Welcome back to Inspector Goodson's search through the gay, seamier underworld of London in search for heroin distributors. I hope you're enjoying his explorations.
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I stood at the window of my office and gazed out at a sky that I knew was blue and alive with spring, even if it was unrelievedly grey through the unwashed glass. Behind me sat a sergeant with fourteen years service.
He had made the coffee I was drinking. He had been assigned to me only the week before, and he already wanted to be transferred. I wished that I'd got more sleep, even if young Richard Bell had been a most pleasant diversion. I blinked, forced my thoughts back to hand, and turned to face Sergeant Ian Trell.
'You wish to be reassigned?' I asked, repeating his request.
'Yes, sir, Inspector.'
His face was the colour of beetroot. Even his scalp under his thinning blond hair was flushed. His collar seemed much too tight for his neck. Ian Trell was stocky, and I doubted he did much in the way of exercise. 'Why?'
'It's those poufs, Inspector – no disrespect intended, sir. I don't know what one of those blokes is going to grab when I'm in those clubs. And the thought of actually using the toilet! Even when I have the need, you know? Have you seen what those lads do in the cubicles? Bloody hell, sir! They don't even bother with the cubicles most of the time. They do it out in front of the urinal...'
'You knew that you were coming into an investigation that involved gay clubs when you asked to be assigned to me, Trell.'
'Yes, sir. With all due respect, sir, I didn't know it'd be so – so obvious when I asked to sign on.'
'It's not any more obvious than a heterosexual pick up club, Trell...'
His eyes blazed. 'I'm sure, sir. But there I'm not the quim the lads are going after. There, it's the boys after the girls – all quite natural.'
'Have the uni boys been feeling your bum again, Trell?' I asked, forcing myself not to smile. The idea that this man might actually be attractive to the lads frequenting the clubs I'd assigned him was enough to cause a man to doubt Providence. Sergeant Trell might be only ten years old older than some of those lads, but he was ten stone heavier and far too out of shape for there to be real interest.
In one short week, I had become convinced that the man's fourteen years with the Met could only be explained by his making good coffee and knowing where to buy the best buns in London. That and that he was a toady. He didn't even pretend to be anything else. I was the only Inspector who had never had him on an investigation, so I had got him.
He looked away at my question and turned even redder. 'No, sir. But a bloke can see that they're thinking about it. I didn't sign on to be buggered by a lad barely out of his nappies, sir.'
I bit my lip. Hard. It was enough. I now had the pain that I needed to hide, instead of laughter. I thought of the leather club I found Richard in last night. 'I could assign you to clubs that cater to an older crowd. Real men frequent those.'
He looked up, gazing at me happily. 'Do you think so, sir?'
'Trell, I've got to be honest here; I need you,' I told him. 'There's...' I glanced at the door and lowered my voice. 'There's evidence of heroin flowing into these clubs. Evidence enough for a solid investigation. But the Met doesn't have the manpower to give me the men I need. It's only you and I. If it's to be done, we're the men to do it, man.' I leant closer. 'You want another promotion during the nine years you've got left, don't you?" He nodded. "I also can't believe you're willing to allow the worst drugs there are into any community of London.'
'Of course, I don't, sir,' he growled, coming out of his chair as if his mother's honour had been questioned. 'We're going to get these lads – just you and me,' he finished, his face almost in mine.
'I can depend on you then, Trell?'
'Of course, you can, Inspector Goodson.' He stood, pulling himself erect and puffing out his chest. 'I'm right beside you all the way, marching in step. And we'll win, even if it is just the two of us.'
I held out my hand and he grasped it hard. 'Thank you, Trell. I appreciate it. There aren't many lads a chap can depend on these days. You're one of the few, one of the best...' I was thinking of that awful American tv programme from the 70's – Hogan's Heroes. I had my Sergeant Schultz. I wished I knew what I could do with him. I did not like the idea that I might be Colonel Klink.
I sat back down and wrote out the address of the club I had gone to last night. 'You'll need to keep moving around, Trell,' I told him as I handed him the paper. 'Like always, though, ignore any sexual activity you might see. That's not what we're after. We want drug sales.' I smiled. 'And stay relaxed, Trell. We're undercover.'
He glanced at the coffee pot and untouched buns. 'Should I tidy up your office, Inspector?' he asked, slipping back into the role he knew how to play.
