Saturday, June 29, 2013

The family that preys together…- 50



Bryant’s smile would have frightened the hell out of anyone watching, but no one was at the moment as he strolled out the back door of the club.

From what he’d seen he didn’t have anything to worry about as far as Mr Kent Tyler was concerned. The young man was obviously not the faithful sort if what he’d seen, and taken pictures of, was any indication. The guy who had joined Kent at the bar was on the make from all indications and Kent had reacted with interest, even allowing himself to be kissed. Bryant just wished he’d been able to capture that from a better angle so the Crispin would see exactly what sort of man Kent was. But the picture definitely showed the two men had been kissing even if the man’s head blocked most of it.

Bryant had followed his brother to the city because he wanted to find out, if he could, precisely what was going on. His normally calm and collected brother had been all over the map since he’d met Kent. Enough so that Bryant had been worried his mood might affect what they had done last night. He’d been surprised when Crispin, usually one to watch while Bryant played with their prey in the basement, had gotten involved instead. Surprised and not quite certain he liked it. Any deviation from the norm could be a sign of trouble to come. And Crispin was definitely deviating on several fronts.

Once they arrived in the city, Bryant had watched as Crispin parked in front of what he presumed was young Mr Tyler’s apartment. Then Crispin just sat there for a while staring at the front door before finally getting out and going up to it. Bryant knew that something had happened between the two men when Crispin rang the bell several times with no response. Crispin had returned to his car and then headed to the highway so Bryant had assumed he was going back home. He’d called to make certain, forgetting until he did that his brother would never answer his cell while driving.

So he’d waited, using the time to check out some of the gay bars along Hennepin on the off chance that Kent was out cruising them. By the time he figured Crispin would have arrived home, if that’s where he was going, he’d gotten lucky and found the club where Kent was hanging out. One call to his brother and he knew from the music in the background when he answered that he was at home. Hanging up without talking, Bryant had settled down the watch Kent and wait to see what happened.

And what had happened had made Bryant’s night. With the pictures safely stored on his cell to show Crispin at some future date if needs be, he was free to do his own cruising. The game last night had de-stressed him just as it always did, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t up for a good fuck if he could find the right woman, one that would take him home with her.

He got lucky, he got laid, and he was now on his way back home with only one thought in mind, to get some sleep and forget about Kent and the problems he was causing. After all, now he had the proof he needed to make certain Crispin dropped the young man once and for all.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Out today 
'Jackie'


Blurb:
Dropped in the city, deposited like so much discarded trash and forbidden to return home, Jackie is forced to live on the streets. His only hope for survival is Solo, a young man who takes Jackie under his wing. Their friendship, and possibly more, develops over the weeks that follow, until Solo inexplicably disappears.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The family that preys together…- 49



Kent looked at the Caller ID and sighed, refusing to answer Crispin’s call. He’d finally called him early in the afternoon from his work phone. But only after waffling for the last few days between forgetting he’d ever met the man, and wondering how he could do something to make Crispin accept that being involved with him was not going to be the death of his life as he knew it. When Crispin had answered Kent had gotten cold feet and hung up. Now it seemed that Crispin had figured out it was him and was finally calling back. Well it was too late.

Tucking his cell away in his jacket pocket again he ordered another beer while checking out the men on the dance floor. There were some cute ones that caught his eye. But they did nothing for his libido. They could have been females for all the attraction he felt for them. All he could think of, no matter how hard he tried not to, was Crispin with his deep blue eyes and sexy body. Sure he was ten years younger than Crispin, but so what. Age was all in the mind and Crispin certainly didn’t act his, at least when they were together. And boy could he kiss once he’d gotten over his shyness about doing so with another man. The one at the pool would have knocked Kent’s socks off if he’d been wearing any.

Then right after it had come the fight. It was his fault and he knew it. He should have been more sensitive to the fact that Crispin was barely to the point of admitting his sexual preferences. For damned sure Crispin wasn’t about to come out of a closet he had no idea he was even in until a few weeks ago.

