Chapter 3

Warnings: Language, mild mention of drug use… actually, he’s a cop, going after a drug ring. Just assume the rest of the chapters will reference drug use. 😛

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Excerpt:
Both Hector and Anastasia were silent and Carlos pulled his fingers into a fist on the table defensively. He could sense what was coming. Over the last few years Hector had made it very clear that he did not approve of Carlos indulging his fantasies of a one-night-stand on an island vacation. Carlos knew it was because of Hector’s powerful urge to protect him as his brother… the intensity of which, he thought, was maybe because he’d missed out on the first twelve years of his life.

However, it gets old quickly when you’re in your thirties and your brother’s protectiveness tends to switch to smothering at a moment’s notice.

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Chapter 2

Warnings: Sexual content. Drug related talk. No pictures. Why are there no pictures?

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“Sgt. Vasquez,” squawked the intercom several weeks later, making Carlos jump slightly. He sighed and reached over to press his finger on the speaker button, his lips forming a grim line.

“What is it, Trudy?”

“Counselor Troy is here for your two-o’clock,” Trudy informed him crisply. He could just visualize her blinking pertinently behind her round glasses, her mouth pinched sternly. She could always tell when he was not in the mood for interruptions.

A stream of well chosen swear words in Spanish left his mouth beneath his breath. Including the counselor into his day would only postpone the work he had piled on his desk even further, especially if she insisted on blatant flirtation like she’d been eliciting the last few weeks. It wasn’t that Carlos wasn’t responsive – on the contrary, everything male inside of him was unbelievably responsive – but his heart wasn’t in it. And he was tired of pretending.

“Sir,” Trudy tried again. Carlos had to reign in a feral growl.

“What.”

“She’s on her way back to you.”

With another muttered oath – one he let Trudy hear on her end of the intercom this time – he closed out of his server on the computer before she could surreptitiously see anything as she walked in.

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Chapter 1

Warnings: Language, mild sexual context, drug related crimes.

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He’d seen the similarities in the teenage boy sitting in front of him almost immediately; the haggard appearance, the skinny arms, the dirty clothes. He was no more than twelve, maybe thirteen, and clearly already used to being picked up by the feds. He could relate so easily… perhaps that’s why the chief had asked him to talk to the kid. He had to remind himself it wasn’t the kid’s fault he was in a horrible mood.
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Prologue

He’d learned at a young age what the withdraw looked like. She’d yawn a lot, her nose would run, and she’d start complaining about her legs hurting when all she’d done was move from the bed to the small kitchen on the other side of the room. If she didn’t do anything about it, or didn’t have the money to, she’d start to shake. That’s when he used to hate it the most.

Shaking, grasping at nothing with claw-like hands, vomiting on herself without moving to get out of the way. She needed her pills, she’d scream. She needed them now. Why couldn’t he find them?

She used to swear at him. Curse him to the filthy reaches of Hell, saying how she hated him and what a useless son he was. How unfair it was that his father had left her with him to take care of.

He hated him for it, too.

When she was high, or asleep, he used to sneak out and run down to the river. He’d dip his feet in, clean the dirt from his ankles and wade through the thick cattails looking for bullfrogs. Once or twice he’d gotten a leech in between his toes and he’d had to stop and burn them off.

That’s when he’d found Hector.

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