Ball & Chain (Cut & Run, #8)
Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.
Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.
With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.
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Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes:drug use, explicit violence
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Kelly stood at Zane’s side behind a barrier at the bus depot of Camp Lejeune. Zane didn’t know him well enough to read him, and he wasn’t interested in trying. He couldn’t get past his own butterflies to analyze his companion’s state of mind.
It had been six months since they’d watched Sidewinder walk down the gangway to their plane. Six long, lonely months of confusing feelings and dread whenever the phone rang. Zane had woken every morning expecting to hear horrible news about the men he considered friends, and not a day had passed that Ty hadn’t been on his mind.
The call Zane had lived in fear of receiving had never come, thank God. In fact he’d only received a single satellite call from Ty in all the time he’d been gone, the one telling him when they’d be coming home. It had been like a drop of water to a dying man, and coming just weeks before Christmas, the best present Zane could have asked for.
Kelly had admitted to much the same type of existence as they’d driven there from the airport. Every day a struggle to keep his mind on something besides the fact that he wasn’t there to help protect them.
“You nervous?’ Zane asked him.
Kelly took a deep breath, nodding. “I’ve never been on this side of it.”
“Is it any easier on the other side?”
Kelly glanced up at Zane, shrugging. “Not really. You sit there with all your buddies, men who’ve been your world for months, years. You think about the people at home, wonder if they’ve missed you. Pray they’ve missed you. Your mind cycles through everything that could have changed, and the nerves start building. Even the smallest thing can hit you like a hammer when you come out. I’ve seen guys break down and cry because their wives got a haircut.”
“That why you made me shave?”
Kelly grinned and nodded as the first buses began to pull in. Nerves skittered through Zane as tired Marines in rumpled uniforms began to trickle into the tented areas where family awaited. Kelly inhaled sharply. Zane’s hand began to tremble. “God,” he said under his breath.
“The first ship holds seventeen hundred men. We might be here awhile,” Kelly warned.
And they were. An hour and a half later, they were still standing behind the roped-off area, witnessing reunions, waiting. Zane was watching a man embrace two blonde toddlers when Kelly slapped his arm to get his attention. Zane scanned the crowd almost frantically, searching for whomever Kelly had caught sight of.
He only saw one familiar face, and it wasn’t the one he was desperate to lay eyes on. “I thought they’d be out together,” Zane mumbled. He glanced to his side, but Kelly was gone. He’d bolted and hopped the barrier, taking off at a dead sprint through the celebratory crowd.
Zane laughed as Kelly cut a swath toward the unsuspecting Marine. Nick was striding through the crowd of young sailors and Marines, nodding as they saluted him in passing. He looked long and lean in his uniform, hair shorn close and face clean shaven. He had more stripes on his arm than Zane remembered seeing in photos, and he walked with a change in his gait, like he might have been hiding a limp.
Zane hustled after Kelly, but he couldn’t keep up. People parted for Kelly, sliding out of his way like they knew he wasn’t going to let them slow him down just to be polite. He pushed off a few people receiving hugs, hopped around a few children too tiny to get out of the way. It was probably those erratic movements that caused Nick to spot him in the crowd.
A smile graced Nick’s tanned face, and he braced himself at the last minute as Kelly leapt at him and tackled him to the ground. They disappeared from Zane’s sight briefly, and Zane hurried to join them.
Kelly didn’t seem to care who saw them, or what anyone thought of his lack of decorum, or even what Nick thought. He hugged Nick hard. Nick flailed under him, trapped between Kelly and the seabag still on his back. He finally wrapped his arms around Kelly and stopped struggling, laughing instead.
“Jesus Christ, if that’s the welcome wagon, I think I’ll walk home,” Digger said as he approached. He shook Zane’s hand and patted him on the shoulder. Then he dumped his seabag at Zane’s feet and threw himself on top of Kelly.
A moment later, Owen appeared from the sea of faces and launched himself at the other three, wrapping his arms around all of them as they formed a dog pile in the middle of the crowd. Zane almost felt sorry for Nick being on the bottom. Almost.
