When his domineering brother drags him to a college party, Justice expects only to have yet another boring night out. So he’s both shocked and intrigued when he catches the eye of a cute, mysterious stranger named Ashton. Just as the men introduce themselves, Justice’s brother intervenes and drags them apart. It’s then that Justice learns the awful truth—Ashton’s father is a notorious criminal, and Justice’s own father is the District Attorney who has made it a personal goal to take down Ashton’s family.
While Ashton may have grown up around criminals, he’s nothing like them. Hardworking and compassionate, he’s done everything he can to prove he’s a good person. When he meets Justice, Ashton is instantly drawn to the soft-spoken man. Then Ashton realizes how Justice has a horrible home life and becomes determined to protect the other man, no matter the cost.
As the two men grow closer, they face hostilities from their own families. Will Justice and Ashton be able to find happiness together, or is their love destined to end in tragedy?
…Ashton moved in closer. Even over the stench of beer and too many bodies pressed together, Justice could detect the scent of sandalwood. Though it’d never appealed to him before, at that moment it sent a jolt of desire through his body.
“So, I take it you’re not a fan of the beer?” Ashton nodded to Justice’s cup.
“I much prefer a cold Mike’s Lemonade.”
“I’ll have to remember that.”
“So I know what to order for you on our first date.” Ashton flashed a playful look.
Justice laughed. He couldn’t believe such a hot guy was actually flirting with him. What’s more, he was flirting back. That had to be a first. Usually Justice stuck to the corners and rarely ventured out to socialize at all.
“You seem pretty certain that I’m going to agree to that plan,” Justice countered as he took a step forward.
His fingers itched to reach out and touch Ashton. Even a light caress would have sufficed. Just so long as he got to test how hard and warm the other man’s flesh felt. Justice clutched the cup tighter in his hand to resist from giving in to his urges.
“Does that mean you’re going to tell me ‘no’?” Ashton asked.
Justice shook his head. “If I could, I’d suggest that we bail from this party and take off now.”
“What’s holding you here?”
Justice felt himself blushing while he shrugged. “I kind of promised my brother that I’d stay for at least three hours.”
“Was that the blond you were talking to a few minutes ago?”
“Yeah, I know we don’t look much alike.”
“You’re right. You are way better looking than him.” Ashton reached up and lightly brushed one knuckle down Justice’s chest.
Justice sucked in a breath. Oh, my Lady Gaga! Once again, he thought he had to be dreaming or something because guys like Ashton didn’t flirt with mousy dorks like him. He looked down at the area of his chest that had just been blessed enough to be touched by Ashton. The skin still tingled from the caress.
“Funny, most people usually think it’s the other way around,” Justice confessed.
Ashton leaned in and whispered in Justice’s ear, “Surprise. I’m not most people.”
A shiver went down Justice’s spine and traveled to his cock. “No, you’re not.”
Justice set his cup of beer on a nearby table because he’d started to tremble so badly he worried he’d spill the stuff on him. The only thing worse than drinking the junk was reeking of it. Something he’d know from previous experience when Craig and his friends thought it would be fun to douse the “sissy boy.”
Still keeping his lips inches from Justice’s ear, Ashton asked, “So, if you won’t leave with me now, at least have some mercy on me and give me your phone number.”
Somehow Justice’s hands ended up on Ashton’s shoulders. His mind began to spin from all the emotions colliding inside him, the two biggest being arousal and shock. Arousal because—Hello!—Ashton was sex bundled up in a college T-shirt, and shock because Justice never moved this fast before. His dates were few and far between and never before had he touched, let alone kissed, until at least one or two weeks of knowing the other guy. Yet, as he found himself pressing his body closer to Ashton, Justice knew with a certainty that they’d be kissing within seconds. Justice closed his eyes and began to inch even closer.
“What in the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Craig snarled.
Before Justice could react, his brother grabbed him by the arm and jerked him away. Justice opened his eyes and gasped as he readied himself for yet another one of Craig’s verbal assaults. Instead, much to his surprise, Craig shoved Justice behind him before turning his fury onto Ashton.
“I don’t know what kind of game you think you’re playing, but keep my brother out of it,” Craig snapped, his face red with anger.
“Craig?” Justice wondered what in the hell was going on. It’s not like he already didn’t know that Justice was gay, so it couldn’t be the fact that he’d been getting up close and personal with another man. So, he had no idea what had pissed Craig off so much.
Ashton held his hands up in a peaceful gesture. “We were just talking.”
Craig snorted. “I’ll bet. It’s more likely that your dad sent you out to screw with our family because of our father.”
“I’m sorry, I still don’t understand,” Ashton replied calmly.
“You don’t think I wouldn’t recognize you as Carter Garner’s son?” Craig challenged.
Justice stomach dropped at the name. Carter Garner ran the biggest illegal drug ring in the state. The name was so sickeningly familiar because he heard it every night at the dinner table as his own father, a DA, railed about how he couldn’t wait to finally hang a conviction on the criminal…