By Brit Columbia
Pairing: Dee Laytner / Randy (Ryo) MacLean
Rating: Not worksafe. Contains sexual acts by two naked, gorgeous men who love each other.
Spoilers: To Volume 7
Timing: Set in June, a month or so after book 7 ended. Dee and Ryo recently became a couple in May. A New Day left off on Sunday night. This chapter takes place a few days later on Wednesday morning.
Summary: Ryo is coming to terms with what it means to be a gay man in a straight world. He and Dee are also hunting the dangerous Lieutenant Abernathy...but who is hunting whom?
Disclaimer: I am not making any money for the writing of this work of fanfiction, nor do I own Fake or any of the characters created by Sanami Matoh. The Abernathy family is mine, however, and so are Officers Pettigrew and Fenton as well as the Assistant DA, Aviva Cho and Criminal Defense lawyer, Siobhan Dunnet.
Author's notes: By the way, for those who are wondering how the heck one pronounces 'Siobhan', it sounds like 'Shavonne'.
Thank you to mtemplar , the_ladyfeather and jdr1184 for the beta help.
Recap of Chapters one and two: Lieutenant Mike Abernathy got drunk and trashed his own apartment after receiving some bad news from his wife. His son, who came home and saw the wreckage, called Bikky for help, who in turn called Ryo. Dee was able to enter the apartment to conduct a superficial search for incriminating evidence, under the guise of checking that Abernathy was okay and trying to ascertain if he had been robbed and assaulted. Based on what he found, he and Ryo are now trying for a warrant so that they can conduct a more in-depth search. But Abernathy is not about to take this lying down...
Justice, Chapter 3: Call to Battle
"Dee, get up. I know you're not asleep." Ryo yanked the pillow out from under Dee's head and smacked him lightly with it.
Dee's only response was to mumble sleepily and roll onto his side under the sheet. His eyes remained closed and the muscles of his face still had that relaxed look that could only be caused by deep sleep. Despite his confident words, Ryo wasn't really sure precisely how awake the other man was.
He sighed. Getting Dee out of bed in the morning had always been a challenge. Bikky was exactly the same. The only difference between them was that Bikky had never tried to grab him and pull him down onto the bed. It was the possibility of being seized and summarily fondled that made Ryo keep a safe distance from his allegedly sleeping partner. But how to wake him up? He had used a variety of methods in the past, some kinder than others. Despite his impatience this morning, he couldn't quite bring himself to yell in Dee's ear or toss cold water over him. Not yet, anyway. He looked at his watch. They still had time. It was only ten forty-five. Perhaps if he opened a window...
"I made coffee," he called out to the motionless figure in the bed as he crossed to the bedroom window and opened it wide. Immediately, the sounds of the street below, which had been muffled and indistinct moments before, rose to fill the room. Dee lived right on the border between Little Italy and Chinatown, and his neighborhood was noisier at all times of the day and night than Ryo's was. Horns honked, voices shouted back and forth, percussion-heavy music throbbed from a car parked at the intersection below. There was a small Chinese market situated on the ground floor of Dee's building, and as a delivery driver backed into the alley beside it, the automatic beeping sound his truck made seemed to ricochet off the buildings all the way up to the third floor. As if to further accentuate the cacophony below, a faint smell of garbage and auto exhaust also began to creep over the windowsill.
Ryo smiled with wry satisfaction. That ought to do it. Dee would be up in no time. No one could sleep through that racket. He decided to go check on the coffee and see if Dee had anything in his fridge that might constitute breakfast. As he walked out of the bedroom, he informed Dee that if he wasn't out of that bed in three minutes, he was going to get a cold shower while he was still horizontal. Dee didn't so much as twitch, but Ryo felt almost certain that his partner had heard him. Maybe.
The rapid-fire pop-pop-pop sound of the coffee percolating was just reaching its culmination; it wouldn't be long now. Ryo opened the fridge and was immediately assailed by a horrible smell that made him wrinkle his nose in disgust. He traced it to an ancient packet of sushi leftovers that was wedged behind a jar of pickles. After rolling up the offending sushi in about four feet of plastic wrap, he dropped it in the garbage. Then he spent a pleasurable few minutes throwing out anything in Dee's fridge that was past its expiry date. When he was finished, there was nothing left except the jar of pickles and a bottle of ketchup. Not much of a breakfast, he thought to himself. He had been hopeful that he might find a loaf of bread or some frozen hash browns in the freezer, but all awaited him there was a bottle of Absolut citron vodka.
Frowning, he shook his head and returned to the bedroom with the icy-cold bottle in his hand. Sleeping in until the last possible minute, waking up to an apartment completely devoid of food, then arriving at work late, hungry and disheveled epitomized, to Ryo, irresponsibility and lack of foresight. But wasn't that just typical of Dee? Ryo had lectured his partner often enough on the money he wasted eating out three times a day, as well as the benefits of waking up just fifteen minutes earlier than he usually did, but his words never seemed to have any effect. Well, this bottle of Absolut was about to produce a very satisfying effect unless he found Dee sitting up on the bed with his feet on the floor, or better yet, putting his clothes on. But knowing Dee, he didn't think so.
Sure enough, his partner was still in bed, lying flat on his back, the sheet pulled up protectively to his neck. His eyes were closed and little snoring sounds issued from his open mouth. Ryo's eyes narrowed at the sight. First, he had to get that sheet off. Then... 'showtime', as Dee would say. A small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he imagined Dee's reaction when the chilled bottle of vodka was applied to his warm skin.
