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Vengeful Lover (Exit Strategy #2)
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Every assassin has an exit strategy – their ultimate plan for leaving that dangerous life and disappearing. They just never expect to live long enough to enact it.
Gabriel Prescott was no different.
But everything changed when he met fellow mercenary Justin Mallory.
Now he’s racing across Europe with Justin to put to rest old threats before they can end both their lives.
Of course, it will also mean coming clean to Justin about exactly who he is and who wants him dead. Gabriel can only hope that Justin will still want him when the truth comes out.
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Justin stood in front of the refrigerator, his right hand resting on top of the open door. He reached across with his left hand and rubbed his bare shoulder while staring at the sad contents of his fridge. He’d not completed an actual grocery run in nearly a month, and he couldn’t use work as an excuse. It had been two weeks since his last job, and that had been just a bit of hacking work.
No, the lackluster collection of old takeout, wilting lettuce, and beer held little interest for him. He didn’t want to order out again. The damn delivery guys were starting to remember him. He didn’t want to go to the grocery store. He was a sad sack, and there was only one reason for it.
Sighing loudly, he dropped his head back and closed his eyes. He needed to pull his shit together instead of worrying about Gabriel’s recent radio silence.
More than six months ago, Gabriel had walked out of his house, promising he’d return when it was safe. Justin didn’t ask for details nor did he dig for them, no matter how much he wanted to. He wanted Gabriel to tell him.
For the first four months, they’d talked regularly. They’d texted. They’d had some of the dirtiest video calls that left him panting in his bed, covered in cum, and aching to wrap his arms around Gabriel. There had been that one amazing booty call, the trip to London that had actually put Gabriel in his arms for twenty-four hours.
But after Justin returned home from London, he’d noticed the darkening shadows under Gabriel’s eyes and the lines of strain digging into his handsome face during the last few video calls.
A month ago, the video calls stopped, and the text messages became shorter and more sporadic. Gabriel warned him it might be a while before they talked again.
And then silence.
Justin slammed the fridge door shut and paced over to the sink. He held the edge of the counter because it meant that he wasn’t marching down to the basement and his secret Rolodex of contacts. He knew that with a few calls he could discover Gabriel’s location, but it would mean putting people on Gabriel’s trail when the man didn’t need more people looking for him.
He should never have let him walk out the door of his house six months ago. Not without making him tell Justin his plans that night. Tell him, once and for all, everything about his past. Justin would have spilled everything about himself…well, nearly everything…probably.
Fuck, this was hard. Why couldn’t he just have Gabriel safe? Then they could figure everything out.
Boyfriends were not something he’d had a lot of experience with. Between his time in the military and the CIA before going freelance, Justin had never really pursued a relationship with someone, because how the hell did he explain what he did for a living? He didn’t. At least, not until Gabriel came along. With Gabriel, he didn’t have to explain shit because the man understood. He freaking lived it!
But it wasn’t that simple. They both had more than their share of secrets and complications. Now Gabriel was trying to tie up loose ends and clean up his past so they could have a life without looking over their shoulders. Justin couldn’t understand why Gabriel wouldn’t let him help. He was handy in a fight, good with a gun, and even better with a computer.
A hard, sharp knock on the front door jerked Justin from his dark thoughts. He pushed off the sink and checked the video camera on his front porch using an app on his phone. The last person he expected to see was standing there. Marilyn. His handler. The person who supplied him with a steady stream of contracts. And apparently, the same person who supplied Gabriel with contracts. The stylish woman was dressed in a puffy blue coat and jeans while fuzzy black earmuffs protected her ears from the winter wind. He hurried to the door and jerked it open.
“You need to pack a bag now,” she said by way of greeting.
“I’m on a break,” he growled. He’d made that clear to her when he finished his last contract. He wanted to be free in case Gabriel needed him for something. That…and maybe he’d lost his taste for the work.
“Prescott is in trouble.” She stepped past him into the house with a clomp of boots on hardwood. Though after her announcement, she could have just pushed him over and he’d have done nothing to stop her.
“What?” He slammed the door shut behind her and hurried to catch up to where she was laying out photos from a manila folder.
“Gabriel? You remember him? The man who apparently decided to clean up his past so he could have his happily ever after with your pathetic ass?” she said snidely, her eyes narrowed. Marilyn stood roughly four inches shorter than him, but what she lacked in stature, she more than made up for with attitude.