This multipart, fictional 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. Any fictional characters' resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 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.
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Chapter 15, Tales of the Second City
"You don't think the party leadership is going to be pissed?" Phil was finishing up his Wednesday morning meeting with Mandy and her chief of staff, Joyce Goldstein, at the Michigan Avenue office.
"Between the party chairman and Harry over at the senate, I can't get any agreement on offering any ideas on our position on Iraq. This is the administration's Achilles heal and I want to twist whatever I can grab," Mandy said with conviction. "We've got elections to win and America is thoroughly pissed about this mess. But most of the esteemed Democrat leadership is offering no direction. I think my speech will start a dialogue to move some ideas forward."
"You risk being labeled as a 'cut and run' liberal." Phil took a sip from his coffee cup and looked at Mandy and Joyce.
"Better than the demagoguery of parroting 'stay the course' while having no coherent strategy. I've got to help define what the course should be and not suggest that we arbitrarily pull out."
"Everyone's too busy pointing fingers about who isn't doing what...and who is doing what to whom." Joyce was Mandy's most trusted advisor and closest friend and the closest thing to a Yin-yang relationship in the office. "And this Abraham situation isn't pleasant for anyone because it crosses party lines."
"Look at the key players on both sides. You've got the House Speaker - Mr. Super-size it - who took his son from operating a music store in the cornfields outside Chicago and got him a job as a lobbyist on K Street. I'm sure that it's the kid's brilliance that attracted Google to hire him to lobby for their corporation," Phil said with a tone of dripping sarcasm.
"And our Senate minority leader is in some deep crap with the ethics committee concerning profiting on some shady land deals in Nevada while the Senate majority leader is being investigated on insider trading. Oy vey." Joyce shrugged her shoulders and looked at Mandy.
"Let's just make sure my skirts are clean. Here's what we're going to do. Phil, contact your guys at the cable networks on the QT tomorrow and tell them that I'll be delivering an interesting speech on Labor Day that would be worth covering. Then, on Saturday, call the Trib and Sun-Times local guys and pitch the same thing."
"No problem...but what about the party chairman's office?" Phil asked.
"Fax them a copy of the speech on Saturday morning...no one's going to be in the Washington offices 'til after Labor Day. You okay with coming in this weekend to handle this?" Mandy looked over at Phil and offered a questioning smile.
"I'm in town and chillin' as they say in Stony Island. This isn't a real vacation, anyway...just a little escape to see my friends and introduce Mac." Phil had been upfront about dating someone in the administration. "By the way, I'm having dinner with a guy who's active in the Stonewall Democrats. He's curious if you would come to one of their fund-raiser parties in the spring?"
"The answer is always yes for that group. They supported me when things weren't quite so cushy in the vote department. Just coordinate with Joyce and it's done." Current polls had Mandy at a 68% approval rating in her district.
Phil called Kyle and rapidly laid out a plan of attack for contacting the media over the next three days. He wanted to get out of the office so that he could show Mac the new Millennium Park. They had planned on having lunch at a nearby Bennigan's around noon and then walk over to the park before continuing to the Art Institute.
Shortly before 7:00 p.m. Phil and Mac arrived at 850 DeWitt Place, Russ and Trev's condo a couple of blocks east of the historic Water Tower. Mac figured that it had been built in the 60's and thought the architecture was typically bland in keeping with that period. 'But what a great location,' he judged.
"I'm glad we decided to cab it here. Parking would be a bitch," Phil said as they walked up the entrance steps to the condo and the front desk.
"They both walk to work. I guess the hospital is nearby and Trev said that he's in one of the office buildings over on Michigan Avenue."
"The hospital complex is just across Lake Shore Park at the end of the street. Russ prolly has a commute time of three minutes."
The guys arrived at the front desk and told the doorman they were visiting Dr. Bennett and Mr. Winston, before giving their names. After a short conversation on the inter-com line, the doorman motioned them to the elevators and suggested that they make a left turn once they were on the 17th floor. Unit 17-A was at the end of the hallway.
"You found the place. Come on in," Russ said as they approached the condo. The young doctor was outside the door, dressed in a light gray tee that molded to his body, khakis and sneakers.
