“I fucking hate Halloween,” patrol officer Fox said to his partner Alistaire Vale.
They were walking, patrolling the French Quarter, which was a feat in and of itself during the Halloween Parade. It was chaotic and loud, which were a couple of his pet peeves. He and Vale were looking out for any suspicious activities, but that was near impossible in a large crowd of people who were inebriated and dressed in costumes from head to toe.
Vale chuckled. "How can you hate Halloween? It's the perfect day to dress up and be who you want to be."
"I'm already who I want to be. What you see is what you get."
Vale turned his gaze to him. "I don't believe that. I think you're hiding a part of yourself you don't want anyone else to see."
"And you think dressing up in a costume is going to help bring out that hidden part of me?"
"It might." Vale shrugged. "You need to learn how to have fun."
"What makes you think I don't know how to have fun?"
"You never smile unless you're arresting a perp. I have to force you to hang out with me. And you always order the same thing whenever we go out to eat after work."
"Seriously, why the hell would that matter? You never force me to hang out. I just think we need to keep things professional between us."
"You make it sound like we're sleeping together." Vale stopped and eyed him up and down. "Unless..."
"Stop right there, rookie. I don't fuck where I eat."
"Who says you can't do both?" He waggled his eyebrows, smirking at him.
Fox sighed, shaking his head. Did he want to fuck Vale? Of course, with every fucking fiber in his body.
Vale was good-looking—no, make that fucking gorgeous—and happened to be his type. Fox remembered two years ago when he'd met Vale in the precinct; he’d almost swallowed his tongue as he checked him out. Tall, around six foot three to his five-ten height, broad shoulders, and muscles bursting out of his uniform—making men and women alike want to run their tongue along every veined muscle of his olive skin.
Fox looked into the man's green eyes, which seemed to grow lighter or darker depending on the time of day, and felt as if he was drowning and invigorated with life at the same time.
Countless times Fox had wanted to reach up and card his fingers through Vale's soft reddish-brown hair to see if the red highlights were as natural as he claimed or a color he added for effect. If it weren’t for his rules and morals about sleeping with co-workers, as well as not sleeping with men younger than him, Fox would have jumped Vale's bones the second they met.
"Stop playing around. We’re working."
Vale stepped closer, invading his personal space. He leaned down and whispered in his ear. "So, does that mean we can play around after work?"
Fox closed his eyes, swallowing his moan at having the man's deep voice and breath so close to him. Vale always smelled good. He wasn't sure what cologne the man used, but Fox could tell it was expensive. He knew Vale came from money but never flaunted it, living a very modest life, which added to the younger man's attractiveness.
"Gods, stop being annoying." Fox stepped back and around Vale and started walking again, trying to regain his stoic composure. He was the older, experienced cop and couldn't let his attraction for his partner distract him from his job.
"So, now you believe in the gods?"
Fox didn't believe in gods or a higher power like most people did. He and his partner had many conversations over the two years they'd been working together about the mystifying and unbelievable things in the world.
Where Vale believed vampires, ghosts, and anything you read about in fairy tales existed, Fox didn't. Shit like that was the imagination of men. He was about to say that very thing to his partner when a woman dressed up as a widely known voodoo priestess Marie Laveau walked up to him, making him stop. She stared at him for a couple of seconds, then touched his cheeks.
"You have been forgiven."
This is why I hate fucking Halloween, crazy-ass people saying shit that doesn't make any damn sense.
Fox turned to look at Vale, who'd walked up to stand beside him. "Did you hear that?"
"What she just said?"
"What who said?"
Both he and Vale turned to look at the woman who'd just spoken to him, but she wasn't there.