“Wow.” Sherman whistled as he passed Gallagher’s house then parked in the driveway across the street to be discreet. “Is he having a party?” He wondered as he got out and pretended to check his phone as he lingered in the neighbor’s driveway. Lights flashed from the upstairs windows and music swelled from Gallagher’s house. Sherman glanced at the house behind him but all the lights were off and there wasn’t another house for miles so he hurried to the end of the drive then dashed across the street. He ducked behind Gallagher’s Mercedes then made his way around a stunning silver vintage Jaguar E-Type. There was a blood-curdling shriek from inside the house and Sherman turned and ducked then sprinted along the rose bushes as he made his way to the stone path to the front door and up the porch steps. There was another shriek and Sherman was sure it was a woman as he pressed his shoulder against the door and listened. The music was electric and grinding and the beat slammed in time with Sherman’s heartbeat.
“Nooooo!” She wailed before there was a deafening Pop! Then Pop! Pop! and Sherman gasped as he checked the handle. The door swung open and Sherman cautiously leaned over the threshold.
“Hello?” He called but it didn’t carry over the music as he stepped into the foyer. The flashing lights and music were coming from upstairs and he couldn’t see anyone but he pulled his gun from his holster as he made his way toward the steps. The house was bright and modern but elegant, like an expensive hotel suite. Sherman climbed the clear, winding staircase, past a massive Venetian glass chandelier that looked like rain then took a quick glance at the hall to make sure it was clear. It was empty and the double doors at the end were open. The music became more frenetic and Sherman’s pulse raced as he rushed toward the doors with his gun ready. He reached the bedroom and heard a loud sob as he leaned to take a quick look around the door. A second woman moaned from the direction of the bed and Sherman froze as he stared. Gallagher was being ridden by two stunning women. A black woman with long blue hair was grinding on Gallagher’s face as she kissed and fondled the curvy redhead bouncing on his cock. Neither were armed or appeared to have been shot. Sherman realized the threesome was being projected onto the wall behind the bed just as hard, sweet fumes hit his nose and his eyes burned and rolled.
“You should have rung the doorbell!” Gallagher sang in Sherman’s ear as something soft was pressed against his face. Sherman felt very drunk and too light as his legs buckled before the world turned into bright colors then faded.
“Schnostopitdit!” Sherman spluttered as his head snapped up and he was heavy and nauseous as his eyes rolled hard.
“Welcome back, Sleeping Beauty,” a warm, smooth voice drawled and it smelled like whiskey and cinnamon but Sherman didn’t like the way it echoed and how sour his stomach felt. “Come on. Wake up,” he said before he slapped Sherman’s cheek. It made Sherman’s head vibrate but he couldn’t feel his face.
“Whaaaaat…dyooooudooo?” He slurred as he pulled with his upper body but his arms were caught behind his back. Sherman tugged as his eyes fought to focus and they crossed as they watered but he could make out a face with dark hair and a beard. “Gallllllaghaaaaah,” he struggled and there was a soft laugh as Sherman shook his head to clear it but it just made his stomach heave.
“Uh oh… Need a bucket?” Gallagher asked and Sherman grunted as he shook his head a little less aggressively and took a deep breath. He beat back the waves of nausea and the room became clearer around him then squirmed as Gallagher leaned in closer until they were nearly nose to nose. “You know who I am but who are you? A shitty hitman or a lousy cop?” He asked and Sherman was still dizzy and a little floaty but Gallagher’s soft green eyes were just as intoxicating as the ether as they searched his. They were teasing and too clever as Gallagher waited for Sherman to recover.
“Cop,” he pushed out and Gallagher hummed thoughtfully.
“You move like a cop but I didn’t see a badge or any credentials,” he said and Sherman groaned as his shoulder started to ache.
“Car. Visor,” he said and Gallagher’s lips pulled into a wide grin. It was full of laughter and his eyes were hypnotizing and Sherman was very aware of how good Gallagher smelled and that he was only wearing a pair of jeans.
“Don’t go anywhere,” he ordered as he stood and Sherman snorted.
