The press nickname him “The Countdown Killer”, branding his victims with a number, but Chad knows him as Romeo. Captured by the killer he’s hunting, Chad’s situation seems dire, but Romeo doesn’t want to kill him because Chad doesn’t fit his pattern.
Instead, he’s keeping Chad for two months, hiding him away where no one will find him, making sure Chad can’t reveal who he is. Romeo is not going to hurt Chad; he’s going to let him go—but only once he’s claimed number one.
But in two months with only the killer for company, a bond begins to grow. They’re not detective and killer, but Chad and Romeo. It’s wrong, but in their messed-up situation, it feels right.
Still, Chad is a detective, and his duty is to the public, to keep them safe. And if that means betraying the man he’s learned to rely on, then so be it…
Be Warned: m/m sex
“What the hell!”
Chad hadn’t heard the shower door open, and his eyes felt heavy when he tried to open them. He realized his teeth were no longer chattering, and he wasn’t shivering. He blinked the drops of his lashes, then looked at Romeo. His green eyes blazed with anger, and his nostrils flared. Before Chad could do anything, Romeo had grabbed him under his armpits, and pulled him out of the shower.
The minute his chest was against Romeo’s, his sluggishness vanished, and he found himself clinging to the heat. He didn’t want to. His clear head told him to shove Romeo back, keep him away, but his arms wrapped around him on their own accord, and he pressed his body into Romeo’s wide chest, taking the warmth from him.
Romeo didn’t moan about getting his silk shirt wet like Neil would have. He didn’t shun Chad for wanting affection like his mother would have. Romeo wrapped his arms around Chad in return and held him impossibly closer. Chad took his warmth, cushioned himself in Romeo’s chest, and let him take most of his weight.
“You’ll make yourself sick.”
He was already sick, a sickness of the mind where he’d become attached to Romeo. Where he’d seen beyond the front-page headline and liked what was underneath.
“Why does it matter?” Chad mumbled.
“It matters to me.”
“Don’t,” Chad gasped. “Don’t say things like that. Don’t act like you care.”
“But I do.”
Romeo’s hand roamed into Chad’s hair, and he gripped the strands, gently pulling Chad’s head away from his chest. They stared at each other, and Chad waited for the wolfish smile he hated, but it didn’t come.
“I’m not lying. You’re the one person in the world I’ve not had to lie to. That makes you special. Very special to me.”
His gaze dropped to Chad’s mouth. His lips burned under Romeo’s attention, the hottest part of Chad’s body, but in seconds it had a rival. His cock filled, pressed to Romeo’s thigh, brushing against his sweatpants as he clung to Romeo’s shoulders.
Romeo tugged Chad’s hair, and his scalp tingled, and a soft noise left his parted lips. Romeo saw it as an invitation, some kind of green light, and he dropped lower, eyes still targeting, as he swooped, pounced, struck, attacked. Chad didn’t know how to describe it, but he caught the predatory glint in Romeo’s eye just before they connected, and turned his head.
Romeo’s mouth met his cheek, he gave a quick peck, then withdrew with a soft snort from his nose. Romeo’s body that had been all tense and curled forward, suddenly relaxed, and he went back to hugging Chad again.
Chad could feel his heart pounding away, but Romeo’s heart rate was matching it. They were so close together he could feel both, completely out of time, and disorienting. He was being punched by their hearts, and the sensation made him dizzy, slightly nauseous.
Romeo’s heart started to slow, and he released Chad’s hair. They stood together in the bathroom, Chad clinging onto Romeo’s shoulders, and Romeo’s with his arms secured around Chad’s back, giving his warmth, taking Chad’s weight, and making him feel ashamed, and comforted at the same time.
Romeo sighed. “Come on. Let’s get you a towel, and I’ll make you a warm drink.”
“You tried to kiss me.”
“I did. And you got aroused again.”
“At least I’m honest with myself. Now come on, coffee.”
Romeo moved Chad towards the sink, and he clutched on before Romeo released him.
“Oh,” Romeo said, turning around and picking up a pile from the floor. “I came up to give you these.”
Chad looked at the towel, and clothes, then he frowned. “Wait, these are my clothes.”
The warm feeling Chad despised fizzled in his stomach. He was happy, grateful, relieved, all emotions he shouldn’t have felt. He shouldn’t have felt any positive emotion towards Romeo, but when he touched his shirt, he couldn’t help flashing a smile.
“You’re welcome. I’ll see you downstairs.”
Chad sat down on the toilet, dropped his head into his hands and sighed. He couldn’t like Romeo; he just couldn’t.