Undercover Lover (Romance on the Go), page 1
Copyright© 2013 Rebecca Brochu
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Editor: Karyn White
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
For you as always
Romance on the Go
Copyright © 2013
Gentry Trecall had come to the conclusion that he was going to shoot the next asshole who thought it was funny to make a “twink” joke in his general vicinity. Seriously, one more case of a casually coughed Tinkerbelle and he was going to put a round in whichever unimaginative son of a bitch who thought it was funny. He’d long ago gotten over the occasional gay slur that he was fated to encounter in the bullpen and the locker room. He’d proved early on that he’d stand up for himself, and for the most part he was left alone. Still the jokes he’d been fielding ever since he’d gotten his newest assignment had him gritting his teeth and praying for patience.
Gentry had always known he was lucky. He’d beaten the odds growing up in a household where wearing a shield was a natural as breathing but with a family that still accepted him for who he was. His father and all three of his older brothers had each taken him aside and told them they loved him no matter what he liked to do with his dick. As long as everyone was willing and no one was getting hurt of course. It hadn’t been the most refined or delicate series of conversations he’d ever had, but it had meant the world to him. He’d almost cried the day he’d graduated from the academy and his father had swept him up into a tight hug and told him in a choked off voice that his mother would be so proud of him.
Of course, after that milestone the family had started harassing him about finding a nice guy to settle down with to give his dad some more grandkids like his brothers Bailey and Payton had. Why no one ever bothered to give the same speech to his oldest brother, Devyn, Gentry didn’t know for certain. He was sure it had something to do with the narcotics officer’s firm stance that he refused to get married until he was no longer forced to constantly go undercover for long periods of time as part of his job.
As someone who’d grown up in a house with a father who was frequently torn between his love for his family and his love for his job Gentry thought Devyn had the right idea. And after making it onto the vice squad Gentry had resigned himself to the fact that he’d probably have a few more years before he’d be able to have a real relationship. With him being low man on the totem pole and constantly taking the shit assignments he was pretty sure he’d have a hard time trying to find someone who’d be willing to put up with his hours.
Gentry knew he still had plenty of time before he had to worry about finding someone who understood enough about his job for him to even begin to think about a family of his own. That, of course, didn’t account for the problems he knew he’d have once he started dating regularly again. Plus there was the added complication of what would happen once he was forced to let his family meet whatever guy he managed to convince to give him a chance.
He’d had his fair share of potential relationships ruined by the job and an equal number ruined by the intimidating picture the other men in his family often cut. Gentry was a grown man, and just as tough as the rest of his family, but he was the baby. He’d grown used to it over the years, and he knew that his dad and his brothers would have been just as protective if he’d turned out straight. It was just the way his family was built.
His mother, when she’d been alive, had worked right alongside his dad to instill that deep sense of loyalty and protectiveness into all four of the Trecall boys. After she’d died when Gentry was nine they’d taken her lessons to heart in an extreme way. Their closeness and their protective attitudes towards each other, and especially towards Gentry, were legendary on their block.
Hell, when he’d announced that he’d be joining the academy, too, they’d tried to fight him in the beginning because of how dangerous the life was, but he’d been adamant. Growing up, the only thing Gentry had wanted to do was carry a shield, just like his brothers. That being said, he was determined to do his job to the best of his ability and to make them all proud. So when his captain had told him he was going to go undercover as a part of the city’s new crackdown on prostitution he’d had no problem with it. Until, of course, Captain Grierson had let him in on the fact that his role in the operation would be a little bit different from what it normally would be.
Typically male cops played johns, hired muscle, or the occasional pimp. Unfortunately for Gentry, he just so happened to fit the bill for the newest sting operation the brass had planned out. Apparently the words baby-faced and pretty had come up more than a few times when they came across his file in the pool of potential officers. In the end he’d found himself called into Grierson’s office and briefed on the fact that for the next few weeks he’d have the honor of being the newest piece of undercover meat. He’d be stationed on the corner of Second and Main, right across from a popular bar called The Pale.
He’d taken the news well after a bit of initial disbelief. The only thing that had given him pause had been the thought of all the ribbing he’d get from the rest of the squad. That and the epic fit his brothers would pitch when they found out. His father, Ellis, was more likely to take the news calmly. The now retired homicide detective had been making an effort to be more relaxed and easy-going after his doctor had given him a stern lecture that involved charts and the words “blood pressure” and “heart attack” repeatedly.
