Trick Roller (Seven of Spades, #2)
It’s the height of summer in Las Vegas. Everyone believes the serial killer Seven of Spades is dead—except Levi Abrams and Dominic Russo—and it’s back to business as usual. For Levi, that means investigating a suspicious overdose at the Mirage that looks like the work of a high-class call girl, while Dominic pursues a tough internship with a local private investigator. The one bright spot for both of them is their blossoming relationship.
But things aren’t so simple. Soon Levi is sucked into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, even as his obsession with the Seven of Spades intensifies. Dominic knows that Levi isn’t crazy. He knows the Seven of Spades is still out there, and he’ll do anything to prove it. But Dominic has his own demons to battle, and he may be fighting a losing war.
One thing is certain: the Seven of Spades holds all the cards. It won’t be long before they show their hand.
Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes:drug use, explicit violence
Caution: The following details may be considered spoilerish. Click on a label to reveal its content.
"So it's late, the girls have been in bed for a while, and I'm nodding off myself." Dominic set his fork and knife on his empty plate and dropped his napkin on top. "I ended up falling asleep in front of the TV."
Across the small table, Levi was leaning back in his chair, as casual and relaxed as he ever got — which was to say not very. His keen gray eyes were intent on Dominic's face.
"I woke up with the sense that something wasn't right," Dominic said, continuing his story about babysitting his two young nieces. "Then I heard this kind of quiet, secretive giggling. And let me tell you, the last thing you want to hear when you wake up confused in the dark in a strange house is the sound of giggling children. Brings back the memory of every horror movie you've ever seen."
The corner of Levi's mouth tilted — a half smile that was for him what a broad grin would be for anyone else. Dominic took a moment to drink in the sight of it.
"But my mind cleared pretty quick, and I heard some sort of wet slapping noise on top of the giggling. I jumped up and ran to the girls' room. Vinnie and his wife shop at Costco, and for God knows what reason, they'd bought this five-gallon jug of olive oil — "
"Oh, no," Levi said, his eyes widening.
"Yeah. Those two little miscreants had snuck out of bed, dragged the jug from the pantry to their bedroom, and dumped the oil out all over the carpet. They'd created their own Slip 'N Slide."
Levi laughed quietly, and Dominic thrilled at the sound. Over the past few months, it had become his personal mission to make Levi laugh as often as possible. Levi was naturally solemn — not joyless, not by a long shot, but one of the most serious people Dominic had ever met. Bringing a smile to his face was a worthy feat in itself; getting him to laugh out loud was a deep source of pride.
"I almost didn't want to stop them, because they were having the time of their lives. But responsibility won out in the end. I managed to get them both cleaned up and most of the oil off the walls and the furniture. The carpet had to be ripped out and replaced, though." Dominic made a flourishing gesture with his hands. "And that's why I'm currently on babysitting probation."
His face still alight with amusement, Levi drank the last sip of his Boulevardier, the bourbon cocktail Dominic had introduced him to. He ordered one whenever he and Dominic went somewhere with a full bar, though half the time Dominic had to explain to the server or bartender in question how to make it.
"I don't know if I would have done any better," he said. "I'm terrible with children."
"You're great with Martine's kids," said Dominic, referring to Levi's fellow homicide detective and closest friend.
"They're teenagers. That's different. I have a young niece and nephew myself, and I don't know how to interact with them at all. Then again, I barely ever see them."
Levi shrugged. "I don't like going back to New Jersey, and my sister doesn't want to bring them to Vegas."
They both fell silent as their server approached to clear their plates. "Any dessert tonight, gentlemen?" she asked.
Dominic hesitated and glanced at Levi.
"Get dessert," Levi said. "You know you want to. I'll have coffee."
After their server left, Dominic sat back in his chair with a warm sense of contentment. They were at Grape Street Café in downtown Summerlin, and on a Saturday night, there wasn't a single open table in the contemporary, brick-lined dining room. The food had been great, the company incomparable.
His eyes traveled over the man in front of him. Levi had a narrow, wiry build, his clothes concealing most of the incredible, lean musculature carved by over a decade of intense dedication to Krav Maga. He'd been growing out his curly black hair a bit, and his razor-sharp bone structure gave him a hollow-cheeked look that Dominic adored.
