See how it all began…
© 2011, LD Madison
It was close to midnight when they finished processing and cataloging the mountain of evidence in a gang-related, triple homicide that included a child victim… a very small child.
Sitting back in his chair, Alex rubbed his eyes until they stopped smarting. He should be heading out and catching a few hours of sleep before he had to be back at the station, but he didn’t have to will to get up and drive to his dark, lonely house.
“Hey, what are you still doing here?” Nick asked, finger-combing his damp blond hair.
That made Alex smile. He could never understand why someone as fastidious as Nick would become a cop. The minute their work was done, Nick always headed for the station showers. Alex had asked his lover once why he was so fanatic about cleanliness, but Nick had given him a vague answer and changed the subject.
Standing up, Alex gave Nick a pointed stare. “I still have to take a box to Archive.” That was their code for hooking up. Alex prayed that Nick shared his desperate need to forget the horrific scene they’d been investigating all day long.
“Yeah?” Nick replied, a small grin quirking his lips. “I think I might have something to drop off as well.” Turning away, he grabbed something from his desk and walked toward the elevators.
Alex gave him a head-start, then locked up his desk and turned off the lights. In an effort to be discrete, he took the stairs instead of following Nick in the elevator. When he reached the tiny, abandoned corner of the basement filing room, Alex saw Nick leaning against the wall, his pose unwittingly sexy.
He snorted. That was hardly new. He found everything Nick did to be innocently erotic. Alex couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so besotted by anyone.
When Nick saw him, he smiled wistfully and turned around, bracing his hand on the cracked, olive wall.
Something about Nick’s bearing struck Alex as odd. He knew that Nick enjoyed their encounters as much as he did… but something was not right just then. Stepping up behind Alex, Nick reached up and massaged his lover’s shoulders, hating the tension he found there.
“What’s up?” Alex asked.
Nick turned his head and looked over his shoulder. “Nothing.”
“Come on… Something’s bugging you.” Alex dug his thumbs on a particularly stubborn knot. “Is it the case?”
“Yes. No.” Nick sighed, then rested his head against the wall in front of him. “I guess I’m just tired.”
“I know what you mean,” Alex whispered. He would much rather have sex with Nick, but he knew the other man was definitely not in the mood. “Why don’t you come over to my place and we can sleep.” Alex couldn’t help but throw out the invitation. Nick never took him up on it, but he wouldn’t mind being surprised one day.
“I can’t,” Nick replied, his tone weary.
“Okay.” Alex kept up the backrub. There was not much else he could say.
After a few minutes of comforting silence, Nick pushed back from the wall and lowered his hand to his belt. “Thanks for the backrub. Let’s get this show on the road,” he said, attempting a bit of humor but falling flat.
“We don’t have to do anything,” Alex said, reaching around and putting his hands over Nick’s. “We’re both tired. How about a raincheck?”
Nick stilled briefly then turned around in Alex’s embrace. His clear green eyes gave him away; Nick looked haunted.
“Hey,” Alex said softly, cupping Nick’s face gently. “You know you can talk to me, right?”
Nick smiled, but it was a barely a shadow of his typical grin. “I’m fine. Really.”
Alex didn’t believe it, but there was nothing he could do to change that. Stepping back, he let his hand linger on Nick’s face for a moment. “Go home, Nick. We’ll be back here soon enough.”
“But what about now… us… this?”
“You’re too tired and I’m suddenly not in the mood anymore.” Alex turned to walk away, but Nick stopped him with a hand on his bicep.
“Wait,” he said. “I’m not tired… just a little overwhelmed by the crime scene today.”
Alex turned back. “Yeah, I don’t blame you. It was hard.”
“Yeah,” Nick whispered, sounding a little choked. “That’s why I wanted this… now… to forget, even if only for a little while.”
He considered Nick’s words, and found he couldn’t deny his lover’s plea. If it was comfort and a bit of oblivion Nick needed, Alex would gladly provide it. “If you’re sure.”
“Yes,” he said quickly, and turned to face the wall.
“Not like that.” Alex grabbed his shoulders and turned him around. When he looked into Nick’s eyes, he knew exactly what he needed. “I want to look at you this once.”
