Missing, Presumed Dead
(An Amethyst Cove Mystery)
by Christiane France
ISBN-13: 978-1-61124-182-2 (Electronic)

Private investigator and ex-cop, Greg Stewartson, is on his way to bed when his Hollywood-producer brother, Vance, shows up on his doorstep. With him is the handsome, sexy, and blond Tim Fensham, the brother of Vance's latest girlfriend, movie star Petra Lianne. Vance says Petra went missing more than a month ago after last being seen in Amethyst Cove. He has new information, but the police refuse to follow it up. They’ve closed the case, declaring the actress "Missing, Presumed Dead."
But Vance and Tim don’t believe Petra is dead and ask Greg to take the case. After Greg agrees, Tim stays to help him find Petra, while Vance returns to L.A.
Greg doesn’t want or need help, and wishes Tim would leave, too. He’s attracted to the man and figures the feeling may be mutual, but he doesn’t mix business with pleasure and he doesn’t need the distraction of Tim staying in his house. He also doesn’t like the way Tim keeps trying to interfere in the investigation, or the unexpected moves Tim puts on him during a power failure.
Still, Greg can’t tell Tim to take his case elsewhere for fear of upsetting Vance, but he does tell Tim to back off. The trouble is, Tim is not a very good listener...

...While Tim went outside to fetch his overnight bag, I collected the used mugs and empty beer cans, put them on the tray and took the tray out to the kitchen.
When he returned, I locked the back door, but didn’t bother resetting the alarm. If he decided to go back outside for whatever reason, I didn’t want the damn thing going off and waking me up. “If you want to come with me, I’ll show you where you’ll be sleeping. There’s an extra blanket in the closet if you’re cold, and there are soap and towels in the ensuite. If you need anything else, I’m in the room across from you.”
We’d made it halfway down the hall leading to the bedrooms when the lights went off, yet again. Tim cannoned into my back, almost knocking me over.
“Sorry about that. I hate the dark.” He gave a shaky laugh. “Always have. Scares the living crap out of me. Makes me jumpy as hell. Clumsy, too.”
Oh, yeah? I’ve seen more than a few clever moves over the years, but when it came to making the best of an opportunity, this guy was beyond good. Believable, almost.
He cuddled closer, presumably to prove his point, then wrapped his arms around my body, and I felt his hot breath tickling my neck. “I hope you don’t mind me hanging onto you like this.”
Mind? Why should I mind? The power’s never off for more than a minute, two at the very most, so I had no reason to worry about things getting out of hand. “It’s okay. You’ll be fine.”
Whether I would be fine was a whole different story. His heat, his scent, the way his hard cock was pressing against my crack was such a turn-on, I figured I might as well enjoy the thrill while it lasted. All I had to do was relax…one, two, three, four. Any second now there would be light. Five, six, seven, eight, nine… By the time I got to ten, my imagination had taken off and I didn’t care if the damn lights never ever came on again.
He was nibbling my ears and stroking my dick, and it didn’t take genius mentality to know where things were headed. But what the hell? Maybe he really was afraid of the dark rather than an opportunist, and if something we both wanted kept his mind off his fears where was the harm?
Just when things started to get really hot, the lights flashed on and off a couple of times, then came back on to stay.
He relaxed his hold and gave another shaky laugh. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to get quite so carried away. I guess what they say about fear being a powerful aphrodisiac is true.”
Oh, sure! The guy is edging in on forty and this is the first time he’s discovered the connection? I don’t think so. I may live in a small town, but he has to know us small-towners are not that naive. “You think?”
“Not really, no.” He visibly relaxed and treated to me to a soft, sexy chuckle that raised everything on my body, including my hopes, as he reached out and stroked a finger down my cheek. “You could have pushed me away.”
“True. I could also have screamed rape. Problem is living out here with my nearest neighbor working nights, I doubt anyone would have heard.”
“Would you have wanted them to hear?”
“Not particularly.” I smiled. This was California, and tall, good-looking, blond-haired, surfer-dudes are a dime a dozen. But there was nothing stereotypical about Tim. For one thing, he was much older than your average surfer dude, and while most surfers are just good looks and muscles, this guy had all that plus charisma to spare. His blond, sun-streaked hair looked natural, and his deep blue eyes were a turn-on all by themselves.
“You sure about that?”
“About as sure as I can be.”
The wanting was there on both sides. It was so damn obvious what was about to happen, and I needed to put a stop to it, now. This was where I was supposed to force a laugh, shuffle my feet to cover any embarrassment, and get back to showing Tim to his room. Except I knew I couldn’t do any of that. My rule of not mixing business with pleasure was about to get broken, and there was nothing I could do about it. At least, nothing I wanted to do...

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