He took up a position at the foot of the bed, well out of harm's way, and began slowly tugging the sheet off Dee and toward himself. As inch after inch of Dee's magnificent body was exposed to the room, Ryo's heart began to beat a little faster. He told himself it was because of the anticipation of soon pressing that freezing cold glass bottle against some unsuspecting part of Dee's anatomy. But which part? His eyes roved up and down his olive-skinned partner, from the strong column of his masculine throat, to the broad, flat pectoral muscles on his chest, then down the thin line of hair that began at Dee's navel and led the way to his manhood. His fully engorged manhood, to be exact. His morning glory. Ryo moistened his lips and looked away, only to find that his eyes kept returning again and again to that particular sight. It was suddenly too warm in the room. Why had he opened the window? It had been cooler before he had done that and exposed the room to the growing heat of the day.
At that moment, Dee's hips stirred gently in the bed, causing his erection to shift slightly as well. Ryo stared openly now, unable to help himself. He wanted to...What did he want, anyway? He gave himself a little shake. What he wanted was to get Dee out of that bed, into his clothes and along to the 27th Precinct ASAP. It was now five to eleven and they had an appointment with the Chief in just over an hour. If they hurried, there would be just enough time for him to brief Dee on his phone conversation with Anna from Verizon this morning, and also on what was being done to track the phone numbers they had extracted from Abernathy's phone the night before.
With his mind safely back on work, Ryo felt strong enough to choose his target. He decided to lay the bottle against Dee's right side. That would definitely cause his partner to holler and spring out of bed on the left side, and from there, he could be effectively herded toward the closet. Ryo moved around the side of the bed, an intent expression on his face.
Unfortunately, Dee chose that moment to roll over on his belly, making a sleepy, muttering sound.
Ryo froze, his eyes riveted. His lover had a really gorgeous ass. It was absolutely perfect. He had never seen a better one on either a man or woman in all the years of his life until now. Not that he had been looking, or anything. But he was looking now. With his eyes, he caressed the muscular curves of those exquisite buttocks, and when one of Dee's knees moved slowly up the bed toward his torso, the movement caused the flesh of his right buttock to pull taut as it separated ever so slightly from the other one. The blood rushed to Ryo's face as he realized that he was gazing, mesmerized, at the mysterious, dark cleft of Dee's ass. For a fleeting moment he wondered if Dee had ever considered...? Oh God, don't think these thoughts, we've got work to do and time is short!
With horror, he became aware that his penis was semi-hard and getting harder. God damn it! He closed his eyes tightly to shut out the sight of the tempting vision before him, and that was when he suddenly found himself yanked off balance and pulled down against a long, lithe, beautifully-formed and very familiar body. He felt almost light-headed with desire, and powerless to resist not only the feel of Dee's muscular arms about him, but also the dizzying scent of his sleep-warmed skin.
He understood what had happened, knew that he had been played once again and apprehended that he ought to be opening his mouth and registering protests. When he tried to do that, however, Dee's soft lips came down firmly on his own and his tongue darted inside. Ryo tasted the faint tang of mouthwash. So he hadn't been asleep!
One of Dee's big hands was now on his ass, pushing against it rhythmically so that their dicks rubbed together through the fabric of Ryo's slacks. The other was cupping the back of his head, to prevent him from trying to withdraw from the kiss. Dee kissed him deeply and thoroughly, and Ryo slid deeper into his surrender, moaning helplessly and rubbing his cock voluntarily against Dee's.
When Dee finally ended the kiss and gazed mischievously up at him, Ryo found himself unable to do more than just stare down blankly into Dee's brilliant green eyes. Work, deadlines, appointments, meetings and investigations all seemed far away and much less urgent than the throbbing sensitivity of his painfully erect penis. He panted in Dee's arms, trying to catch his breath, feeling a tense, anticipatory, taut feeling in every fiber of his being. He had an odd sense that his whole body was about to explode and he didn't know what to do about it.
It was clear that Dee did, however. The mischief faded out of his eyes only to be replaced by a spark of lust. His lids dropped to half-mast as he rolled Ryo over onto his back and removed the forgotten vodka bottle from his unprotesting hand.
"What the hell, babe? I love the idea of breakfast in bed, but... vodka? If I didn't know you for such a goody-two shoes, I might think you were up to no good." The tone of his voice was lower than usual, a sure sign of desire. Straddling the supine man on the bed, Dee hastily unknotted Ryo's tie and whipped it from around his neck. Then he set about unbuttoning his lover's shirt and undoing his pants. He couldn't believe his play-dead ploy had actually succeeded, and that Ryo had apparently worked himself up into a state of no-return horniness just from the sight of his spectacularly nude bod.
"Dee, I-- " Ryo's hands came up and tried to stop him, but Dee slapped them away impatiently.
"Shut up. We're going for it, no matter what. Who gives a shit if we're ten minutes late? This is fuckin' worth it. You can blame it all on me. Now sit up so I can get your shirt off-- yeah, good... now the other arm." He ground his hips against Ryo's still erect dick for a moment, just in case his partner was starting to return to his senses, then hopped off him and yanked his pants off in one smooth motion, one of his trademark moves. There was a huge bulge in the front of Ryo's blue knit boxers, with a wet spot that promised an imminent delivery of something hot, wet and molten. It seemed like it took no more than five seconds before the boxers had joined the slacks somewhere on the floor.
Ryo's hands were reaching for him now; Dee could feel his aroused partner's importunate touch all over his back and his ass, wherever Ryo could reach. He climbed back on top of his pale-skinned lover, settling his weight on him and feeling the hot, damp prickle as the first faint sheen of sweat started to spread between their bodies. Ryo moaned soft and low, and began moving his hips under Dee's once again, pushing up against him so that their dicks rode up and down each other, spreading the stickiness of their increasing excitement, the sensitive heads nuzzling each other in affection and desire. Dee moved too, and before long, they found a rhythm that worked for both of them. He kissed Ryo again, and this time Ryo's mouth came up to meet his and damn near took control, licking, biting and sucking on his lips before thrusting his tongue inside to fight with Dee's.
