"This newest installment of the very entertaining family drama about the Hills and their six gay sons is mainly about the third youngest son, Sawyer, and the man he’d like to get closer to, Detective Mitch Clarke. They met when a group of young men sprayed graffiti on the Hills’ house, all due to the deadbeat ex-lover of Chris, the pregnant teenager Kai and Alan rescued in book one. Chris is now about to give birth and Tom – the useless teenager who maligned Chris on social media and had to be drawn into court before he submitted to a paternity test – has developed a sudden interest in his unborn baby. With Sawyer and Mitch, as well as all the other brothers and their partners, there to support Chris, Tom doesn’t stand much of a chance. It does mean that Sawyer’s and Mitch’s courtship is more prone to interruptions and surprises than any of the previous ones. Middle Child Syndrome is nothing to joke about, but Sawyer has made it work for him. He has become Mr. Nice Guy, a peacemaker and master negotiator as a consequence. He uses these skills well in his job as a business lawyer, but he does wish he could be more assertive sometimes. Especially when he meets Mitch and decides the hunky detective with the tempting handcuffs may just be the man for Sawyer. As ever in this series, their romance is of whirlwind speed, and not even “scheduling conflicts” between Sawyer’s court dates and Mitch’s changing shifts can stop them from exploring a romance that moves into the bedroom as soon as they have had their first date. Mitch is a dedicated cop and loves his job as a detective, never mind the weird shifts and overtime he has to put up with. Meeting Sawyer makes him decide to try for more than a one-night stand despite the fact that cops make notoriously “unreliable” partners. His involvement in protecting Chris from her former lover is a good “excuse” to meet up with Sawyer, but Mitch quickly sees his interest returned and they meet up when they can. The color-coded schedules they use to figure out when they are both available made me grin, but they do make sense. And whatever works, right? If you are as curious about Chris’s baby’s gender as I was, if you want to find out more about friendly lawyer Sawyer and helpful detective Mitch, and if you’re looking for a read that is entertaining and hot with a touch of suspense, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
He’d recognized that big biker with the shaggy black hair the moment he’d seen him at the house that had been graffitied. Atticus his name was, and he was a regular at the gay bar, Midnight on Tenth. He was devastatingly handsome in a bad-boy kind of way, but not Mitch’s type at all. No, the attorney was more the kind of man Mitch liked. Quiet, intelligent, friendly. Of course the bad boy might be intelligent and friendly as well, but Mitch didn’t find badness the huge turn-on some other men obviously did.
Mitch found himself thinking about that home and the people in it several times when things in the precinct were quiet. The place had about a dozen men living there as well as the one pregnant little teenage girl they were all so protective of, and the old man and his wife. The ex-boyfriend who harassed her was damn lucky some of them hadn’t chopped him up and used him as plant fertilizer in the gardens of the home. The biker looked more than capable of doing such a thing, and some of the other men had seemed pretty cross at him as well.
But there was nothing Mitch had been able to do about the case. The video footage was blurry, the men’s faces were mostly hidden, and they didn’t have enough of the license plate to make a records search worth the time and effort for a vandalism case.
Well, that wasn’t completely true. He’d actually run the plate himself when he didn’t have any urgent work to do, but there were over a hundred matches so he hadn’t done anything more about it.
It was strange. He’d never expected to find “the one.” He only had to look around himself to see too many police officers completely in love with their wives or husbands and their marriages falling apart. Police work was never neat and orderly or eight ’til five. Not only did they work rotating shifts covering weekends and holidays and twenty-four-hour days, but also, when something urgent happened, shifts went out the window and cops kept working. That was not conducive to family life. Partners might understand in their mind that criminals had to be stopped, but when that meant flights to long-awaited events were missed or dad never ever saw Junior hit the winning run at baseball, people became a whole lot less understanding and demanded that their partner make the effort to be present for special days.