"No problem. We took a cab instead of driving." Phil shook Russ's hand and stepped into the condo ahead of Mac.
Mac shook hands with Russ and gave Trev a little hug. Inside was a very masculine, comfortable apartment decorated with hunter green carpet, a mixture of leather easy chairs and an over-sized upholstered couch that wrapped around the corner of the walls. Décor artifacts and magazines cluttered the heavy glass coffee table. The roomy two-bedroom layout, average in size by Chicago standards, was an apartment that a Manhattanite or Washingtonian would give his first-born to have. It had a nice city view that looked to the south and to the lake.
"Since you're staying at Jerry and Bill's place, this will give an idea of how the other half lives," Trev said.
"Nonsense. This is great and you're so near everything. I gotta tell you, my entire apartment in D.C. would fit in your living room." Mac patted Trev on the shoulder and smiled. 'They look like good role models for Phil and me,' he thought. 'This'll help convince Phil that two guys can have a place together.'
"Come on in and sit down. Since we'll be pigging out on deep-dish pizza, I didn't fix any munchies." Russ gestured for them to sit in the living room chairs. "Trev and I were just making martinis...well, with vodka. Is that alright?"
"Sure. Could you make mine a little dirty?" Phil asked.
"Just the way we like them. Give me a sec to get things organized." Russ strolled into the open kitchen area and started making the cocktails.
"You guys, um, been here long?" Mac stretched out in one of the chairs.
"We bought this place about six years ago and right now it serves our purpose. Eventually, we'd like to get some sort of house up in the Andersonville area with a backyard and all," Trev said as he sat down on the couch. "I have my computer set up in the guest room so we don't get in each other's hair."
"Yeah, it's way up in the north side and there are still some good real estate values. Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville have become too expensive. Believe me, Russ and I can't dish out a million to buy a house...a fixer-upper, at that."
"It's even worse in D.C. Phil and I are thinking about maybe getting something together next year." Mac knew that his dad would help them when they were ready to buy a residence. 'I'll bring this up,' he thought, 'when the timing is right.'
"It would be a big change for both of us," Phil replied. "But we both want to do it at some point."
Russ returned with four 'dirty' martinis in over-sized cocktail glasses with extra olives and joined the group. Over the next 20 minutes, the guys spoke in polite generalities about their lives and gradually relaxed into a level of comfortable familiarity.
"Mac, do you practice law with a private firm in Washington?" Russ asked.
"Um, no, I work for the government."
"Government? Anything to do with the Justice Department? The, ah, reason I ask is that I've got a strange situation I need to discuss with someone and I don't know what to do." Russ looked at Mac and slowly sipped his cocktail. "Someone's getting away with a crime and that just pisses me off."
"Sounds serious," Mac replied.
"This is kind of a down subject and we've just met these guys." Trev looked at Russ with a frown. "Maybe they don't want to get involved."
"You're probably right but..." Russ looked down at his partner of nine years and shrugged.
"No, that's okay. Ah, well...in fact I work in the White House."
"Whoa...that's heavy duty. Doing what...if I could ask?" Russ set down his cocktail and sat up straighter.
"I've got a long official title. Actually, I'm a very junior part of the President's legal staff."
"Mac doesn't like to mention it outside our circle of friends," Phil added. "But I get the feeling that we're among new friends."
"I second that. Russ, why don't we discuss what's on your mind very unofficially and definitely off the record. If I can steer you in the right direction...I'm happy to help." Mac pulled closer to the edge of his chair and patted Russ on the knee.
"Okay, here goes. It's something that happened in the ER last month. Someone dropped off a 15-year-old boy - African American - at the entrance and left before anyone could get a license plate...just that it was a black Cadillac. Anyway, the young guy was a bloody mess in the rear end. He had been raped and...well, ah, let's say that he required some minor surgery."
"Wow, poor guy. But what does this have to do with D.C.? I would think that the local police would be on it." Phil's expression was one of curiosity and puzzlement.
"Phil, this gets kinda in your political arena. You sure you want to hear this?" Russ replied in a low voice.
"Why do you say that?"
"Cuz the man the kid identified as the attacker was a congressman," Russ said quietly.
"Um, I assume that this is a local guy?"
