After we'd cleaned up from our little roll in the hay at his place, Peter Blair took me over to the Loudon County Court offices, which proved to be not more than three blocks from his old townhouse, near the major intersection where Route 7 coming out of Washington, and Route 15 coming down from Maryland at Point of Rocks converged...both old stage coach roads going back to pre-Revolutionary War days.

We had a timed appointment with the Commonwealth's Attorney, Warren Dabney Jr., who kept us waiting for well over a half an hour beyond that just because he could and to show me, I'm sure, how important he was. The bastard left the door between his office and the reception room ajar enough so that we were able to see that he was reading the newspaper and eating a sandwich his secretary took in to just after we arrived.

I got the message without Peter having to say anything. This was going to be a pro forma meeting, just to establish that we had met. And that the only interest the Commonwealth's Attorney had in having me investigate this murder was to keep him...and his son...out of it.

I might not have bothered him at all, except that I was sort of curious who he wanted saved the worse, his son or himself.

'I think there's something we all can agree on from the start, Detective Folsom,' Dabney said after we'd finally been given audience. 'This Wallace was a scumbag of the lowest degree. If my office had been fully informed that such as he was in our midst, we would have moved him along, federal government or no federal government.' And with this, he glowered at Peter Blair, who shrank down in his seat a bit. The relationship between them was obvious, and equally obvious was where Blair sat in all of this, having known who Wallace was and why he had been salted away under Dabney's nose.

I certainly didn't respond negatively to Dabney's statement myself. No one in the room knew as well as I did what a scumbag Wallace had been...although perhaps I shouldn't jump to those conclusions too soon, I corrected myself.

'And we can certainly take care of ourselves here in Loudon County,' Dabney continued. 'But, under the circumstances, Police Chief Blair thought it best to bring in an outside investigator. And he thought you would be the best one to help us close this case down quickly.'

And there, in a nutshell, it was. And I wasn't a bit surprised. They wanted me to investigate as little as possible, conclude that Wallace had been killed by someone outside Loudon County, wrap that up in a nice little report, and, as an entirely independent investigator, let the feds know that Wallace had probably been knocked off by the Mafia, which, by the way, was no real big problem because the case that had gotten him into the witness protection program was dead now anyway. And they thought I was the best one to slap this coat of paint over it all because I had a history with Wallace myself.

Well, they might be right. I didn't begrudge whoever had offed Wallace. But to be able to write a convincing report, I'd have to go through at least a few formalities.

'Yes, well, for the purpose of the report, of course, there will be a few bases I'll have to be able to say I covered,' I said.

'Such as?' Dabney asked. He had been leaning back in his swivel chair, his feet on the waxed paper in the center of his desk that his sandwich had come in. He was on full alert now.

'Peter has already told me that there are some possibly embarrassing angles to this case...leading to needing someone from the outside to come into the investigation.'

'Oh?' The eyebrows went up even more.

'Well, I think, certainly, that any report I could run through the feds on this would have to pin down good alibis for your son, you, and Peter, here. I understand Wallace had been brought up on rape charges for molesting your son and that Peter was heard publicly to threaten his life on that.'

'His murder doesn't have anything to do with that,' Dabney said with a snort. 'The man was killed by his Mafia buddies. They killed him the same way they had paid him to kill others. It's an obvious message.'

'Yes, pretty convincing,' I said. 'But the feds...'

'My son is away at school,' Dabney said in a somewhat strained voice. 'And as for Peter and me, when was it that they've placed the time of death, Peter?' Dabney had swiveled around to glare directly at Blair, who had been quite silent the whole time. He certainly wasn't giving me any help.

'Between 10 p.m. and midnight, night before last,' Peter said in a small voice that I would have had no idea he could ever be cowed to when he was so forcefully fucking me just an hour earlier.

'There you go, then,' Dabney said. And he gave me a broad, victory-laden smile. 'Peter and I were at his place playing poker during those hours. So, we couldn't have done it, neither of us.'

