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Authors: Sterling K.

Spark And Flame

BOOK: Spark And Flame
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Spark And Flame

 

 

 

 

 

By

K. Sterling

 

 

**A Note From The Author**

 

Dear Reader,

 

Welcome back to Lake Cliff! I’m overjoyed to see you and excited to share this book with you. Before you catch up with Aiden and Lane, I wanted you to know that your time and attention is very precious to me. I hope you enjoy this chapter in their lives as much as I do. Every character and every reader are special to me. With that in mind, if you should decide to leave a review for this book, please know that I will treasure it. Even if you’re roasting me. I read every review and view it as a personal conversation between the two of us. Imagine me giggling or pushing my lip out and thanking you for your very valuable words. But, as a favor to me and your fellow readers, please, please,
please be very careful not to include any spoilers
! Let the next reader fan themselves nervously or become furious with me on their own. As always, I invite you to find me on social media to vent your frustrations, chat about your favorite naughty characters or anything at all.

It’s been almost a year since I wrote Hide And Keep and of all my characters, Aiden is still my favorite and your response to him has given me a tremendous amount of joy. As the mother of a severely autistic child, Aiden holds a very special place in my heart. Seeing readers embrace him has been more delightful than you can imagine. I’ve had so many messages from readers declaring him their favorite. I wanted to give those readers something worthy of our favorite hero. I couldn’t write the sort of naughty happily ever after any character could experience. If I was pulling Aiden and Lane out of retirement, it had be big. This is a different book for me and I hope you enjoy this darker and more intense journey.

Once again, thank you for reading my book. I see you and I write for you, my lovely, pervy reader.

 

Love,

K. Sterling

Chapter 1

 

“It’s a fascinating read, Dr. Aiden Sharp,” the reporter said and Aiden nodded in agreement at the camera as he wondered how much longer the interview would take. At least it was being done remote and he was in the study and not some studio. “Could you explain why you didn’t mention Gavin Langley?” She asked and Aiden’s attention focused.

“It’s a book about the relationship between killers and the amount of blood present at their crime scenes,” he said and was aware he sounded annoyed. He was getting tired of Gavin Langley and the fact that every reporter found some way to bring him up.
No more interviews for a while,
Aiden decided. “As Langley killed exclusively through arson, there was literally no reason for him to be included,” he pointed out and the reporter shrugged.

“I’m sure you could have worked him in. He has to be the most interesting case you’ve ever been involved with,” she insisted and Aiden shook his head.

“No. I’ve had several cases that were more interesting. I was involved with the case of a serial killer that posed his victims as Venus DeMilo and left their arms crossed elegantly at their feet. I mention Walter Riley in the book. He’s much more interesting,” Aiden said and her lips twisted as she considered and he hoped she would let go of Gavin Langley.

“But there’s the romantic link between you and Gavin that’s so compelling,” she argued and Aiden’s lips pulled in as he shook his head.

“There is no romantic link between myself and Mr. Langley,” he corrected and she laughed.

“He’s made his interest in you very public, Dr. Aiden Sharp. You have to admit it would be quite a story if the two of you became involved,” she said and Aiden’s head pulled back in confusion.

“I can’t see why,” he murmured. “I’ve been happily committed to my husband for seven years and Mr. Langley is in prison for serial arson. He’s a dangerous criminal and I don’t understand why anyone would imagine I could be romantically interested in someone like him,” Aiden mused and she deflated.

“But it would be so fascinating and Gavin is so…
charming
!” She said in a manner that suggested his attractive personality outweighed his very serious crimes.

“He’s a criminal. He’s serving several life sentences and I have had no involvement with Mr. Langley for over a year. In fact, I’ve refused to communicate with him because I don’t think it’s wise to encourage a person with his degree of mental illness,” Aiden explained and she waved dismissively.

“He’s not
that
ill,” she argued and Aiden’s brows pulled together. “I’ve interviewed him a few times now and he’s been so pleasant and intriguing,” she said and Aiden shook his head.

