At least, the annoying ghost had chosen to run away. That didn’t mean, however, that there was anything comfortable about that situation. Rhys had draped one leg over Mason’s midsection, obviously on purpose, and his thigh pressed against a certain anatomical part that had a mind of its own.
“You’re not sleeping,” Rhys cooed.
“Not if you’re going to suffocate me, or talk all the time.”
Rhys laughed, and Mason felt goosebumps everywhere. Rhys’s body was warm, and it would take Mason little to relax and let go, damn the consequences. The arm on his chest wasn’t heavy, but it kept him from breathing. And Rhys’s smell was everywhere, a sweet fragrance that wasn’t just cologne. Mason was sure Rhys was sweet everywhere, and only his job and a certain ghost were keeping him from tasting every inch on that body just to test his theory.
Rhys didn’t appear to have the same hang-ups as him. Mason felt something moist and warm on his cheek. He tried to pull away. “What are you? A dog?”
A low, sexy chuckle followed. “You’re into puppy play? I can be whatever you want me to be.”
“No, I’m definitely not into puppy play.”
“What are you into?”
“Hmm, I don’t know. Keeping my job?”
“You came into my bedroom. Why?”
Mason knew he couldn’t tell the truth, nor keep it up that he had come there for a pen in the middle of the night. He opted for half a truth. “I wanted to make sure you were okay. That you were sleeping.”
“So, you care about me?”
“A lot.” Mason bit his tongue. What was with him, saying everything that crossed his mind? It had to be because he was haunted. There was no other explanation.
“Ah, and that could be a problem,” Rhys said. “It must be because you care too much that you don’t want to fuck me.”
Mason remained unmoved. No, he was no longer breathing even. Rhys pressed his thigh higher, making him grunt. Officially, he was in hell, a hell that smelled heavenly, and made his body remember that some of its needs had been grossly neglected lately.
“Hmm, that must be painful,” Rhys teased.
At least, he wasn’t the only one with the same problem. Mason could feel something hard digging into his side, and that could only mean that Rhys was a bit too happy to see him.
He tried to reason. “It’s a natural reaction. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Finally, he could breathe, as Rhys moved his arm away. Nope, too soon. Rhys placed his hand on top of Mason’s crotch, squeezing lightly. “If you’re so sure that it doesn’t mean anything, then all that happens here is just the same. I told you I’d be up for some meaningless sex.”
Mason couldn’t completely argue against that, but Rhys didn’t have to worry about a ghost looking over his shoulder while fooling around. No, under no circumstances, he could –
Rhys snuck one hand under the elastic band of the sweatpants and grabbed Mason’s erection.
“Rhys,” he called in a strained voice.
“Oh, Mason, how can you keep such a magnificent thing away from me?”
He could feel the hot breath on his cheek, but all his determination was melting like ice in the sun. Rhys moved his hand slowly, making things worse. Mason searched his mind for anything that could save him, but it was a blank canvas. All that mattered, and he could picture right now was Rhys touching him.
“I’m not asking you to give your heart to me,” Rhys whispered into his ear. “Just this. I’ve been missing it like crazy.”
Where was that damned cockblocker when he needed him? It looked like Toby didn’t care about his promise to stop him from fooling around with Rhys. And now, he was left with no alternatives.
“I’m sure many would --”
“No. I can’t just be with anyone,” Rhys said. “It’s you I choose.”
There wasn’t much arguing when Rhys was so determined. Mason didn’t protest when he caught his lips and kissed him. It wasn’t legal for a human being to taste so good. Mason buried one hand in Rhys’s hair and deepened the kiss. His entire body yearned for that touch, for that kiss, and no one could stop him now.
Actually, there was someone. Mason tried to pull his head away to look around the room, but Rhys straddled him quickly and pressed his entire body against his.
If Toby were there, he would stop them. He would surely do it.
Mason closed his eyes, and their lips melded. There was no end or beginning to either of them as they kissed like that. Had kisses ever been crazy like this? The lovers he had before paled in comparison. Maybe because Mason had never felt so strongly about them, not like he felt about the damaged beautiful man in his arms tonight.
