The very first thing I did when I was able to struggle, bowlegged and fully satisfied, out of the bed in the morning was to thumb through the Wallace case folder until I found the number I wanted and called the Loudon County medical examiner. He gave me an appointment for 10:00 that morning and told me the procedure would take an hour or so. He assured me that the tests I'd suggested be taken on the body of Wallace could be completed by then and that everything would be expedited. Then, although I needed a shower badly, I struggled into my clothes and went looking for some breakfast before braving the morning commute on the George Washington Parkway, which would be brutal even though I'd be heading out of the city rather than into it. Jentel Huff had left me at first light after a night to remember of sexual calisthenics.
I'd checked the position of that Wallace case folder on the desk before I'd opened it, and, as I suspected would be the case, the files had been rearranged. Very interesting. Well, I'd be driving down to just outside Charlottesville that afternoon to interview Jentel's brother, Devin, and then we'd see what there was to be seen.
After getting clear of the medical examiner's office in the basement of the Loudon County office building, I went looking for Peter Blair in his police chief's office on the third floor of the same building.
'Gettin' in kinda late, aren't you, Clint?' he said when I entered his office, cleared files off his guest chair, and plopped down with a sigh.
'Not really. I've been around and about out here since a couple of hours ago. Following up on a lead. Is the offer still open for a meal and a shower at your place?'
'The shower being . . . ?' He left the question hanging in the air, his expression quizzical, with a touch of nervousness and hopefulness at the edges.
'After a roll in the hay . . . yes, if that's still what you want. but, actually, a shower, then lunch, then you can have your way with me, followed by another shower, if your water pressure can take it. And then I have to drive down to Charlottesville. So, I'll need to be off by 2:00.'
'I'll bet I can get you off by 12:30,' Peter said, a wide grin of relief stretched across his face. 'Does this mean you've made some decisions on me as a suspect? You'd been pretty definite about staying our distance until that was resolved. And my alibi ain't any better today than it was yesterday.'
'Yep, I think I've narrowed it down considerably, and you are fading fast as a suspect - although I still don't know either why you threatened Wallace or permitted Dabney to cover you with that weak alibi. You must have known I would blow holes through that.'
'Loudon County isn't anything like New York City, Clint,' Peter responded. 'We have only a few big daddies down here, and, on the whole, they are bigger daddies than you'll find in the overhead of the NYPD. This is a very cushy job I've landed in. When Dabney says jump, I jump. And when Dabney has gone over the moon because his precious kid has been fucked by a hoodlum stashed away in the country here, it isn't Dabney who's has to pay the hoodlum a visit - it's me. I wouldn't have killed him, of course, but I was doing everything else I could to bring him down.'
'And as for my fake alibi,' Blair continued. 'That wasn't really for me. That was more for Dabney's son. Dad didn't want there to be any hint that his son was anywhere near where Wallace was when he bought it. Dear little Jason just didn't go along with the script. We needed someone to help us push this off to the side quick. With your history with Wallace, I guess I thought . . . well, I guess I thought wrong. I should have remembered how straight arrow you were.'
'Speaking of Jason Dabney,' I said. 'Who reported that he'd been molested by Johnny Wallace?'
'He did that himself,' Blair answered. 'He came straight to me. He was afraid, at first, to go to his father. He told me that Wallace had offered to bring him home from football practice at Spring Hill one afternoon and instead of bringing him home, had taken him to his farm and tied him up and fucked him in the barn where we found Wallace's body.'
'Reported it himself.' It wasn't so much a request to repeat the information as it was an effort to fully absorb what Blair was saying. 'And did he say whether Wallace used a club on him? That was Wallace's M.O. - using a billy club to work himself up.'
'No, no, he didn't.'
'And you didn't think that was strange?' I asked.
'No, not really. It was hard enough for the kid to tell anyone what had happened to him. I can see him leaving out the part of the billy club.'
'I suppose so,' I said - but more to put Peter at ease than because it satisfied me. The kid certainly hadn't been shy about taking a billy club-sized dildo from his coach the previous day. 'And speaking of clubs, want to put yours to a good use?'
'If you're comfortable fraternizing with me now, of course.' Peter said. And the hopeful grin was back.