Levi lifted an eyebrow. "You're staring."
"You're gorgeous," said Dominic.
There it was — the slight blush spreading across Levi's cheeks as he turned his face aside with an eye roll and a tiny smile, embarrassed and pleased in equal measure. It was one of Dominic's favorite expressions on him.
They'd been dating for three months now, and the more time they spent together, the more fascinated Dominic became. He could admit that he was the type of person who relished a challenge, and Levi . . . Levi was a storm of intriguing contradictions, cool on the outside and boiling hot within, aggressive as fuck in certain situations and painfully shy in others. He was intelligent and driven and, every now and then, so unselfconsciously sweet that it made Dominic's chest hurt.
He'd never felt like this about anyone.
His dessert arrived along with Levi's double espresso. Dominic watched him drink it, knowing he would have ordered a triple if he'd thought the restaurant would serve it to him.
"Sure you don't want a bite?" Dominic asked, offering a forkful of profiteroles drowning in dark chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream.
Levi eyed the fork askance. "I don't really have a sweet tooth."
"I know," Dominic said, and grinned. "I kind of hate that about you."
Levi gently kicked Dominic's shin under the table, then left his foot there, pressed up against Dominic's.
A short time later, they stood on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, sweltering in the oppressive summer heat while they waited for the valet to bring Levi's car around. Side by side, their physical differences were more pronounced. Levi was a tall man, just an inch under six feet, but Dominic was still half a foot taller. He was more heavily built as well, his muscles thick and brawny whereas Levi's were lean and compact.
Dominic slid an arm around Levi's waist and bent to kiss him, not caring that they were in public. Most people — sober people, anyway — tended to avoid starting shit with a man his size no matter how homophobic they were, and anyone who thought Levi would make an easier target was in for a nasty surprise.
When he started to pull back, Levi surprised him by catching the lapel of his dinner jacket and keeping him close.
"It's been three months," Levi said, his voice pitched low. "Don't you think we've waited long enough?"
Dominic drew a deep breath. "You want to . . ."
"I want to spend the night with you."
Levi had left Stanton Barclay, his boyfriend of three years, only the day before he and Dominic had slept together for the first time. They'd agreed to take things slow from that point on, so that Levi would have time to grieve his lost relationship without the complication of jumping headlong into a new one right off the bat.
Despite their best intentions, they hadn't been able to quite keep their hands off each other in the weeks that followed. A few memories in particular stood out in Dominic's mind — dry humping like teenagers on the couch in Levi's new apartment, jerking each other off in Dominic's kitchen when they were supposed to be cooking dinner, Levi sucking his cock in the front seat of his pickup. That last had been made ten times more exciting by the fact that Levi was a cop.
There were two firm lines they hadn't crossed since April, however — no overnights and no penetrative sex.
Dominic had gone too long without responding. Levi let go and stepped away, a flicker of hurt and confusion crossing his face before it went blank. "You don't want to?"
"Oh, I want to," Dominic said honestly. God, did he want to. "That's not even in question. I just want to make sure you're ready for this." He had doubts that three months was long enough to move past a serious relationship — but then, he'd never been in one of those himself, so what the hell did he know?
"Dominic." Levi took his hand. "I want to be with you, move forward with you. I don't want there to be any barriers between us anymore. I'm ready for that if you are."
His expression was earnest, his voice sincere. After a moment's consideration, Dominic reeled him back in and kissed him again.
"All right," he said. "Let's go to my place."
Once the decision had been made, the half-hour drive across the city was pure torture. Dominic wrestled out of his jacket the moment they were inside the car. He hated wearing the thing even when it wasn't a billion goddamn degrees out, and the anticipation of fucking Levi again only had him running hotter.
Seeing Levi's self-control disintegrate, hearing his loud cries of pleasure, feeling that impossibly tight ass working his cock . . . Dominic was going to experience all that again, only this time with the advantage of knowing Levi so much better and caring about him so much more. His heart was already pounding.
Levi drove too fast and not a little recklessly. In record time, they arrived at Dominic's apartment building, a three-story concrete U shaped around a central courtyard with a community pool. Dominic let Levi precede him up the stairs and watched his round ass bouncing in his trousers all the way up to the second floor.
