“And that’s how I broke my collarbone sliding into home plate.”
“Mm, amazing,” Jackson murmured. He closed his eyes briefly to keep from rolling them. His date was such a twit. He’d just sat through the last hour being bored to tears with the guy’s baseball career—from t-ball all the way through one year in the minors.
“So, what is it that you do?”
Jackson was stunned speechless for a moment. He hadn’t had a chance to say much about anything, and certainly nothing that applied to him or his life. “Uh, I’m a home security specialist.”
“Oh, our centerfielder in college went on to do something with security systems.” And he was off talking about baseball again.
Jackson had had enough. It wasn’t as if he opposed baseball. It was actually his second favorite sport after football. The pompous ass sitting across from him was beginning to sour his opinion on the great American pastime however.
Damn, he couldn’t even remember the dude’s name.
He would have much rather stayed home. He hated going on these dates. There was only one person that held any interest for him. Only one person his heart would ever belong to.
“Well, this has been…” Jackson searched for something polite to say without outright lying. “Well, the food was good, but I have to get going.”
“Oh.” His date looked mildly perturbed. “Okay, well here, let me give you my number. Maybe we can do this again sometime.”
“Uh, yeah, that’s not going to happen. Later, dude.” Jackson didn’t care if he sounded rude or not. He just wanted to get as far away from the man as possible. He threw a handful of bills on the table to cover his part of dinner and hurried out of the restaurant.
* * * *
Talon stood in the shadows near the corner of the house when Jackson pulled into the drive. Just as he always did whenever Jackson came home from a date.
Turning off the engine, Jackson slowly climbed out of his car. He wasn’t in the mood to talk to Talon, but he knew he’d have to before the man would give him any peace. Might as well get it over with. So, he stuffed his fists into his jeans and marched straight over to stand in front him.
“I didn’t kiss him and I didn’t fuck him. I didn’t so much as let him breathe one me. He was an arrogant prick, and I’ve had more fun clipping my toenails. The food was good. I paid for myself. I didn’t eat dessert.” Jackson paused and ran a hand through his sandy blond curls. He needed a haircut. “He was decent looking, late-twenties, and I won’t be seeing him again.”
He dropped his head and reached around to rub the tension out of his neck. “Is there anything else? I’m tired and I just want to go to bed.”
“Come here,” Talon said quietly.
“Talon, please, just ask me whatever you want to ask me and let me get inside.”
“I said come here, pup.” He still spoke in that low, calm voice.
Jackson sighed and took a step forward until he stood toe to toe with the bigger man. “What?”
Talon said nothing as he stepped around Jackson and began rubbing the knotted muscles in Jackson’s neck and shoulders. Jackson couldn’t contain his groan of pleasure.
“God, yes.” Jackson dropped his chin to his chest and moaned again.
“I’m sorry you had such a bad night, baby. I’m sure next time will be better,” Talon whispered as he moved his hands lower down Jackson’s back.
Jackson shivered and squeezed his eyes shut. He both loved and hated when Talon called him baby. “There’s not going to be a next time. I’m done. If you don’t want me, fine. I’m not doing this anymore, though.” Bitterness tinted his words.
“You know that it’s not because I don’t want you. You agreed to this, so just suck it up, kid.” Talon voice remained calm, but Jackson detected the steel beneath it.
Spinning around and baring his teeth, he growled. “I was fucking fifteen when I agreed to this shit! I’m not a damn kid anymore, Talon. I stopped being a kid a long time ago.” He shook his head. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such an asshole for a mate.”