Reinventing Cato (Unfinished Business #3) by Barbara Elsborg



Reinventing Cato





Fate is not always written in the stars…

Being headhunted by NASA might be his ultimate dream, but Cato’s life still sucks. He’s tired of anonymous one-night stands. He’s tired of being lonely. And, frankly, he’s tired of himself. As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, he realises the only thing to do if he wants to be happy is to reinvent himself.

Persuaded by his sister to spend New Year’s Eve in Scotland with his parents, Vigge can’t escape the memory of why their family fractured eighteen years ago, and his part in it. He’s channelled the guilt he feels into finding truth and justice for others, but his own life is empty and cold.

A chance encounter at a snowbound airport has Vigge and Cato colliding in more ways than one. Someone seems to have it in for Cato, and as Vigge gets drawn into the mess of Cato’s life, he finds himself falling for the sexy scientist. If only Vigge can make peace with his past and step away from the darkness, they just might have a chance at a future as bright as Cato’s beloved stars.





Chapter One



Cato sprawled on the bed in his hotel room, trying to work up some enthusiasm for a party he’d been excited about a few hours ago. He’d flown four hundred miles to get here, and was now contemplating staying in his room all night. On his own. Get a hold of yourself, you wimp. Yeah, well having a wank was likely to be the only pleasant thing that would happen this evening, and the pleasure in that would be fleeting.

He started at the knock on the door, his heart giving a heavy thump, but stayed where he was. When the knock came again, he put on his glasses and padded to the peephole, then sighed and pulled the door open.

Darth Vader twirled a flashing lightsaber. “May I come in?”

Even with the voice distorter, Cato knew who this was and stepped back to allow Robert inside. “Darth Vader wouldn’t ask, he’d just stride in. And don’t twirl the bloody weapon like a magic wand.”

Robert slid his mask up onto his head. “I was too well-trained by my nanny. I’m incapable of villainy.” He pushed the door closed behind him.

“Just as well, considering you’re a criminal lawyer.” Cato returned to the bed, dropped onto his back and crossed his legs, hoping he looked more relaxed than he felt.

“I didn’t know,” Robert said. “I’d have warned you, I swear.”

“You already said.”

“Clara didn’t think they’d come. It was just a throwaway offer when she bumped into Louise in London. And Clara doesn’t know the details of what happened because you asked me not to tell her. So don’t blame her.”

“It’s okay.” It wasn’t.

“I hope you don’t think you’re going to stay in your room all night.”

“There’s a James Bond film on.”

“Cato! Come downstairs. You’re 33, not 13. If you stay up here, they’ve won. Dinner’s about to be served. You’re not on the same table. We had to jig things around to fit them in.”

“Are they sitting in the corridor?”

“That would be a touch rude, but they’re as far away from you as humanly possible. They were lucky to get a room in the hotel.”

And Cato was unlucky. “I’ll be down in a bit.”

“Sure?”

Cato nodded.

“Where’s your costume?”

“I only need a bowtie and a jockstrap. I’m coming as a stripper.”

“Very funny.” Robert paused at the door and turned to face him. “You are joking, aren’t you? Because—”

“Yes, Robert.”

“I’m on your side. I miss you. I wish we could meet up more often. But we’re definitely coming out to California to see you.”

“I don’t have the job yet.”

“You’ll get it. They’d be lucky to have you.”

Robert left and Cato sat up. Louise and Max had won. Him going downstairs to the party wouldn’t change that. They were together and he was on his own. But appearing to be perfectly fine about what had happened would make him feel better. Wouldn’t it? Plus, he was hungry. He’d already scoffed the complimentary packet of shortbread.

Cato pulled his costume out of his bag, tugged it over his head and looked at himself in the mirror. Before he could change his mind, he put his lenses in and applied eyeliner. He always felt braver with his eyes made up. It had nothing to do with the fact that Max liked him with it on. He clenched his jaw, shoved his feet into his boots and headed downstairs. Sulking in his room like a lovesick teenager would achieve nothing. He shouldn’t have needed Robert to point that out. What he ought to do was find someone for the night, show Max he was over him.