Jax is a cop by choice and to honor his father who was killed in the line of duty. His allegiance to his fellow officers and his code of ethics are the ruling factors of his life. At a hideous crime scene, when he finds an unconscious young man holding a bloody machete, Jax confronts a quandary. He can hardly believe this beautiful youth could have committed this atrocity, but if not, who did?
Gabriel awakens to blood and horror—and to a total blank of who he is, what has happened, and how he got there. He finds himself charged with horrific multiple murders. Unless he can regain his memory, how can he prove he’s not guilty?
Protective custody soon assumes new aspects as Jax and Gabriel develop a strange friendship that wants to blossom into much more. Can someone be guilty by innocence?
Even as Jax slipped one arm around the smaller man's body he told himself he was not going to do this. Even as he felt Gabriel go pliant in his hold he was silently yelling, "No, no I cannot do this!" Even as his head lowered as if without his will or control and his lips brushed across the light stubble on Gabriel's cheek and then found his mouth, part of him denied and demanded that he stop at once.
I'll push him back in just a second, step away and pretend this did not happen ... He might as well tell the wind to quit blowing or the Rio Grande to flow back up to Albuquerque. He was caught in something too elemental and two fiercely powerful to resist.
He'd been keeping to himself for a long time, shunning anything that might possibly lead to a relationship and too fearful of AIDS or damage to his career to go to the mariposa boys that were always willing and available. Celibacy sucked. No two ways about it. And now his body was demanding an end to the dry spell. Bad timing, really bad timing, but he wasn't sure he could bring this to a halt. It might be wrong and was certainly risky and foolish and dangerous but none of that seemed to matter.
When he finally lifted his head from the grinding, devouring kiss, he looked into Gabriel's eyes from inches away. He saw a tangle of emotions in them but the primary ones seemed to be joy and acceptance.
"I know what I can do to show my thanks," Gabriel said. "What we both seem to want, seem to need. While I am here, I am yours."
If anything could throw cold water on Jax's flaming need, those words were the perfect antidote. "God damn it! I'm not buying you and you're not doing a fucking thing as payment. What kind of sorry asshole do you think I am?"
"No, no! I don't mean it like that. I want this, probably more than you do. Yes, I've been on the street and sold myself because Contreras demanded it but not ever of my own free will or my own desire. It's been a million years since anyone touched me with even a trace of care, of regard. I want your hands on me, want to taste and touch you, maybe have you fuck me later. I need this to regain something I thought I'd lost for the rest of my short life."
Jax stepped back and shook his head, dizzy with the urgency still roaring through his veins and the pressure of his cock inside his jeans so fierce it hurt. He could not let himself see the hurt and earnest entreaty in Gabriel's face. Taking a step back, he sank onto the chair in which Gabriel had sat while they ate. He put his head in his hands and struggled to calm down.
"Jesus, Gabe. Twenty four hours ago you were still a suspect in as nasty a multiple murder as I've seen in years. I arrested you. How can you -- oh shit, I'm talking to myself as much as to you. I'm not sure I can do this -- be in the same house and keep my hands and my dick to myself. Even if to do otherwise goes against so much that I believe in."
He did look up then and saw Gabe's face had gone pale.
"I -- please, I did not mean to push you. I'll go if that's what you think is best, is right. I'll go right now. Maybe to the Salvation Army or the YMCA or something."
"No, I can't let you put yourself at that kind of risk. We both know Contreras and his gang want you in the worst way now. I won't have your bloody body on my conscience. I'll -- the second door to the right in the hall is the spare room." He drew a slow breath and let it out.
"There's a TV in there and a clock radio, an old bathrobe in the closet. Go get ready for bed. You can use the bathroom first. I'll call Jeff's and see if I can get some clean clothes for you. He's probably on duty but his wife can drop them by. This will all look different tomorrow."