Back upstairs in the Stop 'N Shop office, it was early Sunday morning, near the end of their overnight shift. Sunil Patel and Carey M were resting after their night duty; they sat at the built-in desk talking about all the unfortunate business that had occurred at their supermarket lately.
"I can assure you, Mr. Carey, this is all very unusual," Sunil said.
"That's good," Carey M responded, sounding relieved. "I never would have thought that simply managing a store would have so much drama."
"No, no, do not worry. While visits by the police to collect shoplifters occur regularly, it is most unusual to have visits by the police for other reasons. In all my years, I cannot remember any other episode like this one. Very unusual indeed!"
Both of them looked absently at the video monitor over their head. The screen was divided into four rectangles, each section from a different part of the market. The four rectangles remained in view for 15 seconds, and then were replaced four different views again lasting for 15 seconds. After another 15 seconds, the second set of video feeds was replaced again by the first set. And the loop repeated itself, over and over again. It was both extraordinarily boring and mesmerizing to sit in the office and watch. Both Sunil and Carey M were currently transfixed. They watched in silence and said nothing to each other for several minutes.
"I feel so bad for that kid who got kidnapped," Carey M said with a sigh.
"Yes, so sad, so sad," Sunil agreed. "But the police will catch the people who did this terrible thing. Of this, I am certain."
Carey M smiled and looked at his manager.
"Really, I hope you're right! I just don't have a lot of faith in the police these days," Carey M replied.
Sunil Patel smiled back at him.
"I am right," Sunil said simply.
"How can you be so sure? That dumb-ass cop who was in here earlier doesn't exactly make me believe that we've got the best quality guys on the case."
Sunil smiled again.
"Fortunately, that policeman who was here in the office several hours ago is not the finest that the great city of New Haven has to offer," Sunil offered.
"What do you mean?" Carey M asked.
Sunil paused, sighed heavily, and then reached over to the computer. He tapped on the mouse and the screen lit up.
"What?" Carey M asked again.
"Patience, Carey. Let me show you."
"What? What are you going to show me?"
Sunil tapped around the screen until he found the file he was looking for. Once he had it, he double clicked and a video began to load. Moments later, a surveillance tape from the store archive began to play. Carey M watched in astonishment. It was from last Saturday night, from when the college kid had been in the store, just before he was assaulted and abducted in the parking lot outside. It showed Danny Leeman standing at the register, paying for his purchases. It also showed a large group of boys come into the line just behind him.
Sunil and Carey M watched the video slowly advance. It appeared that the college kid was engaged in a conversation with the guys in line. He turned to face them head on as he waited for his change. There were some aggressive movements that appeared directed at Danny. But Danny held his ground; at one point, he even leaned toward the group of guys, certainly not backing down from whatever it was they were talking about.
Carey M jumped out of his chair.
"Oh my god! This is great; this is exactly what the police need. If we can blow it up, maybe we can see their faces. Maybe we can see who they actually are, and then the police can go and find these creeps! And bring that kid back home!"
"Yes, Carey I think we can do that. This tape will be very helpful to the police. Indeed it will," Sunil agreed.
Carey M picked the landline phone out of its cradle on the desk.
"Then let's call them!" he shouted. "Let's call that officer that was just here! The sooner they see this, the sooner they can go and find that kid!"
Sunil raised his hand to calm his assistant.
"In due course, Carey," Sunil said. "Let the tape play for a moment, and you'll see what I am talking about."
The video continued to roll. All of the boys in the group were moving animatedly, making gestures toward the college kid in front of them. Carey M noticed that one of the boys toward the back of the little pack was not moving. He was standing very still, just staring ahead of him; even with the low quality of the film, the guy looked vaguely familiar to Carey M.
Then, in a flash, it was all over. Danny Leeman exited the check stand and appeared to begin to walk out of the store. The videotape began to capture other customers making their purchases, nothing out of the ordinary for Stop 'N Shop late on a weekend evening. Carey M glanced over at Sunil Patel; he didn't understand what was going on; he didn't see what Sunil appeared to see, what it was that his manager felt would definitely help to find the guy who was abducted.
Sunil tapped on the mouse a few times.
"While you were still up here in the office last night assisted the officer to obtain the copy of the parking lot surveillance that he had requested, I decided to go and take a look at some of the videotape footage from last Saturday night from inside of the store."
