Cut & Run, page 51part #1 of Cut & Run Series
Ty leaned forward and his nostrils flared angrily. “Maybe there’s a lot of shit you miss with your head so far up your ass,” he snarled.
Zane just smiled, watching Ty with something that looked like pleasure mixed with hunger and a tinge of amusement.
Ty stopped short when he saw the reaction, sitting back against the headboard suspiciously. “Don’t look at me like that,” he muttered.
“Why not?” Zane asked.
“Because,” Ty huffed as he rolled off the bed and began to pace restlessly.
Zane shook his head slowly, still watching him. “Come back here,”
he tried, though he didn’t move from his sitting position on the end of the bed.
Ty shot him a dirty look and stopped pacing. He crossed his arms defiantly and pursed his lips to see what Zane would do. But the other man just waited for a moment, then patted his thigh and raised an eyebrow.
Ty snorted and looked at him incredulously. “Go fuck yourself,” he advised.
“I’d rather fuck you,” Zane drawled. Ty merely snorted stubbornly and turned to continue his pacing. Zane grinned and sprawled back on the bed. “Well, whenever,” he added, tipping his head back against the headboard to look at the ceiling.
“So is the fucking a part of your little plan, too?” Ty asked suddenly.
Zane brought his chin down and focused on Ty. “I want to fuck you, regardless,” he said. “You have any idea how far you’ve gotten under my skin?”
Again, the hairs on Ty’s arms rose and his chest tightened slightly. He shook his head wordlessly and scowled.
“Goddammit, Ty. I get a hard-on just looking at you,” Zane snapped.
“Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed. ”
Ty took an involuntary step back and blinked at Zane stupidly. “I didn’t,” he insisted and shook his head as he finally looked away.
Zane cocked his head. “Does that bother you?” he asked, voice revealing his surprise.
“No,” Ty answered defensively. “I just didn’t . . . realize. . . . ”
“Didn’t realize what?” Zane asked softly, sitting up to lean his elbows on his knees.
Ty was slowly regaining his balance, and as he did so he smiled slowly. “That you were so easy,” he answered with a smirk.
Zane chuckled and leaned back again. “Blame the hookers. ”
Ty grew serious once more and took a step closer. “Is it the same?” he asked softly.
The smile on Zane’s face dimmed. “Not even remotely close to you. ”
Ty stopped as Zane spoke and then took another step closer. “Do you have any idea,” he said in a low voice, “how far you’ve gotten under my skin?”
Zane stilled completely. “No,” he said honestly, voice low.
Ty moved closer and stood at the side of bed in front of Zane. “You should,” he murmured as he reached out and ran his fingers through Zane’s hair.
Zane’s dark eyes focused on him. “How? You don’t believe the same of me. ”
“I don’t?” Ty asked softly.
Gaze going soft, Zane reached up to touch Ty’s hand, though he didn’t interfere with its movement. “I don’t know,” he whispered.
Ty sighed softly and bent over, dropping his hands to lean on Zane’s thighs. He slid them up to rest against Zane’s hips and he knelt there, looking up at him. “The girl who called that morning at my place,” he said suddenly.
“She was so upset because I fucked her, then spent the rest of the night on the balcony with a beer and a really fucking rare cigar. Thinking about you. ”
Zane could feel his heart pounding in the quiet. He wondered if Ty could hear it. He moved his hands to rest on Ty’s forearms. “Thinking about what?” he asked quietly. “Where I was?”
“And who and what you were doing,” Ty answered with a slow nod.
“What we had done, what we should have done…. ”
“I should have…. ” Zane stopped and shook his head. “I thought about you,” he admitted.
“You should have what?” Ty pressed softly.
Zane sighed and closed his eyes. “I should have stayed,” he breathed.
“I just didn’t know how. ”
Ty watched him closely, frowning. “You couldn’t have stayed,” he finally responded.
“I know,” Zane answered. “Doesn’t mean I didn’t think about it. ”
Ty remained on his knees, frowning at Zane without anything to say.
