Authors: Elizabeth Lapthorne
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
A Totally Bound Publication
©Copyright Elizabeth Lapthorne 2015
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright January 2015
Edited by Sue Meadows
Totally Bound Publishing
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorized or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2015 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN
Totally Bound Publishing is a subsidiary of Totally Entwined Group Limited.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
Troy has been recovering from an injury and is going crazy. Steven—one of the nurses helping him—has caught his attention in every way. When both men are dragged into a government conspiracy thanks to the consulting work Troy does, the men get thrown into a life-altering, intimate situation where the only way out is to rely on each other fully.
Troy Price has been recovering in the hospital. One of the Triage nurses, Steven Thompson, has caught his eye. Drawn into his consultancy work, Troy finds himself in way over his head. Steven, intrigued and protective, stumbles along with him.
All too soon Troy and Steven are dragged into the murky world of back stabbing, double dealing and where nothing anyone says is really how it seems. By the time they realize Troy’s contact may have double crossed them from the start—and sent two assassins after them and a parliament official—things spiral rapidly out of control.
Troy and Steven need to work together, fast, to try to find out what’s really going on. With danger lurking around every turn and with death the only easy way to defend oneself, Troy and Steven have to rely on each other and trust one another as never before.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
: Enid Blyton
Burberry: Burberry Group plc
: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Guinness: Diageo plc
Troy Price was reading what seemed like a mountain of discharge and aftercare paperwork. As a general rule, reading forms of any description was a task he hated with a passion, but today he didn’t mind it at all. Anything that got him closer to leaving this small, sterile hospital room was a good thing.
After spending a week here recovering from a bullet wound and some cracked ribs, he was desperate to escape. The papers seemed endless, even though he knew freedom was just around the corner. Still, he was determined to make it through to the end. When his phone rang, he was incredibly tempted to let it go—but force of habit had him putting his pen down with a curse.
Troy glanced at the screen and saw it was one of his few friends. He answered. Balancing the phone between his shoulder and ear, Troy continued to fill in the forms.
“Hi, Finlay, are you coming to pick me up?” He injected as much lightness into his tone as possible. He wanted out of this room and nothing would stop him.
“What? No. Look, mate. I need a favor.”
Troy frowned. He and Finlay had worked on a few cases together, and while they considered each other friends, this was the first time Fin had ever asked for help. Troy found himself curious.
“Okay, what’s up?”
“It’s a long story and I’ll fill in the details later,” Finlay replied. “Suffice to say that I’ve met the most amazing woman—Emily—and we might have got ourselves into a spot of hot water. Can we lie low at your house for a few days until things blow over?”
“Fin.” Troy chuckled. “If this is you wanting to impress your latest shag—”
“Not at all, mate,” Fin insisted.
Troy heard the seriousness in his friend’s tone and stopped his teasing.
“This is completely different. She’s special. I’m in love with her—and we need help.”
Troy didn’t swing that way. He far preferred his bed partners to have hard, chiseled muscles, strong jaws and thick, long cocks. That didn’t mean he couldn’t appreciate the appeal of a woman, and more importantly, he’d never known Fin to speak about anyone like this. It seemed like Fin had fallen hard and fast for this Emily. Troy knew he’d help however he could.
“Of course, Fin. I’m almost done here at the hospital. I’ll text you when I’m nearly home and you and Emily can pop over and stay as long as you’d like.”
There was a pause. The unusual silence weighed heavily and Troy found himself looking up from the papers. There was something else, he could tell.
“What is it?” he asked.
Fin cleared his throat. “I don’t suppose you’ve become…ah…friendly, with any of the doctors over there?”
Troy blinked, surprised and even more intrigued now.
“Why?” he hedged.
“Emily was shot. She’s wearing a vest, so she’s only bruised, but I’ll feel better if she’s checked over first.”
Troy couldn’t wait to hear the full, longer-length story behind this. But he knew that would have to wait.
“I think I know someone I can recommend. Meet me here at the hospital and I’ll see what I can arrange. Then the three of us can go back to my place after and you can fill me in on what you’ve been up to this last week.”
