Building Things Chapter 33

Conner and Alec came back into the house, carrying bags from Conner's rental car. They walked through the kitchen, looking at Ty, who was still at the counter. Conner stopped and looked at him for a long minute, giving him the million dollar smile. Ty put down his coffee cup, and walked around the counter.

"Did you need a hand or something?" Ty smiled.

"No." Conner said. "So, are you going to tell us what's going on?"

"I guess I could watch you unpack your underwear and tell you." Ty wiggled his eyebrows. He followed Conner and Alec into the bedroom. They dropped the bags on the bed, and began to unzip them. Ty sat on the edge of the bed. Alec looked at Conner as he stood at the end of the bed.

"Want me to get the rest of them?" Alec asked. Conner looked up and smiled softly.

"That would be great, babe." Conner said, then turned and opened a drawer of the dresser. Alec walked out of the room. Conner was picking up some clothes out of his suitcase, looking at Ty as he sat there. Conner stopped and walked back around the bed. He stood in between Ty's knees. Ty looked up at him. "So," Conner said, as he put a hand to Ty's cheek, "I heard that you and Alec had a really good time while I was gone."

"Yeah." Ty said, reaching up, putting his hands on Conner's narrow waist. "And I heard that it was all your idea." Ty squeezed his hands on Conner's hips. Conner wiggled his eyebrows and then leaned down and kissed Ty deeply, tonguing him furiously. He slowly pulled back. "Miss me?" Conner asked.

"I did, actually." Ty said in a soft voice. "Fuck, you're so hot."

"You're not too bad yourself, big guy." Conner smiled and then kissed him softly and quickly. Conner backed up, and went to go back to the suitcase, walking around the bed.

"And you're a fucking tease, too." Ty said, with a smile.

"Oh?" Conner said, with wide eyes. "Want a taste before Derrick gets home?"

"Taste what?" Alec asked, coming in with the last bag, then set it on the bed, looking at both of them. He was standing near Ty. Ty put a hand on the small of Alec's back, tucking a couple of fingers into Alec's waist.

"This." Ty said, using his arm to pull Alec to him, then he leaned in and kissed him, deeply, tonguing Alec, as Alec was melting into it, Ty took his other hand and grabbed Alec's bulge in his pants. Conner watched as Alec was almost like putty in Ty's powerful arms. Ty slowly pulled back, looking at Alec. "Conner was teasing me." Ty said softly. He looked at Conner, as he kneaded Alec's bulge, making it grow in his hand. "You're not the only one that can tease, you know?" Ty let Alec go completely, then crossed his arms over his massive chest. Alec was mystified, looking back and forth at the two of them.

"What did I miss?" Alec asked, trying to regain himself.

"Not much." Conner said. He looked at Alec. "You okay?"

"Uh..." Alec said, knowing he was boning, but couldn't help it, "yeah, yeah...I, uh...need some water." He turned and walked out of the room.

"You're such a bitch, you know?" Conner said, with a grin.

"And you? You're not?" Ty asked.

"Slut." Conner grinned.

"Cock tease." Ty grinned back, then stuck out his tongue at Conner. "I'll be in the kitchen."

"Keep your hands off my boyfriend, slut." Conner called out to Ty, as he left the room.

"Maayyybbbeeeee." Ty called back as he walked across the kitchen. He saw Alec sipping water at the sink. Ty walked up to him and picked up his coffee cup again. Ty smiled at Alec. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." Alec was blushing, not looking at Ty.


"No, it's not you."

"Then what is it?" Ty asked.

"You just got me all boned up with touching me." Alec blushed again.

"There was a kiss, too."

Alec looked up at him, his eyes were wide, and then softened. "I know." Alec looked a little upset to Ty.

"Sorry if I made you uncomfortable."

"You didn't." Alec said, putting a hand to Ty's upper arm, then rubbed it. "It's just, well..."

"What?" Ty asked, getting a little closer.

"It's just that we've been fucking like rabbits all morning long, and then you touch me, and well, now,..."

"You want it taken care of, right?" Ty asked. Alec looked up at with wide eyes. "Oh, I'm not gonna do it." Ty said. "Don't look at me, after that little setup that you two were doing with me? Uh uh. No, this is on him." Ty wiggled his eyebrows. "Do you work tomorrow?" Alec nodded his head. "Hmmm, that's too bad."

"Why?" Alec asked.

"I was just thinking that the four of us after dinner..." Ty's voice drifted off as he felt something grab the back of his shorts tightly, then he felt hot breath on the back of his neck. He exhaled softly.

"Were you talking about a four way with my boyfriend?" Conner's voice came from the back of Ty's ear. Ty shrugged his shoulders. He turned his head a little and then Conner stuck his tongue in it, twirling it around. "I think you were." Conner whispered, as he kneaded Ty's muscular cheeks through the shorts. "That's what you've been missing, I'll bet." Conner whispered as he eyed Alec, who was wide eyed looking at what was happening. "Gets you all hard just thinking about it, doesn't it?"

