This multipart story is primarily about romance and relationships between men. Any reference to actual persons, living or dead, is only to enhance the fictional nature of the story and does not suggest a particular sexual orientation. If you are offended by graphic descriptions of homosexual sex, what the hell are you doing here? Bye, bye.
Special acknowledgements to Drew and Brad for providing diligent proofing and editing of the story.
If you have any comments or suggestions for the author, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support Nifty!
Chapter 13, Rock Creek Restlessness
Chip nervously watched the digital clock count down the minutes and seconds. 'The bewitching hour, indeed,' he thought as the time neared the 5:00 a.m. deadline in London and midnight at the operations central console. His eyes darted between the infrared imaging from the house on Sycamore Drive and the linked London GPS grid. He was coordinating the electronic operations with his London counterpart and monitoring Scotland Yard's telephone tracking devices. Behind him was an F.B.I. agent with a secure cell phone ready to pass on any findings.
The F.B.I. had surrounded the Rock Creek neighborhood with several teams awaiting instructions. A listening device that could penetrate normal wall construction and target people's conversations 200 yards away was being set up in a neighboring house across the street from the suspects' location. AOI had been informed that this capability would be operational momentarily. In addition, a cellular telephone monitoring device would be in place. It had been determined that landline telephone service was not installed at the residence.
"We are three minutes from their call. Are all intercepts in place, London?" Chip asked.
~~~ "Yes, Sir. Right as rain. All equipment is functioning. The 'Yard' is at the British Telecom exchange servicing the Timmons residence and at BT's headquarters. Their computers should be able to identify the origin of the call within 30 seconds."
"Depending on how many bounces the caller uses."
~~~ "Between the capabilities of the BT tech staff, MI5's satellite cellular monitoring and our Internet URL tracking programs, the suspects will be on a short leash, I suspect."
"I hope you're right." Chip looked at the clock as it flash forwarded to 11:59. "This is going down in 58 seconds."
There was complete silence as the seconds clicked away. Chip moistened his lips with his tongue. He was thirsty but beverages were not allowed in the console area because of spillage potential. 'Come on guys, place the call,' he thought, impatiently. He drummed his fingers on the console desktop as his eyes darted back and forth between the various TV and GPS monitors. The infrared imaging showed that the two horizontal objects had not moved. Neither had the cluster of images in the opposite corner of the house.
The clock changed over to 12:00 and...nothing. The seconds moved forward. 'Call, you miserable assholes,' Chip wished. At 12:01 a red light started flashing.
"Got it." By prior arrangements, the phone was purposely not answered at Timmons' end until after the third ring to allow for the monitoring devices to get a head start.
**** "Timmons, here."
^^^ "If you want your son back alive, you will follow our instructions."
**** "I want to speak with him...now."
^^^ "You'll speak to him once our demands are met."
**** "What do you want?"
^^^ "There are five of our brothers imprisoned in Belmarsh. You know the prison?"
**** "Um, yes. In Thamesmead."
^^^ "To see your son alive, we want them released...by noon."
Chip listened as the caller gave Timmons the name of the five 'brothers.' Twice, Timmons interrupted to get the spelling of one of the prisoners. 'Very clever,' he thought, 'of Sir Geoffrey to stretch the time as much as possible.' He watched the GPS screen go blank for a moment before zeroing in on a new mapping image. On a larger overview, he recognized they were scanning the Canary Wharf area.
~~~~ "Fairfax, we believe that we have an address in Tower Hamlets."
"I see it on the GPS screen. How certain are we?"
~~~~ "The Yard is dispatching units as we speak."
"That's pretty certain." Chip watched the GPS screen slowly zoom in on a grid of streets. He admired the efficiency of his colleagues in London and the speedy work of MI5 and Scotland Yard. He continued listening to the Timmons conversation.
**** "How do you expect me, a civilian, to obtain release of these criminals in seven hours?"
^^^ "Sir Geoffrey, I suspect that you will find an answer to that question."
^^^ "No buts. Oh, and have your personal G5 fueled and ready to fly this afternoon."
**** "How far will it be traveling?"
^^^ "Very far. Tell Biggin Hill Airport that it should be ready to depart by 1:30 p.m."
**** "I can do that," Sir Geoffrey said with a sigh.
^^^ "You will be contacted at your residence at noon." The connection was broken.
"London, superb job. What can you tell us about Tower Hamlets?"
~~~ "Curious borough. Huge Muslim population and generally lower-class housing. Primarily rental flats that...ah, hold on, please." There was a pause before the London AOI technician continued, "Sir, I've just been told that all S.W.A.T. teams are in place and working in coordination with your F.B.I."
