Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Cabbie and the Cop – 9

First child porn, now men forced into prostitution. How do I draw these assignments? Vergil shook his head as he stared at the untouched cup of coffee sitting in front of him. Why can’t I be sent to infiltrate a gambling or illegal arms operation, or some terrorist group?

He knew the answer to that. He didn’t fit the physical profile. He’d first been tapped for undercover work because he could pass as the knowing, sleazy, and young type of man willing to get his hands dirty to make a fast buck. And he’d always gotten results, helping not only with closing down the kid porn operation but also two drug rings which had used street kids as distributors.

Someday someone in the department is going to question the fact I don’t seem to loose my boyish good looks. It had happened before and he’d been forced to move on to a new city and start over again. He could only claim he had good genes for so long.

So do I take this assignment or not? He knew the answer. Had known from the moment Lieutenant Brewer had told him what it was about. He hated slavery in any form and that’s what these men were, slaves. He’d had more than a taste of what it was like before he’d left his home and come to this world.

That’s what made the paper Simeon had found so important. It was his proof he was no longer a slave and could come and go as he pleased if he had to meet someone from his own world. Someone like the elf two nights ago. He had run into him by accident a day earlier and given that the male didn’t believe he had the right to be roaming free he’d needed to show him that he did.

Vergil smiled slightly, thinking of Simeon. He was an interesting man, damned good-looking in his own way, and gay if he could believe what he’d said.

 And I’m not going there. The chances we’ll ever meet again are slim to none and even if we did… Well I’m not looking for any kind of hookup on that level. With a shake of his head he got back to what he needed to do, which was to tell his lieutenant he would take the assignment.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Cabbie and the Cop – 8

“I’ve got an interesting one for you, Vergil,” Lieutenant Brewer told him once they were both seated in the lieutenant's office.


“There’s a prostitution ring we need to shut down.”

“So get some of the johns to agree to testify. That’s a no-brainer.”

The lieutenant nodded. “Under normal circumstances we would.”

“But…” Vergil said when the lieutenant paused.

“The men involved in prostituting themselves are being forced to work for those running the operation.”

Vergil nodded slowly, seeing where this was going. “Young men I take it. Maybe off the street or drug users?”

“Primarily off the streets, and not kids but men who are homeless through no fault of their own due to the economy, which means they’re not alcoholics or addicts. The people in charge of the operation run what seems to be a legitimate day labor business. They send the men on a couple of jobs, painting a house, yard work, etcetera, and then comes the third job. There are two houses in the Logan neighborhood---nice ones. You know the area and what homes there are like.”

“Upper middle class. A lot of the houses are well separated from their neighbors by lawns and trees.”

“Exactly. So they send a man to one of the two houses where the ‘owner’ needs some interior work done. He chats with the victim, sort of feeling him out while he’s working, then hints there’s a way he could make enough money to get himself back on his feet quickly.”

“Wouldn’t most of the men tell him he’s crazy?”

“Would you, if you were down and out and desperate? I’m sure they vet the men first, picking only those they think would be good candidates. Anyway, once he has a victim on the hook the ‘owner’ offers lunch while they discuss the idea further. The next thing the victim knows he wakes up in bed, naked. It has to be obvious to him what happened, but before he can protest the ‘owner’ shows him a video. It’s graphic and the victim looks as if he’s the one who offered his services to the other man in the film. Services that include strong Dom/sub and bondage elements. He’s told it will show up on one or more of the most popular porn sites if he doesn’t cooperate.”

Vergil frowned. “If you know all this why not just arrest the men responsible?”

“We need a witness who’s willing to testify. We had one man; he’s the one who told us how they rope victims into this. Unfortunately he’s dead now. We set up what was supposed to be a secret meeting between him and an assistant district attorney. He gave the man the details but before he could sign copies of his statement he got a phone call. The ADA is certain it came from one of the men running the operation from the way the witness reacted. He walked out of the meeting and stepped in front of a fast-moving delivery truck.”

“Damn. On purpose or was he pushed?”

“According to those who saw the accident he was at a crosswalk with several other people. It appeared as if he stumbled and fell.”