"You're such a fuckin tease." Ty said. He turned around and grabbed Conner by the bulge and clenched making Conner go wide eyed. "That feels pretty nice, Mr. Tease. Mmmm, yeah missed that." Ty went to step into Conner, but he stopped hearing a horn outside. "Looks like you've been saved by the bell." Ty let him go. "I think that's Bart." Ty went to walk away, but stopped and looked back. "We'll continue that later." He wiggled his eyebrows and then walked toward the back door.

"Holy shit." Alec said.

"You aren't jokin." Conner said, leaning against the counter. "I forgot how strong he is. I thought he was going to rip my dick out through my pants." Conner said with a deep breath. Alec chuckled, and put his head against Conner's shoulder.


Derrick was on the phone in his office, Murray was sitting in the chair across the desk from him, reviewing his recording on his phone, as Derrick was talking. Finally Derrick hung up the phone, and looked at the door as there was someone standing there. Terry had been waiting in the doorway patiently, holding a folder. Derrick waved him in with two fingers and a smile.

"Sorry to bother you, boss."

"No bother, bud. What's up?" Derrick asked, as Terry came around the desk and put the folder down, opening it, then looked down at what Terry had in it.

"This contract, you remember the one we couldn't figure out?" Terry asked, Derrick nodded, as he scanned over it. "Well, I did some digging and found out it's Tom's alright, but there's no documentation for it."

"So, how did you find it?" Derrick asked.

"Well, you know that Tom and I changed offices," Terry said, slowly. Derrick nodded, looking at him. "Tom's computer is still in there. I've always had the passwords for it, as he gave them to me." Terry was talking slower and slower.

"What did you find?" Derrick asked, in a low slow voice.

"He has a folder in it. It's not in the regular document folders. I'm not sure, but he has this deal going on about a commercial building. It looks a high rise, or..."

"Hotel." Derrick said, knowing now what it is. He sat down in his chair. He remembered when he came back from vacation, the day that the trouble came to a head with Calvin. "He showed it to me. He was very secretive about it."

"So you know about it?" Terry asked.

"Yes, kind of. Tom accessed it and had it on my computer here. He had me go over it for a while, actually. Then everything started with Calvin." Derrick looked up at Terry. "Did you talk to the principle client?"

"That's just it, there isn't one. I can't find any other information about it in the system, files, other docs that might be or even unrelated, nothing at all. Did he say who they were?"

"No. He was quiet about it, just sat there while I went over it. Then the Calvin thing started." Derrick looked at his computer and brought it up. He looked about on the home screen, seeing if it might be there, but it wasn't. "And it's not on my computer now at all."

"Have you talked to other partner, Mr. Jacobson? Recently?" Murray asked, as he had been listening this whole time.

"No, I haven't. We spoke on the phone the other night at the house, I told him about Calvin being killed. I haven't spoken to him since." Derrick looked right at Murray, boring a hole into him. Murray didn't flinch at all.

"Tried to call him?" Derrick shook his head in reply. "He do this often? Not show up?" Derrick shook his head again. "Maybe you should give him a call?"

"No. I have a better idea. Lieutenant, would you take another ride with me?"

"You going to his house, boss?"

"If the Lieutenant will join me?" Derrick asked again, getting to his feet. Murray watched him stand, and then slowly got up as well.

"Maybe we should." Murray said. "Write down the address for me, will you?" Murray asked. Derrick grabbed a pen and notepad next to the phone and wrote it down. He tore it off and handed it to Murray, as Murray was reaching into his pocket for his phone. Derrick came around Terry and his desk and started to walk with Murray. Murray stopped and held up a hand. "Where are you going?"

"You said 'we', I thought you meant us, together." Derrick said.

"No, I meant 'we', as a Department, that kind of 'we'."

"Uh, it was my idea?" Derrick said, cocking his head slightly.

"Mr. Jacobson, if there is something wrong there, you should let us handle it. I'll call you and let you know."

"Yeah, checks in the mail?" Derrick asked. "Lieutenant, Tom is one of my best friends. I've already lost one business partner, and I'm damned certain that if something is wrong, I need to be there. See where I'm going with this?" Murray just stood there.

"Alright, but we're taking my car."

"Don't like my driving?" Derrick asked. Murray looked at him, screwing up his mouth.

"I can get us there quicker. I've got a siren."

"I've got a turbo." Derrick said, flatly. "Besides, if there's nothing wrong, a big cop car might scare the hell out of him." Murray rolled his eyes.

"Alright, you can drive. But don't run any lights." Murray walked out the door. Derrick turned and looked at Terry, who was grinning wide.

"Quit grinning." Derrick said. "I'll call you later, alright?"

"Go kick ass, boss." Terry was still grinning.

"Quit grinning." Derrick scowled, and then smiled, leaving Terry standing there.


Conner and Alec walked to the back door after Ty had walked out. They stood there watching as Ty was talking to Bart. They saw the two boys with Bart. Conner remembered them from that day they were there trenching the ground to run the piping for the sewer line and the gas. Conner had seen them both, and up close. Alec on the other hand had never really seen them. Conner heard Alec make a noise behind and beside him. Conner turned and looked at him.

