It's that time again. I had been hoping to get this chapter up last night, but I was too sleepy to do all the necessary tweaks, and then today was a day of Interruptions. It seemed like every time I tried to work on my story, my presence was urgently needed elsewhere! But it's past midnight now, and hopefully my Interruptors are all asleep.
My training program for my 10K run at the end of April has been disrupted by pain in my hips. I have strained something called the iliotibial band in both hips, but I'd say my left is a bit more painful than my right. This problem is exacerbated by running, so I've had to stop doing that. I can still ride my bike and do my beloved ellyptical trainer, though, so it's not like my whole fitness program has ground to a halt. I do miss the regular 5K runs with my co-workers, and I'm already considering that I may not be able to do my 10K with them next month.
I've been really lucky that I haven't had many injuries in my life. Once, I strained the tendons in my elbows from weight lifting, and I remember it took months for them to go back to normal. A few times I had minor injuries in Karate, but nothing that stopped me for longer than three weeks.
My father is going with my sister and her family to a hot, sunny all-inclusive place tomorrow for a week of lounging in the sunshine and eating whatever they want! I'm happy for them because it's been really cold and miserable here recently. And I'm not jealous because my turn is coming in June. It's hard for me to travel in April and May anyhow, because those are my busiest months at work.
One more thing: I LOVE those little vanilla bean scones they have at Starbucks now! They're not like scones at all. They're like adorable little cakes. I'm trying to only eat three a day, but I often have six - three at lunch and three in the late evening. They're so good!
So, that's all that's new with me for now. Here's the absolutely NOT WORKSAFE chapter. If you're at work right now, click at your peril.
Pairing: Dee/ Ryo
Rating: NOT worksafe. We open smack in the middle of a lemon. I hope the coast is clear because it's too late now!
Spoilers: To Volume 7
Timing: Set in May, directly after book 7 ended
Summary: Ryo is coming to terms with his new sexual identity, as well as the changes in his relationship with Dee. Meanwhile, Dee and Ryo are trying to find enough evidence to expose a crooked cop. This story explores homophobic attitudes, but is primarily a love story between two men.
Disclaimer: I do not own Fake or any of the characters created by Sanami Matoh. (Lieutenant Abernathy and Detectives Ned Shaver, Tina Greenspan and Scott Saunders are mine, however)
Author's notes: For any readers who might not remember, Ryo sometimes goes by the name 'Randy'. Read and review, please and thank-you!
Thank you to mtemplar for her incredibly efficient beta-skills and for just plain being so nice to me!
Thanks to mysid for reminding me that oral and anal sex are not the be-all and end-all of the gay sex repertoire.
Thanks to loki_the_fraud for being my Location Manager and all round NYA!
A New Day (May)
Ryo was lying on his back with Dee on all fours above him, enjoying the way Dee moaned into his mouth every time Ryo gave his nipples a little tug.
"You like it?" he murmured in wonder, asking himself why the hell he hadn't thought to touch Dee's nipples before. It suddenly seemed like such a natural thing to do.
"Yeah, I like it a lot." Dee's voice was a little thick. "And I'd like it even more if you sucked on 'em for me."
Ryo sat up, his legs still trapped between Dee's spread thighs and undid the last two buttons of Dee's shirt. He pushed it back off the younger man's shoulders, caressing his arms as he did so. Then he pressed his face against Dee's smooth chest and inhaled the scent of his skin. Dee wasn't wearing cologne tonight; he smelled like himself. Ryo thought he smelled wonderful. He nuzzled him a little and then flicked his tongue over one of Dee's nipples. This caused Dee to immediately arch his back and press toward him.
"Do it, baby, suck it. Don't be afraid to use your teeth."
Ryo slid one loving arm around Dee's back and brought his right hand up to tease Dee's other nipple. Then he fastened his mouth around the nipple he had licked, and sucked it into hardness. He was rewarded by a long, breathy groan from his lover. He nibbled on the nipple gently and sucked it some more, and then switched over to the other one. He worked both of Dee's nipples in this way, alternating hand and mouth until they were pink and puffy and had been thoroughly loved. At that point, he felt it was time to move on to another activity, but...what? Suddenly his sense of initiative failed him, and he found himself looking questioningly up at Dee.
