House of Manlove Blog Hop–click on the button to get to the main jumping off point.
And my contribution to this week’s blog hop, coming from Flesh Market, which goes on sale on Tuesday!. Leo’s deep undercover, and the bureau has snuck someone in to really check on them. And, to keep Julian from being sold to a customer. (Yes, Mauer will come back later. He’s too awesome not to. Some day, I’ll tell you the story of how he met his husband. And convinced his wife to let him keep him.
DeGraff plucked the invitation from Leo’s hand and peered at it, rubbing the paper between his fingers. “Dowe, hmm? What did he say was keeping him busy?”
Mauer waved a hand in the air. “Some legal thing. I really didn’t pay attention to the details after he told me about the splendid parties you boys throw. And when he told me you’d obtained some previously untouched merchandise, well.” He leered and spread his hands. “I could hardly say no, now could I?” His accent was Boston snob with a hint of Louisiana redneck. “Now, if you’re uncertain, you can call Dowe, of course. Not that I think he’ll be able to answer. I believe he’s had to leave the country for a…sabbatical of sorts. Or”—he patted the middle of Leo’s chest—“you can have this delightful gentleman keep a very close eye on me for the duration.” He winked at Leo. “You didn’t think I remembered you, did you, Dale darling? How could I forget a man who refuses to come work for me?”
Leo frowned at him. What the hell was Mauer playing at? Damn the lack of communication in this operation. He was still trying to get his mind around the change in Mauer’s appearance. The man he’d worked with had been tough, one step above thug on the evolutionary scale. He could have joined any gang in any big city in the U.S. and not been looked at twice. Leo wondered what it had taken to get him to put on this character.
Because where Mauer himself was the antithesis of flaming, this character could set a house on fire just by walking past it.
Mauer watched him expectantly, humor warring with tension in his face.
Fuck it. Go with the flow. “You still have Meshkova working for you?”
Mauer’s smile widened. “He’s down in the car. Don’t tell me you two are still at war?” He turned a conspiratorial grin on DeGraff. “Dale here tried to arrest Henry once upon a time, when he was on the other side of the fence. And he’s such a stubborn man that he just can’t forgive Henry for refusing to let Dale put cuffs on him.” He threw a sly look Leo’s way. “I’d let you cuff me. Under the right circumstances.”