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Well written with deep, intriguing characters, a well plotted mystery and is filled with deceit, betrayal and fear. What more could you ask for? Oh, yeah. A satisfying end... you'll get it.

Literary Nymphs
Once a bad boy, the only lines Professor Sebastian Swift does these days are Browning, Frost and Cummings. When a student he helped to disappear becomes a suspect in a murder, he races to find the boy and convince him to give himself up before his police chief lover figures out he’s involved.
Max likes being lied to even less than he likes sonnets. Yet his instincts –and his heart — tell him his lover is being played. Max can forgive lies and deception, but a dangerous enemy may not stop until Swift is heading up his own dead poet’s society.

Swift was reading Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love when he heard Max’s key in the front door just after nine that evening. His heart sped up as it always did, and he spared himself a wry smile. Yeah, he had it bad.

At one time he’d tried to convince himself that his feelings for Max were more about being one of the only two openly gay guys in a small town, but in the last year or so he’d come to accept that he cared for Max. More than Max cared for him. For Max it probably was mostly about the fact that they were two openly gay guys in a small town. And whatever Swift had once been, he was entirely respectable now. He was a good catch. Except, as Max occasionally pointed out, he wasn’t trying to catch anything. Max wasn’t into commitment.

“Something smells good,” Max said from the entryway.

Swift tossed the book aside and sat up. “Hungry?”

“Starving.” Max appeared in the doorway and Swift rose to meet him. Max was six four and broad-shouldered. His wavy hair was brown with reddish glints, his eyes were hazel. He looked a lot like Tom Selleck except for the devilish white scar through his left eyebrow courtesy of a coked up would-be carjacker who had tried to carve Max’s eye out.

Swift wrapped his arms around Max’s neck. Max pulled him closer, and as Swift’s mouth found his, he muttered, “But it’ll wait.”

 He tasted like too many cups of coffee, but Swift didn’t mind. He loved the taste of Max. He kissed him more deeply, melting inside as Max responded hungrily. It probably had to do with the poetry book he’d been reading before Max showed up; he’d definitely been in the mood and getting ready to deal with it himself. But here was Max with his big, hard hands digging into Swift’s ass as he pulled him closer still, and Max’s tongue licking at Swift’s lips. Swift opened to that delicate probing touch, and Max’s hot slick tongue slipped inside.

Swift moaned deep in his throat. He wanted this — he always wanted this — and the best part was Max seemed to always want this too.

They continued to kiss, then Max broke for air. “I don’t know if it’s you or the fact that I haven’t eaten since breakfast, but I’m getting lightheaded.”

Swift laughed too, let his fingers tangle briefly with Max’s as he led the way past a marble angel, its sword upraised, to the kitchen. “You came to the right house, Chief. What d’you want to drink?”

“What’s on tap?”

“Casco Bay Riptide Red and Summer Ale.”

“I’ll have a Red.”

Max leaned against the door frame and sipped his beer while Swift pulled the leftovers out of the fridge and heated the chicken.

“Tough day at the office?” Swift asked when the silence had stretched. Max seemed a million miles away.

He looked up, smiled faintly. “Yeah. You could say that. We don’t get a lot of homicides. Maine’s got the third lowest violent crime rate in the nation, and we’re proud of that.”

“You had a homicide?”

Max nodded. “Local restaurant owner by the name of Mario Corelli was found shot to death on the beach at Wolfe Neck.”

Finger on the microwave start button, Swift froze. “What?”

“If you owned a TV you’d have heard all about it. Mario Corelli. Mario’s Ristorante. We’ve eaten there a couple of times.”

“I remember. The manicotti was incredible. Ricotta, mozzarella, pine nuts, herbs, and a marinara sauce I’d kill to have the recipe for.”

“Maybe that was the motive.  Should I ask if you have an alibi?”

“You don’t have a suspect?”

“We’ve got a couple of suspects. Corelli fired one of his waiters last night and the guy is missing. Also missing is Corelli’s son Tad.”

“Is Tad a suspect?”

“The kid and Corelli fought like cats and dogs. We definitely want to have a talk with him. The fact that he’s missing is suspicious.”

“Maybe he doesn’t know about his father.”

“Maybe.” Max sounded skeptical.

“He could be missing for other reasons, right?”

“Sure.” Max leveled a direct look from beneath his brows. “But his disappearance is news to everyone who knows him. The kid’s been in trouble before. Substance abuse problems, that kind of thing.”

It was the wrong thing to say. Swift could feel his resistance building. “People can change.”

“Sometimes. Not usually.” As though he realized how harsh that sounded, Max added, “You’re one of the rare ones, Swift.”

Swift pressed the button and watched the microwave vibrate. He stared at his reflection in the microwave door. His face was a pale blank. There was just the gleam of his eyes, the gleam of his earring, the dark frame of his long hair.

“It sounds like you already have your mind made up.”

“I have a hunch,” Max said, and the assurance, the certainty, in his voice raised Swift’s hackles. It wasn’t logical, it probably wasn’t reasonable, but that judgmental streak was one of the things that bothered him about Max. It was one of the ways in which they didn’t mesh. Not at all.

He folded his lips against the unwise words. Watched the chicken spinning slowly on its plate in the microwave.

Max said, “Come to think of it, Corelli’s in your writing program. What can you tell me about him?”

If he was going to speak up, now was the moment. Max might be a little jaded, a little cynical, but he was a good cop. An experienced cop. And he thought Tad was guilty.

And Swift disagreed. Swift had hunches about people too, and they were usually right on the money. He knew Tad Corelli. Max didn’t. Tad Corelli hadn’t acted like someone who’d just killed his father. He had seemed afraid, but he had not acted guilty or like someone on the run. He’d been battered, bloody, emotionally exhausted…but none of that indicated he’d committed murder.

And Swift felt a bond with Tad. He had from the beginning, from the day Tad enrolled in the Lighthouse program. Tad reminded him of himself at that age — except Tad was not nearly as screwed up.

Tad deserved a break. He deserved a chance to tell his side of the story, and it would look better if he came in on his own. That much, Swift knew just from listening to Max talk shop.

“Something wrong?”

Swift turned to face him. He was thinking quickly. He could go out to the island tomorrow and talk to Tad, explain to him what was going on — Tad probably didn’t know his father was dead yet, and that terrible news would come better from a friend. Swift remembered only too clearly the pain of his own father’s death. And the relapse into cocaine use that had followed.

He said slowly, “He’s… gifted.”

“They all are in that program, right?”

Swift nodded. “More gifted than usual. He’s the youngest student we’ve ever had enrolled in Lighthouse.”

“How’s he doing?”

 “He’s excelling.”

“What about friends?”

Swift raised an eyebrow. “Are you interrogating me, Chief?”

The microwave pinged.

Max offered his slow, devilish grin. “Saved by the bell.”