When we last left Arjun and Thomas they had arrived in America and were planning to marry. But in my mind, that was never where the story ended. I always pictured the two men joining forces to do good, and they do, in their own unique way. Together they set up a foundation that rescues male prostitutes from Arjun’s former home, Mumbai, India. Their work involves bringing the men to the United States and helping them to start new lives. Is there a more perfect job for both of them?
Join them now on Christmas Eve, when the first batch of evacuees has arrived…
“Are you ready, Arjun?”
For the hundredth time that week Arjun looked into Thomas’ eyes and witnessed the depth of his lover’s concern. What they had so far accomplished together had been difficult – rescuing twenty male prostitutes from the streets of Mumbai – but he knew it was only the tip of the iceberg. There had to be 8,000 of them crammed into the crowded city and there was no way for the two of them to save them all. But the men waiting downstairs in their living room were a start. He stepped into Thomas’ embrace and took strength from the offered warmth.
“I’m ready if you are.”
Thomas pushed him to arm’s length. “Are you sure you can do this? Talking to these guys and hearing their stories might bring back memories you’d rather forget.”
He waived an arm. “Tsk. These are my people, Thomas. I know them well. They’ve been through everything I’ve been through. I just wish I could give them more, you know?”
“You’re giving them hope and a chance at a new life, that’s more generous.”
He stifled a snort. Without Thomas’ money none of this would be possible. “I couldn’t do any of it without you.”
Thomas brushed a kiss to his lips and then ran his hand through Arjun’s hair, parting the dark curls for just a second before they fell back into a tumbled disarray. “You know I’d give you anything. I just want you to be happy.”
“I am. I just wish everyone could be happy.” Thinking of the men they’d left behind, he sighed and sank once more into his husband’s arms. He knew there would be other trips, and that Thomas would work tirelessly with him until they’d rescued as many of his old acquaintances in the sex trade as possible. Faith in the future was still a new concept for him though. Before meeting Thomas, his outlook had been bleak as a thundercloud. Over a year later, he still struggled to change his mindset, but today’s events were a strep in the right direction. He nodded into Thomas’ chest. “We’ll save them together. We will.”
“As many as we can,” Thomas agreed.
This had become their new motto, their life’s work. Arjun had conceived of Shiva’s Signpost his first year in America. It had taken him and Thomas twelve months, numerous international calls and dozens of transatlantic flights to locate and convince the men downstairs that they could experience the same freedom he’d found. Now it was time to prove to them a better life awaited. What better night to do so then Christmas Eve?
As Thomas took his hand and guided them down the stairs, he held fast to the best present he’d ever had. A lover who’d rescued a mere street hustler and shooed the rain in his life away.
* * *
And now you know the real ending to the story!
Or is it the end….?
Arjun Mukesh and Thomas Barkley are two characters from my novella, Lover Enslaved: 24 Hours in Mumbai. The book is in Decadent Publishing’s fabulous 1 Night Stand series. The two are brought together by Madame Eve, the super-secret love match maker.
Arjun is a prostitute and doesn’t see a way out of his current life in Mumbai, India. Thomas is an American businessman who travels the world for work. So it’s safe to say he’s seen plenty of nooks and crannies and Mumbai is just another stop for him.
Before the night is over, Thomas is ready to drag Arjun away from India and back home with him! But first he has to convince Arjun he can have another life!
Author Bio and Contact:
Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.