Bells were starting to go off inside of Carey M's brain.
"So, you're saying that these shots of the guys from inside the store will help to I.D. the suspects? And this video is better than the really dark one from outside?" Carey M asked.
"Yes Carey, just wait. You will see something very interesting in a moment," Sunil said.
Carey M watched the figures on the screen growing larger. Sunil used a zooming function to slowly provide a close-up of the lone person who was being still as his friends moved about wildly. As the still figure gradually came into better and better focus, Carey M couldn't believe his eyes! Sunil kept increasing the zoom. First the head and torso, then the chest, then the arms.
And there it was!
Carey M was seeing a close up of the fire tattoo emblazoned on the arms of the police officer who he had spent the earlier part of his work shift with inside the office at the back of the store. The same guy who Carey M had let copy the surveillance videotape from the parking lot. The same guy who Carey M was in the process of blowing, only to be interrupted by the call from downstairs telling him that his brother Jeremy was in the market.
Officer Tommy McKeon of the New Haven Police Department!
Even though he was not wearing his police uniform, the likeness was unmistakable. The top of his head with thinning brown hair. The perfect Gallic face. The chest and arms that could probably lift a Volkswagen over his head. And the tattoos of fire, starting at his shoulders and licking at his elbows.
Holy fucking shit! Officer Tommy McKeon was a part of the gang that beat the shit out of that poor college kid. And Officer Tommy McKeon was just in the market trying to get a copy of the parking lot videotape. The same videotape that would place him in the gang of bad guys who kidnapped somebody. No wonder Tommy wanted to remove the tape from the Stop 'N Shop completely. He was covering himself up.
"While you were upstairs in the office with that policeman, I did a little work on the store computer down in our Customer Service area. I thought I recognized his face," Sunil explained sheepishly.
"Holy crap!" Carey M said out loud. And I sucked his dick!
"So this is why I am certain we can help that young boy from the Oregon college out," Sunil said. "We simply have to turn this tape over to the New Haven police department, and they will find that the crime was carried out by one of their own. In the morning, after you and I are completed from our shift, we will go down to the station house together."
"Wow! Sunil, this is amazing! We can really help out here! This is a great bit of work you did!"
"Well...it was really nothing. Just in a days work as a store manager for this fine company."
"Still," Carey M said. "This is so cool. Just like on Hawaii-Five-O or something."
"Never mind," Carey M said. Obviously, his manager did not share his passion for the tropical crime drama. Or for Dan-o.
"I have already informed the corporate office that we are in possession of this second tape. I am expected to participate on a conference call shortly after our shift ends this morning. So if you have time, I would appreciate your help Carey," Sunil began. "We should apprise the other detectives at the New Haven police department of this second recording. I'm sure they would like to see it."
"Oh man, yeah," Carey M said, excitedly. Despite his life-long love of any kind of man in uniform, he had never been so closely involved in a crime, certainly not in helping to solve one. By Carey M's reasoning, just blowing a cop was cool, but it didn't really make the community a better place to live.
Carey M would love to help.
"Well, then it's settled then," Sunil said. "While I participate in this call, you will take the disk containing the surveillance video down to the police station."
"Great!" Carey M said. He was practically jumping out of his skin he was so stoked to be doing this.
"But you must remember to be careful, young man," Sunil advised. "We don't know exactly how they will react to being told that a member of the force appears to be involved in the disappearance of this unfortunate young man."
That was sobering.
Fuck! What if they were all in on it? Carey M would have to play his cards very carefully. He would have to size up the men (or maybe women) at the station using all of his powers of judgment.
That should pose no problem at all, Carey M reasoned. Sizing men up was one of his strongest qualities. He smiled to himself. Piece of cake.
Unless of course the officer behind that he had to speak with was a woman.
Then he was screwed.
Then Carey remembered his friend from the gym. Brian something. He taught classes at the health club Carey M went to. And he was freaking hot. Not as hot as Tommy McKeon maybe, but still. He went upstairs to punch out.
It had been quite a shift at the market and Carey M was confused. After signing off to the day team on Sunday morning, he walked to his car. He got in and closed the door. He needed time to think.
