Thursday, July 24, 2008
L.A. Heat excerpt by Pat Brown
L.A. Heat excerpt by Pat Brown
This is the second excerpt from LA Heat by Pat Brown to be featured on this blog (the first excerpt was posted on February 4th, 2008) The story to date: Accused of several horrendous murders of young gay men, Chris was being investigated by David and his partner, Martinez. The growing attraction between Chris and David has thrown David for a loop. He doesn't want to admit it, but he finds it harder and harder to fight. This scene occurs after David finds proof that Chris is innocent of the murders. This is Chapter 18 and takes place at Chris's home in Silver Lake.
Bristlecone Pine Press - 1st Kindle edition (July 2, 2008)
Chris finally gave up and climbed to his feet; his bare toes curled away from the cold tile in the kitchen. He rinsed his wine glass in the sink and set it on the draining board, then washed his mouth out with tepid water from the tap.
He was halfway up the earth-tone tiled stairs when someone started pounding on his front door.
Chris turned on the atrium light. He peered outside, dancing from foot to foot; the tile cold compared to the promised warmth of his carpeted bedroom.
It was David.
He was leaning against the inner courtyard wall, his tie lying askew on his thick neck. His shirt looked like it had been unbuttoned, then done back up crooked. Dark hair peeked out from between buttons. He raised his hand to pound on the door again and nearly fell down the single stone step into the driveway.
David was drunk.
Opening the door carefully so as not to startle him, Chris waited for David to notice him. David tried to smile when he caught sight of him. It looked ghastly.
“Wasn’t sure you’d be home,” he said. “You’re just like me, always working... workaholic. Kind of a two.”
“You mean two of a kind?”
“Said that. You gonna let me in?”
David immediately wandered past him into the living room.
Chris hoped he wasn’t going to throw up or anything.
Chris went into the kitchen to put the kettle on. If ever someone needed coffee it was David. Whatever had possessed the guy to get drunk? More, whatever had possessed him to come here?
“The bathroom’s through there--” Chris came out to find David nowhere in sight. He heard a banging sound upstairs. “Shit.”
He took the stairs two at a time.
David was sitting on the edge of Chris’s bed, his tie off completely, his shirt open to the waist. His chest was covered with a thick mat of black hair that thinned out over the soft mound of his stomach.
He’d laid his gun belt over Chris’s armoire. The belt to his cotton pants were open, revealing boxers underneath.
“What are you doing?” Chris asked.
“Well, aren’t you gonna?”
“Going to what?” Chris watched the other man warily, unsure how he might react. Not sure what he was up to.
“Kiss me. I won’t stop you this time.”
Chris flushed. “No David, I’m not going to kiss you. I’m going to take you home.”
“Don’t wanna go home.”
“You have to,” Chris said, as if he were talking to a five- year-old. “You have to go to bed.”
“Go to bed here.” Awkwardly he patted the pillow beside him. “You can tuck me in.” He tried to leer, but it came out as a grimace.
“David, what are you doing? Simon will kill me -- I’m not supposed to talk to you--”
“Then don’t talk--” David reached for him. “Don’t you wanna take me to bed?”
“Jesus, David. What’s got into you? Aren’t you investigating me for this homicide?” What kind of trouble was David going to be in for this? Hell, what kind of trouble was he going to be in?
“Not anymore. Cleared you. Wrong person...”
Chris’s jaw dropped. “What? Since when?”
“S’afternoon. You were in Salt-Salt-Utah. You were in Utah when Jay was sliced.”
“Utah? That conference?” A wave of dizziness swept through him. “Jesus, I almost didn’t go,” he whispered. “I hate those things.”
“Good thing for you. Perfect alibi. Got the wrong guy . . . Not even your fingerprints . . . Martinez still wants you, though. Had a fight over that. My own partner . . . God, if he knew . . . ”
“Knew what, David?” Chris wanted to laugh aloud and jump up and down. He was off the hook. Then it clicked. “Martinez doesn’t know you’re gay, does he, David?”
David grimaced. “God, I hate that word.” He twisted around to look up at Chris and tried to leer again. “But I like you. Want to fuck? I want to fuck you.”
“Let’s get you home, okay?” Chris tried to wrestle him up, but it was like lifting a two-hundred-pound sack of sand. He couldn’t control the heavier man and David wouldn’t do a thing to help. Every time Chris got near him David groped his crotch. It didn’t help that Chris had a raging boner and David knew it.
Chris rocked back on his heels. “You have to go home, David. You’re going to hate yourself in the morning if you don’t.”
“Wanted you to know. Not a suspect anymore.”
“Thank you, David. I appreciate that, you have no idea... but really, you have to go--”
“Sleep with me, Chris.”
“If you weren’t drunk, I’d be glad to, David.” Chris stroked his head, feeling the crisp hair curl under his fingers. “But you’d hate me in the morning. I’d hate me in the morning.”
“You probably think I’m some boring stick-in-the-mud rule follower.”
What could Chris say? David was a stickler for the rules. He wore his dress shirts buttoned up tight and never let his guard down. Chris wouldn’t necessarily say he was boring, but--
David cracked a yawn. He blinked at Chris. “I think I had too much.”