"Like this, Ryo. Can you come like this?" Dee's voice came out thickly, as though the sensitized tissues of his mouth and tongue could not properly produce speech.
Ryo just nodded and didn't try to speak. He was breathing heavily and making little whimpering noises, which seemed to be creating a tugging sensation in Dee's cock.
Dee was seized by an urge to mark him. He swiftly lowered his head and bit Ryo on his trapezius muscle, suckling and bruising the skin. He knew that this was something that Ryo loved in the heat of passion, but tended to bitch about later when his blood had cooled and he began fretting about what others would think of him if they saw.
Ryo started to protest under him, but he quickly subsided. Shivering and groaning, he gave himself up to the acute pleasure-pain of Dee's teeth and lips. He hated the idea of yet another love bite on his skin for him to worry about hiding when he got dressed, but it just felt so good, so amazingly wild, animalistic and intense that he willingly rode the sensations out to their finish. Dee stopped sucking and biting and gazed down at him, his face flushed with desire and effort, and his eyes dark with emotion.
"Ryo..." he murmured in a low voice. "Ryo." His hips kept moving, thrusting, surging against his partner's strong body. The strength in Ryo's hips and belly excited him, the feeling of that hard, thick cock straining up to meet his own was driving him crazy. The exigent friction between them had him on fire and he knew it was the same with Ryo.
Ryo met his eyes, staring back up at him for a moment in desire and wonder. He didn't say a word; his eyes said it all. I love you. Only you. Always. Please. The adoring look on his face, possessive, and hungry, almost broke Dee's heart under the weight of the happiness that filled it. And when Ryo's glance flickered to his mouth and back to his eyes before he turned his head to the left to offer his unmarked right shoulder for more biting, Dee accepted the invitation with joy. He lowered his head and sank his teeth into the strong muscle where Ryo's neck joined his shoulder, and as he began to suck, Ryo responded by hissing through clenched teeth and writhing in the most delightful way. Dee felt Ryo's hands sliding up his arms to grip his biceps, and then one of Ryo's hands was in his hair, urging him, holding him, demanding more, even at the point when Dee would have naturally desisted. It was going to be a hell of a mark.
"Mine," Dee growled incoherently through a mouthful of flesh. "Mine. M-- Ohhhh!" His orgasm took him, pulsing out between their bodies, a hot and sticky tide of passion.
Ryo gasped and jerked beneath him, rubbing ever more frantically against Dee's throbbing dick. Their cocks had been dueling with no lube other than precum and sweat; now that Dee had come all over both of their bodies, it changed the quality of the friction to something wetter and infinitely slipperier.
"Come for me, baby," Dee crooned against Ryo's hair. "Lemme feel you spill. Your cock is so fucking hard. Jesus, you turn me on! Come on, let go, let go..."
Dee lifted his head and gazed down at Ryo's flushed face. He wanted to watch him as he came, but he didn't say so because he had a feeling that would make Ryo self-conscious and throw him off his stride.
"Pump it out all over me, sweetheart. I wanna feel you shaking. I wanna lick it off you aft-- oh yeah, here we go, give it to me. Yeah, like that..."
He held Ryo tightly as his lover groaned and pressed his face into his shoulder. Ryo's cock swelled, throbbing between their bodies and releasing gush after gush of hot male liquid. Muffled sounds emitted from him. Dee kissed his hair again, disappointed that he hadn't been able to watch his partner's face, but proud that he had been able to turn his lover on, to make him come. Ryo didn't know it, but Dee secretly claimed credit for all of his orgasms.
When it was over, Ryo lay beneath Dee for a few minutes, feeling physically languid and mentally worried about how late it was getting, but unable to make himself move. He knew he was going to need another shower, and Dee would have to have one, too. He worried that his freshly ironed slacks, now lying in a crumpled heap somewhere on the floor were going to be noticeably wrinkled. His shirt too. If necessary, he could commandeer a shirt from Dee, but he would have to wear his own pants... wait a minute, what the hell was Dee up to?
"Dee, are you getting hard again?" He couldn't believe it.
"Maybe." Dee's soft, sticky penis was unmistakably growing, filling, lengthening, rubbing against the still slippery flesh between Ryo's belly and hipbone.
"What do you mean, 'maybe'? Get off me, right now! We've got a meeting at twelve." He pushed against Dee, and to his surprise, Dee rose up off him and stretched his arms above his head for a moment. His penis was about three quarters hard and growing by the second. Ryo tried not to look at it.
Dee hadn't released Ryo completely. He continued to straddle him while gazing down with a lazy grin at his partner's syrupy torso. "I know about the meeting, dork. But I want breakfast." His tongue came out and danced suggestively on his lower lip.
"What? On an empty stomach? Dee, no. Another time, okay? Let me up." Ryo tried to sound both stern and conciliatory.
Dee paid no attention. He moved lower between Ryo's spread thighs, and bent his head to his partner's stomach. "Come on babe. Just a taste."
"No, your stubble is going to scratch. And my stomach is gross. Oh my God, it's eleven fifteen!" Ryo raised himself up on his elbows and tried to wriggle out from under Dee, but his lower body was completely trapped.
Dee's hands and tongue were on him now, working their dangerous magic on him. Ryo pushed on his shoulders and struggled to get free.
Dee's come-slicked fingers were stroking lightly up and down the crack of his ass. Ryo shivered. Oh, it felt good. His balls were still sensitive, and almost as though Dee sensed that, he started licking them.
