Bastian looked at him in mild surprise. “You know perfectly well I’m bisexual. That means my options aren’t nearly as limited as yours, my friend. Come on, let’s get you home.”

My options aren’t nearly as limited. Meaning the man could indulge in the pleasures of either men or women without a care. And Michael might be straight, but he wasn’t blind — the man was pure sex and could have anyone he wanted, when he wanted.

Except me.

If anything, his annoyance increased and he couldn’t fathom why. As he eased himself into the passenger’s seat of Bastian’s snazzy little red Porsche, he chalked it up to being tired. And horny, too, with no outlet except his own fist. How depressing.

As Bastian pulled out of the parking lot and drove past the guard gate, Michael removed his iPhone from the inside pocket of his jacket. “What do you want for dinner?” Every instruction regarding the household went through Simon. The aging butler liked to know ahead of time so he could inform Mrs. Beasley, Michael’s part-time cook and housekeeper.

“Nothing. I’m going home tonight.”

The calm, quiet statement socked Michael in the gut. “What? Why?”

Bastian gave a soft laugh that sounded sad to Michael’s ears. “If you’re well enough to ditch me and go against doctor’s orders, it’s probably time for me to get out of your hair. You don’t need me hanging around anymore, cramping your style.”

“What an asinine thing to say.” What the hell? “Just a few minutes ago, you said I’d lose my marbles without you there, and you’re right. Who’ll watch TV and hang out by the pool with me? Who’ll tell stupid jokes and make me laugh? Even Simon almost cracks a smile when you’re around.”

“I’m sure you’ll get by.”

“I don’t want to get by. I want you to stay… unless you’re sick of me.” Dread balled in his stomach at the prospect of Bastian leaving. Before his friend moved in to take care of him following his release from the hospital, Michael had never realized that his sprawling estate was nothing more than a gorgeous prison with a view.

“That’s crap and you know it.” Bastian sighed. “I’m happy to stay as long as you need me. I just… don’t want to overstay my welcome.”

“Not gonna happen,” Michael insisted. “I’m asking you not to go. Please.”

A pause, then, “Okay. I’ll stay.”

The knot of tension left him in a rush, and he sagged in his seat. “So, dinner?”

“Anything. Mrs. Beasley has me so spoiled it doesn’t even matter what she cooks.”

Giddy with relief, he placed a call to Simon requesting shrimp marinara, and then closed his eyes. He wouldn’t have to face his big, lonely house without his best friend, at least not yet. The near miss brought home a startling truth: somehow, in the past few weeks, Bastian’s steady hand and unconditional friendship had become like the air Michael needed to breathe. Seeing the man’s sunny face each day, brightening his home, his life, had become some sort of critical axis on which his world revolved.

And damned if that didn’t scare the shit out of him, more so than any bullet.

A half hour later, Bastian pulled up to the security gate and typed in his personal access code. Each person authorized to come and go from Michael’s estate had his own code, and Michael’s head of security — who lived on the premises and patrolled the grounds — received a daily report of exactly when those codes were used. Every inch of the property was monitored by video, as well. However unlikely it might be for Dietz or anyone else to breach the estate, the attempt on Michael’s life had caused a definite lock-down on security.

Michael let out a breath as the gate slowly shut behind them. “Home, sweet penitentiary.”

“Only for now. Once I wipe the scum that is Robert Dietz from the earth, things can go back to normal.”

“ ‘Normal’ is relative in our line of work, but yeah. When we catch him, we’ll be able to finally relax a little.”

Bastian didn’t comment further on Dietz as he swung the sports car around to the side of the house and parked outside the four-car garage. Michael sensed a major brooding session coming on and headed it off with a suggestion as they got out and started for the house.

“You’ve been working too hard. Play hooky with me and let’s have a beer or three by the pool, take a swim.”

“God, you don’t know how tempting that is. But I’ve got reports, purchase orders to place on the new surveillance stuff, a briefing to prepare our agents who are searching for Dietz and more than a dozen other assholes on the FBI’s Most Wanted list—”

“You’re going to be the one in danger of having a heart attack instead of me if you aren’t careful.” He unlocked the side door and they stepped inside, Bastian trailing him through the laundry room and into the spacious kitchen. “I’m the boss, and I’m ordering you to take the afternoon off.”

“For totally selfish reasons.”

“So? Works, doesn’t it?”

“Fine, you win. You take any pain pills today?”

“Nope, not a one. Bring it — I’m good.”

Reaching into the fridge, his friend pulled out two bottles of beer and twisted off the tops, then handed a cold brew to Michael. “Two is your max,” he said in a firm tone. “You’re still recovering, and I’ll be damned if I put in all this effort getting your ass healed just to have you screw it up.”

“Yes, dear.”

“I’m being serious.”

“So am I.”

Bastian took a long draw on his beer, and Michael found himself transfixed by the sight of his lips wrapped around the opening, the strong column of his throat working. The way his position, leaning against the counter, stretched his dress shirt across his lean but nicely muscled chest. What the fuck am I doing?

“Um, I’m going to change,” Michael said hoarsely, backing toward the nearest escape route.

“Watcha gonna be?”

In spite of himself, Michael gave a short laugh at the lame joke. “Funny. Meet you by the pool. Bring more beer.”

Carrying his bottle with him, he practically jogged through the living room and up the stairs to his bedroom. Once there, he smacked the bottle down on the dresser, not bothering with a coaster to protect the smooth mahogany surface from a ring. Nothing mattered at the moment except tearing off his clothes before his body incinerated.

Months of forced abstinence — that’s all it was. First because of Maggie’s murder and his ensuing grief, and then because he simply couldn’t imagine being unfaithful to her memory — though she’d be the first one to object to his self-imposed loneliness.

God, he needed. So fucking bad.

Naked, he stretched out on the bed and spread his legs, cupping his balls. They were full and heavy, ripe for someone’s touch. Rolling them between his fingers, he tried to picture Maggie crouched between his thighs, the way her hair had trailed over his lap and her eyes had danced with mischief as she worked him. But using the memory of a dead woman felt wrong somehow, even though she’d been his wife, and the mirage faded, leaving him bereft and alone with his own hand.

He tried relaxing, letting his mind roam as his fingers skimmed his engorged erection. Ripples of delight skittered along his cock and he gripped it, pumping slowly from the leaking head to the base and up again. His bones melted and he became nothing but the heat lapping at his cock and balls as he stroked, increasing the pressure. Oh, so good.

Another image formed, this time of its own volition. Not a memory, but a fantasy. A beautiful redhead between his knees, her mass of hair thrown over one shoulder. Katrina. Her breasts swayed as she bobbed up and down on his cock, tongue laving the sensitive underside of his dick. She deep- throated him, buried her nose in the curls at his groin, worked him with her throat. Sucked and licked, driving him out of his mind.

“Oh yeah.” His hips thrust rhythmically, driving his cock into that hot, wet heaven. Again and again, delicious,

Вы читаете I Spy a Dark Obsession
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