Hardesty wasn’t in the best of moods when he got to the precinct, and the guys and gals there didn’t help it any--as he knew they wouldn’t.

“Had a hard night?” he was greeted at the door, accompanied by a snigger.

“Found it hard to get to work today, Hardesty?” boomed a voice from one end of the vice squad room.

“Hard morning, Hardesty?” another voice chimed in from the other side.

They all knew Hardesty fucked men, and they also knew that any day he dragged in after noon was likely to mean he had been on such a binge the night before--that he’d been hard and pumping most of the night. Some of them had seen what he was packing and the rest had heard about it. What they didn’t think, though, was that he was out screwing a target rather than dragging him in for prosecution. They didn’t think this because that was strictly taboo.

That’s how far Hardesty had gone off the reservation with Todd--or Toby--or whoever the little blond piece’s name was. Hardesty was OK in going to the bar. That’s what he did, and the fact that he was gay himself made him far more useful to the department on male-on-male sex crimes. He looked for illegal activity; that was his job. That included underage prostitution. And it included solicitation itself if there was a campaign against it going on. They couldn’t always put the screws on it; there weren’t enough vice cops on the whole East Coast to close down prostitution--female or male--in this city.

What he wasn’t OK with was, first, not backing out once there was more evidence the target was of age than there was that he was underage. Second, if he was going to pursue the point, he coulda/shoulda brought Todd in on the solicitation charges--before actually engaging in a sexual act. That’s what the recording was all about. He didn’t. But where he mostly wasn’t OK was that he fucked the target and didn’t do any of the above. He could have brought him in, even on suspicion. What he shouldn’t have done was fucked him three times in the same night first--and would have done it twice more the next morning if he’d had the opportunity to.

Hardesty was too good a cop for this. And he knew he was. He spent the better part of the afternoon trying to figure out for himself why he’d done it. He came up with two possibilities: He increasingly was lonely and wanted just one guy to be coming home to and Todd had all the attributes of a guy Hardesty would want to come home to, with the dangerous edge being that Hardesty was aroused by young-looking guys that he could feel like he was overpowering.

And if it wasn’t one or two of those, or both, Hardesty thought he should get out of vice and go to another unit. If he started getting soft on these guys or using his advantages over them to get laid, it probably was time for him to move on.

The thought that he was looking for someone more permanent--and someone like Todd to boot--scared him, though. By the end of the afternoon he’d convinced himself that he just saw something in Todd that he wanted to save before it was too late--not just that he looked for young-looking men, but also that he looked innocent and vulnerable young men. He thought back to when he got angry. It was when he thought it was already too late to turn Todd. He didn’t know what had happened after that to change his mind, if he had. All he knew was that he went gaga at the prospect of fucking Todd. That gecko tattoo business was something else. He’d known guys who had erogenous zones, but Todd lost all control at the mere touch of his. Hardesty had found that very, very arousing.

That evening and the next found him at the bar where he’d picked up Todd. He didn’t see Todd again, and he didn’t see anything else illegal going on there either. But he told himself he was doing his job by going there. Todd looked underage. What if the manager had taken him on without checking?

But the manager was vociferous in claiming he had checked Todd out. And, if presented with a subpoena, he said he’d be happy to give Hardesty a look see at the evidence he had that Todd was eighteen, and thus legal. Hardesty did a little double-take. What the manager’s evidence was put Todd even closer to the illegal edge than either what Todd said or what his own ID showed--but it still didn’t put him below the level. The last thing Hardesty wanted, though, was to create evidence that he was checking Todd out. He still hoped to find Todd again, and . . . yes . . . to fuck him again (and again).

It wasn’t professional now; it was personal. And there were things he could do with Todd on a personal level that he would hold back from if it was professional. He’d be going crazy thinking about what he could do with Todd now until he found him again.

The club manager backed what Todd had told Hardesty on one point. He did regret that Todd wasn’t working there permanently--indeed that he hadn’t completed the gig he’d contracted for.

When Hardesty pressed for information on where Todd might be, suggesting that he could make scrutiny hard or easy for the club, the manager just gave him a sardonic look and said, “You might try the movies.”

Hardesty didn’t think--at least at that time--that this was very helpful information.

He didn’t just check in at that club. He went to others as well and fit in doing his job while also looking for Todd. He also checked the streets in the gay male tenderloin district. It was during such a check that he found Todd again.

Hardesty was out on patrol with one of his partners, Phil, three evenings later when he next saw Todd. The young man was working the streets. He was leaning on a wall under a lamppost with a couple of other guys when Hardesty and Phil pulled up by the curb beside them. Todd, wearing his open green plaid flannel shirt, his tight faded jeans, and his thin-soled sandals, wasn’t looking out at the street. He was talking to another guy who wasn’t looking at the street either.

