Thursday, May 24, 2018

My Brother’s Keeper - 29

“Do you know who the people were who did this to your car?” the patrol officer asked Tad once it had been established that Tad had witnessed the crime.

Tad nodded. He had decided that he should go down to the car rather than wait for the police to come to him. When he got there the officers were walking around it, apparently as far as Tad could tell writing down the details of the damage which included a great many dents and a shattered windshield.

“I’ve seen them around. I don’t know their names but…” He had a sudden thought. “I have a photo of three of them.”

The second officer frowned. “Why?”

Tad quickly explained about his nighttime photo expedition, and of seeing them at the end of the alley when he was shooting pictures of two homeless people. “It was just luck,” he explained. “The thing of it is, they saw me too. They weren’t very happy when they realized I’d taken their picture. If you want to come up to the apartment I’ll show you the photos.”

“We will in a minute. From what you saw, did any of them touch the car?”

“When I first saw them, they were leaning against it, which is what set off the alarm.” Tad closed his eyes, trying to visualize the scene. “All of them had either bats or pipes in their hands. While I was watching they never put their hands on the car, but obviously…” He swept his hand out to encompass the damage.

“They must have taken the weapons with them when they fled the scene,” the second officer commented. “Which way did they go?” Tad told him and he immediately headed off in that direction.

“I doubt it’s worth trying to get fingerprints from the exterior,” the first officer told Tad while they waited for his partner to return. “Too many people could have touched it even if you leave it sitting here most of the time.”

“Which I don’t,” Tad told him. “And yeah, I’m sure my friends’ fingerprints are all over it.”

The second officer returned a few minutes later shaking his head. “They didn’t drop them anywhere obvious. One man who was sitting on his stoop saw them run by his house. He says at least two of them were carrying bats. He thought at the time they were running late for a baseball game since they were headed towards the park. He’s the only one I talked to who noticed them, or at least who admits it.”

“Let’s go up and you can show me those photos,” the first officer told Tad.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My Brother’s Keeper - 28

“Damn, damn, damn.” Tad swore vehemently as he took out his cell and flipped it open.

“That about covers it,” Roy growled, trying to cover the fear in his voice as he looked out the window.

Three punks leaned against Tad’s car while a fourth, Daws, stood in front of them. He held a baseball bat loosely in one hand as he searched the back of the apartment building with the apparent hope that Tad or Roy would look out to see what had set off the car alarm.

Roy pulled back quickly. When he realized Tad had called 911 he shook his head. “You know they’ll be gone before the cops arrive.”

Tad nodded sharply as he told the 991 operator what was happening. A moment later he snapped the phone shut. “They’re on their way.”

Jerry raced into that kitchen at that moment, fear scribed across his face. “Daws is out there!”

“We know and the police are on their way,” Tad replied as he leaned across the sink to peek through the curtain. “Damn it all to hell!”

Roy didn’t need to look to know what was happening. The sound of bats and pipes hitting the car told him all he needed to know. The wail of an approaching siren sounded in the distance and seconds later a voice called out, “This will be you next time.”

“Over my dead body,” Tad barked out even though he knew Daws wouldn’t hear him. He opened the curtains and sighed deeply as he watched the retreating backs of the punks. “A day late…” he muttered as a patrol car pulled into the lot.

Jerry looked at Roy. Then he grabbed his hand to try to tug him out of the kitchen. “We can’t let the cops know we’re here,” he cried out in fear.

Tad caught on immediately. “Hurry and get dressed,” he ordered, already placing a call. As soon as he heard her voice he explained to Denise what he needed. Apparently she was willing to hide Roy and Jerry, because he told Roy to get his brother and stash their packs in the closet. Not that he expected the police to search for any reason but he wasn’t willing to take the chance.

It seemed only a minute later when there was a knock on the apartment door. Tad panicked and then quickly realized that the police would have had to buzz him to be let inside the building. Or at least he hoped that was the case. He opened the door to find Denise standing there.

“Roy, Jerry, move it,” Tad called out. They came racing into the living room and from there followed Denise down to her place.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

My Brother’s Keeper - 27

Jerry eyed his brother with some amusement as dinner progressed. Roy was definitely not paying attention to the food on his plate if the fact that he’d eaten maybe three bites of his steak meant anything. His concentration seemed to be more on Tad than on the meal. They had barely said two words but the glances they exchanged told Jerry that things between his brother and Tad might progress well beyond a few stolen kisses.

He took pity on them finally and finished the last of his dinner quickly. Then he stretched, yawned, and announced that he was going to bed. When Roy immediately asked, somewhat guiltily, how he was feeling, Jerry quickly assured him that he was all right, just tired still.