“I’ll wait here,” he managed before Gallagher gave his hair a playful ruffle, making Sherman’s ears ring as everything swayed around him. He was handcuffed and slouched against the bedroom door. The music was off and just the lamps were on but Gallagher’s movie was still playing. Sherman squinted at the wall until he could see who was doing what and his eyes widened as his head tilted. Gallagher was in the middle and the redhead was wearing a strap-on.
“God, I had so much fun in Amsterdam,” Gallagher said as he wandered back into the room. He was flipping through Sherman’s cards and his wallet was tucked under his arm. “Agent Sherman Mathis,” he announced then cleared his throat. “Of the FBI,” he added solemnly then snorted. “I don’t know who sent you but I can pay you way more if you skip the bullshit and start talking now.” He tossed Sherman’s wallet and cards between his legs then squatted in front of him. Sherman’s face scrunched as he kept his gaze on Gallagher’s chin, he couldn’t think if he stared at his eyes.
“The Bureau sent me,” he stated and Gallagher sighed as he shook his head.
“And you came in here like that? Knowing I could be armed and dangerous?” He replied dubiously and Sherman frowned at him.
“I didn’t have any reason to believe anyone would be armed and dangerous until I heard a woman screaming and gunshots. Why would you be armed and dangerous?” He asked and Gallagher’s eyes narrowed.
“Why have you been following me?” He demanded and Sherman’s face fell.
“You knew?” He asked and Gallagher smirked.
“You really are with the Bureau,” he said then dropped to his knees so he could shove his hand into his pocket. He retrieved a key then smiled sheepishly as he gestured for Sherman to turn around. Sherman scooted and twisted so Gallagher could unlock the handcuffs. “Sorry. I thought you were harmless until you followed me out of the airport. Then, you turned up in Sanctuary Mills and parked your shitty rental car across the street. I was sure you were here to kill me,” he explained and Sherman grunted in relief when the cuffs loosened and he was able to stretch and rotate his shoulders.
“Why would someone want to kill you?” He asked and Gallagher shushed him.
“You haven’t told me why you broke into my house. Unless you have a warrant somewhere,” he returned and Sherman’s head cocked forward.
“The door was practically open and you made me think a woman was getting murdered,” he replied and Gallagher waved it off.
“Get past that. You’ve been following me for weeks. Why?” He insisted and Sherman felt a little irritated but mostly confused.
“How did you know and what do you mean I’m really with the Bureau?” He asked and Gallagher chuckled as he dropped onto his ass and pulled up his knees so he could rest his arms on them. He was boyish and there was a cocky kick at the corner of his lips that made Sherman anxious.
“I look at a man like you and think ‘Not my father but I certainly wouldn’t mind pretending for a few nights.’ It’s going to take more than a baseball cap or glasses for you to slip past my radar the second and third time and that mustache and beard is like offering free Wi-Fi. You’re just asking me to sit there,” Gallagher said as he pointed at Sherman’s face. Sherman coughed as heat crept up his neck then shifted and pulled his knees up but it just made his jeans pinch in the worst places.
“Could we try the ether again?” He muttered and Gallagher laughed as he leaned forward and offered his hand.
“Call me Flynn. Why are you here, Agent Mathis?”
“You can call me Sherman. Since I’ve seen your best work,” he said as he swung his chin at the bed and Flynn shook his head.
“That wasn’t my best work. That was just a Tuesday,” he stated dismissively and rolled his hand so Sherman would continue. He pushed out a hard breath as he scooped up his cards then fixed his wallet.
“I’m investigating Cillian McGregor and you’re the only living client of his who isn’t in jail or hasn’t refused to cooperate,” he explained and Flynn’s eyes went wide as his mouth pulled into an O.
“Oooooook. You’re here about McGregor,” he said slowly then hopped to his feet. “I hate to disappoint you but I stopped doing business with him years ago,” Flynn added briskly as he offered Sherman a hand. He pulled him to his feet then hissed as he gave his arm a firm squeeze. “I’m sorry you’ve wasted so much time and so many clever disguises,” he said as he steered him out of the bedroom and Sherman shook his head.
“I know. You’re one of the few investors who was able to recover your money and it sat until you bought that place on Crawford. Why did you give that woman the house?” He asked and Flynn paused before he turned to Sherman.
“You know about the house?” He asked and Sherman nodded.