“You’re an idiot,” he muttered under his breath before taking another drink of beer.

“But a cute one,” said a voice at his elbow.

Kent turned to look at the man who had spoken. He was average height or a bit taller with dark hair and a nice smile on a pair of lusciously full lips. “Thanks, I think,” Kent said, returning the smile.

“So why do you consider yourself an idiot? Inquiring minds want to know.”

With a shrug Kent told him, “Because I got myself involved, or I thought I did, with someone who can’t accept…well you know.”

“That he’s into men. Been there, done that and there’s not much you can do until he’s ready to deal with it here.” The man tapped his temple.

“Which could be never.” Taking another swallow of beer Kent shook his head. “Time to move on I suppose and try to forget him.”

“If you need help with that…” The man left the sentence hanging as he looked hopefully at Kent.

Kent actually considered his offer for a moment before rejecting it. “You seem nice enough and I’m sure you’d make me forget for a few hours but quite honestly right now all I want to do is get quietly smashed and feel sorry for myself.”

The man laughed. “Well you can’t say I didn’t offer and who knows, maybe next time you come here we can actually hook up.” Then he surprised Kent by kissing the corner of his mouth before strolling away, obviously in search of someone else to while away the evening with.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The family that preys together…- 48



Crispin sat in his car staring at the front door to the apartment. He’d seen Rick leave about fifteen minutes earlier but there had been no sign of Kent, no indication if he was still inside or not. Finally gathering up the tatters of his resolve he got out of the car and went up the path to ring the doorbell. And ring it again when, after waiting a bit, there was no answer. When five minutes passed and he was still standing there he turned away, going back to his car.

I should have called, he thought disconsolately, resting his head on the steering wheel. Better to be shut down that way than coming here only to discover he’s probably out somewhere with someone else. He glanced at his watch, noting what he already knew, that is was close to seven-thirty in the evening; too late for Kent to still be working.

Alright, fool, enough of this. You’ve gotten through life for this long on your own. You don’t need that to change now he scolded himself as he turned the car on. Throwing one more look at the apartment he shook his head and pulled away from the curb.

He’d just gotten onto the highway when his cell rang. With no place to pull off safely he ignored it. Whoever it was would call again if it was important, or leave a voicemail.

By the time he got back home he was in a total blue funk. He threw himself down on his bed after putting his favorite dark-ambient CD in the player. He stared up at the ceiling for long moments before remembering that he’d gotten a call. When he checked the Caller ID intending to call whoever back, it came up as blocked and there was no voicemail.

Just as he closed the phone it rang. He answered, hoping against hope that it was Kent but if it was he’d blocked his number and there was only silence from the other end. “Damn it, whoever you are talk to me,” he almost shouted. The silence persisted for a long moment then the caller hung up.

Angry now Crispin punched in the number he had for Kent. It rang the requisite four times before sending him to voicemail. Reining in his anger he left a short message saying that he’d called and would try again later. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The family that preys together…- 47



It was well past noon before either of the brothers awoke, Bryant because the sun was hitting his bed, warming him uncomfortably, Crispin because his cell was ringing.

“Yes?” Crispin answered sleepily once he’d located the phone. There was a long pause and then the caller hung up. Crispin frowned when he checked the Caller ID and found that the number was blocked. “Telemarketing at this hour on a …” He suddenly realized it was Friday afternoon and groaned. He wasn’t worried about missing work, he’d told his boss he needed a personal day and the man had reluctantly allowed it. But he was more than worried about how he was going to make things right with Kent, if he could.

Now that the pressure to play the game had been alleviated, for at least a little while, he had to decide how best to approach Kent. The younger man hadn’t been at the health club since their argument, or if he had been he’d been careful not to be there when Crispin was. So, all things considered, it looked as if he’d have to pay Kent a visit at home. The question was should he call first or not. Calling would give Kent a chance to leave before he got there which, Crispin thought ruefully, was undoubtedly exactly what he’d do.