“I bet I’ll sleep like a log. I won’t even know when you get to bed,” he told him with a knowing grin.

Tad chuckled. “Sure you won’t.”

As he headed to the kitchen door, Jerry said over his shoulder, “That is if he even makes it to bed…in our bedroom.”

“Brat,” Roy growled.

Jerry’s laughter floated back as he headed to the bedroom.

“Let’s get this cleaned up,” Tad said as he began taking the dishes to the sink. “And then we can see if he was right.”

As he began to rinse them so that he could put them into the dishwasher, Roy came up behind him, wrapping his arms around his waist. “Can’t that wait until morning?” he asked, nipping Tad’s ear.

“And face a sink full of…” Tad broke off with a groan as Roy’s hand slid down to cup his already half-swollen cock through his jeans. “I guess…yeah…they can wait.”

“Good, because I can’t.” Roy turned Tad around, smiling at him before leaning in to kiss him. The kiss escalated, the heat between the two young men reaching Vesuvius proportions, and for a moment neither of them was aware of the screaming of a car alarm coming in through the closed window from the back parking lot.

Then Tad jerked away. “That’s my car,” he said, pulling back the curtain on the kitchen window to look outside.

Guardian Angels - If It's Fated… (18)

"I think we can safely say mission accomplished," Dom said, leaning back with his hands behind his head, while looking at Deidre as she stood at the front window of his apartment.
It had been three weeks since the day Tim and Richard had met for lunch for the first time. Since then, they'd done it four more times, as well as spending at least one evening each weekend together.
Cherie had played chaperone, Tim had laughingly told Dom during one of the many times he'd dropped by to catch him up on what was going on.
"Not that I mind in the least," Tim added. "She's a wonderful child."
When Dom had questioned that—his not minding—Tim explained, "Richard and I are taking it one step at a time, for her sake and for ours. Believe it or not, he's as new to this whole relationship thing as I am. We don't want to blow it."
Dom bit back a cackle of amusement at the way he'd phrased that last, just nodding sagely.
While they were waiting it out to be certain that Tim and Richard really were going to get involved with each other as more than just friends, Dom had slowly begun to accept that it was time for him to let go of his anger toward Deidre. As he did—and it wasn't easy—he found she was actually an interesting woman. She was smart and witty, once she, too, had started to let her guard down—and not too bad on the eyes to boot.
Now she turned to look at him after his comment. "Nothing is written in stone when it comes to relationships. However, I suspect you're right. There's nothing more we can do that wouldn't be considered interfering above and beyond the call of duty. They like each other and from what Tim told you, they're working on making it something permanent. That's all anyone can ask." She grinned. "Even Samuel."
"I agreed. So what say we go out and celebrate our success?"
Dom nodded. "Why not? We've earned it. A good meal, maybe…" He shrugged. "I know a nice club where there's dancing, if you dance."
"That sounds like fun."
A couple of hours later they were walking into Maxie's, after having spent a pleasant hour over dinner at a small restaurant Deidre had discovered soon after she'd arrived in the city.
They found a table not too far from the edge of the dance floor and gave the waitress their drink orders. While they waited for her to return, Dom watched the people dancing.
"My wife and I had a club we went to. Connie loved to dance." He chuckled softly. "Even with me and I was hardly Fred Astaire."
"Dom, if this is bringing back memories, perhaps we should leave before…?"
"No." He turned to look at Deidre. "It's time for me to remember the good parts of our life. Not that I haven't before but…but then it was only to damn myself for not being able to save her and Nico. Now…now it's because the memories remind me I had someone who loved me. Someone I loved in return. Despite all that's happened since, it's not a bad thing, knowing I was loved."
"It never is, Dom."
"Did you have someone before you died?"
Deidre nodded, her expression darkening. "Yes. The man of my dreams, until the day he decided he wanted to trade up, so to speak. I ended up in a grave in the middle of nowhere." She sighed deeply. "I suppose he went on to marry her. I never asked. I didn't want to know."
"Good God," Dom whispered.
She smiled wryly. "Hopefully he had nothing to do with it."
"I suspect not." He paused while the waitress put down their drinks, paid her, and then stood, holding out his hand to Deidre. "If you're willing to take a chance I'll end up stepping on your toes…"
She laughed, getting up. "I've been in worse danger."
They wended their way to the dance floor, arriving just in time for a slow song, much to Dom's relief. He liked fast music, but not to dance to. As they made their way around the floor, he realized Deidre made an excellent dance partner, moving with him as if they'd done this a hundred times. He told her so and she blushed.
"It's been a long time," she said, "but I guess you never forget."
"Fifteen years for me," he replied.
She chewed her lip before admitting, "Almost a hundred for me." Chuckling, she added, "I was pretty damned good at the Charleston."
Dom said, laughing, "Samuel seems to be putting me with the old pros, although"—he twirled her around—"he didn't actually put me with you."
"No. He was smart enough not to do that. But I have a sneaking suspicion he knew we'd run into each other during our assignments. I did wonder if he'd pull me out if you asked—or vice versa."
"We got the answer to that one in spades. 'The two of you will finish your jobs and if necessary, you will work together'." Dom said, mimicking Samuel perfectly. 
Deidre laughed delightedly. "You could have had a great career as an actor."
Snorting, Dom led her back to their table. Just as they sat down, he saw two familiar faces. Tim saw him at the same time, pointing him out to Richard, and they came over.
"Gentlemen," Dom said, "this is Deidre, one of my co-workers. Deidre—Tim and Richard."
"A pleasure to meet you," Deidre responded. "Dom's told me a lot about the two of you. Well, maybe not a lot, but he's mentioned you."
"All good, I hope," Richard said.
While Deidre replied to his comment, Tim asked Dom under his breath, "Is this the friend you were upset about?"
Dom nodded. "We've…settled our differences."
"And now you're dating?"
"Sorry to disappoint you, but no. We're celebrating the fact we both finished our jobs successfully, before leaving town for new ones."
"Oh." Tim didn't exactly look happy about that. "I'll miss having you around to talk to."
"You have Richard now," Dom pointed out.
Tim brightened considerably and even more so when Richard, who had apparently overheard them, said, "He does, and I have him."
"So you'll be just fine when I'm gone," Dom said with a smile.
Tim looked at Richard then nodded. "Yes, I will."
"Would you two care to join us?" Deidre asked. 
 "Thanks but we can't," Richard replied. "We're meeting a couple of friends. Perhaps the next time you're in the city?"
"Perhaps," Dom said, knowing that wasn't likely to happen. Then the two men said their goodbyes and headed across the room hand-in-hand.
Deidre smiled. "You were right about what you said earlier this evening. Mission accomplished."
"Indeed. So we should get back and report in, I suspect."
"Not until we've finished our drinks and had at least one more dance."
Dom grinned. "I can deal with that."

