Tucker Singleton stopped in mid stride toward the back of the courtroom, making the man who was following him run into him.

"Uh, sorry," the man said.

Tucker just nodded a distant recognition. Tucker always floated a bit above the normal press of the "little" people. In this instance, though, his attention had gone to the new line of defendants shuffling into the courtroom to be matched with public defenders for ten minutes or so before the next round of arraignments commenced.

Tucker had just managed to get the case of a pool boy of a colleague, arrested for selling pot--to an undercover agent--dismissed. Tucker was one of the best lawyers in town. It was likely that all it took was for the judge to see who was representing the boy for him to decide not to put a marijuana case on the docket. There was an unspoken cut down in pursuing such low-level drug cases. Drug cases had swamped the docket for years and the time had come for some "looking the other way," waiting for laws to liberalize.

The Prince Edward County commonwealth's attorney, Anthony Blaine, floated through the courtroom and the noise level dropped appreciably. In rural counties like this, the commonwealth attorney held the lives of defendants, prosecutors, and defense attorneys alike in the palm of his hands. Everyone was looking for a nod of the head and smile and none of them wanted to see a scowl or a sign of particular interest in any of the defendants. Blaine looked down the row of defendants, his eyes lingering over this one and that one, then sniffed, and the noise level came up again as he exited the chamber.

There was something about the young man shuffling along, chained to several others, that caught Tucker's attention--something he wasn't proud of and normally tried to fight. But he couldn't help looking. His attention had gone to the young man to begin with because he was one who the commonwealth's attorney had give a second, judging look. Maybe it was because all of the others in the line were thuggish looking and so much bigger than the small man--or youth--or whatever he was. He stood out against the others.

The others were either white or black and had the "been here/done this" look about them. This young man was of mixed race, the almost delicate features of a Caucasian, but the chocolate-brown skin color of a black man. And he looked slightly confused, in shock, and scared. He was a handsome young man. Small of stature, closer to beautiful than handsome, rather. Curly black hair, with a ringlet coming down over his glazed-looking brown pupils. There were tear stains on his cheeks. He obviously was overwhelmed by what was happening.

Grimacing at the man who had run into him and was still trying to get around him where he now stood, the aisle being clogged with spectators coming and going, Tucker put his hands on the man's arms and propelled him around to the side. He walked back down the aisle toward the bench and over to the court clerk who was setting up the docket for the next cases.

"What do we have with the small mulatto youngster, Phil?" Tucker asked. "What is he being arraigned for?"

The court clerk shuffled papers around. "His name is Joey Wilson, Mr. Singleton. He's up for slashing another man with a knife in a park restroom."



"I think I've represented the family before. Put me down as the attorney. There isn't another one here to represent him, is there?"

"Yes, fine, Mr. Singleton. No one else has stepped up for him yet."

Tucker walked over to where the defendants were being matched up, rather haphazardly, with public defenders by a hefty woman in a police uniform.

"I'm representing Mr. Wilson, here, Gail. Would you be so kind to take him off the chain line and I'll confer with him over in that corner."

"Certainly, Mr. Singleton," the policewoman said differentially as she reached for the locks on the young man's ankle chains. The young man just looked up at Tucker with a glazed, confused look on his face.

When they'd gotten over into a corner, an area apart, where none of the other public defenders were being able to take their sudden clients, the young man spoke first.

"You my lawyer? I can't pay nothin'."

"Yes, I'm your lawyer, at least for the arraignment. You don't have to pay anything."

"You gotta get me off, out of here, man. I can't spend another night in that jail."

"Did someone do something to you in the jail last night?"

The young man just hung his head and didn't respond. Singleton was rather looking forward to hearing some gruesome details.

"Tell me about the restroom in the park, Joey. And the man you're said to have slashed. Are you a rent-boy? Was that a client?"

"No, man, I ain't been in that park ever before. I had to take a leak, and the guy came on to me and then tried to get real funny. I was just protecting myself. Wasn't even my knife. I took it from him. He threatened me. The judge's got to see that. I can't spend another night in that jail."

