WORKING IT OUT--Book 2, Part 5

Mike woke up about 7:30 a.m., and lay in bed in a blue funk.  He missed Matt and he missed the kids.

Matt's problems in Hartford were a sobering reminder to Mike that for those whose lifestyle lies outside the "normal," bell-shaped curve, kindness and tolerance don't always win out against cruelty and bigotry, at least not in the short term.  Thinking about what Governor Bradford had done, Lord Acton's acerbic comment from centuries ago flashed through his mind:  "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Mike lay there brooding about Matt's situation until Jeff burst through the door of his bedroom at about 8 o'clock, dressed in running shorts, a T and running shoes.

"Getcher ass outta bed, dude!" he said.  "You need some exercise."

Mike groaned and squinted at the clock.

"Why aren't you at work?" he asked.

"I don't report 'til 10 today," Jeff said.  "So move it!"

"I don't feel like it, Jeff."

"Do I look like the sensitive type?" Jeff said with an evil smile.  "Get up and get dressed before I dump your fat butt on the floor."

Mike groaned again, covering his face with his hands, fingers pressing against his eyeballs.  He heard Jeff start toward the bed.

"All right, all right," Mike said, looking up quickly at his brother.  "I'm moving already.  Can I at least use the bathroom first?"

"Do ya hafta go No. 1 or No. 2?"

Mike stifled a smile as he threw the covers back.

"Man, you're annoying!" he said to Jeff as he rose and stumbled toward the bathroom.

"When Matt's not here, the job falls to me!  An' I love doin' it, 'cause it's so, so much fer yer own good," Jeff said, grinning from ear to ear.  "Hurry up!"

Mike gave him the finger as he went in to empty his bladder.

He emerged from the bathroom and shucked his boxers, pulling on a jock, shorts, a T, sweatsocks and Nikes.

"Seeing you naked reminds me of a story," Jeff said.

Mike just stared at him, giving him no encouragement.  That didn't faze Jeff.

"A woman is watching her husband coming out of the
shower and she says to him, 'You have dick-do disease.'

"He asks, 'What kind of a disease is that?'

"She says, 'Your belly sticks out more than your dick do!'"

Hiking his shirt up and quickly checking out his flat stomach with just the hint of a six-pack, Mike grabbed his keys and elevator card off the dresser.  As he passed a laughing Jeff on the way out of the bedroom, he pulled Jeff's running shorts down around his ankles and gave him a good slap on the ass, leaving him standing there in his jock and sporting a big, red handprint on his left buttock.  Then Mike took off running down the hall toward the elevator.

"Whoa," Jeff said, pulling his pants up and chasing after Mike.  Catching up to him, Jeff threw an arm around his brother's neck and squeezed gently.  They laughingly collected Breakers and were on their way.

Ten minutes out, in the warm sun and a nice breeze off the lake, Mike was thankful Jeff had been persistent.  His thoughts drifted back to a comment Matt once made about putting one foot in front of the other, slogging along when the going got tough.  He vowed to follow his partner's good example as they worked through Matt's latest challenge in Connecticut

Yet Mike was troubled that no one from the family had been at Matt's side, not so far, anyway.  The Supreme Court had not yet recessed for the summer, so Dad had been tied up.  Mom was with the twins.  Martha was working every day back home at the veterinarian hospital.  And he himself was keeping an eye on Jeff.  He knew right then and there that he had to find a way to go to Connecticut and be with Matt for the rest of the trial.  Not even talking on the phone a couple times a day, as he and Matt had been doing, was enough support right now.  And he, Mike, knew more about loneliness than he ever wanted Matt to experience.

*  *  *

Peter Bell had gone into court a few days after Matt's arrest to present a pre-trial motion.  He asked the judge to rule that the evidence leading to the drug charge had been illegally obtained because there had been no search warrant for Matt's hotel room, or probable cause to obtain one.  As expected, the motion was denied on the basis that individuals and their property occupying rental space on a short-term basis in a hostelry do not enjoy the same constitutional protections accorded to individuals in their own homes.  The judge commented that if a warrant had been requested, it would likely have been granted based upon the information supplied by an informant, but also stated that this latter fact was not the grounds for his decision.

As the days passed and the date of his trial inched forward, Matt became more and more worried and restless.  He took to running twice a day just to wear himself out, and went to so many matinée movies that the plots all began to run together.  He read a lot in the little Gideon Bible in his room at the Day's Inn, and prayed for himself and his family, especially for Mike and the twins.  He discovered anew that when he turned all his troubles over to God as he went to bed at night, he slept soundly and rose refreshed in the morning.  But that didn't curtail his having vivid dreams almost nightly about running on the beach with Mike, the two of them pushing the twins in their strollers, and seeing Mike's beautiful, hard body stretched out next to him in their own bed.

In preparation for the trial, Matt met with Peter Bell several times to go over strategy.  The private investigators had done their jobs well, and Bell was confidant that the evidence he would adduce would be sufficient to win an acquittal.  He told Matt they had drawn a good, by-the-book judge who ran a fair and orderly courtroom.

Bell made him aware that when it came time to impugn the Governor's information to the state police, the reason the man had lied would be revealed, and Matt and Mike would likely be outed nationally in the news media.  Having talked with Mike on several occasions about just that eventuality, Matt told Bell to go ahead if it was the only way to secure a "Not Guilty" verdict.  It was a draconian decision, Matt knew, but a necessary one.

Matt went out and bought several new suits for court, dark and conservative, white shirts, ties and new dress shoes, since he had brought only casual clothes with him from Washington.

He felt he was as ready as he would ever be.

When he presented himself in court on the opening day of trial, it was all still like a dream, and not a pleasant one.

"All rise," the bailiff intoned.

"The Superior Court of the State of Connecticut, Criminal Division, Hartford District, is now in session, the Honorable Howard Prescott Jackson, presiding.  All those having business before this honorable court draw near, and you shall be heard.

"You may be seated."

As the tall, gray-haired judge took the bench, Matt quickly surveyed the public seating.  There was no one he knew out there, but he could tell that the room was packed with media people.

"Call the first case," Judge Jackson said.

"The State of Connecticut vs. Matthew James Broman, Jr., Docket No. 01-69554."

"Counsel, identify yourselves for the record," the Judge said.

"Cynthia Gossett for the People, your honor."  The State's Attorney was a tall, statuesque brunette, hair pulled back into a bun, and wearing a sharp, tailored suit.  She appeared to be about 30 years old.

"Peter Bell for the defense, your honor."

"Read the charge," the judge instructed the clerk.

"The defendant is charged with possession of a Schedule 1 drug in an amount over 1 ounce with intent to distribute."

"Waive further reading, your honor," Peter Bell said.

"How does the defendant plead?"

Matt rose to his feet.  "Not guilty, your honor."

The rest of the morning was spent in selecting and seating a jury, and there was a lot of wrangling between the lawyers, something expected in a high profile case like this one.

The final juror and a few alternates were selected just before noon, and after they were impaneled and sworn in along with the usual admonitions about not discussing the impending case and avoiding any media coverage of it, the judge adjourned for lunch.  Bell saw the women jurors checking out the handsome defendant, and liking what they saw.