He glanced up, scanning the crowd for the only person he desperately needed to see. He was searching so hard that he almost skipped right over him, standing just a few yards away and gazing at Zane with a smile.
Zane’s breath caught. “Ty.”
“Hi,” Ty said with a bigger grin. He was tanned and bearded, which was why Zane hadn’t immediately recognized him. His hair was longer than when he’d left too, obvious even under the hat he wore, and he was far leaner. But his hazel eyes still glinted like they always did.
Zane started toward him, not caring who might see or what the consequences would be. Ty jogged the rest of the distance and threw himself into Zane’s arms. Zane buried his face in Ty’s neck, relishing the warmth and solidity of the man. He breathed in his scent, even though it wasn’t the one Zane usually associated with Ty. It was still him.
“Oh my God,” Zane gasped finally. He tightened his arms around Ty, clutching at his uniform.
“I missed you,” Ty whispered in his ear. His hands gripped at Zane’s hair, and he stood on the toes of his boots so they could cling tighter to each other.
The thought of a kiss never entered Zane’s mind. He didn’t even think about stepping back so he could look at Ty’s face, the face he’d seen in his dreams and forced himself to remember every night as he lay awake. He just squeezed his eyes closed and held on to Ty like he might be taken away again, clutched at him as he would grasp for his very soul in a pit of a thousand reaching hands.
Ty held to him the same way.
“Can’t breathe!” a pitiful voice finally called out, interrupting the joyous reunion.
Ty pulled back only enough for him and Zane to glance over at the tangle of limbs and laughter that were their friends. Nick was trying to extricate himself from the bottom, with little luck.
Ty shook his head. “Don’t care,” he muttered as he finally looked Zane in the eyes and grinned widely. He took Zane’s face in his hands. “Hello, beautiful.”
Zane returned the smile, only to have it ruined as Ty pressed their mouths together, kissing him for all the months they’d missed. It was usually at this stage of a dream that Zane would wake up, alone and so heartsick he thought he might cry. But the kiss lingered on. Ty’s hands on his face were still warm and solid. His beard was scratchy at Zane’s cheek. He was real. This was real, and Zane wasn’t about to let it slip away.
He grabbed Ty and dipped him backward, kissing him for all he was worth. He heard the distant snap of a few cameras, the tears of joy from other reunions, tiny voices welcoming their mothers and fathers home, the muffled gripes from Nick to let him the fuck off the ground so he could at least try to be dignified about coming home. He felt Ty smiling against his lips and holding on to his neck so he wouldn’t fall.
It was the most satisfying rush of emotion Zane had ever experienced. Better than any high.
When he finally stood them back up and let go of Ty, they were both breathless and laughing. Zane couldn’t keep his hands off Ty, wanting to maintain contact, wanting to reassure himself that this wasn’t a dream.
Ty took his hand and didn’t let go. “You look amazing,” he said as he leered at Zane.
“So do you.” Zane ran a hand over Ty’s shoulder and the new insignia there. “Captain Grady, huh?”
“Captain.” Ty nodded, his beard almost hiding his smile. “They gave us all a bump in rank equivalent to the time we would have served if we’d stayed in the Corps. Owen and I got kicked over to officers.”
“Captain Grady,” Zane repeated. He shook his head and swiped his fingers across Ty’s chin. “Nope. You’ll always be Staff Sergeant to me. What’s with the beard?”
“Special forces. Don’t worry, it’s coming off.”
“No, I like it. Keep it for a while.”
Ty grinned. “Whatever you want.”
Zane pulled him into another hug. He was peripherally aware of the rest of Sidewinder picking themselves up off the ground and trying to straighten their uniforms, and he finally let Ty go long enough to turn toward them.
They were all grinning from ear to ear, hugging Kelly repeatedly, unable to stop laughing long enough to speak. Kelly began poking fun at their new titles.
“Mother fucking Master Sergeant O’Flaherty,” he said with a pluck at Nick’s sleeve.
Nick brushed himself off, retrieving his hat from the ground with a grunt.
“Why the new ranks?” Zane asked Ty. He did a double take, unable to keep his eyes off the only man he’d been waiting to see.
