He switched on his laptop and set his phone on the table next to it. While he was waiting for his laptop to boot up, he made himself another cup of coffee. He was doing that when he heard his phone vibrate on the table from an incoming call.
After glancing at the display and seeing Unknown, he silenced it, sending it to voice mail.
They can leave me a message or sod off.
He was no idiot. When home, Nevvie usually babysat his phone for him for the rare calls that needed his immediate attention. The kids knew to text Nevvie during his work hours when he was home. On trips like this, they could text him whenever with the knowledge that he might not be able to reply right away.
But he never answered an unknown call.
And the caller didn’t leave a message.
An hour later, he was nearly a thousand new words into the project when his phone rang again.
Again, he sent it to voice mail.
He was getting out of the car with Crystal at the book fair when he realized he’d missed a third call from the persistent Unknown, but that time they had left a message.
Except now he didn’t have time to listen to it.
Whoever they are can wait.
If there was an emergency, Nevvie or Tom—or other family members in the know—would send what they’d dubbed a “911 text.” Simply put, the text would start with 911, followed by the text message needing an immediate reply, or an instruction to call immediately.
Barring that, it wasn’t an emergency. Only his family was worthy of “emergency” status anyway.
Today’s schedule wasn’t nearly as stressful as yesterday’s had been, now that he’d had a full night’s sleep in his system. As she’d promised, Crystal had gotten the Q&A format changed and had somehow snagged the assistance of three event volunteers, who would help her go through the cards people would deposit up to an hour before the start time. Any illegible or improper questions would be dumped immediately, leaving the remainder for Tyler to quickly skim through, with Crystal putting the ones she felt were best at the top of the pile for him.
Maybe she’ll redeem herself from the Friday morning wake-up.
If only he could rid himself of her for a few moments. One time, she’d nearly walked into the men’s room with him because her attention had been focused on her phone and numbers she was rattling off at him, social media statistics.
The day quickly got away from him. Between how busy he was, trying to digest what Crystal was saying, wanting to spend time talking to Nevvie, Tom, and the kids after returning to his room that evening, and his latest WIP calling him back to his laptop, he totally forgot to play the voice mail from the persistent Unknown.
It wasn’t until he was sitting with a group of friends and fellow authors at lunch on Sunday—after having gently shed Crystal for the morning—and they were all waiting for their orders that he remembered it. After replying to a text from Adam, Tyler spotted the alert and decided to play the message. The man’s voice spoke clear English, but with a hint of an accent Tyler couldn’t quite place despite it hitting his ear as slightly familiar.
“My name is Nicolas Goossens, from the firm of Simons, Pieters, Verlinden, and De Clercq. I am trying to reach Mr. Tyler Paulson regarding an urgent personal matter on behalf of a client of mine. My numbers are…”
Tyler almost deleted the message, except he realized the numbers the man rattled off were organized in groups unlike no US phone numbers he was familiar with. Definitely overseas. The caller had left two, an office number and a cell phone.
Instead of deleting it, Tyler saved the message and tucked his phone away so he could focus on his discussions with his luncheon partners.
* * * *
Another stupid cocktail party and another dinner, and then Tyler’s time was his once he’d managed to get clear of Crystal. The concierge had left a shipping box in the room for him, along with packing materials and tape. Tyler quickly prepared that and took it back down to the man, also handing him two twenties for his time and trouble.
When he was back in the room for the evening, he set about packing. He knew he needed to call Nevvie and Thomas, but that’s when he remembered the voice mail.
He sat down at the table where his laptop was up and running and grabbed a pen and notebook to write the man’s name and the two phone numbers. He guessed at the spelling of the names from the man’s firm but decided to start with the easiest thing.
He Googled the man’s office number.
The website for the law firm named in the caller’s message came up as the top search result. Nicolas Goossens was one of their partners.
He drew in a sharp breath.
There was only one person Tyler knew from Brussels.
For long moments he sat there, stunned, staring at the website and not wanting to ponder the ramifications.
He hadn’t had any contact from Marcus in a year. The last had been a card Tyler had sent to him last Christmas, the same card they sent to other friends and acquaintances they considered close enough to send a picture to, but not family-close.
Unlike previous years, there had been no reply from Marcus. Tyler honestly hadn’t contemplated that, too busy to keep track of those kinds of things.
He hadn’t laid eyes on the man since that night in Seattle in the hotel room, where Marcus had confessed he’d sought Tyler out, even knowing Tyler had a husband and a wife.
Out of hope.
Admittedly low chances of success, but Marcus had been lonely and desperate and had lost his partner to cancer the year before.
Despite knowing it wasn’t yet business hours in Brussels, Tyler called the man’s cell phone, fully expecting to reach a voice mail message. He’d hoped it would be a faster response than Tyler waiting until the man got into his office the next morning to play his voice mails there.
To Tyler’s surprise, the man answered, sounding sleepy.
“Hallo, met Goossens.”