“Mate, I totally owe you. That’s awesome. Thank you.”
“You mean you
owe me,” Troy replied with a smile.
Fin laughed. “Absolutely. I’ll be there soon.”
Troy nodded and hung up. Wondering what mess his friend had embroiled himself in, he tried to push it to the back of his mind and focus on the paperwork in front of him. Satisfied with the discharge papers, he signed them and returned the pen to the nurse’s desk. Collecting the after-care documents and assorted copies of forms he needed to file at home, he then checked he had everything. Troy turned and set off down the sterile hallway, keeping his eyes peeled for a certain male triage nurse.
At almost six foot with dark blond hair and a light tan, Steven Thompson had the solid, bulky form of a boxer and was hard to overlook. After a few conversations, Troy had even found Steven had indulged in some real boxing in his younger days.
“When I hit thirty, I decided such things were a young man’s sport,” Steve had admitted to Troy. “There’s only so many times a man can take having his nose broken and ribs cracked.”
Troy had agreed and they’d discussed various bumps, scratches and close calls they’d each experienced. He’d alluded to some of the more classified and sensitive war-wounds he’d received, but Steven was not stupid. Troy knew the nurse had already guessed he wasn’t an average consultant.
Despite the easy camaraderie between them, Troy wasn’t certain the man was gay. He’d get the impression that was the case, but since Steve didn’t send out any signals that Troy could read, he wasn’t sure enough to make an overt move.
Even though they’d shared a number of deep conversations, neither man had made an irretrievable move on the other. There’d been looks, gestures and unspoken meanings behind one or two of their more ribald discussions. But every time Troy tried to steer the conversation over some invisible line, Steve had reminded him in a subtle and often gentle manner of the professional barriers that lay between them.
Despite this, Troy felt sure it was only while he was at the hospital, under Steven’s care. There had been a warmth in their shared glances, Troy was sure it wasn’t his imagination when the odd touch would linger a second or two longer than strictly necessary.
It had been enough for Troy to believe there were unspoken possibilities present, but it wasn’t the right time. Once he left the hospital and was out of Steven’s direct care…well all bets were off then. He’d be free to try and suggest something a little less professional and more personal.
Now, Fin and Emily had given him the perfect reason to immediately start expanding on their chemistry and see what lay beneath the surface.
It took Troy a few minutes, but he caught sight of Steven walking down the hallway.
“Steve!” he called out. Steve stopped and turned, then smiled when he saw Troy. Troy caught up to him and only then wondered if he might be overstepping.
“Ah, I don’t want to put you on the spot or anything, mate, but I’m wondering if I can ask a favor.”
“I thought you were discharging yourself,” Steve replied with a grin. “Surely you don’t need my help with that?”
“Oh, no.” Troy lifted the papers in his hand. “I’ve got that all under control. But I’ve just been called by a friend. He and his girlfriend have been caught up in something, and Fin wants her checked out—just as a precaution, you understand. I was hoping you could help me out, give them a quick look over.”
Steve remained quiet for a moment, but then nodded. “I can probably find us a quiet place. What’s happened?”
Troy wrinkled his nose, hoping he wasn’t breaking faith with Fin in discussing this.
“Emily was wearing a protective vest, but she’s been shot. There’s no damage—or I don’t believe there is—but Fin’s in love with her and wants to be sure there’s nothing wrong.”
“You’ll need to take my word for it then if I suggest she seek medical treatment,” Steve insisted. His tone was firm, brooking no arguments. “But if I believe she’s fine then that should assuage any worry for your friend, right?”
Troy nodded, grateful. “Thank you so much.”
“Stay near here then,” Steve said. “I’m overdue for my break. I’ll find somewhere and we can check her over there, then.”
* * * *
“You have the most skillful hands.”
Troy heard the words slip from his brain and out of his mouth before he could censor them. Mildly embarrassed at himself, he bent his head so his dark, scruffy hair fell onto his forehead. He huffed out a frustrated breath, dismayed at his unwitting revelation and shoved pale hands deep into the pockets of his jacket.