“With help.”

“Our thoughts, but there’s no proof since no one remembers seeing anyone touching him.”

Vergil nodded. “So we have a ring involving men being forced into prostitution. And of course no john is going to admit to having gone to one of the houses and paying for Dom/sub sex with a male.”

“Got it in one, from what our dead witness said. The men who use the service are upstanding members of society who don’t want their names dragged through the courts, or the papers. And there’s one other thing.”

“Let me guess, the john's first encounter is filmed to make certain he keeps his mouth shut about using their services.”


“I presume the men live at one or the other of the houses once they’ve been forced into prostituting themselves.”

“They do. Our witness said the conditions aren’t bad, all things considered, but they’re not allowed to leave on their own or make any phone calls. He managed to steal a phone from one of the johns and then escape, got in touch with us and the meeting with the ADA was set up on the spot. Obviously the john must have contacted someone at the house to report he’d lost his phone there, asking them to look for it. They put two and two together and called our witness.”

“After tracking the phone first to find out where he was?”

“That’s what we think, yes.” The lieutenant leaned back, looking at Vergil. “I’m not going to make it mandatory you accept this job, but you’re one of the best, if not the best, undercover cop in the department for this type of assignment and you have what it takes to make it work. These men have to be stopped.”

“Give me an hour to think about it and I’ll get back to you.”

“Take whatever time you need.”

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Cabbie and the Cop – 7

Vergil looked at the tall, dark-haired, fairly handsome vampire, a small quirk of his eyebrow the only indication he might have been startled by Simeon's words. “He, then. I trust you put the paper back where you found it.”

“Of course. I don’t need it. I would however suggest you either move it somewhere else or be a great deal more careful with your bag.”

Strolling over to the window at the back of the living room, Vergil gazed out at the long sweep of lawn leading down to fast-flowing stream. Turning back he said, “I usually do. Keep it somewhere else that is. But I thought I’d need it last night for a meeting with… someone.”

“Whoever was at Frankie’s?”

“Hell no.” Vergil laughed. “That was part of an undercover job I was on.”

Now it was Simeon’s turn to be startled. “You’re a police officer?”

“A police detective to be specific.”

“I am impressed. Or I should say I would have been before I knew what you are. Now…” He shrugged.

Vergil snorted. “You still are.”

“Okay, Yes I am. Just not as much, since I know you should be able to handle anything anyone throws at you short of bullets.” He studied Vergil. “How many people know?”

“One. You.”

“Interesting. So how do you explain being able to take on the people you go after who might not appreciate you arresting them?”

“I’m well trained in self-defense.”

Simeon shook his head. “That excuse works?”

“Damn, Simeon, there are a lot of cops who aren’t big, tough bruisers and they survive. Why the hell should I be any different?”

“Okay, I get your point.” Simeon glanced at the clock on the mantel. “And on that note, let me get your bag because I have a job and I really should get on it.”


Simeon returned a moment later with the bag, handing it to Vergil who thanked him before asking, “Why do you work? From the look of this place you probably don’t have to.”

“If I don’t I get bored.”

“I understand that one. Okay, I’ll get out of here so you can get dressed. Thanks again.”

“No problem.” Simeon followed him to the door, watching him walk to his car. As Vergil drove away Simeon wondered if they’d ever meet again. Probably not, he decided as he went to get ready for work. It’s a big city and for sure we don’t run in the same circles… In any way, shape or form.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Welcome to Blak Rayne with a new release - The Ideal Side of Life

First, I’d like to thank Edward for having me at his blog today. I’m truly grateful.  My new gay erotic romance novel is out! To read the first 10% of my new release, click on the Smashwords purchase link at the bottom of the excerpt!

