I looked toward the door. Boxers NYC, a gay sports bar in Chelsea, was crowded, and the crowd that was there was teeming and boisterous, watching four different games on the overhead plasma screens and trying not to watch where the hands of the guys next to them were roaming. I thought it would take a few seconds for the mean-looking bruiser at the door to see us, and I needed to follow this lead further.
"Hans? Hans who?" I asked. "You in his stable? Maybe you can put me in contact with him."
I was talking to Marcus Dent, a young rent-boy who my new lieutenant, Burton Kahn, had put me onto in a case of two male prostitutes who had been brutally murdered in hotel rooms up near Madison Square Garden. There was some evidence the two had been brought up from the Chelsea gay bar district by the perpetrator. There were reports that the two of them worked this bar. Burton had given me a list of names of guys identified as friends of both of the victims. I was to try to fill in the dots.
"Hans Gelber. He's just the handler. It's all much bigger than that. He's gonna look this way. I gotta split and look like I'm working a mark. I can check if he's adding to the stable and let you know if I see you again."
"Did he pimp for Bernie and Tony too?"
Marcus gave me a look half way between suspicious and frightened. Bernie and Tony were his friends who had been offed. I hadn't told Marcus how they'd been killed; we were keeping that out of the paper. If I had told him, he'd be peeing his tight little pants now. They'd both been bound to beds and tortured and fucked with something larger than their channels could take. They'd also been sliced and diced. But I hadn't told Marcus this. I didn't want to panic him before I got all of the information out of him that I thought he had to give.
"I mean," I continued, "if they're gone maybe he has room in the stable for me."
"Yeah, maybe. But he won't like seeing me talk to anyone but a john--and you don't look like you need to pay for sex. So, please . . ."
I rose from the table as unobtrusively as I could and muscled my way through the crowd and over to the bar. The guys behind the bar were stripped down to their waists and wearing either silk boxers' shorts or tight football pants. I ordered a beer, turned half way around, leaned back on the bar, and surveyed the room. I wanted to get a good view of Hans Gelber, and I did spot him sinking down in the chair I'd vacated at Marcus' table. Marcus still looked frightened. Gelber was leaning in on him. He had Marcus' forearm in a strong grip and he was whispering something to Marcus that wasn't calming the young, spiked-hair rent-boy any. I managed to shoot off a couple of photos of Gelber on my cell phone without being too obvious what I was doing.
"You a friend--maybe a colleague--of Marcus'?"
I turned toward the voice and came up with a real hunk--muscular on top and trim at the waist; dark, sultry looks, with black curly hair; and dressed conservatively but expensively.
"Maybe both," I answered. I looked across the room to where the guy from the special homicide squad who had come out with me, Danny Thompson, was sitting at a table. He was being chatted up by two twinks, who, big, black bodybuilder bruiser that he was, he could have taken together. He looked like he was engrossed by what they were offering, but I could tell that he had one eye on me too.
"Anyone ever told you you looked like a young Scott Sloan? Scott Sloan, the actor."
"Yeah, I know who you mean. And, yes, I've heard that more than you can imagine." I'd heard it far more he could imagine simply because Scott Sloan, the actor, had been my father.
"So, are you a friend of Marcus' too--or would like to be?" I was trying to make out the connections that had this guy talking to me. Was he part of the gang Hans Gelber was in?
"I've been a friend of his now and again, yes. But I'll have to say that you are more my type than Marcus is. Maybe we could be friends too."
"Maybe," I answered. The guy didn't look like he needed to pay for sex. I was out here talking to Marcus, among others, trying to track down whoever had hooked up with both Bernie and Tony and then done them dirty. Maybe I'd taken a shortcut here. It was certainly worth a checkout.
I brought his face down close to my lips. And immediately after I'd touched him, I felt his hand go to my thigh. "You don't look like you need to pay. But I don't go for free," I whispered in his ear.
"Marcus doesn't go for free, either," He answered, with a smile. "I understand how it works. I've got a hotel room."
I had a bit of a panicked moment here. I couldn't be taking this cross town. The only backup I had was Danny. This had just been meant as a feel-out of Marcus Dent for where he might fit in the gang. I was wired so that we were speaking in Danny's ear. But I couldn't maintain backup and be getting in any cross-town taxi.
"Umm, I don't know. I'm meeting someone here in an hour or so. I've got to stay close by."
