Where was an alcoholic, homicidal Russian arms dealer when you needed him?
Sebastian breathed deeply and leaned back against the bar, keeping his expression relaxed despite the rush of adrenaline. He hated waiting, and each minute that ticked by gave him more time to second-guess himself—and this mission.
Where the hell was Zhernakov? The elegant hotel rooftop terrace in Buenos Aires’s Recoleta neighborhood was dimly lit, but Sebastian was positive his target was MIA. The man would surely stand out among the young, fashionable clientele. Sebastian had studied Zhernakov’s picture a million times that day—his shorn silver hair, ruddy complexion, and body built like a barrel of the whiskey he consumed in staggering amounts. It was said he once stabbed a man merely for offering him vodka.
Sebastian swirled his glass, and the ice cubes clinked together. He took a swallow, wincing as the whiskey burned a path down his throat. His stomach was empty, but he’d been far too nervous to eat. A bit of liquid courage surely wouldn’t hurt. He finished the drink and turned to signal for another, but the bartender placed one in front of him before he could even raise his hand. Sebastian smiled his thanks.
This March had been one of the hottest on record in Buenos Aires, and Sebastian wore only a dark T-shirt with his tight jeans. He found dark clothes brought out his green eyes, and he was confident about his trim body in a way he hadn’t been as a teenager. He’d styled his short blond hair over his forehead, tousled in a careless way that made him look even younger than he was. Although he wouldn’t turn twenty-one for a few months, Sebastian felt far beyond his years.
He chuckled ruefully. He supposed discovering his father was a ruthless arms dealer, going on the run with a sexy spy, and dodging assassins at every turn would make anyone grow up quickly. Now he was a spy himself. Well, at least he’d finished his six-month training with the Association.
Whether or not he could really call himself a spy would depend on the success of this mission. His role in the field would largely be cracking safes and decrypting passwords and codes, but he still had to prove he could handle himself undercover and under pressure.
The colored lanterns swayed just a bit in a cool breeze that raised gooseflesh on Sebastian’s bare arms, although he thought his nerves might be the culprit. In the starless night, even the moon was obscured by thick clouds that would bring rain before dawn. The terrace was dotted with tables occupied by couples and friends, quiet laughter ringing out from here and there.
Sebastian took another drink, reminding himself to take it easy. He needed to stay sharp. He put down his glass and shoved his hands in his pockets. Focusing once more on his breathing, he wondered if his backup had arrived. He hadn’t spotted anyone earlier who appeared to be an operative, but of course the point was to blend in.
Sebastian glanced around the terrace casually. By the railing to the right overlooking the hotel’s pool ten stories below, a man had appeared. The last man Sebastian had expected to see. His heart skipped a beat, a smile instantly tugging at his lips. He had to tamp down the urge to close the distance between them at a run.
Resting against the rail with a beer in hand, Kyle wore dark jeans. His linen shirtsleeves were rolled to his elbows, and his top buttons were undone. His dark hair was neatly trimmed as always, and his skin was tanned. Tall and lean, Kyle was one of the handsomest men Sebastian had ever seen. At the moment he appeared the very picture of relaxation.
But they both had a job to do, and Sebastian forced his gaze back on his drink and concentrated on calming himself. Kyle hadn’t even glanced his way, but Sebastian could feel the heat of his presence charging the air.
Leaving his drink, Sebastian rounded the bar and headed to the toilets. He quickly cleared the room, ensuring no one was there and that both the stalls were empty before ducking inside one. The bathroom door opened a minute later. Sebastian waited for the signal, body unclenching slightly as Kyle whistled a jaunty tune.
Once Kyle had squeezed into the stall, they stood pressed together in the small space, and all of Sebastian’s questions died on his tongue as their eyes met. He was struck by a memory of their first meeting, of gazing up into Kyle’s gold-flecked hazel eyes. His knees had practically gone weak, and even now his stomach flip-flopped.
Kyle cupped Sebastian’s head with his hand as they kissed. They both moaned, and Sebastian lost himself in the rush of sensations—the feel of Kyle’s tongue, the taste of his mouth, his scent filling Sebastian’s nose, his big, hard body pressing Sebastian back against the side of the stall.
But as he gasped for air, Sebastian shook his head. “Wait, wait. Did something happen? What are you doing here?”
Kyle kissed him again, nudging his thigh between Sebastian’s legs. “A month is too long.”
Sebastian rocked his thickening cock against Kyle’s leg. “I know. Missed you so much.” He squeezed Kyle’s shaft through the denim. “Can’t wait to have you inside me again.”
Groaning, Kyle tugged at the zipper on Sebastian’s jeans and kissed him hard. Sebastian gripped Kyle’s back, urging him closer, and Kyle suddenly went rigid, a small gasp escaping his lips. Sebastian felt something beneath Kyle’s shirt—a bandage?
“Are you hurt? Let me see.” He lifted the hem of Kyle’s shirt.
Unsurprisingly, Kyle batted Sebastian’s hands away. “I’m fine. It’s nothing. A scratch.”
“Then let me see.”
Sighing, Kyle relented and lifted his shirt as he twisted slightly. “See? Nothing.”
Sebastian ran his fingertips over the bandaged wound just above Kyle’s right kidney. “How did it happen?”
“Dark alley. Icy. My coat took most of it. Goose feathers come in handy.”
“How many stitches?”
“Just a couple.” Kyle dropped his shirt and kissed Sebastian again.
“Are you sure Marie cleared you to be back in the field? She didn’t tell me you’d be here.” Marie was too good a handler to take a chance on any mission, even a straightforward one like this.
