GENRE: Gay Mystery Romance
LENGTH: 46,349 words
I was an average man, not at all violent, until a bastard tricked my best friend into killing my lover, Mick. When that happened, with my best friend in prison for life, I took things into my own hands and killed the bastard.
Not too soon after, a man contacted me. The man Mick had worked for -- as a vigilante. He convinced me to take Mick's place, once I'd been trained to do what Mick had done.
I did. Now I'm a not so average man who might, just might, be falling in love with another vigilante. Coop Frost, to be exact. That is, if we can survive what comes next.
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
"Why?" Carl cried out. "Why are you doing this? What are you going to do to me?"
"Kill you," I replied coldly. "If it wasn't for your lies, Mick would still be alive and Jason wouldn't be sitting in a prison cell."
"I did it for you," he said, curling into a fetal position as if that would somehow keep him safe. "For us. We belong together."
"Only in your insane imagination," I spat out. I debated whether to use my knife or the gun Mick had given me a long time back. I opted for the gun. As much as I'd thought I wanted to torture Carl before killing him, I realized that wasn't in me, in spite of how much I hated the rat bastard. I took the gun from its holster, pressing the barrel to Carl's forehead.
"You can't! You won't!" he screamed, trying to pull away.
I gripped his shoulder and pulled the trigger -- twice. "Yeah, I can."
I'd been afraid, when I planned this, that I might puke after I shot him. Mick had said it could happen with a first kill. "When you get that you've ended someone's life, no matter how much of a bastard they are, you'll feel numb. You'll throw up. You'll cry." He had put his hands on my shoulders, staring me straight in the eye. "Or, you'll know you did the right thing. You won't rejoice. Not if you have an ounce of humanity in you. But you'll eventually accept you did what was necessary."
I knew for me, seeking revenge for what Carl had done had been necessary. He might not have pulled the trigger, but he had killed Mick just the same -- and destroyed Jason's life in the process. And mine, I suppose.
I looked down at Carl's dead body with no feelings other than relief, despite the blood surrounding his head. Taking out my knife, I cut the restraints and pocketed them. "Never leave anything behind," Mick had told me. I couldn't exactly take the bullets. They were lodged in Carl's brain. I did look for the casings, and found both of them. With that done, I left the way we'd come in. The street was still dark and empty.
I made it back to my car before the reaction hit me. I was trembling so hard I could barely get the key in the ignition. I killed him. He deserved it. But ... I closed my eyes, picturing Mick the last time I'd seen him. Carl will never fuck up another person's life the way he did ours, ever again.
That thought helped. I was able to calm down enough to make it home without running the car off the road.
* * * *
How I managed to sleep, I don't know. But I did.
I woke knowing there were things I had to do. Pack. Collect all Mick's gear to take with me. Decide where I was going. I'd thought about several places, dismissing each one for different reasons -- too small, too big, too cold, too hot. Too far away. Not far enough away. At least I didn't have anything to keep me here. Or more -- anyone. Friends? Yeah. A few of them from the club. But they wouldn't really miss me when I was gone.
As I packed, I kept the TV tuned to the local news channel. So far, it seemed that no one had found Carl's body. Not too surprising, considering where it was. I knew that would change eventually.
I tried eating breakfast and found it made me nauseous. A reaction to last night? Probably, I figured. Just because I'd lived with and loved a hired killer -- and even helped him with his plans -- didn't mean I was ready to fully deal with being a killer myself. Not yet.
Thinking of that reminded me, again, of Jason and why he'd murdered Mick. He did it for what he considered the right reason -- to save me from myself and get me out of Mick's clutches. There was one unassailable problem with that scenario. You see, as much as we were the best of friends, and had been forever, Jason had never seen the dark side in me. The side that let me accept what Mick was, and what he did. Mick's logic was unassailable. "If not me, someone else will do it, and I don't kill innocents." He'd grimaced a bit at that last. "At least not that I know of, and I do check."
Yes, at first it was hard to reconcile the man I'd fallen in love with, with the killer I'd found out he was. That happened soon after our relationship had begun. Mick had pulled no punches. Because he loved me, he'd sat me down one evening and said, "I can't be with you and live a lie." So he'd told me everything -- knowing somehow that I would keep it to myself, even if I walked away. But I didn't. Walk, that is. In fact, after the initial shock wore off, I found it exciting. That's when I knew there was another side to me. A dark side, as I thought of it.
I proved that for sure when I killed Carl -- with no regrets afterward.
This book was published on October 22, 2016.