'It's going to be a long night – for both of us. Go home and get some sleep this afternoon. I am.'
He nodded and eyed again the breakfast he'd found for us.
'You think I might take them with me, sir? The buns, I mean?'
I nodded and made a note to have it put in his next report that he be required to enter an exercise regimen. If he was an especially good lad on this case, the order would come from a doctor, rather than me. 'Take some, Trell. What you don't want, give to the other lads.'
I dressed in the evening shadows of my bedroom and thought about the night ahead. Trell wouldn't find anything more than poppers and perhaps a bit of ecstasy – if he could get close enough to one of the slave boys that hung on the leathermen like spiked gauntlets. I doubted that, though; those lads were fixated on hairy, older men who had the command presence to dominate them with practised ease.
I had seen Trell's idea of gay club attire. He looked like an overweight queen attempting to be macho. No, he wouldn't find a slave boy with his stash tonight. I grinned as a new thought struck me.
Sergeant Trell of the Metropolitan Police might well find himself a leatherman in a playful mood. Thinking he was onto something, he would guilelessly follow the bloke home. And then ... I imagined hearing his screams as the first flog every so gently bit into his naked, fat buttocks.
I laughed and tried to resist the pleasure rushing over me as I imagined it.
Of course, the Met would have Sergeant Trell back tomorrow morning if some leatherman did decide to sate his sense of humour. And with no serious harm done. Only, our Sergeant Trell would be a well-embarrassed lad, even more so if the leatherman did the nasty with him. I doubted the man would be his usual talkative self for at least a fortnight. But he might learn something tonight that fourteen years as a policeman had yet to teach him.
Oh yes! Please, God, direct a curious and sympathetic leatherman to Sergeant Trell tonight. A man who, at thirty-three, still lived with his mum. He needed a bloody ploughing – a long, intensive bumfuck. With dildo and prick, with a side order of chains and flogs.
I realised what I was telling myself that I wanted for poor Trell. And immediately recanted. A gay encounter shouldn't be a punishment, not for mental slowness – and especially not for an innocent at the hands of a bored leatherman. For fourteen years, Trell had carried out orders to the best of his ability, and he was proud of being an officer of the law. I resolved that the man would not suffer a shit job from me as he had from most of the other Inspectors to whom he'd been assigned.
As I stepped into my trainers and inspected myself in the mirror, I admitted that I would almost like to be a fly on the dark wood of the bar so I could watch Sergeant Trell on assignment. Instead, I was going to Illusions. Young Mr. Chandler, the American who had taken gay London by storm, had managed to pique my interest, even if I did find drag slightly distasteful.
* * *
It was just twilight when I parked my Sierra two streets down from Illusions in Soho, locked it, and started the club. Dark shadows stretched across the roadway, and darkness already claimed the alleyways. It was the time of day that people naturally hurried.
'Looking for a bit of fun this fine evening, are you, mate?' a man's voice called softly to me from the chase I'd just passed, a Welsh voice. I pivoted, even as I cursed myself for not having been aware of the alleyway. He stepped out onto the pavement and faced me, his open hands at his side.
I relaxed and nodded as I faced him. 'You could give a lad a fright like that,' I said.
He chuckled and stepped into a pool of light coming from an open window beside us. He was as tall as I was but quite slim, not gaunt but wiry. His hair was curly and quite dark, almost black. His T-shit was worn and one knee in his jeans had ripped. I suspected better lighting would show that they were dirty as well. I guessed that I faced a dossier but forced myself to keep an open mind. I stepped closer and saw he was quite handsome under his mop of unruly hair. And young. I could go for a bout in the sack with him, if he turned out to be something other than a tramp.
'The name's Aled, mate.' He glanced at the street behind me. 'You don't look the type to be wanting a fake femme.'
I smiled at the alliteration. 'You know Illusions then?'
'Oh, right! The girls can be quite generous with a quid.'
He shrugged. 'I have a small bedsit.' He looked me over quickly. 'I've got a tight arse, good lips, and don't care what I do with them if it feels good...' He smiled seductively. 'For the price of dinner, they're yours tonight, mate.'
'You're a rentboy!' I groaned, finally understanding.
'Maybe.' He laughed. 'And you? What are you – an officer of the law?'
