Stranded for twenty-four hours in Mumbai, India, contract negotiator, Thomas Barkley searches for a man who can make him forget his pain. When a trip through the red light district leaves him cold, he turns to Madame Eve’s service and finds a shot at redemption—but first, he has to survive it.
Indian male prostitute, Arjun Mukesh, begged Madame Eve to set him up for one night of real pleasure. He knows better than to expect anything but a brief hiatus from his miserable life. When Thomas showers Arjun with tender and very real affection, his heart begins to ache for more than a taste of the life he cannot have. Unfortunately, his boss Ranjeet won’t to let him go without a fight.
Amidst a spray of bullets, Thomas must convince Arjun to take a chance on a new life in America before it’s too late for both of them.
Stomach churning and in need of a drink, he stared at his reflection in the mirrored elevator walls and wondered for the billionth time if he’d picked the right shirt. Mostly white, with a small blue check pattern, it seemed to him to peg him as American, as did the navy khakis. Everyone around him wore clothing made from lighter, flimsier material that flowed when they moved. He looked stiff by comparison. Out of place.
Exiting the elevator, he walked to the end of the hallway and turned right. He paused at the first door and read the number—751. His room must be down the hall. A sharp cry of distress tore his gaze toward the source. Four or five rooms down, a man dressed in dark clothes and sunglasses used his foot to prevent a door from closing as he shouted in what Thomas thought must be Hindi. He didn’t speak the language, but tensed anyway at the violent tone.
Out of the blue, the man turned his head toward Thomas and shot him a sinister look.
Thomas immediately recognized the look from too many run-ins with banana republic bodyguards and stiffened. Callous bastards are the same the world over. But he’s none of my business. I’m only here for my date. He focused his gaze once more on the suite numbers and kept moving. Seconds later, the awful truth became clear. Damn. He’s outside room 759. What does he want with my date? If he’s my date, I’m out of here.
All senses on high alert, he stopped at the floor-to-ceiling picture window at the end of the hall, pretending to take in the view. A long row of glass-and-steel hotels glittered like diamonds in the night. But poverty lay beyond them and went on for miles. In the reflection, he watched the jerk outside 759 push against the door. Hands deep in his pockets, muscles tense, Thomas wished he had a gun. That’s the only thing guys like him understand.
The argument grew louder, both voices rising. Finally, a screech of pain split the air. Thomas whirled and bolted, all pretense he needn’t become involved instantly gone. Guilt and panic drove him toward the sound like a magnet, shooing away his training, his experience, and his better judgment like flies. The harasser turned, eyes wide, seconds before Thomas slammed into him.
Size-wise, Thomas had the advantage but he had no illusions size would settle the argument. The slick-suited man he’d nearly toppled regained his footing quick as a cat and came at him with the violent grace of a street fighter. One hand disappeared inside his jacket and came back out.
Thomas caught the flash of a knife and pulled back, but not in time.
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