Read Keeping Online

Authors: Sarah Masters

Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction

Keeping (6 page)

BOOK: Keeping
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“That’s correct. Any more questions about how Oliver does what he does, ask him later—
he’s willing to explain. If not, ask someone else who knows. Now, Oliver?”

Oliver began, repeating the information he’d given Langham. Officers scribbled notes, others narrowed their eyes or frowned. He told them who the victim was and that as far as he was aware she was still alive.

A question-and-answer session occurred, officers doing what Langham used to do, pressing for more specifics, something Oliver didn’t have. Langham allowed it to go on until a muscle spasmed in Oliver’s jaw.

“Right, that’s enough,” Langham said, writing the last note on the board at the end of a long list. Before he forgot, he said, “Someone needs to get a picture of Cheryl for the board.” He tapped it with his finger. “And leave Oliver alone. He isn’t the bloody oracle. You know how this works. Snippets, and in the past those snippets have held bigger clues than we realized at the time, so now we adopt the pattern we’ve talked about recently, looking between the lines, writing up all the scenarios that could come up, and seeing if we can find anything, however small, to help us. Thanks, Oliver.”

Oliver returned to his seat, slumped down into it, clearly knackered. This one would drain him more, what with him knowing Cheryl. In any other circumstances he wouldn’t be allowed on the case—too personal, too raw—but he was the only one who could speak to people with his mind. Apart from Adam—a civilian telepath who’d been a massive help in the Queer Rites case—but since he hadn’t called in with any leads, Oliver was on his own. Him taking a back seat unfortunately wasn’t an option.

Poor bastard.

Langham’s chest hurt.

“Now,” Langham said. “Cheryl isn’t known for putting herself at risk—although that could be debatable…” He glanced at Oliver, waiting for a look of rebuke. When one wasn’t forthcoming, he continued. “Given that she was well aware of women going missing, having helped report it in the local newspaper she works for, we can assume she would have been on her guard. So, with that in mind, we’re maybe dealing with a charmer, someone who has the knack of being able to get on your good side without you even noticing he’s got evil lurking in his head. Or, and this seems more likely, seeing as Oliver said the man wears a mask, he’s a snatch-to-abduct type. Catches these women unaware. I need a background check run on Cheryl, but what I do know—Oliver works with her at said newspaper—she also had a second job. Morning and evening shifts in the café in Morrison’s.”

Someone groaned. Loud. Long.

“I know, I know.” Langham held up a forestalling hand. “We could potentially have thousands of suspects if the killer had his eye on her there, and given that all the victims were taken while walking their dogs on the field opposite… Daunting task, one I wish we didn’t have to deal with, but shit happens. You know the drill in situations like this, so I want you all on it. No slacking now. We need this bloke caught before Cheryl gets killed. She wasn’t at the newspaper this morning. Someone—Higgings—you need to check with Morrison’s.”

“For…?” Higgings stared.

Langham sighed
. How the fuck do they get through training?
“She also works there. You need to see how long she’s been off work. Were you listening or what?” he snapped.

“Uh, sorry, sir.”

He gave Higgings a glare that stronger men had withered under. Higgings all but shriveled up and died. Langham, unable to look at him any longer for fear of seriously hurting him with a caustic barb or two, continued with the briefing.

After answering queries and allotting everyone various tasks, Langham dismissed them. He stood in place while they filed from the room—all except Higgings and Oliver, the latter still in his seat, head bobbing as if he were about ready to drop off.

“Sir?” Higgings said, walking from the back of the room and making a pig’s ear of it, tripping on a couple of chairs that jutted from their usual uniformity. “Is it all right if I speak to Oliver now?” He stumbled again, pitching forward, then righted himself, his cheeks glowing redder, his arms and legs nothing but slow-moving rubber.

Langham glanced at Oliver, torn between letting this copper get his curiosity quieted, and telling him to fuck off if he knew what was good for him. Oliver shook his head, then leaned forward to prop his elbows on his knees and cover his face with his hands. His man wasn’t in the damn mood.

“Oliver’s tired,” Langham said. “Gets him like that sometimes. Speak to one of the others, preferably not Villier. She’s not in Oliver’s corner. Doesn’t believe in all this ‘shit’ as she calls it.”