Gentry knew that if all else failed he could try to convince his old man to call his brothers off and remind them that this kind of shit was all part of the job. When Gentry had taken his oath to uphold the law in all of its forms he’d known that there was always the chance that he’d get called on to do something a little out of the ordinary. In this case if that meant slutting it up on a street corner at two o’clock in the morning in an effort to put a dent in the male prostitution business, then he’d do it and do it well.
The only consolation was the fact that Grierson had agreed to let him pick out his own clothes as long as they fit the necessary requirements of his new “profession”. Lucky for him he still had a few things an old boyfriend had bought him a few years back to go clubbing in that still fit, and Gentry knew they would be perfect. Whether or not he let his brothers know the clothes came from his closet and not from one of the local stores was an entirely different thing.
“One more word, Trent, and I swear on my badge I will make you eat a bottle of this shit when this is all over.” Gentry growled into the hidden microphone that was strategically placed underneath the rim of the mirror he was standing in front of. He had another mic that he’d clip to the underside of his leather vest once he was ready to go.
“Oh baby boy, don’t be like that! After all I’d hate to have to tell the Grierson that you were being uncooperative. I mean I’m just trying to help you get into character, sugar.” Trent, a tall, dark-skinned pain in Gentry’s ass, had been his partner since he’d made it to vice, and their mutually antagonistic friendship ensured that they worked well toget
Everyone told them they argued like a married couple, but since Gentry had met Dee-Dee, Trent’s hilarious and absolutely intimidating wife, he was pretty sure that their constant bickering didn’t actually measure up. Dee-Dee ruled their house with an iron fist, and Trent was blissfully happy despite the ribbing he sometimes took from the others. Gentry, of course, had his partner’s back if anyone ever got out of hand. And much to his relief Trent had proved to Gentry that he was just as reliable from the very beginning of their partnership.
“Call me sugar again and I’m going to tell Dee-Dee that you’re harassing me. And you know what she’ll do to your ass then.” Gentry was admittedly smug over the fact that Dee-Dee adored him and would take a newspaper to Trent’s ass whenever Gentry told her about Trent being a bastard to him.
“You do that and your coffee won’t be safe from me for weeks, little man, and I promise I’ll get creative.” Gentry grimaced at the thought of Trent getting creative anywhere near the one thing that brought him to life in the morning.
Gentry glared crabbily into the mirror in front of him as he applied the body glitter his suspiciously straight-faced partner had slipped him before he skulked back to the adjoining room. He could hear Trent snickering like an asshole through his ear-piece when he threw the tube on the dresser and then leaned forward and did his best to apply a thick layer of eye liner.
“You’re as pretty as a princess, Trecall. Now get out there and dazzle them with your stunning good looks.” Trent’s voice distracted Gentry, and he swore long and viciously when he stabbed himself in the eye with the liner pencil.
“Have I told you lately that I hate you?” Gentry blinked rapidly as he tried to keep his eye from watering too bad.
“Nope. But I figured it was implied.” Trent sounded cheerful and unapologetic, so Gentry settled for flipping off the mirror as put the finishing touches on his outfit and clipped his mic into place.
He had to admit that he did look young, way younger than he actually was at twenty-four. He’d always been built wiry when compared to his brothers, who were all tall and muscled from hours at the gym before or after their shifts. Gentry had always been more of a runner, and it showed in his lean, toned muscles and lightly tanned skin. With his normally orderly brown hair spiked into artful disarray, his face as smooth as always and his blue eyes heavily lined, he actually passed pretty well for a slightly older street kid.
With one last look Gentry tugged his vest straight, bent down to make sure his ankle holster was out of sight but easily reachable in the short boots he was wearing, and then marched out of the room. The cheap hotel he’d walked to a few hours earlier in order to avoid suspicion, and then to get ready, had been chosen to serve as their base of operations for the duration. Gentry would pick a customer up outside on the corner and would then convince them to come up to his room in The Crown Hotel. Once the deal was made and enough evidence recorded, they’d be arrested for solicitation and led out through the back. Then Gentry would be back on the street and trolling for his next customer.
When he hit the lobby he made sure to do his best to put a sway in his step, to prowl like he’d seen the street girls do on the first beat he’d worked when on the hunt for a customer. It felt awkward as fuck, but he reminded himself that selling his undercover identity was part of the job and did his best to put it out of his mind. The chill hit him as soon as he got passed the grimy glass door, and Gentry couldn’t help the shiver that ran down his spine. As cold as it was, he was sure he’d be outside freezing his ass off all night without anyone actually taking the bait.
He was wrong.
