Handsome, fearless Lathe Bronson is New York City’s weapon against crime. He works and lives alone, fighting a war in the back streets where gangs operate in the dark. Pretty soon, they start fearing him, and give the cop a fitting name. They call him Lucifer.
Dissatisfied with his pampered, sheltered life, gorgeous Anjelo decides to escape by getting acquainted with life on the streets. Innocent and naïve, he feels drawn to the city’s dark side. But he’s an easy target in an underworld with no rules.
When his path crosses Lathe’s, sparks fly. Can he overcome his own dark side and save Anjelo? Or will Anjelo’s wings get singed, trying to find love?
Anjelo lifted his hand and lightly touched one of the tattoos on his chest. "It says King of Sin, and the K has a crown sitting on it at a ... I don't know ... a jaunty angle." He looked up at Lathe. "What does it mean?"
"Nothing, really. I got it when I was a kid. You know how kids are. More nerve than brains. I thought it made me look macho. You know, cool. Now I'm stuck with it."
"Well, it's different."
By this time Lathe was being enticed by Anjelo's cologne. As he looked down at the appealing shape of the kid's lips, he leaned forward, and with an open mouth, a seeking tongue, and a warm suckle, he kissed him, sending young Anjelo into a tailspin.
Anjelo pulled away a bit dazed, and couldn't speak. As he looked up at him, he noticed that Lathe seemed to fill the room although he was only an inch or so taller than him. He saw that his dark hair was curled, but with an unruly look to it, and the depth of his blue eyes made him weak in the knees. Muscles rippled across his chest like a seasoned warrior.
Suddenly Anjelo gasped when Lathe's electric fingers began caressing him, his touch making his skin tingle in a frenzy of static. As his hands moved over his skin, his body seemed to go into paralysis, his mind unable to process the pleasure so fast. Lathe's mouth moved to his left ear and began whispering a few suggestive words. Suddenly Anjelo's brain couldn't think and he pulled back, but Lathe surprised him with a kiss that was both soft and hard. Passion seemed to take over, and they began to move in an intoxicated dance of limbs, never making the same moves twice.
It was as if Lathe was Angelo's cat-nip, and Anjelo was Lathe's whiskey on ice.
Anjelo could feel Lathe's breath on his face and tried to speak, but nothing would come out.
"That's usually the way I leave them," Lathe whispered as he moved closer, "speechless and wanting more."
Clearly shaken, Anjelo looked up at him, and said, "Don't…don't go any further."
Lathe lifted his hands in surrender. "Sure. I wouldn't even try. By the time I made my way through all that lace the moment would be lost anyway."
"You smartass, it's clear to me now that I'm wasting my time. Goodbye."
"Look, I'm sorry if I came on too strong, but I'm not kidding. You go out on that street with all that lace, and you'll never make it home ... or wherever it is you're going."
"I've been walking around all day in these clothes."
"Not in this neighborhood. And not at night."
Anjelo hesitated. "Well ..."
"Come with me, Anjelo ... with a j, and I'll walk with you a few blocks."
"Why do you insist on making fun of me?" Anjelo asked as Lathe herded him outside.
"I guess I like you. The truth is, when I came in today, I was tired, discouraged, and wondering if I should just give it all up, and you came in with your lace and brightened up my day."
"Brightened up, my ass. You've been treating me like the plague since I've been here. Is that the way you get your jollies?"
"Well, a guy's gotta do something. Hey, the truth is, you hit a nerve ... about my office. I know it looks like a dump, but I can't do anything about it right now because I don't have the money. Hell, it's not only my office, it's where I live. I can't afford both."
"All right, I'm sorry for saying your office looked like a dump."
"No reason to be sorry, it does look like a dump. But my tattoos, that's a different story."
Anjelo grinned. "Leave the tattoos alone, huh?"
"I'd appreciate it."
"Okay, I'll make a deal with you. You leave my lace alone, and I'll leave your tattoos alone."
"That's hard to do. Seriously, kid, if I were you, I'd get rid of that lace. I mean, look around you, for God's sake. How many other guys do you see wearing lace? You're the first I've seen."
"Yeah, well, I run in different circles."
"The rich crowd, huh?"
"Something like that."
"If you're such a rich little bastard, why the hell can't you afford to hire someone?"
"I have an allowance, but it's not enough to hire someone like you. I have a generous trust fund, but I won't get it until I'm thirty."
"Then why the hell did you even ask?"
"I don't know. I just thought maybe you'd let me ... you know…pay it off slowly."
"Sorry, but that's not the way it works. Cash on the barrelhead. Ask anyone." Lathe looked around. "I think you'll be safe enough from here, but my advice is to take a cab the rest of the way. There's a cab stand just around that corner."
"Well, then, I guess this is goodbye," Anjelo said, and extended his hand.
Lathe took it, but was reluctant to let it go. "Hey kid, I'm serious about not coming back. I don't want to see a bunch of bloody lace in an alleyway somewhere. It would break my heart."
"Don't try and fool me, Lucifer. I happen to know you have no heart."
With a soft smile at Anjelo's joke, he muttered softly as the kid walked away, "No heart, huh? Then what is this damned thing that dances around in my chest every time I look at you?"
Just then he felt a mysterious presence, and Lathe knew that his whispered words would remain a secret between him, the smelly ghetto wind, and this strange city that seemed to be heaving with life beneath the surface.