Love and relationships aren't exactly on Maxwell Shaw’s to-do-list. Give him a few drinks and a one nightstand any day of the week. When his boss assigns him the task of flirting with Sydney Marshall online to gain information, Max knows he’s perfect for the job. The job is one of the easiest he’s ever been given. Max finds out very quickly that nothing about Sydney is easy. That becomes even more apparent when Sydney asks Max to meet him. From that moment on, Max is smitten. Not only is Max in over his head in the love department, but it’s with a man whose either bound for death or prison.

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Cover Art by Latrisha Waters

Sydney Marshall’s streak of reckless, bad ideas was at an all-time high. Even as he typed a message with a silly grin on his face, he knew texting Max was stupid. It was stupid because Max just so happened to be excellent at his job as an assassin on one of the best teams in the entire country.

He was a glorified cop, and Sydney was a criminal.

Despite his status as a good hitman, Sydney didn’t really think he made a very good criminal, either, so the chances of Max putting him in jail were pretty high.

So yeah, openly flirting with a member of the Demon Elite team was definitely on the top of his list of the most self-destructive choices he had ever made. Sydney shrugged. His destruction was imminent anyway, so talking to Max wasn’t going to make it worse.

Max flirting with him made him smile and took the boulder off his shoulders while Sydney was texting him. Plus, Sydney liked Max’s honesty. He didn’t seem to hold anything back and didn’t blow smoke up Sydney’s ass, which he appreciated even if it didn’t make Sydney trust him.

So what are you doing tonight? Max texted Sydney. Sydney knew his smile softened his eyes a bit. He was just glad Max wasn’t there to see it.

Meeting someone. No way was he telling Max that he had a gram of cocaine in his pants pocket for the express purpose of bribing his druggie informant.

Do you have time to chat? Max asked. It was yet another thing he liked about Max. He didn’t ask any questions or probe Sydney for information, even though that was Max’s job. Max had fully confessed that he had been assigned to talk to Sydney for the express purpose of finding out about the contract Sydney had supposedly taken on Justin, Demon Elite’s team leader, and Reggie Mize, Victoria Mize’s much nicer brother.

For now, he’d let Max talk some of his stress away.

Sure, but I still don’t know shit about the hits on your people. Someone else took those hits. Not sure why they’re impersonating me. When Sydney found out who it was, he’d kill them. But first he had to figure out why.

The fact that Reggie Mize was one of Demon Elite’s people was fucking hilarious, given his familial ties to Victoria, who ran one of the biggest sex slave operations in the entire country. Since Victoria was a known enemy of Demon Elite, Sydney found that to be sweet justice all by itself. Reggie turning on his sister was like him holding up a gigantic middle finger to her.

What do you know about mundane conversation?

Are you asking me what my favorite color is?

We can start with that.

Sydney picked up the remote and clicked on the television that sat against the far wall. The six o’clock news came on, providing background noise. The silence was strange for Sydney. He had moved to this new apartment three months ago. He was on the sixth floor, which seemed just enough distance from the street so he wouldn’t hear the cars below. Sydney had thought he’d like it better, that getting away from the shitty neighborhood he came from with revved car engines and gunfire would be great. Come to find out the silence was what would send him over the edge of insanity. Who knew the neighborhood his mother had orphaned him in would be so ingrained into his DNA.

It’s purple.

Why purple?

He’d never had anyone ask him why he liked the color before. Why does anyone like a color? What’s your favorite?


Why do you like that color?

It was one of the colors for my high school football team. I was the quarterback, and my stepdad was one of the coaches. Got to spend a lot of time with him.

Well, that answer was unexpected. Why are you telling me this?

LOL, I have no idea. In a mood, I guess. So what are you wearing?

Seriously. Sydney rolled his eyes. Max had to be the horniest man on the face of the planet. It was the third time he’d asked Sydney that, and each time Sydney refused to answer. Although it wasn’t the third time today, so that made it a little better.

Sydney grinned evilly. What would happen when he actually answered the question? Jeans, T-shirt, and a black leather jacket.

Take a picture for me.


Please. I’ll take a picture for you. Sydney chuckled and waited to see if he would do it. Sydney was just glad both phones were secure. He knew his was, because he’d paid good money for the service. No way would a Demon Elite team member not have a secure line.

Sydney was under no illusions that their conversations weren’t being read by someone else on the Demon Elite team, though.

A picture came up on his phone a second later, and he forgot all about security. Hell, he forgot his own name for a second as he looked at Max’s gorgeous face and naked chest. He clicked on it, making it bigger. If this was, in fact, Max, then he was the hottest man Sydney had ever seen. He had slicked wet hair and an easy smile. His blue eyes sparkled with mischief, which didn’t come as a surprise to Sydney. He had a dark blue towel around his waist and not much else. Sydney’s dick hardened just looking at Max. He adjusted it in his jeans, trying to get it into a more comfortable position.

Is that really you?

Yes. Have I lied to you yet?

No, Max hadn’t. He’d been forthcoming about things that he probably shouldn’t have told Sydney. Even Sydney could admit that.

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