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Brother’s Keeper - 26

It was just after noon when the trio arrived back at Tad’s apartment. As soon as they were inside Roy made certain Jerry took his pills with a large glass of water as the doctor had instructed, and then a shot of the cough syrup.

“Now get in there and rest,” Roy ordered his brother, pointing to the bedroom.

Jerry muttered something under his breath and asked Tad, “Can I sit in the lounge chair instead?”

“As far as I’m concerned, sure, but it’s really between you and Roy.”

“Please.” Jerry gave Roy his best pleading look.

Roy rolled his eyes but yielded and said that he could, “If you don’t move.”

When Jerry had settled in, Tad asked if he liked video games. “Hell yeah,” Jerry told him excitedly, so Tad handed him a controller and put in the game he requested. “That should keep him busy for a while,” he told Roy with a laugh.

“Might keep me busy too. I haven’t played in, well forever it seems and that’s a multiplayer game. Do you have another controller?”

“Three more, so we can all play and we’ll see who the best of the best is.”

The rest of the afternoon was spent in fierce competition until Jerry started making big errors. Finally he conceded that he was too tired to keep going even though he had been winning earlier on.

“That’s okay,” Tad said, going over to turn off the game. “It’s about time for supper. Can you stay awake long enough to eat?” The question was moot he realized when he turned back and saw that Jerry was already sleeping. “Want to help fix supper?” he asked Roy.

“If it doesn’t require a Cordon Bleu chef to handle it.”

Tad snorted. “Not even close. Meat or fish is about my limit, usually done in the frying pan, or spaghetti.”

“Spaghetti in a frying pan?” Roy grinned when Tad muttered about wiseasses. “Whatever you need help with I’m willing.”

“That could be taken in more ways than I think you meant,” Tad responded as he walked towards the kitchen.

“Don’t bet on it,” Roy told him. He caught up just as Tad entered the kitchen and put a hand on his shoulder. When Tad half-turned to look at him, Roy kissed him quickly and stepped back.

“Supper first,” Tad murmured.

“Spoil sport,” Roy murmured in reply.

“Just practical. The way I’m feeling right now, if we don’t get supper made it might be morning before we ate.”

“And your point is?”

“Your little brother in there, who would undoubtedly wake up and demand food just when things got interesting. So we wake him up before he’s had too much sleep, all three of us eat, and he goes to bed.”

Roy nodded. “That works. Oh boy does it work.” He snagged another kiss then gave Tad a gentle push towards the stove. “So let’s get to cooking.”