I am dedicating this book to Breonna Taylor, a beautiful woman who was taken from this life too soon. I wish I could right the wrongs in real life as I do in my fictional stories. Maybe I can’t make justice happen for you, but I can make sure people don’t forget your name. #SayHerName
“Come on, Raphael,” Rocky urged while staring through the lens of his camera. “Make your move already. My ass is going numb.”
Rocky’s phone vibrated in his pocket. His first instinct was to ignore the incoming text message, but Asher was due home any minute. He blindly removed the phone from his pocket and held it in front of his face, glancing at it long enough to confirm it was from his husband.
Where are you?
Rocky looked back through the lens and saw that Raphael Warner hadn’t moved any closer to his mistress. He was starting to doubt these two were even having an affair. So far, Rocky had only presented photos to Mrs. Warner that depicted her husband dining out with this woman on three occasions—all seemingly innocent public outings.
Mrs. Warner insisted that something more devious was going on, and since she was paying handsomely for his time, Rocky had agreed to keep following Raphael’s pursuits. After weeks of tailing the CEO of Warner Global Technologies, Rocky finally struck gold during a deep dive into the man’s financials. WGT had acquired many companies over the years, and one of them had recently closed on a house in a neighborhood just outside Vegas. It was the only residential property any of his companies owned.
Rocky had dressed up in a power company uniform and let himself inside the residence the previous day to scope it out. The utilities were on, and someone had fully furnished the home, but he found no signs of anyone living there. The house was beautifully decorated but felt cold, lifeless, and sterile. It reminded Rocky of the dozens of model homes he and Asher had toured while trying to decide where they wanted to live. A big fenced-in backyard for a future pooch was the only thing the two men had agreed upon since they’d started house hunting. This property combined all the things Asher and Rocky were looking for, but the neighborhood was way out of their price range. They couldn’t afford to buy the detached pool shack.
Rocky hadn’t found food in the refrigerator or cabinets, even though there were plenty of dishes. Was it possible Warner’s company had bought the place for visiting executives to stay? Rocky had almost convinced himself that his assumptions were wrong until he opened the closet in the master bedroom. It was full of sex toys, lubes, lingerie, and costumes, which told him everything he needed to know about the house.
He’d uncovered Raphael Warner’s fuck pad, although it gave him no joy. He’d really come to like his client, Julia, and knew how much it would hurt her to learn the truth. She wasn’t paying him to spare her feelings, which was why he was staking out the property at ten o’clock at night when he could be home with his husband. When Mrs. Warner received conflicting information from her husband’s assistant regarding Raphael’s return to Vegas, she called Rocky.
“Something is about to happen,” she’d told him a few hours earlier. “Raphael’s assistant told me he’s flying home this afternoon, but my husband told me he wouldn’t be back until tomorrow.”
“I’m on it,” Rocky had replied.
Watching Raphael charm this woman through the photo lens made him sick to his stomach. Four innocent kids were about to have their lives turned upside down, and he hated the role he was playing in the destruction. He loathed himself for wondering if Julia might give him a deal on this house when she sold off every single one of Raphael’s assets. It had been a fleeting thought but lingered long enough to make his face heat in shame.
Ford? Asher texted.
He set the camera down and typed out a quick response. On surveillance duty. He glanced at the couple on the couch again and noticed they’d moved much closer. Warner was stroking his hand through the woman’s long dark hair. Rocky picked up his camera and snapped a picture before tapping out another message. Doesn’t look like I’ll be much longer. Where are you?
The response came a few seconds later. Home.
The message included a photo of Asher sprawled in their bed, wearing a pair of tight briefs that hugged his bulge alluringly. Asher’s hand rested on his lower abdomen, his long fingers splayed so the tip of his pinky grazed the waistband of his underwear. God, Rocky loved those hands so much, and he couldn’t wait to feel them on his skin. Would they be possessive or tender? Both. Asher had been gone for almost a week, so he would start out one way and end with the other.
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