I hung up the phone and looked over at Brian, still lying naked on the bed.
He had heard my half of the conversation and was propped on both elbows looking at me expectantly. He seemed like he was understanding my side of the conversation, but he couldn't be certain.
Despite my focus on Danny, I couldn't help but notice that Brian's triceps looked as if a sculptor had carved them, a really, really good sculptor.
"Max found him!" I screamed. I'm not sure I could even believe the words that came out of my mouth. I was so fucking excited that I could have fallen in love with Brian and moved to New Haven. Screw BU, I could have a career as Brian's permanent sex slave.
Actually maybe I could do both.
I was almost too breathless to talk. When I hung up the phone with Max, I was on Cloud Nine! Danny was alive! And, despite everything that he had just gone through, he was going to be reunited with all of us really soon!
Somehow I couldn't remember any of the details of what Max had just told me. But I did remember that Max said that he and Danny would meet us at the police station. Max said that Danny was showering and that he would bring Danny over as soon as he was cleaned up.
Obviously, Brian was happy Danny had been found. He gave me a huge hug, during which time I was in direct contact with his penis.
No time for that now.
He let me go a little more quickly than I liked, but Brian had a few questions. In fact, he was being a little bit of a buzz kill. Everything he asked me, I couldn't answer.
"I'm sorry, I don't think he said that."
"Nope, he didn't mention."
"Nope, nothing on that either."
"Sorry, I forgot to ask."
"I know, I know, I should have, but..."
David. I had to call David. Oh Jesus!
Brian kept firing questions away at me as my fingers stumbled over the little buttons on my phone trying to dial Danny's brother David: the evidence, the forensics, the fact that we needed to get Danny examined by a doctor right away.
Apparently I would make a lousy detective.
Brian was still peppering away at me when I was saved by David's voice answering the phone.
"We've got him," I said, my voice cracking.
"Danny," I explained. "He's been found. He's okay."
David went absolutely ape-shit nuts! I repeated what little bit I knew from the call with Max.
Just like with Brian, David had a lot of questions too. And, just like with Brian, I couldn't answer those either.
While I was busy sobbing on the phone along with David, Brian had already sprung into action. He gave my dick a squeeze as he loped past me and into the bathroom. He heard a very determined police-like look on his face.
I heard the shower water turn on.
David agreed to meet us at the police station and I hung up quickly. Danny or no Danny, there was no way that I was going to miss out on a chance to shower with a cop! My cop!
Brian had shampoo on his hair when I hopped inside. His eyes were closed and he startled when I brushed his butt with my hand.
"What?" he said, his voice low, his mood all business, already in police mode.
I hugged him from behind. His very, very, very firm ass cheeks kept me from snuggling in as close as I might have liked. The warm water from the shower splashed off the top of his head and the soap got into my eyes. I loved that I could hug him like this.
I was just so excited that we were getting Danny back!
It didn't seem like the right moment to have sex, so despite the fact that my dick had its own ideas, I kept my hands an inch or so away from Brian's man-parts, which was not easy to do considering how ginormous these particular man-parts were.
"TJ, we don't have time. We really need to hurry, give me a little space here please. I don't have a uniform here, and I should really be properly dressed when we get to the station. This is my case," he said.
"Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean to..." I said. I backed away.
It stung a little bit to have to be asked to step back.
"It's fine," Brian "It's just that... Well, you know, it would look funny, if I showed up at the station, with wet hair and in civvies, along side of the guy I just sucked off. Whose hair just happens to also be wet."
Despite myself, I smiled. I liked the fact that Brian was saying out loud what he had just done to me. He sucked me off. I liked the sound of that.
"Right," I said.
He nodded his head for emphasis.
"I can see how that might look. Everybody would put two and two together immediately, " I joked.
Brian finished washing the shampoo out of his hair. He rubbed his eyes and turned around in the shower to face me. I was standing there, a little cold, with my arms crossed in front of my chest, my hard-on dangling at that halfway angle, somewhere between 'super excited' and 'what exactly have we got here?'
I tried not to look ridiculous, but very likely, I was probably failing.
"You're pretty cute when you're pouting, you know," Brian said.
"I'm not pouting," I pouted.
Then I rolled my eyes. "Thanks. That's exactly what I needed to hear," I said.
He took hold of both my shoulders and drew me in. His mouth wrapped around mine and he kissed me. After about ten seconds, my hard-on went back to being 'super excited.'
We both looked down at it.
"Didn't I just take care of that?" Brian asked.
I smirked and shrugged at the same time.
"It wants more, I guess."
"Well, maybe tomorrow, after we get Danny back to his own life," Brian said.
I pursed my lips into another pout.
Tomorrow I had to go back to school. I had a mid-term later this week. God knows I hadn't been able to get much studying done the past few days.
"Yeah," I said, not feeling like explaining the truth this very second.
Brian washed my hair for me. And then he washed my butt. Both needed a pretty good scrub, and he seemed happy to oblige.
I smiled as Brian's fingers flicked up and down at my butthole.
The guy either has way more experience at this than he was letting on, or he is a super quick learner!
My dick was hard, with all the attention my ass was getting of course, and it got in the way a few times. But, since we were supposed to be thinking about Danny, we both managed to keep focused and not have sex. It wasn't easy though.
Once we were clean and Brian turned off the water, he started with the questions again. And I had no answers to any of his questions again.
I just looked at him with an empty stare.
He popped out of the shower and dried himself off with like three swipes of the towel. I took a little longer since my dick was still doing its super excited thing, and I tried not to bat it around too much.
Brian noticed how I was trying to avoid my boner and he shot me a smile.
Five minutes later my dick had finally calmed down.
Now with nothing more to get in my way I could get dressed. Seconds later, we were both dressed and we headed down to Brian's car.
Danny's twin brother David was standing in the lobby bouncing back on forth on his feet when we arrived. He had tears rolling down his face but he was smiling as big as I'd ever seen him before.
He hugged both of us at the same time.
"Okay, come on, let's go then," David said. He bounced some more. Then I started to bounce too, it was contagious. We should really get going.
The three of us jogged out of the hotel and over to where Brian's car was parked.
