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The Haven 1: How to Save a Life

Sloan Parker

Reporter Kevin Price has a knack for tripping over his own feet. And everyone else's. He's in over his head undercover at the Haven, a swanky gay sex club, determined to find out why members of the club keep vanishing. Five minute...
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Reporter Kevin Price has a knack for tripping over his own feet. And everyone else's. He's in over his head undercover at the Haven, a swanky gay sex club, determined to find out why members of the club keep vanishing. Five minutes inside and he can no longer deny the truth about his sexuality. He turns to the one man he can't get out of his head, the sexy ex-cop handling security. Too bad Kevin doesn't trust cops. Not since the only night he let himself be with another man.

Walter Simon doesn't do the club scene anymore. Not since he found love and lost it. That doesn't mean he'll let anyone hurt more innocent gay men. Even if that means going head-to-head with the klutzy, closeted, much-younger reporter. Kevin has information about the disappearances. Better to keep him close. And safe.

Neither is at the club to hook up or fall in love. Now they must work together amid their growing passion in order to uncover the truth before more men disappear.

Stupid leather pants.

Kevin Price stood in the aisle of the crowded downtown bus and tried not to draw attention to himself.

Hard to do while attempting to get the most ridiculous, tightest pants known to man out of the crack of his ass.

Why the hell had he listened to Myles about what to wear?

“It’s a sex club. You gotta look sexy.”

Asshole.

Why would anyone wear pants like this?

To get laid.

If he could remember when he’d last had sex, he might’ve contemplated that longer.

The bus neared Kevin’s stop. Thank God. He tugged on the legs of the pants and took a step forward. The elderly woman he’d given his seat to ten minutes earlier halted her knitting and gripped his wrist with a cold, bony hand.

“You don’t want to get off here.” Her grip tightened as she leaned in and hissed her next words in a low whisper. “It’s not safe.”

Could the universe please help him out?

Like walking into a gay sex club wasn’t hard enough.

He smiled down at her and gave her hand a pat. “I’ll be all right.” When she didn’t let go, he tried another smile and pat.

She had her gaze locked on his, but it was as if she didn’t see him. Like she was in a trance. Then she squinted. The whites of her eyes grew smaller until there was nothing left but the gray of the irises. “You can’t hide from him. He’ll find you there. He’ll find you anywhere.”

Why did he always attract the weirdest people wherever he went?

“Okay,” he said. “Thanks for the tip.”

Finally she released him. He hurried away before he missed his stop, or before the creepy old woman gave him another obscure prediction. His skin was still crawling from that first one.

She was right, though. It wasn’t safe where he was headed. Three missing young men. Another beaten. And no one was doing anything to find out why—or to stop it.

Until now.

The bus lurched forward and then came to a sudden stop. Kevin rushed the rest of the way to the front. Great. The leather pants now rode even higher up his ass. He stepped onto the curb, and the stifling heat slammed into him, knocking the breath from his chest. The sun had been down for hours, and still the heat hung over the city, draining the life and motivation from everyone.

Well, almost everyone.

He blew a strand of hair out of his eyes and tugged at the leather again.

No matter what, he had no intention of giving up on his plans. He’d never forgive himself if he walked away before he got to the truth and kept someone else from getting hurt—or worse.

He turned and headed north into the darkness of the old downtown factory district, thankful the crappy streetlamps and shadows of night would help cover the waddle in his stride as he tried to work the leather out of his ass with each step.

He took in the details of his surroundings. The unending cracks in the sidewalk, the smell of garbage and urine from the deserted alley, the shuffle of the homeless man’s steps across the street.

The bleak locale had to be intentional. Only men serious about what they wanted would come to this neighborhood, would go out of their way to reach the Haven, a membership-only club where gay men could find—according to the club’s Web site—“a safe and sane environment where every fantasy comes true.”

Fantasies? Kevin had rolled his eyes when he’d read that part. No one actually wanted their fantasies to come true. Did they?

What kind of people paid to go somewhere to fuck strangers?

Yet the mere thought of what he might see inside the club had his body thrumming with excitement, his blood heading south.

