ONE BAD DAY
THE THEO BOURNE SERIES
Carlos started off his day with an absent lover and a stubbed toe. He had hoped as the day progressed things would start to get better, but he should have known better than to get out of his bed. With Theo being secretive, a string of bad luck, and a rogue vampire that ruins his dinner plans, Carlos can chalk off the day to one big epic fail. But sometimes even the worst of days can end in the most wondrous of ways.
I rolled over, expecting a warm body to be beside me. Instead I threw my arm out and encountered an empty bed. My fingers brushed a crinkled note that was barely tucked between the mattress and the pillow. Groggily I pushed myself up, the comforter pooling in my lap.
“Mi corazón?” I called out, not expecting an answer. The change in weight on the bed—notably the fact that the other side was empty—had woken me up. I scrubbed my hand down my face and looked over at the alarm clock. It was a little past nine.
I snatched up the note beneath the pillow. A tray balanced on the edge of my nightstand caught my attention. It held a bowl of fruit salad and glass of orange juice. For a moment my heart skipped a beat. Then I remembered he was supposed to be here and not a bowl of fruit. I looked around.
So where was he?
Theo appeared in the doorway, surprise lighting his pale blue eyes. They were the color of December, of snowdrifts and ice fields, a chilling severity to them that only softened when his gaze fell on me. He had the grace to look sheepish as he stood there, his black suit jacket half on. Walking into the room, he finished shrugging on his jacket and took a seat on the bed.
Every time I saw him, he stole my breath. The strong line of his square jaw, the high points of his cheekbones, the strength in his broad shoulders and chest; I ached for him every second of the day. I dreamed of running my fingers through his short burgundy locks, kissing his milky flesh, and loving every scar.
In fact, I was supposed to be enjoying doing those very things. So why wasn’t he naked in bed with me?
“What is this?” I asked and held up the note.
“You weren’t supposed to be up yet,” he said as if it were an excuse. Gently he took the note from my hand and set it aside. “Scott asked me to help him on the case he’s working on. I couldn’t say no, not when he helped us out so much last time.”
It was true, but I still didn’t like it. I screwed my face up. “Why can’t he do it himself? This is our first day off in weeks, mi corazón.”
That was weeks without touching, weeks of exhausting days and nights solving grisly crimes that could shake the bravest man to his core. Damn it, we had earned a day of reprieve.
“I know, baby, but what could I say?” Theo shrugged.
“You could have said you had plans to spend the day with your partner,” I grumbled. I knew I sounded like a spoiled child, but given the circumstances, I didn’t think I was too wrong.
He leaned forward and pressed a small kiss to my lips. I curled my hand around the back of his head as he started to pull away, and tugged him in for something deeper. He opened his mouth welcomingly, and I took the chance to sneak a taste. I tried to hold him in place longer, enjoying the small noises he made as I nipped his bottom lip and taunted him with all he would be missing.
My cock gave a twitch, and my inner coyote pawed with waking need. Theo finally wrenched away, his lips swollen and cheeks flushed. A hungry glaze had slid over his eyes, and I smirked.
“I’m still going,” he said after he caught his breath.
My smirk deflated into a frown. I clenched my hands in my lap. “What time will you be back?”
“It shouldn’t take too long. I’ll have my phone on me, so if you need anything, you can call me. No matter what, I’ll be there for dinner, so if I’m not back by this afternoon, I’ll meet you at the restaurant at eight thirty.” He smoothed his hand down his black tie.
Theo didn’t understand the concept of color, not that he needed to. His palette choice was always gray, black, and white, with some occasional brown mixed in. He had chosen a solid black suit with matching black tie and shirt. His hair fell in short strands along his forehead, barely covering the cross-shaped scar in the middle.
I brushed aside his bangs, pressed a kiss to the scar, and sighed. “Okay. I’m sure I can find something to amuse myself with.”
“Eat your breakfast and take it easy, enjoy the day off.”
Easier said than done when the one person I wanted to spend it with was gone. I nodded, a bit sullenly, and watched him stand up. I puckered my lips for one more kiss. He rolled his eyes good-naturedly and gave me a final peck.
“I love you,” he said.
“Love you too.”