Mitch had no intention of breaking a kid’s heart by not being there for something incredibly important. Saying no to kids of his own was doable. Saying no to ever finding his soul mate was a much bigger challenge. However, the likelihood of meeting a man who would not only understand in his mind but also accept what had to be in his heart might be impossible. Which meant enjoying a one-night stand from time to time at the gay bar was about the best he could hope for.
Mitch picked up his coffee and took a mouthful, only to spit it back into the cup. “Yuk! When it did that get cold?”
He stood up, holding his cup, to go and make fresh coffee for himself when the landline on his desk rang. Instantly he sat down and picked up the telephone with one hand while setting the cup down and pulling a notepad and pen into the center of his desk with the other.
“It’s Sawyer Hill here. I hope I’m not calling you at an inconvenient time.”
“Not at all. I was just about to go and get some coffee.” And what a stupid statement that is. Now he’ll feel embarrassed he’s keeping me away from my beverage.
“I have a list of the names of the young men who were prepared to follow Tom Frame’s suggestion and libel Christabelle Nelson. The list isn’t confidential. The men had to issue public apologies. I just wondered if it would be possible to check the license plate against these names. There are twenty of them, including Tom himself.”
Mitch could hear a slight note of uncertainty in Sawyer’s voice, and that was very telling. The man was an attorney, used to speaking in public. Well, his job was arguing a case in public. So the fact that he was a fraction hesitant indicated he was well aware that he was pushing the envelope to make this request.
“Searches have to be justified in the budget, and this case has no budget,” said Mitch. It was the best he could do. He hadn’t refused, but he hadn’t agreed either.
Sawyer sighed. “That seems to be the way it is everywhere these days. The matter is very important to the family. Mr. Frame has been an extreme source of trouble to Ms. Nelson. If the task could be delegated to a civilian worker or an off-duty officer, the family would be prepared to pay for the time the search would take and any costs incurred.”
That was interesting. He’d guessed the family wasn’t penniless living in such a huge compound. Besides, searching for twenty names wouldn’t take all that long really. Although Sawyer didn’t know there’d only been about a hundred potential matches.
“E-mail me the list and I’ll see what I can organize. You understand that potential matches are no indication of guilt. There may be a passel of them.”
“I do understand, but if the car was stolen, it might also help you catch the thief.”
“That’s true.” Except that he already knew no car matching the part of the plate they’d been given had been stolen that night. That was what had led him to run the search in the first place.
Mitch gave Sawyer his e-mail address and heard the keys clicking as he did so. They made some desultory conversation as the file came through, and then Sawyer thanked Mitch and hung up.
But Mitch knew he’d check the list in his own time, and now that he had Sawyer’s e-mail address he could contact him again. Besides, no matter what the outcome of the search, he knew damn well he would be reaching out to the good-looking attorney. Nothing might come of it, but the opportunity was too attractive to ignore.
The bedroom was a little messy, but Sawyer liked that. It was normal, natural, not artificial. It was also true to Mitchell’s character, and he wanted to know more about this fascinating and talented man. Although maybe not right now.
Mitchell pushed him up against the wall, pressed his pelvis against Sawyer’s, kicking his feet wider apart so he could stand between Sawyer’s legs, and lowered his head for a kiss.
Sawyer gripped Mitchell’s shoulders, holding himself steady against the taller man and matched his lips to the cop’s.
“Call me Mitch.” His lips covered Sawyer’s, and Sawyer lost the ability to think about anything except that hot, hard, drugging kiss. It was lips, and tongues, and teeth, fiery passion too long subdued and breaking out full force.
Sawyer pressed his body from cock to lips along Mitch’s. The policeman was taller and leaner than him, but right now, the only thing Sawyer cared about was being as close to him as possible, although removing all the clothing keeping him from touching his man’s skin was definitely the next item on his to-do list.
They bumped noses as they both wiggled at the same time, and then Sawyer was pushed hard against the wall so he couldn’t move as Mitch possessed his mouth again with more determination. Sawyer relaxed into the kiss, letting the warmth of Mitch’s mouth seep right through his body, all the way into his soul.
