Today had felt familiar and frustrating all at once. As Dennis approached the old motel room, anxiety filled him. Colin waited on the other side. It’d been a long day. With his energy completely drained from healing the rescued boy, Dennis didn’t need the hurdle of facing the one man who could turn him inside out.
His BlackBerry chimed, and Dennis shook off the fog. Colin’s text messaged wanting to know where he was. His mind wandered easily when his energy dipped severely. He felt safe with Colin; his heart might get broken, but physically he was in no danger. Colin’s interaction with the paranormal world made it hard for Dennis to let his guard down, but Colin would die before he let anything bad happen to him.
Opening the door with the key, he paused and inhaled not the musty smell of old motel dust but the delicious aroma of pepperoni pizza. His stomach knotted in hunger. Leave it to Colin to know exactly what he needed.
“They didn’t give me a separate room.” Dennis had had a futile argument with the police chief already, so he’d known that he and Colin would be sharing a room. The comment kept distance between them, exactly the way Dennis wanted it.
Colin Lockland grinned and tossed his T-shirt onto his overnight bag. Even if his ex weren’t bare-chested, Dennis would have stopped at the sight of his muscled ex-lover. His black skin glistened as he rubbed his bald head, and his brown eyes always seemed to be searching for something. The ring through one of his nipples was new. “Don’t blame me. The chief didn’t know we broke up, again. She didn’t ask me either. I had no clue she was going to bring you in on this case. The hotel is all booked up with reporters now.” He opened the pizza box and sat on the bed.
After closing the door and dropping his overnight bag in the corner, Dennis grabbed a slice and ate fast. They hadn’t worked a case together in six months. Most of the time, the cops only needed Colin’s superpsychic brain to locate a body, a missing person, or whatever. On a few occasions, Dennis got called in to help. His healing gifts and psychic skills focused on feelings more than facts. Tapping into people’s emotions when all hope seemed lost was where he excelled, but it didn’t rate high in police work.
“Don’t be pissed. They’re used to you on a case with me. The chief bugged me about you on my last two. I told her you needed to get paid or you weren’t coming. On this one, they needed you enough to cough up the cash.” Colin shrugged.
Nodding, Dennis took another slice. Money played no part, but it allowed him to distance himself. He couldn’t turn down this case. The missing boy survived cruel treatment for over a week, kept in a cage in a closet and brutalized. Colin had the vision of where, but to get the kid to come out so they could treat him proved harder. Kids learned quickly, and this one had lost all trust in adults he didn’t know. Today Dennis connected and helped the boy, but it had an emotional cost. “I’ll sleep for a week.” He grabbed one of the two bottles of Coke on the nightstand. Eyeing the one king-size bed in the room, Dennis knew they’d found trouble tonight.
Then Colin dipped into Dennis’s thoughts. Dennis could always tell when he did by the soothing sensation that filled him. He felt too exhausted to be annoyed or even to mentally swat Colin away. They’d endured so much that it felt comfortable to have Colin there. Most of the time, they kept thoughts private, and Dennis could block him easily, but not tonight.
“You can drive back to Chicago tonight if you want. Only two hours.” Colin patted the bed.
They both knew Dennis wasn’t that crazy. “I’d pass out. It’s three a.m. I hate when they do that standoff crap. The criminal knows he’s going to jail or going to die. Pick one and get it over with.” Dennis gave in and sat on the bed next to the pizza box.
Colin’s devilish eyes called to him. “We needed you. That kid will recover faster and be less traumatized because of you.”
“You found him.” Dennis shrugged off the compliment. He hated police work. His psychic skills only brought him to the worst cases. Tonight they’d had the FBI, two different police department jurisdictions, and more backup than he’d ever seen in attendance. Plus reporters! Dennis didn’t care for an audience. He and Colin agreed on that at least.
“The police like me better when you’re around.” Colin ran a hand over Dennis’s tense shoulder. “You ground me and even me out. Helps me focus, and I’m not such a single-minded jerk to them.”
Dennis couldn’t hide a smile. “We work well together, but we’ve tried it before.” The issues wouldn’t disappear because of one fun night or one tense one, no matter how much he longed for Colin.
“I didn’t say anything about getting back together.” Colin’s hand moved up to Dennis’s hair. “You’re filthy and exhausted. Let’s hop in the shower and get you recharged.”
Some men would’ve taken Colin’s comment as a euphemism for sex, but he was being very literal. “I’m not taking your energy. You’ve been up and working as long as I have. I don’t need it.” Dennis barely had the energy to psychically nudge Colin back.
“Like hell. You poured all you’ve got into that kid and you look like shit.” Colin pulled Dennis closer. “You couldn’t fight off a puppy.”
Colin got up and tugged on Dennis’s hands until he stood. Dennis gave in physically, knowing Colin could handle his weight and then some. Colin grew up on Chicago’s South Side in the area where kids went to jail, joined a gang, or left completely. They didn’t turn out gay and psychic. When Dennis met Colin, Colin lived on the down low, claiming to like women but sleeping with men. The denial confused Dennis, but Colin’s need to fight paranormal creatures that preyed on the helpless intrigued him.