Rhys provoked him with his tongue, and Mason fought back, not to win, but to make himself known, that he was there. When they finally let go of each other’s lips, they were both breathing hard.
“I can’t,” Mason whispered, hoping that they would stop if not for anything else but for that verbal denial.
“Your body says otherwise,” Rhys said back, his voice low and breathless. “I just need a bit of closeness. I won’t take much from you, I promise.”
It was like a vampire was saying that he only wanted a bit of blood. But Mason knew that he needed to hold Rhys close like he hardly could remember ever needing anything.
What he had to do was to become the one in control. He surprised Rhys by rolling him on his back and ending on top. Mason fumbled with Rhys’s pajama bottoms, but he managed to get inside and hold his hard cock.
Rhys hissed and closed his eyes.
“If this is what you need, I’ll give it to you,” Mason said, his voice ragged and beyond recognition.
As little as he had given them, his lovers had always praised him for his abilities in the bedroom. It wasn’t much, indeed, if he could spare a little for Rhys right now. He straightened up, straddling Rhys’s thighs and keeping him subdued under his weight.
For the time being, he let go of the hard pulsing thing in his hand to open Rhys’s shirt and caress the smooth chest, warm marble under his fingers. Then he leaned in and began kissing everywhere, as his body moved lower and lower.
Rhys held his head with both hands and began mumbling softly. There wasn’t much need for foreplay, but Mason wanted to have something to hold on to for the times when he would be alone and in much need to let go of his pent-up desire.
He played with the bellybutton, but only in passing, eliciting a small laugh from Rhys, and then went for the prize. Rhys cursed loudly when Mason took him in his mouth. The slightly salty taste made Mason’s desire to give everything he had all the more maddening.
Rhys’s cock was only average in size, so Mason had no trouble taking it all the way in. He had to hold Rhys down, as the lithe body was trembling under that assault, and Mason didn’t want to make a fool of himself by choking. He knew too well that it had been a while since he had done that.
He used all the tricks he knew. As he withdrew slowly, he flicked his tongue over the length and played with the glans more. Precum was served as the main course, as it seemed, and Mason lapped at it, before descending and deepthroating again. Rhys was incoherent at this point, and he alternated between caressing Mason’s head and trying to pull his hair out.
“Mason, I --”
That was no moment to stop. He increased the pressure on Rhys’s thighs with his hands to prevent him from slipping away, and, with one last flick of the tongue, he sent Rhys over the edge.
The sounds Rhys made in the throes of orgasm were ambrosia on his senses. Mason didn’t let go until he was sure the last drop was squeezed. Rhys threw one arm over his eyes. “You’re so crazy,” he said softly.
Mason placed one last kiss on Rhys’s spent cock, making him shiver. “But I suppose you’ll be able to sleep now.”
And that will allow him to leave and take care of business.
“Come here,” Rhys said and opened his arms.
Mason wasn’t sure what Rhys thought of tasting himself from another guy’s mouth, but he obeyed. The kiss that followed was, surprisingly, just as passionate as before. Could it be that Rhys wanted seconds, so fast?
After their lips parted, Rhys looked at him with loving eyes. “My turn.”
Mason had a mind to protest, but Rhys pushed him on his back and went straight for his crotch. He didn’t say a thing as Rhys pushed down his sweatpants and went, hungrily, for his cock that was just as hard as it had been from the moment Rhys had taken him in his arms.
Rhys didn’t look to have the same penchant for deepthroating as Mason, but he was surely enthusiastic about the job at hand. A naughty tongue played around Mason’s glans, and the sounds Rhys was making were enough to make him want to burst.
“Oh, and it’s so tasty, too,” Rhys said between slurps.
“You don’t have to,” Mason protested meekly.
“I’m hungry,” Rhys replied. “You can’t take it away from me now.”
Mason grunted when Rhys changed his position and dug one elbow into his stomach by accident.
“Sorry, sorry, it’s been so long,” Rhys said, and then fell silent as his mouth swallowed the head and began licking it like crazy again.
