(Links in the Chain #2)
(Links in the Chain #2)
Author: Parker Williams
Good day, Fiction Nookers! Thank you to Sandra at My Fiction Nook for once again allowing me to visit. I was asked what my inspiration was for the series, and what else is in store for the characters. So, let’s get to that, shall we?
Like a lot of my stories, it started out as a dream. In Lincoln’s Park, a young man in need of help walks into a diner and changes both his and the owner’s life forever. In that story Noel, one of the main characters, asks Robert, the owner of the homeless shelter, what he wants out of life. Robert tells him he gave up on wanting anything, because there was no way he could have it all.
Which leads us to book two where Robert is about ready to lose everything. He’s out of money, out of options, and sees no way to dig himself out of the morass he’s mired in. Noel gave him a check that he’d received from Lincoln’s father for a quarter million dollars. That would go a long way toward helping the residents, but… Robert knows that the money isn’t without strings. He fully realizes that one day someone is going to come and demand it back. That person is Lincoln’s brother, Galen.
Now, at the end of book one, Noel makes note that Galen seemed uncomfortable when his father offered Noel the money, but Noel couldn’t figure out why. In this book, the answer is given, and it will lead Galen on a quest for redemption that he’s not sure he deserves.
There were only supposed to be two books in the series, but another idea that I had demanded attention, and I started writing about a man whose husband was dying of cancer. The story was supposed to be a standalone book but, out of the blue, the main character, Tom, decides that he's related to Robert from the shelter. Well, that changed everything, including a part of Galen’s Redemption where Galen meets Tom and his husband, Brian Chen. So I had to write to Dreamspinner and ask permission to make it a trilogy. Fortunately they said yes.
If you get book two, in the back of the book you’ll find the first chapter of book three. Now, books one and two were written in third person. Book three is in first. Why? Because to me, Tom’s story was a lot more personal and needed to be told from his viewpoint. Who will be the new love in Tom’s life? Well, I’m not going to say anything more than if you read book two, you might see him there.
That will end the Links in the Chain series, and allow me to move on to new things. But this was the first time I’ve written a series where all the books were done back to back to back because these boys wanted everyone to meet them. I hope you’ll read them and enjoy them!
About the book:
A Links in the Chain Story
A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.
Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.
Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.
Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance
Trope/s: Hurt/comfort, learning to love
Themes: Forgiveness for oneself and for others
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 92 660 words
Release Date: April 16, 2019
LATE JUNE 2018
THE PEOPLE milling around at the coffeepot scattered when Galen Merriweather stormed into Primal Imports and headed for his office. He’d gone to see his brother, Lincoln, at Park View, the diner he owned, to tell him about the betrayal of Noel Simmons, Lincoln’s lover. When his father had offered Noel a quarter of a million dollars to walk away so Lincoln would be forced to come back to the family business, Galen had been incensed. Their old man had pulled some shady crap over the years, but this was a new low, even for him.
His personal assistant, Olivia, greeted him with a warm smile when he stepped through the door. “Good afternoon, Mr. Merriweather.”
Galen sneered at her and stomped into his office, slamming the door as he did. He dropped into the stylish leather chair that sat behind the imposingly large oak desk, wondering why the hell he’d bothered to talk to Lincoln at all. His feelings about Galen had been made perfectly clear when he chose that… person over his own family.
Plus, what was up with their father? His private investigator had somehow acquired pictures of Lincoln from a BDSM club he’d frequented at some point in his storied past. They showed Lincoln and some of the submissives he’d played with at the clubs. It turned Galen’s stomach to see. Not that he had a problem with BDSM. The problem was how his father had gone about it. The guys in the pictures were innocent, but anyone could clearly see who they were. Galen had to wonder if the PI had stolen the pictures or had worked out a deal with a club owner.
Either way, the whole thing stunk, and Galen hated the thought that he’d done nothing but sit there as his father rode roughshod over Noel. He had to admit, the way Noel had played his father was masterful, and there wasn’t a doubt in Galen’s mind that when he found out, his father’s retribution would be swift.
Galen didn’t like Noel, but he had to respect the ginormous set of balls he obviously had.
Still, what the fuck was up with his father? He’d seen the man pull some awful shit, but this? It went way beyond the pale, even for him. Galen’s ire rose as he thought about how any hope of Lincoln coming back to Primal had now been dashed, and all because their father was a total asshole.
When his phone rang, Galen took a moment to compose himself, then answered it without checking to see who it was.
“Primal Imports, this is Galen. How can I help you?”
Galen groaned. Andy might be the closest thing he had to a friend, but Galen couldn’t muster the energy to talk to him now. Best to find out what he wanted, then politely get rid of him. “What can I do for you, Andy?”
“Don’t be like that. We haven’t talked in weeks.” If it was possible to pout over the phone, Andy was doing so. “How come you haven’t called me? Last time I saw you was at Tyler’s party, when you were puking your guts out, and he was—”
“It’s been hectic here. Was there something you needed?” Keeping the conversation focused was the only way Galen would get off the phone sometime today.
“YP is having strippers tonight. I thought we could go.”