“Excuse me, we’re done here,” he said as he reached for the microphone clipped to his shirt and she waved for him to stop.

“Dr. Aiden Sharp! I have more questions and we still have a few minutes to fill,” she urged and he shrugged and waved off a tech that rushed in his direction.

“I agreed to discuss my book, not Gavin Langley. I’m tired of talking about him and I find it unsettling that he has so many acolytes among the media. He’s a dangerous criminal and belongs in prison. My life has moved on and I refuse to waste more of my time or energy discussing him,” he announced as he reached for the mic pack behind him and tossed it on the desk as he stood. “We’re done, Mrs. Brooks,” Aiden said firmly.

“It’s Mrs. Brink!” She yelled from the screen and Aiden frowned as he looked at the producer and wondered why she thought he cared. “I’m Amanda Brink!” He heard her say before he pushed through the bodies blocking the door.

“Please be out of my home in no more than fifteen minutes,” Aiden mumbled as he walked through the living room and Lane’s lips pulled tight as he set the TV remote on the coffee table. Aiden held up his hand before Lane could scold him. He knew Lane watched the segment from the living room and didn’t understand why he wasn’t more upset.

“They’re going to accuse you of having a fit and storming off like a diva,” Lane warned as he followed Aiden into the kitchen and he shook his head.

“I don’t care,” he insisted as he pulled open the fridge and stared into it as he seethed. “Why is it I can see how absurd and improper it is for her to suggest that I could have a romantic relationship with him but no one else can?” Aiden asked and Lane pushed the door shut as he turned Aiden.

“It’s a cheap and easy angle,” he said and Aiden frowned at him and Lane laughed softly as he squeezed Aiden’s hand. They never touched each other affectionately when camera crews were in the house or released pictures of themselves as a couple. “You have to admit it’s pretty sexy,” he sang. “Hot doctor falls for the hot celebrity criminal and they have a forbidden, impossible romance…” Lane teased until Aiden elbowed him in the stomach.

“Why don’t you have a problem with the media’s obsession with me and Langley?” He asked and Lane shrugged.

“Because I know there is no
you and Langley,
” he said softly as his eyes held Aiden’s. “I know where you’re sleeping at night and who you’re sleeping with,” Lane added and Aiden couldn’t keep his lips from curving as he leaned closer. “I know that as soon as they’re gone, I’m going to rip off your clothes and get my tongue so deep in your ass…”

“How much longer are they going to be here?” Aiden asked loudly and one of the camera men glared at him as he carried a case through the living room. Lane pushed Aiden’s shoulder as he groaned.

“You can’t keep acting like that,” Lane warned. “Don’t get a bad reputation with the media or turn them against you.”

“I don’t see why it matters,” Aiden grumbled. “They’re not interested in anything I’ve done since Langley,” he complained and Lane sighed.

“You don’t want to make them more sympathetic toward him and you still have books to sell and future cases to discuss,” Lane said. “If you keep walking out and are too hard to work with, they won’t interview you when you need them to,” he cautioned and Aiden chewed on his lip as he raised his shoulder. He knew Lane was right but he didn’t want to admit it. The Brooks woman had been completely out of line and the reporters were only getting worse as Langley did more interviews. Aiden suspected Langley was doing more interviews because he thought it was his only means of communicating with him. They might get some relief if he returned Langley’s emails but he was just so creepy and insane… Aiden shivered.

“I just wish he’d go away and everyone would forget about him,” he said and Lane laughed as he reached around Aiden and pulled the juice from the fridge.

“I’m sure he’ll get tired of waiting for you and move on. And I’m sure the media will lose interest in him,” Lane said and Aiden nodded.

“I hope you’re right.”

Chapter 2

 

Lane smiled as Kat’s picture flashed on his phone.

“Hey, you! How’s it going?” He asked.

“Everything’s fine. How are you and Aiden doing?” Kat asked. She sounded a bit concerned and Lane’s brows pulled together as he leaned back in his seat.

“We’re fine. How’s Henry?” He asked and he could practically hear her waving dismissively. She definitely had something on her mind.