"Dee," Ryo gasped, "stop teasing me. You know we don't have time. We need half an hour to get to the station from your place...At least! Nghhh..."
"If we go by car, I can get us there in fifteen minutes."
"Yeah, but we still have to take showers-- No, I mean it, get your finger out of there!"
"Out of here?" Dee twisted the aforementioned finger and found that spot inside Ryo that always made him melt and moan. He ran his tongue up and down Ryo's balls again.
Ryo made an inarticulate sound of pleasure and unconsciously opened his legs a little wider.
Dee began moving his finger in and out, quickly adding another one to better loosen and stretch Ryo's sweet pink opening. He had fucked it only yesterday, standing up, in the client-only washroom at Ryo's lawyer's office. He thought it might still be a little sore, since he'd given it to Ryo a little harder and faster than usual. He considered that as long as he was careful, maybe Ryo would go for one more quickie this morning. He kept an eye on his partner's cock. It was swelling where it lay on his come-streaked stomach, twitching each time Dee rubbed his fingertips over Ryo's sensitive prostate.
"Let me fuck you, baby. I'll be quick," he whispered. "I'll make it good for both of us. Come on, you know you're going to love it." He kept up the inner caress and licked Ryo's balls and perineum a few more times. He guessed that Ryo was at least thinking about it. Say yes, say yes, he thought and then added aloud. "Your body was made for this, sweetheart. You were born to take dick up your ass, and squirm and groan and come just from the feel of it.'
It was the wrong thing to say, apparently, as Ryo suddenly twisted violently under him and managed to get his ass off Dee's fingers. "No, Dee! Look at the goddamned time! We're already late! Get the hell off me right now!"
"Ryo, I-- Hey!"
Ryo had moved one leg out from under Dee's arm and kicked down hard on his shoulder, causing him to slide off the end of the bed and hit the floor.
When he got up, he saw that Ryo was out of bed and on his feet, snatching up his discarded clothing with brisk, angry movements. His face was red and he looked pissed off.
"You know I hate to be late for work! Now choose the clothes you need while I take the world's fastest shower, and you make sure you're ready to jump in one second after I come out!"
"Uh, jawohl, mein führer." Dee snapped him a smart salute, looking a little nervous. Fuck. His second seduction effort had backfired, and now Ryo seemed really pissed off.
"Cut the crap! You heard me, now get busy." Ryo stalked out of the room naked, with his clothes under his arm. Dee didn't think it was a good time to mention that he would be walking right past the big bay window in the living room, and that his neighbors across the street were often home during the day.
He grabbed Monday's grey suit out of his closet, and one of his recently laundered white shirts. A brilliant green silk tie would be his only concession to color today. He quickly moved over to the sock drawers at the bottom of the cubicle unit on the side wall, where he picked out some grey socks and grey briefs. He was going to need to look as sober and professional as possible during the meeting with the DA later, assuming the Chief okayed it first.
His sharp ears heard the shrill creak and then clunk of the pipes as Ryo turned the water off. Holy shit, that had been a fast shower. He hurried through the living room to the bathroom, refusing to allow himself so much as a glance out of the bay window. If the fucking neighbors were looking, it was going to be their lucky day. Unless they were straight guys, that is.
"There you are!" Marianne exclaimed. "The Chief's looking for you. He's not happy."
"Neither is Ryo," Dee said with a cheerful grin for her. "By the way, pink is your color, doll."
She preened and smiled at him with faux shyness. "You don't think it's too... common?"
"On you, nothing could be common. It's-- Hey Ryo, wait up!" He grinned apologetically at Marianne before hastening to catch up with his grim-faced partner.
Janet, who was standing at a computer terminal at the opposite end of the counter to Marianne, caught her co-worker's eye. "Lieutenant Smith's gonna string 'em up by their neckties," she observed.
Marianne smirked. "Randy looks as though he wants to string Dee up by his necktie. I wonder what they're fighting about?"
The Chief let out a roar of rage when he saw them. "FINALLY! The ungrateful morons have arrived!"
Ryo immediately started trying to apologize, but the Chief just yelled right over top of him. "Since when does twelve o'clock mean twelve fucking fifteen? What the God's name is wrong with you guys? I give up my fucking lunch hour to help you two layabouts snag a warrant, and what the hell is my reward?"
"Um, we screwed up your schedule? Sorry, Chief. It was all my fault." Dee risked a lightning-fast glance at Ryo.
"THAT I can believe, you no-good incompetent!" The Chief pounded on his desk and his eyes shot fire at Dee. "But you, Randy! Why the hell do you always let him drag you down to his level? You're supposed to be having a positive influence on this loser, but instead, you're ending up looking like just as much of an unprofessional jerk as he does!"
"I'm sorry, Chief," Ryo said tightly, his eyes staring straight ahead, his face flushed an angry crimson. He felt suffused with shame because he knew he could offer up no words in his own defense. What could he say? Dee seduced me this morning and my penis, which is the least professional part of me, took charge of my brain? Yeah, right. It was his own fault. He couldn't even blame Dee. Wait a minute; yes he could. But not in front of the Chief, of course. He didn't think he could say anything useful right at the moment.
Dee, never at a loss for a good fake excuse, was talking. Ryo had to struggle with himself not to roll his eyes and stare at his partner when he heard what he was saying.
"You see, Chief, I insisted that we stop for breakfast over on East 18th, but there was a minor accident on the loop. Two tow trucks and everyone crawling along at two miles an hour... It was fucking frustrating. We knew we were hooped."
"Yeah, I heard about that," growled the Chief. "Guy was shot in his car, in traffic."
