GENRE: Gay Mystery Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 36,343 words
Mick Hawk awakens in an alley covered with blood from a head wound, with no memories other than his first name. According to Shorty, the homeless man who found him, he was holding a battered driver's license, so they go in search of the owner with no luck.
Then a man approaches them on the street. His name is Richard Wolfe, and he claims he and Mick are lovers. After Richard convinces Mick he's telling the truth, the three men set out to discover who wants Mick dead and why. A difficult task, as Mick has yet to regain his memory.
One suspect is Mick's older brother, Trenton, who manages one of Mick's clubs and resents the fact their father gave them to Mick instead of him. Another is the man on the driver's license, who works for Trenton. Or ...? All they have to do is figure it out, before someone tries again to take Mick out of the picture permanently.
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
Mick and Shorty were half a block from the convenience store when someone honked and a car pulled to the curb beside them.
A man got out, walking over to them. "Mick? Where the hell have you been? Why haven't you called?"
"Friend of yours?" Shorty asked.
Mick looked at the man and shrugged. "I have no idea."
"Mick. Damn it, it's me. Richard," the man said. "Don't pretend you don't know me." He paused then asked, "Why are you dressed like that?"
"Who?" Mick asked, ignoring the question.
"You know who. Me. We're ..." Richard turned to Shorty with puzzled look.
"He doesn't remember," Shorty replied to his unspoken question, and then introduced himself before briefly explaining why.
* * * *
"Oh, hell," Richard said when Shorty finished. He tentatively reached for Mick's hand, stopping when Mick pulled it away. "At least you know your name. This would be real awkward if you didn't."
Mick smiled weakly. "It is, anyway. Are you a friend? Maybe family?"
"Believe me, I'm not part of your family. I'd say I'm a friend, but it was more than that -- a lot more."
Shorty chuckled. "Guess that answers the question about whether you're gay, Mick," he said, getting a brief nod in return.
"Look, can we go somewhere and talk?" Richard asked, gesturing toward his car.
When Mick looked at Shorty in question, the man replied, "It's your call. It's two against one, so we're probably safe."
"Okay. Where? And not your house or whatever. Somewhere more public."
Richard felt a pang of dismay that Mick didn't trust him, even though he understood why. "There's a park close to your ... our place that has a pavilion and a couple of picnic tables. It's not too far from here."
"All right. That should work," Mick said, much to Richard's relief.
The drive over was done in silence. Ever time Richard glanced at him; Mick seemed to be deep in thought. Shorty, in the back seat, appeared to be more interested in what was outside the car than anything else.
Richard pulled into a space on the street at the edge of the park, close to the pavilion. Unfortunately, there was a small group of people in it, but the picnic table near by was free. When they got there, Mick and Shorty sat on one side with Richard opposite them.
Mick got right to the point, asking, "Who am I?"
"Your name is Michael Hawk, but everyone calls you Mick. You own clubs two blocks apart on South Broadway, The Hawk's Den, and The Rainbow Hawk, and you manage The Rainbow. Your father turned them over to you when he retired."
"At my age?"
"Sure. Why not. According to what you told me, he said you've got a good head for business, which is more that your brother does." Richard tried not to grin when he added, "That did not sit well with Trenton. He expected to take over. Instead, he's working for you, running The Den."
"He's older than me? Oh, and how old am I?"
"Twenty-seven. He's thirty-three and married."
"Nailed it," Shorty said. "I told you, you looked that old, or young, Mick."
"At least we found out one thing," Mick said, taking something from the pocket of his backpack to give Richard. "I was holding this when Shorty found me. We thought he might have been a relation because we look vaguely alike. I guess he's not."
Richard looked at the license. "I don't see any resemblance other than maybe the jaw." He waggled his hand.
"Do you recognize him?" Mick asked.
"He's a bartender at The Den. He goes by Andy, not Andrew. He's not too friendly, according to you. Does his job and that's it."
"Do my parents live here?"
"Nope. They moved south, to Atlanta, I think. Somewhere down there, anyway."
Mick tapped his fingers together as he studied Richard. "You implied that you and I ...?"
"Are together? Yes. We met a couple of months ago, at The Rainbow. It was instant lust and became more soon after. I moved in with you three weeks ago." Richard shook his head. "I'm, to quote Trenton, your gigolo, and only with you because you have money."
Looking dead at him, Mick asked, "Is he right?"
"Hell, no!" Then Richard smiled dryly. "Not that I'd admit it if he was, but honestly, I'm not. I was attracted to you from the beginning and it didn't take long before I fell in love with you."
"You said he's got money," Shorty put in. "A lot?"
"He's not hurting," Richard replied. "Neither is Trenton. His ..." he looked at Mick. "Your father inherited a small fortune from his father, parlayed it into a lot more, and then started the clubs as a way to keep busy while you and your brother were growing up."
"I wish I remembered even one thing about what you've told me," Mick said sadly. "Especially you."
"I wish you did too." Richard reached across the table to take Mick's hand. "We had a good thing going. Then ... you disappeared without saying a word."