The Hawk – Edmonton - Prologue Cole has a list of the Gay Bars in Edmonton.

He first went to The Roost, but it was too busy there. He did not want to go into a place that crowded. He drove over to the The Hawk, which was a couple of streets over. He sat in his truck, every once in a while he would see a guy enter this bar. It did not seem to be as busy as the other bar and the men looked older. Cole finally decided to go in. He walked in the front door. It had another door inside, Cole tried it, and it was locked. A man appeared in a cage. “May I see some ID sir?” the guy asked. Cole pulled out his driver’s license and handed it to the man. The man scanned it and looked up at Cole. “He knows goddammit! Why did I give him my license?” Cole curses to himself. The man reacts to Cole’s face “Don’t worry sir, we have had more than one in here” The door buzzes and he pulls it open. Cole looks to the right and sees a washroom to the right. Ahead is a long hallway with a bar at the end of it. Cole tentatively walks down it. The guys sitting at the bar stare at him and this scares him a bit. Cole gets to the bar and orders a Bud. When he has paid for it he goes to stand where he can accustom himself to the room. His eyes slowly adjust to the light, or lack thereof. He notices that there are TV’s mounted near the ceiling and they are playing gay porn. Cole watches a bit averts his eyes and then watches some more. Kind of like a car accident. He sees that all of the men there are either dressed in 501’s and t-shirts or have varying degrees on leather on. Some of the leather guys are almost naked. He can hear the Stranglers playing on the stereo, which is better than most of the stuff he hears in bars these days. The lighting and the music create a mood, one, which makes him feel horny. While looking around he notices a guy checking him out. He slowly takes a slug of beer and returns the guy’s stare. The guy comes over, “How was the trip up here?” “Just fine, do I know you?” Cole asks as he sees if he can remember the guy. He gives up; you meet so many people in his line of work. One of the reasons he is in Edmonton. “Well you know me to the tune of $85.00” the man laughs, “but you won’t remember my name, I’m Kurt”

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Cole considers making up a name, but it is not like him to lie about stuff like that. He offers his hand “I’m Cole Wheeler. $85? Must have been speeding.” “Yup about a month and a half ago” Kurt says with a bit of a laugh. “So you remember me after all this time?” Cole asks fearing what is coming. “Cole” the man says with a big grin, “I’ll remember that body of yours until I die!” Cole looks the man over and he certainly fits into the category of a guy he maybe attracted to. The man had on boots, jeans and a harness. He looked hot, but Cole was not sure if this was what he was looking for. “Hey Cole, don’t be afraid!” Kurt smiles “It’s just a look.” Cole grins; he knows it is just a look. He remembers the first time he tried on his uniform. Thank God he had the weekend to get that out of his system before his first shift. Cole blushes at the memory and looks back at the guy. They shoot the shit on all kinds of topics and they have two or three beers together. Cole finds that he has a lot in common with the guy. “Want to take a tour of the bar?” Kurt asks. “Sure, looks like there is another room or something over there.” Cole nods his head in the direction of a door, which he has seen men go in and out of. They walk around the front part of the bar and it appears just like any other bar except there are no women here. Then they go into the back room. In there Cole sees a big screen TV playing porn that is the only light in the room. Kurt put his hand on Cole’s shoulder and leads him further into the room. He could make out silhouettes of guys standing along the walls. Some seemed to be jerking off while watching the video. This turned Cole on, it was like a fantasy. One that he has lived numerous times in dreams. Kurt led him to yet another room. Cole stopped in the doorway. In this room there were guys making out. Mostly he could see they were kissing, but he saw a couple of guys on their knees. Cole could smell beer and sweat. His cock stiffened. Kurt, who still had his hand on Cole’s shoulder pulled him over, they were looking eye to eye. Kurt leaned forward and put his lips to Cole’s. Cole had never kissed a guy before, but he didn’t fight. The man pulled Cole up against him. Cole closed his eyes and he felt the man’s tongue enter his mouth. Cole met it with his. Cole relaxed and went with it. Soon he had his hands around Kurt and was pulling him hard against him. Cole could feel the other man’s hardness pressed up against him.

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Cole’s hands moved down and held Kurt’s ass, Kurt responded with a moan. He squeezed the man’s ass and pulled him harder against him. Cole knew he wanted this to go further than kissing. Kurt breaks the kiss and asks, “Wanna come to my place, I’d rather not do anything here?” “I was thinking you would never ask” They kissed again and then Kurt took Cole’s hand and led him to the front of the bar. Kurt went to the coat check and asked for them to call a cab. Then he gave in his tag and retrieved a leather jacket. “Your cab is here,” The attendant said with a wink. Cole wonders how the guy knew that. They walk out the door and on the way past the coatroom he sees several TV monitors, one shows the street.

3

Cole Wheeler Chapter One The clock went off at 08:00 AM. Cole, awaking with a start reached over and hit the snooze button. He started to drift off back to sleep. “Damn why did I go out drinking last night?” He asks himself. Cole forces himself out of bed. Clad in boxers he stumbles to the bathroom. He stands in front of the toilet to take a piss, but his hard-on won’t go down. Cole turns to the sink grabbing a toothbrush he puts some toothpaste on it. He proceeds to brush his teeth, he is pressed against the counter, which does nothing to calm down his dick, but it feels good. He looks at himself in the mirror. He considers himself average looking although people tell him he is good looking. He has blond hair, which doesn’t appear to show any sign of thinning or greying. He is starting to get wrinkles at the corners of his blue eyes. He has a strong jaw and even teeth. Cole doesn’t have a moustache like a lot of officers. He is proud of his body though. He has managed to keep it in shape. He is muscular but not overly so. In the few fights he has had he has managed to hold his own and he has no problems standing up to bad guys. “Have to start working on the gut”, he says as he slaps a hand hard against his stomach. When Cole is finished brushing he turns to the toilet and this time he is able to relieve himself. Back in the bedroom, he strips, and gets his running clothes from a chair in the corner. Getting dressed he heads downstairs to the kitchen. Opening the fridge he gets some Gatorade. This ought to help with my headache, as he gulps it down. Cole grabs his keys and heads to his pick up. He drives into to a park where there are a lot of other runners and bike riders. Cole heads over to a bathroom and fills his water bottle. Cole does some easy stretches and then is off running. He knows that the first mile is the toughest. It is a fight until you to get passed that and he has this fight every time he runs. At an easy pace Cole is running on the bike path. He waves at the runners coming towards him and forces a smile. After a mile and a half his body has given up fighting the run and he picks up the pace. Cole runs for stress relief and to keep fit, in that order. If a psychiatrist were to look at the thoughts a runner has while running he would think the person was certifiable. Cole mind fires up one problem after another. The constant pace helping him to resolve it or deem it not important.

