At twenty-three Murphy White had his life all planned out. He knew what he wanted and how to get it. Then duty called and blew that life to hell.
Fleeing from the fall-out, Murphy lands in Australia, doing whatever he can to forget the innocent lives lost and the guilty life he took. But no amount of partying can wipe away the horror.
Sitting in a café one morning, he looks up ... into the eyes of evil, the eyes of a man he sentenced to death. Terrified, Murphy calls the police but, as soon as they arrive, the shooting starts and his life goes to hell all over again.
Thirty-five-year-old Remus Mazarin comes from a family of nightmares. But he is determined to better than them all. His family have put hits out on innocent people. People whose only crime was to do their duty. Remus won’t stand for it. He will be the one to save the beautiful man he’s only ever seen from a distance, a man he was instantly drawn to.
Hiding out in small town rural Australia, Murphy and Remus discover common ground and a growing love between them. But Remus’ family will not rest until Murphy is dead.
When duty costs you everything you wanted, can fate repay you by giving you who you need?
Remus balled his fist, nails digging into palm, his other hand gripped his gun. Pissed off didn’t even begin to describe how furious he was -- with himself. Twice now he’d allowed killers to get too close to Murphy.
They’d been lucky the first time. His father’s hired gun had knocked him out -- at least the man believed he had. Remus had faked it, waiting in the dark until certain he’d be able to get the drop on the attacker. Shooting the man while he held a fucking knife to Murphy’s throat was a no-brainer. Remus’ only regret being his inability to bring the son-of-a-bitch back to life to kill over and over again.
Fifteen minutes ago, he’d been blissfully asleep, Murphy wrapped up in his arms, peaceful and sated. The low rumble of a car engine in the distance woke him. Tyres crunching on dirt. He’d carefully extracted himself from the tangle of Murphy’s body and trod silently to the window.
The brightness of a near full moon showed three figures edging toward the house, chilling the blood in his veins. For a split second he’d contemplated leaving Murphy sleeping while he crept outside to eliminate the threats alone. But if he failed ...
He needed to give Murphy the best possible chance at surviving. Leaving him asleep and vulnerable wouldn’t have given him a fighting chance -- he’d have been a sitting duck.
Now, behind him, Murphy’s whispered words as he spoke on the phone were the only sound in the quiet of the night. He froze at the door, straining his ears. He heard nothing. He dared a peek around the door frame. He saw nobody. He edged his way, slowly, into the hall, creeping along with his back to the wall.
Every few steps he stopped. Listened. He heard nothing from their attackers. Silent bastards. The hallway to the laundry room seemed clear. He began edging back toward the room where he’d left Murphy. Movement to his right caught his eye.
Somebody popped their head around the door frame of Colleen’s room. A quick, blink and you’d miss it movement to determine if the coast was clear. It was a good bet his adversary knew he was here.
Remus raised his weapon, finger gentle on the trigger, ready and waiting. Just pop your head out again, you bastard. But he knew the man wouldn’t. Too big of a risk. So now Remus had his own decision to make. Go after this guy or return to Murphy.
The decision was ripped out of his hands when a gunshot boomed through the hallway, the bullet sinking into the plasterboard sending shards sailing through the air. Remus felt the sting on his cheek as a small fragment sliced open his tender skin.
He dropped into a crouch. He hadn’t seen anything. But then, from the shadows, a small object peeked from the doorway. A gun. The man was shooting blind but damn nearly took Remus’ head off.
Remus scuttled along the ground, his back to the wall in a parody of a crab walk, waiting to return fire. Overhead, wayward bullets slammed into the wall sending a shower of plasterboard over him. The door to his room, where Murphy waited, lay six feet in front of him. The doorway of Colleen’s room on the opposite side of the hall, perhaps another four feet ahead of that. The fucking assassin stood closer to Murphy than he did.
At least Murphy hadn’t made a sound when the shooting started. They might not know where he is.
A tentative figure eased around the doorframe giving Remus a big enough target to work with. He dropped to one knee, braced his other foot on the floor and raised his arms. He aimed quickly, begging for luck to be on his side today, and pulled the trigger.
He heard the thud of bullets rupturing whatever they’d hit. He hoped to god it was flesh. A loud grunt told him he’d at least come close to the mark. He scurried forward, still not rising to his full height. He passed the door Murphy waited behind, making instead for Colleen’s room. He breached the doorway, bracing every second for a bullet which would end not only his life, but also Murphy’s.