[This six-chapter last book in the Clint Folsom promiscuous GM bottom NYPD detective series follows "Death in Hollywood."]
I sat between the warring couple and withdrew into myself. I was thinking about where I was going--back to New York to try to help sort out why my lover, an undercover cop, had become not just undercover, but totally unreachable. And I was thinking also about where I had just been--discovering why my parents had died twenty-one years ago, and almost dying myself in the process.
The call from my lieutenant in the special New York Police Department homicide squad, Burton Kahn, had come through to me in a sleazy motel outside Los Angeles the previous afternoon when an former lover of mine, Danny Thompson, was giving me a calm-down fuck after I'd nearly been killed for finding out that matinee idol Gordon Fields had been responsible for the murders of my movie-star parents two decades earlier. The call from New York had told me that my current live-in lover, Hank Halson, had gone missing and a ransom note for his safe return had been received.
I fully realized as I worked this over in my mind that this all sounded complex, confusing, and even sordid. I was feeling that and even more--tearing me up inside was the knowledge that years before another undercover cop lover of mine, Brad Roberts, had ended up dead and that I had contributed to that by being off partying when I should have been with him. I didn't want that to happen again, this time with Hank. Hank was my first serious try at commitment since Brad; I couldn't let him down like I had let Brad down.
Beyond that, the current problem was bizarre. Hank was embedded in a family of old-style gangsters. If they'd outed him, why hadn't they just shot him and dumped his body in a landfill in the time-tested way? What den of mobsters was zany enough to send a ransom note to the police department on an undercover cop discovered in their midst?
I was on the day flight between Los Angeles and Newark. Newark was the closest airport to my apartment and police precinct in Manhattan that I could get to from Los Angeles on the short notice I had been given. And even then, on this 8:45 a.m. American Airlines flight, due in to Newark, New Jersey, at about 5:00 p.m., all I could get was a cramped middle seat in tourist class.
I had found myself sitting between a disgruntled couple--apparently in a snit with each other even before they discovered that booking an aisle and window seat wouldn't guarantee them the free use of the seat between them. As far as I could determine from their several-hour discussion with each other before they both ran out of gas and dozed off somewhere over Indiana her name was Bitch and his was Bastard. I offered to switch with either of them, but neither wanted to give up what limited aisle or window seat perk AA tourist class gave them.
I put on my headphones--they weren't connected to anything, but Bitch and Bastard didn't know that--and lay back and tried to withdraw into myself. Life was getting to be overwhelming. It was time to make some serious changes--if it wasn't too late. I was finding I had worked myself into the same corner I had with Brad. I hadn't fully appreciated what he had to offer to me as a one and only--well, mostly a one and only--until I had lost him. And now Hank was missing. I felt I'd at least started a life with Hank in the same vein I'd started with Brad when that had been cut off.
I'd already started back on the road--praying that if I could control my desires more, I'd find Hank back safe when I got to New York. I had pulled away from Danny in the motel room right after I'd gotten the call from New York on Hank. Danny hadn't pushed me, but he was already beginning to look hurt. I wanted to be taken to the airport immediately, but he told me to shower and dress and he'd find out what flight I could get on.
When I was dressed, he let me know that everything was booked until the next morning--and then, if I got on the earliest flight available, I wouldn't be leaving until 8:45 in the morning. He suggested that I go home with him--that his wife Sharenda, who I had worked with in the NYPD where she'd been a precinct clerk, wanted to see me too while I was in California. They'd feed me dinner and then Danny would bring me back to the motel and . . .
Beginning to redraw lines, though, I said I'd like to see Sharenda too and would come to dinner--but only if it was Sharenda, not Danny, who drove me back to accommodations for the night and then that those accommodations be a hotel by the airport, so that Danny couldn't press me to have sex with him. Danny had agreed, if reluctantly. I was leaving him one way or the other, so there really wasn't much he could say about it.
Sometime after Bitch and Bastard stopped spitting at each other and went off into snoring slumber, I dozed as well. I didn't like the fleeting dreams I was having, though, and kept willing myself awake to try, without success, to force a change in what was happening in the dream. I was in some sort of dungeon, strung up and being power fucked by a masked brute in leather. That part was OK; it's what went with it that was disturbing. Over in a corner, also bound, but just laying there and watching, Hank was calling out to me--imploring me to release him. But I was bound, powerless to do anything to save him. Then, with horror, I looked up and saw that I wasn't bound at all--that I was free of all constraints. All constraints except for my desires. I was enjoying the brutalization of my body. I was making my choice. I was choosing my desires over Hank. I kept trying to change what was happening in the dream. I had control over myself; I knew I could control the dream. But each time I tried to do so, each time I fought back into consciousness, worked out where I wanted the dream to go, and slipped back into semiconsciousness, the dream was always the same.
