Abandoned. Abused. Betrayed.
Ex-cop Maverick "Mav" James needs only three things. His Harley, an open road and his work in an underground organization that delivers justice when the law can"t.
Family" They left him long before he left them.
Friends" A liability.
A place to call home" Doesn"t exist.
Mav"s motto is simple: Get done and get out. Work, sex, doesn"t matter. No emotional connections. Simple.
Until he meets him.
Alone. Hiding. Broken.
At fifteen years old, Eli Galvez had nothing. No family, no friends and only his body as a means to make enough money to survive. But a chance meeting changed all that and eight years later, he"s well on his way to having the life he could once only dream of. He"s been accepted into medical school and he"s finally returned home to Seattle to be closer to the men and women who don"t share his blood, but are the only family he"s ever really known.
Only things aren"t what they seem and the secrets Eli has been hiding are about to come to the surface with dangerous consequences.
One final chance at a real future.
Guys like Eli just aren"t Mav"s type, period. Yet he can"t deny his intense attraction to the younger man who only looks at him with fear in his eyes. Until the day there"s something else in those eyes too. Something that draws Mav in and refuses to let go. Something that makes him want to forget his rules. But Mav"s learned the hard way what happens when you get too close to something. And while he vows to protect Eli after a violent attack leaves the younger man shaken, protection is all he"ll offer.
Because anything else would just cost too much.Books in Series:The Protectors Series by Sloane KennedyBooks by Author:Sloane Kennedy Books
I didn"t see him at first because unlike so many of the other times he"d been walking down the busy hallway towards the hospital room I was guarding, his head was hung and he didn"t speak to any of the various nurses and other staff who greeted him. In fact, he was so distracted that he nearly slammed into me as he turned to enter the room. I managed to grab him by the upper arms just before he walked into me and I didn"t miss his startled gasp as he lifted his eyes to meet mine.
The young man was nothing like the men I usually went for. First of all, he was just way too young. He was in his early twenties at best. Second, I liked them a little on the sturdier side. This man was so lean and slight, I"d worry about breaking him if I put all of my weight down on his back while I was fucking him from behind. And third, and most importantly, he was skittish. Exceedingly so. I didn"t mind a little shyness here and there, but I wasn"t into fucking guys who were terrified of me. And with the way his whole body had seized up when I"d first grabbed his arms, I knew that was exactly what he was.
"Sorry," he whispered, though it was hard to hear him over the din of the people coming and going through the hallway.
"No problem," I responded, though I had yet to let him go. With it being summer, he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, so my fingers were in contact with his bare skin which was wreaking havoc on my senses. Not to mention his big, luminous dark brown eyes and his slightly parted lips that looked so full that I couldn"t help but wonder if he"d just been kissing someone or if they were just naturally that plump and supple looking.
I"d first noticed him a couple of weeks earlier when the young boy I was keeping an eye on, Matty Travers, had been readmitted to the Immunocompromised Services Unit of the children"s hospital. I"d only met the little boy about six weeks earlier when my boss, Ronan Grisham, had asked me to keep an eye on one of my colleagues, Hawke, in case he decided to single-handedly pursue the men who"d murdered his wife. Under normal circumstances, Hawke wasn"t the kind of guy who needed backup, but when Ronan had learned that the murderers had taken up with a Mexican drug lord, all bets were off and he"d ordered me to stick to Hawke like glue.
Weeks had passed, but Hawke hadn"t gone looking for the men as expected and when the man he"d lost his heart to, Tate Travers, and his five-year-old son had shown up to visit him at his ranch in Wyoming, I"d been there to witness the reunion and I"d known then that Hawke had chosen a future with them rather than seeking vengeance for the rape and murder of his wife and unborn child ten years earlier. I"d ended up sticking around town for a couple days so I could explore the mountain ranges surrounding Rocky Point, but on the day I"d finally gotten on my Harley to head to my next assignment, Ronan had frantically called me and told me to get back to Hawke"s house because the men he"d given up on hunting had found him instead.
I"d made it back to Hawke"s ranch just in time to save him from the bullet one of the drug lord"s lackeys had been about to put in his brain, and then he and I had managed to get Tate and Matty to safety. For someone so young, little Matty had been beyond brave as a gun had been held to his head and I"d felt a kinship with him from the start. So when Ronan had asked me if I"d stay in Seattle for a while to keep an eye on the family in case the drug lord made a play for them, I"d readily agreed.
And that was when I"d seen the young man.
He arrived every day like clockwork to spend time with Matty and I"d learned from Hawke who had given me the okay to let the guy past me, that he was someone who had just started volunteering in the pediatric oncology unit. I hadn"t missed how beautiful he was with his dark skin tone that hinted at Hispanic heritage and pretty, expressive eyes, but I"d dismissed my intense attraction to him because of the way he"d looked at me that very first day when he"d told me his name as he"d sought entry into Matty"s room.
I"d let the name roll off my tongue as I"d automatically flirted with him, but when he"d looked at me like I was going to jump him, I"d let him pass without further comment and I"d done my best to ignore him all the other days that he"d stopped by. But it had been an almost impossible task because there was always this inevitable moment when Eli stepped past me, that his eyes would lift to look at me for the briefest of moments and I wouldn"t see fear in them"I"d see something different. Something that had my stomach knotting with anticipation and my fingers itching to reach up and stroke over the smoothness of his cheek.