Stupid. Fucking. Dick. The traitorous thing never did listen to him.

He wiped the sweat beading at the nape of his neck. It was hot as hell walking the streets during the worst heat wave the city had seen in years. Of course, wearing the long-sleeve shirt and too-tight leather pants didn’t help. The sweat now dripped down the crack of his ass, making him even more aware he’d skipped underwear since he hadn’t been certain he could fit them on underneath.

He was going to kill Myles.

Like Kevin would look sexy walking in there with the stupid pants up his ass, his stomach twisted in knots, and his brain warring with his dick.

If only he hadn’t made himself one promise years ago.

He’d fucked up, and it had cost him too much. That was all he needed to remember.

That, and the fact that he was not gay.

Not gay. Not gay. Not gay.

Another few strides, another run-down building, and he neared a five-story brick structure. The place had the same exterior as the abandoned buildings surrounding it, with graffiti and chipped, aging bricks. No sign with flashing red neon letters announcing HOT MAN-ON-MAN ACTION HERE. No sign of any kind.

Kevin made his way toward the building’s front door. His phone rang, and his steps faltered as he shoved his hand into the front pocket of the tight-as-hell pants without thinking of the consequences. He did a little shimmy with his hips, but his hand wouldn’t budge.

He couldn’t walk into a swanky, underground sex club with one hand stuck inside his pants. He’d probably look like he was trying to grope himself as soon as he stepped inside. He might as well paint a sign on his forehead: GAY VIRGIN HERE. FIRST NIGHT IN A GAY BAR.

Well, not his first, but pretty damn close.

He gave another tug and breathed a sigh of relief when both his hand and the phone slid out. The movement, however, sent him tripping over a raised crack in the sidewalk. He flung forward, smacking his palm on the brick wall, just stopping his face from the same outcome.

A cab pulled up to the front of the club. Kevin leaned his shoulder against the brick and tried to appear casual, like he hadn’t just tripped over practically nothing.

Smooth. He was so not going to fit in at the Haven. He couldn’t even walk inside without making a fool of himself.

His phone rang again, and he checked the display. Perfect timing.

Guys walking into a sex club did not get calls from their mommies.

She probably just wanted to ask for the twentieth time if he planned to get back with Sondra. He hit the button to send the call to his voice mail.

A burly guy wearing a leather vest and pants got out of the cab and went to the Haven’s front door. Two more men passed by Kevin.

No way they had missed his stellar trip into the brick. Both men gave him a sidelong glance as they entered. One winked at him.

Another man on foot appeared from around the far corner of the building. A tall, dark figure slinking toward him from out of the shadows. Kevin set his phone to vibrate and stashed it in his pocket, twisting his hips to get his hand out. The action was getting easier. Maybe the leather was stretching and he’d be able to get out of the pants later without anyone’s assistance.

He got out the key card he’d received the day before and took a step closer to the door. His phone vibrated in his pocket. His mom had probably gotten cut off by his voice mail and she was calling to leave part two. She had the worst timing. She always called him right as he was about to get laid.

That had him frozen in place with his hand on the club’s door handle. No way would he be getting laid tonight. Not in there.

He threw open the door, made it one step inside, and froze again.

He’d been in the Haven the previous day for an interview, but that had been an hour before they’d opened for the night. The brief tour of the posh club hadn’t prepared him for the live show.

Men were everywhere. Dancing. Talking. Kissing. Grinding body against body. Practically fucking in the lounge chairs and on the dance floor while more men filled the dining room, eating their meals like they dined in any other upscale restaurant in the city.

The music was slower than he expected, softer. The lighting subtle. Not the dark corners, flashing strobe lights, and sea of strung out, desperate losers he’d pictured.

“Excuse me,” came a deep voice from behind him.

Kevin spun around. The dark-haired man from outside had stopped in the club’s doorway, staring down at him. He stood over half a foot taller, wearing jeans and a snug black T-shirt that showed off every firm muscle and looked both casual and dressy at the same time. Or maybe it was the man underneath. Short dark hair, slicked back. A touch of gray at his temples. He reminded Kevin of a vampire. Sleek, sophisticated, ready to attack.

