by Thianna Durston
Order of the Black Knights Book Three
a multi-author series
Will he kill the one who can save him…again?
Special ops turned professional killer, Vespar McKauley is hired to take out Marcolm Rogers, son of his employer’s worst enemy. But Marc isn’t like any hit he’s ever done. He’s just twenty-one, he goes to a private university studying English Lit, and for fun he plays computer games with his friends. No drugs, no partying, no crime. The day he bumps into Marc and looks into his azure eyes, the world drops out from under him.
With his father in the Chicago Crime Syndicate, Marc and his mom have stayed out of the limelight, hiding from those that might harm them. He figures he’s safe at a small liberal arts university all the way across the country. Only midway through his senior year, he feels eyes on him and the shadows encroaching. Just as he’s about to run, he meets Vespar and experiences an instant attraction. When Vespar tells him he’s in danger and offers to protect him, Marc wants to believe him. But he’s been hunted before, and this time he isn’t sure he’ll get away. Especially when he finds out he is Vespar’s target.
Order of the Black Knights:
Every century has seen its knights. But there are those that are never seen. They do what must be done, what has to be done – the jobs where nobody wants to get their hands dirty. They are called the Black Knights. First created in the 1100s, these men seem cold and hard, and of some, it is said they have no soul. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside. The question is whether or not he will kill the individual before he figures it all out.
Genre: Romantic SuspensePurchase link(s): DSP Amazon BAM iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): M/M, Assassins, Action, Contemporary, Gay, GLBT
Release Date: January 4, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Excerpt & More
Marcolm was still in shock. There was no way he saw what he thought he saw. There had been no sound from Vespar’s weapon and no bullet as far as he could tell. But the dangerous man had dropped to the floor as if hit.
Vespar threw a fifty down on the table and Marcolm followed Vespar out the back of the restaurant. He was surprised by how alert Vespar was. Then again, he was ex-military. Maybe he just settled back into that mode when faced with an enemy.
“What happened?” he gasped, slightly out of breath, once they were several blocks away. “Vespar, what was that?”
Vespar took a deep breath, sighed, and glanced down at their hands, which Marcolm hadn’t realized were clasped together. Finally he looked straight into Marcolm’s eyes. “That man had a gun and a crazed look about him. Those types cannot be controlled. I did what I had to do to keep y—everyone safe. It takes a minute for the effects to wear off. They had him under control way before he came out of it.”
“To keep you safe.” That was what Vespar was going to say. And it made Marcolm feel wonderfully warm—which was good, because he was freezing. “Thank you.”
Vespar blinked at him in obvious confusion. “For what?”
“For saving my life.”
Shock rushed across Vespar’s face, and then a strange sort of resolve took its place. “Marcolm, we need to talk.”
That couldn’t be good. He wondered if Vespar was in town on some sort of assignment. After what he’d just seen, Marcolm was pretty sure Vespar must be a special agent. If they were in a sci-fi movie, he would be one of the Men in Black even if he was dressed normally enough in jeans and a button-down shirt. He nodded. “My apartment’s about five blocks away. Shall we go there?” Vespar gave him a simple nod and, to Marcolm’s relief, did not release his hand.
They walked in silence. Marcolm wasn’t sure what to say. He could only assume whatever Vespar had to say would be to the tune of “We can’t see one another again,” and he did not want to hear that.
His complex was old—built in the seventies—and looked like a motel. It also fit his rather meager budget. It was four stories tall, and each front door was viewable from the street. The landing for the top three floors was accessible by steel staircases that went up both sides of the building.
“I’m on the first floor,” Marcolm explained and walked to number 102. To open the door, he had to release Vespar’s hand, which he truly did not want to do. He pulled his keys out and unlocked the dead bolt and the knob and then pushed the door open with a shove from his shoulders. The door always stuck.
Once they were inside, he closed the door and threw the dead bolt. “This is it.”
To his surprise Vespar walked through and checked all the windows. It gave Marcolm a minute to look around and grimace. When he first moved to Portland, he made each apartment he had look homey and welcoming, because it was the first time he figured he wouldn’t have to run at a moment’s notice. But since the end of the last spring term, he again felt the need to move more often, and he had taken less and less care with how each place looked. With dark, threadbare carpets that clearly showed decades of stains, and yellowed walls, his apartment looked like a dingy motel someone might rent by the hour.
And it wasn’t like there was much to see. It was a studio, so his futon, which also doubled as his bed, sat against one wall. A table on wheels stood in front of it, covered in a mishmash of schoolbooks, paperwork, and game paraphernalia.
At least it was clean.
“Want a cup of coffee?” he asked as he headed to the small galley kitchen, which was separated from the main space by a half wall. The bathroom was at the end of the kitchen.
“No. And I don’t think you should have one either.” Vespar followed him and leaned against the counter as Marcolm pawed through the coffee pods his mother sent him monthly. Good thing. Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to afford them.
“Why not? I’m cold.” Marcolm pulled out a cinnamon-latte flavored one, but before he could put it in the machine, Vespar reached out and stilled his hand.
“Because any moment you’re going to go into shock, and it would be best if you drank something uncaffeinated, with lots of sugar in it.”
“No. I don’t think so. I’ve dealt with scarier stuff.” Like leaving houses in the middle of the night because the monsters were coming. Marcolm shuddered as he plugged the pod in and put his favorite mug under the nozzle.
Neither of them spoke as the mug filled and the wonderful scent that Marcolm associated with the holidays permeated the air. “Okay,” he said, and he took a long sip of the piping hot java. He definitely needed the caffeine to deal with whatever was coming. “So are you a special agent or something?” Marcolm leaned against the counter and looked at Vespar. His expressions, when he had more than just a blank look, were clear and easy to read. And currently Vespar looked amused.
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Other titles in this series:
Other titles by Thianna Durston & alter ego Thianna D:
Take the Heat
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Be on the lookout for Thianna Durston's & Thianna D's future release(s): Sizzling Attraction coming late Jan 2017, Ye Olde Kinke Faire coming Feb 2017, Don't Mess With His Pride coming Mar 2017, A Shifter, A Vampire, and a Fae Walk Into a Bar coming Apr 2017, Making His Stand coming May 2017, Knight in Shining Jaguar coming Jun 2017, Light in the Dark Night coming Jul 2017, On the Edge of Fear coming Aug 2017, Just a Single Tail coming Sept 2017, Of WereRhinos, Vampires, and Flaming Arrows coming Oct 2017, and Elan Isle series Book 4 coming Nov 2017
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