Brian Harrison wants to keep everyone safe -- especially his beloved sub, Jackie Vasquez -- and he’s convinced the only way to do that is to dig ever deeper in a forbidden investigation. Keeping his activities secret from the State Department means keeping them from his own boss, Luki Vasquez, and keeping secrets from Luki means Jackie can’t know either.
Meanwhile, Jackie keeps his own secrets as his kind heart and indomitable spirit drive him to find and help a mysterious homeless woman, who may be connected to a kidnapping. Both men dance around dangers lurking in LA’s hidden places.
Love continues to grow, adventurous kink heats up, and a marriage proposal still hangs in the balance. Can a willing shot of trust keep them together and alive when secrets collide?
Praise for A Shot of Trust (Vasquez Inc 5)
"Great storyline and character development made this book a hot and enjoyable read! Extremely entertaining, captivating and interesting sexy read. I could not put it down. Wonderfully written with strong, intriguing characters. I want to read more from this author."
-- 5 Stars from Kathleen B, Booksprout Review
"Brian and Jackie return in this continuation of a great series. Secret menaces are threatening our heroes and that’s just unacceptable. Brian is working on uncovering secrets while Jackie has his own mystery to solve. Yes, the two will intersect and, once again, our heroes are on a mission. This book reintroduces the previous situations and opens up new excitement. The story ends without answers which certainly whets the appetite and gives the reader an urgent desire for more."
-- 5 Stars from Tappy, Booksprout Review
"This series is an amazing ongoing project that does not lose any of its best qualities over time! Loved this new part same as the previous ones!"
-- 5 Stars from AL, Goodreads Review
"There is a lot of action and intrigue in this chapter. Brian and Jackie are getting back on track with their relationship, but both are holding back – for completely different reasons. I cannot wait to find out how all of these things actually tie together and know what is really in store for both Brian and Jackie. This series has turned into a real nail biter. Recommended!"
-- 4 Hearts from Sadonna, Love Bytes Reviews
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A Shot of Trust (Vasquez Inc 5)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Lou Sylvre
“The City of Angels,” Jackie said, addressing his scowling reflection in the mirror. The tiny bathroom of the Boyle Heights apartment he shared with Brian had disappeared, his mind’s eye replacing reality with a celestial battle, fiery seraphim and icy cherubim blasting curses at scale-skinned demons and black-winged Nephilim.
And at least one stray curse had hit him. Grim thought, that, but it felt right -- even if Jackie did know he’d imagined the whole scenario.
From the moment he’d stepped onto the baked pavement of LA -- could it be only nine months ago? -- the city had pelted him with hard knocks. First heralded in January by the cruel Santa Ana winds that had stripped him of sense and dignity just outside the airport, the beating dealt him by Los Angeles had continued with unrelenting ferocity, taking his leg and his hard-won mental balance, threatening both his life and Brian’s.
And now, a week after his return from a much needed break from the bullshit? A sunburn. Though Jackie wasn’t as fair as his deep auburn hair and dark freckles would suggest, his skin nevertheless had little resistance to the incendiary rays of LA’s September sun. Jackie knew that, and ordinarily he took the usual precautions like clothing and quality sunscreen. But the first week in September had brought unexpected cooling to the LA Basin, and on this morning, mild warmth and a sweet breeze played through the shaded balcony outside the apartment’s front door. The pleasant weather had charmed him straight into sleep. Another trick of the sociopathic, cold hearted, overheated city, as it turned out. Because -- of course -- the shade he’d been sitting in had been temporary.
He’d learned a home remedy for sunburn relief at ten years old after his father had made him work outside for hours. He’d bent and crouched and crawled through the hottest part of the day, pulling weeds from a ridiculously overgrown, never-manicured back yard on a day when the Midwestern sun seared the dry August prairie to a crackle. Thank goodness, his father had had plans for the next three days that didn’t include Jackie or his brother, Josh. The woman his father had left them with might have been poor, but she’d had both compassion and brains. She’d given him acetaminophen to bring his body temperature down and had him sit in a cooling bath laced with rubbing alcohol. Years later, when he’d advised a friend at Nebraska U to try it, they’d scoffed, certain the alcohol would sting, but Jackie knew the opposite was true.
Unfortunately, in another twist of LA’s bitchiness, the little apartment owned by Vasquez Security, Inc. and occupied by Jackie Vasquez and Brian Harrison had no bathtub. So instead of soaking, he carefully dabbed the diluted spirits on his shoulder, neck, and cheek with a cotton ball. He’d already swallowed the acetaminophen, and now the pain of the burn dulled to a bright sting.
The pain of looking at himself in the mirror -- his face and upper body half red and half not, like a theater mask -- continued unabated.
He heard Brian come in to the apartment. Not unexpected. At about this time daily, he took a morning break from his work as the manager of VSI-LA, the Los Angeles branch of the security company owned by Luki Vasquez, Jackie’s uncle. For a few beats, Jackie’s heart fluttered, almost a tickle as if a tiny bird settled on his chest. It surprised him, confused him, until he realized he expected his Dom to scold him for carelessly allowing the sun to burn him. Maybe Brian would invoke his right to discipline him.
Discipline for errant behavior was something new between them. Brian had no real sadism in his Dominant repertoire -- he preferred to impose tightly controlled beauty with his rope work instead. Jackie didn’t savor pain the way many submissives did, needing most of all to surrender control of his body and mind. But the craziness of LA had brought Jackie new needs, and Brian had stepped up to give him what he needed. But aside from pinning his arms and issuing needed commands during lovemaking, Brian hadn’t asserted his Dominance since Jackie had returned from Washington a week ago. Now, the idea of Brian with a crop in hand sent heated blood rushing to Jackie’s cock.
Brian called out from the living room. “You here, Jack?”
“In here.” The apartment was too small for that to need clarification.
“Any coffee left?” Brian answered his own question: “Found it.”
Jackie bit his lip. He’d expected at least that Brian would seek him out for a kiss. Bravely, he walked out into the tiny kitchen, sure that once Brian saw his face, he’d give it the proper attention. He was right… sort of.