Kram and Love sneezed simultaneously.
”Bless you, ” called Xavier from the other side of the desk divider before his head popped up over the wall.
”Someone must be talking about you, ” Xavier said.
”What? ” Said, Love.
”In America, we believe that if you suddenly sneeze, its because someone is talking about you, ” Xavier said with a shrug.
”Were you able to get a sample of the Goldstone? ” He asked.
Love pulled the evidence bag from the inner pocket of his suit jacket.
”Do we ever fail? ” he said with a cocky smirk.
Shaking his head, Xavier took the sample and headed for the lab. They would be able to tell if this Goldstone powder and the sample they took from the body was the same. Pushing the elevator down button, Xavier stood fiddling with his tie lost in thought. He had studied Linguistics and psychology but he never expected to end up working as an investigator. He had moved to Thailand after his parents were killed in a car wreck, just after he graduated university. He hadn been here since he was little and he wanted to get to know his moms family. That was five years ago. Hed only been with the DSI for a year. He tried teaching English for a while but he needed something more. Maybe it was because he couldn stand to sit with his own thoughts for too long.
”Xavier? Xavier? ” Someone touched his arm. Xavier started and looked around. Tan was looking up at him with a charming lopsided smile.
”Are you getting in the elevator? ” He asked, his smile widening.
”Ye-yes, ” Xavier said, clearing his throat as he stepped into the elevator next to Tan.
”The lab? ” Tan asked.
”What? ” Xavier replied.
”Are you going to the lab? ” asked Tan again pointing toward the evidence bag Xavier was holding.
”Oh, er, yes, sorry. Replied Xavier.
Pushing the button for the Lab Tan took a step back; he couldn tell if Xavier was watching him or staring through him.
”You don like me do you? ” Asked Tan, his big eyes searched Xaviers.
”When had he gotten so close? ” Xavier thought.
”What?…No. I like you fine. I don even really know you….why would you say that? ” Xaviers words came out in a jumble.
Why was it so hot in this elevator and why did it seem like they had been in here for ages! Xavier thought, adjusting the collar on his suit.
”Hmm, You talk with everyone else on the team but never with me. I know I might seem a little odd but no one else seems to have a problem with me. I mean you aren required to like me just because we work together but it helps right? ” Tan flashed the most dazzling smile Xavier had ever seen.
Xavier stood for a moment slack-jawed in complete awe of him, Tan always made him feel like he had suddenly missed a step going downstairs. His heart raced and the world seemed to fall away.
”This is your floor. Said Tan, still smiling.
Xavier stepped forward to exit the elevator.
”Wait! If you don hate me, maybe we could talk sometime? ” Tan said looking up at Xavier, his big eyes were hopeful. Xavier nodded stiffly before awkwardly exiting the elevator.
Tan stepped back to let the door slide shut just before it closed, a hand slid in the gap, causing the doors to slide back open. Tan was surprised to see Xavier there panting.
”Would you like to go for coffee later? ” Xavier asked. It was his turn to smile at the look of shock on Tans face.
”Yes! ” Tan answered quickly, his smile growing wider.
Xavier nodded. Letting go of the elevator door he watched it close before turning back toward the lab. Halfway down the hallway, he stopped dead in his tracks. Asking Tan for coffee seemed like a good idea in the moment but in practicality it meant them sitting alone and talking. He wasn sure what scared him more the idea of being alone with Tan or having to talk to him about things other than work, for some reason even though talking was easy with others his mind left him with only the blur of static when Tan was around. Xavier shrugged off the thoughts and continued to the lab, he needed to focus. The team was counting on him; the case was more important than a coffee date. He shook his head again, No it was not a date..it definitely was not a date!
The door to the lab slid quietly open, the bright glare of the fluorescent lights bouncing off all the polished metal surfaces always made Xavier wince. He could never work in a lab. Mali slid into view on her rolling stool. She was short but beautiful and full of life. She narrowed her eyes scrutinizing Xavier.
”Sweat around the collar, tie askew, red ears, rumpled shirt hmm either youve just had an exciting and salacious encounter or you have a medical problem, you
e too young to have a heart attack, do you want me to examine you? Mali asked, clicking on her penlight.
”Absolutely not! Xavier took a step back in feigned horror. ”If you lay one finger on me I will report you to Thanya! Said Xavier pointing at Mali like he was keeping a dog at bay.
