At this point in their lives Dominick and Rob are sure of only one thing, they love each other and nothing will ever change that. But there are challenges and compromises to be made. Will the sacrifices they make to please each other end up making them miserable?
Rob’s patience was wearing thin now. He was on his second cup of coffee at the coffee express shop two blocks from where they lived. Dominick had been using his cell phone, talking to countless people, while waiting for a call from warden Howard at the Rikers prison.
Rob rubbed his hands over his face. His stomach was getting upset from all the coffee he’d been sloshing down. He refused to believe that Logan had run away. Rob had made progress with him over the last few weeks. It didn’t make sense.
Dominick was leaning against the far wall, cell phone to his ear. Rob knew he wasn’t happy about all this and when Rob had mentioned the idea of fostering Logan, he’d gone off the deep end.
Was it too much of a stretch to think about a child in their lives? They’d been married for almost two years now, and despite their careers, a boy of thirteen would be manageable. It wasn’t like they’d have to worry about daycare or diapers.
Rob suspected that Dominick’s background had something to do with his angry reaction when Rob mentioned how Logan could be a potential foster child. Dominick was a Cortez. His father, up at Rikers Island for murder, had headed up the notorious Cortez crime family.
That’s how they’d met, he and Dominick, the love of his life. Rob was a former street kid, taken in by Dominick’s uncle who ran a club. Dominick was the black sheep of the Cortez family, thrown out on the streets at sixteen when Frank discovered he was gay. Dominick had turned his back on crime and joined the NYPD. At thirty- five, he was a dedicated homicide cop, and Rob was co-director of Martindale Correctional Institute for boys.
He and Dominick had worked hard to be where they were, a married couple, with two decent careers, but it had been a long road. They’d fallen in love after Dominick had come to his uncle’s club that night to warn him about a possible attack by a rival crime family. He’d been worried about his mother and sister. They became lovers, then separated after a fight, for twelve years, only to meet again and discover their love for each other was as strong as ever.
Right now, however, Rob wasn’t sure how in love Dominick was feeling. This evening was supposed to be just a quiet dinner with the two of them, discussing their long overdue, honeymoon trip.
When Rob had gotten the call from his boss, he was online, looking at men’s bathing suits from a store downtown. Dominick had one bathing suit, and it looked like something your grandfather would wear. Rob had winced when Dominick showed it to him.
It was painfully obvious Dominick hadn’t been swimming for some time. Dominick had a beautiful body. It would be a shame to hide it in that thing.
When he saw that it was Beverly calling, Rob picked up right away. “Hey, Beverly,” he said.
“Rob, it’s Logan Washington. He disappeared at the psychiatric hospital, after his session with Doctor Carter.”
Rob’s heart had sunk. Logan was only thirteen. They’d found him in a crack house, selling drugs and himself. He’d just barely been weaned off the crack. “What did the guard say?”
“He said that he escorted Logan to Doctor Carters’ office and waited outside in the hall. When Logan came out, he seemed in good spirits and asked to use the bathroom before heading back to Martindale.”
“Did the guard take him to the bathroom?” Rob felt the panic rise.
“Yes, and waited in the hall. When Logan didn’t come out again, he went in. The window was open. Logan was gone.”
“It’s a psychiatric hospital. How did he get out the window?”
“He used the main bathroom. They are not patient proofed like in the locked facility. I’ve notified the police. Maybe Dominick could help.”
“I’m going to go looking for him,” Rob told her.
That’s when Dominick came home, smiling, a bottle of Rob’s favorite wine in hand. He knew instantly something was wrong.
Rob told Dominick to try and light a fire and rouse more police to look for Logan. He had a hell of a lot more influence. He told Dominick to bring his gun, they were going to search the crack houses.
Then he mentioned how attached he was to Logan. When Dominick suggested Logan had run, Rob told him that he’d discussed the possibility of Logan living with them.
Dominick hit the roof.
Logan was in danger. A man calling himself Woody had been his pimp and tried to sell Logan into white slavery. Logan had escaped, and the only reason Woody had come after him is because he’d gone into hiding. Apparently, Woody had a gambling problem and was in hawk to the mob. Frank Cortez may be in prison, but everyone knew he still had a hand in running the streets.
Asking Dominick to talk to his father in prison was asking a great deal. Rob knew that it was painful, especially in light of recent events.
Frank and Dominick were father and son by blood, but that’s where the connection ended. Frank had disowned Dominick for being gay, he’d tried to kill him, he’d shot Rob, and tried to marry Dominick’s sister off to his mobster friend.
Dominick’s mother, on her deathbed, had asked Dominick to take his sister away, protect her from Frank, and he did that. But it had cost a lot. Dominick lied to Frank, got some of Frank’s men killed, and ended up getting himself and his partner suspended from the force for a few months. And if all that didn’t seem enough, recently, Dominick led a task force to find a serial killer. The killer turned out to be Frank’s illegitimate son.