“ASSHOLE!” Zeke Roswell dodged across the road, yelling at the cab that seemed bent on driving over his feet if he didn’t move fast enough. A woman walking her dog on the sidewalk stopped dead, her mouth open in shocked disapproval, but he shrugged, like, what else was he meant to do? Damn traffic! The worst of the evening rush hour should have passed by now; he’d let at least an hour pass after closing the gallery before leaving to go and meet Miles at his office. But nowadays the traffic hardly ever eased, not until the early hours of the morning. Then it all started up again as the city workers stumbled into the dawn and got back into their corporate hamster wheels, scrabbling away until another week had passed, until another million had been made. He might not follow that way for himself, but he appreciated it nowadays much better than he ever had before.
After all, he had one of those corporate animals for himself, didn’t he?
Having reached the safety of the other side of the road, he let loose a whoop and a mischievous smile. A portly old man passing by with a heavy carrier of takeout glanced at him in alarm.
God, but hadn’t Zeke hated the idea of Miles Winter, Chief Executive, and his acquisitive company? At least, before he met the man in person. That very first meeting, in the lawyer’s office where Miles had made his offer for the gallery… it had been hell on earth. Zeke had made it pretty damned obvious that he was there under sufferance, being both rude and petulant. Knowing after the event what a monster he’d been didn’t necessarily make him ashamed of his reaction. As far as Zeke had been concerned, Miles was there to rip up Zeke’s life: he was a parasite, set to snatch everything Zeke had once held dear, even if Zeke had already trashed most of it himself. And then things had changed. Over the course of time, they’d been thrown together as mismatched—and very reluctant—partners.
He’d talked to Miles about that meeting, only the other day. About how and what they’d thought of the other, face to face in that stuffy office. How Zeke wasn’t about to offer any help to the negotiations, how Miles was disturbed at meeting the especially aggressive, Zeke Roswell brand of resistance face to face. Hello oil, meet water, was how it went down.
And now? They were so very far from reluctant partners, it was laughable. Zeke actually chuckled aloud, startling a couple of arm-in-arm youngsters this time. Yeah, he and Miles had reminisced about it, hadn’t they? At least, before he’d cuffed Miles to the filing cabinet and gone down on him, and Miles… oh God, Miles had come with a concentration Zeke hadn’t ever seen in him before. Miles’s back had arched and the sounds coming from his throat had been unbelievable. When he finally spoke coherent words to Zeke, there’d been a hoarse edge to his voice that still sent goose bumps down Zeke’s spine when he brought it to mind. Which he’d like to do again, except there was still business to be done before he could relax in bed with Miles tonight. Maybe then they’d aim for a repeat performance.