Recovering, I chuckled. 'Maybe.'
'I like what I see. And I don't think a gay copper is going to see dinner as the same thing as a twenty-five quid charge.' He laughed again. 'Besides, I can't be very selective when I hustle; and, right now, I want to be selective.'
I slowly began to realise this lad would give me a nice cover inside the transvestite club. 'Do you have nicer clothes?' I asked.
He grinned broadly. 'You don't like the idea of having your way with a poor homeless waif then?'
'You have me well pegged, Aled. I am with the police and I have to spend some time in Illusions this evening. You want dinner or anything else with me, you have to look like a presentable gay lad.'
'Damn!' he groaned, making a production of it. 'I make one exception and now I'm told to make another – how many more will you want from me, Mr. Policeman, before this night's done?'
'Do you live close by?'
'Do want a quick shag before dinner?'
I laughed. 'I want you to look presentable.'
He shrugged. 'We're standing in front of my building – will you come in?' I nodded and he took the three steps up to the entrance. I followed when he had opened the outer door.
'I don't have too many disguises, and you've seen through my being homeless. Will I be able to survive your inspection as a starving student?' he asked as he led me down the narrow corridor to the back of the ground floor.
'University College Hospital,' he answered as he unlocked the door to his flat. 'I'm a medical student.'
'And you're a rentboy?' I croaked and stared at him in shocked surprise.
'I have to live somehow. My folks are on the dole – no money there. My student loan barely pays for course fees and books. Besides, I'm gay – so, why not? I even holidayed in the Canary Islands last autumn – that's something the folks have never done.'
I glanced around the room. It was shabby but looked like a student's studio flat. There were books everywhere. And piles of clothes.
Aled pulled off his frayed T-shirt and rummaged through a pile of clothing until he'd found a rugby shirt. He threw it on the unmade bed and turned to another pile of clothing that I saw was all jeans. He sat back on his haunches and held up a pair of cords. 'It is just spring,' he mumbled to himself. 'Still gets a bit cool late. Why not? So do it, Aled, they show off your bum rather fetchingly.' He threw the trousers on the bed with the shirt and stood up.
He faced me and put his hands on his hips. 'Time to come clean, Mr. Policeman.'
'What?' I studied him for a moment, liking his smooth chest, but he kept his face blank.
Then he laughed. 'What do I call you?'
I blinked and I felt the heat of a blush spread across my face. 'I'm sorry. The name's Philip Goodson.'
'And is Philip Goodson really a policeman?'
'Yes, I am.'
He grinned. 'I've never stripped for a copper before – will you search me then?'
'I will later if you want, but you're supposed only to be changing clothes...'
'I don't wear y-fronts. These jeans come down and I'm bare-arsed, Philip.' He toed his trainers off and crossed the room.
'Want to help me get naked?' Aled asked as he reached me. Before I could answer, he had thrown his arms around my neck. He was kissing me then, his crutch grinding against mine.
My arms went around his slim waist and my fingers walked up his spine, leaving him shuddering as he held onto me. The smooth, tight skin of his upper back was goosepimply by the time my hands reached it.
He broke from our kiss, his lips tracing my jaw. 'Open my jeans, Philip, and play with my bum,' he breathed at my ear. 'I really like that.'
I gently pushed him from me and reached for my wallet. 'Aled, I really am a policeman,' I told him as I held out my identification for him to see. I glanced from his crutch to mine and smiled. 'Right now, I'm on assignment and I need your help. Later, after I've had a chance to look around Illusions, we can get into exploring things between us quietly and pleasantly.'
'Inspector?' he mumbled, reading my identification. He stepped back and studied me closely. 'You're far too young to be an Inspector. Exactly how old are you, Philip Goodson?'
'Twenty-eight,' I told him as I took my wallet from him and returned it to my hip pocket. 'I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time for the past few years.'
Aled nodded and took another step back, reaching the side of the bed. He unbuttoned his jeans quickly and slipped them over his bum without modesty. He sat down and pulled the trousers over his feet.
He glanced up at me as he reached for the corduroy trousers beside him on the bed. He grinned impishly. 'Sure we don't have time for something?'
'Later,' I said. 'You're a nice package, lad – but I want time to explore all of you leisurely.'
