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Authors: Samantha Kane


BOOK: DefeatedbyLove
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Defeated by Love

Samantha Kane


Book 11 in the Brothers in Arms


Daniel has both dreaded and prayed
for the return of the only man he ever loved. But he is reluctant to give his
heart again to a man who already deserted him once.

Harry knew that when he returned to
England after ten years, Daniel would be angry. But he expected his former
lover to be overwhelmed at his return and his declaration of love. He didn’t
count on Daniel’s refusal to forgive him.

The desire is still there between
them, however, and Harry will use that to break down Daniel’s defenses one
scorching encounter at a time. Daniel’s anger slowly melts under Harry’s
seductive persuasion. The passion between them explodes, but they must defeat
the memory of Harry’s past mistakes to earn a future together.


A Romantica®
historical male/male erotic
from Ellora’s Cave


Defeated by Love
Samantha Kane




This book is for
anyone who ever needed a second chance.


Chapter One

London, June 1821


Daniel imagined it was Harry under him. He closed his eyes
and pictured Harry’s dark hair and gray eyes. As soon as the thought came, he
tried halfheartedly to banish it. He’d promised himself that he wouldn’t do
that anymore. But after ten years he still did.

If he tried very hard he could almost believe the smooth
skin along the muscular back he caressed was Harry’s. Harry had a long back.
Daniel had loved the feel of Harry’s back muscles flexing as he moved his hips.
They hadn’t done this often, Daniel fucking Harry from behind. He’d much
preferred that Harry take him, fast and rough and, toward the end, face to
face. But this wasn’t Harry.

He was too far gone now. Even the realization that the man
beneath him wasn’t Harry couldn’t quell his fast-approaching climax. And so he
gave in, he indulged the memories. He focused on one encounter they’d had in
the woods of Portugal during the war. Harry sat with his back to a tree and
Daniel rode him, slow and deep, and all the while Harry had kissed him until
they were both breathless. Daniel’s release rushed upon him and he envisioned
coming as he had then, hard enough to make him cry out as his seed coated
Harry’s hard stomach.

Beneath him there was a high-pitched cry, harshly awakening
Daniel from his fantasy. His eyes flew open and he beheld the blond head and
broad shoulders of the man he’d just fucked. The tight hold around his cock
indicated the man he’d brought home from a drunken night at a gaming hell had
come as well. The feel of his grasping climax combined with Daniel’s own
release coating his cock made him vaguely ill. This wasn’t the way it was
supposed to be. Quickly he pulled out and the man below him tried to reach back
and hold him. “Not yet,” the virtual stranger ground out. He shuddered a moment
more, and Daniel realized he had a hold of his own prick, fisting it as he
came. Daniel didn’t wait for him to finish. He climbed from the bed and grabbed
a towel from the washstand, cleaning himself off.

“Well that was bloody rude,” the man said, collapsed
facedown on Daniel’s bed, arms and legs splayed.

“You had yours,” Daniel said coolly. “Thank you for a
wonderful evening.”

The blond turned to look at him and Daniel noticed he was
quite young, perhaps twenty or so. That might have been some of his appeal to a
drunken Daniel. Harry had been only nineteen during the war. Not for the first
time he wondered if he’d made it to twenty-nine. That’s how old he’d be now.

“What?” The young man was incredulous. “Are you kicking me
out? You’ve barely pulled your prick out and you’re showing me the door? You
are quite the bastard, aren’t you?”

Daniel sighed. “I suppose I am, though not in the literal
sense. You’ll have to excuse me. I just sobered up.” The young man started to
smile until Daniel continued. “But the fact remains you’ll have to leave now.
We’re done.” He turned away to pour himself a scotch. His shirt was tossed over
the chair there and he pulled it on before he took a sip.

“Give a man a minute to recover,” the latest in a long line
of forgettable lovers said. He rolled over and posed, as if to entice Daniel.
It didn’t work. Tonight was following the same pattern most of his amorous
encounters had taken the last few years. After the deed was done, too often
drunk, he was disgusted with himself and couldn’t wait to be rid of whatever
man he’d just humped.