Hank was still in trouble and I was off getting power fucked--and enjoying it. Just like what happened with Brad.
* * * *
I expected Burton Kahn, my lieutenant, to be at the airport in Newark to pick me up--and to tell me where I could get started on helping to find Hank. Kahn had said he had me covered when I'd called to give the flight information. What he apparently meant, though, was that someone would be there--but not necessarily him.
"Folsom, over here."
I heard my name being boomed out in a drill sergeant voice over the heads of those gathered at the gate to board behind us in Newark for the ongoing flight segment into Boston. The voice sounded familiar, and when I looked out over the milling crowd I assumed I'd see the guy who barked it out because he'd be standing head and shoulders above everyone else. And he was.
I waved at Jesse Palmer, acknowledging that I'd heard him call. Jesse was imposing in every way--and scary in some ways too. He was the strong, silent, somewhat menacing member of the special homicide unit. He was one of the newest additions to the team, having left the Marine Corps Military Police ranks after several deployments alternating between Iraq and Afghanistan. A good six foot eight and two hundred and eighty pounds of hard, shaved-head muscle, he'd been recruited because policing in New York in the context of the recent gang wars was getting a lot more serious. And few men were as scarily serious as Jesse Palmer was.
I knew he fucked men. He wouldn't have been recruited to our special unit if he didn't either give it to or take it from men. And if I hadn't known it from the beginning, I soon would have figured it out. He'd been sniffing around me for months. I'd let him know I had Hank and wasn't looking for anything with him. But I had been weakening. I guess I knew we'd do it one day. I'd seen his equipment in the precinct house showers. I knew I wanted to try to ride what he had--someday.
Not today, though.
"I thought Lieutenant Kahn--"
"He had a departmental retirement dinner to go to this evening. And the dayshift is about over. He said you'd need to sleep in and get a fresh start in the morning."
"I can't fuckin' sleep, I don't think, with Hank out there in the wind. Lieutenant Kahn was going to brief me on what's happened--and on what's happening."
"I can do that as well as he can, but, as the lieutenant said, nothing's going to go forward now before morning."
"You? You can brief me?"
"Yeah," Jesse said, as we went down the escalator to the street--I just had my duffel; I hadn't gone to California with more than the minimum needed; I had all the clothes I needed at my parents' ranch--now mine--there, the ranch that was now on the market and already the subject of a bidding war--"I was Hank's handler, his link back to the department. I'm the one who blew the whistle after he missed his second set contact."
"But, I'm not going to tell you much. There really isn't much to tell you. Hank's embedded with the Scarlottis, but they are in the wind as much as he is."
"In the wind?"
"Yeah. The Scarlottis aren't around either. Flown the coop. But more of that tomorrow. The lieutenant's right. There's nothing you can do tonight. Tonight you unwind."
We'd hit the curb outside baggage claim. I didn't have any trouble picking out Jesse's ride. There was only one camouflaged Hummer parked at the curb. In a no-parking zone, of course. But a cowed-looking guy in an airport police uniform was standing next to it, guarding it. I didn't even want to begin to contemplate what Jesse had said--or done--to this guy to have him guarding his ride in a no-parking zone like this.
Jesse just shot the guy a knowing look as we got in and lumbered off.
"Unwind? Kahn's probably right about my needing a good night's sleep."
"A man's gotta eat. I don't expect they fed you anything edible on the plane."
"Peanuts and a Coke," I said, with a laugh. "Yeah, I guess I could use something to eat."
We drove a few miles before I realized we weren't headed for Manhattan.
"We're going back to my neighborhood--on Staten Island," Jesse answered. "It's a lot closer. I've got steaks at the house. My treat."
In short order we could have been anywhere in the world. I'd never been to Staten Island and I certainly hadn't been in this area of the Jersey shore. I just had to believe Jesse when he said we were on the Staten Island Expressway. I did see the road signs saying we were on route 278 and I knew that would take us over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn. But we didn't go that far. Within sight of the bridge, Jesse took an exit marked Hylan and after several blocks, another right, on Liberty. Three block later he pulled up and parked outside a small, brown-clapboard, one-and-a-half-story Cape Cod nestled close in beside two larger houses that had once been the same model but had been expended to more than twice their original size.
"Home sweet home," Jesse said.
