“You want what?”
“You heard me, Robby,” John Henry replied, his face clouded as if he was hiding something. “Turn in your badge and your gun.”
“But why?” Robert Peter Harrison asked as he stood there in utter shock, not sure if he should reach for his badge or punch his brother in the mouth. His stomach twisted with anxiety and disbelief at what he was hearing. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”
He was a good deputy and he knew it. He did his job to the best of his ability but with care and consideration for the people he dealt with. There were no reasons he could think of that John Henry would be demanding his resignation. He hadn’t broken any laws, been late for work, or anything else that would result in John Henry standing here demanding he give up his badge and gun.
“It’s better this way, Robby.” John Henry seemed pensive and almost hesitant as he folded his hands together and rested them on his desk. “You’re not happy here. You’ll never be happy here. It’s time for you to move on.”
What in the hell was John Henry talking about? Robby loved his job. He loved being a deputy, working alongside of his brother, and protecting the people in their county. He actually couldn’t think of anything else he’d rather do.
“I don’t want to move on, John Henry. I like it here.”
Robby knew he wasn’t going to get John Henry to see reason when he saw the man’s jaw tighten and his lips spread into a thin line. John Henry Harrison was a stubborn ass bastard when he wanted to be. It could be a redeeming quality at times.
This wasn’t one of those times.
“Robby, I’m the sheriff here, and your older brother, and—”
Robby barely contained the angry words gagging him when John Henry started talking. It was the same speech he had heard more times than he could count. And he knew, no matter what he said, John Henry’s mind was made up.
Robby had just been fired.
Robby clenched his jaw as he pulled the badge off of his uniform shirt and set it down on the desk. Next was his gun. He carefully unloaded it then set both the gun and the magazine down next to his badge before turning and walking toward the door off John Henry’s office.
Robby paused at the door with one hand on the door handle, then glanced over his shoulder at his brother, a man he had respected almost more than anyone—until today.
“You know, John Henry, one of these days, you’re going to interfere in my life one too many times and you’re not going to be able to fix what you’ve done.” Robby glowered at John Henry then turned away.
He yanked the door open and stormed out, slamming the door loudly behind him. It was better than smacking his brother. He could feel the stares of the other deputies and office personnel as he walked to the closet and grabbed a cardboard box.
It seemed almost anti-climatic that it took less than five minutes to gather all of his belongings out of his desk and put them in the box. Five years of a career and all he had to show for it was a small cardboard box full of crap.
When Robby heard John Henry’s office door open, he grit his teeth and fought for control as he grabbed his stuff and walked out, not bothering to acknowledge his brother was even in the room. If he did—if he even looked at John Henry—he was likely to punch the man right in the mouth.
Robby walked out and then dropped the box of his belongings into the bed of his pickup truck, climbed into the cab, and slammed the driver’s door closed. He took a moment to breathe, grabbing the steering wheel with both hands and resting his forehead against it. If he didn’t get himself under control, he’d march right back into the sheriff’s station and give into his urge to hurt his brother.
Robby couldn’t remember when he had ever been so angry at the man. He adored him and had for his entire life. John Henry was the very example of the man Robby wanted to be—until today.
Robby didn’t know whether to go with the anger clouding his mind or the heartache wrapping around his heart. He felt like he had been betrayed, like John Henry was taking something precious from him that Robby wanted more than almost anything in the world.
Well, almost anything.
There was still one thing Robby wanted more.
Robby held onto his control by a thread as he pulled his cell phone out and dialed a number he had memorized months ago. He tried not to call it too often but right now, he needed the voice on the other end more than he needed air.
The corner of Robby’s mouth curved up when he heard the phone connect but no one spoke. That’s how it always was. Wren never said a word until he knew who was at the other end of the line. It was just one of the man’s odd quirks.
He had many.
“Hey, it’s Robby. Want to hang out?”
They had spent a lot of time together when Wren wasn’t gone on a mission, both at Robby’s house and Charlie and John Henry’s. But most of their time together was at Robby’s place, and usually spent just watching movies or hanging out. No matter how many hints Robby dropped, Wren never crossed that line to take things further between them.
“Leaving work early?”
Robby swallowed the bile that suddenly threatening to come up as he thought about the job he had just lost. He stared down at his fingers, pulling at a loose thread on his jeans. “Yeah, something like that.”
The man on the other end of the phone—the one Robby dreamed about at night and fantasized might someday want something more from him than just a few hours together here and there—grunted.
“I’ll meet you at your place.”
And just like that, the phone went dead.
Robby snapped his phone closed and slid it back into his pocket. It felt like knives stabbing into him every time he called Wren and got the same blasé response. He didn’t know how to define his relationship with the man. He didn’t even know if they had one.
Robby called, they hung out, and then they went their separate ways. There seemed to be this wall between them that Robby had never been able to breach. He shook his head at the tears that suddenly appeared. He ached with need and loneliness and it felt like it had just quadrupled.
Robby tried desperately to give Wren the space he seemed to need so much but sometimes it was really hard—like now, when Robby wanted nothing more than to feel Wren’s big muscular arms wrap around him and make him feel like everything would be okay.
And as much as he knew he would suck up whatever attention Wren gave him, he couldn’t help but want for more. He just knew if Wren gave in, things would be explosive between them.
Wren never seemed to budge. He had made it very clear in the beginning of their friendship that there was a line that Robby wasn’t allowed to cross. Robby had tried a few times—flirted, made some passes, dropped some verbal hints—only to be rebuffed. He was starting to doubt that even walking around naked in front of the man would get him anything.
