Black On Black (Quentin Black Mystery #3) (5 page)

BOOK: Black On Black (Quentin Black Mystery #3)
3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Miri...” It came out a murmur, still half a groan. “Gods...
liliere, ilya.
I can’t fucking believe you...
I can’t believe you just did that...”

Disbelief colored his words.

I felt him coming back even as some part of him realized what we’d done.

I felt him trying to wrap his mind around the fact that I’d done it.

The same thought hit me, bringing a sudden rush of fear...
then shame...
right before that pain expanded off him again, intense enough to make me gasp. I’d taken my mouth off him by then and pressed my face against his stomach, fighting to think straight, to think about what I’d just done. He hadn’t told me to stop.

Even so, before bed, he’d told me he didn’t want to.

He’d also told me before that rape could look different for seers.

He said seers had less control over their reactions, especially if they hadn’t had sex in awhile, and that humans took advantage of that fact where he was from. He said there, on the Earth where he’d been born, rape of a seer had been considered “legally impossible.”

Conflict, then a harder shame constricted my chest.

I felt him thinking about it, too––what I’d done, the fact that I’d started it while he was asleep. His desire slammed into me again, so intensely I gasped. It turned him on so much I couldn’t see or feel anything else for those few seconds.

“Gods. Miri...” He forced himself silent.

“I’m sorry,” I said, feeling that shame worsen. “I’m so sorry, Black...”

“Miriam...” His pain worsened. “Don’t apologize. Please don’t...
don’t fucking apologize...”

I felt him wanting to say more. I felt him desperately wanting to say more to me but feeling like he couldn’t.

His fingers wrapped deeper into my hair, gripping me there, stroking and caressing and fighting a near violence that slammed out at me every few seconds as I felt him going over it again in his mind. Both of us were still panting and I felt him fighting for words. His desire kept hitting me in waves, making it impossible to think.

Miri. I need to talk to you. I know I do. But I can’t tonight...
I can’t...”

“Why not?”

Again, I felt him struggling for words.

I felt him thinking about asking me for sex, meaning intercourse––about us fucking, him extended, like he’d been imagining while I gave him head. The thought wiped out his rationality briefly. I felt that harder pulse of desire intensify right before he groaned, gripping me tighter in his hands, holding my cheek against his bare abdomen. I’d somehow managed to push his shirt most of the way up his chest but I didn’t remember doing that either.

I felt him consider returning the favor then...
meaning going down on me. It didn’t take him long to shove that aside too.

In his mind, that definitely wasn’t a good idea.

You just want a fucking excuse...
I heard him think.

I felt the conflict on him worsen, and still he didn’t speak.

I felt him restraining himself from speaking, forcing himself to remain silent as he lay there, staring up at his ceiling.

“Please...” I said finally, unable to take it anymore. “Please. I want to. I
to, Quentin...
if you’re worried about me, then don’t be. Please...”

He let out another low groan.

I realized part of it was that I’d called him by his first name.

Before I could think about that, I could already feel him pulling it back.

“No,” he said, breathless. “No...
we can’t...
we can’t...
Miri, we can’t...”

Confusion slid through me.

He didn’t feel like he was done.

He also didn’t feel angry at me.

“I’m not angry, Miri...

He forced himself silent, then shook his head where it rested on the pillow. He let out another low gasp, pressing against me. “Miri...
I don’t know how to tell you how incredibly fucking
angry I am...
please believe me. Please. Don’t worry about that...
gods. That’s not why I’m saying no.”

Relief hit me at his words.

I believed him.

Even so, I was puzzled. He didn’t feel finished––he didn’t feel remotely finished. Truthfully, he didn’t feel anything like men normally did after they’d just had an orgasm. None of that post-coital contentment emanated from him. There was none of that brief fatigue after coming down, no indication that it had calmed him or satisfied that craving on any level.

Instead, he felt frustrated. He felt like someone I’d been teasing for the last twenty or thirty minutes...
not like someone I’d just helped get off.

I felt him hear part of that, too.

I felt him react to my thoughts, but I couldn’t tell how, since he was shielding me from his mind again. I felt his desire worsen briefly though, even as he forced himself silent again, maybe before he would have explained it to me.

Then something else struck me.

Solonik had gotten more turned on after sex too.

Especially the first few times.

At my thought of Solonik, Black was pushing on me gently, pushing at my shoulders, disentangling his body from mine. He pulled up the shorts I’d mostly taken off him, knotting the ties around his hips while I watched. He climbed off the bed altogether a few seconds later, tugging his shirt back down to cover his bare abdomen. I saw him deliberately slowing his breath, even as he rubbed his face with a hand, not looking at me.

