Another Man Down
Montrose Tayside Station
“Sometimes I don’t understand you, lad.”
He glanced at Alex sitting next to him in the foogin Jeep. They were, as Alex would put it, hauling ass down the A92, headed for Montrose’s Police Scotland station. Except that the hard-suspension Jeep rocked like a fishing boat every time he made a fast turn.
The man’s smoky eyes met his, and he was rewarded with a lift of his lover’s mobile mouth. “Funny. I don’t understand what you don’t understand, love.”
“Just because you fancy you smell like a bicycle seat… What’s wrong with taking the sports car?”
He watched Alex adjust his crotch in the old loose Levi’s. “Next time you get inside the AMG, do you really want to smell man sweat?”
“Next time I wake up, do I want to smell your arse on my face? Aye, and aye.”
Rewarded with a laugh, he smiled at his fawn-skinned companion. “Anyway, Alejo, when do you want to leave for the Highlands?”
“Let’s get permission for me to leave first. Finley is a funny—”
“She’s not that old. And she has a dry humor I really like. But she’s a cop. And I know she hates being a man down.”
Rory grinned, picturing lantern-jawed Patricia Finley with a man down. “Och, nou I cannae un-see that, lad.”
From the corner of his eye, he saw Alex struggle to keep from smiling. His darling Alejo really was dedicated to a crummy job that paid next to nothing. Maybe a few days in the mountains would change their outlook, both of them. He well knew that an outlook was no more than a looking in.
This man in the stiff seat beside him had already tilted the axis of his world. He still could not believe that playboy Rory Drummond, cum-and-go champion of the universe, was on the cusp of marriage. To a man he could not take his eyes off—or his hands, or his prick, or his mind. Or his soul, even, whatever that meant. He was in love with the most handsome and most intelligent and most desirable man any-bloody-where.
Rory spent a split second thinking about his pivot from an undisciplined asshole to a caring partner. From dodging the bullets of his childhood…to the present tense, embracing even the edgy details of a young gay boy attacking an old pedophile….
His outlook had swung 180 degrees. All because of Alex. Now if he could only face a life of lairdship—and damn it, he could do it. When he and Alex were married, everything would be even better.
He glanced at his companion again. “A crowned thistle, lad.”
That was almost a joke between them—his way of blending the American “penny for your thoughts” with bonnie Scotland’s five-pence coin. The U.S. meets the U.K., and all heaven breaks loose.
“Hum? I was thinking again about the mountains. How the air must smell.”
“Being there will be a second honeymoon.”
“Mi padre used to say, no tengo ayer.”
I have no yesterday. Rory knew what that meant: you cannot go back.
“We can try, corazón.”
“Let’s just get there first, Rory.”
“And if she cannae bear to be without ye?” He tried to put humor into a serious question. The Scottish accent would bring a smile from Alex.
His partner frowned. “Then I have a choice to make. Quiet, Rory. Like I said, let’s put one size twelve in front of the other. We’re there anyway, big guy. Let’s go take the goat by the horns.”
Alex reached over and ran his finger lightly down the bulge of his Levi’s. “And don’t flaunt your other size twelve in front of her. Put your ten gallon hat over it. Okay?”
Without taking his eyes off the road, he seized the wrist and pressed Alex’s hand into his crotch. “Gang warily, lad. Paybacks are what I live for.”
On his best behavior, he avoided the nice parking spot in front of the “do not park” sign in front and left the Jeep in a side alley. Letting Alex lead, he walked up the stairs and into the plain-as-mud building that housed Montrose’s arm of Police Scotland.The drab building was even more drab inside, if that was possible. Now, close to four of the afternoon, the ceiling light fixture that ran along the length of the room begrudged a wan strip of light, an exhausted beacon of hope, onto four chipped-wood desks lined against one wall. Two sergeant constables sat in front of computer screens. Two desks were empty. At the end of the forty-foot narrow room he eyed the glass door panel that read INSPECTOR.
A sandy-haired young constable glanced up. Recognizing them, his face broke into a wide grin that made his freckles dance a merry jig.
“Alex! And Rory! ’Tis good t’see ye lads.”
Both he and Alex walked to his desk and sought his outreached hand. Grant MacHugh was a decent cop, actually a breath of fresh air. Not so different from their mutual friend Thomas Fitzgerald, the Dundee constable who’d helped them a few times and whom he’d last seen right here in this room, helping to mop up the Scurdie Ness Mess.
He glanced toward the inspector’s cave. Even Patricia Finley was someone he secretly admired. These Tayside cops were not a bad lot.
But the window slats looked to him like bars in a cell.
And if he wanted to break Alex out of this prison, he thought he’d better show his Drummond charm.
“Hugh, we’re wondering whether the good Inspector might have a few minutes to spare…?”
He reached for his phone. “Aye, Rory. For certain she’ll want to see the both of ye. Um, sorry, Inspector Finley. Alex Dominguez to see ye—”
Rory grinned. He was sure she’d want to see him too. But neither he nor Constable MacHugh were taking any chances.
“Aye, I’ll send ’im on in.”
This chapter to be concluded. Look for “SWD 4.2” on the list of blog pages, after I write it. 😀 — >>>