Here’s the first Ian and Hollis short story. Have fun!
“I thought you’re not supposed to bring anyone on surveillance missions.”
Hollis’s blue eyes glittered in the van’s faint, overhead light as he looked at Ian. “That’s when I was a cop. I can do whatever the hell I want now.” Though there was a hint of sadness in his voice, his slight grin thumped Ian right in the heart. So did the southern drawl that became more pronounced when he was exhausted. They’d been here over four hours and midnight had hit Cincinnati with a noisy, winter storm. This was Hollis’s sixth night on this job, so Ian couldn’t imagine how tired he had to be. “Why didn’t you ask that before you insisted on coming?” Hollis continued. “Told you this is the boring part of the job.”
“Are you kidding? Boring? This van is the coolest thing. I can’t believe Shane pays a real, local delivery company for the use of their logo.” He glanced around the tricked-out vehicle that held two captain’s chairs, several monitors, and listening devices. “There’s even a toilet back there.”
“Which you won’t use and we’ve been here a long time.” Hollis chuckled. “It has a curtain you can pull around it.”
“Shut up. You haven’t used it either.”
“I haven’t had to. But I didn’t drink a grande, skinny, vanilla something or another either.”
Ian rolled his eyes, used to being teased about his coffee habit.
Since Hollis had been placed on leave from the police department, he’d done a few surveillance jobs for Jude’s friend, Shane Stephens, but he was hesitant to take on anything permanent. Things were still too up in the air. Though, they had just learned the investigation into Hollis’s actions during the take-down of the crime boss, Boris Jagger, was wrapping up earlier than expected. Hollis wasn’t going to be brought up on charges—not after rescuing so many kids—but he wouldn’t be getting his job back either. Ian had been worried about him because he knew Hollis had loved his career in law enforcement, but the jobs for Shane seemed to cheer him. This had been the longest one so far, and with Ian’s Rialto schedule, he’d only seen Hollis in passing for the last week. Which was why he’d asked to come along.
He missed having the cop—er, ex-cop—in his bed.
Hollis glanced away from the monitors again. “I’ve seen you pee, Ian. I’m familiar with every inch of your body and had my tongue in your ass, so what’s with the shy?”
Heat speared into Ian and he squirmed on the seat. “That’s different. It would just be weird in here.”
“When the urge gets bad enough, you’ll give in.”
He didn’t have to go that badly yet, but he’d eventually end up using the small facility despite the fact he just knew the sound would echo through the entire van. And yeah, he didn’t have any secrets left when it came to Hollis, but he just couldn’t shake the idea of how weird it would be to piss in a van in front of him. “I know I’m being ridiculous. Just let it go.”
He leaned back and rubbed his gritty eyes. They burned from looking at computer screens for so long. They were watching a house on a quiet Avondale street with colorful, narrow, two story townhomes. This wasn’t the best neighborhood to be holed up in a delivery van, but he felt pretty safe with Hollis, who still carried a gun. And the rain pattering the van and obscuring their vision of the pink house with boarded windows would keep most people off the streets. He’d thought private investigating would be a lot more exciting, though. He’d probably watched too many movies.
Hollis leaned forward and touched Ian’s jaw with his thumb. “Hey, GQ,” he said softly in his southern, raspy accent. “You look so tired. We’re going to be here hours yet, so you can take a nap. That seat goes back.”
Damn. The way Hollis looked at him burned him up from the inside. He’d rather stay awake and look back. Especially tonight since he’d finally buzzed off that bad dye job. His hair wasn’t the wonderful, disheveled mess Ian had loved but it was the right color again. He couldn’t wait until it was long enough for him to bury his fingers in the thick, blond strands. And he loved the way Hollis’s blue eyes stood out against the lighter color, too. “I can’t sleep. I could miss the perp.”
The warm laughter that filled the van made him happy he’d come.
“The perp?” Hollis asked. “God, you’re so fucking cute. Come here.” He leaned back in his chair and patted his lap.
“We’ll definitely miss the perp if I do that.” He frowned. “And quit calling me cute.”
Hollis crooked his fingers to gesture him closer. “Never. Because you are. Come on,” he coaxed softly.
Ian couldn’t resist him. His heart picked up rhythm as he got up and slid onto Hollis’s lap. Strong arms pulled him close and wrapped around his waist. Ian faced the monitors and leaned to the side so his boyfriend could still see. “Can you tell me more about what we’re looking for at this house?”
“Not for a perp.” Hollis squeezed him close as he chuckled. “And I suppose I can share because you’re helping me tonight.”
“I’m not really helping.” He was just here for the company.
“You are.” He tightened his arms. “Just having you near makes me feel better. But having a second pair of eyes is very helpful. Especially with this rain. We’re working for a man who is desperate to find his daughter and he thinks she’ll show up here because her grandmother, who recently passed, owned this house. The girl got involved with a bad crowd, started taking drugs, then ran away when he grounded her. She’s only fifteen.”