Brian drove us into the New Haven Police Department parking lot and parked quickly. David and I leaped from the car before even Brian turned it off. We raced to the front of the building.
We hadn't agreed on exactly where we should meet Max and Danny. I thought of like a million things I wanted to say to Danny and another million questions I wanted to ask.
Once David and I rounded the corner, my heart practically stopped.
There they were.
Max was standing with one foot on the side of the brick building. Danny was seated with his knees up, leaning back. He looked like he was just enjoying the sunshine.
"Danny!" David and I screamed at the same time.
The two of us ignored Max and piled onto Danny, each of us over one leg. Between us, we totally knocked him down to the ground.
It just felt so fucking good to have him back! I don't think any of us spoke for a while. Between the tears and the laughing and the hugging and Danny ouching about something on the side of his head, I have no idea how long we were down there.
David and me never saw Brian walk up.
"Hi, you must be Max," Brian said, his voice in that husky low tone.
For the first time in a while, at least since before last night when Brian was ravaging my butt, my brain registered that Brian really was a cop. Even out of uniform, you could tell he was police from head to toe. I was proud of him.
David and I lifted Danny up by his arms so we could give him a proper hug.
"Man, I'm so happy to see you amigos," Danny said. It was the first thing that came out of his mouth. His voice was cracking.
"Me too," I sputtered.
David was crying too much to talk.
I looked over at Max. He was just standing there, staring at the three of us and grinning. Brian was beside him watching the whole scene. I could tell he was happy we had found Danny, but his lips were tightened. It seemed like he wanted us to all move inside.
I broke away from the group hug and stood back so that the Leeman twins could be together.
"I'm Officer Brian Ruggazione," Brian said to Max as he placed his hand on Max's upper arm.
Max had sort of a worried look on his face.
"I'm going to take Max inside. I need to ask him a few questions," Brian said. "Please bring Danny in as well. We will need to get him examined by a doctor over at the hospital."
I don't remember very much about the next few hours other than the smell of Band-Aids inside of Yale-New Haven Hospital.
A different police officer accompanied us and never left Danny's side. And that turned out to be a good thing, because at least we knew Danny was safe. Plus he kept us updated with a continuous stream of talking on what exactly they were doing with Danny.
David thought the guy was cute, but I hardly noticed. He might have been cute, but my sore butt was a constant reminder that I'd had enough cops for one weekend.
Apparently, Danny had a little cut on the side of his head that needed stitches. And because of the head injury, the hospital felt obligated to give him all sorts of scans of his head and like twelve doctors examined him.
David and I waited in the lobby, and then in the little curtained-off cubicle they stuck him in, then outside Radiology, and then back in the cubicle.
We decided that we were starving to death. Seems I hadn't eaten since dinner Saturday night. All the exercise with Brian overnight had really burned some calories too. Desperate for anything, David and I finally grabbed some food out of the vending machine in the Emergency Department. I had a blueberry yogurt and Fritos while David opted for jalapeno cheeseburger and Fritos too. I stuck my tongue out when I realized what David had chosen; a vending machine cheeseburger, with jalapenos? OMG! David ignored the faces I was making and ate it cold in like five bites; my stomach did flips as I watched.
After we were back among the living, we went back to Danny. We watched as one of the nurses gave Danny a shot with an enormous needle. Ever the brave little soldier, Danny took it like a man, with a nod to the length of the needle, the meaning of which was not lost on either his brother or me.
About then, Danny's parents showed up from New York and the hugging and crying started up again. I felt a little bit like a third wheel, but I stuck around all the same.
Eventually, the hospital people said that we were free to take off if we'd like because Brian and some other detectives from the police station wanted to interview Danny some more about what had happened to him.
Since David and I were not allowed inside the room while the detectives were talking to him, and we were tired of loitering in hallways, we needed to find a spot to hang out. Fortunately, the hospital seemed to have all sorts of little rooms for us to use in privacy; it allowed us to talk and make phone calls, away from the noisy din of the hospital.
The Leeman parents went off to make some phone calls outside.
After a bit, Brian came out of Danny's interview room to talk. It was very nice of him to keep us updated. It was likely, he explained, that Danny would get out of the hospital in a day or so. Danny couldn't leave the city however; they wanted him to stay in New Haven for a couple days so that the police could get everything they needed. Obviously, everyone still wanted to catch the guy or guys that took Danny. They had some decent ideas, but there wasn't anybody in custody yet.
Brian's face was funny when he said this; it seemed to me that Brian was holding something back however. Even though I'd only known the guy for a week, I felt certain he was hiding something. He left to go back to questioning Danny. David and I shot each other a look.
A few minutes later, when David excused himself to go use the bathroom (most likely a direct result of the vending machine cheeseburger from the ER waiting room), I heard a light knock at the door.
I opened it to find Max standing there. His eyes were bloodshot and he looked haggard.
"Hi TJ," he said.
Max looked a mess. There were bags underneath his red eyes, his hair was pretty messed up, and he smelled suspiciously like onion kulcha. Only a mother could love him!
I let him in and closed the door.
I hugged him tightly. Just seeing him, and knowing how important he had been in bringing Danny back to us brought tears to my eyes. As I hung my head against his neck, I wept onto his back.
"Thank you so much Max," I said. "You're amazing! I'm so glad you were there to help find Danny! This means so much to me!"
"This is not a large problem," Max said. "I was just very lucky to be in the right time at the right place."
I stopped crying and raised my face to look directly at Max. He could be so cute when he butchered the language.
"Still, Max, what incredible luck! Who would have thought that you'd belt the guy who did this to Danny?" I squealed. "You're a freaking hero Max!"
Max averted his eyes, a rare moment of humility.
"Really Max," I insisted. "You fucking saved Danny's life. Who know what would have happened to him if you hadn't intervened and whacked that dude that had him!"
"It wasn't nothing," Max said lightly. "Nothing."
I smiled. The poor kid would never learn our language. I was so proud of my friend. Bringing him to New Haven had been complicated of course, but obviously it turned out to be a really lucky decision.
"Max, come on! You found Danny! You brought him back to us!"
Finally, he nodded.