The Ideal Side of Life
By Blak Rayne
‘Imperfect, but inescapably a love worth saving.’
Self-made entrepreneur Stephen Pritchard was given a second chance at life and love when he met Carson. However, as of late, their marriage has been anything, but ideal. Aside from the usual occupational hazards and Carson’s inability to communicate emotionally, Stephen’s learned marriage to a police officer, especially an attractive one, comes at a price.
While shopping in the city, Stephen and Carson unexpectedly run into Stephen’s former college buddy Dudley Kramer. During the conversation, Dudley insists they attend an upcoming party at the art gallery he owns. Believing the invitation to be harmless, Stephen convinces Carson to go. But part way through the evening, he realizes Dudley’s developed an unhealthy liking for his husband and the party isn’t as it appears. Illegal drugs and partner swapping isn’t something Stephen bargained for, and neither is the chain of events that follow. Disenchantment over the past, arguments, and a near fatal car accident suddenly puts his life into perspective.

A week later, we went grocery shopping then stopped for lunch at the Quay. At the end of the day, when we were loading the groceries inside the SUV, we ran into my former college classmate, Dudley. It seemed odd that we’d happen to cross paths for a second time, and in New West instead of the North Shore. Of course, the instant he spotted me, he swooped in like a vulture. I swore under my breath as Carson shut the SUV hatch. Jealousy tingled at the base of my skull, either that, or I was about to succumb to a massive panic attack. I tried to breathe evenly and keep my mind clear, allowing the bad thoughts to dissipate.
“I thought it was you, Stephen.” Dudley removed a pack of cigarettes from inside his jacket.
I opened my eyes, feeling much more at ease. “Yes, it’s me.”
Well,” he baited, looking directly at my husband, “aren’t you going to introduce me?”
“Sure.” Even though I acted outwardly cheerful, it was a pretense to mask my annoyance; I didn’t want to introduce him to anyone and certainly not my lover. “This is Dudley Kramer...a buddy from college. Dudley, this is my husband, Carson Mackenzie.”
“You’re even more attractive in person,” Dudley stated bluntly, without a hint of shame.
Carson stared at me nonplussed for a moment, and I sensed he felt as I did, uncomfortably awkward. “Thanks,” he finally replied.
“You’ve got excellent taste, Pritchard.” Cupping a hand, Dudley lit a cigarette then jerked his head back, tucking the lighter away. “Terrance and I have a new art exhibit opening on the third next month in Vancouver. It’s all modern gay art. Maybe you’d like to attend—both of you, that is.” He grinned, took a drag, and rocked back on his heels. “Might be fun. We could have a few drinks afterward.”
“Ah…” I seriously didn’t know what to say. “Sure, I guess...if Carson isn’t working. Are you working on the third?”
Dudley interjected, “Cops are allowed a day or two off from serving the public, aren’t they?”
“I’ll have to check my calendar.” Carson shot me a questioning stare again.
“Great! Don’t worry; only half the exhibition are nudes,” Dudley said straight-faced. “Cocktails are at eight. Don’t be late.”
“Awesome.” The word trailed from my lips as I watched him cross the parking lot, akin to James Dean, a swagger to his gait, coat collar flipped, and slicked hair.
“That was minimally fascinating,” Carson remarked, getting in the driver side.
The comment oozed derision. Meaning: he hadn’t cared for Dudley. In fact, I could probably go as far as to say he’d loathed the man, though he knew nothing about him. Carson was all about first impressions and what he sensed from a person, their vibes, and I hated to admit, his judgment was more often than not bang-on.
Not a word was spoken between us during the ride home. Nothing. Lost to my thoughts, I rubbed my chin as the rainy scenery passed the window, a backdrop of storefronts and pedestrians dulled to gray. Rivers rushed along the sidewalk, emptying into storm drains. People waiting for public transit crowded under the sparse shade of a tree at a bus stop shelter. And the homeless had gathered to squat in alcoves, anywhere it was dry. I wasn’t interested in talking, other more important things came to mind, my forthcoming birthday for one.
When the SUV stopped at the garage door, only then did I wake from my daydreaming. We were home.
“That man is—” I started to say when Carson nearly bit my head off.
“An obnoxious asshole.” He shut the front door, slipped off his jacket and hung it in the foyer coat closet.
“I wouldn’t say obnoxious, more like arrogant.” I dumped the grocery bags on the island.
“I’m not going.” He grabbed the remaining bags from the entrance.
“But I already indicated we would—not that I’d necessarily meant it. It was more of a polite gesture.”
Sticking his head inside the fridge, Carson repeated, “I’m not going.”
“Can you tell me why you don’t want to go?”
“Intuition. The guy is bad news.” He took out a platter of ham and set it on the island followed by a bottle of mustard and a loaf of bread.
“Oh, your infamous cop intuition again,” I chided mockingly.
“Hey,” he said, giving my ass a playful smack. “It isn’t a joke, baby. I get a sense about people and something about that guy isn’t right.”
“I admit the guy is a conceited S.O.B., but he seemed okay in college. He never got in trouble.”
“For you, I’ll think about it.” Carson spread mustard on four slices of bread.
Resting my forearms on the counter, I watched him make us ham and mustard sandwiches. He placed mine on a plate and slid it toward me.
“Eat. Then we’re going to bed.”
Going to bed….” I checked the time on the stereo in the great room. “But it’s only seven o’clock.”
He quit chewing and grinned. That’s when I caught the drift. Okay, so there were times when his sexual innuendos went right over my head, but I had a lot on my mind—Dudley and the real reason he wanted us at the opening night of his art exhibition to name only two.