"I understand." Chip turned to the F.B.I. agent and asked, "Is everything in place?" He noticed that the agent had his cell to his ear.
"We are waiting for the London suspects to call their accomplices on Sycamore Drive. A linguist who understands Farsi is monitoring the audio equipment. If everything goes on schedule, we should..." The agent held up his free hand and nodded at what he was being told from his cell connection. "Yes, Sir, we are watching the infrared imaging."
Chip transferred the infrared imaging picture to the large screen. In addition to the objects inside, he could count at least 20 objects surrounding the house. Several were gathered in areas he suspected were the doors to the residence.
"We are confirming that the suspects in the house have just received a telephone call. The interpreter says they seem to be upbeat and excited and, okay...it's going down."
A certain imagination was needed to understand the attack and interaction of the objects on the screen. Chip could translate that two fast-moving masses were coming into impact with doors: one in the front and one on the side. The activity broke up the stationary mass of images in the corner of the building. They - the suspects - were reacting to the invasion. As they spread out, Chip watched the two horizontal objects move to one side. He gasped as he saw one object rapidly approach the horizontal objects and pause.
"Oh, Christ, cover yourselves," Chip yelled at the screen. He was pretty sure that the pause was to open the door. The two objects merged as one and Chip was horrified to see a hot, red line travel from the object at the door and join the objects he assumed were Dex and Geoff.
"Gunfire," the agent barked.
The object that had fired on Dex and Geoff was now stationary as more red lines came on the screen. Chip concluded that the F.B.I. had stopped the one object and watched as the 'good guy' images converged on the suspects. A blaze of tracer lines was over within moments and he saw one object move close to the motionless forms of Dex and Geoff. 'Move, guys, move,' Chip silently pleaded.
"Our team leader confirms that all suspects have been neutralized. Preliminary reports indicate that three suspects are either dead or wounded."
"What about our guys?" Chip asked urgently.
"Um, it appears that one of the victims is down and...wait, they're getting an I.D. and EMS is entering the house."
Dex felt a searing, sharp pain in the upper area of his thigh as he re-gained consciousness. His last memories were hearing guns firing and his instinct to protect the client. He had immediately propelled himself over Geoff and pulled his charge off the bed with him as the bedroom door burst open. There were gunshots and he felt a stabbing sensation in his thigh as the two men landed on the floor. He faintly remembered other shots coming from the hallway and their captor yelling a gurgling, muffled groan before blacking out.
"Dex, thank god, you're coming around," Geoff said.
"Oh...man, are you, um...alright?" Dex was now aware that he was on the floor and sprawled over the young British banker.
"Yes, I think that..."
"Tate, don't move...that's a nasty wound. We've got EMS coming in right now. Mr. Timmons, we'll get you two sorted out as soon as possible," Agent Bill Benedict said. "Are you hurt? I really can't see too clearly."
"I'm not hurt but Dex needs attention," Geoff replied.
"I, ah...Bill...Tom Spicer's friend?" Dex asked. He heard footsteps rapidly approaching.
"We're here, buddy," Just stay still until we can get the medics to look at you," Bill said before he turned his head. "In here. It appears that only one of the victims has been hurt. See if you can find a key for the handcuffs."
"I'll check the pockets of the man by the doorway."
As the agent searched the pockets of the fallen captor, three EMS medics rushed past them and stopped by Dex and Geoff. One checked the pulse while another applied a tourniquet above the wound to stop the bleeding. The third medic blotted as much blood as he could before analyzing the damage to the leg.
"I think this key should do the trick," the other agent said. "Do you want me to remove the cuffs?"
"Thanks, that'll help a lot. We need to move this man as soon as a gurney and an IV get in here. Sir, do you know what blood type you are? There's been some loss of blood."
"O Negative," Dex said softly.
"Excellent. We'll have no problem when we reach the ER. There's Normal Saline in the ambulance if we need it, " the medic said. "Off hand, you're a very lucky man. The bullet seems to have gone through the muscle of your thigh. I'm sure that it'll be found embedded in the floor." He continued to close and dress the wound as the gurney arrived.
"Over here. The casualty by the door is dead," said the medic who had been checking all the vital signs. The gurney arrived next to Dex and Geoff and three of the EMS team carefully lifted, turned and lowered Dex onto the gurney so that he was lying on his back. Immediately an IV was inserted into a vein in his arm. "As soon as this one is dispatched, join us in the living room. I understand that the team needs assistance with other injured."
