Authors: Mary Calmes
Tags: #Gay Romance
“His friends told us that he was picked up by the police, but we’ve been calling since last night and can’t find him anywhere,” Linda said frantically, looking sheepish for having blurted all that out.
“What was he arrested for?”
“We don’t know,” Colin told me.
“Okay, let’s go upstairs.” I moved them both in front of me, and the three of us went through the express line reserved for officers of the court. I put lanyards on both of them once we were through and signed them in to the visitor log.
As we got off the elevator, I looked toward my desk, and in that instant when Ian saw me, his face lit up, and then he saw his father, and his face fell.
“He hates me,” Colin mumbled.
“No, sir,” I corrected him. “Begging your pardon, but no, Ian hasn’t reached out, but neither have you.”
“That’s what I told him,” Linda explained, and I took a moment to look at her. Even though I would never like her after what she pulled on Colin’s 60th birthday party—excluding Ian, and his dead mother, from a slideshow of his father’s life—she was, empirically, a very beautiful woman. She had grace and a delicate voice, was immaculately dressed, and her makeup and jewelry were elegant and understated. What she was doing with Colin, I had no idea. He was a bull; she was a ballerina. I didn’t really get it, but I didn’t have to. “I said that if he wants a relationship with Ian, he has to call him and stop waiting for him to need a dog sitter.”
“Yes,” I said, leading them into one of the smaller conference rooms and sitting them down. After I checked to see if they were thirsty, I left them there to go back to my desk and get on my computer.
“What’re they doing here?” Ian asked, rolling around his desk and coming to a stop beside me. He crowded close, as he’d always done. I’d missed seeing that the first three years of our partnership, before we got together.
“He’s here looking for Lorcan. It doesn’t have anything to do with you.”
“But he didn’t want my help?”
“I think he’s hedging his bet, right? He comes here asking for me, and if you get involved, then he has his in. If you don’t… well… he still needs help finding his kid.”
“His kid,” Ian repeated.
“Which you are too,” I pointed out.
“Not really,” Ian said quietly. “I haven’t really been his since he left my mom and me.”
I turned to look at him. “Does being the most important thing in my life help at all?”
He leaned so his lips brushed my right ear. “It’s everything now, M. You know that.”
I shivered, feeling the goose bumps erupt down my arm. “Knock it off, I’m working. Giving me wood at my desk is not helpful.”
His low chuckle made me think of sex, which was bad when I was in marshal mode.
“Can you go back to your desk?”
He bumped me with his shoulder before looking at my screen and squinting.
“Why’re you doing that?”
“Can you see that screen?”
“What?” His voice rose almost to a squeak.
“Holy shit, you need glasses.”
“I do not.”
“You need reading glasses.”
“I do not.”
“For fuck’s sake, Ian, ya do too.”
“Could you get back to finding Lorcan, please, so they can get the fuck outta here?”
Giving up for the moment, I went back to hunting the NCIC database.
“So what happened exactly?”
“Your dad says that Lorcan got picked up by CPD, but that they can’t find him.”
“So you’re thinking what, he’s sitting in a holding cell somewhere?”
“Could be, but I’ll bet you it has more to do with whatever he was picked up for. Maybe they’re squeezing him to get to somebody else.”
“So we’re assuming it’s drugs.”
“Who has drugs?” Kohn asked from his desk.
“Shuddup,” Ian snapped.
“Oh, by the way,” Kohn added. “My mother wants to meet you guys, so she’s coming with me when I visit. Prepare yourselves.”
I stared at him. “Your mother?”
I glanced at Ian.
“What? I’m sure she’s lovely.”
Kohn cackled. “Oh, she’s the best, but in your business she will be.”
“She always wants to know when me and Theresa are gonna have kids,” Kowalski chimed in. “And she thinks Theresa doesn’t feed me enough.”
Kowalski was a mountain. How could Kohn’s mother say he wasn’t eating enough?
“I don’t see anything here at all,” Ian said, having commandeered my mouse so he could scroll around. “I think you’re gonna have to call.”