“I haven’t a way home,” the young man whined. “Can’t I just
sleep here and find my way home in the morning?”

Daniel turned away. “Fine.” He wasn’t going to sleep tonight
anyway. “Please leave at first light.”

“Well, your pretty looks certainly don’t reflect your
manners,” the blond said, rolling over and showing Daniel his back.

“I never said they did,” Daniel shot back. He opened the
bedroom door and closed it without looking back.


“You’re still here?” Daniel exclaimed as he entered the
breakfast room to find the young man he’d brought home from the gaming hell
last night calmly eating eggs at the table, wearing one of Daniel’s jackets. A
rather gaudy green velvet one that he’d stuck in the back of his wardrobe with
a shudder when it was delivered. Seeing it on the other man made him glad he’d
seen the error of that fashion mistake.

“You should at least feed me,” the young man said, taking a
sip of his tea.

“Fine. But then I expect you to leave of your own accord,”
Daniel answered, annoyed.

“I don’t want to leave.”

That brought Daniel up short. He turned very slowly from the
sideboard. One look and his footman quickly left the room, closing the door
behind him. “Excuse me?”

The young man was brash, that was for certain. Daniel
vaguely remembered that was why he’d ended up bringing him home. He’d pursued
Daniel with determination and ultimately Daniel decided he’d earned his prize.
The look he cast at Daniel from his rather gorgeous blue eyes was calculated
and not a little conniving. It diminished his blond, Adonis good looks. With
looks like that Daniel had expected more from him. He’d turned out to be a
mediocre lover at best. After all, he’d been unable to hold Daniel’s attention
and keep the memories at bay. His smile left Daniel cold. “I like living like
this. I could get used to it. With your help, of course. You see,” he said, his
voice full of satisfaction, “I know about you now. You wouldn’t want me to tell
anyone, would you?” He looked so supremely smug that Daniel took extreme
pleasure in ruining his morning.

“Go ahead.” He smiled at the fellow—
what was his name?—
then turned to fill his plate.


Daniel enjoyed the shock and dismay in his voice in that one
word. “Who are you going to tell?” he asked without turning around. “What are
you going to tell them?”

“I’ll tell them what happened here last night,” he
threatened indignantly.

“You’ll have to do better than that,” Daniel replied,
sitting down. He laid his napkin in his lap and picked up his fork. “After all,
to do so would implicate you as well. I know I have friends who would get me
out of that sort of trouble. Do you? Or, wait. Do you mean the part where I
tired of you before we were even through?” At last he looked at his companion.
He sat across from Daniel with his mouth gaping like a fish. “What is your
name?” he finally asked, exasperated. “For the life of me I can’t remember. I’m
tired of thinking of you as that inconvenient fellow.”

That brought out the fire in him. “My name is Andrew,” he
bit out. “And don’t think that if I cry foul against a Jew that I won’t be
believed. They’ll hang you at Tyburn for what you’ve done.”

“Hardly.” Daniel took a bite of his egg. He closed his eyes
and breathed deeply in enjoyment. It was cooked to perfection. “Clearly you’ve
noticed that I’m a Jew,” he continued after he swallowed.

“With a name like Steinberg it’s rather obvious,” Andrew
sneered. “You can’t hide what you are no matter where you live.”

“Hide? I’ve no need.” Daniel sat back and took a sip of his
tea. It was cooling to room temperature. He liked it better that way. He didn’t
understand people who wanted to burn their palate with boiling tea. “As you’ve
also pointed out, I live here. In Bloomsbury. I remain unmolested here. I
happily live my life, and my neighbors live theirs. I have a certain cachet in
this city, which you lack. I have connections to important people. Do you
really wish to make a nuisance of yourself?”

“Halloo,” someone called from the hall. The door opened and
Daniel’s best friend Simon Gantry poked his dark-blond head in the door. “Here
you are. Oh, and we have company. How splendid.” He slid in the door and closed
it behind him. “Who do we have here?”

“He was just leaving,” Daniel said, giving Andrew a hard

“No he wasn’t,” Andrew replied, but his look was more
cautious than confident.

