Forced to chase a naked guy through the middle of an industrial park does not endear Dominick to the foster child of a convicted criminal.
What starts as a routine job turns in to something far more complicated, and Dominick, a US marshal, gets stuck babysitting ‘Cal.’
But Dominick is in for a surprise, as Cal remembers Dominick in a completely different—and compromising—setting.
Liz Carter drove perilously down Maryland Avenue toward Wilmington Industrial Park. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, throwing her a look of disbelief. She chuckled as the vehicle practically careened on two wheels into the Wilmington Industrial Park entrance by way of Germay Drive. “Jesus Christ, Liz,” I grunted, “where the hell is the fire?”
She gave me a triumphant smile, bringing the vehicle to a jerking standstill in back of a food distribution depot. “No fire.” She slapped the steering wheel. “You just don’t like the way I drive.”
“Shit,” I muttered, opening the door and getting out, “you call that driving?”
“Watch it,” she warned, climbing out of the vehicle at the same time. She zipped up her jacket with the US Marshal insignia on it, making sure her badge was visible. “The last man who asked me that question mysteriously disappeared… never to be heard from again.” She made a spooky sound in her throat.
I rolled my eyes and surveyed the litter of luxury vehicles scattered around the lot. “I’ll remember that.” It might have been ominous here at this time of night if not for the party going on in a building that once served as a shipping office for the LA and Long Beach Ports.
Most of the real estate in this industrial park belonged to George Ryerson, so it wasn’t a surprise that he’d set his boy up to work in a clandestine club out here in the middle of nowhere.
“Think he’s in there?” Liz asked as we headed around back.
“According to the information I was given, he’s supposed to be.”
“Think he’s going to give us a hassle?” she asked.
I shrugged. “We’ll find out in a few minutes.” You could never predict how someone was going to react in these situations.
Liz and I stopped a minute and scanned the area before proceeding. Except for the heavy metal music that we could now hear spilling out of the open windows, it was quiet all the way over to the railroad tracks.
“A private club for rich, closeted gay men,” Liz announced with a grin. “Hey, Dominick, if it weren't for the fact that you don’t have a pot to piss in, it would be the ideal place for you.”
I showed her my middle finger.
Technically, I wasn’t in the closet, but as a US Marshal, I didn’t advertise the fact that I preferred cock. I also was a firm believer in separating work and pleasure. When I was on the job, I was on the job, that was it. I didn’t think about sex…that much, but when I was off-duty, I was a completely different guy. I liked my men willing and the sex rough, and I didn’t want to bother taking down their numbers.
Liz was the only female Marshal in this region of LA, and the only one I’d confided in. We were friends, and we worked well together. I didn’t give her a hard time because she was a woman, and she didn’t get on my case for being gay. We respected one another. Didn’t mean she refrained from teasing the hell out of me, though.
The assignment we’d been given tonight was more of an annoyance than anything. We’d only been told to pick up George Ryerson’s boy toy and bring him back to headquarters.
All we knew was that George Ryerson of Ryerson’s Investments was being investigated for fraud, but he was suspected of having some pretty powerful connections, connections that were far more important to the authorities than the fraud. Ryerson had agreed to turn state’s evidence for immunity, but yesterday an attempt had been made on his life by a hired assassin.
After he’d been arrested, he made bail and was living in seclusion. He’d been offered protective custody when an attempt had been made on his life after his court arrangement, but he’d refused. He’d also refused to turn over his contacts in exchange for a lighter sentence on the fraud charges.
Ryerson was in his late forties, married with two children. He’d taken in Cal Medina Lopez as a foster son several years back, but the entire thing was quite sordid and unsavoury.
Cal Medina, born Claixto Medina Lopez, had been fostered by Ryerson at the tender age of fourteen, but at the insistence of Ryerson’s wife had been transferred to his own apartment three years later. Ryerson paid for all expenses, and often ’visited’ on the weekends.
Calixto’s parents had entered LA illegally before Cal was born, and were deported when he was only ten years old. Since Cal was American, his parents handed him over to a family friend before their deportation. Calixto had run away from this family a year later. He’d been in three foster homes before Ryerson took him in.
Ryerson owned a series of clubs, many of them private and exclusive. He’d always denied that anything illegal was going on inside their walls, but these places had been closed down and relocated several times during the last decade. Time after time, they were raided and closed down due to drugs, prostitution and the hiring of illegal and underage boys. Ryerson always managed to slip through the system, with payoffs and concessions.
I reached for the door handle now. Liz made a joke about not knowing a special series of raps that would allow us entry. As it turned out, the door wasn’t locked. I banged my fist on it, calling out, “US Marshals!” Then I opened the door. Given the noise level, I doubted anyone had even heard my announcement anyway.
As the door opened, Liz and I were bombarded with some headbanger tune that nearly knocked us into the fifth week.
We stood in the entrance, looking around us in the bleak room. Cautiously I placed my hand on my gun and walked inside, Liz close by.