After being shot by a stalker and having to quit his job as a male stripper in one of Atlanta’s most popular gay clubs, Dax thinks it may be time for a career change. When he’s offered a job in his attorney’s new law office in a small town forty miles from Atlanta, he takes it, thinking it will give him time to make some decisions about his life, and he believes he has, until he meets Hunter.

Enter Hunter Weston. Rich, sophisticated and sexy as hell. Drop dead gorgeous and just the kind of man that Dax has learned to steer clear of. So why does he allow himself to hope that this could be more than a fling? And what about Hunter? What is the secret he can’t, or won’t, share with Dax?

Peacocks And Lilies
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Ryan shook his head and gave Josh a look of disbelief. “I must be having auditory hallucinations because I could have sworn that you just said that you hired Dax Devereaux as our new secretary.”
“I did say that. Let me expl…”
“Oh fuck, no. No to the hiring and no to the explanation. There’s absolutely nothing you can say to make me agree to that. And, besides that, what would a stripper know about being a secretary? Are you crazy?”
“Ryan, calm down. If you could stop this tirade of yours for a minute or two, I’ll tell you.”
Ryan folded his arms across his chest and shot Josh a withering look. They were in Savannah, one of his favorite places, and were lying in bed after having some satisfyingly hot sex, when Josh shared that tidbit of news with him. What the hell? Did Josh think that he’d be more agreeable in the afterglow? “Give it your best shot, Counselor.”
“Okay.” Josh took a deep breath. “Dax told me that he’d been thinking of changing careers for a while, maybe even going to school, because he only had about five or six more good years to dance before he’d be considered too old to be a stripper.”
“Too old? The kid’s only about twenty-four, isn’t he? Jesus, what does that say about us? Apparently, nobody would pay to look at our old naked bodies.” He watched as Josh lifted one brow at him before giving his body the once-over, starting at Ryan’s toes and moving leisurely up to his face, stopping to linger on certain parts, of course. It was sexy as hell and enough to make Ryan’s cock twitch even though they’d just had some mind-blowing sex. Wait a minute. He’s trying to distract me. Not going to happen. Ryan pulled the sheet up over his hips, giving Josh a stern look. “Stop that, and continue trying to convince me that we should hire Dax.”
Josh gave him an innocent look. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but, as I was about to say, when that stalker shot him and he found out that the guy had also killed one of his customers, not to mention to sending a warning to me, he decided that he needed to make a change sooner rather than later.”
“Yeah, I get that, but what does that have to do with you, or our business?”
“I’m getting there. Let me finish.”
“Go ahead.” Ryan could tell that Josh was trying to present this in a logical and reasonable manner, like he’d present one of his cases to a jury. It was an annoying trait, especially since he was so damn good at it. He could also see that wanting to help this guy was really important to Josh. Go figure. It was just one of the ways that he and his boyfriend were different. Josh had a big heart and was always wanting to help someone. Ryan didn’t mind helping, but being a cop for years had made him wary of people. There was a difference between someone wanting your help and wanting to use you.
Suddenly, Ryan realized that he’d just referred to Josh in his mind as his boyfriend. Boyfriend? That still sounded weird to Ryan. For one thing, he’d never really had a boyfriend. Hook-ups, yeah. Boyfriends, no. Then, there was the fact that they’d only recently come out as a couple, and Ryan was still getting used to being open about their relationship. Josh had been openly gay since college, but Ryan had been deep in the closet because of his job as a detective with the police department. He had to admit that it felt good, now, not to have to hide their partnership or pretend to be buddies. They didn’t flaunt the relationship, but since they lived in a small town, most of their friends and acquaintances knew. When Ryan had been forced to retire from the police department on disability, due to an injury to his hand, there was no reason to keep it a secret any longer.
Now they’d bought a building downtown together where Josh would have his law practice and Ryan was starting a business as a private investigator, mostly doing work for the attorneys in their small town and some of the surrounding communities. Thus, the need for a secretary. But not that little twink, Dax!
