Flesh and Blood (In the Flesh #2)

By: Ethan Stone

This book is dedicated to my son. Thanks for putting up with me and my endless hours in front of the computer. I love you with all my heart.

I owe words of gratitude to several people. · To my amazing group of readers: Laura, Dawn, Amy, Mary, and Anne.

· To the Ladies of DOS for the incredible support and words of encouragement.

· To everyone who read In the Flesh and pointed out what was good and what wasnt so good. I hope I did better this time.

Prologue

HOW the hell did I end up here? I kept asking myself that question, and the answer was Colby Maddox—the man I love. But it was still very surreal. Me and him standing next to each other, dressed in expensive tuxedos, while the wedding march played on a nearby organ. The church was large with high ceilings, glittering columns, and shimmering stained-glass windows. Not my normal type of place—not a place I would choose to get married in—but, once again, I was there because of Colby. He grabbed my hand right then, and I looked into his eyes. I could see the love for me in his eyes, and I knew I was a goddamn lucky man to have him in my life, even if he did make me dress up for this event.

He looked down the aisle and smiled, and I followed his gaze. The bride came down the aisle—Colbys soon to be sister-in-law Cassandra. She was marrying Colbys younger brother Danny. Danny had straightened up his life, thanks to Cassandra. She wore a lacy white dress that Im sure was very old and very expensive. Her groom-to-be was at the altar, anxiously waiting for her to get there. Im sure he was even more anxious for all the festivities to get over so he and Cassandra could consummate—thats a ten dollar word for fuck. But their wedding night should be special because, according to Colby, while Danny wasnt a virgin, Cassandra was. I tried to remember when I was a virgin, and swallowed the bile which rose in my throat. I was young when I lost my virginity, and it was taken from me with force and hate. I didnt wish that on anyone, and I hoped Cassandra and Dannys first time together was everything it should be—sweet, tender, romantic, and explosive.

Im sure the wedding was gorgeous and sweet—everything weddings should be. But I didnt really pay attention to the ceremony. Shortly after we sat down, Colby reached out, his large hand engulfing mine. Im not a small man—six foot two and built—but Colby is even bigger. Hes my height, but seems twice as wide. Hes a big man with a big heart. Hes also got another organ thats large. At one point in my life that wouldve been all that mattered and all I cared about. Not that I dont care about that now, because I do, its just not my top priority.

I focused on our connected hands. Colby was a light-skinned African-American, but even his light-dark skin stood in sharp contrast to my lily-white flesh. Flesh is a major part of my life, and not just because its my last name. Cristian Flesh is the name I chose many years ago when I left behind my past. Both my chosen first name and last name have specific meanings. The last name is because thats how I was choosing to live—In the Flesh. I wanted sex and as much of it as I could get. I didnt want emotions or attachments, and I concentrated on getting fucked as much as possible. Until I met Colby.

And thats what brought me to this big house on the hill in San Francisco. Colby saved my life in more ways than one. I had been charged with a murder I didnt commit and Colby helped clear me of the charges. But he did more than that—he taught me there was more to life than just sex, even really great, mind-blowing sex. Somehow, the big guy got past the rules and walls of my life, and I fell in love with him.

Before I knew it, the ceremony was over. Danny and Cassandra were kissing. And everyone was laughing and applauding.

AFTER the reception, and after Cassandra and Danny left for their honeymoon, we all returned to Colbys parents house. The men—me and Colby, his brother Ted, his father Theodore, and his sister Melodys husband Blaine—were in the library drinking cognac. Apparently, thats something rich people do on a regular basis.

“Colby tells me youre a cop,” Ted said to me. He had been making snide comments to me since I met him, and I had the distinct feeling he didnt like me.

“Yes,” I said. “A homicide detective actually.”

“You have a good arrest record?”