“Andrew has some silly notion of blackmailing me,” Daniel
told Simon.

“Oh?” Simon said as he walked over and perused the items on
the sideboard. He found something he liked and picked up a plate. “What have
you done? Lately, I mean.”

“I think everyone would be interested to hear he’s a
gentleman of the back door,” Andrew said as if he were revealing state secrets.

Simon turned his head to regard him, wide-eyed. “I’m
interested,” he said. He put his plate down and turned fully to face him,
leaning on the sideboard. “Tell me.”

Andrew just blinked at him rapidly for a second or two. “You
know,” he said lamely. “He prefers gentlemen.”

“You mean he fucks them?” Simon asked in disgust. “Why
didn’t you just say so? I thought he’d added burglary to his repertoire or
something. Now that would be interesting.”

Daniel couldn’t hold his laughter anymore. “No. No

Andrew stood and threw his napkin on the table. “You two may
make light of it, but I do indeed have friends who would gladly help me spread
the word of your debauchery.”

Simon crossed his arms. “Have you gone stark raving mad?” he
asked Andrew. “Can’t you see he’s a bully trap? He’d just as soon slit your
throat as kiss it, my lad, no matter how pretty he is. I’ve seen him do both.
He served his majesty well in Portugal, and don’t you doubt it. One word from
him to the right person—and trust me, he knows that person very well—and you’re
on a ship bound for Botany Bay. Now scoot along and be gone. I’ve business to
discuss with Daniel.” He started to reach for his plate but stopped, as if he’d
suddenly remembered something. “Oh yes. And if you or your friends have any
ideas about causing trouble, forget them. Daniel isn’t the only one who knows
how to slit a throat cleanly. He has numerous friends with lots of practice,
including me. You make sure to tell your pimp that. Understand?”

By now Andrew was white as a ghost and backing toward the
door. “Yes,” he said, a little of his earlier belligerence still evident. “May
I get my things?”

Daniel waved him away negligently. “No. But you may take the
jacket. Matheson!” His butler opened the door on cue. “Please see this
gentleman out. Quietly.”

“Of course, sir,” Matheson said without batting an eyelash.
Daniel had hired him even though his references were awful. At his last post,
he’d gotten the daughter of the house pregnant, the poor blighter. He was so
grateful for a well-paying position he was nigh on blind to anything that
happened around Daniel’s house these days. He was invaluable.

“And if I don’t go quietly?” Andrew said, full of false

“Well, then, I suppose you shall go noisily,” Daniel said.
“Either way you’ll go, but naturally you may choose the option that best suits
your mood.”

Chapter Two


“You’re far too nice,” Simon told him with a lip curled in
distaste. “I’d just boot the bugger out. I don’t know why you bother with these
fancy boys. They are always trouble. Mark my words.”

“I don’t really recall why I brought him home,” Daniel told
Simon. “I think it had something to do with his dogged determination to seduce
me.” He leaned back in his chair with a frown. “How lowering to realize it was
just because he thought I was an easy mark.” He looked at Andrew. “I can only
assume you didn’t really give it your all last night, either, which is actually
good to know considering I was less than satisfied and I was worried it was my
issue and not yours.”

“Never yours, my dear,” Simon said, cutting into a juicy

“Thank you,” Daniel graciously replied.

“Someday your depraved life will be your ruination,” Andrew
warned theatrically.

“Do you think so? I always thought it would be the wine,”
Daniel mused. “Or perhaps a knife in the back. Oh,” he exclaimed in mock
surprise. “I see what you mean. Yes, you could be right.”

“Wait a moment,” Simon said. He pointed at Andrew with his
knife. “Wasn’t he with you last night?”


Simon slammed his knife down on the table. “Well, I’ve seen
it all. He’s a backgammon player as well, and a blackmailer, too, and now he’s
lecturing you with a jaw-me-dead on ruination. What next, I ask you? I mean,
really. Society is crumbling around us, Daniel. We are Romans among the ruins.”