A sexy-assed vampire with a concentrated stare. Serious. Beautiful.

Was it offensive to call a man beautiful?

Or to call him a vampire?

“You in or out?” the guy asked in a low voice that gave credence to the vampire imagery.

Kevin could not stop staring. He also couldn’t get his jaw to cooperate. He just stood there with his mouth hanging open.

Gay virgin here.

Yeah, he was doing a hell of a job blending in.

The guy hadn’t looked away yet. He raised his eyebrows and pointed behind Kevin. “There’s the dining room. That’s for talking and eating.” He pointed to his right. “There’s the bar. That’s for drinking and dancing.” He gestured in the opposite direction. “There’s the lounge. That’s mostly for making out.” He leaned closer and pointed over Kevin’s shoulder to the far side of the first floor, his breath brushing Kevin’s earlobe as he said, “There’s the stairs. That’s where you head up to the rooms for more than making out.” He pulled back. “Pick your poison.”

Poison? Interesting choice of words. Wasn’t the guy a member? Didn’t he enjoy coming here?

Kevin clamped his mouth shut and breathed deep through his nose. Not a good idea. The guy smelled amazing. All male. Deeper, richer than any cologne he’d ever purchased. Kevin squeezed his eyes shut, and his body responded to the lust thundering through him.

Not now.

He opened his eyes.

The dark-haired man waited a moment, smirked, then stepped around him and walked off.

Kevin ran a hand down his chest, smoothing his shirt. He finally got moving and rushed for the bar. Everyone watching him cross the room had to know exactly what state his body was in.

Stupid, stupid pants.

How had he ended up here?

For years now he’d forced himself to stop checking out the porn sites. To stay clear of the locker room at the gym. To make a weekly date with Sondra even if work kept him busy.

He’d done all he could to forget that night. To move on.

Five minutes inside the Haven, one sexy-as-fuck older man, and that was all blown to hell. He was in serious trouble.

Kevin picked up the pace, then caught a glimpse of Vampire Guy’s ass as the man walked toward the back of the club. Kevin wanted to grab that ass in his hands and sink his mouth over the guy’s dick.

Oh God.

He turned away.

Not gay?

Right. Nice try.

Copyright © Sloan Parker

Customer Reviews

Good suspense romance :) Review by Birte
Quality
I REALLY liked that one, it's a good suspense romance with lots of love and action. Sure, there are some plot-holes (like huge holes - a little bit of pun intended ...), but they didn't disturb me that much.

I totally like the characters: Walter is a decent man, Kevin is just adorable, together they have lots of chemistry and I liked them from the beginning. What disturbed me a bit isn't that Walter is older than Kevin (20 years), but that I got reminded of it over and over and OVER again. Yes, I get it, Walter is older than Kevin *lol*.

Anyway, great read :-)
(Posted on 9/21/13)
Great read! Review by Jen
Quality
I love love love May/ December M/M romances and this book is probably one of my favorites. It has an interesting mystery, hot loving, and a great story. Kevin & Walter are perfect for each other. Awesome book! (Posted on 7/3/13)
OMG Review by Tina
Quality
Oh. Mai. Gawd. OMG. I mean holy crap and wow. The next sound you hear is the sound of my credit card weeping as I purchase EVERY one of Sloan Parker's back list titles.

This book was amazing. Not only was there a very cool mystery and lots of suspense but there was a new gay man, an alpha ex-cop, a high end sex club, erotic photographs, a May/December relationship and ROMANCE!

You guys, the romance between these two men was incredible. While many years separated these two the were a perfect match in every single way. I adored the vulnerability in both characters, the honesty they respected each other with and the endless, endless kissing.

Very, very hot smexy times. Engaging secondary characters. And this seems to be a first in a new series. Can't. Wait.

Highly, highly recommend.
(Posted on 4/25/13)

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The Haven 1: How to Save a Life 5 out of 1 5 based on 3 ratings. 3 user reviews.
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