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One problem has surfaced though, that no amount of running is going to cure. Cole is a Gay Cop. This is something he has just learned, no not just learned, more like realizing that it is not a phase. Cole loves being a Cop; he joined nine years ago when he was 21. Being a Cop is everything to Cole, he lives eats and breathes the job. Until recently, Cole was in denial about his feelings towards men. He used to rationalize that he wanted to be just like so and so. He would visualize being that guy and having his life. His wife, his family, the works and he figured this would make him happy. But alas, an event not too long ago made him realize that that would not be the path he would take. Cole met someone in a bar and wound up going home with him. This was not the first time he had done stuff with a guy, but this time was different. All the other times the guy would satisfy Cole and he would be off. This time Cole took a more active role and he liked it! This did not sit to well with him as it flew in the face of everything he believed in. Cole is an All American guy, he was the quarterback on the football team in both High School and College and he was popular in school and he always had great looking girlfriends. The sun beating down on him made him hot and as Cole is wane to do he slowed a bit and took off his shirt. Sweat glistened on his body. He sped up again, picking up the pace as the cool breeze caressed his body. Up in front of him, Cole sees another guy running. He recognizes him. It is Mark, another Cop. Mark and him grew up together; in fact they have almost been in separable. They went to the same High School and College and played ball together. It was at a party in their senior year, when they were talking about what they were going to do after school, that Mark said he was going to be a Cop. Cole had never really given any thought to what he wanted to do after school. He had a list, football player, astronaut, jet pilot or fireman. Cop had never made his list. Somehow though when Mark said that, Cole realized that he could see himself as a cop. Cole sped up so that he could talk to his friend. “Hey ” Cole said, “How is it going?” Mark turned and looked at his buddy. “Not bad, see you have your shirt off, hitting on girls again?” “Who me?” Cole feigns innocence. “Actually, I was just about to do the same, it’s a warm one” Mark slows a bit and takes his shirt off.

5

Cole looks at Mark like it is the first time he has ever seen the guy. He sees that his buddy has kept himself in shape, great arms and shoulders. He notices that his buddy is getting a gut too. “What?” Mark asks giving Cole a puzzled look, “You are starting to get one too!” Mark says as he points at Cole’s stomach. Cole sucks his stomach in and both men start laughing. They run together at a faster pace than either of them would have done if they were running alone. They talk about job stuff, nothing important just bouncing their decisions off the other guy. “How’s the family doing?” “Great, actually Mary was asking about you the other day” Mark says “She wants to know when she can feed you again”. “Well I’ll have to check my calendar, but maybe tonight” Cole says with a big smile. “Great come on over around supper time, the kids would be happy to see you too.” Mark met Mary in College, end of story. Well not really, they started dating then married after Mark became a cop. Mark loves his wife and his family. Cole has never seen the man so happy. Cole’s mind goes back to the problem he was working on earlier. Running alone may help with this. “Well Mark, I have a busy day ahead of me” Cole says, “I have run two and half out, may as well make it an even five, so I am going to head back, catch you later” “Sure Cole, you want me to run back with you?” Mark asks. “Nah, I still have some things to work out,” Cole says. Mark knows what Cole’s main reason for running is, so no explanation is needed. “Well I’ll see you about 18:00 then” Mark says. “Not if I see you first!” Cole grins and then he turns around and heads back to the truck. Cole starts to think about the reaction to his gayness by his family and friends. He is terrified of telling them. He is not even sure he accepts it yet. Cole’s imagination goes wild while he runs. His thoughts run from everything to acceptance to complete rejection. “I may need some help before I spring it on them.” Cole says to himself. He only knows one openly Gay person, Lance. Lance has been out since he was about 14. “Maybe I should ask him about this.”

6

Lance is a fireman who had a hell of a time getting on with the department. The fire department was notorious in its hiring practices and gay men were completely excluded from joining. Lance had applied and was rejected as one of the recruiting officers found about Lance’s sexuality. Lance did not take this lying down so he hired a lawyer. This surprised the department, as not too many recruits appeal their decision, anyway the case went to court and the department lost. Cole met Lance when he was doing tours of High School in the area. It was part of a community initiative to show that the Police Service is accessible. Lance cornered Cole when the presentation was over. Lance had a pile of questions about gay bashing. Cole did not dismiss him and went back to the Community Liaison to discuss the issues. Cole made arrangements to have Lance and some other gay students meet with the Community Officer. Cole thinks this is the best course of action. Lance will at least be able to tell him what it is going to be like in the near future. Thinking about Lance and his job though reminded Cole that family and friends aren’t the big problem here, being a Gay Police Officer is. Cole pulled off the path and panted. He didn’t know what was happening but his heart started racing. He gulped some water down and this seemed to help. Looking around he can see there is no one nearby, “Fuck!” He screams, “What am I going to do, I don’t want this!” Cole stops and measures his heart rate and it slowly comes down after five minutes. He feels his strength come back and he starts to run slow at first, then faster. When he finally reaches the truck he is exhausted. Cole opens the truck and sits down. He feels waves going through his head. Runner’s High, Cole goes with it. He puts a CD he made especially for this. Pretty soon he hears Van Morrison singing about a garden. The music matches the waves in his head. Cole comes out of his reverie after about forty-five minutes. He starts the truck and heads over to the gym. Cole gets to the gym swipes his card and heads over to the benches. He goes through his usual routine of various crunches, push-ups and chin-ups. When all of these are finished he heads to the weights. Cole is very proud of the shape he keeps himself in and he works hard to maintain it. He usually does weights one day and aerobic stuff on the next. Today however, he feels he needs to do both. An hour and a half later Cole is finished. He heads to the locker room. Cole has a permanent locker there, where he keeps shampoo and a change of clothes.

7

Stripping down, Cole admires himself in a mirror. He grabs a towel and soap and heads off to the showers. There is a steam room there, he sees through the door that it must have been fired up recently. He heads into the steam room and finds a place to sit. He stays in there for ten minutes and then goes to have a shower. He notices that one guy follows him out of the steam room. The guy starts to have a shower right next to him. He takes discreet glances at the guy and notices the guy checking him out too. Cole doesn’t do anything nor does he know what to do. So he just finishes up his shower and heads back to get dressed. The other man stayed where he was or went back in the steam room, Cole didn’t care. He slips on his 501’s, a t-shirt and sandals. Cole checks himself in the mirror. “Time to see Kat about a hair cut I guess” He says to no one. He packs his gym clothes in a plastic bag he has in the locker and goes to the truck. As he gets in the truck it occurs to him he should go into Red Deer and buy a book on the subject. He knows they may have one in the bookstore in town, but he is too well known.