“Ryan? Ryan, are you listening to anything I’m saying?”
“Of course.” Pause. “Well, maybe my mind wandered a little bit. Tell me again.”
“I was explaining that all we need right now is someone to answer the phone and take messages. Dax can surely do that. Plus, he’s still recovering from his gunshot wound and can’t really be dancing. He needs some kind of income.”
Josh had represented Dax when he’d come under suspicion of murdering one of his regular clients from the gay strip club where he worked. He’d developed an obvious crush on Josh and it had pissed Ryan off royally. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Josh, but he’d been going through a lot himself during that time due to the injury to his hand. His job was up in the air and he was feeling insecure. Had he also been jealous? Maybe. Hell, probably. The thing was that he did trust Josh. He was a stand-up kind of guy, but not that flirty little stripper. He’d had his number from the beginning.
He narrowed his eyes and stared at his boyfriend. “Oh, for God’s sake, Josh, it was a flesh wound. It wasn’t a life-threatening injury.” He smiled, but not in a good way. “I guess they don’t pay Workmen’s Comp to strippers, though, do they?”
Josh let that last barb pass. “I know it wasn’t really life-threatening, but it did get some muscle tissue, so he’s going to have to do some physical therapy. You, of all people, should know what that’s like.”
Ryan turned to look back at Josh, narrowing his eyes again. “Don’t even go there.”
Josh reached forward, wrapping his arms around Ryan’s waist and pulling him back to lean against his chest. Propping his chin on Ryan’s shoulder and running his hand down Ryan’s body toward his already burgeoning cock, he nuzzled his lover’s neck. Whispering in his ear, he said, “Come on, babe. You’re not a mean spirited person. Can’t we just help the guy out? He doesn’t have any insurance and the medical bills are piling up, I’m sure. You’re still getting bills from your injury and you did have insurance.”
Ryan felt himself giving in. He loved Josh and didn’t want him to think that he was an asshole. Besides, Josh was right. The kid would be drowning in medical bills soon and he did need some kind of income. “Damn you, Josh,” he said as Josh’s hand closed over his dick and began to stroke it slowly. Ryan moaned and began to move his hips, pushing up into Josh’s hand. What was it about this man that made him so irresistible? Maybe it was because he was the best-looking, sexiest man that Ryan had ever met, or maybe that was just love talking. The truth was that he did love Josh, but facts were facts and the reality of it was that his partner had it all. He was tall and well-built with dark hair and green eyes that flashed with fire when he was passionate about something. And he was smart and funny. Yep, Josh had it all and it was all Ryan’s.
He allowed himself a little satisfied smile as Josh pushed him down on the bed and slid over on top of him, rubbing their cocks together. It didn’t matter that they’d just made wild, crazy love not thirty minutes ago. They were both hard and ready again. It was always like that with them, had been from the beginning. The strength of their attraction to each other still amazed Ryan, but he didn’t dwell on it. Better to just enjoy it.
And enjoy it they did. Ryan ran both hands down Josh’s back and cupped his ass before sliding a finger down his crease to tickle his hole. He heard Josh make a humming sound and felt him push down grinding their shafts together, causing more friction. As Ryan’s fingertip slid into Josh, Josh’s mouth crashed down onto Ryan’s and his tongue began spearing into it in rhythm with Ryan’s finger moving in and out of his entrance. It didn’t take much of that, coupled with their cocks grinding together, before they were both coming.
Josh gave Ryan a quick kiss before rolling off him. “Damn, Ryan, you’re killing me.”
Ryan looked over at his lover, raising an eyebrow. “I’m not the one that started that, Counselor, you are.”
Josh gave him a smirk. “Maybe.”
“Maybe, hell. You started it and you and I both know why.”
“Really? And that would be?”
“To get you what you wanted.”