“Oh, right, sir.” Higgings stood abreast of Langham and stared at Oliver. Higgings’ face showed his disappointment. “Only, it’s really weird stuff and I just wanted—” He stopped, nodding to himself. “I’ll be off then, sir.”

“You do that.”

Langham waited until he’d left, relieved. For a minute back there he thought he’d have to take Higgings to task, explain with a bit more force that he ought to piss off while the going was good. He hated having to do that, to be seen as the big bad boss, but sometimes needs must. It seemed Higgings was keen, so that was something, but at times the newbies were
keen, more trouble than they were worth.

Langham sat beside Oliver, the chair creaking, wobbling a bit where one of the black rubber feet had come off. He reached out to put one hand on Oliver’s thigh. If anyone saw through the windows, he didn’t give a shit. They shouldn’t be looking.

“You need to go home,” he said, knowing Oliver would protest.

“I’ll be all right in a minute. I just need…some food, maybe a drink.” Oliver sat up straighter, blinked several times, then leaned forward again to pick up the treats he’d bought from the vending machine. “Sugar. Helps.”

Langham gave his leg a quick squeeze and, reluctant to get up but knowing he had no bloody choice, he stood. “Come on. My office. I need to get some notes down, get my head screwed on straight before I decide what the hell I have to do on this one. Limited officers, massive amounts of suspects. It isn’t looking good.”

Oliver glanced up, his eyes red rimmed, a little watery. A bag of crisps shook in his hand, the packet rustling. “We’ve got to find her.”

“I know. We’ll give it a damn good try. But—”

“I know.” Oliver stood. “I fucking know. And even though I don’t talk to my mum, my sister, I can’t help wondering. What if it was one of them? How would I feel? Just because my mum called me a freak all my life, she’s still my mum, know what I mean? And I never thought I’d feel like that. Thought I’d cut her out with no trouble. Fucking hell.”

Oliver walked away with his head bent, leaving the room with a defeated air about him. The door snapped shut even though he hadn’t slammed it—someone had a damn fan going full blast out there, he’d bet—and the white venetian blinds swung across the window insert. He stared at the jostling blind cord for a moment, knowing, but not wanting to fully acknowledge, how big this case was now. Yeah, it had been big before—so many women in a relatively short space of time—but now a victim had a definite link to Morrison’s… Well, it was a fucking big task, no doubt about it.

His head spun with his thoughts. Where they hell would they begin? Station undercover officers at the café or send in uniforms to question all customers? No, undercover would be better. Less chance of the bastard—if he even used the supermarket—to become aware they were on to him, drawing closer. If he saw a police presence he might change venue, and that was all they bloody needed. Now they had such a solid lead, they’d have to run with it as best they could, hoping the killer stuck to old ground as he had in the past.

Who would go and interview the newspaper staff? He would, but Oliver would probably insist on going with him, saying he had a better chance to get them to talk, to know if they were lying by looking at their faces. But some people could control their features, rarely a telling tic or micro-expression to be seen.

And now there was Oliver and his thoughts about his mother and sister. Langham never thought Oliver would have worried about them, not after how they’d been when he was growing up. He wished he had time to talk to Oliver, to help him work this out, but once again a case took precedence and he couldn’t be there for him.

“Jesus wept,” he said quietly. “This is one motherfucking nightmare.”

He strode through the main office, waylaid by various officers, responding to questions he was thankfully able to answer. Yes, you need to check into Cheryl’s background, see if she is actually missing. No, I don’t doubt Oliver for a second. Yes, you need to send plain-clothed officers out to Morrison’s again, see if the staff noticed anyone lurking about the past few nights by the field. No, I haven’t got a bloody clue where Detective Wilkes is—nod, nod, hmm-mmm—I’m well aware he’s needed right away.

Back in his office, he shut the door and leaned against it.

God help anyone who knocks now…

He closed his eyes for what seemed a long time, listening to Oliver’s breathing, the crackle of his crisp packet, the crunch as he ate. He wished the thoughts and questions would stop churning, that the tiny beat starting up in his temple wouldn’t progress to a full-blown migraine. He had to get things straight, make sure everyone was on task, then see what was left for him to do.

