Authors: Zachary O'Toole
By Zachary O'Toole
Published by Less Than Three Press
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission of the publisher, except for the purpose of reviews.
Edited by Samantha Derr
Cover designed by Megan Derr
This book is a work of fiction and as such all characters and situations are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual people, places, or events is coincidental.
Electronic edition August 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Zachary O'Toole
Printed in the United States of America
knew it was going to be a bad night when he saw the blue and red flashing lights in his rear-view mirror. Besides going way too fast, it was raining, he was driving a sporty little silver coupe, and he’d just cut off an out-of-state rust bucket blue Jetta. All things guaranteed to piss off any cop who pulled him over. The big rainbow squiggle decal on the back bumper probably wasn’t going to help.
He pulled off to the side of the road as soon as he could, the car vibrating as the tires hit gravel. There was a wide grassy strip between the road and trees, plenty of space to get well away from the traffic. He might be in trouble, but having the cop on edge because cars were buzzing by six inches past his ass couldn’t do anything but make it worse.
Joe turned off the engine, flipped on his flashers, and lowered his window. The rain pattered lightly on the windshield, the open window seeming to suck all the sound out of the car, leaving it oddly silent. Nervous and embarrassed at being caught doing something wrong, he managed to dump the contents of the glove box all over the floor as he rummaged through it for his insurance card and registration.
He hadn’t heard the quiet sounds of gravel crunching under boots.
“Sir, please put your hands where I can see them,” came a deep voice from the other side of the window. Joe jumped hard enough to bruise his legs on the seatbelt. He looked around wildly, breathing heavily at the shock.
“Oh, god, sorry officer, I was just looking for…”
“Can I see your license, insurance, and registration please, sir?”
“Sure, I just dropped it on the…” It took a moment for the voice to fully register, and when he looked up he saw a familiar face looking down at him. Nose a little big and beaked, high cheekbones, a strong jaw, dark eyes, and a tan that was visible even in the feeble glow of his dome light. The badge he wore had ‘Gagnon’ across the bottom. His boyfriend.
“Alex?” he asked, slumping back in the seat as the tension drained out of him. “You startled me.”
“Your license and registration please,” the officer growled. The voice shot right through Joe, raising goosebumps across his body. Alex was normally happy and flighty and carefree, full of smiles and bounce. Right now he was serious and a little dangerous. Joe found he liked this side too. A lot.
“Ah, that’s how you want to play it, huh? Sure, hold on,” Joe said as he unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned over the mess on the floor in front of the passenger seat. “It’s down here somewhere.” He looked back over his shoulder. “My wallet’s in my back pocket if you want to… grab it.” He gave a little leer and wagged his ass to emphasize exactly what he wanted grabbed.
of the car. Now.”
“But you haven’t got my license!” Joe protested as he straightened up. He had a little pout on his face.
Officer Gagnon moved aside and Joe opened the door. As soon as he stepped into the rain, he was spun around and spread out. The drizzle quickly dampened his black suit and soaked his hair, the bright copper turning dull as it did. No amount of water could tame his curls, though, and the cruiser’s intense headlights left him looking even more pale than normal, his freckles seemingly bleached away.
“Oooh, gonna frisk me?” Joe asked, his voice low and sexy. He leaned into the hands that were patting him down, running up under his jacket and along his slender frame. He’d never wanted to play games like this before, but he was quickly coming to see their appeal. When they were done he turned and laid a kiss on the startled officer. For the barest moment Gagnon kissed back before pushing Joe back.
“That’s enough!” the officer said, grabbing Joe’s right wrist and slamming him against the car. He twisted Joe’s arm up and slapped handcuffs on him.
“Ow! Hey, watch it, Alex. That hurts,” Joe said as he tried to move a little. His arm was held tight, and the cuffs were cold and uncomfortable around his wrists. “So much for that fantasy,” Joe muttered.
“Shut up,” the officer spat.
Joe was marched silently over to the cruiser and shoved into the back seat. The cruiser was quiet for the ride to the police station. Officer Gagnon drove in silence after briefly radioing in, while Joe sat in the back of the car and fumed. He was pissed, and rightly so. His boyfriend had pulled him over and roughed him up. On top of that he’d not even acknowledged his existence.
What annoyed him even more was that Alex had never let on that he was a cop. They’d met at one of the local gay bars almost four months ago and had instantly clicked. They went from meeting at the bar to dating to spending Saturdays together in three weeks. They’d even spent a weekend not long ago camping in New Hampshire.
