Bound by law men of hono.., p.3
Bound by Law: Men of Honor, Book 2, page 3
“I do. He wouldn’t hurt me.” Even as he spoke those words, he heard Paulo’s laugh and knew how fucking ridiculous he sounded. “He won’t hurt us like that. He’s got to be telling the truth.”
“Yeah, feds never lie.”
“He wouldn’t put my life in danger. I’ll get the truth from him.” He ran a hand along Paulo’s thigh, heard Paulo’s soft snort in the dark.
Paulo finally handed Law his phone. “This definitely wasn’t the date I had planned.”
Styx bristled at Paulo’s mention of his date with Law. Maybe Paulo would want to know what his date had done tonight with Styx but hell, he wouldn’t be that much of a prick.
Not yet, anyway.
And then Law handed Styx Paulo’s phone and Styx pocketed it and made a mental note to hand it over to Tomcat in the morning. Right after he checked it out to make sure nothing suspicious showed, although really, Styx was almost positive the young detective had nothing to do with what was happening in his life.
No, that had been his own doing. He checked the rearview, caught a glimpse of Paulo looking back at him. The two men would be circling each other in a pissing contest—one that had already started back inside the restaurant.
What a clusterfuck. Styx’s hands could tremble just thinking about how close he’d come to losing Law, and he was glad he could grip the wheel to steady them. A few seconds later and Law would’ve been in the hallway and in the shooter’s sights.
As it was, an innocent man had been shot—according to Tomcat, the EMTs got him to the hospital in time—he was in surgery and expected to live. And now Styx had Law—safe and sound and all kinds of angry, in the backseat, plus some unexpected baggage.
Paulo was a beautiful man—not a twink, no, he was hard-edged, masculine and a goddamned suspicious bastard. Protective of Law, too, and while Styx appreciated that, he’d appreciate Paulo getting his hands off Law even more.
Law’s not yours anymore. And Styx had no right to expect him to wait around, but a big part of him hoped he had. And Law had, at least until three months ago when he’d called Styx and told him he was done—and then he’d nearly gotten himself killed and Styx had gotten his head out of his ass and went to the hospital.
That was when he’d found Paulo by Law’s side.
With that single visit, he’d brought Armageddon down on their heads, although it had always hovered there. Styx just hadn’t realized how close, and that chilled him.
He’d left Law to keep him out of danger, but that danger had never stopped lurking around Law, looking for another way inside. It found it and now Paulo was in danger too, by association.
Paulo, a cop with a lost-boy past…a smile that made Styx hard and he guessed Law as well—and it appeared he’d found a way to make Law happy.
And Styx had fucked it up again.
Law knew that the walls of this shithole would close in on all of them before the twenty-four hour mark. They’d driven for hours—he noted they’d crossed into Virginia. There was still a chill in the air, despite the promise of spring just around the corner, when Styx ushered them into the block of rooms.
He’d actually called it a suite, but it was just two motel rooms with doors opened between them located near the airport. Each room had one double bed, a chair and not much else. Considering the men only had the clothes on their backs and some sodas Styx had grabbed at the vending machine when he’d checked them in, these conditions were Spartan at best, reminded Law of his Delta days.
Except then he’d had weapons and plans. Now, he had no real explanations and a lot of pent-up anger he was trying hard to control in order to keep Paulo from flipping.
“A better place tomorrow,” Styx assured them, which was really no assurance at all.
“You’d better get the full story from him,” Paulo muttered to Law.
“I’m right here, you know,” Styx said.
“Then start talking.” Paulo moved toward Styx and Law, once again, stepped in.
“Start talking, Styx. This is bullshit.”
“I said, tomorrow.” Styx growled the words and went to work on securing the first door from the inside before heading to the second room and doing the same there, propping the back of it with a chair pressed to the knob. He also put up some kind of alarm, strung along the top of the doorjamb.
Paulo moved to the doorway that separated the rooms, was watching Styx carefully. Law wanted nothing more than to pull Paulo into bed with him, but he knew the younger man had too much anger, too many questions for that. He needed to get them out of this room and away from Styx. Styx, who threw himself on the bed in the first room and stretched out shamelessly. He’d strip next—Law was sure of it, and so Law tugged Paulo through the opening of the second room and said, “Take the bed, Paulo.”
Paulo stared at him and then surprised him by asking, “You joining me or him?”
“You, if there’s an invite.”
Styx snorted from the other room. “The Law I knew didn’t ask—he’d take what he wanted.”
“He does—trust me on that.” Paulo managed to not sound the least bit defensive.
That would shut Styx up for maybe five minutes. But Law had just as many questions as they all did and the most right to know the answers.
“He’s here because of you, and he’s got to stay here because of you, so deal with him listening in,” he told Styx.
“Not tonight,” Styx called.
Why, when Law dreamed of this man, did he not recall what a complete pain in the ass he could be—because he’d always been, most definitely.
“Keep the door open,” Styx said but Law slammed it closed as he spoke. Styx didn’t come to open it and Law turned and found Paulo waiting, watching him carefully.
