I’ll Be Your Last
by Jane Leopold Quinn
eBook ISBN: 1-61926-180-4
Mack Penchant’s attraction to another young cop threatens to out him. He hungers for something he’d never believed possible. Woody Kane’s gaydar spots Mack the moment they meet. He wants commitment, something Mack has no intention of giving. Who will win this passionate battle for two lonely hearts?
In the pre-dawn darkness, Michael “Mack” Penchant sprinted down the alley with other TAC officers converging from the opposite direction. His mic confirmed squad cars, marked and unmarked, and three squadrols had pulled up in front of the narrow, two-story, brick Chicago dwelling. Frigid temperatures combined with the time of three in the goddamned morning made it optimal for a raid. Even criminals should be fast asleep by now.
Mildly surprised the house didn’t look as derelict as most he’d busted, Mack tugged down his signature knit cap and thanked the Kevlar vest under his jacket for keeping him warm. He and fellow TAC officers crept toward the rear of the house. Three of the cops silently climbed over the wooden fence, Mack over the garage roof to join them on the hard turf. They drew their guns, barrels down, and waited for the signal from the front.
“Police! Search warrant!” Battering through the back door, Mack entered the kitchen first, his flashlight illuminating the space. Cop voices shouted, “Clear,” as officers moved through the main floor. Other voices shrieked, high and frightened, and he heard the shrill frenzy of dogs barking. Dogs. Damn. He did not want to have to kill them.
In the doorway between the kitchen and dining room, the first cop he spotted, ball cap on backward, looked like a fresh-faced kid. Pretty. Their eyes locked for a moment too long. What the hell was that about?
He banished the kid from his mind and, diverted by shouts from above, charged past, taking the stairs two at a time. The scene on the second floor was a free-for-all of screams, shouted orders, and yelping canines. What shocked him most was the sight of the two elderly people cowering in the bed, their eyes blinking in the sudden bright lights, each holding back a dog, one a snarling black Lab, the other a yapping Yorkie.
“Oh, God, don’t shoot our dogs!”
What a clusterfuck.
“Stand down, fellas.” The first two cops in the bedroom had already backed out, holstering their guns. Sergeant Fred Bonney addressed the couple in the bed, “What’re your names?”
“Sam and Myra. Peters,” said the old man, his voice reedy and high-pitched. “What’s going—”
“Where’s Blaine Davis?” Fred snapped.
The old man glanced at the terrified woman. “We don’t know any Blaine Davis. You have the wrong house.”
“Shit.” Fred’s expletive captured the feeling of the night.
Mack didn’t envy the sarge. He’d have to do the apologizing, sort through where the address came from, and how it could have been so wrong. All Mack had to do was leave the house as quickly as he’d entered, through the front door this time.
* * * *
The Twenty-Seventh District station house was the oldest in the city. Funds had never broken loose to do much updating of the interior, let alone the old brick exterior. A lack of tuck-pointing made for the occasional draft, which in the winter meant a lot of guys layered jackets over sweatshirts. The squad rooms, offices, and interview rooms were dingy, but at least the bathrooms were relatively clean and workable. Mack’s team was housed in the smallest space, and the mixture of wooden and steel desks sat cheek to jowl. Metal file cabinets stood in a line around the perimeter and next to a desk if an officer dragged one over for his own use.
Fred’s after-op debriefing was uncomfortable, to say the least. Once in a while intelligence broke down, and the cops were fed the wrong information. The last thing they wanted was to bust the wrong house and terrorize innocent citizens. Thank God neither the couple nor their dogs had been physically harmed.
“Woody Kane, just in from the Sixteenth, is joining our little sewing circle.” Fred indicated, with a nod, the kid Mack had seen at the house. Kane shook hands with members of the team, Arne Hood, a short, husky blond; Rich Moore, with his dark-angel, Irish features; and Sam Cooley, an African-American with corn-rowed hair and a diamond stud in his left ear.
“Penchant.” Gruff-voiced, Mack introduced himself. Shaking hands before backing quickly off, he planted his ass on a desk, rattled by his odd reaction to dark brown eyes and a warm, smooth, firm grip. What the hell’s going on? His head lowered, he stared at the grimy floor, hoping no one noticed his awkwardness. The kid was tall. He had to be six-two, six-three. He’d stand out if they needed to go undercover. The last thing a cop wanted was to be noticed, to be identifiable. And his hair was too neat, not shaggy like his own.
Mack hunched, pulling his plaid flannel shirt over his front, not liking the stirrings scudding through his body. Heat radiated through his balls, hardening his dick, and his belly muscles gave a sharp jerk. All his life, he’d kept his sexual urges tightly reined, hidden first from his mother, then the Marine Corps, and now fellow police officers. His unexpected attraction to this pretty boy could be dangerous. He’d do whatever it took to steer clear of the kid.