Dex, feeling a little bewildered and dizzy, raised his head a little and said, "Geoff, I'm glad that you're okay. I'm sorry..."
"Dex, cut the apologies. No one could have foreseen this craziness. And look what you've done...you've saved my bloody life. Mend well, Mate - I'm eternally grateful."
"I'll see you when I'm feeling better," Dex replied. He was feeling very tired and closed his eyes as the gurney moved forward and out to the ambulance.
Chip left the AOI operations center exhausted but satisfied that everyone had done a terrific job defusing and solving the kidnapping. Four of the kidnappers had been killed and the surviving Iranians were with the F.B.I. at D.C.'s Central Detention Facility. It was just a little after 6:00 a.m. as he turned onto the Beltway to drive back from Fairfax to D.C. to go to George Washington Hospital. He would meet Kyle and brother Brad there. Dex's wound had been re-dressed and he was resting. Geoff, after a cursory examination, had been driven back to his hotel by another AOI security detail.
The coordination between AOI and law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Atlantic had been brilliant and productive. As soon as the house on Sycamore Drive had been secured and the victims - Dex and Geoff - rescued, MI5 and Scotland Yard raided the flat in Tower Hamlets. The perpetrators, identified as Muslim extremists and terrorists on a MI5 watch list, had unsuccessfully attempted to blow up the building with explosives that were in storage. The five men, all Iranian nationals, were captured and were now jailed with their co-conspirators in Belmarsh prison.
An exhausted but satisfied Chip Lewinthal sped through the quiet, early morning streets and arrived at the George Washington University Hospital parking facility a half hour later. He checked in at the reception desk and was directed to the 7th floor ward. When Chip arrived at the nurse's station, a mature woman looked at his badge and smiled with a welcoming look.
"Sir, your associates have had a busy night. I assume you're inquiring about Mr. Tate?"
"Um, is there an update? Our last news was that Dex had been successfully treated and was resting."
"He's a very healthy and lucky man, as you probably know." The nurse pulled out a file and consulted it before continuing, "A clean wound with no bone damage. Several stitches and moderate doses of Demerol. If everything goes well, I suspect that the doctor will release Mr. Tate in three days, or so."
"That's great news. Um, I'm also looking for a couple of friends who came over here earlier."
"Oh, duh, I should have recognized the last name." The nurse looked at a log. "Brad Lewinthal and Kyle, ah...Blakesfield. I assume that Brad is your brother?"
"Yes. My not so little brother," Chip said with a proud smile.
"He must be the spinach eater in the family." The nurse grinned and gestured to the hallway. "Brad and Kyle are in the visitor's lounge around the corner. They're just waiting for the next shift to come in at seven and awake Mr. Tate."
"Thanks, I'll check out the guys and get back to you." Chip nodded and walked down to the lounge. He smiled at the sight of two young guys zonked out on the couch. Brad's head was gently resting on Kyle's shoulder and chest. 'Might as well get some coffee and bring it back,' he decided.
The cafeteria was doing brisk business with the oncoming morning staff shift, Chip observed, as he grabbed a tray and slowly walked through the line. OJ, muffins and three coffees were purchased and he found the station for lids, condiments, stir sticks and a disposable tray with inserts for the cups. 'This should get the guys back up and running.'
As Chip approached the lounge, Brad shifted restlessly and opened one eye.
"Hey, Bro. Quite a night." Chip set down the tray on a table and joined Brad on the couch. He put his hand on Brad's shoulder and said, "You two holding up okay?"
"Yeah," Brad replied with a big yawn. "I guess the best news is that Dex is going to recover without any complications."
"I'm sure Kyle is happy?" Chip looked at the still-sleeping man and the contented smile that spread over his face.
"He was able, through the agent's intervention, to see Dex last night. The hospital was all up in arms about a non-relative visiting Dex...especially due to the nature of the wounds. They were able to speak a little before the docs took over."
"You seem to be in good spirits. Something tells me there must be a reason."
"Ah, I did get a chance to see Geoff after they gave him a thorough check up. Seems your baby brother has a dinner date Wednesday night." Brad shrugged and added, "I think that this guy is pretty hot."
"Ha. Score one for the good guys. I suppose I don't have to give you my customary 'safe sex' pep talk?"
"Jesus, between our little talks when I was growing up and living in the Bay Area, 'safe sex' has been well-covered...thank you. Plus, this is just a little dinner he suggested." Brad gave Chip a glance that combined a warm, brotherly 'love you' smile with a 'wouldn't mind getting a little' leer.