None of them would be getting any sleep—and having sex seemed doubtful—and man, this was going to be a long-assed night.
Paulo leaned against the dresser that held a small TV and watched Law wrestle with his feelings. He could practically hear the wheels turning, as he had the entire car ride here when none of them spoke and Styx had turned the music up to ensure they wouldn’t have to.
There was so much goddamned tension—sexual, emotional—that Paulo wanted to punch his fist through the wall, but that would solve nothing.
His innate ability to read people helped him tremendously in both his career and his personal life. And although, just like Law, Styx had his brick walls built high around him, there was one thing that was crystal clear. Styx pined for Law as much as Law had for him—Paulo could see it easily in the agent’s eyes. Which meant that this threesome was about to get a hell of a lot more interesting.
When he sized up Styx in the restaurant, he could immediately understand why Law would wait for this man, how Styx could ruin him for others. Tall, broad, ruggedly handsome, his energy was like a punch to the gut and somehow still mesmerizingly pleasurable.
Law had never promised Paulo anything but sex and then finally dinner, but in light of the current situation, Paulo knew all bets were off. Tonight, their bed would be crowded as hell, and Paulo was pretty sure in this case, three wouldn’t be company.
Especially when he’d planned on having Law all to himself again tonight, because the man goddamned owed him.
Paulo had never expected him to show again—let alone at midnight last night, but that’s exactly what had happened. He’d been about to pop in The Transporter 2 when the banging started—his first thought went to Law, because not too many people could bypass the lock on the main front door that easily.
He’d opened it to find the man standing there, looking as damned good as always. “Let me in.”
“Fuck you.” Paulo held the door so there was no way Law could enter except by kicking the door down, and you know what—he wouldn’t put it past him.
“Yeah. Come on, Paulo.”
His body started up the second the man started talking.
“I’m an idiot,” he muttered but Law reached through the door and put a
Paulo stared into the truth in those blue eyes, which also held an apology.
“Please, Paulo, let me in all the way,” Law implored, and whether he was asking Paulo to open the door to his apartment or something more, it didn’t matter.
He was asking, and Paulo relented, released his grip on the door, allowing Law to come inside and gather Paulo in his arms.
“Where’ve you been?” was asked as Law’s mouth was on his. And then Law mentioned his dreams between kisses that were nearly punishing in their need.
Paulo’s clothes were off and he’d found himself on his back on his mattress as Law showed him just how much he missed him. Showed him with his mouth and tongue and teeth and touch, showed him when he refused to take his eyes from Paulo, even when they both came to a shuddering climax.
“Hope you didn’t have plans,” Law said, pressing himself against Paulo.
“I was going to watch a movie.”
“Want me to leave?”
They never made it more than a quarter of a way through the film, no matter how many times they started it, and neither man cared.
Looking at Law now, as he wrestled with everything, Paulo couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if Styx hadn’t barreled back into Law’s life and left this wreckage in his wake.
But even as Paulo was angered by that, he knew Styx was hurting, that this was the last thing he’d wanted to do to Law.
Fate always had a way of intervening. Pushed everyone in the right direction. The thing with fate though, was that someone always got hurt. Paulo knew that this time, it would be him. So for the time being, he’d climb into bed with Law and take comfort in Law’s body close to his for as long as he had the man.
“What’s the deal with this guy?” he asked finally.
“Styx has no memory of his childhood before the age of sixteen. This has to have something to do with his past.”
“And somehow, the man with our picture in his pocket is connected to Styx?”
“When Styx left, he never told me why. I haven’t seen him for ten years. Even before that, I only saw him a few times from when we were nineteen until I turned twenty-four.”
“When you saw him again, how did you not demand an answer?” Paulo asked but he knew, judging by the flush on Law’s face that their reunion had consisted of fucking until the sun came up and Styx no doubt leaving before that to avoid talking.
“I knew he was in the CIA. Knew that, even without an explanation of what had happened, his job could keep us apart. I always assumed his family had something to do with his memory, his disappearance, but he could never find out anything about his past. After a while, he stopped looking and things were okay.” He stared at Paulo for a long moment. “When he came to live with us, he didn’t even remember his name. He doesn’t know his own damned name.”
Law’s voice grew hoarse for a second. His description of Styx’s life made Paulo think slightly differently of the tall man alone in the other room—and Paulo knew what he needed to do.
Still it made his heart ache to have to push Law away, but it was what was best for him. “Go talk to Styx—now.”
“No. Not tonight.”
“He wants to tell you, but I can’t blame him for not wanting to talk in front of me, even if it’s affecting my life. Go to him—shut the door and talk. I’ll be fine.”
All Law could say was, “Paulo.”
But Paulo pulled back, and he was being far more mature than he wanted to be. “You’re confused.”
“I’m not the one you want in your bed tonight.”
“Is that permission?”
“More like realism.”
“I’m sorry—about all of this,” Law told him.
“I knew you loved someone else, remember?”
“I don’t want you giving up on us.”
“Us? What us is there?” Paulo asked, but there wasn’t any rancor in his tone. How could there be? “Styx is the love of your life and you only get one, if you’re lucky.”