"Uh yeah, well, I didn't get a chance to pick up the details. But that was what delayed us. We feel really bad about it, but there was nothing we could do and as soon as we got clear, we drove here as quickly as we could."
"And you didn't think for one second about phoning?"
"I did!" Dee was indignant. He actually had taken the precaution of calling from the car and informing the front desk that he and Ryo were stuck in traffic. "You probably haven't gotten your messages yet."
"Whatever, let's just drop it. I know you've got a million slippery excuses, Laytner, and I've had enough of my time wasted today. If you put the same amount of energy into working that you do into slacking off and covering your tracks, you'd have made Detective Second Grade by now."
Dee and Ryo hung their heads, Ryo in genuine contrition, but Dee, just because he knew it was expected of him. It had been a mixed bag of a day so far. Ryo, hot and horny in his bed this morning had been wonderful, but being late for work and getting yelled at really blew chunks. And now it looked like Ryo was going to be mad at him for the next few hours. Or at least until they needed to work cooperatively on something. Then his partner would swallow his anger for the sake of the work.
"Siddown, assholes." The Chief waved a pencil at the clock behind him. "You've got less than twenty minutes to convince me you've got enough on Mike for me to stick my neck out for you on this warrant. Start talking."
Lieutenant Mike Abernathy tossed the last piece of big glass from the splintered display cabinet doors into a cardboard box, and straightened up, his hand on his lower back. This cabinet had once contained fine china pieces, some of them very old, others not so old, but finely-wrought. He and Isadora had collected them together during the first six or seven years of their marriage. Thanks to her trust fund, she always had money to spend on the quality pieces at high-end shops, but she preferred the thrill of finding unexpected treasures at flea markets and church bazaars. She had an eye for quality and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of such things as backstamps and crazing lines. She was not so well-informed when it came to antique furniture, however. He recalled her rage when she had once paid far too much for a very clever copy of a Stahan serving table. Because it had been a private sale, she was unable to get her money back. They had ended up donating it to the church because she couldn't stand the sight of it.
That had happened in the second year of their marriage. Mike had been younger then, more carefree, more optimistic, more of a fool. At that time, a part of him had wondered how she could have gone from love to hate so rapidly. It was a beautiful piece, copy or no, lovingly crafted from the finest materials. It had not, in itself, changed a whit between the moment before she knew the truth and the moment after. But her delight in it, her pride, her pleasure, had disappeared like snow in the rain.
He understood better, now, of course. It was the sensation of having been cheated. The years had, unfortunately, brought him intimate acquaintance with that feeling. He knew that wherever she was, she probably felt the same way about him, now. It was clear that her heart had been closed to him for some time, or she wouldn't have left their wedding pictures behind. From the beginning, there were things he had kept from her when he should have been more forthcoming. But he was in love with her and wanted her for his own. He had lacked the courage to tell her what might have cost him the chance to have her as his wife.
He sighed. He had always loved Isadora, and the sad truth was that he still loved her now. He could never harm her, despite his fantasies of the evening before. But that crawling, dishonest fellow she had run off with was another matter altogether. Mike looked forward to the day when--
"Boss, got any food? Hard work like this make a guy hungry!"
Mike glanced over at Benny Lam, one of his lowlife street contacts. Benny was a greasy-looking little Chinese guy with a round, deceptively open, smiling face that hid a black and cunning heart. He and Benny didn't trust each other further than either of them could pitch an elephant, but they mostly worked well together.
"Benny, you've only been here for an hour and you haven't worked hard at all. I want to see some real effort from you before we talk about lunch. Come on, man, back to work."
"Boss, no more box. Should I go get more?"
Mike knew that if he let Benny go out that door, he'd be lucky to see him again before sunset. "No, we don't need boxes yet. We've plenty of garbage bags that will do for now. Why don't you start vacuuming up the glass slivers?"
Benny's friendly grin wavered but quickly restored itself. "Okay, okay. But after vacuum I gotta go smoke, okay?"
"Sure, man, and we'll eat then too. Just make some prog--" Mike was interrupted mid pep-talk by the ringing of his cell phone. Ah! It was the little bitch at the 27th.
"Sir, they're here," she whispered. "They're in with him now."
"Good work, lass. I'll remember this. Be sure to let me know when they leave the building." He snapped his phone closed and allowed an ugly grin to creep across his face. Time to return fire.
"Hmm," said the Chief, his eyes moving back and forth between Dee and Ryo. "Traces of fentanyl, huh? But totally inadmissible."
"Yeah but with a warrant, anything we find later will be admissible." Ryo leaned forward excitedly, his earlier annoyance with Dee temporarily forgotten. "He likely doesn't know that Dee took samples. He was unconscious at the time."
"He'll know you've been through his closet, though." The Chief frowned in thought. "If I were him, I would have sent all that foot powder on a one way trip to the city sewer before you guys were even in the elevator."
"Even if he did, which may not be the case, we can probably find other evidence if we have the time and, more importantly, the right to conduct a proper search," Dee insisted. He was pulling out all the stops on this. He knew that getting a warrant was going to be key in winning his way back into his partner's good graces. "There were a lot of other places I couldn't look. Come on, Chief, we all know the guy is guilty as hell."
"It's not about what we know," the Chief said. "It's about what we can legitimately expect a judge to swallow."
"We got the dealer paraphernalia," Dee reminded him. "That's admissible, on account of it being in 'plain view' and all."
"Yeah, but it's iffy, boys. If the guy was a bottom feeder with a history of drug dealing, the DA might go for it. But Mike is a cop. He's been with the NYPD for more than ten years."
"The fentanyl's gotta be worth something, Chief," said Dee. "Rob Pettigrew can back me up on the fact that it looked suspicious."