"Keep your mouth shut when we get before the judge and don't say any more than that and I'll see to it that you don't spend tonight in the jail."

Standing before the judge, though, the defense hit a snag.

"Unless the defendant can give me an address where he'll be, I can't let him out on bail, Tuck . . . . Mr. Singleton."

Tucker turned to Joey, they exchanged whispers, and then Tucker spoke up. "He'll be staying at number 21 Pleasants Mews."

"That would be?" The judge looked down from the bench over his glasses.

"That would be my residence, Judge, here in the town. I'll take responsibility for getting him to his trial."

The judge gave Tucker a hard "you're taking on a lot of responsibility" look, but Tucker Singleton was a known reputable figure in the community. If he wanted to take the risk for a client--which was, the judge thought, a bit outside Singleton's character--then so be it. "In that case, and if he can post a $5,000 bond . . ."

"I ain't got money like that," Joey piped up.

"Shush," Tucker admonished him out of the side of his mouth. "I told you not to speak. The bail will be taken care of."

". . . then I will let him out on your recognizance. Not out of your sight until the trial and a 10:00 p.m. curfew," the judge concluded. "As far as a trial date . . ."

"The defendant will waive the right to a jury trial and agree to a bench verdict," Tucker said.

"I will?" Joey spoke up.

"I said button it," Tucker said out of the side of his mouth. "A jury trial won't be for months. A bench trial can be within a week or so. I'll get you off either way."

"In that case, there's an opening on Judge Snyder's docket next Thursday at 4:30 p.m.," the judge said.

"Perfect," Tucker said. "Absolutely perfect."

Back at home, Tucker told the housekeeper to take the night off--that he felt like fixing dinner himself. He puttered about the kitchen while, on the other side of the kitchen island, in the family room. Joey sat on a sofa, with his back to the kitchen, watching a football game on the TV. He'd made himself right at home. The first thing he'd done when Tucker showed him the guest room was to change into baggy gym shorts, no shirt, and flip-flops.

All Tucker could see was the back of Joey's head, covered in black curls--and his legs stretched out on the coffee table. And, of course, his bare, well muscled for a little guy, shoulders.

Feet off the table, Tucker instantly thought, but then he decided that, no, let the young man feel at home. Besides, the feet were bare too and heated Tucker up a bit.

"I've got wine and beer. We might as well start with that while the steaks marinate for a bit. Which?"

"Beer would be great."

"Soon as I finish tossing the salad," Tucker said in a cheery voice.

When he'd put that in the refrigerator, he came into the family room with two beers.

"You really shouldn't have any alcohol. I forgot about that. I think it's in paperwork we came home with."

"Nobody will know if you don't tell them," Joey said, reaching out for the frosty can and giving Tucker a secretive smile. "You wouldn't tell no one, would you?"

"I don't see any reason why I should," Tucker said, giving the young man a little smile and a conspiratorial wink.

Joey smiled back. "You have time to watch some TV?"

"Sure, I could do that," Tucker said, moving toward an easy chair beside the sofa and facing the TV.

"No, here," Joey said, sliding to one side of the sofa and patting the seat next to him. Tucker sat down next to Joey. "You can see the TV set better from here."

"Who's winning?" Tucker asked, as he sat on the sofa cushion Joey had patted.

"Don't really know. Don't even know who's playing. Football isn't my thing, really. Just didn't find anything else worth shit watching."

"Well, we could--"

"I found some DVDs while you were getting stuff out for supper. You've got some nice ones. Like this one."

Joey clicked the remote and the TV screen went from the football game to a well-muscled middle-aged man fucking a young man on a bed.

"Fuck," Tucker exclaimed.

"I'd like that," Joey answered dryly.

"You want to watch that?"

"No, I want to do it. You have the DVDs, don't you? I think you want to do it too."

* * * *

Tucker first fucked Joey with Joey on his back stretched along the sofa cushions and his legs spread and raised, Tucker holding one leg up and out across the coffee table and the heel of Joey's other leg on top of the sofa back. Joey arched his back, muttered, "fuck me, yeah, yeah, yeah, fuck me" over and over again, his hands clutching Tucker's bare buttocks cheeks to him, as, kneeling between Joey's thighs, Tucker did just that, while he held Joey's throat in one hand and used the other to stroke Joey's cock.