His dog Rebel, a German Shepherd–Rottweiler mix, awaited him just inside the door, sitting at attention with her ears pricked up. She stood and wagged her tail happily as Dominic crouched to greet her.
"I'm gonna take Rebel for a quick walk," he said to Levi. "Make yourself at home."
Levi nodded, stripping out of his own jacket as he headed for the living room.
Dominic and Rebel made a short circuit of the building's perimeter. Ordinarily, he enjoyed taking her on a long, leisurely stroll at night, using it as an opportunity to unwind from the stress of the day. Tonight, though, he hurried her along, anticipation building in his gut and itching beneath his skin.
The moment they reentered the apartment, he unclipped Rebel's leash and called out for Levi.
"In the bedroom!" Levi shouted back.
After stopping in the kitchen to grab a couple of bottles of water, Dominic backed into the bedroom, shooing Rebel away and apologizing to her even as he shut the door in her indignant face. Then he turned around and promptly fumbled one of the bottles, grabbing it with his free hand in a last-second save.
Levi had turned down the covers and was stretched out naked in Dominic's bed, jerking himself off.
"You said I should make myself at home," he said. His smirk was slightly undercut by the breathlessness of his voice.
Dominic moved to the side of the bed as if in a daze and set the water bottles on the nightstand without looking. He heard one of them roll off and thump onto the floor, but he couldn't have given less of a shit.
Levi's nude body always put him in mind of a jungle cat, lithe and graceful and undeniably powerful. Mesmerized, he reached out.
Levi pushed his hand away before he made contact. "No touching until you take your clothes off."
That got Dominic's ass in gear. He fished the lube out of the nightstand drawer and tossed it to Levi, then stripped as fast as he could. By the time he climbed onto the bed, Levi's cock and balls were slick with lube, and Levi was sliding a finger inside himself.
They rolled around in the sheets for a few minutes, kissing passionately and rutting against each other, all hands and mouths and rolling hips. That wasn't going to be enough for either of them tonight, though, and it wasn't long before Levi guided Dominic's hand where he wanted it.
Levi was even tighter than he remembered. He tried to take it slow, work Levi open gradually, but Levi was having none of it. Helpless against the combination of whispered demands and Levi's eager, arching body, Dominic found himself three fingers deep in Levi's ass within minutes, lavishing kisses against his sweat-damp throat.
The first and only time they'd done this, Dominic had taken Levi from behind; he wanted it face-to-face this time. Levi made no objections when Dominic spread him out on his back and knelt between his legs, lifting his hips to prop his ass on Dominic's own thighs. He just gazed up at Dominic with flushed cheeks and swollen lips, looking like sex incarnate.
Dominic rolled on a condom and draped Levi's legs over his arms, but he was distracted from his goal by the mouthwatering jut of Levi's prominent hip bones. He circled them with his thumbs, knowing how sensitive Levi was there.
Levi jerked against him and mewled like a kitten. Once he recovered, he thumped his heel against Dominic's shoulder and said, "What are you waiting for? Come on."
Smiling, Dominic lined himself up and pushed forward. Just like last time, Levi's tense body refused to take more than the first inch or so of his sizeable cock. He pulled out and pushed back in, managing to get a bit deeper on the second stroke.
He went on like that with slow, careful thrusts, easing his way inside. Beneath him, Levi was biting his lip, one hand on the headboard and the other squeezing his own cock as it dripped pre-come all over his stomach.
Levi might not like to admit this, but Dominic knew a size queen when he saw one, and he'd noticed how Levi's eyes glazed over and his mouth went slack every time he got a hand on Dominic's cock. Right now, Levi's trembling muscles and quiet moans made it clear how much he was struggling to convince his tightly wound body to accept what he so desperately needed.
"You gonna let me in?" Dominic asked. Then, remembering what had worked last time, he gentled his voice and said, "Gonna let me take care of you?"
Levi groaned, and his body relaxed a few degrees. Dominic alternated rocking and circling his hips, letting Levi get used to the thick girth of his shaft as he pressed gradually deeper. It felt fantastic, Levi snug and scorching hot around him.
"God," Levi said. He released his cock to grip at his hair instead. "Do you have any idea how much I need this? It's been three months. A dildo just isn't the same."
Dominic paused. "What?"
"I mean, it's better than nothing, but it can't compare to a real cock."