"I understand. And I also observe that Geoff Timmons is a very attractive, charming guy. Combine that with a very bright, handsome guy by the name of Brad Lewinthal and I see some possible sparks flying. And if that happens, I couldn't be happier."
"One step at a time I..."
"Hey, Chip. How long have you been here?" asked a sleepy Kyle.
"Not long. Got some morning grub for you." Chip took a cup of coffee and handed it to Kyle. "I'm really happy that things turned out so well."
"Thanks for everything you did." Kyle set down the coffee, got off the couch and walked up to Chip. "Tom Spicer told me that you were right in the middle of the operation." Silently he pulled Chip into a strong embrace. "It's great to have friends in the right places." He kissed Chip on the cheek and sighed as a few tears started forming. "I thought I was going to loose him."
"Hey, that's what we do...especially looking after our own. Those bozos didn't stand a chance." Chip returned the hug and stroked the back of Kyle's neck. "You okay?"
"Very relieved." Kyle stepped back and wiped his eyes and cheeks. "It'll be better when Dex gets home and we...well, you know," Kyle said with a low chuckle.
"The head nurse told me that she thinks Dex should be outta here by Friday."
"I hope the press doesn't bother us too much."
"Don't worry. As far as anyone is concerned, Dex had an accident at the AOI gun range. And anything you read about concerning the Sycamore Drive incident will only mention the Iranians who will be described as part of a terrorist organization."
"So Geoff won't be identified?" Brad asked.
"No trail whatsoever. Seems the White House got involved and demanded that Geoff and Dex be left out of any report of the incident. I understand that the British Ambassador was briefed earlier this morning. I can't imagine how the White House got involved," Chip said with a sly grin.
"Um, I guess Phil did call Mac last night." Kyle smiled, shrugged and grabbed his cup of coffee.
"Would someone tell me what you're talking about?" Brad asked. "I mean, in the space of 12 hours, I meet some nice guys, witness a kidnapping, hear that my brother's friend is in the hospital and find out that the White House is keeping everything quiet. Whew, that's pretty strong stuff."
"Welcome to Washington. Your brother has managed to make some great friends who have interesting jobs." Chip looked at Brad and sipped the coffee.
"My boss, Phil Tortello, is a special friend with Mac Price...a lawyer in the White House. We're all fairly junior in the big political game but know how to move mountains when we need to."
"I'm a believer. That was a pretty big mountain last night. Will I get a chance to meet Phil and Mac before I leave?"
"As a matter of fact, let me work on having a little 'welcome home' party for Dex at his place on Friday night. Low key and kinda early. Maybe 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with beer, wine and some sort of finger food?"
Could I, ah, bring a guest?" Brad asked.
"I think I know where this is going and the answer is, number one, yes; but, number two, Geoff returning to London on Friday. At least that's what I remember Dex telling me."
"I'm having dinner with him Wednesday and it would be a good excuse to call and see if he could stay over one more night."
"My brother is a very determined guy."
"If he can rearrange his schedule, Geoff is more than welcome. In fact, Dex would insist on it," Kyle added.
"Then let me see what I can do." Brad had a very determined expression on his face.
"Welcome home." Kyle unlocked the door and wheeled Dex into his apartment.
"Christ, it seems like it's been a month rather than four days." Dex was dressed in a tee, loose warm-up pants and Topsiders that Kyle had brought to the hospital. Crutches were sitting in his lap.
"Three days and 16 hours, to be exact. My watch says 10:03 a.m., Friday."
"You and your fancy Rolex."
"In my dreams," Kyle replied. "It's a Seiko and it does the job." He rolled Dex into the bedroom and stopped. "The nurse and physical therapist will be here at noon. I need to know how to help you when they're not around."
"I'm getting stronger. I learned how to use the crutches in therapy but the basics are going to require assistance. You know, maneuvering around the bathroom, shower...things like that. I guess you'll have to help me to move around in tight places."
"Ha. I'm not going to touch that line with a ten-foot pole."
"Then how about ten..."
"Don't even go there," Kyle said with a sly smile. "Seriously, I plan on taking care of you in the morning before I have to go to work. The nurse will be here around noon to help you with lunch and the therapist is scheduled at 3:00 p.m. I think we've got all bases covered until I return in the evening. The plan is to maintain this program for the next ten days. That's quite an insurance program AOI has."
"I guess it compensates for combat pay. Are you sure this isn't going to be a burden on you with your job and all?"
"Naw, I got it covered. Phil's is giving me some slack next week. August is really all about planning for the fall campaign. No crisis mode...yet."
