"Alone, you mean. Nothing you can't handle alone. Right? You're cutting me out of whatever it is."
"I'm not cutting you out. It's nothing."
"That's not the way this works, Kord. We're together in everything. If something's wrong, if something's bothering you, then it's bothering me, too."
"Like I said it's noth --"
"It didn't seem like nothing to me. That look on your face, in your eyes -- you were worried about something. And it scared me. I'm sure the kid noticed it, too." Doyle folded his arms over his chest. "So stop shittin' me and spill it. We can handle things but you've gotta be honest with me. I want the truth." Doyle knew he could push Kord just so far. He knew there were undercover secrets from Kord's past that the big guy would never discuss in detail or at all. But Doyle needed Kord to know that if it was something important, he wanted to know because he wanted to help.
Kord was silent.
"Kord? Are we gonna --"
"It's the kid." Kord's voice was small. Doyle noticed a flash of vulnerability wash over Kord, something he'd never seen before. But as quickly as it was there, it was gone.
"What about him?"
"At first I thought ..." Kord let out a deep breath as if he'd been holding it a long time. "He looks almost exactly like somebody from an undercover job I was on a while back. I thought it was him."
"Can't be. Can it?"
"When I looked closer, I realized it wasn't the guy I thought."
"And that's good, right?"
'Yeah, I guess," Kord sounded uncharacteristically low key.
"But it's not the kid that's bothering you, is it?" Doyle knew now what it was all about. "It's the idea than someone may find you. Maybe if they try hard enough they will find you."
"It's on my mind every day."
"And you don't feel you can talk to me about it?" Doyle wrapped Kord in his arms. "We're in this together, you big hunk. Your problems are my problems. If you don't tell me what's going on I can't help."
"There's nothing going on. It's just what an undercover cop lives with. But I'm not worried about me."
"You're worried about something."
"It's you I'm worried about. If they find me they might -- no, they will -- hurt you. I couldn't live with that." Kord took a deep breath, his big chest expanded. "I come home and find this guy in your apartment. In your apartment. If it was somebody from my past, he could've ..." Kord stopped.
Doyle moved to his side and wrapped his arms around Kord, touching the tense muscles of his arms, feeling his body's warmth.
"I can take care of myself, big boy. Especially if I know what's coming down the pike."