"Congressman Stone? Jeez." Phil frowned, shook his head and turned to Mac. "Stone is a real slippery character. Mandy has as little to do with him as possible but I haven't heard anything about this type of situation."
"That's the point. I know the police and an alderman were in the loop. But this was a month ago. We had DNA and a pretty strong statement from the victim. It's very quietly been swept under the rug. God knows what else has been covered up."
"How about the parents? Did they get involved?" Mac asked with genuine curiosity.
"Okay, here goes...everything's off the record. Deal?"
"I think I speak for Phil in saying that neither of our respective offices will get involved...at this point." Mac took another sip of his martini and set the glass on the coffee table.
Phil silently nodded and subconsciously rubbed his chin.
"By law, we are required to report any sexual assault to a minor. I was on duty that night and asked the ER desk to contact the police, family services and track down the minor's parents. But before we could do that, the alderman from the kid's neighborhood called and asked for more information. The alderman got rather belligerent when ER didn't release any more details but said that the police were on the way to look into this."
"Smells like something's rotten in..." Mac said.
"Exactly. Alderman Jackson goes way back and has had his hands in all kinds of shady deals. But he keeps his tracks covered and investigations have never been able to nail him. Anyway, once the guy at the desk passed on this information, I took a little evasive action. I retrieved DNA - swabs of semen - and put the samples in two non-contaminated bags. Same thing with the victim's soiled clothes. I had the bags sealed, witnessed and initialed. I did this just in the nick of time... a very senior police lieutenant arrived to take charge and question the boy, shortly thereafter."
"This is sounding very suspicious. Jackson is a smarmy shit that gives politics a bad name. He's one of Congressman Stone's bagmen in the district." Phil just shook his head.
"Welcome to Chicago," Russ said with a shrug. "Anyway, the mother - the kid has no father - showed up with the alderman and seemed very nervous. She was very concerned about taking care of her son but let Jackson take the lead. The next thing we know is that the kid is being transferred to a private convalescence home on the Southside under the care of a physician connected with Jackson. They were so anxious to leave that no one from their medical team asked for our swab samples."
"And it was alright with ER for the patient to be released?" Mac asked.
"Medically, we treated the boy by suturing some rectal tears and couldn't object to the patient being transferred to an accredited facility under supervision of the police and with parental permission. I called a few days later and was satisfied that he was being properly taken care of."
"How about the police reports and follow-up?" Phil asked.
"Nada, nothing. Before he left, the lieutenant took the DNA swabs - well, except for the ones I held back - and went on his way. Funny...he never asked for the kid's clothes. I have a friend in the police department and found out that there was never any official paper trail on the alleged rape. It was all neatly buried. End of story."
"What a rotten situation. No wonder you're pissed off," Mac said, shaking his head.
"And god knows what help the kid needs." Trev reached over and grabbed Russ's hand. The four men just looked at each other.
"Congressman Stone is held in the same regard as McKinney from Atlanta," Phil said, breaking the silence.
"Isn't she the one who assaulted the Capitol Police when she was challenged for not having any I.D.?" Russ took a small sip from his almost-finished cocktail and licked his lips.
"The very same. She's been a loose cannon for years, much to the embarrassment of most of the House. However, this time, her constituents woke up...she lost in the primaries."
"Phil, why don't you let me unofficially ask some friends to look into this situation," Mac said with a knowing expression. "I've got a little more flexibility from my office with no direct involvement with the legislative branch."
"Yeah, I think our friends could be of help." Phil nodded and continued, "Russ, keep this info between the four of us. Expect a man by the name of Dexter Tate to be calling you. Dex is a close friend and he'll let you know what's needed to start an investigation."
"The DNA swabs and the clothing are in good hands...they're still in sealed bags. In addition, I printed out the admitting data and xeroxed the comments on the boy's chart: the copies are in my office. Good thing, too...someone deleted any reference to the kid being treated on the ER computer." Russ stood and started collecting the empty cocktail glasses.
"Hmm...ah, let me offer some advice," Phil said. "Take the bagged evidence plus the copies of the admittance transcripts and put them in a safe place like a security lock box at a bank. If this goes to the next level, the bad guys will be after the evidence and you already know that someone in the hospital is working for Stone."
