Don Hanratty
My Belovèd is mine, and I am his.
Song of Songs 2:16


Carl Emrick pressed the key fob button for the rear hatch of the Highlander, and it rose silently to allow Andy Helder and Berto Hernandez to put their bags into the cargo space.  It closed and latched as Kevin strapped Casey's carrier to the back of the front passenger seat, and he and Cam sat in the back with Berto.  Carl and Andy took the front seats.

Carl didn't let Andy's presence impair his driving out of LAX after he got behind the wheel, but he was clearly exhilarated to see Andy.  He couldn't stop smiling.  It was hard to keep his eyes on the road when all he wanted to do was to glue his eyes to his boyfriend--Andy was so handsome.  Andy apparently felt the same way about Carl.  He watched Carl in profile as he maneuvered the truck out of the parking lot and the airport, and then reached over and gently put his hand on Carl's neck.  Andy's mere touch made Carl's cock jump and start to swell in his Levi's.  The three boys in the second seat smiled, having a pretty good idea what Carl was experiencing right about then.

They were back in Malibu before long.  As Berto and Andy pulled their bags out of the truck, Kevin unstrapped Casey's carrier.  They all went into the house, Carl and Andy walking hand in hand.

"You guys hungry?" Cam asked the new arrivals as they passed the kitchen.  "We can warm up some soup or make you a sandwich.  Or both."

"Actually, that sounds pretty good," Berto said.

"Which one?  Or both?" Cam asked.

"Give me the whole shot," Berto said.

"Andy?  Carl?" Cam said with a smile, knowing the Carl couldn't wait to get his boy upstairs and into bed.

"I'm good," Andy said, glancing at Carl.  "But thanks."

"Me, too, thanks," Carl said.

"You're excused, then," Kevin told Andy and Carl with a grin.  "I know you must really be tired.  And ready for bed.  Unless you wanna stay up and talk, of course."

"Well..." Andy mumbled.

Cam laughed out loud before stepping to the refrigerator and pulling a huge bowl of Maria's homemade tortilla soup out of the refrigerator.  "Kevin, you're such a dick sometimes!" he said with a grin.

"What??!!" Kevin said, trying to look innocent.  "I'm just trying to be hospitable." 

"'Night, guys," Cam told Carl and Andy, drawing a grateful look from both of them.

"See you in the morning," Carl said, picking up Andy's bag.  "But not too early, please.  We can run later in the morning, can't we?  It's Saturday."

"Yes, Carl," Kevin said, chuckling, stepping over to Andy and giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  "Thanks for coming down here, dude.  You two get a good night's sleep now, y'hear!"

Andy's face turned red, and Carl and Andy were gone in a flash, leaving Berto, Kevin and Cam with big smiles on their faces.

"I think it's love," Cam said as he spooned refrigerated soup into a smaller bowl to heat in the microwave.  "We shouldn't tease them, Kev.  If you and I had been apart as long as Carl and Andy have, we wouldn't have stopped in the kitchen at all.  It would have been right to the bedroom without any 'goodnights' for anybody."

"I know it," Kevin laughed.  "I'll try not to give in to my baser instincts and give them a hard time anymore."

"Now wait a minute," Cam protested.  "Don't make any promises you can't keep.  I like your baser instincts most of the time."

The three guys laughed.  Kevin walked over and put Casey in his carrier down on one end of the kitchen table.  The little boy was fast asleep with a pacifier in his mouth.

The three of them sat down at the table while the bowl of soup heated in the microwave.

"I'm glad Andy came down here with me," Berto said.  "He's been over to the house for supper a couple of times lately lookin' kinda lonesome.  I know he's been missing Carl.  A lot."

"Same at this end," Cam said.  "Carl hasn't been as cheerful as usual, and I think missing Andy has everything to do with that."

"Yeah," Berto said.  "But that's not the whole reason for some sad faces lately.  Everybody at the San Rafael house did a lotta cryin' over what happened to you, Cam," the boy said in his usual blunt manner.  "I haven't cried since my mom and dad were killed, but I hafta tell you I couldn't hold back when we got the news--I hid out in the downstairs bathroom so I didn't make a fool of myself.  And I heard macho William sniveling during the night over in his bed, too.  He kept my ass awake half the night.  So...I just want you to know how bad we all feel.  How sorry we are."  The usually stolid and sometimes undemonstrative Berto reached across the table, where Cam was now sitting, and put his hand on Cam's hand for longer than normal before withdrawing it.

"That means a lot to me, man," Cam told him.  "
It's important to me..."  Cam stopped talking because of a sudden lump in his throat.  "I can't make it without the family.  All of you.  And you don't know how happy I am that I'm gonna be seeing all the guys down here in rotation on weekends."

The microwave beeped, and Kevin stood up and kissed his partner on top of his head before going over and getting the soup for Berto.  He put it on the table, and then went back and started making a fat lunch meat sandwich for him.

"Hmmm," Berto said, inhaling the steam from the soup.  "This smells good."

"Your sandwich will be right up," Kevin said.


Kevin slathered some honey mustard on the sandwich, added lettuce and a slice of tomato, and brought it to the table.  "Milk or soda?" he asked.

"Milk'll be good, please."

Berto, a creature of habit as were all the boys, said a silent grace over the food before beginning to eat the soup and taking huge bites out of the sandwich.  "This is good," he said.

"Maria is a sweetheart, like Rosa and Yolanda," Kevin said about the soup maker.  "We get some good meals around here.  Speaking of Rosa and Yolanda, how are they?"

"They're excellent.  They miss you guys."

"Same here," Kevin said.

"So Berto, you doing a lot of dating?" Cam asked.

"Yeah," Berto said between spoonfuls of soup and bites of his sandwich.  "I've been dating three girls off and on, trying not to get too attached to any one girl."

"Smart," Kevin said.  "No wonder you look so content.  What about William?"

"Well, William is a whole other story.  He's mowing down girls at school like crazy.  The ladies fucking love him.  And love fucking him.  He's lucky they don't throw him down in the corridor and take advantage of him right there.  At the rate he's going I don't think there'll be a virgin left in the senior class by the time graduation rolls around."  He paused and laughed.  "Maybe not in the junior class, either.  He's only a junior, but he's such a cocksman!" Berto added respectfully.

"Jeez, I hope he's using protection," Kevin said.  "Ask me.  I know how important that is."  He looked over at Casey, who was still snoozing.  "Not that Cam and I don't love our little bundle of joy."

