He climbed to his knees and began to blubber.

“Oh no. Oh, please. Please stop,” I said, holding out my hands.

I helped him up and then began to dial the number for a cab. Jackson swatted my phone from my hands, and again, it crashed to the floor.

I let go of his arm, letting him fall—hard. “That’s it! I’ve tried to be nice. Get out!”

“You can’t just kick me out of your life, Liis! I love you!” He slowly climbed to stand.

I covered my eyes. “You are going to be so embarrassed tomorrow.”

“No, I’m not!” He grabbed my shoulders and shook me. “What’s it going to take for you to hear me? I can’t just let you go! You’re the love of my life!”

“You’re not giving me a choice,” I said, grabbing hold of his fingers and bending them backward.

He cried out, more from shock than pain. That move might have worked on any other drunken idiot but not FBI SWAT. Even drunk, Jackson quickly maneuvered from my grasp and was grabbing at me again.

The door blew open, the knob banging into the wall. One minute, I was in Jackson’s grasp, and the next, Jackson was in someone else’s.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Thomas said, holding Jackson’s back against the wall with a murderous glare. He had two fistfuls of Jackson’s shirt.

Jackson heaved Thomas away and swung, but Thomas ducked and then pushed Jackson right back against the wall, holding him there by using his forearm like a bar across his throat.

“Don’t. Fucking. Move,” Thomas said, his voice low and menacing.

“Jackson, do as he says,” I warned.

“What are you doing here?” Jackson asked. He looked to me. “Does he live here? Are you living together?”

I rolled my eyes. “Jesus.”

Thomas glanced over his shoulder at me. “I’m going to take him down and put him in a cab. What hotel is he at?”

“I have no idea. Jackson?”

Jackson’s eyes were closed, and he was breathing deep, his knees sagging beneath him.

“Jackson?” I said loudly, poking at his shoulder. “Where are you staying?” When he didn’t answer, my shoulders fell. “We can’t put him in a cab while he’s passed out.”

“He’s not staying here,” Thomas said, a tinge of anger still in his voice.

“I don’t see another option.”

Thomas leaned over, letting Jackson fall forward over his shoulder, and then carried him to the couch. More careful than I’d thought he would be, Thomas helped Jackson lie back and then tossed a throw over him.

“C’mon,” he said, taking my hand.

“What?” I asked with just a bit of resistance as he pulled me toward the door.

“You’re staying with me tonight. I have an important meeting in the morning, and I won’t be able to sleep, worrying that he’s going to wake up and wander into your bed.”

I pulled my hand back. “I would hate for you not to be at your best during your meeting.”

Thomas sighed. “Cut me some slack. It’s late.”

I raised an eyebrow.

He looked away, annoyed, and then back at me. “I admit it. I don’t want him fucking touching you.” He was enraged at the thought, and then it seemed to melt away. He took a step toward me, tenderly gripping my hips. “Can’t you see through my bullshit by now?”

“Can’t we just…I don’t know…say what we think or feel?”

“I thought I was,” Thomas said. “Your turn.”

I picked at my nails. “You were right. I’m scared. I’m afraid I can’t do this even if I want to. And I’m not sure you can either.”

He pressed his lips together in a hard line, amused. “Get your keys.”

I took the few steps to my phone and bent down to retrieve it, and then walked to the counter and swiped the keys up with one hand, my purse with the other. As I slid on my slippers, I couldn’t help but glance back once more to Jackson. His limbs were splayed out in every direction, his mouth was open, and he was snoring.

“He’ll be fine,” Thomas said, holding out his hand for me.

I joined him in the hall, locking the door behind us. We passed the elevator and climbed the stairs in silence. Once we arrived at his door, Thomas swung the door open and gestured for me to walk inside.

Thomas flipped on the light, revealing a space so immaculate it didn’t look lived in. Three magazines were fanned out on the coffee table, and a like-new couch sat against the wall.

Everything was in its place—plants, magazines, and even pictures. It included everything that made up a home, but beneath the homey embellishments, it was too perfect, sterile even. It was as if Thomas were trying to convince himself that he had a life outside of the Bureau.

I walked over to a console table next to the flat screen on the opposite side of the room. Three silver frames held black-and-white photos. One, I assumed were his parents. Another showed Thomas with his brothers, and I was amazed at how much the younger four looked alike. Then, there was one of Thomas and a woman.

Her beauty was distinctive, seeming to be wild and effortless. Her razor-cut short hair and cleavage-baring tight shirt surprised me. She wasn’t who I’d thought would be Thomas’s type at all. Her thick eyeliner and smoky eyes were that much more prominent in grayscale. Thomas held her like she was precious to him, and I felt a lump form in my throat.

“Is she Camille?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, his voice tinged with disgrace. “I’m sorry. I’m rarely home. I forget it’s there.”

My chest ached. The picture in that frame was the only answer I needed. Despite my efforts, I was falling for Thomas, but he was still in love with Camille. Even in a perfect world where two people who were obsessed with their jobs could make a relationship work, we had the added obstacle of unrequited love. At the moment, it was Thomas’s problem, but if I allowed myself to have deeper feelings, it would be mine.

I was always a firm believer that a person couldn’t love two people at the same time. If Thomas still loves Camille, what does that mean for me?

An obnoxious siren went off in my head, so loud I could barely think. These feelings for Thomas, Agent Maddox, my boss needed to stop now. I glanced at his couch as I worried that I would one day be begging him to love me in return, showing up drunk and emotional at his door before passing out on his couch like Jackson was on mine.