“It’s not as good a deal as it sounds,” Ty said. “The ranks came with some pretty steep responsibilities. It was the reason we were called back. That’s . . . that’s pretty much all I can say.”
“Are you out now?” Zane asked. “Is it . . . is this it?”
“Yeah, this is it,” Ty answered. “I’m out.”
“Me too,” Digger said, almost singing the words. He bent to pick up his seabag and slung it over his shoulder.
Owen laughed ruefully. “They asked me to stay on. But, uh . . . I told them to stick it. It’s back to the private sector for me.”
Zane snorted, glancing at Nick. He was looking at his feet, and Kelly was watching him with narrowed eyes.
“Nick?” Kelly asked. “Did they ask you to re-up?”
“Yeah, they did,” Nick answered without looking up.
“You didn’t,” Kelly whispered.
Nick cleared his throat. “They asked me to stay on as a drill instructor.”
“Oh, good casting,” Ty mumbled. Zane glanced at him, and Ty mouthed, “He’s scary.”
“I told them no.” Nick smiled at Kelly, then looked around before picking up his seabag again. “I’m done with carrying a gun.”
He walked off. The others stared, looking stunned and confused. After a few seconds, Kelly jogged after him.
Zane finally found his voice and turned back to Ty. “What the hell happened to you guys?”
Ty was still watching Nick make his way through the crowd, his mouth hanging open. He had to tear his attention away to meet Zane’s eyes.
Owen grunted and smacked Digger in the chest. “Let’s go get a fucking milkshake.”
“Milkshake?” Zane echoed.
Owen nodded and grabbed up his bag. “And meat.”
“Oh, meat!” Digger practically skipped after the others, leaving Ty and Zane alone.
Ty was still staring after them, frowning. “There’s something wrong with him.”
“Digger? Hasn’t he always been like that?”
Ty shook his head. “Nick. There’s something wrong with Nick.” He turned to Zane and wrapped his arms around his neck. “I missed you.”
Zane pressed his face to Ty’s neck and closed his eyes. He laughed. “Can we skip milkshakes and just go home?”
“Nope. Bad luck.” Ty kissed his cheek, then took his hand and began leading him through the celebratory crowd.
When Ty walked into the federal building in Baltimore, it caused quite a fuss. Zane hadn’t told anyone he was coming home because he hadn’t wanted to deal with all the teasing from his coworkers. But also because he’d wanted to walk out of the elevator and see all their faces when they realized Ty was with him.
The commotion started with their old team. Clancy saw them and screamed and flailed, which caused Alston to duck and cover like he was used to her smacking him. She came running over and threw herself into Ty’s arms, hugging him around the neck and letting her feet dangle. Ty was wearing a red Santa hat with a white fluffball on the end, and the fluffball hit Clancy in the head when they hugged, but she didn’t seem to care.
Alston, Perrimore, and Lassiter swiftly joined her, giving Ty hugs and handshakes. Others came over to welcome Ty home, and it didn’t take five minutes for the teasing and ribbing to start. Everyone in the office, including Zane, had had six months to get used to the idea of Ty and Zane being a couple. Zane had endured a great deal of good-natured banter, with a side helping of nasty comments and uninformed opinions. For the most part, though, it had become old news. People had gotten over it and accepted it, then mostly forgotten it the longer Ty had been away.
For Ty, though, it was all new. And from the look in his eyes, it was scary.
The uproar in the office gained the attention of the Special Agent in Charge. McCoy stepped out of his office and started to shout at them, but he caught himself when he saw Ty at the center of the group.
“Grady!” he shouted. The group broke apart and people turned to look at their boss. Everyone was silent as they waited for McCoy to continue. He pointed at Ty and then Zane. “You two, in my office.”
He disappeared back into his office.
Ty and Zane shared a glance, and Zane grinned.
“Like being home again,” Ty said as they obediently headed for the office.
McCoy was digging in his desk drawer when they came in. “I’ve got something for you,” he told Ty. He pulled Ty’s service weapon and badge out of his drawer and set them on the desk.