Daniel tried to follow Simon’s rant but got lost when they
reached Rome. “Quite,” he said. He turned to Andrew. “Good God, you’re
here? Matheson?”

“This way,” Matheson said to Andrew. He gestured to the
burly footman and the two of them each took an arm. “The servants’ entrance,”
he told the footman.

“Don’t disturb Cook,” Daniel warned. “Heads will roll if she
gets annoyed.”

“Yes sir,” the footman grunted out as Andrew tried to get
loose. “We’ll take care of it, sir.”

When the door closed behind them Daniel just sat and waited.
It didn’t take but a second or two before Simon lit into him.

“What the hell is the matter with you?” he demanded. “You
could have practically any man in this city who took your fancy, and you bring
home a harlot with a blackmailing pimp?” Simon threw up his hands. “I’m done
with you. I don’t understand you. You are determined to ruin yourself. What do
you think Sir Barnabas will have to say about this?”

“Whatever Barnabas has to say, I don’t have to hear,” Daniel
said, irritated at the mention of his sometime lover. “His penchant for having
his lackeys follow me around ‘to keep me out of trouble’, as he puts it, is
hardly my concern. They may report the details of my adventures to him at
length. I care not. And I can guarantee that I shall not hear from him about
this incident, either. His concern is for Sir Barnabas and Sir Barnabas alone.”

“No, of course he won’t say anything,” Simon said in
disgust. “Because it would ruin the perfect lie you two live, that you are not
lovers, and that you don’t care a whit what the other one does or does not do.”

“It is hardly a lie. And yes, all right, we are lovers on
occasion. But what we have hardly constitutes a relationship such as the one
you are suggesting.”

“What I am suggesting is that that young man will be lucky
to wake up alive tomorrow morning once Sir Barnabas James, head of some
mysterious department at the Home Office, hears about his shenanigans.”

“Nonsense,” Daniel said. “Who’s going to tell him? Are you
still under his thumb?”

“Don’t be a damn idiot,” Simon barked at him. “I was never
under this thumb, any more than you were.”

“That’s not how I remember Portugal,” Daniel said. “When he
said jump, we both asked how high.”

Simon let out a big sigh and leaned back in his chair. “We
were at war and he was our superior officer. At least I didn’t fuck him.”

“That again?” Daniel moaned in mock frustration. “Although
it is surprising since you fucked almost anything else that would have you,
including a mule or two, I think.”

“Those rumors were false,” Simon said nonchalantly. “Do you
really not know that someone in your house is spying for him?”

“What?” Daniel asked in disbelief.

Simon nodded. “Not sure who, yet. But he knows too much too
soon. It’s got to be a member of your household. Who do you think it could be?
Either someone who doesn’t like you—”

“Everyone likes me,” Daniel protested. “I am eminently
likeable. An exemplary employer.”

“Or someone who doesn’t fear repercussions should they be
found out,” Simon continued.

“Cook,” Daniel said, breathless with dismay. “I cannot
dismiss Cook. Everything she does is pure magic in the kitchen. I cannot live
without her.”

Simon spread his hands out in a gesture conveying,
you are
. His expression was amused.

“Matheson!” Daniel yelled.

The butler, still straightening his jacket, entered the room
a few moments later. He smoothed his dark, graying hair. “Yes sir. He’s gone.”

“Good, good,” Daniel said dismissively. “Do you think Cook
is spying on me for Sir Barnabas?”

“Of course, sir,” Matheson said calmly. “He gave her
son-in-law a job at the Home Office, and pays her a nice stipend, too.”

Daniel was aghast. “Why wasn’t I told?”

Matheson shrugged. “We assumed you knew. You know

“This is true,” Simon agreed. “You can hardly fault them.
Normally you do know everything, and usually before anyone else, except Sir

“I shall have to think on this,” Daniel said gravely. He
waved his hand at the door. “Matheson.”

“Yes sir.” The butler left again.

“I wish I had your luck with servants,” Simon complained.
“Mine always leave me.”

“That’s because you find them wives or better positions,”
Daniel told him. “You are much nicer than I am.”

