...Ben never had any intention of going. He ignored the siren call for nearly a week. Then he told himself he was only checking to see if the kid was all right. Some of the queens arrested that day got further beatings in the cells. Had Daniels been one of them?
He’d looked up the arrest records for that night. A Dylan Daniels had been booked on loitering and public intoxication, released the next morning. No mention of injuries before or after the arrest. Of course there wouldn’t be.
He found the place without any difficulty. It was a three-story wood structure that needed a paint job, but otherwise wasn’t as rundown as some. A couple of ragged looking men lingered around the entrance, not doing much to conceal their flasks. They watched Ben suspiciously as he approached and entered the building. He was in civvies and tried to look inconspicuous as he made his way up the backstairs to the second floor. But he knew he looked like a cop, and nothing would change that.
The door was plain white wood with two brass digits nailed into it. Two and six. Nothing to suggest what lay beyond it. Nothing to tell Ben what he might find. Or what he might lose.
He raised his hand to knock; dropped it. Chewing on his lip, he looked both ways. The dim hall was empty except for a telephone on the wall and a single porcelain sink. The dull brown carpet was worn and the textured wallpaper looked like rose flowers laid over darker purple. If only made the hall darker. The odor of smoke and the essence of all the humanity who had trampled these halls lingered.
He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and rapped on the door. He was ready to bolt when the latch was thrown and the door opened wide enough for Daniels to peer out at him. Surprised, he pulled the door all the way open.
“Officer…” He shrugged after a second of searching for a name that wasn’t there. “I guess we weren’t formally introduced the other day.”
“Officer Carter. Ah, would you like to come in?”
Ben hesitated. Daniels leaned against the open door. “Someone’s likely to come by soon. If you want to be seen in front of my door, then by all means stay out there. Otherwise—”
Ben slipped past Daniels and turned to face him. After closing and locking the door, Daniels moved toward an alcove that had cupboards and shelves. He came back with a bottle of Johnny Walker and two high ball glasses he’d picked up from Liberty’s just this week.
“You’re not on duty, right? Besides, drinking isn’t illegal, is it? Just buying and selling the stuff is. And making it, which I assure you I haven’t ever done. So technically, right now, neither of us is breaking any laws.”
“You some kind of fucking lawyer?”
“No.” Daniels grinned. “I just know a lot of people. Including some lawyers. And judges.”
“I don’t kiss and tell.” He smiled slyly. “Not normally, at least.”
“I’m sure your clients would be happy to hear that.”
“Please, sit. I promise I won’t bite. Unless you want me to.”
“Why do you keep saying shit like that? Like you think I want to…like I want to…” He couldn’t say the words. His throat closed over the idea. In horror, he realized he was getting hard, like he had every time he thought of the beautiful golden boy since that terrible day they had met.
Ben swallowed and looked away. Heat flushed his entire body, centered on his throbbing cock.
“Fuck you?” he whispered...