Friday, 6 November 2015

Nice Guy Wants Man to Love (MM)

"A Man to Love" book 3

Attorney Sawyer Hill blames Middle Child Syndrome for always trying to be nice instead of looking for the man he needs to complete his life. Lieutenant Mitchell Clarke has no such hesitation. He knows that Sawyer is the man he wants but life keeps getting in the way.

Instead of pursuing romance, Mitch is more likely to be pursuing criminals. Tom Frame is still determined to control Christabelle Nelson and the unborn child he is certain will be his son. He is constantly finding new ways to harass the entire family in his attempts to get to what he is sure will be Thomas Frame Junior. And now it’s almost Christmas when Mitch’s life will become even more hectic and complicated and the baby is due to be born. Will he ever be able to claim Mr. Nice Guy as his man?

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He’d recognized that big biker with the shaggy black hair the moment he’d seen him at the house that had been graffitied. Atticus his name was, and he was a regular at the gay bar, Midnight on Tenth. He was devastatingly handsome in a bad-boy kind of way, but not Mitch’s type at all. No, the attorney was more the kind of man Mitch liked. Quiet, intelligent, friendly. Of course the bad boy might be intelligent and friendly as well, but Mitch didn’t find badness the huge turn-on some other men obviously did.

Mitch found himself thinking about that home and the people in it several times when things in the precinct were quiet. The place had about a dozen men living there as well as the one pregnant little teenage girl they were all so protective of, and the old man and his wife. The ex-boyfriend who harassed her was damn lucky some of them hadn’t chopped him up and used him as plant fertilizer in the gardens of the home. The biker looked more than capable of doing such a thing, and some of the other men had seemed pretty cross at him as well.

But there was nothing Mitch had been able to do about the case. The video footage was blurry, the men’s faces were mostly hidden, and they didn’t have enough of the license plate to make a records search worth the time and effort for a vandalism case.

Well, that wasn’t completely true. He’d actually run the plate himself when he didn’t have any urgent work to do, but there were over a hundred matches so he hadn’t done anything more about it.

It was strange. He’d never expected to find “the one.” He only had to look around himself to see too many police officers completely in love with their wives or husbands and their marriages falling apart. Police work was never neat and orderly or eight ’til five. Not only did they work rotating shifts covering weekends and holidays and twenty-four-hour days, but also, when something urgent happened, shifts went out the window and cops kept working. That was not conducive to family life. Partners might understand in their mind that criminals had to be stopped, but when that meant flights to long-awaited events were missed or dad never ever saw Junior hit the winning run at baseball, people became a whole lot less understanding and demanded that their partner make the effort to be present for special days.

Mitch had no intention of breaking a kid’s heart by not being there for something incredibly important. Saying no to kids of his own was doable. Saying no to ever finding his soul mate was a much bigger challenge. However, the likelihood of meeting a man who would not only understand in his mind but also accept what had to be in his heart might be impossible. Which meant enjoying a one-night stand from time to time at the gay bar was about the best he could hope for.

Mitch picked up his coffee and took a mouthful, only to spit it back into the cup. “Yuk! When it did that get cold?”

He stood up, holding his cup, to go and make fresh coffee for himself when the landline on his desk rang. Instantly he sat down and picked up the telephone with one hand while setting the cup down and pulling a notepad and pen into the center of his desk with the other.


“It’s Sawyer Hill here. I hope I’m not calling you at an inconvenient time.”

“Not at all. I was just about to go and get some coffee.” And what a stupid statement that is. Now he’ll feel embarrassed he’s keeping me away from my beverage.

“I have a list of the names of the young men who were prepared to follow Tom Frame’s suggestion and libel Christabelle Nelson. The list isn’t confidential. The men had to issue public apologies. I just wondered if it would be possible to check the license plate against these names. There are twenty of them, including Tom himself.”

Mitch could hear a slight note of uncertainty in Sawyer’s voice, and that was very telling. The man was an attorney, used to speaking in public. Well, his job was arguing a case in public. So the fact that he was a fraction hesitant indicated he was well aware that he was pushing the envelope to make this request.

“Searches have to be justified in the budget, and this case has no budget,” said Mitch. It was the best he could do. He hadn’t refused, but he hadn’t agreed either.

Sawyer sighed. “That seems to be the way it is everywhere these days. The matter is very important to the family. Mr. Frame has been an extreme source of trouble to Ms. Nelson. If the task could be delegated to a civilian worker or an off-duty officer, the family would be prepared to pay for the time the search would take and any costs incurred.”

That was interesting. He’d guessed the family wasn’t penniless living in such a huge compound. Besides, searching for twenty names wouldn’t take all that long really. Although Sawyer didn’t know there’d only been about a hundred potential matches.

“E-mail me the list and I’ll see what I can organize. You understand that potential matches are no indication of guilt. There may be a passel of them.”

“I do understand, but if the car was stolen, it might also help you catch the thief.”

“That’s true.” Except that he already knew no car matching the part of the plate they’d been given had been stolen that night. That was what had led him to run the search in the first place.

Mitch gave Sawyer his e-mail address and heard the keys clicking as he did so. They made some desultory conversation as the file came through, and then Sawyer thanked Mitch and hung up.

But Mitch knew he’d check the list in his own time, and now that he had Sawyer’s e-mail address he could contact him again. Besides, no matter what the outcome of the search, he knew damn well he would be reaching out to the good-looking attorney. Nothing might come of it, but the opportunity was too attractive to ignore.

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