On the other hand if he just showed up at Kent’s apartment there was the possibility that he might run into a situation he wasn’t ready to face, that Kent had already moved on with his life and found someone who would actually reciprocate any feeling he had for them without hesitation.

“Would he do that so quickly?” he murmured to himself as he climbed out of bed and headed to the bathroom. “I wouldn’t, but then I’m a romantic I suppose. When I say that I care for someone I mean it.” A frown crossed his face as he tried to remember if he’d actually voiced his feelings to Kent. The kissing and touching they had done, to his mind meant that he cared. But he realized he’d never actually said as much. Stepping into the shower he thought about what he could do to prove to Kent that he didn’t want their budding relationship to end.

His mind played over several scenarios, none of which seemed right to him. Sighing deeply, realizing that some of them had inflamed his libido to the point that he was so hard he ached, he turned off the hot water, letting the cold wash over him until he was shivering so much that he could think of nothing but getting out and warm again. At least that had taken him mind off the immediate problem.

Once he was dry he stood in front of his closet trying to decide what to wear. After what seemed like ages he finally settled on simply jeans and a deep blue button-down. Once he was dressed he put his wallet and keys in his pockets, took his jacket from the hanger on the back of the door and headed down stairs.

“Off to see pretty boy?” Bryant asked, looking up from his meal as Crispin came into the breakfast nook.

“Maybe, if it’s any of your business.” Snagging a cup, he poured some coffee and drank half of it in one gulp, wincing as it burned the inside of his mouth.

“Brother mine you should be more careful.”

“I’m in a hurry.” Crispin put the half empty cup down on the sideboard. “I’ll be home when I’m home. Don’t wait up.”

Bryant laughed. “Do I ever?” But his laughter turned sour as he watched Crispin stride away. He’d known the moment he saw him come into the room that something was going on with his brother, something not good, and that that Kent person was the reason. “It just might be time to do something about it,” he muttered under his breath.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The family that preys together…- 46



As he tossed the steel pipe from hand to hand Bryant studied the man hanging in front of him. “I have to make it look as if the damage came from the car crash,” he said, smiling at the look of dread on the man’s face.

Crispin nodded as he poured a tumbler full of cheap whiskey and approached their second victim. “Open wide,” he said, gripping the man’s chin firmly with his free hand. When the man gritted his teeth tightly Crispin said, “A little help here?”

“What would you do without me?” Bryant laughed as he came over. “Ready?” He brought the pipe down hard on the man’s shoulder. As the bone shattered the man screamed and Crispin poured the liquor down his throat, holding his mouth closed so that none was lost.

“Thanks. I can handle it from here,” Crispin said, pouring another tumbler of liquor.  One slam of his fist onto the man’s shoulder and he screamed again and got another mouthful of liquor.

Returning to his prey, Bryant’s smile turned savage as he began to use the pipe with great efficiency, singing under his breath, “Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall…” as he landed each blow.

By the time he reached eighty-nine the man’s screams were echoing through the basement so loudly that Crispin called out, “Can you turn the sound down a little? I can’t think over it.”

“As easily done as said.” Drawing back his arm again Bryant smashed the pipe across the man’s mouth. “Better?” he asked when the man passed out.

“Much, thanks.” Crispin finished pouring a fifth tumbler of liquor down his target’s throat and then capped the bottle. “I think this one is beyond help now,” he said, returning to the man to check his condition. “Comatose, so we should get moving.”

Bryant cut his man down and then rolled him up in the large sheet of plastic he had laid out this time to catch the blood and other things such as teeth that his victim had lost. Crispin did the same to his man. Then they carried them one by one up to the top of the stairs. After a fast check to make certain none of the servants were in the kitchen getting a late night snack Crispin went to get the van, parking it in the drive as close to the back door as possible. After bundling the two bodies, still alive but barely, into the van they headed back to the city.

When they arrived at the first man’s house it was close to three a.m. Leaving the van in the darkness of the alley behind the house, Crispin went to the garage to get the man’s car while Bryant retrieved the one he’d driven over from the second man’s place. After putting the comatose men into the passenger seats of their respective vehicles Bryant and Crispin got into the driver’s seats and they headed off to the spot where they planned to finish this particular game.

