Embrey James was bored. Bored with the security job he had at the old warehouses along the canal. His employer was ambiguous, but Embrey figured a job was a job in this economy.
But as time faded into months, strange things started happening. More activity than he was used to. Dangerous looking men coming and going all hours of the night. It wasn’t Embrey’s job to question the legitimate people who used these warehouses, but he was as suspicious as he could get.
When he noticed packing trucks, closed off from prying eyes going in and out, his suspicion turned to alarm. What were they moving into the warehouses? When he brought up his concerns with his boss, he got told to mind his own business and keep his mouth shut. That only served to make Embrey think whatever was happening was highly illegal.
His sister would have a coronary if she thought he was involved in anything not legal. Especially after all the times she bailed him out of trouble as a teen. Curiosity warred with caution as he struggled to do his job without bringing attention to himself.
On a night that seemed fairly quiet, Embrey decided to investigate. After all, he had access to every warehouse along the north side of the canal for a couple of miles. What he found made his stomach turn and he knew he needed to do something, anything to stop it.
Going to the cops was easy; dealing with an overwhelming attraction to the Fed that showed up was not. Embrey hid his sexuality, mostly to keep the drama to a minimum. His sister knew, his parents didn’t and that was fine. But Brody Engler pushed every one of Embrey’s buttons. Too bad the man was straight.
Kinley Hughes was scared and helpless from the predicament he’d found himself in. Visiting a friend had gotten him kidnapped, along with his friend’s family, including her two little sisters. Kin wasn’t stupid, he’d watched enough cop shows to know he was in the middle of a human trafficking ring. He’d tried to protect Mariah and her family, but had been beaten brutally and separated from them. He didn’t know where they were now as he was shuffled in with a bunch of other men.
What happened after that broke Kin, being abused and raped repeatedly by not only the goons that had snatched them, but a lot of the men he was housed with. Terrified and alone, Kin kept to himself as much as he could, curling up in corners and hiding. He long since lost the will to fight back and could only cry when he was taken for the amusement of others.
He was so unaware of what was happening around him, that he was unable to process the kindness a guy in a uniform gave him, or the chaos and screams—and gun shots that came later.
And never again would he trust a man. Not the kind uniformed man, nor the hero that saved him, both of whom cared for Kin when he didn’t deserve to be cared for.
Brody Engler was strangely excited that the case he’d been working on for months , almost a year was finally coming together. At last, they were going to raid the warehouses off Meter Canal. It was a long time coming, and Brody didn’t like to think what was happening to the people in those warehouses as they gathered enough evidence to make an arrest.
Of course, it wouldn’t be happening at all if that security guard—Embrey?—hadn’t come forward with what he’d seen. Men, women and children packed into the warehouses—all abused, many starving. The rage that consumed Brody was enough to wish he bumped into Snesko so he could shoot the guy—right between the eyes.
What he found made him sick, but it was one man that had him oddly protective, getting past his usual walls of objectivity. He had to be at least ten years younger than Brody, bruised, lethargic, emancipated and wounded. Practically a terrified animal with his wild green eyes.
That protectiveness turned quickly to attraction and Brody was disgusted with himself. Especially as Embrey had shown interest too. Not only in the broken man, but in Brody and he’d returned that interest. What was wrong with him? What was wrong with them? This was beyond anything Brody could imagine, and the trial that was coming up would make things so much worse. Two witnesses and a Fed…sounded like a bad B-movie.