When IA agent Elton Grant found out that his hot one-nighter was involved in one of his investigations, it created complications, to say the least. But when his life actually was in danger, and he needed protection, he knew Mac was the right officer for the job. He knew him intimately, both through the investigation... and his own personal experience.
This is turning out to be a seriously exciting Christmas... in more ways than one...
Mac: Deep Freeze
New York City was glistening and shining with Christmas everywhere. And this year, instead of grumbling at every guy in a Santa suit he saw, he actually smiled. He even hummed along with the Christmas music droning from the speakers in the shopping malls, and that was weird because he was strictly a classic rock kind of guy.
This year, Detective Mac Irving was spending Christmas in Vermont, instead of mooning over a guy who had taken him for a fool. His sister Diane and her boyfriend Gerry was hosting the dinner, and Mac intended on hooking up with Gerry’s really hot cousin, Paul Adams at the same time. Ergo the humming.
He’d met Paul two years ago when he surprised his big sister on the occasion of her twenty-eighth birthday. Gerry had arranged everything, a big party at a posh downtown hotel in Burlington, and Mac managed to beg three days off. He headed down to Vermont and got there just in time for cake.
Diane had met Gerry at vet school. They fell in love and after graduation, moved to Burlington where Gerry grew up, and opened a veterinarian clinic. Gerry was a great guy, and the fact that he had a drop-dead-gorgeous cousin was definitely a plus. Mac hit it off right away with Paul at Diane’s party. But at that time, Paul was in a relationship. His boyfriend was the manager of a rock group, and always on the road. Paul told Mac he wasn’t happy, but in spite of his relationship woes and the sexual heat between them, Paul decided he couldn’t cheat on his boyfriend.
Mac had to respect that and use his hand. A lot.
Nevertheless, they kept in touch. They emailed back and forth, texted, and even spoke on the phone. Then a few months ago, Paul told Mac he’d left his lover for good, and moved into his own place. It was like a breath of fresh air in Mac’s life.
Three months before last Christmas, his parents had been killed. Mac had just been promoted to detective, and he couldn’t wait to tell his parents. His dad was a retired US marshall and was keen on Mac making detective. They’d taken a second honeymoon right after his father’s retirement. In Mexico, their tour bus was involved in an accident. Everyone on the bus died, except the driver.
Diane came home and stayed with him for a month. They were both completely devastated. Then, as soon as Diane left, Mac went out cruising one night and met Elton Grant. One look at him and Mac began to believe again that his luck was changing. He’d had no idea the night he took him home that Grant was Internal Affairs and nipple deep into an investigation of Mac’s partner.
Mac had been pulled in and investigated too. He couldn’t believe Grant when he told Mac he’d had no idea who he was. Bullshit.
Now, Paul was free. Mac was going to spend Christmas in Vermont, and have some alone time with a really hot guy. They couldn’t wait to see each other. Paul would be at Diane and Gerry’s for dinner at Christmas. Then Mac was invited to Paul’s place the next evening. Paul was a lawyer and had just bought a house. They’d be alone, and Mac was really looking forward to that…and spending Christmas with his sister, of course.
Three more days, and he was off for ten whole days. Diane was really excited, and she hadn’t stopped emailing him with questions. What do you think about this recipe? Do you want to take a sleigh ride? There is a great Christmas concert at the school, should I book us some tickets?
Mac was happy to reply. The pile of paperwork on his desk couldn’t ruin his good mood now. Even spotting Elton Grant from a distance didn’t upset him.
“Will you stop that incessant humming!”
Mac looked up at Adel Montego, the middle-aged detective whose desk was next to his. She put a cup of coffee on Mac’s desk and stood sipping hers. Tough and to the point, Adel had been his partner now for three months. She was the best damned detective on the force as far as he was concerned, but her personality sometimes left something to be desired.
“Thanks.” Mac held up the cup. “Since when do you bring me coffee?”
“I’d do just about anything to get you to stop that noise. Drink, fill your trap!”
He laughed. “You’re in a mood.”
She studied him, put her hands on her hips. “Where is Mackenzie? What alien has crawled inside you and transformed your personality?”
“Why?” Mac laughed, sitting back and sipping the coffee. “I’m cool. Um,” he held up his cup, “good. Did you make it?”
“Of course I made it. The rest of you clowns couldn’t make coffee to save your well-worn little asses. So, what’s up, Mac? Why the singing?”
He shrugged. “It’s Christmas.”
“Bah, humbug,” she muttered. “Christmas. Nothing but an excuse to rob a man’s or woman’s pockets once a year. I got three nieces screaming for electronics that cost more than my car.”
“You do realize you’re practically quoting Dickens.”
“I don’t give a flying candy cane who I’m quoting.”
Mac laughed. “Okay.”
“So, fess up, if you really are Mac, what gives? You stop moping over that IA asswipe and get laid last night, or what?”
“I worked the night shift, remember? And I told you that Grant is a closed door to me.”
“Adel,” Mac threatened.
“The way you guys exchange looks across the room, I can tell it’s not history yet.”
“Change of topic. My bad mood is coming to the surface.”