Title: Good Boys
Series: The Solomon Series, Book One
Author: Keelan Ellis
Genre: Gay Fiction, Detective, Mystery
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Paul Solomon is a homicide detective in Baltimore, a city with a high murder rate and a complicated relationship between the police and the citizens they are sworn to protect.
He’s also a gay man who has been out on the job since he first joined. Being out on a tough police force hasn’t always been easy, but living with integrity is important to him.
Paul’s love life becomes as tumultuous as his job with the demise of his relationship of eight years. While dealing with the emotional and physical upheaval in his personal life, a case comes across his desk that hits a little too close to home—the murder of two gay teenagers.
Paul and his partner, Tim Cullen, must solve the double homicide, and Paul has to find a way to move on from his failed relationship.
Before he even opened his eyes Paul knew something was wrong. He could feel the heat of the morning sun on his face in a way that never happened in his west-facing bedroom, but for a few seconds he couldn’t figure out why it was wrong. The bed felt familiar enough, and smelled familiar too.
He sat up slowly, rubbing his face and pressing his heels into his forehead as if that might somehow hold back the monster headache he felt pushing its way into the backs of his eyes. His stomach lurched as he carefully swung his legs onto the floor, and he lowered his head into his hands until it passed. He made his way to the bathroom, at one point losing his balance slightly and bumping into the wall.
In the shower, he leaned up against the slick tiles and angled the showerhead so he could let it run over him. He tried closing his eyes, but little pinpricks of light blossomed behind his lids. He started to feel dizzy, so he opened them again. Bits and pieces of the night before began to creep into his consciousness, and he sincerely wished he could block them out for a little while longer. No such luck. The stack of flattened boxes in the entranceway when he’d gotten home the day before—and the look on Andy’s face as he told him he needed to move out—had started the whole thing. They’d fought. There were tears, followed by wine, and then scotch. Paul was pretty sure that what happened next wouldn’t surprise a single goddamn person in the entire world. The worst part was that it wasn’t the first time it had happened, and he’d been no less regretful either of the other times. One would think he’d learn his lesson eventually.
Paul stayed in the shower until the hot water was gone, swallowed three Advil, and looked at himself in the mirror. At thirty-eight he still had his dark curls, but his beard was starting to come in grey where he used to have some copper strands. Today he felt like he could see the future in his face. He looked ten years older this morning, at a minimum. He picked up his razor and shaved carefully, still managing to nick himself on his jawline with his unsteady hand.
Oh well, maybe I’ll actually look like a real cop today. Too bad I don’t have any short-sleeved dress shirts. Not that his work wardrobe was any great shakes, but Andy had started buying him ties back when he first joined the homicide squad, and he had excellent taste. In their better days he’d sometimes tie them for Paul in the morning before he headed out the door for his commute to the city; but that was years ago.
Ten minutes later he was downstairs in the kitchen hunting for his stainless steel travel mug. He wasn’t late, but he didn’t want to hang around the house. He was hoping to make it out the door without a conversation. He poured himself coffee, dumped in some cream, and was just congratulating himself on his success when he walked right past Andy on the way to the door.
“Good morning,” Andy said, sounding much more like a co-worker than someone who’d been his boyfriend for nearly eight years. Paul couldn’t detect any anger or even regret about the previous evening, but there was no warmth in his voice at all. He looked at the man sitting on the living room sofa, seeing him more clearly than he had in a while. It was impossible to tell that he was hungover, even though he’d had at least as much to drink as Paul had. He was wearing a beautiful wool-silk blend sweater with a pair of slim, dark jeans that had surely cost more than Paul’s entire suit. No tie today, so he must be working from home. His blond hair, just now starting to be touched with silver, shone in the sun coming in through the window. At forty-four he was in amazing shape and still as gorgeous as the day they’d met. Paul wondered, as he often did, why he couldn’t make himself feel the way he once had about him.
“Hey,” Paul said, “I’ve got a lot of shit to catch up on at work, so I should get going.”
Andy rolled his eyes, winced slightly, and touched his temple. “Don’t worry; I’m not looking for a conversation this morning. I wanted to make sure you know that nothing changes just because we fucked, okay? That was goodbye sex. You still have to move out.”
Anger flared in Paul’s chest. As if he didn’t know that already. Despite his desire to get out the door, he found himself warming to an argument. “Yeah? No shit. Did you think I thought we were getting back together or something? Jesus, we broke up six months ago. If that was an option, I think it would have happened before now. Did you think I was hoping the third time would be a charm?”
“Paul,” he said, softening a little, “I can’t do this right now. I know you’re pissed. I know you don’t want to deal with it, but I can’t move on with you in my house. It’s too confusing.”
My house. Andy had bought the house in northwest Baltimore County less than a month after they’d started dating. Paul had been promoted to detective a year earlier. Six months later he’d moved in. Two years after that he’d made it to the homicide division. He’d become a murder police. That had been his goal since he’d joined the department. He liked the job—found it satisfying—but the commute and the crazy hours of a Baltimore City detective were hard on a relationship; you could see the evidence of that all over the place. It had taken its toll on his relationship with Andy, but they both knew it couldn’t all be blamed on the job.
“Yeah,” he said, “you said that last night. I’m on it, okay?”
“That’s what you said three months ago, Paul,” Andy said, sounding more tired than angry. “Please. I really need you to follow through this time.”
“I said I’m on it. Today. I promise.” Paul hesitated before reaching for the doorknob, and said, “Should I say I’m sorry about last night?”
“Are you?” Andy asked, raising his eyebrows slightly.
Paul gave him a little smile and shook his head. “Not really.”
Andy snorted and made a shooing gesture with his hand. Paul headed out the door, squinting against the bright sunshine and ultra-blue early October sky.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Boys-Solomon-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B01KK7EKQ2/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Boys-Solomon-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B01KK7EKQ2/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Good-Boys-Solomon-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B01KK7EKQ2/
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/Good-Boys-Solomon-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B01KK7EKQ2/
Prize: $6.99 WIP Gift Card
About the author
KEELAN ELLIS is an east coast girl for life, a progressive, a lover of music and musicians, a mother of two very challenging girls, a loyal though sometimes thoughtless friend, a slacker, a dreamer and a bad influence. She likes true crime podcasts, great television and expensive craft cocktails made by hipsters in silly vests.
KEELAN ELLIS can be found at: