Read Second Chances Online

Authors: A.B. Gayle,Andrea Speed,Jessie Blackwood,Katisha Moreish,J.J. Levesque

Second Chances (4 page)

“I can’t stop all this from happening, Mr. Tate, and frankly I think it needs to happen in order for you all to hang onto your lives. Ms. Pierce didn’t tell you everything. Not only has Nicole Tyler disappeared, we can’t find Vale’s muscleman, Dmitri Radimov.”

“That’s his surname? I never knew, just knew I didn’t want to meet him in a dark alley at any point.”

“We don’t know what Dmitri knows or where and who he might have run to. More worryingly, though, as Ms. Pierce said, is the possibility that Agent Tyler has now joined the Bratva camp. She knows everything there is to know about you, Lyle. She knows about your friends and their families too; we found files on each of them on her computer. We’re still investigating why. Until we find out how far this mess extends we need to keep you and them safe and well.”

Lyle had a good idea why Agent Tyler had files on Gil, Miles and Flynn. If she had anything on Aiden that would be more strange. He didn’t know Aiden personally, it would be like her having a file on the hairdresser he’d visited a week or so ago. Almost as strange as her NOT having files on Henry Vale or Dmitri Radimov…

Lyle had no idea which of the Agency workers to trust, if any. The men outside the house were supposedly protecting him, as was Breslaw. Tyler had been charged with the same duty, yet she’d set him up with Vale. If she was on the side of the angels, why had she set him up to work for a mortician who disposed of unwanted Bratva leavings by cremating them alongside his legitimate ‘customers’? The man had even threatened to add him to his furnace if he didn’t accede to his wishes or if he interfered with his pursuit of Flynn Archer.

“But when the coast appears to be clear, you’ll dump us? Terrific.” Lyle’s made sure his mistrust rang loud and clear.

“I wouldn’t dump you,” Breslaw murmured, clearly offended by the suggestion. Then, in a firmer tone, he added, “You’re my charge, Mr. Tate, I won’t leave you in the lurch. I’ve read your file. I know how much you’ve lost, what doing the right thing has cost you. I’ve been in this business long enough to be able to read between the lines, too. I’m sorry this has happened; it never should have, but I’ve tried to do right by you. Eidolon have resources the Agency can’t even come close to. They do this stuff so well that no-one has ever heard of them, even though they operate on a global level. You need them right now, Mr. Tate.”

Lyle sighed and lay back in his armchair.

Breslaw shook his head. His charge looked utterly done for. Much to his frustration, moments later Lyle was snoring. Now he couldn’t give him the intended update on his own case and a heads up on what Eidolon had in store for him when he reached the island. He wasn’t sure if it would be safe to talk later on the plane, maybe in the airport before they boarded?

Breslaw watched Lyle sleep for a while, contemplating the man he was being paid to take care of. Adept at reading people, Breslaw knew Lyle resented his presence in his home; Lyle’s dislike of him might be rooted in how he had come into his life. Maybe, though, it was because Breslaw knew Lyle’s real history too. Living as a man, Lyle hated any reminders that he used to be a woman, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister. That Breslaw also knew he had been someone’s wife, and the circumstances of how he’d lost his husband, just made it all a whole lot more painful.

Maybe it was better not to tell Lyle about developments on the Mafia front? He would be safe on the island Eidolon was taking them to. No need to distress him with stuff that might well be resolved by the time he was ready and able to leave there. It was a lovely place, according to Pierce; Lyle might even decide to stay there for good, especially since he would be able to make full use of his natural talents if Eidolon’s plans for him came to fruition.

Deciding that Lyle was going to hurt in the morning if he was left to sleep slumped in the armchair, Breslaw scooped Lyle up in his arms, careful not to wake the good-looking blond. Lyle Tate was five foot ten, maybe 160 pounds soaking wet, so it was no hardship to tote him across to the bedroom and roll Lyle into his quilt. Breslaw turned the light off on the still-sleeping man, then plodded back to the couch in the living room, settling himself down once he was sure his handgun was fully loaded and stashed safely, close to hand.

