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Ian (Unbreakable Bonds #4.5)
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Unbreakable Stories: Ian is a collection of short stories following the ups and downs of Ian Pierce and Hollis Banner has they navigate their new relationship and the unique complications of dating with a brunch of overprotective “brothers” determined to guard Ian’s heart.
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“I thought it was against the rules to bring anyone on surveillance missions.”
Hollis’s blue eyes glittered in the van’s faint overhead light as he looked at Ian. “That’s when I was a cop. I can do whatever the hell I want now.” Although there was a hint of sadness in his voice, his slight grin thumped Ian right in the heart. So did the southern drawl that became more pronounced when he was exhausted. They’d been there for over four hours and midnight had hit Cincinnati with a noisy winter storm. This was Hollis’s sixth night on the job, so Ian couldn’t imagine how tired he had to be. “Why didn’t you ask that before you insisted on coming?” Hollis continued, “Told you this is the boring part of the job.”
“Are you kidding? Boring? This van is the coolest thing. I can’t believe Shane pays a real local delivery company for the use of their logo.” He glanced around the tricked-out vehicle that held two captain’s chairs, several monitors, and listening devices. “There’s even a toilet back there.”
“Which you won’t use and we’ve been here a long time.” Hollis chuckled. “It has a curtain you can pull around it.”
“Shut up. You haven’t used it either.”
“I haven’t had to. But I didn’t drink a grande, skinny, vanilla something or another either.”
Ian rolled his eyes, used to being teased about his coffee habit.
Since Hollis had been placed on leave from the police department, he’d done a few surveillance jobs for Jude’s friend, Shane Stephens, but he was hesitant to take on anything permanent. Things were still too up in the air, though they had just learned the investigation into Hollis’s actions during the take-down of the crime boss, Boris Jagger, was wrapping up earlier than expected. Hollis wasn’t going to be brought up on charges—not after rescuing so many kids—but he wouldn’t be getting his job back either. Ian had been worried about him because he knew Hollis had loved his career in law enforcement, but the jobs for Shane seemed to cheer him. This had been the longest one so far, and with Ian’s Rialto schedule, he’d only seen Hollis in passing for the last week. Which was why he’d asked to come along.
He missed having the cop—er, ex-cop—in his bed.
Hollis glanced away from the monitors again. “I’ve seen you pee, Ian. I’m familiar with every inch of your body and had my tongue in your ass, so what’s with the shy?”
Heat speared into Ian and he squirmed in the seat. “That’s different. It would just be weird in here.”
“When the urge gets bad enough, you’ll give in.”
He didn’t have to go that badly yet, but he’d eventually end up using the small facility despite the fact that he just knew the sound would echo through the entire van. And yeah, Ian didn’t have any secrets left when it came to Hollis, but he just couldn’t shake the idea of how weird it would be to piss in a van in front of him. “I know I’m being ridiculous. Just let it go.”
He leaned back and rubbed his gritty eyes, which burned from looking at computer screens for so long. They were watching a house on a quiet Avondale street with colorful, narrow, two-story townhomes. This wasn’t the best neighborhood to be holed up in a delivery van, but Ian felt pretty safe with Hollis, who still carried a gun. And the rain pattering the van and obscuring their vision of the pink house with boarded windows would keep most people off the streets. He’d thought private investigating would be a lot more exciting, though. He’d probably watched too many movies.
Hollis leaned forward and touched Ian’s jaw with his thumb. “Hey, GQ,” he said softly in his southern, raspy accent. “You look so tired. We’re going to be here hours yet, so you can take a nap. That seat goes back.”
Damn. The way Hollis looked at him burned him up from the inside. He’d rather stay awake so he could look back. Especially tonight since he’d finally buzzed off that bad dye job. His hair wasn’t the wonderful, disheveled mess Ian had loved, but it was the right color again. He couldn’t wait until it was long enough for him to bury his fingers in the thick, blond strands. And he loved the way Hollis’s blue eyes stood out against the lighter color, too. “I can’t sleep. I could miss the perp.”
The warm laughter that filled the van made him happy he’d come.
“The perp?” Hollis asked. “God, you’re so fucking cute. Come here.” He leaned back in his chair and patted his lap.
“We’ll definitely miss the perp if I do that.” He frowned. “And quit calling me cute.”
Hollis crooked his fingers to gesture him closer. “Never. Because you are. Come on,” he coaxed softly.