He snorted and pulled the trousers over his feet. Standing up, he turned his back to me and bent down to pull the cords up. 'Look at it and get it fixed in your mind, Philip. This arse is yours if you don't keep me waiting too long.'
'It's as nice as the rest of you.'
'So, what are you going to be doing at Illusions and why do you want me with you?' he asked as he pulled his zip up and sat back down to pull on his trainers.
'I want to observe what goes on quietly – without suspicion. Your being with me will provide me the cover to do that.'
'And you'll be observing what?'
'I'll be looking for drugs. Heroin specifically.'
'Heroin?' he squeaked, picking up his shirt and pulling it on. 'That stuff is boring, it sends a bloke off to dreamland. From what I've read about it, all a lad on it wants to do is sit down and contemplate his navel.'
'Boring or not, it's making a nasty comeback, Aled. In the gay clubs especially. We want to close it down before that comeback becomes any bigger.'
* * *
We sat in the darkest alcove of the drag club. Aled had picked our table, and our location had the advantage that I could see most of the floor of the club and, through the wall mirror, the bar as well. There was a larger crowd than I would have expected for a week night, and it was almost uniformly young.
I noticed one burly but handsome middle-aged man sitting immediately in front of the stage. He had an attractive young man sitting on either side of him and all three of them were loud. From the few words I overheard, I knew they weren't speaking English.
'That's Ilyich,' Aled said as he picked up his glass. 'Him and his lads from the embassy.'
'Russians. They have something to do with promoting trade with Britain, I think.'
I studied him for a moment. 'How do you know so much about them?'
'They're flush and they like to spend it.' He chuckled. 'I think they also get off on seeing how much British arse they can poke, too.'
'So, you've made it with them?'
'Ilyich mostly – about once a month. I've only had the other two twice now – and that at the same time. They tend towards the rougher stuff.'
'They're big blokes – all three of them are. And Ilyich is the biggest of the three. They don't like lube for one thing.'
He laughed. 'That's one of the many things I say when I'm with them. But they pay well.'
I sat back and studied the men across the club from me. The Russians hadn't had money in years, not since Yeltzin talked down the tanks in front of the Russian Duma. Yet, Aled was saying that these Russians paid well for a compliant male prostitute. 'How much do they usually pay?' I asked my wiry, dark-haired companion.
'You aren't going to pull me down to the nick, are you, Philip?' he asked softly.
I glanced over at him. 'I'm not investigating prostitution, lad – or one young Welshman's enterprising spirit.'
He smiled. 'Ilyich pays a standard hundred quid for a night of arse-busting. The two younger guys pay fifty a piece.' He shook his head slowly. 'It's not so much when you consider that your bum is out of commission for at least two days afterwards.'
'Still, that's a lot of money. More than one can expect a Russian to have these days. Is it just sex when you're with them?'
'Yeah. Mostly anyway.'
'How about drugs?'
'They have them available.' He shrugged. 'But, then, who doesn't? What they have for guests isn't what you're looking for, either. They've got grass, poppers, ecstasy – that kind of stuff.'
Hmmmm ... I thought that I really did want to learn more about the Russian trade commission. They sounded like such interesting lads. 'How accessible are they?'
Aled frowned as he contemplated the question. 'They work during the day, I suppose,' he answered slowly. 'They party hard, but that's only with a guy they want. I've heard the younger two mention other Russians who're into gay stuff but I haven't met any of them.'
I nodded slowly, sorting out my thoughts. 'It sounds like I need a Trojan Horse to get inside their defences.'
'Not me, Philip. I'm just the dossier they invite over once in a while.' He grinned and slipped his chair closer. 'And there's only one dick I want to ride tonight ... Which does raise a point...'
I met his gaze and shivered as I felt his fingers find my knee. My cock instantly became interested. 'What point?'
'The over all package you present is a nice one, Inspector Goodson. It's quite enough to make me feel quite sexy. But I would like to see what I fancy, you know – just to make sure it's the right one for me.' He grinned as his fingers dived for my crutch.
'This is a public place,' I groaned.
'And this alcove is quite dark,' Aled answered as his fingers traced the tube my erection was making in my jeans. 'And this feels quite nice. I just have to make sure, though.'
'Make sure?' I croaked even as I felt his fingers begin to pull my zip. 'You can't...!' I looked around us suspiciously.