Dee understood. He always did. Climbing off Ryo and stepping onto the floor, he said, "Let's get naked, you little sex bomb," and unfastened his jeans. He let them drop, revealing that he wasn't wearing any underwear, a fact that Ryo registered with interest, despite the fact that he was busy wriggling out of his sweat pants and underwear on the bed. Dee was amused to see that Ryo actually folded his sweatpants after tucking his underwear inside them, and then fished around on the bed for his discarded tee-shirt, which he also folded before putting the two items of clothing neatly on the floor next to the dresser.
When Dee climbed back onto the bed, Ryo put up a hand to stop him. "How's your wound? You said it was bothering you."
Dee ran self-conscious fingers over his new bandage, which he had washed around very carefully earlier. "It aches a little, but it mostly itches. I get back more of my full range of motion with each day that passes."
"I don't want us to do anything that will make it hurt more," Ryo said softly, leaning back against the pillows and reaching out a hand to caress Dee's face. There was so much love in that simple gesture that Dee felt his heart leap and then melt.
"Ryo, my love," he murmured. "Is there anything in particular you'd like to do?"
Ryo broke eye contact and even though the room was dim, Dee knew he was blushing. "It's all good, Dee. You decide."
Dee moved on top of him and began kissing him again. He lowered the length of his body cautiously onto Ryo's, being careful not to let his wound make contact, and rubbed his erect penis against his lover's hip. Ryo's erection had not abated; Dee could feel it nudging against him.
Ryo was responding eagerly, his momentary hesitation gone, his trust in Dee complete. He ran his hands up and down Dee's back, loving the feel of the smooth, hard muscles under his palms. He knew that he would enjoy whatever sexual activity Dee suggested, since his lover hadn't steered him wrong yet. And in the meantime, the kissing was making him so hot. Dee's style of kissing was exactly the way he had always wanted to be kissed, except that no one else ever had, and he hadn't even fully realized that until the first time Dee had kissed him properly. That kiss had literally brought him to his knees. He had responded physically and emotionally, but it was his mind that forbade him to feel those feelings. Now, he no longer had to fight his desire. That which he had previously seen as his weakness, he now saw as a precious gift. He understood that he and Dee had that rare thing called 'chemistry' together. He had experienced 'chemistry' with only one of his previous girlfriends, and the way he had felt with her was a pale shadow compared to this. It was still a little strange for him to be making love with a partner whose body was male. In the past, with his other lovers, there had only been one penis involved in any sex act - his own. Now there were two, and although he was still a little intimidated by his lack of experience, he did have to admit that in many ways, it was more straightforward for him to deal with a penis than it was with a vagina. Dee's penis behaved much like his own. It was familiar. He was never at a loss to know what it wanted; his main concern was rather whether he would be able to deliver. He could feel Dee's hard erection rubbing its hot length against him, and he smiled, feeling a wave of affection for it. It wanted attention; it always wanted attention. Well...he knew he could give it the kind of attention it liked...
"Dee," he murmured between kisses, trying to get his lover to listen. "Dee."
"What is it, love?"
"I know I told you to decide...but there's something I'd like to do."
"Oh?" Dee raised his head and looked down at Ryo, smiling expectantly. "What might that be?"
"I..." Ryo hesitated. Saying it was certainly more difficult than thinking it. "I want to, um...you know."
"Actually, for once I don't know," Dee remarked. He moved partially off Ryo to where he could see him properly, and propped himself up on one elbow. "But, how about I run through some options for you, and you say yay or nay?"
Ryo nodded, feeling a little stab of excitement in anticipation of the words that would shortly be coming out of Dee's mouth.
"Okay," said Dee. "One: you want me to fuck you."
"Um..." Ryo looked both embarrassed and tempted, which brought a laugh from Dee.
"Well? Is that it?"
"Yes and no," replied Ryo, without looking at him. "Yes, I want that, but not right now."
"Okay then. Two: you want me to suck your cock with my hot, wet, hungry mouth."
"Yes and no!" Ryo's face burned with a fierce heat that he was sure Dee could feel in the short distance between them. "Well, maybe later," he added.
Dee laughed again. "God, you're adorable." He kissed Ryo's hot cheek. "Three: you want me to dress up like a gladiator who has just won a Roman slave boy for the night. Ow!"
"Be serious!" Ryo admonished him. "And that did not hurt, you big baby."
"Who said I wasn't serious? All right, I get it. We'll do role-plays another time. I think I've figured it out, anyway. Four: you want to practice your developing deep-throating skills on me, your incredibly willing guinea pig."
