Love is the only gold
Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.
This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.
Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond—until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past: his relationship with his estranged family.
Reed lowered his voice and leaned down over the table. “This isn’t for public knowledge. You heard about the plane that crashed in Turkey with a couple of American businessmen on board?”
“Yes,” the others replied.
“Authorities investigating the crash found they had been taking some antiquities out of the country. Items that were stolen from the national museum in Iraq back during the initial US invasion.”
“Really?” Laura’s eyes widened.
Trent raised an eyebrow. Reed never shared this stuff with him. Why now? Was Reed changing, or was it some lie for Trent’s parents’ sake?
“What did they find?”
“All I can say is that the pieces were gold. Beautiful examples dating back almost three thousand years.”
“Wow.” A tingle of excitement shot up Trent’s spine. “Come on, tell us what they found.”
“I can’t just yet, because we’re still waiting for expert authentication. But we found more items in one victim’s house. I’ve been helping to catalog the items and looking for leads as to how he acquired them.”
“That’s so exciting,” Laura said.
At that point their entrées came, allowing little opportunity for talking as everyone dug into the delicious food and shared pieces with everyone else.
“Will you have to go back?” Trent asked. He wished it didn’t come out sounding like the prospect upset him.
“Not back to New York. But I will need to travel again in January.” Reed turned to Laura. “My boss is handling the travel arrangements, but I won’t be leaving until your visit here is over.”
“Oh, Reed, you don’t have to schedule your work around us.” Laura put a hand on his arm and gave him a lipsticky kiss.
Trent concentrated on his short ribs so he wouldn’t wonder why Reed was so nice all of a sudden. Then he reminded himself that he wanted Reed to be like this, so what was he upset about?
“Arranging international travel takes time, so it’s not a problem. Besides, I have a lot of information to study before the trip.”
“International?” Trent hated the little pang of jealousy creeping through his belly.
“That sounds exciting,” Rob said as he raised a fork full of roasted brussels sprouts to his mouth. “Where?” He plunged the sprouts in and chewed happily.
Trent scooped up some cinnamon-scented couscous dotted with currants on his spoon and avoided Reed’s eye.
“And Trent’s coming along too.”
Some idiot dropped a piece of silverware, and it clattered as it first hit a plate, then the edge of the table, before finally settling on the floor, attracting the attention of everyone in a three-table radius. Then Trent realized he’d been that idiot and had scattered couscous all over his lap and the floor.
Three staff members raced toward their table. When they’d finished cleaning up, Trent felt like he’d had his tires changed during a Formula One pit stop.
“Me?” Trent finally managed to choke out.
“If you want to come along.”
Trent shrugged and made a pretense at acting nonchalant. He failed miserably and leaned over to kiss Reed. “Thank you.”
After that announcement, for the first time in his life, Trent didn’t even care what they ordered for dessert.
EM Lynley writes sizzling gay romance with a hint of mystery. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/790672047651196/
Free Reads: www.emlynley.com/free-stories/
Where To Buy:
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6513
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