"What?" Conner asked.

"I think I know that one." Alec said softly.

"Really? Which one?"

"The taller one. His name is Aiden, I think."

"Yeah, I think so." Conner said. "Where do you know him from?"

"School." Alec said. "He was a freshman when I was a senior."

"And you remember him?"

"Well, wouldn't you?" Alec asked, looking up at Conner. "He was on the swim team and the basketball team. He was starting to get built then. I mean, just look at those legs."

"That looks like that's all he's got is legs. I've never seen legs that long before." Conner said, looking at him in a different way now. Conner watched the dark hair roll back and forth as he walked. "Kind of sexy."

"Of course you'd think so."

"Look who's talkin, horn dog. I bet you were lusting over that in school."

"It was kinda hot, you're right."

"See?" Conner smiled, putting his arm around Alec's shoulder. "Do I know my man or what? Maybe we should be polite and go out and talk to them." Conner pulled on Alec, Alec resisted, not wanting to go, but Conner had him, almost dragging him out. The back door closed, making Ty and Bart, and the boys look in their direction. If Conner didn't know any better, he'd swear that he saw Aiden's eyes light up seeing Conner. They came down the steps, and Conner took his arm off Alec, as they walked across the grass.

"Bart, you know Conner and Alec, don't you?" Ty asked. Bart held out a big hand. Conner took it, smiling.

"I remember Conner, yeah. Weren't you the one that was being drug along behind this guy?" Bart asked, nodding in Ty's direction.

"Yeah, he beat me up pretty bad." Conner gave his best little boy look, making Bart smile. "Worked me into the ground, and didn't pay me, too." Bart belly laughed, making his big gut shake as he did, seeing Ty's eyes go really wide at what Conner said as he pouted.

"He's a cheap SOB, that's for sure." Bart said, then moved his hand to Alec. Alec was engulfed with it. "I've seen you before though." Bart said. "You were here one day, when we were dropping off some stuff."

"That's right, I remember now." Alec smiled his killer smile at Bart, then looked at the boys for a second. Bart took his hand back, as Alec looked back at Bart. "Well, let's get this going. You boys, go get my bag and that box we picked up this morning, alright?" The boys nodded, and then looked at Conner and Alec. Aiden locked his eyes for a second on Alec, then turned away.

"I know you, don't I?" Alec asked, feeling brave. Aiden stopped and looked at Alec.

"I didn't think you remembered." Aiden said, his voice was soft, not feminine, but soft. "We went to high school together. Well, for one year at least. You were on the tennis team."

"Yes, I was."

"You were pretty good, too."


"You still play?"

"No." Alec replied, softly.

"I didn't know you played tennis, babe?" Conner asked, stepping to Alec's right.

"Only in high school, no big deal." Alec said, staring at Aiden. Alec's mind was starting to turn.

"The team went to state, that year, didn't it?" Aiden asked.

"Yeah." Alec said.

"Really?" Conner asked. "Guess we'll have to play sometime." Conner was staring at Alec, who was staring at Aiden. Conner got closer to Alec, and then Aiden dropped his eyes, and then went for Bart's truck at the end of the driveway. "Bart," Conner said, "that's my car blocking the driveway. Want me to move it?"

"Nah, it's alright." Bart said. "That's what I have the boys for." Bart winked at Conner. "But, I pay them." Bart winked again, and then looked at Ty, who went wide eyed again.

"I don't have to take this shit." Ty said, putting his hands on his hips.

"Easy there, big guy," Bart said, chuckling, making his big belly shake, "only funnin'." Ty pursed his lips together, squinting one eye at his old friend.

"Fat fucker." Ty said, under his breath, then turned and walked into the structure, Bart following him, still chuckling.

When they were alone for a minute, Conner stepped in front of Alec, giving him the eye.

"Okay, you want to tell me why you're giving Aiden the eye?" Conner asked.

"I had an idea." Alec said, with a bright look. "Let's go in the house though."


Derrick was driving through the streets, heading toward Tom's house, out on the northeast side of town. Derrick had been there many times over the years. It was a quiet neighborhood, older homes in the Craftsman Style, large yards, both front and back. As they got nearer, Derrick was beginning to worry more, as Murray pulled out his phone and made a call.

"This is Murray. I need a patrol car sent to 118 Isleton, put it out as officer needs assistance...not as code, dammit...just get me a car...I'm about five minutes, I'm not waiting for, I'm not in my car...just get them rolling." Murray hung up, putting the phone in his breast pocket. Derrick was wondering if he should step it up or not. "Just get us there." Murray said, in his gravely voice. Derrick was stunned thinking he was a mind reader as well as a cop. Derrick was really beginning to like this guy and the way he handled things.