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Bookstore and a Haircut It takes Cole twenty minutes to get to a large bookstore. He knows this one has a good reference section. Walking around he finally finds the Gay section and he looks around and sees there is no one nearby. He scans the titles and grabs a book called “Finding Love in a Man Eat Man World.” He reads the back of the book quickly and sees it addresses a lot of issues not just coming out. On the way to the cashier he also grabs a couple of other books, one by Carl Hiassen the other by James W. Hall. He really enjoys their novels. Nothing happens as he pays for the books. He feels relieved as he walks out of the store and heads down to a coffee shop and gets a coffee and bagel. Cole sits down and starts to read the book. After about an hour, he decides to leave. He has covered a lot of material, but it seems to be written for someone else, not him. Frustrated, he puts his fingers through his hair, this reminds him about the haircut. He drives back to Lacombe and parks on the street close to the hair salon. Cole enters the salon and is greeted at the door by the receptionist. “May I help you?” the woman asks, Cole notices that she is checking him out. “Is Kat going to be able to fit me in today?” He asks, “I just need a trim” The woman reviews Kat’s column in the appointment book. “I’ll ask as she doesn’t appear to have any free time”. The woman gets up and goes to Kat’s station. Kat looks towards the front of the salon and waves. “She will see you when she is finished with her current client” The woman says. “Is there anything I can get you? A coffee? Coke?” “No thanks, I am OK, I just came from a coffee shop” Cole smiles at her. He then turns to find a place to sit. Cole continues reading the book. Shortly, Kat is beside him. “Come on Stud, you’re up” Cole follows Kat back to her station. She takes the book from him and puts it on the counter. She checks out the name of the book “Homework?” Cole has known Katalin since she moved to town. She has been cutting his hair for over five years. She also provides other services for Cole. Cole has no secrets from Kat, which is why he brought the book with him.

9

Kat takes him down to the wash area, gets his head wet and then gives one of her patented scalp massages. Cole really enjoys this, it is one of the things that keeps him coming back to Kat for his haircuts. “So, what’s up Cole?” Kat asks. “Questioning some things, that’s all” Cole says. “Well I think that book is deals more with answering than questioning!” “You’re right, as usual” Cole grins, he can’t believe how relaxed this woman makes him feel. “What are you doing later? I think we need to talk” Kat says as she starts to trim his hair. Cole likes it short so she gets to see him about every ten days, but she does wish he would learn how to use a phone, like the rest of the world. “Well I am going to Mark’s for supper, prob be free about tenish, how about then?” “That’s a date!” Kat says with a grin, “My place or the bar?” “I think I’ll meet you at your place, if that’s OK?” “Sure is.” Kat knows she will find out everything if he comes to her place. Kat finishes up his hair. She asks about work and he tells her the usual stuff. Nothing she can’t read in a newspaper. “Done” Kat says. Cole stands, reaches in his pocket and pulls out a twenty. He gives it to her. “Cole, you know you don’t have to pay” Kat says, but she gives in easily, they go through this routine every time he pays her.

1

Supper with Mark and Family Cole arrives at the Comry residence at 18:00 on the dot. He brought flowers for Mary and some ice cream bars for desert. Mark greets him at the door, trailed by Brittany and Brendan his children. “Uncle Cole!” They both say in unison. The check out the bag to see what goodies he has brought. “Mommy, Mommy!” the kids yell as they run to the kitchen, “Uncle Cole brought ice cream for supper. Mark leads him down the hall into the kitchen. Cole can smell a roast and scalloped potatoes cooking. This is stuff he never cooks at home, the smell making him realize he is very hungry. Cole walks over to Mary and gives her the flowers and then a hug and a quick peck. “Cole, when you’re done with my wife” Mark laughs, “Do you want a beer?” “You have to ask?” Cole says. The guys go in the living room and talk shoptalk. The children follow them and are fighting to see who can sit in Cole’s lap. “Supper!” Mary calls. The all go into the dining room. The flowers Cole brought are in vase at the centre of the table. “Boy, you went all out!” Cole says, “You’re even using the china” “Your not kidding Cole, I don’t think we have ever eaten off this stuff,” Mark says. “That’s not true!” Mary retorts, “I only use it when we have company, which is not often enough Mark” Mark surrenders, knowing this is a fight he cannot win. “So Cole, what’s new in your life?” Mary asks. “Not much, same old same old.” Cole says. He feels guilty for lying but this is not the time or place to say what is new. “We’ll we have to get you married off soon, hell the kids will be ten before you have any of your own!” Mark says.

1

“What about that girl, what’s her name hon, Katalin?” Mary asks. “Kat, she’s just a friend” Cole responds, “A very good friend!” “Well I have met her and she seems like a nice girl”, Mary says. “How, about those Mariners!” Cole says as he tries to change the subject. Mark and Mary laugh as they have heard Cole use this line before to get out of a conversation that he doesn’t want to be in. “It’s nice what you have done to the house. I am almost finished mine, well the inside is done, but the outside looks like sh…..” Cole catches himself. “Uncle Cole said a bad word!” Brendan says. “I did not!” Cole defends himself. “Did too!” Brendan says loudly, Brittany joins him a second later. “Did not!” Cole says as he puts a mean look on his face, they try to make the same face. Then they all crack up laughing. When the noise quietens down, Mark says, “Well bud, if you need any help, just call” “Sure will, if and when I get around to it” When Cole’s Grandfather died, he divided the land he owned to his children. Cole’s Dad in turn divided the land and gave it to his children. Cole wound up with four acres where he built an A frame house. Cole managed to build the house in a summer. But is still needs some work on the outside. Cole just doesn’t have the time or the motivation to finish. As the evening wound down, Cole helped Mary put the kids to bed and told them a story. When the kids were sleeping he came out to the living room to see Mark and Mary sitting on the couch beside each other. Mark had his arm around her and they were looking at travel brochures. Cole thinks they look so happy together and he wishes that he had someone he could share his life with. “Planning a trip someplace?” Cole asks. “Yup, the kids want to go to Disneyland, so we were looking at the options” Mark said. “I always wanted to go to Disneyland” Cole says. “Maybe someday” “Why don’t you come with us?” Mary says. “No couldn’t do that, besides I have a holiday planned already”

1

“Where are you going?” Mark asks. “Chicago, I have some things on my list that I want to do there” “Such as?” Mark asks Cole proceeds to tell them about running on Lakeshore Drive, going up the Hancock Tower, listening to Blues and doing the Frank Lloyd Wright Tour. “That sounds great! Cole” Mary says, “Maybe you should go with him Mark, a little culture never hurts” Before Mark gets to stick his foot in his mouth, Cole says “Well, I have to hit the road, gotta date and don’t want to be late.” “Boy, you weren’t kidding about having to fit us in” Mark laughs. “Well its just one of the problems of being a single guy, so much to do so little time!” They all stand. Cole goes over and gives Mary a hug. Mark leads him to the door. “See you on Monday” he gently pats Cole on the back. “Don’t be a stranger!” Mary calls after him. “I won’t!” Cole says back. He heads down the walk to his truck. He starts it and stares at the front window where he sees them waving goodbye. Cole waves back and heads to Kat’s place.

