Men found him attractive, interesting even. He was like a fascinating experiment gone wrong that men liked to investigate. He"d get a date – or two, if he was lucky – but it wasn"t long before Brian"s darkness showed, and the men were running from him.
Brian King was honorably discharged from the United States Navy five years ago. He"d left with the highest honors a man can receive in his country, but he"d paid the ultimate price to earn them. He was considered one of the best; an Intelligence Officer in a Joint Special Operations Delta team that"d been a twelve-man wrecking crew. They"d thought they were invincible" until they weren"t. Brian was the only member that survived the ambush. He survived ten months of pain, of torture, only to emerge on the other side a warrior. A POW survivor. He"d returned home with all his limbs, his right mind, and with his only brother Ford, at his side. But, one thing had been lost, maybe for good" his voice.
Now, being a bounty hunter is Brian"s only means to satisfy his need to calculate, track, and capture. His only outlet to the stress caused by his silence. He was good at what he did. But, all work and no play for a forty-four year old man was taking its toll. Brian wasn"t a faulty experiment. He missed companionship, he missed communicating. So, when he met Sway Hamilton " in the most unconventional means " he"d been surprised at his special way of understanding Brian"s every look" and touch.
Sway grew up in the rough part of ATL, trailing behind his twin brother Stanton and his best friend, Dana. He and his brother had a bond only twins could understand. So when Stanton"s life was taken during their sophomore year in college, Sway didn"t think he"d ever recover. He finally finished school, got his masters in nursing, worked hard, and focused on taking care of his mother. However, Sway knew there was more to life than heartache, and caring for others. There had to be. But he didn"t know what any of those things were until he met a dark hunter that blew his mind" and the intense man had never uttered a single word.
Brian and Sway can feel the powerful connection between them. It was there from the start"but both of them have battled with loss and anguish for so long, neither understand that love can ease all of it. Do they have the courage to battle through it together" Sway has to learn to trust in love, and Brian has to believe that Sway will always understand him even if he never speaks again.
Sway held him tight around his neck, "I don"t need you to talk Brian. I can hear you just fine," Sway whispered softly, kissing his throat.
This novel is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.
Trigger Warning: This story contains acts of bond recovery agent violence. Mention of war zones and descriptions of war prisoners. This story DOES NOT contain overly-described acts of torture.Books in Series:Bounty Hunters Series by A.E. ViaBooks by Author:A.E. Via Books
Six Weeks earlier"
Brian could feel the moment the man in his arms panicked. He"d revealed too much too soon, and now he was about to run. If Brian could"ve only told him he"d said the exact thing Brian had been thinking but couldn"t say. Brian pulled out his cell phone to open his text to voice app. He had to tell him.
"I"m gonna go to the restroom and clean up. I"ll" I"ll be right back," he spoke hurriedly and took off into the sea of bodies and strobe lights.
Brian finished righting his clothes. His guy was running, and Brian was going to run after him. As soon as he left his corner and his eyes adjusted to the strobe-lighting in the packed warehouse, Brian saw the flashlights first before he heard the harsh commands of authoritative voices. Great. The police. He hurried in the direction he was sure his date had gone. He was glad he was tall, he"d be able see over most of the frantic people that flittered about in various stages of undress as they scurried for any exit not blocked by police in raid gear.
He wasn"t concerned about the police. Even if he was arrested, Vaughan would get him out before they could process him all the way. The man was a brilliant lawyer. Brian found the door marked Men"s Room and burst inside to warn his guy that they had to leave, but to his dismay, no one was there. He was gone.
Commotion and chaos went on just outside the door, but he was oblivious. Brian stared at the empty stalls, refusing to believe that he"d taken a risk for nothing. He"d opened up to a stranger. Let him touch his ailment, his weakness. Refused to hide. Why wasn"t his angel there like he said he"d be" Brian walked past each open stall just to be sure. When he got to the last door, he knew he wouldn"t find him in there but his heart still sank when he pushed the door open to find it empty. Wincing, Brian realized he was squeezing the hell out of his phone. He looked at the screen, the app still up and waiting for him to type what he needed to say. Too late. There was no one there for him to talk to. Not now, maybe not ever. He"d run away from Brian" like they all did. They were scared of him. Scared of his silence" and so was he.
The air was brisk for a January night. Street lights barely worked in this neighborhood, which was an optimal setup for hunters like him. Brian stealthily eased his tall frame back into the shadows on the side of the house while his team got into position. Duke"s Bail Bonds and Recoveries had the best fugitive recovery team on the east coast, hell could"ve been the best in the country. They"d outsourced to taking private contracts, hiring Duke and his squad of trackers to recover for other bond companies whose clients chose to skip court and jump bail.
Brian liked working for Duke. It satisfied his need to track, investigate" be useful. Like he"d been in the Special Forces. Duke was a solid guy. He ran a tough ship, but he was fair and they"d established a solid brotherhood.
Brian pressed his body against the crumbling vinyl siding, his heavy boots sinking into the soft earth as he made himself invisible. His job was to listen, survey, observe, and he was damn good at it. He"d been watching the small single-family home on Pavilion Street for almost two weeks straight. He didn"t mind all the extra hours, or the overtime pay. There wasn"t anything else in his life more important. He was one of the only hunters left on their team who had no partner. No significant other. Nothing at home waiting for him except lots of empty rooms, a bare fridge and an even emptier bed. So, he didn"t mind covering the grunt work. Besides his older brother, Ford, there wasn"t a better profiler than him.
"The back is all clear."
Brian heard his brother"s deep voice in his ear right before the Alpha team sounded off that they were "a go" too. The next sound Brian registered was Duke"s right-hand man, Quick, kicking in the front door while his brother and his partner Dana stormed in through the rear. The explosion of the door frame, coupled with a stun grenade thrown into the open space just past the door tried to yank him back to a real battle zone" the war zone. He blinked past the horrific images that flashed before him like the opening sequence of a Marvel movie. So many of them trying to bombard him. He wouldn"t let his mind take him there, he still had a small amount of control over it. Instead, he gritted his teeth and listened through the coms for background noise. There was a lot to decode. Men"s curses, women"s screams and his team"s angrily barked commands.