‘You DCI Tyler?’
Sam snapped his mobile shut, his head snapping upward just as quickly. ‘That’s right.’ He narrowed his eyes, thrown by the stranger’s somewhat rumpled overcoat and unpressed trousers. He certainly didn’t look like a detective, had none of DCI Bell’s crisp edge or flashing, gorgeous green eyes… Frustrated, Sam shook his head. ‘Sorry, and you are…?’
‘Cal McCaffrey, reporter on The Herald.’ He didn’t offer his hand to shake, and Sam wasn’t sure he would have accepted it anyway. ‘I understand you’re down from Manchester swapping notes on this Murray inquiry?’
‘No comment.’ Sam grimaced delicately and turned away, pocketing his mobile. ‘Now if you’ll excuse me…’
An arm braced to the wall next to Sam’s head blocked his retreat. ‘I didn’t ask you to comment, Chief Inspector,’ McCaffrey murmured. ‘I was, however, thinking that I might have information you could use… especially since I know William would have been less than forthcoming.’ The other man ducked his head with a soft, ironic chuckle before his eyes blinked upward again, something in them making Sam’s breath catch uncomfortably in his throat.
Recovering himself, Sam braced his shoulders against the wall and scanned the corridor before lowering his voice. ‘And what are you expecting in return for this information, Mr. McCaffrey?’
A mild smirk tugged the corner of his mouth. ‘I wouldn’t mind a drink, to start.’
‘Bullshit.’ Sam drowned his disappointment in a weary sip of pinot noir. ‘Everything you’ve told me is already a matter of public record.’
‘Those are just the parts that make a coherent story.’ McCaffrey topped up Sam’s glass and his own, even though neither was empty. ‘There’s more. Not a lot, just pieces, but maybe if we put our heads together…’
Sam scoffed, shook his head. ‘No way.’
Appraisal lit up McCaffrey’s eyes as he slouched back in his walnut armchair, tap-tapping his pack of Marlboro Lights on the edge of the glass-topped table. ‘You’re quite restrained, aren’t you?’ he mused aloud, plucking out a fresh cigarette and bringing it to his lips.
‘I’m a police officer,’ Sam retorted, the words tripping like clockwork off his lips. He watched distractedly as McCaffrey lit up and breathed out a soft plume into the bar’s already-smoky atmosphere. ‘And those things will kill you, you know.’
‘I’m touched by your concern.’ McCaffrey grinned again, and took another drag, eyes locked with Sam’s as he leaned over the table before exhaling. Sam inhaled, instinctively, needfully.
‘Sorry?’ Sam shook his head, reached for his wine.
‘Since you quit these.’ McCaffrey waved his fag in the air, drawing arabesques with the smoke.
Sam glanced away. Sipped again. ‘Seven months.’
McCaffrey nudged the cigarettes and his lighter past the empty wine bottle, closer to Sam’s hand. He stared down at them, at McCaffrey’s bitten-down fingernails, then upward into that uncannily familiar face, the goatee grown short and rough around his mouth. ‘Sure you’re not from the alternate universe or something?’ he muttered.
‘Nothing.’ Sam pushed the cigarettes away. ‘And no thanks.’
The other man met his hand halfway, brushing Sam’s skin before reclaiming the pack. ‘Like I said,’ he remarked, ‘you’re quite restrained. Very disciplined.’
‘You taking the piss or something?’ Sam snapped. He drained his wine.
‘No.’ McCaffrey grinned smugly. ‘Actually, I rather like it.’
Sam’s eyes widened. He felt heat creeping up the back of his neck and hesitated, too stunned to stop McCaffrey from signaling the waiter for another bottle of red.
‘Mm-hmn… no, nothing doing yet. But I’m gonna give it another go tomorrow, see if their Super has anything to say on the matter… yeah, I know, but… nooo, haven’t been drinking… well, maybe… look, look, Maya, I’ve got to go, but I’ll ring tomorrow, yeah? … I know, but really, I –‘
Sam blinked, stunned, still staring at his empty hand long after McCaffrey had snatched his mobile away and tossed it behind the sofa. ‘That wasn’t necessary,’ he sulked.