Derrick made a series of turns and then pulled up in front of the house. He saw the cars in the driveway, knowing that they should be home. Derrick opened his door and walked quickly around the front of the car, as Murray got out, struggling against the curb and the high lawn. Derrick was at the steps, and went up, taking two at a time. He saw the front door was open slightly, ajar. He went to go knock, but a hand grabbed his wrist. It was Murray. Derrick looked over his shoulder. Murray put a finger to his lips and then drew his weapon with one hand and pulled his shield from his pocket with the other. He pointed the gun down, and used his foot to start to open the door. Derrick watched him and then got behind him, following him into the house. Murray went slowly as they went through the front room. Derrick knew the way. Tom's house was laid out almost identical to his. They could hear voices, soft and murmured. Derrick thought he heard a sob every now and then. Murray kept creeping along, moving toward the sound of the voices, looking about him left and right every few steps, Derrick was keeping pace with him.

Recognition was starting to kick in with Derrick, it sounded like Tom's voice, but Derrick wasn't totally positive. Then there was another voice, female, saying it over and over again, tell him, tell him. The voices were in the kitchen. Murray slid up to the edge of the doorway, and looked quickly and pulled back. Derrick was against the wall, leaning on the bookcase with one hand. Murray looked over his shoulder at Derrick, and then nodded toward the kitchen. Derrick came around Murray, resting a hand on the big shoulder as he looked around the corner. He pulled back quickly, and Derrick smiled at Murray, putting his hand on Murray's wrist that held the gun, gently. Murray knew it was alright, as Derrick eased and stepped out, knocking on the doorway jamb. Both of them at the table, jumped and looked up.

"Knock, knock." Derrick said, with a smile on his face. Tom stood up from the table. The woman jumped up from the table, seeing him, and came over and threw her arms around Derrick's neck, giving him a big hug, squeezing his neck tight.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Tom asked. Then he saw Murray step into the doorway. "Who the hell are you?"

"Lieutenant Murray." Murray said, holding up his badge.

"Jesus, Derrick. You brought the cops?" Tom almost screamed.

Derrick pulled himself away from the death grip on his neck, looking at Diane, Tom's wife. Derrick leaned forward and kissed her cheek. Derrick looked at Tom, and then walked around Diane, toward him.

"You stupid son of a bitch," Derrick said, "you have me and half the staff worried about you because you haven't shown up or called. Calvin's dead, and what the hell am I supposed to think? Maybe you are too? How inconsiderate of you not to let to me know."

"I left you a message." Tom said, hanging his head down.

"What? When?" Derrick asked, being caught off guard.

"This morning. I thought you might catch it before you left for the office."

"No, I didn't catch it." Derrick fumed, his temper really flaring now. "Seriously? After the night that I had? Jesus Christ, do you know that they hauled me downtown? To the jail?"

"What?" Tom asked, shock on his face, lifting his head.

"So, I've been a little busy, asshole." Derrick said, then thumped his fist on the table. "And in case you haven't noticed, WE need to be there to try and hold things together. The staff is falling apart around us. Their scared and don't know what's going to happen. If we are going to hang on, we need to stand together to let them know."

"Alright." Tom said, sounding deflated. "Why the cops, Derrick?"

"Mr. Jacobson and I were proving alibi for the murder of Mr. Sinclair." Murray said. "But, since we're here, I need to ask you a few questions, Mr. Donahue." Murray said as he stepped around Derrick and Diane. Derrick took her hands in his and squeezed them gently.

"Where were you the afternoon of the murder?"

"I was at the Building Department, downtown. Several people will corroborate that. I also have a document that is time stamped from that date, that clearly proves where I was. I told Det. Lance all of this."

"I know, but as Det. Lance has been removed from the case, I need to verify that information."

"Oh, finally, something intelligent." Tom said, rolling his eyes. "I told Lance where to look and what to look for, he ignored me."

"Tom." Diane said, softly. All eyes went on her. "Now is the time, tell him."

"We'll get to it." Tom said, shifting his gaze back to Murray. He looked over at Derrick. Murray perked up, hearing something outside.

"I'll be back." Murray said to Derrick. "The other officers just showed up."


"Okay, you want to tell me what is going through your mind right now? And don't tell me you want some threeway with Aiden or something." Conner said, as they were in the kitchen. Alec turned and smiled at Conner, taking him by the upper arms.

"No, sweetheart, don't you see it?" Alec asked. Conner was clueless at this point. "Kurt."

Conner looked confused for a second, then it hit him. "Flower boy? You want to hook up Aiden up with the guy who sent you flowers?"

"Sure, why not? Makes all the sense in the world. Here's two guys, who don't have a clue as to what they want, they only know that they need, and then that's where I start to weave them together. It will be awesome." Alec said with a bright look in his eye.

"You're scaring me."

"No, seriously, think about it. One that saw your picture, and said he would do you, the other one is clearly lusting after you, a blind dog could see that, the way he looks at you. And I'll bet, neither one has ever done anything with anyone. Oh, I know Kurt has his girlfriend and all, but I can almost guarantee that Aiden is a complete virgin." Alec smiled wide, looking at Conner. "What do you think?"