"You live in a house?" I said. That was strange. Most cops working in Manhattan lived no farther away than Brooklyn and then in some cheap walkup apartment. I lived better. But then I could. I had come to the job with wealth built on my parents' movie success and when Brad had died, he left me a big wad--a really big wad--from his family's business firm holdings as well. He'd also left me knowing he had wanted us to live in a nice Manhattan apartment--we'd been shopping for one when he died--so I carried through on that and now had one where Hank and I lived. I hadn't gotten the apartment for some time after Brad died, though. I punished myself with fleabag hotel rooms for a good year after he passed.
"Yep. It was left to me. And it suits me. More privacy."
I didn't ask further on that. Jesse was quite the menacing dude. I could easily imagine there were things he did here he wanted to do in private. Still, the neighbors were practically sitting in his lap. Old houses like this, though, probably had pretty solid walls.
Jesse grilled a mean steak. And he had fries and good beer to go with it. We sat at the table in his kitchen and shot the breeze for over two hours. I gave him the abridged summary of what I'd been up to in California--called there by Danny to help the LAPD unravel what had actually happened to my movie star parents twenty-one years earlier when they'd been driven off the Coastal Highway and into the Pacific to cover up what my father had known about earlier murders. In turn, Jesse told me about his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and what it was like to be a military policeman. The life he described was a rough, unforgiving, often cruel one, and I didn't have any trouble figuring out how Jesse had come to be so rough and direct himself.
Over the two hours he maneuvered ever closer to what I knew he wanted to get to--where he'd been heading for months.
"Let's you and me go back to the bedroom. What do'ya say?"
"I don't think so, Jesse."
"Come'on. You know I want you. And I know you like it big and rough. Come on, let's unwind."
"No offense, Jesse. But all I can think about right now is getting Hank back. And this beer has given me a buzz. I think tonight it's just best for you to take me home."
"It was worth a try," Jesse said. Then he laughed. I thought I'd seen a hard look pass over his face when I'd turned him away, but he'd moved to a big smile soon enough.
"You finish your steak, there," he said, rising. "I'll be back in a few."
When he came back, he had changed. He was in black leather now, tight trousers; a vest, with no shirt, showing a hairy chest that had me taking my breath in and regretting I was deciding to tone my sex life down. He'd bottomed this off with shiny black boots.
"I didn't find anything appropriate for you to wear in your duffel, so here's some stuff some guy left here. Looks your size." He was holding out a pair of low-rise, worn jeans and a muscle T-shirt--mesh and cut off so it wouldn't do much more than clear my pecs.
"What's this about, Jesse?" I asked.
"I wanna play some pool before I drive all the way over to Manhattan and back--unless you're inviting me to stay the night with you in Manhattan. And you need to unwind a bit. You're all tensed up. You won't be able to sleep that way."
"No staying in Manhattan tonight," I answered, with a smile. "Well, all right. A couple of games of pool and then you take me home. But the clothes--"
"Where I play pool, you'll really stand out--and not in a good way--if you don't come dressed to blend in."
We drove across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Jesse's Hummer and into the lower-middle-class neighborhoods of lower Brooklyn.
"There aren't any gay bars in Staten Island," Jesse said. "At least nothing like I go to. Most of the guys go into the city for their fun."
He parked on the street and walked to the middle of another block. At the entrance of an alley in a line of row-house shops, Jesse turned and walked into the shadows. He stopped at stairs that went down into the basement of a building. A dimly lit sign over the entry announced The Dungeon.
The place was tricked out to justify the name. It was a smoky leather bar, and I immediately saw that Jesse was right--that I would have stood out like a challenge if I hadn't changed into what he gave me. I'm almost ashamed to say, though, that I was immediately in my element and could feel the tension drain out of me--along with, I'm afraid, my resolve not to spend time in bars like this--especially on my back on the bar top with my legs open to any guy wanting to take a poke.
I felt like laughing, though, that Jesse had known just what to give me to wear. Those wanting to top and those wanting to bottom were clearly defined in the crowd that revolved between the bar and the pool tables and the corridor leading farther back into the basement area through a doorway screened off by a beaded curtain.
Jesse pushed me up to the bar, covering my side closely with his body and ordered beers. I could feel his hard on against my thigh. And he could feel I was hard too, because he was cupping my package. I should have pushed him away. Instead, having that beer buzz and being so comfortable in this element--and wanting it no matter how much I might tell myself I didn't--I turned my face to his and let him kiss me, his tongue telling me how much he wanted to do so much more to me.
We stood there, him embracing me and keeping one hand on my package, moving in slow rhythm against each other--his cock pushing at my thigh.
"Come into the back with me," he whispered.
"You know I can't, Jesse. It's complicated enough as it is. Let's just leave it. If I do it tonight, it's got to be with someone I'll never see again."
