Sequel to Findley Black and the Ghosts of Printer's Devil
Findley Black knows a little something about serial killers. What he doesn’t know is why anyone would want to reenact a series of murders that took place more than ninety years ago, which he’s read a great deal about as part of his annual Halloween ghosts tours. Unless, of course, it’s not a copycat at all and the Reaper of Shivelly Park is back for vengeance.
Owen Key never considered himself much for domesticity, but the last two years with his boyfriend Findley have him reevaluating his priorities. His family at The Printer’s Devil is growing, he has a new book on the way, and he wants nothing more than to make Findley an honest man. And what better time to pop the question than on Halloween, the second anniversary of their sort-of first date?
But the night has other plans, and Findley and Owen will find themselves with something more pressing than a romantic evening. The ghost of the Shivelly Park Reaper is on the loose. But when no one believes them, they have no choice but to take matters into their own hands. Because, well ... the Reaper might just get away with it if not for Findley, Owen, and the kids. And Bella. You can’t forget the cat.
Owen didn’t know how long he’d been asleep or what had woken him up, but the sky was still dark and his hair was still damp from the shower, so he knew it couldn’t have been very long.
Findley slept soundlessly next to him, the duvet pulled up so that only his hair was showing, and Bella had disappeared from the foot of the bed.
He got up, padded out into the hall and into the bathroom, and on his way back caught sight of Bella sitting on the windowsill, the bell on her collar a faint jingle with every flick of her tail.
“Is it another cat?” He pulled the curtains, peeking out at the street and the park across from the house, catching site of what had caught Bella’s attention. Balloons.”
“What are you doing?” Findley asked from the bed, and Owen shushed him.
“There’s someone in the park.”
“There’s always someone in the park.”
“No, it’s some weirdo.”
“Yeah, there’s always some weirdo in the park.”
That made Owen laugh, and he let go of the curtain and climbed back into bed, throwing his leg over Findley’s and laying his head on his shoulder and his hand on his chest. Owen always slept in a t-shirt, but Findley never did, and he liked the feeling of Findley’s warm skin under his fingers and the spattering of hair there. He found it so much more appealing than waxed chests and boys who were barely old enough to drink alcohol. “Happy anniversary.”
He could hear the smile in Findley’s voice, and he was hit with that contentment again. It was like when you were young, and you’d get a kitten or a puppy, something so cute you’d be overwhelmed with the momentary desire to hug it so hard it fused with you. But you knew you couldn’t, because it would destroy this thing you loved so completely. It made him think of the ring he’d hidden in his dresser drawer the moment they’d gotten home. “Are you happy?”
“You know I am.”
“Like this, I mean.” Maybe his desire to put a ring on Findley’s finger was like that compulsion to squeeze the life out of something fragile. “Are you happy the way things are? With us?”
“I have never been happier. The way things are is perfect.” Findley was looking down at him, and as if he could sense Owen’s odd, almost melancholy mood, lifted his chin with his fingers, so that Owen looked him in the eyes. “I’m happy. I don’t want anything to change.”
Owen pushed up to kiss him. The energy he’d been sorely missing after a long day at the bookstore making a reappearance after a little sleep, and he could feel the moment Findley caught up with that fact, taking the kiss deeper and pulling Owen completely on top of him.
Findley was more muscular than he was, which was probably one of the reasons Owen found him so nice to look at.
“You’ve been working out.” Owen kissed his neck, working his way to his shoulder. “I can feel it in your arms.”
“Yeah, this way I won’t feel the need to flex when you touch my biceps.” Owen smothered a laugh in the crook of his neck, and Findley rolled them both over, pinning Owen under him. “Plus, it makes it easier to hold you down.”
“Trying out a new kink?” Owen grinned, and struggled a little, testing out how easily he could flip them back over again.
“Maybe. What do you think?”
“It has merit.”
Findley kissed him again, leaning up on his elbows, and rocked his hips.
Findley was an excellent kisser. The kind of kisser that could make a grown man write a romance novel before catching himself and steering it back to a book about a local historian that catches a serial killer, like he’d planned in the first place.
Yeah. That good.
“Remember our first date?” Findley asked, pressing his lips to Owen’s ear.
“When you made me hunt ghosts?”
“Well.” Findley rocked his hips again. He was hard and Owen wasn’t far behind. “I was thinking after that, when you put out.”
“On a first date?” Owen scoffed. “Doesn’t sound like me at all.”
“I think you just need a reminder.”