He pulled Zane’s hand toward him and kissed the inside of his wrist impulsively. Zane’s pulse was racing, and Ty could feel it jumping under his lips. “Why are you nervous?” he whispered in confusion.
Taking a deep breath, Zane let out his greatest fear. “What if something happens to you?” It was out of left field, for sure. But it was eating at him from the inside.
Ty raised his head slightly, looking at Zane seriously as he released him. He slowly eased himself up to sit cross-legged beside the bed and rested his elbows on his knees. This all went back to Zane’s wife, he realized. It was a pretty common reaction when someone lost a person they loved; to close off and try to refuse to care or let anyone close. The bitch of it was that there was no way to guard against losing again and again.
“I can’t promise that nothing will,” he finally answered with a shrug.
Zane nodded. “I know,” he said in a pained voice. “But I still want you. ”
“So what’s the problem?” Ty asked gently.
Zane raised one shoulder in a confused shrug. “You said it: we get along best when we’re fucking. How do we make that work?”
“Not everything needs to be planned, Zane,” Ty answered with a tinge of frustration. “Not everything needs a why or how. ”
“So we just see how it goes?” Zane asked. Ty answered with a nod and smiled. Zane smiled slightly in return, the vise that had been around his chest finally eased. “I’ll try. ”
Ty reached out and patted his knee almost delicately and then hefted himself off the floor.
Zane’s hands almost itched with the need to touch Ty again, but he curled them into fists and cursed his nerves. See how it goes. Well, it wasn’t going anywhere right this moment. He clambered off the bed and walked over to his jacket, poking through the pockets for his cigarettes. Ty was watching him silently, a crooked smirk curling his lips.
Zane turned around. When he saw Ty watching, he didn’t move; he just stood there with his cigarettes in one hand and lighter in the other.
“Those things’ll kill you,” Ty advised in amusement.
Looking at Ty ruefully, Zane shook his head and flipped him off as he walked to the door. “Leave me at least one of my vices?” he requested.
Ty sighed and watched him as he reached the door. “The pills are in my bag,” he offered quietly.
Stopping at the door, Zane looked back over his shoulder at Ty. Yeah, he wanted the damn pills. Just a single thought and he was dying for them, for the artificial high and confidence he got from them. Having them around was like a burr stuck in his shirt, scraping his skin raw. He turned around. “Give them over, please,” he requested quietly.
Ty waited for a moment and then walked over to the bag to rummage through and find the tin. He held it up and rattled it, then tossed it to Zane without a word. Zane caught the tin deftly and looked down at it for a long moment. Then he moved, walking past Ty and into the bathroom, where he worked to pry the tin open. Ty lowered his head, listening intently and hoping to hear the flush of the toilet instead of the running of the water to fill a glass.
Zane stared down at the little pink pills. How big a deal was this?
They didn’t hurt anyone but him … and Ty. Zane turned his chin toward the door. Because Ty didn’t want him doing the drugs. Caught in that thought, he turned the tin over and watched the pills fall into the toilet and sink to the bottom to la
When Zane turned around, he saw Ty standing there. He took two steps and captured Ty’s mouth with his own, his hands closing gently about his face.
Ty returned the kiss with feeling, sliding his hands around Zane’s hips and pulling him closer. “Good boy,” he murmured between kisses.
enninger called promptly at nine that morning, just a few hours after Zane flushed his pills. The young agent told Ty he’d arranged to have Hone of the earlier crime scenes opened for them, because he knew how much Ty liked to go and stare, and they had to meet him as soon as possible before anyone got wind of it. He also had the personnel files for them, and there were some interesting things in there.
“Like what?” Ty asked curiously.
“Like the number of people involved with this case that were in Baltimore in 2001,” Henninger answered wryly. “You and me included, Special Agent Grady,” he added.