Ty stared at it for a moment, a smile playing at his lips. “Don’t I have to pass certification again first?”
“You’ve been living in certification,” McCoy countered. He glanced at Zane, but his smile was hesitant and a little sad. He lowered his head. “It’s good to see you back safe, Grady.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Have a seat. I’m afraid I don’t have good news from the home front.”
Zane groaned. “Please tell me you’re not putting him back on desk duty. You remember what happened last time.”
McCoy turned his chair so he could rest his elbow on the desk and prop his chin in his hand. He didn’t seem amused. In fact, he seemed downright solemn.
After a long moment of silence, he breathed in deeply. “Gentlemen,” he said as he examined a file on his desk. He tapped it as if trying to decide what else to say. “During the course of Grady’s leave of absence, a few things came to light that . . . I would have preferred to remain in the dark. Unfortunately . . .” He trailed off and shook his head.
Zane’s good humor drained away as he watched their boss through narrowed eyes. He caught himself turning to Ty and stopped.
Ty leaned back in his chair, slumping and scratching at his forehead. He pulled the Santa hat off. He’d gone pale, and his knee was bouncing. They both knew what was coming.
McCoy looked up at Ty from under lowered brows, and then his gaze shifted to Zane.
Ty held his trembling fingers over his brows, as if shielding himself from the sun.
“I need to know one thing from you both before I continue,” McCoy said grimly. “Are you now or have you ever been involved . . . romantically?”
Ty closed his eyes as the rest of the color drained from his face. Zane blinked hard over McCoy’s question and had no idea what to say. How could they reply when McCoy already knew the answer, but the truth would probably separate them?
McCoy watched them silently. Ty finally moved, sitting straighter in the seat. “Yes,” he answered, the sound barely even a recognizable word.
McCoy slammed his hand onto his desk. “Dammit, Grady! All the times you’ve lied to me over the years, and you pick now to be honest?”
There wasn’t anything Zane could add. Not really. He wasn’t ashamed of being in love with Ty. He watched his partner as Ty met McCoy’s eyes. He looked ill, but Zane knew why. They were well and truly out now. For better or worse. Ty was handling it better than expected, really.
McCoy propped both elbows on the desk and massaged his temples. Finally he leaned back and shook his head at them both. “Now, I want it made very clear that the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not give a good goddamn about who you fuck.” He kept rubbing his fingers over his chin and mouth in a nervous habit that rarely manifested. “Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, omnisexual, transsexual . . . we don’t give a damn. As long as you conduct yourself in a manner that is dignified and discreet, you do whatever you want. We will not tell you who or who not to be involved with. That having been said, my concern here, and that of my superiors, is how your relationship impacts your job performance and those around you.”
“Romantically involved or not, we were one of the best goddamned teams you had,” Zane said.
“And now you’re his superior.” McCoy shook his head and covered his mouth again. He met Zane’s eyes; then his gaze flickered to Ty. “Gentlemen, if I could snuff this out, I would do it in a heartbeat. But you made a very public display before Grady left. While it’s not against any specific Bureau policies, it’s frowned upon, and it’s been dealt with the same way across the board in the past.”
“By sending one of us to North Carolina?” Zane asked with a bitter laugh.
“By separating you, yes.”
“This is bullshit,” Ty said.
“This is precedent,” McCoy snapped. “You’re both good agents, but neither of you have ever been above reproach. We can’t afford to have your integrity come into question in the future because you’re fucking. Especially now that Garrett is essentially your boss.”
Zane grunted. “We’re no longer partners, there’s nothing to separate.”
McCoy looked at him with true regret and sighed heavily. “You’re management now, Garrett. There’s no going back. And you can’t have your . . . your boyfriend working under you.”
Ty opened his mouth, and McCoy held up his hand. “If you make a joke, I’ll shoot you.”
“Yes, sir,” Ty mumbled, slumping further into his chair.
“I have to reassign one of you.”