I drew Max's head toward mine and kissed him squarely on the lips. Not something I had planned, but... Caught up in the moment, I guess!
"I love..." I began, not really knowing how I was going to finish the sentence. But some part of me had no idea what came next, so I couldn't go on.
Max turned red and moved in closer. He grabbed the back of my head and pushed our mouths together again. I was taken by surprise and tried to resist. For his part, Max wasn't interested in a friendly kiss of happiness from me. Max spread his lips apart, forced mine open with his tongue and dove inside of me.
I tried to pull away but Max prevented it. Max was kissing me passionately.
"Oh TJ," he moaned, "I have waited so long to hear you say that."
I put both my hands on his shoulders and pushed Max away from me.
"What are you talking about? I wasn't going to say 'I love you' Max! I was going to say that I love that you came to New Haven with me. I love that you were there to help find Danny. I love that you brought him back to us!"
His face sank.
"You mean, you don't love me?" Max asked sheepishly.
This was so exasperating!
"No Max, I don't love you," I said. "Not like that anyway. We're close friends Max. Really close. And I love that we are!"
"But nothing. It's just not that kind of love Max."
Max turned away; he couldn't look me in the eye.
"Max?" I reached out and timidly placed a hand on top of his head. Max didn't like me touching him right now; he shook his head, and my hand fell off.
Oh my god! This guy was such a little softie. It probably hurt him a lot to finally hear those words from my mouth.
He turned back and looked at me. All of a sudden, he seemed very serious. He took a deep breath.
"Can we just have sex TJ? It would be all right since you love our friendship, yes?" Max begged.
"Max! What? Why? What are you talking about? I just told you that I'm not in love with you. Yes I love our friendship. But that's it! It's a friendship, only that. We're not fuck buddies. Our relationship is not like that!"
"It never will be like that Max! You are my friend!" I was practically shouting now.
Both of us looked toward the door. I hoped that nobody outside the room could hear us.
"I just thought," Max slumped down in a chair and blew air out of his cheeks.
"What? You just thought what Max?"
"I just thought that if I found Danny, then you would..."
"What are you talking about? If you found Danny? What do you mean?"
"I said it wrong," Max said, looking directly at me again. "I said it wrong. I mean, that since I found Danny, then maybe..."
"You're kidding me?! You think that since you found Danny and beat that other guy up that I would have sex with you?"
"That's fucking nuts!" I shouted.
"So there is no reward? For all the work that I did to find Danny?" Max asked me.
"No Max, there is no reward like that. Not sex with me! Not sex with anybody! It's not like you planned on finding Danny or anything and it just happened to work out like that!"
There was silence as Max slowly realized that what I was saying was true. During that silence, I started to make my own connections.
When I first told Max about Danny being missing up in Boston, he seemed to know more about the situation than I would have thought. He was awfully eager to come down here and help me find Danny. And then yesterday, when David and I spent the day with Brian, tooling around New Haven looking for clues, where the fuck was Max then? All day, where the fuck was Max? And then Max just happens to be in the parking lot of a condo complex and sees Danny being hauled out with his head covered? And little Max beats the shit out of some big bad guy and rescues Danny?
And for doing so, Max wants a reward? The reward of having sex with me?
Oh my god, nobody could dream up such a ridiculous scheme!
Or could somebody?
The door opened again and David walked back inside. He looked significantly less green than the last time he'd been in here with me.
"They're letting Danny out soon!" David announced.
"Yay!" I yelled.
"Hi Max," David said.
"Thank you so much for rescuing my brother!" David added, pulling Max into a bear hug.
While I watched the two of them embracing, Max caught my eye. Inside my head, the wheels were turning.
Carey M and Jeremy M stood nervously at the reception desk of the New Haven Police Department. In a backpack, Carey M had secured away the memory stick containing the videotape from Stop 'N Shop. He and his brother Jeremy had agreed that they would insist on seeing a supervisor. They were not about to just hand it over to the first person at the station that they came across, like the receptionist standing right in front of them.
"This stick has some critical evidence that I am sure will help you to find that kid who was kidnapped last weekend," Carey M insisted.
The receptionist was named Bernice. She was an African American woman in her mid-forties, with a Carmen Miranda-like nest of curly blond hair on her head, arched an eyebrow and looked doubtfully at the two young men across the desk from her.
The reception desk at the New Haven Police Department was her personal fiefdom, and nobody passed through unless Bernice said so. Turning away drunks, petty criminals, housewives complaining about their spouse, and even the lonely souls who were just looking to talk with somebody for a little while, Bernice considered those tasks to be her calling. It was a job that needed doing, a vital service to the busy public servants behind the steel doors behind her, and it was a job Bernice did well.
Claiming to have evidence in a crime was a common way that the public used to gain access through those steel doors. Bernice called those doors her own 'pearly gates,' and she treated them with reverence. Sometimes, when the circumstances were just right, Bernice did allow people to walk through those doors, but usually she did not. Those Bernice turned away would have to skedaddle, and quick!
The two young men before her looked a little suspect. Both were young and pretty good looking, as college kids go nowadays anyway. The taller one, with the backpack that allegedly contained the evidence they were talking about, the evidence in a so-called ongoing investigation, that one was dressed in a collared white shirt that had definitely seen better days; that one had hair all messed up; that one looked to Bernice as if he'd been up all night. On the other hand, the shorter one, the one with short-cut red hair and an earnest but smiling face, was not so messy; Bernice considered him the better looking one of the two, someone she would be happy to have grace her doorstep should one of her daughters have been so inclined to date a white boy; he was a catch.
Bernice hadn't completely figured the two of them out, but she believed that they were probably brothers.
Clearly neither one had showered in a while. As the mother of two girls and four boys, Bernice knew all too well the stench of male sex hormones and the two brothers across her desk were reeking of it.
"So are you guys homeless? Do you have families? Do you have showers?" Bernice asked, arching an eyebrow.
Jeremy M and Carey M blushed. They probably were not their best right now.
"Sorry," Jeremy M managed. "We're not homeless, we're just...not clean. We just thought this was important, no time to clean up."
