Blue Moon (Chapter 14)
One thing I did not need today was a face-to-face encounter with the man who'd had his tongue in my mouth last night.
"I'll take the domestic," I offered, which only proved how desperate I was.
Domestic disturbances were the most dangerous calls. You never knew what you were going to run into when love turned to hate. Besides, I'd never been very good at dealing with family squabbles, never having had one of my own.
The dispatcher shook her head, destroying my hopes. "One Adam Three is already there. One Adam One and Two are en route to the accident. Which leaves you."
I gave up. Sometimes fate was a malicious bitch.
Surrendering any delusion that I might get to sleep soon, I grabbed coffee at the Gas n' Go, then snagged a doughnut, too.
The route to the university was becoming familiar, as was the route to Cadotte's cubbyhole of an office.
Students, teachers, security milled aimlessly in the hall. There was no sign of the man himself.
The crowd parted for me like the proverbial Red Sea.
However, I wasn't feeling much like Moses. The land of milk and honey was my apartment, and it felt farther away right now than Egypt.
I likened myself to Pharaoh's soldiers. If I went through these people and into the belly of the sea, I was going to drown, but I had to go. Orders were orders and duty just that, as much now as they had been countless centuries before.
I paused on the threshold of the office. Cadotte sat at his desk, his forehead in his hands. Several colleagues hovered around, trying not to disturb the mess.
Cadotte glanced up, almost as if he'd sensed me there. Our gazes met. The air between us sizzled. I was in way over my head with William Cadotte.
"Jessie," he whispered, and stood.
If I hadn't come here before, I might have thought he was just a pig or a spacey egghead who had better things to do than clean. But I had come, and while the place had been full of stuff, the stuff had been in neat piles. Now it was spread to hell and gone in every corner and all across the floor.
"Everyone out," I ordered.
I couldn't stop staring at Cadotte. Though he appeared as exhausted as I was, he was still something to see. His hair stood on end, as if he'd run agitated fingers through the strands over and over again. His glasses were hooked in the pocket of his shirt, so I could see his dark eyes flare hot in an unusually pale face. He was pissed, and I couldn't say that I blamed him.
I'd been burglarized once. I still remembered how it had felt to know some stranger had invaded my place, touched my things, perhaps seen something private. I'd lost money, my CD player, but more important, I'd lost my sense of security for a long, long time.
The door closed and we were alone. "What happened?" 1 asked.
"I already went over this with Security."
"And I'll get that information. I want you to tell me."
He sat on the edge of the desk and I was reminded of how easily he moved – at home in his skin, confident with his body – he'd be attractive for the way he held himself alone. The handsome face, rippling muscles, and great big… brain were all gravy.
"I came in to work early this morning," he began.
I wanted to ask why, but I knew better. When taking a statement it was best to let the person tell you everything without interruptions first. You didn't want them to forget something important because they were distracted. The second time through was the time for questions.
"My door was ajar. I figured the cleaning crew was running late. I walked right in." He gave an annoyed grunt. "Sorry, I touched the doorknob."
I shrugged and made a circular motion with my finger indicating he should keep rolling. People would be amazed to know – despite countless hours of NYPD Blue – how many times evidence was fucked long before we got there.
"The place was like this." He spread his hands to indicate the mess. "I called nine-one-one, then Security.
Someone was searching for something."
Since he appeared to be done with his story, I asked, "What?"
"Do you still have the totem?"
I started, frowned, forced my hand to stay at my side and not creep to my pocket to check. I could feel the talisman there, sharp against my upper thigh. If Cadotte had been looking, he'd have been able to see it, too, although the small piece of stone could easily be mis-taken for a key or any other paraphernalia of the pocket.
"Not on me," I lied. Then, "You think someone was after the totem, so they trashed your office?"
"Nothing was taken. I checked."
"Perhaps you gave a student one too many zeros."
"I don't give zeros."
"Too many Fs then."
"I don't give those, either."
"Well, sign me up, Professor. Sounds like my kind of class."
His lips twitched. I was glad to see him coming out of that frozen, zombielike state. "Who else knows I had the totem?"
Myself. Cadotte. Clyde.
I frowned. The only one of us who didn't know I had the totem now was Clyde. But what possible reason would he have for trashing Cadotte's office? Clyde might not like him but wouldn't risk his job just to be pissy.
Then I remembered the paper Cadotte had signed for the totem and that it was missing. Hell, anyone with access to the evidence room, or the stolen evidence, could have done this. But why?
I raised my gaze. "Maybe the person who lost it was searching for it?"
"And they would come to me instead of you, why?"
Hmm, good point.
"Who knows that I had the thing besides you and me?" he repeated.
"Clyde." I shrugged. "And anyone with access to the evidence room."
Quickly I explained about the receipt, the evidence log, and the missing evidence.
Cadotte gave a long, slow blink. "That makes no sense."
I had to agree. "This was probably an unrelated incident."
"Why my office and no one else's? Why take nothing but look at everything?"
My gaze swept the room. There was an awful lot of paper. Books, notes.
"Axe you working on something?"
Cadotte had been staring at the ground, fingering his glasses, and scowling. "Huh?"
He glanced up and I started. For a second there his dark, angry eyes had reminded me of the wolf I had seen in the clearing last night.