"I think you're fuckin nuts." Conner said, rolling his eyes. "But, I think you should do this for a living, if it works. Fuck cooking. And if it does, and they let us in? Even better. What would you think?"

"No." Alec said, looking at Conner in horror. "I thought we talked about that this morning. If it was anyone, it was Derrick and Ty? Only?"

"Party pooper."

"Uh, you're the slut." Alec said, raising one eyebrow.

"Yeah, given the chance." Conner winked. He took Alec in his arms, then kissed him softly and gently, he pulled back. "You know, I'm only kidding, right?"

"You scare me sometimes." Alec shook his head. "Now, I need to check the fridge." Alec turned and walked to the fridge. He opened it and scanned the items that were laying inside. He moved things around a bit, as Conner watched him, and then stepped up behind. Conner began to rub Alec's butt with one hand. Alec turned his head and looked at Conner. "Didn't you get enough this morning?"

"I never get enough of you." Conner said, still rubbing.

"You're gonna get me all hard again, and I won't be able to cook."

"We could go out, like Derrick suggested."

"You are a handful, aren't you?" Alec asked, and then stood up, turning to face Conner, who rubbed Alec's growing bulge. Alec put his arms around Conner's neck and leaned into him, kissing him deeply. Alec began to twirl his fingers in Conner's hair, as he let Conner squeeze him more. Alec was moaning softly in Conner's mouth at the sensation. They pulled back from each other.

"You were talking about a handful? I have one in my hand right now."

"Slut." Alec whispered.

"Look who's talking?" Conner said, diving back into Alec's mouth.

"Why don't you two get a room?" Ty asked from the back hallway.

"Got one." Conner said, with a smile.

"So I guess dinner isn't going to happen?" Ty asked.

"It could, but I need to go to the store." Alec said, backing away from Conner a step. "Would you go with me?" Alec asked Conner. "It will be a fast trip. I know exactly what I need."

"We have to get that truck moved first."

"I got it." Ty said, and headed back toward the back door.

"Really?" Conner asked, looking at Alec. "You are going to stop what we're just doing? How do you do that?"

"Greater goal in mind." Alec winked, leaving Conner speechless. "Your car or mine?"

"I guess...mine." Conner said, wondering what Alec meant.


Tom had Derrick sit at the table, Diane came over and sat next to Derrick. Tom looked very nervous and worried. Tom was at the other end of the table. He slowly sat down, as he knew Derrick was staring at him. Tom folded his hands together on the table and looked at Derrick.

"What is it, Tom?" Derrick asked, sounding very pissed.

"I want you know first, Derrick, that I truly value our friendship." Tom said, and then cleared his throat. Derrick braced himself. "I didn't know at first who I was really dealing with, and now that I know, I'm kind of stuck."

"Stuck with what?" Derrick asked, looking at Tom, then looked at Diane. She gave Derrick apologetic eyes.

"Derrick, do you remember the plans that I showed you on your computer?"

"Yes. I came across a contract for it. I asked Terry about it, and then he told me later that it was only accessible through your computer."

"He's right." Tom said. "The file is encrypted to block access." Tom let out a deep breath. "Terry knows my codes and passwords. I didn't think to add a new one."

"Are you trying to hide something?" Derrick asked. Then it dawned on him. "You are? What are you hiding, Tom?"

"It started the day you went on vacation. I got a phone call, from an attorney, telling me that I should be receiving a proposal for a new structure, to be built downtown, as there really are no sites open in the downtown. I assumed that it was a possible renovation project. I didn't give it much thought. The proposal was delivered, and I started to go through it. It laid out what it was, but the dollar amount was more than anything we have ever seen before."

"Okay, now you're starting to scare me." Derrick said. Diane reached over and took one Derrick's hands in hers. He looked down at her hand on his on the table. "Okay, now I'm really scared. What have you done?"

"Believe me when I tell you, I really didn't know who we would be dealing with. Not until you came in with those house plans and we talked about it."

"Oh, Jesus, no." Derrick said, lowering his eyes from Tom. "Tell me it's not him."

"That's why I looked so surprised when you told me who it was you were dealing with. That's why I encrypted the file. I finally started to get more information about it, and then..."

"Holy shit." Derrick said softly. He looked back up in Tom's eyes. "Do you have any idea, any idea at all, the position this puts me in?"

"I told you, I had no idea at first." Tom said. "I didn't know that this was some part of a gay feud or something." Tom sighed. "All the pieces started coming together after you left that day when you said that the house plans were being returned and he was going to be billed out. That's when I found who the client really was."

"Mother of God, Tom, you haven't signed the contract, so..."

"That's the problem." Tom cut him off.

"What?" Derrick asked, his eyes going wide. "Oh no."

"There was another contract. I did sign it." Tom said, hanging his head.

"Damn it." Derrick said, taking his hand away from Diane. He stood up from the table and rested himself on balled fists. "You stupid ass!" Derrick yelled. Tom cringed. "You know how I feel about that son-of-a-bitch!" Derrick thumped a fist on the table. "You know that nothing good can come from this. Weren't you listening to anything?" Derrick turned away from the table, Murray was standing in the doorway.