Zane stared, appalled by this sudden obstacle thrown in their path. A reassignment could mean any number of things—different shifts, different departments—most of them not so conducive to him and Ty seeing each other regularly. There was no way McCoy could have any idea how serious their relationship was. He seemed to simply think they were sleeping together. Zane glanced over at Ty, who was sitting stock still and watching McCoy intently.
“We have several options,” McCoy told them, obviously uncomfortable. “One of you will be transferred to another field office. DC or Philly would be relatively close. Even Newark. Unless you’re willing to end your relationship to stay where you are?”
“No,” Ty answered immediately, his voice low and firm. Zane shook his head. He wouldn’t give up Ty now that he’d just gotten him back.
McCoy nodded as if he’d anticipated that reaction. “Well,” he said slowly. “Which one of you will it be? Grady, we could send you to Philadelphia, closer to family. Garrett, you’re already familiar with DC. You could easily go back there, where there are more chances to advance.”
Zane dropped his gaze to his hands. Yes, he’d expected them to be separated. But he’d been anticipating them working different shifts, not this.
DC was a good choice. When he’d lived there when they’d first been partnered, Ty had driven back and forth from Baltimore. But it had only been for a matter of weeks. Zane drew a slow breath, trying not to resent McCoy for what he was making them do.
Before he could speak, though, Ty reached between their chairs and brushed his fingertips across Zane’s elbow, eyes still on McCoy. Ty didn’t appear angry or upset. In fact, Zane’s usually temperamental partner looked downright composed as he pushed to his feet. He lowered his head as he reached under the lapel of his suit coat and pulled out his badge—the badge he’d just gotten back. He laid it on the desk in front of McCoy, followed by his Bureau-issued sidearm, still in its holster.
When McCoy looked up at him, his eyes were wide and his lips were parted.
Ty merely shook his head. “Nobody’s moving.”
Zane distantly wondered what the thundering noise was until he realized it was his heartbeat in his ears. He stared at Ty, unable to look away. He knew how much Ty loved and lived for his work. He was afraid to speak for fear of what would come out.
“Grady, think about this, would you?” McCoy said patiently. “I understand, okay? It’s a shitty situation, and if I could sweep it under the rug, I would. I tried.”
Ty was shaking his head, gently pushing the badge on the desk around in circles with his finger. “I know, Mac. But being separated is not an option.” Zane’s gut clenched as Ty used the one finger to push his badge closer to McCoy. “Garrett can stay where he is. Consider this my resignation.”
“No, no,” Zane finally managed to say. He stood and snatched Ty’s badge from the desk. “No, I can’t let you do that.”
Ty turned to face him.
“You’ll go insane if you’re not working, Ty,” Zane whispered. “I’m two years from retirement. Let me take the bullet on this one.”
“Exactly, you’re two years from retirement,” Ty hissed. “Two years and it’s over.”
“Gentlemen.” McCoy sighed. “If the Bureau loses either of you right now, it’s my ass they’ll come for. I can’t let either of you resign, goddamn it. That’s not a solution.”
Ty shook his head and gave him a small smirk. “It’s my way or the highway, Mac.”
McCoy began to massage the bridge of his nose.
Ty reached for Zane’s hand and gently removed the badge Zane was clutching. He set it on McCoy’s desk and pushed it toward their boss, his eyes never leaving Zane’s. Then the smirk turned into a smile—the same beautiful grin Zane had always loved. The laugh lines at his eyes appeared. His nose scrunched. But there was no light in his eyes, the sparkle that said he was enjoying life. That light hadn’t been there since he’d gotten home.
“I’ve got a rubber band ball to retrieve from my desk,” Ty said. He patted Zane’s arm. “I’ll see you at home.”
He walked out, leaving Zane and McCoy staring after him with their mouths hanging open.
“I can’t believe he just did that,” McCoy finally said.
Zane shook his head. “Give me time before you file his paperwork, okay?”
“You’re the Assistant Special Agent in Charge,” McCoy said, and he stuffed Ty’s badge and gun into a desk drawer. “You file his damn paperwork. Get out of my office.”
Ty spent the next two weeks reacclimating to civilian life. He got up early to run, relearning his old route and taking note of everything that had changed. Buildings being redone, neighbors being gone, a florist where a dive bar used to be, a martini bar where the Fosters used to live.
