Haven Investigations, #2
If saving your lover’s ex meant revealing your troubled past, would you do it?
The Marine Corps never taught Kade how to deal with his lover’s rock star ex-boyfriend.
Kade has to deal with Jacob, god of rock stars and Ollie’s ex-boyfriend. With the media exploiting Jacob’s personal life, an incompetent security team, and a family with a twisted sense of loyalty, Jacob wants Ollie as his bodyguard for his upcoming tour. What he gets is Kade.
While Jacob’s stalker escalates from toys to murder, Kade and Ollie work together to unravel the web of family secrets, lies, and long-term abuse before someone else is killed. Only they’ve already met the culprit, and he’s determined that none of them will escape with their lives.
Note: This MM romance features an ex-Marine with tattoos, a former model with a passion for solving mysteries, a snarky rock star, a cat known for defying gravity, and too many murders to count. Second Edition.
- 3 To Be Read lists
- 5 Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Demisexual, Gay, Genderfluid
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Badass Hero, Enemies to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort
Word Count: 98548
Setting: San Francisco, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
“I feel different sizes today,” I remarked to Nathan, who sat beside my bed.
“You look the same size,” he replied.
But I felt different in my skin. Always light-headed and floating with pain just on the edge of my reality. “I’m not quite sure who I am either. I’ve become Alice.”
“You’re not Alice. You’re the Mad Hatter.”
I frowned at him, though it made sense somehow. “Am I mad?”
“Aren’t we all?”
I stared at him, thinking hard. He was fuzzy around the edges, but still solid in the center. His dark blond hair was brushed back from his face, shoulders and chest thick in a snug T-shirt, and eyes just a little more green than I remembered. Ollie had eyes like Nathan. Or maybe Nathan had eyes like Ollie. I couldn’t think deeply enough to know for sure or why it even mattered.READ MORE
“I don’t want to be mad,” I told him. “Can I go home?” The bland gray walls and giant windowless room made my heart ache. I missed my days sleeping on Nathan’s couch, reading stories to Ollie, or making them meals. I couldn’t remember why I was in the hospital, but I felt okay, other than floaty. They should let me go home. “I’m not sick, am I?”
“We’re all a little sick,” was all he said. “Should I read to you a while longer?”
But that wasn’t right. Nathan never read to me. Nathan hated reading. Even to Ollie. The task had fallen to me because the rapt attention and joy on Ollie’s face had always made my day. “Where’s Ollie?” I had to know. Something was odd about Nathan being here and Ollie not.
“You’ll need to take care of him now.”
The words warmed my heart, but also confused me. I could vaguely recall a fight in which Nathan had specifically told me to stay away from his little brother. Now he wanted me to take care of him like he was going somewhere. “Are you leaving? Stay, please. It’s so lonely here.” And I wasn’t crazy. Not like they thought I was.
Nathan’s smile was tense, but he didn’t speak.
“Is Ollie here?” I wanted to know, because rarely were they apart. Something tickled the back of my brain in memory of a news article and a big breakup. Some guy had treated him bad. “He needs friends now. I get it.” That made so much more sense. “I think I’m still a little out of it. Is that because I’m sick?”
“You said you were changing sizes. I’m sure they’re working to fix that.”
That too made sense, in a weird, disjointed way. “I’m on some pretty good drugs, yeah?”
I tried to reach for his hand, which rested on the bed beside me, but met with resistance in lifting it. Just how badly was I injured? I tried with the other arm but couldn’t raise that one either. “Nathan?” I asked, unable to keep the worry from my voice. It was then I remembered the explosion: heat and pain. Had I lost both arms? Maybe all my limbs? I couldn’t see my body. Just the white of the blanket and everything else was like wool wrapped around my brain. Too much focus and the pain began to edge back in. I swallowed back the panic. “Nathan?” I pleaded, unsure what exactly I was asking for.
Only he was gone. I blinked away tears, and swung my head side to side to try to find Nathan in the room. There was a nurse beside my equipment, and my father standing at the end of the bed. His dark eyes glared at me, anger stretched across his face, his hands clenched in fists. When I’d been younger I’d never thought it was odd that we looked nothing alike. I had my mother’s pale brown, almost blond, hair—with a tight and coarse curl that had to come from my father’s side—brown eyes and ivory skin. Years serving under the scorching sun had covered me in freckles and tans that quickly faded. My father was a dark-skinned black man with a shaved and shining head. His eyes were dark and always grim. I couldn’t recall ever seeing him smile at me, or even look in my direction with kindness. Not like he did my siblings.
He threw a newspaper down on my chest. “Your boyfriend’s dead,” he told me. “This all stops here.”
Boyfriend? I didn’t have one. Dead? What stops here? I was too fuzzy. The confusion on my face must have been obvious because he stalked to the head of the bed, picked up the paper and tilted it to show me the picture. An obituary. For Nathan.
“No,” I denied, tried to reach for the paper to tear it to shreds, but my arms were bound. I was strapped to the bed in leather cuffs. I struggled against them. “Let me go. He’s not dead, damn you. Let me go! I need to see him. He was just here.”
“No more, Kade. This endless rebellion of yours is over. Your military career is over. I let you stay because I thought it would make you a man. I was wrong. So we’ll just have to do it another way.” My father nodded to the nurse who picked up a needle off a tray.
“No! Let me go.” Tears welled up in my eyes and my chest hurt. He couldn’t be gone. He was just here. He’d been talking to me. And if Nathan was gone, who would take care of Ollie? Oh my God. Ollie. The drugs began to yank me back down into a floating haze. I didn’t want to be here, but was powerless to move. Without Nathan how would I get free? Who would care for Ollie? Who would remind me that I was more than just a toy soldier for the world to manipulate?
Darkness closed in and once again I was small and helpless.COLLAPSE