Knowing that Matt would be swarmed by reporters if they went out the front door of the courtroom, Bell took him out a side door to the back of the courthouse, where they jumped in a waiting car and went to lunch.

Following the lunch hour, Judge Jackson reconvened the court and instructed the State's Attorney to call her first witness.  She called Lt. Anders Wolf of the Connecticut State Police, and he was sworn and seated in the witness box.  He didn't look toward the defense table as he sat down.

"Lt. Wolf, were you on duty on July 23, last?"

"Yes, M'am, I was the ranking supervisor of patrol for the Hartford geographical area, floating throughout the area in my command car."

"Did you receive a call from command dispatch at about 12:40 p.m. on that date?"


"What was your location at the time you received the radio message?"

"I was in the downtown Hartford area."

"What were you instructed to do?"

"I was dispatched downtown to the Hilton Hartford to search a room there for drugs."

"What was the room number you were told to search?"

"Room 823."

"In whose name was that room registered?"

"It was registered to Matthew James Broman, Jr."

"Did you enter the room?"


"How did you gain entry?"

"I contacted hotel security, and their chief of security admitted me."

"Did you search the premises?"


"What did you find?"

"I found approximately a kilo of what appeared to be cocaine in a piece of luggage there."

"What did you do then?"

"I took possession of the substance I had found for evidence, and radioed command to inform them what I had found."

"And then?"

"I took the evidence to headquarters and logged it in at the Secure Evidence Facility."

"Did you weigh the product when you checked it in?"

"Yes.  It was a kilo."

"Are you aware of the results of subsequent testing of the evidence by the lab?"

"Yes, it was cocaine."

"Your honor," the State's Attorney said, "I would offer into evidence an affidavit from the State Police lab indicating that the substance offered into evidence is indeed cocaine, 1 kilo in amount."

"Mark People's Exhibit 1," the judge said.

"After you logged in the evidence, what did you do?" Ms. Gossett asked.

"I called the State's Attorney's office, and received permission to charge the defendant.  He was then arrested."

"Your witness," the State's Attorney said.

Peter Bell rose, standing at the defense table.

"Lt. Wolf, when you went to Room 823 of the Hartford Hilton, it was in response to a message from dispatch, is that correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"You testified that the chief of security for the hotel admitted you?"


"Did the chief of security remain with you while you searched the room?"

"No, I told him he could go about his other duties."

"So you were alone when you searched the room?"


"Describe the luggage you found."

"One soft-sided, black canvas bag, with a logo on the side of it."

"What was the logo?"

"It portrayed a tall building and a crane, and said 'Berman Worldwide Engineering.'"

"Where was the bag when you found it?"

"Sitting on a folding luggage rack right inside the door."

"Where was the substance discovered?"

"It was hidden under clothing and other personal items in the bag."

"Describe what you did after you discovered the substance."

"I continued searching the room, and when I didn't find anything else, I radioed headquarters concerning what I had found.  Then the took the cocaine down to my patrol car, and delivered it to the Secure Evidence Facility, where I logged it in."

"Did you take the entire bag into custody, or just the alleged substance?"

"Just the substance."

"Do you have another major responsibility in addition to those of senior patrol officer for this district?"

"Yes, sir."

"What is it?"

"I'm officer in charge of the Secure Evidence Facility for this district."

"Do you recognize these forms?"  Bell handed Wolf a sheaf of papers.

"Yes, sir."

"Please tell the court what they are."

"They are computer generated copies of log-in and log-out transactions matched against inventory at the Evidence Facility."

"Will you circle the log-in of the substance you discovered in Mr. Broman's hotel room, please.  Use this pen."

Wolf circled an item on the inventory.

"Please identify any other items on the page which indicate a log-in of substances in the amount of 1 kilo."

Wolf looked down the page and circled one other item.

"What is the other item?"

"One kilo of a substance logged in 2 weeks ago."

"Was that substance subsequently identified as cocaine?"

"Yes, according to this sheet."

"Are you aware that we subpoenaed this item and it could not be produced by your staff at the Evidence Facility?"

"No, sir."  Wolf was beginning to perspire noticeably.

"Your honor, we submit these log-in/log-out pages into evidence, with annotations."

"Mark Defense Exhibit 1," the judge instructed.

"Lt. Wolf, how long have you been a State Policeman?"

"Twenty years."

"Did you attend the State Police training academy with any current members of the command structure?"

"Yes, sir."


"Colonel Metzlaar, Commander of the State Police, and Major Klein, chief of Operations."

"So you are personal friends with them, would you say?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you have a cell phone in your command car?"


"Did you talk to either Colonel Metzlaar or Major Klein on your cell phone after being dispatched to the Hilton Hartford?"

"Objection, your honor," the State's Attorney said.  "Relevance?"

"Laying a foundation, your honor," Bell responded.  "I ask the court's indulgence subject to connection."

"The witness will answer," Judge Jackson said.

"What was the question again?" Lt. Wolf asked.

"Did you talk to either Colonel Metzlaar or Major Klein on your cell phone after being dispatched to the Hilton Hartford?"

"No, sir."

"Please look at these telephone records, and identify your cell phone number if it appears."  Bell handed Wolf a legal size sheet of paper.

"Uh, I'm not certain what the cell phone number is," Wolf said.

"I can help you out with that.  Is it 582-5582?"

"I guess so."

"Look at the telephone records, and identify that number if it appears."

"Yes, it's here."

"Read the date and time of the call."

"July 23, 2001, 12:35 p.m."

"Read the entry for the origin of this call."


"Do you recognize that number?"


"Whose number is it?"

"Colonel Metzlaar's private number at State Police headquarters."

"Your honor, we submit this telephone recapitulation into evidence," Bell said.

"Mark Defense Exhibit 2," the judge said.

Although the temperature of the courtroom was cool, by this time sweat was dripping from Wolf's face.  The jury couldn't miss it.

"What did you and Colonel Metzlaar talk about on July 23 at 12:35 p.m.?"

"I don't recall, exactly.  I may have told him I found a kilo of what I thought was cocaine in a room at the Hilton Hartford."

"That's interesting," Bell said.  "You told him you found cocaine in Mr. Bromman's room at 12:35 p.m. and you weren't dispatched to the hotel until 12:40 p.m.?"

"Uh, we probably didn't talk about the cocaine, I guess."

"I see.  Do you and Colonel Metzlaar speak frequently on the telephone?"

"No, not really."

"So the Commanding Officer of the Connecticut State Police telephones you, and you can't remember exactly what it was about?"

"Objection, your honor," State's Attorney Gossett said.  "Asked and answered."

"Your honor, I request permission to treat the witness as hostile," Bell said.


"Had Colonel Metzlaar given you any instructions about the search you were about to conduct at the hotel?"

"Certainly not," Wolf insisted.

"Colonel Metzlaar told you what you needed to find when you were dispatched to Matthew Broman's room, didn't he?"

"No, he didn't."

