For Constable Paul Benson of the North-West Mounted Police, monotony is a blessing. As a provision inspector below the Chilkoot Pass during the Klondike Gold Rush, he’s seen miserable conditions and gold fever turn civilized prospectors into madmen.
Joseph Starling is on his way to the Klondike to find the men who savagely beat him, murdered his eldest brother, and stole their mining machine. They’ll kill his youngest brother if Joseph doesn’t operate the machine for them—it won’t work without him. With time running out, Joseph must purchase an expensive ticket aboard a crash-prone airship. But the station is miles away through dangerous terrain.
Under orders, Paul grudgingly escorts Joseph, but quickly finds himself intrigued by the young man. As they make their way toward Juneau, it’s not just the need for warmth that drives them closer together. But neither man can draw an easy breath until they make it to the gold fields . . . and there’s no guarantee that Joseph’s brother will still be alive when they do.
Snow crunched under my boots as I walked around the idling mech, ledger in hand. The hip-high flatbed was loaded down with provisions, every piece of which had to be cataloged by my team. The prospectors waiting for me to finish my inspection shifted their weight and spat tobacco. I could feel their irritated stares—God knew they weren’t the first with no patience for the North-West Mounted Police’s policies.
“Get on with it,” one of them grumbled. “Didn’t come all this way to freeze to death while you boys take your time.”
I scowled, letting my wide-brimmed hat keep my distaste hidden as I continued to comb through the gear. Every man thought his team should be my priority, that his equipment needed to be inspected before everyone else’s, and that every Mountie here—myself included—existed only to keep him from making his way north to the gold fields.
I glanced at Constable Taylor, who was inspecting the joints on one of the mech’s eight brass legs to make sure they were mechanically sound. I was about to ask him how they looked, but—
“Hey! Hey there! This man needs help!”
About the Author
L.A. Witt is an author of gay erotic romances, and has been recently exiled from Okinawa, Japan, to Omaha, Nebraska. She resides there with her husband, a telekinetic goldfish, and two incredibly spoiled cats. It’s unclear if the exile was the result of the mostly classified “Aquarium Incident,” or if she’s actually being hidden, for her protection, from the Polynesian Mafia and her arch nemesis, erotic romance author Lauren Gallagher. Should you encounter Lauren, don’t tell her L.A. is in Omaha. This bio will self-destruct in 17 seconds.