Bernice looked over the top of here glasses and made a sour face. She sighed heavily and looked down again at her fingernails.
"Well, can you at least tell me why this is so important? Why should I believe you about this memory stick? That it contains evidence of a crime?" Bernice asked, her voice sounding doubtful.
"I can't tell you anything about what's on the stick. I am under strict instructions from my manager to hand this over to a supervisor," Carey M said.
Bernice glared at Carey M as he spoke. Her face gave nothing away.
"I must speak to somebody who is at least the rank of Captain. Or maybe a General."
Bernice peered over the top of her reading glasses, doing her best to suppress a smile. A general? What did this kid think they were running here? This was a police station, not a field operation in Afghanistan.
Jeremy M whacked his brother on the side of his head.
"They don't have generals here bro," Jeremy M said. "Don't you ever watch NCIS? The highest ranking officer is probably like the Chief or something."
Bernice nodded once.
"Okay, the Chief then," Carey M said, rubbing above his ear where Jeremy had smacked him. "I want to see the Chief of the Department!"
Now Bernice finally chuckled.
"The Chief? Well, why didn't you say that in the first place? It's Sunday morning, and I am sure he is just sitting at his desk with his feet up, waiting for the two of you goofballs to drop in. Let me just ring him right up."
Carey M smiled and folded his hands on the desk. Now they were getting somewhere.
Jeremy M watched his brother and was about to whack him again but Bernice reached up with her heavily over-manicured and bejeweled hand and did it for him. Right on the side of Carey M's head.
"Yow! What'd you do that for? I thought you were gonna call your Chief for us."
Bernice smiled and leaned forward so that her nose was practically touching Carey M's face. A wayward blond curl, from the swirling nest atop her head fell limply onto Carey's forehead. He could smell the baby powder that she had doused herself with earlier that morning.
"Let me tell you something Pumpkin," Bernice whispered sweetly, before backing away and resuming her sour face.
"It will be a very cold day in Hell before I let either one of you two dumb shits through those steel doors behind me and into the sacred confines of the New Haven Police Department to see Chief Castellucio."
Carey M started to protest, but Bernice immediately shushed him with by holding up just one thick gold-tipped finger.
"So hand over this so-called memory stick that contains the so-called evidence that you claim is on there. I will see that it gets delivered to one of our detectives. Otherwise, I suggest that the two of you young virile dumb shits step back from my Reception desk and head right back outside to
whatever white bread blue blood testosterone-fest that you came from. And for mercy's sake, take a SHOWER!"
Bernice then leaned back in her chair and gave them both an affirmatory nod to underline that she meant exactly what she said.
Carey M's widened and his face turned pale. He opened his mouth to say something, but then decided against it.
"Let's just give her the stick," Jeremy M said to his brother.
He backed away from the desk. Clearly the two of them were not going to get what they wanted from the dragon lady. Jeremy M shuddered. Ordinarily he did everything possible to avoid being so close to women. Especially big women like Bernice. The multi-colored rhinestones in her fingernails were creeping him out!
Carey M smirked and took a deep breath. Mr. Patel had clearly instructed him to pass the evidence only to a supervisor. If Officer Tommy McKeon was already involved with the kidnapping, there was no telling how many more cops were too. Carey M considered his options carefully.
Bernice smiled broadly at the two boys standing across from her. Jeremy M was poised to turn and run out the door. Carey M was fidgeting back and forth on his heels, obviously thinking over what he should do.
"Let me help you out with your decision," Bernice suggested, her voice oozing syrupy sarcasm.
Carey M and Jeremy M held their breath.
"Either hand me the stick in the next fifteen seconds, or I'll have one of the fine police officers that I work for come out here and arrest you both for loitering. I've had just about enough of you smelly boys wasting my precious time this fine morning. And stinking up my Reception area. Do it now, or get out!"
"You can't do that," Jeremy M protested. "We're here trying to help in a criminal investigation!"
Bernice was unfazed. She shrugged her shoulders.
"So then help. Turn over what you have right now or I will tell the detectives that you have material evidence in a crime that you refused to surrender. That carries a prison term of up to five years!"
Both brothers turned white.
The idea of any time behind bars, when they were actually at the station trying to do the right thing was hard to believe. Of course, Jeremy M had plenty of prison cell fantasies that he could conjure up. The vision of him wearing a pair of orange coveralls with a Velcro patch over his ass, for example. Maybe a bit of jail time was exactly what he needed! Slowly, the color began to return to his face.
"I don't get why you're being such a bitch!" Carey M said dolefully. He began to rummage through his back pack.
Bernice grinned. Of course, she knew she had no right to threaten these nice boys with jail time, but she enjoyed seeing their faces too much; it was irresistible. And she'd just deny it if either of them ever complained.
Finally Carey M produced the memory stick. He placed it gingerly on the Reception Desk half way between his hand and Bernice's.
All three of them stared at it, as if it would jump up and dance around on its own. Bernice looked over her glasses at Carey M again.
"I can't reach it all the way over there, pumpkin," she said, her voice infused with syrupy sarcasm.
Slowly, reluctantly, Carey M slid the stick eight more inches over to where Bernice's fingers were drumming lightly on the counter. In a flash, Bernice snatched up the stick and was completely through the steel doors before the boys ever realized what was happening.
They stood at the desk dumbstruck. This had not gone off as they had planned.
The wait for all this police stuff was beginning to wear on David and I. After the silliness with Max, I needed some fresh air. David and I walked outside the hospital to try and clear our heads. We walked two full laps around the complex.
"I can't wait anymore," David announced.
"Me neither, let's go back in," I said.
One of the cops at Danny's door said that they were still conducting the interview and that we couldn't come in yet. Danny was fine, he said, awaiting the results of an MRI of his brain. But, apparently still good enough to continue helping out with the investigation apparently.
The same cop let me know that Brian had gone back to the station. I dialed his cell phone.
"Ruggazione," Brian said when he picked up my call.
"TJ," I said with a giggle.
All morning, I had been fighting the urge to tell somebody about what had happened between Brian and me last night, but who could I tell?
Danny. That's who.
