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Certified Male

Male Order : Book Two

By: Leanna Carr
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Copyright: ©2017 by Blackout Books® and Leanna Carr
Nine Chapters / 68,300 Words
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For well-respected and high-powered attorney, Blake Myers, life in the fast lane in Los Angeles has more than its share of perks, including celebrity clients and a six-figure salary. Attending functions meant only for the upper echelon of Hollywood’s inner circles, he works for and plays hard with the rich and famous. Wealthy, good looking and sought after by men and women alike, only one man can keep him grounded, the love of his life. Newlyweds, the recent cross county move has been promising for both men, yet neither is prepared for the seedier side of LA.

Dyson Withers secures a posh job in the entertainment industry.  Certified Male, is a firm catering to the wealthy and connected by providing indiscretions, with any type of kink included, for a price. Anonymity is a valued commodity and keeping secrets is a requirement to survive, literally. An accountant by trade, his job affords him security as well as clout within the industry. By all rights, his future is paved in gold, until a single client accuses him of blowing his protected cover.

After Dyson is arrested, his company has made accusations as well, Blake is determined to keep his husband out of prison, no matter the cost. When tragedy strikes, Blake must take a harder look at the enigma that’s  Certified Male and try to find the necessary answers to save Dyson. The ultimate sacrifice is now on the table and Blake is forced to make a life changing decision. The darkness calls to Blake, the only place he can find answers. Answers he must find to save himself and Dyson, is he strong enough to be successful?

Publisher’s Note: This adult romance contains elements of suspense, danger, elements of BDSM, sexual scenes, and adult language. If any of these elements offend you, please do not purchase.

*** Currently available exclusively at Amazon ***

Chapter One

“And now you may kiss your husband,” the deep voice boomed over the crowd, floating up to the cloudless sky.

Cheers erupted as men and women, dressed in festive beach attire, rushed toward the two men.

Blake Myers had never been so happy in his life. He never thought he’d be getting married to the man of his dreams. Cupping Dyson’s face, he gazed into the gorgeous man’s eyes and for a few precious seconds was able to drown out the reverie around him. The day couldn’t be more perfect if he’d bought and paid for a representation of a Hallmark card. Dyson Withers was without a doubt his soul mate and the man he planned on driving crazy well into old age. “I love you.”

“God, I love you too,” Dyson said, his voice faltering, as he wrapped his hand around Blake’s wrist.

“Aww! Kiss him.” A sultry voice floated above the din.

“Yeah, go on. Need me to show you how it’s done?” another asked as he laughed and whistled several times.

“Grope him. Come on and get on with it!”

As the crowd of well-wishers burst into cheers, Blake ceremoniously gave them a waving finger before wrapping one arm around Dyson, drawing him in close. He crushed his mouth over Dyson’s, instantly shoving his tongue inside. The kiss became the usual passionate roar between them, a telling of their devotion to each other. As he ground his hips back and forth, his actions more for show than anything else, he slipped his other hand behind Dyson’s neck, digging the tips of his fingers into his lover’s skin.

“Yes!”

“Aww…”

“That’s better.”

When Blake finally broke the kiss, he grinned like a kid and licked around Dyson’s mouth for good measure before whispering, “Just wait until you see what I have in store for you tonight.”

Dyson visibly shuddered as he smiled and blinked. “You’re such a bad boy.”

“One that you love and now obey.”

“Obey? Who said anything about obey?”

“You did when you agreed to marry me,” Blake teased. While he was certainly extremely dominant in his professional life, having garnered a posh job as an associate attorney for Hamilton, Brice & Finch, he was just beginning to embark on being the man in charge at home. The leading firm on the West Coast, the six-figure salary and numerous perks were nice, but he was bucking for partner by the end of the year. Those who knew him said Blake was on the fast track to achieving his goal—if he remained politically correct. While his tenure representing the worst criminals on the East Coast certainly gave him the ins and outs regarding good versus evil, representing sometimes haughty entertainers was entirely out of his comfort zone. He had a nose for hunting the bad guy, no matter how well they hid themselves under masks of money, fame and fortune. This was...