”You wouldn dare! ” Mali said with wide eyes. Holding her penlight out like a knife as though she were warding off an attacker.
”Wouldn I? ” asked Xavier?
”No, ” She clicked off her penlight and put it back in the pocket of her lab coat.
e every bit as scared of your sister as I am. Are you still coming to dinner tomorrow? ” she asked.
”Mm, it depends, whos cooking? ” Xavier asked.
Mali scoffed. ”Thanya is cooking. You know my wifey never lets me cook! ” She rolled her eyes.
”Does she let you call her wifey? ” Xavier laughed.
”What, you think Im supposed to call her Lawyer Thanya at home? Don be ridiculous, thats only for the bedroom! ” she quipped.
”You are a terrible person, you know that? ” Xavier said, shaking his head with a laugh.
”Anyway Im not sure about tomorrow, I might have a date, no! Not a date. We are just getting coffee. Im not even sure when yet. ” Xavier said blushing.
”Ahhh finally the truth comes out! You have a boyfriend! So it was an illicit encounter that left you in this state. ” She smirked, gesturing to his messy appearance.
Xavier scoffed. ”Not even. He just makes me nervous uh I was scared..well not scared but you know, flustered to ask him out. ” He finished weakly.
”So let me get this straight, you were nervous to ask him out on your
ot date to get coffee? ” Mali collapsed in a fit of giggles
”You can get anything straight you
e a lesbian. ” Xavier quipped.
”You little shit! Wait till I tell Thanya about how her brother is afraid to ask a guy for coffee, maybe she did get all the balls in the family. ” She said.
”Its not that! Ive dated plenty of guys, there is just something about him. Xavier blushed, his ears turning a deep red.
”Uh-huh and I thought you were supposed to be the shrink. ” She shook her head. ”Ok thats enough family bonding for one day, what did you bring me? ”
Xavier pulled the evidence bag out of his jacket pocket and signed the chain of custody log book.
”Oooh more sparkly dust for me yay! Ill call you as soon as I know if its a match. I have to warn you there was a double homicide this morning. Im running trace on, so don expect anything till tomorrow ” Mali stood up from her stool and strode across the lab, her heels clicking on the polished floor. Mali had a quick wit and biting sense of humor but she took her job seriously and was one of the best in her field, Thanya always said she was like a human bloodhound.
Xavier said goodbye but received only a vague wave in his general direction from Mali whose eye was now trained intently on the eyepiece of a microscope. Checking his watch Xavier sighed. 10 pm. It was a long day and none of them had slept much last night. With the lab probably running tests all night. Hopefully, they could all go home. Most of the building was empty and quiet; only the teams on night duty were still there, he could hear the whirr of the elevator echo through the building as he rode it up to their office the glow of lights told him the rest of the team was still there.
”Ah, just in time. What did the lab say? ” Asked Noh.
”They said it will be some time tomorrow before we see any results. They are pretty backed up, ” said Xavier.
Noh clapped his hands.
”All right people! Xavier said the lab is running behind so well have no results tonight! We have all worked hard, go home, get rest and pray that none of us see each other before sunrise! See you in the morning bright and early! Don call me unless someone dies, and even then only if I liked them! ” Said Noh with a chuckle.
Everyone seemed to stand up at once, Kram and Love looked dead on their feet having worked most of last night and driving much of today. Waving to Noh they shuffled out, Kram would get a nap and then work late into the night. Love headed immediately for his car wanting nothing more than a shower and sleep. Noh waited for everyone to gather their things before killing the lights and locking the office door. It would all be here in the morning he stretched waiting for the elevator he felt like he could sleep for a week.
Yuck was that smell coming from him? He couldn believe they had the bad luck of two major cases back to back without so much as 12 hours in between. He needed a shower.
Xavier lingered in the parking garage waiting for the others to leave. Feeling fidgety and nervous like a schoolboy on his first date, he took off his jacket tossed it in his back seat then pulled his tie loose, and finally, rolled up his sleeves exposing his athletic forearms. Leaning against his car he waited. In no time, he heard the echoing sound of footsteps in the garage. Tan came into view a few moments later. As soon as he saw Xavier, he smiled and reflexively bit his lower lip. Xavier looked so good, relaxed with his sleeves rolled up.
