Cut & Run, page 33part #1 of Cut & Run Series
“Tease,” Ty accused softly.
“Do I have your attention now?” Zane drawled.
“You never lost it,” Ty responded before thinking better of it.
Zane grinned and set each hand on a knee and slid them slowly up Ty’s thighs. “I almost like you better when you’re concussed,” he said softly.
Ty blinked at him and swallowed hard, unable to respond.
A heavy knock on the door interrupted them. Zane pushed himself up and captured Ty’s mouth in a gentle kiss before going to get the food. He left Ty sitting there, confused and slightly dazed as his head and side both throbbed.
Zane got the tray, locked the door behind him, and carried the food into the room. He popped open the Cokes, and while pulling the tops off the food containers, pulled three gel capsules out of his pocket. He split them, put the powder into one of the cans, and threw the capsules into his mouth and swallowed them, chasing them with some Coke from the other can. “Ty, come and eat,” he called out as he set Ty’s plate with the full Coke can on the sturdy metal and wood table and started unwrapping the cake.
Ty blinked at the doorway and licked his lips again. Finally, he stood carefully, waiting until he was sure that he was steady before unbuttoning and unzipping his jeans and pushing them down to his ankles. He gingerly kicked out of them. “Jackass,” he called softly as he padded out into the outer room.
As soon as the smell hit him, his mouth began to water, but it also made him slightly nauseous. It was an unusual feeling.
Zane just grinned as he sat down and took a bite of his burger.
“Compromise,” he said after swallowing. “Eat and then you can sleep. ”
“Hmph,” Ty offered as he sat opposite and licked his lips slowly.
Shrugging, Zane squeezed out some ketchup onto his plate to go with his fries and got to eating. Ty followed suit, eating his fries slowly just in case he got sick. He couldn’t manage to eat anything but the fries; just the smell of the burger made him shudder. His Coke was disgusting, but then Coke always was. Give him Dr Pepper or give him death.
Zane finished his burger and fries and sat back with the bag of Doritos, taking sips of Coke between bites. “How are you doing?” he asked, looking over at Ty.
“I’m tired,” Ty answered, annoyed, as if that should have been obvious from all the begging to nap he’d been doing.
“Fine. You’ve eaten enough if you want to lie down,” Zane said in a long-suffering tone. He dropped his bag of chips on the table and stood up.
“Your cake will just have to wait until later. ”
Ty put his half-eaten fry down and glared across the table at him.
“Why?” he asked as another shiver ran through him.
Zane frowned. “You said you were tired. Eat your cake now, if you want. I figured once I finally let up on you, you’d be in that bed in a shot. The 198
doctor said an hour or two, and. . . ,” he looked at his watch. “It’s two-ten now.
So, bed. Or I could resume where I left off,” he said, eyes flaring with heat as he smirked.
Ty glared at him for another moment before pushing out of his seat unsteadily. “I’m going to bed,” he mumbled.
Zane hovered close by as Ty walked into the bedroom and sat on the bed, and then he turned off the lights, throwing the room into quiet and shadow.
“You’re going to stay, right?” Ty asked softly, peering at Zane through the dim.
Zane sat down next to him on the bed. “Of course I am,” he said quietly, smoothing Ty’s short hair back from his face.
Ty fought the light-headed heaviness that he was unaccustomed to, and he turned his head slowly to narrow his eyes at Zane. He had Zane pegged as the type who would be out the door to do something dangerous the moment he was asleep, just to prove that he could. But just then, there was nothing Ty could do about it and he was fucking tired. He rubbed his eyes and turned away, crawling slowly up the bed and sliding under the covers as he laid his head carefully on the pillow.
Zane pulled up the sheet, face turning stony. He knew well and good that Ty would have an absolute shit fit when he figured out what Zane had done. But he’d done what he felt was right. With that kind of knock on the head, Ty absolutely had to rest, and Zane felt that he wouldn’t until he absolutely collapsed no matter how much he begged to sleep. Zane couldn’t have that—not after today. They both needed to be at the top of their game, because the stakes had just gotten a lot higher. He could trust Ty to stay in bed for at least a few hours now, and he could go and retrieve their things while the man slept.
