Brock stepped from the shower, steam billowing around him. Amelia sat vigil from her perch on the toilet seat. Her ears flattened at the moisture and she mewed worriedly. He went to her and scratched under her raised chin. She hissed at the dampness clinging to his fingers.
“You can relax, the shower didn’t eat me,” he reassured her.
As he toweled his long body dry he noticed again his sense of anticipation. After running a comb through his long hair he left it loose to air dry. He knew work awaited him today, his fingers fairly itched; but he decided against braiding his hair back. Instead, he tossed the damp towel away and strode naked to his closet.
He pulled on his favorite low-waist jeans. The worn denim faithfully hugged his lean hips. His hand hesitated over the sweater. Brock loved the feel of the chenille and his fingers stroked it as he considered. The shade flattered him, the rich forest green making his hair more honey blonde. The fit, though, left much to be desired. Its width wider than needed, he felt it made him look too bulky. In Belinda’s opinion, fat; but he ignored that. He excelled at ignoring his twin.
Its length, also, was too short; the hem didn’t quite reach the top of his pants. It bared a circumference of skin and drafts whipped under it. Still, he kept it. Fondness for the color and for the knitter, one of his grandmother’s bosom buddies, assured its place in his closet.
For some reason it felt important to look his best. He did not possess the high degree of intuitiveness of his twin, but he learned to listen to the whispers he could hear.
From the depths of his closet he unearthed heeled cowboy boots. The inches added to his considerable height of six five. Again, he followed his inner urging.
He grabbed a banana and put fresh kibble in the cat dish, nimbly sidestepping the feline stampede. Humming, he clomped down the stairs to his studio. Earlier he checked his book, no appointments were written down. He did not do walk-ins. Checking the front window he frowned. Its bare, unadorned glass looked out onto the quiet street.
Sometimes hopeful customers left drawing of artwork taped to his window for him to consider. If he deemed it worthy of his time and talent he called.
Peeling the fruit, he slid onto the high stool in front of his drafting table. Brock began sketching the tattoo and waited for its future canvas to appear.
The slamming of the car door interrupted his concentration. The slam sounded forceful and he looked up. His lips curved into a grin upon seeing the sky blue Prius. Through the glass his twin’s glare speared him. He let his smile grow to a smirk.
She needed his help.
Brock did not use his meager intuitive abilities to reason this conclusion. Their fight over her plan to miss their Samhain celebration assured avoidance for least another week, perhaps even until their birthday in November.
Ergo, she needed something from him.
A puzzling thought marred his smugness. Why would he feel the urge to dress up for his sister?
The large male who uncoiled from the passenger side answered that. A large, handsome, yummy looking male. One muscled enough that Brock could collapse upon him and not worry about crushing after a vigorous bout of sex. And vigorous it would be, Brock concluded happily.
He let his smile turn more sensual as the stranger stared in at him through the window. Belinda stomping around the car to his door Brock easily ignored. He waited, hearing the beeps and muttered cursing. After a few moments his sister strode in.
“You couldn’t get up and let us in, your royal highness? The door was locked.”
“And you need the practice of figuring out my alarm code, sister dear, before all your talents wither away like your sex drive.”
The fact that her answer only consisted of a scowl alerted Brock that she really need his help. He decided not make her visit easy. He had noted immediately she wore her hazel contact. Brock hated that, and she knew it. She felt it put others at ease while the flat color that did not change with the subtlety of her natural one unnerved him. There was nothing wrong with not being ‘normal.’ A subject they constantly disagreed on.
Waiting for her to reveal the reason for her visit, Brock slid from his stool and stretched. The time spent bent over working stiffened his back. As his tall frame arched, he noted the other man’s reaction. Faint surprise lighted the brown eyes surveying him.
Brock guessed that his own height triggered it. The other man stood around six foot three and, with the boot heels adding to his own six five, Brock stood taller. He was sure that Belinda’s new friend did not find many taller than himself.
The following behavior especially intrigued him. Most males, upon finding another physically larger, puffed themselves up. This man actually slouched instead, making himself appear smaller. That combined with the lingering look at his bared navel while he stretched, made Brock smile again.
A submissive, gay giant.
How the Goddess blessed him today.
He spied the folders held against the enormous chest, under the rolled- forward shoulders. The paperwork the man held for his sister while she fiddled with the keypad.
Belinda seemed to remember her manners and waved a hand. “Jon Taylor, this is my brother, Brock. Brock, my new partner.”
Brock hid his relief. Though he wished this scrumptious piece of manhood was not a cop, his sister did need another partner. Jon did not look like the type to fold under his sister’s vile mood swings. Despite his manner now, when he had first climbed from the car the cop’s carriage radiated self confidence and purpose.
Brock strode forward, his boots causing his steps to echo on the hardwood floor. He stopped a little too close, making Jon look up at him. He saw the widening of the milk chocolate gaze when it met his. He knew his own mismatched eyes, one pale blue and other hazel, startled the cop, but that was the only reaction. When he shook the warm hand of the other man he let his grip linger.
Belinda sighed loudly behind him.
“I doubt you dropped by just visit,” Brock commented. Or to introduce me to my future lover, he added silently.
“I have a case that you might be interested in.”
Brock turned and grinned. That sounded so much better than asking for his help and gave his sister a mental point. He waved further into the long room. A small round table and a deep couch both waited. She chose the table and pulled out a chair.
“Then let’s get to work,” Brock told Jon.
Jon followed him, Brock’s smile widening at the precise two pace distance from his heels. He met Belinda’s knowing gaze with a smirk. At the table the other man straightened and handed the files to Belinda. Brock noted with disappointment that the other man was ‘all cop’ now.
Against the wall a small kitchenette counter held needed fuel for his late night designing. At some point during the morning he must have started a pot of Chai. Brock poured the fragrant liquid into mugs and brought them to the table, now covered with photos and paper.
Belinda wrapped her hands around it and sniffed. Jon did the same, but his seemed prompted by suspicion and not pleasure. Brock sipped his while still standing. Looming over them annoyed his sister and seemed to subtly turn on his future bedmate. He looked down and spied the rough drawing.
Crap, the case concerned the daggers.