“What? You’re going to tell me we can still be friends?”
“Styx won’t stick around.”
“Oh, so I’m your back-up.”
“No.” Law yanked Paulo to him hard. “You are not that at all. You’re the first man I’ve been with more than once since Styx, ten years ago. That’s how non-back-up you are.”
He brought his mouth down on Paulo’s, hard and punishing, wouldn’t let up till Paulo responded, which he couldn’t help but do. His hands fisted at his sides as he tried not to grab and touch Law, lick him up and down the way he wanted to, until Law couldn’t remember his own name, never mind Styx’s.
But after a long moment of resisting, he lifted his arms and wrapped them around Law, pushing him back against the wall and taking some of the control he so desperately craved in this situation.
Surprisingly, Law didn’t resist at all, let Paulo press him, grind against him, kiss him deeply until both were breathing heavily. He wondered how fast he could undress Law, if he could hold his arms above his head, spread his legs and fuck him…if he wanted that or if he wanted Law to fill him.
Law’s hands were on his ass, pulling Paulo closer, the friction delicious and could send them both over the edge like a couple of teenagers dry humping in their car. Paulo’s skin felt too tight, his muscles taut and God, he wanted to come. Needed to.
“Fuck yeah,” he murmured against the man’s mouth.
It would be so easy to do this, to sink to the floor, strip naked and just screw until he blotted everything out. But that wasn’t going to solve anything and he’d let Law fuck away their problems too many times in their short time together.
He backed off, tearing himself away, leaving Law with swollen lips, a flushed face and a hard-on. “You need to find out everything. For your safety.”
“This is between you and Styx.”
Paulo had almost felt sorry for Styx earlier because he caught a glimpse of the quick flash of pain in Styx’s eyes, and the way he looked at Law…dammit, it was the way Paulo had always wanted someone to look at him.
At times, like last night, he’d thought he’d caught Law looking at him with more than simple lust but he’d convinced himself it was a trick of the light.
Noting the way Law looked at Styx, Paulo knew he’d been right.
There was no fighting this. He was sending Law to Styx and he had no doubt they’d end up in bed together. The fact that it stung was his problem. “Go to him.”
Law leaned his head against the wall and drew a deep breath. Fixed his shirt, adjusted his balls and ran his hands through his hair. After a few more moments of letting his arousal wind down, he pushed off and headed to the door that adjoined the rooms.
He looked back at Paulo one last time, grimaced, like it was painful to leave, and Paulo wanted to believe it was.
“Go now, LC.”
“Law,” he said firmly. “I want you to call me Law.”
Paulo bit back a smart-ass remark and told him quietly, “Okay, Law, go.”
“I like the way you say it,” Law said, just as quietly, and then he left to go to Styx.
Okay, Law, go.
With Paulo’s voice enmeshed in his mind, Law opened the door and walked into Styx’s room without knocking. Caught between his present and his past, he couldn’t shake the feeling that his future lay somewhere in between.
Styx lay on his back on the bed staring at the ceiling, just as Law had left him. The man had rarely slept when they were younger and Law saw nothing had changed. If anything, Styx’s job probably exacerbated his insomnia.
“You’re done with the boy that quickly and quietly?” Styx smirked.
“Ah, fuck off. And he’s not a boy.”
Coming in here had been a mistake. “I won’t hurt him—and I won’t let you.”
“You’re serious about him.”
“We haven’t been together long,” Law said, surprised the word together came out of his mouth that easily, surprised that he didn’t deny anything.
“But you like him,” Styx persisted.
“He’s the first man I’ve been with more than once since you,” he admitted, and Styx just stared at him. “What? That makes me an idiot, right? Because I’m sure you’ve had your share of relationships.”
“Ah, Law, come on. There’s been no one worth shit since you. You have to know that,” Styx said softly.
“I don’t know what to make of anything.”
“It hasn’t been easy on me either. You gotta believe that. All these years, and you had Damon. I was alone, by necessity. But it still hurt.”
“By choice,” Law insisted as he sat on the edge of the bed, where Styx still lay on his back. “I would’ve gone with you. Hell, Damon might’ve too, or you could’ve stayed and we could’ve figured a way out of whatever it was together.”
“I always thought…” Styx shook his head. “Forget it.”
“I thought we had forever. A stupid kid’s dream.”
“It wasn’t stupid. I wanted that, too.” Law paused. “What happened?”
“My past showed, and the only way to keep you and Damon safe was to leave. It was the only way, or I’d never have stayed apart from you.” Styx sat up for a moment, moved closer to press his face to Law’s shoulder. “You have to believe me.”
“I do believe you. But you had sixteen years to tell me. I deserve an explanation,” Law said quietly, and Styx didn’t dispute that but he still didn’t jump right into the story.
“Why did Paulo let you sneak away?”
“He’s the one who told me to come in here. He knew you would rather talk to me in private.”
Styx snorted but he didn’t say anything more, just moved away to lie down again. This time, Law joined him, lying on his side to face Styx.
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