“Don’t you leave,” Ty murmured in warning as he fought back the sleep.
Zane sighed, reconsidering. He could wait to go back to the Holiday Inn. Or he could go now, an action that would surely incense his partner beyond any hope of them even being civil to each other again. “Why are you so worried?” he asked spur of the moment. “I can handle myself. ”
“Because he’s on us,” Ty slurred in answer. “He’s ahead of us. ”
Zane nodded seriously, though his voice was light. “And here I thought you hated me. ”
“I do,” Ty murmured as his eyes closed involuntarily. Zane stared down at him for a long time before making his decision. He stood up, gave Ty one last glance, and left the bedroom.
he low whir of the air conditioner was the only sound in the well-soundproofed room. There were no crying babies or shouting couples T to be heard. The lights had all been turned out, and the drapes were closed against the morning sunlight, allowing only the faintest light to appear around the corners of the heavy fabric. Two bodies sprawled on the king-size bed.
Ty groaned softly and rolled over, burying his head under his pillow to drown out the filtered light. He jerked and pulled his head back with a gasp of pain as the pillow hit the throbbing knot on the back of his head. Suddenly hyper-alert, he pushed up onto his elbows and looked around the room in a near panic, trying to remember where he was.
Eyes blinking open as the bed tossed, Zane pushed himself up slightly. “Ty, it’s okay,” he said sleepily. “We’re at the hotel. ”
“Fuck,” Ty groaned as his head whirled unpleasantly. He pushed up onto his hands and knees and closed his eyes, then began crawling clumsily to the edge of the bed.
Zane sat up to watch him move. He hoped the other man didn’t fall off the edge of the bed and hit his head again. Zane winced at the thought. But Ty made it off the bed cleanly and staggered into the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet before he was retching violently.
Zane sighed and rubbed his face. He was screwed. With the concussion, Ty might have been sick like that. But in Zane’s experience it didn’t hit you so suddenly. Unless he was sensitive to drugs. Shit. And Zane had given him a lot. He dragged himself up and pulled on his jeans. This wasn’t going to be pretty; he could feel it in his bones.
Ty was on his knees on the expensive tile, head hanging as he panted for breath. As soon as he’d moved quickly after waking so suddenly his stomach had turned, and he’d known he was going to lose last night’s miniscule dinner. As he slumped miserably in front of the toilet, he knew that most likely there was more to this than the concussion. Zane had given him something—probably something to get him to sleep so he could go off on his own and do God knew what. His head hanging in the toilet this morning pretty much confirmed that. Ty had never handled any sort of chemicals well.
Even too much Tylenol had a tendency to make him queasy.
As soon as he was sure he wouldn’t fall over, he pulled himself to his feet and grabbed the sink counter, holding onto it as he splashed his face with water.
In the outer room, Zane’s face was grim. They had a lot to do today, including finding out who had tried to kill them. Again. Deciding not to wait, he started getting dressed. He pulled a T-shirt over his head. He wished briefly for a less shitty start to the m
“You fuckshit!” Ty called hoarsely from the bathroom.
Zane snorted. It was about what he had expected to hear. Slightly more creative.
“What did you give me?” Ty demanded angrily.
Zane’s lips twitched. “Diphenhydramine hydrochloride,” he answered, pulling socks and a long-sleeved button-up out of his duffel.
“Fucking Benadryl? What the hell, man?” Ty asked in a hoarse, incredulous voice. “Were you trying to put me in a coma?” he asked angrily.
“How much did you give me?”
“Just three capsules,” Zane answered flatly.
For Ty, three capsules was damn near an overdose. Christ, he would be twitching for weeks after this. He closed his eyes and snorted like a bull preparing to charge, trying to calm himself. “Did you get our things?” he asked in a barely controlled voice.
