(Putting this one under a cut, guys.)
She pushed her fingers a little farther over, so they brushed the tip of his erection. His stomach muscles twitched, a tiny shiver that transmitted itself to her so she shivered, too. Just as when she’d walked in and seen him talking to Chloe she’d had some rush of animalistic possessiveness and anger—like a child whose toy was in danger of being taken away, at least she imagined that’s how kids who got toys felt—so that shiver, the small sound she knew he made even though she couldn’t hear it over the instruments tuning in the background, set off another kind of primal flood in her system. One just as violent, just as needy. But a fuck of a lot more enjoyable, though probably still not a great idea to indulge in the middle of a public place.
It was that thought that made her pull away—she kept her hand where it was, because what better place could it possibly be at that moment, but she broke the kiss and leaned her head back to look at him. “Don’t you have some sort of meeting you have to go to in a couple of minutes?”
Dark greed lurked behind his eyes; she caught a flash of it before he pushed himself away from the wall. His fingers around her wrist tugged her along with him to the bar, where he shoved open an unmarked door and pulled her through it.
A storeroom—well, kind of a storeroom. To her left was a wall of metal bars fastened by numerous chains, padlocks, and deadbolts, behind which were cases of beer. In front of her was a low steel cage with a couple of kegs inside, also locked with a spiderweb of heavy chains and padlocks.
And the reason for all that security was to her right. Some very determined long-ago thieves had either cut through the wall or taken a door off its hinges; she’d seen the hole before, and the bars behind it and the few remaining pieces of dry splintery wood trying desperately to shield the bars, when she passed it in the hall, but hadn’t really realized what they led to. Or, she hadn’t given a damn, because why would she?
The only light in the room came through that hole, too, a dim wash over all of the metal cages and bars, occasionally blotted out as people walked past on their way down the hallway.
That hallway where they’d first kissed, eight months before. Hard to believe it was eight months. Just as hard to believe that she’d ever be able to look back at that night without a pang of regret, a twinge of shame. One day maybe they wouldn’t slap her across the face every time she thought of it, but really, she was never able to look back at anything else in her life without those two emotions ganging up to remind her of the many ways she failed as a human being, so she wasn’t holding her breath.
The one thing that made it bearable, though, was the fact that no matter how badly she’d fucked up that night—and, oh she had—he was there with her now, and he loved her, and he grabbed her by the hips and yanked her to him, almost bending her over backwards as he kissed her hard. His warm hands snaked up under the hem of her shirt to caress her bare skin, squeezing it, squeezing her to him so she could hardly breathe.
Breathing was overrated. Together they spun around, stumbling to the keg-cage until it hit the small of her back. The cold steel would have shocked her if she hadn’t been so focused on the feel of his mouth against hers, his body against hers, and if he hadn’t lifted her so her ass rested on the cage and he could shove himself between her legs to press against her.
What she couldn’t ignore, though, was the sound of voices in the hall, a burst of loud laughter outside that reminded her—or pointed out to her—that she and Terrible stood right in the spotlight, as it were.
His head turned toward it; without hesitating he hoisted her up and carried her to the far end of the cage, into the corner near the bars, out of the light where they couldn’t be seen.
Much better. She shoved his shirt up out of the way so she could spread her fingers over his stomach, his broad chest, the thick hair and rough scars, the smooth skin hot under her palms. Then it was hot against her own stomach and chest, because he yanked her shirt up over her head—she had to take her hands off him—and dropped it somewhere; she didn’t give a shit where, especially not when his lips and teeth found her throat, when his palms found her breasts and slid over her nipples. Her back arched into them, but he was already moving on, nimble fingers running down her stomach to open her jeans, insinuating themselves under the waist of her panties then around to her back where they dug into her behind.
Noises still drifted into the room, but she didn’t notice them anymore. Her attention was way too focused on the heat pounding through her body, the way her chest rose and fell with her panting breaths, the way even the single hard tug she gave his belt buckle to open it took too long and the way her hands shook as she did the same to his jeans. She forced her hand inside, grasped his cock hot and hard in her palm as he kissed her again.
He gasped against her mouth; his teeth caught her tongue, biting down just hard enough to let her know what her touch was doing to him. That was a thrill, too, another wild explosion of savage joy in her soul, one that fit right in with the unfocused nature of her thoughts, the desperation in her racing blood and the buzzing between her legs.