Mason didn’t even need too much. Rhys began helping himself with one hand, building pressure. Mason caressed the blond head bobbing up and down, giving him pleasure. That wasn’t in the books and wasn’t supposed to happen, but he couldn’t find it in himself to have regrets.
Rhys was clearly no deepthroater, but the combined action of his hand, lips, and tongue, was enough. Mason warned him in a strangled voice, but Rhys kept his mouth on him, moving his tongue over the head as it exploded, making the sensations increase tenfold.
“Wow, I guess it’s been a while for you, too,” Rhys said as he moved away.
“Sorry about that.”
“Nothing to be sorry about.” Rhys licked his lips and then smacked them in a gesture of complete satisfaction. “I guess now I’m ready to sleep.”
Mason couldn’t agree more, but Rhys planted himself over Mason and pulled the duvet.
“You know, that’s a bit uncomfortable.”
“Why? Are you too hot?”
“Yes,” Mason lied.
“Live with it.”
Ah, damn, Angel was too good a nickname for Rhys, after all.
“Your chest is the best pillow I’ve had in years,” Rhys said with a sigh. “And if you wake up and you need to pee or anything, just pinch my butt.”
“Why should I do that?”
“I might not be able to wake up otherwise.”
Mason wanted to roll his eyes, but there was no point. “Can you get the light?”
There was no hesitation as Rhys reached for the lamp.
“I thought you were scared of the dark.”
“Not if you’re here.” Rhys caressed Mason’s chest, one hand snuck under the t-shirt. “Thank you, Mason. You have no idea how much good it did me.”
“Same here,” Mason replied.
Rhys exhaled, and soon his breathing became even. There was no choice for him but to sleep there. He would wake up later and go back to his room.
The sun through the windows woke him up. Mason blinked. Had he just slept in? He never slept in, but it was clear that it was way past his usual waking hour. He tried to move, but he was still immobilized under Rhys’s weight.
“There’s a lot we need to talk about.”
Toby didn’t look upset at all at finding Mason and Rhys like that. Mason struggled to remove himself from Rhys’s hold, but eventually, he managed to free the half of his body that had been claimed so completely last night.
He followed Toby out of the room, making sure not to make a sound. Rhys appeared to sleep soundly and didn’t move at all.
“Where have you been all night?” Mason whispered, searching with his eyes for Billy. It could be a real problem if his partner saw him talking to himself, like a deranged person.
“Billy is in the surveillance room,” Toby informed him. “He spends an awful lot of time watching those screens.”
“That’s his job. Okay, let’s go to my room.”
He waited until the door was closed behind them.
“Your partner was watching some news on Levine Goldman late, last night,” Toby began.
“He’s the kind who likes to stay well informed,” Mason said with a shrug. He couldn’t find something to do with his hands, and he started pacing the room.
“Are you a little nervous?” Toby asked.
Mason ran one hand through his hair. “I’ve slept with your boyfriend last night,” he blurted out. “I mean, we blew each other and --”
“Yeah, it was pretty hot,” Toby interrupted him.
Mason stopped. “You must be kidding me. Did you stay there and watch us?”
“I came back to the room, and you two were like this.” Toby clasped his hands together to make a point. “I wanted to enlist you for a secret operation, but then I saw you were busy. Since you couldn’t travel as fast as me anyway, I thought about doing some investigating on my own.”
Mason pinched the bridge of his nose. “You were supposed to stop me from touching your boyfriend.”
Toby shrugged. “Rhys looked happy while kissing you. And, for the record, I didn’t see anything beyond that kiss. I’m not some kind of perverted ghost. Also, I don’t think I can get a hard-on anymore.”
“You must be the funniest ghost there is.” Mason bit back a smile.
Toby pointed the finger at him. “That doesn’t mean that you get to jump him all the time. Last night, you had to be sacrificed because you got caught.”
“You ran away like a traitor,” Mason said. “And because you didn’t stop me, I made a mistake.”
“That’s not on me, man. Rhys looks like the kind of guy you can’t say ‘no’ to. And I forgive you.”