Ryo nodded shyly. "Um, yes. That's the one."
"To which I say WHOO-HOO!" Dee punched a fist into the air. "How do you want me, sweetheart?"
Ryo thought for a moment. "Standing up," he said. "While I sit on the bed. Um, if that's comfortable for you of course..." He flicked a shy glance at Dee.
"I think that should be fine," Dee said, sliding down toward the end of the bed until his feet found the floor. "And if it's not, I'll let you know right away so we can change positions."
Ryo moved toward the end of the bed where Dee was waiting for him, his large, thick erection standing up in excitement and anticipation between his legs. Ryo found the sight unmistakably arousing. Surprisingly, he felt much less trepidation than usual. In fact, he felt almost eager for that first lick of the velvety soft skin that coated Dee's rock hard member. It had a particular taste and smell, too, which he was gradually getting used to and starting to associate with pleasure.
He took Dee's hot penis in his hand and guided it toward his mouth. His tongue came out to meet it and swirled around the head. He licked up and down the shaft, taking it inside his mouth for a quick suck every few strokes, and then brought his other hand up to cup Dee's balls. This produced a gasp of pleasure from Dee.
"Baby! I like that....Yeah! With your tongue there too. Oh Jesus..."
After licking Dee's cock and balls for a while, Ryo began moving his head steadily up and down on his penis. He did his best to squeeze his lips snugly around Dee's shaft without scratching him with his teeth. He wanted it to feel tight for his lover, he wanted to do a good job and suck him into a state of delirium. He attempted again to get Dee's cock into his throat, but as usual, that particular technique eluded him. He tried to will his throat to relax and admit an intruder, but it always closed in a panic when the head of Dee's penis went past a certain point. When his spasming throat had made a choking, gagging sound for the third time, Dee stopped him and asked him to use his hand and mouth together. Ryo felt a little bit frustrated that yet again he hadn't been able to do for Dee what Dee did so effortlessly for him, but he hadn't really expected to. Dee had after all, warned him that it might take weeks or even months before he would be able to do that. Now, he had no choice but to use his hand, lips and tongue together, and it worked on Dee like it always did. Before long, Dee's cock began throbbing and swelling in his hand.
"Ryo...I'm gonna blow!" Dee warned him and pushed a little on his shoulders. Ryo ignored him. If he couldn't deep-throat, he was damn well going to swallow. He found himself both dreading and anticipating that moment. When the first jet abruptly spurted onto his tongue, it still came as something of a surprise, even though Dee had warned him. He didn't swallow it right away because Dee's penis was still moving in his mouth, and he let it slide over the ejaculate on his tongue, being careful not to touch the head. A moment later, his mouth was overflowing with his lover's seed, which he swallowed in one big and one little gulp, while continuing to stroke the last few drops out of Dee's cock. He had wanted to lick the sides of Dee's shaft until it softened somewhat, but suddenly Dee was bending down toward him and capturing his lips with his own. When Dee's tongue swept the inside of his mouth, Ryo knew he was looking for traces of his own cum, and he was a little shocked, even though Dee had done that at least once before.
"Dee, why are you -"
"I just wanted to taste the mouth that gave me so much pleasure and sucked that big load outta my cock, that's all.
"But it's your own... that you're tasting."
"Cum is cum," Dee said. "Of course, I'd rather taste yours, but that's probably not going to happen with what I have planned for you." He was pushing Ryo back on the bed to indicate that he should scoot back toward the pillows.
"Um...and what's that?" Ryo found himself stretched out on his right side facing Dee, who held him tightly and wrapped a leg around him.
"I'll show you in a minute. For now, just hold me, please, my love, my sweet Ryo..."
Ryo held him close and tried to ignore the insistent call of his own erection. It had not gone down during the blowjob he had just given Dee. It had remained hard throughout. More proof, not that I needed it, that I'm obviously profoundly gay, rather than merely a little confused, he thought to himself wryly.
After about thirty seconds, Dee stirred and moved the hand that had been around Ryo's back, holding his partner's body close to him, to Ryo's penis instead. "I'm gonna show this guy" - he squeezed Ryo's member - "a real good time," he said. "But we're gonna have to change positions."
"What should I do?" Ryo was pressing rhythmically into Dee's hand, impatient for the next part to begin. He knew it would be good because if Dee said so, it would be.
We're both gonna have to be up on our knees. We're gonna do something that we've done once before, except last time I was the pitcher and you were the catcher. This time, we switch."
