Available December 2012 at Loose Id.
Detective Aldo Nash could almost hear his brain humming as it worked to categorize the myriad scents tingeing the cool night air, cedar and sea-spray, dry asphalt, cooling car engine and, most potent of all, the warm, aroused flesh of the man whom Aldo had pinned beneath him.
Aldo slid practiced hands over the slim, partially clad form and the man moaned softly in response, his whole body writhing instinctively closer as he arched into Aldo's touch. The detective pulled in another, heady lungful and smiled in contentment. On nights like these, he purely loved his job.
He couldn't say working undercover for the Oakland PD had exactly been a life-long dream, but Aldo's brief stint in the army had left him uniquely qualified for it just the same. As it happened, he also derived a lot of satisfaction from knowing he was working to prevent future crimes from happening, rather than just solving those that had already occurred. He got to be proactive, to stay one step ahead of the bad-guys rather than the other way around. But the bottom line was proficiency. He was damned good at what he did.
Not to take anything away from any natural ability to dissemble he might have inherited from his actress mother, but most of his success was due, in no small part, to all the experimental drugs he'd been given by the military. His consciousness had been purposely and methodically expanded and his brain reconfigured to the point where he could easily exert control over his brain-waves and sympathetic nervous system. In a world where just about every criminal, from the capo dei capi of large, multi-national drug cartels to the lowliest of hood-grown thugs, had their own psi-ops tech on speed-dial, that kind of advantage was a definite point in Aldo's favor. No matter how skillful said techs might be at worming their way into other people's minds and tunneling through their thoughts, with him they could only read what he wanted them to read.
Of course, there were also things about his job he didn't like. The hours were murder since, apparently, crime rarely slept and when it did its schedule was crap. The regular de-briefings with their in-no-way-optional mind-scrubs were a major headache. Literally. Worst of all, the company he was forced to keep generally sucked, and not in that good kind of way.
That wasn't the case at the moment, however. No, when it came to his present company, Aldo had absolutely no cause for complaint. Tonight's operation had him working in tandem with a new partner, an agent on temporary loan from some alphabet agency; Aldo wasn't sure which one. He hadn't asked. He didn't care. As far as he was concerned, it didn't much matter. The agent would be gone soon, either way, and unless Aldo had missed his guess, a possibility he considered most unlikely, his new partner had been chosen for this assignment based solely on his looks. And Aldo was certainly not unhappy with those either.
He had no idea whether the other man had had his appearance surgically altered, chemically enhanced, or a little of both; and that was something else he sure as hell didn't care about. Hot was hot and Special Agent Caleb Mitchell was just about the hottest thing Aldo had seen in a good long while.
Standing at a hair under six feet, Caleb was just a couple of inches shorter than Aldo. He had fair hair, full lips, broad shoulders atop a dancer's slim build and everything about him, from his features to his proportions, was a little too perfect to be real. If the man had a flaw anywhere, Aldo had yet to find it, and not for any lack of searching. Despite the fact they were both pushing forty, only Aldo looked his age. Special Agent Mitchell had obviously been the recent recipient of some highly-classified and no doubt heavily-restricted cell de-aging therapy, giving him the appearance of a man a good two decades younger than his current chronological age, the lucky bastard.
Although, on second thought, maybe it was Aldo who'd lucked out; he got to look at the bastard, after all.