‘Yes, it was.’ McCaffrey set his scotch down on the coffee table next to Sam’s and promptly straddled his lap, knees tight to his hips. His fingers found the tidy knot of Sam’s tie and began to unravel the man beneath him. His lips descended upon Sam’s, kissed him unhurriedly but thoroughly, making Sam twitch and moan beneath him. Even with his eyes closed, McCaffrey’s touch was undeniably masculine, his coarse facial hair rasping at Sam’s mouth, his erection rocking insistently into Sam’s abdomen. Everything was rough, hard, and fucking brilliant, far better than the pale ghosts of men conjured by Sam’s furtive imaginings and desperate hand.
McCaffrey was attacking his shirt buttons now, so Sam fumbled to catch up, settled for tugging up the hem of the other man’s shirt and running his hands over the curve of his spine, testing the firmness of muscles with kneading fingers. Emboldened by the faint sigh McCaffrey poured into his mouth, Sam pressed his hands downward, dipped beneath the loose waistband of his khaki trousers and squeezed his arse. McCaffrey broke their kiss with a sharp hiss of pleasure, his hips canting harder against Sam.
‘Yeah, that’s it…’ McCaffrey ducked his head, licking and biting a path up Sam’s neck. ‘I knew you’d be up for this, you and your uptight, holier-than-thou act…’ His hands tugged Sam’s shirt open, dragged down his bare chest and stomach and wrestled crudely with his belt buckle.
Sam gasped, hips pressing upward involuntarily, hands squeezing tighter at McCaffrey’s firm arse. ‘Shut up,’ he growled.
A laugh tickled his collarbone, a rough hand reached into his trousers and palmed his cock. ‘Make me.’
‘I said, shut up.’ Impatient, indignant, driven by a dizzying rush of shame and lust, Sam snatched his hands out of McCaffrey’s trousers and impulsively slapped his left buttock as hard as he could. The action stunned him two seconds later, but not nearly as much as McCaffrey’s low, desirous whine melting into his ear.
‘Yes…’ McCaffrey writhed in his lap, sinking both hands into Sam’s open trousers and freeing his weeping, throbbing cock. ‘Do it again.’
Sam stared up into his darkened eyes, panting hard. He hesitated, then slowly lifted his hand and spanked him again, watching raptly as McCaffrey flinched and moaned in response.
‘Yeah… just like that…’ McCaffrey’s hands roved mindlessly over Sam’s body, petting his stomach and pinching at his nipples, hard enough to tug a stifled whimper from Sam’s lips. ‘Keep it up… go on, show me who’s boss… make me make you come…’
Lust quaked hard through Sam’s nerve-endings, clenching through the hands that cruelly took control of the body in his lap, forcing McCaffrey’s mouth down upon his own, biting and sucking at his lips to stifle both their cries while his right hand layered short, sharp blows over his arse. McCaffrey’s hands were all over his cock now, fondling and stroking and pumping him ruthlessly to the most intense orgasm he could ever remember, its release reaching deeper than sensation to something forbidden, too long ignored.
Gasping, blood still pounding fierce through his body, Sam sagged beneath McCaffrey, arms dropped limply to his sides. ‘Fuck,’ he breathed, eyes wide.
‘Soon enough.’ McCaffrey smirked, wiping his hand clean on Sam’s stomach. Despite the mess already spattering his skin, Sam scowled. ‘Yeah, sorry about that.’ He ducked his head, and Sam faltered, stuttering a faint groan as a quick, agile tongue slicked a line through the semen cooling on his body. ‘Better?’
‘Not…’ Sam paused, feeling the cool whisk of his tie sliding from behind his neck where it had rested unfastened. ‘What are you…?’
McCaffrey rose upright, winding one end of the tie around his own wrist and pulling it taut with his other hand. ‘Taking you to bed,’ he announced.
With a flash of teeth, he snagged Sam round the neck with the length of his tie, and did just that.