I rubbed my own eyes, and when I tried again, all I saw in his was curiosity. Why on earth would I remember a rabid wolf when I looked into Cadotte's eyes?
Because I was way too tired to be working, way too deprived to be anywhere near him. 1 had a hard time thinking beyond how he tasted, how he smelled, how he had appeared naked in the moonlight and fully clothed on my porch with his tongue between my breasts.
Yet ever since I'd walked into this room, he had given no indication that we were any more than acquaintances. Perhaps in his mind we were. He probably brought women to orgasm with his kiss alone all the time.
Since the idea of him touching anyone else as he had touched me made me angry – how crazy was that?
I couldn't even bring myself to call him by his first name – I forced myself back to the matter at hand.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, I was a cop, not a silly, hormonal teenager.
"Are you working on a paper? A book? A theory? Something a colleague might want to take a peek at?
Steal? Screw up?"
He shook his head. "I just finished a book."
"You wrote a book?" Although I had asked, that he'd actually written an entire book made me gape.
Cadotte laughed. "I've written several. That's what professors do when they aren't teaching. Publish or perish. Ever hear of it?"
No. I'd never been much of a student – although I liked to read. What else was a girl supposed to do alone, Friday night after Friday night?
"What are all these notes for?" I waved my hand at the fire hazard living in his office.
"Mostly for you."
I might not be the flowers and chocolate type, but crumpled paper and dusty books didn't do a thing for me.
"The totem, Jessie."
Poof went my ideas of romance. Everything came back to that damn piece of rock.
"You never told me what you found out."
"1 wanted to." He lifted one inky brow. "But I was distracted."
My face heated at the memory of that distraction. Suddenly he was staring at me with an expression I could only describe as hungry.
He pushed away from the desk and crossed the space between us in one stride. I should have done something to stop him, but I caught the scent of his skin and my body responded, going tight and wet without him touching me at all.
He stopped less than an inch away. I had to tilt my head back to see his eyes. I wasn't used to being so much smaller than a man – one of the reasons there'd been so few men. Not only did they not like me being as tall as them or as strong; I didn't like it, either.
Call me sexist, but I wanted a guy to tower over me. Right now I wanted this one to do a lot more than tower – I wanted him to touch me, teach me, take me.
As if he had heard what I wanted, his eyes narrowed; his nostrils flared. He grabbed my hips and pulled me against him, then crushed his mouth to mine.
He was rough. 1 didn't mind. Our teeth clicked together; his scraped my lip; then he licked the tiny hurt.
I shuddered. I wanted to take his flesh into my mouth and suckle. I wanted to feel him skin to skin.
He spread his hands over my ass and ground us together. He was hard. It felt so good. I was going to come again, right there in his office. While on duty. Shit.
I shoved at his chest. He wouldn't let me go. I wasn't afraid. I was the one with the gun, but how could I explain shooting him? It wouldn't be easy.
His mouth was doing amazing things, and I had a difficult time remembering why I wanted him to stop.
While I hesitated, he backed me up against the door, then laid his body flush with mine.
My hands were still pressed to his chest, but instead of shoving, as I should be, my treacherous fingers had found their way into the collar of his shirt and stroked the smooth skin of his throat. One thumb slid into the hollow beneath his Adam's apple. I ran my fingernail lightly across his skin. He growled and the sound vibrated from the tip of my thumb to far more interesting places.
Goose bumps erupted, enhancing my sensitivity. I already felt as if the air ifself sizzled. Now my skin was on fire.
The door at my back moved – opened an inch, then slammed shut beneath the weight of both my body and his. Someone knocked, the sound right next to my ear.
I jumped and Cadotte pulled his tongue out of my mouth. His eyes were so close I could see his pupils dilated almost to the rim of the iris. If I'd been any farther away, I wouldn't have been able to distinguish one from the other, so similar were they in color.
His mouth was swollen and wet. His breath puffed along my face, chilling my own damp lips.
"Yes?" he called, in a cool, distant, nearly normal voice. How could he do that when he was still plastered all over me?
He flexed his hips, riding his erection against the zipper in my pants. My eyes crossed and he chuckled, then kissed my forehead.
"Will you be teaching your first class, Professor, or should I dismiss them?"
"I'll be right there."
I must be losing my mind, but having him talk to the department secretary about mundane daily tasks while his body was doing a vertical tango with mine on the other side of the door was the most erotic moment of my life. Pathetic, but true.
Heels clicked in the other direction, sounding sharp and somewhat annoyed. Why hadn't I heard them approach? Stupid question.
Cadotte brushed his knuckles against the underside of my breast. A moan escaped my lips before I could stop myself. "Though I'd like to stay here and kiss you until you beg, I've gotta go."
Beg? Me? Where was my quick and cutting comeback? I couldn't think of a thing to say.
"I need to go, too." I shifted against him. He stayed right where he was. I stared at a place on the far wall and refused to look at him.
"Jessie," he murmured.
Crap. He wasn't going to let me go until we talked about this. Why did everyone always want to talk about sex, even when they hadn't really had it yet?
Yet? I was going to have sex with William Cadotte?
My eyes met his. He smiled. I sighed.
Yeah. I was.