Only Danny would love hearing the story of the little sexual tryst between me and Brian as much as I loved doing it. My mind couldn't get the image of Brian's lips encircling the entire girth of my hard dick. It was a very nice image, and I was going to remember it for a very long time! Somebody else should be able to enjoy it too!
"How's Danny?" He asked immediately.
I paused and took a breath.
"Okay, I guess," I said. "They still won't let us in there to see him. The docs are still checking him out, running some scans of his head I think."
"Good to hear. Let me know how it comes out," Brian said. "Considering what he's been through this past week, I'd say he looks surprisingly good."
My heart swelled. Not only is my police officer a stud and a half, he really cares about Danny too.
"Um, TJ, there's been a little break in the case this morning. That's why I had to go back to the station." Brian said quietly.
"What do you mean, a break? We just got Danny back, what else could...?"
"We have a suspect. We have just taken him into custody."
"Really! That's great!" I shouted.
Several people in the waiting room of the ER turned to look at me when I raised my voice. I mouthed sorry to the crowd and turned my face away.
"There's a strange twist though," Brian said.
"What do you mean 'a strange twist'?"
There was silence on the other end of the line.
"Brian? You still there?"
"Yeah TJ, I'm here."
His voice sounded strange, like he was getting emotional or something.
"Brian, what is it? What's the strange twist?"
"It looks like it was one of us," Brian said, his voice cracking for certain now.
"What are you saying?" I asked.
"It was a cop."
"Whoa," I said.
I could tell that Brian was finding it really hard to talk.
"I can't say more right now. But I should be able to share more with all of you about who we think it is a little bit later today," Brian said. He was keeping his voice as calm as he could.
"Um okay, but how do you know? I mean, what kind of evidence do you have?"
"It's a videotape," Brian answered. "From the Stop 'N Shop. We just saw it this morning."
"But I thought you guys already...?"
This was getting pretty strange. Why the heck would a cop abduct Danny?
"We did see tape from the store already. This is a new one, from a different vantage point. It's pretty clear."
"So you saw the guy take Danny? I mean, the tape shows it?"
"Not exactly, well I'm not really supposed to be talking about this with you," Brian said haltingly.
If he wasn't supposed to be telling me anything, why was he? My brain was doing gymnastics trying to sort all of this out.
"Uh, okay." I said. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to ask more questions or not.
"We had a store employee bring us some additional information along with the new tape just this morning," Brian explained.
"Wow! Brian, I can't believe all of this is happening at the same time. We get Danny back and within a couple of hours we figure out who did it too!? Pretty crazy, right?"
Brian hesitated before answering me. He was getting his regular voice back, the emotion gone.
"TJ, I don't think any of this is a coincidence," he said.
Now I was really confused. What the heck was he talking about?
"What's that supposed to mean? Not a coincidence. I don't get it," I replied.
"I'm afraid I can't answer that right now," Brian replied.
"TJ, what can you tell me about your friend? The one who accompanied you on the train from Boston? The one who says he found Danny?"
"Max? My friend Max? Why do you want to know about Max? He's probably wandering the streets of New Haven right now, reveling in his new status as a hero."
"Um hmm," Brian said.
"If I know Max, I know he's probably out there right now torturing some poor young guy from Yale, trying to get him to sleep with him," I laughed.
"TJ, do you know where Max is right now?"
"Well no, actually. I thought you guys were done asking him about last night. Last I saw him was here at the ER a little while ago. He seemed normal," I lied.
I was remembering the uncomfortable few minutes we'd spent together. What he'd said had gotten me to thinking a lot. But I hadn't been able to pull the puzzle pieces together.
"He's not there with you? And he's not here at the station either," Brian said. It was more of a question than a statement.
Well, of course he's not there. He's out trying to get laid.
"Did you call him? I mean...he'll come right back if you need him too. Max has always had a thing for guys in uniforms," I explained.
Unless of course he already had some poor Yalie pinned naked against the wall of his dorm room.
"Yes, I've tried his cell. Several times. He's not answering. My calls went straight to voice mail." Brian was sounding very official and detective-like now.
"I could try him for you," I offered.
"Great. Thank you. Let him know that we have a couple more questions to ask him. Shouldn't take much time at all. Then he can get back to whatever it is he was doing."
"Okay," I said.
Brian had me a little worried right now. Was he lying to me?
"Please don't tell Max that we have a suspect in custody."
Brian took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
"It's important, TJ, really! Not a word to him about any of the details that I mentioned to you a few minutes ago. Okay?"
"Um, yes...of course. I won't say anything about it."
I felt myself perspiring. What the fuck was going on?
"Okay then, see you soon TJ. And please text me or let me know once you hear anything from your friend Max."
"Okay, I will."
I hung up. I felt a chill run all through me.
I turned to look again at the other people still sitting around in the waiting room. Before I tried Max's cell, I wanted to go and find David. I wanted to tell David the good news. The police had a suspect.
That was a good thing. So why was my whole body shaking?
David had his head in his hands. He looked exhausted, exactly how I felt too.
When I told David that Brian said they had a guy in custody, I could see him visibly lighten. All the same, the best he could manage was a little smile and a fist bump with me.
Maybe there would be a chance for him to be more excited later. Once we were absolutely sure that Danny was out of the woods.
I went back outside to try calling Max.
After one ring, I got voice mail too.
"Max, this is TJ. Hey buddy, Danny's doing great! Just a couple more tests that they want to run, but things look very good so far. I'm still over at the hospital right now, but I'm heading back to the police station in a few minutes."
I paused, thinking carefully about what I was going to say next.
"Why don't you meet me there? No hard feelings about earlier today, all right buddy? I know that it was just you being you."
In fact, if Max had not tried to have sex with me at the station, only that would have been a surprise.
"I mean, we can go and grab a bit to eat together. I haven't really seen you too much this weekend. Uh...I feel like I haven't paid as much attention to you as I should have. So when you get this, ring me back and let me know where you are."
If I went on much longer, Max would know for sure that something was up. I was usually the master of the short voice mail message.
"All right then, that's it. Just call me back, okay buddy? Oh, and it's TJ by the way, in case I didn't say that."
I clicked the off button.
I'm such an idiot.
