“Oh, you are, honey, and I don’t blame you. Those shoulders go on for dayzzz.”
“I feel like you said that with a ‘z’. Possibly multiple of them.”
“Oh, I did, sweet pea. And that ass. I have one word for it: yum.”
“You literally sound like you’re drooling. Are you sure you’re not the one who’s been staring, Tessa?”
“Of course, I have been!” She didn’t sound the least bit ashamed about it either. “Look at that gorgeous specimen of a man. If he’s not the offspring of some Greek god’s bastard, I will chop off my right tit.”
He wrinkled his nose. “Gross.”
Even as he pretended to gag over his partner’s declaration, however, Micah found his gaze – and attention – drifting back to the man they were discussing: the supposed descendent of a Greek god.
He was tall, at least a couple of inches past six feet, and the suit jacket he was wearing clung to the expanse of his impressively broad shoulders. Said shoulders tapered off to form a trim waist, under which matching pinstripe pants gripped onto thick thighs – which Micah hadn’t known he had a thing for until now.
Seriously, even from a distance, Micah knew those things had to be ripped. The man’s entire body looked rock-solid. Micah couldn’t quite make out any facial features, but if there was any justice in the world, the man must have had the epitome of a butter-face.
Still, Micah could probably look past it, considering, as Tessa had so eloquently put it: “that ass”.
“Micah,” Tessa hissed into his earpiece. (Speak of the devil.) “I said to quit. You’re not even trying to hide your ogling now.”
“You also said to look,” he couldn’t help but point out, but he obediently dropped his gaze to the ground, anyway. He was wearing a pair of shabby red Converse. There were holes on the top of the right one where his toes threatened to peek out, and the left had a loose outsole that liked to flap when he walked.
Not exactly his usual style, but it wasn’t like Micah had picked them out himself. In fact, he hadn’t picked out any part of his current ensemble.
“I meant metaphorically. You’re in the middle of an undercover operation. You can’t let yourself be distracted by every hottie that walks by; you need to keep your wits about you.”
Okay, first of all, that wasn’t just any hottie. Secondly-
“You’re my handler,” he pointed out. “You need to keep your wits about you.”
“Oh, you don’t worry about my wits, honey. I’m not the one that’s thirsting after some babelicious stranger, completely ignoring the potential john coming in at three o’clock.”
Micah tensed, subtly peeking in the direction she’d indicated.
Tessa was right.
A man dressed in a cheap suit was quickly approaching, the graying hair near his temples and the deep-set wrinkles of his brow indicating he was probably in his late forties or early fifties. His uneven gait and the stumble in his step meant he was probably drunk.
Micah tried not to grimace as the man got closer and he spotted the wedding band on his finger. The guy didn’t really fit the profile they’d come up with for their perp – he was too old and looked to be married to boot.
Most likely, he was just another asshole going through a midlife crisis – not the serial killer going around killing male prostitutes they were searching for.
Micah voiced his thoughts aloud, muttering lowly into the mic hidden in his shirt – if the obscene, canary yellow crop top he was wearing could even be considered a shirt. “I doubt he’s our guy, Tess. Too sloppy.”
“Probably not,” the woman agreed, “but you never know. You of all people should know that looks can be deceiving. Let him pick you up. If nothing else, you’ll be able to arrest him for solicitation.”
Resigning himself to do as she suggested, Micah let himself sink into the brick wall he was lounging against near the mouth of an alley. He winced as the brick scratched against his exposed lower back where his shirt didn’t quite cover the skin, but he forced himself to school his expression as the man moved closer.
Honestly, he hadn’t expected to be picked up within the first fifteen minutes of his shift.
Apparently, Mr. Midlife Crisis wasn’t one for small talk. Which was unfortunate because Micah needed him to actually say the words. “How much for what?” he asked.
“Don’t be coy, you little tart.” Micah fought the urge to wrinkle his nose when the man took another step forward and the stench of alcohol hit him straight in the face.
He wasn’t intimidated – or, at least, that was what he told himself when arms braced themselves on either side of his head, effectively trapping Micah against the brick wall. Sure, he didn’t have his Glock, but Tessa was watching out for him. Not to mention the fact that he was well-versed in hand-to-hand if worse came to worst.
“$100,” Micah said, knowing he was highballing the man even before his bloodshot eyes widened in disbelief.
“$100?” he repeated, scoffing. “For a loose hole like yours? I’ll give you $50 if you can even make me bust my nut.”
Micah had planned on just wrangling the man’s hands behind his back and arresting him as soon as he’d said enough to incriminate himself, but now he was pissed.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were asking after my mouth,” he retorted. “If you want a piece of the filet mignon, the going rate’s 300 bucks.”
He heard Tessa sigh into his earpiece, and judging by the dull thud that followed, could perfectly picture her banging her head against the steering wheel of the undercover van she was parked in across the street.
“300 bucks?” Mr. Midlife Crisis sneered. “Who do you think you are? Sluts like you are hardly worth the time it takes for you to get me off.”
“You’re the one who approached me, buddy,” Micah reminded him. “Must be worth something.”
Admittedly, he wasn’t expecting for the guy to take him by the hair, backpedal him into the alley, and smash his head against the wall. The hit wasn’t hard enough to make his ears ring, but Micah’s eyes watered involuntarily when the man’s grip on his hair tightened, and he leaned his face into his personal space. “How about this, you little bitch? Since your ass is apparently off limits, why don’t you get on your knees so I can show you how you ought to be treating your customers with that smart mouth? Consider it a free lesson. If you manage to bring me to finish, I’ll even think about leaving a tip.”
Alright, play time was over.
This guy was more than just your typical drunkard looking to pick up a hooker – he clearly didn’t give a rat’s ass whether Micah was willing to blow him or not, he was going to make him. The fact that there were real people out there working the streets and being treated this way – probably pretty regularly – made anger burn hot in Micah’s gut. He was about to elbow the asshole in the throat and force him to his knees so he could slap the zip ties he had hidden on his person for just this reason around his wrists when Mr. Midlife Crisis was abruptly pulled off of him-
“Get your fucking hands off him!”
-and punched in the face by the man he and Tessa had been ogling but five minutes earlier.
Micah watched, taken aback, as the Greek god lookalike pulled back his fist and pummeled the man again. And again. His assaulter fell back onto his ass after the third hit. He scrambled backward awkwardly, attempting to shield his bloody face from more attacks while simultaneously doing the crab walk.
Micah may have laughed if he weren’t so stunned.