Stepping close to Nick, Alex pressed him against the wall then lowered his face for a kiss.
© 2011, LD Madison
Lt. Jacob West walked down the precinct hallway towards the locker room, drinking steadily from his venti coffee cup. Several officers and detectives nodded at him in greeting, but everyone knew better than to actually speak to him before 8 o’clock in the morning – and his fourth coffee.
As he entered the quiet, damp locker room, he tipped his head back and drained the last drop, almost sad to see the end of his third coffee. Grunting, he pitched the paper cup in the direction of the garbage can. There would be another cup waiting for him at his desk soon enough.
Putting down his gym bag on a bench, he withdrew his light-weight bulletproof vest and set it aside. His team had a few warrants to serve that day as well as meeting with a questionable informant that tended to spend more time tweaking than gathering actual intelligence. Unfortunately, his junkie informant had a knack for being in the right place at the right time to pick up tidbits that kept Jake’s team ahead of other vice teams.
A bit distracted, it took Jake a few minutes to hear the jovial, baritone voice coming from the showers. Recognizing it as his newest detective, Adam Mallory, Jake grinned smugly and made his way to the shower entrance. Looking around cautiously, Jake was glad to notice that everyone else was already on shift, leaving him alone with Adam in the cavernous locker room.
Slowly, Jake peeked into the showers, a big, tiled room with showerheads set at regular intervals, a few small shelves to set soap bars and shampoo bottles, and little else. Even the towels had to be placed near the entrance as that was the only dry area to be found.
Jake was not disappointed by the sight that awaited him. Facing away from the doorway, Adam was singing a merry tune while he rubbed a light blue washcloth over his shoulder and down his arms. A trail of soapy bubbles trickled down broad shoulders, slim hips and a lovely, round butt.
Jake had to grip the doorframe to stop himself from walking into the shower and fondling the perfect ass that had been driving him crazy with lust for six months. Part of him was relieved that Adam’s qualifications and recommendations were impeccable. Otherwise, he’d have been tempted to hire the gorgeous, blond detective on his pretty face alone.
He shook his head in shame. All of his previous relationships had been with peers or senior detectives that knew very well what they were getting into. But for the first time, Jake was tempted to break his own rules and start something with Adam.
Turning away from the lithe, tanned body that tortured his dreams regularly, Jake snatched his vest, gun and keys before securing his locker and storming out.
As he neared his desk in the busy precinct, his cell phone rang. “West,” Jake barked, his humor decidedly dark.
“Hey, boss, how is everything?” Lt. Tom Hill sounded chipper despite the early hour in Los Angeles, where he was living now.
“Tom, what are you doing up at four in the morning?” Jake asked, a small smile quirking his lips.
“I haven’t gone to bed yet.” Tom sighed loudly. “I just called to see how you were doing.”
Leaning back in his chair, Jake relaxed and smiled. “I’m doing fine. And you?”
“Every once in a while, I wonder if taking the promotion was such a good idea.”
Jake heard the doubt and weariness in his ex-lover’s voice. “That’s normal, but don’t forget that you were ready and it was a good offer. You just have to get used to being in a new place. It will get easier if you give it a little time.”
“I know,” Tom said quietly, then hesitated. “Jake?”
“Yeah,” Jake replied.
“How’s Adam working out?”
Immediately, Jake tensed again. He wished he could discuss his current fascination with Tom, but his ex-lover had been the one to recommend Adam as his replacement in the team.
“Wow! The silence is deafening.” Tom laughed. “Tell me all about it and don’t leave a thing out.”
“It’s not like that,” Jake scoffed, knowing he was lying through his teeth – and Tom would easily detect it.
“Of course not,” Tom teased. When Jake remained silent, Tom sighed, sounding very put upon. “I had hoped that you would have moved on by now, Jake. That’s why I recommended Adam for my spot.”
“And he’s turned out to be a great detective,” Jake insisted.
“That was not the spot I was talking about, Jake,” Tom countered, his voice holding a wealth of knowledge that had little to do with police work, and more to do with cool sheets, hot bodies and long nights.
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