* * * *

Another couple weeks went by, and May ended, which led to the beginning of June. And, it was the third. Unfortunately, thanks to my big mouth, Carson and I were standing curbside directly out front Dudley’s place of business. The art gallery was in the heart of Vancouver’s posh shopping district, an odd location, considering I’d envisioned it in the Davie Village area, an area known for businesses that catered to the metro gay community. Carson rechecked the address on the business card, comparing it to the gold numbers above the entrance. The gallery frontage had wooden French doors painted black, bulbous brass levers, and large bay windows masked by suspended pieces of semi-translucent white plastic board with ultra modern black script that read: Art Gallery-Private Viewings Only. I wasn’t a marketing genius, but even I knew private viewings only screamed one thing. And by the expression on Carson’s face, he felt the same as I did; like we were about to walk inside a sleazy strip joint. Exhaling a noticeably displeased sigh, he slid the card inside his jacket pocket and pressed down on a lever.
I was moderately surprised by the sound of laughter and jazz music—a tranquil and inviting atmosphere infused with low light and a myriad of male voices. I’d halfway expected to find an orgy—well-oiled bodies writhing over top of one another—guys masturbating, sucking, and fucking. Glitter. Body paint. Raunchy music. But thankfully, there were only sculptures of nude men instead, in what I assumed to be in porcelains and bronzes. Black and white photographs enlarged to poster size hung from the ceiling, and paintings were spotlighted on the walls. The setting was open and airy and seemingly innocent. Actually, a more accurate description would be harmless.
“So far so good,” I offered in a whisper, looking at my husband who, once again, gave the impression he was in agreement. “Maybe we misjudged Dudley?”
“Maybe.” He cracked a partial smile then frowned suddenly. “You spoke too soon. Here he comes.”
“Patience, hon.”
“Stephen! Carson!” Dudley announced, shaking my hand and then my husband’s. “It’s great to see you both.”
“You too,” I said.
“There’s a shitload of food and alcohol, Stephen.” He gestured toward a large spread of canapés on a long, portable bar, then he clamped Carson’s arm in a sturdy grip, startling him. “If you don’t mind, I’m going to steal your husband for a while, so help yourself. We won’t be long.”
Before I could object, or insist on being a part of whatever he planned to do with my husband, the asshole had dragged Carson to the far end of the gallery, where a stranger offered him a bottle of Corona, which he seemed to readily accept. He soon became the center of attention. I watched intently, sipping at a glass of wine I had snatched from the bar.
After an hour, I was positive my existence had been long forgotten. My husband was laughing and talking, surrounded by a number of men who were equally as engrossed with him. Suddenly, I had a bad thought—one that should’ve never entered my brain. I pictured Carson spread-eagled, wearing half his uniform—a combo of handcuffs, hat and boots—and Dudley riding him like a bucking bronco.
A sharp stab of rage and jealousy hit me square in the chest and I gave the wine glass a hard, unintentional squeeze. The fragile glass broke. Grabbing a cloth napkin from the bar, I cursed and wiped the blood and sting of alcohol from my palm. Pressing the cloth to the inside of my jacket sleeve, I soaked up the wetness that had run down my wrist.
Thank God it’s white wine or there would’ve been a visible mess. I dropped the broken glass in a nearby garbage can and pulled down my damp jacket cuff. One of the waiters offered assistance, but I politely told him where to go and passed him the soiled napkin. Sucking on a tiny cut in the lower, meaty part of my thumb, I scanned the gallery to see if anyone had noticed. No one seemed the wiser.