“Call who?” I asked. Considering the US Justice Department investigating the Chicago Police Department’s use of force, deadly or otherwise, we were not at the top of their want-to-help-them-out list. I would have had better luck if I was a fed.
“Call Cochran,” Ian suggested.
“Are you nuts?” I asked, my voice going up way too high, but seriously, was he insane? “He fuckin’ hates me, and it goes both ways. And he might’ve gone to Plano already.”
I eyed him. “Do you know where Plano is?”
His scowl was instant. “Of course, it’s in Texas. Everybody knows that.”
“Just try and call him,” Ian went on. “From what the boss man said, you helped him out, didn’t let them do anything but the minimum for what he did to you. I’m thinking he owes you.”
Even though Ian’s logic was faulty, I called over to the Fourth District, Central, and asked to be transferred upstairs to Violent Crimes and Detective Cochran’s desk.
“Cochran,” he answered on the fifth ring, sounding as surly as ever.
“I need help.”
“Fuck you, Miro, you just ruined my life,” he retorted and hung up.
“Well, that was great,” I groused. “Now we’re never going to find him.”
We both looked up to find Kage looming over my desk. He passed me the final paperwork on Cabot and Drake as he waited for an answer.
“Ian’s dad and stepmother say that his half brother got picked up by CPD, but he’s not in their system. At least, there’s nothing on their server.”
Kage nodded. “Come with me.”
In his office he used his speakerphone and called over to the Eighteenth District, Near North, and did the same thing I did, except he didn’t ask for a detective. He asked to be connected to the new acting commander, Duncan Stiel.
“It’s terrifying who they’ll promote these days,” Kage said jovially once Stiel came on the line. I’d never heard that particular tone from him. It was strange.
“Yeah, well, when a department on the whole looks quite this shitty, the good PR of furthering the career of an openly gay officer sounded pretty good to the brass.”
“You havin’ any trouble?”
“A little pushback but nothing major.” He sighed. “I’ve been on the job too long, too many guys know me, and at this point, saying anything about me or to me just shines the light back on them.”
“Good, I’m glad.”
“Hey, while I’ve got you, remember the ballet is tonight, and Hannah needs to be ready to go by six. Aaron will be by to pick her up then.”
“Are you going?”
“No, man, I work for a living.”
“Why are you calling me at work?”
“I have two of my marshals here with me, Jones and Doyle, and they’re looking for Doyle’s stepbrother—” He tipped his head toward us.
“Lorcan Doyle,” Ian supplied.
“His folks say he was picked up, but there’s no record,” Kage continued.
Deep sigh from Stiel. “Hold on.”
It was silent a few moments, and then we heard keyboard tapping.
“Hey, weren’t Doyle and Jones the ones who found Hannah right before Thanksgiving last year? Am I remembering that right?”
“Yes,” Kage said irritably, probably not wanting to be reminded that his daughter was kidnapped for a good half an hour the year before. She got away because she was very smart and very brave. With Kage as her father, it hadn’t been a surprise.
“Doyle’s first name is Ian, right?”
“Ian’s a good name,” Stiel said wistfully, and I had to wonder what that was about. “Okay, here we go. Lorcan Colin Doyle, twenty-five, of Marynook…. oh, he’s out.”
“Yeah, looks like the sister posted bail, and he’s being charged with drug possession with intent to sell.”
“Uh… oh, pot.”
“I’m just reading, don’t judge me. Marijuana is still illegal here.”
“And it looks like he was carrying an unlicensed firearm as well,” Stiel added. “If he doesn’t do any time, I’d be surprised.”
“But like you said, at the moment, he’s free.”
“I’d say it was my pleasure,” he said, chuckling, “but I’d be lying.”
“Glad to see your promotion hasn’t gone to your head.”
He chuckled. “Oh, so you know, we’ll be there tomorrow around one, all right? You need us to bring anything?”
“No,” Kage said adamantly. “Please, no.”
“You said bring dessert last time.”
“There was a catering van in my driveway just to unload plates and napkins. Just… no.”
Stiel laughed and hung up, and Kage hit the button on his phone, killing the line.
“Okay, so go tell them he’s out.”
“I wonder why the processing isn’t in our system.”