3: Now or Never
Carter (Gil) Gillespie, Miles Sutherland, Agent Tony Alessi



Before midnight Saturday 22nd January, Miles Sutherland’s home


Warning: explicit sex


This is unreal
, Gil thought as he was escorted to Miles’ front door and seen inside by his very own Man in Black. His agent’s name was Tony Alessi and he was a rather ordinary guy which took the romance out of it somewhat, but Gil was left in no uncertain terms that Tony was fully capable of protecting him. He was armed; Gil had noticed the unobtrusive and serviceable handgun tucked in a holster under his open jacket. That brought the unwelcome thought that this was a very serious situation they were all involved in. He went inside somewhat subdued. He almost hoped that Miles was in his room packing, and he wouldn’t have to face him, but then told himself sharply not to be such a wuss. He had felt Miles respond to that kiss, not to mention his own reaction.

Miles started at the sound of voices outside. After stopping for a few minutes to talk with Aiden before he’d left Lyle’s house, the magic he’d felt at the touch of Gil’s lips on his had died somewhat. His heart was still racing fit to bust though. Fear? Nerves? He wasn’t quite sure which. The thought of being sent to a tropical island had filled him with dread. Too many memories. All he’d managed to do so far was drag down a suitcase. It still stood empty in the hallway. What to take?

Rather than have to decide, he’d spent most of the time waiting for Gil’s arrival in getting Roofie settled, but then he’d been drawn to the small holiday snapshot taken when he and Darren first met. They were only thirteen at the time: same height, same build, the same happy grin on their faces decked out with snorkel gear and spear guns. For the next few years, the two families made sure their visits to the resort in Fiji coincided; the parents getting on just as well as their sons did. His sister, Siobahn, had felt left out at first, but she’d soon made her own friends, leaving the two of them to do everything together: discovering they had the same dream of being doctors and working in far off exotic places. They’d also discovered another thing that set them apart from the other teenagers at the resort: they were both gay.

Miles kissed the photo gently and returned the frame to its place in the centre of the mantelpiece. Heck, there were stacks of other photos of Darren around, but for some reason this one always meant more to him. Christ, how much luggage would they be allowed to take to this God forsaken place? These photos had been his link to Darren. He couldn’t leave them behind.

Gil stepped into the hall, said a quiet goodnight to Agent Alessi and closed the door. He didn’t hear the agent move off until he had locked the door securely behind him. Letting out a breath he had not been aware he was holding, Gil realised someone was in the living area. He spotted Miles over by the fireplace, back to him, intent on something. The look in Miles’ eyes as he turned to face Gil was positively guilty, and he knocked over a photo on the mantelpiece, fumbling it back to rights with trembling hands. “Miles? You okay?”

Miles wiped his hands on his jeans and took a step towards Gil. What was he supposed to do now? “Yes.” He didn’t feel fine. You’d think he’d just been out jogging for half an hour, not standing here, waiting. Waiting for what?

“You don’t look okay.” Gil closed the distance between them. When he had stepped through the door, he truly hadn’t had any idea what to do or say to the doctor. That kiss had been…amazing, and now he had no clue what Miles was thinking. If anything, the man looked scared.

Miles took another step towards Gil until he stood within inches of the younger man. He drew in a deep breath to calm himself. Once again, the clean smell of his aftershave or whatever Gil used as a shampoo infiltrated his defences. His hand shook noticeably as he reached out to touch Gil’s arm. Had the kiss been just to get him to fall in with the other’s plans or was there more here? Ever since they’d met, they’d been jockeying like two adversaries in the arena, sizing each other up: sometimes colleagues, sometimes friends, sometimes even enemies, but always the interaction had been strong.

It hit Gil with a suddenness that the dynamic between the doctor and himself was set to change, probably already had. He allowed himself a smile, tried to put warmth and reassurance into it, and failed to be certain that he had succeeded. If they were both set on this course, they would no longer be employer and subordinate. Gil almost heard a clatter as one of the barriers between them fell away.