Hello, Daddy! thought Tan.
”Hey, you waited for me, ” Tan said cheerfully.
”Want to get that coffee tonight or are you too tired? ” Asked Xavier his voice wavered a bit.
Tan shook his head. ”Im not too tired but I can tonight. Noh has asked me to work on a few things so I will be up most of the night in my workshop, but lets do it soon. ” He smiled up at Xavier who seems to be both letdown and relieved.
”Oh, I see, no worries then, See you tomorrow. ” Awkwardly Xavier wished Tan good night and slid into the drivers seat of his car before heaving a sigh and throwing his small hatchback into reverse.
Tan watched Xavier back out of his parking space and waved smiling as he passed him and headed for the exit. His question in the elevator might have seemed abrupt but the truth was he noticed Xavier watching him soon after he joined the team. At first, he thought it was curiosity he was the last person to be recruited and it wasn unusual for people to watch his work with mild interest till they became bored then Tan and his projects seemed to fade into the fabric of everyday life. But Xavier never seemed to get bored, his eyes seemed to drift to Tan every time he looked up from his desk or when they were in the field. Most of the time Xavier didn seem to realize he was watching Tan which is perhaps what made him so interesting in return.
Tan had a series of lovers never settling with one person for long he didn like being alone but he also didn like people to linger trying to worm their way deeper into his life and his space. His space was sacred and so far he hadn found anyone he felt comfortable sharing it with long-term. As he put on his helmet and started his bike he wondered if Xavier would turn into another on his long list of temporary lovers.
Even though Kram didn have much to work with on this case but it was too early for bed. So he got out a dry erase marker and listed what they did know.
The victim Kisa Boonnak was an art critic.
There was powdered goldstone on her body and she had written a rather harsh review of an artist who used goldstone in their work.
Hart ordered goldstone for one of his artists.
He seemed to tell the truth about the fake art and the goldstone but he was definitely lying about someone else being in that house/ Why?
Kram circled the words Goldstone, hart, and lying.
Tomorrow he would ask Love to dig up that report Hart said he filed. Kram checked the time 3 am a bit early for bed but it had been a long day. Once more he washed down his meds with cold coffee before climbing into bed.
The next few days passed in a blur of frustrating bureaucratic inactivity. The officer who filed Harts report clearly hadn taken the matter seriously the report notes were vague and the description of the person was missing from the ”file ” which seemed too generous a term for two sheets of paper half-filled out in blue ink that was unreadable to do spilled coffee in half of it. Love had threatened half the department before finally, they received an emailed copy of a darkly Xeroxed sketch.
”I hate people! This is exactly why all our records should be digitized! Im going to find out who is responsible for this and embed a virus in all their favorite porn videos I swear to you I will do it! Love fumed from behind his wall of monitors.
”I sent an email to the sketch artist Im hoping they kept a copy! I thought things like art theft and fraud were supposed by handled by DSI anyway? ” He said in frustration.
”We are if the cases get sent to us. The whole third floor is dedicated to forgery and fraud, and other white-collar crimes. ” Said Noh leaning on the edge of the desk a cup of coffee and a cigarette in hand.
The sharp tap of a clipboard against glass came from behind Noh, they all turned to see a sweaty group of officers carrying several cardboard file boxes waiting to be let in.
”Shit! ” Noh stubbed out his cigarette, put down his coffee, and dashed to the door waving his badge past the reader to let them in.
”Gentleman? What is all this? ” Noh motioned to the boxes.
”Its the files from the other case like your dead woman in the alley the sergeant from that night told us to send them over he seems to think they might be related. I dunno why, anyway, they are your problem now. ” The officer thrust the clipboard toward Noh who signed it. The officer gave it a cursory glance before bowing and stuffing out glad to be done with what he clearly thought was a matter beneath him.
Noh turned back to the bullpen and raised his eyebrows at Kram.
”I believe these are for you. ”
”Me? I thought we were a team, ” said Kram.
