Chapter One


THE PREMATURE ejaculation of a Second of July firecracker exploded out of the night. Without a backward glance, Beach stepped from the steam of a Baltimore summer into Grand Central and took a deep breath of sweat, spilled booze, and sweet, sweet testosterone. The opportunity for a nameless fuck on the nearest convenient surface was one of the reasons Beach loved having sex with men. Women were not without their charms, though the maybe/maybe-not dance could get tiresome. But men, especially the men who came to Grand Central, weren’t there for that kind of dance.

After waving over the bartender, Beach paid for a local bottled beer he would be scrupulously obedient about not drinking and scanned the sparse weeknight offerings. He knew exactly what he wanted—or at least, he would when he saw it. He could never say for sure what would catch his eye. All he knew was he had to find it.

Tonight more than usual.

His gran always said Beach had ants in his pants when he fidgeted, unable to keep still or hide his boredom at being stuck anywhere for any length of time.

And stuck he was. In Baltimore. Until his lawyer managed to work a deal with the DA over something that had created far more inconvenience for Beach than it had for any of the birds on the sanctuary he’d allegedly trespassed on.

But the trapped feeling wasn’t all that had pushed him out the door tonight. He was looking to forget the voicemail he’d gotten while in the shower.

Hope you’ll take some time during celebrating the Fourth to think about your old man spending his twenty-fifth year in exile from his country.

As if Beach could avoid thinking about his father, when an effort to bring him home had taken him to the bird sanctuary and was the whole reason why Beach now possessed a cane and custom-fitted ankle jewelry courtesy of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

And this jittery sensation that he had to do something right now or come out of his skin.

The itch burned like an infection in his blood, a desperate fever heat. Without any chemicals to take the edge off, not even a sip of beer, it was impossible to ignore.

But there was always something better than beer or chemicals if you knew where to look. Something exactly like… that. A crinkle at the corner of an eye. Warm tan skin over a broad cheek.

Beach shifted off the barstool to make a better appraisal. The object of his fascination leaned over a pool table. Jeans showcased a firm ass, and a tank top showed off intricately patterned black ink from shoulder to elbow. Though it also served to draw attention to the massive muscles on the arms and the breadth of chest that turned the hot ache under Beach’s skin to fire. Whether a guy was a top or bottom, Beach had never had any trouble getting exactly what he wanted. And he wanted that.

The man became aware of Beach’s greedy stare and glanced over. If Beach hadn’t already been determined, the smirk would have done it. The eyes, the not-quite-smiling lips, the black slash of his brows. All of it together promised he could bend Beach in half, make him beg the Lord for mercy, and smile all the way through it.

Beach tipped the bottle toward the man, then brought it to his lips, suggestion in the way his mouth covered the rim. Without losing any of his smirk, the man turned back to his pool game, lining up his shot. Beach didn’t know much about pool, but he had a fair understanding of physics, and the shot was at a difficult angle.

When the man spread his arched fingers on the felt to make a bridge for his cue, the strength on display from fingertips to shoulder made Beach’s mouth water. He barely refrained from fanning himself in an imitated swoon. A dip in the music let him hear the sharp click of the colliding resins, the softer thud of ball on bumper. The resurging volume of music couldn’t drown out the groan from the man’s opponent. Beach’s target lined up another shot, and with a shake of hands, the game was over.

As the man rounded the table, Beach transferred his weight to his good leg and contemplated leaving the blasted cane against the bar. He already felt hard muscles under his palms, heard the slap of their flesh as their bodies pounded together. The itch that had driven him here rushed to his cock, pulsing hungry and insistent. Catching the stranger’s eye, Beach tipped his head in the direction of the bathrooms.

The smirk grew more promising, more pronounced on his handsome face, leaving Beach more determined to see him follow through on it.

Then the man plucked the plastic triangle off the wall and began racking the balls for another game. He might as well have racked the ones hanging heavy under Beach’s dick. The bastard had turned him down in favor of another game of pool. It was a damned sorry state of affairs when men came to Grand Central to fondle billiard balls instead of each other’s.

