Starting over sucks. At forty, Miles Koprowski thought he had life all figured out. He had a nice car, a hot young lover, and a cushy job… and then he didn’t. Call it fate, or karma, or a downturn in the market, but this opinionated cynic is now forced to play rent-a-cop in a dying office building in the burbs just to make ends meet. Throw in an unhinged ex, a coworker who hates him, and a hot new boss, and suddenly everything is uncertain.
Miles doesn’t plan on liking the night shift or becoming embroiled in a mystery that reawakens old passions and puts him in danger. And he certainly doesn’t plan on falling for the overbearing head of security, Colton Decker, former soldier and doting dad. But nights like these can change a man, make him start to believe there’s more to life than a high paying job and a warm body in his bed. With a thief on the loose and his new job in jeopardy, Miles will have to decide what’s truly important. He might discover things he never knew he wanted… as long as he makes it through the night.
Categories: Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery
CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada where she grew up spinning romantic stories in her head. When the tedium of a corporate day job grew too much, she took a chance and found her creative escape in writing. Always searching for something different, she has discovered a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
The following is a deleted scene from ‘Nights Like These’ by Chris Scully. This is the original scene where Miles meets Gary. It was also how Raj’s accident got introduced. This scene was eliminated from the final version, but portions of it were redistributed to other places in the novel.
“Hey, new guy.”
The arm propping up my chin jerked out from under me at the sound of the voice, snapping my head forward and startling me out of my drowsy state. I bolted upright in the chair, blinking the sleep out of my eyes. “Jesus, you scared the crap out of me,” I snapped at the obviously amused stranger standing in front of me. The manual I’d been pretending to read slid off the desk before I could catch it. The binder springs popped open sending papers skittering everywhere.
Now the stranger laughed out loud, no doubt enjoying the sight of me scrambling to pick up the scattered pages. His laughter echoed in the large, cavernous lobby where I was posted. “Sorry, dude. Really, I didn’t mean to freak you out like that.”
“Yeah, right,” I grumbled under my breath, haphazardly gathering up the binder’s contents and hugging them to my chest. It would take forever to put this back together.
“Need some help?” he asked, sounding concerned as he set down his insulated coffee mug and leaned over the elevated counter of the security desk. Now I felt bad for snapping at the guy, not to mention a slightly worried that my little fit may have just gotten me fired.
“I’ve got it, thanks.” Be nice, Miles. But I needn’t have worried, because his eyes were smiling indulgently from behind the heavy black frames of his glasses when I rose and dropped the stack of papers on the desk. I recognized him from the tour of the building I’d had yesterday. He’d been on the phone with his feet up. He still wore the headset now. Up close he was way younger than I expected. And cute. I gave him my best grin. “I suppose I should thank you. At least now I have something to do for the next hour. Do you wear that everywhere?” I asked, waving in the general direction of his headset.
He tapped the earpiece. “Got to answer in case there’s a photocopier emergency in the middle of the night. I’m tech support.”
“Oh, is that what you do here?” I asked. “Photocopiers?” I suppose the large copy room on the first floor should have given it away.
He looked over his shoulder. “Don’t let anyone around here hear you say that. We are full service document management and office solution specialists.” He said it in a way that sounded entirely rehearsed. I’d heard enough corporate speak in my time to know that he was simply regurgitating the company line. He grinned. “Plus photocopiers. And printers.” He folded his arms on the raised counter and leaned in conspiratorially. “Better not let Leonard catch you sleeping on the job.”
“I wasn’t sleeping. I was reading.” After starting out the shift with me at the desk and showing me how to work the phones, Leonard, my shift partner, had disappeared, and I hadn’t heard a peep from him since. It was nearly eleven, and tech support guy was the first person I’d seen in hours.
He glanced down at the now exploded emergency procedure manual spread out in front of me. “Uh huh,” he said skeptically but with a quirk to his lips that made me think he was teasing. Very nice lips too, surrounded by a closely trimmed ginger beard. “Looks fascinating.”
“Oh it is. Riveting. But now I’m left dying to know if one long tone on the speaker means wait for further instructions or evacuate.”
“Spoiler alert. Don’t wait. Run like hell either way.” Contrasted against his golden tan, his teeth gleamed brilliant white when he smiled. Ooh funny too. I laughed. “You’re way more fun than Raj,” he said.
“Where is the guy anyway?”
“I don’t know. No one told me.”
“I thought you knew,” said another voice—it was one of the men from the server room, sneaking up behind his co-worker. He was older, with salt and pepper hair and a weary, jaded slump to his shoulders. He carried a pack of cigarettes in his hand, with one already out and tapping anxiously against the package. “Word is he’s in the hospital.” He tucked the cigarette into the corner of his mouth and let it dangle there like a limp piece of string. Smokers, yuck. “According to Carol he was hit by a car and is in a coma. Happened right out front too.”
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, dumb—” I managed to sputter before my mouth stopped working entirely and dropped open. The ability to speak, to think, deserted me at the first sight of the hunky stranger standing in front of me, his face contorted with apology as he tried to mop up my sodden jacket with a handful of napkins. He was a few inches taller than me—closer to six feet—and on the stocky side. His broad shoulders filled out a nicely tailored suit, and he projected an air of confidence that I’d never be able to pull off in a million years. He was clean-shaven too, with a dark buzz cut that made me long to run a hand over his head simply to feel the texture. And gorgeous. Did I happen to mention that?
In short, he was the kind of guy you’d want to be stranded with on a deserted island; the kind you could count on to save you. If you were so inclined. Me? I didn’t need saving.
A pair of friendly, light-colored eyes now stared back at me, bemused. Odd that his lips were moving, but no sound was coming out.
“What?” I asked, blinking back to attention. I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had literally made me speechless. Me, Miles Koprowski, who never met a silence he didn’t want to fill.
Hell, I couldn’t recall the last time I’d been on the receiving end of a full-body pat-down either. At least not so quickly. His hands were still drifting over my chest, wiping up the last drips of coffee, and the simple touch was doing alarming things to my heart rate.
“Are you okay?” he demanded. “Did you get burned?” Before I could react, he seized my wrist and held my hand up for inspection. Strong, lightly calloused fingers, I added to my mental list. Working hands. Dumbly, I looked down. The skin on the back of my right hand was red and stung like a son of a bitch, but it wasn’t blistering. I did flinch slightly when he skimmed his thumb over the sensitive area, but not from pain, more from the touch itself. My entire body lit up, as though I’d stuck a finger in an electrical socket. “It doesn’t look too bad. I think you’ll live. Put some aloe on it when you get home.”
“Doctor?” I croaked, because really, that would be too perfect.
“Nope. Just seen a lot of injuries.” His lips twitched with barely contained amusement. “Sorry to disappoint you.” Sense of humor, check.
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