"Oh, yeah, he's careful," Berto said.  "We buy boxes of condoms in the large economy size and hide them in our bedroom so Yolanda and Rosa and the 'rents can't find them.  He uses three times the number of rubbers I do.  And of course, we fight over who gets to drive Catherine's Lincoln on dates.  The back seat is no bed, but it's pretty roomy for a car.  We're gonna hate it when she trades for a new car.  The new ones are smaller."  He chuckled.  "Whenever she starts talking about a new car, William and I try to discourage her."

Cam laughed and looked at Kevin.  "If we ever ride in the back seat of Mom's car, remind me to check it out for foreign substances before sitting down."

"No worries when it comes to me.  'Hygiene' is my middle name," Berto said.  He looked up at Cam and Kevin.  "In a way, you guys and Carl and Andy are the lucky ones, y'know.  I'm not saying that queer guys don't catch a lot of undeserved shit just for being gay, but in your case, you guys found each other early.  And young.  And all of you totally love your partners.  That must be great.  There's a lot of stability in that."  Berto cleared his throat, a little embarrassed to be talking about such personal things, even with his brothers.  But he continued.  "I don't mind playing the field--in fact, I kinda like it for the time being.  But at some point I want somebody to love.  Really love with all my heart, not just fuck."  He cleared his throat again.  "Love like you guys have for each other."

"You'll find her, Berto," Kevin said.  "I don't have any doubts about that.  I don't want to embarrass you, dude.  But I have to say you're a person who's capable of a lot of love for the right someone.  And I don't have to tell you that that counts for more than just being an expert cocksman.  Your ability to love--really love someone--is going to guarantee a good relationship for you with the right person.  As far as gay couples go, you're right, Cam and I and Carl and Andy have been very fortunate to find each other," Kevin continued.  "I'm not sure how typical our relationships are when it comes to gay couples, though.  We may not be typical at all.  I just don't have enough experience to say.  I do know that if Cam ever tries to leave me, he'll be in deep shit."

They all laughed, and Berto ate his soup and sandwich in silence for a minute.
  Then he looked up and studied Cam and Kevin.

"Well, I hope you guys realize how fortunate you are to have each other," he said seriously.  "You're good to each other.  And good for each other.  Your relationship is kind of the Holy Grail for the rest of us, to tell you the truth.  I don't mean because you're a same-gender couple.  I mean because you're so committed to each other and take care of each other so well and take such good care of Casey.  The rest of us should be so lucky when our time comes."

Cam looked surprised.  "Wow.  Thanks.  I didn't know what you really thought about us.  I mean, us being gay and all.  We've never really talked about it with you."

"That's my fault, then," Berto said.  "I guess I'm not always a good communicator.  But living in a diverse family like ours has really put me on the right track when it comes to social and gender issues, and I'm grateful for that.  The Latino culture tends to be pretty machismo, y'know, and I'm glad to be outta that trick bag."  He cleared his throat.  "I love you guys so much, and I understand and accept the orientations God has given all of us.  The way I see it, both of you are a gift to this world.  And to our family's world, fer sure.  And to me.  I just wanted you to know that."

It was Kevin's turn to express his surprise.

"You blow me away sometimes, Berto," he said.  "I hope you know we love you back, and feel lucky to have you for a brother.  No matter what you do, you're gonna make your mark on this world, and do a lot of good."

Berto looked down into his soup bowl without responding.

"Speaking of making your mark, have you started applying to any colleges yet?" Cam asked.

"Ian and I are starting applications when I get back to San Rafael," Berto said.  "He wants me to go to Stanford, and I'd like to go there.  Catherine thinks I won't have any trouble snagging an academic scholarship there.  Even so, I'm going to spread some applications around just in case.  I need to get cracking on that, because I'm already behind with early admissions."

"Whaddaya want to study?" Kevin asked.

"I'm gonna be pre-law, I think," Berto said.  "But Ian wants me to take a lot of liberal arts courses before I get serious about the law.  He says you need a broad education to be successful no matter what you do."

"I think he's right," Cam said.  "That's what Mom has always said."

"What about you, Cam?" Berto asked.  "I heard by the grapevine that you dropped all your classes when, uh, you were assaulted."

"I dropped everything but Cinematography," Cam said.  "It was my favorite.  Kevin thought I should stick with that one class, at least, to give me something to think about other than myself while I get some therapy."  He turned his head, pulled Kevin's head over, and kissed him on the cheek.  "He's always right.  Or so he tells me."

The guys talked for a few more minutes, and then Kevin stood up, cleared Berto's dishes and silverware off the table and put them in the dishwasher.  Then the three guys went upstairs and down the hall to Berto's room, Cam carrying Berto's bag and Kevin the baby.  Cam put the bag down in the bedroom and looked at Berto, and a wave of affection for the boy overwhelmed him.  He pulled Berto into a long hug, painfully conscious that this young man had struggled with a great loss in his own life when his parents were murdered, and he had emerged into a fine and caring person.  A brother who cared enough to take a precious weekend to travel down to L.A. to see him and encourage him in his recovery.

Cam kissed his cheek and turned him loose, and then it was Kevin's turn to pass Casey to Cam and to give Berto a hug, kiss and fist bump.

"Dude, you know where the extra towels are," Cam told him.  "We put clean sheets on your bed, and if you need anything else, just let us know."

"Thanks, guys.  See ya in the morning.  If I sleep late, don't let me miss our run."

"We'll getcha up, don't worry," Kevin said as he and Cam left, shutting Berto's door behind them.  They walked back down the hall to their own room and closed the door.  Cam carried Casey over to his crib, took him out of his carrier, kissed his head and put him down on his back.  The little boy's diaper was still dry.  Thank goodness for that, Cam thought as he covered Casey with a light baby blanket that Maria had left neatly folded on the crib rail.  He stood there leaning against the rail, contemplating the sleeping baby.

"This is one cute boy," Cam said.

Stepping back, he turned around and bumped into Kevin, who was standing right behind him.

The partners looked into one another's eyes, and Kevin pulled Cam into his arms, one hand on his neck and one on his ass.

"This is one cute boy," Kevin said.  "Cute face, great body, cute butt, and a nice big dick.  You were well equipped right from the factory.  And that's just the physical part.  I don't think you have a clue how much I love you," Kevin told him seriously.

Cam kissed him on the lips and rubbed noses with him.  "I do have a clue.  Many, many clues."

"That's good," Kevin said.  "Let's get to bed.  I wanna hold you until you fall asleep."

