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|Deuce of Diamonds
A novel of mystery and romantic gay love, book two of Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series
Private investigator Ian Coulter has a knack for finding trouble
even when he’s minding his own business. Ian’s in the midst
of a routine weekly job for movie star client Saylor Blackwood
when the man confides he thinks he has a fan turned stalker.
Ian stays close to Saylor to observe the people around him and
gets an unwelcome shock when FBI agent Rick Mohr contacts
Rick Mohr has a problem. Ian’s name just popped up on an FBI
watch list. Rick knows it’s guilt by association where Ian is
concerned, but what about Blackwood? Rick won’t allow Ian to
get dragged into the mix when he’s not involved. For Ian he’ll
break whatever confidentiality rule necessary.
It doesn’t take long for Ian and Rick to join forces to clear
Ian’s name and get to the bottom of out what’s going on in
Amethyst Cove, because on or off the case, together is how
they work best.
“I think you need to explain that to me, Rick.”
“I can’t. I logged on to run a weekly update. I…I have your name on a private watch so I can, um, sort of
see if anything exciting happens in your world. So when it popped, I backtracked it. I don’t have details
“Local law enforcement personnel get a mention anywhere? If Foxy or Bunson got my name added, I
need to know.”
“I thought of that and checked. No mention of them. Listen, Ian, I’m not in a position to have any right to
judge you for anything you do, but be careful with him.”
“Damn, I wish…Rick, I had a really hinkey feeling last night. Like something was off kilter and I can’t
bring it into focus. I can’t say it’s Saylor himself, but something is bugging me and I need to figure it out.”
This time Rick’s silence didn’t disturb me because I knew he was thinking. He sighed audibly. “I don’t
like the sound of that. Your instincts are really good.”
“Thanks for the compliment, but I’d appreciate ideas more.”
He laughed softly. “You are an action kind of guy. Seriously, give me a day or two to dig around, and I’ll
get back to you.”
“Don’t do anything stupid, Rick. I can back away from Blackwood, no harm, no foul, and he won’t know
why. I can tell him we stepped over the line last night, so I can no longer have him as a client.”
The quiet pain in his voice brought me up short. Did he regret his choices? I refused to say anything
that would sway him one way or the other.
“I’ll be careful, Rick. I promise. Since you’ve given me a tidbit of intel, I need to go check a few things on
my end. Thanks for letting me know. You didn’t have to.”
“Yes, I did. I don’t want you caught up in whatever he may be doing, if he’s doing. Now I can tell the task
force looking at him you’re not involved.”
“Thanks for having my back, man.”
“I’ll always have your back. I’ll call you soon.”
I disconnected before he could say more and the three thousand miles between us became an
impenetrable wall of silence again. It hurt. I took a few deep breaths to ease the ache in my chest, but it
didn’t work. It never did.
His gaze slammed into mine, hot with anger that didn’t touch me. “I was a fool to walk away from you.
‘One more try’ he said. What a joke.”
“I’m sorry.” And I was sorry he’d been hurt.
“Jesus, Ian. I knew when I left you standing there on the street, leaning on your car tipping your hat at
Frank Bunson, it was a mistake to give Johnavan a last chance.”
He’d seen my little act of defiance at Frankie-boy? Huh.
“Why was it a mistake?”
His mouth dropped open. “Why? Why? Why the fuck do you think?”
“I think all sorts of things, Rick. I’d like for you to tell me the truth so I can make sense of some it.”
“It was a mistake because I’d met you.” He sighed heavily. “I didn’t …my heart wasn’t
really in giving him another chance.”
“And yet you did.”
“I wish I could lie to you, Ian, but I can’t. I’m not that big a bastard. You know what I thought? I thought I’d
get him moved back east where he’d be happy and I’d be free to move on.”
I winced inwardly. Rick wasn’t a cold or calculating man in his personal life. “So how’d that work out for
“How the fuck do you think?” He scrubbed his palms over his face. “I’m not good doing things to
deliberately hurt people. He didn’t find a job right away, so I couldn’t just say ‘bye’ and leave him without
rent money, now could I?”
That sounded more like him. “No, you couldn’t. Did he get a job or find someone else?”
Rick looked at me, a mix of emotions on his handsome face. He shook his head and rolled his eyes at
the ceiling. “I came home from a day at the office and he was all packed and ready to go. It seems he
used me as his ticket back to New York.”
“Oh, jeez. Hoist with your own petard.”
“Yeah, Shakespeare. I was. So I said it was fine and decided to enjoy a couple of weeks of solitude to
make sure my head was out of my ass. Then you fucking call me and you’re going the fuck out with
movie star Saylor Blackwood and I’m a fucking idiot!”
My joints went to jelly as the realization he was jealous I’d tricked Saylor sank into my brain. I grinned at
him. “You’re not too fucking stupid. You are here now.”
“And you want to sleep on the couch!”
I echoed his tone. “Well maybe not!”
We stared at each other. He licked his lips. “Really?”
I held out my hand….
KC Kendricks has created a
splendid as well as an
follow-up to Double Deuce.
-Literary Nymphs Reviews