"Then I accept your assistance. Give me a little kiss."
"Jeez, aren't you the pushy one?" Kyle leaned down and offered a friendly, daytime, boyfriend kiss sans tongue. "Hmmm, this is the best I can do. It's either this or a full force attack." Kyle chuckled and planted another kiss on Dex's willing mouth.
"Um, how are we going to do full force?" Dex smiled and raised his eyebrow.
"Gradually. I figure I'll let my fingers do a little walking after the nurse and therapist leave today."
"I'm holding you to that. In the meantime, give me the rundown of who's all coming tonight. I know about Phil and Mac and I think it's super that Geoff changed his plans to be here."
"He wouldn't miss it. I also think that he wanted an excuse to spend more time with Brad."
"And Brad will be traveling to London in a couple of weeks. We may have a match. Speaking of Lewinthals, is Chip going to stop by?"
"Exactly. Plus Tom Spicer and his partner, Bill Benedict," Kyle added.
"Sounds like all the makings for a fun event. Thanks for planning it, babe."
"No problem. Just consider it a celebration of life. In the meantime, are you going to be okay if I dash over to Whole Foods for a few things we need? I got all the beer and wine yesterday."
"Yeah, I'll be fine. Help me take a whiz and then I'll keep myself company on the computer."
"Deal." Kyle wheeled Dex to the bathroom and helped him stand over the toilet. With that mission accomplished, Dex was positioned in front of his PC with a TV remote in his lap. Kyle knew that the first hours were going to be a little frustrating for Dex because of the awkwardness of immobility. But Dex urged Kyle to leave and do his errands.
"I promise to call if I have any problems...honest. Now git." Dex winked and waved a friendly, dismissive hand.
"See ya soon."
The rest of the day was rather unremarkable. Kyle returned with the food he had pre-ordered and listened to the nurse and the therapist as they gave him instruction on the care of Dex. They all felt very confident that Dex would be fairly mobile in another two weeks and ready for desk duty soon thereafter.
Around 3:30 p.m., Kyle had all of the party provisions laid out. He figured that this was a 'guys only' event: plastic and paper was in order. He went into the bedroom and saw that Dex was on the Internet reading a political blog.
"I think we're ready for your party. I'll probably need a half-hour to pull everything together before the guests arrive at six. Whazzup?" Kyle walked up behind Dex and gently massaged his shoulders.
"Just following the political version of 'cops and robbers.' The Dems should send Abraham a thank you note...for sure. What's really strange is this one blog that I.D.'s a congressman from Florida who has sent emails to ex-congressional male pages. The emails are posted and they just border on being inappropriate."
"Hmmm, I haven't heard anything about that but it sounds a little creepy. How are you doing?"
"Maybe I could use a little rest. How about helping me get undressed and into bed?"
"Sure enough. Maybe I'll take a little nap with you." Kyle walked over and pushed Dex into the bedroom.
"Let me get out of the tee and the Topsiders. Once I loosen the waist drawstring and pull the pants down, can you do the rest and pull it off?" Dex asked as he raised the tee over his head and toed the shoes loose.
"Are you sure that's all you want pulled off?"
"One step at a time," Dex said with a grin. "Seems to me we made a deal." He raised his butt, using his good leg and Kyle pulled off the pants.
"Let's get you into bed. I'll give you a hand." Kyle bent and had Dex wrap his arm around Kyle's shoulders. Once Dex was vertical, they did a hop-step movement until Dex was able to ease himself on the bed. Kyle quickly shed his clothes and joined his partner.
"Hand? Um, I think you said something about letting your fingers do, ah, the walking," Dex said with a grin as he lay down. "Just think of me as horny Yellow Pages."
"Oh, I think that fingers is the least I can do." Kyle gently grabbed Dex's hardening cock and stroked the glans with his thumb. "I'm glad to see that your body parts are still working." He started a slow but determined stroking action that left no doubt Dex was a healthy, functioning young male.
"If the bullet had been two inches higher, this wouldn't be an option. For several reasons, I'm very thankful." Dex squirmed a little as Kyle milked a tentative excretion of pre-cum from a firm erection.
"Babe, let me show you how thankful I am." Kyle leaned down and replaced his sticky fingers with his lips. His tongue twirled around the tip of the moist glans and moved to the frenulum.
"Thanksgiving has come early," Dex said in a hoarse, throaty voice.
Kyle briefly pulled up and replied, "Then let's get some cream for the pumpkin pie."
Big thanks to Ben in Florida for providing medical expertise and editing in this chapter.
TO BE CONTINUED