"We...switch?" Ryo was very surprised. Surely Dee wasn't talking about what it sounded like he was talking about...
"Yeah. Remember that night after the Vietnamese restaurant when we rushed back here from the bridge?"
"How could I forget?"
"Yeah, right. Well anyway, later I wanted to do it again, but you were too sore, remember? So we did that intercrural thing."
"Ohhh, right," said Ryo, the light dawning.
"Well you're gonna do it between my thighs this time. You'll like it, trust me."
"I'm gonna do it between your...thighs?"
"Yeah. Come on, get up on your knees. And pass me the lube from your nightstand. We'll be needing that."
Ryo watched as Dee squeezed a generous amount of lubricant onto his hand and then rubbed it between his thighs, up and down. Then he added more until the whole area was extremely slick and wet. After putting the lid back on the tube, he tossed it down onto the bed and crooked his finger at Ryo with a confident grin. "C'mere, hot stuff."
Ryo moved closer and Dee took his penis in hand.
"Closer," he murmured. "You gotta get real close to me for this one."
Their bodies were touching, and Ryo felt Dee guide the head of his penis toward his locked thighs. When it made contact with the lube-slick resistance there, he felt himself start to tremble with excitement.
"Push," came Dee's voice, whispering at his ear, and Ryo obeyed with a gasp.
It felt amazingly tight and slippery. It wasn't quite the same as intercourse because he didn't have the sensation of being in a hole that pressed on him from all sides. The pressure was mainly lateral, and the position offered a certain latitude for up and down sliding, as well as in and out. He gripped Dee's buttocks and pumped, letting the delicious friction carry him on a wave of pleasure that he knew would break soon. He tried his best to slow down and draw out the feeling a little longer, but Dee had a way of squeezing his already tightly locked thighs in such a way as to make that impossible. Ryo gave up and thrust hard and fast into the slippery passage Dee had made for him. He loved the way he was able to hold Dee while he did it; strong and hard, the way a man could hold another man. He didn't have to worry about being gentle. His partner's body was durable and male like his own. He also knew he wasn't inside an actual orifice that might be injured, so he was able to thrust as lustily as he wanted without fear of causing pain. He found a way to move his penis on an upward angle near the end, which seemed to afford Dee some pleasure as well, since he paused in the lewd flow of encouragement that he had been pouring into Ryo's ear, and let out a low moan of appreciation instead. Finally, it was all too much for Ryo, and the moment arrived when he could do nothing more than to cling to Dee and gasp out his name while hot effluence pumped from his throbbing and sensitized penis, coating the insides of Dee's legs and splashing onto the sheets behind him.
Dee continued to hold him for a moment and then lowered him gently onto the bed. "Did you like that, baby?"
"Y-yes...Yes," replied Ryo in a voice that wasn't altogether steady. Yes, he had liked it very much. His eyes began trying to drop shut.
"I'm going to need another shower before we start any paperwork," Dee said. "You've made quite a delicious mess of my thighs."
"I'm not going to taste it, if that's what you're hinting at," grumbled Ryo, his eyes still closed. "Yours, yes. Mine, no way."
"Aw come on," said Dee teasingly. "Not even one little lick?"
"Nope. It was your idea. Deal with it yourself."
Dee chuckled to himself as he felt Ryo drift off into a post-coital nap. He wouldn't let him sleep for long. Once Ryo had sunk into REM sleep, he was next to impossible to wake up. And Dee had further plans for the evening beyond the hour he had agreed to spend going over phone records. "Enjoy your nap, baby," he whispered. "You're going to need your strength for later."
Dee was sitting in a cafe in Little Italy, drinking a cappuccino and reading the newspaper. A crumb-covered plate that had recently held a chicken and arugula panini lay on the table before him. Ryo would be off work in about half an hour, and Dee was planning to leave soon and go pick him up. After that, they would fetch the kids from school and take them to see Lindsay Masters.