Colin’s familiar touch electrified every bit of Dennis’s skin. More than anything, Dennis wanted to kiss and hold Colin. What kept them apart wasn’t love or fidelity or any of the usual issues. Dennis couldn’t even focus on the complex history that brought them here. He couldn’t focus on anything as Colin stripped him naked and led him to the bathroom.
“I’m okay.” Dennis leaned on the cold tile wall as Colin turned the shower full blast and removed his own clothes. The sight of Colin naked, all hard muscles and dark intentions, made Dennis’s cock awaken. He toyed with the nipple ring, and Colin pressed for more.
“Sure, you’re great. I could have you any way I want ten times, muscle man, and you couldn’t fight back if you wanted to.” Colin closed in as his hands rubbed over Dennis’s tense body.
Health, good energy, and balance—that’s what Dennis loved about Colin. Dennis worked out and loved how fit and healthy Colin kept himself. Using his powers to help people beat disease and injury… Dennis got immense satisfaction from it. Colin’s work tended toward the more dangerous end. Why couldn’t they fit? Dennis shook his head. “Don’t.”
Colin kissed him, and Dennis thanked whatever powers ruled the universe that Colin didn’t listen. The sexual energy Colin sparked in Dennis infused him, but it was only a start. Dennis couldn’t deny the weakness.
Not breaking the kiss, Dennis followed Colin into the hot shower. The water helped his body, and Colin’s strength and touch eased his mind. Colin pressed Dennis back to lean on the wall. “I missed you,” Colin whispered.
“Me too, but we can’t…” Dennis tried to open his eyes.
“Don’t. Don’t think or argue. You’ll kill yourself if you don’t relax and let someone help you for a change. We need to get cleaned up, and you need energy.” He pressed chest to chest, that little ring grinding between them, and all the way down. Rubbing cock to cock deepened the energy and connection, but the tease of their tangling legs fueled an intimate desire.
Dennis held on, his palms flat against Colin’s shoulder blades. The heat Colin’s body produced pulled Dennis in until he rested his forehead to his ex-lover’s.
Colin knew how to project his energy and let it flow so Dennis had to do nothing but receive. Energy, life force—whatever people called it—was real. Some people naturally projected positive energy, and that attracted people. Other individuals sucked energy, and people near them felt the fatigue. Most people handled their energy unconsciously, but when focused, energy could be very powerful.
Dennis had never felt more grateful for the man he loved. If Colin could stick to helping humans, Dennis would never let him go. Colin was the only one Dennis trusted to help him balance out his energy. He couldn’t help the vulnerability; he hated it.
“Drink it in,” Colin urged.
Colin’s use of the word “drink” set off red flags that rekindled Dennis’s tension. “I’m not a damn vampire.” He hated using Colin like this, even though it caused Colin no pain or harm.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. At the worst, you’re a psychic vampire. You give and receive, just energy though. Stop fighting it. Vamps aren’t all bad.” Colin kissed his neck and teased Dennis with his teeth. “You like it when I bite you in some places.”
“No, you know how that bugs me.” If Dennis possessed his full strength, they’d be in a fight about Colin’s connections to the underworld, the whole dark scene that Dennis avoided. The saga, a pointless rerun, served no purpose at the moment. Vampires remained a part of Dennis’s history, a dark part he tried to repress and avoid.
Now Colin nuzzled Dennis’s neck instead. “Is there a clinical term for vampire-phobic? Believe me, humans can be much worse.”
Dennis ignored the question and pushed against Colin to suck the energy from him. They understood each other’s limits, and Dennis could never hurt the man he still loved. He’d die first. Yet his history suggested otherwise. “I need you,” he whispered.
“I know.” Colin put out more energy as the ego stroke fueled him. Their psychic connection snapped back to full strength the minute they were near each other. His cock rubbed Dennis’s, and Dennis felt the warm glow as he grew harder. Taking a deep breath, Dennis felt his energy return. Sexual hunger consumed him. Dennis pushed Colin back and started to kneel.
“No, I’ve got to clean you up first.” Colin reached for a bar of soap.
Dennis knelt, refusing to let Colin guide things further. The mythical theory of a man’s power being in his cum tempted him. Or was it just the need for Colin’s flavor after six months apart? It didn’t matter. “I need this.” Dennis licked over Colin’s erection and down to his sac. He’d felt tortured every night they spent apart. They belonged together but couldn’t get their worlds to mesh without explosions.
Rubbing up the shaft in firm, circular motions, Dennis felt Colin give in. Two years of off- again, on-again made them appreciate each other every time they were on. Dennis knew all Colin’s buttons and quirks, yet the need for him never lessened. The bar of soap clattered to the floor as Colin thrust against Dennis’s lips. Sucking the precum from the tip, Dennis held on to Colin tightly with strength restored and lust ignited by the man he’d been avoiding.