First, Carey M meets a cop from the New Haven. Who says he is investigating the disappearance of the kid who got beat up outside the store last Saturday night. It started out simple enough. Officer Tommy McKeon wants to see the surveillance tape. But then the guy has to take the tape back to the station and doesn't want any copies left behind at the store. Second, Carey M's manager, Sunil, becomes suspicious and leaves Carey M behind with the guy in the back office while Sunil boots up a different computer down in Customer Service. Then, when Carey M's brother Jeremy shows up unexpectedly, he and Officer McKeon finish up in the back office and the cop has what he wanted. But McKeon doesn't join Carey M to meet his brother; instead he bolts. Minutes later, they see the policeman in the parking lot outside involved in a heated discussion with some guy from Boston. And it turns out that the guy from Boston and his brother Jeremy know some of the same people. Weird. Finally, as their shift is coming to a close, Sunil informs Carey M that he recognized the cop on the surveillance tape downstairs in Customer Service; they view it together and fucking A! That's Tommy McKeon right in the middle of the group of guys who were just about to beat up that kid.
No wonder Tommy wanted the hard drive scrubbed clean. College kid comes into Stop 'N Shop, gets fag bashed, then disappears. And the tape would point directly to member of New Havens finest!
So who was the guy that Tommy McKeon was arguing with outside the store? The guy from Boston? It seemed like the two of them knew each other pretty well.
Sunil said that he was going to drive over to the Police station with the other copy of the surveillance tape from Last Saturday night. But Carey M wondered if there wasn't more to it. Could that guy from up in Boston be involved too? That guy that his brother Jeremy seemed to be connected to?
There was only one way to find out. Carey M dialed his brother's cell phone.
The phone rang three times before anybody even heard it.
Jeremy M was sound asleep. He was sore everywhere. His legs, his feet, his butt. Even his cock ached from all he had put it through yesterday.
He yawned and reached across Paolo.
Paolo was laying on his back with a hard-on. He had cast the blanket aside and the sheet was tangled around one leg. The other leg and his dick were exposed. Jeremy M wanted to grab Paolo's cock instead of the phone. But he was a college TA now. With responsibilities. He glanced quickly at the name on the screen.
It was his brother.
Jeremy M answered before the end of the fourth ring, never taking his eyes off of the wiener laying there like a salami on Paolo's thigh.
"Hullo?" Jeremy M said into the phone, his voice cracking.
"Uh, hi Jeremy, this is Carey."
Jeremy M smiled. Of course it was Carey.
"Uh, sorry if I am calling pretty early," Carey M said.
Jeremy M lay back onto his back and switched the phone to his left ear in his left hand. His right hand he placed, as best he could, around the thickest part of Paolo's penis. He didn't make it all the way. Paolo noticed and moaned softly.
"No problem, I'm just kind of laying around," Jeremy M said into the phone.
Carey M laughed. "I'll bet," he said.
Jeremy M laughed too. As he adjusted the phone against his ear, he considered hopping aboard Paolo's dick and talking to his brother while he fucked the Brazilian again. Paolo sensed exactly what Jeremy M was thinking and held his cock straight up. For easier mounting.
Jeremy M smiled but stayed put beside him.
"So I need your help bro," Carey M. "You remember that cop you met last night?"
"Well, we've got some footage of him from inside the store," Carey M explained.
"Well, he was right in the middle of that gang of guys from last Saturday night. He was one of the guys who were involved with that guy who was abducted."
"Holy shit!" Jeremy M said. No wonder the cop was acting so weird when they met him outside.
Jeremy M was gently stroking Paolo's cock as he talked to his brother. Paolo had his elbows behind his head, enjoying the attention.
"So to make things worse, when I was upstairs with the guy, just when you and your friend Paolo showed up, I had been helping him to get a copy of the video file from outside. He thought that was the only video we had, and he insisted on taking all copies of it over to the precinct station in New Haven. What the cop doesn't know is that we also have this other one. From another vantage point inside the store. That's the one that he shows up in. That's the one that puts the cop on the scene the night the college kid disappeared."
Jeremy stopped jacking Paolo's cock and sat up, his brain working quickly. Paolo frowned.
"So if the cop wanted to take all copies of the video away from the market, clearly he's covering up. He must be guilty of something," Jeremy M said excitedly.
"Exactly," Carey M said.
