My teaser this week is from For the Long Run.
Eric turned on his most charming smile. “I surely will.” Taking a few steps backward, he twisted and casually settled one hand on Jay’s shoulder for a brief second, then let it slide away. The gesture was enough to urge Jay into motion again and start him back toward the car.
The minute he was inside the car and had the passenger door shut, Jay twisted toward Eric. Putting the key in the ignition, Eric let his hands drop to his thighs.
“I’m a suspect? She thinks I’m the killer, that I did that to those men.”
“No, Jay, she’s only asking because it’s part of her job to investigate every angle. If she thought you were in any way responsible, we’d be having this conversation through bars because you’d be in custody. I think what she’s driving at is more along the lines of you know who is doing this even if you know nothing about the crimes. At least if it was me asking, that’s what I’d be thinking. It’s what I do think. We’ve probably both had contact with the killer and haven’t even known it.”
Jay took a few deep breaths and relaxed against the seat. Leaning into the cushion, he let his head drop back, staring at the car ceiling for a few seconds before running his hands through his hair.
“Hey, hey, we’ll find the creature—or person—responsible. We work the case and follow the clues.”
“Eric.” Jay rolled his head and looked at him. “I don’t know how to work a case. Balance books, handle culinary emergencies, and keep proper staffing levels, yes, but work a case? No.”
He reached over and ran one hand over Jay’s thigh until Jay sucked in a quick breath and smiled. Patting Jay’s leg, Eric straightened and started the car. “I know how. I learned, you can learn too. I’ll teach you. You’ve already learned a lot and been a huge help. You know more than you think you do. You’re smart and you care.”
“Can we get out of here now?”
“You betcha.” Eric put the car in gear and pulled back onto the road. They rode in silence for a few minutes. Eric took a few deep breaths and glanced at Jay who sat staring out the passenger window. “Look, considering what’s going on….” His voice failed when Jay’s head dropped forward and his gaze shifted to between his feet. Eric realized he was anticipating Eric dumping him. Clearing his throat, Eric continued, “We should stick together as much as possible. When we can’t be, we need to check in with each other every hour.”
Jay twisted to the side far enough to look at him. “O-okay. Yeah, that’s—” He stopped abruptly.
“Not what you were expecting?” Eric grinned.
Huffing a nervous laugh, Jay shook his head and lifted his gaze to meet Eric’s. “No.”
Eric winked at him and turned his attention back to the road. He liked proving to Jay he wasn’t about to be chased off and that he was more interested in the long term and a life together than quick thrills.
For the Long Run is available in eBook, paperback and audiobook.
See my Translations page for foreign language editions.
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