“Yeah, I think so,” Chris said gently. “You’re going to feel like shit tomorrow.”
“Sleep with me, Chris. I can’t stop thinking about you. Ever since you kissed me. Even when I was supposed to think of you as a suspect . . . ”
“Not tonight -- get some sleep now, okay, big guy?”
Chris thought he was going to argue some more, but his body went limp. Chris wrestled him under the covers, pulling the duvet up to his shoulders. He gave the slumbering man a light kiss on the cheek. Already his soft snores filled the bedroom.
Chris padded back downstairs to his office, where he pulled out the small futon bed he kept for out-of-town guests. He grabbed a blanket and a set of sheets from the linen closet and crawled under the covers around two o’clock in the morning.
He wished he wasn’t so damned noble. David might be a stick in the mud, but he was turning out to be one of the most complex men Chris had ever known. He was also sexy in a way Chris couldn’t begin to explain. He just knew he wanted to go upstairs and crawl in beside him and find out what being fucked by David Laine would be like.
A small sound awoke him. He looked up, blinking, to find David standing in the doorway staring down at him with flat, unreadable eyes. He was dressed again; even from the doorway Chris could smell the reek of alcohol coming off his clothes.
“How did I get here?”
“You don’t remember?” Chris sat up, glad he had decided to wear pajamas last night. Normally he slept naked, but that hadn’t seemed like a good idea with a drunk and overly amorous David in the house.
“If I remembered, would I ask?”
“You came banging on my door last night.”
“What time was that?”
“Around one o’clock.”
“My car’s not in the driveway.”
“I don’t know how you got here.” Chris shrugged. “You never said.”
Suspicion darkened David’s face. “Why didn’t you just send me home? There’s money in my wallet. You could have paid a cab.”
Chris bristled. “I tried to get you out of here. You refused to go. I had no choice but to put you to bed.” Chris untangled himself from the futon and stood. “Look, I’m going to make coffee. We can continue this discussion in the kitchen.”
David grabbed Chris’s arm. “What happened last night, Chris?”
Chris snatched his arm away. “You mean did I take advantage of you? Fuck you, David.”
Before he could respond, Chris shoved by him and stormed into the kitchen, where he banged around refilling the kettle and grinding coffee until his anger subsided.
David appeared in the kitchen doorway. He looked tired.
“I’m sorry, Chris,” he said. “That was uncalled for.”
“What’s this about a fight with Martinez?”
“I told you that? Sorry, that was just stupid.”
“You said I wasn’t a suspect anymore, but Martinez didn’t want to let it go. Is it because I’m gay?”
David winced. He rubbed his head. “Yeah, well Martinez has some problems with that.”
“Martinez is a narrow-minded bigot.” Big news there. David already knew that. He’s the guy who had to live with it. Chris banged around in the cupboard, producing two mugs for his efforts. “Where did you go last night?”
“Some bar up in La Canada. Country and western place. I don’t remember leaving. Next thing, I’m waking up in your bed, practically naked.”
“If you’d had your way, you’d have been completely naked. And I’d have been there with you.”
David blushed scarlet.
“Do me a big favor,” Chris said. “Next time you come over, do it sober. Then I won’t have to say no. I don’t want to say no. I don’t think you do either. Where does that leave us, David?”
“Maybe we need to talk.”
“That sounds like a good start--”
“Is that coffee ready?” David rubbed his forehead again. “I could really use some.”
Chris poured him a mug.
He sighed when he took his first sip. “Now I remember why I don’t do that.”
“Go on benders?”
“Right. Was I really bad?”
“Blotto. Totally and completely blotto. I’ve rarely seen anyone that stinking--”
“Okay, I get the picture.” David set his mug down and looked around the kitchen. “Where’s your phone? I have to call a cab.”
“Let me give you a ride. I still got my rental. It’s the least I can do after compromising you.”
“Compromising--” His eyes narrowed. “According to you, we didn’t do anything.”
“I can fix that soon enough.” Chris moved closer, grasped David’s powerful arms, and drew him down until their mouths touched. “How about this?”
The passion that had burst between them the first time was still there, untamed. David tasted of coffee and mint; he had clearly taken advantage of Chris’s mouthwash before he came downstairs. Chris groaned when David’s hands moved down to his ass and pressed their growing erections together, proving the lust was not one-sided.
Chris murmured against his throat, “You sure you can’t stay? I could make you breakfast. Wash your clothes for you. Take you to bed and ravish you.”
David broke away, laughing shakily. “In that order?”
“Any order you like.”
“This is getting too complicated.”
“I can’t, Chris. Not now. Maybe not ever.”
“Is it your partner?”
“It’s everything. It’s who I am.”
“I don’t think I like who you are very much.”
“Sometimes neither do I.”
Chris stared at him for several seconds. David looked away.
“Fine,” Chris sighed. “Come on, let’s go find your wheels. Jesus, I hope you can remember where this place is.”
“A western bar in La Canada?” He shook his head. “This should be fun.”