1

Kat’s Place Cole has known Kat for about five years. He met her when the regular guy that used to cut his hair retired. He decided to go looking for a new place. Cole passed a Hair Salon near the Lacombe Hotel. A sign in the window caught his eye. “Men’s Haircuts $10.00”, so he went in. The girl at the front desk smiled at him, he was a little unsure cause the place was full of women. He asked if he could get a haircut, the girl took his name and asked him to have a seat. Ten minutes later, Cole sees this attractive woman come to the front counter. She was tall long black hair and she wore little makeup. She had jeans on and a smock. He looked at her eyes, they were grey/blue. The woman looks at the list and then looks at him. “You’re up” she said. He thought that this was strange, what kind of woman talks like that? “I’m Kat, short for Katalin, come with me” Cole followed her back to her station. “So what can I do for you today?” “Short back and sides, straight across the back, trim the top” “Sure, a cop cut” Kat says, “You one?” “Yes Mam, Cole Wheeler” He noticed she was giving him the once over. Kat proceeded to give him a haircut and she did exactly what he wanted. When she was finished she massaged his scalp. No one had every done this before, he could not believe how good it felt. He tried to pay her but she would not take the money, she told him it was on the house. Cole put the money in a tip jar she had at her station. The department has a code about accepting gifts and Cole sticks to it. So that was it, Cole has been coming to see Kat for haircuts for the past five years. Over the years the relationship became one of friends and then some. He learned that Kat moved from Calgary to get away from the scene. Apparently she has had some relationships, which have always gone south. One day she packed up and moved to Lacombe. Curious about who would want to dump a woman like Kat, Cole started asking questions. Finally Kat told him that she was a Lesbian. “Well you moved to the wrong place!” Cole says, “I don’t know of any here” “You’d be surprised,” Kat said with a smile. Cole did not push it and he did not need to know who did what with whom.

1

At 22:00 Cole buzzes Kat’s Apartment. The door lock clicks, without a comment from Kat. “She knows better” he thinks, “But then any guy that wants to tangle with her will get a shock”. He knocks lightly when he gets to the door. He hears her call “It’s open”. He opens the door. He is going to say something to her when he sees how she is dressed. “Wow Woman! you are looking hot tonight!” Kat is wearing a short black dress, black stilettos and her legs, her legs seemed to go on forever. “What’s the matter Kat got your tongue?” “Err, you could say that” Cole smiles and blushes. “I thought we were staying in?” “We are, we are just gonna have some small talk and drink some wine, OK?” Kat says, “So why don’t you come over here and sit on the couch, while I get some wine” Cole takes his shoes off and heads to the couch. He is watching her in the kitchen as she opens a bottle of red wine. Cole hears some soft jazz music playing. The mood is totally romantic. When Kat comes back, she puts a glass in front of him and the bottle on the table. Kat goes back and gets her glass. Sitting next to him, she asks, “So what shall we toast to?” “How about to old friends and new adventures” Cole says. Kat looks into his blue eyes, they have always hypnotized her. “To old friends and to new adventures” The glasses clink and they take a sip. Both of them start to think about how they became this close and as friends do they reminisced. “Hey, remember that first time?” Cole asks. “Do I ever, I was totally shocked when you asked me to do that, I figured something was going on with my best customer.” Cole had asked Kat if she ever trimmed other hair. He was comfortable enough with her to ask her anything. He said he read about it in a magazine and wanted to know about it. Kat said she had done it before, but she hadn’t in a long time. “Well, I still don’t know what made me ask, but I am glad I did”

1

“I remember the look you gave me when you came here and I said ‘Strip’, you looked like you were gonna bolt!” Kat laughs. “So I did what you said, you told me to lay on the bed and then you started” Cole’s face is red remembering this scene. “Well to tell you the truth Cole, you looked a hell of a lot sexier when I was done, I couldn’t control myself” When the trimming was done, Cole had a hard on that would not go away. Kat had noticed this. She had not done anything with a man in quite awhile, but she decided that Cole was worth it, so she took her clothes off too. They kissed for a while on the bed. Cole laid her down and then started to kiss his way down her body. He took his time as he could hear little moans of pleasure coming from Kat. Finally he got to her pelvis. He started to kiss around her lips and licked her clitoris. Kat was starting to make more noise. Cole stared licking the space between her lips and Kat put her hands on his head and held him there forcefully. Cole continued licking getting more and more aggressive. The more he did this the harder she held him. Cole put his hands on her sides and held her down and she started to buck against him. The more she started to fight him the firmer he held her. Pretty soon she was screaming that she was coming and Cole could feel the heat on his tongue. This whole scene had turned Cole on. Kat was very aggressive and gave back everything he gave her. After her orgasm had calmed down, Cole moved up her body and kissed her. Kat licked the juices off his lips. He pushed his cock inside her as she was doing this. Cole expected a fight, but she moved her legs around him and held his body, pulling him further and further into her. Cole could feel the heat in her and he wanted to make this last a long time, but that was not going to happen. Cole was too excited and she was too hot. He tried though, he would thrust until the feeling of impending orgasm rose and then he would stop. He repeated this several times getting closer and closer to orgasm each time. Finally, he could feel that he had passed the point of no return. Cole thrust really hard into her and shot his load. He collapsed on top of her. Kat held on to him tightly and they kissed passionately. “I still get goose bumps when I think about that!” Kat says. “Me too” Cole agrees “Which makes it kind of ironic, doesn’t it” “You mean about the book?” “Yeah, the book and what has been going on with me” “Are you ready to talk about it?” Kat looked into his eyes. She could tell that this was going to be very emotional for Cole. Kat put her arm around him.