Not just no. Hell no. The last time he’d gone to a bar with Andy, Galen had been forced to duck out the back when he thought he saw someone from the office walk in. While Lincoln was out and proud, Galen was firmly rooted in the closet, and that was the way it was going to stay. Having already borne witness to the disappointment of Lincoln’s “lifestyle,” as their father called it, Galen had no intention of being on the receiving end of that treatment. How the family friends discussed Lincoln was bad, but hearing it from his father was infinitely worse.
“Michael is going to be there. He’s been asking about you.”
Galen’s stomach knotted. Michael had been a one-night stand about a year ago. Galen wouldn’t deny he enjoyed the sex, but he would say Michael’s crude behavior made it obvious the man should never be seen in the light of day, and he certainly would never fit in at family affairs. No, with his oversized muscles, gruff voice, and arrogance, Michael would be more likely to fit in at Lincoln’s diner.
“No, but thank you for asking. I—”
The door to his office was flung open so hard, it bounced off the dark wood panels and caused Galen to flinch.
“I have to go.”
Andy’s protests were cut short as Galen hung up the phone. His father stomped in, a sneer on his face. He stalked over to Galen, put his palms flat on the desk, and leaned in close. “Explain this… mess to me.”
What was there to explain? Noel had played them big-time. His father’s reaction came as no surprise. Jonathan Merriweather was no one’s fool. In all of his dealings, he made it very clear what was expected of people. He used it against them, more often than not, as a means of acquiring their business. Galen had enjoyed observing his father’s cutthroat tactics. Seeing men who thought they had power brought to their knees because of some slight slip of the tongue had been fascinating to watch, and Galen had taken those lessons to heart. Father wasn’t happy about having them turned against him.
“Simmons played you, Father. He followed your instructions to the exact letter, and after he had the check in hand, he left.”
“He’s still here. I’m not a stupid man, Galen. I had Tate follow him. He went back to the diner. We had an agreement, and the little shit took the money.”
“The office, Father. He left the office. You weren’t specific enough about what you wanted from him, and he used it against you. As there were no contracts signed, the only thing you have is a verbal agreement, which could be argued in court. I can’t believe you showed him pictures of Lincoln with his… whatever.”
Nostrils flaring, Galen’s father stood to his full six-foot, six-inch height. “Don’t question how I do things, Galen.”
Galen wanted the chair to swallow him whole. His father’s glower never failed to make him feel small and helpless. He’d gotten Galen to fall in line ever since he was a child, simply by turning it on him. “No, of course not, sir.”
His father splayed his fingers on the desk and leaned forward, his gaze locked with Galen’s. “I’ve already spoken with Lincoln, and do you know the bastard laughed at me? I want you to get that money back. I don’t care what you need to do, but no one cheats me. Do you understand?”
“Why not just cancel the check?”
His father sneered. “Because I want you to put the fear of God into all of them. They need to learn not to screw with me. Do you think you’re able to handle this?”
Galen stiffened his spine. “Yes, of course.”
“I’m going to sue that little shit into the ground.”
“Maybe it would be best if—”
His father’s expression was ice-cold. “When I want your opinion, I’ll ask. Until then, keep it to yourself and do as you’re told.” He turned on his heel and huffed like a bull as he barreled out the open door.
Galen leaned back and ran a hand through his hair. God, the old man was a prick. He’d never been a nurturing person, leaving that to Galen and Lincoln’s nanny. Of course, they never lasted long either. As soon as either he or Lincoln began to feel close, they’d be terminated and someone new would be brought in. Galen was never sure if it was because their father wanted to control his sons or if he’d been screwing the nanny and was done with her.
The sad thing was that his mother was every bit as bad. She’d had affairs with the chauffeur, one of the cooks, and if rumor was to be believed, she’d even bedded a few maids. She wasn’t discriminating about who she had sex with, nor was she shy about sniffing around them when his father was nearby. But in public, they were one big, happy family.
Yeah, he knew what a fucked-up life he led, but he couldn’t complain too much. He had money, power, and when his father retired—God, let it be soon—he would take over the company. Pity Lincoln didn’t want anything to do with it. The two of them together could rule their empire with an iron fist.
His phone rang, and this time he glanced at the caller ID. With a sigh, he picked up. “Sorry, Andy. I had someone come into the office.”
“You hung up on me. Do you know how rude that is?”
“I said I was sorry. What more can I do?”
“Come out tonight. You can buy me a drink, we can dance, watch the strippers, have a good time, and maybe we’ll even get lucky.”
It had been better than three months since Galen got laid, and his ass clenched at the thought. Still, he’d been given a task by his father, and he needed to get on that right away.
“Tonight’s not good. Are you willing to give me a rain check?”
When Andy gave that weary, put-upon sigh, Galen knew he was going to give in. He always did, just because he didn’t want to hear Andy—
“Just one drink, Gale. Please?”
—whine. He knew he was going to regret it, but really, what could one drink hurt? And it wasn’t like the job was his life or anything.
“One drink, one dance. Then I have to go.”
Galen shook his head. This had bad idea written all over it.
About the Author
Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.
Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and happily-ever-after always has a price tag.
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