“Another kid, huh?” Missing teens were right up Hollis’s alley. Ian turned to the side so he could wrap one arm around Hollis’s neck and kiss his jaw. “I’m not staying on your lap, then. We’ll get distracted and we might miss her.” He kissed him quickly on the lips, forcing himself not to linger though it was harder than hell. He wiggled away from Hollis, who was obviously reluctant to let him go by how tightly he held on, then plopped back down in the comfortable, big chair. “Why didn’t the father just let us into the house to wait?”
“No electricity, so no heat. Plus, he worried she’d be scared if she saw me. That she’d run and disappear into the streets again. This way if she shows up, we can call him and give him time to get here.” He sighed. “This was more fun with you on my lap.”
“We’re both off all day tomorrow. I’ll sit there all you want.”
He snorted. “Of course. Now talk about something else to take my mind off this uncomfortable hard-on.”
Blue eyes narrowed as his gaze dropped to Ian’s lap.
“Looking at me like that is not helping.” He glanced at the monitor and froze. “We’ve got movement.”
Hollis immediately zoomed in on a dark blurb to the side of the house.
Ian leaned closer and squinted at the small figure hurrying around the side of the house. “She looks so cold.” The shivering, soaked girl went from one boarded window to another, then to the front door, her frustration obvious when she kicked it.
“We got her.” Hollis picked up his cell phone, called the client, then set his phone back down on the shelf under the monitor. “This is good. She’s alone. He should be here in about fifteen minutes.”
“Her lips are blue. Damn. The poor thing is freezing.” He watched her sink down and huddle into the corner of the porch. “Do we have a blanket or something?”
“She’ll run if either of us approaches her. Don’t worry, her father was already racing to his car before we hung up. He’ll get here soon. The best thing for us to do is keep watch and make sure she doesn’t leave.”
“Have you given more thought into doing this full time?”
“Surveillance? Hell no. I’d end up tunneling through these soundproofed walls to freedom.”
“I’m sure there’s more to the jobs than just sitting in this van. I bet there are a lot of parents out there looking for their kids. I know you did that before, but think of all the rules you could break now.”
Hollis frowned at him. “Your friends have been a terrible influence on you.”
Ian grinned. “Nah. It’s because of them I’m the together, incredibly hot man you live with today.”
“True. Get back onto my lap.”
“Then we’re not waiting until tomorrow. You, naked, on my also naked lap the moment we get home.” He rubbed his hands together. “I love a good plan.”
Warmth spilled into Ian’s chest. “I love that you call it home so easily already and I’m glad you decided not to move back into your place even when all the repairs are done.” Hollis’s house had been vandalized the month before and he hadn’t done a lot to fix it yet because he was waiting until he was back at work full time.
Despite Hollis’s effort to lure Ian back onto his legs, he hardly took his gaze off the girl on the screen. This time, his glance was short, but pointed. “I told you—you’re my home, Ian Pierce.”
“Yeah, but you like it there, too, right? Because if you don’t, we could start looking for a place together.”
“I know exactly what that house means to you, and I have no intention of moving you anywhere else. I’m happy there. We’ll figure out the rest.”
Ian knew he was worried about starting over completely and he wished he had the right words to set the man’s mind at ease. Hollis, who must have felt his stare, gave him a long look that had so much affection, Ian immediately moved back to his lap. He draped his legs over one of the chair arms and hugged Hollis tight, making sure to stay to the side so they could still watch the girl.
“What’s her name?”
“I’m glad she has such a loving father,” Ian murmured into his neck.
“There he is now. Stay.” Hollis kept one arm tight around Ian as he called Shane and told him the job was done. Then he gave Ian a heated look as he tossed his phone back onto the shelf. He stroked Ian’s back and tugged him closer. One big hand moved up to possessively cup the back of his neck. “I’ve missed you this week,” he whispered.
Ian opened his mouth to insist they hurry home and Hollis swooped in with a deep, hungry kiss that melted every bone in his body. Hollis clutched him close and that wickedly, talented tongue stroked his in a way that had him moaning instantly. He went to grab onto Hollis’s hair and was startled to feel the short, spiky strands graze his palms. He rubbed, then couldn’t help but smile with his next thought.
Hollis pulled back to look at him. “You gonna share whatever put that naughty smile onto your face?”
“Your hair reminds me of your chest when we were at Royce’s place with Rowe and Noah.”
“A little, but softer. The smile wasn’t really from the memory, though.”
Ian shook his head. “I was just thinking we need to hurry home so we have more room to get naked. There are a few places on my body that need a good head rub.”
Lids dropped so far down, there was only a hint of blue left. “Like where?”
“How about we start with everywhere?”
Hollis set him on his feet. “Let’s go.”
You can get Ian and Hollis’s story in Devour here!