”Oh, we are which is why… ”
Love cut him off. ”Don even think about assigning me to that just looking at all that paper gives me hives. If he finds something useful Ill be happy to follow it up, my way. ”
”As I was saying before someone interrupted…. Xavier can help you go through it, Tan is working on a project for me and I have a meeting to attend. The higher-ups want an update on our case. Love you can keep trying to find a better copy of that sketch. ”
Xavier and Kram divided the boxes, three each, and started the slow process of sifting through reports and evidence. Lunchtime came and went empty cups of coffee and empty boxes of Pad Thai took up one end of the table. The four oclock sunlight was slanting mercilessly through the office windows when Xavier suddenly sat up straight.
”Look at this I finally found the autopsy report! ” He dropped it on the table between them flipping the file open.
The pictures were eerily familiar, it could have been the very scene they had stood over less than a week ago except that the dead eyes in the photo belonged to that of a man in his 20s or 30s. The medical examiner noted small cuts and scratches on his hands and flakes of gesso under his nails these small wounds common on artists hands, pointed to him being a painter or art student. The next set of photos were close-up shots of the now-familiar sparkle of blue goldstone, that had been left on his face, hands, and torso, just like it was on Kisa.
Xavier shook his head.
”No wonder they wanted to pass this off so quickly this whole case was a disaster! They collected a lot of physical evidence from the scene there are witness statements but no one even came forward to claim the body. It was only three months ago so his body should still be in cold storage if we need it. ”
Kram took the file to the board they had set up for the current crime scene and started building a parallel diagram of the first scene. Thirty minutes later he took a step back to examine the progress. Xavier let out a low whistle behind him.
”What have I told you about catcalling me at work Xavier? ” Said Kram with a chuckle.
”Shut up, Kram. I was just thinking do you remember those spot the difference puzzles everyone does as kids. Thats what this reminds me of, these crimes were committed by the same person or persons, Im sure of it. Besides the wounds and goldstone, there is also where the victims were killed, how they were left, and the way he disposed of their belongings are also similar. I would bet he knows the art district well and waited to ambush them. ” Before Xavier could continue Love cut in.
”Uh, guys you need to see this. ” Love looked from his wall of monitors to Xavier and Kram. excitement clearly etched on his face.
”I think this case just got weirder and maybe a bit clearer. ” Love cocked an eyebrow.
Xavier and Kram exchanged glances and scurried across the room to see what Love was so happy about.
”The sketch artist keeps digital copies of all his work just in case, he just sent it over and….look. At. This! ” With a click of his mouse, a sketch popped on the large monitor in front of them.
”Damn, ” said Kram.
Xavier just let out another low whistle. ”Well, now we know how he was connected to the art world, I don suppose there is a name in that file Love. ”
Love shook his head, it seems that gallery owner Hart was right no one even bothered to try to find this guy. There aren any prints for us to compare either. So we know he is our dead guy but we don know much else. ”
”We know one more thing, ” Kram said. Love and Xavier looked at him.
”The goldstone and this dead guy both lead to Hart. We need to find out who else was in that house that day we went to get the goldstone sample. Im sure someone else was there. ”
The sharp click of heels in the hall drew their attention, Mali walked through the door file in hand.
”Im still working on a lot of the other evidence but I got this back, ” she brandished a paper over her head. ”The goldstone on this body is similar but not exact to the one found on the woman, but I am certain it comes from the same manufacturer the quartz sand used in making it isn the same but the copper is the same. ” She smiled satisfied.
”Anyway I hope that helps, Ive got to get back to the lab. ” She winked at Xavier on her way out.
Kram held the paper and turned to look at Love.
”So now we are three for three? All roads lead to Hart. Ill call Noh, you find hart and tail him we need to know what hes doing, who he sees, and hopefully figure out who he was hiding. Hart is small I don think he could do this on his own. ” Said Kram.
”He might be small but hes a man. With sufficient enough anger I think he could kill these two if he wanted. Mind you, I don think he did it. Hart is smart, smarter than to leave a trail that leads right to him, and from the way he accosted us last time I don think he would do something that would risk his business. So you heard it from me first, Hart isn our man, Id bet on it. ” Said Love.
He gathered his jacket and borrowed a few of Tans smallest drones, before heading out to the garage. Love was the only person Tan trusted with his drones other than himself, an unspoken understanding between the two tech guys. He looked over the transportation options available to him: a motorbike, two motorcycles, three cars, two trucks, and one big silver SUV. Most of the motorpool for undercover work were vehicles seized from drug traffickers. The idea was it would help them blend into the city far easier than regular police vehicles ever could plus it was cheaper a lot of times undercovers vehicles had to be disposed of quickly or were ruined in the line of duty, it was less painful for everyone to trash a car or bike that the government hadn paid for.