"Oh god, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Tucker kept muttering as he fucked. That didn't prevent him from pulling Joey up and pushing his belly down on the arm of the sofa, his head and arms draped toward the carpet at the side of the sofa, though, both of them with eyes on the fucking going on on the DVD, while Tucker crouched over Joey's back and pumped him from the rear.

"Doin' it with you don't mean you think I'm guilty of doin' it in the park, does it? I mean, you can still be my lawyer, can't you?" Joey asked, when they were done. It was spoken it such a way as to lead the answer he got.

"No, one doesn't mean the other," Tucker answered. "And, yes, I'm still your lawyer. And I'm going to get you off on this charge." Tucker said this despite all ethical considerations screaming that it shouldn't be true, that Joey was obviously guilty as sin.

"Just let me know when you want to get me off again," Joey said.

The salad was wilted and steaks were very well marinated before they ever touched the grill, and Tucker didn't sleep alone that night or the next night--or the night after.

* * * *

"Joey, this is Detective Reilly. He wanted to meet you and ask you a couple of questions about the day you were arrested in the park."

Joey froze in the doorway of Tucker's home office. Flip-flops and loose gym shorts and nothing else had become his standard wear in Tucker's house. He also was getting restless, having been confined to the house--and more often than not--under Tucker in the bed or the shower, or on the sofa or the dining room table. They hadn't done it in the home office yet, though. The wooden desk in the center of the room was the largest piece of furniture. The walls were lined with bookcases, the bookcases packed with books. There were three chairs, the executive swivel chair behind the desk and the two Chippendale armchairs side by side, turned a bit to each other, in front of the desk. Tucker was sitting in the swivel chair. A bulky man in a cheap suit was sitting in one of the Chippendale armchairs.

"I know him. He's the one who arrested me." Joey, surprised at seeing the man there, took on a tense stance.

"He would like to hear your story again, Joey," Tucker said in a cajoling voice. "You want to cooperate here."

"He knows what happened. I told him. Should he be talking to me here, in your house?"

"Think, Joey. The house is a perfect place for the two of you to . . . talk. He can help you with the case. You just need to be nice to him."

Joey noticeably relaxed, relaxed enough that he leaned against the door frame with an arm over his head, pulling his torso taut. He was smiling now. "Sure, I guess that's cool."

"Come sit here beside me, Joey," Detective Reilly said, patting the chair beside him. "And tell me your side of the story again, from the beginning."

As Joey talked, Detective Reilly leaned into him. Reilly urged Joey to tell him more than just about the incident, to talk to him about his life and what he liked and didn't like. Joey was still talking about the problems on the street of having a black mother and white father, a father who Joey had never even met, who existed only in a photograph, when Reilly had both hands on his thigh, above his knee.

"Tell me what you were doing in the restroom in the park, Joey--in detail."

"I told you. I wasn't doin' nothin'."

"Well, then tell me what you think the other guy would say you were doing--in detail. Just so we can compare stories. And perhaps you can show me."

Joey got the drift of what the man wanted to hear, and so he spun a story for him that satisfied what the man wanted to hear before being urged to go back and talk about his background--what had gotten him to this place.

Joey was into his high school days when the hands had moved up to under the leg holes of the baggy pants, and he was barely back into what had taken him to that park when the hands met inside his shorts at the crotch, Reilly leaned over Joey in the chair and stopped Joey's monologue with his lips possessing Joey's. Joey reached between them and unzipped Reilly's trousers, moved from his chair to the detective's, put his ankles on Reilly's shoulders, and made the noises of satisfaction he knew would impress the detective as Reilly slid inside him and fucked him hard.

