Secrets - PsyCop #4

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"You don't need the futon," Jacob called from the living room. My living room. The one he'd been sharing with me since an incubus exploded in his swanky Lakeview condo last fall. I was in the kitchen at the time, trying to determine exactly how attached I was to the corkboard next to the phone, the one where I stick small pieces of paper until I forget what the notes scrawled on them were supposed to mean.

"I have a living room set," he said.

I vaguely remembered Jacob's living room set. I'd seen it at his old condo maybe twice before it'd gone into storage. I'd been too busy ogling his naked body to pay much attention to his décor. When I wasn't busy shooting at the incubus who'd followed him there, anyway.

I worked the yellow sticky note I was holding between my thumb and forefinger, rubbing it, creasing it down the center. It was so damp with sweat, it molded to the shape of my palm. I shook it loose and it landed on the countertop. I scrubbed my palm against the leg of my jeans, and wondered if I'd managed to leach all the sticky out of the note. Stupid of me. I'd made a deal with Jacob that I'd only keep the things I marked with a yellow paper tag. It had seemed like a big stack of stickies, at the time. But my stack had grown awfully thin. There aren't as many sticky notes in a pack as you might think.

It was the week of my thirty-ninth birthday, and there I was, poised to move out of my bright white apartment and into the old brick loft building, a turn of the century cannery, that I now owned with Jacob. I'm not sure which part was weirder—that it had taken me so long to find someone I was that serious about, or that it had even happened to me at all. I'd always figured I was too screwed up to do the whole long-term relationship thing with anybody. Ever.

"Vic? The futon."

I looked down at the soggy paper square on the countertop. Maybe Jacob was right about the futon. Almost-forty-year-olds didn't generally have cheap futons as the focal point of their living rooms. Especially not when there was actual furniture around they could be using. Besides, it would free up that sticky note so I could mark something else I wanted to keep.

I touched the seat of the barstool under the kitchen counter. Vinyl and chrome. I liked my barstools. Did I need to put a sticky on each of them, or was it understood that they were a set?

Jacob appeared in the doorway, flashing his washboard abs. He wasn't trying to seduce me; he was mopping sweat from his face with the hem of his black T-shirt. Still, he was distracting, to say the least. "Bedroom's packed," he said, tugging his shirt back down. "Where are those barstools supposed to go?"

"The…kitchen?"

He frowned. It was more of a thinking-frown than a cull-your-shit-already-frown. I think. "Maybe. Or maybe we can put a bar in the basement."

If we did put a bar in the basement, Jacob would be drinking at it alone. Not because I don't drink, which I don't, but because I don't do basements. They're creepy. Even the ones that've been finished with paneling, indoor-outdoor carpeting and dart boards.

But I didn't argue. I don't do confrontation any better than I do basements, or shots of Jägermeister.

"Why don't we just take it all and sort it out once we get there?" I suggested. Jacob hadn't thought it was a good idea the night before, but it couldn't hurt to try one more time and see if I might wear down his resolve. "There's plenty of room."

Jacob went to the sink and held his hands under the tap. He splashed cold water on his face and performed another ab-flashing maneuver that would bring any card-carrying queer to his knees. "How many times do you want to end up carrying this stuff?" he said. "We don't need two of everything."

And my furniture was all cheap pressboard crap, while his was real. Yeah, I knew that. But still. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the hundred-year-old cannery, a bizarre student attempt at Egyptian revival, was my new home. I pressed a sticky note onto a narrow white plastic end table in the corner and heard Jacob sigh.

"What?" I said. "That's where I keep my keys."

Jacob stepped back from the sink and eased his way toward me. Sweat made his fitted black T-shirt cling to his body, and his deep olive skin glistened in the greenish light cast by the fluorescent overhead fixture. He kept on coming at me until he'd backed me into the wall, where the plastic table threatened to warp under the weight of my thigh. The smell of new sweat was heady, and it turned my furniture frustration to thoughts of sex. I felt a warmth deep in my belly. No, lower. Damn him. Neither one of us needed to resort to arguing. We each had our ways of trying to get what we wanted.

He took my face in both of his hands. His palms were cool from the water. Jacob's built like a linebacker and I'm more of a goalpost, but at six-foot-something, we at least stood eye to eye. It made it for easy kissing.

Jacob looked at me, hard, and then he closed his eyes and dove in. What do they call 'em, pheromones? He must've been giving them off in clouds. My head shifted gears—from hoarding, to sex—the second his lips touched mine.

He pressed himself into me, chest to chest, thigh to thigh, and he threw heat like a furnace. A big, damp, sexy, man-smelling furnace. He drew his lips away from mine slowly, our breath mingling for a second before he started kissing lower, working his mouth along my jaw toward my neck.

"I'm keeping my table," I said. My voice wobbled a little. I'm such a pushover.

Jacob grunted, and stretched the neck of my baggy T-shirt to scrape his teeth against my collarbone. The sharp rasp sent a jolt of heat down to my cock. I was beginning to feel a lot more than an indistinct warmth down there.

"What do you think you're doing?" I said. It was pretty obvious, but I couldn't resist. "I thought we were on a schedule."

Jacob didn't dignify that with an answer. His hand covered the bulge at the front of my jeans, instead. My breath hissed in and my back arched as my body strained for his touch.

It was humbling to have someone able to press all my buttons that well. Maybe it was a little scary, too. What if Jacob used his superpower for evil, not good? Would it matter? Probably not, as long as he kept me drugged with sex.

I grabbed for his hair, but it was too short to get a handful. Wet with sweat, too. Fuck, that made me hard. He met my eyes. Not as dramatic as me grabbing him by the hair and forcing the eye contact, but that was okay. I just needed to see the look, the one that lets me know that he's got it as bad for me as I do for him.

Jacob stared at me hard while he stroked my cock through my jeans. The importance of what I would take to our new place and what I would leave behind for the Goodwill truck dwindled. Where could we have sex? That was all I cared about.

"When you said the bedroom was packed…?"

Jacob grabbed me by the upper arm and pulled me into the living room. Through the bedroom doorway, I could see my mattress and box spring stacked against the wall behind a barricade of boxes.

The living room was a wreck, but Jacob hadn't started boxing it up quite yet. My cock throbbed impatiently as I shoved a laundry basket and a crate of DVDs and videotapes out of the way and dragged the futon off its frame. I toed off my loosely-tied high tops and stripped down fast. Jacob dropped a gym bag next to the futon and started peeling off his sweaty clothes. I knelt down on the futon, which was only slightly more padded than the floor, and unzipped the bag to see what he thought we'd need from it. I shoved aside rolled-up pairs of socks, a T-shirt and sweatpants. Underneath all that, I felt a plastic bottle with a familiar shape. Lube. "So, you were planning on getting lucky," I said.

"There's always hope."

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Purchase the paperback PsyCop: Property

contains Body & Soul (PsyCop #3) and Secrets (PsyCop #4)

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