“He’s great. Won’t stop growing and he’s sucking me dry,” she said quickly. “I need to talk to you about something,” Kat said and Lane grinned.

“Go,” he said as he put his elbow on the arm rest and set his cheek in his palm.

“Gavin Langley,” she blurted out and Lane groaned as he pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Not you too,” he grumbled and she snorted.

“Definitely not!” She insisted. “I have real concerns, Lane,” Kat said and he pulled a face as he waited. “Have you seen his blog?” She asked and Lane rolled his eyes.

“How does he even have a blog?” He asked.

“I don’t know but his blog and his Twitter are huge,” she said and Lane shook his head in disbelief.

“I’m very happy for him,” he said and she made a frustrated sound.

“He’s got thousands of followers and his blog is all over the place. I was ignoring it but someone forwarded a post he wrote about you!” She said and Lane’s lips twisted.

“What could he write about me? We’ve never met and I don’t have a Twitter account,” he argued dismissively.

“He did this whole nutty as squirrel shit breakdown of the night you killed Burgess and swears there was this big conspiracy to cover up the fact that you set him up. You killed him someplace else and faked the crime scene because you were jealous of Burgess and afraid you’d lose Aiden,” she explained and Lane leaned forward and rested his elbows on his desk.

“That’s really…bizarre and I’m not remotely worried,” he said. “I didn’t do anything wrong and I was cleared completely,” Lane added and she sighed.

“I know that. Everyone that actually knows you, knows that,” she said.

“I don’t see the problem. He’s insane,” Lane said.

“He’s got so many fans and they’re all as crazy as he is! They’re all soooo drinking the Kool-Aid,” Kat said. “The comments are scarier than the blog post. They hate you!” She said and Lane frowned as he fidgeted with the corner of a folder.

“Why should I care if some teenage girls hate me?” He asked.

“It’s a lot more than some and he’s getting a lot of attention,” she said and Lane shrugged.

“So?” He said and she groaned in frustration.

“Everyone’s acting like he’s the missing member of One Direction and you’re getting dragged, Lane,” Kat said and Lane laughed.

“I didn’t understand any of that,” he joked and Kat sighed.

“I’m worried it’s going to get out of hand and you and Aiden are going to be caught in the middle of all of this,” she said and Lane shook his head.

“This will run its course quickly,” he promised. “Meanwhile, I wouldn’t mention Langley to Aiden. He’s seriously over it,” Lane warned and Kat snorted.

“I bet he is,” she said. “It’s so creepy how this guy is all obsessed with Aiden and swears they have a thing,” Kat complained. “People are shipping them, Lane!”

“I’m sorry?” He asked and she sounded weary.

“Like, Shangley and Larp?” She asked and Lane checked to see if his phone was getting a good signal or if she was cutting out because none of it made sense.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” He asked impatiently.

“They have nicknames for them as a couple because everyone thinks they should be together,” she explained and Lane nodded slowly.

“Well, they’re all going to be really disappointed,” he said.

“Not to mention, it’s a bit icky,” she said with an audible shiver. “They’d be like those weird boyfriend twins,” Kat complained and Lane squeezed his eyes shut as he silently prayed for patience.

“Boyfriend twins,” he repeated, hoping she would hear how ridiculous the conversation had become.

“You know that thing where boyfriends look eerily similar,” she explained and Lane shook his head.

“Aiden looks nothing like Langley,” he argued.

“How can you say that? Aiden looks like a younger, leaner and a little cleaner version of
Fight Club
Brad Pitt. And Langley looks like Brad Pitt from
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
now that he’s bulked up a bit and started keeping his hair cut real short for prison. Langley was more
Legends of the Fall
Brad Pitt during the trial and I can kind of understand why people were into him then…

“Kat,” Lane sighed.

“Clearly he’s a monster and his fans are out of their minds,” she said and Lane hoped she was running out of steam. “Just keep an eye on this and be careful,” Kat said and Lane laughed.

“I will. We’re fine,” he insisted. “Seriously.”

BOOK: Spark And Flame
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