Love checked his watch, 17:30 he better take a bike. Depending on the time of day in Bangkok you could be hours sitting in traffic on the same miserable patch of asphalt and it was the start of rush hour. Walking to the garage attendant he picked up the clipboard on the desk.
”Ill be taking the Triumph out. ” while the attendant retrieved the keys from the lockbox Love looked down the list of vehicles and signed his name next to the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR.
Love checked the address of Harts gallery he hadn been in the creative district for a while but he was familiar with Bang Rak the area that occupied the space between the Chao Phraya river and Silom. Putting on his helmet he kicked the motorcycle to life and sped out of the garage.
Turning right Love headed south, zipping in and out of traffic weaving between cars, trucks, and other bikes he had decided to go through the city rather than take the toll road. At red lights the bikes all pool toward the front of the line grouped around the cars or trucks there, traffic in Bangkok was chaos but a kind of organic organized chaos, each rider aware of what was around them, and what could go wrong. Most of them had impeccable timing, sliding between cars and other bikes with mere centimeters to spare, it was like an intricate dangerous dance one wrong step and it was over. Traffic fatalities had become significantly less common but the number was still high with around 4000 accidents a year, and roughly 350 lives lost.
As the first gallery came into view he slowed hugging the side of the road looking for Harts distinctive red BMW convertible it wasn long before he found it tucked behind a building, there were several food stalls down the road with tables set up it was just around a curve Love could see the car from there but he wouldn be visible to Hart. He parked and ordered, it had taken him an hour to get across the city in traffic the upside was finally the sun was starting to set, and it would get marginally cooler once it was dark. Love ate his Pad Thai picking out half the bean sprouts, he didn like them once they were wilted.
Hart checked his Phone and swore under his breath.
”Shit! ” He bolted out of his chair and upstairs to change, he had promised to meet some friends in Silom and if he didn get there soon, it would be standing room only, especially on a Friday. Hart checked his make up opting for winged eyeliner and adding a few delicate rhinestones on his upper eyelid just below his browline. His red lipstick made his already pouty lips sultry, he finished his look with tall boots and a black pleated skirt, a halter top, and a red slouchy blazer with ¾-length sleeves. He checked himself in the mirror and smirked, gorgeous.
Hart scanned the sky as he descended the steps toward where he parked his car, you never saw stars in Bangkok but it wasn cloudy, it was a short drive from his studio to Silom but he wanted the roof open anyway. Turning the key he pushed the button to lower the roof, it felt like freedom. Less than 10 minutes later he parked his car at a friends restaurant and walked the last block to where he was to meet the others.
Silom housed most of the gay clubs in Bangkok on soi 2 and soi 4 the bars and clubs lined both sides of the street tables spilling out onto the sides walks and streets like grandstands facing each other you could sit and watch the continuous parade of interesting people or you could walk around seeing who was where. Here you can find everything from drag shows and strip shows to Kareoke.
Heading down Soi 4 the heals of his boots clicked ferociously against the pavement, he could feel the crowds eyes on him, friends and regulars stopped him to plant issues on his cheeks and ask how the gallery was doing. Tourists stared and the newcomers ask about him in whispers. He used to revel in the attention but it wasn the same without Phet. Lost in his own thoughts he didn pay attention to the motorcycle that parked at the end of the soi past the last strip club. Hart checked his watch it was nine he better get inside and order a drink, his friend Marina was doing her first drag show tonight and he wanted to be right up front.
The stranger bar was already packed as he made his way through the crowd to the mar his friends occupied one corner and stood all along the black wall lined with masks. Hart ordered a Sex on the Beach and around of Sperm shots for his group of friends.
Love untucked his shirt and unfastened three buttons grateful he didn have to wear a uniform. Checking his hair in the mirror he ran his hands through it trying to make it less flat from wearing a helmet. Now it stuck up in an unruly mess, which he thought made him look charming. He walked down the soi to the bar he had seen Hart enter, the patio outside was full and inside was standing room only. He pushed his way in toward the bar Hart was facing away from him busy laughing and passing out shots to his friends his own drink sat untouched on the end of the bar. Love made his way to the other end of the bar near the bathrooms; he could see the whole club except for the upstairs stage from this vantage point.