Beach dragged his bad leg back up onto the barstool and had almost opened his mouth to order several double Maker’s Marks when the ankle shackle on his other leg caught the footrest. Right. Even that consolation was denied him. And nothing but the threat of the absolute loss of freedom was enough of a deterrent to keep him sober.

With a disgusted sigh, he slammed down the bottle he’d been using as a prop and placed a different order. “Bourbon and soda. Hold the bourbon. And keep ’em coming.”

Beach grew aware of a few other approaches as he drank his utterly impotent soda. But he wasn’t interested. All he could see was that damned smirk. The mesh-and-block-patterned tattoo on the solid shoulder. He had developed a craving, and nothing else would satisfy, though his wounded pride kept him from glancing back toward the pool table.

When three glasses of soda made another need equally insistent, he clamped a straw between his teeth and slid off the stool, propping his cane under the bar. Affecting the rolling stride he’d developed to mask his limp, he headed for the men’s room. He should probably get it checked out again, but a few weeks in a coma and then surgery to put a rod in his snapped tibia had exhausted his tolerance for doctors for the foreseeable future.

The day he needed support to stand long enough to drain the snake was the day he went off a bridge headfirst on purpose. He was shaking himself dry when he heard the door open, but before he could tuck and zip, a hard body clamped around him and a hand covered Beach’s on his cock.

There couldn’t be two men in the bar with a chest like the one Beach felt against his back. But he snuck a glance at the arm around him to be sure. There was the same intricate tattoo, ending at the elbow.

He felt the voice before he heard it, gravel-rough and smoky-smooth like the best bourbon. The voice alone could harden a man’s cock at ten paces.

“Give you a hand?”

Beach’s dick had never had much pride. It was all ready to forgive the earlier insult, jolting forward at the offer. “Near missed your chance. Thought you weren’t interested.”

“Like hell.” Sweet Lord, the voice was sin. “But make the first move.”

“You can move it anyway you like if your cock can cash the check your mouth is writing.” Beach pulled his own hand away.

The hot grip was all his cock needed to shift from leaping to lunging for attention, dragging his hips forward in search of friction.

An arm wrapped around Beach’s hips and pinned him back, denial and promise in the press of a cock against his ass.

Beach’s friend Gavin would probably be able to predict the exact inches and circumference from that brief grind. All Beach knew was it was solid, hot and thick, and felt damned good. He pushed back to indicate he was on board with the plan.

All he got for an answer was a grunt as he was dragged backward into the end stall. The wider one with the rails. The man wasn’t rough—not by Beach’s standards—simply forceful as he shoved Beach face-first against the tiled sidewall. There was a stone window ledge to lean on or to grip if things got as wild and fast as he hoped they would. That the other man wanted to take charge was no hardship. The more responsibility someone else took, the more Beach was free to focus on how good everything felt.

Except there wasn’t any feeling good at first. Beach had been ready to go since he set his eyes on his prize, but a hard dick didn’t automatically make his ass soft. He hadn’t been fucked since before his coma. This was where chemicals were so damned useful, right here when he was trying to trade the discomfort of a thick callused finger jamming lube into him for the tingle he knew would happen if that finger curled the right way.

It didn’t.

His jeans were snug enough to stay bunched under his ass after the man had shoved them out of the way, and they made it tough to spread his legs to accommodate the added stretch of another finger. Beach wiped his forehead on his forearms where they rested on the window ledge and tipped his ass up, looking for that good pressure, the way the muscles would give and the nerves would start singing praises louder than the Sanctuary Choir on a Sunday morning.

He didn’t get it.

He shifted more of his weight onto his whole leg, wondering if he wanted to turn around and see the size of what the man behind him was sheathing in latex before it went up his ass. Then the man grabbed one of Beach’s hands and put it on the smooth, covered flesh. Maybe the guy meant to prove to Beach the condom was on, maybe it was to give Beach some lube on his hand to help him work his own cock, but as Beach’s hand closed around the dick a few inches from his hole, all he could think of was the heft and the width spearing into him. The strain that had been balanced between a throbbing hunger and a gut-churning tension snapped. Beach spiraled into a hot, dizzy space where pain and pleasure were all part of the same beautiful sensation to send him out of his head, better than any drug ever could.