Zane appeared in the doorway, pulling on his holster over his shirt, and then stood there looking at him for a long moment. “No,” he said shortly before walking out to the main room.
“Get your ass back here,” Ty snarled at him as he left.
Ignoring him, Zane stopped at the low table in front of the couch and started filling his pockets. Wallet, keys, paper with phone numbers, Holiday Inn key card.
Ty turned and followed unsteadily, furious again. Zane had no fucking right to be pissed off. He watched him, waiting for him to turn around again.
Zane knew Ty was behind him. He also knew Ty was angry, but so was he. He wished Ty hadn’t got hurt, because Ty’s attitude being so reduced bothered him quite a bit. He wished now he’d gone ahead to the hotel. He might as well have had their things if Ty was going to be utterly pissed at him.
Zane turned around and looked at him, waiting.
Ty met his eyes, nostrils flaring as he tried to keep calm. He had actually trusted the fucker. Even something as small as being slipped Benadryl in his Coke was a huge deal to someone who was accustomed to having his life on the line every day. It was taking a massive effort not to overreact, and it was making his head hurt.
What hurt the most was that he still had to work with Zane—and try to trust him—even after this shit. He took a slow, deep breath. “Tell me you won’t do it again,” he requested after a long moment of silence, his voice finally calm again.
Raising a brow slowly, Zane considered. That wasn’t what he’d expected. He’d figured Ty would blast him or even take a swing at him. But would Zane dose his partner again? Knowing what he did now about how Ty would react physically, there was only one logical answer. “All right,” he said slowly. “I won’t do it again. ”
Ty was silent, waiting for more, for an apology of some sort.
“I’m going downstairs to get us some coffee and breakfast,” Zane added. With that he turned and left the room, door snapping shut behind him.
Ty was left standing in the middle of the room, confused by Zane’s anger and feeling betrayed by someone he hadn’t known he’d completely trusted.
Zane was back in twenty minutes, a white bag of food in one hand and a carafe of coffee in the other. He pulled out the key card and opened the door, making sure it shut firmly behind him. Ty wasn’t immediately visible in the suite. A brief survey of all the rooms produced nothing. On closer inspection, however, the Ty-shaped lump under the covers in the bed said that his partner had given up the fight and crawled back under his pillow.
Setting the bag and carafe on the table, Zane felt another flare of anger. Why the hell was Ty doing this? Should he take him back to the hospital? Zane didn’t figure a minor concussion would keep a former Recon Marine down, hence the sleep aid. He was starting to think Ty was seriously hurt, in which case drugging him had been a very bad idea. The anger ebbed briefly, but it was immediately replaced with worry, and then another flare of irrational anger.
Pressing his lips together, he walked through to the bedroom and stood at the side of the bed with his hands on his hips. “Ty, are you getting up or not?”
“Go fuck yourself,” came the muffled, groggy reply.
“I’m not that flexible,” Zane muttered. “You know, I really didn’t think a concussion would keep you down. Why else would I try to get you to sleep and sleep well? It’s been two times this asshole has gotten close enough to hurt us. You can’t be out of commission and vulnerable. ”
“Good thing I’m not the type to drug myself for sleep, then,” Ty’s disembodied voice responded icily from under the pillows.
“I didn’t drug myself, now did I?” Zane said just as coldly. “Get your ass up or I’m going without you. ”
“Why the fuck are you pissed off?” Ty asked in an angry, slightly slurred voice as he sat up without first removing the pillow. It flopped melodramatically to the floor, and Ty glared at Zane with narrowed eyes.
“Just tell me that. Why are you pissed at me?”
Zane pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m not angry at you,” he said, voice taut with repressed tension. “I’m angry that you got hurt so bad, okay?”
He gritted his teeth. What a fucking useless thing to have to say. Here came the pansy-ass comments again.
But Ty was silent, glowering petulantly for a moment before relaxing a little. “Well, stop taking it out on me, all right?” he finally mumbled. “I’ve got a fucking headache. ”
Sighing, Zane sat down on the edge of the bed next to him. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. He could say more, but it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.
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