The day had started well, in that he had been able to sleep in late in Ryo's bed after a night spent in his lover's arms. Upon waking, he had staggered to the kitchen, motivated by a need for coffee. He saw the folded piece of paper on the counter before he had even set foot on the linoleum. Anchored by the sugar bowl, it sat strategically next to the coffeemaker. Hoping for a hint of romance, he grabbed the note and his eyes devoured it avidly. But all it said was:
1. Coffee's ready to go, just press 'on'.
2. Breakfast in fridge - oatmeal. Heat it up first.
Dee sighed. There were no tender words, not even a little heart or a happy face, or anything. Oh well, that was Ryo. The romance department of his brain was not only located in a dark basement corner at the bottom of several long flights of stairs, but usually had a sign on the door that said Closed until all my cases are solved at work, and the vacuuming is done. Dee shoveled oatmeal into his mouth while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. He badly wanted his morning cigarette and coffee before he tackled the first order of business for the day, which was to call Shaver and give him the news that there would be no deal. He wasn't looking forward to that particular conversation and therefore he wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.
Twenty minutes later, fortified by nicotine and caffeine, he called the 51st. When the front desk staff told him that Ned Shaver had called in sick for the fourth day running, he dialed Ned's home number, which Andrea had helpfully provided him with on Monday. There was no answer, so he left a cautious message that he hoped would not make trouble for the Bronx detective in the event that anyone else checked his voice mail.
"Hey man, it's me. I just wanted to let you know...that it's not looking good regarding that, er, 'program' you were asking about. You gotta do what's best for you, of course. I'm really sorry we couldn't make this happen the way you wanted because, speaking for myself, I was really looking forward to working with you. If you wanna discuss it further, give me a call on my cell."
So far, his cell phone had not rung, except for when Ryo had called him in the early afternoon to see how he was doing. Shaver was probably pissed off, and more than a little alarmed about the suggestion of jail time, which Dee could completely understand. He wouldn't have been willing to bet a nickel on the man's chances in the slammer. Cops who ended up in jail were usually targeted. Even if he got his own prison cell and took his meals alone as the Commissioner had mentioned, it would only be a matter of time before someone got to him. Dee wouldn't have wanted to be in Detective Shaver's shoes for anything. He didn't really expect to hear from him, but he allowed himself to entertain a minuscule hope that Shaver would reach out anyway.
This sunny, spring-like Wednesday was the last of his sick days and he had to admit it had been good to have the last couple of days off. His wound still itched, but was troubling him a whole lot less than the day before. He had picked up groceries for Ryo's apartment and his own, and Bikky's funeral suit was now hanging up in the back seat of his car. He had also taken over the job of searching through Lieutenant Abernathy's phone records, since he and Ryo had not exactly gotten that done the night before, and although he felt that Ryo had been correct in his prediction that there wouldn't be much there, he had circled a couple of numbers that he believed bore further investigation.
He was about to take another sip of his coffee when he was interrupted by a voice that said, "Don't get too used to that stuff, or you'll never be able to drink station-house coffee again."
Dee lowered his newspaper to see Ned Shaver standing there, looking slightly disheveled as usual. He seemed exhausted, yet edgy, like a man who had had no sleep and rather too much caffeine.
"What is it, man?" Dee asked, concerned and more than a little surprised. This was the last place he would have expected to see Shaver.
"You got a car?"
"Yeah. Are you in trouble?"
"Little bit. Not too bad. Gotta shake a couple guys that are tailing me."
"Did they see you come in here?"
"Yeah. They're waiting outside. Don't look now. Doubled parked Mercedes. I got a spot, they didn't. They're expecting me to come back out. Where's your car?"
"Round the corner."
"Shit. We'll never get to it without being spotted."
"Sure we will. Watch me. When you see me go through that door, count to ten and follow me."
"I hope you know what you're doing."
Dee got up and went to the front counter, where he pushed his way to the front of the line and discreetly showed his badge to the girl at the cash register. "NYPD," he said. "I gotta go through your kitchen and out your back door."
"Uh, sure," she squeaked.
"What's your name, sweetheart?"
"Danka," she said, blushing.
Dee winked at her. "If the cooks kick up a fuss, I'll just tell them that Danka said it was okay. You have a great day, hon."
He quickly walked around the counter and through the door to the kitchen, holding his badge out in front of him. "NYPD, coming through. Police business, coming through. One more officer behind me."
A pair of white clad kitchen workers gaped at him, but neither said anything.
He emerged into an alley next to a dumpster, and exactly ten seconds later, so did Shaver. He was panting a little.
"C'mon, said, Dee. "I think we'd better run."
"I was afraid you'd say that."
He and Shaver jogged to the end of the alley. When they got there, Dee took a careful look. His could see his car, about a quarter block down, but more importantly, there was no sign of the Mercedes or its occupants.
