Short Circuit (Riders of Tyr #7)

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I am never answering Ava again. Not on the phone, not on the door, not even if she is dying in front of me.

I don’t know what the cunning Russian knows or suspects but this is not a coincidence. Bringing me here with a lame excuse while he is here. In a swimsuit. Wet.

Nope, never answering Ava’s calls ever again. And I know that look on her face.

I want to say no to her invite, leave and make Ava eat her words but Nathan is right there. In a tight as hell swimsuit. And that look in his eye that screams “I am eating you alive any moment now!” and who am I to resist such a look? Not a sane person, that’s for sure.

It’s just a game, for fun, nothing will come out of it. I will give him a taste of his own medicine just to see the look on his face, I will help him with whatever he needs help with and he will be gone to L.A and out of my life. That. Is. All. Sounds like a plan.

I go to the pool house and search for a swimsuit. I want to think that there are mens’ swimsuits here for the odd customer that wants to have a dive but deep down I know that Ava has planned this all along and we are playing to her tune.

I choose a black one that’s a bit too tight but it serves the purpose. I throw my clothes on the floor and put it on. Then I grab my camera and walk out. I am immortalizing the moment for sure.

And what if he doesn’t like me? I get a sudden wave of self-doubt. I have never thought of that. It’s not that I’ve had too much experience with this shit but Nathan is by far the sexiest man that shows some interest.

Well, if he doesn’t like me, fuck him. Not actually... Damn it!

I have been holding back for so long. I didn’t even dare go across the bridge and visit one of those clubs where I could find a guy to release the tension. All I could do is pick a quiet little rotter, close my eyes and pretend it’s someone else. Being around Nathan tests my limits. It’s dangerous and might turn out nasty but it’s too damn intoxicating. The thrill I feel is the best high I’ve had.

Without thinking about it any longer, I grab a towel and walk out. Nathan is still standing by the pool, drying his hair but when I step outside it’s as if he sensed me and turns around. There it is! I smile indulgently.

His jaw drops, his eyes go wide and they seem to unable to focus on one thing on my body. It’s as if he is trying to track a pinball. I do have a lot of energy to pent so I spend time in the gym when I am not in front of my laptop. Glad to see that my not falling into the stereotype of the fat nerd is making him so flustered.

Without a moment’s hesitation, I lift my camera and take a picture of his flushed face. His look turns surprised and I smirk. This is priceless and totally worth it. I will be looking at his dumbfounded face when I am feeling down to make my day.

It doesn’t last long though.

“Want me to pose for you, pretty boy? All you had to do is ask.”

He throws his towel on a long chair, leans his head on the right and challenges me. His back is turned on the Valkyries so they are spared the sight of a very obvious - and very impressive - erection. Fan! I swear at the sight of it and saliva feels my mouth. How about not going down on him in front of everyone? When I feel the blood on my cheeks run hot, I lower my camera and struggle to play it cool.

“No one wants a photo of an old man,” I throw at him.

I turn my camera to Chiara pretending that the sight of him doesn’t affect me at all. I need a distraction before all the blood in my veins rush to support an erection that will tell Nathan more than I want to admit. And I can be sure it won’t go unnoticed by Ava at least. The sight of Chiara breastfeeding her baby luckily does the trick.

“Come on, Stig,” the Italian whines.

She hates having her photo taken. She thinks she is in front of a camera enough in her line of work.

“But you look so cute,” I pout and Chiara caves.

I take a few shots of her and I am already thinking of printing them and giving them to Ironhand. Or have one framed and give it to them as a present. These thoughts are enough to make me forget of Nathan. For like, two seconds. Without having to look, I feel him close and next thing I hear is his voice close to my ear. Way too close.

“You are multitalented,” he says in his gruff voice. “I like that. Makes you wonder. What else can you do?”

“I can send you to the hospital,” I hiss and pretend I am more interested in my photos than the half-naked gorgeous man breathing blatant innuendos in my ear.

“Ooh, someone is in a bad mood. What could it be to have you all worked up?”

“You and Ava ruined my sleep and I love my sleep,” I growl.

“You have bad sleeping habits, pretty boy. Staying up all night in front of a screen. There could be so many interesting things you could be doing at night.”

His eyes are half closed as if he is daydreaming of what those things could be and he pulls his lower lip in his mouth. As if I am hypnotized, I pull my lip ring and let my mind wonder how it would be to throw him against a wall and bite that damn lip down. Lägg av! Stop it!

He is challenging me. He has been challenging me all along, ever since the beginning. He is pushing me and he is trying to pry a reaction out of me. I am not going to give him the satisfaction. This is a dangerous game and I am not willing to play.

“Hey, Stig,” one of the girls that work in the escort approaches.

Perfect. I smile at her and she takes it as leave to come closer and put her hands on my chest.

“We are not seeing you here often,” she comments.

“I should change that, Petal,” I smile at her and pull her closer.

“You remember my name,” she climbs on her toes to be face to face with me. “How flattering.”

I smile at her and I stop myself from telling her that I remember everything. My gift and curse. I have seen the files for the girls of the escort and I know all there is to know about her. And her name is sure as Hell not Petal. But I don’t give a flying fuck.

I try to keep my eyes on hers but my look drifts over her shoulder, to a pair of piercing eyes that burn with intensity. Nathan is eyeing me with an enigmatic look, a cross between disdain and amusement. One thing is for sure. He is not buying my shit. Tough luck.

“Let’s take a dive, baby,” I say to the girl.

I am going to prove a goddamn point even if I have to shove it down his throat. He needs to stay away. Away is safe. For both of us.

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