A Torch Kept
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by Chloe Stowe
Category: Gay Fiction/Erotica
Description: Six years have passed since a lone house burning on the Kansas horizon brought Matthew Archer into Cane Summerfield's life. The love of the New York real estate mogul and the wounded Iraqi War hero has steadily burned brighter with each passing year, enveloping marriage, parenthood, tragedy and triumph. Nothing, however, had prepared the lovers for Memphis. The last Archer brother has been found. Matthew and Cane travel to Tennessee, hoping to finally reunite their fractured family. But Fate has other plans. The final story of the Hellesgate Series has been written. Endings are had, beginnings made. Who will survive the storm that is life? It is said that a torch kept alight through a storm will burn forever. Is love such a fire when death is the night?
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance, 2012
eBookwise Release Date: October 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [217 KB]
Reading time: 135-190 min.
Prologue: The Storm Gloats as the Dead Man Sleeps
The candlelight was failing.
Though dozens of the small waxen torches still guttered and flamed valiantly in the corners of the room, the black of the storm was winning.
Damp and heavy, the darkness had long ago crept into the hospital room. Five hours had passed since the electricity had been sucked out into the violent, invading night. Now, the darkness lay across the long, narrow space like a sodden woolen blanket. There was no comfort in its warmth. There was only a sense of looming suffocation.
Outside, a fork of lightning cracked across the Brazilian sky as if to gloat the storm's imminent victory.
Beside the bed a figure flinched. A laugh full of self-deprecation followed. Slowly, the man shook his head. He was losing it. He knew he shouldn't have taken this damned job.
He had been approached by a friend of a friend; neither of the friends was particularly savory. The money involved, however, was brilliant and would pay for his last year at university easily. He might even be able to eat more than noodles and water for dinner every night.
Tipping the bottle up to his lips, he let the last drops of beer coat his tongue. Too soon the moment of liquid fulfillment passed, and he let the empty bottle drop to the floor. Toeing it over on its side, the man sent it to rest with others under the bed.
The clinking of glass bothered the patient in the bed no more than the storm did.
Nothing bothered the comatose man anymore, not since the bullet had stolen away his consciousness five months ago.
Lost in the dark of his own wounded mind, twenty-three-year-old Alanyo Valmor slept--
While the stranger kept watch.
Six thousand miles to the north, the moon fell softly over Hellesgate, Kansas, washing everything in a pale, warm light.
Dimas Cabral sat at his tiny kitchen's window and stared into the welcoming darkness. Sleep would not come for the twenty-six-year-old this night. Only memories were willing to keep him company--ugly memories splattered with blood.
Dimas, freed of his life of slavery in the sugarcane fields of Brazil only five months ago, sat in the dark and remembered: