21 JANUARY 2012
Detective Max Bowman is hunting a serial killer terrorizing the city.
A serial killer who leaves bodies drained of blood.
After taking a break in a local bar, he is attacked, robbed and left for dead -
waking up in Carter Gray's bed was the last thing he expected.
Who is this man? What is his dark secret?
Is it that he's responsible for the trail of bodies across the city?
The voice was warm and rich and Max could detect a southern twang to the vowels. The owner of said voice was sitting in a large chair in the corner of the room and he watched as the man stood and walked slowly toward him. Max felt his tongue stick to the roof of his suddenly dry mouth as his gaze raked over six feet of perfection: solid muscles, long, lean limbs and a face of unreal handsomeness. The man moved with a feline grace; even in the pain he was in, Max wondered dazedly what it would be like to feel those hips sway against his own.
“Where am I?” his voice sounded croaky to his own ears and he grimaced at the coppery taste of dried blood in his mouth. “Who are you?” Looking up at the man beside the bed, he felt his breath hitch in his throat and he knew he was staring, but he couldn't help it. He didn't think he had ever seen anyone so gorgeous, man or woman, in his life. Letting his gaze travel up long muscled legs clad in dark denim that clung in all the right places, he swallowed and his eyes took in the defined abdominal muscle beneath the taut black t-shirt the man wore. The clean swell of well developed biceps pushed at the hem of the shirt’s short sleeves and Max’s stare paused at the clear outline of a ring in the man's right nipple. His gaze continued on its journey up to the man's strong jaw, to the dimple in the square chin and the full, plump lips below a straight nose. He swallowed hard when he looked into eyes that were the color of moss on a summer’s day, flecked with gold and surrounded by dark lashes. “I said, where am I and who are you?” he repeated, struggling to stay upright to relieve the pain in his side.
“I'm Carter Gray,” the man replied, running a hand through his collar length dark, blond hair. “And you're in my bedroom.” His lips curved slightly when he saw the way Max attempted to scoot back against the pillows and away from him when he sat down on the bed. “You were attacked by the man who was trying to pick you up in the bar, and his associate.” His eyebrow lifted and his words were laced with light sarcasm as he added; “You really should pick your drinking partners a little more carefully.”
“I heard them say they were going to kill me,” Max said quietly, feeling some of the tension leave him the longer he looked into those cool, green eyes.
“Well, they didn't. Although they gave it a good shot,” Carter replied his tone even as he adjusted the strapping around Max's torso. “You've been out for quite a while. You’ve got a concussion and a fractured rib, together with some impressive bruising to your kidneys; so don’t be alarmed if you’re pissing blood for a few days.” Lifting his right hand, he gently traced the swelling around Max's eye. “Not to mention the most fabulous black eye I think I’ve ever seen.”
“Are you a doctor or something?” Max was trying hard to ignore the touch of cool fingers on his skin as his injuries were re-examined.
“Or something,” Carter echoed, tilting his head to look directly into Max’s eyes. “You know who I am, but you've yet to introduce yourself.”
Max flushed under the intensity of the stare and felt his heart pick up pace as Carter's gaze slipped to his lips. He could not prevent his tongue from sliding out to moisten them before replying, feeling a tightening in his gut at the darkening of the moss-colored eyes as they followed the swipe of his tongue. “I'm Max,” he lifted his hand slowly, mindful of his ribs, and held it out toward the other man. “Max Bowman.”
Carter stared at Max's huge paw for a long moment before his slender fingers closed around it. “Nice to meet you, Max.” He heard Max’s gasp when their fingers connected and could not deny his own intake of breath. It was as if an electrical current had passed between them. Dropping Max’s hand, he stood quickly and moved away from the bed, his voice expressionless as he said; “I'll have Gordon bring you some painkillers.”