With the hour so late there was little traffic on the stretch of highway they’d chosen. They parked on the shoulder briefly, leaving the cars running while they moved the drunk’s now dead body into the driver’s seat of the first car. Then they maneuvered the car onto the highway, stopping to wave on a lone driver who passed them, keeping their faces hidden.

Next they moved the second car back a few hundred yards and placed the 'tailgater' on the console of his car. Bryant sat on the edge of the driver’s seat and revved the motor until the tachometer read 6300. Then, keeping his right foot on the brake for the moment, he got as far out of the car as possible and pulled the dead man towards him. Releasing the brake Bryant jumped back. The car, now free to move, sped forward, slamming into the rear of the first car.

“That should do it,” Crispin commented as his brother joined him. Digging into his pocket he took out the message they’d prepared, sliding it under the windshield wiper of the drunk’s car. Headlights of an approaching car glanced off the thin sheet of etched medal.

“Time to get out of here,” Bryant said shortly. He gripped the guardrail at the edge of the highway and vaulted over, ducking down into the weeds. Crispin joined his seconds later and they crept away as they heard a car screech to a stop beside the wrecked vehicles.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The family that preys together…- 45



“One down and one to go,” Bryant said, glancing at the man bound and gagged in the back of the van.

Crispin nodded as he looked for the house of their second target. Seeing it, he drove on past, turning the corner and then dousing the headlights before driving down the alley behind it. He parked three houses away and got out, waiting for Bryant to join him. “You’re certain he’s unconscious,” he asked, getting an affirming nod from his brother.

They made their way to the rear of the small house where the second man lived. It was dark except for a lighted window on the second floor. Crispin stepped to the side of the back door, the hand holding the taser hanging loosely at his side. At his nod Bryant pushed the doorbell. They could hear it chime and then moments later a grumbled, ‘Who the hell…’ coming from the open upstairs window. Bryant moved back just enough that if the man looked he’d see him but in shadows.

They heard the window open and then the man leaned out slightly, looking down. “What do you want at this hour?” he growled.

“It’s me, Peter,” Bryant replied, using the name of a neighbor two doors down. “My damned circuit breaker blew and I think it’s burned out. I was hoping you had some candles or a flashlight. Mine’s dead, of course.”

“Hang on,” the man said with a sigh. “Yeah candles I have. I’ll be right down.”

The back door opened a couple of minutes later. The man took one look at Bryant and said, “Hey, you’re not Peter. What the hell’s going on?” Before he could slam the door shut Crispin stepped into view, pulling the trigger on the taser as he pressed it to the man’s chest. Their prey convulsed and fell forward. Bryant caught him as Crispin pocketed the taser and took out a short length of rope which he used to bind the man’s hands after pulling them behind him. Then they checked the man’s pockets for his keys. Crispin smiled in relief when they found them; he didn’t relish the idea of going into the house to search. He closed the back door with a gloved hand and then went to get the van.

Once the man was safely in the back of the van, with his feet now tied as well, Bryant moved quickly to the side of the house where the man’s car was parked. He pulled it out onto the street and waited for Crispin. Then they returned to the first man’s house where Bryant parked the car at the curb and then climbed into the van. Ten minutes later they were on the highway heading home.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The family that preys together…- 44



“We meet again,” Crispin said teasingly as Kent sat down beside him on the edge of the pool. “Ready to see if you can beat me this time?”

Kent grinned. “Over and back and the winner gets…humm…”

“A kiss,” Crispin suggested, feeling both daring and needy. This was the first time since Kent had dropped him off at home Sunday morning that the two of them seen each other.

Kent’s eyebrows rose in surprise but he nodded. “You’re on.” He stood and dove into the water, Crispin doing the same seconds later. They hit the far wall at the same moment, doing flip turns to head back to their starting point. Crispin managed to draw into the lead only to be overtaken half way across the pool by the younger man. Kent touched the edge of the pool first and hung there, catching his breath. He let out a gasp when strong hands grabbed his waist and pulled him down until his feet hit the bottom of the pool. Then a hot, hungry mouth captured his. He wrapped his arms around Crispin and they kissed until the need for air forced them to return to the water’s surface.