1

Cole settles back on the couch and the feel of her arm gives him strength. “I have had guys suck me off before, but I never thought anything of it. I mean, I had a need and there was a person willing to take care of it” “How long has this been going on?” Kat asks. “Since college, I was in a washroom at the gym and I noticed a guys foot come under the stall wall. I didn’t know what that meant, but the guy was persistent” Cole fills the glass with some more wine and takes a sip. “Anyway, the guys he tells me to come in his stall. I don’t know what made me do it, curiosity or I was really horny, and anyway I went in there. The guy unbuttoned my jeans and started sucking. Man, it felt like heaven. It was over pretty fast and as soon as he was done I buttoned up and ran like hell!” Cole pauses as he feels tears start to form, as he has never admitted this to anyone. “So you like to get a blow job, has this happened a lot?” “Well it’s like an itch, about once every couple of months I had to have contact with a guy. Each time it got easier and easier. I mean, I didn’t feel guilty I would just do my business and then leave. Most of the guys doing this were not looking for reciprocation and if they were, I just left anyway.” “Well that was the way it went until I went to The Hawk in Edmonton a couple of weeks ago. I had never gone to a Gay Bar before. I made the trip to Edmonton as I didn’t want anyone I knew to see me.” “Well, you picked one of the better bars to go to, I know the owner, Mike and he is a stand-up guy” Kay interjects. Cole told Kat the story of meeting Kurt. “So now what?” Kat asks. “Well that’s why I bought the book. I guess I don’t know where to start. I mean what do I do now?” “Cole, ‘coming out’ is a process, it doesn’t occur over night. It has phases, some of them like this phase are really tough” “Tell me about it! When I finally accepted it, I realized I was in denial for a long time.” “I am glad that I can help you, not many guys have a friend that they can talk to about this.”

1

Cole turns to Kat and hugs her. His eyes are moist and he clings to her until it passes. He is not comfortable showing emotion. “Gotta use the can” He says and gets up. When he enters the bathroom he sees that his eyes are red. Cole uses the toilet and then washes his hands and face. The cool water makes him feel better. When he gets back to the living room he smiles at Kat. She looks up at him. “Man some women in town are sure going to be pissed off about this”, she says. Cole smiles and grabs his glass of wine and sits down. He leans back and closes his eyes. Finally he looks at Kat and says “Why me? I mean I have always like the company of women. I like to think that I know what I am doing and I get a sense of pleasure from sleeping with them” “Well, I think that is part of you Cole, I mean when we had sex you went way further pleasing me than most men I have ever slept with. In fact, you were right up there with some of the women, except for the part that they can’t do.” “Did you feel as comfortable with Kurt when you slept with him?” Cole thinks a bit and when he speaks it is like he is reporting an event. He is factual and tries to show no feeling. “Well, I have to admire Kurt, he must have had a lot of patience.” He says. “How do you mean?” Kat holds his hand. “Well, once we were in bed, I was struggling to stay there. I wanted to bolt for the door. I had never been this close to a naked man.” He pauses takes another drink and braces himself for what he is about to say. “Basically, we continued to kiss. His hands explored my body and I sort of followed suit, but I avoided any contact with his cock. Man I was lame!” “Kurt eventually started working his way down my body. When he latched on to one of my nipples I was shocked, I didn’t know they could give so much pleasure.” Kat smiled reassuringly. “Kurt finally made it to my cock and everything was familiar, except for the naked part. He swallowed it and I put my hands on his head. It felt real good. Then he did something, he moved his body around so that I was now looking at his erection”. “That must have been a shock,” Kat says calmly.

1

“Damn straight! all I could do was look at it. I also smelt the sweat from his crotch and I was kind of turned off. Kurt told me to lick it. I didn’t for a while and then he stopped what he was doing. He was making me feel great and I wanted more. So I guess I did what he asked so that he would start again” “So you did it?” “Oh yeah, I leaned over and kissed the head. It didn’t feel that weird, so I started to lick it. I tasted the saltiness of his sweat and it actually was not that bad. Then I just went for it. I took him into my mouth and did what he was doing to me.” “Of course I could not take him in that far, I kept gagging” “So you enjoyed it?” Kat asks. “Yup, I sucked cock and enjoyed it” Kat looked at him, he smiled, and she could see the relief on his face. “Well its good that you enjoyed yourself. What happened when it was done” Kat knew enough about men to realize we was probably feeling like shit. “Well, Kurt asked me to stay the night. I really wanted to leave. Kurt understood this and he was not going to fight me. Well, I wound up staying the night. We slept, if that’s what you want to call it in the same bed. I could not get use to having a male next to me.” “I got up in the middle of the night and sat on a chair and looked at him. The man was so peaceful in sleep. I looked at his body and of course his cock, which was just lying there. I ventured over and started to play with it. It was soft and his balls were damp. I leaned over and anyway you can figure out the rest.” “Did that time feel better?” Kat asks. “Yes, when he was sleeping and had no expectations I felt more comfortable. The lights went on in my head and I realized that I liked doing this. I guess I came out to myself then” “So what is the difference, I mean you have slept with women, what turns you on to sleeping with men?” Kat asks. “The hardness I guess, not of the guys dick, I mean his body. I enjoy the fact that we are equals and know the feelings that one man can give to another.” “Do you feel like you are less of a man?” “Hell no!” Cole says. “I have never felt so masculine in my life”

1

Kat smiles at him, she leans forward and offers her mouth to Cole. He leans in and kisses her. Their tongues entwine. Cole’s hands start to caress her body and he feels a hard on building. Cole breaks away, “Why does this feel so good? Kat” He asks, “I mean I’m getting wood kissing you!” “There are varying stages of being Gay, Cole. Maybe you are close to the dividing line. I am not saying you are Bi but you could be. That is something you will find out for yourself” Cole leans back and laughs, he remembers an article that he had read where being Bi was the best of both worlds. “Aren’t we a pair!” “How do you mean?” Kat asks, she knows the answer she wants to hear him say it. “Well you’re a Lesbian that sleeps with men and I’m a fag” Cole cringes at the word “that sleeps with women.” Cole gets a serious look on his face “So why do I have to ‘come out’?” “Because it’s time Cole” Kat grabs both of his hands and look into his eyes. “You have been lying to yourself and obviously something inside is saying enough is enough” “Well to tell you the truth” Cole “I do feel better about myself than I have for a long time. “I feel like my body has been strengthened” Cole leans forward and kisses her again. “Can I stay here tonight?” Kat thinks this may be a bad idea, but she knows how down he is on people that drink and drive. “Sure Cole, but there is not going to be any sex” “That’s cool, feeling your body next to me would be a great comfort” They go to bed. Cole didn’t have underwear on, so he was naked. Kat went to bed naked too. Cole got a tremendous hard on, while he lay next to Kat. Kat could feel it, “Ignore it Cole, just cause it’s hard doesn’t mean it has to be used” Cole laughs “But it has never been so hard!” “Go to sleep asshole!” Putting his arm around Kat he drifts off to sleep. Kat lets herself go to sleep when she is sure he is asleep.