"I, ah...you're right. I'll get them over to my bank tomorrow."
"Our friends have a long reach. I'll set this in motion with a phone call tomorrow." Mac stood and placed his hand on the shorter man's shoulder. "However, with Labor Day coming up on us, you may not hear from Dex until next week." Mac also thought that AOI might need to provide protection for Russ if these allegations had merit and were made public. He was sure that Stone and his cohorts played for keeps.
"I've waited a month, Mac. A few more days won't matter. Um, why don't I tidy up for a minute and we can walk over to Gino's."
"Great. I'm looking forward to this famous deep-dish pizza." Mac gave Phil a short nod that communicated the ball would start rolling...very soon."
The rest of the evening progressed in a more informal, relaxed atmosphere. There was not a big wait at the restaurant and the guys were seated immediately in a large, wooden booth. With the encouragement of the owners, generations of patrons had marked all reachable surfaces with initials and school names. Greek letters prominently promoted various fraternities and sororities. All the guys were more open about their lives and Mac gave a little insight about working within the exclusive cocoon of world power. By the time Phil had hailed a cab in front of Gino's East, the two couples had resolved to keep in contact and make plans for the holiday rendezvous in L.A.
"This has been quite an evening," Mac said as he turned off the bathroom light back at 2800. Phil and he had spoken briefly to their hosts upon their return before turning in.
"Russ and Trev are nice guys." Phil was sprawled on the bed with his hands behind his head. "It takes balls to get involved in something like this."
"Yeah, two new friends, a fun dinner and a potential political scandal." He pulled back the sheets to join Phil. "Plus, a sexy guy in the bed. Move over, pizza-breath."
"Gimme a break. I brushed my teeth, mommy." Phil smiled as he moved over. He switched on a broad grin when Mac pulled off his briefs. 'Wow,' he thought, looking at his gorgeous partner in the buff. 'What a delicious vision.'
"Lose the boxers. I'm ready for a little loving." Mac eased onto the bed and propped himself on his elbow while he played with Phil's chest hair. He slowly started moving his finger around Phil's aureole.
"You're pushing my buttons, babe." Phil eased his boxers down to his feet and kicked the underwear onto the floor. He put his arm around Mac's back and pulled him onto his vulnerable, naked body.
"That's not all I want to push." Mac adjusted himself so he was straddling Phil's leg and thigh. He moved in and nibbled on Phil's ear. "Have I told you recently that I love you?" he whispered.
"Um, I think you mentioned something about that this morning...and in the park this afternoon...and at the Art Institute." Phil moved his head around to meet Mac's pouting lips. He slightly opened his mouth and moved his tongue around in an inviting manner.
Mac took a deep breath and locked his lips onto his partner's willing mouth. Their tongues touched and tentatively met each other. A friendly duel resulted in Phil surrendering to Mac's assault and he quietly moaned as Mac's fingers 'did the walking' from his hardened nipples, past the hard, furry abdomen, to a fully awakened cock.
"Babe, I hate to see a great hardon and all that money you spend on lube go to waste," Mac said as he slightly raised his torso.
"But with our monogamist relationship, look at all the cash we save not buying condoms."
"Right, we can open a savings account," Mac said as he moved closer.
"Um, from what I feel on my leg, you're pretty frisky, yourself. And since I'm pretty comfortable, why don't you put your 'friskiness' to good use." Phil smiled as he reached from under the pillow and produced a small bottle of Wet.
"Deal." Mac lifted himself up to his knees and looked seductively at Phil while he pulled back his foreskin and stroked the moist glans. He took the Wet, opened the cap and squirted some on the two erections before applying a generous portion on his hand.
Phil smiled and lifted his legs to his chest. Mac leaned down to kiss his partner while his lubed fingers found Phil's willing pucker. He massaged the wrinkly surface before slowly inserting two fingers. Phil's sphincter muscles surrendered and relaxed as Mac moved around the circumference. Further progress of the fingers continued to probe the hot, velvety interior. Phil opened an eye when the tip of one of the fingers teased his prostate.
