Something terrible happened to Mike, and he’s been living in the attic of Devin and Barney’s house ever since. He’s shy, he’s scared and he cuts. Paul and Jeff do what they can to make sure his razors stay clean and that he’s fed, but they’re both worried that it’s not enough.
When Barney’s friend, police officer Angus, attends a summer party at the house, he catches sight of Mike in the shadows and is immediately drawn to the young man. Mike is clearly in need of help and that’s what Angus does best.
Will Mike let Angus in? And if he does, is there anything Angus can do to help Mike out of the nightmares of his past?
The big tub of ice and drinks was down to juice, wine coolers, and a couple of beers. Angus had had a beer with his burger, but one was his limit and he wanted water, so he wandered inside, figuring if there weren’t any more water bottles in there, he could just grab a glass and fill it from the tap.
The party was going strong in the yard, Barney holding court over the grill, still flipping burgers and dogs like they were going out of style. Who would have thought that a house full of twinks could put away more food than the same number of cops?
Angus found the common room and was pleased to find a flat of water bottles. Grabbing one, he sat on one of the couches, just enjoying the quiet.
He heard a soft sound, almost like the coo of a dove. A tiny, skinny boy with a mass of heavy dark hair had a handful of water bottles and was creeping about, heading for the shadows. Angus stayed still, watching without moving anything but his eyes.
As soon as the man saw Angus, he froze, red-rimmed green eyes staring and huge. The boy looked like he’d been abused or something.
“Are you okay?” Angus asked, voice quiet.
A single tear escaped, sliding down the man’s face.
Oh, this man was not in the least bit okay. Angus knew better than to go striding over to him, though. Instead, he stayed where he was and didn’t make any sudden movements. “I’d like to help.”
“I.” The man shook his head, whole body shaking hard.
“Please. If someone is hurting you, I can do something about that.” Protecting vulnerable men like this one was one of the big reasons he’d become a cop.
The back door opened, a couple of other guys running in, wrestling playfully, and the little one dropped his bottles, running up the stairs.
Angus’ heart went out to the guy, and he went over to collect the bottles from where they’d fallen and took them up the stairs. He didn’t clomp his way up them, but he walked heavier than usual to make sure his mystery man knew he was coming.
There was only a single door up here, and he knocked gently. “Hello? I have your water bottles.”