The members of the Off the Books Task Force are at it again, this time spending some quality time together and solving a mystery that has them temporarily baffled.
Brantley Walker and Reese Tavoularis continue to find balance between their personal and professional relationship. In doing so, they realize they have a lot to learn about one another.
When JJ gets caught up in a plot to abduct the governor’s son, she turns to Baz for help. And though he comes to her rescue immediately, she soon realizes the rift she caused between them may be too great to repair.
Brantley’s keeping a secret, one that affects the future of the entire task force. While he helps the team resolve the mystery involving Dante’s disappearance, he has to determine the best way to relay the news that Governor Greenwood has decided to disband the task force. Effective immediately.
This is a fast paced story full of suspense, mystery, intrigue and plenty of passion
Deadly Coincidence (Brantley Walker: Off the Books, 4) - Chapter One
Reese Tavoularis stared out the second-floor window, his binoculars bringing the monstrosity of a house across the street into sharp focus. It was still dark outside, the sun not quite coming over the horizon, but the vast estate was lit up like the surface of the sun, making his job easier.
Just shy of forty-eight hours on this painfully boring stakeout and they hadn’t seen a single person at the Prince residence. No one had so much as poked their head out. Not Nicholas Prince, not his new young wife or his daughter. Hell, not even the maid, the butler, or the pool cleaner. And Reese expected that would continue to be the case, no matter how long they remained here, because this was what they referred to as a total bust.
Then again, the Prince family was out of town for the holidays. And by holidays, Reese was referring to the entire months of December and January, starting, of course, back in November because, hey, why the hell not?
Who took a vacation for two solid months? In France?
Apparently the uber-rich, that’s who. The one-percenters. One of the many who lived in this ritzy neighborhood with its palatial mansions and luxury cars, kids who went to fancy boarding schools, and pets who had not only groomers but massage therapists.
Yep, it was a thing. Ask Evelyn “Just call me Maude” Montgomery, the seventy-two-year-old randy widow who lived here in this four-thousand-square-foot stately abode with her ninety-six-year-old mother, who could give Betty White a run for her money, as well as Maude’s best friend, Maxine. Sound familiar? If not, think a live version of The Golden Girls off in here, because that was exactly what was going on.
If Blanche and team had a miniature poodle named Snookums, that was.
And like the promiscuous Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls, Maude did have guests of the male variety on occasion, she had happily told them, but for the duration of their stay, she would ensure her many suitors were kept at bay.
Nice of her.
“Anything?” the deep, rumbling voice sounded from behind him.
Reese lowered the binoculars, scanned the yard and street one final time. “Nope.”
“I think it’s time to call it,” Brantley said in that sexy, just-woken-up, gravel-laced voice.
Reese hadn’t been keen on the idea of spending the few days before Christmas camping out in some old lady’s second-floor spare bedroom just so they could keep a close eye on the house where they thought Juliet Prince might possibly appear, but he’d been overruled by Brantley, as well as Brantley’s cousin Travis, who was insistent they would find Juliet if they just looked hard enough. Didn’t seem to matter that they’d been dedicating a tremendous amount of time and effort the past few weeks to finding the woman and still nothing.
Of course, Reese didn’t have much say in the matter. After all, he worked for the Off the Books Task Force that Brantley spearheaded, and if Brantley wanted a stakeout, Brantley would get a stakeout.
Not that Reese had put up much of a fight. Not after Brantley had sweet-talked him with a blow job followed by breakfast in bed. Initially, Reese had figured the extra attention was his reward for finding a significant lead in a cold case they’d been sweating for the two weeks prior to this impromptu trip.
Oh, how wrong he’d been.
Brantley had given Reese the news of this supposed lovers’ getaway after that intimate massage with his lips and tongue, assuring Reese this was a chance for them to enjoy some downtime—a vacation if you will—before the chaos known as Christmas with the Walkers.
Teach him to give in to that wickedly skilled mouth, because this most certainly was not a vacation.
But Brantley had been right about needing some downtime. It would be scarce, because once the holidays were over, they were dedicating the first few weeks of the new year to doing interviews for the task force vacancies, and if he was being honest, despite knowing they needed the help, Reese wasn’t looking forward to it. He’d mastered many things in his life, but interviews weren’t on that list.