"What??!  No sex?"

"What Cam wants, Cam gets.  You know that."

"Well, we can wait 'til morning," Cam suggested.  "I love morning sex.  I'll try to control myself 'til then."

"Okay," Kevin chuckled.

They went into the bathroom, used the toilet simultaneously to take a leak, washed their hands, cleaned their teeth and went back into the bedroom.

"You're such a clean machine," Kevin kidded Cam as they stripped.  "That's one of the things I admire most about you."

"Uh huh.  Thanks, I guess.  Back atcha."  Cam looked at Kevin's body.  "Lose the boxers, too.  I want you naked in case I can't control my urges until morning."

Kevin grinned and complied.  Then he pushed Cam's boxers down his legs to the floor, and Cam stepped out of them.  They climbed into bed under the sheet and a light blanket and held each other.

"Oh, fuck, it really feels good to snuggle up to you, dude," Cam said.

"Same here," Kevin said, putting his nose to Cam's shoulder and inhaling.  "You smell good to me.  All the time."  He raised his face to Cam's and gave him a long, gentle kiss on the lips.

When they broke the kiss, Cam looked questioningly into Kevin's deep brown eyes.

"I wanna ask you something.  Do you think we need to be worried about William?"

"Whaddaya mean?"

"Well, his schedule with the ladies seems to go beyond just liking to fuck, doncha think?"

"I don't know," Kevin said.  "I admit it isn't something I'd do if even if I liked girls.  Or that I'd do with guys if you weren't in the picture, and I do like guys."  He rubbed noses with Cam before continuing.  "William must have one hell of a sex drive, that's all I can say.  Like yours."  Cam gave Kevin an elbow to the ribs, which made Kevin flinch and laugh.  "Why do you ask about William?  Are you jealous?" Kevin asked.

"No, dufus.  I guess I have mixed feelings about being that much of a player.  Don't you?  There's a difference between having a good sex life and being a sex addict."

"I don't know.  I guess I haven't thought about it that much.  When you're happy at home, like I am, you don't have to be on the prowl all the time.  I don't want to get into the habit of sitting in judgment on other people, though.  Especially not one of our brothers."

Cam sighed.  "I don't either.  I just want him to be able to move into a good relationship with one special person down the road."

"Well, we'll keep an eye on him for awhile," Kevin promised.  "I just think he has a big dick and likes to use it, that's all."

"I hope that's all it is.  He's such a good guy."

"You're such a good guy, Cam.  Perfect for me.  That's all I know."

"Same here," Cam said.  They lapsed into silence holding one another, and Cam quickly drifted off to sleep.

Kevin couldn't shake off Cam's question about William all that easily, though, and it took a little longer for him to fall asleep.  He suspected that the question would keep popping up in his mind in the days to come because the truth was that he wasn't a great admirer of a sexually promiscuous lifestyle, whether it involved gays or straights.  Down the road, he knew he was likely to process his thoughts about William's sex life in an orderly manner, like the budding scientist he was.  At the same time, he would try not to moralize when it came to his brother.  For him, it was more a psychogical issue than a moral one at that point on that particular subject.

Down the hall, meanwhile, intellectual questions about sex or any other topic were far from Carl's and Andy's minds.  Carl had pulled Andy's rugby shirt off over his head as soon as they had shut their bedroom door behind them, and Andy had done the same with Carl's T-shirt.  Bare-chested, they stood there holding each other and looking into each other's eyes until Carl lowered his head, pressed his nose to the skin of Andy's neck, deeply inhaling his scent, and then moved down to tongue and nibble Andy's nipples, first one and then the other.  Andy cupped the boy's head in his hands as Carl worked his nips, and a giant woodie made itself known in Andy's pants in just seconds.

"Oh, fuck, Carl, I've missed you so much," Andy said, moaning a little.  He moved one hand down to Carl's crotch, and confirmed that the boy's cock was hard and about the size of Illinois.

Andy smiled and pushed Carl down on the edge of the bed, where he pulled off his partner's sneakers, socks, pants and boxers.  He knelt between Carl's legs, took hold of Carl's erection and went down on him repeatedly.  Carl was leaking pre-cum before Andy let him go.  Then they changed places as Carl stripped Andy and fellated him.   Andy moaned and let his torso fall back on to the bed.

"Lets not get ahead of ourselves," Andy groaned.  He sat upright, leaned over and inhaled Carl's crewcut as the boy bobbed up and down on him.  Carl pulled off Andy with great reluctance.

"Let's clean our teeth," Carl said.  "I wanna be in bed with you.  Right now."

Andy got his toiletries out of his suitcase and the two guys went into the bathroom, both still hard.  They brushed their teeth, and after their erections had subsided somewhat, relieved themselves at the same time into the toilet.  Then they headed for bed with all deliberate speed.

"This bed is too fucking lonely without you," Carl told his boyfriend as he pulled down the sheet and they climbed in.  They kissed deeply, tongues doing battle as they enjoyed the contact so long denied.  Sliding down in the bed then, Carl put his face between Andy's legs and swallowed his hard penis again, holding it steady in his mouth as it probed his throat before he began to bob his head slowly, sucking it firmly but gently.  Andy's smell was masculine and clean down there.  Potent.

Andy spread his legs wider.  "Oh, fuck!" he said.  "That feels awesome!  Let's 69."  Not waiting for an answer, Andy helped Carl reposition himself and swallowed his lover's cock to the pubes.

"Hmmmmmmm," Carl hummed in pleasure, and Andy could feel the vibration Carl created around his dick right to the core of his being.

Face to crotch, they continued to service each other for at least fifteen minutes, varying the speed and pressure of their ministrations to make it last, tasting the sweet pre-cum as it flowed in preparation for the anticipated climax.

At long last Andy began to shoot first, followed by Carl only seconds later.  Both of them pulled back to take the load in their mouths rather than down their throats.  They wanted to taste each other completely.  They weren't disappointed, ending up with mouths that were completely full.

They lay there unmoving, not swallowing, for several minutes before Carl re-situated himself and they faced each other,  Once again they deep kissed, mingling their stuff fully before pulling back to look each other.

Finally swallowing, Andy gently touched Carl's face.  "I saved up for you," he said.  He added, "You taste so good to me."

"Same here," Carl said after swallowing the copious load he had received.  He searched his partner's face.  "I love you so much, Andy.  I'm empty inside when you're not around.  And I don't mean just physically."