He released the man’s cock and held himself open, rocking back onto the blunt head, wanting to push them faster into the rhythm of the fuck, those few moments of perfection where nothing existed but pleasure.

Beach wanted to rush them, rush himself past the first moment of I-can’t-take-this, but a bruising pinch on the swell of his ass made him lurch forward. Before he could spin around with an affronted remark about not being a cocktail waitress, the man wrapped an iron-muscled forearm around Beach’s waist.

“I make the first move, remember.”

It was a statement, not a question, but Beach nodded. Beach didn’t know how he could forget anything said in that voice. He should have had it available to read him his textbooks in school. Should hire the man to record the latest board of directors’ update.

He wished there’d been a need for more negotiation, the kind of dance he’d come here to avoid. Because then the voice would roll over them, fill the air like fog, the kind thick enough to grab on to. He waited, hoping he’d get rewarded with more of it.

When it came, it curled inside him, an added sensation to build the agony of waiting. “Good.” The voice trailed over him, a hand stroking down his back, rubbing the pinched spot for a soothing instant.

Then the arm around Beach’s waist pulled him back, forcing his hips out so torso and legs made a comfortable angle. Beach smiled, imagining the man lining himself up with the same care he used on his pool shot, and hoped his skill translated.

It did.

It really did.

The first push had the head in, smooth and easy at first, until the man held them there. Beach’s nerve endings, his pulse, his muscles all screamed a reminder that they were doing this without any of the usual enhancements, that this was the only part about getting fucked he wished he could skip, the sting of too tight focused right there in too small a spot, straining tolerance to the limit. This was the part so easy to forget once everything was friction and heat and pressure.

A harsh breath stuttered, echoed into the tiled space, and the rasp in Beach’s throat let him know it came from him. He’d half a mind to tell this smirking prick what he could do with his first moves and weird pauses. But they were almost there now, and hell if Beach would back down from a challenge.

The man moved, finally, but it seemed to take forever for him to work it in. The scrape and burn had faded, leaving an even emptier craving. The damned bastard better have stamina to make up for the torturously slow entry.

Beach gripped that window ledge with all the strength in his fingers as his ass swallowed up the thick length. By the time the man’s balls swung into Beach’s, his manicure was shredded.

Beach shifted a bit under the grip keeping him tight against the other man’s hips, wanting more—more room in his ass, more movement between them, every bit of sensation. One of the man’s hands was flat on Beach’s chest, the other pinning them together at the hips. Beach was sure the man felt the leap of his heart as someone came in to the bathroom, letting in a blast of music before the door swung shut, muffling it again. A scrape of shoes, the sound of a zipper.

No patron of Grand Central would be shocked to stumble over men fucking in the bathroom, so Beach couldn’t explain why tension had his muscles locked, his teeth clenched to hold back any sound. After all, fucking had been about the only item not on the list of things forbidden until his trial.

As the stream splashed into the urinal, the man behind Beach used his mouth to shift aside the hair from Beach’s neck, kissing away the sweat, then drawing the already tight skin into teeth, sucking a burning mark to make Beach’s ass throb harder around the rigid heat inside it.

The chuckle the man outside the door gave as he washed and shook dry his hands made Beach’s cheeks flush, as if this was the most outrageous thing he’d ever done—instead of something mildly impulsive.

His exhale as the door closed behind the other man was full of relief.

“What’s the matter? Didn’t want to share?” The voice purred against Beach’s back, across the bite on his neck and into his ear.

Something insaner than usual had gotten into Beach since he’d glimpsed the crinkle of eye above tanned cheek, leaving him damned near broken to saddle, but he found his footing.

“Starting to think there’s nothing here to share. You all talk? Have to go that slow to keep from shooting soon as you get it in?”

Beach expected a rough, if not violent reaction, a quick withdraw and a slam forward, finally getting the pounding he’d been looking for, what he’d known he needed when he parked his car down here on Eager Street.