“Um, yes. My name is Tyler Paulson. I’m sorry about the time—”
“Ja, Meneer Paulson.” Now he sounded more awake. “Thank you for returning my call.”
“Is this about Marcus Van Durben?”
There was a hesitation that didn’t need to be translated to be recognizable in any language.
“I am afraid that it is.”
Tyler didn’t realize how tightly he was holding his phone until he felt it digging into his palm. “Has he passed?” Tyler currently existed in the Schrödinger’s paradigm, simultaneously wanting Marcus to be alive and dead, and hating himself for both.
“Not yet, but soon, I am afraid.”
Tyler and Tommy both had a magic way with her body. Just looking into his blue eyes, she felt her cunt grow wet, her clit already throbbing in anticipation of feeling his mouth on her, the gentle scratch of his whiskers on tender flesh.
Yeah, even this many years later, Tyler still lit her fire with very little effort on his part. It was just who he was, naturally loving and sensual.
Nevvie slid to her knees, her sweetly wicked smile hardening Ty’s cock even more as she engulfed him in her mouth and went down on him.
She loved this, with both of them. The men had different styles, Tyler her sweeter, gentler lover. Although he had his slightly dark side, on occasion.
Cradling her head in his hands, he slowly rocked his hips in time with her mouth, not bothering to hold back with her. She knew exactly how to stroke his cock with her tongue, sucking, licking.
Except she wanted more tonight.
Deep-throating him and holding still for a moment, she slowly withdrew, her gaze swiveling up to him.
“More, then, angel?”
She arched an eyebrow at him in reply, and it sent a hard jolt of desire through her, straight to her clit, when his hands tightened on her head and he fucked his cock deep into her mouth.
He held still there, Nevvie’s pulse racing, juices flowing as his sweet blue gaze narrowed. “Does my sweet little plaything wish to be used, then?” A stroke out, enough time for her to grab a breath before he started fucking her mouth in earnest. Hard, totally in control, and taking what he wanted.
A low moan rolled from her.
“Needy little thing, aren’t we? Didn’t Thomas take proper care of you while I was away?”
She held on to his legs, trembling with need, her cunt aching to be filled by his cock.
Every thrust of warm silken steel over her tongue spun her hard and fast down the rabbit hole. Even from the very beginning, Tyler had seemed to know exactly what buttons to push and how.
Okay, so thank you, Marcus.
He might have broken Tyler’s heart and shattered his trust, but Marcus opened Tyler’s mind and led him to learning more about BDSM, and for that she did feel grateful to the man. Their particular flavor of kink was more on the vanilla end of the spectrum than on the BDSM end, but it still revved her motor.
While apart, they frequently had phone sex at night, a treasured ritual between them. But for nearly a week, Tyler had been too damned tired to do more than talk with them before collapsing.
His balls bounced off her chin as he settled into a rhythm she knew well, one designed to make her take it and hold him at a fast simmer until he couldn’t take it.
“I missed you so much, pet,” he whispered. “Don’t think you weren’t in my thoughts every day.” He slowed his strokes, burying his cock in her mouth except she knew he wasn’t close to being done. He was just deep enough she could still breathe through her nose, but she couldn’t do anything about the drool escaping her mouth.
Tyler’s smile widened. “I think upon our return I know a certain pet who will spend several days in her collar and nothing else while the children are at school.”
Her heart raced and another moan rolled through her, making Tyler bite his lower lip in response to hold back.
“That’s right,” he said, easing his cock deeper again, holding, her chin pressing against his balls. “Our good girl will get as much of me as she can take.”
Fuck, why the hell didn’t I renew my goddamned passport!
Yeah, she was spoiled, and she’d gladly own it. Not just one, but two loving, sexy husbands?
It’d be damn miserable alone in bed without them while they were gone.
He withdrew his cock until just the head lay within her lips, and she teased, played with him, tasting salty pre-cum from his slit.
Tyler grabbed her arm and yanked her to her feet, spinning her around to face away from him. His fingers slid between her legs, playing with her clit before easily slipping into her pussy.
“Ah, yes, my good girl. Look at that, such a sweet, fuckable cunt all ready for me to plunder.”
He stepped in behind her, his cock easily sliding home into her wet pussy. He reached around her and started fingering her clit. “Let’s have one from you like this, pet, and then I’ll take proper care of you in a little while.”
Tyler’s slow, deep strokes, combined with his talented fingers on her clit, were like magic to her body. His other arm curled around her, palming her right breast where he rolled her nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
It didn’t take her long to get to the brink. Pleasure curled through her body, winding tighter and tighter until finally breaking free and pulling a soft cry from her.
“Mmm, yes. I feel your pussy coming on my cock. My sweet, needy pet.” He waited until he felt her finish and then grabbed her hips and fucked her, every stroke bottoming out inside her in that delicious way that bordered on pain and drove her close to the edge of coming again. “And here…you…go.”
His fingers tightening on her hips, along with that familiar, satisfied groan she knew better than her own heartbeat, signaled his climax. As she caught her breath, she shivered a little, pleasure still echoing through her body.