“I’m fine. Besides, this is your mission. I’m just the backup. You won’t need me.”
“You didn’t answer the question. Did Marie send you? You might remember her? Small Frenchwoman, slightly terrifying when she’s angry? Ring any bells?”
Chuckling, Kyle nodded. “Don’t worry, she knows. I don’t change plans without running them by Marie.” At Sebastian’s skeptical look, Kyle amended. “Well, I don’t change plans often without running them by her.” He brushed a knuckle down Sebastian’s cheek. “Only in exceptional circumstances.”
Sebastian smiled as he thought of the rules Kyle had broken and the orders he’d disobeyed to save Sebastian’s life. He pressed their lips together before leaning back. “I’m glad you’re here. But are you sure you’re up for this?”
Kyle arched an eyebrow and rolled his hips into Sebastian’s. “I’m always up for this.”
Sebastian couldn’t help but laugh as the worry dissipated. “I guess you’re fine if you’re well enough for puns.” He took a shuddering breath, leaning into the warmth of Kyle’s body as the anxiety returned. “I should get back out there. Target might have arrived.”
“Don’t be nervous. You can do this. Marie wouldn’t have sent you otherwise.”
“Well, Zhernakov likes pretty boys.” He smiled and kissed Kyle lightly. “Sorry, old man, you don’t fit the bill.”
As Kyle opened his mouth to respond, the bathroom door opened with a momentary surge of music and conversation from the terrace beyond. In the hush that followed, they could hear a man at the urinal. They stood pressed together, and Kyle bent his head, his breath hot on Sebastian’s ear. “This old man’s going to make you come so hard your balls will ache, and then I’m going to fuck you again. And again.”
Sebastian shivered. He and Kyle had only seen each other for fleeting encounters while Sebastian was in training, and they’d made the most of the opportunities. The last time they’d seen each other, in a dive hotel in Karachi, they’d spent a night in each other’s arms having sex on every surface.
As the man in the bathroom finally left, Sebastian gripped Kyle’s ass and ground their hips together, pulling Kyle’s head down for another kiss. But his own breathy moan turned to a disappointed sigh as his phone vibrated in his pocket. Kyle glanced out to make sure they were still alone as Sebastian read the message from Marie.
New target: Zhernakov’s son, Fedor. 25 years old. Same plan: he’s a chip off the old block. Likes virgins.
“What is it?” Kyle asked.
“It’s going to be Zhernakov’s son instead. Same game plan, though. Apparently he shares his father’s taste. There’s a picture here…” Sebastian tapped the small image and raised his eyebrows. “Wow. He may take after his father in some ways, but he got his looks from his mother. Hot.” Sebastian showed Kyle the picture.
Kyle was silent for a moment before shrugging. “Nothing special.”
Snorting, Sebastian slipped his phone back into his pocket. “Yeah, only if you go in for the piercing blue eyes, chiseled jaw, shiny black hair, and six-pack abs. Other than that, sure, he’s pretty average. Did you see him out there? I didn’t.”
Kyle shook his head. “He might be there now. Just remember what you’ve learned and…”
“What?” The adrenaline and nerves had returned full force, and Sebastian exhaled shakily.
“You’ll be great.” Hands on Sebastian’s shoulders, Kyle leaned down and spoke into his ear. “Go get him.”
He pressed a tender kiss to Sebastian’s cheek. Ignoring the shiver of desire flickering up his spine, Sebastian nodded and kissed Kyle quickly.
Back on the terrace, he scanned the faces and felt a bolt of energy when he spotted the young and handsome Zhernakov Jr. on the other side of the roof with two flunkies. Sebastian picked up another drink at the bar and weaved his way over slowly, stopping several times to admire the view.
As he passed Zhernakov, Sebastian stumbled and sent his drink flying, splashing the man’s broad chest. With a gasp, Sebastian blushed and rubbed Zhernakov’s stained shirt, leaning into him. “I’m so sorry!” He hiccupped.
Zhernakov’s angry expression melted. He took hold of Sebastian’s arm with his strong hand. “You are American?”
“Uh-huh.” Sebastian’s American accent came as naturally to him as his own Italian did. “My dad’s working here in Buenos Aires. I’m supposed to be in bed.” He put his finger to his lips. “Shhh. I’m not supposed to be drinking either.”
The predatory gleam in Zhernakov’s eyes was almost comical. “It shall be our little secret.”
Sebastian grinned. “Awesome. Secrets are fun.” He leaned closer to Zhernakov to look over the terrace railing. “Wow, amazing view. I’ve hardly been out of my room since we got here.” He rolled his eyes. “Dad thinks it’s too dangerous.”
“Fathers. They can be…complicated.” Zhernakov smiled.
“Totally.” Sebastian rested his palm on Zhernakov’s broadly muscled chest. The young man was tall and built and utterly intimidating, especially with his perfect cheekbones. Not to mention the two armed lackeys, who stood off to the side, gazes discreetly averted. Sebastian ran his hand over Zhernakov’s thin silk shirt. “My bad. I ruined it.”
Zhernakov trailed his fingertips down Sebastian’s arm. “Perhaps you can make it up to me.”
Gazing up under his lashes, Sebastian smiled. “Can I? How?”
Zhernakov’s hand was firm on Sebastian’s back as he pivoted him around. “Come, let us get you another drink where your father won’t see you.”
Sebastian nodded eagerly and let Zhernakov maneuver him to the elevators beyond the bar. His heart raced, but he knew Kyle wouldn’t be far behind.
Copyright © Keira Andrews
OUT OF PRINT AS OF JUNE 2017. This short story is now available free with the second edition of The Chimera Affair.