Quickly they broke apart and Crispin glanced around to see if anyone seemed have noticed.

“Would it have mattered if anyone saw us?” Kent inquired quietly.

“No,” Crispin replied slowly. “I don’t suppose it would have. No one’s here who knows me.”

“I see.” Kent put his hands on the edge of the pool and leveraged himself up to sit looking down at Crispin. “And if there had been you’d what, tell them they misread what they thought they saw.” His words were angry and full of hurt.

“No. Yes. God I don’t know Kent. Maybe.” Crispin clung to the rim of the pool, one hand resting on Kent’s leg. “I’ve never been in a situation like this before.”

Kent smiled wanly. “If I were a woman you’d think nothing of it and neither would anyone else. Well I hate to point this out but…” He stood quickly, his anger coming to the forefront again, “but I’m not, and if you can’t accept that you just might be interested in me despite the fact that I’m male then what I thought was starting to happen is ending right now.”

“Wait…” Crispin pulled himself from the pool, watching as Kent almost ran for the door. “Wait damn it, give me a chance to… To explain.” He whispered the last words as Kent vanished into the locker room.

He started after him then paused. He wasn’t ready to have a confrontation with Kent in public about their relationship, if they even had one now. He was tense, hungry for the game which still wouldn’t be played out for a couple more days. Knowing himself, a confrontation at the moment would escalate quickly into more if he lost his temper and that would most definitely bring an end to any possibility of his being able to mend what had happened.

Friday, he thought, Friday night when it’s over, when he’s calmed down and I’m in control of myself again. Then I’ll make things right between us.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The family that preys together…- 43



“Spin get your head out of the clouds and pay attention damn it,” Bryant barked out when he had to tell his brother for the third time about one of the people they might be going after.

“Sorry.” Crispin picked up the page Bryant shoved at him, concentrating on what it said before nodding. “He’s definitely a danger to others, not only for his tailgating but apparently for his inability to keep his temper while driving. Two stops for road rage? That’s unconscionable.”

“I agree. He’s about as bad as the one with three DUI stops. He managed to find himself a good lawyer to get him off with just a fine and probation each time.”

“Do them both?” Crispin asked, a smile of lust for the kill crossing his face as he looked at his brother.

Bryant returned the smile with a vicious one of his own. “I was thinking that. Maybe even together if we can figure out a way that sends the right message.”

“Now that could be interesting, very interesting. Tailgater meets drunk driver.” He nodded. “I like it.”

“But not before I get to play with them.”

“Well of course not, that’s half the fun.” Crispin’s eyes lit up at the thought.

Bryant smiled to himself. It looked as if his brother was back. But then that wasn’t so surprising. Crispin had no way to sublimate his need to play the game the way Bryant did. Even if he did become physically involved with Kent, that would do little to diminish the need for the adrenaline rush that came from dealing out death to those that deserved it.

“So,” Bryant said as he laid out the two sheets of paper with the information on their intended prey, “we need to…”

For the next hour they worked and reworked their ideas until they came up with a plan that satisfied both of them.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The family that preys together…- 42



While his father and brother were downstairs talking about Kent’s possible demise, Crispin was smiling to himself, remembering the evening just past…



A soon as Kent closed the door to his apartment Crispin moved to close the distance between them. Then he hesitated, uncertain if he had it in him to do what he wanted to. Kent stood, watching him and Crispin knew that what happened next would be his choice and his alone. He lifted his hand, touching Kent’s jaw, feeling the light stubble that instantly added to his awareness that this was a man standing in front of him. Not that he was unaware of that of course.

Kent sighed softly, his eyes locked on Crispin’s face, searching.

Slowly Crispin leaned forward, his hand sliding down to cup Kent’s jaw as he pressed a hesitant kiss to his lips. When Kent returned it gently, asking for nothing more than what he was being given, Crispin deepened it, his hand by then tangled in Kent’s shoulder-length hair.