It all felt the same, but it was different. A car would backfire and Ty would drop and roll. A baby would cry and Ty would reach for a gun he no longer carried. Zane would knock into him in the middle of the night and Ty would grab him and roll him off the bed.
Okay, that had been kind of funny after the fact.
But it was taking Ty longer to get used to being in his own skin again than he would have liked. He didn’t hear much from the other guys, either. He supposed they were all suffering through the same sense of vertigo as he was. Sometimes it was easier to get used to real life again if they didn’t speak for a while. They’d discovered that years ago. The only person Ty had expected to hear from already was Nick, but he hadn’t even received a text message from the man. That in itself was strange, and it felt like something was missing from each day.
Not working was also disconcerting. He’d never in his life been without a job. It was driving him a little crazy already, and he knew he would have to find something else soon. A city cop position like Nick had taken up, or even private security somewhere, because as far as he was concerned, guns were the only thing he did well. But all he had to do now was work on the old Mustang in the backyard, and pore over the scraps of evidence Zane brought him about their mole.
Since their ordeal in New Orleans with Liam Bell resurfacing and the uncanny knowledge both he and the Vega cartel possessed about Ty and Zane’s movements, Ty was just as sure as Zane was that a mole had infiltrated the Baltimore office. Burns had confirmed it the day Ty’d received his orders from the Marine Corps. Someone was relaying information to the Vega cartel, and God knew who else. Enemies who would kill Ty or Zane without a blink.
The danger had always been at the back of Ty’s mind, knowing Zane was home, alone, with no one he could trust to watch his six. Kelly had spent a great deal of time in Baltimore getting to know Zane, keeping an eye on things for Ty, but Ty hadn’t known that when he’d been away, so he’d fretted at night, worried himself sick when he had the free time to do it. Nick had attempted to distract him at first, but even he had given up on trying to keep Ty’s mind off the very real threat.
Coming home and finding Zane happy and healthy, smiling and beautiful, had very nearly erased the worry from Ty’s mind. But walking out of the office the day he’d quit, the realization had come tumbling down on him again that there was still a traitor in their midst, and now he’d removed himself from the game.
So he searched. He pored over news articles and police reports about the cartel. He tried to find connections between the events of New Orleans and any of their cases, delving into everything he had at hand that wouldn’t tip off the mole. But his resources were minuscule, and there was so little to go on.
All he found were dead ends, and so more often than not he found himself just like he was now, on his back on a modified mechanics creeper—really just a plywood board he’d reinforced and put wheels on—beneath the Mustang.
He was humming along to the radio, trying to keep his mind clear as he worked, when someone grabbed him by both exposed ankles and yanked. He closed his eyes and tensed his entire body as the creeper shot out from under the Mustang, shocked he didn’t catch his head on any protruding parts. When he cleared the undercarriage, he had his gun in hand, and was shielding his eyes from the winter sun with his wrench, even though he was pretty sure he knew who his assailant was.
“Let’s go inside,” Zane said, the mischief quite clear in his voice. He didn’t even bother helping Ty off the ground, nor did he seem fazed that a twitchy war veteran had just pulled a gun on him. He headed for the door, already yanking at his tie and shrugging out of his jacket.
“What did you do?” Ty called after him.
Zane laughed, and Ty hurried to follow. He was pretty sure that whatever it was, he didn’t want to miss it.
Zane jumped Ty before he could even say hello or wipe his greasy hands off on his jeans. He dragged him through the door and slammed him against the wall, leaving Ty’s radio playing and all his tools laying out in the yard as snowflakes began to drift down.
The next kiss made Ty think he could buy new tools if they got stolen or rusted. Zane pulled at his jeans and shoved at his heavy wool shirt, growling at him to take everything off.
“Jesus Christ, what happened to you?” Ty gasped.
“I was sitting at my desk, wanting to shoot myself,” Zane said as he kissed his way down Ty’s neck. “And I remembered that you were at home, just sitting around doing nothing.”
