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Deadly Dorian (Ward Security #3)
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Someone is trying to kill Marc Foster.
Attempted poisoning was bad enough, but when the would-be killer messes with the brakes on Marc’s precious Porsche, the art dealer admits he needs help. He just wasn’t expecting help to be quite so dark and sexy.
Royce Karras loves his job at Ward Security. He’s making up for a lifetime of bad decisions and a bloody past he’d rather forget. But Marc isn’t the spoiled rich boy he thought he’d be protecting. Sticking close to Marc as his “boyfriend” gives Royce insight into his toxic family, but it also reveals a brilliant, compassionate man who completely disarms Royce. Against his better judgment, Royce finds himself falling.
But can they find a way to make it work when Royce’s past threatens to tear their lives apart? Their futures hinges on a lost Renaissance painting, six Bichon Frises, and a pornographic Robin Hood.
No worries, right?
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Marc Foster’s stomach growled as he hurried to the garage. He was running so late, he wouldn’t be able to stop for breakfast before he had to meet with his newest client. Six months of playing cat and mouse with a skittish artist was not going to be derailed because he was freaking starving.
But after the latest incident, he was struggling to eat anything in his kitchen. He stubbornly told himself that it was all safe, but his stomach wasn’t buying it. The end result was that he now suffered from shakiness and hunger at odd times because he’d not adjusted his schedule to accommodate his new food issues.
Groaning, he slapped the button for the garage door opener and stalked over to his new Porsche 911. The gunmetal gray car matched the overcast sky and his mood. He needed to come up with a solution to his problem. It was becoming a nuisance, but the few solutions that crossed his mind felt worse than a little accidental poisoning. And for now, he needed to focus on the new client.
He climbed into the sports car and tossed his tablet into the empty passenger seat. The engine rumbled to life with a feral growl, and some of the tension eased from Marc’s shoulders. He really did love the Porsche. Probably too much. He didn’t indulge himself too often. Massive purchases and trips were always with an eye for investment growth or business growth. But he’d taken one look at this beautiful little girl on his last trip to Milan, and he’d instantly fallen in love. Driving it had been even more addictive than he’d expected.
Before the nagging voice of doubt started to whisper in his ear, he shifted the car into reverse and pulled out of the garage. He quickly tapped the door opener as soon as he was clear and deftly maneuvered the car to head down the winding drive.
The tires had barely hit the street when a call rang in through the Bluetooth connection to the speakers. Glancing over at the display, he saw his sister’s name and frowned, but he still tapped a button to answer the call.
“Have you left?” she asked in place of a greeting.
“I just pulled out. I thought you were already downtown. I don’t have time to turn around—I’m running late.” His sister had moved into the guest house at the far end of his property after her divorce had been finalized. She had ample money to get her own place, but she’d been with the fucking bastard for nearly a decade before it came out that he’d gotten his mistress—his mistress of six years—pregnant. For Lilah, it wasn’t about starting new but having a safe place to figure out who she was after devoting years to a liar. Marc could at least do that for his older sister.
“No, I’m with Richard at his office. We wanted to know if you could meet us for lunch downtown. One o’clock at Salazar.”
Ugh. Lunch with his oldest brother was not a good time. He could only imagine that his siblings had decided he was in need of some new lecture about his life, his constant travel, or something else that was not their business. Lilah on her own was generally tolerable, but when she was with their older brother Richard or their other brother Gabriel, she instantly became more judgmental and bossy.
“Salazar is in OTR, not downtown,” he corrected, knowing he was being nitpicky. He didn’t want to go.
“OTR is still a part of downtown,” Richard added, proving that his sister had the phone on speaker.
Yeah, and there were plenty of Over-the-Rhine regulars who would argue that OTR was not part of downtown, but he wasn’t going to get into that with Richard.
“I’ve got a new client in town. I’m heading to a meeting with her right now, and I’m expecting it to last through lunch—possibly even dinner. I’m trying to convince her to use one of the studios I’ve set up in the city to work here for the next several months.”
Lilah’s extravagant sigh filled the car, and Marc rolled his eyes. He quickly drove along the winding road. The pavement was dry despite the heavy gray clouds looming overhead. It would be just his luck that the rain would start as soon as he parked in his spot downtown. He should have checked to make sure he’d tucked a spare umbrella in the trunk.
“I thought that was the whole reason you hired that gallery manager with the purple hair. To schmooze the clients.”
“Come on, Li. You know schmoozing is what Marc does best. Don’t take that from him.”
Marc gritted his teeth until he was sure one of his molars was going to crack under the pressure. Richard was a dick. He thought he was being funny, but almost everything that spilled out of his mouth reeked of condescension and pretentiousness.