Noah Everett shed his rent boy existence for a bar and helping young men get a second chance at life. Haunted by those he couldn’t save, he keeps others at bay until his self-imposed loneliness is shattered by ambitious but homeless Jeremy Kincaid.
Aged out of the foster system, Jeremy’s the perfect target for a ruthless pimp like Willie Carnell. He wants no part of any future that includes working for Willie, but without a strong ally, he may not have a choice.
Noah knows exactly what Willie’s capable of, and if he’ll fight for strangers, he’ll fight harder for Jeremy.
Even if it takes confronting his own past.
Excerpt: The Angel of 13th Street
“Please don’t let them catch me, please don’t let them catch me…”
Jeremy scurried as fast as he could without drawing the wrong people’s attention. Now to make it to safety before the bullies realized he’d given them the slip. They didn’t dare chase him down openly with witnesses milling around, but they were there, lurking in the shadows, and if they caught him—
It wouldn’t be pretty.
Ratty book bag thrown over one shoulder, he shuffled down the street. Time to shake them off so they wouldn’t see where he lived.
The tattered denim jacket he’d pulled over his head as a makeshift disguise failed to protect him from stinging rain. Turning east onto deserted Harper Street, he broke into a run, tennis shoes slapping against wet pavement. Halfway down the street he swung over a wrought-iron railing into a stinking, trash-filled stairwell.
Holy fuck! Fire shot up his leg. Filthy ankle-deep water splattered his already damp jeans.
Shit, shit, shit! Which bothered him more, his screaming ankle or no more clean clothes for school?
“Where did he go? He didn’t just disappear,” an angry voice demanded. Jeremy didn’t know the guy, but he knew the type: thug.
His ankle throbbed. Flattening against a slimy concrete wall, he bit his lip to silence a moan. He held his breath and focused on the sound of running feet directly overhead.
Damn it! He’d told them no last time, and he didn’t have anything worth taking. Were they go-ing to hurt him this time? The footsteps stopped a few feet away. Please let them not hear his thundering heartbeat, roaring like thunder in his own ears.
“Well! Spread out and look! He can’t have gone far!” That voice he did know—Trent, a seriously bad dude.
Jeremy’s heart ached for the man who’d been his boyfriend, once upon a time, before Trent had… changed.
“What did he do? He didn’t turn into a rat and slither down into the sewers!” That voice was unfamiliar and too gruff to belong to one of Trent’s normal gang. So Trent had called in reinforcements, had he?
Didn’t matter. The answer was still “Oh fuck, no!”
Ha! The big bad rent boys couldn’t handle one scrawny runt on their own—and hadn’t managed to turn Jeremy into a whore. But as much as he feared Trent’s gang, the newcomers were unknown and could be even worse.
Fuck Willie and his constant search for new talent, particularly the legal but baby-faced kind.
And Jeremy looked young. Young enough to be hiding in a stinking stairwell. A broken door hung from its hinges a few feet away. If he’d only been a few seconds faster…
“Hey, I think I see him,” someone shouted.
Jeremy sucked in a breath and braced to run. Footsteps headed back into the direction they’d come.
It might be a ruse. “One-one thousand, two-one thousand…” He reached one hundred and slowly rose on his toes, stifling a grunt of pain as his injured ankle gave way.
Grasping the railing, he pulled himself up, sweeping a wary gaze over the now-empty street.
Gone! Awesome! He released a sigh, eased weight onto his good ankle, and hobbled the short distance to the door of his hovel in water-logged sneakers. Squeezing through the narrow gap, he whispered to no one, “Hiya! I’m home.”