Cut and run, p.61

Cut & Run, page 61

 part  #1 of  Cut & Run Series


Cut & Run

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Page 61


  “ ’Cause you didn’t know anything about black-market orchids?” Ty asked weakly.

  Zane’s laugh was choked, but it was still a laugh. “Allergies?” he offered, trying to dip his head to meet Ty’s gaze.

  Ty lifted his chin and made eye contact. “I still drink,” he blurted.

  “And I still smoke illegal Cubans. And I still take barmaids home and fuck them when I start thinking about you too much. ”

  The slight humor left Zane’s eyes, replaced with a carefully guarded look. He hadn’t touched a drop. He hadn’t touched a pill. He hadn’t touched a cigarette, because that was what Ty had wanted. And he couldn’t bring himself to touch anyone else. It was the only way he had to stay connected to Ty, to convince himself that Ty might still want him when they finally met again. “Is that supposed to scare me away?” he finally asked.

  “Needed you to know,” Ty answered quietly.

  Zane nodded slowly. “And what do you need to know?”

  “You still want me around?” Ty asked after a moment of consideration.

  “Yeah,” Zane said softly, not yet touching like he wanted to. “Do you still want me?”

  “Yeah,” Ty breathed, the word barely audible.

  Zane let out a pent-up breath and looked away. “Let’s get out of here,” he suggested as he reached for Ty. The sound of one of the elevator doors whooshing shut made Ty jump imperceptibly. Zane jerked his hand back, then he nodded and looked around them; he’d forgotten they were in the goddamn parking garage. “You’re going to have to check out a car or get a cab,” he said apologetically. “I’m on the bike. ”

  “I drove my truck,” Ty murmured. “I didn’t figure my new partner would want to drag me home,” he said with a slightly sly smile.

  “Damn it. I wanted to get you on the Valkyrie,” Zane muttered.

  “Not a chance in hell,” Ty answered instantly. “I got those things out of my system a decade ago. ”

  Zane rolled his eyes and stepped back. “Shit, Grady. I gave up drinking, drugs, and smoking for you. I am not giving up my motorcycle. ”

  Ty grinned slowly, a hint of the former mischief entering his eyes.

  Zane crossed his arms stubbornly, sulking.

  “Well, that’s unbecoming,” Ty murmured as he reached out and took Zane’s elbow. “Ride with me,” he suggested with a smirk that faded into a smile. “We can catch up on the ride home. ”

  “Fine. ” Zane gave a put-upon sigh and started to walk alongside him.

  “But we’re coming back for the Valkyrie. ”

  “Whatever you say, Hoss,” Ty muttered agreeably.

  Zane’s smile was big and silly. “So. Baltimore, huh? Think I can find any action there?” he asked as Ty led him to an old green and tan Ford Bronco.

  “Maybe,” Ty answered seriously. “When the Ravens lose you can find any number of drunken people wandering the streets, looking for mindless physical comfort. And the two times the O’s won last year were pretty exciting. ”

  “Are you a Ravens fan?” Zane asked as he opened the passenger side door. He paused as he looked at the passenger seat and the door that he held onto, stilled by a spark of irrational fear that caught him every time. It was why he rode the bike almost exclusively now. Logic be damned, the motorcycle felt safer than a car. “I mean, are you a … a f-football fan?” he forced out, unconsciously rubbing at his right arm as he made himself get in the truck.

  Ty glanced over as he heard the stutter. “The Ravens were named for the story by Poe, you know,” he said as he watched Zane. They both had their scars, inside and outside. He could see that now.

  Zane met his eyes and slowly relaxed. “No,” he said quietly. “I didn’t know that. ”

  “I bet there’s a lot you don’t know,” Ty told him with a small, teasing smile.

  The corners of Zane’s mouth turned up. “Yeah. There is,” he agreed.

  Once they were out on the road, Ty reached over and slid his fingers through Zane’s tentatively. His thumb rubbed absently over the wedding ring Zane still wore, then he squeezed his hand and kept his eyes on the busy road, not mentioning the ring or all the complications their new partnership might entail. Ty took his eyes off the road long enough to look over at Zane and smile crookedly. “It should be easier to sleep tonight,” he said softly instead.

  “Yeah. It will. ”

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