"Coast's clear. Let's walk," he said. Dee pointed out his vehicle, a blue Chevy Cavalier with broad racing stripes on the hood, as they strolled casually down the street toward it. They made it to the car without mishap and got in quickly. Dee started the engine and immediately pulled out from the curb. Neither man spoke for several minutes as Dee negotiated traffic. He took a zig-zag route away from the cafe, watching his rear view mirror carefully for signs of the Mercedes. When he had gotten clear over to West 22nd without any sign of it, they both relaxed.
"So were you actually trying to find me, or is this just a coincidence?" Dee asked.
"I called the 27th looking for you. They put me through to your partner. He suggested I check Little Italy. Been driving around hoping to spot you."
Dee nodded. He had told Ryo earlier that he was going to grab a bite at Cafe Bruno in Little Italy. " Why didn't you call my cell number?"
"I thought I had it memorized. I think I got one of the digits wrong. My brain is pretty fucked up nowadays."
Dee took another look at him. The guy really did look like hell. "So, what's going on?"
"Well, as you know, I gotta be at that that big meeting with the Stone Bloods and Corporate America tonight. A couple of the Devils have been on my ass for the past couple of hours. I'm not sure whether they're under orders to follow me to the meeting or prevent me from attending it like last time."
"What do you wanna do? You can't exactly go back to your car. Even if they've figured out that you're gone, one of them will stay and wait for you to come back for it." Dee plugged in the car's cigarette lighter and reached into his shirt pocket for his cigarettes. "Smoke?"
Shaver nodded his thanks and took one. "Yeah, I know. But I figure they'll give up after a few hours. I'll go pick up the car close to the meeting time. It's not until midnight anyhow."
"You might have been towed by then."
"No. 'Cause you're going to see to it that I'm not."
"Oh, I am, am I?"
"Hear me out. I appreciate it that you were straight with me about there being no deal. Very few people have been straight with me in my life. You coulda just strung me along and then screwed me over at the end when you'd gotten what you wanted, but you didn't. You gave it to me without the bullshit."
"Uh...You're welcome. Where we goin' with this?"
There was a pause while Shaver pulled out the cigarette lighter and lit his smoke with it, then passed it to Dee. When both of them had inhaled a good lungful of tobacco smoke, Shaver continued.
"Been givin' it some thought. I got a real bad feeling about tonight. There's a good chance the Devils will find us and come in shooting. They know they're basically fucked if Ibo and Rizzo join forces. Ibo will fuckin' exterminate them. He wants their streets, and especially their routes. Anyways, like I said, I got a bad feeling. Same feeling I had the night my old man bought it, and also the day a live shell exploded during practice and killed my best buddy when I was in the Navy. Only this time I feel like it's gonna be me."
Dee looked at him thoughtfully, but stayed silent. He and Ryo had discussed Ned Shaver's potential for remaining alive in the long term and had come to the conclusion that his chances weren't good. And although Shaver had exhibited poor judgment in the past, he certainly wasn't stupid or unrealistically optimistic.
"Have you got some kind of plan?"
"Yeah. I'm gonna give you guys a freebie. Even though there's no deal, I'll go in with a wire. That way, if I don't come back from tonight's meeting, you'll at least get something. If it turns out my worries are all for nothing, though...well, that's all you'll be getting from me unless the 'Let's Send Shaver to Jail' committee takes another vote."
"Answer a question for me, because I just cannot figure this out. Why the hell aren't you running? You don't exactly have a spotless police record, but the NYPD doesn't have anything on you at the present time. There's nothing to stop you from leaving the state. Why don't you just fuckin' disappear? Is that not an option?"
"Got any kids, Detective?"
"Not that I know about!" Dee responded automatically, but then he remembered Bikky and Carol. "Well... sort of."
"See, I have a son. His name's Kevin. His mom's a fuckin' bitch most of the time, but Kevin's a real good boy. I don't want anything to happen to him, you know what I mean?"
"Have they threatened your family?"
"Only indirectly. But if I wanted to run, I'd have to take them with me, and I can't afford it. Sheila has a job here, at least. It's a shit job, but it brings in some money. I got no savings, and neither does she. I can't uproot them both and take them God knows where when I have no cash to get a place to live and start a new life. Hell, the way things have been lately, I'd probably run out of gas money before I crossed the state line. But if I leave them here, Ibo or Mike can use them to make me come back and face the music."
