Today I am so pleased to welcome M.A. Grant to Joyfully Jay. M.A. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Rare Vigilance. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Atlas Kinkaid, who is acting as bodyguard to Cristian Slava, is at the nightclub Rapture. Kidnapping attempts have been made against Cristian, so when Atlas catches Cristian sneaking off with an unknown man, he rushes to follow after them.
He paused when he finally reached the employees-only entrance, taking a quick look around for anyone else coming. Only when he was sure he wouldn’t be surprised by any newcomers did he slip past the door. The short, uncluttered hall branched off into a series of rooms. Most of it appeared to be storage, he noted as he peeked through cracked doors. He found what could have been a private lounge, though the antique furniture filling the space was far fancier than anything he’d seen before in similar spaces.
The music was muted here, and Atlas didn’t have to strain as much to listen for sign of his quarry as he attempted to check each room. This is taking too long, he fumed as he closed the door to a well-kept bathroom. But then, down the hall, came a thud against a wall. Atlas moved before he could think.
The refinished wooden door between him and Cristian was locked. No matter. A well placed, and likely too violent, kick granted him access. He burst into the room, prepared to defend Cristian.
He didn’t need to.
That much was obvious from a glance. Yes, Cristian was caught between the wall and the man who’d been following him. But judging from the bare, flushed skin exposed by their open shirts and dark teeth marks on each other’s skin, Cristian wasn’t in any physical danger. Well, unless suffering blue balls counted.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Cristian demanded, not relinquishing his hold on the other man, who continued to paw at Cristian’s well-muscled chest. A very naked chest Atlas couldn’t stop staring at. “You are not needed, Mr. Kinkaid.”
“You sure, baby?” the other man murmured against Cristian’s neck, giving Atlas a slow once-over. “I’m game if you are—”
Cristian slid his fingers up the man’s neck and clutched at his hair, quieting him with the movement. Atlas wished the man hadn’t shut up. Holding Cristian’s gaze was more intimate than he’d expected. Maybe it was Cristian’s flush, or the way his fingers tightened and drew an amused groan from his lover.
Whatever it was, Atlas did not like it. He did not like how easily someone slipped past his—and the rest of the security’s—guard. He did not like that Cristian blamed him for doing his job, as if, by bursting in, he broke some kind of rule he had no knowledge of. And, more than anything, he absolutely did not like the prickle of dark anger in the pit of his gut, the frustration bursting into life over seeing Cristian debauched in a stranger’s arms. Someone unvetted, who could have hurt Cristian before Atlas had a chance to intervene, destroying his career and Bea’s reputation in a single moment.
No, Atlas did not care for that shit at all.
“Who is this?” he asked.
Cristian opened his mouth to answer, but bit his lower lip in frustration when he couldn’t come up with the name. The other man, seemingly unoffended by it, offered, “James.”
“Yes,” Cristian said, “this is James.” The man in question nuzzled at Cristian’s neck. Cristian hissed, his head tilting back to grant better access. “Leave, Mr. Kinkaid.”
“Mr. Slava,” Atlas bit out, “an unknown man followed you in here. I am not leaving until I know he’s not a threat.”
“A sexual threat, maybe,” James laughed. It was not a funny joke.
Atlas’s world narrowed to the still chuckling man in Cristian’s arms. He would show this asshole exactly how easily he could neutralize a threat.
James must have sensed the danger, because he lifted his mouth from Cristian’s neck when Atlas took a step forward and warned, “He told you to go.” He nipped at Cristian’s collarbone, smiling when Cristian sucked in a startled breath in response. “Think you need a new bodyguard,” he mumbled against the reddening skin. “This one doesn’t listen.”
Enough. Contractually, he had to put up with Cristian’s crappy attitude, but that did not require him to suffer any other fools. Atlas took a step forward, eyeing the best place to grab James, but a hand settling firmly on his shoulder stopped his forward momentum.
Everything has a price. Especially the truth.
From the author of Prince of Air and Darkness comes the first in a thrilling new paranormal series.
Former Marine Atlas Kinkaid knows not to ask questions about the clients he protects at the behest of the elite Whitethorn security agency. Just like he doesn’t like anyone asking about his scars—scars left by a mysterious attack that haunts his every waking moment.
Consumed by the need to find out what happened to him, Atlas takes a job providing security to Cristian Slava, the indolent—and gorgeous—son of a notorious businessman. Cristian seems to be just another entitled client, but when nights at the club turn into secret meetings and people start going missing, Atlas realizes there’s more to Cristian—and to protecting him—than meets the eye.
But the same people who are after Cristian have something Atlas desperately craves: they know exactly what happened the fateful night he was attacked—and are willing to tell him everything…
For a price.
M.A. Grant has always loved reading and writing, but fell in love with the romance genre when she started working at an independent bookstore in high school. After meeting her husband in college, they began a steady northward migration and are now happily living in the rugged beauty of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. When she’s not calling out to passing ravens or making a cup of tea, she’s writing dark and moving stories.