He was there to keep an eye on Hart but the truth was he couldn peel his eyes away from him. Love sipped his beer, watching every move Hart made. Love couldn hear what he was saying over the music but he tossed his head back when he laughed, his eyes sparkled, and his laughter seemed contagious. Love smiled and took a sip of his beer just as a voice came over the Mic.
”Welcome to The Stranger Bar! If you don have drinks, what are you waiting for! The first show starts in five minutes! ”
Love was still staring when Hart spun back toward the bar to order another drink the pleats of his skirt twirling, his face went from smiling to shocked the instant their eyes met. Love couldn help but laugh at the look of shock on his face. Loved raised his beer and winked. Smiling Hart leaned over the bar to shout his order before sauntering over to Love.
”Detective Love, fancy meeting you here. I didn know you were into the drag scene. ” Hart said cocking a hip out and raising an eyebrow
”Oh, Hart my dear, if I can be so bold as to call you my dear, there is so much you don know about me yet, and the queens here are fantastic, even cops are people outside of work you know. ” Love smirked.
”Are you inviting me to know more about you detective? ” Hart asked coyly.
”Maybe ” Love blushed. ”Can I buy you a drink? ”
Hart tilted his head. ”That depends on if you want to go somewhere else with me? Im only staying long enough to see my friends first show here, but if you want to come with me after this Ill let you buy me that drink. ”
Before Love could answer, the room erupted in cheers as the MC shouted.
”Are you ready for the first queen! ”
They both instinctively turned toward the stage above them Love had to turn totally around on his barstool as the stage behind him. As soon as his back was turned Hart wrapped his arms around his neck, putting his chin on Loves shoulder.
”Ill see you after the show, and don you dare skimp on tipping the queens! ”
Love jumped and cupped his ear spinning around to see Hart disappear into the crowd back to his friends along the wall. Love rubbed the edge of his ear and looked at his fingertips which were stained with red lipstick. Hart had bit his ear leaving teeth marks and a lipstick print. Loved blushed and smiled, picking up his beer he turned to the show leaving the lipstick where it was. He kind of liked being marked by Hart.
Hart joined his friends against the wall and stood up on a small chair to see the show over the crowd, it was fine when the queen was on stage but once they descended the stairs to the floor of the bar it was hard to see the rest of the performance, and it would be impossible to keep an eye on Love if he stood in the crowd even though he was wearing boots.
Hart always brought enough to tip the queens well. Once one person started others were more likely to follow, it was herd mentality kind of like starting a riot but with money. Tonight, however, it was Love that started it, he tipped every queen., tucking the money in corsets or stockings or hands, he wasn rude about it though, never grabbing anyone inappropriately or making them reach for it, he never showed his badge never tried to seem in control. Tipping respectfully was rare in any industry but especially in places like this. People always tried to exploit those they think are different from them. Usually, the worst behaved were foreigners,
At the end of the first show, the curtain and sliding doors onto the patio opened, and people spilled out to have a smoke, stroll around, and just get some air away from the crowd. Hart waited till Love had put on his jacket before stepping out onto the patio. He was busy with goodbyes when firm arms circled his shoulders Hart turned with a coy smile expecting to find Love. Instead, he froze looking into the face of his ex. Múd Without hesitation Hart took a step back grinding the heel of his boot into the top of his exs foot and butting his head into his chin he could feel the harsh clack of teeth smacking together.
”What the ** Hart! ” Múd reeled backward clutching his mouth that was now pouring blood. Hart stepped in close to the retreating man ready to land a punch but before he could swing wide shoulders stepped between him Múd. Hart didn even see Love swing but he heard the heavy thwak of a fist connecting hard with the cartilage and bones of a human face. Múd fell back clattering into a table and against the wall of the building. Love spun to check on Hart.
”Are you all right! ” The look in Loves eyes was frantic as he patted Hart all over, using his thumb and forefinger he lifted Harts chin tilting his face side to side in the light to make sure there wasn a scratch on him. When he was satisfied Hart was unharmed he turned angrily back to the man, a crowd had gathered around him, but no one offered to help he seemed well known to most of the onlookers. Love stepped through the crowd toward the man he planned to check his condition and run his fingerprints and information, but as he leaned over the man spit in his face spraying blood all over him. Love lept back wiping his face with his sleeve.
