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Mystery, danger, an apparently single-minded detective, an amnesiac witness, and a healthy dose of eroticism -- who could mix all these elements so well into a divine cocktail of a story but Josh Lanyon?

Shayna for Joyfully Reviewed - A Joyfully Recommended Read
Peter Killian, curator at Constantine House in Los Angeles, wakes in the hospital to find himself accused of stealing a Tenth Century Chinese sculpture. Peter knows he’s not a thief — but that’s all he knows. Why is hot and handsome Detective Mike Griffin so sure he’s guilty — and so bent on seeing Peter arrested?
And why is Peter having these weird dreams about an unseen lover who somehow reminds him uncomfortably of Michael Griffin?

OR

(Included in the print collection Boy Meets Body: Volume I)

Peter’s lashes stirred.

He opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was the cop’s hard face. He wasn’t sure how he knew the man beside his bed was a cop…he didn’t know him.

Or did he?

He was big. Not fat. Big. Tall, broad, muscular. Like a bull. One of those beautiful sleek, powerful bulls they use in bullfighting. Like Isidore Bonheur’s sculptures. Lean, fierce features, smoke dark hair, hard blue-gray eyes, and a thin mouth that looked inclined to sarcastic asides.

Even on that first glimpse under the fluttering of eyelids, Peter felt a jolt of alarm, the knowledge that something was seriously wrong. He opened his mouth and a funny sound came out. Then another face slid into view. A woman’s face, calm and professional. A nurse. She said soothingly, “It’s alright, Mr. Killian. You’re going to be perfectly alright now.”

She sounded very sure of it, and he relaxed. He did feel alright. He felt warm and floating, relieved that the hard, unfriendly face had gone. Even happy. He’d been dreaming about he’d been dreaming. It was confused and faraway now. He let it go. Let everything go.

The second time was the real awakening. He opened his eyes with a start. There was another nurse at his bedside, and she said something to him, something calming, something reassuring. He responded. Things got a little fuzzy and then sharpened again. His room seemed full of people, and a doctor was there asking him questions.

It was confusing. Tiring. His head ached. A lot.

“What happened to me?” he mumbled.

“You’ve got a concussion, Mr. Killian.”

He thought that over. It wasn’t an answer, was it? Or was it? “How?” he asked.

“You were injured during a robbery.”

A robbery. Like…a mugging? He couldn’t seem to remember, although it didn’t seem like the kind of thing one would forget. It was all very bewildering. He wanted to go back to sleep.

“I don’t remember,” he said, and his eyelids drifted shut.

The next time he opened his eyes the bull — the cop — was back.

The thin mouth curled into an unfriendly smile. “Well, Peter, we meet again.”

“Yes,” Peter said, trying to focus. His vision was off. “Do I know you?”

There was silence. The gray-blue eyes — which looked more gray than blue — narrowed. “Are you saying you don’t?”

Peter’s heart began to pound. “No.”

“No?”

“I don’t know you.”

Another silence. Another smile — a rather cynical one. “Is that so?”

“Should I?” Peter managed. His temples were now starting to pound in time with his heart. All at once he felt very ill.

“What do you remember?”

“I–” Peter stopped. He had the sensation of sand sucking away beneath his feet. “Who are you?” His voice sounded faint and faraway even to himself.

The other laughed and then the dark face reformed itself in a sneer. “Honest to God. You’ve got to be kidding. You’re not seriously going to try and pull that?”

Peter stared at him, he couldn’t think of anything to say even if he could have forced words out over his rising panic. This couldn’t be happening. This something was wrong. And he could not let this guy, whoever he was, know how very wrong things were — that much he knew instinctively.

“I think you should go,” he said.

“Oh, you do?” Unimpressed, the cool eyes studied him. “Why? If you don’t know who I am?”

Peter said honestly, “Because I don’t like you.”

Another one of those hard laughs. “I see you do remember something. What else do you remember?”

Peter opened his mouth. Nothing came to him. This was impossible.

Wait. He knew the nurse had called him “Mr. Killian” and this asshole had called him “Peter.” And the doctor had said…something about a mugging.

“It’s–I know who I am. But some details are vague.”

“How convenient.” Unfriendly mockery. “Well, let me refresh your memory. I’m Detective Michael Griffin of LAPD Robbery and Homicide Division.” Griffin pulled a flat wallet-looking thing out of his jacket and flashed a very large, very official looking badge in front of Peter’s nose.

Peter narrowed his eyes. This made sense up to a point. He had been knocked out — in a robbery — so it was reasonable that the police would interview him. Right? But Detective Griffin was acting like Peter was the criminal, and clearly they had some kind of history.

And that was very hard to believe. Peter doubtfully studied Griffin’s face. Peter was a law-abiding person. He knew that about himself. He had no doubt whatsoever on that score. Maybe he couldn’t remember everything, but he knew he was not the kind of person who got into trouble with the law.

Right?

And anything else was out of the question.

Ah. So that was an additional something he now knew about himself. He liked guys. He was…gay. And comfortable with the idea.

But Maybe Griffin didn’t like guys who liked guys? Maybe that was the problem with Michael Griffin. Although how would he know about Peter’s sexual preferences? Peter couldn’t imagine him confiding such a thing to…well, really to anyone. Nor did Griffin seem like the kind of guy anyone would want to confide in. Even had he been Peter’s type. Which he wasn’t. Even if Peter couldn’t quite remember what his type was, he was quite sure Griffin was not it.

“Is your memory coming back?” Griffin inquired.

“I was knocked out.”

“Oh right. And now you have amnesia. That’s the story?”

Griffin did not like him either. That was clear. And Peter did not feel well enough to deal with it. He closed his eyes. Opened them. Said, “Can we…talk about it later?”

“You’re not curious about what happened to you? I’d think you’d be very curious…since you can’t remember anything, right?”

Peter watched him. “I was mugged?”

“Try again.”

Peter tried again. “I was robbed.” Griffin was from Robbery Homicide so that was a safe bet.

His thinking processes must have been transparent because Griffin said slowly, “You’re guessing. Or you’re pretending to guess.”

God. This asshole was too much. Peter closed his eyes. He couldn’t deal with this right now.