Their tongues tangled and danced until Sawyer claimed Mitch’s mouth as his own territory, sliding his tongue behind his teeth, inside his cheeks, across the roof of his mouth, and back under his tongue. Only after he’d tasted every inch of Mitch did he relax and let Mitch do the same to him.
Still holding him against the wall with his body, Mitch began unbuckling Sawyer’s belt, unzipping his suit pants and tugging his shirt out of the waistband of the slacks that hit the floor very soon afterward.
Two could play at that game. It took him a few moments to figure out how to undo the buckle of Mitch’s belt by touch alone, but he managed it, and then the zipper was down and the pants dropped from Mitch’s legs. Mitch’s very hairy legs. Sawyer rubbed his hands over the pelt, enjoying the oh-so-very masculine feel of body hair.
Mitch dived in to kiss him again, and Sawyer slid both his hands up under Mitch’s shirt, tracing the defined muscles up Mitch’s sides and across his back. He spread his fingers wide, wanting to hold all of his man tightly against his body, reveling in the sensation of skin against skin at last.
His cock was striving to get out of his briefs, to be in direct contact with Mitch’s long, hard cock. Sawyer slid his hands back down Mitch’s torso, over his hips, and pushed the fabric of Mitch’s underwear over his buttocks and down his legs, as far as he could go without breaking their kiss.
Mirroring his actions, Mitch dropped Sawyer’s briefs to the ground and rubbed his pelvis across Sawyer’s. Their cocks nestled together, their bodies jammed tightly against each other as emotion raced through Sawyer, making him both desperate to climb into bed and start fucking and yet unwilling to move and lose the close connection they were sharing with each other.
Needing to breathe, he lifted his mouth from Mitch’s and pulled Mitch’s shirt off. Mitch ignored his movements and gripped both their cocks in his big hand, rolling them together and tugging on them together. It was the most amazing sensation. Not just to have his lover’s hand gripping his dick tightly but also to have his cock rubbing against Mitch’s at the same time. Sawyer looked down, trying to watch what was happening, but their bodies were so close together Mitch’s hand and arm filled the only sightline he had.
“This would be better if I could watch and participate.”
“Relax and let me. There’ll be plenty of time to participate more actively later.”
“There might not be a later if you keep doing that.”
Mitch laughed. “Of course there will be. You aren’t going to try to tell me you won’t be ready for Round Two and Round Three a little later.”
Sawyer supposed no red-blooded man would ever admit he was a once-a-night kind of guy. But the facts were he couldn’t even remember the last time he’d come twice with a date. Hell, just remembering the last time he’d even had a date was a long trip down memory lane.
Mitch kept his hairy thighs pressed hard against Sawyer’s legs and rolled their cocks together two-handed now, rubbing them both from root to tip, root to tip, in a never-ending erotic dance, broken now and then by a sharp twist of his hand that made Sawyer hiss with need.
Sawyer grabbed hold of Mitch’s butt, digging his fingers into the hard muscles there and madly pumping his hips up, driving his dick up into Mitch’s hand, wanting more of his harsh, erotic touch. “Oh, yes. So good. So close.”
Mitch’s hot breath and sexy voice were right by Sawyer’s ear, arousing him higher than he could have imagined. He dug his fingers into Mitch’s ass even more, loving the way their hips were moving together, even though they weren’t actually fucking. Yet it was every bit as carnal as if they were.
He tipped his head back and turned so he could kiss his lover. The moment their lips locked, his cock exploded in Mitch’s hand, his cum spurting over both their bodies. Only a heartbeat later, Mitch’s cock joined his, more seed coating them both. Sawyer slumped back against the wall, resting his shoulders and butt against the cool drywall, breathing hard.
“Wow. Zero to ninety in two minutes.”
“Which leaves us all the rest of the night to do it again, only slower.”