“Muah? I think you have me mistaken for someone else.” Gripping both of Blake’s arms, Dyson gave him a playful head butt. “You’re incorrigible.”

“And you love me for it.”

“You bet I do.”

Blake laughed as the crowd continued to chant and the incredibly sinful suggestions were looking better and better. They weren’t a traditional couple by any means, but not having had sex for a solid month because of some renewed chastity thing Dyson had insisted on was kicking his ass. “I think we better start this reception before our friends eat us alive.”

“Mmm… I would prefer you do the eating,” Dyson said then gave a low-slung growl.

“Now, who’s the bad boy?” Swatting him on his ass, Blake waved to the crowd before bowing.

“Yes, I am.” Said defiantly, Dyson gave him a lust filled look before stepping off the small platform and onto the raised stage.

God, he loathed being the center of attention. Blake sighed as several people came up and congratulated him. None of the people were close friends, not really. Neither he nor Dyson had really had time to garner a solid series of friends, with a few exceptions being a neighbor couple across the street and one man who worked with him at the firm. These were business associates of both their jobs, out for a good time complete with a Hawaiian setting, an open bar and a full buffet. The band was kick ass, too. And the event had only cost him a cool ten grand, a significant portion of his savings. Well, this was better than a traditional wedding anyway.

He chuckled as he stepped off the staging area and into the crowd. Dyson was happy and that had been his goal. The last three weeks had been a whirlwind of activity and with Dyson finally landing a good job, taking the two weeks off for a honeymoon they’d hoped for simply wasn’t going to happen. Four days away from their respective offices was going to have to suffice. At least the resort was something Dyson planned on enjoying.

Grinning to himself, Blake shifted as his cock began to throb. Goddamn he was hungry for the sexy man with intense blue eyes and a runner’s body to die for.

“So glad you guys got hitched.”

“Thanks, Bob. Glad we could,” Blake said as he shook his buddy’s hand.

“You look good together. Nice to see you both so happy.”

“Thanks. You staying around for the party?”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” His eyes twinkling, Bob snorted before walking off.

Blake walked along aimlessly nodding and talking to a few people as he made his way from the edge of the cliff toward the huge tents. Even from a distance he could tell how comfortable and happy Dyson was, in his element completely. The man was a show off and then some. Maybe his new job would work out for him. Dyson has struggled for long enough. He had reservations about Dyson’s choice, what little there had been, but he’d sucked back his disapproving attitude. Dyson deserved his full support.

Breaking free from the crowd, he couldn’t help but let his mind wander, wishing his best friend and his previous lover had actually been able to make the trip to the wedding.

As a waiter passed by with a tray, he grabbed a drink, not caring about anything but that the mahogany coloring had to be liquor. Razer Willis was his past, one Dyson not only tolerated but also had a connection with as well. Oddly enough, switching partners certainly was hot conversation fodder. He shook his head as he remembered the odd screeching noise coming from Razer’s mouth when Blake had announced he and Dyson were getting married. There were days he missed his old life, one far removed from the splashing neon lights of Los Angeles.

That was then. This was very much now. Still, he so wished Razer had been able to attend the wedding. He took a sip of his drink and made a face. The watered-down version of bourbon and coke wasn’t going to do. Taking long strides, he headed for one of three bars, his focus only on his goal—achieving a hefty drink.

“Looks like you still have your priorities straight.”

The voice stopped him in his tracks. His heart racing, he sucked in his breath before turning to face the man behind the seductive timbre. “Shit.”

“That’s an interesting way to greet your ex. Jesus. What do they teach you out here?” Stepping out of the shadows created by the huge tent, his eyes were twinkling nothing but mischief.

“They certainly teach respect in being on time to a wedding.” Blake walked closer, admiring the light stubble on Razer’s chin. The man was ruggedly handsome, having been a model for several years. He was also beefier than Blake remembered.