He was, however, looking forward to going home to see Tesha, his four-legged, furry partner, who was spending the weekend with JJ.
“So when do you wanna leave?” Reese asked, glancing back at Brantley.
That was not what he’d been expecting to see, but he wouldn’t deny he was intrigued.
Setting the binoculars on the window ledge, Reese turned around fully, taking in the sight of the naked man currently propped up on a stack of pillows, his cock in his hand.
And just like that, lust burst into flame within him, making his cock pulse behind his zipper. Never in his life had he seen someone who could flip his switch so easily.
“I was hopin’ this would do the trick,” Brantley said with a grunt, his eyes hooded, mouth lax.
Sexy. As. Fuck.
“You think I’m that easy?” Reese asked, crossing his arms over his chest and watching as Brantley stroked himself. Up, down, up, down. Slow and easy, his thick, heavy cock gliding through his fist.
“Come here,” Brantley groaned, his fist pausing at the base. “Put your mouth on me.”
A few months ago, before Brantley had come into his life, Reese would’ve been taken aback at the thought of having a cock in his mouth. Then Brantley Walker had appeared, and life as he knew it had fluttered off on a breeze. It hadn’t taken long before Reese realized he wasn’t as straight as he’d thought he was. Not when it came to the ridiculously attractive former Navy SEAL who’d somehow managed to shift Reese’s way of thinking entirely.
Brantley resumed stroking, several grunts escaping as his hips began to pump upward. And yes, that was sexy as fuck, too.
Damn but the man was so fucking hot. All that hard muscle packed on a six-foot-four-inch frame, a head of dark hair that had gotten a little too long, steel-blue eyes that glittered with desire. Needless to say, Reese was a goner when it came to the man who was not only his lover but also his partner in every sense of the word.
Add to that Brantley’s brains, his wit, and yes, that heart-stopping smile and the man had it all. No wonder Reese had fallen so damn hard for him.
“Fuck,” Brantley growled, his eyes closing. “Lemme feel your mouth on me.”
When he said it like that, as though Reese was the only thing in the world he needed right then, there was no way he could resist him. Even if it meant he would have to crawl up on that twin-sized bed and pray they wouldn’t end up on the floor before they were finished.
Would’ve made more sense for them to push the two twin beds together, but Reese had resisted the urge. He didn’t want to offend their gracious hosts, after all.
“Reese… damn it… your mouth. Now.”
Oh, sure, he would oblige, but Reese wanted something more. Hell, it had been two days since they’d had sex, thanks to all the tiptoeing-around, careful-not-to-offend-anyone bit. And now his lust factor had surged well past maximum capacity, leaving him desperate and ready for an outlet. A blow job just wasn’t going to cut it.
As he moved closer to the bed, he tugged his shirt over his head, dropped it to the floor as he toed off his boots. His jeans came next, along with his boxer briefs, both discarded behind him. Socks were the last to go, and then he was as naked as the man on the bed.
He paused long enough to grab the lube from the duffel bag sitting on the upholstered chair in the corner then resumed his prowl.
At this point, Brantley was watching him, and Reese had to wonder if the man realized he was about to change the agenda. Probably, if he had to guess. Brantley was good like that, always expecting the unexpected.
Reese crawled up on the bed, right between Brantley’s spread thighs, moving slowly, his gaze locked on the wide, bulbous head glistening with anticipation.
When he was close enough, Reese leaned down, slid his tongue over Brantley’s iron-hard length from root to tip. And that was a sensation he’d gotten familiar with as of late. All that velvet-soft flesh stretched delectably over an iron-hard shaft sent a frisson of heat down his spine. Considering, before Brantley, he’d never given a blow job in his life, turned out he was pretty good at it. At least if Brantley’s reactions were anything to go by.
He swirled his tongue around the head before sucking Brantley into his mouth. He repeated the maneuver a couple of times, taking him as deep as he could, teasing Brantley’s balls lightly on each pass.
But he didn’t linger.
Straightening up, still kneeling between Brantley’s thighs, Reese shot the man a smile as he flipped open the lid on the lubricant tube, aimed for his palm, and--
“I hope you boys are awake and decent,” came a high-pitched voice from in the hall. “We’ll be having pancakes. Thought you might want to join us.”
