They never knew love like this before…
Billie Rourke is a fashion designer on the rise. His latest gig is creating the costumes for America’s hottest band, and with it, comes a security detail. And Billie’s bodyguard, Elijah Morgan, is the one man he can’t stop thinking about. Billie’s sworn off love, but Eli’s quiet confidence proves hard to resist.
Eli Morgan is one of Spartan Security’s top bodyguards and the job always comes first. Until he’s assigned to guard the smart and sexy Billie Rourke. The more time Eli spends with Billie, the harder he falls. But falling in love on the job is a security risk, and it’s not just his heart on the line.
Can the man who’s all for love and the one who wants nothing to do with it find their way to each other? Eli and Billie never knew love could be this good.
Be Warned: m/m sex
Billie Rourke was many things, but patient wasn’t one of them.
Waiting alone in a conference room for a meeting to begin always made him edgy and restless. Probably because the scene reminded him of the principal’s office in high school, where he’d spent many hours being chastised for misbehaving. Or rather, wearing makeup to class, having too many piercings on display or, even more shocking to the school establishment, wearing a skirt once. High school was the death of all personal expression—he was urged to conform and stick to the same path as everyone else. Billie had pushed back up to a point, but he also couldn’t afford to get kicked out of school. Now that he was a thirty-year-old out and proud gay man, he did what pleased him. If others didn’t like it, too bad. As a fashion designer, he was his own boss, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Glancing around the room, his gaze caught on his reflection in the glass wall: chin-length black hair, a sleek green suit, silver high-heeled boots, and all his piercings on display—eyebrow, nose, and ears. If only his principal could see him now. Billie’s success was the ultimate “fuck you.”
The conference room door opened, and he turned his attention to the familiar figure sauntering in.
“Billie, it’s nice to see you again,” a gruff-voiced and stern-looking Mason Naylor murmured as he sat in the chair closest to him. The founder and CEO of Spartan Security Services had an icy blue glare that shocked the shit out of most people. Billie’s cousin, Oliver Gaston, was Mason’s co-CEO, and he’d given him all the warning required when they’d first met.
“You as well, Mason. How’s Dax?”
“He’s great.” Mason’s expression went from stern to stunning for a split second. “Redesigning our apartment as we speak.” Mason was recently married to Dax Martin, a Broadway star and rising film actor and a client of Billie’s.
“Thanks for meeting with me to go over this situation. It’s all new, so I wanted to be sure that I understood everything,” Billie murmured.
“Of course. One of my teams will head off with the band in two months when the tour starts, so this works out perfect for both of us. I also asked…”
The door opened again before Mason could finish speaking, and another tough-looking badass, a bodyguard, silently strode into the room and took a seat beside Mason. Unlike Billie’s reaction to the CEO—apprehension mixed with a healthy dose of fear—he was more than a bit thrilled to see the bodyguard. Elijah Morgan was all muscles and tattoos, a ripped wet dream with a stylish fauxhawk and a close-cropped beard. Big brown eyes that were warm and soft in an otherwise harsh face only added to his appeal. In short, he was fucking gorgeous. Lately, Billie experienced a distinct preference for bulky tattooed guys when he went out looking for a hook up. Coincidence? Hell fucking no.
Billie did his best to ignore his lustful cravings and focused on the task at hand. Be professional.
“Eli,” Billie murmured, and the man in question nodded in return. He’d met Eli several times when he was working with Oliver, but the man rarely smiled. He wanted to prod Oliver for more information about the strong, silent bodyguard but decided his cousin would probably chirp him, so he kept his curiosity to himself.
Mason cleared his throat. “You recently signed the contract to design and oversee the final creation of all the outfits for Wayward Lane’s North American tour which starts two months from now, in May, and ends in November. You signed a non-disclosure agreement, and there’s a clause that indicates you must accept security protection, as provided by band management, for the duration of your contract to ensure the samples, fittings, and final costumes remain secret until the first tour date. Luckily for you, Spartan got the contract, so we will be taking care of your security. Questions?”
Billie tugged on the silver rings that covered his hands. “This is why I needed to talk to you. I mean, why would I need a bodyguard? There’s just me and my assistant, Frankie, and we’ve both signed NDAs.”
Mason rubbed a hand over his face. “They’re doubling their protection for privacy reasons. Given this is the band’s first cross-country stadium tour, and they’re the hottest ticket around, I’m guessing they want to make a dramatic entrance. And the press can be aggressive in these situations where every bit of information about a high-profile target can be turned into a headline.”
“I get that, but it seems unnecessary.” Billie paused and noticed Eli staring intently at him. “I’m sorry. I’m not opposed to having a bodyguard. But I’ve done work for Broadway shows and designs for celebrities, and if I wasn’t discreet, I’d be out of a job.”
“Think of it for your own personal safety,” Elijah commented in his deep voice. “When the press gets wind that you’re designing the costumes for the biggest breakout band in the U.S., they’ll follow you and wait for an opportunity to pounce. It’s not about you. It’s about your connection to the band and what information they can glean from that. As Mason mentioned, they can be aggressive.”
“All right. If band management is paying, then who am I to argue? But how is this going to work in a day-to-day scenario?”
Mason cocked his head. “Protective services won’t be 24/7 but rather anytime you have to travel to in-person meetings with the band to discuss designs, fittings, and any public events where press will be on site. I’ve assigned Eli as your primary for the next two months. That means he will drive you to your scheduled appointments and accompany you to events. I understand that you’ve set a schedule with the band, so we’ll need access to that calendar. If anything changes, if the media attention escalates and we feel it’s warranted, then we may move to full daytime detail. But this doesn’t include your assistant Frankie, at least not for now.”
Billie nodded. “I’ll send you a link so you can access my online calendar. I’ll let Frankie know, but given that he’s usually not with me for client meetings, this is fine.”
Mason nodded and looked to Eli, then back at Billie. “Any other questions or concerns we can address?”
“I’m good for now. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I suppose I’ll get used to it. It’s only for two months anyway.”
“You won’t even know I’m around,” Eli quipped with a small grin on his face.
“Are you kidding?” Billie replied before he could censor his thoughts. Shit.