FINDING LOST TREASURES
Cade Creek 18
coming August 30, 2018
Available for pre-order!
All Hector Cruz wanted
was a place to call his own, but buying a rundown farm came with more problems
than he'd been expecting. Between the needed repairs, the problems at work, and
the man hiding out in his basement, he was starting to wonder if finding a
place to call home was worth the headache.
Wilson Jacks was
hiding. He'd done some really horrible things and now he was paying the price
for his crimes. Being alone in the world made him ache for all the things he
couldn't have. He had no friends, no home, no one to call his own, but that was
a punishment in itself, one he felt he richly deserved.
When his world collides
with the one man who doesn't expect perfection, learning to accept that he
might not be a monster isn't as hard as accepting the fact that Hector is
attracted to him. The fragile peace Will finds in Hector's arms begins to
shatter when the chaos he's been avoiding comes knocking on the door.
Wilson Jacks's heart thundered painfully in his chest.
He could hear voices rumbling above him, but he couldn't quite make out the
words. His trouble breathing only grew worse when he heard a door close then
footsteps walking across the floor.
He knew hiding out here was a really bad idea, but the
house had been vacant when he found it, dilapidated and rundown as if no one
had lived there in ages. He'd thought it would be the perfect place to hide.
Then Hector moved in.
Will knew who Hector was. He'd heard the man's name
mentioned enough times by those who came by the place to realize the man who'd
bought the house was the same one who'd been shot the day Will had been shot.
He also knew the man had been roommates with Terry
Iverson, the man Will had been forced to humiliate by accusing him of sexual
misconduct. Will had hated to do it, but it had been his only option.
Will was terrified of what Hector would do once he
discovered his uninvited houseguest. Hector had been shot because of him. His
friend had gone through so much misery because of him. Dan Wilson had been
forced to arrest his own father because of him.
So many horrible things had happened and they all led
back to Will.
Will sniffled then wiped at his nose with the sleeve of
his shirt. He wished he could just run away, run as far as he could go until he
found someplace where no one knew him or knew about what he'd done.
Unfortunately, he had no way to run. He'd lost his job
as a paramedic. When he lost his job, he could no longer afford his apartment.
He'd sold most everything he owned, keeping just a few personal items. He
didn't even have his car anymore.
He felt guilty about taking Hector's sandwich, but with
no way into town—not that he'd actually consider going into Cade Creek after
what he'd done—he had no way to buy groceries. Since he sold almost everything
he owned, he had no way to cook food even if he had it.
It wasn't like he planned to spend the rest of his life
in Hector's basement. He just needed enough time to figure out what he was
going to do, which was proving to be harder than he thought it would be.
Will's breath caught in his throat when the door at the
top of the basement opened. He scooted back away from the light shining down
the stairs as far as he could go.
"You can come out now. The sheriff is gone."
Oh god, he was gonna die.
Will just knew it.
Hector was going to figure out it was him hiding in the
basement and the man would kill him. Will was no dummy. He'd seen the size of
the man's muscles. Hector could squash him with a snap of his fingers.
"Come on out," Hector said. "This
passage is too narrow for me to come down there without squeezing myself into a
Will believed it.
Hector's voice was a lot lower and more menacing when
he spoke again. "Don't make me come down there. I won't be happy."
Will grabbed his bag in case he needed to make a run
for it, and pushed himself to his feet. He kept a tight grip on the handle of
his bag as he slowly stepped into the light. He swallowed tightly then glanced
up to the top of the stairs. The second his eyes met Hector's eyes, Will
dropped his gaze.
Hector's massive chest heaved when he sighed.
"Come on up, Will."
It took every ounce of Will's control to force himself
to take that first step. One by one, he climbed up the stairs, his eyes never
leaving the pulse beating in Hector throat.
When he reached the top of the stairs, he wasn't sure
what to expect. He was almost positive that Hector was going to grab him, force
him down the hallway, then toss him out the front door. He never expected the
man to simply step back and allow him out of the basement.
Will clutched his bag tightly to his chest and quickly
stepped through the doorway and out into the hallway. He took a couple of steps
back, making sure there was plenty of room between him and Hector. He wanted a
head start if he needed to run.
Hector shut the door then walked right on past him.
"You want some water or something?"
"No, thank you," Will murmured.
Hector's dark eyebrows were raised when he glanced over
his shoulder. "Are you sure?"
Will shrugged. To be honest, his throat was so parched,
it hurt, but he wasn't going to admit that.
Hector grunted before continuing toward the kitchen.
Will waited for a moment before following after the man. He paused in the
archway and watched as Hector grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge. He
licked his dry lips when Hector unscrewed the top and took a long swallow.
Hector stared at him for a moment after lowering his
bottle of water then turned and reached into the fridge for another bottle.
When he held it out, Will threw caution to the wind and grabbed for the bottle.
He quickly scooted back to the doorframe before opening
the bottle and swallowing down almost the entire thing. He tried to save some
of it for later, but it was so hard. He hadn't had anything to drink since the
Hector crossed his arms and leaned back against the
counter. His eyebrows were pulled tight together in a pensive expression,
almost as if he was trying to figure something out but didn't have all the
pieces together yet.
Will clutched at his bottle of water, tensing his
muscles in case he had to make a mad dash for the door. The air was thick with
unease. Will was pretty sure most of it came from him.
"Were you in my house before or after I bought
it?" Hector finally asked.
Will gulped. "Before," he whispered.
"Did you do the work on the baseboards and crown
Hector cocked his head. "Why?"
Will dropped his eyes to his hands as he shrugged his
shoulders. "I ate your food. I wanted to pay you back."