Thus, when Hardesty and Phil had gotten out of the car, with Hardesty saying, “Let’s ruffle these guys,” Todd and the guy he was talking to, a young black guy not much bigger than Todd, just stayed in place and continued talking. The others sauntered away as quickly as they could without showing the panic they were in.

The young black guy saw the two vice cops first and pulled off the wall and started to walk quickly away.

“You get that one,” Hardesty told Phil. “I’ll talk to the other.”

“Saving the chocolate for me,” Phil muttered, as he took off after the black guy at a fast walk. “Nice. Don’t wait up.”

There really wasn’t anything you could do with these guys unless you caught them making an offer for money. But the vice cops did what they called “rousting” them every once in a while just to let them know they were being watched.

“You,” Todd said, accusingly, when he turned and saw Hardesty approach him. “You’re a cop.”

Phil already was out of earshot, walking briskly down the street behind the guy Todd had been talking to. Phil was gay too, and Hardesty knew that he had even fewer scruples about taking advantage of that than Hardesty did. The little black guy had been cute. Hardesty figured he had some time to talk to Todd.

“Yeah, I’m a cop. A cop with a soft spot and a hard dick for you. I could have arrested you and brought you in back in the motel room. You solicited me; I got it on tape. You’re not very good with this solicitation business, are you?”

Todd turned to walk away, but Hardesty grabbed him by the arm and held him against the wall.

“How long have you been working at this? The truth now.”

“A couple of weeks.”

“But you’ve been reamed well. You might have been for rent for only a couple of weeks, but you’ve been doing it for a while. What’s up with that?”

Todd gave him a venomous look, but then he shrugged and looked resigned. “Why the hell not. It don’t change anything. My mother’s boyfriend. Thane. Thane Moore, the black bastard. I just got sick of it after a while and left.”

“And that’s why you don’t have parents to go home to?” Hardesty said, his voice softer now.

“Bingo. As long as he’s screwing my mom, she doesn’t give a shit that he’s screwing me too. You gonna take me in?”

“I can’t very well do that, can I? It’s a bit late to turn that tape in. I erased it anyway. And you’re not doing anything wrong right now. I could take you in for loitering and they could give you the usual ‘you don’t want to do this because we’ll rough you up like this’ treatment back at the precinct. But I don’t want them to know about you.”

“Why not?”

“Because I still have a hard-on for you. Haven’t you figured that out for yourself yet? I’m hot for you. And as long as you let me fuck you, I can protect you--but not if they know about you and me down at the precinct. Understand?”

Todd didn’t say anything, but he looked like he understood that quite well. Which was interesting to Hardesty, because he didn’t really understand it himself. He had just blurted it out without a thought behind it. If anyone at the precinct had heard him say that, his career in vice would be toast. What was the hold that this guy had over him, he wondered. The power of the gecko? Was Todd’s erogenous zone just as much his own?

“You OK with that?” he asked.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Todd said. He was looking at the streetlamp, though, not at Hardesty.

“You want my cock? You want me to fuck you?”

Todd hesitated.

“Fifty dollars each time. Like before. I accept what you are.” There was no pride in Hardesty’s want.

“Yes,” a little more definite now.

“OK, I got another hour on my shift. You go over to the coffee shop down the street there. You see it?”

“Yeah.”

“Here’s a ten spot. You go in there and drink coffee and nurse it, and I’ll be back in a little over an hour.”

“And then what?”

“Then I got a place we can go. OK? I’ve been aching for you. I’ve got a whole box of rubbers at home.”

“Yeah, cool.”

Todd was already down the street and in the coffee shop and Hardesty was leaning on the squad car before Phil returned, stuffing his shirt tail down into his pants and whistling happily.

“You get your wick dipped to your satisfaction?” Hardesty asked. He didn’t like the smug look on Phil’s face.”

“He had a nice, soft mouth, if you must know,” Phil answered. “And don’t tell me you didn’t get something set up with the blond kid. I know you like ’em young.”

Hardesty couldn’t tell Phil he hadn’t, so he just gave a low growl and moved to the squad car. “Come on. We’ve got more territory to cover in our shift.”

“And you can’t wait for your shift to be over to get your cock polished, can you? You show it to him? You get him all hot and bothered by it?”

Hardesty didn’t answer. He let the slamming of the car door answer for him.

When Hardesty drove back nearly two hours later in his own car and in civilian clothes, Todd was not to be found. He didn’t panic. He had half expected this. He just cruised around the tenderloin district more. Todd was new to this game, and Hardesty had seen it all.