“Yeah well, you know how I like to crash a party.” Razer inched closer, holding out his hand.

Old feelings rushed through Blake and for a minute he was taken back in time, to a place where he thought this would be the outcome of his relationship with Razer. Instead, they were living across the country from one another, barely finding time to chat on line or over the phone. They sized each other up for a few seconds until Blake couldn’t take it any longer. Wrapping his arms around the muscular blond man, Blake was surprised that Razer was stilted at first.

“I’ve missed you,” Razer breathed, dragging Blake against his chest.

“I’ve missed you and hoped you were going to be here. I didn’t think you were coming.”

“I almost ended up in Canada.” Laughing, he rubbed his hand up and down Blake’s back.

“Hear it’s nice up there.”

“I like the warm weather much better.” Breaking the connection, he eased back and looked up and down the length of Blake. “And what in God’s name are you wearing?”

Huffing, Blake took a step back and pointed to Razer. “Given the black on black look from tight jeans to steel toed boots, you look liked you’re going to a cowboy funeral, not a hot wedding.”

“Looks can be deceiving and Don Ho just called. He’s missing his entire wardrobe.”

They both laughed before an awkward moment of silence slipped between them. Blake looked away, trying to collect his thoughts. Seeing Razer again was more difficult than he’d imagined it would be. Razer was a stunning man from top to bottom. His high forehead and chiseled cheekbones were a perfect beginning to a tight body and long legs. By all rights Razer should be a lady killer. “Very funny. Dyson will be glad to see you.”

“Sorry about being late. The planes were crazy. Over booked, overcrowded and every person cranky as hell.

“Typical. Let’s get you a drink then we’ll find the wayward love of my life.”

“How are you guys doing here?” Razer asked.

“Good. Settling I think. Dyson finally found a job so we’re psyched.” Blake could see a new tattoo every time Razer moved.

“That’s great. It’s a tough time for everyone. How’s the firm?”

Blake laughed. “Oh, it’s a hell of a lot different than dealing with criminals. There are some days I would prefer their gruff bullshit than some of the things I deal with protecting celebrities, but the pay is good.” He couldn’t help but steal a glance at the tattoo again.

Razer brushed his hand over the spot on his neck.

“You had your own kind of ceremony, didn’t you?”

Cocking his head, he pushed the hair back from his neck, showing off the small symbol seared into his flesh. “We did. It was very unexpected and very private or I would have invited you.”

“Hmm. How is Trenton anyway?” Blake was happy for his ex-flame. Razer had always been much more into BDSM and domination than Blake was attracted to and Trenton Masters was by far one of the most engaging Doms he’d ever met. Well-connected in the circuit of black arts, he was respected and sought after for advice. The man knew everyone in the world of kink. At times, the man was more than a little bit intimidating.

“He’s doing well. Business is booming and he keeps me on a short leash.” Razer blinked as he rubbed the brand.

“That must have hurt like hell.”

“You should see the larger one on my inner thigh. That one hurt like a son of a bitch but Master insisted.”

To hear Razer, a rough-hewn hunk who basically took no shit from anyone call another man his Master was intriguing and disconcerting all at the same time. “Wow, is all I can say.”

“I know, a far cry from your relationship with Dyson.”

“You make it sound like being more on the vanilla side is a bad thing.” Blake almost choked on his words. After all, he was the one who’d owned up to himself that he and Razer just weren’t compatible, no matter how hot their sex life was. His method of breaking off? Finding a site online called Male Order. The exclusive internet site catered to high-powered men who longed to find the right significant other.  Male Order wasn’t just an online dating site, upon acceptance both parties entered into a contract where one owned the other. He was the reason Trenton Masters owned Razer.

“Not at all and you know that. I just needed more. Besides, Trenton is a good Master. He treats me well and I don’t need to model any longer. I’m just painting. In fact, the actual paying jobs are outnumbering the freebies,” Razer said as he grinned.