With nothing more to do at the hospital, I thought I'd go and check in on the investigation. Catch a little time with Brian. But I needed a ride. Maybe one of the cops could take me.
One did. Twenty minutes later, I was back at the New Haven Police Station. It was only late afternoon now, but I felt like I'd been up for days. I was totally wiped.
The officer who drove me back from the hospital buzzed us both in to the private entrance. As soon as he opened the door, I was assaulted by the noise. How did they ever get anything done here?
Brian met me in the hallway. He tried to shake my hand, it had been all of a few hours since I seen him. I insisted on a hug. Brian's face looked nervous but his body gave in to mine willingly. It lasted for a few seconds longer than he was comfortable with. But it was still not long enough for me.
"How's Danny?" He asked me again.
"Same. No change. Nothing back on the brain scan yet. Is that normal?" I answered.
Brian shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. He didn't know either.
"Well, at least he's able to keep talking," Brian offered.
God. If they only knew Danny. The boy could probably be in a coma and keep up a good conversation.
Brian placed a hand in the small of my back and guided me further down the hallway. Perfectly professional, but it felt nice to me.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"There's some one here who you know," Brian answered.
My ears perked up. Who could it be? Max? Had they found him?
Brian gently pushed me ahead. He apparently wasn't going to tell me who it was. We made a left turn and stopped before a door. I recognized it as the same private room that I had been inside of earlier that day.
Brian knocked twice and opened the door. Seated at the table were two men. I didn't recognize the one facing us, but he smiled and stood up as we entered. But there was something oddly familiar about the backside of the guy facing away from the door. He didn't stand up quite so quickly as the one I could see. Probably because he didn't realize we had entered the room.
"TJ, I think you know one of these guys. From up in Boston," Brian said, a wry smile on his face.
The guy facing away turned slowly to face us. He was shorter than the other guy and had distinctive and well kept red hair. And a great smile.
As I realized who it was, I smiled too. From every corner of my body, electricity pulsed into my dick.
It was my English T.A. from BU! Jeremy M.
"Hi, Jeremy, what the heck are you doing here?" I asked.
Jeremy M introduced me to his brother Carey M. With my elevator eyes, I scanned Jeremy M's brother from head to toe. I didn't see the resemblance. He reached out to shake my hand. The two of them smelled like sex to me. I wonder what that was all about.
Brian left us alone and I sat down at the table for a chat.
Ninety minutes later, we were done chatting. What they told me chilled me to the bone! And I really had a phone call to make.
I had to call David Leeman and tell him, that in a completely ridiculous way, I was partly responsible for what had happened to Danny. I was about as completely overwhelmed by the stress as I'd ever been in my life. It was absolutely unbelievable to me that Max had been the mastermind behind everything.
After Jeremy M and his brother Carey had gotten through a few pleasantries, Brian came back. That's when the real information about what had really happened with Danny began to become clear.
Max was the final missing piece of the puzzle, and he was still not answering his cell phone.
Was he the ringmaster of this whole circus?
Max was a smart dude, that much was certain. You don't get into some rocket science program at MIT if you don't have it going on. But I'm not too sure about Max's common sense, and I was definitely not sure about Max's ability to control his libido. But could he really have been this stupid?
I had no idea where Max was. But given what I'd just heard from Jeremy M and his brother Carey, Max was probably long gone, trying to get as far away from New Haven as he could get.
The police would find him of course. Max was no hardened criminal. He would be completely clueless when it came to evading the dragnet that was being set up to locate him. It was only a matter of time.
My eyes were bleary. The news from the supermarket had come as a shock. Jeremy M held my hand.
Carey M looked across the table at me with sad eyes. Or were they just tired eyes? He was the real hero. He was the one who brought the new videotape into the police. He was the one who told the cops all about the officer who had visited him at the Stop 'N Shop last night. He was the one who identified the same cop in a lineup just before I returned to the station. And he was the one who kept his cool while I fell apart as the story had come together and we all figured out how Max was involved.
"So, what do we all do now?" Jeremy M asked.
I shrugged my shoulders. "Beats me," I said.
"I need to sleep," Carey M announced.
"Sounds good," I said.
"Not a bad idea," Jeremy M agreed.
"I'd invite you over to my place, but it's pretty small. I don't even have a bed, just a fold out couch," Max said.
"Gee, that's really nice, but I could probably go back to the hotel that I was..."
"Nothing doing," Jeremy M interrupted. "My friend Paolo has got a really big house. That's where I stayed last night and..."
Carey M started to laugh.
"What?" Jeremy M asked, looking at his younger brother.
Carey M said nothing. He just giggled some more.
"I swear, we slept. Really!" Jeremy M insisted.
Carey M lifted his eyebrows. There was no way the two of them had just slept, he claimed. My gay-dar went into hyper drive.
Jeremy M smacked the table with his palm. The guy had such a little hand that it didn't make much of a sound. It was meaty all the same. I smiled.
"Well, we did sleep. A little bit at least."
Carey M smirked. "I don't know how you managed to sleep at all. That Paolo is a fucking hottie. If it woulda' been me, I don't think I coulda' kept my hands off of him."
I smiled. This was an interesting development. Jeremy M blushed beet red. His brother had officially outed the both of them.
Jeremy M put his head in his hands. Strong, muscular hands. But they barely covered his face.
"Come on Carey!" Jeremy M pleaded. "TJ is in my English class. I'm his T.A. I grade his papers. A little professional courtesy here would be nice. The poor guy doesn't need to hear about my sex life, it's probably the last thing he wants."
I raised a hand to object to that.
Carey M burst out laughing.
"Who doesn't know about your sex life already? Bro? I mean, TJ lives in the same city as you! Is it possible that he's the only boy in Boston who hasn't fucked you? Yet?"
Jeremy M kept his face covered and shook his head.
"I'm going to have to kill you now, you know," Jeremy M said, peeking through thick fingers at his incorrigible brother.
Carey M just laughed some more. "You know I speak the truth, Jeremy," he said.
Jeremy M uncovered his face and lay both his arms onto the table, palms up. The carvings of the muscles in his forearms alone could give me a hard-on.