And yet, here he was. In the back of his boyfriend’s police cruiser. Apparently under arrest or something, though Alex hadn’t actually said.
not getting any,” Joe muttered to himself, though it was an idle threat. That growl when he’d first been pulled over was still rattling around his gut; if Alex pulled over and took the cuffs off Joe would’ve jumped him on the spot.
He shifted around trying to get comfortable, but it was almost impossible with his arms locked behind him. The handcuffs were cold and hurt just a little, and a sign that something was very wrong.
Still, Joe mused, it
kind of exciting. And while Alex may have stopped the kiss he had definitely participated. And liked it, if the lump Joe had felt start swelling was any indication. If Alex was on duty maybe they couldn’t talk, or he might just be angry. Joe had been doing twenty over the speed limit, in the rain, and he had cut that Jetta off.
Joe started as the cruiser slowed and turned. They were in the center of the city, surrounded by old buildings and half-rebuilt urban blight. The driveway dipped down from the road as they pulled into the underground garage beneath the police station.
He’d been leaning against the cruiser door as they’d driven in a futile attempt to keep his shoulders from aching. Officer Gagnon opened it before Joe could move, and he nearly fell out of the car. The annoyance that had faded flared back up again, burning away the traces of excitement that still lingered.
“Out,” Gagnon said.
“Sorry you fell, Joe,” Joe said, his voice laden with sarcasm. “Here, let me help you up,” he continued as he shifted around and got out of the car.
He got a glare in response.
“Fine. I’ve got it,” Joe said. “Bastard,” he muttered under his breath.
“Blue door,” Gagnon said, indicating the heavy metal door at the far end of the garage.
Joe stood up straight and marched forward. He didn’t know what was going on, but there was no way he was going to give Alex the satisfaction of seeing him at a disadvantage. Well, at more of a disadvantage than being handcuffed and in the basement of a police station, at least.
Joe stopped when they got to the door. “Now what?”
The officer flipped a switch on a panel on the wall next to him. “Detective Gagnon,” he said. “I have a suspect. Bring us in.”
” Joe was incredulous. It was bad enough that Alex was a cop and hadn’t said. But a detective? That was hiding too much, and it pissed the hell out of Joe.
There was a loud click and an accompanying buzz as the door swung in. It opened into a brightly lit corridor, its cinderblock walls painted a light grey. At the end was a small room. There was an industrial strength desk with a battered chair in front of it. Behind the desk was a row of monitors showing grainy black and white images from security cameras scattered around the building. There was a young officer sitting at the desk, looking bored and a little sleepy.
Joe stalked forward, absolutely furious. He stood in front of the desk and turned, glaring.
“So when do these come off?” he spat.
Detective Gagnon didn’t say anything, just walked around behind Joe and unlocked the handcuffs.
“Sit,” he said. “Empty your pockets.”
Joe did, glaring the whole time. Wallet, keys, pen, change, spare condom, they all went onto the desk.
“Watch, tie, cufflinks, and belt.”
“Jesus,” Joe grumbled. “You want my underwear too?”
He dropped the requested items onto the desk. The desk officer pulled out a large manila envelope and swept the things into it. He handed a receipt to Joe.
“What, not worried I’m going to paper-cut myself to death?” Detective Gagnon moved to take back the receipt, but Joe snatched it from his hands and stuffed it in his pocket.
“Fingerprints please, sir,” the desk officer said, opening up a stamp pad and grabbing Joe’s wrist. The printing was perfunctory as he mashed his fingers on the form. Gagnon stood by, his face in what seemed to be a perpetual scowl.
“Can I get something to wipe this crap off with?” Joe asked him.
The desk officer started to speak, but Gagnon cut him off. “You have pants,” he snapped. He unceremoniously shoved Joe into the holding pen. The door swung shut behind him with an echoed thud.
“God damn you, Alex Gagnon! When I get out of here you are so fucking not getting any!” Joe yelled at the closed door. He kicked at it, but it only bruised his foot.
“No good, lousy, good for nothing, son of a bitch boyfriend,” Joe grumbled as he turned and started to pace, limping just a little. The room he was in was maybe ten feet by five, with a low bench running along one wall. It was cinderblock like the rest of the building, the walls having enough grey paint on them to almost hide the seams between the blocks.