Freelance computer genius Trent Marcus took a web development job he wishes he hadn’t, and now he’s in a world of hurt. With his safety threatened, he needs someone who can protect him from his client, who responds to “no” with threats and intimidation.
Personal trainer and silver fox Collin Fitzpatrick gave part of his leg for his country, and now his ex is selling his home, so he needs a place to live quickly. He hears from mutual friends that Trent has a room he can rent and needs Collin’s help.
Neither Trent nor Collin is looking for a relationship, but attraction ignites for Trent, and it’s returned, to Trent’s surprise.
The last thing Collin expects is for his protective instincts to blossom into something much more. Trent’s care and genuineness combine to heal the heart his ex left shattered. As the task of keeping Trent safe becomes more paramount, so does the realization that failing could cost both of them everything.
“Are you Collin?” he asked, and smiled at the nod. “I’m Trent. I got a table right over here.” He seemed a little like a nervous bunny as he scampered to the table and sat down, a half-empty glass of soda in front of him.
Collin carefully slid into the booth and ordered a black coffee when the server came by. “So what’s going on with this room? What did Jack tell you?”
“Well….” Those blue eyes filled with fear, which was something Collin knew. It wasn’t the usual kind of fear. This was the kind he saw from men in combat when they realized they might not come back. The type that reached out and took hold of your soul and threatened to drag you to hell. Why Trent would know that confused him. It wasn’t something he had seen in a while.
Collin leaned over the table. “Why don’t you start with why you called me in the first place. This isn’t just about a room, is it?”
Trent shook his head.
“What did Jack tell you?”
“He said that you had done some bodyguard-type work at one time and that you needed a place to stay. So I thought that maybe we could help each other.” He drank from his glass, the ice cubes tinkling against the side. “I don’t know if you can… hell, I don’t know if there is anyone who can help me. But either way, Jack told my friend Marti that you were a good guy and that you needed a room for a few weeks. I can do that either way.”
“Why would you just offer a room to a stranger?” Collin asked. “And if you don’t mind my asking, why do you need to be guarded? What have you done?”
Trent looked down at the table. “Do you know who Soren Severson is?”
Collin groaned. Yeah, he knew that asshole way too well from his past life as an MP.
“He asked me to do some work for him, and now I need to back out of the agreement.”
Collin nodded. “Because you found out whatever you were doing was going to be used in ways you never dreamed?” He was well aware of the way Soren did business, and he also knew this was a man who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. “That sounds familiar.” God, he really didn’t want to get back on that vindictive ass’s radar screen. Maybe it was best if he just walked away now and went to live in his car for a few days. It couldn’t take that long to get an apartment. He’d have to pay more, but with what Yuri had agreed to pay him, he could supplement his rent money with part of that. Not that he wanted to live off his savings. It would be best if he lived on what he had coming in, but right now, that wasn’t all that much.
“Yeah,” Trent’s voice broke a little. “I see people outside my building waiting on the sidewalk. I get messages like these.” He passed over his phone, and Collin scrolled through the messages. At first the menace was veiled, but lately it had become much more explicit, which was concerning. Granted, the sender never said who they were, and Collin was sure that the phone couldn’t be traced back to Soren in any way, so it didn’t matter what he sent. Deniability was easy.
“Why don’t you just deliver what you promised and walk away?” Collin asked, realizing how naïve he sounded.