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Advance Search

Family Matters


Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Ann Raina

ISBN :978-1-4874-4024-4

Page :244

Word Count :74475

Publication Date :2024-01-12

Series : Nick and Jacklyn#11

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Family Matters (epub) , Family Matters (mobi) , Family Matters (pdf) , Family Matters (prc)

Category : Erotic Romance , LGBTQIA+ Romance , What's New

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-4024-4


Terror is closer to home than you think.

In Fairfax, prominent Judge Ogden Broadwater is shot and killed on the doorstep of his home. The video camera shows a slender unidentified person wearing a baseball cap. Because of his celebrity and influential friends, FBI Agent Hayes and his team are assigned to investigate the murder.


In Washington, DC, successful businessman Newton Linville is shot with a single bullet in the parking garage of his company. Again, the slender killer remains unknown.


In Delaware, Secretary of State Brendan Hickstedt is killed on his way to lunch. Passersby see a slender figure leaving the scene, but by the time the police arrive, the killer is long gone.


In Washington, DC, FBI agent Theodor Adams is kidnapped on his way home. Street surveillance shows four men grabbing the young agent and dragging him into a van. The kidnappers do not demand a ransom, and the leads that the FBI team with Nicolas Hayes follow come to nothing.


As pressure mounts from his superiors, Hayes is more concerned about his missing partner. Can he find him and the mysterious killer?

“Nick! Hey, are you all right?”


Nicolas opened his eyes to see Matthew’s angry, blood-covered face. “What happened?”


“What happened?” Matthew hollered. “That’s damn funny, Sleeping Beauty! You had the gangster cornered and then suddenly, you dropped the weapon and went down. He was fighting me, and now he’s gone! Damn it! And you took a nap on the floor!”


“I didn’t... I don’t know... How did I get here?”


“I can’t tell you that, but you’d better solve your health problem or quit the job. Sullivan won’t be amused learning that we botched the investigation.”



Nicolas woke with a start and set up straight in bed, his heart racing. It was past midnight. He panted loudly and his body was covered in cold sweat. Beside him, Jacklyn slept like a bear in hibernation. Nothing short of an explosion would wake her up. Trying to get air into his constricted lungs, Nicolas treaded his way carefully around the bed. Sometimes the remnants of their bondage sessions remained on the floor like a tripping hazard. He made it to the bathroom and switched on the lights. His face was pale, his eyes hollow. The nightmare had been worse than the ones before, shaking him, unnerving him. The thought of failure was devastating. The cardiologist had told him with a smile that he was physically in the best shape, but that the stressful job situation could cause him physical discomfort. The answer was neither reassuring nor satisfactory. Nicolas couldn’t afford to collapse on the job. If he fainted during a pursuit or when they apprehended the fugitive, his partner would be in danger because of him. If that happened, his career was over.


He washed his face with cold water, reiterating his mantra that he was fit for duty unless proven otherwise. His heartbeat slowed down. The doctor had asked him whether a situation of a near collapse had occurred while he was on a case, and Nicolas had denied it. The answer was partly true—once he had fainted during a bondage game and another time after a series of heavy fights. He had been at the end of his rope, exhausted and injured. After calling the Coast Guard, he had lost consciousness for a couple of minutes. Matthew had told him afterward that he had been surprised how long Nicolas had lasted at all. He had proven his stamina and performance.


There is nothing to worry about.


But ever since that night, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he might faint after a strenuous chase.


Quietly, Nicolas went back to bed. Sleep did not come.




*



At the office, Nicolas frowned at the note he found posted on his monitor. “Sullivan wants to see us?” he asked Matthew Montagna, his longtime partner, dog owner, and man with the ability to maintain the expression of a clam even in the most hilarious situations.


“Right away... or as soon as Theo returns from the john.” Grinning, Matthew pointed with his chin toward the corridor.


Theodor Adams, the youngest and newest member of the team, strutted down the aisle. Despite his self-confident demeanor, he was pale and avoided eye contact.


“He needs a push,” Matthew said quietly, only for Nicolas to hear. “He’s been here since six in the morning, but now that Sullivan ordered all agents to report the weekly status of their investigations, he’s fidgeting. If I haven’t missed one, he consulted the porcelain god about four times.”


“Sensitive stomach, huh? Good morning,” Nicolas greeted Theodor. “Are you all right?”


Theodor cleared his throat. “I had muffins for breakfast, and they might’ve been off.”


Matthew flopped down on the edge of the desk, looking smug. “Oh, I thought you were afraid of meeting the big boss for the weekly report, which you will be delivering, by the way.”


If possible, Theodor’s face lost more color and his eyes widened. “I—”


Nicolas stepped in, scolding Matthew with a glance. “He’s teasing you,” he said good-naturedly. “Ignore him.”


“No, really,” Matthew insisted, portraying the rightfully annoyed agent. “He’s been here for three months now. It’s about time that he does the reports.”


“You’re just trying to pass the buck. After all, it’s your turn.”


“My turn?” Matthew pointed toward his chest. “I’m not good at this.”


Nicolas looked at Theodor, who appeared to be still on edge. “He doesn’t like to admit that we couldn’t nail Torben Hall yesterday.”


“We had him... almost,” Matthew protested. “And then he throws a woman in front of a bus and escapes through the crowd. How could I foresee that?”


“No one says you could have.” Nicolas shrugged and patted Matthew’s shoulder. “Come on, show a little backbone. We’ll catch the bugger tomorrow.”


Theodor turned to walk toward the conference room, where the other agents were already waiting for Sullivan’s big entrance.


Matthew frowned but lifted his butt off the desk. “You have a day off, if I remember it correctly.”


“Yes, you do remember it correctly.” Nicolas smiled and twitched his brows. “That’s why you can shine with an arrest tomorrow while I will be sleeping in and enjoying a day full of—”


“Chains and whips?” Matthew prompted. “Or handcuffs and floggers? Or do you both prefer gags and blindfolds?”


Nicolas backhanded Matthew’s chest. “Bastard.”


His partner pretended to be hurt, moaning pitifully until Theodor glanced over his shoulder. At that moment, Matthew changed to the deadpan expression he would maintain throughout the meeting with Senior Agent in Charge Sullivan. It was the best and the only defense an agent in the division had.

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Tags: Erotic Romance, LGBTQIA+ (polyamory), Thriller, Action, Adventure, BDSM (consensual), Crime, Femdom, m/f, m/m/f