Rise & Fall (THIRDS #4)

And we’re going to stop acting like a bunch of fucking idiots and talk things through. No lies, no withholding information, no nonsense. Communication.” Dex arched an eyebrow. “Yes, that goes for me too, wise guy.” “Okay.” Dex’s smile grew wide before he planted a kiss on Sloane’s lips. “Have I told you I love you?” “I wouldn’t mind hearing it again,” Sloane teased, releasing Dex’s arm and returning the kiss. “I love you.” Sloane

And you watched them?” Sloane whispered hoarsely. “Only in the beginning. I didn’t know what to do!” Dex’s voice went up in pitch, which meant he was panicked about it. It made Sloane want to laugh, but he restrained himself. Sloane arched an eyebrow at him. “How about turning away?” “I did. After I snapped myself out of it, I turned around and put the earpieces in. ZZ Top was playing, hence why I’ll never be able to listen to it again.” Sloane went thoughtful. “Did you get turned on?” His partner’s face went beet red and Sloane laughed.

Any Therians who saw it would know. “You’ll have to keep it covered at work.” The gossip would run rampant through their unit, especially since Dex was supposedly not seeing anyone. This wasn’t the kind of thing you did with a casual hookup or even a long-term boyfriend. This was the real deal. Sloane swallowed hard. How’d he go from flipping his shit over the word boyfriend to being in a committed relationship to… this? “No

Aren’t you going to sing for me?” Sloane smiled at the way his partner’s cheeks flushed. “For… you?” “But I get to pick the song,” Sloane said. “Oookay.” Dex stood.

Are you okay? Are you hurt? I—” Ash’s words were cut off by Cael’s mouth on his. It took Ash a moment to react, and it wasn’t how Dex had expected. Closing his eyes, Ash returned Cael’s kiss. At Ash’s response, Cael threw his arms around Ash’s neck, and the two kissed like nothing else in the world existed. Out

Ash called out at him. “Sloane’s going to sing! Woo!” “Only

Desire and love turned into desperation, sending them both into a frenzy of need and lust.

Dex unlocked the front door and bent over to pick up the mail on the floor, Sloane found himself distracted. It was the first time he’d thought about anything sexual. Now he couldn’t stop thinking about it. About Dex lying under him gasping and moaning, begging for Sloane to fuck him. God, he missed that. “Fuck!” Dex spun around, his eyes wide. “What is it? What’s wrong?” “We can’t have sex,” Sloane whined. Dex stared at him before bursting into laughter. “Is that what you’re worried about? Not having sex?” Sloane glared at Dex as his partner helped him inside and closed the door behind them. “I don’t see what’s so funny. This is a serious situation.” The sinful look on Dex’s face was enough to have Sloane swallowing hard. It was followed by Dex slipping his arms around Sloane, his hand migrating south to Sloane’s ass where he gave it a squeeze. When Dex spoke, his voice was low and husky. “Do you really think not being able to have sex is going to stop me from finding ways to make you purr? To drive you absolutely fucking crazy? You think I don’t know how to get creative?” Sloane licked his bottom lip. “Well, when you put it like that….

For the first time in his life, he was a hot mess over a guy. Then again, Sloane Brodie wasn't just any guy. He was rolling thunder and a sweet summer breeze. Passionate, complex, and intense. Mysterious and brooding. He made Dex laugh, beg, and want to scream. With one look he could crush Dex's heart, with one whisper have him on his knees.

Fuck off, Daley. You’re not my nursemaid."?“No, he’s my nursemaid,” Sloane grumbled, giving Ash a weak push before taking hold of Dex’s wrist and pulling him over to stand in between his legs. He wrapped his arms around Dex’s waist and held him close. “Get your own.”?Ash shook his head in shame. “You’re so whipped, man.

How was it possible to want to protect yet strangle someone at the same time? “At

I’m fucking heavy.” Dex chuckled and gave his bicep a squeeze. “It’s all that sexy muscle.” His

I need you to be okay, Sloane. Please. I don’t know if you can hear me. You probably can’t, but I’ll say it anyway. I love you. I love you, and you can’t leave me.

I wanted to do it,” Sloane said confidently. “But….” He gently took hold of Dex’s arm wrapped in his T-shirt. “I’ve scarred you.” “How

Keeler, you have so many issues, you can put the fucking New York Times out of business.

Like I told you, I really like you, I’m just….” “In love with someone else,” Seb said, smiling softly. “I remember.” “Don’t give up, Seb. Find out how he feels. If there’s the tiniest bit of hope, try.” “Thanks.” Seb turned his hardened gaze to Ash. “Take good care of him, Ash. He deserves it.” Ash

Question one: are you all screwing each other? Question two: how can I get in on the action?

Sloane gave him a questioning look as Dex returned his phone to his pocket before walking over to the window and knocking on it. “What are you doing?” Sloane asked. “I’m wondering if this is bulletproof.” “Why?” “Because I want to know if I can shoot my way through it before trying to jump out.” He turned to the couch and pointed to it. “Do you think if I dramatically throw myself onto this like one of those old Hollywood starlets it’ll have the same effect? I feel like I need to have some kind of bitch fit right now.

Sloane quickly prepped Dex, his dick soon replacing his fingers inside his lover. The feral beast inside him rejoiced. Dex was his. Would always be his. Any Therian who laid eyes on Dex’s arm would know what the deliberate claw marks meant.

Sloane sat up. “You’re regretting it?” Ash tried to hold back a grin but couldn’t. In the end he gave in. “Fuck no. I don’t regret it. I just mean, I wish I hadn’t been so impulsive. I wanted to do it right.” “I don’t know about you, but I’d say by the look on Cael’s face a moment ago, you did it right.” Ash

Sloane took hold of Dex’s jaw and turned his face so he could look in those pale blue eyes. “Spill.” Dex cringed. “Ooh, bad choice of words.” On second thought, maybe Sloane didn’t want to know. Dex leaned in to whisper in Sloane’s ear. “I saw them jerk each other off.” “What?

Sloane went thoughtful. “Did you get turned on?” His partner’s face went beet red and Sloane laughed. “Oh my God! You got turned on. You little perv.” “What? It was like watching live porn.” “Now

Sometimes you find that one person, and you just know. And even if you don’t love them right away, you know you will. It’s just a matter of time. Because no one you’ve ever known has come close to making you feel the way they do. It keeps you up at night and drives you fucking crazy, but you pray to God the feeling never goes away no matter how much it’s killing you.

Speaking of work…. “You see this?” Sloane held Dex’s arm up. “When you’re unsure, when we’re not together, when you’re scared, or about to do something you know you shouldn’t, you look at this, and you remember you have more to think about than yourself. I’m a part of you now, got it?” Dex nodded. “I want to hear you say it,” Sloane growled. “You’re a part of me.” “Good.

Stay.” Dex felt a lump in his throat. “I’m not going anywhere,” he promised. Sloane hummed before nodding again. “Good. Need you.” His features softened as he drifted off, but not before he said one more word. “Always.

The two went at it like nobody was watching. Except someone was watching. Dex was watching. Should he remind them he was still here? Should he have brought some popcorn? Should he turn away?

They clearly got swept up in the gravitational pull of your awesome.” “You

To Sloane and Dex. May they have many years of amazing sex and driving each other batshit crazy.” Dex

You play tough guy, making jokes to hide the anger you feel in your heart because they were taken from you, the men responsible never found.

You, sir, are a fiend,” Dex declared, his finger poking Sloane in the chest. “A fiend, and a cad, and a… a… sugar thief! Thief!” Everyone