31 ~ Ryan

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Ryan's phone rang not a minute after he and Felix collapsed on the bed in an erotic sprawl, giving Ryan no time to ponder the aftermath of the most satisfying sexual experience he'd ever had.

"When you two are done saying your fucking goodbyes, I'll be downstairs waiting," Fulton said, wasting no time killing Ryan's sex buzz

"I hope like hell you're not waiting in a squad car." Ryan pulled Felix into his chest, making an effort to keep the scowl off his face.

"What do you take me for, Ryan? Just put your pants on and let's get this roadshow mobile."

Ryan ended the call before Fulton had a chance to, ditching his phone on the bed. He claimed Felix's mouth, luring her tongue out with his own, reminding her he could still be a noble knight even if he did have to answer to pricks. At that moment, he didn't give a flying fuck about his job. He just wanted to be close to Felix. His conscience took that opportunity to remind him of the pitfalls of getting emotionally involved in a case. Ryan ignored his conscience.

"It's time to go, isn't it?" Felix said softly.

"Yes."

"This reminds me of my freshman year in college. Every time I had to return to Cambridge after visiting my family, I would try to miss my flight. Why does everything have to be so complicated?"

"Because humans are a fucked-up species and never seem content to just have fun with it."

Felix grinned at him. "That's a very profound statement."

"Are you surprised I thought of it?"

"No. I think there are a lot of profound statements locked inside your brain. You just haven't found the right person to share them with."

He kissed her forehead, committing the smell of baby powder and sex to memory. "Now I have."

Ryan's phone buzzed with a text, and he knew it was Fulton making an asinine comment. Damn, that transmitter. Grudgingly, he and Felix slid out of bed and retreated to the bathroom to clean up. An unmarked Dodge Charger idled on the street when they stepped outside. Without acknowledging the driver, Ryan escorted Felix to the parking garage around the corner, wishing they were heading across the street for another slice of pie. Anything to make the pain in his chest stop.

When they reached his Impala, Felix lifted the cover off her bike, and Ryan watched her fold it neatly and fit it inside her saddlebag, along with her duffel. When she looked at him, he noticed how her eyes sparkled like sapphires. They had become a drug to him, her eyes, and she had just given him another hit. Felix slipped her arms around his waist, nuzzling her face against his shirt and inhaling deeply. Was she committing his smell to memory? What did he smell like? He hadn't worn Polo since the day she made a face at him. God, how he wanted to toss her in his car and drive until they ran out of road.

"I have faith in you, Felix. You're much too clever for them," he told her, hoping the sound of his words would convince him as well. "Fulton and I will be less than five minutes away from your location at the Summerville shopping center. If at any point you feel your life is being threatened, use the code word. What is it?"

"Nefarious."

"Good. Two quick reminders. Provide us with as much information as you can without raising suspicion. And keep your mouth open so we can catch conversations around you. Again, only if you can do it discretely. As soon as we know where Donovan has taken you, we will get there as fast as humanly possible."

She nodded as she dabbed her eyes with the back of her hand. "I know this isn't how you envisioned the situation to go, Ryan. Hell, it isn't how I envisioned it either, but it appears to be the best way to get my life back and keep my family safe."

"Your safety is just as important." Ryan stalled for a moment while his brain and his heart had a conversation. "I know we've only had a few days together, Felix, but I care about you, more than I've cared about any woman. I wish we had realized it before you left for college, but I guess we both had to grow up."

"Another profound statement. You're on a roll tonight."

Before Ryan had a chance to ruin the moment with something less profound, he closed the gap between them and kissed her, the kind of kiss you give someone who rocks your world. Her lips felt like a bonfire on the beach, like a cold beer on the Fourth of July, like the moment you realize you're in love. When his cellphone buzzed with a text, he knew which jerkoff had sent it.

Felix pulled away first. "If I don't leave now, I won't be able to." She leaned into his ear and whispered, "See you on the other side."

Slipping on her helmet, Felix straddled her bike, and a moment later, Ryan watched her ride out of the parking garage, the whining sound of her Harley ringing with the last words she spoke. See you on the other side.

This was going to be a long fucking night.


PLAYLIST SONG: Ingenue by Death Cab For Cutie

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