"Give me a break Carey," Jeremy M said. "You've been fucked in the ass a few times yourself, right? I know that's the truth!"
Carey M looked like he'd been punched in the gut.
"What? There I said it. Now we're both outed."
I said nothing.
Carey M smirked and held up a peace sign.
"Twice!" Carey M said. "I've been fucked exactly twice."
"Well then...there you have it!" Jeremy M said, clearly feeling vindicated.
"In my whole life. Twice. In my whole life! Once back in high school! Some kid in my 11th grade gym class. And once right here in New Haven. About a month ago. I'm afraid I didn't catch his name."
Jeremy M and I chuckled.
"See?" Jeremy M looked directly at me and pointed a thumb at his brother. "He's been fucked twice! So I'm not such a bottom pig now, am I?"
I opened my mouth to say something but decided not to.
"Please. You were probably fucked twice just yesterday. Before lunch!" Carey M teased.
Jeremy M pursed his lips and looked toward the ceiling. He pretended to count on his fingers. When he ran out on one hand, he looked at his brother.
"Well, you'd be about half right, I didn't actually have lunch." Jeremy M said.
I laughed hard at that.
"Slut!" Carey M said with a huge grin.
"Well, little bro, Paolo counts for more than one. Trust me. You'd let him fuck you twice in one day also!"
Carey M slapped his thigh. "Fuck! I knew he had a big dick!"
Jeremy M held his hands about a foot apart and then inched them a little bit farther.
"Yeah, you wish," Carey M taunted.
"I shit you not." Jeremy M said matter of factly. "It's really a girth thing anyway."
Jeremy M held his hands up as if he was holding a grapefruit.
"Wow!" Carey M and I whispered aloud at the same time.
The fabric of my jeans suddenly felt tight around my crotch. This Paolo, and his wiener with the girth of a grapefruit, I had to see!
"So, who's with me?" Jeremy M asked. "Sleepover at Paolo's house? It's been a really long day, am I right?"
Both Carey M and I raised our hands involuntarily.
"I'm in, but first I've got a phone call to make." I said.
"Cool. I might get in a run this afternoon before it gets dark, but just give me a call when you are headed over," Jeremy M said.
A run? Hmm.
Carey M and Jeremy M left the room and I was left alone.
I dialed the phone. After David answered, I made sure he was sitting down. Then I unloaded everything.
As reluctant as I was to make the call to David, it had gone better than I expected.
"What's up with Danny? Can he see us yet?" I asked.
Danny was finished with all of his X-Rays now, and had been given a clean bill of health. But he had a few scrapes, and a mild concussion from whoever bashed him in the parking lot last night. They wanted to keep Danny overnight at the hospital just to make sure he was okay. If everything went smoothly, he would be out tomorrow and free to return him a day or two after that. David was thrilled that his twin brother had come out of everything so well. And his parents were there too. The four of them were having a very happy reunion.
Nothing I had to say about the cops being involved, or Max masterminding some stupid plot, was going to spoil their moods. They had their Danny back, and everything would sort itself out in due course.
As soon as I hung up, Brian entered the room. I smiled, it was really good to see him. He looked haggard and relieved all at the same time.
"We've got him," Brian reported. His face was stern, and he was suppressing a smile.
"Yay!" I said, assuming that we were talking about Max. "Where was he?"
"At Reception, he just walked in on his own and announced who he was to Bernice. She had him through the entry doors and in a set of handcuffs in less than a minute."
"Bernice?" I asked.
Brian pointed his gorgeous eyes directly into mine.
"Our receptionist. Rather large-ish African American woman. Enormous pile of curly blond hair all over the place. Really, you couldn't possibly have missed her."
I shook my head. "No, sorry. I think I came in the back door." I said.
Brian laughed. Clearly he was thinking about last night in the hotel. Oh yeah, how could I forget?
"Not really, no. That would've been me," Brian teased.
I giggled at his joke. How could I forget the manhandling he gave me last night? Seemed like a lifetime ago at this point on Sunday.
"Sorry. Couldn't resist," Brian said, glancing at my crotch.
Whenever anybody looked directly at my dick, and I knew that they were doing it, I inevitably got hard.
Brian's glance had the expected effect. I shoved a hand into a pocket to hide the evidence. Brian smiled.
"Man, you're easy," Brian said.
I exhaled. "You have no idea," I replied. "It's a curse."
"It's okay by me," he said.
"Thanks, that's very nice of you," I said. "To feel sympathy toward the ridiculous college boy who gets hard-ons when the wind blows."
"Well, I've got to get back. They are processing your friend Max now. I'm needed to help with some of the paperwork."
My eyes teared up. "He's not my friend anymore. Maybe he never was."
"No. I guess not," Brian agreed.
Brian gave me a brief hug. I didn't even bother to keep my pelvis from contacting his. Not after what we'd done last night anyway. Brian grinned when he felt my dick through my pants. The evidence was clear: he really had given me a woody.
Reluctantly, he turned to go.
"Oh Brian, will you give Max a message for me?"
"Uh, yeah, I guess, what is it?"
"Tell him that I hope they serve onion kulcha in prison. He'll know what I'm talking about."
"It's Indian food. Max loves it, like these fried onion things. I've seen him make a whole lunch of them."
"I think I might go for a run over at the Yale Bowl. Then I'm going to hang out with Jeremy in a little bit, you know, my T.A. in English."
"Okay," Brian said again.
"The Leemans are still at the hospital and I thought I'd give them their space. You know, as a family."
"You know, you're part of that family, TJ." Brian said sweetly.
I nodded slowly.
"Danny and David. All the Leemans. They really think of you that way. They love you."
Brian's comment got the tears started again. I'm not sure it was true, that the Leeman twins thought of me that way, but it was really nice of him to say.
I rubbed my eyes vigorously, trying to make them stop watering.
This whole crying thing was ridiculous enough, but then to have a boner at the same time just because Brian had shot a quick glance at my crotch! How much more of a basket case could I be?
Brian placed his hand just above my hip and left it there for a moment. I could tell that this case had taken a lot out of him. Apart from the tears, he was probably nearly as much of a wreck as I was.
