Ace's Wild, Book 2
Jagger’s the son of a bookmaker and fixer. Now, he’s the owner of an exclusive, underground club…and he’s also been put in charge of the family business.
Preston’s the son of a wealthy, powerful, blue-blood Boston family…or he was, until he was disowned for choosing his friendship with Jagger over his family. Ten years later, he’s a Special Forces Operator—and he’s still best friends with Jagger.
But things are about to change, for both men. Because after a long year of no contact, Preston’s coming home to Jagger for the first time since they shared a surprising kiss.
One night, one poker game, and one hand finds Jagger lucky—and skilled enough—to win a chance to fix things with Preston. But what’s at stake is far more than their friendship—it’s everything…and both men are all in to fight for what’s theirs.
* * *
For the first 90 days, all sales and page reads for this book will be donated to The Loft: LGBT Center.
Ace’s Wild is a multi-author series of books that take place in the same fictional town. Each story can be read in any order. The connecting element in the Ace’s Wild series is an adult store owned by Ace and Wilder. The main characters from each book will make at least one visit to Ace’s Wild, where they’ll buy a toy to use in their story! The only characters who cross over to each book are Ace and Wilder. And with various heat and kink levels, there’s sure to be something for everyone!
Read an Excerpt
Jagger King almost ignored his ringing phone, but a nagging sense of duty forced him to excuse himself from the man who’d been flirting with him all night to check. He walked away from his recent conquest completely when he saw Preston’s number on the screen.
Preston. After three hundred and seventy-nine days of utter, heartbreaking silence, Preston was finally calling.
His departure hadn’t been a surprise—he’d been at the start of what he’d hoped was his final year in the Army, and whenever he deployed, he and Jagger would only see each other a handful of times but talk a whole lot more. Except this last time, Jagger was essentially cut off from his best friend, who’d obviously been grateful to run back into the Army and escape what had happened between them.
The silence hadn’t been on Jagger’s end—he was still texting and leaving messages when Preston’s voicemail wasn’t full—but he was ultimately talking into the void. His best friend since their junior year of high school had cut him off completely, and all Jagger could do was wait him out.
That stubborn motherfucker had been the one who’d initiated the damned kiss in the first place. “Preston?”
“Hey, Jag. Yeah, it’s me.” Preston sounded tired. Exhausted, actually, and reluctant. “Sorry to bother you.”
“It’s never a bother—come on.” You stubborn ass. “Where are you?” He didn’t bother trying to make that last part not sound like a command.
“I’m…back. In North Carolina. I’ve been staying in a motel for the last week,” he finally admitted. “I needed some time to decompress…but it’s not working. It’s making things worse.”
Jagger swallowed hard, hearing the edge of panic in Preston’s voice, and tried to keep his tone even. “Where are you, baby? I’ll come get you.”
“Wait till morning.”
“Neither of us is going to get any sleep.”
Preston sighed in acknowledgment. “North Ridge.”
An hour away. Only a goddamned sixty-minute stretch had separated them for the last week, instead of the half a world Jagger had assumed. “I’m on my way.”
“Not alone,” Preston instructed suddenly, like he was back in charge of keeping him safe, and Jagger bristled. Mainly because Preston was right.
But that didn’t mean Jagger would listen. He pushed down his anger and started his truck, telling Preston, “Please…stay on with me,” and making it seem like he was the one who needed the assurance, and hell, it wasn’t a lie.
“S’fine. I will.” After a pause, Preston continued. “Storm’s coming. You’re driving into it.”
It was why Jagger hadn’t taken his Harley—otherwise, he’d force Preston into the bitch seat to let him know he wasn’t getting away anymore. But the rain forced him to be far more subtle, to go slower. “Story of my life, Pres.”
Preston gave a sound that was probably supposed to be a laugh but sounded more like he was choking. Whenever he left Jagger’s side for any length of time, the man always goddamned forgot how to laugh. “So, what did I interrupt?”
“Just your usual Saturday night pickups?”
Jagger wasn’t sure what to do with that. Normally, hearing that joking from his straight best friend meant that things were normal between them. But since their kiss—and Preston’s subsequent disappearing act—Jagger wasn’t sure of anything anymore. “Something like that. No one important.”
There was a long pause, as if Preston was absorbing that. “So the club’s good?”
“Yeah, it’s fine. Always busy.” God, this was painful. Jagger pushed the truck faster along the rain-slicked roads, needing to see Preston in person and get rid of this stilted shit. From the moment they’d met, they’d been easy with each other. Joined at the hip, finishing each other’s sentences, practically-reading-each-other’s-minds easy.
“He’s fine. The same.” Stuart was the club manager, and he’d been working for Jagger’s family for years in Boston before relocating with Jagger to North Carolina. Jagger knew that Preston didn’t like Stuart as much as he appreciated him—Stuart had never been a threat to their friendship, but Stuart’s job was to do what was best for Jagger. And Jagger didn’t always do what was best for himself, because of Preston. “Dad’s good too—enjoying semi-retirement.”
“Yeah? I wouldn’t think he’d like it much.”
Jagger had been surprised too, but after heading the family business of making book for thirty years, Sean Michael King III decided that his oldest son was ready to inherit the good, the bad, and the ugly. The old way of doing things, and the majority of the Boston mob had given way to Armenian gangs, which had Sean mourning the old days. Jagger had to admit that his father was right—there wasn’t honor in the game anymore. It was a brute force, zero-sum game. “Dad’s actually in Ireland—a three-month tour.”
“Back to the motherland?” Preston said it the way Sean always did, and they both laughed. Finally, Preston’s real laugh sounded rusty but closer to normal. Jagger’s hands loosened slightly from their death grip on the steering wheel.
“This time, he’s been threatening to buy land, build a house, and buy a pub,” Jagger admitted.
“So much for retirement. Is Seamus running Kings now?”
“Kings” was the original family bar, in the heart of southie Boston. “Seamus is finally growing up. He’s been helping to deal with things from that end while I shore up things this way.” Jagger had wanted to move the majority of the business dealings, which included the bookmaking, some real estate, and a few other enterprises that could skate the line of legal to his new club, where there would be less police scrutiny. Less scrutiny from their enemies too, because a lot of the men who normally gave his family trouble wouldn’t regularly visit a BDSM club. They’d stick out like sore thumbs among the regular members, who were thoroughly vetted before membership was granted. No one could simply walk in off the street.
Jagger had bought the space three years earlier. It took two of those to get it to where he’d wanted it, and he’d lived above it during that time to oversee construction. Just when everything had fallen into place, his and Preston’s friendship had fallen apart.
But not for much longer. “Hey, Pres?”
“I’m here.” The “for you” hung unspoken between them.