2

****** Cole wakes up to find he is alone. He can smell coffee and hears noises coming from the kitchen. Getting out of bed he puts his jeans on and buttons them up. He pads barefoot into the kitchen and hugs Kat. “Thanks for last night” he says with a smile. “I don’t know what to do today, I was thinking of going into Calgary, if not that go get dirty on mountain bikes.” “What’s in Calgary” Kat asks. “I don’t know, a few more gay guys than here”, Cole laughs. Kat reaches forward and grabs him, “Go mountain biking!” “Hey, don’t touch that, it’s a finely tuned machine!” Kat laughs, she had planned to go to Calgary today too. Basically for the same reason as Cole. They break apart, Cole goes to the bathroom washes his face and then finishes getting dressed. Kat hands him a coffee when he returns to the kitchen. “Hey thanks!” he says with a smile. They sit at the dinning room table, the book is between them. “Cole, these books are reference guides, they are not the rules, take what you can from them and leave the rest. ‘Coming out’ is different for everyone. Be aware that there are people that need to know about your sexuality and those that don’t” “I am starting to figure that out from the little I have read” he drinks his coffee. He gets up from the table and grabs his book. Cole goes over and puts his shoes on. “Kat, I have one piece of advice for you though” he says “Next time ask who it is at the door before buzzing” “Thanks for your concern, but I saw you pull up” she winks, “I just wanted to get a rise out of you”

2

Boys will be Boys Cole goes back to his house. He goes in and takes a shower and puts on his mountain biking clothes. In the kitchen he eats a quick breakfast. When he is done he calls Mark to see if he can come out and play. Mark defers, Mary has plans for an afternoon picnic. Cole then calls Lance. He is not sure if the guy is working or not. Lance picks up the phone after a number of rings. “This better be good!” He says. “Lance, hey its Cole, did I wake you?” “Yeah, but its OK, I should get up soon anyway” “What are you doing today?” Cole asks “Well I have to work tonight, but I am free for most of the day. May try to sneak over to the parents and steal a meal. Why do you ask?” “Sorry, I am never sure when you are working. I should know better since I work shifts too!” Cole laughs. “Anyway, gonna go and do some biking, wanna come?” Lance thinks about this, he hasn’t done any biking for a while and he needs the exercise. “Sure Cole, when do you want to meet?” “Why don’t you come over here and we can head out from my place” “Sure, I guess I could, it’ll take me half an hour to get ready.” Lance says. “Well don’t speed, I’ll wait”. Cole says. “Make it three quarter of an hour, I gotta put on my face!” Lance laughs. “OK see you when you get here!” Lance pulls up in his Jeep an hour later. He goes round the back and removes his bike from its rack. “Hey put your bike in the back of my truck. I figured we’d head west and find some good single track”, Cole says. Cole looks at Lance, the boy has certainly grown up. The guy has developed into quite the looker. Lance is wearing a Fire Department t-shirt and black spandex shorts. Not much is left to the imagination. Lance has curly naturally blond hair, He keeps it short, and he has blue eyes and a handsome face. His body is lean and muscular. It has to be for his job. Lance comes over to the truck and lifts his bike into the back. He climbs in and high fives Cole.

2

“Great day for it!” Lance says loudly, he opens the window and hangs his arm outside as they drive west about ten miles. Cole sees a place to pull off and park. “How’s this?” Cole asks. Lance nods and says that this would be fine. Cole pulls the truck into a space and parks. “Well come on, time’s a wasting!” He says. They head to the back of the truck. Cole looks at the scenery there are more hills here, as they are getting closer to the Rockies. “How’s the job?” Cole asks. “Couldn’t be better” Lance lights up with a smile, “I love my job!” Lance thinks that it could be a whole lot better, if one asshole was to go away. Lance has prided himself on being able to handle his problems, so he says nothing to Cole. Besides the problem has to do with his being gay and Cole would know nothing about that. Arriving at the base of the mountain bike course, Cole parks on the side of the road. They both get out, put their helmets on and then grab their bikes. Cole admires Lance’s bike, a fully suspended Trek. “They must pay well at the fire department!” Cole says. Lance looks at Cole’s bike; an older Kona with front shocks “I guess it pays better than the Police Department” Lance laughs. “Hey I don’t do too bad, got different priorities” Cole feigns offence. They mount up and start off on their ride. Cole leads the way. He notices that the ground is still wet from a recent rainfall. “We are gonna get dirty!” Cole yells with boyish enthusiasm. “Way dirty!” They spend the afternoon ascending and descending the technical course. After an hour they take a rest. Both guys are covered in mud. “So what’s new in your life? Still seeing Kat?” Cole ponders his answer. “Yeah, I was over at her place last night” “Woohoo!” Lance exclaims. “Wish I was busy last night, well I was but I was stuck at the station with a bunch of married guys”

2

Cole laughs to himself about Lance’s openness, ”I wonder if I’ll ever be that open?” he asks himself. Cole looks at the scenery, it is beautiful here. Lance looks around too, but more often than not he checks out Cole. Somehow Cole has never minded the attention he has received from Lance. “I gotta go take a wiz,” Lance says. He lays his bike down and heads over to a tree. Cole watches the young guy. I wonder why he has not snagged anyone yet? He certainly has the looks and he has a great outgoing personality. Should ask him sometime. Lance looks at Cole as he comes back, “Was he checking me out?” he thinks. “Nah, not Cole, look up ‘straight’ in the dictionary and sure enough Cole’s picture would be there” “Well let’s get back at it!” Cole says after he drinks some water. This time around the course fatigue is starting to set in. Lance is lagging behind on one descent and he wipes out and hits a tree. He is not seriously hurt, but his arm has a scrape on it. Cole hears the crash and he jumps off his bike and runs up to Lance. “You OK bud?” He asks. “Yeah, I’m OK, it’s just a flesh wound!” Lance smiles as he says this. Cole helps the man down the hill. When they get to the truck Cole opens the glove box and digs for some iodine and bandages. The book is sitting in there where he last put it. It winds up on the seat. “There, good as new!” as Cole tends to the wound “I’m going back to get the bikes, you stay here” Lance watches Cole head off. He liked the attention he got from his friend. He examines his helmet. “Well I guess I am going to have to buy another one of these.” Lance notices a book lying face down on the seat. He picks it up and turns it over. Lance cannot believe Cole has this book. When Cole is back in the truck he sees the book lying on the seat. “Damn, I should have left this at home!” he says to himself. He looks over at Lance, who is sitting there quietly. “So, what should we do now, pizza and beer?” Cole asks.