“It won’t happen again,” Mason said quickly. “Now, spit it out. What did you find out?”
“I watched the program Billy had on, and realized that it was some kind of live event. I went there and then followed Levine home.”
“All right. Are you going to keep me on my toes, or are you going to tell me what you found out already?”
“Chill. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Unfortunately,” Mason quipped.
“Hmm. You like to hit under the belt, don’t you? And hey, stop interrupting me. A man can’t say a thing because you keep talking.”
Mason made an exasperated gesture for Toby to continue.
“So, I follow him home. And the moment he’s there – man, this dude lives in a fucking palace --”
“Of course he does. He’s a billionaire or something. Go on.”
“Anyway, the moment he’s there, he goes to a room that looks like an office, and starts talking on the phone. But not on the phone he had with him, but on one that he apparently keeps locked in his desk.”
“Billionaires,” Mason said with a grimace. “Who knows why the hell they do what they do? Who did he call?”
Toby shrugged. “I couldn’t see. And you know that I cannot intervene in the physical world in any way. What he said was creepy as fuck, though.”
“All right, I’m ready to be shocked. What did he say?”
“He said,” Toby paused for dramatic effect, “the following words: ‘how long until you bring me that man’s head on a platter?’ Creepy, right?”
Mason moved his weight from one foot to another. He thought Levine was a scumbag, but he needed to keep his head and avoid jumping to conclusions. “It could be just a way of saying. Like maybe he wants to take off the market some rival or something like that.”
“And having him wacked would achieve that,” Toby continued.
“All right, what else?”
Toby hesitated, and his face changed. “He also said, ‘don’t worry about that talentless artist, I have my eyes on him.’ And that was all.”
Mason watched Toby for a couple of seconds. “You think he was talking about Rhys.”
“But Levine is a producer. He must know hundreds of artists.”
Mason frowned. “What aren’t you saying? What else did he say?”
With a sigh, Toby finally replied, “He said something about Rhys being a prissy, um, homosexual.”
“That wasn’t the word he used,” Mason concluded for himself.
Toby nodded and added nothing.
“Funny coming from a guy who’s practically trying to get into the said prissy artist’s pants.”
“Levine wants to fuck Rhys?” Toby seemed surprised.
“I suppose many want,” Mason said quickly. “He gave me the impression that he’s really into Rhys.”
“Could it be just an act? Why would he do that?”
“I don’t know. It looks like Rhys might have something he wants.”
They both fell silent, deep in thought.
“Somehow, I don’t think he’s after Rhys’s ass,” Toby spoke first.
“That’s what I think, too. And that brings us to a serious puzzling question. What could a man who has everything want from another way below his wealth status? If he were after Rhys because of some sexual interest, that would have made sense.”
“But it’s not that, right? Somehow, the idea of Levine Goldman pawning Rhys gives me the willies,” Toby said.
“So, what else? It must have cost Levine a pretty penny to keep Rhys at that clinic for almost a year.”
“There is something he wants.”
“And whatever it is, Rhys doesn’t give it to him, whether because he doesn’t want or --”
“He doesn’t know,” Toby completed the sentence. “Hey, look at us, sleuthing together like Bonny and Clyde.”
“Bonny and Clyde weren’t detectives,” Mason corrected him.
Toby waved. “Unimportant.”
“How come you remember stuff like Bonny and Clyde, but you don’t remember anything about your life?” Mason questioned.
“Beats me. There’s a lot of stuff in my brain, that’s for sure. What are we going to do about Levine? The guy’s a creep and a shady motherfucker.”
“Yeah, and that maid he hired, too. What could Levine want from Rhys?”
“And who’s the guy he wants wacked?” Toby asked, just as rhetorically.
“Stop jumping to conclusions. It may not be anything extreme like that.”
Mason’s phone pinged with an incoming message. “It looks like Billy wants to know if I woke up. Damn, how am I going to face Rhys today?”
“You mean, after you had his cock in your mouth, and yours in his?”