”Tonight is just not your night. ” Love clicked open his handcuffs and roughly hauled the man to his feet. ”You are under arrest for assaulting a police officer. ” Love hauled the guy down the steps of the patio and solved him against the railing while he called in the arrest. He only had his bike so another officer would need to deliver him to Kram.
He sent Kram a text.
—-Sending you a present, not sure if its related to the case but this guy attacked Hart outside a club, it seems like they dated in the past maybe he will have an idea of who was at the studio? Kisses—
—A Present for me? You shouldn have….no really I just took a shower and made a fresh pot of coffee but sure Ill go interrogate your boyfriends ex-boyfriend…. Its a good thing you
e my favorite—-
Love smirked at the text as Hart walked up beside him.
”Sorry, you had to get involved with that ” He smiled sheepishly
”No worries, always happy to help ” Love tipped his imaginary cowboy hat to Hart who smiled and slapped his shoulder.
”You are so lame. ” Hart rolled his eyes. ”Are you still going to buy me a drink tonight or is he your new date? ” Hart pointed toward Múd with his chin.
Love scoffed, ”Nonsense, I came on a bike so Im waiting for a local officer to pick him up then we can continue on our adventure, if you don mind waiting you can ride with me? ”
Hart looked down at his outfit. ”You want me to ride on a motorcycle in this skirt? ”
Love scrunched up his face to show he was thinking extra hard.
”No, no of course not. ” he shook his head as though the thought never crossed his mind.
”Uh-huh, Ill tell you what my car is nearby, why don I wait for you and you can ride with me instead. ” Hart put his hand on his hip.
”I would but the bike isn mine, so I can leave it, you know, protocol and all that ” He pointed to where he parked the Triumph.
”The Bangkok police department bought a Triumph motorcycle! What a waste of money! ”
”Mmm, technically no, we confiscated it from a drug dealer. ” Love smiled, as though he had outsmarted someone.
”Well I guess thats cheaper, but why do you have it? ” Hart raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
”Oh, well, would you believe me if I said I have it for a top-secret work assignment? ” Love smiled.
Hart narrowed his eyes. ”Im not sure, but Im willing to give you the benefit of the doubt ”
As they were talking a police truck turned into the ally entrance. Love hauled his prisoner up by his elbow and walked him to the backdoor of the truck he ducked his head placed him in the back seat and closed the door. Walking to the front he leaned on the hood to fill out the paperwork, ten minutes later Hart sat on the back of the Triumph side-saddle, while Love drove him to his car. A short distance later they both parked at another little place owned by a friend and walked down soi 4. Using Loves badge they skipped the line at the metal detector, Hart leading the way to the second floor of his favorite bar. It seemed like every other step on the path through the club they were stopped so someone else could greet Hart, all of them seemed to have a piece of news to share or a question to ask. Thankfully, his friends had already nabbed the best round booth. They arrived to find the table top was already covered in various shots that glowed in test tubes, neon, green, yellow, red, and blue. Various flavors from lime to pineapple.
Hart was undoubtedly impressive if he wasn involved in the murders he might just be the key to finding who was, it seemed he knew everyone in Bangkok. Love couldn help feelings stab of jealously at the flood of men both Farang and Thai alike that were falling over themselves to get Harts attention. Hart was polite for a while flirting answering questions, planting kisses on peoples cheeks but when he had enough he turned his back on the crowd and swung his boot-clad legs over Loves thigh half sitting in his lap. Hart poked Love between the eyebrows.
”Jealous much? ” He asked amused.
”Maybe a bit ” Love conceded ”sorry. ”
Hart through his head back and laughed, before slipping his arms around Loves neck, his slouchy jacket sliding down revealing his bare shoulder in the gap between the jacket and neck of his crop top.
”Don be jealous I turned down every drink they offered officer, I promise, ” he smirked biting his bottom lip.
Love gave a half-smile before leaning down.
”Good boy. ” he purred in Harts ear. He pulled back and smiled innocently at the look of shock, and desire on Harts face.
”Now what would you like to drink.? ” Love asked.
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