Miles swallowed and slid his hand up Gil’s arm to his shoulder, resting it there for a second, waiting for a reaction. None came, so he slid it higher, tracing the side of Gil’s jawline with the back of his thumb, stroking the short stubble. God, it felt good to touch someone like that again. Gil was so gorgeous, but young, damn it, at least ten years younger than he was. Why would he be interested in him? Gil’s eyes opened and the young man gazed at Miles with a smile. Miles finally found he could speak. “That kiss back in the hallway was…. incredible. Was it just to make sure I joined the team?” His thumb flicked the corner of Gil’s lips.

“I won’t lie to you, I did the first thing that came to me.” Gil turned his cheek toward the caress, trapping Miles’ fingers gently against his shoulder in reassurance. “I just couldn’t…” there was a catch in his voice and he swallowed and cleared his throat, looked away for a second. “I couldn’t just let you go.” Gil turned his gaze back to Miles again. “I admit I wanted to do something, anything, to make you stay…. The thought of you not coming with us…” Gil shuddered, “but you have to know, Miles, surely you know, how I feel?”

Miles stopped stroking and turned his hand, cupping Gil’s jaw so he could see his eyes better. The brown seemed to have grown darker, more intense, reflecting the depth of his sincerity. His heart skipped a beat. “That’s the problem. I don’t know how you feel. From the looks of things, you and Lyle had a thing going. I…” but Gil was shaking his head.

“I like the man, a lot. He’s…. going through some personal shit right now, quite apart from this business with Vale. I think I need to tell you about that later because I want to be there for him, but we never made each other any promises…” but Gil knew it would hurt Lyle anyway, if he found out.

Miles swallowed; his brain wasn’t functioning too well. All he wanted to do was see if those lips felt as good as he remembered. He closed the distance between them and brought his mouth down on Gil’s. God, he was out of practice. Teeth clashed and he pulled back in a start with a nervous chuckle.

Gil couldn’t help himself, he began to laugh. The tension broke. Grabbing Miles by his shirt front Gil pulled him closer and pressed their lips together. His tongue demanded entry, he wanted to experience the taste of Miles’ mouth again, and more, much more. He could but hope he didn’t scare the man away. He had no desire to push too hard. Well, not in that sense anyway.

Miles groaned, he felt like a starving man at a three course all-you-can-eat banquet. It had been too long since he’d been kissed like that. A tiny part of his brain tried to tell him to go slow, think of Darren, but his body revolted. He wrapped his arms around Gil and pressed into him, a low guttural sound escaping as he returned the kiss with interest. He peeled his lips away and turned his attention to kissing along the jawline where his thumb had been stroking, working his way down around one side before coming back the other and returning to the man’s soft lips. The sensations seemed to travel through every part of his body, setting his nerves on fire. He ground his hard cock against Gil’s body, feeling more like a rutting stag than a human. He broke off the kiss and stood back, panting. Christ, the poor guy probably hadn’t bargained on that. “Sorry,” he muttered.

“Sorry?” Gil’s eyebrows rose. He already missed the warmth of Miles’ body pressed against his. “What in hell have you got to be sorry for? That was…” he shook his head as his vocabulary failed him. He was panting hard.
That’s not the only thing that’s hard either
, he thought. He couldn’t ignore the response he had felt in Miles’ body; the man had been rock solid against him.

“It’s just that I suppose I’ve wanted to do that for so long, but I was your boss and I wasn’t sure you’d welcome my… advances.” Miles sniggered at the term, he sounded like something out of an old-fashioned bodice ripper. He clenched his fists, trying to get his reactions under control. Gil didn’t seem too fazed by his rough and ready caveman technique. God, perhaps once he’d got this out of his system, he could start acting like the civilized man he was. He shook his head and laughed. Nah, he hadn’t been civilized for ages and wasn’t likely to be anytime soon. He moved closer again. “You’re not running away, I see.” He reached for Gil’s shirt and carefully undid the top button. Pausing, waiting for Gil’s response as his fingers slid to the next one.

“Did you honestly expect me to?” Gil kept his eyes on Miles’. “You should laugh more often, you know. You’re more handsome when you laugh like that.”

Miles blinked in surprise. “Me, handsome? You had your eyes checked lately?” He undid the second button and sped up as his fingers fumbled with the third and fourth. Once they were all open, he peeled the shirt back off Gil’s shoulders and using his eyes, just devoured the broad expanse of chest in front of him.

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