"Maybe he even knows where the kid is," Jeremy M said.
"Exactly," Carey M said. "In fact, maybe that's why we saw that weird thing between the cop and the dude from Boston in the market parking lot last night!"
"Hmm, that could be. That guy who knows one of my freshman students. Whoa!"
"That's why I called you," Carey M said. "I need your help. This whole thing has gotten complicated."
"You need my help? What the heck can I do?"
"Go with me to the police. Please!"
"Fuck, Carey! This sounds kind of dangerous. What if the all the cops are dirty? This is way over our heads."
"I know a guy," Carey M responded. "One of the instructors at my gym is also a cop. I can talk to him."
"Really, a cop who teaches at a club? Never heard of such a thing."
"He's pretty fucking cute too," Carey M said.
"I'm in," Jeremy M said.
Jeremy M hopped out of bed, his semi-boner bouncing against his lower abdomen.
"Cool, thanks bro. I'll come by and pick you up at Paolo's."
Jeremy M looked down at himself. He was nearly hard. He was coated in cum. And the guy in the bed had just repeatedly plowed his butt. He needed a shower, and he would have to be quick about it. He looked over at Paolo, who was now using his own hands to masturbate himself.
Paolo smiled. "Go," he said.
"This is to be continued," Jeremy M said as he jogged off to the bathroom.
Brian's arm was draped across my chest. He lay on his front side, I was on my back. While he slept, I had been staring at his very well defined back muscles for at least twenty minutes. For a guy who spent most of his time in a police uniform, he was surprisingly tan. Or was that just good genes? His skin was soft too, as if he'd been scrubbing it regularly. He even smelled good.
Man! Some guys had it all!
While I pondered the unfairness of my own genetic background, I was also deciding what to do about Brian's arm.
Half of me was trying to decide how to extricate myself from beneath his arm, the other half of me was not interested in moving at all. Right now, the half that was happy staying put was winning the battle. Plus I was trying to figure out if I could ever have back muscles like Brian.
Under the covers, I shifted my legs a little. Brian's body noticed and he stirred. His eyes opened.
I smiled at him.
"Hi," Brian said.
He kissed my nipple.
"Hi," I said back.
My nipple reacted by tenting up a tiny bit. Brian took a nibble. He tensed his arms in a half yawn.
"What time is it?" he asked.
I couldn't see the clock. "I have no idea," I said.
He twisted in the bed and reached across me, trying to grab hold of my cell phone on the nightstand. It was only quarter to eight, he announced.
Too early for a Sunday morning, we silently agreed.
Brian took my cell phone and rubbed the face of it across my chest. The cool glass against my skin was electrifying. My cock, pretty much spent from the events of the prior evening, dug deep and sprung to life.
The crook of Brian's arm rested lightly across the top of my dick head. The movement of my cock was noted. Brian grinned.
"Well good morning to you too," he said, lightly skating my phone across my torso in a figure eight.
He moved his mouth down to my dick and let it flop against his tongue.
"Uh," I started to say something, then decided against it. Let it happen, I told myself.
"Morning wood," Brian said, as he slobbered up and down the shaft of my wiener. "Very nice."
"Thanks," I laughed. I writhed on the bed as the top of my cock found Brian's throat.
For the next five minutes, Brian sucked my dick. I could easily have cum in his mouth, but part of me was holding off. I really had to pee, and I wasn't sure it was safe for me to just let go.
"Fuck! For a straight guy, you're pretty good at this," I said. It was true, he was.
"Who says I'm a straight guy?"
"You're a cop, right? Aren't all cops straight?"
Brian let my dick out of his mouth with a pop, but continued to jack me off with a hand. He looked up at me, his eyes serious.
"Does this look like something that a straight cop would do?" he asked.
"I don't know," I said. "Just keep doing it."
"Yes sir," Brian said. "Anything you say, sir."
"Good," I said.
For five more minutes, Brian edged me to the brink of orgasm and then brought me back gently. He licked my dick like a pro. Straight cop or not, I was impressed. I'd have to remember some of these moves.
"So how big is it anyway?" Brian asked.
"How big is what?"
Brian looked up at me again. "This," he said, holding my hard-on up for me to see it.
"Oh that, well, I don't really know actually," I lied.