'Just the two of you playing poker?' I asked. It was instinctive; it had just slipped out without much thought to it.

'Yes, just the two of us. Is there a problem with that?' Dabney's voice had gone hard.

'No, I'm sure there's not,' I said. 'That's certainly what we can put in the report.' I left that lying there in a pregnant pause. Dabney was no dummy, I'm sure, on how good an alibi would have to be to keep the feds from taking a closer look. I had no question that by this time the next day, there would be more fine upstanding citizens of Eden willing to say they were in that poker game.

But I also was impressed to have caught that Dabney had thought to protect his son first. Unfortunately, that led me to assume that he was afraid for his son for some reason.

'And your son?' I said. 'How far away is this school?'

'It's down in Syria, almost up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Spring Hill Academy. A fine post-high school prep school for gifted athletes to help them succeed at the university while carrying a full athletic load. My son is a star football player.' The pride shown through the man's gruffness, and I accepted his genuine interest in and concern for his boy.

'And that's how far from here?' I asked.

Dabney didn't respond immediately, so I turned to Peter.

'Peter? How far is it from here?'

'An hour's drive,' Peter squeaked in an uncomfortable voice. Dabney glowered at him again.

'And your son has a car at school?' I asked Dabney when I turned back to him.

'Of course. But...'

It was my turn to show some steel and to assert myself. 'I'll of course need to go talk to him. I can go straight from here. Would you please call the school and tell them to expect me?'

Dabney was turning red now and starting to bluster. 'That's absolutely not necessary. He was at school. There is no need...'

'Let's not start by making a serious blunder, Mr. Dabney,' I said, now taking control. 'The feds, of course, will want to have your son discounted as a suspect in this. The best thing we can do is show that I talked to him early and that my report clearly rules him out.'

Dabney looked at me for the longest moment. He was a lawyer, though, and I'm sure he was a damn fine lawyer. He didn't hold out for the bluff more than a second or two. I had already discerned that his concern for his son was genuine.

'I'll have my secretary call down there as soon as you leave, Detective. Just know that you need to be as sensitive and discrete as possible. My son has been through a trauma. I know there is no way he could be involved in Wallace's murder, but we're doing everything we can now to help him forget what Wallace did to him and to allow him to return to a normal life. Something like this could easily obscure the path he's on to a professional football career.'

'I will, of course, handle the interview with discretion,' I assured Dabney. 'But perhaps you can tell me how Wallace had access to him to begin with.'

'John Wallace was a volunteer assistant football coach at the school,' Dabney said. And now I could see the anger returning to his face. 'Those witness protection bastards let an animal like that work with young men at a residential school.'

* * * *

I wasted a good forty-five minutes while I drove along a babbling stream into the foothills of northern Virginia to the town of Syria, trying to devise the best way to approach Dabney's son, Jason, in a way that would not add to his scarring from having been molested by his football coach.

I thought of those nine thick inches Wallace was carrying and the cruel way in which he could use them, and I just wasn't sure what the best approach to the questions I'd have to ask would be.

As I drove into the gates of the isolated prep school campus, I was passed by a yellow big-daddy Hummer going in the other direction. I might have missed who was driving, but I had focused on the vanity plate, which read 'Jentel,' and the huge Redskins professional football team sticker in the back window was unmistakable. I was certain that my Rosslyn hotel lover, Jentel 'Boom Boom' Huff, was at the wheel. Then it dawned on me. He had told me he had a younger brother enrolled at an athletic prep school. What he had said led me to believe that it was farther south, down in central Virginia, but it made sense that it would be this one. The Redskins' training camp was between here and Washington, D.C.

At the school's administrative office building, which evidently Dabney's secretary had called as promised and greased the skids well, and I was told that Jason Dabney would be over at the field house at this time of day, either at football practice or cleaning up from football practice. The paths were well marked, so they let me find my own way.

