Over two weeks before, Detective Grisham Canton arrested the wrong guy—Solomon Lynch. It wasn’t the first time it’d happened and probably wouldn’t be the last. What made it stand out, however, was the stranger who’d been with Solomon. Grisham didn’t know his name, but the memory of his lean, sexy body, wide dark eyes, and distinctive black and red hair invaded his dreams. Waking with a hard-on was quickly getting old. Grisham heads to World of Aquatica, hoping to discover the identity of the stranger. When Grisham meets Cuzco Judson, the attraction is even more intense than his dreams. After a hot night with the man, Grisham learns a few secrets that turn his life upside down. Cuzco is an octopus shifter and believes Grisham is his mate. As Grisham is drawn into Cuzco’s world—where paranormals will do just about anything to keep their anonymity—will he be able to reconcile that the world isn’t black and white, right and wrong, or will the desire to walk away be too much temptation?
When Grisham had noticed Eban beckoning to someone, he’d turned to follow his focus. His breath had immediately caught in his chest, and his mouth had watered. The slender male was just as sexy as he remembered.
His blood firing in his veins, Grisham gave Cuzco a thorough once over. He wore faded, form-fitting blue jeans, and a pale green polo shirt. On his feet were a pair of sandals, revealing slim sexy feet.
Shit, did I just think his feet are sexy?
Grisham yanked his focus to Solomon, noticing his narrowed eyes and speculative expression. Picking up his glass of water, he cast a quick look at Eban and saw the big man’s lips were curved in a slight smirk. It was obvious they found Grisham’s situation funny.
At least they agreed to introduce me.
As Grisham downed several more gulps of water, trying to cool his spike of arousal, he caught movement in his peripheral vision. Cuzco slowly sat, occupying the fourth chair at their table. As soon as that happened, the waiter appeared.
“Are we ready to order now? Or do you need a few minutes, Cuzco?”
The blond male obviously knew Grisham’s obsession. Cuzco smiled up at the waiter—who’d introduced himself as Thane—and nodded. An uncomfortable niggle of jealousy tightened Grisham’s gut.
Damn! What is it about this guy?
“I always get the same thing anyway, but, uh…” Cuzco’s smile faded, and a tinge of red colored his cheeks as he glanced at Grisham beneath his lashes, then focused on Eban. “Am I eating?”
Eban grinned. “Probably not.” Looking at Thane, he ordered, “Come back in ten.” The waiter instantly dipped his head in a nod before slipping away. Then Eban pointed at Grisham. “This is Detective Grisham Canton. Do you remember him?”
Grisham focused on Cuzco fully. He watched as the lean, handsome male returned his regard. His big brown eyes were wide, and his lips were parted just a little. Cuzco’s nostrils flared, and Grisham recognized the lust in the depths of his eyes.
“Yeah,” Cuzco whispered, his voice soft and breathy. “I remember you.”
Considering the arousal simmering between them, Grisham figured there was no point in beating around the bush. “You have been in my thoughts.” Constantly, but he didn’t add that. Grisham reached out and placed his hand over Cuzco’s where it rested on the table. “I wish a meal, but only if you’re on the menu.”
Cuzco’s hand tensed beneath his own. His tongue slipped out and licked his bottom lip. He sucked in a harsh breath before swallowing hard enough to cause his Adam’s apple to bob.
“We both want the same thing.” Grisham twined their fingers and squeezed lightly. “Don’t we?”
Cuzco nodded once, then focused on Eban. “Am I relieved for the rest of my shift?”
“Is he your mate?”
Again, Cuzco nodded.
“Then you’re relieved. I’ll clear your schedule for the next few days, too,” Eban stated, and a look of relief crossed Cuzco’s face. “When explanation time comes, if you need help, let me know. There are plenty around who will give you a hand.”
Cuzco grinned as he stood. “Thanks.”
Grisham didn’t understand the exchange, but he rose, too. Getting out of the restaurant and to someplace secluded was his top priority, after all. One way or another, he needed the dreams to stop. That meant fucking Cuzco hard and getting him out of his system.
Time to get out of here.
Except, as Cuzco started away from the table, getting amused looks from several of the staff, a thought hit him.
“I hope I’m not getting you into trouble,” Grisham commented as he followed Cuzco from the restaurant. “While getting you alone is definitely top of my to do list today, I don’t want to cause you problems with your job.”
Eban had pulled Cuzco off whatever work he was doing.
Cuzco peered at him through his lashes as he led the way into the sunlight. “It won’t cause a problem. Really.” He glanced around, then began leading Grisham down a pathway. “I know you don’t understand, and I’ll explain it to you before long, but I really think we need to fuck right now.”