“Probably because the judge accepted a plea and that’s public record, but I doubt CPD’s system will update until after the holiday. You would have found it if you’d known he was bailed out already. You were just looking in the wrong place.”
“Yep. Have a good weekend, gentlemen. I’ll see you Monday.”
He was taking the day after the holiday off. The rest of us were all in on Friday.
I prodded Ian to go talk to his father and stepmother alone, which gave me time to check in on Aruna.
“Do you have the package?” I teased.
“I do.” Aruna giggled. “And the package is in deep shit.”
I heard sounds of a struggle: smacking, slapping, and then Janet was calling Aruna a narc, and Aruna called Janet fat—which drew a gasp of outrage—before the phone got dropped.
“I’m not fat, you witch, I’m pregnant!”
“You’re three months pregnant,” Aruna said in her superior tone. “If you keep eating like you are, you’ll be as big as a house.”
Second gasp of profound outrage.
“Hello!” I yelled into my phone. “Why are you in deep shit, Powell?”
“I’m sorry, what?”
Oh crap, I thought. “Oh crap,” I said. “You didn’t tell Ned you came here.”
“I think we have a bad connection,” she said, and then she was gone.
I was so dead. Janet’s husband was going to think I kidnapped her, or worse, was in on her plan from the start.
I turned to Kohn, and he tipped his head. I looked where he was directing to see Ian standing with Colin and Linda, and he was motioning me to him.
Crossing the room quickly, I was surprised to see Linda holding Ian’s hand. It was just as odd when she reached for me.
“Thank you.” She was adamant.
“We didn’t do anything,” I told her with a shrug. “Your daughter bailed him out.”
“But we had no idea where he was, and now we don’t have to wait to hear from either of them. We can call and find out what’s going on.”
“We can help,” Colin said.
Linda turned to me. “Ian says that you have plans tomorrow, but if anything changes, please come by and—”
“You should come by our place,” I said before my brain kicked in. “We have tons of friends coming by, so please feel free. We’re gonna have people in and out all day—it’s like a Thanksgiving open house.” I smiled at them. “We’d love to have you.”
“I’ll be stuck home cooking all day, but—”
“I’ll be by,” Colin said, taking hold of Ian’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t miss it.”
Linda inhaled sharply. “What am I thinking? Things are going to be strange this year and—I’ll be by as well,” she finished, putting a hand on Ian’s cheek and patting it gently.
If looks could kill, the one Ian shot me should have dropped me dead where I stood.
lost your fuckin’ mind?” he railed as we walked downstairs to the garage together.
“It was the right thing to do.”
“My father?” He was incredulous. “Are you serious?”
“Lighten up, Doyle,” I taunted, leading him toward the car.
When we got closer, his eyes widened, and he stopped moving like he’d stepped in front of a firing squad. He lifted his hand and gestured wildly.
I snickered because, God, it was just too good.
“The fuck is that?” He asked, clearly horrified.
I spread my arms wide. “That, my friend, is a 1988 Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible. In carnation pink.”
“The hell you say!” he roared.
There was no way not to laugh. “You’re gonna look badass driving this, man.”
“The hell I will!”
“It’s either this or the 1966 Dodge Rambler, and at least the Cabriolet will hit eighty.”
“No, no, no, no,” he lamented. “How the hell did this happen?”
“Well, you know how normally one of us runs a diversion upstairs and the other one comes down and picks the best car?”
“I had no partner, so you get what you get.”
“So you’re saying this is my fault?”
“You wanna drive?” I said instead of answering.
He had to drive. He was compelled. He was a control freak, and letting me navigate us around Chicago was never going to be possible.
“There’s no iPod jack in here,” he complained loudly from the interior before I got in.
so glad he was home.
I met Aruna and Janet at Lou Malnati’s over on State because it was close to work and Janet was craving it so bad she told me she was going to die.
When we got there, I saw Janet’s smile quiver just a bit when she saw Ian, but she recovered quickly. Apparently Aruna neglected to tell her Ian was home.
When I hugged her, she burst into tears and clung tight.
“We’ll stay up all night and snuggle on the couch, pet, I promise.”