“Fair enough and I’m glad you’re painting more, especially since you’re getting paid. I was terrified you’d never paint again.” Trenton had been the very reason Razer had his verve back with regards to the impressive art pieces he painted. The critics took almost immediate notice and Blake had been paying attention. Razer was doing very well. A moment passed between them and he had to look away.

“No. He inspires me with his nurturing and discipline.”

Shivering at the thought, Blake nodded as he caught site of Dyson, who’d seen the two of them together. “Come on. Time for that drink.” He walked in Dyson’s direction and even from a distance he could see some concern riding his husband’s face. Dyson had never fully gotten over the fact Trenton had ceremoniously tossed him aside after meeting Razor. Well, from what he knew, Dyson wasn’t a good submissive, more like a man who simply wanted to please. Trenton required full submission, body and soul.

“Good enough. You guys off onto a big honeymoon tonight?”

“Nah. Just a few days at a secret location,” Blake said as he lowered his voice. “And about as kinky as I can get too.”

“Ooh. Whips and chains perhaps?” Razer teased.

“Very funny and something like that.” The high dollar resort at Hamilton Cove on Catalina Island was pricey as hell but the four days were going to be full of romance as well as bouts of adventure.

“Good for you. I’m glad you’re venturing out a little bit.” Razer rubbed his hand down Blake’s back as they closed the distance to where Dyson was standing.

Dyson tilted back his head and stood tall, instantly flanking Blake’s side. “Razer. Nice to see you. So good of you to come, even if very late.”

The edge to Dyson’s voice was palpable. “The plane was late. He didn’t do this on purpose.” Blake gave him a heated look that he hoped told Dyson to shut his mouth.

“I am sorry. I wanted to be here for the whole thing,” Razer offered as he held out his hand. “I’m so happy for you. You have no idea.”

Raising his eyebrow, Dyson hesitated before taking the offered hand.

“And you don’t have to worry, lover of mine. Razer is a collared and branded slave now.” Instantly Blake could see a change in Dyson’s demeanor. He wasn’t quite as threatened as before. He, more than any other man, knew for Trenton to collar Razer meant it was permanent. Men.

“Happy for you too then. Well this is a party so let’s get the escapades rolling. Shall we?” Dyson smiled and kissed Blake on the lips before heading toward the bar.

“I’m sorry about that. He’s been full of anxiety being out of work for so long. Today was a big deal for him, for both of us,” Blake half whispered. Why were the words somewhat difficult to say?

“Stop worrying. He loves you and knew how close you and I were. I’d be threatened,” Razer said softly.

“Thanks.”

“What job did he get finally?”

Blake opened his mouth to answer just as they approached the bar. “I think I’ll let him tell you what he’s doing. You might be surprised and you might just approve. Bourbon neat,” he said to the bartender.

“Same,” Razer added and turned toward Dyson. “Now you have me curious. Dyson, what are you doing now?”

Dyson shot a look in Blake’s direction as he leaned in and smiled. “It’s similar to Male Order and called Certified Male. Only this company caters to privileged men who would rather not have it known they enjoy every kinky thing you can do with a man. If you get my drift. At least that’s what I’ve been told.”

“Sounds like you think there’s more.”

“Isn’t there always something hiding behind a perfect façade?” Of course, the words were biting and the look in Razer’s eyes made him cringe. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I get it.” Razer nodded. “Interesting. I didn’t know the firm was this far reaching.”

“You have no idea. They are huge in Dubai. Huge.” Dyson laughed, but the tone was stilted. “The place is on the up and up and I work in accounting so no sex needed.” He sniffed and looked away.

Blake cringed, the tension building. No matter what Dyson said, he had a rather bad feeling about the choice, but the job certainly paid well enough.

“Well, if you’re happy.” Razer looked toward Blake, a questioning look crossing his face.

“Remains to be seen. I’ve only been there a couple of weeks. I haven’t even met the owner yet.” Chuckling, Dyson wrapped his arm around Blake. “I hear he’s rarely in the office, preferring to stay somewhere on Catalina Island with all his money.”