'Probably now more than a few minutes ago,' I answered.
We stopped at the fanciest KFC I'd ever seen and got chicken boxes to go for lunch and, when we'd come back to Peter's townhouse, I showered while Peter got the table set on his back patio. Then I padded out in just a towel, and we barely had the chicken taken care of before Peter had me bent over the table and was fucking me doggy style for all he was worth - as if there had been too few yesterdays and scant prospects for tomorrow.
After we'd cleared away the lunch mess and both reloaded our cannons, Peter took me to bed and fucked me the way I'd grown to love from him. I was full stretched on my chest with only my pelvis raised by pillows, and Peter was fully covering my back with his stretched body, touching me in as many places as he could, his arms overlaying mine and his fingers entwined with mine; his heart beating against me under my shoulder blades; his lips in the hollow of my neck; his thighs encasing mine, and his hips swaying slightly, rhythmically, as he fucked me deep with his peace-conquering cock.
I would have liked to have gone to sleep like that following our mutual ejaculation. But I had things to do and a case to wrap up, so shortly after 2:00 p.m., I rolled Peter off to the side of me and headed for the shower one more time.
Right before I left, I told him that I was expecting a report to be delivered to him from the medical examiner's office before the close of business and I wanted him to open and study it and be prepared to let me know what he thought - that if he wasn't in his office when I came back through Leesburg from Devin's prep school, I'd come by his house.
'No, I can't spend the night. And I'm hoping that report will tell you why,' was the last thing I said to Peter before I left.
He stood at the door to see me off, looking both wistful and well fucked. I could tell that he was already thinking about the possibility of us returning to old times. And, at that moment, I had no idea what I thought about that. I was concentrating on the case; I always was like this when I sniffed the beginning of the home stretch.
* * * *
There were no surprises for me at Devin Huff's prep school, the cushy Fork Union Academy, far enough out of Charlottesville so the young men would have to work hard to get into trouble, but close enough into the lush territory that could be considered Eden in the northern-to-central Virginia corridor to feel at home among the highly privileged. Like Spring Hill, Fork Union specialized in bringing the grades of promising athletes up to justify entry into the richer collegiate environments along the Atlantic Coast.
Devin was sent out to me at a bench on the oak-shaded lawn that spread in front of the antebellum administration building. He was a hulking, but strapping black hunk of a young man. His musculature bore out his reputed football prowess, and his shyness and politeness reflected his close family upbringing and the benefit of good, expensive schools. I remembered the pride with which the Redskins' star player, Jentel Huff, had talked about his younger brother back on the plane as I was flying into Washington. And the Devin Huff who presented to me was just as I expected him to be.
I was sorry I had to do what I had to do now. But life isn't fair.
'You know why I'm here, don't you, Devin?' I asked gently after we'd gotten through the preliminary introductions. I quite purposely didn't tell him that the big brother he worshipped had been fucking me earlier that morning.
'Yeah, it's about what happened to Mr. Wallace the other day. I figured it wouldn't be long until you were down here to talk to me.'
'Oh, and why is that Devin?'
''Cause I knew you'd find out that I was nearby, at Jason's house that night.'
'That's right,' I said. And I breathed a sigh of relief. I could sense the honesty in the boy. Fear, yes, and confusion - and a large dollop of unearned self-loathing. I could see that too. But, although I'd have to draw some things out of him, I knew it wouldn't be because he would lie to me about them.
'I need to talk to you about what happened before that, Devin,' I continued. 'I know it's painful, but it needs to get out. It's important. And that part isn't your fault. I know that too.'
Devin was looking down at the ground. He couldn't look at me now. And I saw his shoulders waver, and I could feel the sob that wanted to escape his body but that he was too scared and proud to let free.
'You only transferred down to Fork Union a couple of weeks ago. Isn't that right, Devin?'
A pause and then an almost whispered. 'Yes, that's right.'
'And who was it who got you transferred down here?'
Another pause. 'My big brother. He plays for the Redskins. Jentel Huff. He's helping to train me. I want to follow him into the pros. He's always helped me. He's good to me.'
'And I'm sure he wants to protect you too, doesn't he, Devin?'