The buzzing that demanded satisfaction. She pushed his jeans down, pushed his boxers down, started to lower her feet to the floor so she could get her own jeans off, but he had other ideas. Instead of pulling away completely he spun her around. His hands forced hers onto the cage, far enough out so she was slightly bent over, and his fingers tightened on her wrists, gave them an emphatic little shove, so she understood he wanted her to keep them there. She drew in a single, shuddering breath as her jeans and panties fell and his foot kicked hers outward until they couldn’t go any farther apart.
The his hands disappeared. She bit her lip, standing there, anticipation sending throbs through her entire body. Waiting. Wondering what he would do next and knowing she had no say in it, that she’d given up control of the situation. Knowing that even in the darkness of the corner he could see her, that he was looking at her bare skin.
Seconds passed. She clutched at the cage, bracing herself, her breath loud and harsh in her ears. Through the hole in the wall she saw heads pass by, people only ten or fifteen feet away but unable to see her. Unaware she could see them. She was so tense, her body practically vibrated, her muscles aching from frustration.
His fingers slipped between her legs, unerringly finding the right spot, unerringly using just the right pressure. She couldn’t stop the cry that escaped her lips, even though she tried; couldn’t keep it from being loud enough that someone overhearing it was a definite possibility.
And she couldn’t really give a damn, either, because he didn’t stop touching her, didn’t change the rhythm or pressure, and just as her legs started to buckle he thrust into her and sent her flying.
This time when she cried out his hand clamped over her mouth, muffling the sound and pulling her head back, exposing her throat to his lips just like the rest of her was exposed to him—just like she’d always been exposed to him. His bare chest burned against her back; his fingers urged another explosion from her before they shifted to her hip, lifting it so she had to stand on her tiptoes, changing the angle at which he drove into her.
He gasped her name, once, like a promise in the darkness. The room swirled and spun around them. He changed his grip from her mouth to the top of her head, clutching at her, biting her throat, his hips moving faster. She started to reach back to touch him but he caught her wrist almost before she could lift it, and slammed it back down. She was completely at his mercy.
Faster now, and faster, hard straight thrusts that forced tiny sounds from her no matter how hard she tried to be silent. He let go of her forehead to hold her hip with his left hand so his right could go back to where it would do the most good, and she didn’t care about being quiet anymore because he didn’t seem to, either. His head fell back from her neck and he stiffened, swelling inside her, and she shattered for the last time right after him.
His arms wrapped around her waist; she felt his lips brush her shoulder before he rested his head on it, his thick muttonchop sideburn rough-soft on her skin and his slowing breath warm.
Afterglow was awesome, but her legs ached from being on tiptoe for so long. With a sigh of regret she dropped her heels, straightened her back, and he fell away from her enough to let her stand and pull her clothing back into place while he did the same.
She’d just finished adjusting her shirt—retrieved from the top of the cage—when he bent to kiss her again. Softer, slower, with his left hand on her neck and his right resting lightly on her waist, but still enough to tell her that he wished they had more time. That she mattered to him.
“I guess you really do have to go,” she said when he pulled away.
“Aye.” The regretful tone in his voice made her feel a little better—well, really, just seeing him had made her feel better, but the Cepts and the sex had pretty much chased away any remaining shit from her day. But the regretful tone helped keep it all away a little longer, as did his hands playing with hers, and that was nice. “You heading to you new case later? Do you break-in an all?”
“Want to come with me?” Technically it was against the rules for her to take him along, but at that point she really didn’t give a shit. She was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to—she was pretty much certain he wouldn’t—but if he could, she wanted him to.
Sure enough, he shook his head. “Ain’t thinkin I get home much before light, neither.”
She might as well head to the Randall place, then, at least once it got late enough. There wasn’t much point in getting there at ten at night when they wouldn’t be asleep yet. Unless, of course, they were like Dana, who spooned down some organic-yogurt-and-smug before bedding down with the sunset, or whatever.
That was mean. So what.
“Whyn’t you text me,” he said. “Afore you get home from it. Maybe I get done earlier, dig.”
She nodded. That would be something to look forward to.
Or she could skip the Randall place entirely, visit the piperoom instead, lounge on a velvet sofa and disappear into a soft golden cloud of Dream smoke. She hadn’t done that in a while, actually, and it sounded way better than working her stupid fucking case.
His palm cupped the back of her head and pressed it to his chest, while his free arm wrapped around her. “Been missin you,” he said quietly. “Feels like I ain’t seen you in weeks.”
She looked up, opened her mouth to reply, but before she could the door burst open, and Chloe stood there, her silhouette limned in scarlet from the bar behind her. Chess had managed to forget about her, had almost managed to forget where they were.
“There you are,” Chloe said, in one of those wounded little accusatory voices. Like she had some claim on Terrible’s time. “I’ve been looking everywhere. We have to go.”