Richard Kerrigan is on the verge of losing hope. Fired from his job for blowing the whistle on a defect that would harm service members if used as designed, he is now blacklisted in the Chicago area. A local Serbian mobster wants Richard and won’t take no for an answer.
Garou Industries, the loup garou privately owned company, has been searching for Richard to offer him a position in the company as they value having someone with his integrity on staff. Richard relocates to Manhattan to begin his new job and stays with Julien Bellaire, his mentor, who is also Richard’s Mate.
Before they can settle in, the Serbian mobster turns up dead and a corrupt cop who secretly works for the Serbians comes to New York with trumped up charges to pin the murder on Julio. With over eighty witnesses to Julio being on an airplane at the time of the murder, the cop abandons trying to frame Julio and instead plots to murder Richard. The loup garou request assistance from the Italian mob to protect Richard which comes with some interesting consequences.
Rémy, Marc, Gabriel, and Alexei came down the stairs. Julien broadcast on the Alpha link. This man is my Mate. Aloud he said, “Meet Richard Kerrigan. He blew the whistle on Switched Power Designs and the Cougar II fiasco. This is his resume.”
“I’m Rémy Clavier, Chief Operating Officer of Garou. This is Marc Thierry, Director of Mergers and Acquisitions. Gabriel Martin is our Chief Technology Officer and Alexei Davidoff, Chief of Research and Development.”
Richard quickly retrieved several resumes from the folder that now sat open on his lap and handed them to the men who stood before him.
“Impressive, isn’t it?” Julien’s eyes sparkled. My Mate is very intelligent and accomplished. Julio piped in, “Richard wants to go back to school for his master’s.”
“We’ll pay for that,” Armand said smoothly. “As we would for any other candidate of your caliber. I don’t know which department you’d like to work with, but you’re qualified for all of them. What was our original offer?”
“Uh, seventy-five thousand dollars plus excellent benefits.”
“You’re hired. You can stay with Julien and go to NYU. You wouldn’t be alone. All of our husbands go there. When you finish, we’ll pay you two hundred thousand a year. In the meantime, we’ll pay all of the expenses for your master’s degree plus a stipend of one thousand dollars a week, and you’ll receive the Garou benefit package. We’ll put all the money in an account for you so you won’t be afraid you’ll lose your job and be stuck in a strange city.”
“You’re all gay?”
It seemed that Richard didn’t hear the details of the offer, just the part about all of our husbands.
“Why, is that a problem?” Armand asked in a voice that was a bit too silky.
“No, sir. It happens that I’m gay, too. I knew Julio was gay from the time we were kids. We gravitated toward each other in Oswego because of our shared sexuality but soon became good friends. I’m so happy to see that everything turned out well for him. My family was very concerned.”
“We all love Julio.” Armand glanced over at Julien. “Will you consider our offer?”
“Yes, yes to everything, except maybe I should get my own place to live --”
Julien interrupted, “Nonsense, I have a townhouse with six floors plus a walk-out basement. My assistants, Denis and Charles, plus my housekeeper and factotum, Isabel and Marcel Quartier, also live on the property. The house is large, nine bedrooms, and I am perfectly willing to mentor an intern. It will also be easier for you if you get to know the city before you decide where you want to live.”
Richard glanced hopelessly over to Julio, who remained mute on the subject.
Julien asked, “Do you have much to pack?”
“No, actually. My lease is month-to-month, and the studio came furnished. All I really have are my clothing, my linens, a few personal mementos and my computer. I sold all the rest and what’s left, except for the work clothing I used at the grocery store and the bar, is still boxed.”
“Good. Then it’s decided. Marcel, Denis, Charles, and I will go home with you to help you pack. You can call to quit your jobs and stay here tonight and leave with us for Manhattan in the morning on Armand’s jet.”
He heard what sounded like thunder travel down the stairs. Five handsome men ranging in age from their early to late twenties appeared in the now crowded room. The first, a platinum blond with grass green eyes, a shade or two lighter than his own, strode up to him. “I’m Sean Quinn La Marche, Armand’s husband. This is Ian Sullivan Clavier, Colin Callahan Thierry, Kane Brady Martin, and Donal Berne Davidoff. That’s all of us except for Julio, who just married Etienne. In Manhattan, we’re Julio’s friends. We wanted to meet you, too.” Sean sent Armand a black look.
Richard almost chuckled but managed to swallow it in time.
The group overwhelmed him. He couldn’t believe that in reconnecting with Julio, he would meet the entire Board of Directors of Garou Industries and their husbands. Things didn’t always go his way.