Tenley ‘Ten’ Pinkerton stepped out onto the balcony of the hotel room. For a brief moment, he glanced down at the pool twelve stories below and thought, I could make that. I could jump, land in the pool and just fucking disappear. Leave my job, leave my home and leave this pull that fucking Bas has on me.
Just thinking Sebastian’s name brought a growl from his chest. He hated thinking about the man, even though he couldn’t help doing it almost every moment of every day.
Sebastian ‘Bas’ Monroe.
The asset that that Ten had been assigned to protect on his last assignment.
The lawyer who was assigned to help the prosecution in the case against Jacob Knight.
The lawyer who had coached and guided Jacob’s two victims, Noah Pierce and Jesse Miller, so well that it was their testimony that sent the man to prison for life, where he belonged.
Bas Monroe….the man who had somehow, for a brief second, made Ten forget all about the man who owned his heart, who would always own his heart, his murdered boyfriend Sawyer.
Sawyer would always be the love of Ten’s life, always.
Oh, he knew he’d have hook ups from time to time, he’d have to slake that itch. But those would be with no-named men in the bathrooms and alleys behind clubs – blowjobs and hand jobs with random strangers when his own hand wasn’t enough. But they would never, ever involve kissing. And he would never lust after the person, never want them again. He would only need a willing hole.
But Bas, fucking Bas Monroe had to come along and somehow, someway, weave his way past Ten’s defenses. He’d found a small crack in Ten’s armor, pulled it open and he’d snuck inside.
But it wasn’t their brief moment of passion that had Ten so pissed off.
It was the fact that Ten had wanted it. Fuck, he’d desperately wanted it. He’d wanted it so bad that he couldn’t control himself. And he’d kissed Bas. No, that’s not exactly true. He’d devoured Bas’s mouth with his own.
And he’d liked it. Even worse, he wanted it to happen again. Sure, he’d pushed Bas away the second it had happened. He’d turned, with the evidence of what they’d done covering his stomach, and he’d ran away.
But he was honest enough, and angry enough, to know that running had been the last thing he’d wanted to do. What he’d wanted to do was melt into Bas’s strong embrace and never leave.
Fucking Bas Monroe.
With a sigh, he forced his focus back to the task at hand. He glanced to his left and right, noting that both balconies were a good fifteen feet away, not a jump that most people could make. And there weren’t balconies on the rooms above or below him. He turned and walked back into the room, “We’re good,” he said with a nod to his partner on this protection detail, Dante.
“Am I allowed to go out and play now, Dad?” the whiny girl on the couch said as she stared disinterestedly at her fingernails, “Or are you going to kill my fun like last time?”
Ten clamped his mouth shut, grinding his back teeth, rather than telling this chick what he really thought of her. Spoiled. Rotten. Brat. Idiot. Bitch.
Those were all words that had popped into his head many times over the last two weeks. He and Dante were protecting this asset after she’d had a few credible death threats because of a song she released that dealt with love and acceptance for all. It wasn’t a bad song but Ten couldn’t stand that she was the one singing it since everything he had witnessed from her was anything but open-minded and loving. She was a cold-hearted bitch who treated her lesbian assistant only slightly better than dirt.
He really hated this part of his job.
But at least this assignment was brief. The asset was on the final leg of her U.S. tour, with only one more show after tonight, and then she was off to Japan….without Ten or Dante. Her reps were hiring a different firm to protect her overseas and that was perfectly fine with Ten.
He realized that she was glaring at him and that’s when he remembered the question she had asked.
“You can’t go out, Tracy. We’ve had no time to vet any of the local clubs or anything, but,” he said as he held up his hand when she opened her mouth to bitch at him, “you can invite a few friends to party with you here. Just don’t forget your curfew, you have early morning radio call-ins. You can’t be doing those hungover or still drunk.”
“You are such a fucking asshole,” she mumbled as she began furiously texting on her phone.
“You have no idea, princess.”
“I thought I told you not to call me that,” she growled at him.
He grinned, “And I thought I told you that you’re not the boss of me.”
“Prick,” she said again.
Yeah, he probably was.
Ten’s phone buzzed on his hip, “Ten,” he said as he answered.
“I’m on my way to pick you up,” Morgan said.
Ten frowned, “Okay, why?”
“I’ve got Tegan with me, he’s going to relieve you.”
Ten’s frown deepened, “What the fuck is going on, Morgan?”
“I’ll tell you when I get there.”
He heard Morgan sigh, “Ten, please. I’ll tell you when I get there. Just stay put until I do, okay?”
“Fine. How long?”
Ten clipped his phone back to his belt and walked to the guestroom to retrieve his bag. “What’s going on?” Dante said as he leaned against the doorframe.
“I have no idea. All I know is Morgan is on his way to pick me up and he’s got Tegan with him to relieve me.”
Dante sucked in air, “Tegan?” he said with a shaky voice.
Ten stopped what he was doing to stare at Dante – he noted the slight shake in his fingers as he slid them through his hair and his eyes that darted around the room landing anywhere but on Ten.
“Seriously? You and Teeg?”
“Not exactly,” Dante whispered.
“You want to talk about it?”
Dante shook his head, “Not right now.”
“You going to be okay working with him? I can call Morg and ask him to get someone else.”
“No. Morgan would only take you off this detail if it was really important. I’m not going to waste time just because I may or may not have an issue with Tegan. I’ll be fine.”
Ten picked up his bag and walked towards him, “Okay, if you’re sure.”
Ten spent the next fifteen or so minutes either pacing by the door or looking through the peephole every time the elevator dinged.
When he finally saw Morgan and Tegan walking down the hall, he yanked the door open and stepped into the hall, “Tell me.”
Morgan glared at him, “Wait here,” he said as he walked Tegan inside. Ten heard Morgan introduce Tegan to Tracy and explain to her what was going on and then he braced himself when he heard Morgan’s footsteps returning to the open door.
Morgan pulled the door closed as a thousand different thoughts raced through Ten’s head as to why Morgan would need to pull him off an Op. Finally, he just settled on, “Did I do something wrong?”
Morgan quickly shook his head, “No, of course not. But I’m going to tell you something.”
“What is it?”
“When I tell you, you’re going to want to run out of here half-cocked.”
Ten’s heart was racing, “Jesus, Morg.”
“You can’t do that though. We’ll handle this, together, but we do it my way with my contacts, Ten, am I clear?”
All the spit dried up in Ten’s mouth, “Morgan,” he whispered.
“You are not going to do this on your own, Ten, do you understand? You are with me on this and that’s final.”
Morgan glared at Ten and Ten knew that the man was waiting.
He also knew that the man would wait forever until he got what he wanted.
He was the most stubborn, patient fuck on the face of the planet.
“Fine! But for fuck’s sake, Morgan, fucking tell me!”
“Bas has gone missing.”
Well that wasn’t what Ten expected.
That wasn’t what he expected at all, he thought as the breath left his lungs and he thumped back against the wall behind him.