He left without another word. I remained in place, listening to him close the front door. Sighing, I glanced down at the note Theo had set aside, which explained exactly what he’d told me.
Damn Scott. Damn Theo and damn Scott both.
“Well, now what?” Like the room was going to answer me.
All I wanted was to spend a lazy day lounging in bed with mi corazón, relearning each other’s erogenous zones, and then go out for a romantic dinner. There was a closet full of toys that needed christening, and I sure as hell wasn’t doing it by myself.
For almost three weeks straight, Theo and I had been going nonstop. Even with us spending the entire day together, it felt like we had been living separate lives.. Between wrapping up a gruesome case with a voodoo priestess and zombies, and all the paperwork that had come afterward, we hadn’t had much time to ourselves to just be together. The thought of the last time I’d touched Theo was depressing.
Theo and I worked as detectives on the Columbus Police Department’s Preternatural Task Force. It was our job to put the arcane who stepped out of line behind bars. Theo was a Phantom, a human with bilocation and telekinesis abilities. He was born with his gift. I, on the other hand, had gotten mauled back in college and just happened to be one of the unlucky. Now I was the Alpha of the local werecoyote pack.
I had come to peace with my lycanthropy, and the truth was, it gave me an edge on cases. It was easier to chase the supernatural when you had superhuman strength and speed. I loved my job, but sometimes even I got tired of the exhausting hours.
I grabbed the tray and carefully placed it on my lap. My options for the day were pathetically small, and they weren’t growing, even while I dug into my bowl of fruit. Anything that needed to be done I had no energy to tackle. Between the sleepless nights and fighting the undead, I had taxed all my reserves. I just wanted one blissful Saturday of absolute nothing.
And that’s exactly what you got. The piece of kiwi speared at the end of my fork was no longer appealing. What I really needed was some bacon.
My options didn’t seem too bright as I finished my breakfast, cementing the feeling of a kicked puppy. It was a feeling akin to a dog anxiously pacing the front door until his master returned.
Begrudgingly I got out of bed, carried my dishes to the kitchen, and put them in the dishwasher. My phone went off in the bedroom. I closed the dishwasher door and hurried back to the room. My toe caught the post of the bed as I rounded the sharp corner, and I let out an explicit string of curses. “Shit! Fuck! Son of a puta madre, eso duele!”
I hopped to my nightstand, falling back onto the bed as I snatched up the phone. I hit Talk without looking at the ID.
“Hello?” I wheezed. My big toe throbbed like I had taken a hammer to it.
“You okay?” Abe asked. Abe was a former lover turned friend, pack member, and Theo’s arch nemesis.
“Yeah, just stubbed my toe,” I answered, wiggling said appendage to make sure it wasn’t broken.
“Ouch, sorry,” he said without sounding very sincere. I was pretty sure I could hear laughter in the lilt of his voice.
I narrowed my eyes. “What can I do for you, Abe?”
He managed to sober up. “I just wanted to see if you were free to get coffee.”
I opened my mouth to turn him down but then paused, realizing there was no reason to. I had nothing lined up, and it sounded like Theo would most likely be gone all day. I knew it would piss him off if I went out with Abe. The two fought like cats and dogs when they were put in the same room together. That happened a lot, though, with mi corazón—whomever he was with. Theo had a tendency to be a bit surly, but I think his hatred for Abe had more to do with the fact that we had slept together and less with the fact that Theo was cranky.
“Sure, but I still have to take a shower. How about I meet you in an hour?”
I should have felt guilty for agreeing to see my ex, but at the moment, I couldn’t gather enough energy to care. Theo should have thought about that before he agreed to work with Scott.
“Sounds like a plan.”
I heard the smile in his voice this time. I couldn’t find a reason to hate Abe, even though Theo did. Abe could be somewhat overbearing and had a tendency to cling, but when it came down to it, he was fiercely loyal to me and was always there when I needed him. He rattled off the café he wanted to meet at and said good-bye.
I went ahead and shot Theo a text message, letting him know I was going out with Abe, and asked how the case was going.
With a direction in place and something to do, I scrounged up some clothes and carted my ass off to the bathroom. I should have been sharing the shower with Theo.
There were a great many things I should have been doing with him.
Copyright © Evelyn Shepherd