Every light in the club doused then and young Aled took the moment of complete darkness to unbutton the waist of my jeans. He spread the denim flaps and dropped to the floor. His tongue found my exposed boxers. 'Watch the show,' he whispered as light slowly came back to the centre on the stage, 'and enjoy what happens.'
Perched on a stool in the centre of the stage was a small, androgynous figure in a white top hat, tails and loose slacks. A tinny piano began to play a slow, almost funereal, march. The figure began to sing Lili Marlene in a throaty voice that could be either male or female.
I stared in shock at the stage before me and barely felt Aled pull my prick through the slit in my underpants. I had seen BBC specials of Marlene Dietrich on TV. She was a patron saint to gay London. I had heard her throaty, deep voice singing on records and, more recently discs. I had even seen cut-outs of her taken from early appearances before I was born. But I had never thought I would see her in person, not with her three years dead.
I gasped as the dark-haired Welshman under the table swallowed me. But even having his nose buried in my pants could not pull all of my attention from the magic that was happening on Illusions' small stage.
I was one with the young lovers of the song, strolling along the Berlin avenue before the war took the soldier boy away. But I was mostly mesmerised by the person singing the words. Logically, I knew it had to be a man on the stage – after all, this was Illusions. There was still doubt, however; and I felt that I was where I had never been before – a small, intimate club in a war-torn land, escaping into a bitter-sweet reality that was guaranteed to haunt me.
Between my legs, Aled continued to suck me. I felt it. I knew it was being done to me. I was a police officer engaging in public sex, and it simply did not matter. Only the person on the stage had any reality for me at that moment, the person who was singing to me from his heart.
The song ended and the club lights turned brighter around us. Our corner remained dark and Aled continued to swallow and tickle my dick. I began to come out of my trance even as my bollocks tightened against my shaft.
'We aren't supposed to be doing this!' I growled and made to push the Welsh lad from me. Only, he swallowed me to the root and my helmet was lodged deep into his throat. He hummed then and the tip of my prick was being massaged by his throat muscles.
Orgasm spread through me like a tidal wave. Jizz shot from my bollocks and Aled sucked harder, determined to get everything I could produce. I stared out into the lighted club beyond us, vaguely aware that Illusions' Marlene was now making the rounds of the tables, his top hat filling up with money. And Aled continued to pull even more come from the previously unsuspected depths of my ball sack.
I watched as Marlene turned and studied the club until his gaze found our alcove. A brow arched and he began to cross the large room.
'Quick!' I yelped. 'Let go of it.'
Aled pulled off my prick slowly. Excruciatingly slowly. I grabbed the shaft and pulled it from his mouth. 'God! He is coming over here,' I groaned as I watched Marlene pass the last table on the open club floor. Another ten feet and he would be in the alcove with me having my bloody cock out of my trousers and Aled's spittle all over it. I pushed it under the denim flap of my jeans, feeling it between denim on one side and silk on the other.
'And what're you boys doing in here in the dark?' a low throaty voice asked from the entrance just as I buttoned my waist. Light blazed around us as Marlene switched it on. I realised then that the Welshman was still on his knees. I groaned.
Marlene looked from Aled to me and back to Aled. 'I'm just so glad you boys could come,' he said, his voice a syrupy caricature of a Southern accent as he entered the alcove and sat at the table with us. 'Honeychild,' he said to Aled, 'you can find the most delightful playthings to bring to Illusions with that poor little tramp gig of yours. He's just gorgeous.' He leant closer to Aled and lowered his voice: 'You aren't charging this one, are you?'
Aled grinned and shook his head. 'I do a free one now and again, Brett.' He stood up and claimed the table's third chair.
I saw the studded dog collar around Marlene's neck then and realised this was the same Brett Chandler I'd seen last night. After having seen him perform as Marlene, I understood why the rumour mills of gay London thought he was interesting. I found him very interesting myself, even if he did do drag. And public sex. And...
'Philip Goodson here,' I offered when the American turned his attention back to me. 'You seem to have become the talk of London, Brett Chandler.'
He laughed and there was nothing girlish about him in that moment. He wasn't loud or raucous, but he was all male. 'These London boys, Philip – I just can't see why they're all so interested in little old me. Take Aled here – he's a lot more interesting. Or you.' He grinned widely then. 'Tall, dark, and handsome just has my heart all aflutter.'