"My hotel room is just up the block. You could be back here in an hour or so."
"OK, then, lead the way."
I signaled Danny to follow us as we headed for the door of the bar. The rest of the time we were walking down the block, toward the Gramercy Park Hotel, I spent trying to review the rules of engagement I'd had thrown at me right before we'd left the squad room. I knew I wasn't to proposition him and just was to allude to answers while he pitched me. And all the time I had to do it without revealing I was a cop.
We didn't make it to the Gramercy Park, though. He turned me into what was probably a fleabag version of that hotel a block before we got there. We were both looking around as we scooted up the steps and slipped into the entrance. He was probably looking to make sure we weren't seen by anyone; I was looking to make sure that Danny saw where we had gone.
We sort of beat around the bush in the hotel room, which wasn't half bad in furnishings, if not the cleanest place I'd ever been in, on who was going to do what to who for how much. I was sitting on the bed and we were talking about nothing in particular other than playing avoidance on how each of us knew Marcus and in what way. I was sitting on the bed and he was pacing around the room. When I thought I'd seen him tugging his shirt out of his waistband, I pulled my T-shirt over my head, being careful to take the hidden mike with it and keeping the shirt near my hip for acoustical purposes. The pace picked up from there. He came over and sat down on the bed beside me and pulled his shirt over his head as well.
The man was built, and he had half moons of the black curly hair on his pecs and a line of that hair provocatively trailing down his sternum and down under the waistband of his trousers. I liked that.
I had heard him taking in his breath when I'd pulled off my T, so I could tell we were both impressed.
I probably went off the rulebook at that point, but I figured I could always write it up differently later if this was our guy. I moved my hand around to his waist on the other side of him. At this signal, he put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me into him. We kissed, and, I swear, if he wasn't someone I was trying to take down, I would have been all over him at that point. He was a real hunk.
"How much?" he asked, when we'd come up for air.
"Uh, fifty for oral; a hundred for, you know . . . OK?"
I needed him to say OK and then I'd have him for solicitation and we could take him down to the precinct house and grill him on the rest. Instead of answering, though, he snaked the hand of the arm around my shoulder under my armpit and grasped my pec, while his other hand went down to my belly and we were into another deep kiss.
I couldn't tell after that whether he was getting more intimate or had put me into an incapacitating hold. I sort of thought the latter, and my impression really was that he was the torture serial killer. I had a couple of seconds to consider what I was going to do to put him down.
But I only had a couple of seconds, because the common door between this room and the next was banging open and all hell was breaking out. All hell consisted of three cops from the Vice squad and one cop--a hot-under-the-collar Danny Thompson--from Homicide.
There was a moment of panic and embarrassment and then we were all laughing our asses off. I had been measuring a Vice cop by the name of Brad Roberts for a serial murder charge while he was working on collaring me for male prostitution. The catalyst was Marcus Dent, the twink rent-boy we were both cultivating in the Boxers NYC bar. Roberts and his crew were trying to wrap up the sex stable Marcus was in, and Danny and I were trying to link the stable--and maybe the men behind it--to our serial murder case.
The other guys were joking around enough that Roberts was able to whisper something in my ear without them noticing it.
"I think you felt something too. After we clear this up, want to meet me someplace for a drink?"
One of rules of the special unit I'd joined in the NYPD that the lieutenant who appeared on duty to at the same time I did had repeated over and over again was that I was in a unit that not only tolerated but used homosexual activity in its work. The kicker was that the one place I was not to practice it was in the workplace. "No fucking other cops," he had said. Of course, as time went on, he saw it happening and just looked the other way. I'd been in the unit for nearly a year and I'd already been involved with two other cops on the NYPD force, a guy I'd even lived with briefly, Pete, and now, in a more torrid arrangement, frequent encounters with Danny. And this didn't count some of the encounters I had with other cops while at conferences and doing liaison work with departments elsewhere up and down the eastern seaboard.
So, I should have told this Brad guy no right then and there, on the spot. But he was such a hunk and I was already being balled by the black bruiser on my own team, Danny Thompson, so, naturally I said OK.
We met at Splash, a discrete, dimly lit club on 17th Street. Brad showed me who was boss from the beginning, which was OK with me. I liked a man who took charge of me. He paid the cover, ordered our drinks, paid the tab, said we'd go back to his place, and he fucked me three ways from Sunday on his queen-sized bed, on the thirty-fourth floor in front of a full-wall glass window with a panoramic view of the city.