But despite an even tighter clamp of the man’s arms, it was only a long, smooth, and—damn him—perfect stroke. He shifted Beach, lifting him up and back a bit more. No wonder the guy was so good at pool. He knew his angles, that was for hell sure. And Beach didn’t care if the guy was playing Beach’s body like he owned it; that was what Beach wanted. This, all of this, was the answer to the itch that had been driving him out of his skin. Steady, deep pressure, exquisite burn on the backstroke. The hand on his chest found a nipple under Beach’s shirt and pinched until Beach gasped, dropping a hand to work his cock. He could manage to whisper all kinds of sweet things to a partner when he was the one driving his dick into them, but right then all he could handle was an endless repetition of harsh breaths and moans.

The build inside made his lips and tongue start to shape the word please, as if he couldn’t manage his own climb. It was like he’d forgotten his dick was in his hand. He shivered and started working it, hand and fingers providing all the friction he needed to turn the pressure inside into one hell of an explosion.

The grip of fingers around his wrist was as tight as a handcuff but warm and alive. It didn’t bruise as it tugged, dragging his hand back up to the ledge to join the other, leaving his cock bobbing and pushing on nothing but air.


Beach considered himself a pretty open-minded individual, but if there was one word he was downright prejudiced against, it was that one. The barest hint of it had him either openly defiant or looking for a way to dance, charm, or twist his way around it.

He chalked up his reaction to the voice. Had to be the purr of it that made him suck in a gasp as his balls grew tighter, instead of the word creating the urge to tell the guy to fuck himself from now on.

He didn’t even yank his hand free, although the pressure of the other man’s hand atop it wasn’t enough to keep it resting on the ledge. Since he hadn’t been disappointed this far, he’d see what the guy had in mind.

“Better be worth it.”

The answer was a faster thrust, a renewed sting of skin against teeth on his neck, and a drag of nails against his nipple as a hand found its way under Beach’s shirt. All of it drove electric jolts to spike into his cock without the answering friction of his hand to ease him through it, to give it a place to build to.

Too much and not enough. But damn, it felt good. He rocked back to meet the thrusts, not caring anymore if the angle was perfect. He needed. Needed rougher and harder to hold back the hunger to come, spilling from his cock and balls, shaking into his hips and belly and arms and chest until he trembled with that much want. The sensations kept building without a crest to ride them out.

What was the plan here? Because Beach was pretty sure orgasms were the endgame, and he was more than ready to collect his and say thanks and good night.

He started to tug his hand free, and the man’s fingers interlaced with his, cock still slamming into his ass deep and hard. It wasn’t that Beach couldn’t get himself off with his left hand; it just wouldn’t be as much fun. And as much as he wanted to defy the bossy son of a bitch, his curiosity won out. Maybe the guy would come and then suck Beach off, which was an appealing scenario.

Beach tightened his ass against the thick pressure, earning himself a gasp that heated his ear.


Okay. Beach worked his muscles and drove back harder, increasing the burn of friction for himself and earning the pleasure of constant strokes over his gland. So hot, melting with it, drowning in it. He gave up trying to free his hand, breath whistling out of him.

“Come.” That voice.

He wanted to. Fuck how he wanted to. But he couldn’t. Not without— “Now.” There was a threat curling under there.

It sparked something inside him, cranked the urgency way past the red line, and still Beach couldn’t. He’d fucked guys who could. He didn’t happen to be one of them.

“I can’t.” The admission dragged at him, sinking him into a chill of disappointment and shame. His body remembered there was a big fat cock in his ass, that both his nipples hurt, that his balls were aching and full.

“Don’t have a choice.” Despite the harsh command, the man’s hand soothed and petted across Beach’s chest, soft lips and soft beard teasing at his neck under his ear.

The man released Beach’s hand and laid a hot palm low on his belly, so damned close to where it would be of some help, and kept fucking him.

Beach looked at his freed hand with fascination, wondering why he didn’t simply grab his dick and finish, then shut his eyes as the man’s rhythm shifted, short quick hard.

“Now.” The man growled it.

Tension and yielding in a giant tangle. Straining for it, knowing one thing would be enough to free him, but he didn’t know what it was until the solid punch of it shocked him. It was everywhere. In his ass. His balls. His dick. Oh God, so sweet and hot and electric in his dick. A powerful jerk wrung the first shot out of him in a burst of light behind his eyelids, and then all the aftershocks, each one its own slice of heaven as he came back down. Beach found himself wishing their audience had stuck around, because that certainly deserved a round of applause. He’d clap himself as soon as he got his coordination back and got what now felt like a cannon out of his ass.