Gentry wasn’t on the corner for more than five minutes before he got his first bite. He was surprised since he wasn’t there long enough to get comfortable against the lamppost he was leaning on. But he was long enough to get glares from a few other “professionals” he could see making their way farther down the block. He knew for a fact that there could be serious issues among the working girls and boys when it came to territory. Lucky for him the spot outside The Pale seemed to be a bit of a dead zone for hooking, which was strange considering the fact that popular clubs often made for excellent pickings.
Drunk clubbers were dumb customers and were normally too wasted to realize when they were being overcharged. A part of Gentry was a bit hesitant to prey on the obviously wasted people pouring out of the building. But like his captain told him, if they were stupid enough to try to buy a hooker then they were probably stupid enough to drive. At least this way if the solicitation charge didn’t stick they’d get them off of the street for the night. The drunk ones could sober up inside lock up.
It might not seem entirely fair, but given the number of traffic accidents Gentry had worked he could see the reasoning behind it. That and the car keys the obviously trashed guy who was attempting to buy him for the night was clutching in his hand had Gentry more than a bit inclined to think it was the lesser of two evils.
“Hmm, I’ve got a room right over here in The Crown. That’d be better for the both of us.” Gentry angled his hip out towards the guy, who stared at him and licked his lips, face flushed red and hair disheveled.
“H-how much?” Gentry dodged the guy’s hand when he reached out to palm his ass and turned it into a half awkward half flirty skip backwards.
“We’ll talk about it upstairs. I might even cut you a break. Handsome man like you deserves a discount. I’m thinking the minimum for you.” Gentry had to keep his cynical chuckle to himself because he was pretty sure this guy was too drunk to do more than pass out. Like Grierson had told him earlier, at least it would get him off the street.
Ten minutes later the guy was being lead out the back way so he could be poured into an undercover car and Gentry was back on the corner.
One down … who knew how many more to go.
Gentry was crouched down retying the laces of his boots when the sound of a heavy tread caused him to tense up. He had to fight down the instincts that had been drilled into him, the ones that told him to get to his feet as quickly as possible and to protect his back. Instead he finished tying his laces and casually rocked back on his heels so he could gain his feet at a much more leisurely pace. When he finally let himself look at who he was sure would be his next “customer” he had to bite back a curse.
The guy was average height, about an inch or so taller than Gentry himself, but his shoulders were wide, and they filled out the tailored grey suit he was wearing perfectly. His dark red hair was swept back off of his forehead and made it easy for Gentry to take in the rest of his face, to see the way his dark brown eyes were glaring at him heatedly. The fact that he was standing in front of Gentry at all was a surprise since he didn’t exactly look like someone who’d be hurting for company. Plus there was the fact that he was obviously well off, and even if he did have the urge to buy some companionship he could probably afford something of a “higher caliber” than what Gentry was offering.
It was a damn shame that Gentry might be leading him directly into a pair of handcuffs. Well, a pair of handcuffs that didn’t involve some of the seriously dirty and deliciously fun things Gentry could think of.
“Anything … in particular I can help you with?” Gentry tried to sound seductive, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as it normally was. His voice came out low and husky, and it was thanks to Trent’s running commentary in his ear that he managed to remind himself that this was work and definitely not pleasure.
“How old are you?” His voice was harsh, and the question took Gentry slightly by surprise.
“Old enough?” It came out more like a question, and the man’s lips pulled down into a tight frown as he stepped closer. Gentry forced his body not to tense, to instead go fluid and to lean into the other man’s space. He couldn’t help but notice that the stranger’s lightly tanned skin showed off a smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose that Gentry found absolutely delectable.
“Look, kid, you don’t need to be out here. I’m sure there’s something else you can do for money.” Gentry almost choked on his tongue when the guy spoke because that was the last thing he expected to hear.
“Ah, actually I’m pretty sure there isn’t.” Gentry had to control his wince because he was technically telling the truth. There wasn’t anything he’d rather be doing, but the job he was thinking about and the job the guy was talking about couldn’t be more different. Still, he did have to admit that he’d actually been tempted to call Grierson his pimp once or twice for the hell of it before common sense had reared its ugly head and stopped him.
“When’s the last time you ate, kid?” The question was so far out of left field that it took Gentry a moment to answer.
“I’m not sure why you care, but that depends on what time it is. ‘Cause it would either be this morning or yesterday depending on the answer.” He shrugged his shoulders. It was the truth. He’d had a late breakfast but hadn’t had time for lunch, and he’d been on the corner for more than a few hours now so there’d been no chance for him to eat. Still he was confused as to why this guy gave a damn.
The stranger snorted in disgust, spun around on his heel, and took off back across the street at a sharp clip. Gentry stared after his retreating form in puzzlement.
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