Reese had just enough time to dive off of Brantley, stumble the few feet to the other bed, and fall into it, grateful he hadn’t bothered making it, otherwise his dick would’ve been wagging in the breeze rather than tucked beneath the patchwork quilt he yanked over himself when Maude came strolling in.
Christ Almighty. Chills raced down his arms and his spine at the same time, and these weren’t the good kind, either. They were the foreboding kind. The make-your-balls-shrivel-up-inside-you kind.
“Lazy if I ever saw one,” Maude said with a smile, her poof of white hair perfectly helmeting her head.
Clearly she was oblivious to what she’d interrupted.
Thank God for that.
“You boys spend far too much time napping,” she said with a slight shake of her head.
Napping. Yes. That was what they were doing.
Without a care in the world, their sweet, if not nosy, host was glancing from Reese to Brantley then to the mess of clothing Reese had left on the floor. She tsked them a few times as she began picking up his clothes.
As he watched, Reese’s gaze snagged on the tube of lubricant he’d dropped during his hasty retreat.
Please, God, don’t let her see it. Please, please--
“Just like my boys when they were your age,” Maude said absently as she neatly folded Reese’s jeans and hung them over the back of the desk chair. “Couldn’t get ’em to be tidy no matter how hard I tried. They’d go out and play, come back all sweaty, and leave their clothes wherever they landed.”
How old did she think they were?
“Now, come on. Up and at ’em. It’s almost seven and I held off as long as I could. Breakfast’ll be ready soon, and Mother’s looking forward to sitting down with the two of you.”
Reese waited for Brantley to speak up, to urge her to leave, but he remained completely silent. So silent, Reese heard only the rush of blood in his ears, felt the heat as it consumed his face.
Praying Brantley would say something, Reese peered over only to realize Brantley was pretending to be asleep.
Son of a--
“He’s a late sleeper, huh?” Maude asked, glancing over at Brantley and shaking her head. “Well, wake him up and you two can join us in the parlor for coffee before breakfast is served.”
Reese wanted to decline her offer, but his voice had vanished, embarrassment flooding him from the roots of his hair down to his toenails.
“Five minutes,” Maude said as she stepped out into the hall. “I expect you both by then.”
When the door closed behind her, Reese released the breath he’d been holding, overwhelmed with a relief so potent he was glad he was lying down.
The next thing he knew, Brantley was joining him, jerking the quilt back as he settled on top of him, the heat of his naked body covering him completely as Brantley stared down into his face.
“Now where were we?” Brantley leaned in for a kiss.
Reese glared up at him, still in shock because … seriously?
Rather than succumb to the kiss, he shoved Brantley off him and shot out of the bed. He didn’t even care that Brantley’s hard thump on the floor where his ass met the hardwood might possibly bring Maude back in.
“While you’re down there, get the lube,” Reese snapped.
“Oh, come on,” Brantley grumbled, grabbing the tube and getting to his feet. “You’re seriously not gonna choose breakfast over sex, are you?”
Reese yanked his jeans from the chair, jammed one leg in, then the other. “You pretended to be asleep.”
“Well, yeah.” Brantley laughed. “What else was I supposed to do?”
“Something,” Reese bit out, angrily buttoning and zipping. “Anything would’ve been nice.”
“It’s not my fault she doesn’t put locks on her doors.”
A fact that had completely slipped Reese’s mind, although he wasn’t sure how. For the two days they’d been here, Maude had proven she cared not for their privacy, walking in uninvited whenever she felt the need.
“Come back to bed,” Brantley urged. “Finish what you started.”
Reese glared at him as he tugged his shirt over his head, then stabbed his arms into the sleeves. “Not a chance.”
“Fine. What about on the plane?” Brantley asked, strolling toward the adjoining bathroom.
Reese shot him a get real look. “It’s gonna take me some time to get over that.”
Brantley stopped in the doorway, frowned. “Like what? A few minutes? Hours?”
Reese dropped into the chair to pull on his socks and boots. “Try days, Walker.”
“Days?” Brantley’s expression reflected his incredulity, as though Reese couldn’t possibly hold out on him for a lengthy period of time.
Reese sat up straight, met Brantley’s gaze. “Maybe weeks.”
The look on the other man’s face was absolutely fucking priceless, and seeing it made Reese feel a tad bit better.
But only a tad.
“Where the hell’s the parlor?” Reese muttered, snatching his phone on the way to the door.