When Steven tracks down Conrad in Tampa, things get deeper -- and harder. Torn between his feelings and his job, Steven can't quite figure out what's next for the two of them. He only knows that things are tricky when you're in deep trouble undercover.
This story appears in the author's print collection, Rough Cut.
The bust went bad. Yeah, we had our SWAT guys, who are damn good but when you’re bogged down with DEA and FBI guys who only run a raid like this once a year, things go really wrong, really fast. Instead of waiting until dawn to move in, some bigwig Fed decided to go in during a rave. Civilians all over the place, the crew we were after tucked away in an upstairs backroom and sure enough, things got blown to shit. No civvies dead, but we took some hits, and two of Conrad’s crew got popped permanently.
I slammed up the stairs, found Conrad bending over Jason, the one of his crew who had hero-worshipped him the most. The knees of his pants were soaked with Jason’s blood, there was a bloody palm print on his white T-shirt and the look in his eyes when he saw me with a badge around my neck and a gun pointed at him ... Betrayal, grief, rage.
“You lying sonfabitch!” Conrad stood, hands wiping more blood onto his shirt.
“Conrad -- I ...” My voice cracked. Below us, the clatter of the SWAT team banged at the bottom of the stairs. Conrad flinched. “Run.”
I’ll never forget that night.
Or the night before when he lay me out on a rickety table in that room and took me to heaven with his lips and his tongue and his hands.
I let him go, let him get down the fire escape, let him skip away into the night.