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Normally, Devin didn't indulge in fried food. However, the Silver Fox was probably the last place on earth using fresh-cut potatoes for their fries. So, if he indulged, these fries were his choice. Being able to have fresh cut instead of frozen ... salt, pepper, Frank's Red Hot ... He shook his head. Those thoughts brought back wistful memories of his childhood.
Back then, he couldn't have been more than six ... seven years old, yet he remembered his mom making fries from fresh-cut potatoes. Once his brothers were old enough to cook without supervision, on Saturday, all-night-movies-on-television time, they pooled their allowance to buy five to ten pounds of potatoes. His dad drove his oldest brother to the supermarket to get them; the kids peeled the entire bunch. Being six years younger than his siblings, they only allowed him to help with the peeling, while his brothers took turns frying up a fresh batch of fries whenever they ran out.
Ensconced in their sleeping bags on the floor of the family room, with fries in hand, they pigged out while they watched television throughout the night. Of course, he always fell asleep first, but he clearly remembered the old black-and-white movies they watched ... the monster-fests. His all-time favorite ... the original The Thing, hell, that movie scared the shit out of him. However, that didn't dissuade him from going out and buying it, his first VHS movie, as soon as he had his own place and VCR. He still watched it from time to time.
Devin smiled, recalling his mom and dad's support of their children's independence. Sometimes, when his parents weren't traveling, they would join him and his brothers. His mother and fathernever interfered with the cooking, nor did they hassle the kids about the mess. With their sleeping bags on the floor alongside their children, his parents just pigged out right along with the kids.
The memories ended there ... nothing ... everything--
A sudden loud thump, and the wall behind him vibrating, interrupted his reverie. From previous visits, Devin knew the sound came from the men's room. He looked around and noticed the two men hadn't returned. Suspicious, and curious, he stood and headed for the can. He pushed open the door and found the shorter man, red faced and teary eyed, glaring up at the taller one.
Devin walked to the urinals while keeping an eye on the two adversaries. The big one gave him a quick, frowning glance before storming out; the short-shit pushed into the last stall. He thought he heard a choked-off sob and glanced toward the sound. From beneath the bottom of the door, he saw dark brown Italian loafers and the bottom portion of beige slacks-encased legs standing to the side of the stall.
Done taking a piss, Devin flushed and moved to the sink. Surprised to find soap in the dispenser, he took his time soaping and washing his hands; lingering paid off. The stall door opened, and the young man stepped out, glancing his way, attempting a smile.
Wait a minute. Didn't he know this person? Well ... didn't know him, but he'd seen him around the agency. Shit ... where? Wasn't part of the boy's club, or they would have interacted. He didn't work the Ops floor ... hell, it would come to him.
What a pisser. Did Allister's desertion weigh so heavily on his mind and rule his every waking thought, it never occurred to him to check out the potential right under his nose?
The man may have resembled Allister from a distance, but up close, this man would win any competition.
Slightly bowlegged and pigeon-toed, the man moved toward him with a sexy-as-hell, swiveling hips-in-motion walk. Like gravitational pull, his gaze was drawn--dead-on--lower abdomen ... bam! Ground zero ... center mass ... Shh-yit! The man's dick might as well have waved and winked.
Continuing his perusal as the young man moved across the floor and stepped up to the sink beside him, Devin took note of ink black hair, luminous green eyes, and dimples. Baby-boy's slim, toned physique didn't reach six feet. He appeared to be young, mid to late twenties, packed all right and tight in those beige slacks accentuating slim hips and a first-rate ass.
Reluctantly, Devin raised his eyes; their gazes converged in the mirror.
"Sorry ... Didn't mean to stare," he said, taking note of the red-rimmed eyes and finger marks on one cheek. "You okay?"
"Oh, sure. Nothing new." The kid tried to smile. "I'll be okay."
Devin's gut tightened right up at those words "nothing new." Fuck! Along with the disparity in height, the other man had at least fifty-plus goddamn pounds on this one.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" He extended his hand. "My name is Devin ... have we met? I know I've seen you some place before."
"Hi..." The young man tried for a chuckle, which came out more like a breathy sob. He moved to the sink, washed his hands, then extended one. "I'm Ewyn, with a .. Nice to meet you, Devin. And yes, I work at the shop ... Information Services. We must pass dozens of times in the hallways. You always seem so ... uh ... preoccupied."
"I'm not any kind of occupied at the moment. Are you on your own now?"
"For now," Ewyn mumbled. "Wishing it were permanent."
Devin grinned. "Come on, let me buy you a drink. You can tell me about it, if you want. How does that sound?"
"Best damn offer I've had all night." Ewyn reached into his pocket and palmed his cell phone. "Let me put this on vibrate."
They headed for the door with Devin trailing behind, taking inventory.
A riot of loose curls, Ewyn's gleaming black hair came just past collar length. At five-nine, maybe five-ten, being somewhat shorter than Devin's six-three frame made Ewyn an ideal size for Devin. Allister was the first and only man Devin had been with who almost matched him in height and size.
Reaching around baby-boy to open the door, a distinctive smell inundated Devin's senses. Something musky-sweet, all male, like sweat, cologne, and some unknown heady scent, which had to be entirely Ewyn ... Shit. When the fuck had he become all over sensual?
Baby-boy started through the door; their eyes met when Ewyn's cock brushed against him as Ewyn passed. Clearly, Devin wasn't the only one jonesing, because he read intent in Ewyn's dancing green-eyed gaze and that sexy-ass smirk shifting the contours of a mouth straight out of a wet dream.
Damn ... he wanted a taste of that.
Fuck if Devin didn't feel heat strafe his cheeks. At two years shy of forty, he couldn't remember the last time he'd blushed, acting like an untried adolescent.
"Want something to eat ... drink?" Devin asked as soon as they reached his booth. "They do a mean chicken strips with fries or potato salad here, although I recommend just the fries. Or, we could go somewhere else, if you're hungry."
"Just a drink. Grand Marnier, please."
Devin smiled and strolled away rather than hang around for the waiter. He needed the time to regroup before he embarrassed himself. He was not leaving there with a big-ass spot staining the front of his jeans.
"Hey ... Mick." He nodded at the bartender. "Chivas on the rocks and one Marnier." He turned and leaned back against the bar, his eyes on Ewyn.
"You need to watch yourself with him," Mick Tavis said while he prepared the drinks.
"Hey, Devin ... Man, I know you can handle yourself, and the baby is no problem. But his partner ... Badass son of a bitch. Connected. The Russians ... I'm not sure on what level. Can't remember his name, but if you need me to, I can find out before you get too hooked up with the kid."
"No problem." Devin never took his eyes off Ewyn. "I've got it covered."
For years, he and Mick kept running into each other at the various clubs he frequented. Whenever they met up, they slipped into the habit of talking shop, so to speak ... nothing specific. He assumed Mick did undercover police work, and Mick probably assumed the same about him; neither probed. Hell. Mick retired and started working at the Fox before Devin discovered who Mick's employer had been.
Mick had retired from the FBI.
So, yeah, Devin figured Mick had the straight scoop about Ewyn's partner. However, as interesting as those tidbits of information might be, it wouldn't deter him.
"As long as you know what's what," Mick told him and slid a business card across the bar. "Let me know if you run into any trouble. I still know the right people."
Devin turned, grinning. Oh yeah. Mick had the hookup. Mick's significant other ... still FBI.
"Thanks." He took the card and slipped it into his pocket.
Hell. It never hurt to know all kinds of people, in every type of venue.