Frost painted the ground and rimed the naked tree branches. His breath clouded the inside glass. The flock of visiting ducks paddled across the warmed pond, cruising in and out of the patches of holiday light that caused their feathers to shift colors like slow motion strobe lights.
“Merry fucking Christmas,” he said to no one. He followed that with a mouthful of whiskey from the glass in his hand.
Where he grew up, Christmas was cold and white. It was full of family and snow as well as laughter and joy. But here in Portland, Oregon, Christmas was a bunch of red, white, green, and blue lights made hazy from the ever-present rain.
Not a snowflake in sight. No burning logs, no sledding or singing Christmas carols with the kids, no plates of food or mountains of gifts. There wasn’t a hint of the holiday spirit of his childhood. No, not in this Oregon town, either inside or outside the houses.
Which was probably a good thing, since he had weighty and unpleasant things on his mind. Like the fact a judge was using the weekend to review a motion to dismiss that had been delivered to the court yesterday. As a part of Multnomah County’s District Attorney’s office, his job was to argue against dismissal.
It was an important, hard-caught case, and one that had filled Portland’s north town law enforcement with a great deal of stress and emotional pain—and the violent deaths of citizens of said county. His job, as the legal side of law enforcement, was to ensure justice delivered to the victims.
No, this case couldn’t be allowed to be dismissed.
Sure, he understood the move. One of the benefits of this country was that everyone had the right to a vigorous defense. However, the single surviving victim, one Bohai Tran, was no doubt suffering as Kyle was, awaiting the judge’s finding.
Bo had shown great courage both times he’d faced the vicious predator, especially when he’d unknowingly been dangled as bait, which was the argument at hand. “Police entrapment” had been the immediate cry from defense counsel.
While Kyle could agree that the police had been careless with the victim’s health and wellness, his job had been to argue the idea that the situation hadn’t been anything other than a “human bait car” scenario. In sum: the alleged knew right from wrong and knew he shouldn’t be attacking either Bo Tran or anyone else.
Three days ago, he’d been in front of the bench arguing just that. “Your Honor, it’s the people’s position that the defendant would have committed the crime regardless of the nearby police presence. We enter into evidence, people’s six, seven, and eight…”
Had it been enough?
History had proved that no case was ever a slam dunk. Consequently, this evening was spent relentlessly reviewing case notes, reports, and findings and preparing for an appeal.
Just in case.
A car drifted along the neighborhood street. Its lights kissed the reindeer figures he’d set up in his backyard. Christmas magic briefly shimmered on the plastic holiday shapes in his backyard.
Then it faded, the vehicle continuing down the street.
He tugged the blinds closed. Disgusted—with himself, the situation, and the fact he had to wait an entire “two days and a wake up” for the ruling—he paced the length of his living room. Twice. Okay, three times.
Eventually he threw himself onto his couch. There, he spent moments locating the remote before he could channel surf. Hopefully there was something on the TV other than crappy Christmas programing. A chirp
from the cell phone pulled his attention.
Really? A text at—he checked the wall clock—midnight? Technically Saturday morning, but it was still Friday to him since he hadn’t slept yet. Who texts at midnight unless… An emergency!
He jerked himself back into the now and grabbed the phone. Which case? The screen displayed notice of a received multimedia message. Either a long message, like the kind sent by his immediate boss, or a picture. This time of night, it would doubtlessly be a picture of something unpleasant.
He tapped the display, and the screen resolved into Pioneer Square’s Christmas tree, now draped in glittering lights. Not an emergency then. Just a holiday spirit snap from…
Logan, the driver he used to troll the streets of Portland when he dreamed of the time he would have the courage to—err, when he conducted a wellness check on the population of Portland’s rent boys. Logan…
Shit, what a hot piece he was. But it was “look don’t touch” these past months, sad as it was to admit. Theirs remained a business arrangement, much to his secret disappointment. Logan drove the cab; Kyle rode in the back and watched the alluring, enticing display of wide shoulders, glossy blond hair and…what he damned well shouldn’t be noticing since this was a business arrangement.
His phone chirped again. A standard text this time.
Logan: on my way.
Crap, had he forgotten to cancel their scheduled jaunt? He checked his phone’s calendar. Nope this evening was blocked off. The note indicated Case argument: Serial killer.
So, no, he didn’t have the free time available to indulge in his personal fantasies and longings, sad as that
was to admit.
He had a violent felon to bring to justice.
Me: Sorry. Not tonight. Busy. I thought I texted you.
Finished, Kyle set down the phone and straightened his legs, crossing them at the ankles. Lately, Friday night was spent doing what he honestly could admit he shouldn’t be doing, and doing so while enjoying the company of that gorgeous cabbie.
Sure, Logan had started their relationship by giving him a wary side-eye glance when they’d first began this months ago, but after a glimpse of Kyle’s official identification, and probably the fact that he didn’t do anything but ride in the cab, Logan soon relaxed enough to drive without question.
And to fill his schedule late Friday evening twice a month.
Oh, and take Kyle’s money since he paid for Logan’s time. And whose fault was that? Maybe one day he’d grow a pair enough to do more than arrange for a fast blowjob at a local club Logan had referred him to a while ago. Maybe one day he’d find the backbone to see about—
Logan: 5 mins away.
Me: missed my text? Sorry. Not going out tonight. Next week?
Logan: Ur scheduled. I’ve got nog.
Maybe Logan needed some extra Christmas money? Well, he didn’t mind helping the guy out and, you know, eggnog. A festive drink for a festive time of year. One drink and send him on his way with the usual cost for their Friday evening’s outing.
His grandma had taught him a great recipe. He made a mental check of his pantry. Whiskey? Check, if he didn’t drink it all first. He could caramelize some of the brown sugar in his fridge, so that was also check. Spread that Christmas spirit.
Me: OK for nog. OK to stop by. I’ll pay for your time. Merry Xmas.
Kyle set the phone down again, nursed his drink, and stared at his TV. The screen displayed movement, but he wasn’t watching. Instead, his mind was on Logan and that amazing display of shoulders and that square jaw with its six o’ clock shadow, those ocean-blue eyes.
Logan’s voice was smooth and dark with a subtle kick that caught him unawares, much like a black Russian on the rocks. Sometimes, the best part of those twice weekly rides into the realm of taboo was listening to Logan talk about his week. Kyle’s phone chirped again, causing him to squint at it with some suspicion.
But he once again picked up the device and brought up the message—then sucked in a shocked breath. A rampant, mouth-watering penis. Thick enough to make a good mouthful and long enough to touch the back of his throat.
Cut, blushing, and with an interesting map work of veins along the shaft. A cock like that would taste like salt and skin and sweat. Logan’s voice, harsh with lust, in his ear coaxing him, guiding him, urging him to take it deeper…