"Problem?" Murray asked.

"Yeah. Would it be too much to ask to borrow your gun?"

"Not if you want to use it to shoot him." Murray said in his gravel tone.

"Not him! Myself!" Derrick said, then turned back to Tom. "When were you going to tell me?"

"I have been stalling, trying to figure out a way to get out of this." Tom said, lifting his eyes to look at Derrick. "Then all the shit with Calvin was happening, and it just..."

"Son-of-a-bitch!" Derrick yelled.

"You two going to be alright?" Murray asked. He looked back and forth at each of them. "Mr. Jacobson, I'm going to have one of the officers take me back downtown." Derrick turned and looked at Murray, then back toward Tom.

"Whatever you need to do, Lieutenant." Derrick said, raising a hand. "Yeah, we'll be fine. After I take him out in the backyard and kick his ass!" Derrick glared back at Tom.

"Derrick, really, I didn't know, until it was too late."

"How are you talking about?" Murray asked. Derrick turned and looked at Murray.

"Someone you know of...Van Owen." Derrick narrowed his eyes.

"Oh, I see." Murray widened his eyes at Derrick.

"You know him too?" Tom asked, his voice cracking.

"Yeah." Murray said, looking at Tom. He looked at Derrick, and then back at Tom. "From what I've seen and heard, the department will be ignoring a report of assault from this address." Murray gave Derrick a weak smile. "I'll be in touch with you, Mr. Jacobson. Mrs. Donahue." Murray nodded in Diane's direction. "Mr. Donahue." Murray turned and walked out toward the front door.

Derrick turned back and glared at Tom, who slinked down in his chair. Derrick was trying to get himself under control. He sat back down at the table, putting his face in his hands, resting his arms on bent elbows. Diane got up from the table and walked over and poured Derrick a drink. She brought it back to the table and set it down in front of him.

"There, Derrick, I think you might need that." She said and then looked at her husband. "I really didn't believe you when you said it was that bad."

"Told you." Tom said, still looking at Derrick. "Can you get me one of those?" Tom asked her.

"You can get it yourself." She said in a low voice, and then walked out of the room. Tom just stared after her.

"I need to use the phone." Derrick said, getting up. He walked over and picked it up and dialed the office. "Hi, Kim. Everything alright there?...yes, I'm here with him, he's alright. Could you transfer to Terry, please? Thanks. Terry?...yeah, he's alright...yeah, I have an answer for that contract thing we were talking about. Hold on." Derrick turned and looked at Tom, who was pouring a drink for himself. "Where is the other contract, Tom?"

"It's in my computer, in documents. The file is named Exeter."

"You get that, Terry?...good. Print it up. Print up everything. I want any plans on layout sheets when I get in in the morning. What?, I'll see you in the morning. Thanks, bud." Derrick hung up the phone. He walked over to the table and picked up his glass. He lifted it to take a drink. "Tom."

"Yeah?" Tom answered, as they had their backs to each other.

"I wish you had told me."

"Me too." Tom said, emptying his glass, then poured another. Derrick knocked his back, and set the glass on the table.

"See you in the morning." Derrick said and walked toward the front door. He stopped on the front porch, seeing Diane out there. He walked up next to her. She looked up at him, and wrapped her arms around one of his, putting her head to his shoulder. Derrick reached up and patted the back of her hands, then leaned down and kissed the top of her head. He pulled away and walked to his car, waving to her as he got in. He started the car and drove away.

Conner and Alec returned to the driveway, Conner driving up to the back of the house. He parked and opened the door. Alec got out and closed the door behind him. He went to the trunk, Conner meeting him there. They grab assed for a minute with each other, as Alec tried to get the grocery bags out. They were giggling with each other when Ty walked up to them.

"Can't you guys quit for just a minute?" Ty asked. "At least get the bags in the house."

"Oh, don't give me that." Conner said, with his million dollar smile, then leaned over and gave Ty a quick kiss. "I know you and Derrick do the same shit all the time." Conner wiggled his eyebrows.

"Oh, please." Ty rolled his eyes.

"Here, give us a hand then." Conner said, handing a couple of bags to Ty.

"I wasn't volunteering."

"Well, you have now." Conner let go of the bags.

"You're such a shit." Ty said, as Conner and Alec walked around him with more bags. Ty turned and followed them into the house. Alec was setting his bags down, and made a little more room for Conner's. Ty just stood there as Alec began to unload them. Conner reached for Ty's bags and took them from him, setting them on the counter.

"Thanks for the help, bud." Conner said, winking at Ty. Conner set the bags on the counter. "So, did I miss any building while I was gone?"

"Not much," Ty said, shrugging his shoulders, "waiting on the rock that Derrick ordered to start that wall. Then it should be pretty much done, except for the flooring. I don't know what he wants." Ty had a thought all of a sudden. They hadn't talked about it. Ty looked over to the wall at the end of the table where Derrick kept his drafting supplies. He walked over to it and stood there, looking at it. "Conner, what are you doing tomorrow?"