"How did you carry away the alleged contraband?" Bell asked.

"I don't understand the question."

"You stated you did not remove the alleged substance from the defendant's room in his bag.  Did you carry it away just as you found it, did you wrap it in a towel, did you put it under your jacket, did you put it in a paper bag, what?"

"I just carried it under my arm and walked to the car."

"Where was the hotel security chief when you left Mr. Broman's room?"

"In the hall outside the room."

"Did you tell him that you had found what you believed to be illegal drugs?"

"I don't recall."

"Did you speak to the security chief at all as you left the hotel?"

"I don't remember."

"Your memory isn't too good for a trained police officer, is it, Lt. Wolf?" Bell said.  Wolf said nothing, the sweat dripping from his face.

"Objection," Ms. Gossett said.  "Badgering."

"Withdrawn," Bell responded.  "Lt. Wolf, where was the defendant arrested?"

"He was at the Governor's Mansion, I believe."

"How did you know where the defendant was?"

"Uh, I believe Dispatch must have told me."

"Who made the arrest?"

"Trooper John Baker of the Hartford District, on my instructions."

"Your honor, that is all the questions I have for this witness at this time.  But the defense reserves the right to recall him to the stand as seems appropriate."

"Very well," Judge Jackson intoned.  "You may step down, Lieutenant, subject to recall.  Remain available, please."

Lt. Wolf wiped his brow with a handkerchief, and quickly left the stand.

"Ms. Gossett, call your next witness," the judge instructed.

"Your honor, the People call Trooper John Baker."  He was sworn and sat in the witness chair.

"Trooper, were you on duty at the Governor's mansion on July 23 during the day shift?" Ms. Gossett asked.

"Yes, m'am."

"Where were you stationed there?"

"In the front hallway."

"Were you summoned by the Governor to a sitting room?"

"Yes, m'am."

"What time was that?"

"Approximately 12:30 p.m."

"What did the Governor want?"

"He told me to detain the defendant pending further instructions."  Baker pointed at Matt.

"Did you do so?"

"Yes, m'am.  I cuffed him to a radiator in the front hall."

"What happened next?"

"The governor came to the front hall at 12:45 p.m. and told me to arrest the defendant on charges of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.  I did that, frisked him, and gave him his Miranda warning."

"What happened then?"

"A state patrol car pulled up within a few minutes and took the defendant into custody."

"Your witness," Ms Gossett said.

"Trooper Baker, did you witness the defendant break any laws, or for that matter, even any polite conventions, when you were in his presence?" Bell asked.

"No, sir."

"When you first came into the Governor's presence to take the defendant into custody, was there anyone else present?"

"Yes, sir.  Mrs. Bradford was just leaving the sitting room by another door when I arrived."

"Did you find any weapons or contraband on the defendant when you frisked him?"

"No, sir."

"Had anyone in the command structure of the Connecticut State Police contacted you about the defendant and told you to take him into custody?"

"Other than the Governor, no, sir."

"What time was it when you arrested the defendant?"

"About 1:00 p.m.," Baker said.

"No more questions of this witness, your honor," Bell said.

"Ms. Gossett, call your next witness." Judge Jackson said.

"Your honor, the People rest."

"Very well.  Mr. Bell, are you ready to proceed?"

"Yes, your honor.  The defense calls Tonya Jefferson."

Once on the stand, the witness, a young, attractive African American woman, explained that she was an employee of a Washington, D.C., private security firm which was contracted by the Department of Transportation to supplement federal marshals at the airport.

Bell elicited from Ms. Jefferson that she had been on duty at Reagan National Airport on July 23, and had been the official responsible for pulling the defendant's bag from the conveyor belt and searching it.  She said that when their security station wasn't too backed up at the xray machine, the security guards routinely pulled and searched about every tenth bag which appeared to have any item with electrical wiring in it.   Matt's was one of those.  All she found of an electrical nature was a small clock radio.

Blushing, Ms. Jefferson admitted the defendant stuck in her mind because he was "very, very handsome" and because, unlike many travelers, he didn't appear to be annoyed at all that his bag had been singled out for a search.  He had given her a big smile when she was finished, and wished her a nice day, and she appreciated that.

The search of Matt's bag was on tape.  Bell received permission from the judge to show the tape, and it confirmed the witness's description of what had occurred at Reagan National.

The prosecutor was unable to shake the witness's testimony on cross.  In fact, the woman only strengthened her story that she was completed a thorough search of the bag and found nothing.

"Next witness," Judge Jackson said when Ms. Gossett dismissed the security guard.

"Yes, your honor," Bell responded. "The defense calls Hector Barrio."

A short, balding, cheerful looking Hispanic man, middle-aged, came forward and was sworn.

"Mr. Barrio, what do you do for a living?" Bell asked.

"I'm a cab driver."

"For what company do you work?"

"Yellow Cab of Hartford."

"Were you on duty on July 23, 2001?"


"Did most of your runs that day begin at the airport?"


"Do you remember picking up the defendant that day?"  Bell pointed to Matt at the defense table.

"Yes, I do."

"Of the hundreds of people you serve, why do you remember him?"

"A couple of reasons.  First of all, he was friendly and had a great smile.  Most travelers don't really see us cabbies as people, you know.  We're like furniture.  This guy looked me right in the eye."

"What else?"

"He insisted on sitting in the front seat so we could talk.  Once again, most people aren't too interesting in real conversation with a cabbie."

"Did the man you've identified have luggage?"

"Yes, he had one bag."

"Did he put it in the trunk?"

"No, he just held it on his lap."

"What kind of bag was it?"

"It was just a black, soft-sided, canvas bag."

"Was it unusual in any way?"

"Yes.  It had a logo on the side of it."

"Can you describe it?"

"It was a picture of a tall building with an industrial crane lifting materials up to the top, and it said 'Berman Worldwide Engineering' underneath it."

"Why did that stick in your mind?'

"Because I have a son who's an engineer and works for Berman Worldwide.  We talked about it.  My fare said it was his brother's bag, and he borrowed it."

"And the bag was in his lap all the time he rode with you in the cab?"


"Where did you drive the defendant?"

"To the Hilton Hartford."

"Did you leave after arriving at your destination?"  Bell asked.

"No.  My fare had me wait for him, handed his bag to the doorman, and went in to register.  He was back in five minutes."

"Was the bag ever back in possession of the defendant while you waited?"

"No, the doorman had put it on a cart, and a bellboy came to take it upstairs just as we were pulling away."

"Do you usually watch a fare's bags at a hotel?" Bell inquired.

"No, but I was watching for him to come back, and the bag was in plain sight."

"Where did you take the defendant then?"

"To the Governor's mansion."

"Your honor, we submit in evidence the dispatcher's record of Mr. Barrio's runs on July 23, including a run from the airport to the Hilton Hartford and on to the Governor's mansion."

"Mark Defense Exhibit 3," the judge instructed.

"No more questions, your honor."

"Ms. Gossett?" the judge inquired.

"Yes, your honor.  Mr. Barrio, do you do any paper work in your cab."


