M/M/M Contemporary Action/Thriller
Trey wants his job.
Drew wants Trey.
Travon wants them both, but must avoid the law.
When boyfriend Drew and twice a month fuck buddy Travon decide to go in together on a local Las Cruces pawnshop heist, neither expects to find Trey working behind the counter. Funny, both Drew and Travon figured the accountant-degree-holding Trey to be a safe bet. Both are fiercely protective. None expected to meet.
With the loot bagged, the ironic love triangle exposed, and the cops on the way, what's there to do but drag Trey along for the ride?
Trey discovers sometimes choosing between the lesser of two evils is all but impossible.
It seemed no matter how diligently I performed my duties, how loyal or dependable I proved myself to be, I had no control over who my last three bosses hired or fired. Though I had a degree in accounting, when I landed this minimum-wage customer assistant's job, I took it because I needed work, needed to keep my mind busy, active. Besides, they paid shift differential—a whole fifteen cents. Even if this shop was on the lower eastside of town, I didn't mind my job. At least I had one—again.
Could've been worse, Drew reminded me, on the afternoons I slogged out his front door, dragging my dark cloud with me. I shook my head as I crouched to lockup the remaining Rolex cases. At least I had Drew . . . and yeah, I had the man right where I wanted him almost every day for the past six months, to be exact.
Bells jangled, announcing someone's entrance. I let my ring of keys snap back to my belt. Broom in hand, I met the late customer at the jewelry counter. "We're getting ready to—" Before me, on the other side of the counter, stood the one person I never expected to see on this side of town. "Drew?"
Why he wore sunglasses in the dead of night, I'd never understood, but he did it often. He lifted them off his nose and pushed them to his head as he stared. His mouth opening and closing like a starving goldfish, he tried to ask the one question I never wanted to hear—especially, not here, inside Jackie's Rings and Things. "What are you doing—?"
"I work here." Duh. I shook my head, not caring if I sounded like a PMSing bitch. "Don't rub it in, either."
I leaned the broom against the counter and strode to the end. Lifting the hinged door, I stepped under it and let it slam behind me. Well, I'd had Drew . . . as in, "It's been swell," and, "See ya later." Exactly the reason I'd avoided telling him about my new job. A man like Drew would never understand.
He wasn't one of those rich boys born with a silver spoon in his mouth. No. From what I knew of his lifestyle—his condo, his 2010 Dodge Charger, his ever-present bankroll—I was certain his mother had birthed him inside a bank vault. As soon as the—my boyfriend works in a pawnshop—sunk in, I'd be out of his life. There was no doubt in my mind.
Instead of the argument I'd expected though, Drew smiled—a half-hearted, odd kind of twist to his lips. He glanced behind him at the door, wiped the sweat from his forehead as he met my gaze again.
"Just say it," I said, a little creeped out by his unpredictable reaction.
He wrung his hands together, once again eyeing the exit over his shoulder. "I-I'm looking for a ring."
A ring? At eleven o'clock at night. "Okay. Just let me lockup first."
"No! I'll miss my ride . . . I know what I want." Drew stepped to the display case of sterling rings and pointed. "Right here, in tray number three."
Something told me I was a fool for getting my hopes up, but still, I complied, ever hopeful Drew had finally decided to commit. I returned behind the counter, unlocked the sliders, and pulled out the third tray of silver rings. "Which one did you have in mind?"
My daydream lasted all of two seconds, for as soon as I set tray number three atop the glass case, the door burst open.
Tall, dark, and ski-masked kicked it shut after he entered, and, aiming his pistol at me, shouted, "Hands in the air!"
I complied immediately, not a heroic bone in my body. He could have the entire fucking store for all I cared.
"Don't move," Drew whispered.
I glanced to Drew, who had yet to heed the asshole's order, then looked back to the rapidly advancing armed robber. Put your hands up. I mouthed the words, hoping Drew would see me.
Much to my surprise, he stepped between the robber and me, whipped around, reached over the display case, and caught me around the middle. In a flash, he dragged me across the counter and onto the floor, shocking me further by manhandling me onto my stomach and binding my wrists behind my back with what felt like strips of plastic. "What the fuck are you—?"
"Just keep quiet," he said, "and you won't get hurt."
Holy Christ. One side of my face pressed to the floor, I closed my eyes and started to pray. Who in the hell had I been fucking these past six months—been considering moving in with? This sure as fuck wasn't the man I knew . . . thought I knew. My heart pounded in my ears. Hard-soled shoes came to a stop beside me, and I clenched my eyes tighter.
"Shut him up or I'll—oh, shit."
Oh shit, was right. I recognized that voice. Jackie's Rings and Things would-be bandit was none other than Travon Sanders, my mother's twenty-nine-year-old neighbor—my friend and twice-a-month fuck buddy. Well, soon to be ex-friend, along with Drew. I'd made up my mind, with a knee between my shoulders.
"You know him?" Drew asked tall, dark, and dangerous.
I could feel Travon's stare burn into my upturned cheek. "No, man—You?" He backed away, not waiting for Drew to answer. "Just looks like a guy I used to know."
That's right, motherfucker . . . used to know, you sonofabitch.
Drew released the pressure on my back and then stood, yanking me to my knees. "Get up." He pulled me to my feet as Travon helped himself to my keys and the store's valuables.
Drew backhanded me across the face; a second later, he winked. "I said, keep your mouth shut."
Fuck you. I spat at his face, missing by a long shot. He stared at me as if I'd lost my fucking mind.
At that point, I'd already decided I had indeed lost it. Who in his right mind would attempt to build a life with a career criminal while fucking an armed robber on the side? The only one I knew crazy enough to do either stared back at me from the glass of the gun display case as Drew shuffled me behind the counter and shoved me into the first open office.
"Stay here 'til I figure out what to do with you." He shut the door behind him.
"Bastards." Before I stuck my dick in anyone ever again, I was hiring a P.I. to run a full background check. This was ridiculous. What were the fucking odds?
Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, STARbooks Press, Untreed Reads Publishing, Changeling Press, and Coming Soon to Amber Allure with TOUGH GUY. You can find out more about Bryl at: bryltyne.com