Jaded (Precious Gems #3)
M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance Mystery/Suspense, Action/Adventure Novel
From Dreamspinner Press, November 2013
E-book and in print, 264 pages
Gay-romance writer Trent Copeland finds his life in a rut while his boyfriend, Special Agent Reed Acton, is away on an undercover mission. After attending a special course at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Trent’s eager for another challenge. He jumps at the opportunity for a trip to Japan to oversee appraisals of two art collections to be sold at the gallery he co-owns. But the trip isn’t all cherry blossoms and Hello Kitty. When one of the collectors he meets—rumored to be the head of a Yakuza gang—turns up dead, Trent is accused of the murder and thrown in jail.
Reed drops everything to help find out who really committed the crime. He’s in unknown territory in Japan, forced to navigate Tokyo’s sex underworld to unravel the truth and save Trent. He poses as a “host” at a seedy late-night club. When Reed’s undercover activities place him at a ruthless Yakuza leader’s sex party, he must be willing to go to any lengths to secure Trent’s safety and freedom. But trusting the wrong people brings both Reed and Trent to the Yakuza leader’s attention. If they’re ever to have a happy ever after, they’ll first have to call on every skill just to stay alive.
Trent pulled the phone out of his pocket when he got to the end of the next car. Beth had set up some world clock app so he would know what time it was back home. She remembered his middle-of-the-night calls from Thailand and wanted to spare Reed the same.
“One o’clock,” Trent said out loud for no reason. Or perhaps just to hear another American voice besides Beth’s. Somehow, even when she spoke English here, she seemed like a different person. She might have changed her outfit back to something more normal for her, but she’d retained that odd politeness, that deference he’d noticed.
“Good evening,” a middle-aged man with dark strands of hair plastered over a smooth balding pate said.
“Oh, hi. Good evening.”
“Are you American?”
“Yes.” Trent wondered what prompted the man to speak to him.
“How tall are you?”
He stopped wondering. “Six foot three.”
“I don’t know.”
“May I take a photo with you?” The man smiled eagerly. He looked like a forty-year-old kid.
Trent couldn’t think of a good excuse so he nodded. The man whipped a phone out of his jacket pocket, sidled up to Trent and snapped a few shots, the flash blinding Trent. He was still blinking away the white spots on the inside of his eyelids when another man approached him. Trent quickly turned and rushed back to the car with Beth and Naoko. The man got caught by the sliding door between carriages and gave up. Trent ducked to the side of the door and speed dialed Reed.
“Acton.” He sounded like he was underwater.
“Reed? You okay?”
“Trent, it’s after one in the morning. Are you okay?”
“One a.m.? Oops.” Trent considered snapping the phone shut, but since he’d already woken Reed, they might as well talk, right?
“Trent? I thought Beth got you the clock app. Have her show you how to use it.”
Trent gave the phone a nasty look. If they had video calls Reed would know what Trent thought of that suggestion. “She did, but she must have set it up wrong. It says 1 p.m.” He wondered if Reed would buy that excuse.
“Yeah. Right. You just read it wrong.” He paused. “Hey, I miss you. Maybe I was dreaming about you.”
“Really?” Trent’s indignation melted away with Reed’s admission. He got a nice warm feeling in his chest that Reed had said it first.”I miss you too. Every time I see something wonderful I want to call and tell you.”
“So, what’s wonderful enough to call now?”
“The train. We’re on the bullet train. It’s only going to take like an hour to go 300 miles. How cool is that?” Trent probably had the numbers wrong, but it sounded impressive. Reed had so many more experiences, Trent felt like the country cousin.
“That fast?” Reed laughed. “But that’s cool.” His voice was gravelly. It sent a shiver down Trent’s spine. He looked around to notice a couple of passengers were looking at him. He ducked into the bathroom at the end of the car and slid the door shut.
“Reed, are you naked?” Trent leaned against the mirror. He closed his eyes and waited for Reed’s response.
“No. Not exactly.” Was it Trent’s imagination or did Reed’s voice get a little lower, a little more whispery? He could feel himself hardening already at Reed’s mysterious response.
“I’m wearing one of your T-shirts. The fabulous unicorn one.”
Trent tried not to laugh. It wasn’t particularly sexy. In fact it was silly, a unicorn braiding its tail. But Reed could make anything look sexy. “Anything else?”
“No. Just the T-shirt.” Trent had worn that shirt when he went for a run the day before he’d left LA. He smiled at the thought of Reed choosing that shirt. Then the image of Reed in Trent’s T-shirt, lying on the bed, as the T-shirt rode up to expose Reed’s cock took center stage. He pictured Reed nice and hard and imagined taking Reed into his hand, feeling him harden as he squeezed and stroked the hot flesh. Damn, now Trent was hard as a rock. “Oh, God, Reed, I wish you hadn’t said that.” Trent’s voice was low now, too. He was sure Reed knew just what effect he’d had.
“Where are you, Trent?”
“In the bathroom on the train.” Trent unzipped his pants and freed his dick from his boxers. “I wish you were here.” He hadn’t meant to say that so soon. Not just for sex, but because he did want Reed to share in his new experiences.
“What would you do?” Reed’s breath came in audible pants. Trent knew he was stroking himself by the little moans Reed let out.
Trent’s nipples tingled and his shirt felt rough against them. He squeezed around the base of his cock, knowing if Reed said one more word he’d come all over the wall in the tiny bathroom. He grabbed a wad of toilet paper and closed his eyes again. “Reed, I wish I could suck you right now. Run my tongue along the head of your cock then take you deep.” He imagined how Reed tasted and smelled and how he’d squirm as Trent slid his hands up under the T-shirt and pinched Reed’s nipples. Trent could make Reed come in less than a minute if did that, though usually he made the ride last much, much longer.
“Deeper, Trent.” There was a catch in Reed’s voice. He was close.
Trent stroked himself, up then down, wishing he had Reed’s cock in his hand and not his own. He groaned the way Reed liked him to do during oral sex, so the vibration went through Reed’s body.
“Yeah, Trent—” The rest of the sentence got cut off as he heard Reed coming, grunting softly through his orgasm. The combined image and sound had Trent coming a second later. Now he felt like he’d been run over by a bullet train. But in a good way.