"Did you do any in your cab on July 23 while you were waiting for the defendant to return?  In other words, did you lose eye contact with the bag at any time?"


"How can you be so sure?" the frustrated prosecutor asked.

"Because I never do paper work until the run is over.  The meter was still running here, so I had nothing to record."

"No more questions," Ms. Gossett said with a disappointed expression on her face.

Bell smiled to himself.  His opponent had broken one of the cardinal rules of courtroom work:  never ask any witness a question to which you don't already know the answer.

"Mr. Barrio, you are dismissed.  Next witness, Mr. Bell," Judge Jackson said.

"Yes, your honor.  The defense calls Diane Campbell to the stand."

An attractive young woman who appeared to be about 25 years old was sworn and took the stand.

"Ms. Campbell, please tell the court for whom you work and what your job is," Bell said.

"I am a civilian employee of the Connecticut State Police, and work as a dispatcher."

"Were you on duty on July 23 of this year during the day shift?"


"Please look at the dispatch logs for your station on that date.  Can you tell me if you dispatched Lt. Wolf to the Hilton Hartford on that date?"  Bell handed the young woman a sheaf of computer printouts which she perused.

"Yes," Ms. Campbell said, "here it is, right here."  She pointed out an entry to Bell.

"What time is indicated here?"

"12:40 p.m."

"Your honor, we submit this log into evidence."

"Mark Defense Exhibit 4," Judge Jackson said.

"Do you usually dispatch ranking officers to conduct hotel room searches," Bell asked.

"No sir, not usually."

"Why did you dispatch Lt. Wolf to the Hilton Hartford?"

"Well," the woman said reluctantly, "I was told to do so."

"Who told you to dispatch Lt. Wolf to that location?"

"Um, Colonel Metzlaar, I believe."

"You believe?  Why did you think it was Colonel Metzlaar?"

"He identified himself as Colonel Metzlaar."

"How do you know that it was in fact Colonel Metzlaar."

"I recognized his voice from previous contacts we have had on the radio."

"Are your dispatches all recorded for later review?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did you tell Lt. Wolf that the defendant was at the Governor's Mansion prior to or at the time of his arrest?"

"No, sir.  I had no knowledge of that."

"Did you dispatch a car to the Governor's mansion to transport the defendant after his arrest?"

"No, sir."

"How is that an officer and car appeared there?"

"I have no idea, sir."

"Your honor, I have no more questions for this witness." Bell said.

"Ms. Gossett?"

"I have no questions for this witness, your honor," the prosecutor said.

"You may step down, Ms. Campbell," Judge Jackson said, glancing at his watch.  "We will adjourn for lunch a little early today to enable me to hear some motions in another case.  Court will reconvene at 1:30 p.m."

The gavel banged, and everyone stood as the judge left the bench.

As Peter Bell turned toward Matt with an encouraging smile, he spotted State's Attorney Al Shaffer in the back row of the courtroom, and they nodded politely to each other.  Peter again spirited Matt out of the building by the back entrance to the courthouse to avoid the press.

After lunch, Bell called the security chief of the Hilton Hartford, Michael Colletti, to the stand.  Colletti testified that he had remained glued to the door outside Room 823 at the hotel during the search conducted by Lt. Wolf, and that when the latter emerged from the room, he did not appear to be carrying a kilo of cocaine or anything else.  He said he had conversed with the Lt. Wolf on the elevator and even accompanied him to the front door of the hotel, and nothing had been said about finding contraband.  Wolf had merely entered his unmarked car without placing anything in it other than himself, and driven away.

Assistant State's Attorney Gossett questioned Colletti at length on cross examination, but was unable to shake his story in the slightest.

The next witness called by the defense was Sgt. Darren Williams, operations officer at the State Evidence Facility.

"Sergeant, explain your current duties and assignment to the court," Bell instructed.

"I'm in charge of daily operations at the State Evidence Facility, under the command of Lt. Wolf."

"Were you on duty on July 23 of this year on the day shift?"

"Yes, I was."

"Please describe the security arrangement at the Secure Evidence Facility."

"The main doors of the facility open into a reception area in front of a chest-high front desk which is enclosed by heavy steel mesh.  A very large tray slides in and out at the front desk to permit evidence to be placed in it so that it can be logged in.  A door to the side of the desk opens only when someone is buzzed in from the front desk, or by key, of which there are only four.  I and the other two sergeants assigned to the Facility each has one, and Lt. Wolf has the other."

"Did Lt. Wolf come to the State Evidence Facility while you were on duty?"


"What time was that?"

"I can't be precise, but I believe it was about 1:15 p.m.," Williams said.

"Where were you when he arrived?"

"I was at the front desk."

"Was he carrying evidence to be logged in?"

"Not that I saw," Williams said.

"When someone is carrying evidence, what is standard procedure for logging it in?" Bell asked.

"The officer outside the wire requests the sliding tray from the duty officer, places the evidence in it, and receives back the log sheet to indicate the nature of the evidence, the time and place it was taken into custody, by whom it was taken into custody, and the name or names of the perpetrators of the criminal act involving the evidence, if known."

"Is this what occurred when Lt. Wolf arrived on July 23?"

"No, sir."  Sgt. Williams was looking uncomfortable by now.

"What did occur?"

"Lt. Wolf admitted himself into the locked area behind the wire using his key.  He said he had evidence to log in, and would take care of it himself.  He suggested I take a coffee break, and he would come back to the coffee room and get me when he was finished."

"What did you do?"

"I went back to the coffee room as the Lieutenant had suggested."

"Did you at any time see anything that looked like a kilo of cocaine or anything looking like it in his possession?"

"No, sir."  By now Sgt. Williams looked extremely uncomfortable.

"Did you review the log book after you returned to the front desk?"

"Yes, sir."

"What did it say?"

"That 1 kilo of what was suspected to be cocaine had been taken into custody in Room 823 at the Hilton Hartford Hotel at 12:50 p.m. by Lt. Anders Wolf, and that the room was registered to Matthew J. Broman, Jr., and the contraband was suspected to be his."

"Did you at any time see the suspected contraband?"

"No, sir."

"Where was it at this point?"

"Lt. Wolf said he had placed it in the holding area for evidence under the number entered into the log book."

"Did you verify that the seized material was where the log book said it was."

"No, sir."

"Why not?"

"My superior officer logged in evidence, and I had no reason to disbelieve him."

"But the procedure followed in logging this evidence was unusual, was it not?" Bell asked.

"Objection, leading the witness," Ms. Gossett said.

"Sustained," Judge Jackson said.

"Let me rephrase," Bell said.  "Was this normal procedure for logging in evidence at the State Evidence Facility?"

"Well..." Williams hesitated.

"Your honor, please instruct the witness to answer," Bell requested.

"The witness will answer," the judge said.

"No, it wasn't normal procedure," Williams said reluctantly.

"I have no more questions of this witness, your honor," Bell said.

"Ms. Gossett, your witness," Judge Jackson said.

The cross examination produced nothing to contradict or change Williams' previous testimony, and as he was dismissed he sighed with relief.