I heard them before I saw them, and there was no mistaking what they were up to. Peter had given me an excellent description of the Dabney youth, so even at the angle I first spied him, I instantly knew it was him. What I hadn't even considered, though, was how much he looked like my lost lover, Dan. That completely knocked me off balance...or at least it was my initial shock.

They were in the shadows, off in a corner of the field house, but near the front door. A blue wrestling mat was down on the floor, and the young man...Jason...was upside down, his shoulders bearing his weight, his arms spread out wide and his fists clutching at the plastic surface of the mat. His butt was in the air and his legs open wide. Standing over him, holding his thighs, and fucking down into his ass was an older, naked man, maybe of thirty or thirty-five. Muscular, well cut, athletic. Jason's body was lithe and subtle, a blond beauty, almost Apollo like in his attractiveness, his wavy hair spread out around an angelic face, which at the moment was intensively lost in the sex act. The man fucking him was at least partially black...dark haired, with a thatch of curly hair that spread down from his heaving pecs and surrounded a penis darker than the rest of his skin, encased in a jet-black condom, which appeared and disappeared inside the young man's channel at a highly athletic, vigorous speed. He wasn't just fucking at the surface, either, he was jackhammering down deep into the channel.

While I watched, the older, dark guy pulled out of the younger one and reached down and took a bludgeon of a black dildo off the floor and began to fuck the younger guy, which led to a lot of moaning and groaning from the bottom. After a bit of this, though, the older guy tossed the dildo off to the side and returned to cocking the younger one.

Nothing was happening to Jason that he didn't want happening to him. He was moaning and groaning and crying out for more, deeper, and more rapid.

I slipped inside, but drew into the shadows at the other side of the door. I watched, not unaffected, as they fucked on for several more minutes. I could tell by the way the older man cried out and jerked that he ejaculated first, and then Jason gave him a big smile and shot several spurts of his own cream up onto the older man's belly.

I stayed and waited for several minutes as they disengaged, kissed, and headed toward the rear of the field house.

Then I went back there myself, easily finding the darker man in a windowed office half way down the gymnasium floor. He was covered by a T and shorts now, with a whistle on a string around his neck, and took a look at the note I'd brought from the administrative office and motioned me to a door in the wall that was posted to lead to the shower rooms.

'Jason's back there, in the showers. He stayed later than the others for some extra practice. He's probably the only one back there. You can't miss him. Tall, with a mop of blond hair.'

Yeah, I'd seen the sort of practice he'd stayed late for.

* * * *

'Hey, a detective, cool,' Jason Dabney was saying when he came out of the showers and found me sitting on the bench in front of his locker, waiting for him. 'Sent to talk to me about Mr. Wallace being killed. Guess my dad blew a gasket over that, didn't he?'

Jason had been swinging a towel when he came out of the showers. He didn't bother to put it around him now, either. He was naked and moist, with his mop of hair flat now and hanging down around his face in strings. And he was looking mighty fine. And he still looked like my Dan, which made me ache in the crotch. His cock started moving to attention as soon as he saw me sitting there, but he didn't bother to try to cover that up. He just sat down, straddling the bench between his legs, his balls and cock pointed at me, and gave me a big, welcoming smile.

'Yes, he did,' I answered. 'I'm helping with the investigation on that, and I really must pin down where some people were the evening before last . . . including you, I'm afraid. An investigation report is going to have to go to authorities beyond the county, and your dad wants to make sure that it is as airtight as possible.'

Jason stood then and opened his locker wide. He was only about a foot from me now...or at least his erect cock was. And it was still pointed at me. He was playing a game with me. And I was having trouble not showing him I was interested. But there was a problem with that...well, several. The last thing I wanted to do in this investigation was to get involved with a suspect, especially the son of the Commonwealth's Attorney. And the other problem was that he had shown quite graphically that he was a bottom...and so was I, although, for someone as luscious as him, I'd been known to swing the other way and to have enjoyed it immensely. I'd certainly done that with Dan without a problem.