"Have fun with Jeremy," Brian said as he opened the door to leave. "He seems like a pretty nice guy. Did you know he's a triathlete too?"
"Oh really?" I lied. "I hardly noticed, he didn't mention it."
"You're a terrible liar TJ. The guys pretty fucking cut."
I nodded and Brian began to close the door. I had an idea.
"Join us. I don't know exactly what we're gonna do, but I'm sure you're welcome. You know, over at Yale Bowl. Or whatever."
"I just may. I could use some exercise. Maybe a little down time," Brian said.
He closed the door after him. I was left standing there alone, my eyes moist and my dick hard. Again.
I called David one last time.
David sounded surprisingly contented when I reached him.
He reported that all of the Leemans were safely tucked in over at the hospital. Danny had a private room upstairs, and was getting in a little snooze. Several members of the New Haven police force were hovering about. They felt a lot better. Danny was going to be all right.
In a few days, Danny would be released and I could get to spend some time with him.
I'd decided to stay in New Haven for a few days, maybe help however I could. Before he and his brother split, Jeremy M agreed to help me out. He took care of things with my English class. I made a few more phone calls to my instructors and left messages for a couple. The ones I reached listened to my story and were surprisingly understanding. I could make up the work as soon as I got back. Apparently they had already been contacted by one of the security officers at school and had a rough idea of what was going on.
My life as a college student could get back on track in just a few short days. All neat and tidy and wrapped up in a bow. Soon I'd be back in the grind, ready to wrap up the school year.
Max. Poor misguided Max. What on earth was he thinking hatching this plot? Brian told me that Max had never intended for Danny to be hurt badly. And he never intended on Danny being abducted. Just roughed up a bit. And then Max had planned that he would be there, right there by my side, when I needed him. Brian said that was the key to his plan. That his emotional depth and compassion was supposed to get me to fall in love with him. Or at least to finally agree to have sex with him. Such a simple need Max had. Sex with me, that's all he wanted. It all boiled down to that.
But what a stupid fucking idea it was!
None of us would ever be the same. Not Danny of course. Not me or David.
And not Max, or even the cop that he gave money to make sure things didn't get too far out of hand. At least the cop had the good sense to go and help Danny out after this thugs he was hanging out with beat the shit out of him.
In time, I was certain that I could put all of this behind me.
And maybe meeting Brian would turn out to be a good thing in my life. Or maybe I'd just be fuck buddies with my English T.A. Jeremy M.
It appeared that for the first time in my life, I had choices. And pretty good ones at that.
After I'd finished talking with David Leeman on the phone, I decided to go for a run. But I needed my stuff if I was gonna go out for a long one. Jeremy M and Paolo could wait a bit.
In my street clothes, I jogged quickly over to the hotel.
I changed in the lobby bathroom, stuffed my clothes into a bag and gave the bellman another five bucks.
There was a cool breeze blowing that I could feel against the fine layer of sweat I'd just worked up. Since I didn't know my way around, I kept to city streets where there people about.
Dancing between pedestrians and baby strollers is not exactly my favorite way to burn some miles, but it felt exhilarating to be running. To be back into life again. As I ran, there were people waiting on the sidewalk for the light to turn green, people absorbed in conversation or people texting away on their phones. There were Yale students streaming in and out of the bars on Chapel Street, and there were students laughing or talking way too loudly; Sunday Fun Day I guess. I crossed some streets. Cars were honking. There were kids with their ice cream cones. My stomach growled.
Running made me feel alive. And today, that's exactly what I needed.
I turned right onto the Yale campus and started looking for the Bowl. The Yale Bowl where the track meet had been held last weekend. Practically a lifetime ago. Somebody mentioned that it was a mile or so off campus. They gave me directions and I ran toward it.
There was no football or soccer game on the field, but the track was lit.
A few students and few locals jogged around. I found a lane and fell into a natural rhythm. I kept up my pace.
It felt good, my legs stretching in front of me, my heels pushing against the soft bouncy surface. This was what I was meant to do. To run. I would never be an Olympic athlete. I'd probably never even make an NCAA finals. And, unless a miracle happened or I somehow got a heckuva lot faster, I would probably never even get an invitation to any more of the big college meets. Last weekend, right here at the Bowl was a one-off and I knew it.
But, despite that, I knew then, as I know now. I am a runner. That's what I do. That's what I'm good at. I do my best at school. At meeting guys. At being a good son for my parents, a good brother. But, all of that is still an open question for me. The jury is still out.
But I do run, and I do it well.
Rejuvenated by the wind against my face, I accelerated.
I easily passed by the casual joggers hugging the inside lane.
I don't know how many laps I ran. It was completely dark when I decided to stop. I can't remember when I had ever run so fast. If I'd been racing last Sunday on this very track, in the finals of the Yale Invitational, I felt very sure that I could have given those other college boys quite a race. Maybe I'd have placed.
With my hands on my hips, I decided to walk a lap as a cool down. I was catching my breath when I caught a glance of another runner entering the track. He was fast too. He was in at least a sub five minute mile pace. Crazy! Could it be a Yale student? A left over from last week's meet?
As the runner for closer, I could make out only a few details in the dim light. On the short side. Red hair, closely cropped. I knew exactly who it was.
He ran past me once without stopping. How could he not have seen me?
I watched circle the track in a blaze of speed, his shorter legs pumping stride after stride. As he rounded the turn behind me, I stopped. I turned to face him.
We both knew in an instant. It took him a few paces to pull up, and he came up awkwardly about fifteen feet past.
He reached out a hand. I walked up and took it in mine.
We ran together for a few more laps, Jeremy M's blistering stride a little too much for me but I managed to keep up. When he judged that I was having trouble, Jeremy M slowed and allowed me to come along beside him. He smiled at me, and I managed a half grin, half call for help in return.
Then my phone rang. We both stopped as I answered it.
It was Brian. He had his running gear on and wanted to know if he could still meet me at Yale Bowl for a run.
"It's dark, you know," I said.
"Good," Brian said. "I'll be right there."
I reported the conversation to Jeremy M and he grinned.
"Sounds fun," he said. "Let's get in a few more."
And off we went.