"I know exactly what you mean," Andy said.  He pulled Carl's muscular body to his own and squeezed him tight.  Breathing softly, they held each other until they drifted off to sleep without even turning off Carl's bedside lamp.

They woke up in the middle of the night.  At Carl's whispered request, Andy moved down and tongued Carl's hole, and then slowly and gently stretched him out down there with his fingers. 
After putting on a rubber from Carl's stash in his bedside table and lubing him, Andy mounted him and slowly worked his way inside.  Pausing then, he stroked Carl's face and hair gently before beginning to fuck him slowly.

"Yes!" Carl said in Andy's ear.  "Do me."

Hungry for him, Andy gradually increased his tempo as Carl, his own legs around his ears, began raising his pelvis to meet his partner's thrusts.  They began groaning in unison as Andy's penis began repeatedly raking over Carl's prostate.

Once again, they came almost in unison, Carl's semen shooting from his penis trapped between their abs as Andy's drained inside his lover.  He lay there on Carl as the boy lowered his legs, and they hugged and kissed each other with Andy still inside Carl.  Eventually, Andy pulled out and went into the bathroom.  He disposed of the full rubber, cleaned himself off, and then took a warm washcloth and a hand towel back to Carl and cleaned him up.

"Thank you," Carl said softly, looking up at Andy lovingly.  "For everything."

"I couldn't be more in love with you than I am, Carl," Andy whispered to him.  He wrapped the wash cloth in the towel and threw them to the floor, lying down beside Carl and pulling the sheet and a blanket over them.  Snuggled together, totally relaxed and deeply content, they were asleep again in seconds.  Until two hours later when Carl did Andy.

*  *  *

Life wasn't being kind to Rory Lomer, Peter Murtha and their leader in Cam's assault, Eric Clymer.

First of all, Aaron Petrie, the ADA on L.A. County District Attorney Jim Nolan's staff who was in immediate charge of Cam's case, had gone into court and persuaded the arraigning judge that the alleged crime in question was so heinous that no bail should be granted.  The judge agreed, and that caused the accused to be remanded to the L.A. County Jail.

The procedures for inmates entering there required them to give up their wallets, money and watches, to strip naked, have their body cavities searched for contraband by jailers wearing rubber gloves, and then shower before having their crotches and newly shaved heads sprayed for lice and other critters.  It was totally humiliating, even for jocks like them who were accustomed to being naked in a locker room setting.

Even worse, after being processed, the three young men were sent to different cell blocks of the three man cells.  They wouldn't even be seeing one another in the common areas, so there would be no conversations with friendly faces.  And no developing identical lies about what had happened the night Cam had been molested.

Caucasians were a minority in the facility, and Eric Clymer and Peter Murtha had Latino cellmates who were taciturn, tattooed, and mean looking.  The slightest of the jail's three newest inmates, Rory Lomer, had two African-American cellmates, one of whom was Lomer's size.  He looked to be about 21 years old.

The other was a giant, appearing to be 6'3" and about 19 years old.  He was a horny, muscular giant, misnamed Tiny.  The man lost no time groping Rory as soon as the guard had brought him to the cell and walked away after locking the door, not looking back.  Lomer fought Tiny off and went over to an empty bunk to put sheets on it.

"I'm gonna fuck you later, after the guards are asleep," Tiny informed the newbie, watching Rory's ass move around as Lomer made up his bed on the other side of the room--if the cell could be called a room.  It was more like a broom closet.

"The hell you are," Lomer told his antagonist over his shoulder.  "I'll kill you if you touch me again."

Tiny snorted derisively.  "I'm gonna fuck you, and you're gonna thank me for it afterwards while you clean off my dick with your little pussy mouth," Tiny told him.

The other black man, whose name Rory was later to learn was RayRay, studiously avoided looking at the two of them as he sat quietly on his bunk bed.  Rory wondered if the man had previously been the recipient of Tiny's unwanted advances, and hoped he could somehow get the guy on his side when and if Tiny tried to make good on his threat.

Finishing his bedmaking task, Rory sat down on his bunk, sliding on to the bed to put his back to the wall.  Finally, at that moment, he really began to regret what he and Peter and Eric had done to Cam MacKenzie.  It clearly hadn't been worth it.  Eric had led them astray.  It was time to own up to that.  He'd have to make that clear when when the District Attorney's office began to question the three of them in detail about what they had done.

That night, courtesy of Tiny, Rory Lomer got a small taste of what he and his pals had done to Cam in that house on the beach, with RayRay holding him down.  Aside from the physical pain and sense of violation, Rory was mentally and emotionally devastated.  He was totally humiliated.  He had been warned by Tiny that if he complained about being fucked, the result would be Rory's being put in solitary confinement until his trial was over.  Rory didn't know whether he could take solitary.  But surely it would be preferable to nightly rape and suckoff sessions with him being the cumdump.

*  *  *

Cam and Kevin first woke up about 8 a.m., naked, rested and intertwined in their bed.  They had gotten each other off three hours before, and then had fallen asleep again.

Cam stirred first, and climbed out of bed to use the bathroom.  Kevin's eyes were open when Cam walked back to the bed.

"Don't leave me," Kevin whined.  "You wore me out this morning.  I need my rest."

A very horny Cam had awakened Kevin at 5 a.m. to make love.  At Cam's insistence, Kevin had worked a couple of fingers into Cam's hole to see if it had healed, but Cam's rear passage was still too sore to take the real thing, which would have involved the equivalent of three fingers.  So they had had a mutual, satisfying and mutual cocksucking session instead before falling back to sleep.

Cam went back over to the bed and sat on the edge, bending down to kiss Kevin on the nose.  "I wore you out.  You're insatiable."  He paused and smiled.  "Thank goodness for that.  Get that sweet little ass of yours up, and let's go for a run.  I'll see if Casey needs to be changed, and then one of us should barge in on Carl and Andy and see if they're gonna make it to the beach.  Probably not, but we should check.  Berto will be awake, I'm sure."

Kevin groaned and stretched in bed, trembling with the effort of stretching every muscle and ligament in his body before relaxing, crawling out and heading for the bathroom.

Cam went over to the crib.  Casey's eyes were wide open, and when he saw Cam's face
he lifted his arms to be picked up.

"Hey, little dude.  How are ya today?" Cam crooned to the little guy as he reached down to feel his diaper.  It was wet.  Cam picked the baby up and headed for the bassinet in the bathroom, meeting Kevin on the way out.

"He needs a change?" Kevin asked.

"Yep.  I'll do it, and you go see if the guys are awake."