His bad leg was shaking with exhaustion. Hell, everything felt shaky. Still, he could manage a hand job, though, or even a suck if he sat on the toilet to do it.

The pleasure faded away. There was no high on earth like an orgasm, but the price was that you didn’t get to stay there long, and there was no way to up the dose right away. That was the only downside to sex. The sorry, sagging aftermath. He leaned forward in an effort to get the man’s dick out of his ass and found himself wrapped up in something between a hug and a restraint.


There was that word again. “I could—”

“No.” He stretched Beach’s hands back out to the ledge and fucked him.

It hurt. Not in a God-I’m-dying-get-it-out way, but it definitely wasn’t comfortable. And there was no reason Beach couldn’t stop it. The man obviously could have won in a battle of strength, but Beach knew he would let him go if Beach made it an issue.

No. It had never been a sexy-sounding word before. And even if there was no way Beach was going to be getting off from it, something about this felt good, despite the scrape of the cock in his ass. The man’s hands trailed down his arms, his shoulders, the sides of his chest to land on his hips.

“Good,” he murmured in Beach’s ear, following the comment with a choked groan. “So good.”

Beach’s dick ached as it tried to get back in the game, but he had to content himself with the tingle from the man’s pattern of caresses, the way his breath and beard tickled Beach’s neck. The surprising warmth from listening to the man’s control began to shatter. Beach put a hand back, urging the man closer. Faster.


The raw feeling in the smoky voice made Beach tighten his muscles around the cock fucking into him, dragging out another stuttered good before he felt the man come, the lock and snap of muscles, the convulsive jerk of hips. Beach rode it out with him, and when the man finally pulled out, Beach swallowed back the burn of disappointment. He wiped his forehead on his forearm, still holding on to the ledge to relieve the pressure on his leg.

The condom hit the water in the bowl, and the roar of the flush echoed around the stall, but Beach thought he heard “That was sweet” before the man brushed a kiss against his cheek and left.

It took a few minutes before Beach was ready for the world. His leg throbbed, a spiking pain underneath like a fresh break. His next round of sex would be horizontal, definitely.

By the time Beach decided he didn’t look or walk quite so rode-hard-and-put-up-wet, the man with the tattoos, goatee, and velvet-sin voice wasn’t lingering around the pool table or anywhere in the barroom. Which may have saved Beach the humiliation of forcing his number on the man and begging him to schedule a repeat.

After retrieving his cane, Beach made his way out to his Spider and dropped the top as the engine purred and rumbled. He’d always imagined the sound like a tiger getting a belly scratch. Now it reminded him of the gravelly notes in the voice that had whispered in his ear in the bathroom. The one that had told him no and made Beach listen. He was shaking off his stupidity and putting the car in gear when his phone went off.

He let himself enjoy a few more moments of a fantasy where the man had recognized Beach somehow, found his number, and was calling to set up something blissfully horizontal and twice as hot. But it was only a computer-generated voice. Female, impersonal. But to Beach it always held a bit of a derisive sneer as it told him to report to the probation office for testing tomorrow. Thank God sex was the drug that didn’t leave any traces.



TAI’S COMPUTER had barely finished moaning and grinding to life that morning when Sutton dumped a bunch of files on his desk.

“Here’s your latest share from the Bob fallout.”

Tai scanned the pile. “Eight?” And two of them were thicker than average. “Overtime authorization come with them?”

His boss shook his head. “Sometimes you gotta take one for the team.”

“Or eight.” Tai hauled the files closer. Everybody had more shit now while Bob was suspended and Leslie was out on medical leave. His mom was fond of saying the only reward for a job well done was another job, but Tai hadn’t ever noticed her slacking off, house or hospital.

Top file was some sixteen-year-old busted for shoplifting. When Tai flipped through and got a look at the parents’ occupations, he was surprised they hadn’t been able to make it all go away. Then he got a look at the priors. Some people loved wasting second chances, and third, and fourth. But that wasn’t something he had to get to right away.