When he eventually stepped back Crispin was smiling, running the tip of his tongue over his lips as if trying to discover if the flavor of the kiss was still there. “Not what I expected,” he admitted.

Kent chuckled. “And just what did you think it would be like?”

“I don’t know. Perhaps a bit off-putting if that makes sense. That your lips would be, alright this probably sounds stupid but rough maybe, umm, damn. I don’t know. I definitely didn’t expect that it would be…”

“Like kissing a woman only better?”

“Most definitely better. Who knew?”

Kent tossed his head back, laughing. “I did.”

“Now I feel like a total idiot.” When Crispin turned away he was quickly spun back around, Kent’s hands on his waist, to face him again.

“You’re not an idiot. You’ve just never explored this side of you before.”

“Until a moment ago I wasn’t that certain it even existed.”

Kent nodded. “Then why did you kiss me?”

With open sincerity Crispin replied, “To find out.”  

“Then this was just an experiment, nothing more.” Kent obviously tried to hide his disappointment.

“No!” Crispin sighed. “No,” he repeated. “I just, I’m old enough to be…”

“Do not say brother or uncle,” Kent muttered. “The way I’m feeling that would be totally incestuous.”

Crispin smiled slightly. “Well then let’s just say I’m much older than you and should know myself well enough to get that I’m not immune to men.”

“All men?” Again Kent felt hurt that Crispin was being so general in his statements and Crispin immediately saw that in his face.

“I’m doing this very badly. No not all men, though yes I guess I’ve looked at them. You pointed that out yourself soon after we met.” He paused, taking a deep breath. “Perhaps if I kiss you again you’ll understand better what I can’t seem to say in words.”

Kent smiled. “It’s worth a try.”…



The rest of the evening had been spent sharing kisses and small touches while watching some television movie that if asked Crispin could not have described now. It had been only that and nothing more, as Kent had been careful not to push Crispin beyond his still hesitant limits.  Crispin had ended up as he had the previous weekend sleeping alone in Rick’s bedroom and in the morning he’d accepted without hesitation Kent’s offer to drive him home.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The family that preys together…- 41



“I’ve got all the information we need and he’s still not home!” Bryant slammed the sheaf of papers down and the desk, swearing when they went every which way, some landing on the floor.



“Call him. Tell him you’re on your way to pick him up.” Gerard looked out the window at the sun which was half way to it’s zenith as they spoke.



Bryant picked up the phone and dialed, stopping when he heard a car door close through the open window. A nod and a scowl from his father told him it was what he thought. “He let that … that man drive him here? Is he insane?”



Two minutes later he was asking his brother the same questions.



“I trust him,” was Crispin’s reply as he stared at the two angry men facing him.



“You know nothing about him. Hell I’d be willing to bet I know more than you do,” Bryant retorted.



“Have you been checking up on him?” Crispin fisted his hands, willing himself not to stalk out of the room, or do something worse.



“Both of you stop,” Gerard ordered. “Of course he checked, Crispin, at my order. The last thing we need is some interloper who is on to what we do and is looking for proof.”



Crispin nodded slowly, seeing the logic of that even if he didn’t like it. “And he passed muster?” he asked somewhat scathingly.



“He did,” Bryant said in reply. “Does that make you feel better?”



“Yes, slightly.”



“Very well, now that we’ve settled that, Crispin, go change and then the two of you can work out your plans.”



As soon as Crispin had left Bryant said, “Do we do something about that Kent person? He seems to be disrupting things and I for one am not happy about that.”



Gerard drummed his fingers on the edge of the window frame. “Perhaps. Come up with some ideas on how to, just in case, and if it seems warranted we’ll put them into motion.”

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The family that preys together…- 40



“I don’t think I’ve had this nice an evening in a long time.”

“Not even at the party?” Kent asked as he and Crispin started walking back to his place from the theater.

“I’ll admit that was fun but this is nicer, just the two of us.”

