Not Fade Away
August 18, 2014
Hell or High Water, Book 3.5
Truth or dare.
Ever since superspy Cillian moved into Prophet’s building, their game of Steal the Couch has been funny to Prophet, but a thorn in Tom’s side. Then Prophet gets bored one night during an ice storm and insists on playing another simple game with Tom: Truth or Dare. In exchange for one of Prophet’s truths, Tom steals the couch one last time.
But Prophet’s truths are never easy—Tom should know that by now—and this one raises questions neither of them quite know how to answer. In response, Tom finds himself laying claim to Prophet in the most basic way he knows how. And also finds that he doesn’t mind it in the least when Prophet returns the favor.
Note: This novelette is set between book 3 and book 4 in the Hell or High Water series.
Connected Books: Hell or High Water
Read an Excerpt
Prophet rolled off Tommy and onto the mattress, pretty sure he was a broken man . . . for the next hour or two, at least. “Jesus Christ, you’re trying to kill me with sex.”
Tom groaned. “Your fault. You’re the one who brought up that damned game of Truth or Dare.” He held up his white T-shirt and waved it around in an I surrender motion.
“That’s not going to help.” Prophet tried to rise. “And as soon as I can move again, I’ll prove it.” He collapsed with his cheek against the mattress. “Where are the sheets?”
Tom turned and tucked his head against Prophet’s shoulder. “Did we fuck the sheets off the bed? How is that possible?”
“Voodoo,” Prophet mumbled. “Blame it on the voodoo.” He carded a heavy hand through Tommy’s hair and felt his cock actually stir like it was some kind of motherfucking superhero. “And that fucking game . . .”
Months earlier . . .
Tom had been back from New Orleans and that hurricane—and Dave and Roger’s eyeballing—for three weeks. With Prophet. At Prophet’s apartment, since he’d been unceremoniously evicted from his own place. Prophet had helped move his boxes. Had even forced him to unpack them, for the first time in forever. And it’d all been surprisingly easy.
And easy and Prophet were words Tom would never typically put into the same sentence.
But that night started easy as well, with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Green Label between them, and Prophet setting shots on fire. Tom didn’t remember how or why that started, but there was an ice storm brewing outside. An early one for the season.
And then Prophet’d suggested an innocent game of Truth or Dare.
“I’m not playing Truth or Dare with you,” Tom told him seriously. “Not while we’re stuck here—”
“Wait a second—now being with me is ‘being stuck’?” Prophet pointed the bottle at Tom. “I’ll have you know there are plenty of people who wouldn’t mind ‘being stuck’ here with me.”
Tom crossed his arms. “Besides me, name them.”
Prophet narrowed his eyes. “You say that like it’ll be hard.”
“You’re deflecting. And procrastinating.”
Prophet’s smile was all cat with canary feathers sticking out of its mouth. “Cillian.”
Tom stood. “You’ll pay for that, Elijah Henry Drews.”
“Wrong.” Prophet’s voice was laced with satisfaction. “Keep guessing, but you’ll never know my middle name. I’ll never even tell you if I have one or not.” He leaned forward, his elbows on the table, his voice low and huskier now. “But you’re so fucking easy, Tommy. Truth or dare.”
“No way—you first. Truth or dare. Choose, or I’ll choose for you.”
Prophet rolled his eyes. “Fine. Truth.”
It was Tom’s turn to smile. “Tell me about the favors.”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. The favors you do for Mal when you owe him.”
“Oh, those favors.” Prophet smirked. “You really want to know, Tommy?”
“Wouldn’t ask if I didn’t.”
“First . . . truth or dare.”
Tom gave one of his best weight-of-the-world sighs that he’d learned from Prophet. “That’s not how the game works.”
“It’s how it works with me. My rules.” Prophet poured another shot and threatened to light it on fire. “Truth or dare, or this flaming shot?”
It was Tom’s turn to roll his eyes. “Guess which I’ll pick.”
“Dare, of course.”
“Good. Perfect. Thanks for being predictable.”
Tom gave him a smirk, especially because he could hear the anticipation in Prophet’s voice no matter how much Prophet tried to hide it. “Fuck you and your predictable.”
“Yes, fucking will play into it, I’m sure.” Prophet raked his gaze up and down Tom’s body, with that fucking look he got in his eyes that told Tom he was in for a long, long night. “I think we can both get what we want.”
“Your dare—go steal Cillian’s couch back and bring it up here.”
“You’re not serious.”
Prophet shrugged and tried a look that was obviously supposed to be innocent—a look that’d never quite worked, even before Tom knew him as well as he did. “Hey, you mentioned it.”
“I never mentioned Cillian—or his stupid couch,” Tom corrected, then realized it was pointless to argue. “Fine. Not a problem.” Prophet sat back and motioned toward the door. “Why do I have to do my dare before I get your truth?”
“Because you didn’t want to play this game in the first place.”
“First of all, that makes no sense. Second of all, you’re such a fucking pain in my ass. Swear to Christ.” Tom stalked out of the house and down the stairs to Cillian’s place. “Turn the fucking alarm off, yeah?”
“Whatever!” Prophet called back.
Tom waited a beat, said a silent prayer that Prophet had done as he asked, and then used the extra key he’d snagged on the way down to open Cillian’s door. It was heavy steel and slid just like Prophet’s. And thankfully the couch sat front and center as if it was waiting for this moment, under a light of its own like some kind of insane trophy, right in the middle of the living room.
He pushed it out of the room easily enough—there might’ve been a lamp casualty, but he gave it the finger and kept moving. Wrestling the couch to the stairs wasn’t that hard, but carrying it up would be a bitch. He got behind it and tried a combination push / slide, but no, the way the back was structured didn’t make for a smooth ride.
Still, it was the best way, beyond strapping the fucking thing to his back, which he seriously considered. He was cursing enough to make Prophet laugh, and by that point, Tom was so pissed off he didn’t care about Prophet’s truth—or anyone’s goddamned truth—at all. He only cared about taking Prophet on this fucking couch and making sure that if Cillian was monitoring the situation, he’d see something to blow his mind.
He lifted the end and then pushed as hard as he could, the couch bouncing up each stair with a hard slam. When it got stuck, he put his entire weight against it sharp and fast, like he was a human battering ram, before realizing that the arm was half-caught against the bannister and yeah, there went the arm.
Fuck it. Didn’t need that arm anyway. He pushed and shoved and got the couch into Prophet’s apartment, leaving it in the middle of the foyer before turning to grab the arm from the landing. He came inside again to slide the apartment door shut before semi reattaching the arm by pushing it back onto the exposed nails.
Prophet was watching, grinning unabashedly. Until Tom went and switched on the alarm . . . and the cameras. And then stripped his shirt off and said, “You. Couch. Now.”
Huh, no more laughing. Shocking. Just Prophet’s intense gaze as Tom gave out more directions. “And take your clothes off before you get here.”
“You don’t like that?”
Prophet rolled his eyes. “It’s like you don’t know me at all.”
“Your cock likes it, though.” Tom waited, hands on his hips. “Seems to know me quite well.”