The next one was a mess. Bob must have been shoving it to the back while he spent his time drinking and driving around underage girls. Tai was still sorting through the file when the switchboard called to tell him David Beauchamp was reporting in. The name meant nothing, which meant he was one of Bob’s. Tai yanked out the file and ran through it.

David Beauchamp at thirty-four was where that sixteen-year-old was headed. Charges dismissed, violations and misdemeanors all reduced by the intervention of more money than everyone in this office would make in a lifetime. Beauchamp’s sole occupation was to keep the family lawyer in business. Tai moved through to the present. Christ, Beauchamp had been the one to take the header off the bridge back in March, then get busted in May for criminal trespass out on Fort Carroll. The office got one or two of those cases every damned year. Most of them urban adventurers looking for online fame with videos of the dangerously crumbling fort. Tai wished the island would sink the fuck back into the bay. Failing that, become Anne Arundel County’s problem. They had enough shit to deal with here.

Beauchamp had been seen as a flight risk and had substance-abuse issues, so they’d slapped a monitor on him to track his whereabouts and to read alcohol intake. Tai checked the monitoring system on the computer. No ethanol alarm, but Beauchamp had been flagged for location last night.

All the chances in the world, and all the advantages, and Beauchamp still had to act like an asshole. Maybe Tai would just throw him back at the judge for violating probation terms. Except given the way things worked for a guy like Beauchamp, he’d be back in Tai’s office the next day with a shit-eating grin on his face.

As the man made his way in front of Tai’s desk, Tai glanced around the computer screen enough to catch a glimpse of a cane. The grip on it, the light drag in his step, said it wasn’t only decoration, but it could be a sympathy game.

A vocal gasp made Tai think the limp and cane were part of the same pity ploy.

“Sit down,” Tai spat out before he flipped through the file again, looking for the medical reports. Coma, fracture of the tibia—the jump off the bridge? No, the trespass on Fort Carroll. So Beauchamp wasn’t just a party boy, he was a klutzy one. Tai went back to the monitor.

“Want to tell me your whereabouts last night?”

“I would think you already know the answer to that, Officer Fonoti.” Beauchamp’s voice was amused. These cases made Tai sick. Give him a street punk any day over someone who’d had everything handed to him and threw it away. “Since our whereabouts happened to coincide so forcefully.”

Tai snapped a look at the man in the chair. No. No fucking way. Admittedly he hadn’t been paying much attention to the guy’s looks after ascertaining the basics—fuckable and asking for it. It had been a good time, the guy playing along like he knew the ropes. He’d bet it wouldn’t have taken much to get the guy to drop to his knees and kiss Tai’s boots.

But last night there hadn’t been a cane. Tai hadn’t been interested in a lot of details beyond getting his dick up a nice—God, he’d been tight—ass. Tai tugged on his pant leg to free up space. He couldn’t get his brain to connect the smug bastard in front of him with the eager, obedient screw he’d had last night. The way he’d groaned and shook and how hard he’d clenched down. Tai had to tug on his pant leg again.

Despite all the evidence, Tai took another look at the program on the monitor. Beauchamp, David A. had been at 130 West Eager Street from 8:52 until 10:38. Tai had gotten there at seven thirty.

“I was informed my probation officer would be closely monitoring my activities, but I didn’t realize how closely,” Beauchamp said with a slow blink, a smile curving over an unshaved chin.

Tai had been threatened by gang leaders, self-labeled drug lords, and your basic foaming-at-the-mouth douchebags with anger issues. He’d listened to sob stories about hungry children, cheating girlfriends, and backstabbing friends. If any of that could screw with his judgment, he wouldn’t have been able to do his job. And he was good at his job. He knew the rules, knew about the boundaries with clients. Hell, it didn’t take the Parole and Probation Officers’ Manual to figure out the rule on fucking probies. Just one word. Don’t.

“Mr. Beauchamp—”

“Call me Beach. Everyone does.”

Tai looked away from where white teeth bit down on a pink tongue in a cheeky smile. “Mr. Beauchamp—”

“Beechem. That’s how you say it. Beech. Em.”