"Mr. Bell, are you prepared to call your next witness?" the judge asked.

"Your honor, because of my next witness's busy schedule, I subpoenaed him for tomorrow morning.  If I may, your honor, I'd like to ask that we adjourn until then."

"Ms. Gossett?"

"No objection."

"Very well," the judge said, "we stand adjourned until 9 a.m. tomorrow."  The gavel fell.

Peter Bell, after years of trial work, was a master at reading and interpreting people's facial expressions and demeanor.  As the testimony had accrued, he could see Judge Jackson's facial expression when he looked at Matt changing from calm dispassion to covert sympathy.  That was a very good sign, indeed.

*  *  *

Despite the mounting doubt which Peter Bell was creating in the minds of all in the courtroom about the charges against him, Matt was feeling lonely, tired and discouraged.  He went back to the Day's Inn after court and changed clothes.  Lying down on one side of his king size bed, he stared blankly at the ceiling.  Quickly tiring of that, he grabbed a pad of yellow paper he had bought, propped himself up against the headboard of the bed, and began to write a letter to Mike, in pencil.

"My dearest Mike, my brother, my friend, my lover,

"I'm so grateful that we are all these things to each other.  I know you feel the same.
Sometimes when I'm low, only my confidence that God takes care of His children,
and the remembrance of what we have together, of your arms holding me and of
your beautiful face, keep me going.  To this day, your loving, patient, kind, exciting
personality thrill me, and so does your killer body.  Yes, I love you, body and soul.
Even apart, we are one, now and forever.

"Being part of your life again has been heaven for me, Mike.  Maybe I've had it so
good that the Lord plans to take away those I love, or take me away from them, so
I'll become stronger.  I don't know.  I'm praying that that won't be true.  I hope my
fears are groundless.

"I'm sharing my fears with you, but don't take them to heart.  The trial is going well,
really, so don't let me bring you down or shake your confidence that the truth will win

"I miss the twins and Mom and Dad and Jeff and Martha and yes, Breakers, but
you have to believe that you are always at the top of that list.  If you've ever felt,
even for a split second since our reconciliation, that I don't appreciate you enough
or love you completely, put that thought away forever.  You are the essence of
what makes my life worth living.  You are a stream of living water for me.  I learn
from you every day how to love life and really love other human beings more deeply
than I ever thought possible.  Your patience and kindness for everyone you meet
make you a shining example of how to live life.  I long for you now, my Mike.

"I went to the Cathedral for mass early yesterday morning before court, and then
went back there in the late afternoon for Evensong.  The Cathedral has a men and
boys choir that sings the evening office in the late afternoon every day.  It's wonderful.
There's nothing purer, more soaring, more healing than the voices of the kids.  Worship
strengthens our faith.  We both believe that.  So please continue to pray for me and
for all of us.

"I love you totally, Mike.  You are my heart.


He had just scrawled his signature when there came a knock at the door.  Puzzled, knowing that Peter Bell was the only person in Hartford who knew where he was staying, he jumped up and opened the door cautiously.

Mike stood there with a bag in his hand and a huge smile on his face, and Matt was frozen there, not breathing for a moment.

"Well, are you gonna invite me in?" Mike asked.

Tears of joy and relief coursed silently from Matt's eyes as he pulled Mike inside the room, shut the door and enfolded him in his arms.  He put his forehead against Mike's and just held him there, continuing to weep.  Neither spoke at first.

"I'm here, Matt," Mike finally said to his partner softly, caressing the back of Matt's head as they stood embracing.  Matt's grip finally loosened, and they sat down on the bed.  Mike took his brother's hand and held it and gazed into his eyes.  Matt's throat was tight, and he couldn't speak.

"I should have told you I was coming, but I was afraid you'd try to convince me not to," Mike said.  He took a fresh handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped Matt's tears from his face.

Still saying nothing, Matt reached over and handed Mike the yellow pad with his letter written on it.  They sat in silence while Mike read it.

Now it was Mike's eyes that were damp when he finished.  He kissed Matt on the cheek and held him tightly again as they sat side by side.

"I'm here for you now, sweetboy.  I shouldn't have sat on my ass in Chicago for so long."

"What about Jeff?" Matt rasped out, his throat still constricted.

"Don't worry about Jeff.  'The Incredible Hunk' is doing great, and Stan and Linda are staying at the condo with him 'til we get back.  Jeff promised me he'd stick to the rules while we were gone, and that he'd take Breakers for a run every day.  Who knows, maybe he'll even make Stan and Linda into track stars by the time we get back."

Matt sighed with relief.

"And I have more good news for you, bro," Mike said. "The Supreme Court just recessed, and Dad will be here sometime today.  I made a reservation here at the motel for him when I came in.  He'll be just down the hall."

Matt grimaced.

"I wanna see him so bad!" he said.  "I need to see him.  But you don't know how I hate to have him dragged through the shit with me by the press, Mike.  He didn't hafta come up here."

"He and I talked about that on the phone.  All I can tell you is that nothing you or anyone else could say would have kept  him away.  So, say, 'Thanks, Dad,' and let it go at that.  That's my advice."

" 'K.  You're prolly right.  I feel so good that he'd come up to be with me, and that you're here..."  Matt cleared his throat, and lay back on the bed, legs dangling to the floor, pulling Mike down with him.  "I love you so much, Mike, it hurts."

"Well, let's work up to the 'hurt that refreshes' later.  You can plan on that.  Right now, how about a run?  You prolly know the turf around here pretty well by now."

Matt laid a big kiss on his partner's lips, jumped up and starting stripping off his own clothes.  Mike grinned, lustfully watching his partner's beautiful body appear as he, too, stripped to put on his jock, running shorts and a sleeveless T.  They were both half hard by the time they were dressed just from briefly seeing each other naked.

Mike gave Matt's crotch a squeeze.  "Hmmm.  Somebody's getting ready for some fun later."

Matt laughed as he scrawled a note to put on the door in the off chance their dad arrived while they were gone.

Together they burst out of the motel's side door, pausing in the parking lot to do their stretching exercises and then heading to the street, laughing at the sheer joy of being together again.  It was a warm summer afternoon with no breeze, and soon they were sweating profusely and enjoying every minute of it.  They hit their stride, and for the first time in days Matt didn't feel tendrils of fear clutching at his stomach.

When they got back to the motel an hour later, the note to their dad was still on their door.  The shower in their room was a little on the small side, but that didn't stop them from sharing.  They soaped each other thoroughly.  Matt began stroking Mike's cock, but Mike put his hand down to stop him.

"I'm about a millisecond away from shooting, studly," he said.  "I wanna save it for later, if that's ok.  Do you want me to get you off now?"

"No," Matt said, "But when I come, I might blow ya right outta bed."

"Ooooo!  You da man!  You been savin' up, huh?" Mike said.  Bending down, he kissed the head of his partner's dick as the water cascaded down, and then gave it a stroke for good measure.

They emerged from the shower with Matt licking drops of water off Mike's chest, making him stay hard.  They gently toweled one another dry and put on fresh underwear, khaki shorts and T's.  They were no sooner dressed than a knock sounded at the door.  Matt opened it, and there was Justice Broman, the light in the hall reflecting dully off of the small bald spot at the crown of his head.

