The December wind whipped across the beach with a vengeance. The stars looked clear in the night sky above, far enough away from the city to avoid being drowned out by all the artificial light. Rain battered down on the dead body in the sand, washing away any of the blood the incoming tide hadn’t already taken care of.
She was frail, or had been in life. Now she was nothing.
“I was supposed to be in bed,” Alex Blake moaned to himself as he carefully made his way across the sand to the crime scene. It was four in the morning. Murderers had no respect for people’s sleeping patterns, nor did Detective Inspector Jack Danvers, for that matter.
Alex pulled his leather jacket tighter around his body. Not that it would do much good with the way the rain was coming down. There was a lot of activity as police officers kept back a couple of onlookers with their ever-effective police tape.
He stopped at the tape and waited for one of the officers to acknowledge him. There was a woman there, Sergeant Claire Reynolds, who didn’t seem to like him. Alex didn’t take it personally. It was more the mystery surrounding him that she didn’t like.
“He’s expecting me,” he told Reynolds.
She looked him up and down, as though staring at him would somehow help her figure him out.
“What for?” she asked. She, like a lot of the other officers at the scene, was wearing a clear cape with a hood to protect her from the rain. Alex wondered where he could get one of those.
“You’d have to ask him,” Alex told her.
“Alex,” the man himself suddenly called out from across the beach, waving him over to where he was standing by the body. Alex looked back at Reynolds with a raised eyebrow and waited until she reluctantly lifted the tape for Alex to walk under.
As Alex ducked under the tape, he plastered on a sweet smile and said, “Have a great day, Sergeant.”
As he walked past her he smirked to himself, knowing she would be glaring at the back of his head. The sound of the wet sand under his feet made him grimace. Despite the fact that he had lived his whole life close to the beach, he wasn’t really a fan.
He made his way closer to the body, only to stop dead before he could reach it. The lingering smell of fear was so potent that Alex thought for a moment that he might be sick.
“Alex?” Jack Danvers called to him. He left the group of police officers he was with and jogged over to him, putting his hand on Alex’s shoulder and urging him to take several steps back. The sudden added space helped some and Alex turned to look at him apologetically.
“Sorry. Fear’s always the worst,” he explained. “Every emotion has a different smell, touches a different part of my body.”
“Sounds kinky,” Jack joked. Alex glared at him and once again pulled his jacket tighter. His wet hair was plastered to his face, some of it having escaped his bun.
“So why am I here, Jack?” he asked the detective as he took in the man’s damp appearance. Jack Danvers was a good-looking man; there was no denying that. He was six feet tall, with hair so dark it looked black and eyes so blue they looked like ice. He kept his stubble well-groomed and he always smelled of the cinnamon chewing gum he liked. He had taken it up when he quit smoking and now seemed to have replaced one bad habit for another, though granted, this one was less likely to kill him. Alex suddenly found himself wondering how many people died each year from choking on gum. He would have to Google it later.
“Well, as you can see, any evidence left behind by the killer has washed away by now,” Jack explained.
Alex nodded and looked over at the body again. There was a group of officers trying to set up tarps over the area to protect what little evidence remained, but it was too late. The poor woman had been dumped out there more than an hour ago. The killer was either smart, or just got lucky with the rain.
“So she was killed for sure? I mean, no one smells that scared if they die from natural causes, but still, your medical examiner has confirmed it?” Alex asked.
Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out his pack of gum. He offered Alex a stick and he shook his head. “To help with the nausea,” Jack explained.
Alex took a stick, not sure that it would help, but he supposed it couldn’t hurt.
“Medical examiner’s on his way, but no one stabs themselves that many times,” Jack pointed out. “She was definitely killed.”
“So you want me to see if I can pick up on anything. Got it.”
“After you,” Jack said, sweeping his hand out in front of him as though he were a maître d’ showing Alex to his table. Alex chewed the gum and swallowed several times, trying not to let the scent of fear overwhelm him.
