When a murderer finds out that sexy construction company owner Adam Hoale discovered a deadly secret in his latest flip, Adam may just get flipped himself!
Adam Hoale owns a construction company called Hoale Construction. When he finds an eye-opening surprise in the walls of a house he’s flipping, and a libido flaring surprise standing on the lawn, he’s willing to do the right thing with the surprise in the wall while entertaining lusty thoughts about the surprise on the lawn.
But as the world finds out what he discovered, and his new boy toy seems to be keeping too many secrets to make a relationship a reality, Adam soon realizes he may just get flipped himself if he’s not careful.
Adam grinned. “You want another drink?”
“Maybe just one more.”
Adam signaled the waiter over and put in their drink order. Then he looked at Sean, grinning wickedly. “How about chocolate cake?”
Sean shook his head. “Not a chance, I have to guard my boyish figure. But go ahead if you want to. I might steal a bite.” His eyes sparkled intimately, making Adam’s stomach tighten. He looked at the waiter. “One slice, two forks please.”
The waiter winked and turned away. Adam watched him walk across the restaurant and then sucked in a breath as the front door opened and a familiar face and form entered.
Dirk’s gaze found him almost immediately, as if he’d known Adam would be there. He felt a shock of surprise as their eyes met, their gazes tangling across the space.
The young woman with Dirk was draped over his arm, speaking to him animatedly. Dirk seemed to be ignoring her. His full attention was fixed on Adam.
“Is something wrong?”
Adam jerked his gaze away from Dirk and gave Sean a strained smile. “I just saw someone I knew.”
Sean turned toward the door, his sexy eyes widening. “Is that Dirk Williams?”
Sucking back a sigh, Adam nodded.
“You know him?”
Adam tried not to frown but he wasn’t entirely successful. It had always been the same. Once Dirk walked into the room, nobody had eyes for anybody else. “We were friends…once upon a time.” He stiffened his spine and asked, “Would you like me to introduce you?” Please say no, please say n—
“Sure! I’ve always thought he was so yummy. Are the rumors true?”
You mean the rumors that he’s a dick? “What rumors?”
“Oh, never mind. He’s coming over. I’ll just engage my gaydar. It almost never steers me wrong.”
Dirk led his date toward their table, the frazzled Hostess in tow. He engaged his trademark grin as he came within a few feet of the table and extended his hand. “Hello, Adam. How nice to see you again.”
He stood up and took the other man’s hand. At six foot two, Adam was close enough to Dirk’s height, about an inch taller, to look him directly in the eye. “Dirk.” Adam turned to Dirk’s fluffy decoy date, just to annoy him. “And who is this lovely lady?” He reached for her hand and bent over it like European royalty, lifting it to his lips.
She giggled prettily.
“This is Macy.” He smiled in her direction. “Macy, darling. This is my old friend, Adam Hoale.”
Macy blinked, then sucked in a breath and laughed, covering her rose petal lips with her hand. Seeing Adam’s face she stopped. “Oh. Sorry.” She blinked. “You’re not joking?”
Dirk the Dick grinned at Adam, his intense, green gaze sparking with mirth. “Nope. That’s actually his name.”
Sean stood up and offered Dirk his hand. “I’m Sean. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Williams.”
Dirk slid a lazy gaze toward Sean, his lips quirking. “Hello, Sean. Call me Dirk, please.” He held Sean’s gaze a beat longer than he should have and Adam could almost hear his date’s gaydar humming.
“Well, don’t let us keep you from your dinner.” Adam glared at him.
Dirk’s jaw flexed with irritation at the obvious dismissal, but he recovered quickly, flinging Sean another smoldering glance. “Of course. I’ll see you at the house, tomorrow, Adam.” He lifted a hand in a wave and turned away, following the busy Hostess to their table on the opposite side of the restaurant.
Adam stood there, his mouth ajar, until Sean touched his arm. “Are you all right?”
Blinking rapidly, Adam nodded and dropped back into his chair. He wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of the restaurant. But he had that damn cake coming. “I’m fine. I’m just surprised. I didn’t know Dirk was coming to look at the house tomorrow. He must have spoken to my realtor.”
And Adam was gonna choke Mink with his epaulets for not warning him.
Sean settled back in his chair, picking up his fresh drink. “Is that a problem?”
“A problem? Yes.” Then realizing what he’d said he amended, “It’s just not ready for viewing yet. I’d hoped to get farther along…”
They sipped their drinks in silence for a moment.
“So is Dirk planning on buying the house?”
Adam didn’t miss the disappointed tone of Sean’s voice. “It’s possible. I understand he’s moving back to Indy. The house will certainly fit his overblown ego when it’s done. And god knows he has the money.” Adam took a much larger sip of his wine than he’d planned, nearly draining his glass.
Sean sat forward, touching Adam’s arm. “What’s wrong, Adam. You seem worried about something.”
Adam toyed with his glass for a beat and then broached the subject of the grisly discovery in the house. “What do you remember about the house on Jackson, Sean?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, do you remember anybody making any drastic changes to it when you lived there. Like adding a wall…” Cutting up bodies into itty bitty bits and arranging them in the insulation like a grisly Picasso?
He shook his head. “Not really. I mostly just have impressions, nothing concrete I’m afraid. Why do you ask?”
“We’ve been tearing some stuff down…” He watched the younger man carefully for a reaction. He didn’t see one. “One wall in particular. It seems to have been put up after the house was built…way after. The house is a hundred years old. But the type of insulation in the wall is something that has only been available since 1986. So we know the wall was added much later. Probably in the nineties.”
Sean seemed to be thinking about Adam’s question. “In 1995 I would have been only ten…” He shook his head. I vaguely remember some construction, but I couldn’t tell you the details. Unfortunately I’m one of those people who only remembers the traumatic events from his childhood.” He slanted Adam a curious look. “What’s so important about when the wall was added?”
Adam briefly considered lying to the other man, but that wouldn’t get him what he needed so he decided to be straight with him. “I’m afraid we found something in that wall today, when we started to tear it down.”
“Oh really? What?” Sean looked only mildly curious.
Adam held his gaze as he said, “The skeleton of a four fingered human hand.”
Curiosity turned to alarm in the sexy blue eyes. Sean leaned forward, lowering his voice. “You what?”
Adam nodded. “It’s true, I’m afraid.”
Sean’s handsome face darkened. “You’re lying! Why are you lying to me?”
Adam felt his eyes go wide with surprise. He’d expected a range of different emotions…but anger hadn’t been on the list. “I assure you, it’s true. What do you know…?”
Sean pushed his chair back and stood. The chair tottered on its two back legs for a beat and then settled to the floor. By the time it landed, Sean was already heading across the restaurant, toward the exit.
Adam stared after him, shocked. What the hell had that been about?
As the restaurant door whooshed shut behind his date, Adam slid his gaze toward a distant table and a curious, green gaze.
Dirk lifted an eyebrow and Adam shrugged.
“Would you like your cake to go, sir?”