“I’m pleased to announce that Tatum has accepted my offer of the medic position at Rescue for Hire West.”
Nobody spoke or moved. They all knew this day would come. The team needed two medics and logically they realized that Reese would never be able to come back. That didn’t mean it still didn’t hurt like a bitch.
Morgan couldn’t take the tension streaming through his body. The stress came out of his mouth.
“We know he’s been a paramedic in the big city, but can he handle the physical part of our job?”
“Are you questioning Roman’s decision?” Jimmy asked.
“It’s a fair concern,” Tatum said before Morgan could defend himself.
“Let’s see how far you can get on The Beast,” Parker suggested.
Everyone waited for Tatum’s answer. Morgan could see this situation ending in a lot of different ways. One of them being, Tatum going back to San Clemente and never returning. Why didn’t he feel like dancing the cha-cha at that thought? That should make him happy, right?
Tatum’s gaze drifted over the group before scanning the course.
Looking back, he said, “Alright.”
Morgan watched Tatum shrug off his suit coat and lay it over Morgan’s flannel shirt still lying on the back of the lawn chair. Nimble fingers unbuttoned the dress shirt and it joined the suit jacket. Next Tatum rolled up the bottoms of his pants legs until they reached knee high. Last, his kicked took off his socks and shoes.
Clad only in pants and a thin white sleeveless T-shirt, Tatum turned to Morgan and smiled before pulling out the band holding his hair back. He picked up Morgan’s left hand and slid the band onto Morgan’s ring finger.
“Here you go, sweets. Hold this for me.”
“Holy shit,” Jimmy exclaimed. “Tatum just claimed Morgan.”
“I don’t think he’s the type to settle for a friends with benefits arrangement,” Tristen commented.
“Of course not,” Jimmy stated. “Tatum may only be a few inches taller than Morgan, but it’s clear he’s an alpha like the rest of the big guys around here.”
Morgan stared at the brothers. Could they have known about Reese’s late-night visits to his room? He was sure no one knew. They had been careful.
A finger slid under Morgan’s chin and lifted until his mouth closed.
“I don’t know what has you so spooked, but now’s the time for you to be impressed with my moves.” Tatum’s finger went from Morgan’s chin to tweaking his cheek.
“Knock it off.” Morgan wiped a hand over the abused spot on his face.
Tatum just patted Morgan’s ass before climbing up to the first platform.
Morgan ground his teeth together. He hoped the man fell on the first obstacle. Right on that powerful and mouth-wateringly round ass of his. Morgan might console him by patting him on the butt, before walking away. The other thought of leaving the man, lying on his back as if he were a stuck turtle, filled Morgan with utter peace and happiness.
All thoughts ground to a halt. Morgan stood, spell-bound, by the sight of Tatum attacking the course. Holy hell. Golden tan skin shone with sweat. The sun caught in the bright blond tips of his hair. Thigh muscles bunched and flexed. The man seemed to float over the vertical posts.
“I don’t think men are supposed to look that good while working so hard not to hurt themselves by falling,” Carson commented.
Morgan glanced at the little blond. The man’s blue eyes widened as he watched Tatum. Isaiah slung his arm around Carson’s chest and pulled him back against his bigger body. The small man melted into his husband’s embrace.
“He’s almost better than porn,” Jimmy added.
Tatum had reached the rings. He hung onto the curved metal and swung hard, stretching his arm out for the next. Morgan couldn’t take his gaze off the man’s expanding and tightening shoulders and chest.
“Let’s hope he doesn’t fall before the cargo net,” Tristen stated.
“Why is that?” Tolliver, Garrett’s husband asked.
“Can you imagine what his ass is going to look like while he’s climbing?” Jimmy explained.
Tolliver’s blue-eyed gaze watched the blond poetry in motion sliding down the zip line.
“Fuck me,” he whispered.
Santos had once nicknamed Jimmy, Tristen, and Tolliver, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottentail. Morgan was so not amused by the three mischievous bunnies.
“He isn’t a piece of meat,” Morgan snapped.
“True,” Jimmy agreed. “But he sure is great eye candy.”
“Little bit.” The warning in Roman’s tone as he called Jimmy by his special name, sent a shiver down Morgan’s spine. Roman could be lethal on a good day, horrifying on a bad.
Jimmy smiled, walked up to Roman, and plastered himself against his husband’s side. Morgan thought the smaller man had bigger balls than he ever would.
Roman embraced Jimmy, lifted him off his feet, and brushed his lips against his temple.
“Just a reminder who you belong to,” Roman murmured into Jimmy’s ear. “Later I’ll show you with the palm of my hand where my name is tattooed on your sweet ass.”
Jimmy’s response was a huge smile covering his face and a whispered, “Go, me.”
Morgan heard the comment and so did everyone around them. The guys chuckled. Morgan’s ass tingled at the thought of being claimed with such total intensity.
“Anyone want to bet he makes it all the way?” Rhys asked.
Tatum stood on the last platform and shook out his arms. With adrenaline pumping up his muscled chest and arms, and thighs straining the seams of his pants, the man looked magnificent. Morgan had to swallow the extra saliva pooling in his mouth.
“I think he could make it to the end,” Santos said. “But will he?”
“No betting on my new employee,” Roman stated before anyone could ask what Santos meant by that question.
After entering the room, Tatum wasted no time getting them to the bathroom suite and turning on the shower. The second warm water sprayed from the large rain showerhead, Tatum shoved Morgan under the soft rivulets and joined him.
“Can you try and stand while I soap you up?” Tatum asked.
“Standing is overrated,” Morgan grumbled.
Tatum gave up on that idea when Morgan started leaning to the side. He managed to catch the wet slippery fish at the last minute. Spying the shower bench, Tatum guided the almost comatose man onto the seat, glad the room was growing warm and steamy from the hot water.
He found soap and clean washcloths on a shelf near their heads. As he slid the soapy cloth over Morgan’s skin, a puff of warm air caressed Tatum’s neck and the sexy man groaned so beautifully. Tatum wished they were engaging in a sex scene instead of bringing Morgan back from the brink of a health meltdown.
Once he had Morgan covered in soapsuds, Tatum used the cloth to wash himself. He frowned when Morgan closed his eyes and slumped back against the tiled wall. Time to get them both rinsed off and to bed.
“Work with me, sweets.” Tatum pulled Morgan upright before trying to lift him to his feet. Arms encircled Tatum’s shoulders and once Morgan was standing, their bodies came together.
“You are one sexy man.” Morgan’s words may be slurred with fatigue, but his dick stood straight and proud.
“Let’s rinse these bubbles off,” Tatum urged. “I think a nap is next.”
“A bed sounds like a great idea.” Morgan rubbed his body against Tatum, their skin slipping and sliding with warm, soapy water.
Tatum’s body reacted to the teasing and blood surged into his cock. He knew the situation could get out of hand if he didn’t put a halt to Morgan’s actions. When he took this man and made him his, Morgan would be aware of what was happening, not stoned on exhaustion and sorrow.
“Enough,” he ordered, using a tone that broke no argument.
Morgan froze for a moment before seeming to deflate. He tried to step away from Tatum, but Tatum wasn’t having any of that.
Eyes flashing with venom, Morgan’s words came out short and biting. “Back off.”