Maybe getting fired was finally making him see the truth. Wren just wanted to be friends. And no wanting for something more on Robby’s part would change that.
“God!” Robby dropped his head back against his seat and stared up at his ceiling. “I am so fucking pathetic.”
Wren scooted back and lifted up onto his knees, moving them between Robby’s calves. He slid his hands down Robby’s back to the man’s tight ass.He heard a soft sigh when he grabbed Robby’s hips and pulled the man back into a kneeling position, Robby’s legs hugging his thighs while his ass was pushed up against Wren’s erection.
Wren’s arousal took on new meaning as he watched his cock slide up and down the crack of Robby’s ass. He tenderly stroked his hands over the rounded globes then gripped them tightly in his hand and pulled them apart until he could see the man’s puckered opening.
He teased Robby, rubbing the head of his cock over the man’s quivering entrance but never quite pushing in. He wanted Robby’s surrender. He craved it. Robby needed to know who he belonged to because Wren wasn’t giving him up.
Robby was his.
“Do you like that idea, love?” Wren asked when he saw Robby’s body shake. “Do you like the idea of everyone knowing you belong to me?”
When Robby didn’t answer right away, Wren decided to up his game. He would have Robby’s answer before they left this room. He pulled back until the head of his cock slid down between Robby’s butt cheeks again, catching on the small cleft of his hole.
It hadn’t been that long since Wren had claimed Robby but he still reached for the bottle of lube carelessly tossed on the bed. He snapped the lid then poured a liberal amount to the place where his cock met Robby’s ass. Once there was enough that he knew he wouldn’t hurt Robby, Wren closed the cap then tossed the bottle back on the bed.
Watching his engorged cock slid slowly into Robby’s welcoming body was more erotic than watching any porn he had ever seen. Nothing had ever gotten Wren this worked up. He was ready to explode and he had barely gotten in.
“Feel how beautifully your body accepts me, love?” Wren asked, never taking his eyes off of where his body was so intimately connected to Robby’s. “Your body knows who you belong to even if you don’t.”
Just as he sank his cock into the hilt in Robby’s ass, Wren saw Robby start to reach under himself. He knew what Robby was doing and he couldn’t allow that, not until he had a commitment out of the man.
Did he care?
Wren leaned down and grabbed both of Robby’s wrists and brought them around to his back, holding them there with one of his. It pushed Robby’s face into the mattress but it also pushed Robby’s ass up against Wren.
Wren moved closer until his hard frame fit to the soft contours of Robby's. He slid his arms down around Robby’s stomach and lifted him. Wren smiled as he nuzzled at the younger man before tenderly stroking sweat-damp hair from the man’s beautiful face.
“Who do you belong to, love?” he asked as he moved Robby’s arms up over his head, rapping them around Wren’s neck. It gave him unfettered access to the man’s dark hued nipples and rippled abdomen, two places Wren loved to touch and caress.
Wren played with Robby’s nipples as he began to move in long, slow strokes, driving his cock as deep inside of Robby’s tight channel as he could go before pulling out and repeating the process all over again. When Robby groaned and fisted his fingers in Wren’s hair, Wren gripped the man’s hips and began to move harder, faster and deeper.
A soft whimper eased from between Robby’s lips as he melted into Wren’s arms. Wren closed his eyes and held Robby to him, savoring the feel of the man in his arms. He had never wanted anyone as much as he wanted Robby.
“Who do you belong to, love?” he repeated, needing the answer more than he needed to come, and that was saying something. Robby’s body gripped him so tightly in silken heat that Wren worried his dick would burn right off.
“Wren!” Robby wailed as Wren nailed his prostate over and over again. Wren knew this was a good position. Not only did he have Robby splayed out over him like a second skin, but he knew he his cock would scrape over Robby’s sweet spot with every thrust. “Please!”
“Answer my question, love, and I’ll let you come.”
Again, underhanded. And again, Wren didn’t care. He wasn’t going to let Robby get away from him now that he had had him. Robby might have had a chance at escaping him before they had fucked each other, but they had. And now Robby didn’t have a chance.
“Who do you belong to?” Just to swing things in his direction in case there was any doubt in Robby’s mind, Wren reached down and wrapped his fingers around the man’s pulsing cock, giving it a couple of firm strokes.
“You!” Robby shouted. “I belong to you!”
“Right answer.” Something long buried and feral rose in Wren at Robby’s words. He started pounding at an alarming rate into Robby’s ass as he jerked the man’s cock. The need to mark Robby inside and out overwhelmed him.
The only cell in his brain that hadn’t slid south to his engorged cock worked the problem over and over again in his head even as his orgasm started reaching for him. A simple tattoo wasn’t going to cut it and he knew it. He needed something more to show that Robby belonged to him.
He just didn’t know what.
Robby’s shattered wail of completion echoed around the room as he sprayed white ropes of cum over Wren’s hand. Wren’s cock hardened to steel at the sound. He couldn’t control his outcry of delight as his seed erupted into the still spasming channel, making him soar until the peak of delight was reached.
Once he could breathe again, Wren gently eased Robby down onto the bed then cuddled up behind him once again, pulling Robby up flush against his own body. Robby wiggled for a moment but it wasn’t to get away. Much to Wren’s delight, Robby scooted back toward him as if the man needed the reassurance of touch to make everything okay.
Wren picked up a lock of Robby’s brown hair and caressed it gently between his fingers. His desire for Robby overrode everything else but the feeling was much more than sexual desire. He adored every little thing about the man. He just wished Robby understood that.
The man was oblivious sometimes.