In time, left to my own devices, eventually I drifted around the gallery, speaking to the odd person, then wound up back at the bar, nibbling on cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches.
“How’s the food?” Dudley leaned on the counter.
I stood, tapping a cough from my chest. “It’s all right.”
“It was Terence’s idea to hire a new caterer.”
“The food isn’t that bad.”
“Your face says otherwise.” He pivoted on an elbow and stared at me in disinterest.
“My opinion is jaded. I’ve been in the retail food business too long.” I eyed a platter of mini quiches that appeared over-baked and brushed breadcrumbs from my slacks. “Don’t mind me.”
“Point taken. Next time I’ll call the old caterer.” He grinned. “But then no one really comes here for the food.”
“No?” I asked with faked curiosity.
He nudged me in the ribs, grinned again, and looked about the gallery. I assumed the gesture meant that I was supposed to do the same, which I did. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, unless I’d misunderstood him.
“Is there something in particular you want me to look at?”
“Are you really that naïve?” He turned back to me, touting a sour expression of disbelief.
“I’m not naïve. Maybe if you exp—”
“Throw your keys in.” He shoved a stained-glass bowl toward me, his voice no longer melodic sounding, but dead serious.
“Throw my keys in?” It wasn’t a matter of ignorance, but I honestly didn’t understand why I had to throw my keys into a bowl.
“This is a swinger party, Stephen. We’ve never had a cop—an RC—as part of the group before. Too bad he isn’t wearing the uniform.” He turned once again, but in Carson’s direction, and there was unbridled enthusiasm in his voice. “I’ve got half a dozen men here tonight who are dying to take your husband for a test drive. And the only way that can happen is if you throw your car keys in the bowl.” He switched back to face me, and his grin had unsavory written all over it. “Everyone takes a turn. Whoever pulls your keys gets to swap their lover for yours.”
My initial response…alarm. My attention shot to the far corner of the gallery where a small group of men—good-sized men—were talking to Carson, and an incredibly uneasy feeling fluttered in my chest. A swinger party wasn’t a career booster, but more appropriately, a marriage wrecker. And, I wasn’t about to watch a sleazy prick like Dudley have sex with my husband. I had to get Carson out of the building without anyone noticing.
“Add your keys,” he insisted, shaking the bowl, keys clattering inside.
“Sure—sure thing.” I hesitated to smile, hoping to come off as agreeable to the whole partner swap thing.
Blak Rayne

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Cabbie and the Cop – 6

Simeon woke to the sound of the doorbell. Now what the hell was his first reaction, followed by If it’s a salesman he’s dinner. That of course wouldn’t happen. He never fed from live hosts unless it was a dire emergency. He hadn’t since 1936 when, during the Spanish Civil War, two different doctors came up with ways to preserve and store blood in refrigerated bottles to be used on men who needed it at the front lines of the war. By 1937 blood was being stored in hospitals in the States and he had slowly but surely weaned himself from hunting for live humans to fulfill his need.

With a deep sigh he got up, pulled on a pair of jeans, and headed downstairs. The scent of his visitor made him smile slightly as he opened the front door. “Now why am I not surprised to see you?” he said. “Although I think I need to have a word with whoever gave you this address.”

Vergil cocked a pale eyebrow. “Maybe I dug it up through normal sources.”

Simeon stood aside so he could enter. “Not possible. You may have gotten my last name of my hack license, but the house isn’t in my name.”