It didn’t take him long to spy Todd again, leaning against another wall, under yet another lamppost. He pulled his car over to the curb, but outside the circle of light the streetlight was casting. He was close enough to Todd for Todd to know someone was here for him after a couple of minutes had passed by and the driver hadn’t gotten out of the car.

A few more minutes after that Todd pushed himself off the wall and sauntered slowly toward the car. He took a pack of cigarettes out of his shirt pocket and extracted one before putting the pack back. As he approached, Hardesty pushed the button that lowered the passenger window.

“Got a light, buddy?” Todd said as he leaned down to the passenger window sill. Hardesty shot a hand out and gripped Todd’s wrist.

“Get in the car, Todd.”

“You again. Look, man--”

“Just get in the car, Todd. We’ll just talk a few minutes.” He leaned over and popped the door open himself. He grabbed for the other wrist as the door opened, so that at no time was Todd completely free. He got into the car, though, without any trouble.

“Why are you like this?” Hardesty asked. “We’re good together. I know you want the cock.”

“It’s too complicated,” Todd said as he folded himself into the passenger seat and Hardesty put an arm around his shoulders. “You’re a cop and all.”

“You want my cock or not? It has nothing to do with me being a cop.”

“It has everything to do with--”

Todd didn’t get the sentence finished, though. Hardesty had used the hand on the arm around Todd’s shoulders to turn Todd’s face to his for a possessive kiss. At the same time his other hand palmed Todd’s belly and then moved to Todd’s right side and slid down on top of the gecko tattoo. He started to rub the middle of that, and Todd, moaning with a sound muffled by the possession of the kiss, began to writhe under him. His hand first went on top of Hardesty’s, trying to pull Hardesty’s hand off the tattoo. But when that didn’t work, he shuddered, relaxed for the time it took Hardesty to release his lips and work his nipples for nearly a minute while Todd laid his head back and moaned softly.

When Hardesty’s lips went back to Todd’s, his fingers still working the gecko tattoo, Todd reached over and grabbed Hardesty’s engorging dick through the material of his trousers.

Hardesty disengaged from the kiss, gave a low laugh, and said, “You want the cock or not?”

“Oh god, yes,” Todd whimpered. “Here, now. Fuck me.”

“That would likely get us both arrested,” Hardesty said. “But I’ve got a place.” He let Todd loose but put the car in gear immediately and moved the car out onto the street. He hit the “lock all doors button” as he did so.

The place turned out to be Hardesty’s house, a two-bedroom bungalow in not the best part of town. But it was home to Hardesty and it was private to him. He’d never brought anyone here he’d picked up while in the line of duty. He didn’t know for sure why he was bringing Todd here now. There were motels he’d used that they drove past in getting here. He knew it was significant that he was bringing Todd to his house, but he filed that away in his mind for examining later. He also found himself planning far enough ahead that his hold over Todd would get past continuously having to pay him for it--or him going back on the street for it. But nothing much formed around that thought.

He was too much in heat now to think about any of that now.

He managed a “four for” this night. He had plenty of condoms in the house. Only exhaustion got in his way for the fifth. Passion for the small Mohawked blond moved Hardesty to pound his ass hard, and his inability to gauge his energy brought him to exhaustion. Todd sucked him off trying to bring him up again the fifth time, but, although Hardesty managed a weak ejaculation, it didn’t qualify as a fuck.

The four before that were pretty spectacular. They did it in the shower the first time, with Todd standing and bending over and grabbing his ankles and Hardesty pounding him from behind, holding Todd’s waist with his hands, the palm of one hand rubbing on the gecko tattoo. There was a nipple-chewing missionary position taking and then, after a doze, there was a side split. The fourth was Hardesty flat on his back and Todd riding the cock in a cowboy position. Each time, Hardesty made sure he had rubbing contact with the gecko tattoo.

In the morning, Hardesty woke up to an empty bed. He wasn’t surprised. If Todd was good at anything, it was disappearing. Four of the five fifties on the dresser were gone too, but a deal was a deal. At least Todd was honest in not ripping him off for more than he got--no matter how hard Todd had tried for that fifth bill.

As he drank his morning coffee, Hardesty walked around the house, looking for what might have to be changed. He stood in the doorway of the second bedroom and assessed the furnishings. Would Todd want a separate bedroom? If so, for how long? What colors should he redo it in? If his clothes were any indication, Todd seemed to be partial to green and gold.

He shook his head then, as if forcing the cobwebs out. Would he have to buy a lock and chain too to keep the kid here? He didn’t think so. Todd was really into the fucking the previous night. Hardesty didn’t think it would be that long before he would come around to the whole ball of wax. It was murder out on the street.

Hardesty would just have to keep trying. “You gotta keep trying,” he said out loud as he went into his own bedroom to get ready for work.

 

Habu

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