When Tucker cleared his voice loudly, pointing out that he was still there, Reilly put his arms under Joey, pulled him out of the chair, swiveled, and laid Joey on his back on the top of the desk. He accomplished the maneuver without dislodging his cock from Joey's channel. Joey's head dropped over the top of the desk at just the right angle for Tucker to slide inside him almost to the depths of the young man's tonsils. Reilly, holding Joey's legs up and spread, continued to pump, as Tucker leaned his torso over Joey's and took Joey's cock in his mouth.

"How'd I do?" Joey asked Tucker when they were alone.

"I think we're constructing your defense nicely," Tucker answered.

* * * *

"The defense is ready with its case," Tucker pontificated in front of judge Snyder. "If the prosecution can't produce the alleged victim . . ."

Commonwealth Attorney Anthony Blaine had chosen to prosecute this case himself, which was unusual and was causing electricity to zing through the air in the courtroom.

Joey sat next to Tucker at the defense table. He was all slicked up and looking innocent--and quite sexy. Tucker had worked hard to get the desired effect.

"How about that, Mr. Blaine?" Judge Snyder asked with a touch of irritation in his voice. "Where is the complainant?"

"I'm . . . I'm not sure. Perhaps Detective Reilly--the arresting detective--at the back of the courtroom could . . ."

"How about that, Detective Reilly? Where is the alleged victim?" the judge asked.

"We can't locate him, Your Honor," Detective Reilly spoke up from in back of the court, being informally held, as this was a bench trial--there was no jury to intimidate. "I have checked for days. I think he's left the city."

The judge glowered at the detective and the commonwealth attorney, in turn. Blaine's eyes narrowed as well and his mouth set in a thin line.

"Normally this would be grounds for dismissal," the judge declared. "But a knife slashing, that's a pretty serious charge. I think--"

"If you please, judge, could you see the defendant in chambers. There are some extenuating circumstances I think that would help--"

"Very well, I will listen to these extenuating circumstances in my chambers, if the defendant can make his remarks short. Then . . ." He paused for a moment, perhaps only now actually having looked at Joey for the first time. ". . . Then we will see what we see."

A half hour later, Tucker and Joey came out of the courthouse, both all smiles. It had been the last case of the day and very few were still in the building or on the front steps. As they walked down the steps, a black limousine with smoked windows pulled up at the curb and the rear door opened. The commonwealth attorney was standing at the top of the steps into the courthouse, making notes on a clip board, his eyes glued to what was transpiring down at the curb.

"I think this car is for you," Tucker turned and said to Joey.

Joey took a deep breath and then entered the limousine. Tucker leaned over and winked at the occupant of the backseat and then closed the car door.

"Take the long route, several times around the park," Judge Snyder said to the limo driver as Joey knelt on the car floor between his spread knees and unzipped the man's trousers. As the window between the front and back seats rolled up, Joey briefly wondered if this would be the same park where his trouble had started.

He didn't have long to think about this, though, because his trousers and briefs were off, and Judge Snyder was already pulling Joey onto his lap, facing him, and positioning a hard, thick, long cock. There was no blow job preliminary. Joey had already taken care of that in the judge's chambers.

As Joey was climbing out of the judge's car, Snyder leaned across the seat, gave him a little smile, and said, "How do you feel about bondage and a bit of flogging?"

Under the circumstances, Joey could only smile wanly and mutter, "Doesn't bother me a bit." This was enough to tell him that the payout to the judge for this bailout was not a closed deal.

* * * *

Matt Munson looked up, startled, from behind the reception desk at the Stallion Station male brothel as Joey walked in the door.

"Joey! I thought we'd lost you, man. Last I knew you were in the slammer for slashing a mark in the pissery in Jackson park for trying to stiff you on a blowjob."

"It all worked out fine," Joey said, with a smile. "Got me a real good lawyer. He got me off."

"How'd you swing a good lawyer?"

"I got him off. And the detective who arrested me. And the judge who tried me."

"A real pisser you are, Joey. Might be careful about that outside work from now on, though."

"Yeah, but if I do get in trouble, I got me a real good lawyer. And I know a good detective and a great judge."

"How good?"

"Seven inches and randy good."

"That's the best kind," Matt said, and they both laughed.



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