'OK, that's easy,' he answered. 'I was at home, in Leesburg. An evening with the family.'

That was a surprise. 'So, you weren't here at school?'

'No, I was at home.'

He hadn't been prepped by his dad, and he didn't go for the safest of answers.

'With your family?'

'Yes. Well, with my dad. He's the only family I've got. Mom's dead. Cancer. A couple of years ago. We were watching TV. A world soccer game. Manchester United won. You can check out the schedule and score. The coverage didn't end until almost 1 a.m.'

That sounded honest enough. So, I wondered now why Dabney had given an alibi to Blair...and why Peter had let him do so.

'Well, you know, with the case and all . . . Wallace and . . . you.'

'That we were fucking?' Jason said. Then he snorted and laughed. 'God, Dad just won't get it on that. Wallace didn't molest me. I went after him. He was an assistant coach here. He showered with the team. I mean, if you'd seen the dong on that dude. I couldn't get enough of it. My dad's living a fantasy. That rape case wasn't going anywhere. I wasn't going to lie and get a hung horse like that in trouble.'

I was stunned. And I knew that Jason wanted me to be stunned. He stood there, waving his meat in my face. God, he was trying to make me.

'Of course there wasn't anything serious between us,' Jason continued. 'I like my meat dark, if you know what I mean.'

Well, yes, I'd gotten a little inkling of that just now out in the shadows of the gymnasium.

Jason reached into his locker and took out a photograph and showed it to me. 'Here's my lover, if you'd like to know. Almost as good at football as I am. But in all of this Wallace stuff, his family moved him to another school. If you want to know the truth about the other night, I was home because I had threatened to follow him down south that night, and my dad had taken my car keys so I couldn't leave the house and do that. Dad had caught the two of us together that evening at the house and there was a big fight, and my dad sent him away and made me stay and watch the game on TV with him.'

I was sitting there, studying the photo he showed me.

'This young guy was at your house in Leesburg early in the evening the night of the murder?' I asked.

'Yeah, he had to drive all the way back to near Charlottesville, to his new school. I don't know what curfew they have; I sure hope he made it.'

'Thanks,' I said, standing and handing the photo back to him. And trying not to lean into him and let myself get lost into what he was showing and obviously offering. 'I may have to come back and ask you a few more questions.'

'Hey, do you really have to go so soon?' he asked. He was smiling and holding his engorged cock in one hand. 'You're a real hunk, Detective. Sure you don't see anything you'd like? Wanna suck me? Or fuck me?'

'Umm, no thanks,' I said, not really knowing what else to say in circumstances that were equally embarrassing and enticing. 'I don't think anything like that would be wise. It certainly would make things more difficult for everyone in this case.'

I could have bluffed it out, I suppose, tried to act indignant or get cop tough and tried to scare him. But I was wearing pretty tight trousers, and he'd been eyeing my crotch. He could tell how interested I was. I wasn't fooling anyone.

'Maybe later, then,' he said. And that big smile. 'Maybe after the case is over. I said I liked dark meat, but I didn't mean to suggest I was exclusive. You're even better looking than Wallace was, and it looks like you're packing almost as much as he did. Sort of sorry he's gone. That was one club of a cock he had.'

Yes it was, indeed, was what I thought, but what I said, not having anything but a weak response was, 'Yeah, maybe afterward. If we're both still here.'

Once I'd gotten back to the car, I didn't start up right away. I had to think for a moment. I'd recognized the black kid in the photograph, the guy Jason said was his main fuck. That was Devin Huff, Jentel Boom Boom Huff's younger brother. And Jason had revealed that Devin was in Leesburg the evening of the murder. That was only about a fifteen-minute drive from the murder scene. I wondered whether there was any angle that placed Wallace and Devin together in such a way that would make Devin a murder suspect.

I guessed I had to add an interview stop to my report list. And I wasn't really comfortable with the circular motion this case was suddenly taking.



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