"Dad!" the young men said together, and Matt pulled him into a hug, followed by Mike.  They each kissed him on the cheek and he responded in kind.

"Dad, thank you, thank you for coming up here," Matt said.  "But I want to apologize to you again for getting you caught up in this mess.  You have enough on your mind without..."

Mr. Broman held up his hand and stopped Matt in mid-sentence.

"Don't apologize to me, Matt," he said firmly. "You didn't ask for this, and you don't deserve it.  Anyway, you're my son.  Where else would I be but here?  I should apologize to you for not getting here sooner."

Mike said nothing, but gave Matt his patented "I told you so" look.

Mike took his dad's suitcoat and hung it up in the closet.  They sat their dad down in the room's one easy chair, and sat near him on the bed.  They both noticed the older man looked tired.

"How are the twins and Mom?" Matt asked.  "I've talked to them on the phone every couple days, but the kids don't really understand what's going on."

"They're fine, Matt.  It's really been wonderful to have the boys with us.  They're growing like little weeds.  Time passes so quickly, you know, and there aren't that many chances for the generations to be together when families live and work so far apart.  Mom took them back to Pennsylvania as soon as the Supreme Court adjourned.  When we leave here for good, you can pick them up there, but I hope you can both stay for a few days before you go back to Chicago."

"If we keep getting good reports on Jeff, I don't see why we can't do that," Mike said.

"I'd like that a lot," Matt added.

"Matt, I've been talking with Peter Bell once a day, sometimes twice, about how the trial is going," Mr. Broman said. "This guy was brilliant in law school, and he's definitely one of the best defense attorneys in the entire country today.  I'm feeling really encouraged by what he's telling me.  If things continue to go as they have been, the case may not even go to the jury.  Judge Jackson may give a directed verdict of acquittal.  We'll just have to see.  He's a good judge, though--I've asked around."

"I'm feeling good about the way the trial's gone," Matt agreed.  "But what makes me feel even better is that you two are here with me now.  I'm really confident things are going to turn out right."

Matt stared at the floor for a minute, and looked back up at his dad.

"Dad, I wrote Mike a letter this afternoon before I knew he was coming to Hartford.  I wanted him to know how much I love him.  And admire him.  I guess when your back is against the wall, whatever the reason, you clarify what's important in your life and you're a little more honest with others about your feelings."  Matt paused.  "So...I want you to know how much I love you and appreciate everything you've done for me and for all of us in this family all these years.  Somehow you've balanced your work and your family obligations in a way that nobody's been shortchanged.  When I was growing up, even when you and Mom and I were at loggerheads over one thing or another--mostly my dating habits, I guess--you were patient and kind and respectful of me as a person.  That didn't change when Mike and I became a couple.  We've never doubted your love and support, and it's meant the world to me, to us.  Somehow Mike, Jeff, Martha and I won the parent lottery bigtime with you and Mom.  I just wanted you to know how grateful we are to you."

Mike nodded and bumped fists with his partner in approval.

Justice Broman was taken aback, and for once in his life, temporarily at a loss for words.

"I..."  He collected himself.  "Matt, among the defining moments in my life, what you just said really touches me.  I love both of you very much.  The bonds we've forged in our family give me more satisfaction than anything else in this world.  Thank you for saying that.  It means a lot."

Mike got up, bent down, and hugged and kissed his dad in the chair.

"And you, Mr. Mike," the judge said.  "How am I ever going to repay you for getting Jeff turned around?"

"What's this bullshit about 'repay?'" Mike responded.  "Jeff's my brother.  Jeff saved my life.  So take that word 'repay' outta your vocabulary when it comes to me, please."

"I'm grateful, Mike, that's what I meant to say."  Justice Broman paused.  "Now, I want to take you guys to supper tonight, if that's all right.  Let me put my feet up for a few minutes to get my second wind, and we can go," the justice said.

"Sit back, and put your feet up on this chair," Matt suggested, dragging over the desk chair.  "Or do you want to lie down here on the bed?"

"I'll just sit here, thanks.  If I lie down, I may not get up," Mr. Broman said with a chuckle.

The older man dropped off to sleep almost immediately in the chair, and Matt and Mike lay down on the bed side by side.  Soon they, too, were snoozing.  Either out of habit or their subconscious desires, they rolled together, face to face, and lay entwined.

Justice Broman awakened after a very restful 15 minute nap.  Brain wandering, eyes still closed, his mind reflected on this year's court session, just adjourned for vacation.  It had been a rough one from his perspective.  Although a conservative by nature, he had angered and confused the three other staunch conservatives on the bench by refusing to vote with them on cases to curtail or shrink human rights, and or to give governments in general more power over individual citizens.  He certainly believed in the rule of law and in the power of precedent, but he also believed that the law had to adapt, albeit slowly, to the way the people of the United States really wanted to live their lives every day, not the way the conservative judiciary wanted them to live.  It was a continual struggle to develop and clearly delineate his position to his eight brethren on the bench.  Whatever he could do to help his two gay sons and those like them, members of one minority among the many living in the midst of a judgmental majority in this country, to thrive in peace along with everyone else was always on his mind.

Matt sighed in his sleep, catching his dad's attention, and the older man opened his eyes and looked over at the bed where his two sons lay in the throes of that most innocent of human activities--sleeping.  He loved them deeply and completely, and he  knew they knew that.  And they obviously loved each other totally.  For some reason he began to reflect on Matt's growing-up years.  Matt had been the complete scholar-jock, very good looking, an acknowledged leader in his social group and school, but he was far from fitting the typical macho stereotype.  Mr. Broman knew from his wife Jane and from other sources that his oldest son always had a soft spot, a protective streak when it came to the underdog.  He never permitted bullying or harassment of younger or weaker kids when he was around by those whose physical size and testosterone levels made those things likely to happen.  There had always been a goodness and a sweetness to the boy.  But a toughness, too.  His love for animals and their love for him had been an additional indication that the tough little shit of a kid, when he was grown, would have a compassionate heart.

When he thought about it, it still surprised him that Matt had re-committed himself to a man and was in an intimate relationship with him, even if that man was Mike.  This was particularly true after he'd had what had appeared to be a good marriage to Sarah.  There had been absolutely no clue in Matt's formative years that his sexual orientation would be what it was.  His gaze shifted to Mike.  Would there have been a gay Matt if there hadn't been a gay Mike?  He didn't know the answer to that, but he did know he loved and valued Mike as much as any of his children, and not just because Mike had probably saved Matt's life on at least three separate occasions.  Mike had proven to be been a wonderful and affectionate son, and his adoption elicited no regrets either from the justice or his wife.  When the two young men had first come out to the family, yes, he had grieved for both of them because of the adversity he knew their sexual orientation would create for them.  The grieving halted quickly as he came to believe, in a mindset that transcended the merely rational, that their homosexuality was a channel for special gifts to pass to mankind, that Matt and Mike were special people with special gifts.  And he believed that the possession of those gifts was well worth any conflict that came their way.  So he was content and grateful to be the father of these two wonderful, partnered young men.  He just wished sometimes that cultures in which alternate sexual orientations were accepted, sometimes even revered, could have more of a leavening effect on the prevailing, adverse social climate in the United States.

