Sheriff Sean Keller hides a terrible secret - he watched a heinous crime committed eighteen years ago and did nothing to prevent it. Now he finds himself face to face with Eden Gray, the victim of that crime, who is now not so much the boy anymore, but the man. Eden makes Sean sit up and remember those forbidden desires he thought he had locked away forever and the guilt which has blighted his life.
Sean Keller was quiet that night. Paul eyed him curiously as he stirred a pan at the stove. This was their regular Monday night get-together, where Paul cooked because Sean couldn’t and would probably live on take-out otherwise. Not that anyone would know it from his fantastic body. Six feet three inches tall, the Sheriff of Clear Water Creek usually cut the arms off t-shirts because his biceps were so big. He had his own gym in the basement of his house and could be seen jogging through town as much as five times a week or swimming in the lake or one of the natural pools in the woods. Local girls had been known to spy on Sean from the trees once word got around that he didn’t normally take any shorts with him, but he remained oblivious.
When Sean strode out of his patrol car to attend to some trouble—usually something along the lines of Mrs Belmont’s cat stuck in a tree or old man Jones causing trouble at Bluey’s bar—people sat up and took notice. Paul imagined certain people’s knees trembled when they saw Sean in the uniform, shirt stretched across his broad chest and shoulders, cuffs and gun rubbing his lean hips, and tight pants that advertised his bulge just right. Paul wasn’t gay, but he understood a hot-blooded human wanting to fuck Sean. Who wouldn’t?
He glanced once more at Sean, who sat at the kitchen table with his chin resting on his hand, staring out of the window over the garden. His profile was strong, no hint of stubble on his smooth jaw, his mouth wide and sensual. His lashes were thick and long over startling indigo eyes, a blue so dark that sometimes they appeared black, depending on Sean’s mood. His hair was cut regulation short. Dark brown, verging on black, it was styled neatly, teased into spikes. He always smelled good, too. If Paul didn’t know any better, he would swear the immaculately coiffured Sean was gay. He smiled to himself.
“You going to tell me what you’re brooding over?” Sean was a fantastic brooder, and it was best to leave him alone when he was in a dark mood. This wasn’t an option when he was brooding at Paul’s house, though.
Sean sighed. He took a drink from his bottle of beer and put it down, fingers toying with the damp label, peeling it back a little. He looked up at Paul. “I saw Eden today.”
Paul frowned. “Eden who?” He already knew which Eden Sean meant. It was hardly a common name.
“You know which Eden I mean,” Sean growled. “He’s back. I pulled him over for speeding.”
Paul stared in disbelief because he knew Sean had not set eyes on Eden Gray in eighteen years and had never expected to again. “What did he say?”
“He was flippant and arrogant, just like he always was. Some people never change. He knew my guilt would prevent me from giving him a ticket, and he gloated over the fact.” Sean’s hand tightened around the beer bottle. “He’s still a fucking asshole.”