The heat in his gut drove Tai to his feet. He glanced down at his hands on the desk, knowing he had slapped them there, but only from the sting in his palms, the echo of the sound. He stared a little longer, taking a deep breath for control, battling the instinctive desire to put his hand on Beauchamp’s neck and remind him where the power really rested and do it in a way that had nothing to do with supervising a client. Of course, if Tai allowed himself such an extreme reaction over the slightest challenge, Beauchamp was the one in charge. He peered down. The amiable expression on Beach’s—Beauchamp’s—face didn’t change at all. But his gaze made a leisurely journey from Tai’s thighs to his face before he raised his brows.

“According to the conditions of your pretrial probation, you are to remain out of bars.”

“But didn’t have a drink of anything… fun.” Beauchamp’s eyes focused on Tai’s crotch. “Didn’t my lovely ankle jewelry tell you that?”

Tai glanced over at the monitor, though he already knew the answer.

“Where’s Bob? Not that it isn’t charming to run into you again, albeit under these circumstances, but I thought I was working with Bob.”

Bob? “Officer Meade is not working with this department right now.”

“Now that is a shame. We were getting along so well.”

Tai had been about to resume his seat, but the phrasing made him wonder if Beauchamp hadn’t been getting more from Bob than supervision.

“Drug test. Let’s go.” Tai grabbed a sample kit from the cabinet and started for the door. Having to piss under supervision like a toddler was humiliating enough to take the starch out of most of the assholes Tai dealt with. But as Beauchamp pushed open the men’s room door, Tai realized how epically this was going to backfire. He busied himself in tugging on his gloves, avoiding the memory of his last trip to the men’s room with Beauchamp.

Beauchamp stepped up to a urinal and grinned at Tai. “Hold it for me?”

“Excuse me?” Tai stepped away from where he was blocking the door.

“My cane.” Beauchamp held it out. His tongue caught in his teeth for an instant before he added, “Well, it’s either my cane, the cup, or my cock, but I was trying to keep things professional.”

Tai snatched the cane and handed over the sample cup. Beauchamp faced him as he unzipped. Tai tried to glance away, but the action made him appear more pathetic.

Beach shrugged. “Not like you haven’t seen it.”

“Get on with it.”

It was only a small hitch in Beauchamp’s breath, but in the tiled room it echoed. And the echo reverberated right to Tai’s balls. Tucking the cane under an arm, he kept an eye on the mirror set up to make sure the probie couldn’t sub out from a tube secreted somewhere and waited.

When a minute passed, Tai leaned back against the doorframe. “Shy bladder?”

“Not as a rule.” The response was sharp. “Uh.” There were a few variations on that sound before Beauchamp said, “Tell me what happened to Bob.”

“It’s none of your business.” Tai pushed away from the wall and turned on one of the faucets. “Some inspiration.”

“Yeah, thanks.” Beauchamp’s voice was polished, smooth as silk with a hint of the Carolinas in it, and an ever-stronger promise of a laugh waiting to happen.

“Relax and concentrate.”

“Not helping.”

Tai made a living reading truth, fear, or desperation in people’s voices, their faces, their body language. Right now Beauchamp was projecting all three. And that came overlaid with the awareness Tai should never have of a client. To know he liked it hard and dirty with a commanding voice in his ear.

The sooner this was over with, the sooner Tai could be in Sutton’s office, passing Beauchamp onto another PO. That was what he told himself, but it was only half the truth as he took a step to put himself close enough to growl into Beauchamp’s ear, “Do it. Now.”

There was the sexy hitch in his breath again, and then Beauchamp obediently filled the cup, lifting it away as he splashed the rest into the urinal. He held up the cup, cheeks pink, looking at Tai’s shoes. “Uh.”

With a heavy sigh, Tai handed him the cap and a paper towel. “Wipe it off.”

“Right. Sorry.”

When the cap was twisted on and the outside was as clean as it was going to get, Tai took it, slapped on a label, and they both signed the seal on it before he passed back the cane. “Your curfew is eleven, and you’re due for a home visit. Better be there. And stay out of bars.”

“That’s it?” Beauchamp sounded disappointed.

“That’s it.”

With a raised-brow leer, Beauchamp used the cane to swagger out as Tai held the door. “I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that home visit, Officer.”