'A nine inch dick helps the package along,' Aled said sotto voce.
Brett's eyes rounded as he studied me. 'Oh? May I see?' He glanced at Aled. 'Some other time, of course.' He grinned again. 'Unless the two of you want to add to your pleasures tonight?'
'I plan on taking care of him myself, Brett,' Aled answered quickly before I could say anything. 'Perhaps another time, mate.'
The American nodded and looked at me ruefully. 'It always happens like that for me – the best man around is already taken when I show up.'
'You seem to have Mr. Right.' I pointed to the dog collar. 'You were wearing it last night, didn't your boyfriend give it to you?'
'I thought I'd seen you before,' Brett groaned. 'What you must think of me after the exhibition I put on!'
'The barrister from last night isn't your boyfriend then?'
'Hell no!' He chuckled. 'I found him interesting the moment I saw him, but he just got older by the minute after that. I gave him what he wanted and took out of there.'
'Gave him what he wanted?' I asked.
'He wanted to dominate Brett Chandler. And he wanted all of his buddies to see it. I gave him a blow job in that bar and walked out on him. I like my own games too much to play another guy's – by his rules.'
'What about the collar?' Aled asked, eyeing the studded thing on the American's slim neck.
He laughed. 'I'm a slave looking for his master, Aled. Besides, Mommy made me promise not to wear any jewellery when I was leaving Atlanta back in September. No necklaces, none of the good stuff. Very old-fashioned Southern where a man is a man and he doesn't wear girl stuff. Anyway, I really think I look good with a choker around my neck.'
He grinned broadly. 'I kept my promise to mommy – I haven't put a piece of jewellery on since I hit London – but I've worn this collar since the day after I arrived. It looks pretty good on me, don't you think?'
'Brett...' Aled began, glancing over at me and smiling. 'Does anyone here at the club – you know – sell drugs?'
The American turned and studied the dark-haired Welshman. 'From what I can see that Philip has and what you tell me he's got in his jeans, you don't need drugs. Just lie down and let him do the driving, Aled.' He glanced back at me and smiled. 'I suspect you'll stay charged up all night long.'
'Brett, I'm not looking for poppers,' Aled told him. 'Philip's looking for heroin. He's police, and the stuff is making its way into the gay clubs.'
I stared at Aled. If looks could kill, he'd be dead. I'd needed him for appearances, but hadn't wanted him to out me as a policeman.
The American's eyes rounded as his gaze remained on me. 'A cop and a street boy? Doing what I think you two were doing when I came in here?' He shook his head slowly as if to clear it.
'Philip Goodson, you are an interesting man, aren't you?' he said in a throaty whisper.
'We've got ten young gay men who have overdosed the past six months,' I told him, dropping any pretence at being anything but what Aled had just labelled me. 'The number of addicts is increasing and they're mostly gay boys. It's not at epidemic proportions yet, but it's getting there. I want to stop it – to put the lid back on Pandora's box, as it were.'
'I have just one question, Philip – are you gay? Or do you just like to play with cute guys like Aled here?'
'Aren't those two questions?' I asked grinning.
'I'm gay,' I admitted. 'What does it matter?'
'I just don't like guys playing what I think are the wrong kind of head games. A gay guy getting it on with Aled or me – that's okay. It's okay even if he's a cop. It's not okay if he uses his badge to make one of us give him sex and, in his mind, degrades the guy doing it.'
'I went down on him of my own free will, Brett,' Aled told him and grinned. 'Actually, he sort of resisted.'
'That's OK then.' He continued to study me for several more moments. 'I don't get off on drugs, Philip. If I've got to use a chemical to get turned on, my partner's a real dog and isn't worth it. From what I remember about horse from high school health class, the stuff just zonks you out. I'll keep my eyes and ears open, though, and get back to you if I learn anything.'
I pulled a card from my wallet and wrote my home number on it before handing it to him. I found another card and did the same for Aled.
'I've got another set to do before I'm through – so, I'd better go,' Brett announced and stood up. 'Hopefully, I'll see you both around.' He looked directly at me. 'You especially, Philip.'
'Shall we find somewhere to eat?' I asked as we watched Brett Chandler leave our alcove.
'There's a trendy little bistro on Gerard Street, Philip. It's quite expensive and stays open late.'