Love means taking extreme measures.
Justin Turner, a young man with only one friend, a part-time job going nowhere, and living at home with his grandmother, needs money fast. He makes the hardest decision of his life—to walk into Eros Elites Services, Inc. and sell his body anonymously for the night at an astounding price. The only problem is, Justin’s never even been kissed before, let alone slept with someone else.
Adam Creed, the youngest of the infamous Creed family mafia, hides his darkest secret on his own skin. With his demons close at hand and his ruthless family keeping him on a short leash, Adam has spent his life avoiding true intimacy, so why does Eros’ sweet new thing with the most amazing laugh have him suddenly desperate for a real chance at love…just when he was about to make his escape?
If he wants a shot with Justin, things aren’t going to be easy. Between his controlling father, his dangerous brothers and a four-million-dollar cocaine deal, Adam must do whatever it takes…even if that includes finally revealing his scars and secrets buried deep beneath the surface.
Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, sex work, and drug taking. There are references to the death of a parent and spousal abuse. This book contains Mafia crime and drug dealing.
General Release Date: 8th September 2020
Justin Turner loitered on the dark street corner of Ninth Avenue and West Thirty-Seventh Street, shuffling his feet and wiping his sweaty hands off on his jeans. It was Sunday night, and already the people scurrying along the sidewalks were starting to dwindle. Across the street loomed a nondescript building, its bottom floor a Pakistani deli smooshed together with a chic, pricey liquor store. Both were still open, and the warm orange light inside spilled onto the sidewalk out front. Off to the right of both storefronts was a hidden black-glass door tucked into the stairwell on the side, and labeled in small, silver lettering Eros Elite Services, Inc.
A security camera blinked a red light up in the eaves of the stairwell and an intercom buzzer gleamed next to the door, but Justin couldn’t find the courage to cross the street and push the button.
“Dammit, dammit, dammit,” he cursed. It had been terrifying enough clicking on their website, nerve-racking downloading and submitting the application and answering the call from the secretary to make this appointment. All that and he still hadn’t died from embarrassment, so, for the love of God, he could do this.
He waited for a pair of lumbering taxis to pass by and jogged across the street. His ratty sneakers splashed in the shallow puddles from the afternoon’s drizzle and Justin crammed his hands into the pockets of his old red hoodie and tried to make himself as invisible as possible. He ran up the steps of the stairwell and glanced around.
Now or never.
He forced his hand not to shake and hit the buzzer.
“Eros Elite Services,” a woman chimed out.
“Um, hi. It’s Justin Turner. To meet with Mr. Morita.”
“Hello, Mr. Turner. We’re happy you’ve arrived. Please, come right inside.” The door buzzed and Justin fumbled to grab the handle before it locked again.
Inside was a short hallway and at the end, past an elevator, stood a dark-red wooden door with a fogged glass window at eye-level. Barney W. Gold, Attorney at Law was stamped on the glass and underneath Real Estate, Estate Planning, Probate. The office space through the window was black, but at nine on a Sunday, Justin figured most of the offices had to be empty.
On the wall beside the elevator, a plaque listed nineteen different floors, starting with Barney W. Gold on the first, and at the very top, Eros Elite Services, Inc.
Justin hit the elevator’s up-button and waited. Were all elevators in Manhattan this slow? On cue, as if to say, ‘screw you, buddy,’ the elevator dinged, and the doors slid open. The interior was very posh, and he admired the mirrored ceiling and gold-plated handrails. Lit crystal-cut buttons lined the panel on the side, and he hit number nineteen with gusto.
The foyer to Eros Elite proved to be a surprising modern space that screamed money. There were mahogany-paneled accent walls, sparkling white floor tiles and gold on every fixture and dripping from the chandelier hanging in the center. The two hallways in front of him branched out behind the front desk and more ornate lighting fixtures dangled down both corridors from behind doorways covered by floor-length black curtains drawn back with golden ropes.
A beautiful, young, Irish-looking girl sat behind the sleek oak counter, her bright-red hair curled out from her ivory face in a big bushel fit for a supermodel. As Justin got closer, he saw a spray of freckles across the bridge of her nose.
“Good evening, sir. Mr. Turner, I presume?” she asked, her smile perfect, like the cover of a magazine.
“Yes. I’m uh, Mr. Turner. Justin Turner.”
“Excellent. I’ve already let Mr. Morita know of your arrival. He should be out in just a moment. Please, make yourself comfortable.” She gestured at a pair of leather chaises planted in the corner.
“Oh, thank you very much.”
He shuffled over but didn’t feel like sitting down, so he tried to waste time looking at the art hanging on the walls. A series of abstract oil paintings, thick with heavy strokes of red and orange and pink curves of paint, lined the section of the waiting room. They all looked warm and lazy and gave the small space a cozy feeling.
While Justin was trying to figure out the curly swirls and twists of paint, a strapping Japanese man with neat dark hair strolled out into the lobby from down the right hallway. He wore an expensive-cut black suit, highly polished black dress shoes, and gold cufflinks sparkled at his wrists.
“Mr. Turner?” he asked.
“Yes! That’s me,” Justin said, his voice cracking halfway through. He walked over and shook Morita’s hand. He worried that his palms were sweaty and prayed Morita didn’t notice.
“I’m so glad you could make it,” Morita said. He turned and directed them back down the hallway that he had come from. Morita was fit and tall, and Justin had to keep looking up in little glances as they walked.
“I have to admit,” Morita said, “I was very excited to have you come in for an interview. Your application intrigued me greatly.”
“Oh, yes. You might be surprised, but almost all our employees tend to be female. We have a serious lack of good young men around here to serve our clientele.”
“Now, please, come on in.” Morita opened the door at the end of the hall and Justin walked inside a long, glamorous office with a fish tank built right into the wall on the opposite side from the desk. A rainbow of tropical fish swam about while a line of teeny white bubbles danced up from the gravel bottom.
Morita strolled over to his desk and sat in the tall-backed office chair. Justin shuffled over and lowered himself down across from him. His foot started tapping on the carpet and he caught himself and stopped.
“So, Mr. Turner, welcome to Eros Elite Services. My name is Stephen Morita and I’m the owner and creator. My little company has been in business for eight years now and we’re thriving.”
“Yes, I read that on your website. Very prestigious.”
Morita beamed. “Well, thank you.”
“And I saw a law firm on the first floor?”
“Oh yes, Mr. Barney Gold. Barney is a wonderful attorney. There are many different offices here, but I own the whole building. I picked the nineteenth floor for Eros Elite because I liked the view.”
“It is a very nice view,” Justin agreed, glancing around. “The whole place seems nice.”
“And we’re always looking for new talent. Speaking of, how about we take a look at your application?” He leaned forward and snagged a print-out of Justin’s application from the top of a pile of papers. Justin readjusted himself in his seat.
“’Justin Stanley Turner, age twenty-one. Brown hair, brown eyes, five-foot-eight, one hundred and forty pounds. Born and raised here in Manhattan, I see.”
“Yes, sir. Just me and my grandma, Julia Turner. But everyone always calls her Jewels.”
“That’s sweet. I was very close to my grandmother back in Japan. We used to call her Baasan. She made the best soba in the entire world, and I still haven’t been able to find its equal anywhere in the city. I loved her dearly.”
Despite the posh environment and pricey outfit, Morita still managed to come across as a normal guy. Maybe it was the easy way he held himself. It seemed more relaxed than what Justin expected from a C.E.O., but then again, he seemed so young to own such a prestigious company.
“You’ve indicated here that you are interested in men,” Morita said.