Ty made an insulted noise, but he couldn’t even argue because it was true.
Zane kissed him again, shoving Ty’s jeans down his hips and sliding his fingers against Ty’s bare skin. Then he stopped and met Ty’s eyes with a smile that crinkled his laugh lines. “And I couldn’t fucking wait to get home.”
Ty moaned when Zane sank to his knees.
The first touch of Zane’s tongue to the soft, sensitive skin at the crease of Ty’s thigh and groin made his entire body shudder. Zane’s bristly cheek glanced along the side of Ty’s cock as Zane paused to suck hard on a patch of skin just inside the curve of Ty’s hipbone.
Ty gripped the back of Zane’s neck as he tried to catch his breath. This was the kind of ’70s porn situation he had played over and over in his mind while he’d been gone. This was why he’d continued to fight when they’d been outnumbered, continued to duck when bullets flew. Not the sex, though that was certainly a bonus. But coming home to this, to Zane.
Zane’s reply was a drawn-out hum, and he didn’t stop until he’d placed a kiss at the base of Ty’s cock.
“Jesus, Zane,” Ty gritted out as his fingers tightened in Zane’s hair. He didn’t know whether to pull Zane’s head back and ask him what the hell he was up to or hold his head there until he finished what he’d started. Because like it or not, Zane did not often come home from work ready to go at it against the kitchen wall. Ty missed working with him, missed seeing him at all hours of the day. And he hated, absolutely loathed, being out of the loop like this, wondering what the hell Zane was up to when he made advances.
Ty didn’t care what his motives were once Zane licked all the way up his cock to the sensitive head.
He called out wordlessly and grabbed at Zane’s shoulders with both hands, his back bumping against the brick of the kitchen wall. He tried to push his hips forward but couldn’t, instead settled for watching Zane. It wasn’t messy or hurried; Zane was taking his own sweet time, tonguing and kissing and tasting and rubbing every millimeter of skin his lips met. Thoroughly and repeatedly. Just the sight of his lips on Ty’s cock was enough to get Ty’s blood pumping. Ty held his breath, his entire body thrumming with anticipation and teasing jolts of pleasure.
Then Zane took Ty into his mouth and sucked gently, and tipped his head back enough to look up at Ty. Ty couldn’t take his eyes off him. “Don’t think because your mouth is full you’re not expected to explain.”
Zane pulled off Ty long enough to press a kiss to his belly. He smirked up at him, then picked up where he left off, sucking carefully but with more strength while the fingers of his free hand curled into the muscles of Ty’s hamstring.
Ty sucked in a breath and let his head fall back as his dirty fingers flattened against the rough brick behind him, and when he looked back down, the urge to sink his fingers into Zane’s dark curls was almost overwhelming. It left him grasping for anything else to hold on to because he knew what he’d do to Zane if he got a handle on him.
“Zane!” he gasped again as his knees began to go weak. He wasn’t even close enough to the stairs to grip the railing.
Zane’s answer wasn’t verbal; he simply gripped Ty’s hips and pinned him to the wall as he continued his slow and methodical approach. Ty had to give Zane points for attention to detail. Classic Garrett.
“Fuck,” Ty groaned plaintively. He banged his head back against the wall. Then somewhere close, amidst the pile of clothing Zane had yanked off him, his cell phone began to ring. He distantly recognized his brother’s ringtone. “Christ, not again.”
“Do you need to answer that?”
Ty shivered all over and shook his head. No way in hell could Deuce have anything to say to him that was more important than Zane on his knees with his mouth on Ty’s dick.
“Are you sure?” Zane drawled before licking from Ty’s balls all the way to the head of his erect cock in one wet swath. “Might be important.”
Ty’s eyes fluttered shut, and he groaned desperately. “Damn you,” he gritted out. He reached for Zane’s hair and yanked at his head so he could step away from the wall and pounce on the jeans that had been tossed aside. He grabbed at the phone, then turned back to Zane with every intention of conti
Word Count: 100,000
Page Count: 370
Cover By: L.C. Chase
Series: Cut & Run
Release Date: 03/15/2014