Movement sounded, and he wondered whether Oliver was getting up. Then, because no other noises came, he decided he’d imagined it. Langham was tired, stressed to the max, and it wouldn’t be the first time he’d thought he’d heard something when he hadn’t. Yet there came the soft padding of footsteps—
no, I didn’t imagine that
—and without opening his eyes Langham knew Oliver was near.

“You look like you need sorting out,” Oliver said.

Langham smiled. A waft of Oliver’s scent breezed over him, and he suddenly had no energy, no desire to do any work—no desire to do anything that required too much effort.

“Sorting out?” Langham asked. “In here?”

“I don’t see why not. You’re against the door. No one can get in without us realizing.”

“Christ, not a good idea, man.” But fuck, he could do with a good blow job, something to take the edge off.

“Might not be a good idea in the moral sense, you know, fucking at work, but I reckon you won’t say no if I pull down your zip, like this, and get your cock out, like this…”

Langham smiled again, and his dick in Oliver’s hand felt all kinds of brilliant. “Bloody hell…”

“Resistance is futile. Let me just…”

Oliver took Langham’s cock deep into his mouth. Langham drew in a sharp breath as he went to full hardness with one long suck. He spread his hands out on the door either side of him, conscious that what they were doing could be discovered any second yet at the same time not giving a damn. The thrill of discovery added to the excitement of what Oliver was doing, and instead of protesting, Langham relaxed and allowed his man to do whatever the hell he wanted.

Oliver set up a steady push-pull rhythm then tugged Langham’s trousers so they fell down to bunch at his knees. Oliver’s access to Langham’s arse was unobstructed by underwear, and he clutched it, drawing him closer, his cock deeper into his mouth. Langham pressed his fingertips to the door, resisting the urge to thread his hands into Oliver’s hair and grip tight. Give it a tug or two. Hold his head steady so he could thrust into his mouth.

“That’s fucking
,” Langham said.

In his mind’s eye he saw what they looked like. Oliver on his knees in front of him. Mouth stuffed full of cock, eyes closed. The erotic visuals had his cock throbbing, his balls aching so bad he wanted to fuck Oliver’s mouth hard and fast, except the pace Oliver had set was too nice to interrupt—and the noise he’d make against the door if he went at it might bring people running.

“You suck it exactly the way you are,” he said. “Nice and slow, because, fucking hell, it won’t be long before I come down your throat, man.”

Oliver groaned, and the reverberation of the sound buzzed down Langham’s cock and into his bollocks. Langham parted his legs as much as he was able, silently asking for Oliver to give him a bit of hole action. Oliver ignored him, clearly enjoying being the one in control, so Langham would just let things play out.

“That’s it. Deep, just like that…”

Unable to keep his hands on the door, Langham gave in and weaved his fingers into Oliver’s hair. Tightened it in his fists. Tugged it. Oliver grunted—another sound that fizzled into his cock—and Langham canted his hips.

He opened his eyes to see Oliver looking up at him, his mouth stretched wide, and the telltale tautening in his balls meant coming was moments away.

“Get your dick out,” Langham said. “Yeah, you get it out and wank off.”

Oliver undid his zip then pulled his cock free. He massaged it in time with how he was sucking Langham’s dick, and the tandem movements turned Langham on so much his cock burned with that heat he got just before he came. And that heat was getting hotter.

“Fuck, yeah,” he breathed, shunting into Oliver’s mouth a little more. “That’s it, you take it in, all of it, right down your throat.”

Oliver closed his eyes and went for it. He wanked himself hard, sucked Langham hard, and if Langham thought he’d be able to hold back he was wrong. Cum swirled in his balls then pushed up, searing a blast of warmth through his dick. He came, shuddering, bucking, surging deeper into Oliver’s throat than he’d intended. Oliver managed it well, easing his head back a bit as he released his own cum, letting it slap on the floor behind Langham. Oliver groaned and gave one last, long suck. He released the suction and swirled his tongue around the tip of Langham’s dick, cleaning him up before he let him go.

Langham shut his eyes, too spaced out to do anything but stand there for a few moments. He heard Oliver stand, the creak of Oliver’s zip going up, the scrunch of tissue as he cleaned his cum off the floor. Then Langham’s cock was tucked away, his zip was drawn upwards, and Oliver pressed himself to him. Kissed him like there was no tomorrow. Langham responded in kind, wishing there wasn’t tomorrow to worry about or even later today.

BOOK: Keeping
12.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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