"Okay," Kevin said, picking up his boxers off the floor and pulling them on.  He headed down the hall and tapped on Berto's door.

"Yeah," Berto said, and Kevin opened the door.  Berto was already in the bathroom.

"Grab your cock and put on a jock," Kevin said.  "Let's hit the beach."

"Give me two minutes."

"Yep," Kevin said, closing the bedroom door and going on down to the hall to Carl and Andy's room.  He tapped gently on the door and opened it.  The two guys were still in bed wrapped up with each other, only partially covered by a twisted sheet and a blanket.  Kevin checked out Andy's bare ass, and it was a nice one.  Perfectly shaped, plump and muscular at the same time, without a blemish on it.

"Hey, guys," Kevin said softly.  "You gonna run?"

Carl's eyes opened, and he groaned.  "Oh, Lord."

Kevin smiled.  "Is that a yes or a no?"

Andy rolled on to his back, trying in vain to cover his crotch with the sheet.  The equipment between his legs was impressive, Kevin duly noted.

"It's a yes," Andy grunted.  "Can you give us five minutes?"

"No problem," Kevin said.  "Meetcha downstairs."

Going back to their room, Kevin walked by Cam as he finished up with Casey, slapping his partner on his bare ass as he went by.

"Ow!" Cam said by reflex.  "That hurt!"

"Just making sure you're awake," Kevin said.

After they were dressed for their run, Cam carried Casey downstairs where they greeted Maria.

"Andy and Berto arrived all right?" she asked.

"Yes," Cam said.  "Their plane landed right on time.  They're just getting dressed."

"Do you boys want some breakfast?" Maria asked.

"Thanks," Cam said.  "But we're gonna run first, if the guys get down here.  I just changed Casey, but he'd probably like some food.  Will you feed him?"

"You know I will," Maria said, holding out her arms.  "Hey, Casey," she said softly as she took him from Cam, kissing the little boy's forehead.  "How about you, little guy?  You ready to eat?  Or do you want to to run with your dads?"

Kevin and Cam laughed.

"It won't be that far off," Kevin said.

The little boy gurgled in response as Maria took him to his highchair and settled him in.  Berto bounced into the kitchen at that point, followed by very tired versions of Carl and Andy.  Berto went to Maria and engulfed her in a hug, giving her a kiss on the cheek.

"Maria!" Berto said.  "How are ya?  You're looking good!"

"You're a sweetheart, Berto," Maria said, kissing him back.  "I'm glad to see you."

"Same here," Berto said, stepping back to let Andy hug and kiss Maria and exchange pleasantries.

"All right, uh, gentlemen, let's hit it!" Kevin said, substituting "gentlemen" for "assholes" in the nick of time.  "See you later, Maria."

"Laters," Maria said with a grin.  "Isn't that what you boys say?"

"You're so with it!" Berto opined.

"Have to be," Maria said.  "I have two boys at home that I'm trying to stay ahead of."

The guys laughed and headed out on to the deck, where they did their stretches.  Cam released Alice and Samantha from their tethers where Maria had secured them earlier, and they were ready to go.  The four boys and the two canines headed out to the beach on what was an overcast morning, enjoying the warm breeze off the bay before breaking into a run.

Kevin got them started at a good pace on the hardpack beside the water.  Andy and Carl, wearied by a night of lovemaking, looked a little tired starting out, but soon perked up and kept up.  They didn't want to open themselves up to the ribbing from the other guys that would inevitably come their way if they fell behind.  The dogs were in their glory, as usual, running circles around the boys as they galloped in and out of the surf.

After the first mile, Cam, for only the second time since his night of terror, scoped out the house where he had experienced such terrible pain and degradation.  He figured he might as well look at it again, because he knew he would be describing the scene, inside and out, to his therapist starting Monday.  He'd been told by his mother that it would be part of the process that would bring him healing.

But he was stunned by the remembrance of pain and humiliation that coursed through his mind as he looked again at the house.  The recollection of that awful night was so severe that he stumbled and fell to his knees in the sand as everything went dark.  He was out like a light with his face in the sand.

Frightened, Kevin stopped immediately and went down to his own knees in the sand beside his partner.  His panic was like a knife in his guts.
  He turned Cam over and held him in his lap, gently brushing the sand off his face.  The other guys knelt around them, looking scared.

"Cam!! Are you all right?" Kevin asked an unresponsive Cam, not suspecting at first that the boy's change in stride and collapse had anything to do with the nearby house of horrors.

Cam started to wake up, but didn't try to stand right away.  He stared up into Kevin's handsome, familiar face as comprehension began to return.

Kevin looked around and saw the house, and then it hit him what had stopped Cam in his tracks.  Bending down, he hugged Cam tightly and kissed his head.  "The crime scene tape is gone," Kevin observed quietly to his partner, at a loss for what else to say.

"Kevin, I'm so fucked up," Cam said.

"Nothing we can't handle," Kevin said with a confidence he didn't feel.  "Do you want to go back home?" Kevin asked.

Cam shook his head and clambered to his feet with Kevin's help.  "No way!" he said as the other guys also stood up.

They all walked at first before resuming running slowly.  After a few minutes they reached their former pace.  Cam seemed no worse for wear.

At the now familiar three and a half-mile mark, Kevin turned the group around and they headed home.  As always, Alice and Samantha were reluctant to head back, but when Carl whistled at them, they wheeled around obediently and followed the boys back down the beach.

Kevin checked out Andy and Berto after they'd all turned around.  Neither of them seemed winded at all, so he figured that William was still making the San Rafael contingent keep to their running schedule.  Kevin was amazed, given William's busy schedule, that he had the time, and for that matter, the will to ride herd on all the guys. 

Kevin couldn't help admiring Andy's and Berto's physiques.  They were so good looking and perfectly conditioned.  Beautiful bodies.  It was no wonder that Berto's "mini-harem" at school were more than happy to have sex with him, and that Carl was so hot for Andy.  Fortunately their good looks haven't made either of them assholes, Kevin thought to himself.  They're really great guys.

After they reached home, the runners did their cool-downs out on the deck before going inside to shower.  Carl filled up the dogs' water dishes at a faucet there, and the two collies eagerly lapped up the fresh water before being tied up again.

Cam saw Susan Miller come out next door on to her front deck to water plants.  He told Kevin he'd be back in a minute, and over his partner's protests that he should go into the house and rest, went over to talk to her.

"'Morning, Mrs. Miller," he told her as he went up the steps.

