Paranormal LGBT Erotic Romantic Suspense/56,200 Words
Everlight (Book 2)
Sold at the age of twelve to support his mother’s drug habit and rescued from a life on the streets by a cop, thirty-two-year old Tony Locke had had a brutal start in life. He’d risen to the position of homicide detective in the Everlight Police Department—a testament to his intelligence and driving ambition to help other victims of Everlight's prolific industry in sex and drugs. With his promotion to the hush-hush Interdimensional Task Force, he could broaden his reach—if he could just get along with his a-hole of a partner.
Leo Fortan labored under a soul-crushing burden of sacrifice, trapped in a lonely and rigid existence. Hand-picked from that existence and assigned to the Interdimensional Task Force, he thought his life had taken a turn for the better—until he met his partner, Tony Locke. Leo thought it probable they would kill each other.
For a man who thought love didn’t exist and a man who’d sacrificed everything for it, finding common ground may require more than an incident of magic.
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Silk sat in a dark corner of the Everlight hospital room and worried over the sleeping figure of his partner. The monitor next to Tony’s bed beeped steadily. Multiple IVs hung beside him and fed him antibiotics and nutrition in slow drips. A separate machine provided morphine with the push of a hand-held button now taped to the rails of the man’s hospital bed. The room was quiet at 4:30 a.m.
Unable to sleep, he’d succumbed to the need to check on Tony and hailed a cab to St. Mercy. It was becoming a pattern. Today made a total of eight days of silence from his partner. Not a word. Nothing. Nada. The man had retreated inside of himself, and no one had gotten more than a one syllable response from him—not Hocinka, not Kavaliro, and certainly not him.
Hocinka’s comment upon seeing a semi-conscious Tony for the first time hadn’t helped. “Did you fucking kill him?” the man had grumped. He’d felt like beating his head against a wall when Tony turned an accusatory stare at him in response and then closed his eyes. Since then, whenever he’d shown up, Tony had glared at him and depressed the hand-held morphine-on-demand button until his eyes closed in oblivion, and his hand fell off the dispenser. Silk had taken to visiting unannounced in the middle of the night.
He sighed heavily with fatigue and scrubbed his face. He couldn’t see a way out of this. He’d have to report his failure to Kavaliro and return to the Order just when he’d begun to explore his relative freedom. His one room studio seemed like the most palatial of accommodations because it was his alone. He owned more than one change of clothes. He was master of what he did with his down time. Even something as simple as choosing what to eat and when to eat it became an exploration of freedom. It seemed cruel to have it all taken away over such a useless misunderstanding.
“Here to give me last rites?”
Silk straightened in his chair at the hoarse whisper. He grunted softly. “Such dramatics. You aren’t dying. You’ve strained the MCL and ACL in your right knee and have a spiral fracture of the tibia above your right ankle. Painful injuries but not life threatening.” The room fell back into the steady beep of the monitors and casual noise from the hallway. Minutes piled one upon the other, and Silk waited patiently in his chair.
Tony shifted with a grunt of pain. “You really a priest?”
“An Síoraí monk. Yes.”
“Sable called you, “Brother Leo.”
“The An Síoraí monks are high-profile and treated with deference in Elysium society.”
A loud snort sounded from Tony’s bed, followed by a muffled groan. “Yes. I’m aware of your lack of esteem.” He scrubbed his face and cleared his throat. “Tony, I don’t like to fail, and our partnership has been balls up from the start. How did I go so wrong with you?”
Tony choked off a bitter laugh. “You really want to know?”
“Yes. I really want to know.”
“Partners have each other’s back. You’ve never had mine. You’ve left me out to dry time and time again. From day one, I’ve been working solo. You’re working your own agenda that has nothing in common with mine. You’re going to get me killed.”
Silence accumulated as he weighed the fairness of Tony’s comments. He rose to his feet. “You are correct that I’m working my own agenda, but that’s because there has never been a consensus about what our agenda is, and I’ve saved your life more often than endangered it. I challenge you to think on this, Tony Locke. I’ve spent over one hundred years strategizing and executing field operations in fluid, hostile environments. Kavaliro wanted me because I’m exceptional at what I do. Only a stupid man ignores all the tools at his disposal. Stop treating me like I’m some unwanted dead weight who doesn’t know his head from his ass.” He sighed heavily. “And for the last time, I don’t want you dead.” On that note, he left.