Dominic expelled a noisy breath. His brain was flooded with images of Levi sprawled out on his bed, pumping a dildo in and out of his needy ass, maybe thinking about Dominic while he did it —
"Are you trying to give me a stroke?" he said, his voice strangled.
Levi scowled at him like he didn't know exactly what he was doing, the teasing bastard. "I'm trying to get you to fuck me," he said haughtily. "But so far I'm not having much success. Maybe I should change tactics."
Dominic was still wondering what that meant when Levi braced both hands against the headboard, tightened his legs against Dominic's arms, and lifted his back off the bed and his ass off Dominic's thighs. Using those two opposite points of tension for leverage, he maneuvered himself back and forth on Dominic's cock.
His mouth falling open, Dominic stared at the rippling muscles in Levi's abdomen. He automatically moved his hands to Levi's lower back, but Levi was supporting most of his own bodyweight, holding himself up with his shoulders just barely grazing the mattress like he was in the fucking Cirque du Soleil.
Levi was much less patient than Dominic. He drove himself onto Dominic's cock, forcing himself to take it, cursing and moaning the whole time.
"Shit," Dominic said. He started thrusting again, finally bottoming out. "Levi . . ."
"Give me more, come on — "
Dominic gave in and snapped his hips the way they both wanted him to.
"Yes," Levi gasped. He released the pose he'd been holding, dropping back to the bed and Dominic's thighs. "Like that, Dominic, do it, do it — "
Dominic fucked him in a flurry of short, shallow thrusts, working his prostate over until Levi was crying out nonstop. Then he tossed Levi's legs over his shoulders, leaned forward on his hands, and screwed him deep and hard, surrendering to the urge to just fucking ravage the beautiful man writhing underneath him.
The headboard banged repeatedly against the wall — the wall he shared with Carlos and Jasmine, and there was no way they could miss the racket Levi was making. He'd buy them doughnuts or something tomorrow to make it up to them, because he wasn't stopping now.
He was gripped with the sudden need to kiss Levi, to have that second point of connection while inside him. Levi was flexible enough for them to kiss like this, but given their size difference, it still wouldn't be comfortable.
Instead, Dominic hauled Levi up onto his lap as he sat back on his heels. Levi yelped at the change in position.
"Ah, fuck, that's deep," he said, clinging to Dominic's shoulders. His fingernails dug in, sending a shiver of pleasure-pain down Dominic's spine.
Dominic shoved him against the headboard and fucked up into him, his pace every bit as relentless as before. "You like that, don't you, baby?" he growled, half out of his mind with the clutch of Levi's body around him. "Like taking my cock deep, getting fucked hard?"
Challenge sparked in Levi's eyes. He threaded his fingers through Dominic's thick hair and tugged with enough force to make Dominic moan. "Yeah, I like it," he said raggedly. "Love your big cock inside me, filling me up — "
Dominic seized his mouth in a savage kiss. Levi responded in kind, and it was vicious, as much teeth as lips and tongue. When he felt Levi tensing with approaching orgasm, he grabbed Levi's cock and pumped it in time with his aggressive thrusts.
Moments later, Levi screamed into Dominic's mouth as he came. His body shuddered, his phenomenally tight hole clenching and releasing around Dominic's cock in a breathtaking rhythm. Come splashed hot and messy over Dominic's fist and both their stomachs.
Levi slumped in his lap, his head dropping to Dominic's shoulder. Dominic didn't let up, straining toward his own climax, so close —
Levi's mouth roamed over his shoulder and the side of his neck, covering him with hot, open-mouthed kisses. Then Levi bit down on the juncture of his neck and shoulder and sucked hard.
Dominic shouted out loud, smacked his hand against the headboard, and rose up on his knees, burying his cock to the hilt in Levi's ass as orgasm swept through him. His hips hunched with every euphoric pulse until he was completely drained.
Dazed, he lowered himself back to his heels, Levi still straddling his lap and impaled on his cock. When Levi lifted his head, Dominic brushed a stray curl off his forehead and cupped his cheek, awash in tenderness.
Levi had a soft smile on his face; he was all but glowing. "That's gonna leave a mark," he said, grazing his fingers over Dominic's neck.
"Good," Dominic said, and kissed him again.