Josh huffed out a laugh. “That’s true on so many levels. And did it work?”
Ryan sighed heavily. “I guess. Doesn’t it always? I suppose it’ll be okay to try the stripper boy out, but I’m not happy about it.”
Josh gave him a big grin. “Thanks, babe. You won’t regret it.”
Ryan mumbled, “We’ll see.”


Monday morning, Josh woke up before the alarm clock went off. Trying to figure what woke him, he looked over at Ryan, lying on his stomach and sleeping peacefully. He looked really young and sweet and Josh started to turn over so that he could cuddle him. That’s when he realized what had awakened him. His leg was numb. Ryan had one muscular thigh draped across Josh’s, pinning it down. He chuckled to himself as he slid his leg out from under Ryan’s and turned on his side, wrapping an arm around Ryan and pulling him close. Ryan didn’t wake up or make a sound other than a soft sigh, he just snuggled close. About that time, the alarm went off.
Ryan groaned. “Can you stop that damn noise? What the hell is that, anyway?”
Josh snickered. Not a morning person, his boyfriend. He slapped Ryan’s ass before turning toward the bedside table to shut off the alarm. “It’s time to get up. It’s a work day.”
Ryan pulled the sheet up over his head. Josh heard a muffled, “I’m disabled and retired.”
Laughing he said, “Not anymore. You’re starting a new business today as a private investigator, so move your lazy ass. You need to finish getting your office set up, which got interrupted by our little trip to Savannah, and I think you told me that you had a meeting with Adam Johnson about a job he wanted you to do.” He paused for a minute to let that sink in. “Besides, we have a new employee coming in today.”
Ryan threw the sheet back off his head and gave Josh a steely look. “Shit. Don’t remind me. I don’t know how the hell I let you talk me into these things.”
Josh smiled, knowingly. “You don’t?”
Ryan was quiet for a minute. “Oh, yeah. I remember now. You play dirty.”
Josh laughed out loud. “Maybe, but it worked, didn’t it?” He rolled out of bed. “Tell you what. I’ll get in the shower first and give you a few more minutes to sleep. How’s that?”
Ryan snuggled down into the covers. “Mm. Sounds like a plan.”
Having finished his shower, Josh came back into the bedroom to get dressed. The only way that he could tell that the large lump in the center of the bed was human was by the light snoring coming from that direction. He shook his head, amazed at how fast Ryan could go to sleep. Whenever he mentioned it, Ryan always said that it was the sleep of the innocent.
Josh strolled over to the bed and slapped Ryan’s ass, or at least what he thought was his ass. “Time to get up, Sleeping Beauty. I’ve had my shower already, so the bathroom is all yours.”
“What the fuck?” Ryan flung the sheet back. “I thought we might shower together.”
“And we could have if you’d managed to roll your ass out of bed in time. Too late now. Hurry up and we’ll stop for breakfast on the way.”
Ryan got out of bed, grumbling. “I thought that one of the perks of being your own boss would be that you could set your own hours and not have to punch a time clock.”
Later, after having been rushed out of the house and now on the way to the office, Ryan looked over at Josh and asked, “What the hell? Why are we in such an almighty hurry this morning, anyway?”
“I told Dax to be there at eight o’clock sharp and now we’re going to be late.”
“What? Five minutes? What’s the big deal anyway?”
“Well, I was hoping to set a good example about being punctual.”
“I’m sure that he knows all about being on time. After all, he had to dance on that pole at a certain time every night when he was a stripper.” They were just pulling up to their office building as Ryan finished talking and looked to see Dax waiting at the front door, dressed in dark jeans and a lime green polo shirt, his spiked brown hair tipped with blond. He groaned. “Josh, look at that. He looks like a damn peacock standing there.”
“It’s not that bad. I told him to dress casually and he did. I admit that the shirt is a little bright, but it’s okay. I’ll suggest that he wear something a little more subdued tomorrow.”

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