"Cam!" the woman said.  "It's good to see you.  You boys have been runnning, I see."

"Yes, m'am," Cam said.  "We'd have Kevin on our case if we didn't."

Susan Miller laughed.  "Jeff is going to have to play catch-up with his running when he comes home."

"That's probably true. 
Speaking of Jeff, he called yesterday and said he can have visitors now.  He told me that he's been using the gym at Assurances regularly, but he may not have been using the treadmill."

"I talked to him yesterday, too," Susan said, "and he told me the same thing.  He must be doing well.  That makes me hopeful."

"Me, too.  Listen, we're going to Mass tomorrow at St. Dunstan's, and then go over to Assurances to see Jeff afterwards.  Do you want to go with us?"

"Sean has been shooting a film in Manhattan, and he'll be home tonight for a break.  Thanks for the offer, but I see Berto and Andy are here, so you'll have a full car for church.   Sean and I will drive separately to St. Dunstan's, and see you over at Assurances afterward."

"Sounds good," Cam said.

"Cam."  Mrs. Miller looked intently at him.


"Thank you--and all you boys--for being such a good friend to Jeff.  And to Sean and me.  I know that Jeff wouldn't be making the progress he is without you and your family.  We'll never forget it.  I just want you to know that."  The woman had tears in her eyes.

"Well..." Cam stammered, taken by surprise.  Despite being sweaty from his run, he stepped over to her and hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.

Mrs. Miller reciprocated.  "When do you start your therapy?" she asked.


"We're always here for you," Susan Miller said simply.  "I hope you know that."

"Yes, m'am.  I do."  Cam looked at her and realized how fond he was of her.  "I think I better go shower.  We'll look forward to seeing you tomorrow."

"Good," Susan said.  "After we see Jeff, Sean and I would like to invite you all back here for lunch, if you can spare the time."  She smiled.  "Sean doesn't know he wants to cook out yet, but he'll love the idea.  Wear your swim suits when you come over, and use the pool."

Cam laughed about Sean not knowing he was going to cook lunch.  "Thanks.  I'll talk to the guys, and call you."

"Thank you, Cam.  See you tomorrow."

Cam went down the steps and loped back over to his house.  Carl and Andy had gone inside, but Kevin was sweeping sand off the deck into the yard.  Cam took the broom out of his hands, letting it fall to the deck, and hugged Kevin to himself, kissing him on the lips.

"'Sup, dude?" Kevin asked his partner.

"The usual lust for your bod, I'd have to say.  But moving on, Sean Miller will be home from New York tonight, and Mrs. Miller wants us all to come over to their house for lunch tomorrow after we see Jeff.  She said we should wear our swimsuits and have a swim.  She's such a sweetheart!"

"That she is," Kevin said.  "A quality she shares with you, you cute little shit.  I like that a lot."

The pair just stood there on the deck holding each other for a few minutes, bathing in their love for each other and in the breeze off Santa Monica bay.  Kevin's concern for Cam's mental health still had his gut churning, though.  He didn't want to let go of him.

Cam eventually talked to Andy and Carl, and then called Susan Miller to let her know their crew never turned down a free lunch and pool party.

*  *  *

Father John Ryan was in the narthex of St. Dunstan's on Sunday morning, vested for Mass and waiting for his thurifer, crucifer, torch bearers and servers to join him from the sacristy for the procession to the altar.  Cam, Kevin, Carl, Berto, and Andy, carrying Casey, came in.

"Gentlemen," the priest said quietly, "it's good to see you.  Berto, Andy, this is a pleasant surprise.  When did you get in?"

"Friday night, Father," Berto said.  "It's good to see you, too."

"Let's catch up at coffee hour," Ryan told them as the guys started to walk on and enter the nave.  As Andy went by with Casey in his carrier, the priest stopped him momentarily, bent down and traced the sign of the cross on the sleeping child's forehead before letting him proceed.  That simple act moved Andy.  There is such love in the world if you know where to look for it, he thought to himself as they all found a vacant pew, reverenced the altar, and then pulled down the kneelers to offer their initial prayers.  Andy offered thanks for the good things in his life, especially for the love and companionship of Carl.  Andy didn't know it, but Carl was doing the same when it came to him.  As they sat back in the pew, Andy and Carl locked eyes and smiled at each other.

Cam noticed Susan and Sean Miller sitting a few pews ahead of them, sitting close to each other.  A good relationship there, Cam thought to himself.  And they're sticking with their son as he wrestles with his addictions.  You can't ask for more than that from your family.

The familiar Mass moved along smoothly through the Gospel reading.  Cam thought he was prescient when Father Ryan preached on the importance of family in the Church, devoting a significant part of his homily to "families of choice."  He said that although we should love and honor our families of blood relationships even when it was difficult to do so, that equally important and equally valid in God's eyes were our families of choice which developed when blood relationships were were impossible or nonexistent or inadequate, or when those blood families were augmented by circumstance.  The boys looked at one another surreptitiously when they realized what the priest was saying.  He was talking about exactly what they had with each other and with the adults and young guys back in San Rafael.  A family of choice.  A good family of choice.  Their bond was much more than just friendly feelings, or even friendship itself.  Families of choice were a love relationship blessed by God Himself and by His Church, Father Ryan told them.

Kevin reached over and held Cam's hand before they stood for the Creed.

After receiving Communion and the final hymn was sung, the guys took Casey, who was awake and wanting out of his carrier, into the parish house.  Cam released him, and Andy held Casey's hands and put the little boy's shoes on top of his own size 13's, and started walking him stiffly around the big room.  Members of the congregation, talking as they drank coffee, stopped Andy's progress periodically as they talked to the little boy.  Andy and Casey passed by Father Ryan's wife, Lisa, on their walk, and she stopped them, bending down to kiss Casey on his head.  She straightened up and held out her hand to Andy, smiling.

"Hello.  Casey I know, but I haven't met you, I don't think.  I'm Lisa, Father Ryan's wife."

Andy released one of Casey's hands to grasp hers.

"Hello, Mrs. Ryan.  I'm Andy Helder, Carl Emrick's 'friend' from San Rafael.  I haven't been to church here since last summer."

"Hello, Andy," Lisa said.  "I'm glad to meet you.  I must have missed meeting you the last time you were here.  Are you down here on vacation?"

"I'm just down here with Berto Hernandez for the weekend.  He's another one of our brothers in San Rafael.  Strictly speaking, we're here to see Cam.  And as a bonus, I get to see Carl."   Andy blushed a little, thinking the nature of his relationship with Carl must seem pretty obvious.  Lisa didn't pay any attention to the young man's red face.