“Hmm. Which reminds me, we have a trip to leave for later. I’m assuming you packed?” Blake teased as he thought about Certified Male. The business was indeed on the up and up with all the state and federal paperwork filed that was needed. He hadn’t wanted to tell Dyson how closely he’d checked, but when he word ‘kink’ was used in a company statement, red flags raised in his mind. While the firm certainly didn’t openly advertise what they were doing, they paid taxes and held a main office in the heart of the financial district. For all practical purposes, they were nothing more than an entertainment firm.

“Of course. Now if only my husband would tell me where we’re going.” Dyson cooed as he nuzzled up against Blake, grinding his ass into Blake’s groin.

“Too much!” Razer laughed. “You guys are cute together.”

“Uh-oh, there goes my reputation.” Blake rolled his eyes.

After the bartender served their drinks, Blake held up his glass just as the band took the stage and the lights surrounding the tented area began to flash. “Here’s to two men I care about. Thank you both for being in my lives.”

Razer smiled as he clinked glasses, his eyes never leaving Dyson. “To two men who are so much in love and I’m honored to be here.”

“Hey. Why don’t you give the required speech in front of the masses?” Dyson asked.

Blake wasn’t certain whether his lover was being somewhat facetious. “We weren’t going to do all the formalities, were we?” His groan was genuine. He wanted a party only and it was Dyson who’d convinced him to do the pomp and circumstance.

“Oh, come on. Stop being a fuddy duddy. We’re going to at least dance and toast. Then we can leave on this mystery trip if you’d like. This is the only time I’m going to do this so I want to enjoy some of it,” Dyson chastised.

“Don’t forget about the cake.” Razer offered.

“Don’t encourage him.” Blake rolled his eyes. When Dyson grabbed his hand, yanking him inside the tent, he looked back at Razer who was laughing with genuine emotion. This was a very interesting reception. As soon as they were inside, the group of party-goers cheered and the band struck a chord.

“Ladies and gentlemen. May we present the happy couple and their first dance as husband and husband.” The man’s voice boomed loudly over the microphone and as soon as the first chord from the guitar was strummed, the first drumbeat floated into the audience, the crowd roared with delight.

“Hot blooded?” Blake roared over the first bars.

“Your favorite. Remember? You told me you love to dance to Foreigner,” Dyson laughed as he swung Blake around in a circle.

“Yeah, but this isn’t a romantic song in the least.”

“Romance is highly overrated.”

Blake had to laugh. “Okay and this isn’t a slow song either so get your dancin’ shoes on, boy.” He broke the hold and took a step back, swaying his hips back and forth. Of course, Dyson would pull out the stops with all his favorites. His husband knew him too well and all his likes and dislikes. The time together, learning and growing had been amazing. As he moved into the rhythm, they both inched toward the group of dancers, instantly becoming the center of attention.

“Whew, you guys are hot!”

“Love this party.”

“You guys know how to entertain.”

Blake laughed as he and Dyson danced around each other. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Razer watching them curiously. He wished he could read the man’s face, figure out what he was thinking. Razer seemed so different, more reserved and submissive. The thought gave him pause and he almost stumbled against the stage. “Whoops.” And he hadn’t even had much to drink yet.

“I told you this was the perfect song.” Dyson’s grin covered his entire face.

“When you’re right, you’re right.” They continued to dance, picking up heat and intensity between them until he was left a sweaty man, beads falling into his eyes. The moment the song ended he panted and clapped. And was shocked as hell when Dyson grabbed him roughly, forcing them into a heated hold.

Dyson slid his hand between he and Blake, cupping and squeezing Blake’s groin.

He couldn’t have been more surprised. Dyson was very private about their love affair and there was no doubt to anyone what he was doing. Dyson was showing off, making a claim and he had no doubt this was all about Razer.

“Yes!” The crowd cheered.