"Fuck." Dee felt bad for Detective Shaver.
"Yeah, I've really painted myself into a corner haven't I?" Shaver's mouth twisted into the grimace which Dee was starting to recognize as the closest Shaver could get to a smile. "So I've got no choice except to stay here and play this thing out to the end. That could be tonight, or some other time. I don't fucking know."
"But you're willing to wear a wire tonight?"
"Yep. But you'd better start doing whatever you gotta do to set me up. It's -" Shaver looked at his watch - "nine hours till midnight. I know it takes time to get that kind of show on the road."
"That's right," said Dee, hurriedly going through a checklist in his mind. They'd be needing at least two surveillance vehicles, tech people, wire equipment, as well as on-scene surveillance staff, and even though the Commissioner had more or less given Ryo carte blanche authorization for this project, it was in everyone's best interests to get a member of the brass to sign off on it. "We're gonna make that happen. But first I'm gonna call some uniforms down on the two Devils who are watching your car. What's your license plate number?"
Ryo was on the phone with Lindsay Masters' secretary when his cell phone vibrated inside his jacket pocket. Assuming it was Dee, he managed to quickly finish up the first call before flipping open his cell phone and saying, "Hi Dee, did he find you?"
"Um...This is Tina, Randy." It was Detective Greenspan's voice, and she sounded a little unsure about what kind of reception she was going to get.
"Oh. Detective Greenspan. I'm sorry, I was expecting another call." Ryo didn't even try to keep the coldness out of his voice.
"Well, I apologize if I'm disturbing you," she answered, "but I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to return my calls. I left you several messages."
"What is there to talk about? Yesterday's questioning session was a total disaster, by anyone's standards. It's now quite obvious to me that you and your colleague came into that meeting with your minds made up that my thirteen-year-old son and his fifteen-year-old friend are the ones you're going to try to pin the murder on, DNA evidence and fingerprints be damned. I'm just glad that Detective Saunders' prejudicial attitude gave the game away before you guys got very far down that road. If you think that bullying children into making confessions to crimes they didn't commit is a better way to go than good old fashioned police work, then I can't imagine why you ever became a cop in the first place."
"Detective MacLean! Would you just--"
"I'm not finished. I'm giving you fair notice right now that I refuse to discuss this matter with you any further. I've hired legal counsel for my son, and we are in the process of requesting that you be taken off this case and replaced with someone who has more experience and displays better judgment."
"Detective MacLean, please would you just listen to me for a moment? I do NOT think that your son was involved in the murder! Please let me explain!"
Ryo made no comment, and she continued somewhat nervously. "As you know, my partner, Detective Ruth Massey, is on vacation. The Sergeant suggested I take Detective Saunders with me to assist with the questioning, because you're right, I don't have much experience, and he allegedly does. He was a detective in New Orleans for nine years, for God's sake. I had no idea he was such an idiot, I swear to you!" Again, Ryo was silent, and she asked in a faltering voice, "D-Detective MacLean?"
"Yes," said Ryo shortly.
Detective Greenspan hastened to justify her actions, the words rushing headlong out of her mouth as though she was afraid he would hang up on her at any second. "We discussed the case in the car on the way over. It - it just slipped out, the information that Lieutenant Abernathy had given me. I'm so sorry. I know you asked me to keep it to myself, but it seemed...relevant. And I didn't have a compelling enough reason to keep it secret, can you understand that? On Sunday when we met at the morgue, you and your partner had such a strong reaction when I told you about Lieutenant Abernathy's call, but you wouldn't tell me why! Later, I discussed what had happened with Sergeant Fedorov and he took it to our lieutenant. They said they were going to contact your Lieutenant Smith and get back to me, but neither of them did. I didn't know what to do with that information. It's a pretty serious allegation, you've got to admit, and I had no one to advise me. I guess that's why I confided in Detective Saunders. I was hoping he would be able to help me, but instead he seems to have gotten fixated on the idea that the kids probably knew more than they were letting on. He tried to scare poor Carol into talking, but instead...Well, you know the rest. And I did NOT know he was going to do that. If I had known, I would never have brought him along. I don't condone either his attitude or his behavior."
"And what's your opinion, Detective? Do the kids know more than they're letting on?"
"I honestly don't think your son had any idea he was communicating with the murderer. I think the perp knew Eddie well enough to have knowledge of his eBay activities, and therefore put a bid on the cookware in order to lure him out. It's highly unlikely that he or she could have even been aware that someone other than Eddie was handling the correspondence."