2

“Yeah that sounds good Cole, but is there something you want to tell me first?” Lance asks. “Lance, could you give me some time, I want to talk to you, but now is not good.” “Cool, I can handle that” Lance says “Boston Pizza?” “That’s all the way back to town.” Cole says “Why don’t you come out to my place and we can order in?” “Sure, sounds OK to me” They get to the house and take off their muddy shoes and socks. “The shower is upstairs, you go first” Cole says. “You don’t have to ask me twice” “Wait a second, I gotta get a picture of this!” Cole says. He grabs the camera and he sets it up to take a delayed picture. Cole races over and stands next to Lance. They both have stupid grins on their faces. “I have to get a copy of that,” Lance says. “Sure, right after I send it into Mountain Biking Magazine” Cole laughs. Lance has his shower, while he is alone he wonders about Cole. He has always been attracted to the man. Finishing up, he comes out and dries off. Cole has put a pair of jeans and a clean t-shirt for him. “Done Cole!” Lance yells, “Thanks for the clothes” Cole comes upstairs and has his shower. He comes down wearing his normal attire. They look like twins. Cole smiles at that. “When you were in the shower I ordered us pizza” Cole says as he goes to the fridge and gets some beer. He uncaps them and gives one to Lance. “Let’s go outside” He says. There’s a table and some chairs out in the yard, as Cole has not had a chance to finish the deck yet. Lance takes a seat, as does Cole. “Here’s to a great day!” Cole says as he offers to clink his bottle with Lance’s. “Back at ya!” Lance says.

2

The sit and talk about the changes happening to the town. They want to build an industrial park by the highway. “In a way I hope they don’t, Red Deer is not too far and they already have one.” Lance says, I like it the way it is” “That’s progress Lance and besides it will help the town grow” Cole hears a vehicle pull up, “Pizza’s here, be right back” Cole returns with the box and two more beer. The guys chow down, not realizing how hungry they were until they started eating. When they are finished eating they kick back. “I think its time I better get going. Have to work tonight” Lance says. “OK, thanks for coming over!” Cole says. Cole helps Lance put his bike on the back of the back of the Jeep. “I’ll come by some time and drop these off” Lance indicates the clothes Cole lent him. “Anytime you’re ready, have a quiet night at work!” Cole says as he watches Lance pull out. The Jeep kicks up gravel as Lance guns it.

2

The Fire Station Lance gets into work with time to spare. When he gets there he sees that Brent has already left a list of things for him to do “That Asshole!” he says to himself. Lance goes about his chores first he has to sweep the station. Then clean the washrooms. When he has finished he goes into the lounge. There he sees the other member of his shift. Most of the guys are OK and they have nothing to fear from Lance. Lance sees Brent there holding court, telling a story about some fire that happened years ago. Brent looks over and sees that Lance is there. He sneers at him, “Get me some more coffee!” Lance does as he is told, but first he has to make it, as there is none left. While he is making the coffee he calls Kat’s number to ask her if she wants to meet for coffee. He gets her machine and leaves a message. He comes back to the table with Brent’s coffee and one for himself. He sits and Brent glares at him, which is meant to make Lance uncomfortable. Lance sits there and takes it in. Brent looks at Lance’s arm, “Aw did you get hurt Lance, I bet you got an EMT to kiss it and make it better?” Brent laughs, several of the other guys laugh along with Brent. “Nothing too serious Brent, don’t worry I’ll live” Soon enough thoughts of a quiet shift are drowned out by the sound of an alarm. The men rush and get their bunker gear on. When he is in the pumper he hears that it is a house fire. “Probably another chimney” Lance thinks. When they arrive at the scene the men scramble to their positions. Brent has managed to partner himself with Lance. They are in charge of water supply. Lance has to hook the hose up to the hydrant. Brent berates him for taking too long, but never helps. He also has to make sure that there are no obstructions to the flow of water. He spends a lot of time doing this as the hoses move around the scene. All too soon the fire is out and they wind up the scene. Lance looks at the family that is displaced and he feels for them. Brent yells at Lance that he has to do salvage. This involves getting the hoses back on the pumper. Brent supervises effectively. “Come on Johnston, we don’t have all day!” Brent yells. Lance is almost done and one of the children displaced by the fire comes over, he stares at Lance in awe. Lance smiles at him, it is the least he can do, help this little guy feel better.

2

“Need some help Mister?” the kid asks. “No, but thank you for the offer.” He winks at the kid. When the site is cleaned up, they get back to the station. The first thing everyone does there is get ready in case there is another call. Lance drags all the hoses into the hose washer. When he has done this he gets a clean set of hoses, coils them and puts them on the pumper. Lance manages to get help doing this but he notices Brent is nowhere to be seen. “Thank God for small mercy’s” he thinks to himself. Later Lance takes a nap, it is quiet and other guys have gone and done the same thing. Brent wakes him after about an hour. He drags him down to the kitchen and points out the mess it is in. “Clean this pigsty up!” He orders. Lance figures he should say something, but he is the low man on totem pole so he cleans the kitchen. “How did it get to be such a mess, most of the guys are asleep?” he asks himself. When he is done Brent is on him again, this time he is not asking Lance to do anything. Brent starts to tell him how his Dad and Uncle were firemen. He says its a man’s job and there ain’t no room here for faggots. Brent emphasises his stand by pointing his index finger sharply into Lance’s chest. “If it’s the last thing I do, I am going to make life here so uncomfortable for you that you are going to quit!” Brent checked around to see if anyone else was in earshot, before he said this. “Well, I hope that this is a long term plan Brent, as I plan to be here for a while” “Don’t worry you aren’t the first person I have set my sights on and I don’t think you are half the man of some of the others that I have chased out of here!” Lance leaves the man alone and he has heard it all before. Not only here but in high school too. He heads back up for some shuteye. He closes his eyes and thinks about Cole and the book he found in the truck. Cole is a dream date as far as he is concerned. He could settle down nicely with that man. Lance remembers when he turned 18 and how sexually active he was. Better let Cole get that out of his system. No sense in trying to tame a wild horse. I’ll wait him out and see what happens. That is if he ever comes out to me. Lance wakes up in time to cook breakfast for the guys. Lance actually enjoys this and the guys are really appreciative of his cooking.

