Authors: EM Lynley
Bound for Trouble
“There is nothing, more enlightening and enjoyable, than to read a story where all of your attention is consumed by the words on a page. EM Lynley has done that with this story…”
—MM Good Book Reviews
“With this intriguing cast of characters, Lynley has developed a great plot that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.”
Bound For Trouble
is the complete package, with ingredients for everyone: mystery/thriller/romance/BDSM/action lovers alike will all enjoy this book.”
—The Novel Approach
Out of the Gate
“Once again, EM Lynley’s written a winner… I love this author’s way with creating a fully formed setting that’s nearly a character in itself, and making it absolutely real.”
“…for me this book is the best in the series so far, I found it very interesting, funny in places, I even needed a couple of tissues for my tears.”
—Rainbow Gold Reviews
“It was a great, funny romance with some hot sex thrown in for good measure—enough to keep this reader up too late for her own good!”
—It’s About The Book
Bound for Trouble
Out of the Gate
Brand New Flavor
An Intoxicating Crush
With Shira Anthony
: Lighting the Way Home
Rarer Than Rubies
5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886 USA
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of author imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
© 2015 EM Lynley.
© 2015 Ronaldo Gutierrez, Photographer
© 22015 Paul Richmond
Cover content is for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on the cover is a model.
All rights reserved. This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of international copyright law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines, and/or imprisonment. Any eBook format cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Dreamspinner Press, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA, or http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/.
Digital ISBN: 978-1-63216-626-5
Library of Congress Control Number: 2014951648
First Edition January 2015
Printed in the United States of America
This paper meets the requirements of
ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).
To the memory of Bill Gay. You never knew how much you brightened many of my days, and I thank you for sharing your light. I know you’d love this story.
With thanks to the researchers working in the field of HIV/AIDS. Someday we will have a vaccine and a cure. We’re closer every day.
As always, there are plenty of people who contribute to a book, some of whom may not even realize it. This time around special mentions go to Jennifer Walter, a reader and biology PhD who helped me understand the concepts and fixed things when I didn’t; to my editor Andi Byassee, whose expertise with university technology research helped make this story more accurate; and to first reader KT Hicks, who isn’t afraid to cut out the boring stuff. Additional thanks to betas T.H., E.R., and P.T.
do any modeling?” The guy came up to Jeremy Linden in the gym locker room while Jeremy was drying off after his shower. Jeremy had noticed him checking out a few other men in the weight room and even at the pool while Jeremy was taking a breather from laps.
“I’m not interested in whatever it is you’re offering.” Jeremy had heard these kinds of offers before. Friends had taken the bait, and it never ended well. No way he’d fall for the scam. It was never just “modeling.”
“You could make some easy dough.”
“I don’t need easy dough.” Jeremy opened his locker, but he didn’t want to take the towel off in front of this guy.
“Sure you do. I’ve seen your car. Someone smashed into the side of it and you haven’t fixed it yet.”
“Too busy,” Jeremy lied. Truth was he used the insurance money for bills, but he’d never admit as much to this guy.
“Don’t you want to know what the job is?”
“No.” Jeremy didn’t have time to waste. He grabbed his boxers from the locker, turned away from the guy, and bent down to step into them.
“That’s all you’d have to do. Just take off your clothes and let people look at you.”
“I don’t strip. No thanks. Emphasis on the ‘
“Three hundred bucks for about two hours’ work, just to take off your clothes. Not stripping. You just remove one piece at a time. Five hundred if you let someone else take your clothes off for you. No other touching or funny business, unless you want. And that would pay extra.”
“Get out of here before I call the front desk.”
The guy held up his hands and backed out of Jeremy’s personal space. “Sure thing. Sorry.” He slid a hand into his jacket, and Jeremy braced for him to pull out some kind of weapon. All he had was a business card. “I’ll leave this, and if you change your mind, call me. The job’s on Friday night.” He put the card on the bench and left.
Jeremy finished dressing quickly before the guy came back or followed someone else in from the gym. He was slinging his backpack over his shoulder when he glanced down at the card. More out of curiosity than anything else, he picked it up.
He flipped it over, but the back was blank. Just a simple white card with raised black printing. For some reason the simplicity intrigued Jeremy more than anything the guy had said to him, so instead of tossing it, he jammed it into his pocket and headed out. He tossed the pack into the passenger side of his car, then walked around to look at the damage: the whole right side of the car was scraped and dented from someone opening their door as he drove by. He sure would like to get the damage repaired. He could already see a tiny telltale spot of oxidation, and even though the brutal Northern California rainy season was at least a month or so away, the exposed metal under the scraped paint would certainly begin to rust before he could afford to fix it.
Maybe he could get more hours at the tutoring center. He’d ask about it tonight when he went to work.
center didn’t have any more students for him. They had plenty of kids who needed math or writing tutors, but he only did biology and chemistry. He met with his one scheduled pupil, then went home to the apartment he shared with Doug, another grad student at Cal.
Jeremy was starting the fifth year of a PhD in molecular biology, with a specialization in immunology. While other students in his department had a free ride thanks to government and NIH grants, Jeremy’s cutting edge research had won him a coveted fellowship from PharmaTek, a Silicon Valley biotech start-up working on an HIV vaccine. Jeremy’s work on VLP—virus-like particles—was potentially revolutionary and would help to bring their product to the testing phase and then to market more quickly than other approaches.
He was proud to be part of such an important project. While the funding covered his fees and a generous research budget, his personal stipend barely covered the basics in the expensive Bay Area. There wasn’t a spare dollar for the unexpected, like a car accident.
Well, he could just ignore the car. As he stared at it before going inside his apartment building, he thought he could see the rust spot growing before his eyes. Maybe he should just sell the damn thing and use his bike to get around. He’d long passed the point where he could ask his family for money. At twenty-seven he was supposed to be self-sufficient. He could try to get a loan from the university, or… he dug his hand into the front pocket of his jeans and pulled out the little white business card.
Three hundred bucks just to take his clothes off? A couple of hours of being naked didn’t really seem so bad. He was in good shape. He cycled and swam. He’d even done a triathlon before his research ate into his training time. Nothing wrong in just checking out this Dinner Club. He was staring at the card when Doug, his roommate, came through the front door with a pizza.