Together, they might stand a chance.
Divided the world might never survive.
Richard, chased by the memory of losing his entire team in Syria, agreed to help his younger brother Talon, in an attempt to forge bonds between them that had been broken when Talon had transformed.
Adam, terrified of the team that had given him a chance at life, finding out what he had done. Would it result not only in losing the family he had always wanted but never had, but the real risk of harm to those not expecting it, and knowing he was going to be forced to choose between the two?
Sawyer, torn between the real possibility that his ability was out of control, and terrified to admit it even to those who had always had his back, was secretly being drawn to both the warrior that might save the world, and the innocent that might have to sacrifice himself for it.
And the very real possibility that the evil they faced would defeat all three.
Too stupid to live? Wasn’t that what the kids said? Or was that just Finn? Adam snorted and pressed his face to the glass. It was going to rain. Hardly surprising in Florida. And even though it was hot and sticky outside, everything inside him chilled.
“Hi, I’m Finn.” Adam had been shy. Everyone else’s mom or dad had been standing at the bus stop with them that first day, but the two who had parents who didn’t give a fuck had naturally gravitated to each other. “You wanna sit next to me?”
And they had just about been inseparable for the next five and a bit years. Thanks to Tammy, Adam had already been reading when he started school, but he hated math. Finn was exactly the opposite. He struggled with words. Not the ones he heard but the ones he was supposed to read. Finn was clever. Far cleverer than Adam, but just because he didn’t understand other people’s words when they were written down, everyone thought he wasn’t.
Adam had quickly disabused Jamie Salmon of that idea in first grade. And any of the other idiots who thought they could pick on his friend. Jamie was named after a big pink fish, so who was he to talk? Adam was big for his age and had a sister who anyone only took on if they had a death wish. Finn had a brother but wished he didn’t. Adam wouldn’t have wanted a brother like Deke, either.
They’d been inseparable right up to that last year. Adam had told Finn he liked Mandy Jameson even though he was pretty sure she ate poisonous plants like Brussels Sprouts, and Finn had gone quiet and then confessed he liked Mandy’s older brother. The one in high school that sometimes dropped her off at school in the mornings. That had given Adam a lot to think about because, yeah, he was pretty sure he liked Mandy Jameson’s brother as well. And it had always been like that. That they could say anything to each other.
Until that morning. That morning when his world had ended because he’d woken up with a scar on his face and found out that the people who were supposed to love you never really had.
Except Finn. Adam knew beyond any doubt Finn would have stuck with him. Finn would have taken one look at his face and probably likened him to some weird superhero, or alien, or someone else in a book no one else would have ever heard of. And it wouldn’t have mattered. They’d have gotten on the bus and talked about pink fish and liking boys and how they were always going to be best friends. Forever.
But forever was a long time, and Adam didn’t think even Finn could forgive this one.
The screen door banged, and Adam turned around, surprised he hadn’t heard Todd’s truck only to come face to face with Sawyer. He ducked his head, but it was too late, and Sawyer swore, striding over and hooking his thumb under Adam’s chin and raising his face. His black eye would be more visible. Not that you couldn’t see it from space.
Instead of Sawyer getting angry, getting defensive, his expression gentled, as did his fingers. Adam missed the feel of them when they left his face. “What do you need me to do?”
Adam wished so fucking much he could tell him. “I’m handling it.” He didn’t look at Sawyer as he said it. He didn’t need to see the doubt or the disbelief, and he wished so fucking hard he could tell him. He turned away because he had to blink rapidly, but Sawyer had seen, and his warm fingers returned as his palm landed on Adam’s cheek. The one with the scar. Not that Sawyer would flinch because he had one of his own, and Adam closed his eyes on the world and leaned into the touch. He caught a hurried breath from Sawyer, then Sawyer’s thumb slid down his jaw until he was nearly touching Adam’s lip. What would that touch feel like? Adam slid his face a little more toward Sawyer.
He opened his eyes because he had to know and met Sawyer’s green ones and marveled for a second at how deep and wide they had gotten. And how much they seemed to draw him in. He took in the slight flush on Sawyer’s neck and the way his breathing seemed to have sped up. And the way Sawyer looked at him. Saw him. He didn’t see a scar. He didn’t see a failure. He didn’t see betrayal.
Adam knew he needed to step back. He couldn’t drag Sawyer into his mess. Fuck, but he didn’t want to. He wanted—
But the lips that touched his own sent all rational thought somewhere else, somewhere that didn’t hurt. Somewhere where bad decisions belonged to someone else. Somewhere he could be someone else.
Adam’s arms were around Sawyer before he knew what was happening, and he drew him closer. His lips were gentle on Adam’s, but Adam didn’t want gentle. He wanted fierce and possessive, not tentative and unsure. Sawyer moaned into his touch, and Adam explored with his tongue. He could feel Sawyer’s hardness through his jeans and rubbed their hips together. Sawyer groaned again and ground against him. His lips left Adam’s, but only to mouth the base of his neck, and Adam slid his hands down the back of Sawyer’s jeans, yanking him forward even more. Adam could feel the warmth start in his spine as his body responded. Fuck, how long had it been?
“Adam,” Sawyer gasped, a small whine leaving his throat, the vibration against the skin of Adam’s neck addictive. He wanted more. More touching, more kisses.
“Adam, come with me. Come to my place,” Sawyer whispered.
Adam stilled so completely that Sawyer hesitated and looked up. “Adam?” When Adam couldn’t seem to form an answer, Sawyer tilted his head, confusion chasing away the passion in those lust-filled eyes.
“I can’t,” Adam choked out and took a step back. The hardest one he’d ever taken.
Sawyer’s arms dropped to his sides. “You can have your own room if—”
But Adam shook his head. “No, sorry. I was upset, and I took it out on you.”
“Adam, that wasn’t an angry kiss. I was two minutes from dragging you into bed until I remembered where we were.” And who you’re supposed to be with. The words weren’t spoken, but Adam heard them all the same.
“I’m sorry, that was bad. I didn’t mean to give you the impression that I wanted more. I just needed a distraction.” Adam wanted to flinch at the hurt that flashed across Sawyer’s face, scream. He didn’t mean it, but he couldn’t unsay it. He didn’t dare. “I guess you’re here for those things you left?”
Sawyer didn’t reply. He took one disbelieving look at Adam, then simply turned and left. Adam closed his eyes. He didn’t want to watch someone else leave him.
Because, in the end, that’s all they ever did, even if this time Adam had pushed them away.
Bullets and Babies!
Victoria writes about guys loving other guys in between dodging bullets, kidnappers, and serial killers. She enjoys putting them through hell to get their happy ever after—it’s a character flaw she
She also believes that family is who you choose, that dogs are often much wiser than human beings, and that we’re steadily destroying the world we live in.
She also believes that if people read more books, they wouldn’t screw up as much.