The Winner of last weeks giveaway – Superstition– was: Christine!
Jules couldn’t believe it.
Shea was supposed to be back at work at Glass City today, so he dropped in on his way to work.
He’d wandered over for an afternoon snack—still no Shea. He stayed late and stopped by at eleven o’clock on his way home. No Shea.
What the hell?
He raced home and checked the airport arrivals on the Web. Any and all flights that might have originated in Australia were on time. Not a single delay. Not a single cancellation. What were the odds of that?
So maybe he’d decided to stay a few days longer. Maybe he’d decided to stay permanently.
Jules picked up the phone. He didn’t care that it was almost three o’clock in the morning. Over the years, he’d called Mercy plenty of times in the middle of the night for a whole lot less than this. This was an emergency.
He didn’t wait for her to growl anything more than, “Hello.”
“I need you to go to Glass City.”
“First thing in the morning. They open at six. I checked.”
Another Huh? had Jules fuming. “Pay attention, Mercy. I’m desperate. This is important.”
He could picture her as she straightened up, pushed her hair off her face, and rubbed her hands over her cheeks.
“Okay,” she said, her voice solid and clear. “Try that again.”
“I need you to go to Glass City when they open.”
Proving she’d at least been listening, Mercy groaned. “That’s in less than three hours.”
“Okay,” she replied with a sigh. “I’m guessing Shea’s back today?”
“He was supposed to be back yesterday,” Jules whispered. “He wasn’t there.”
“Maybe he just took an extra day or two at home. Maybe his flight was cancelled. Maybe he was too jetlagged to work.”
“Stop,” Jules ordered, knowing Mercy could maybe almost any subject clear to death. “Maybe, maybe, maybe. I need to know, and I can’t ask. I just can’t.”
Mercy groaned. “Goodbye, Jules. If I have to get up in a couple of hours, I need more sleep. I’ll phone you as soon as I know what happened.”
“I’ll be at Part Time Lovers.”
She hung up without another word. He knew she’d be asleep within minutes of switching her alarm clock from eight to quarter to six.
Jules also knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep; he wasn’t even going to try. Instead, he changed into sweats and a T-shirt and headed to the gym, thanking the owners who kept it open twenty-four hours a day.
He had one hundred and eighty minutes to kill before heading back to Part Time Lovers. He’d spend them with the hardcore gym rats—the only type who showed up at this hour.
He ran full out on the treadmill, lifted weights until his arms trembled with the strain, did squats and push-ups until he was dripping wet, and still Shea’s whereabouts continued to haunt him.
Jules had been counting the days until Shea’s return. Honestly? He’d been counting the hours. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, he’d counted the minutes.
His crush, which had been entertaining, sexy, and full of possibility, had, with the object of it absent, somehow turned into obsession.
It scared the hell out of him.
And there didn’t seem to be anything he could do about it.
Aching in every muscle, Jules walked home in the pre-dawn light and headed straight for the shower. For the first time since Shea left, he didn’t masturbate to one of the Shea-fantasies he’d been enjoying for months, even before Shea had left for Australia.
Tonight, this morning, whatever the hell it was, he was too tired and stressed. Even his usual inexhaustible cock wasn’t interested. Nothing worked, not even when Jules thought about fucking Shea and stroked his cock, not even when he pulled up his favorite part of the Shea-fantasy.
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