A quiet 'Yes. Always.'
'It was Spring Hill where your transferred from, wasn't it, Devin?'
'And Mr. Wallace coached you there, didn't he?'
'Yes. Well, he helped. Mr. Dobbs, he's the coach there. And he was always good to me too. He and Jentel had played ball together. Mr. Dobbs was like a brother to me too.'
'And it was you who Mr. Wallace molested, wasn't it? Not Jason Dabney.'
Silence. Devin's head was down, and he was quaking a bit.
'I'm sorry, Devin. But this has to come out. I'm sure you know that. I'll bet you understand that you'll feel a whole lot better when it comes out. I'll need a few details, just to be sure. But I'll keep it out of the public as much as I can - if you are open and honest with me now. Jason's taking all of the heat for this, Devin. That's not really right, is it?'
'No. I didn't want him to, but he said that would be better. He's done it before; he said it wouldn't mean as much if he said it was him.'
'Was this incident at school or somewhere else, Devin?'
'At his place. In his barn. He said he'd take me into town to get some things I needed at the drug store. But, instead, he took me to his place . . . and he wouldn't let me leave. I tried, but he tied me up . . . and he . . .' Devin couldn't go on.
'Did he just do it then, Devin? Or was there something he did first? I wouldn't ask, if it wasn't important. Just this and we don't have to go into details.'
'He . . . he had this black club . . . and he . . .'
'That's enough, Devin,' I said. 'That's all I need to know . . . except . . . had you been with a man before . . . with Jason, maybe?'
'No . . . never . . . I mean Jason kept talking about it and wanting me to get it on with him . . . but I hadn't done it with him yet . . . until, until . . .'
'The night Wallace was killed? At Jason's house. And Jason's dad found you two together.'
'Yes. But even then we were only beginning to . . . when Jason's dad came home, and I had to leave. But then later, when Jason came up with his plan, he wanted me to fuck him so bad . . . and so I did him the next day - and I liked it. And now I'm so confused by it all. But that wasn't anything like what Mr. Wallace did to me . . . that hurt so bad.'
'That's OK, Devin. We're almost done, and we're over the worst part. And then when you left Jason's house that night, you . . . ?' I needed him to say this.
'I drove straight back to school - here at Fork Union.'
'Straight down here?'
'But nobody can vouch for that?'
'No, nobody. I wasn't expected back and I didn't get back until after lights out. I just let myself in and went straight to bed. So, no one can vouch for me.' Devin sounded defeated.
'You didn't go to Mr. Wallace's farm and murder him?'
'No. No, of course not.' Devin's head had shot up and he gave me and angry, belligerent stare. 'I wanted to kill him. Yes, of course. But if I was going to kill him, I'd have done it right after . . . right after . . . what he did to me. Not weeks later.'
'OK, last question, Devin. You're doing great. Just one more question. Who besides Jason did you tell about what Mr. Wallace did to you? Anybody?'
'Well, yes . . . after a few days trying to hold it in, both my brother and coach. Mr. Dobbs, got it out of me; he could see I wasn't actin' right. But they both said they'd keep it quiet. That they'd get me transferred to a prep school just as good with the football as Spring Hill and they'd see that something was done about Mr. Wallace so that there would be no scandal.'
'And has either one of them said anything to you about your being involved in Wallace's death since he was murdered?'
'No. No. I've talked with both of them. And Mr. Dobbs would like to get me back to Spring Hill. But, we haven't discussed the murder.'
I stood up. 'Thanks for being straight with me, Devin. There's not much I can say about what Mr. Wallace did to you - except sympathize and try to let you know that you're not the only one - you're not alone in that. And he won't ever do that to anyone else again. But I guess I don't have to tell you that I need you to stay in the state and available for the remainder of this investigation.'
'Yes, yes, I understand,' he whispered and his head went back down, his drooping shoulders screaming his shame and fear.
'I'll have to tell my brother about this - and I'm sure he'll tell Coach Dobbs,' Devin said as I was gathering up my briefcase and preparing to leave. 'I don't keep any secrets from my brother.'
'I understand that; I'm counting on that, actually. He'll be able to get a really good lawyer, I'm sure.'