The Men with the Golden Cuffs(9)

By: Lexi Blake

Damn it.

Adam fell too hard and too fast. No matter how many women they had tried and failed to connect with, Adam was still trying to find ‘the one.’ After the Grace debacle of six months before, Jake had been happy Adam had taken some time off from his search. But the minute he’d seen Serena, he’d known that Adam’s time off from his love search was at an end.

Sure enough, he’d been right. The minute Jake had walked into that room and seen the way Adam looked at Serena, his gut had clenched.

Couldn’t Adam see that there wasn’t one perfect woman for both of them? Women would play at ménage, but there wasn’t a woman in the world who would actually live the lifestyle they wanted. They had tried living with a couple of women, and they always left.

Or they utterly betrayed them. Like Jennifer. She’d wrecked their careers in the military just to get a step up. And she’d laughed while she did it. He’d asked her to marry him, and she’d told him he was a freak. No one would want him, she’d said, because he was only half a man.

No one would ever understand how much he needed Adam. And lately he was thinking that it was time to let that dream go. Maybe it was better to be half a man and have a wife then it was to feel complete when the whole of society thought they were wrong. And then Serena walked in the door and he’d just known he was going to get his heart ripped up all over again. He’d managed to stay out of the thing with Grace. He’d known she loved Sean Taggart, but Serena was a different story.

Eve St. James strode into the bar area, a frustrated look on her face. She carried her briefcase in hand. She was still dressed in a chic business suit, her hair perfect. “Does anyone know what the hell this is about?”

“What?” Jake wondered why half his team was here, but no one was dressed for play.

“You haven’t checked your cell?” Eve asked.

He hadn’t. He’d gotten to the club with every plan to find a sub and settle in for the night—with or without Adam. But he couldn’t get Serena out of his head. And he couldn’t stop thinking about her case.

The cops were wrong. He felt it deep in his gut. The cursory information led him to believe this was a jerk who liked to feel powerful. He hadn’t done anything beyond harass her on a social networking site and send her e-mails. But he would.

He would get sick of being ignored, and he would escalate.

Jake’s gut churned, acid building. He wasn’t going to be able to turn her away.

Adam walked into the bar. He’d ditched his tie, but he hadn’t put on his leathers. Alex was right behind him, carrying his briefcase. The gang was all here, it seemed.

“Did everyone get that terse message from Ian?” Liam asked.

Jake found his phone and noticed the text. It was simple. Ian Taggart, his boss, told him to be at Sanctum at eight pm.

What the hell was going on?

“Do you know anything about this?” Jake asked, looking at Adam. “Did you go to Ian about Serena?”

Adam’s jaw firmed, a sure sign that he was irritated. “No. I wouldn’t go behind your back. I worked on the presentation of her case. Grace put it on the board for tomorrow’s morning meeting. I’ll convince everyone then. I’ll even convince you.”

Jake pulled him aside as everyone started talking amongst themselves. “You don’t have to convince me. I’ll recommend that we take the case.”

Adam’s whole body sagged in obvious relief. “Thank god. She’s in trouble. I can feel it. What did Brighton say? Did he convince you?”

Brighton had been a little dismissive. “No. The cops are sure this is a ploy for attention. Even if they believed her, they couldn’t do a lot.”

“Why would she make this up?”

It was a question that had been bothering him, too. “Publicity. Although if she wanted publicity, I don’t see why she’s kept it so quiet. And then there’s the fact that all of this started just as her ex-husband decided to go after her income. Brighton says Serena is very smart and incredibly creative. Apparently she wrote a book where something similar to this happened. Right down to the author’s stalker posing as one of her characters.”