“I was hoping you’d be able to help me find McGregor so I researched you as a source,” he admitted. Flynn told him to cut out the bullshit and any dreams Sherman had that he’d be a lead were quickly evaporating. Flynn nodded along as he guided him down the hall. Sherman stopped him. “Why did you give her the house?” He repeated and Flynn shrugged but there was a spark of something fierce in his eyes when Sherman was finally brave enough to meet them.
“Because she needed it the most and I knew she’d do the most with it,” he said simply then ducked his head. “I’m sorry you wasted so much of your time. I might have a few old emails but you probably have the same phone numbers I do, if I even have any left on my contacts list,” he stated as he skipped down the steps and Sherman groaned as he followed.
“How did you meet him?” He asked.
“I can’t remember how, exactly. Everyone was giving him their money and I went in but I didn’t like him, once we met, so I backed out,” Flynn stated then shook his head. “The whole thing rubbed me the wrong way.”
“Why?” Sherman asked then braced his hand on the door before Flynn could pull it open. “What about him rubbed you the wrong way? Do you know anyone who’s heard from him recently?” He asked but Flynn wasn’t appreciating how desperate he was.
“God, it was so long ago. It was a lifetime away,” Flynn said firmly then held up a finger. “Can I ask? Why do you care this much? McGregor scammed gangsters and lowlifes,” he said and Sherman raised a brow at him.
“And you,” he pointed out and Flynn laughed as he patted Sherman on the chest then stopped so his fingers could press into his pec.
“Very nice, agent,” he observed then shook his head before he slid Sherman a rakish grin. “Trust me, I’m the last person you should worry about. I’m doing just fine,” he said then stared at Sherman as he waited for him to let go of the door. Sherman stared back and Flynn’s smile became wolfish as he stepped closer. “Unless there’s something else you’d like to…discuss,” he offered and Flynn’s eyes became deep and mesmerizing again before they slid down Sherman’s chest. Sherman’s body became warm and tight as he held still and waited for Flynn’s eyes to return to his. Sherman decided to call his bluff. He angled his head so their lips nearly touched. Flynn pulled in a deep breath and his chest pressed against Sherman’s as the air became hot and electric around them.
“Why would someone want to kill you and why would I assume you’re armed and dangerous? And why do you keep that much ether on hand?” Sherman murmured. He was spellbound as Flynn laughed softly and Sherman suppressed a shiver as he felt it against his lips. This was why they were willing to risk it all for him.
“I’ve been a bad boy, Sherman,” Flynn whispered and the taste of his breath made Sherman restless and hungry. “And ether’s a lot more fun in the bedroom than guns. Want to go back upstairs so you can try it out on me?” He suggested and Sherman’s head pulled back and his eyes flicked to the ceiling.
“I’ll pass. That’s really dark,” he scolded and Flynn shrugged.
“Just throwing stuff out there to see what you like. I’m very openminded,” he said but Sherman blinked back at him.
“I’m not that kind of guy,” he said and Flynn hummed seductively as he leaned back and eyed him over.
“Not that kind of guy or not that kind of gay?” He challenged and Sherman snorted.
“Both,” he replied and Flynn made a sympathetic sound as he patted Sherman’s chest again.
“Don’t sell yourself short,” he said and Sherman shook his head.
“I’m not selling myself short,” he stated and Flynn hissed as he nodded but he stepped back, as if he was retreating.
“A man who knows what he’s worth. I like that,” he said then waved at the door. “Lock that behind you. I’ve had a long day and I’m not in the mood for questions unless you’d like to ask them in the shower or while you’re drilling me,” he added as he turned and headed for the staircase. Sherman’s teeth dug into his lip as he watched Flynn unzip his jeans as he climbed.
“Would you actually answer them?” He called after Flynn and heard him laugh. It was light and made Sherman’s stomach tickle.
“No but it might be fun if you tried to make me,” Flynn replied and the waist of his jeans pulled lower as he reached the last few steps, revealing the crack of his ass and the swells of his cheeks. “I’ll see you later, agent,” he said and it faded as he turned the corner. Sherman leaned and stretched as he watched him go then shook his head. Flynn Gallagher was irresistible and inconceivably sexy up close and in person, but he was too fast and too reckless and too far beyond Sherman’s league or sexual comprehension. And Sherman just wasn’t doing that again. Especially with someone like Gallagher.