I got a good look at the city lights, because my head and arms were flopped over the side of the bed, while he held my legs spread out and up and pistoned me hard with his cock. So furious was his fucking that I kept sliding down toward the floor until my shoulders were on the carpet. He just swung his legs over the side and stood on the floor and kept jack hammering down into me until we both had come.
That left both of us breathless and panting hard until we'd both cooled down. Then he reached down and pulled me up. He pivoted and slammed me down on the bed on my stomach. I felt his hands on my hips, pulling my knees up to support my weight, and then he was crouched over my hips and fucking me like a dog.
A good time was being had by all when our cell phones rang--both of them. He scrambled for his on the nightstand on one side of the bed and I for mine on the other side.
"Speak!" he said into his phone and "Yes?" I said into mine.
And then, almost in unison, we both said, "Oh, shit. I'll be right there."
* * * *
He was bound to the bed in the hotel room--this time it really was the Gramercy Park in Chelsea--at all four points. The bruising and torn skin at his ankles and wrists indicated that he had struggled hard--and fruitlessly--at the sexual torture. This was also shown in his bulging, lifeless eyes. His mouth had been stuffed with what would probably prove to be his own briefs. He had burn marks all over his body, and his ass channel had been stretched and torn by some not present--as far as they had discovered yet--object or objects. They would have to wait for the autopsy to see if he had also been fucked by a man.
It had only been a few hours since I had been talking with Marcus Dent in the Boxers NYC bar not more than five blocks from here. I had a fear at the pit of my stomach that he was dead because he had talked to me. I had a sudden urge to track down this Hans Gelber guy Marcus said was his protector and rattle him until his teeth fell out.
I had gone directly to the hotel, where I was met by my lieutenant, Burton Kahn, and Danny Thompson and others from the homicide squad. The forensic team was already on the scene and was antsy about getting into their work.
"This was one of the guys on the list I gave you," Burton said.
"Yeah, I know. I met with him last evening at the Boxers NYC bar. He did a little talking, but I sensed that there was more he was going to tell me. His pimp came into the bar, though, and I had to split off. I'll bet he was brought right here. I have a photo of the pimp on my phone. Here, this is him. Marcus gave his name as Hans Gelber."
"Yep, that's him," Burton said when I showed the photo to him. "He's pretty low in the pecking order, though. We're after Bruno Meister, who we think is at the top of this chain. A German crowd muscling in on all sorts of organized crime in this town, including prostitution--both male and female. I'll put out an APB on this Gelber guy, but I'll bet he's already home in Frankfurt and ready to live again on a new name. Ah, here are the other guys working this now--Vice."
I turned and my attention focused in on Brad Roberts, who was arriving with a gaggle of other detectives.
Introductions were made around the room and both Brad and I did what we could to act like we'd never seen each other before--even though half the guys in the room had seen us stripped down to our waists and in a lip lock the previous evening on the double sting screw-up we'd all been involved in. They hadn't seen us later, though, when Brad was pounding my ass in his apartment.
I went off and talked with Danny, who was in a foul mood and kept eyeballing Brad, while he paired off with the Vice detectives. Our respective lieutenants talked the situation over and then Burton spoke to all gathered.
"It seems our investigations are merging at this point, so we're going to put our teams together. Folsom from Homicide and Roberts from Vice will team up as point men on this and both teams will work it. The sooner we can shut this German ring down the better. We'll give Roberts a desk at Homicide for the interim."
My heart skipped several beats. This was both wonderful and tragic at the same time. I had sensed a special connection with Brad Roberts in the night, but there was this rule about not fucking around with other cops. It was bad enough I was giving it to Danny Thompson. I didn't know how this was going to work out.
I could tell Danny wasn't sure, either, and was concerned about what was happening. He got all possessive on me. He didn't let me out of his sight all that day, and he insisted on coming back to my rooms in the near-tenement I lived in--by choice, as I didn't want to flaunt that I was sitting on a huge inheritance.
When we got there, he forced my back to the wall and frantically pawed and kissed me while his stripped me of my clothes. Then he brutally doggy fucked me on the carpet of the living room and dragged me into my bedroom. When we'd both recovered from the first fuck, he grabbed my ankles, jerked my legs wide, and jack-hammer fucked me.
It was just the way I liked it from him. But from his intensity, I sensed that he felt threatened and intended to fight for position and possession.