Catching up with Fred in the sergeant’s cramped, paper-littered cubicle, he muttered, “This new guy’s just a kid.”
“I’m not that much of a kid, Penchant.”
Ambushed. Mack scowled and turned an antagonistic glare on the new guy. Attack was his best option. “You need some facial hair, kid, so you don’t look like a choir boy on the streets.” He shoved down the jolt of testosterone slamming into his sex.
“Don’t worry, old man, I can cover this.” Rubbing long fingers over his shaven chin, the younger man quirked his lips in a cheerful, open smile.
“Old man?” Fucking cocky bastard. For all his dark hair and even darker antecedents, Mack couldn’t grow a decent beard, always coming in scraggly and sparse. He’d always depended on his hard-featured mug to demoralize the criminals.
“Okay, boys, play nice.”
Mack wanted to smack the smile off Fred’s face at their sniping. He respected the sergeant. Yes, he did. In his mid-fifties, older than the team members, Fred was an overweight bull of a man but smart as the devil. He knew police work, how to manage a team, and how to get the best out of every member.
“Sure, Fred.” Mack nodded one sharp jerk of his head and raised his eyebrows in what he hoped was righteous indignation. Fuck. He was a professional, a cop, but he didn’t want anything to do with the pretty boy. The last thing he wanted was for anyone to suspect he was gay, and sporting a hard-on for the new guy would be a dead giveaway.
“Sure, Fred,” Woody echoed, flashing that smile again. “No problem.”
Back in the squad room, Mack watched the kid talk with the others. Heat crawling through his belly and balls, inching down the insides of his thighs, he knew if he wasn’t careful, he’d find himself diving right into deep shit. The kid looked innocent as a baby, but Mack’s reaction to Woody Kane was hot as fire. Innocence and sex. He tried to ignore the twist in his gut, needed to ignore the pretty boy’s presence. Lusting after the kid and letting it show would destroy the life he’d built for himself.
At the end of shift, the team converged on a cop bar a block from the station, open early, very early in the morning, to let off some adrenaline before going home. The bar was much less dingy than the squad room and a lot warmer. The owner, a former cop, knew what the guys needed after a shift—a secure place to wind down after an op, unwatered drinks, and some comfort snacks. A wooden bar took up the long side of the narrow space. Sparkling mirrors behind it reflected glasses and bottles of booze. Neon signs advertised popular beers. A jukebox filled the back corner playing songs from the fifties to the present. Wooden booths marched down the side opposite the bar, tables down the center. Two factory workers just off their own third shift hunkered together at the bar. Otherwise, the cops had the place to themselves.
The team took over a booth and pulled a table over to make room for everyone. Mack glanced at the familiar faces of Arne, Rich, and Sam. They slumped in their seats, elbows leaning on the table. Sam Cooley rubbed at his big face and ended up fingering the stud in his ear.
The kid straddled a chair, bracing muscled, hairy forearms on the back. Mack caught himself staring but took a moment longer than was wise to look away. Jean-clad thighs jutted out on either side of the seat. His jaw clenched hard in arousal at the stock-masculine pose. How would all that sinew and muscle feel clamped around his waist? He had to suck in a breath, praying none of the guys could read his mind. Gulping his beer, he shifted his gaze and focused on the bottle’s label as if it imparted the most important information in the world.
His deeply-rooted sexual desires had always been at odds with his work life. The Marines and cops were not always known as the most tolerant of professions, but he’d loved the power and pride of the military. It had led him to police work, to the protection of the most vulnerable in society. This meant he’d had to hide a big part of his life, especially at work. If another cop was gay, he didn’t want to know about it. His privacy was important.
These days he did his prowling out of town where no one knew him. He was king of one-night stands, not even one night, just an hour. That was enough time to fuck a sweet, tight ass. No kissing and nothing else involving intimacy. Shooting his wad into another guy, a tight chute contracting around his cock, and releasing his frustration was his only goal.
Was Woody’s cock thick, too? His hardening penis throbbed inconveniently, eyelids drooping to half-mast. Damn. Mack’s gaze dipped to the other man’s feet. He suppressed a laugh at the unreliable connection between foot and cock size. But damn, the kid has big feet. He fought the fantasy of clamping his lips around the pretty boy’s dick and sucking every ounce of cum out of him.
It might be time for another trip out of town since he had the next couple days off. His sensitive cock surged in his jeans, shoving at his zipper in anticipation, a drop of pre-cum oozing warmly from its tip. Thankfully, the bar was dark, and no one would notice the wet spot on the front of his pants. Although, after an adrenaline-charged op, hard-ons were not that uncommon. Soldiers, cops, firemen, all were familiar with that state. Fucking another ass would make him forget Woody Kane’s.