When the song officially ended, Blake pushed away. “Bad. So very bad. I might have to discipline you.”

Opening his mouth wide, Dyson burst into laughter. “As if you could. Now, let’s have Razer’s speech and a toast so we can really party down.” Immediately he walked to the stage, moving up the three steps and taking the microphone from the lead singer.

Blake had never quite seen him this way. Exhaling slowly, he nodded to Razer as he approached. “Hey.”

“He’s not very happy I’m here. Is he?” Razer asked quietly.

“Sorry to say but no, he’s not. He has nothing to be jealous about. Nothing.”

“He thinks I still love you.”

The thought caught in his throat as he tried to speak. “And do you?” Blake croaked.

Razer turned his head but remained quiet.

A shiver raced down Blake’s back. This he hadn’t anticipated.

“Ladies and gentlemen. This is that time of night you get to hear from someone who tells you exactly why my darling husband and I are so good together. Now, there are many secrets you would love to hear. But guess what? You’re not getting any of them!” Dyson paced the stage, making eye contact with no one.

“Oh, brother,” Blake said through clenched teeth.

“Don’t worry.” Razer took a long stride toward the stage.

And all Blake could do was worry. He wasn’t certain where this was going but he did know Dyson was not himself.

“Blake and I have a mutual and very good friend who traveled all the way here from back east. Give it up for Razer Willis.” Dyson took a step back. Every aspect about his behavior was exaggerated as he whooped and hollered.

From his vantage point Blake could clearly see the hand off and while the majority of the people in the audience probably didn’t notice a thing, he could feel the slight rivalry between the two men he cared about. He rubbed his eyes. Getting the hell away from the reception wasn’t going to come fast enough. What in the hell was going on with Dyson? Was this all about Razer?

Razer cleared his throat and smiled as he scanned the audience. “I’m so glad to be here. I have the honor of telling you about these two special men and I have a myriad of sexy details to spill. They are two amazing people.”

The audience oohed and aahed. “So sweet.”

“How wonderful.”

Blushing, Blake blinked several times as the reality of the fact he was actually married floated into the back of his mind. He was going to spend the rest of his life with one person. For some reason, the thought hadn’t dawned on him until now. A lump grew in his throat as a moment of self-doubt hit him like a ton of bricks. Could he do this? Could he be faithful? Was he going to be a good husband for Dyson? Sweat rolled down the back of his neck. The questions were popping into his mind faster than the answers.

He looked over at Dyson and the love on the man’s face was stilling. His heart ached as memories of the past flowed into the back of his mind. All the times he’d spent with Razer he’d pushed away and to see him on stage, getting ready to comment on his marriage to another man was cathartic and terrifying. He casually wiped away the beads of perspiration and swallowed hard. This was normal. Doubting had to be normal. Of course.

Razer cleared his throat. “First of all, I couldn’t be more thrilled for two men who are so deserving of happiness. They are intelligent and creative people who I am lucky enough to call my lifelong friends.”

“Aww!”

The collective sigh made Blake jittery.

“I love you.”

Dyson’s whispered voice reminded Blake where he was and very much what was happening.

“Allow me to tell you a story.” Razer homed in on Blake, the expression on his face filled with raw emotion. “These two men, two incredible guys who are special in so many ways and here’s why.”

Nuzzling against Dyson, he held his breath as his ex-lover started talking. The words echoed in his mind until he could barely concentrate on what Razer was saying. He wasn’t hung up on Razer any longer. He’d faced the fact long before he started dating Dyson they weren’t meant to be together. So why the mental torture?

“Are you listening?” Dyson whispered as he punched Blake in the side.

“Of course,” Blake said as he chuckled, the vibe sounding fake to him.

“Good, cause everything he’s saying is true.”

When Razer was finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. He blinked away tears, fearful his emotions would give him away.

“Wow.”

Blake heard Dyson’s voice, the genuine tone the strangled timbre held, and exhaled slowly as he unclenched his fists. The words were beautiful and something he would forever remember. Or maybe they were words he wished he could forget. He wasn’t entirely certain he was such an honorable man, at least not like Razer had described. “Wow, indeed.”