I don’t know what I thought he was doing exactly.

I guess I expected him to go to the bathroom. Not because he had to go necessarily, but as a way to create distance between us, to break the mood. My second choice might have been the kitchen, for similar reasons.

He didn’t go to the bathroom though.

I don’t know if he went to the kitchen, but if he did, it wasn’t to get a drink of water while he collected his thoughts before returning to me.

He walked out of the bedroom and shut the door.

I was lying there for quite awhile before it dawned on me that he wasn’t coming back.



HE LEFT THE next day.

We’d only been back in San Francisco for three days. Two nights and three days.

At that point, I still hadn’t even talked to any of my old friends about what happened over there, in Bangkok. Hell, I’d barely left Black’s apartment.

He hadn’t really either, other than to exercise and go to his offices next door.

The only time I remember us leaving through the ground floor revolving glass doors together had been the second day, when we went out to dinner at Scoma’s on the pier. We’d decided to walk there, strolling by the water where we could. We kissed a few times too, even held hands, watching the sunset turn everything pink and dark red and orange as we watched pelicans and seagulls dive-bomb for fish.

On that third day, the day he left, I’d been rinsing shampoo out of my hair inside Black’s shower when I heard the door buzzer.

I froze.

I even remember thinking how overblown my reaction was.

It made me realize how much I’d been hiding in there with Black, how unwilling I’d been to rejoin the real world. It also made me realize how weirdly possessive I’d gotten with him...
and truthfully, how paranoid. Only after all those things crossed my mind did it occur to me to wonder how I’d heard his door buzzer at all.

Black must have a speaker in there somewhere, meaning the bathroom.

Given how Black was, I don’t know why that fact would even give me pause. He was totally the type to wire his place up with tech crap.

Either way, the buzzer didn’t go off again.

I had to assume Black answered the door. The fact that he did it quickly didn’t surprise me, given that I’d found him asleep on the couch in his living room when I wandered out of his bedroom that morning.

I came out of the bathroom about ten minutes later to find him staring at a thick manilla envelope that lay on the dark blue comforter that covered his bed. He’d already opened it. The address side was down, so I couldn’t see who it was from. I couldn’t even tell if it had been mailed to him or hand delivered. From the thickness of it, a lot was crammed inside.

I was still watching him look at it when his phone buzzed on the dresser.

I jumped at the sound, but he didn’t so much as glance at it. Rather, he just stared at the padded envelope, a frown etched on his sculpted lips. He was shirtless, wearing only dark pants, but for once that wasn’t distracting me.

Well, it wasn’t distracting me very much.

I stood there for a few seconds more, watching his face as I used one of his towels to rub the excess water out of my hair. The phone stopped ringing for a few seconds.

Then it started up again.

Black still didn’t move.

“Are you going to get that?” I said mildly.

Jumping, he glanced at me, his expression bordering on guilty––caught, at least. When I motioned towards his phone with my chin, raising my eyebrows in question, he wiped the expression away. Smiling, he looked me over in his bathrobe.


“No?” I said, smiling back.

“Fuck no. I’m not answering my phone when you’re standing there naked and wet under my robe.” He held out his arms, motioning with the fingers of both hands to come to him.

It made me laugh. I knew he was distracting me of course, but at the time, it seemed like a small thing to let go. Since I’d been wary about his reaction to me, given the night before, I’d also been relieved.

Mostly though, I let it go because I thought it would only be temporary.

A few hours maybe, while he sorted through whatever he wanted to say to me about what was bothering him. I figured he had to be close to talking to me by then, given what he’d said the night before. He’d admitted we needed to talk. He made it sound like it would be soon. He knew I was waiting for it. I figured maybe that night he’d crack, after dinner.

Or tomorrow.

A few days, tops.

“Come on, doc,” he coaxed. “Don’t be mean.”

“Mean?” I let out a half-amused snort, hanging the damp towel on the back of a nearby chair. “Says the guy who prefers the couch to having to sleep next to me.”

I meant it as a joke but he winced.

He didn’t avert his gaze though, or change expression for more than a blink. Rather, he motioned me over again, pulling on me somehow in that way of his, like invisible fingers coaxing me toward him from across the room.

“I have my reasons,” he said cryptically. “But why don’t you come over here now, doc...
try and talk me into it again?”

BOOK: Black On Black (Quentin Black Mystery #3)
3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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