"That's what I think, too. But I still don't trust you, Detective."
"Fair enough," she said. "At this point, I'm just grateful that you're willing to listen to me, because I need to know what the hell is going on between you and Lieutenant Abernathy. He's the one who told me that your son had set up the murder, and he told me the morning after it happened. No one knew anything at that point. Unless your son had come forward with the information about the eBay account, I doubt we would have found out about it on our own."
"We would definitely have come forward with that information," Ryo told her. "I had already told Lieutenant Smith the same evening as Bikky told me. But I wasn't ready to share it with you on Sunday, that's all."
"It seems to me that Lieutenant Abernathy knows more than he should," Detective Greenspan said. "Is there some reason why you don't want to tell me what's going on between you two?"
"Yes," Ryo replied. "But since I don't trust you, I don't feel like telling you."
She was silent a moment. Then she spoke. "Detective MacLean, I wish there was some way I could earn your trust, because if you persist in shutting me out, I'll have to start asking around about Lieutenant Abernathy and you, until I find out what the connection is. I'm very sorry for the way that sounds. I don't mean to sound like I'm threatening you, but until I get taken off this case, I still have to do my job. I don't want anyone else to suggest that your son might have been involved in the death of Eddie Calvetti, and the best way for that to happen is if we find the real murderer."
"Look," said Ryo. "I understand that you're in a difficult position here. But, as I told you before at the morgue, this case I'm on is highly sensitive, and is just starting to get off the ground. We're working mainly on conjecture at this point. My partner and I are trying to acquire enough hard evidence to be able to apply for warrants, which we're not currently in a position to do. There are members of my own team who don't know all the details of this case yet. I can't afford the potential breach in security that could come from my telling you."
"Detective MacLean," she said. "I'm really sorry for all the misunderstandings we've had so far. They've all been my fault, and that's the truth. The fact is...I was hoping we could be friends. But every time we come into contact, I seem to find a way to make a mess of things. So I'll leave it for now, and what's more, I'll leave you with a piece of information that I think just might be of interest to you."
"Go on," said Ryo, glancing at his watch. It was almost three thirty. Dee should be here by now. He wondered if he was waiting downstairs.
"Lieutenant Abernathy phoned me again yesterday. He asked me if I had gotten confirmation of your son's involvement with the murder."
"What?" The time and Dee were temporarily forgotten. Detective Greenspan had Ryo's full attention.
"Oh, there's more, Detective. He already knew all about how your partner had punched Detective Saunders in the nose. He also knew that the kids had run out of the building. He phoned me on my cell phone as Scott and I were walking out to the car."
Ryo was stunned, but he somehow found his voice. "Did you answer his question?"
"No. I told him that due to the way the questioning session had abruptly deteriorated, it had been inconclusive."
"Did he say anything else?"
"No, he just said he'd be in touch."
Ryo shook his head, mentally revising his opinion of Detective Greenspan. Perhaps she wasn't quite as insubstantial as he had thought. His mind was already running over ways to turn her position as Abernathy's favorite contact to advantage. She knew it too, and that was what she was offering him, IF he could bring himself to trust her.
"Detective Greenspan, thank you for the information. I just realized I'm late for an appointment, and I'll have to call you back later. Would you excuse me please?"
"Certainly," she said, and the smile was back in her voice. "I'll be more than happy to talk to you later."
Ryo hung up and immediately dialed Dee on his cell, not his police line. Suddenly, he didn't trust the phone lines.
"Ryo!" said Dee. I'm glad you called. Sorry I'm late, but I've got big news. You'll never guess who I've got with me and what he's willing to do for us tonight. I'll be there in five minutes. I know you have to go to that appointment with Bikky, but I gotta take care of this. I'll tell you about it when we get there."
"Dee, listen to me. I know who you're with because I talked to him earlier. Don't bring him here." He lowered his voice, feeling paranoid about whether someone might be listening out in the hall. "I just learned that we have a...security problem."
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
"The Bad Lieutenant has a spy here, Dee. Whatever you do, don't bring Shaver to the 27th."
end of chapter 34
Additional author's notes: There was supposed to be a scene with JJ in this chapter, but it got bumped because the additional lemon at the beginning would have made the chapter too long. So, for those who love JJ, he'll be in the next chapter, being extremely JJ-ish.
Thanks for reading!