Mid Week Tease: Two to Tango #MWTease
Happy Hump Day! Let’s celebrate it with another wonderful Mid Week Tease, courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino. This week, I’ll be sharing a turning point from my current WIP, a M/M SF erotic caper story titled Two to Tango.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Rory Maclellan, aka the Highlander, is one of the most successful interstellar art thieves out there. He’s careful, professional, and plans his heists down to the microsecond. Surprisingly, he also has a conscience. So when he runs into a suicidal museum worker during his latest job, he has no choice but to stun the man and rescue him from certain death.
Dmitri Grigoryev was an up-and-coming exoarchaeologist until a disastrous dig left his career in tatters. Hungry, broke, and about to be laid off from the only job he’s been able to find in the last three years, he never expected a dashing thief to come along and ruin his suicide by saving his life.
With interstellar police on their tail, Rory and Dmitri reluctantly join forces for a major heist. But will their simmering attraction get in the way, or pull them even closer?
“You didn’t ruin my life, Mr. MacLellan,” Dmitri said quietly. “It was ruined well before I ever saw you. Would you like to know the real reason why I was trying to kill myself in the museum that night?”
The thief looked startled, then solemn. “If you’re okay with telling me that,” he said. “Then yes, I would.”
Dmitri nodded. “For the last three years, I’ve been scrimping and saving every credit I could get my hands on to get the P. Centauri III case reopened. It was the only way I could clear my name and get my career and life back. Three years of living in a rundown boarding house, wearing second-hand clothing and living on freeze-dried noodles and vat protein just past its sell-by date.” His mouth pursed. “And sometimes well past its sell-by date. All so that I could pay an investigator to find evidence that the van der Waals set me up, and a lawyer to bring my case in front of a civil judiciary panel.
“That finally happened about a week ago. I took two days off that I really couldn’t afford and went down to the Justice Center to testify against the van der Waals’ lawyer.” He smiled humorlessly. “They couldn’t even be bothered to show up themselves. Somehow, my investigator was able to get ahold of a partial audio recording from the site that was made just before the geyser blew. Everyone in the room heard my voice begging Helene to stop and get everyone out of the cavern. Both my lawyer and I thought it was open and shut case. We were wrong.”
Bitterness crept into his voice. “The day before the sterilization, they handed down the verdict. The original ruling of negligence was upheld. To add insult to injury, I was ordered to pay the van der Waals’ court costs. And then pissing on both insult and injury, I got to the museum and found out that I was fired. They claimed there was no record of my request for time off, and canned me for unapproved absences. I suspect that Helene spoke to someone on the board, who spoke to the director, et voila. And since I was fired, I wasn’t even eligible for unemployment chits.”
He turned one hand up, not so much a questioning gesture as one of resignation. “So there I was — unemployed, broke, with a huge legal bill hanging over my head, and no chance of ever going back to my old life. There was nothing else to do. Even if I went to work in a pleasure palace, I wouldn’t make enough to pay off the van der Waals’ bill for years. If I died in the museum, it would cause a scandal at the very least and embarrass that chickenshit bastard of a director.”
MacLellan had crossed his arms, face growing darker with each detail. “Those sons of bitches. Doc—”
“Dmitri.” He took a deep breath. “I can get you the best legal eagle in the Known Worlds. I’ll make sure that warrant gets dropped, one way or another. You want your life back, I swear to God I’ll do my damnedest to make that happen.”
The anger and determination in the other man’s voice shocked him. “But — why?”
MacLellan bared a rictus grin. “Let’s just say I have very personal reasons to dislike people who abuse their wealth and power. Trust me, nailing that pair to the wall for you would be a pleasure.”
Dmitri stared at the man opposite him. What he proposed would not only be hideously expensive, but personally dangerous. “Those are the kindest words I’ve heard in three years,” he said slowly. “But no. I don’t want you to run that kind of risk. They’re not worth it.”
“Not — they ruined your life, man!”
“True. And then you saved it. Not only that, you gave me something I desperately needed.”
MacLellan frowned. “Which was?”
“The knowledge that things can change, even when you least expect it. You gave me a sense of hope.”
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…