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Authors: Tere Michaels

Tags: #LGBT Erotic Contemporary

Love & Loyalty

BOOK: Love & Loyalty
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Love & Loyalty

Tere Michaels

Love & Loyalty

Copyright © September 2009 by Tere Michaels
All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without prior written permission from Loose Id LLC. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

ISBN 978-1-60737-425-1

Available in PDF, HTML, Microsoft Reader, and Mobi Editor: Georgia A. Woods

Cover Artist: Croco Designs

Printed in the United States of America

Published by

Loose Id LLC

870 Market St, Suite 1201

San Francisco CA 94102-2907

This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Loose Id LLC's e-books are for sale to adults ONLY, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

* * * * *

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About this Title

LGBT Erotic Contemporary

Previous Book:
Faith & Fidelity
Although these two books are connected, each can be read as a standalone title.

LGBT Erotic Contemporary

Detective James “Jim” Shea is a Seattle homicide detective who has never taken his work home with him—until now. A case has gotten under his skin and though it's “over," it isn't for Jim. The emotional toll has left him vulnerable and tied to the victim's dying father.

Meanwhile, Hollywood comes calling for a hot story, and screenwriter Griffin Drake sees the tragic case as his ticket to more serious fare than his usual action blockbusters. But to get the whole story he needs to win over the stoic and protective Detective Shea.

Neither man has had much luck when it comes to romance or long-term relationships and neither is particularly looking but there's an attraction from their first meeting that can't be denied. Their impromptu first date seems to have no end in sight—quickly becomes a barreling freight train of romance.

Looming problems outside threaten their relationship—death, secrets, and broken trust—and they'll have to learn loyalty to save their newfound love.

Publisher's Note:
This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic
language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal
play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.

Chapter One

James “Jim to Almost Everyone” Shea moved quickly through the throng of reporters and gawkers camped out on the front steps of the Seattle courthouse. He was quick on the heels of his partner, Terry Oh, who jogged ahead, pushing microphones and cameras out of their faces with a terse “no comment.”

No comment
from the detectives who had pursued Tripp Ingersoll for two years, running down every lead they could to connect the round-faced college student with the murder of a Seattle prostitute named Carmen Kelly.
after a six-week trial that had taken a toll on everyone involved.

Terry reached the front doors and gave a uniformed cop the high sign. No need to flash his badge, and Jim didn't even bother to reach into his pocket.

They'd been here every day they could of the trial, and they were sure as hell expected now that the verdict would be read.

“Come on,” Terry said, urging Jim in front of him. Jim felt a mix of gratitude and annoyance at the hand on his arm—he didn't like being handled, but he could use some help not exploding.

The high-profile, truTV-coverage, tabloid tone of this case drove him to distraction. High solve rates meant nothing to Jim if the guilty party didn't get put away. And this guy needed to have his moneyed, privileged ass thrown into prison for the rest of his natural life. Jim honestly didn't know what he was going to do if the verdict came down not guilty.

He knew that was wrong. He
it. After almost twenty years on the force, he'd heard the speeches over and over again. He'd given them to new recruits, new detectives—hell, Terry'd gotten it a few months after joining the 2

Tere Michaels

homicide department. You pursued the suspects, you collected the evidence, you handed over the best possible case to the prosecutor, and that was it. That was all you could do within the confines of your job.

This time, for whatever reason—the Kellys, the smug refusal of the suspect to even take them or the charges seriously—this case had dominated him emotionally. He could put the blame on a midlife crisis or burnout or some condition that middle-aged gay men got and shrinks wrote books about, but the reasons didn't matter at this point. Jim was fried, and his last shred of sanity was linked with the verdict of five women and seven men and whatever was written on that sheet of paper.

Terry got them into the courtroom without too much hassle; they exchanged nods and brief hugs with Carmen's parents, Ed and Della Kelly.

Their fragile composure, the lines of grief and pain eaten into the planes of their faces—it seemed to echo what was going on in Jim's gut.

He sat down and tried to breathe.

Terry vibrated beside him, twisting his wedding ring round and round.

This was his first big trial, his first experience with a case that got under your skin and squeezed your middle until you thought you might bust with the need to solve it. The newlywed wasn't having a whole lot of luck explaining this to his wife—a situation that further weighed on Jim's mind. Divorces and breakups were so common in the squad room that no one bothered to write out a card or attend a bachelor party anymore. It seemed dishonest. It was depressing, and you could pretty much guess the outcome.

It was the excuse he gave when people asked why he wasn't seeing anyone.

The courtroom filled up: curious spectators, family members from both sides, then the prosecutors and the defense lawyers. Then the moment everyone held their breath for—the entrance of Tripp Ingersoll. His parents and girlfriend leaned forward to pat his arm and sniffle sympathetically; Jim tried Love & Loyalty


very hard not to hate them and remember that maybe, just maybe, they really did think he was innocent.

Because if he imagined they just didn't care or think a dead teenage prostitute, strangled and left in an empty parking lot, was worth this

“inconvenience,” he might explode.

Business was taken care of quickly, and Judge Crenshaw stepped out of chambers. Jim stood with his hands tightly clenched, listening to Terry huff and mutter next to him in Korean, listening to the murmurs of the gallery.

The jury was brought in. Everyone seemed to take a collective lean forward.

Jim scanned the two rows of jurors, reading their expressions as best he could, a growing sense of dread in his stomach. They weren't looking at the side of the gallery where the detectives and the Kellys were sitting. They weren't looking at the defense table, where Tripp rubbed his hands through his boyish curls and straightened the collar of his $150 silk shirt.

They were looking at Mr. and Mrs. Ingersoll and Tracey, the faithful girlfriend. And they looked relieved.

Jim swallowed hard and pressed his elbow into Terry's side as if to warn him what was going to happen. He clamped down everything—the fury, the despair, the confusion, and held his breath.

Not guilty.

The courtroom went crazy even as Judge Crenshaw banged his gavel and the deputies in the room tensed toward the crowd. Screams of joy and the weeping Mrs. Ingersoll led the rolling wave of noise as the Kellys seemed to collapse in on themselves.

Jim couldn't move. Terry broke out of a stunned stupor and began cursing under his breath. Other detectives familiar with the case rumbled behind them.

A few of Carmen's childhood friends who'd come from Tacoma for the trial wept.


Tere Michaels

Quiet was restored quickly. Everyone sat down, and Jim got a perfect view of Tripp Ingersoll's smirking, joyful face as he reached over the back of his chair to hold Tracey's hand. He did it; he beat it. He'd gotten away with murder. Jim shoved down the little voice telling him that it would be worth his career to get up and take a few strides to Tripp's side and beat the ever-loving shit out of him…

But he didn't. He stayed there as Judge Crenshaw glowered and spat out the rest of the required words; clearly the judge wasn't any more delighted with the verdict than the rest of Carmen's supporters.

Then it was over.

“Come on, let's go talk to the Kellys,” Terry mumbled in his ear. Jim nodded automatically, then stood up and made his way over to where the prosecutors, Nick Nathan and Heather Gomez, were trying to comfort the devastated couple.

BOOK: Love & Loyalty
12.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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