"Nothing really, I guess. Need to start looking for a job. Why?" Conner was looking at Ty from the counter. Ty seemed to be lost in thought. Conner gently elbowed Alec, who looked up from the bags. Conner nodded in Ty's direction. "Ty?" Conner asked, then walked around the counter and started toward him. Conner came up next to him, looking at what Ty was looking at. "What is it, bud?"

"I was just thinking." Ty crossed his arms, staring at the drafting materials. "Derrick won't be working from home like he planned. With the loss of his other partner, he'll need to be there, not here." Ty's voice was drifting away. "All of this was for nothing."

"Hey, don't say that." Conner said, putting an arm around Ty's thick shoulders. "He got you out of the deal, didn't he?"

"That's sweet and all, bud, but I was thinking, planning on him being here. I don't know what to think now?"

"So, why were you wondering about tomorrow?" Conner asked.

Ty turned and looked at Conner. "I was thinking we could build him something."

"Already did." Conner said.

"No, I mean something for inside the structure. Something that he could use, something to keep him here at the house."

"A table with chains and handcuffs?" Conner smiled.

"No." Ty said, turning back to look at the drafting supplies. "A drafting table, a real drafting table."

"Oh, cool." Conner said. "How do we do that?"

"It's easy." Ty said, his eyes lighting up. "We go and get materials. We can practically build it in a day. It's just a frame with a top on it."

"I noticed some of the drafting tables at his office," Alec said. "when we were there the other day. Some of them had tilted tops on them. I saw some people sitting on stools working on them, drawing things."

"That's right." Ty said. "It would have to have that capability, in case he wanted to do that." Ty clapped his hands together. He turned back around, seeing both Conner and Alec. "Of course, it would have to be able to do that. Then we could make the top hinged so that you could store stuff underneath it." Ty looked at Alec. "You have to work tomorrow, right?" Alec nodded. "Okay, we need to keep Derrick away from the house as long as we can, to get more done on it. And if you help me, Conner, we just might make it. What time do you get off tomorrow?"

"At two."

"Would you be willing to go to the restaurant tomorrow night?" Ty asked.

"I guess." Alec asked.

"Good. We need to keep him away from here as long as possible. Maybe we can get him to go to the restaurant, and stall him for a while there."

"I can call Emilio." Alec said.

"Perfect." Ty said. He looked at Conner. "Willing to help me build it?"

"Sure, for Derrick? You bet." Conner smiled.

"Let's keep it a surprise." Ty rubbed his hands together, design was running through his mind. Ty lifted a hand and rubbed his chin with a couple of fingers, lost in thought.

"Hey," Bart said, making everyone look toward the back hall. "you got a minute?" Bart asked Ty.

"Sure." Ty answered, snapping back to reality. Ty walked toward Bart and they went out the back door. Ty followed Bart out to the structure, into the bathroom area.

"So, the shower valve is in," Bart said, pointing at the wall, "Now, we're going to put caps on the piping for the valves, you can do the wall. My problem is the toilet. What kind of floor are you doing?"

"You know, we were just talking about that," Ty answered, looking at the pipe sticking up through the concrete slab, "I would imagine it's going to be a tile floor, but we haven't talked about it yet." Ty scratched his chin. "Let's do this, set the flange high, I'll find out what tile Derrick wants and then I can set it myself." Ty looked at Bart. "That work?"

"Yeah, then you get the wall up and floor in, we can install the trim and fixtures. I can do that." Bart nodded.

"Cool." Ty said, patting Bart on the shoulder. He went to turn to walk out, but Aiden was blocking the doorway. Ty smiled at him. Aiden stepped out of the way, slowly. "You okay, buddy?" Ty asked softly. Aiden just nodded in reply, then lowered his face, stepping out of the way for Ty. Ty walked by him and stopped out the room, turning back to see Bart.

"Aiden, give your brother a hand, will you?" Bart asked. "Let's cap these pipes, and then we test them for pressure."

"Sure thing." Aiden said, coming through the doorway, his soft voice carrying through the air. Ty watched him walk in, and then Aiden bent down next to Seth.

A few minutes later, caps were on, everything sealed up, Bart took one more look around, then he started to walk toward the big doors, Ty followed him. Bart walked out and turned toward the side of the structure, looking at where the trench had been dug. There was a valve box that was installed in the ground. Bart knelt and lifted the lid. He reached down and opened the valve that he had installed days previous, giving water to the structure. Ty watched and then could hear the water flow through the piping. Bart closed the lid and got to his feet. They walked back inside, just in the large doors.

"Any leaks?" Bart asked out loud. A moment later, Seth stepped out the doorway and shook his head in answer. "Good." Bart smiled and looked at Ty, then he looked at Seth. "Alright, let's get the bags and tools put up and loaded in the truck."

"Derrick ought to be happy." Ty said, folding his arms, then looked at Bart. "You want to give me a bill?"

"Nope." Bart said. "We'll wait till it's all done."