Kent’s heart sped up but he wasn’t going to let himself believe those words meant what he hoped. So he replied, admitting to himself he was fishing, “I agree that spending time with a friend, without other people around that you have to deal with, is great.”

Tapping a thumbnail against his lips, Crispin nodded. “Too many people can get in the way.”

“When you want to just talk one on one, I totally agree.”

“Or sit next to a nice young man in a movie and know he’s enjoying it as much as you are just by glancing at his face or hearing him laugh.”

“Or that, yes.”

“Or,” Crispin said very softly as he saw Kent’s apartment house ahead of them, “if you want to find out if a kiss from a young man is as enticing as one from a woman.”

Kent froze. “Was that a hypothetical statement or are you, do you really want to know?”

“I think I want to know,” Crispin replied, taking Kent’s hand, “But not here, not in front of God and the neighbors.”

“You’re holding my hand in front of the neighbors,” Kent murmured even as he tightened his grip so that Crispin wouldn’t let go.

“Am I now?” Crispin smiled, giving a light tug to get Kent moving again.

Kent smiled back and nodded as they started walking. “Feels like it to me.”

Crispin squeezed his hand. “Then I guess I am and apparently it doesn’t bother you in the least.”

“Not if it doesn’t bother you.” Kent knew they were bantering their way to something more, or he prayed that they were and that Crispin wouldn’t get cold feet at the last moment.

Crispin kept walking as he looked at Kent. “It doesn’t,” he replied seriously.

By that time they had reached the door to the apartment. Kent unlocked it with his free hand and they stepped inside. He kicked it closed, keeping his eyes locked with Crispin’s now. Slowly, hesitantly, Crispin closed the distance between them. Kent waited breathlessly aware that what happened next was not his choice to make. It was Crispin’s.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The family that preys together…- 39



Kent opened the door to the apartment to find Crispin standing there. Looking past him he saw a cab pulling away. “Come on in,” he said, stepping back. “Car trouble?” he asked a moment later.

“Brother trouble,“ Crispin grumbled. “We came into town together then he changed his plans and wanted to go back. So I gave him the car keys and grabbed a cab.”

Kent couldn’t say he was unhappy about that because it meant there was at least a slim possibility that he could convince Crispin to spend the night again, if Rick cooperated and vanished to his lady friend’s place. But that was for later. For now he asked if Crispin wanted to head to the movie and eat later or visa versa.

“Food sounds good. Is there some place decent near the theater?”

“Olive Garden,” Kent told him, trying not to laugh.

“That we will pass on thank you very much.”

“Well darn, and here I had my heart set on…” Kent ducked when Crispin took a playful swipe at him. “Kidding, kidding. And yes, there is a nice place about a block from the theater.”

“Then grab your jacket and let’s get a move on. Is it close enough to walk?”

“Actually, yes. Most of the places I hang out at are. I told you, I don’t really like driving if I can help it.”

“Smart move,” Crispin agreed, thinking back on the fools he and Bryant had been watching just a few hours ago.

Kent saw Crispin’s face darken for a moment and asked, “Is something wrong?”

“Oh no.” Crispin smiled, patting Kent’s shoulder, “Nothing that won’t be cured by a decent meal and good companionship.”

“The meal I can guarantee. The companionship, well I’ll try to make it good.”

“I don’t think you’ll have any problem with that at all.”

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The family that preys together…- 38



“I think father went hunting,” Bryant said as he and Crispin were driving into Minneapolis Saturday morning. He tapped an article in the newspaper then read it to his brother. It told about a woman who had been found collapsed over her dressing-table in the bedroom of her home. For reasons so far unknown every bottle of her expensive perfumes had been opened and spilled across the table. She was face-down in the resulting pool of fragrances and speculation was that she had passed out and then died of asphyxiation.

Crispin chuckled. “That definitely sounds like his style. I take it there were no signs that anyone else was there but the woman.”

“Not according to the paper. Her husband was on a business trip and returned yesterday morning to find her there. Of course he called 911 but it was much too late to do her any good.”