"You're kidding me? Everyone knows how big their dick is."
I shrugged and looked away.
"Well let me see," Brian said, sitting up. He put his foot up against my cock. His foot was clearly longer.
"Okay so it's not as long as a foot."
I laughed out loud.
"That's impossible. Nobody's penis is as long as their foot," I said.
"Well, I thought you'd be pretty close," Brian said.
Since we were practically in a 69 position already, I took hold of Brian's foot and stuck his big toe into my mouth. He went back to stroking and licking my dick. I went back to moaning, on the verge of shooting my load into his mouth.
Brian let me do whatever I wanted to with his toes. They were nice and tasted more like the sheets from the bed than like shoes. He seemed to like it, so started to use my teeth as well.
"Don't!" he cried out suddenly. "That fucking tickles!"
I ignored him and grabbed his foot again. He moaned softly.
In response, Brian picked up the pace on my cock. I moaned loudly.
"You know you're gonna make me cum," I yelped, when I was absolutely sure it was just about to happen.
"Good," Brian said, before burying his head more deeply in my crotch. Brian's right hand and his entire mouth had my dick completely under his control. Brian's left hand jerked his one dick. While I slurped his foot, I looked at his cock. It was very possible that his own foot would give his cock a run for its money.
When I came, Brian never pulled away. I could feel him swallowing and sucking more out at the same time. I reached a hand over to take hold of Brian's rigid dick, but he had the situation fully in hand. He shot a load that made an arc high over the bed before landing with a splat on the lower part of my chest.
"Ahh," Brian said, with most of my dick still inside his mouth.
"Fucking ahh is right," I agreed. I flexed up and managed to get my lips around the top of Brian's dick. I milked the shaft with my hands and was rewarded with a tiny bit more of his juice.
"Ahh," Brian said louder. "Quit it! Not fair! It's too sensitive!"
"Yes sir," I said. But I gave him one final lick as I pulled my tongue away.
"Ahh, shit!" Brian squealed.
My cell phone rang. We glanced at one another, very happy for the timing.
"Hello?" I answered.
"TJ, it's Max."
He sounded out of breath.
"Max, what the heck? Where are you buddy? I was so worried."
"I have good news, you are down sitting, yes?" Max said. I could hear the strain in his voice. Of course I was sitting down. It was early on a Sunday morning.
"What is it Max? Did you get laid?"
"Yes, my good friend. I mean, no. I did not find love. Sadly. But I found something better."
"What could better than that for you Max?" I asked him.
"It is better. Much, much better. I found Danny!" I have him with me now!"
The first thing he noticed when he woke up was the sound of cars. Honking.
Danny Leeman blinked his eyes open. He had a whopping headache.
He heard a bird.
Despite his head, he smiled. He hadn't heard a bird in over a week. The side of his head felt funny. He reached up to touch it, his fingertips pressing lightly against his temple. It was crusted over, and very tender.
"Yow," he said quietly to himself. There didn't appear to be anybody else in the room other than him.
When he had finished examining himself with his fingertips, he raised the hand in front of his face. His hand! He could move his hand! He wasn't handcuffed!
He raised his head up.
"Yow!" this time out loud. Everything above his neck ached.
"Oh hello there," a voice behind him said.
Danny twisted his neck to see who had spoken to him. The effort to turn his neck caused him enormous pain and he howled. Danny put his hand back onto his forehead, closed his eyes and fell back against the pillow on the couch.
"Take it easy, Danny Leeman," the voice said. "You will be okay, I have evaluated your condition and it is not serious."
"What? What do you mean? It's not serious?! It feels like the whole fucking side of my head got kicked in!"
"It did not get kicked in," the voice responded. "It is not kicked in, in other words."
"What?" Danny tried to turn again. He winced in pain.
Max stood up and came to stand directly in front of Danny.
Danny squinted and looked Max up and down.
"Who? Who are you? Where's the guy with the tattoos?"
"My name is Max," Max replied. "I have secured your rescue. You are safe with me."
"Max? Rescue? What the hell are you talking about?"
"You are rescued. I mean to say, 'I rescued you.'"
"Yes Danny, you are safe now. Here with me."
Danny tried to shake his head, to get the cobwebs out. But doing so only made everything worse and he shrieked in pain again.