Mr. Broman thought that in many ways Matt and Mike were the perfect couple.  Mike's calm rationality balanced Matt's volatile and passionate nature so well.  Mike's love and commitment to family and friends was quiet but enduring.  Mr. Broman had started training Mike to manage not only the immense fortune he had inherited from the Bermans, but the Broman family money as well, although the latter funds were mostly in a blind trust because of his seat on the Court.  Matt, Jeff and Martha had shown minimal interest or talent in finance.  Mike had good instincts for lucrative investments, and was improving in his ability to read the stock market very well, his dad had observed.  Although investing money was as much an art as anything else, it was important to be rational in developing an investment strategy, and Mike had that ability.  The older man had spent many enjoyable hours talking investments with Mike on the telephone and emailing back and forth with him about investments.  At his suggestion, they had each identified a fictitious pot of money and were competing with each other to test their earning skills in the market.  Despite the current slowdown in the economy, Mike was doing well.

In the personal realm, Mike had seemingly recovered from the crushing blow of losing his entire birth family in that horrific plane crash, or at least as much as one ever does recover from such a tragedy, and was on what appeared to be an even keel.  He had moved from being an indifferent Roman Catholic to being a committed, if not ardent, Episcopalian.  His professors at Northwestern Medical School thought the world of him.  Of the boys, Mike was probably closest to being his dad's soulmate.

His thoughts shifted to Jeff.  In some ways he was the typical middle child.  He shared many of Matt's characteristics, with the exception that he had usually been much more compliant with household rules and the wishes of his parents than Matt had ever been.  Mr. Broman hardly ever remembered Jeff being angry at anything when he was growing up, at least not for long.  He was their "cool" child.  He had a very sunny and even disposition for the most part, although like Matt, if he said he would do something, he did it, come hell or high water.  Jeff had never in his life told a lie so far as his father knew, except maybe when Matt made him lie about whether the latter had kept his date night curfew.  He was as good a student as Matt, and was equally as gifted athletically.  The girls loved him, and he loved them back, but he never got the intense, unbearable crushes that Matt did on some of girls he had dated.  Jeff had been such a good boy as he matured that Mr. Broman had been shocked to the core over the heroin incident.  There was obviously more going on under the somewhat placid, handsome surface of that young man than anyone thought.  Mike seemed to relate to Jeff especially well, though, and he apparently wasn't taking "no" for an answer when it came to making sure Jeff avoided substances and saw a therapist.  Thank goodness for that.  Maybe Jeff would be willing to share what he discovered about himself in the therapeutic process with his family sometime.  If they could all just work together to get Jeff through the next few years unscathed and unscarred, Mr. Broman felt that all would be well with Jeff.  Mike was the key to that.

And then there was Martha.  Martha made his heart sing.  Martha was the apple of his eye.  As close as he was to his boys, nothing could compare to the relationship between a man and his daughter when it was good.  And his relationship with Martha had always been better than good.  Martha was particularly easy for Mr. Broman to love because she was a young version of her mother.  Despite the huge investment of himself he had made in the law and the Supreme Court, Jane Broman had always been and continued to be the center of his universe.  Martha was a beautiful young woman with a good brain and abundant common sense who contributed mightily to making the Broman household stable and loving.  She had a relationship of easy affection with the entire family, but at the same time, she never took any crap from anyone inside the family or out.  She was a great athlete, and had compiled an academic record that was every bit as good as the boys, or better.  Like Matt, she had a heart for those on the bottom rung of the social ladder.  And she loved animals so much that she wanted to make working with them her vocation.  To her dad, there was no one like Martha, and he often thanked God for the gift of her to the family, particularly because he and his wife had despaired of ever having a girl by the time she came along.  He and Martha could, and did, spend hours together talking when he was home, and they were never bored with one another.  He felt very protective of her, and a standard part of his daily prayers was that she would find someone who was worthy of her love and would love her the way she deserved.

Mr. Broman was unconsciously smiling with good thoughts of his family when Matt's eyes opened and he looked over at his dad.  Matt smiled back at him.  Then Matt reached over and gently kissed Mike's forehead, waking him.

Mike rolled over and looked at his dad.

"Dad, how are you feeling?" he asked.

"Top notch.  That was a good nap.  Let me run back to my room and wash my face, and I'll be ready to go.  Are we dressing up or dressing down for supper?"

"It's pretty hot out.  How about golf shirts and shorts?" Mike answered.  "Let's get comfortable and go somewhere casual, 'K?"

"Brilliant thought, dude!" Matt said.  "One of a multitude of brilliant thoughts you've had, I might add."

"Aw, shucks," Mike said, feigning modesty.

"I'll go change clothes and be right back," Mr. Broman said.  "I picked up a car at the airport, by the way.  So, see you in a minute."

Mr. Broman grabbed his suitcoat and left, and the boys pulled off their T's and put on open-necked golf shirts.  Ten minutes later they were all in the car on their way to a nearby Chili's for ribs, fries and beer.  They had a good time talking about sports and what was going on in the world.  On the way back to the motel they decided they would all get up early the next morning and go to mass at the Cathedral.

They all watched TV together for a few minutes in Matt's and Mike's room when they got back.  Matt got a wicked glint in his eye.

"Dad, I'm sure you know I'm on an never-ending quest to find jokes that'll improve Mike's sense of humor.  He needs a lot of help.  I think it's time for a sample, don't you?"

"Oh, no!" Mike said.  "Don't play the fool in front of Dad, now."

"You know I love jokes," Justice Broman said with a smile.  "Let's hear it."

"A guy walks into a bar in Arkansas and orders a white wine. Everybody
sitting around the bar looks up, certain they would see some pitiful yankee.

"The bartender looks up and says,
'You ain't from around here, are ya??? Where ya from, boy?'

"The guy says, 'I'm from Iowa.'

"The bartender asks, 'What the heck you do in Iowa?'

"The guy responds, 'I'm a taxidermist.'

"The bartender asks,
'A taxidermist? Now just what the heck is a taxidermist?

"The guy says nervously, 'I mount animals.'

"The bartender looks startled, and then grins and shouts out
to the whole bar, 'It's okay boys, he's one of us!'"

Mr. Broman guffawed, and Mike had to smile in spite of himself.

"I know a couple of guys back in Washington who are going to love that one," the justice said, still laughing.

"Well, it wasn't the worst story you've ever told," Mike said.  "That's the only comment I'll make."

Mr. Broman soon excused himself to go to bed.  The sons exchanged hugs and kisses with their dad, and thanked him again for coming to Hartford when by rights he should be at home vacationing with their mom.  He waved away their thanks, and went to his room.

The moment the door shut, Matt faced Mike, put his hands on his partner's shoulders, and just looked into his eyes for a moment, brown into blue.