Mason really didn’t want to recall that down to the last visual detail. “Yeah,” he admitted. “I’m going to talk to Billy. If Anita did anything else that could qualify as shady, maybe he saw it on the cameras.”
“I think she must have known that you didn’t put a camera inside Rhys’s bedroom.”
“I suppose. You go sniff around Levine Goldman’s house, now that you know where he lives.”
“Hey, man, I’m not a dog.”
“Shoo already. You’re a sleuthing dog.”
“How’s that better?”
“You get a shiny badge or something.”
Toby grinned. “Admit it. You like all this investigating thing. And you like the guy for whom you’re doing all this.”
“You’re wrong. I don’t like you at all,” Mason joked.
“I was talking about Rhys.”
So, Toby wanted to tease him over that. It was little Mason could do about it. “I’m doing this for you, Mr. Ghost.”
“Nah,” Toby said and shook his head. “You’re head over heels, and you don’t even know it.”
Mason wanted to protest against that, but Toby was already out of the room. He wasn’t head over heels. There was just an abnormal level of attraction between him and Rhys. Nothing more than that.
Mason went to the kitchen after he took a short shower and changed into his usual suit. A new workday started, and he needed to look and act the part. He supposed Billy was already there, stuffing his face with unhealthy stuff, and Mason had to stop him before it was too late.
He stopped in the door when he noticed who was in the kitchen. Wearing low cut tight jeans that hugged his hips and left little to the imagination, Rhys was there, apparently getting handy with the kitchen appliances. He had a short top on, which left his midsection completely bare, and Mason caught himself staring. He would have found that outfit weird on any other guy, but Rhys just wore it well. Mason took a couple of moments to look at Rhys, or, better said, at his ass that moved rhythmically to a happy tune on the radio.
All right, that was enough gawking for one day. Billy wasn’t in sight, most probably driven away by the smell of healthy food. There was plenty of green stuff on the kitchen counter for a salad, and it looked like Rhys was really into it. Mason knew that he needed to point out the lack of protein in that breakfast choice, but it was better if he remained silent.
He could go and fetch Billy from wherever he was, and then when in full formation, he could pretend that last night hadn’t happened. The moment he thought about it, a particular friend of his got twitchy. He adjusted the front of his pants and then pulled at the collar of his shirt. It was too damned tight. Despite his determination to remain unnoticed, he cleared his throat, suddenly dry.
“Hey,” Rhys called cheerfully and began walking toward him.
Mason could feel his breath hitching in his chest. It wasn’t the collar. He got caught, again, and there was no one to come to the rescue. Rhys looked good, his hair brushed, and his face lit up with good mood. A look at his mouth was enough for Mason to lose all rational thinking. Toby’s words about certain bits in certain things came to mind, and he shook his head as if a fly was trying to get into his ear.
“You’re not dreaming,” Rhys said and took his hand. “I’m really cooking. But I feel like something’s missing.”
“Yeah, something filling,” Mason commented while trying to ignore the warmth of Rhys’s hand. “Like meat.”
“Ah, I’m completely useless, right?” Rhys complained.
“Not a all. Let me check the fridge.” Any excuse was good enough to pretend nothing had happened the previous night.
As he took in the contents of the fridge, Rhys embraced him from behind and kissed him on the neck. “I was a bit disappointed to see you gone this morning, but I suppose you’re an early riser.”
“There’s stuff in here for some sandwiches,” Mason said, not really knowing what he was talking about. All his mind could register was how Rhys held him and how his lips felt against his neck.
“Take everything to the table. We’ll figure something out.”
Thank God for small mercies. Rhys let go of him to take some of the ingredients from the fridge.
“Are you guys cooking breakfast?”
And thank God for Po and his timely entrance.
“I strategically waited until you cooked, so that I could just waltz in and eat,” Billy continued. He took place at the table. “How did you two sleep?”
“Each one in his own bed,” Mason said loudly.
Rhys quirked an eyebrow, and then, his lips twitched. “Yes, eventually,” he said quietly.
“What did you say, Rhys?” Billy asked.