The applause continued as Razer walked off the stage, a sheepish look on his face. As he approached the two men he slipped his hands into his pockets. “Did I do okay?”

“Amazing. You did amazing.” Blake grasped his hand with both of his, squeezing. “Thank you, dear friend. That’s all I can say, thank you.”

“Any time.” Razer smiled, his eyes darting back and forth across Blake’s face.

Blake could tell Razer was trying to figure out what was bothering him. He kept the smile plastered. “You’re a great friend.” The emphasis on ‘friend’ wasn’t lost on Razer and a shadow fell across his face.

“I’m going to finish my drink and get another one. Then I think I’ll find a hotel room and let you guys enjoy your celebration. I do have a present for you that I had delivered to your home. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Mind? You didn’t have to and don’t be ridiculous. We’re not leaving for a couple of hours and I haven’t seen you in months. Stay. I want you to stay.”

“If you’re sure.” Razer studied his face.

“Absolutely. I insist.” Out of the corner of his eye he noticed a newcomer to the reception. He hadn’t seen the person before. Tall and dark, he was dressed in a dark suit, carrying something in his hand. Maybe Dyson had invited someone he hadn’t told Blake about. Leaning toward Dyson, he brushed his shoulder. “Honey, do you know who that is?”

“Not a clue,” Dyson said. “And honey? Really?”

“What would you prefer I call you?” Blake grinned.

“Stud muffin and I’ll find out who our party crasher is. Unless he’s bringing expensive gifts, he can’t stay.”

“I’ll go. You don’t have to.” Blake could tell the stranger was looking for something or someone, in particular. He took a step forward.

“No. I’ll go. You have catching up to do.” His eyes cutting to Razer, Dyson nodded before moving off.

“Okay, stud muffin.” Blake sighed. Why was there so much tension between all of them?

“I thought the speech would help.” Razer inched in front of Blake.

“It did. Stop worrying. What you said was incredible too.”

“I meant every word but I worry because I know you both pretty well.”

Blake turned his head and the words,  because you slept with both of us almost flew out of his mouth. Shuddering inwardly, he hadn’t even thought about the fact Razer had indeed been intimate with Dyson during the early days with Master Trenton. What a tangled web they all weaved. “Come on back to the dance floor. We have a lot more coming this gorgeous early evening.”

Razer moved beside Blake. “Who is he?”

“I have no idea but Dyson seems to know him.” Blake rubbed his mouth and could see a handshake being shared between two men. He grew more curious with the hand gestures Dyson was engaged in. Interesting. Actually, this was more than interesting. Taking a step forward, a group of people immediately blocked his view. “Hold on. I’ll be right back.” For whatever the reason, he felt the need to find out who this person was. The mystery guest obviously knew about the reception and had arrived for a reason. He was vaguely aware Razer was following him.

By the time he made it to the other side of the tent, he could see the two men were talking easily. Flanking Dyson’s side, his eyes never left the stunning older man. He was a solid six- foot-four with muscles in all the right places. Impeccably dressed, his eyes were shining with real admiration, yet the look about him was foreboding, bordering close to being ominous. “Dyson. Are you going to introduce me to your friend?” Blake held out his hand.

Dyson shot a look in his direction. “Blake Myers, meet my elusive boss, Jameson Mitchell.”

As Jameson shook Blake’s hand, Jameson scanned every inch of him as if making certain what Blake was about. The handshake was firm, perhaps too firm. This man was making certain Blake knew he was important, top dog. “Well, thank you very much for coming.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. When I found out Dyson was getting married, I had to do something special. I apologize for missing the actual wedding. I just flew in from Italy today and as usual the plane was late.” Jameson’s words were practiced, the tone sensuous, his eyes dancing.