"I love you so much, Mike.  You make me feel so good.  Now that you're here, and Dad's here, I really don't have any doubt that Peter Bell is gonna kick ass tomorrow like you wouldn't believe."

"Well, stop thanking me!" Mike said.  "Every time you do, it makes me feel bad that it took me this long to get off my ass, make arrangements for Jeff, and get over here.  I'm sorry I was so slow."

They drew together in a long kiss, and then Matt stepped back, pulled Mike's shirt off, and let it fall to the floor.  They continued to kiss intermittently as they each removed the other's clothing and finally fell to the bed naked, fully aroused and clinging to each other.  They unabashedly admired one another's body.

"Damn, you look good!" Matt said, looking at Mike's chest and abs.  "You been working out without me?"  He licked each of Mike's nipples, and they started to firm up.

"Yeah, I been workin' out, but not exactly the way I would have preferred," Mike said with a leer.

Matt licked Mike's nipples again.  Then he reached down and palmed Mike's penis gently but firmly.

"You don't know how glad I am to see this bad boy," he said with a smile as he squeezed it.

"He's here for ya, babe," Mike said.  "He mentioned just this morning that he wondered where you were.  Heh heh.  He and I don't communicate much when you're not around, but I know he has designs on your bod."

"Well, cool it for a few.  My tongue wants to take a Mikey tour."

"No, you cool it.  The muscles in your neck and back are tight as a drum from this bullshit trial.  You're gonna get a good massage before we do anything else.  And believe me, I have a long list of things on my 'to do' list."

Mike got up from the bed, his dick hard and pointed straight up toward his navel.  He went over to his bag and pulled out some body oil.

"I brought this just for you, bro," he said.

They turned down the bedspread, and Mike laid Matt out on his stomach on some bath towels.  Pouring oil in one hand and warming it, Mike slathered it generously on Matt's neck and shoulders, and then began deep massaging, gradually increasing the pressure and then moving down his partner's beautiful body.  Matt's skin was perfect and glowing with health, as always.  He began to groan appreciatively as Mike warmed to his task, even using his elbows instead of his hands sometimes for maximum pressure.  He deliberately brushed Matt's pucker with his fingers several times while he was working on Matt's buttocks, bringing forth a quick intake of breath on Matt's part each time.  He stuck his tongue in there just once and wiggled it around in his partner's hole before leaving his ass.

Matt said, "Oh, yeah!" and groaned with pleasure.

Moving down, Mike massaged Matt's upper legs and calves thoroughly and went on to his ankles and feet.  Before he oiled the feet, he licked and sucked each of his partner's toes.  Finished with that pleasant task, he put on the oil and used his thumbs to massage the bottom of each foot thoroughly, once again to Matt's great pleasure.

Gently turning his brother over on his back, Mike noticed that Matt was rock hard and had produced a few drops of precum.  He oiled Matt's upper chest, and sitting back on his haunches, stretched out his arms to massage his partner's pecs while at the same time bending his head down and licking up the precum.  He avoided touching Matt's groin with his hands as he moved his ministrations steadily downward, finally completing his task with the instep of each foot and then Matt's arms, wrists and hands.

"Thanks, man," Matt said as he lay there totally relaxed except for his dick, which was stiff and begging for action, flexing slightly with each heartbeat.

"You rest for a little while, and then I'm gonna wake you up and ravish you, ' K?" Mike suggested.

He lifted Matt's body a bit to pull down the top sheet and crawled into bed beside him, kissing his chest and face.  They both dropped off to sleep for twenty minutes.

When they awakened, Matt was still totally relaxed.

"I want to make love to you, Matt.  You just stay relaxed, ' K?"

Matt nodded wordlessly.

Mike placed him on his back, and pushing his partner's legs far forward, began first to rim him and then to probe and push his oil-coated middle finger into his ass.  Matt breathed in and out slowly and contentedly.  At the point that three fingers of Mike's right hand were well inserted in Matt's rectum, he pulled them out, oiled up his dick, and began to slide it in with almost no resistance.  He was soon completely inserted inside Matt right to his lover's butt, and remained motionless looking into Matt's eyes until he was sure he was not in pain.  Mike began pumping ever-so-slowly, making each stroke long and deliberate, pulling out almost to the sphincter and then re-entering to the hilt.  Matt began groaning quietly and contentedly as Mike's pace gradually increased and then peaked long, long minutes later when Matt felt his brother's seed coating his insides.  Mike collapsed on his brother's hard body with a gasp of pleasure.

Matt's precum had puddled on his stomach, but he had not yet ejaculated.  When Mike came out of his post-coital coma, he licked up the clear, sweet juice and then began to fellate Matt, almost bringing him to climax three times and backing off as Matt begged each time to be allowed to come.  The fourth time that Matt was on the brink, Mike took him across the river and received such a blast of cum in his mouth that he couldn't swallow fast enough.  It ran from the corners of his mouth and splashed on Matt's taut stomach.  When his mind and body finally conjoined again after the searing pleasure of his orgasm, Matt scooped up the excess splooge and alternately fed it to Mike and to himself until it was consumed.  Mike collapsed on Matt's body as before, his dick still semi-hard and up Matt's ass.

Exhausted and completely sated, they fell asleep for good that night with the unmistakable musk of cum wafting around their bed, aroma therapy at its best.

*  *  *

After attending a low mass at the Cathedral at 7 a.m. the next morning,  Justice Broman and his two sons went to breakfast and then headed to the courthouse a little early for a meeting with Peter Bell.  The two lawyers talked shop for a few minutes, and then turned their attention to Matt's case.  Bell reaffirmed his satisfaction with the way the case was going.  The prosecution had rested its case, and so it was highly unlikely that there would be any surprise, last minute witnesses from the People that they had conveniently failed to notify the defense about as they were supposed to do.  So the strategy was to keep on doing what they had been doing so well--creating reasonable doubt, and then more of it, one witness at a time.

Judge Jackson convened the court at 9:30.  The courtroom was full to overflowing, and the judge immediately recognized Justice Broman sitting directly behind the defense table with a young man he didn't know.  The two jurists' eyes met, but there was no acknowledgment.

"Mr. Bell, are you prepared to call your first witness?"

"Yes, your honor.  The defense calls Colonel Andrew Metzlaar to the stand."

A moderately tall, completely bald and burly man in a business suit rose from where he was sitting about half-way back in the courtroom, and came forward.  After he was sworn, he sat in the witness chair and his gaze swept the room.  The man looked tough, unflappable, and in control, exactly how a twenty year police veteran and head of the command structure of the Connecticut State Police should look.

Bell smiled grimly to himself.  It was truth or consequences time for the chief of the Connecticut State Police.  Let the inquisition begin anew.  Somebody would be going to jail as a result of all this, but Bell was pretty sure it wouldn't be Matthew J. Broman, Jr.

© 2001 Don Hanratty
Thanks to all who have been following Working It Out and who have written encouraging emails while I've been writing this chapter.  Sorry it took so long, but some family issues claimed my attention.  I hope you find that the wait was worth it.  Email me at