As he looked around the spacious living room, Vergil nodded. “Not too surprising, all things considered.” Crossing to a set of shelves he stopped in front of a small marble bust of a young boy. “Rossellino?”  

“Indeed. You have a good eye.” Simeon smiled as he joined him, stroking his finger lightly over the sculpture. “The artist gave it to me in payment for a favor I did for him.”

“So just how old are you?”

“Two thousand, give or take a few years. And you?”


Simeon shook his head. “Perhaps I should rephrase that. How long have you been alive?”

“Twenty-five years?” Vergil replied with a look so innocent Simeon might have believed him if he didn’t know differently.

Tapping his fingers together, Simeon shook his head. “I sincerely doubt that. Now before you accuse me of prying where I shouldn’t have, I checked out the contents of your bag trying to find an address or phone number so I could return it to you. It would have ended there if I hadn’t felt something in the lining. Something your average human would have been unaware of.”

Vergil nodded. “I sort of got you must have from your question. I am however surprised you could read it.”

“I have met many beings over the span of my long life. One of them was a young elf with whom I had a short but interesting affair.”

“And she taught you to read the elven language?”

Simeon chuckled. “He did.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Cabbie and the Cop – 5

“Well done,” Lieutenant Brewer said yet again as they got ready to leave the station house. “With all the evidence we found in his office we should be able to close down that ring for good now.” He chuckled. “Wilker is still pissing and moaning about being taken down by a man half his size.”

Vergil laughed. “That will teach him to make assumptions.” He glanced around and then sighed. “Guess I’m going back to my place looking like I just spent a month living in the same clothes.” When the lieutenant cocked an eyebrow in question Vergil told him he must have left his bag in the cab he took to Frankie’s.

“You really should keep spare clothes here you know. I’d offer you the loan of some of mine but…”

“I’d look like a kid wearing my father’s hand-me-downs. Well no biggie. Catch you later.”

A few minutes later he was in his car, heading to his house on the outskirts of the city. The rising sun shimmered on the wet leaves of the trees as he pulled into his driveway. Getting out of the car he stretched, savoring the fresh smells from the flowerbed at the side of the house, and others from the herb garden at the back. He picked a pair of daffodils before going inside. In the kitchen he found a vase for them which he set on the dining room table on his way upstairs. He showered quickly then fell into bed, his last thought being that he’d have to stop by the cab company to see if his bag had been turned in.

* * * *

The bag hadn’t been turned in, as Vergil found out late that afternoon when he went to the cab company.

“Can you call the driver and see if he has it?” Vergil asked the secretary in the front office.

She looked at the time and shook her head. “He’s not on duty until seven and never responds to calls until then. Now if you want to wait for him you can, assuming he even comes in, which he almost never does. And before you ask, we never give out drivers’ addresses, or phone numbers.”

Taking out his wallet, Vergil showed her his shield. “This is police business. I need the get that bag back as soon as possible.

She looked from his shield to his face, then back at the shield, scribbling down the ID number on the front. He was surprised, and had a bit more respect for her common sense, when she called to be certain he was who he said. Finally satisfied she opened a file on her computer and wrote down a street address.

“If you get lucky you might catch him before he hits the streets.”

“Thank you, ma'am.”

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Cabbie and the Cop - 4

Vergil sat slumped at the bar in Frankie’s, a beer by his elbow, his eyes half closed.

“Rough night, pretty boy?”

Without turning, Vergil nodded. “Very, but I got what you wanted.”

“Let’s see.” A huge, tough-looking man with scarred knuckles and a nose which had obviously been broken more than once sat down on the stool next to him.

“As soon as I see what you’ve got.”

“Don’t trust me?”

Vergil smiled wryly. “About as much as you trust me.”

The man chuckled, ordered a beer and when he had it he suggested, in a tone which brooked no argument, they go into the office. Vergil shrugged, stood, picked up his own beer bottle and followed as the man crossed the crowded room.

Once the door was closed, the man went to a battered desk and opened a drawer. Taking out a thick envelope he dumped the contents onto the desktop.

