It seemed like I’d barely closed my eyes before something woke me. Thuds on my door. I thought for a second it might be Lexi again, but she never knocked on my door like that, all authoritative and belligerent. I flung the blankets away from my face long enough to yell, “You’ve got the wrong apartment!” before diving back into my fluff pile.
The bursts of heavy knocks slid into something more rhythmic, an indication that whoever was at my door had settled in for the long haul. I kicked the blankets off with severe prejudice. Who the fuck made that kind of noise at—I squinted at the clock—midnight? I scrambled out of bed and marched to the front door, bouncing off a doorjamb on my way. And banging my knee on the end table. And almost tripping over the edge of the throw rug.
I did not function well without sufficient sleep. I also did not think clearly, or else I might have checked the peephole in the door before flinging it open with a harried, “What?”
Hudson stood there in dark jeans and a black leather bomber jacket open over a plain gray T-shirt, revealing his badge on a chain. His gun sat on his hip, an unusual choice for him, and his hair was…not mussed, but definitely not as styled as when he wore a suit. Five o’clock shadow peppered his jaw, silver glinting among the darker shades.
“You’re not wearing a suit,” I observed. Call me Captain Obvious.
“Night off,” he said distractedly, his gaze traveling from my head down…down…down. The tip of his tongue emerged to wet his lips. “You’re not wearing clothes.”
I jerked my gaze away from him to look at myself and—yep, naked. “Christ,” I muttered, and darted back toward the bedroom.
“You know I’ve already seen it,” Hudson called after me. His voice was ragged, strained, as though he had to fight to get the words out. The door clicked shut behind him.
My dick suggested it might be attraction roughening his tone, but my dick was an idiot and way too interested in Hudson—always had been. I flicked the head before it got any grand ideas about standing up further and hissed at the flare of pain.
“That doesn’t mean you get free admission!” I shouted back.
The bite of pain and the shot of adrenaline burned off the sleep fuzzies, so I pulled on jeans, a T-shirt and a U of T hoodie. I didn’t bother trying to clean up any more than that.
When I reentered the living area, Hudson’s eyes widened. “Holy shit.”
I glanced behind me—because, okay, there was not enough adrenaline in the world to make me fully functional after the tiny amount of sleep I’d had. Of course, there was nothing there, and I realized Hudson had been reacting to me. “What?”
“I— It—” He shook his head. “Sometimes it’s like you walked out of my memories. You look— There’s nothing different about you. Like, at all. It’s…creepy.”
Well, there was my answer about how Hudson felt about me returning to his life. It was a short flight from being creeped out to resentment, right? They were at least in the same hemisphere. A different one from happiness and welcome.
See, Little Wes? No attraction.
Oblivious to how his words were pummeling me, Hudson continued. “It’s weird. I know, you know? That you haven’t changed and won’t ever change. But it hits me sometimes. Anyway, it’s not important.”
Not important? Way to twist the knife.
“Why didn’t you call like a civilized person?” I demanded, perching on the arm of the couch. At least then I could have ignored him until I’d gotten a nice eight hours of shuteye.
“Because someone changed his number and didn’t give me the new one.”
“Oh. Right.” I gave him a sheepish look. “Sorry. I had work stuff I had to deal with.”
“We’ll talk about that on the way.” He gestured at the door.
“On the way where?”
All humor fled Hudson’s expression. “There’s been another murder.”
Dying isn’t what it used to be.
Wes Cooper was dead. Then he wasn’t—though he’s not exactly alive, either. As an immortal not-ghost, he can transition between this world and the otherplane, which makes him the perfect thief for hire. For seventy years he’s made a “living” returning items to their rightful owners, seeing his fair share of the bizarre in the process. But he’s never witnessed murder. Until now.
His latest mission brings him more than he bargained for: a very-dead actor who is definitely going to stay that way. It’s just Wes’s luck that his ex-boyfriend, Detective Hudson Rojas, is assigned to the case. Hudson broke Wes’s heart years ago—and could again, given he’s rocking a hot silver-fox look that shouldn’t be legal.
As they work together to track down the murderer before anyone else gets hurt, it becomes clear Wes and Hudson have unfinished business. And when a secret Hudson’s been keeping threatens more than just their happiness, it might mean the end of their not-life together—permanently.
Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.
Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press.
She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.
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