Excerpt "I know him."
"He works for the mayor's office, right? Very ambitious, a little smarmy?" Liam nodded, his lips pressed together in a grim line. "We've met."
Barnaby laid his head on Liam's shoulder, facing the window that looked out over the botanical gardens. There had been no new snow after the big storm on Christmas Eve, and the icy, leafless trees looked stark against the darkening sky.
Liam said as he stroked Barnaby's back, "If you think that it's best that we skip the party, we'll skip it. But I think you'll have an advantage this time that you haven't had when you've run into this guy before." He held Barnaby a little tighter. "You'll have me with you."
Barnaby held Liam's head and kissed him. Liam made a soft sound of surprise and then wrapped his arms around Barnaby's waist so he could hold Barnaby closer. "I like you so much, you know," Barnaby whispered between kisses. "I like you best."
"I know," Liam said, his hands on Barnaby's back, and he tilted back his head, his eyes closing, as Barnaby kissed his neck. "What brought this on? Are you trying to distract me?"
"Can't I kiss my boyfriend without an ulterior motive?" Barnaby said, sitting back on Liam's thighs.
"I just know how much you'd rather avoid talking until you're good and ready, particularly when you have something you need to talk about." He rubbed circles on Barnaby's knees as Barnaby frowned at him. "You got tense when I mentioned showing you off. What's that about?"
"Nothing," Barnaby said, leaning forward again, but Liam stopped him with a hand on his chest.
"Does your office door lock?"
Liam started to smile. "You wouldn't rather find a utility closet?"
"Nope," Barnaby said as he slid off Liam's lap. He closed Liam's door and turned the lock, and leaned back against the door so he could look at Liam. It wasn't a big office -- if Liam were the CEO of a traditional company, Barnaby supposed, he would have an office as big as Barnaby's apartment -- but it was big enough for Liam's desk, matching wood bookcases and filing cabinets, a pair of visitor chairs, and a leather sofa with a coffee table in front of it.
Liam said softly, "I suppose we're really not a sex in utility closets kind of couple."
"I would much rather be a sex in a locked office kind of couple," said Barnaby loftily as he waltzed to the sofa, stripping off his layered T-shirts as he went. Liam didn't move as Barnaby took off his boots and socks, and Barnaby paused, his hands on the zipper of his jeans. "Will you get over here?"
"I still think this is just your way of distracting me."
Barnaby rolled his eyes, and then pushed off his jeans. He wouldn't win any bodybuilding contests, he knew, but his body was slim and strong, and Liam had never complained that he was too skinny or pale. Liam seemed pretty fond of his body, really. "Is it working?"