Vergil masked his feeling of disgust and loathing as he thumbed through the photographs. With a sharp nod of his head he said, “These will do but you promised…”

The man took a box from the drawer, handing it to Vergil. It contained videos which Vergil knew contained the same types of child pornography as the photos.

“Now let’s see what you got in exchange,” the man rumbled, glancing down to the photos as if he couldn’t keep his eyes off the images.

Digging into an inside pocket in his jacket, Vergil retrieved a small packet which he laid on the desk. The man used his pocket knife to slice it open, smiling as a dozen perfect diamonds rolled out. Taking a jeweler’s loupe from the top drawer the man examined each one before nodding. “This should cover it.”

Vergil smiled wickedly as a gun appeared in his hand. “Mitchel ‘Mitch’ Wilker, you are under arrest for the illegal distribution of…”

Vergil got that far before Wilker decided he didn’t want to be arrested. He took a swing at Vergil with one fist while pulling his own gun from behind his back. The fist would probably have done major damage to Vergil’s face if it had connected, but Vergil was already beside Wilker, his fingers wrapped tightly around Wilker's gun hand. With a swift twist he pulled Wilker’s arm up behind his back, forcing him to his knees. The gun ended up on the floor. A hard kick sent it halfway across the room at the same moment that Vergil pressed his own gun to Wilker’s temple.

“Now, as I was saying, you are under arrest for possession of child pornography with intent to distribute. You have the right to remain silent…” He gave the man his Miranda Rights then ordered him to stand. When Wilker didn’t he found himself summarily dragged to his feet by the much smaller man and cuffs snapped around his wrists. Then Vergil called in to tell his lieutenant he had Wilker in custody.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Cabbie and the Cop - 3

For the rest of the ride they were quiet, both of them lost in their own thoughts even as they watched for any tails.

When the got to Frankie’s, Vergil asked Simeon to drive slowly past the place. Apparently satisfied, Vergil said it was safe and Simeon turned down the alley, stopping by the back door to the bar.

Vergil got out, handing Simeon twice the amount of the fare on the meter. With a sharp grin he said, “You earned it, vampire.”

Simeon froze in shock, watching as Vergil disappeared into the bar. That I did, that I did. But how did you know? He was sorely tempted to go inside to ask. No, he wouldn’t tell me and I have a sneaking suspicion I wouldn’t like the answer if he did.

With that thought in mind, Simeon drove away, puzzled but no terribly worried. It wasn’t as if the man was any real danger to him. If he’d wanted him dead he’d have tried before he left the cab.

It wasn’t until he’d picked up his next fare and the passenger handed him the black bag, that Simeon found out Vergil had left it behind. He put it down on the floor under the glove compartment and forgot about it until he arrived home after his shift was over. He parked the cab in the two-car garage next to his silver Ferrari F430. The Ferrari was a bit of self-indulgence but he figured he deserved a real car to make up for all the hours he spent in the cab.

Letting himself into his house through the door from the garage, the bag in hand, he tossed it on the table in the barely-used kitchen. Then he crossed to the refrigerator and took out two blood bags, emptying both before tossing them in the bio-hazard container masquerading as a common, flip-top trashcan. It wasn’t that he ever had houseguests but just in case, he preferred things to look as normal as possible.

Finished with supper, he sat down at the table and opened the bag. He knew it held Vergil’s clothes. He hoped to find some address so he could send it back to him. Otherwise he’d have to leave it at the cab company’s lost-and-found and that made it iffy at best for its chances of being returned with all its contents.

The clothes were all it held. When he searched their pockets he found them empty of anything, including lint. Unsurprising he supposed since Vergil would have transferred his phone, and his ID, presuming he carried any, to the pockets of his jeans.

Simeon put everything back in the bag and was about to close it when his ultra-sensitive fingers felt something under the lining near the clasp. Being the nosy sort, something that had stood him in good stead in the past, he went to get a knife from the butcher-block holder on the counter. Carefully he cut the stitching until he could pull out what turned out to be a carefully folded piece of paper. Opening it, he read what it contained, a small smile tilting his lips up. Well, well now, things are definitely not what they seem with you either, Vergil.