"But how could I be safe? Who are you? Where are the police? Where is my family?"
"Danny, I just said. I am Max. I saw a man walking with you in a parking lot. The man had placed a dark clothing over your head and he was moving your location. I intervened and you were rescued. Saved."
"Um, well good, thank you. But I still don't understand. You intervened? What does that mean? Are you a cop?"
"No Danny, I am not a member of the police. I go to school up in Boston, at MIT. I traveled to New Haven with my good friend TJ. He is very worried about you. He came here to try and find you out. But I find you out instead."
"What? Hold it! You know TJ? From Boston? He's here?"
"Yes, we will call him shortly. TJ is at a hotel. So is your brother David. They are both here in the city of New Haven," Max said.
Tears streamed from Danny's eyes at the mention of his brother's name. David and everyone else in the family had to worried to death about him.
"You mean? They are here? But how did you save me? The man with the tattoos was taking me outside. And then I don't remember anything after that."
"There was an altercation, a fight. And I prevailed. I took down the man and you got a little bit injured during the tussle," Max explained.
A tiny memory trace flashed across Danny's mind. The last time he had been handcuffed head and toe he remembered that the man, his captor, was talking with somebody outside of Danny's door. Danny wondered if the man standing in front of him now was that somebody.
Danny touched the side of his head lightly again.
"Are you a doctor or something? How do you know I am all right?" Danny asked.
"No Danny, I am not a doctor. I am a freshman at MIT. Physics major. I don't care very much for people with blood."
"People with blood? Don't all..."
"No, I mean people with blood on them. Like you have. On the side of your head. I tried to clean it up a little. But there is still some blood there, as you can tell," Max said patiently.
Very carefully, Danny rotated his neck from side to side. He winced in pain several times as his head turned very slowly.
"If you kicked the shit out of the guy with the tattoos, how come I seem to be the only one who got hurt?" Danny asked.
"You should have seen the other guy," Max answered with a laugh.
Danny suppressed a smile.
"Um, so where are we?"
"This is my hotel room," Max said. "I brought you here to clean you up after the rumble in the parking lot. And then you fell asleep."
"I fell asleep? Sounds like I was pretty much knocked out during the, the rumble."
"Well yes. And no. You did not sleep until you arrived with me here at this hotel room," Max said.
"And you are going to take me to see my brother?" Danny asked. "And TJ?"
"Yes Danny. We will go see them soon. I know the way, it is within walking distance to the hotel where I booked for TJ."
"What? You booked for TJ? I don't understand," Danny said, truly not getting it.
"Let's talk about all of this later, my friend. Let's get you all cleaned up and presentable first."
"My shower. You can take a shower. It's in there." Max pointed to the hotel bathroom.
"We're in a hotel? In New Haven? Which one?" Danny asked.
"This is the Courtyard. It is part of the large national hotel chain from the Marriott company," Max said.
"Courtyard? I think I remember that one," Danny said. "Before I got taken, I mean."
"Yes, very unfortunate," Max agreed, trying to look sad.
"So do I just go take a shower?"
"Yes," Max answered.
Danny stood up slowly. He put both of his hands on his head as he did.
"Of course, if you require assistance, I am available to help."
For the first time since he'd woken up, he looked carefully at Max. The guy wasn't bad looking actually. Probably Indian or Pakistani, dark hair pushed off to one side. Decent body.
If Danny's head felt just a little bit better, he might even consider taking the guy up on his offer of the shower.
"I think I'm good," Danny said. He shuffled his feet into the bathroom. The bright light was overwhelming and he yelped in pain again.
After a minute to allow his eyes to adjust, Danny pushed back the shower curtain and turned on the water. He took off his shirt and examined himself in the mirror. He seemed to be intact. His wrists had bruises though from where he had been shackled.
Could this whole nightmare finally be over? He thought of David and his family. He thought of TJ. How much time had passed? And what the fuck happened to the guy with the tattoos? As the warm water began to steam up the bathroom, his reflection gradually faded. It was fine though, he didn't need to see himself crying yet again.
Max picked up his cell phone and dialed the familiar number. This was the call he had been dying to make for so long.
And despite everything that had happened, Max was actually making it. His plan might work after all. He waited for TJ to pick up.
Then Max spoke into the phone. He too was crying.