"Was it in plain view?"
"Mmm, not exactly. It was right next to the scales, vials and baggies though."
"And we all know that there's no way in hell you obtained permission from the homeowner to conduct a search of the closet."
"Look, Dee, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that if it was in 'plain view,' you'd be home free. But since, according to your report, you had words with Mike right in his bedroom between the two discoveries, there's no way you can make that fly."
"Dammit, Chief!" Ryo's eyes blazed with frustration. "There's got to be a way."
"Look, if you received, say, a 'tip' from a street contact that Mike was keeping drugs right in his apartment, it would probably be enough, along with the dealer equipment. You said you got some intel, right? A few names and numbers?"
"Yeah," said Ryo. "Anna's going to fax me call records for the past two months for most of those numbers. Based on what that looks like, I'll probably formally apply for--"
"Never mind about that, Randy," the Chief said quickly, cutting him off with a wave of his meaty hand. "That's gonna take time, and you need something fast. Start calling the numbers you got. See if you can get something out of one of his contacts." He looked at the heavy diver's watch he always wore. "My meeting with Counselor Cho and Marty is at two. That gives you 90 minutes."
"Jesus," said Dee at exactly the time as an urgent knock sounded on the door.
"What is it?" yelled the Chief, but the door was already opening. It was his secretary, Leona, and she was looking a little frazzled.
"Lieutenant, sir, there's a priority call for you on line two. A Ms. Siobhan Dunnet."
The Chief swore, and so did Dee. Siobhan Dunnet was a brilliant criminal lawyer with a reputation for never letting the truth, or justice for that matter, stand between her and a successful outcome for her clients. However, not many people would have dared to mention her reputation to her face. She was a fighter from the roots of her expensively coiffed and colored hair to the tips of her Prada pumps. Dee had faced her in court on three memorable and ego-shredding occasions, whereas Ryo had been luckier, not yet having experienced serious cross-examination by her on the witness stand.
"Put 'er through," the Chief called to Leona, and then muttered, "We should just be grateful that she's not here in person. In case you haven't guessed, she's Mike's lawyer. You can bet your pensions this call is about you."
The phone rang and he snatched it up. "Smith here."
Siobhan's voice was one of her best weapons in court. It could go from low, sultry and amused to throbbing with dramatic appeal, to a sort of knife-edged screech that flayed the eardrums and made hackles rise. She was using that voice now, and despite the fact that Dee and Ryo were sitting at least three feet from the Chief's big desk, they could hear every word as clear as glass.
"Lieutenant Smith, I hope you've been having a nice day so far because I am about to fuck it up for you in a big way. Lieutenant Michael Abernathy, my client and personal friend of many years, has retained me to assist him in mounting a defense against two of the detectives on your squad. With or without your knowledge and participation, they have embarked upon a campaign of illegal and unfounded persecution and intimidation upon the person of my client, as well as his family. I'm sure you can understand that I find this kind of outlaw behavior difficult to stomach."
"Counselor Dunnet," the Chief said warily, "I can't say it's a pleasure to hear from you under these circumstances, and while I have the greatest possible respect for you, it would appear that your client has only given you half of the story--"
"Cut the shit, you ignorant, paper-pushing sack of garbage. And put me on speakerphone right now so that your two precious little pit bulls can hear what I have to say."
The Chief flushed angrily and cleared his throat. "Ma'am, I--"
"Stop wasting my valuable time and put the goddamned speakerphone on."
"As you wish." The Chief's mouth compressed into a hard line and muscles began bunching on either side of his jaw. He pressed a button and Siobhan's unpleasant voice suddenly swelled to fill the air between them.
"Detectives Laytner and MacLean, I want you to take a good hard look at what you're doing and why. Cops like you make me sick. You guys think it's okay to intimidate witnesses, falsify reports, lie under oath, harm innocent people and then you wonder why people hate cops and come gunning for you."
Dee bristled. "Lady, you'd better be able to back up those statements before you shoot your fucking mouth off like that. You of all people should know that this shit you're saying is pure slander, nothing else."
"Aw, really, Detective? Gee, are YOU gonna take me on over that? If you think your pathetic little NYPD salary is hard to live on now, just wait 'til I get done giving you the buttfucking of your life in court. You'll be eating at soup kitchens and shopping at Value Village for the next five years, I guarantee it. Now if you don't mind, may I get on with what I was trying to say? I've got a jam-packed schedule and my time is worth a considerable sight more than yours."
"Go ahead, Counselor," said the Chief grimly. "Believe it or not, we've got things to do, too."
"Oh, I'll just bet you do," she scoffed. "And if those 'things' involve any more heavy-handed harassment of my client, you'll be hearing from me. Now let's talk about the events of last night, just for a starting point. After Detective MacLean made shameless use of his son to orchestrate a questionably legal entry to my client's apartment, Detective Laytner tagged along with Officers Pettigrew and Fenton to conduct an illicit search of the premises. This illicit search resulted in several items of value being broken or damaged beyond repair."
"What the fuck?" exclaimed Dee, but Siobhan just raised her voice and kept on talking.
"Lieutenant Abernathy maintains that he repeatedly asked your people to leave, but his requests were ignored for a good forty-five minutes. During that time, a pair of paramedics conducted an examination of my client against his will, ably assisted by the two uniformed officers, who, it seems, did not hesitate to employ violence and the use of police holds."
"Ma'am," said Ryo, "The medical reports of the two paramedics will demonstrate that Lieutenant Abernathy was intox--"
"Detective MacLean, I believe you're having a little trouble understanding the drill here. I am not asking you for your biased and skewed input. This is not a discussion. This is a warning, a friendly warning if you will, and if you fail to heed this warning and we end up facing each other in court, I promise I will make you sorry you were ever born. If you have any dirty laundry in your personal life-- and we both know you do, don't we? --you can be assured that I will shine a 3000 megawatt spotlight on it in court."
