Aiden Newell knows he’s a coward for refusing to go home, but he doesn’t care. He won’t go back as long as Justin Pollasky is still there. If he goes back, he’ll just fall in love with the man all over again. Justin has loved him and left him the past.
Justin has been trying to get Aiden back for a year and a half, but the man refuses to see him. Every time their teams work together, Aiden takes off for parts unknown. When Aiden gets kidnapped by the human traffickers trying to put him behind bars, Justin gets a little bit crazy with worry. He just hopes he can get Aiden back in time to make things right.
Aiden Newell knew it was coming, because he could see the restlessness in the way Justin moved around his office. It was as if Justin couldn’t hold it in any longer and had to move. Justin would leave, just like he always did. He left and said pretty words that Aiden always believed, but were never true.
Aiden tapped the pen on his desk and watched the man he loved getting ready to walk away from him for what felt like the hundredth time. In reality it was the fourth time. Aiden was never the type to like pain, but he had started to wonder about himself each time he took Justin back.
Justin was on the phone with one of his men. Whatever the problem was, Aiden could see the tension build in his shoulders. Aiden had been watching him through the entire conversation, and he knew this phone call was the catalyst that would push him over the edge and make him leave once again.
It wasn’t just the phone call, though. The need to leave had been building over the past couple months. It had always been like this. It was like this ride they were on, up and down, until Justin got sick of being on it and then he would plummet them both back down again.
This time Aiden wanted off the damn ride. He wasn’t going back for round number five.
Justin took the phone away from his ear and turned to look at Aiden. Justin started to say something, but Aiden held up a hand.
“Just go, if that’s what you want. And save me the fucking speech about how you’ll call. And how you’ll be back in a couple weeks,” Aiden said.
“Baby, it’s just one case,” Justin said, and started walking toward him.
“Yeah. I know. That’s what you always say. And then I never get a call. Six months later you’re back on my doorstep for an extended booty call.”
“It’s not like that, and you fucking know it.” Justin’s full lips thinned some. “You know, we have this conversation every time and every time you push me away.”
“Who’s pushing? Stay, then. Or better yet, call and come back, like you promise.” Aiden stood up and moved around his desk.
“Did it ever occur to you that maybe things happen on the job and it’s hard for me to call or even come back home to you?”
“For six months? That’s a bunch of shit, and you know it. Just call it what it is. You’re afraid of commitment.”
“Don’t you put that psychobabble crap on me. That’s not true. There’s shit about this job that you don’t know.” Justin turned then.
“Then tell me. What is the truth, Justin?” Aiden took a step closer.
Justin turned his head, looking into his eyes. “That I love you.”
Aiden saw that he was going to go anyway, though. He’d leave and not come back until a case happened to bring him close to Aiden’s doorstep, just like always.
“But not enough to put me first.”
“Aiden.” Justin moved to him, drawing him into his arms, and Aiden reveled in his warmth. Aiden breathed in his scent, which was something uniquely Justin and reminded him of the beach and the sunshine. Aiden gripped the back of Justin’s shirt, holding on as if his life depended on it.
Justin was the one who let him go first, although he took Aiden’s face in his hands. Justin’s thumb caressed his cheek and he leaned down for a kiss, which Aiden gladly gave him. God, the man could kiss. Aiden moaned when he felt Justin’s tongue taste the inside of his mouth.
Aiden pulled back suddenly, letting go of Justin completely. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’m done.”
Aiden held up his hand when Justin started to speak. He went around his desk and sat back down in his chair, looking directly at Justin.