Jack Danvers had always done what was expected of him. He married a nice girl who wanted a family, got a good job, bought a house, had a kid—got divorced. Now he was lying naked on the bed of his friend and colleague, his male friend and colleague.
Their kiss in the hall had quickly turned frantic and Alex had started to pull at Jack’s clothes. It felt as though one second they were kissing and the next he was being pushed down, naked, onto Alex’s bed.
He wasn’t sure about this, not by a long shot, but his body seemed to be very much on board, even if his mind wasn’t.
“Jesus,” Jack said as Alex pushed down the sweatpants Jack had lent him. He was hard. The sight should have turned Jack off. It should have been a shock, like a bucket of water in the face. Instead, it made his own cock twitch.
“This is a really bad idea,” Alex said as he crawled onto the bed and straddled Jack’s lap.
“It is,” Jack agreed even as his hands found their own way to Alex’s waist. He was slim, but by no means skinny.
“We should stop,” Alex said. His voice was a breathy whisper as he brought his mouth down close to Jack’s.
Jack responded by kissing him again. He let himself fall back against the pillows, bringing Alex down with him. He didn’t know where to put his hands. It felt like the waist was a safe place to keep them but at the same time he wanted more. He didn’t know exactly what it was he wanted, and he couldn’t deny that he was nervous as hell, but at the same time he felt exhilarated.
Alex’s tongue slid against his own in a deeply sensual way. He had only dated a few women since his divorce, and never more than a handful of times. He’d taken a couple of them to his bed and had thought himself satisfied. Alex’s body moving against his own, his tongue making love to his mouth, and his hands threading through and pulling on his hair, was more exciting than anything Jack had experienced with those women.
He groaned deeply and decided to give in. If he was doing this, then he was damn well going to commit. He ran his hands down to Alex’s ass, his blunt fingers digging into the supple flesh of his cheeks.
Alex moaned into his mouth, showing Jack that his touch was appreciated. Alex’s long hair fell down over Jack’s face. The fresh scent of lemongrass filled up his senses. He needed to touch it, to feel it between his fingers.
He brought one hand up and stroked it, gently running his fingers through the still damp tresses. He could feel Alex’s cock, hard and close to his. If he was going to freak out and have an existential crisis, then now would be the time. He waited for his mind to react negatively in some way, but it didn’t. He wanted this; he wanted Alex.
“Fuck,” Alex said as he finally broke their kiss. His lips were wet and a little swollen. It made Jack think about how they would look around his dick. “What do you want?”
Jack knew what Alex was asking but he had no idea how to answer.
“I ... I don’t ... fuck,” Jack swore. “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Alex looked down at him with hesitation in his eyes and Jack worried that he’d said the wrong thing. He might not know exactly what he wanted, but he certainly wanted something.
“Maybe we really should stop,” Alex suggested, even as his cock twitched against Jack’s skin.
Alex was giving him another out but Jack already knew there was no way he was going to take it.
“Or maybe you should tell me what you want,” Jack countered as he gave Alex’s ass another squeeze.
Alex’s gaze drifted hungrily over Jack’s face and down to his chest. “I want you to fuck me.” Jack’s entire body tensed. He had never done that before, not even with a woman. He knew the basic mechanics but he didn’t know exactly how it was supposed to work or how to make it feel good for Alex.
“I, um, doesn’t that hurt?” Jack asked, making Alex smirk at him.
“Don’t worry about me,” Alex said. “If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t ask for it.”
Jack was still feeling hesitant about it, but then he wouldn’t be the one with something up his ass. He willed his body to relax as Alex reached over to the nightstand and procured a condom and a bottle of what Jack could only assume was lube.
The pot that had made him perhaps a little more at ease over what was happening was starting to wear off and he had to admit that he had some doubts. It wasn’t the fact that Alex was a man. It was the fact that Alex was his friend. Was an orgasm really enough to risk their friendship and working relationship over?
Alex tore open the condom wrapper and shimmied down Jack’s body, his hair tickling his skin as he went. He watched with rapt fascination as Alex leaned down and licked a line up the underside of his cock. His breath hitched in his throat.