"It's good to have you here, " Lisa said.  "You know, looking at Casey, I'd say that he's not too far off from walking on his own pretty soon.  May I pick him up?"

"Sure.  He's kind of antsy, though..."

Lisa scooped him up, and Casey recognized a familiar face.  He began to talk some gibberish and reached out to touch the woman's nose and face.

"Hi, sweetheart," Lisa crooned to the little boy, kissing his cheek, and he squealed happily.

"He knows you, all right," Andy said.

"We're old pals," Lisa said.  She looked around the room, and spotted her husband, still wearing his black cassock, talking on the other side of the room with Cam, Kevin, Carl and another young man whom she didn't know.

She nodded over toward the priest.  "Is that Berto over there with the family talking to my husband?" she asked Andy.

"That's the guy."

"Let's go over so I can meet him," Lisa suggested.

They moved through the crowd in that direction, Lisa still carrying Casey in her arms.

"Casey looks pretty comfortable there," Father Ryan observed to his wife with a smile as she and Andy approached.

"I love him to death," Lisa said, cuddling the little guy.  "I want to meet the other member of the family."

Kevin smiled and stepped up.  "Mrs. Ryan, this is our brother Berto Hernandez from San Rafael.  He came down to spend some time with Cam and Carl and me this weekend."

"Berto, it's a pleasure," Lisa said, offering her hand while keeping Casey stable in her arms.  "It's good to have you here this morning."

Berto beamed at her, his white teeth flashing as they shook hands.  "I'm glad to meet you, Mrs. Ryan.  Father Mason in San Rafael has mentioned your family many times.  It's good to be here."

The kid is suave, Cam thought to himself.  Soft spokenNo wonder the girls love him so much.  And those of us who like good-looking boys love him, too.

A door to the church school wing flew open at that point, and youngsters began pouring into the parish hall to find their parents.  Samuel, Joshua and Rachel, the Ryans' three children, came running up.

"Casey!" Rachel Ryan said, standing on her tiptoes to look at the baby in her mother's arms.

"Hey, Rach," Cam said.  "Hi, guys!" he said to the boys.  The boys high-fived Cam, Kevin, and Carl, looking curiously at Andy and Berto.

"Andy and Berto," Cam said, "these guys are Samuel and Joshua Ryan."  He pointed at the boys in turn, and then at Rachel.  "And this is Rachel Ryan."   The boys and then Rachel offered their hands solemnly to Andy and Berto and shook with them.

"Nice to meet you," Andy and Berto said.

"Who are you?" Samuel demanded with no hesitation.

"We're two more of the brothers from San Rafael," Berto told him.  "We're just down here for the weekend to see Cam and Kevin and Carl."

"That's good," Samuel Ryan said mischievously.  "They need a lot of watching."

The family laughed.

"You're right about that," Berto said, liking the kid immediately.

Sean and Susan Miller joined the group from the other side of the room, shaking hand with Father and Mrs. Ryan and greeting Berto and Andy.

"Father, thank you for your homily today," Sean Miller said after greeting everyone.  "I couldn't help thinking about the boys over at Alex's and John's house and up in San Rafael when you were talking about 'families of choice.'   I knew exactly what you were talking about."

Father Ryan nodded.  "I think you and Susan and Jeff are all a part of that family of choice now, unless I'm mistaken," he said.

"Right on," Kevin said, giving Sean and the priest a thumbs-up.

"Jeff mentioned when I talked with him on the telephone yesterday that you had stopped by to see him at Assurances," Susan Miller said to the priest.  "He really appreciated that.  I hope you'll have a chance to see him again sometime soon.  We're going over to Assurances right now to visit him, and then Sean is going to cook out for all of us at home.  It's kind of short notice, but we'd love to have you and Lisa and the kids join us as well for lunch and a swim."

Samuel, Joshua and Rachel looked pleadingly at their dad, who looked at his wife.

"That's so nice of you, Susan," Lisa said with a smile.  "We'd love to come.  What can we bring?"

"Nothing, thanks," Susan said.  "I bought out the grocery store yesterday.  We'll see you at our house.  Why don't you come over about one o'clock, and we'll have a visit.  We should be back from Assurances by then."

The Ryan kids looked happy at the prospect of spending some time with Cam's crew and getting to swim.  After chatting for a few more minutes, the Millers and Cam, Kevin, Carl, Andy and Berto took their leave to go to the rehab facility.

Cam spotted a little sign in the yard at Assurances as they were walking toward the front door from the parking lot.  'Keep off the GRASS!' it said.  "Good advice for a drug treatment facility like this," Cam joked with a grin.

Kevin groaned, throwing an arm around Cam's neck and pulling him over to him, giving him a sideways hug.  A middle aged couple passed them walking in the opposite direction.  They saw the hug and pointedly looked away.

Kevin and Cam looked at each other and grinned.

The group visited Jeff in shifts, and everyone had a great time talking to him.  The boys discovered that a clean and sober Jeff had a great sense of humor.  He, in turn, got a real lift from seeing everybody and thinking about things other than addiction and recovery.  Sean and Susan Miller were elated to see their son looking well and happy.  They left first to go home and get set up for the impromptu cookout and swim party.

The Ryans were just pulling into the driveway when the Millers got home.  Father and Mrs. Ryan pitched in to help the Millers and Juanita
, Maria Romero's sister, set up for lunch.  Sean and Father Ryan grabbed some beers and then fired up the grills.  The crew from next door arrived home from Assurances about a half-hour later and changed into their swimsuits.  Cam and Kevin had just stripped off their church clothes in their bedroom when Kevin walked over to Cam and grabbed him from behind, soft cock in Cam's crack, rubbing his partner's chest and then letting one hand drift down to cup Cam's crotch.  Cam started to get hard.

"I gotta get me some more of this bad boy later," Kevin said into his partner's ear, giving Cam's equipment a stroke and then circling the cockhead gently with his thumb.

"You don't know how glad I am you have a one-track mind," Cam said, exhaling a huge breath and reaching behind him to grab Kevin's ass with both hands, pulling him tighter against his butt.  "Definitely the sooner that happens, the better.  You're a Horndog with a capital 'H!'  And that's just the way I like it."