"Sure?" Ty asked, Bart nodded his answer. "Okay, works for me."

"Just be careful around the caps, alright?"

"Hey, it's me, remember?"

"Yeah, that's why I'm afraid of." Bart grinned as the boys walked by them, carrying the tool bags. Bart stretched out his hand to Ty. Ty shook his head as he took it, giving it a firm shake.

Bart took his hand and walked away. Ty walked to the bathroom and looked inside, seeing the work done. The shower and its valve would not be anything really special, Ty thought, just only a single head, the way it probably should be. He thought about hanging more sheetrock, but changed his mind, he turned and walked out toward the house. As he walked in the back door, Derrick was walking in the front. They met in the kitchen. Ty could see something wrong in Derrick's face. Ty smiled at him, Derrick smiled back briefly.

"I saw Bart out front." Derrick said, in a flat tone.

"Yeah, he got the water on outside."

"Good." Derrick said, as Ty stepped closer. Conner and Alec stood behind the counter, watching them closely.

"Something wrong?" Ty asked stepping up close to Derrick.

"You could say that." Derrick said, with a look Ty had never seen before. Derrick looked at Conner. "Have you got a minute?" Derrick asked. Conner had that look, like he had been caught in the cookie jar. He gulped.

"Yeah, sure." Conner said, walking around Alec, running fingers across Alec's tight butt. Derrick turned and walked toward the living room, Conner following him. Ty and Alec just looked at each other.

Derrick opened the front door and walked out, Conner was right behind him, closing the door as he walked through. Derrick walked over on the porch and sat in one of the chairs there. Conner walked up, as Derrick pointed him to the other one. Conner sat down. He all of sudden felt like it was trip to the principal's office, making Conner swallow hard.

"What's wrong, Derrick?" Conner asked softly. Derrick leaned forward, resting his arms on his thighs, folding his hands together, looking down at the porch floor.

"Conner," Derrick said, softly, not looking at him, "you know, I have really come to care for you since you showed up here at my door." Derrick cleared his throat, making Conner's stomach do flips. "And, I'm sure by now, Ty has filled you in on what's been going on while you were in New York."

"He did." Conner said softly.

"Thought he would," Derrick said, "but some other things have happened today, and..."

"What can I do?" Conner asked, reaching out a hand to touch Derrick's arm.

"I'm not sure." Derrick said. "I'm just almost at a point to where I can't deal with much more."

"What happened today?" Conner asked softly. Derrick turned his head and just gave Conner a blank expression.

"Your father," Derrick said, "he keeps stepping in, putting his nose into everything, every time I turn around, he's there." Conner became enraged inside, his jaw tightened, and his hands went together, folding fingers together so tight, knuckles went white. "I...have too much right now to fight back. I'm...overwhelmed...buried." Conner stood, he put a hand on Derrick's shoulder, as Derrick lifted his head looking into Conner's eyes. "I need your help, Conner," Derrick said, "I need your help to figure out how to deal with this, with him."

"I know how to deal with it." Conner said quietly. "Derrick, you have been nothing but good to me since I came here. You mean the world to me. I'll handle this." Conner walked quickly toward the steps. Derrick stood, watching Conner, run around the corner of the house. Then his rental car was backing out quickly out of the driveway.

"Wait, Conner!" Derrick called after him. "We need to talk about it first! Conner!" Derrick walked across the porch, down the steps, Derrick reached the driveway edge, as Conner drove away. The door opened behind Derrick, Ty and Alec came out on the porch.

"Do you know where he's going?" Alec asked, watching the road, then watched as Derrick walk back to the steps.

"I'm afraid I do." Derrick said as walked up and past them into the house. Ty looked at Alec, and then turned him to go back inside. Derrick walked up to the answering machine, seeing messages. He pushed the button to play them.

Telemarketer....delete,...another telemarketer...delete,..."Hey Derrick, wanted to give you a call," Tom's voice said, "I've got a few things going on, and I won't be in for a day or two. Bye.",...delete. "End of new messages", the voice said.

Derrick turned and walked over to the bar cabinet, opening it. He took an empty glass and set it out. He uncapped the already open bottle of scotch, pouring about three fingers. He set the bottle down and picked up the glass. He saw Ty and Alec standing there in the living room. Derrick stared at them for a moment then took a drink.

"Weight of the world?" Ty asked, crossing his arms.

"Does it matter?" Derrick asked, taking another drink.

"Yeah, I think it might." Ty said, taking a step toward him. "You're not alone, you know? We're here to help."

"That's already happening." Derrick said, taking another drink.

"What did you say to Conner?" Alec asked, looking upset. "Where did he go?"

Derrick sighed. "He went to go deal with something that has become a major problem." Derrick said, then knocked back the last of the scotch.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Ty asked, dropping his arms, his eyes widened. "You let him go? Derrick..."

"What choice do I have?"

"What? Where did he go?" Alec asked.

"He went on a suicide mission." Derrick said, picking up the bottle again. Ty almost ran for the back door.



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