Mason wasn’t fooled one bit. Billy’s intelligent eyes were scanning the both of them and probably read the whole truth. “Let’s eat. What’s on today’s schedule?”
Rhys began talking as he placed plates in front of everyone. Mason’s ears perked up when he heard where they needed to be that evening. “A dinner party?”
“At Levine’s house, yes,” Rhys confirmed.
“What am I going to wear?” Billy started complaining.
“Your usual suit,” Mason replied promptly. “As I will.”
“Levine tells me I should you leave you guys at home, you know, give you some time off,” Rhys said. “And now, that I think of, I’ve been selfish enough. You two can have the evening off. I suppose Billy wants to see his girlfriend, and you, Mason,” he stopped for a second, “you’re not allowed to see any girlfriend or boyfriend. Otherwise, you’re free to do what you want, as long as you make sure it’s not too strenuous and you have some energy left for the night.”
“We’ll come with you,” Mason said promptly. “I mean, I will. Billy can go see his girlfriend.”
It would be good to leave Billy behind, as that was a golden opportunity for him to inspect Levine’s house and maybe find something that could put him on the right path.
“No way,” Billy replied. “My girlfriend lives in another county, and I talk to her every night for hours.”
When was he doing that? According to Toby, he spent his time watching the cameras and watching the latest news on Levine Goldman. Maybe he could do more things than one at the same time.
That meant he needed to be crafty enough to get rid of Billy and investigate Levine’s office on his own.
“I don’t think Levine will be too crazy to see me with the two of you in tow,” Rhys said.
“No way I’m letting you go alone,” Mason said abruptly.
Rhys blinked a couple of times, and then he grinned. He leaned against Mason and brushed his shoulder against his. “Aren’t you possessive?” His voice was playful.
Maybe Rhys didn’t like to be suffocated. That was an excellent opportunity to push Rhys away at a safe distance.
“Yeah, I’m possessive,” Mason replied. “The guys I’ve been with always complain about that.”
Rhys shrugged. “Their loss.” A small pause followed. “My gain.”
“So, should I wear the same suit?” Billy intervened.
He grinned, too, and Mason wanted to wipe that smile off his face. Apparently, everyone in the room was making fun of him.
“I can take you both shopping,” Rhys offered. “Although I might feel tempted to sneak into the dressing room with Mason and scandalize the salespeople with my moans.”
Mason swallowed a lump in his throat and choked. Rhys patted him on the back.
“Here, some water.”
“What did you two do last night?” Billy asked, probably the curiosity getting the better of him.
“Nothing,” Mason forced the word out.
Rhys snorted. “If that’s what nothing looks like in your book, I’m looking forward to finding out what something means.”
“O.M.F.G! You hooked up!”
Mason didn’t need Billy to put a label on what had happened between him and Rhys. “We didn’t!” He hoped his indignation was evident.
“We totally did,” Rhys said. “But maybe Mason doesn’t like terms like hooking up. Actually, I’m not sure what we did since I’ve never done it before. All my life, I’ve only been with Toby. Until now.”
“And yet, you were ready to hire an escort to show you a good time,” Mason said,wanting to punish Rhys a little for giving them away like that.
Rhys shrugged. “Good thing that fell through. I got a pretty awesome deal instead. Ah, I must have been hooked from that first kiss. So, I’m hooked on Mason or something.”
“What first kiss?” Billy asked.
Mason couldn’t stand being ignored like that. “Hey, enough with the questioning.”
“All right, chief.” Billy put his hands up in surrender. “Just so you know, I’m on your side. My lips are sealed.”
“They better be,” Mason said and exhaled. “My ass is on the line.”
Rhys wrapped his arm around Mason’s. “Don’t worry, Mason. I wouldn’t allow anything to happen to your ass.”
Now that was reassuring. Mason shook his head. What the hell did he get himself into?
Thank you, guys, for reading! As you can see, Mason fought a little and lost. But still, he won, so it's 'kay. Enjoy the little reprieve this chapter was, as things are bound to get messy once more and soon Don't say you weren't warned.
Until next time,
All the best,
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