“Ah, fuck,” Ty muttered into the phone. “Bring them anyway, kiddo,”
he requested as he gestured for Zane to hurry and get his shit together. “We’ll see you in thirty. ”
“Yes, sir,” Henninger answered before ending the call.
As soon as the call was over, Zane and Ty scrambled, got down to their rental car in record time, and set off to drive across town to meet the other man.
Ty found himself pondering the way Tim Henninger had come through for them as he drove in the seventy-mile-an-hour traffic. He had seriously underestimated the kid. He would have to buy him dinner or something in apology.
In the passenger seat, Zane paged through a notepad of his own scribbling that he’d grabbed on the way out the door. “I’m still unhappy about the evidence missing,” he said.
“What?” Ty asked flatly.
“Different things from each case,” Zane said. “No pattern I can see.
ME supplementary notes from one. Skin scrapings from another. Time notations from a third. ”
Ty looked over at him and frowned. “And?”
“Large assumption: If he’s making a different mistake each time and managing to clean up after himself, we might be able to create additional profile information,” Zane said. “Areas he’s weak in. That’s assuming it’s all not just human error. ”
“Could be,” Ty drawled. “It’ll be like trying to see a puzzle that’s all been painted over. ”
“You can still match the edges,” Zane said distractedly as he started making notations on a yellow legal pad in his lap.
“Is there anything missing from the murders that occurred after the computer exploded?” Ty asked.
Zane flipped through his notes, frowning. “No. Why?”
“I still think he removed that shit as bait,” Ty claimed.
“I’m not convinced,” Zane muttered.
The loose papers scattered across his lap as their car was thumped hard from behind.
Ty was thrown forward with the impact, but he kept the car straight as his head jerked. He glanced into the rearview mirror and frowned at the yellow cab behind them. The windshield had been illegally tinted until you could barely see through it, and the call numbers had been removed. “Uh oh,”
Turning around in the seat, Zane tried to look as the cab hit them again, harder this time. “What the hell?” he hissed. Before they could react, the cab swerved slightly to ram the back passenger quarter panel of their car, pushing them toward the concrete median wall.
Ty tensed, his mind going blank and relying on training and instinct rather than common sense as he handled the nearly out-of-control vehicle. He watched the cab out of the corner of his eye in order to anticipate the next attack, and he kept his attention on the concrete barrier and his hands on the wheel.
Zane pulled his gun out, looking back at the looming vehicle as it hit them again, this time actually revving the engine and pushing them. The collision was hard enough to jostle them both, and Zane had to grab the door handle. Other cars in the two lanes to their left honked and swerved wildly, skidding to keep from hitting them or the wall.
“Fucker,” Ty growled. This was the fuck who’d been killing. This was the fuck who’d tried to kill them. He was sure of it. “Hold on,” he said to Zane with a dangerous glint in his eyes, and he slammed on the brakes, sending the rear end of their vehicle crashing into the front of the cab in retaliation.
Biting off a curse, Zane braced himself against the dashboard just in time with his free hand as they jerked back and forth. Ty hit the gas once more and sped up, leaving the cab lagging behind.
“Goddammit, I can’t see him,” Zane ground out, trying to get a look through the tinted windshield as the cab advanced again, pulling partway up the passenger side to knock them closer to the barrier. “The sides are blacked out, too. ”
“He wouldn’t risk being seen,” Ty said through gritted teeth as he veered the rental car into the cab with a crunch of metal and the burning stench of rubber. Whoever the man was, though, he was good with a speeding car. Instead of veering out of control, he turned the cab to meet the push, crashing the two cars together so hard that sparks flew and smoke began to churn out of the cab’s ruined grill.
“I can’t take a shot, even to take out the tires. He’ll kill somebody besides us,” Zane said sharply as the driver gunned the cab’s engine to pull up beside them on the passenger side. The driver swerved over to smash the cars together again, hitting the passenger side, pushing them within a few feet of the wall as Ty tried desperately to keep them from going out of control. Zane could see the cab gaining on his side of the car for another attempt. “He’s coming…. ”