Ryo shut his mouth with a snap and stared at Dee, who was looking as angry as Ryo had ever seen him.
"I'm almost finished, gentlemen. Thirty more seconds and you can return to your pathetic little meeting. The final point my client takes issue with, besides the subversion of his parental rights when Detective MacLean manipulated Thomas Abernathy into writing a damning but, I might add, utterly fictitious account of the events leading up to the unlawful invasion of my client's privacy, is the planting of evidence to implicate Lieutenant Abernathy in the perpetration of a crime."
"Nobody fucking planted anything, Counselor!" hollered Dee, who couldn't stand it anymore. He leaned forward, and yelled even louder. "If you're stupid enough to believe anything that sonofabitch tells you, then I question your fucking judgment. Ha! You're just a legal whore, selling your soul to any lowlife who waves money at ya! Judgment be damned! You flushed your ethics down the toilet a long time ago, that is if you even had any to begin with!"
It was possible that Siobhan hadn't been able to hear the whole of what Dee had to say, as both Ryo and the Chief were remonstrating loudly with him at the same time that he had been talking. Ryo even went so far as to put Dee in a headlock and clap his hand over his mouth just as Dee got started about how proud her parents must be of her.
"My, my, Detective Laytner, you always did have a predictable temper. You're just like one of those annoying pull-toys. Of course I believe my client, you simpleton. I'm just doing my job." Suddenly her voice changed from strident buzz-saw to a honeyed purr. "But isn't it nice to know that if you were my client, I'd believe you?" Then she returned to that same biting tone she had begun in. "Lieutenant Smith? Are you still there?"
"Yes, I am," snarled the Chief.
"Just checking that you hadn't suffered any injury attempting to muzzle that out-of-control maniac who works for you. Call off your dogs, Lieutenant, or it's gloves off. And don't think for one minute that I won't enjoy taking you and your men apart, piece by piece. We're talking career coma. Capiche? Good. As God would say, don't make me come down there."
There was a click, then a dial tone, and the Chief quickly jabbed the speakerphone button with his index finger. "Better let go of him, Randy. He's turning blue."
"What? Oh! Sorry, Dee!" Ryo immediately released his partner, who gasped for breath, but still, apparently, had things to say about Siobhan.
"That crazy bitch! She's a fucking sociopath! She--"
"QUIET!" roared the Chief. "Don't you know better than to lose it when you're dealing with an enemy of Siobhan's caliber? Now she's gonna be painting you as...what did she call you? An 'out-of-control maniac' who's intimidating her client. Get your brain back in gear or I'll ship you over to Juvie where you can act like a stupid rookie all you want, until the kids smack you back into shape. You got me?"
"Yeah, Chief." Dee sat sullenly in his chair, glaring at the Chief's framed college diploma through the strands of black hair that had already managed to elude the control of the gel he had slicked on earlier.
There was a short silence in which each of the three men avoided looking at each other, and each seemed to be waiting for someone else to speak first. Finally, Ryo broke the uneasy quiet of the room.
"So, he's retained Siobhan," he said.
"Yep," said the Chief. "The most feared and the most savage lawyer in the business. She's one of a kind. Irish family, too. I guess it figures Mike would know her."
"She got Alicia off scot-free, remember?" Dee glanced at Ryo. "No one else could have done that, except maybe Lindsay Masters."
Lindsay Masters was the lawyer Ryo had hired for Bikky and Carol after two detectives from the 99th precinct had bungled a questioning session and practically accused the teens of being accessories to the murder of Eddie Calvetti. His nickname was 'the attack dog.'
"Well, you heard her, boys. She's out for blood. Now lemme ask you something. The way she talked today, that was harsh even for Siobhan. What do you think her aim was?"
"Chief? Whaddaya mean?" Dee pushed his hair back out of his eyes and tried not to think about how much he fucking needed a cigarette.
"Do you think she was trying to scare us into dropping our investigation or goad us into going forward?"
"It's difficult to say with a commando-bitch like that," Dee said. "She gets off on fighting. She's like the Tasmanian Devil."
"It felt sort of like she was trying to goad us," Ryo said thoughtfully. "But it could be because it would be to her financial benefit."
"How so?" asked Dee.
"Well, what Abernathy wants is for us to drop the investigation and leave him to run his dirty little empire in peace. But if Siobhan can piss us off so much that we redouble our efforts to catch him, we really will end up in court. She'll not only make more money that way, but she'll enjoy the confrontation and the chance to strut her stuff in a high profile case."
"True," said the Chief. "But she's no fool, that one. I've never known her to make a mistake in the five years since she opened her practice." He frowned thoughtfully at his phone before continuing. "She must at least suspect that Mike is into some bad shit and that it might come out at some point and bite his legal team in the ass."
"I think she wants us to back down," Dee said, suddenly calm. "She's counting on us not wanting to have our personal lives dragged through court." His voice was gentle and he looked sympathetically in Ryo's direction. "Ryo, I haven't thought this thing through to the courtroom aspects before. Did you? We wanna build a case against Abernathy and send him to jail for what he's done, but he's so rabidly anti-gay that it's gonna come up in court."
Ryo's face had been flushed with anger and stress ever since Siobhan had skewered them all with her phone call. Her very nicely-timed phone call, which was something he definitely wanted to call attention to before he and Dee left this room. His face was still pink. "I understand, Dee," he said. "I was so focused on trying to find enough evidence to build the case that I never thought about the ways in which Abernathy could take his revenge in court."
