Dorran is done with investigating murders. He always ends up wounded, and it’s not good for his health. But when Eli’s brother approaches him and asks him to look into the stalker who’s harassing his girlfriend, Dorran can’t say no. He’s still trying to get Eli’s family to like him, and this is the perfect way, even though he’s wary.
There are several suspects, but none of them fit the idea Dorran has of stalkers. Is he missing something? Is the stalker closer than he thought? Or has he gotten everything wrong? This time, there are no ghosts to interrogate, and Dorran is on his own.
The bathroom door slammed, jerking Dorran out of sleep. He opened his eyes, already scowling even though it was so early in the morning. He could tell by the light coming in through the window.
“Sorry,” Eli said.
Dorran grumbled. “Not a problem.”
“Try to get back to sleep.”
Dorran softly snorted and buried his face against his pillow. That was easier said than done. Eli was used to getting up early to go to work. Hell, he was used to getting up in the middle of the night when he had a new case. Dorran, on the other hand, wasn’t. That was one of the perks of working from home and making his own hours. He could get up when he wanted, which was what he did—or what he used to do anyway. Now, Eli had moved in with him, and they were still trying to find a way to mesh their lives.
There was a rustling on the sheets, and Dorran opened one eye to see Princess Butterfly looking at him. He grinned and hooked an arm around the cat, dragging her closer. She purred and settled against his chest, and together, they drifted back to sleep. Dorran knew he wouldn’t be able to fall deeply asleep again, though. He never could, not once he had woken up, especially when he’d awakened because of a slamming door.
Dorran rubbed his fingertips over the cat’s head. She was Eli’s cat, but she loved Dorran just as much, which was a relief. Dorran had never had a pet, and he hadn’t been sure what to do with her in the beginning. Now, she was already at home in his apartment, much more than Eli.
Dorran listened to Eli as he moved around in the bathroom. He smiled because even though he and Eli were still trying to find their way with each other and to settle in to living together without killing each other, he was happy. It was all he’d ever wanted since the two of them were teenagers. He’d broken up with Eli when they were kids, but he’d regretted it, even though he knew it was the right thing at the time. Things were different now, and he couldn’t have been happier.
He and Eli had moved in together, and Eli’s family was finally accepting Dorran. He hadn’t thought it would happen, but even Eli’s mother seemed to be happy with Dorran’s presence in her son’s life. He doubted she would throw them a wedding party or anything like that, but as it was, things were going well.
Dorran was surprised when the next time he opened his eyes, he could tell several hours had passed. He listened, but the apartment was quiet, a sure sign that Eli was at work. The cat wasn’t there, either. She was probably in the kitchen or the living room, staring out the window at passersby on the street or sunning herself. Dorran had been abandoned, but he didn’t blame her for it.
He stretched, pushing away the blankets. He had no idea what time it was, but from the sun streaming in through the window, it was about time to get up and start working.
He was looking forward to it. His life in the past several weeks had been a mess. There had been the move. But before that, there was the reunion with his father, finding out he had a kid sister, and his father being accused of murder. Angus had been innocent, but it had taken a while for things to settle down. Some days it felt like they still weren’t, but Dorran could deal with it. He’d dealt with a lot worse.
He got to his feet, stretched again, and headed to the bathroom, only to freeze when he stepped inside.
The room was a mess. Eli’s pajama pants were on the floor, surrounded by wet towels. Water had sprayed out of the shower onto the floor, and Dorran almost slipped in it. The only reason he didn’t fall on his face was that he managed to grab the doorframe. The toothpaste was open on the sink, a white blob on the ceramic. Eli’s electric toothbrush was there, too, abandoned next to the faucet instead of on its base.
Dorran gritted his teeth. This was one of the things he wasn’t yet used to. He wasn’t a neat freak, but Eli was a slob, and there was no denying that. It was one of the reasons they were still trying to find their way around each other. Even though Dorran didn’t demand that everything be perfect in the apartment, he also didn’t want their home to look as if pigs lived with them. He understood Eli was in a rush when he left home in the morning, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t put the cap back on the toothpaste tube.
He huffed, then carefully stepped into the room, avoiding the puddles.
It took him about ten minutes to clean up. He hung the wet towels, put the pajama pants into the laundry basket, and dried the puddles. He also scrubbed the sink, since it was dirty with toothpaste. The entire time, he was scowling.
He relaxed once he was done and going through his morning routine. Eli was always in a rush in the morning, usually because he enjoyed staying in bed for far too long and snoozed his alarm at least twice. He cleaned when he came home, but Dorran worked in the apartment, and the bathroom couldn’t be in this state. He couldn’t jump around water puddles to get to the toilet for the entire day.