A homicide detective, Dominick's marriage to his job had saved him, helping him to leave his feelings for Rob in the past. Or so he'd thought. Then he ran into Rob on his way to work. Ever since their impromptu meeting, Dominick couldn't stop thinking about the past. Then a suspect in a murder investigation leads Dominick to the Martindale Institute, the very place Rob Dewhurst works.
Rob stared at the ceiling. Tomorrow he would start his new job as assistant director at Martindale Youth Detention Center. But that wasn’t what was keeping him awake. This morning on the subway, he ran into Dominick Cortez. It had been twelve years since he’d seen him, and it was as if nothing had changed. Rob’s heart had hammered in his chest like a schoolboy the second Dominick looked his way. Worse, Rob’s cock instantly hardened. Yep, just like puberty.
Dominick Cortez was as gorgeous as ever, tall and lean, well muscled with a dark shadow hugging his square jaw. His undisciplined, thick black hair adorned his broad shoulders. In faded jeans and Italian boots, he was wearing a black leather jacket long enough to conceal the shoulder holster where he carried his gun. In his thirties now, time had made Dominick even sexier. And the man didn’t even have to try.
Rob swallowed something painful in his throat as Dominick moved over to where he stood against the wall near the door, coffee in one hand. He focussed on the gold shield swinging off of Dominick’s neck as the subway swayed, bringing them even closer together. “Rob? Rob Dewhurst?” Dominick was smiling. “Is that you?”
Rob sunk into the wall. “Yeah. Dominick, how are…you?”
“Okay,” Dominick replied. “And you?”
It was awkward. Rob noticed that Dominick’s smile faded a little. He felt like they were frozen in time as they stared at each other. “Good.” Rob tried not to allow himself to drown in those beautiful brown eyes.
“I hear you’re still working at Martindale’s,” Dominick said.
Rob blinked. Had Dominick kept track of where he’d been all this time? Rob would have thought the way they’d ended things that Dominick would have long forgotten all about him. “I…yes. Still there. I got a promotion. Assistant Director.”
Dominick’s smile came back. “Congratulations. I knew you’d be great at that job.”
“Thanks. I owe you. You’re the one who got me in there as a volunteer. Then I got hired.”
Dominick shook his head. “You’re the one who did the work to get where you are.”
Rob’s gaze went back to the badge. It was easier to focus on the shield then to look at him. “I see you got gold.” Rob almost reached out and touched the badge but thought better of it.
Dominick shrugged. “They keep handing out these things to anyone who will take them.” He smirked.
The subway stopped. Doors slid open and several people pushed in. Dominick was forced to move closer to him. Rob glanced down at the floor, concentrating on someone’s discarded coffee cup as Dominick’s arm brushed his. Only two more stops.
“What are you doing taking the subway anyway?” Rob glanced up again to find Dominick looking right at him.
“Well, my car is in the shop. I leave the requisitioned vehicle at work.”
“They won’t give you any more cars, huh?” Rob couldn’t help but smile.
Dominick grimaced. “You remember that, do you?”
Rob started to laugh. “Yeah. So, I guess you still drive as if you’re on the race track?”
Dominick laughed now too.
The laughter died as their gazes met and locked. Rob felt actual pain. He wasn’t sure what Dominick was feeling as he desperately tried to think of something to say. The silence lingered, the hurt intensified. Rob forced himself to look at a billboard on the far wall. Tears threatened but thankfully didn’t betray him.
“Rob, I…” Dominick began.
Rob put up a hand. “I…no, please.” He had no idea what Dominick intended to say but it was better he didn’t say anything. The past was the past.
Dominick looked away.
Rob was desperate to pull the interaction back into the neutral zone, break the tension. He tightened his fist, digging his nails into his palms. “You still at the same station?”
“Do you really want to know?” Dominick asked, his voice soft and deep.
Rob shook his head, avoiding Dominick’s gaze. “No.” The subway stopped again and let some people on. Two women got off.
“One more stop,” Rob announced.
Dominick remained silent.
Rob was dying to ask. Are you alone? Is there someone? Is some man lucky enough to hold you close every night, touch you, and feel you inside him? I hate him already. “I’m happy,” Rob announced with a little more gusto than he was feeling, “with a great guy now. He’s a professor. We’ve been together seven years.”
Dominick’s eyes widened.
Rob realised he’d just blurted out all that personal information in one breath. What in hell had possessed him to do that? “I…I…well…I just thought you should know.”
“Why?” Dominick asked. “Why should I know that, Rob?”
Rob held his breath then let some air out. “Just making conversation. What about you?” He looked away again. Please, don’t tell me.
Dominick leaned closer about to say something then he backed away. The subway stopped. Rob said a hasty goodbye and got off. He stood on the platform watching until the subway was out of sight, taking Dominick with it, his Dominick. No, not anymore.
Rob never did get an answer to his question, a question Dominick probably thought he had no business asking.
When all you can think about is survival, it doesn’t leave room for anything else.
They’d met under unusual circumstances. There were multiple reasons why they shouldn’t have become lovers but that didn’t stop them. They weren’t able to keep their hands off each other.
In his mind, he’d relived the last night he and Dominick were together countless times. Rob had been a different person then. He’d been so young, insecure, wanting desperately to be independent, make his own way.
“I’ve always felt safe with you,” Rob told Dominick that night as he lay in the cop’s strong arms. Rob was still coming down from the high of their lovemaking, breathing shallow, skin damp and warm.