"He already came in here a couple of weeks back and yelled about how he didn't want us anywhere near Thomas. His fear that a pair of immoral homosexuals would turn his son is sure to come up in court."
"His lawyer will definitely point fingers and name names. You may be asked to define your sexual orientation under oath," the Chief said, looking steadily at Ryo. "You may even be asked if you are having relations of a... a sexual nature with your partner."
"Shit!" exclaimed Dee. Not only would Ryo end up getting outed if they went to trial, but he and Ryo would probably be assigned to different partners as well.
"It's your call, boys," the Chief said. "We've still got a few options. You can either keep going the way you are, or we can return this investigation to the back burner, OR we can hand it over to another team and you two can step down as of now."
Ryo bowed his head, thinking. Dee tried to catch his eye, but Ryo wouldn't look at him.
"Ryo." Dee reached out and squeezed his shoulder, and when Ryo finally glanced in his direction, he saw that Dee was shaking his head. "Let it go, partner. The price is too high. Let Drake and JJ take this case. Or James and Eliza."
The Chief cleared his throat. "Look, if you two want to talk it over and get back to me, I've got time after three pm."
"No, Chief." It was Ryo's voice, quiet but strong. "I can't speak for Dee, of course, but I want to go on with this. Even if Drake and JJ take over the investigation from here, Dee and I have been sufficiently involved that we're going to be called to testify anyway."
"Fuck." Dee glared disgustedly at a spot on the floor next to his feet. "Fuck."
The Chief eyed both of them pensively. "Build a strong case, then. Don't fuck up with evidence, procedure, witnesses, what have you. You can't afford to make a mistake or get caught out in any way. You understand what you're up against?"
Dee and Ryo nodded soberly.
"You'd better have all your t's crossed and your i's dotted," the Chief continued, "or Siobhan will skin you alive in court. Now do you still wanna try for that warrant?"
"Yeah," said Ryo after a confirming glance at Dee. "Yeah, we do."
"Then make some calls. Find someone from amongst his contacts who's willing to speculate that home is where the drugs are. You don't have much time, but I know you can do it." He gave them a nod of approval. In truth, the call from Siobhan had rattled him just as much as it had them. He was not only deeply offended by her combative tone and the aspersions she had cast on himself and his team, but his blood was now up and he wanted to get his own back. There was an element of risk there, especially considering that he was up for a promotion at the end of the month, but he couldn't just sit there and take crap from Siobhan. They weren't going to let the bitch get away with it, and as for Mike, that holier-than-thou preachy bastard deserved to spend his declining years in a four by eight foot prison cell with nothing to look forward to except rice pudding for dessert on Sunday nights.
"Randy," he said, "You know Aviva always had a soft spot for you. She'll go to bat for you if you give her something to work with."
"One more thing. If Mike gets the notion that you guys are even thinking about going the warrant route, he's going to move everything he has to a safer location, if he hasn't done it already."
"Yeah, well at this point, he doesn't know exactly what we're going to do and when we're going to do it," Dee growled. "If we can get a warrant as soon as tonight, or even tomorrow, it'll blow his doors off. Maybe we can catch him by surprise."
"I want the warrant to include his car and his locker, too," Ryo said.
"If you search his locker over at IA, you're gonna find yourselves off this case that very hour. We'd have to turn it over to IA themselves. We're actually doing their job right now, and we might still catch some hell for that," the Chief warned. "There's also a strong possibility they'll come in at the end and grab all the credit. It's been known to happen before."
Ryo gritted his teeth. "Okay, not his locker, then. But we'll take a team into his apartment, because no matter how squeaky clean he makes it, he may still miss something. And we should also list his computer in the warrant."
"Hey, Chief," put in Dee. "Could we apply for a warrant to search his banking and tax records? I'd like to see if we can find any info about where he's stashing all this money he's raking in from the drug deals and the gang partnership."
"Get real, Laytner." The Chief shook his head in disgust. "Your grounds for a warrant to search his apartment are already pretty damn flimsy. You got nothing to support an application to go through the guy's financial affairs. Get me something more and we'll talk about it."
"Dee, that's another warrant," Ryo said. "If we can't get judicial approval on this one or if we don't find what we're looking for, we'll go after his financial info."
"Okay, bro. Whatever you say. Let's go make some calls."
They turned to go, and then Ryo remembered the other point he had been wanting to bring up.
"Chief," he said, "did you notice the particular timing of her call?"
The Chief looked at him for a moment with a little frown before his brow cleared. "I see where you're going with that, Randy, but it could be a coincidence. When Mike called me last night, he did say I'd be hearing from his lawyer."
"But she knew we were here," Ryo persisted. "She told you to put your speakerphone on. I think that's suspicious."
"It may be," the Chief agreed. "I'll check with Leona and the front desk and see if anyone gave her that info."
"Yeah, 'cause not many people knew we were here," put in Dee. "We haven't been upstairs, yet."
"How many people saw you coming in?"
"Hard to say," said Dee, looking at Ryo for input. "There were about eight uniforms outside, the front desk staff, Leona, the people we passed in the hall, and anyone who might have been looking out of the east side of the building when we pulled up."
The Chief grunted. "Get a list together of whoever you actually saw. I'll talk it over with the Commissioner later. It wouldn't do to forget that we still have a spy in the building."
End of Justice, Chapter three
Additional author's notes: It was Detective Greenspan of the 99th Precinct in Queens who gave Ryo the information that Lieutenant Mike Abernathy of Internal Affairs had a source of inside information at the 27th. This happened in Chapter 34 of FAKE First Year Together: A New Day (May).
Thank you for reading! I'm working hard on Chapter 4.