With that thought in mind he put the paper back where he’d found it, closed the bag and took it with him as he headed upstairs to get ready for bed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

'Majors' Folly' is out today!

Majors' Folly

Thane Major’s lover, Ian Philips, sees Majors’ Folly—the mansion Thane has inherited—as a ‘monstrosity’. Thane believes otherwise. To him it is fascinating, not monstrous. At least that’s what he hopes.

After the two learn of several disappearances from the Folly, they spot someone trying to break in and wonder if the person is responsible for the Folly’s troubles. Deciding they must find out exactly what is happening, the pair begin to delve into the house’s history to uncover the truth before they too disappear.

Will the arrival of two strange males offering their help to Thane and Ian lead to revelations about the disappearances… or to Thane and Ian’s untimely deaths?


Every nerve suddenly tense, Thane tried to figure out what had awakened him. The bedroom was dark; there wasn’t even any light coming in between the open drapes on the windows. Dark and silent. He wondered if that was the problem. It was so totally the opposite of the city, where there was always light from the street and the noise of traffic, sirens, people.
“What’s wrong?” Ian’s whisper was so low Thane barely heard him.
“It’s… too quiet.”
Ian chuckled. “If this were a bad movie, there would now be a loud scream of terror.”
“Probably.” Thane nodded, wrapping his arm around Ian. “Still…”
“Shush.” Now Ian tensed.
Thane heard it at the same time, a moan coming from somewhere outside the house. He sprang out of bed, quickly going to the window to peer out, trying to see the ground through the thickly falling snow.
Ian joined him, also searching for the source of the sound. “I can’t see a damned thing.”
“There!” Thane pointed to a dark form that appeared for a brief second at the bottom of the steps leading up to the veranda—before the snow hid it again. “Someone is out there. Maybe someone whose car broke down… or something.”
He spun around to turn on the lamp sitting on the table in the alcove, then looked for where he’d left his clothes. He found them, pulling on his jeans and shirt. Ian was dressed almost as quickly. Then they raced down to the ground floor and into the formal living room, which faced the veranda.
Thane stopped short in the center of the room, scanning what he could see of the veranda through each window, before going to the double-doors that opened on to it. He took a cautious step outside, instantly realizing he was barefooted when he stepped ankle-deep into a drift of snow. He shivered but didn’t move as he searched for any sign of the figure they’d seen only minutes before.
“Someone was here, but they’re gone.”
Thane nodded at Ian’s words. The snow was disturbed from the top of the steps to one window and then back again. From where he stood, he could see a very faint trail indicating whoever had been there had retreated toward the back of the mansion. As he watched, the falling snow virtually eliminated even that indication of the stranger's visit.
“Very weird,” Thane muttered as he went back into the living room, closing the door behind him. “Why, in this weather, didn’t they do something more than just try to see inside?”
“I don’t know, but it’s giving me the shivers.” Ian actually did shiver then.
“I wish…”
Thane shrugged. “I wish it wasn’t snowing right now so we could follow their trail.”
“The intrepid ghost hunter speaks.” Ian laughed, but there was an undertone of fear beneath it.
“I don’t think ghosts make footprints. They sort of hover over things. Besides, whoever heard of a ghost hanging around outside of a house and not coming in? If you believe in them, then you know they can pass through walls and stuff.”
“And stuff.” Ian grinned, patting Thane’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s get back to bed. Twenty-to-one it was some kid playing games. I bet the guy who delivered the pizzas told his friends we’re here, and one of them decided to check it out.”
“At one in the morning, in a raging snowstorm? And why moan?”
“They were trying to scare us? Hell, I don’t know. Come on.” Ian tugged Thane’s arm to get him moving.
With one last look at the veranda, Thane followed him. When they were finally back in bed again, he lay for long minutes staring up into the darkness, smiling slightly when Ian snuggled against him with his head on his shoulder.
“Whoever it was, I hope they freeze their ass off,” he eventually grumbled. When Ian didn’t reply, Thane realized he was already sleeping again. It took a few more minutes before Thane fell asleep too, and as he drifted off, he wondered if maybe they did have a ghost.