Title: Family Jewels
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Length: 200 Pages
Release Date: 27th April, 2015
Blurb: Corbin Ford, aka the Nightwatchman, named for the antique pocket watches he leaves behind at jobs, has been in the cat-burgling business for years. His father was. His grandfather was. His mother is still one of the most renowned thieves. Corbin likes his high-profile heists, priceless paintings from private collections, artifacts from museums, but his favorite? Jewels. Sparkly, beautiful jewels. If they’re famous, better yet.
Interpol agent Luke Eldridge has one goal and one goal only: to catch the Nightwatchman. Luke’s been after him for months, but getting the slip time and again is getting embarrassing. Luke has never even laid eyes on the bastard, but he’d happily strangle him. And then arrest him.
When Luke meets Corbin, the man of his dreams, he falls hard and fast… only to catch Corbin red-handed with his hand in a jewelry case at the scene of the highest-profile murder that’s rocked the international world in years.
Corbin was half-asleep when Luke said his name. They’d rinsed off again after, and he was cuddled into Luke’s fresh, puffy sheets.
“Cor, you still awake?”
Corbin wanted to sleep but he couldn’t resist the nickname Luke had been using for him lately. It made him feel like he belonged, like strolling in the streets or going to dinner. Like he was part of the real world. The world he didn’t even know he’d wanted until hed dipped his toes into it. He doubted he could keep it, but it was nice while it lasted.
“Yeah, babe. I’m still awake. What’s up?”
Luke’s arm, that had been warm around his middle, slid away, and he felt Luke sit up in bed. “I need to talk to you about something.”
That didn’t sound good. Corbin turned and sat up as well. He reached for Luke’s hand. “What is it?”
“I don’t know how to say this. I never have before.” He shrugged.
“You know you can tell me.”
Corbin’s mind raced. What the hell was it Luke had never told anyone? He didn’t seem like the type to keep secrets. He had a family and close friends he talked about constantly. Was he going to tell him… oh God. Corbin wasn’t ready for that word yet. Not when he was barely used to the fact that someone had his real phone number. He wasn’t—
“It’s about my job.”
Oh. Corbin’s heart stood still for one long moment before thumping back to life. That, he could handle. “What about it?”
“I don’t work in a bank, Corbin.”
Corbin choked. He was glad he wasn’t drinking anything; it would’ve ended all over the bed. “What?” Maybe he‘d been a little too quick to assume he could handle it.
“Okay, that sounded way more dramatic than I meant it to. It’s not, like, a secret.” He smiled, but the smile was shaky. A little weird. “My family knows. I, It’s not… I’m not CIA if that’s what you’re thinking,” Luke cracked a smile. “I just usually don’t tell people I’m dating. Well I usually don’t date at all, and it’s really easier not to get into it with guys at the pub, and you know, if I take them home for the night. I don’t want questions, but it’s not illegal, and I really wanted to tell you since we’re not just messing around anymore.”
Poor guy looked nervous, sounded nervous too, babbling like that. Not as nervous as Corbin suddenly was. The only kind of semi-secret, don’t-want-to-talk-about-it jobs people could have were, well, government. There wasn’t another choice unless they were talking mafia. Either way it wasn’t good. Corbin mentally took about fifty-five dives out Luke’s bedroom window. But he had to stay. He had to finish this.
“What do you do, Luke?” he asked. His voice was trembling. Luke probably thought he was angry. He was too freaked out to get to anger.
“Interpol. I’m an Interpol agent.”
Corbin’s heart stopped. “A-And what do you do for Interpol?” He already knew. Spain. Business trips. He knew. Part of him had known for weeks, but he hadn’t wanted to examine it. Fuck. He had to hear Luke say it out loud.
“I work in an art crimes and jewel theft unit.”
“O-Oh. Jesus. I don’t know what to say to that.” How about can I break the land speed record to get out of here?
Corbin had gone from boyfriends and “maybe he’s going to say the L-word” to “get me the hell away from this thing” in less than a minute. He was naked, and he felt even more naked, like all of the people chasing him were staring at him, looking under his skin. In a way it was true. Luke was chasing him. Luke. The thought that Luke’s main job at the moment was probably to catch him floored Corbin. He started to giggle. Worst stress reaction ever.
“Why are you laughing? I was sure you’d be angry with me.”
“A bank, Luke? A bank?”
Luke shrugged uncomfortably. “It’s what I tell all the guys. By the time I knew I wanted more than one night with you, it got awkward. I just…I’m sorry. I didn’t know when to tell you. Tonight seemed like the best option.”
“So Rob from the bank? Your best friend?”
“His wife and kids?”
Luke gave him a quizzical look. “What about them?”
Corbin had this overwhelming need to hear all the details. He didn’t know why since he was getting the hell out of here at the first opportunity. “That wasn’t a story?”
“Of course not. They really exist. Pretty close to here actually.”
“And you’ve told them about me?”
“An embarrassing amount, yeah.” Luke must’ve noticed Corbin shaking. “Listen, what can I do? I really am sorry about this. I’ve been sorry for weeks. I just didn’t know how to bring it up.”
“You picked a good time, with my dick hanging out here.” Crass, maybe. But he felt so exposed.
“Well, so’s mine, and you’re not the one who just had to admit something.”
True enough. The giggles came again. Luke pulled Corbin close until he was practically in his lap, legs straddling Luke’s thighs. “Are you okay?”
“Freaked out,” Corbin said. It wasn’t a lie.
“It’s fine. I’m not like James Bond or anything. I told you. I go after thieves.”
“You’d make a hot secret agent.”
“You don’t hate me for lying?” Luke looked really worried. Corbin didn’t want to think about the other side of that confession. What Luke’s face would look like if he found out who he was in bed with.
“I understand why you did it. I feel really dumb for like, participating in your bank talk. Asking questions about your job.”
“Don’t. That was my fault. Now you don’t have to do it. You know what I am.”
“Are you allowed to talk about the cases you’re working on?”
“I’m not really supposed to. Not beyond general detail.”
“So tell me. Just what you can.”
“We catch thieves. Burglars; the kind local police can’t handle, international operations. High-profile crimes, high-profile victims.”
“Like that lady… I forget her name. The one with the stolen earrings?”
“Yes. Exactly like that.” Luke looked down at the bed.
“That’s your case?” Corbin tried to look excited but his insides were churning. He had to have confirmation. He had to have proof.
“Yeah. That’s my case. Anyway, I really shouldn’t say too much about it. We’re trying to keep the details under wraps, not that we have many.”
“Um. Wow. So, I guess that’s all then?”
Luke pulled Corbin tighter. “Yeah. It really isn’t that exciting. I just wanted you to know what I was doing when I was gone. I’m not sitting behind some desk transferring money from one millionaire to another. I guess I just… yeah. I wanted you to know the truth. Are we okay?”
“Yes. I’m going to need a little time to wrap my head around it, but I think we’re fine.”
Until I get the hell out of here and never come back.
He wasn’t leaving right then. Talk about suspicious. He didn’t want to do anything to make Luke notice he was acting weird. So he cuddled in Luke’s arms and tried to act like nothing was wrong. Odd part was, he found himself drifting off after a few minutes of staring into the dark.
I’m Mj O’Shea 🙂 I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.
I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.
When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.
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