*  *  *

The Millers' swim party was a great success.  Sean cooked salmon steaks and tilapia, served with baked potatoes and sour cream, a green salad, and with chocolate and butter pecan ice cream for dessert.  Even though recent medical opinion said there was no danger in swimming right after eating, Lisa Ryan made her kids wait for twenty minutes before going into the pool.  Just to back her up, the older boys and Father Ryan waited for twenty minutes, too, using the time to help their hosts pick up the dishes and take them into the kitchen for Juanita to put into the dishwasher.
Before diving into the water, Carl and Andy got a net out of the Millers' garage and affixed it across the middle of the pool.  To keep things fair, Cam, Carl and Andy asked Rachel to play on their team in the deeper end, and Kevin, Fr. John, Lisa, Samuel and Josh Ryan were on the opposing team in the shallows.  The Millers refereed.  Despite predictions to the contrary, the Ryans' team kicked ass and won the first game.  Cam's team roared back and won in the second game, and that's where they left things.  After the game, the younger set, pleasantly tired out, all put on sunscreen and basked in the warm sunshine on the deck until the pool finally was plunged into the shadows as the sun moved west.

The adults sat at some distance near the back wall of the house.  Sean told them a little about the latest movie he was making, Father Ryan talked about St. Dunstan's, which was experiencing considerable growth, and then, more quietly, they all talked about Jeff's progress at Assurances and Cam's impending therapy.  Casey slept soundly in his carrier in the midst of it all,

Cam looked around at the Ryan kids.  He was always pumped to be around these youngsters.  Like any any kids their ages, they were uninhibited and unpredictable, full of honesty and fun and chatter.  Young Samuel was a great foil for the older boys, holding his own very well when it came to repartee.  Berto had taken a shine to the kid, and in addition to the verbal jousting, had engaged the Ryan's older boy in talking about his school subjects and what he thought might do with his lifet.  Samuel thought he might like to be a physician, and Berto encouraged him to continue to think about that.

During the final hour of their stay, all the young guys and Rachel played "Go Fish" at one of picnic tables, with young Joshua Ryan showing an aptitude for cards.  He was the big winner.

"You were counting cards," Andy told the boy.

"What's 'counting cards?'" Josh asked.

"That's where you keep track in your mind what cards have been played and plan your strategy around the cards that haven't come up yet.  In Vegas, if they thought you were doing that, they'd rough you up and throw you out of the casino bodily," Andy said.

"How can they prove it?" Josh demanded.

"They don't have to," Andy said.  "Their motto is, 'Never give a sucker an even break.'"

"I'd sue," Josh said.  "Berto would represent me."

"It could be worth millions," Berto said, laughing.  "Don't forget the lawyer takes a third of the award."

"Hmm," Josh mused.  "Maybe I'd have to shop around, then.  Maybe Mr. Carson would take my case."

"Well, you couldn't do better than Ian," Berto said.  "Your family are friends, so he might even do it for free."

"Now wait a minute," Carl said, laughing.  "Let's not go overboard!  William and Mark need their spending money."

Just then Father Ryan walked over the card players.  "Time to go, kids.  You have homework.  Get your stuff.  Say thanks to the Millers, and let's head out."

There were the usual protests, but to no avail.  The Ryan kids and their parents made their manners to Sean and Susan Miller, said good-bye to the boys, and were soon on the road.

Cam, Kevin, Carl and Andy took down the pool net and stowed it back in the garage, and then put the tables and chairs back where they belonged.  The patio around the pool looked perfect when they were finished.

"Thanks, guys," Sean Miller said as he and Susan stood up to say good-bye.

The boys thanked their hosts with handshakes for Sean and kisses for Susan, and Sean wished Cam well as he began therapy the next day.  Cam was surprised when Sean pulled him into a hug after shaking his hand.

"Stay in touch," Sean told him.  "We're only a phone call away."

"I appreciate that," Cam said.  He kissed Mrs. Miller, and walked over to the back door, and shouted their thanks to Juanita.  She came to the door and hugged and kissed him, waving at the other boys before going back to work.

The guys wandered back across the sand to Alex's feeling at loose ends, so they did a few exercises in the gym, and watched some TV.  Later that evening Carl, Cam and Kevin took Berto and Andy to the airport for their trip back to San Rafael.  The departees were sad, each for his own reasons--Berto because he wished he could be in L.A. to offer support when Cam started therapy, and Andy because leaving Carl was like tearing his heart out.

Cam and Kevin talked quietly on the way home in the truck, but Carl didn't say a word.

The three of them stood in the kitchen with Casey in his carrier for a minute before turning off the lights, setting the alarm and heading upstairs for bed.

"What time is your appointment with the doctor tomorrow?" Carl asked Cam.


"Well..."  Carl stepped over to Cam and, pulling him into his arms, gave him a long, tight hug, kissing his cheek before letting him go.  That said everything he wanted and needed to say to his brother and friend.

And then the telephone began ringing.

*  *  *

L.A. District Attorney Jim Nolan strode into his office right on the stroke of nine o'clock on Monday morning.  As usual, he was nattily attired in an Armani suit, this day with a powder blue shirt and a red power tie.  Black, shined shoes and black socks.  He was the epitome of a man on the way up the political ladder.

Waiting for him at the small conference room table at the side of his large office were four ADA's:  Nolan's chief deputy and three division heads--criminal, civil, and anti-gang.  Nolan sat down at the head of the table, picked up a printed agenda of pending court cases left for review at his place, and the meeting commenced.

Nolan interrupted the flow of business only once, during the criminal chief's discussion of L.A. County v. Eric Clymer, Peter Murtha and Rory Lomer for kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and a host of other charges.

"We have a potential break in this case," the criminal chief told Nolan.  "The accused were in County after being denied bail, and Rory Lomer was allegedly raped during his first night in custody.  The rape kit showed semen.  Lomer opted for solitary while the Sheriff's Department carries out its usual thorough investigation."  The ADA smiled.  "Anyway, we think Lomer is our best bet to have one of these turds to roll over on his buddies.  I've instructed Aaron Petrie to get his ass over to the jail this morning with the arresting Sheriff's detectives and start questioning this kid.  I assume you're willing to make it worthwhile for Lomer to roll?"

"Fuckin' A!" Nolan said.  "Now isn't that an appropriate expression in a case of male rape?" 
He paused, pleased with his own wit.  "Anyway, I don't want Alex MacKenzie's kid to have to testify in court unless it's absolutely necessary.  I want a goddamn conviction in this case, though, or the whole arts community will be on my ass!"

© 2011 Don Hanratty

Readers:  All the best for a great 2011 !