"I think I hit the target," Mac said with a low chuckle. He worked the fingers back and forth until Phil was ready for the real thing. He moved his hand away from Phil's ass and grabbed a very firm Italian sausage. As Mac aimed his hard cock at the entrance of Phil's eager anus, he smeared the lube on Phil's cock.
"Bull's eye." Phil felt very satisfied as the young Texan eased his cock into a very relaxed, willing backdoor and started a loving piston-like movement.
Over the next half hour, Mac explored every part of Phil's interior with his human probe. Long-dicking, short strokes, slow body rotations: he was intent on pleasing his partner. When one or the other sensed a pending orgasm, they would signal the other. Several times, Mac parked his action while lovingly kissing and holding Phil until critical mass had passed. Finally, Phil yelled, "Do it," and Mac drilled that point home to a joint erupting explosion - physically and emotionally.
While Phil lay motionless, Mac retrieved a warm, moist hand towel and cleaned up the sticky, cooling evidence of spent love. After tossing the towel into the bathroom, Mac gently pushed Phil over to his side so that he could move into their familiar spoon position. He pulled up the sheet, wrapped his arm around Phil's torso and whispered into his lover's ear, "I love you."
The next morning, after Jerry Franklin and Bill Saunders had gone to work, Mac called Dex while Phil and he were having coffee.
"Hey, Dex. Thought I'd get you early before your day got busy."
~~~ "This is a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, my days aren't that full. I'm just shuffling paperwork until I get a full medical release next week. How's the vacation?"
"The trip has been great. I saw the family in Texas and now I'm with Phil, staying at his friends' place. As I speak we're having coffee while surveying the Chicago skyline from the 35th floor of this fantastic condo."
~~~ "And I'm looking out of my work space surveying the copier. Seriously, it sounds great cuz Chicago is a town I want to know more about."
"Well, maybe you'll get that opportunity. There's something I want to pass on to you, confidentially."
~~~ "Meaning that it isn't connected with the White House?"
"Exactly. Here's what Phil and I stumbled onto through a conversation with friends here in Chicago. These aren't whackos...the one making accusations is a respected physician. "
~~~ "Um, you okay with our conversation being recorded?"
"Of course, because other people will be interested in this and will need to review the story." For the next 10 minutes, Mac gave Dex a rundown of the details concerning Congressman Stone and the young boy. Dex would occasionally interrupt if he was unclear about a point. And Phil stopped Mac a couple of times to add depth to the recollection.
~~~ "Well, that's quite a tale, Mac. Sounds like I need to speak with Jerry Sebastian, the Managing Director."
"I'd appreciate that...and say 'hi' to Jerry. This is definitely not political except for the ramifications if these allegations are proven. I mean it's not like the Republicans would gain a seat."
"Mac, everything we do with this will be political if this proves out."
"I mean that Stone's district is 90% Democrat so the GOP has nothing to gain. It's about an underage young guy being raped by an adult who masquerades as a national politician. If the guy is guilty, we'll have to figure out what the next step is. I assume that it'll have to be some sort of pro bono project."
~~~ "I've been here long enough to know that AOI has deep pockets for the right causes. Let me get with Jerry today and by the time you return from Chicago we can talk about a game plan. I can tell you that Sebastian will want to go for the jugular if Stone is a rapist - especially of an under-aged victim."
"Let's talk about that next week. Justice is one thing; dragging a 15-year-old kid into a national scandal is another."
~~~ "I understand. We could be opening Pandora's box...that's all. See ya soon."
"Dex, give our best to Kyle. And at this point, let's keep this just between you, Phil and me...plus, AOI."
~~~ "Understand. See you next week. Have fun at the Cubs game."
"Thanks, Buddy. Bye." Mac turned off his cell and looked out at the glistening lake below them bouncing off the reflections of the morning sun.
"Penny for your thoughts," Phil said quietly.
"Only that each action sets other actions into motion. In this scenario, we've got the United States legislative branch of our government in the form of a congressman, the local Chicago government represented by an alderman and a police department with an alleged crooked officer involved. But most of all, we have the life of a 15-year-old boy to consider."
"I hear you: the kid's future is the most important factor. But if Stone is guilty, we're going after his balls." Phil took Mac's hand and squeezed it with his.
TO BE CONTINUED