“I am not,” Simon protested. “I am ruthless.”

“If it helps you to sleep at night, then by all means tell
yourself that.” Daniel wrinkled his nose at the now cold food on his plate. “I
shall have to freshen this.” No sooner were the words out than a discreet knock
on the door preceded the entry of the footman with a trolley of piping-hot
food. Daniel pointed at it in distress. “Do you see? I cannot get rid of Cook.”

“Then you’ll have to live with a spy in the house,” Simon
said prosaically. “An excellent cook is worth it.”

They both filled fresh plates and sat back down. Daniel had
just taken a bite when Simon trod on sacred ground.

“You cannot keep indulging in this maudlin unrequited love
for Harry Ashbury,” he said gravely. “It’s been ten years. It is more than time
to move on.”

Daniel swallowed his egg with difficulty. “I have no idea
what you’re talking about.” Was he truly that transparent? Harry’s name hadn’t
passed his lips since that day in Portugal when Harry had left to go home to
England and the girl he was to marry.

“I think you do.” Simon put his knife and fork down, a
testament to the gravity of their discussion. “I have watched you fall deeper
into despair the last few years. Your nightly raids on the unfortunate criminal
class in St. Giles attest to your emotional instability.”

“My nightly forays into St. Giles to take care of crime and
the criminals who perpetrate it have nothing to do with my emotional state, or
lack thereof.” Daniel very precisely cut a small piece of steak and ate it,
chewing automatically and swallowing, though it tasted like sawdust.

“It has everything to do with it. You are not qualified to
be judge, jury and executioner, no matter what you did in the war. Let the past
be the past.” Simon crossed his arms and glared at Daniel. “When was the last
time you slept?”

Daniel waved aside his question, reluctant to admit it had
been days. He’d had another dream of Harry. It had been distorted and odd. They
were on the ocean and Harry was walking determinedly across the turbulent ocean
waves, wind and rain assailing him as he trudged along. But he never seemed to
get any closer and Daniel had run through the rain to get to him, but it made
no difference. He always stayed out of reach, too far away for Daniel to
glimpse his face clearly. And then Daniel had sunk beneath the waves and Harry
had kept walking, deaf to Daniel’s cries. He hadn’t slept since the dream.

“All these men you bring home,” Simon said wearily, shaking
his head. “It isn’t good for you, you know.”

“You’re one to talk,” Daniel scoffed. “You’ve always got
some new lover or other, some new lamb to save with your magical cock.”

“My cock is magical,” Simon agreed seriously. “But I’m not
using them as you are. I can’t love them, we both know that. But I help them.
We all get something out of it, you see. I solve their problems and they fuck
me silly. We all win.”

“I don’t use them,” Daniel protested, but he knew it wasn’t
true. He did use them. He used them when he was lonely and afraid of staying
that way forever. It frightened him sometimes, that in the last ten years all
the empty dalliances he’d had with one man after another had not fulfilled him
the way those few short weeks with Harry had.

“It doesn’t matter,” Simon said, and Daniel could hear the
sympathy in his voice. It grated, even though of all the people he knew Simon
probably understood better than most. He carried his own heartbreak, with no
chance for a reprieve. “What matters is that you stop being stupid.” He pointed
at the closed door. “That little fancy piece you brought home last night could
have been real trouble. Hopefully he won’t still turn out to be. I’d wager that
most of London knows who and what you are, but they let it pass because you’ve
always been circumspect and, frankly, you frighten them. But if you continue to
play the slut all over town things may change, and rather quickly.” He reached
over and covered Daniel’s hand with his. “You know I’d go to the gallows at
your side,” he said, and Daniel knew it to be true. He was the best friend a
man could have. “Or die defending you in a fracas. But I’d rather we simply
play it safe for a while. No more fancy pieces and no more St. Giles. Just
until things settle down.”

Daniel raised his teacup in a salute. “I like this plan of
yours,” he said, forcing some lightness into his tone.

“Maybe it won’t get us killed,” Simon replied with a good
deal of skepticism.

BOOK: DefeatedbyLove
4.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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