“You go, Dad,” Crispin exclaimed, earning a full out laugh from his brother.

“You’ve been hanging around that kid…that person too much,” Bryant commented.

Crispin just shrugged then stepped hard on the brakes and immediately sped up again. Looking out the back window, Bryant quickly jotted down the license plate number of the car that had been tailgating them, smiling at the look of shock on the driver’s face. Then the man pulled into the next lane and passed them, flipping Crispin off and obviously saying something offensive although they couldn’t hear what.

An hour later the brothers were getting out of the car in a parking garage not too far from their destination. They donned the reflective vests and carried the helmets Bryant had ‘borrowed’ from a construction site the previous day. After a decent walk they were on I-394 overlooking I-94, standing by a pair of safety cones that warned drivers about a pile of broken concrete on the shoulder of the bridge.

Down below them the cars and trucks moved rapidly and for the most part without problem drivers at the wheel. Then Bryant spotted someone moving from lane to lane in search of the fastest one. One driver had to swerve to avoid hitting the culprit. Bryant zoomed in with the camera to get a shot of the rear of the offending car and the license plate. 

It was slow, tedious work and they moved several times to keep their cover as road workers valid, but by three that afternoon they decided they had enough photos to warrant ending this part of the operation for the day.

As they walked back to the car Bryant said, “Now home and search, Spin. We need names and addresses to match the plates.”

“Sounds like a good thing to keep you busy for the evening,” Crispin replied, not looking at his brother.

“You are the expert at that.”

“Yes, agreed, but you know how to too and I have other plans.”

“What the hell is more important than this?” Bryant growled. “And if you say you’re doing something with that man, I’m saying no way.”

Crispin stopped just as they reached the entrance to the garage, glaring at his brother. “It’s not as if we have to do something right this minute. If you’re in that much of a hurry then as I said, you do the research. I may not have much of a life outside of work and the game but when I do I intend to enjoy it.” He took out his keys, removing the car key to toss to Bryant. “Take the car. I’ll catch a cab. I can change at my office before meeting Kent.”

“Spin, come on, don’t be an ass.”

Raising an eyebrow Crispin muttered, “I’m not the ass here,” as he walked away.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The family that preys together…- 37



Gerard rarely left the house except on business. But when it was for pleasure, such as tonight when he was joining a very old friend for dinner, he expected things to go well and be as pleasant as was humanly possible.

So when the restaurant door swung open again and a woman walked in, only good manners kept Gerard from growling angrily. It wasn’t that he knew her because he didn’t. It was the almost visible cloud of perfume that surrounded her, wafting none to subtly through the room, that enraged him. And when, as he watched, a man at a table close to her began to wheeze and then gasp for breath Gerard wanted nothing more than to get up and forcefully escort the woman from the restaurant.

He noticed several other patrons were also being affected by the woman’s overpowering scent, though none as badly as the one man who was now using an asthma inhaler. The manager of the restaurant was not unaware of what was happening. He quickly crossed the room and, with obviously forced politeness asked the woman to leave. When she protested somewhat vehemently, he pointed to man with the inhaler and said something Gerard couldn’t hear. The woman shrugged, apparently unconcerned, but did turn and leave.

Moments later Gerard excused himself, telling his friend he needed to use the restroom. Moving rapidly in that direction and then down the hall leading to the restaurant’s back door, he stepped out into the fresh air of the parking lot. It took only a moment for him to locate the whereabouts of the woman by her perfume.

He approached her and very graciously introduced himself, then commiserated with her about her being forced to leave, lying through his teeth when he told her he thought her perfume was quite wonderful. She ate up his words and they talked for a few moments during which he learned her name and that she also lived in St. Cloud. Then they parted ways, he to return to his dinner companion, she, she told him, to find another more congenial restaurant where she could dine in leisure without being hassled.

Three hours later, after a very pleasant meal with his friend, Gerard returned home. He changed clothes and then opened a locked cabinet behind a panel in his bedroom closet. After a moment’s consideration he took out what he needed and then went hunting.