While it was obvious to Blake that Dyson was enamored, a single red flag boosted in the back of his mind. The term ‘slick’ remained in the forefront. “Well, I’m just happy you could make the reception.” He sensed Razer’s presence and turned. “This is our good friend, Razer Willis, in from the East Coast.”

“Razer, pleased to meet you.” Jameson extended his hand, his eyes locking on the slave tattoo, a knowing lost after an instant.

Blake made a mental note of Jameson’s reaction.

“Pleased to meet you as well. These are very good friends of mine. I’d do anything to keep them safe as well as happy,” Razer stated, the tone commanding.

He knew Razer had picked up on the same instinct Blake had. There was something odd about Jameson Mitchell, just a blip to remain aware of.

“Anything? I like such devotion in a friend. That’s wonderful.” Jameson tilted his head, his eyes never blinking as they studied Dyson. “There is nothing more valuable than to have friends who are so trustworthy. I value loyalty above all other attributes in both business and pleasure. I read people damn well and I do believe I’ve selected the right employee for my company.”

The words were polished, said on purpose and Blake grew even more agitated. The fact Dyson remained oblivious was also unsettling. He certainly wasn’t going to ruin anything for his husband on this special day. “I have to agree with you. Dyson is an amazing man as well as damn particular with accounting.”

Razer shifted, his eyes scanning the man who stood in a thousand-dollar suit, complete with silk shirt and colorful tie on a very warm California evening.

Dyson groaned. “Said like a true husband and one who doesn’t mind embarrassing me.”

“Nonsense. Said like a man who is honest as well as caring. I’m very glad I was able to attend at least a portion. I apologize as I have two other functions to attend tonight. I do hate when my secretary over books me. I would love to have you both, all three of you if you’re ever back this way again Razer, to my house in the islands some time. I do enjoy entertaining true friends of mine. If they happen to be one of my employees, all that much better.” Jameson looked from one man to the other.

Dyson smiled. “I think we’d love that. We’re not getting much of a honeymoon given the new job I’ve just started. Somehow, I don’t think my boss would appreciate me leaving for an extended period.”

While they all knew Dyson was joking, Blake could see an odd shift in Jameson’s demeanor. He remained quiet, merely observing.

“A man who respects all things in life. I truly am happy I hired you, Dyson, and you’ll receive rewards given your complete loyalty to me as well as my company.” Nodding, he held out his hand. “I certainly didn’t know what to get you for this festive occasion, so I hope this gesture of my good wishes suits both of you.”

Dyson took the envelope, fingering the top. He darted a look in Blake’s direction. “You certainly didn’t have to.”

“My pleasure. Gentlemen, thank you for your hospitality.” Jameson shook Dyson’s hand, holding the stance for a moment before nodding and walking away.

Blake raised his eyebrow. “Fascinating. He’s quite a man.”

“Yes, he does peak my curiosity,” Razer added as he took a few steps forward.

“I know the skeptical tones. What are you two thinking?” Dyson asked as he pulled up the flap on the envelope. “He’s a good guy.”

For what you know of him. The thought was unnerving and there was no particular reason why. “Not thinking anything. You’re so suspicious.” Blake glanced at Razer and a knowing look passed between them. Something was definitely off with Jameson Mitchell.

“Oh shit. You got to be kidding me!” Dyson exclaimed.

“What is it?” Blake asked as he leaned over.

“A check. Our wedding present.” Dyson exhaled as he shook his head.

“How much?” Razer asked, his voice full of trepidation.

“Fifteen-thousand dollars. My boss gave us fifteen grand? Really?”

Blake couldn’t move past the idea that the money was for more than just a present and loyalty. Silence. Keeping secrets.

Fuck.

lillie1922 on 09/10/2017 10:34am
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. The story continues with the wedding of Blake and Dyson. In the previous book while Trenton and Razer found love, their respective exes were alone. Before long they realized that they had something special. Something they could build on. In this installment, Blake and Dyson come up against evil. Evil that will leave them hovering on the brink of tragedy. Can their ex-lovers, Razer and Trenton help?

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