The chances of that were becoming quite good. Two other guys were pushing up against me now. One was on the other side of me from Jesse and had one hand on the small of back and the other snaked up under the hem of the muscle shirt and thumbing one of my nipples. The guy behind me had his hands on my waist and his groin plastered to my butt. If we were both naked, he'd be fucking me. Both were full leather guys, ugly as sin, but monster muscled. Neither was as big or mean looking as Jesse was, however.
Jesse was letting them play. He clearly looked ticked that I wasn't letting him play, but he wasn't marking his territory. I turned my face to the guy on the other side of me, and we kissed.
Jesse cleared his throat and I turned to him.
"I have to take a piss," he said. "I'll be back. But drink up your beer and I'll order another one before I go."
He stood there and watched me down the beer and another one show up. Then I lost contact with him. I turned in his direction, but he was gone. I was feeling woozy. This definitely would be my last beer. They were really getting to me.
A big hand cupped my chin and turned me toward one of the bruisers. He wanted another kiss. And he wanted it badly--and possessively. The other guy had moved his hands around to my belly and unbuckled my belt and began to unbutton my fly.
* * * *
I woke up--or, more precisely, approached the edge of being awake--slowly. When I was aware that I was in the land of the living at all, I had the sensation that I had been there on the edge for some time, just not understanding what was happening to me. And then for a while I assumed I was in a dream--the same one I was having on the plane. But I kept looking over to the corners of the room I was in, looking for Hank--in vain.
I also saw cinderblock walls rather than the stone ones of my dream. Still, I was in some sort of subterranean dungeon. And my arms were painfully pulled over my head--just like they had been in the other dream. But now when I looked up--pain flooding my brain when I did so--I saw that this time I indeed was suspended from a wooden beam in the ceiling. My wrists were in restraints that were connected to a single chain running up to a hook in the beam. I was on my knees on some sort of padded platform--two of them actually, one under each knee--but my arms were pulled up at nearly full stretch. I tried, but couldn't, pull my legs together. Some sort of device was stretching my thighs out wide. I was naked.
My head hurt like hell and I was in a haze. There was no fully waking up from this--at least not for a while. I knew a Mickey when I was starting to recover from one. I'd been drugged before and awakened to being fucked. Someone at the bar had slipped me a Mickey Finn. I actually felt pretty good that I was with it enough to figure that out. I must be coming out of the effects of the drug.
The figure of a huge, heavily muscled man loomed in a wavy haze in front of my face. I knew it was a man; he was wagging a gigantic, hard cock in my face. But he wasn't waving it for long. He grabbed the back of my head in the palms of big, calloused hands encased in black gloves with some sort of pincers on the fingers and held my head steady as he shoved his cock in my mouth and down my throat through a steel frame in my mouth holding my mouth open and my teeth out of the way of his poking. He face fucked me and I gagged for him--but I did my best to give him as good head as the steel mouth cage permitted. I sensed I didn't want to make him angry.
Once his dick was wedged in my mouth, he reached down with both hands and used the pincers on his fingers to grab and pinch and roll my balls. I writhed and groaned and grunted for him as I knew he'd want me to do.
I passed out again. When I came to, his cock was out of my mouth and he was pulling on a condom and then, over that, a cock case of leather strips with silver studs on it. I now had a ball gag in my mouth, displacing the more painful steel framework.
I lost sight of him, only to feel his hands on my waist from behind. I was writhing again as he worked his cock inside me from behind and began to pump me in long, thick, and deep strokes. He had a riding crop, which he used to flick my buttocks and belly and chest and thighs with as he fucked me--never hard enough to slash but hard enough to bring blood to the surface and redden my skin.
I was loving the fuck--having a gigantic cock inside me, stroking me deep. There was no use fighting that I was loving this. The silver studs were making my channel walls shimmer and undulate against the pumping cock. I was making love to his cock while he was mastering me roughly.
I briefly wondered if there was only one guy. At the edge of my memory I had remembered there being two guys at the bar--the one beside me whispering in my ear what he planned to do to me; the one behind me already ahead of him, already dry fucking me there from behind, standing against the bar.
There were two of them. And where had Jesse gone?
I was coming more awake, less in a haze, more able to put two thoughts together. But that didn't last long. The monster behind me brought his arms around me. I lurched and moaned inside the ball gag as the pincers on his gloves found my nipples. Then I discovered he could send an electric charge through them as well. I was too busy screaming against my gag to think about how I got here and who was here with me.
Partial relief came as one of the gloved hands pulled away from a nipple. But then it was back, at my face, holding a small vial of some sort of liquid in the pincers of the glove. The top of the vial was flipped off and it was being brought to my nose.
Darkness and murky and incoherent dreams quickly flowed in to replace consciousness.