Miro Jones is living the life: he’s got his exciting, fulfilling job as a US deputy marshal, his gorgeous Greystone in suburban Chicago, his beloved adopted family, and most importantly, the man who captured his heart, Ian Doyle. Problem is, Ian isn’t just his partner at work—Ian’s a soldier through and through. That commitment takes him away from Miro, unexpectedly and often, and it’s casting a shadow over what could be everything Miro could ever dream of. Work isn’t the same without Ian. Home isn’t the same, either, and Miro’s having to face his fears alone… how to keep it together at the office, how to survive looming threats from the past, and worst of all, how to keep living without Ian’s rock-solid presence at his side. His life is tied up in knots, but what if unknotting them requires something more permanent? What would that mean for him and Ian? Miro’s stuck between two bad choices, and sometimes the only way to get out of the knot is to hold tight to your lifeline and pull.
I WALKED through O’Hare at seven Friday morning, and I was surprised when I came through the security area and had Kohn and Kowalski there to meet me.
“The fuck?” I said by way of greeting.
“Nice work in San Francisco,” Kohn said, smiling wide. “My city is the shit, huh?”
“It’s hilly” was all I gave him. “I didn’t get to appreciate much of it running through alleys and chasing down dirty DEA agents.”
“So what’s with the reception?” I asked him and his partner.
“Well,” Kowalski began, smiling smugly. “We’re here to take you to breakfast and then officially give you back custody of your children.”
I was confused, and it must have shown on my face.
“Those fuckheads, Cabot and Drake,” Kohn snarled. “Jesus Christ, Miro, that shit is a full-time job!”
I chuckled, even though I knew he was right. Drake Ford, now Drake Palmer, and Cabot Kincaid, who used to be Cabot Jenner, were two witnesses Ian and I not only took custody of, but took under our wing. A lot of it had to do with the fact that they were young, both eighteen when they entered WITSEC, and we were the ones they bonded with.
“First you ask us to watch them last year when you and Doyle were in Phoenix, and then after when you were gettin’ better from the whole kidnapping, and—”
I called him on his bullshit. “That’s crap, man. Ian and I took them back from you as soon as I was off desk duty.”
“Yeah, but then you left the boys with us when Doyle was deployed and you were sent to San Fran, and we’re here to officially give them back.”
“What’d they do?”
Kohn threw up his hands. “Drake saved a little girl who fell in the water at Navy Pier.”
I scowled. “Why is that a bad thing?”
Kowalski shook his head. “The saving was good, the forgetting to call us before he talked to a reporter… was not.”
“Oh shit,” I groaned.
“Yeah, so we’re all set to ship him and his boyfriend off to New Mexico or wherever, but they’re crying about school and jobs and mostly—I shit you not—you and Doyle.”
“I told you before, those guys are way too attached, and Kage says you have to ship them out or they’re out of the program.”
“Out of WITSEC?”
“Apparently the shit they were in for is over. They’re not considered targets at this stage.”
“You checked with the Feds?”
“And the investigation is closed?”
“He and the boyfriend are cleared, but because of the threat from Cabot’s father to both he and Drake…