2

When the shift is done Lance goes to his Jeep, he sees it is sitting funny. He walks around to the other side and sure enough there is a flat tire. He goes about changing the tire. When he is done he stops at a tire shop to see if it can be repaired, the guy tells him that he will have to buy a new one. Lance finally gets home about 10:00 am. He hits the bed and is asleep immediately.

2

Monday Morning Cole feels great as he gets up. He is in his uniform and ready for work. He drives to the Tim Horton’s and grabs a bagel and a coffee. At work Cole logs in, he is assigned Mark as a partner today. His normal partner is away and so is Mark’s. He doesn’t mind the two of them always manage to find something to do to keep the shift interesting. They attend role call and find out what they are concentrating on today. They are told it is Seat Belt Awareness Week. “Oh great, that means we get to stop about a hundred cars today!” Cole says under his breath. “My hand is going to be sore from writing tickets” “That’s why we love the job Cole!” Mark says softly. “Besides it is a great way to meet people!” he jabs Cole in the side. Cole thinks to himself, yeah a great way to meet people. He smiles at the prospect. They sign out all the required stuff, laden down they head to their car. Cole locks the shotgun in place. Then he does a radio check. Mark does the vehicle inspection. “Flip to drive?” Mark says as he pulls out a quarter. Cole hates this game. He always loses. “Tails, the odds are on my side this time!” Cole remember the first scene from a movie he saw, two guys are in a horse drawn cart, one guy keeps flipping a coin and it keeps coming up heads. He smiles it is one of his favourite movies. “Heads!” Mark says, he kisses the quarter and goes to the driver’s side. When they are underway the first thing they do is get another coffee. Mark steers them down the main drag. Cole is carefully watching for seatbelt use. The shift always has a contest to see who can issue the most tickets. By lunchtime they have managed to tag people for their errant ways. Of course most of their customers curse them and ask if there is something better they could be doing with their time. “So what did you guys wind up doing yesterday?” Cole asks. “Oh had to go to the in-laws, that is always fun!” Mark laughs. “Well at least Mary’s brothers and sisters have kids too, there was a swarm of them there” “So it was worthwhile then?” “Yup, time with my family is always worthwhile” Mark says, “So now you know what the married people did on Sunday, I need to know what excitement you had on the weekend.”

3

Cole laughs, it’s the same with his normal partner, the married guys re-live their single days through their single friends. “Not much, went mountain biking with Lance, you remember Lance?” “The fireman Lance, cool”, Mark wants to ask why Cole would hang out with a fag, but knows better. “That means you had some energy left after Saturday night!” Mark says with a grin. Cole doesn’t get a chance to respond. The radar unit picks up a vehicle, which is exceeding the speed limit. In Lacombe the radar guns are mounted in the front of the car, this way they are always on. “Mark picks up speed and pursues the car. Cole checks the tag on the computer to see if there are wants or warrants. “Negative hits” Cole says out loud, so that Mark is aware of that too. When the car pulls over. Cole grabs his hat and gets out. He walks slowly up to it. He is watching the driver’s head to see if he is planning to do anything. When he gets to the window he asks the driver for his license, registration and insurance. The man hands it all over. Cole leans in close to the guy and asks some question. He is checking out the inside of the car and also trying to see if he can detect alcohol on the man’s breath. Cole gets back in the car and checks out the guy on the computer and finds nothing. Cole writes out the ticket. The guy wasn’t rude or uncooperative so he gives him a break on some kilometres. Walking back he hands the man his ticket and documents. “Try and keep it down” Cole says “and have a nice day” The man’s car chirps as it takes off but Cole sees that the man doesn’t appear to start speeding again. “One for the good guys!” He says as he gets back in car. “How about some lunch?” “Never thought you’d ask” Mark says. “They go to a place that Mark frequents. They both have coffee and club sandwiches. “So, you never did tell me how Saturday night went” Mark says. “We had some wine and talked, what’s there to know?” Cole says. “Talked, that’s it” Mark continues his questions, “Did you spend the night?”

3

“No comment” Cole says, he is trying to hold back the smile. “Aha!” Mark says. Cole is desperate to change the subject now. He doesn’t like to lie. Not telling the truth and letting Mark come to conclusions is the same as lying to him. “So this afternoon, how about I drive and you do the leg work?” Cole says. “No, no buddy, you are not getting off that easy” Mark smiles. “Look I don’t ask what you and Mary do on Saturday night,” He says and then with a smile he adds, “It’s inappropriate” Mark laughs as they both just came off sensitivity training. That word figured predominantly in it. “Sure bud, you can drive or we can” he stops and fishes out a quarter “We can flip for it” “No fricking way Mark, I am never flipping with you again!” He laughs. The rest of the day is non-eventful. Twenty-seven people wound up getting tickets for seatbelt violations. They were not even close to winning. Some other guys set up near a bridge where people had to slow down. They checked and managed to pull over about fifty people. Back at the station they finish up their paper work and get ready to leave. ***************** Cole managed to work with Mark for the rest of the week. Nothing eventful, just a lot of people pissed off about seatbelts. Cole faithfully read the book every night. He started to feel more at ease. Cole also started keeping a journal. He noticed the he was having bad thoughts lately. Not really bad thoughts but irrational ones. At work the Criminal Code and his training guided him. However in his dealings with people he knew he found he was starting to read things into what they said. Cole had never been afraid to be open and up front with people. However he was finding that these irrational thoughts were draining him. Cole figured that maybe it was because he wanted to act out his gayness. Maybe another trip up to Edmonton is needed. He decided Friday afternoon that that was what he was going to do. After a quick workout, Cole ran home and packed a bag. He called Kat and left a message to say he was going to Edmonton for the weekend.

3

Cole got some CD’s and hit the road. He planned to make it in time to get a room and a half decent dinner.

3

Calgary Kat got home from work and she was tired. She decided she was going to have a nap before she made any plans. When she got in the door she saw that the message light was blinking on here answering machine. The first message was from Cole. “Hmm going to Edmonton for the week end, good for him” Kat smiled. The next call was from Lance. He asked her to call him back. She decided she better call Lance now. If she doesn’t she may never get a hold of him. “Hello” Lance says. “Lance, its Kat, how are you?” “Not bad and yourself?” “Tired actually, I was gonna have a nap” “Nap, for how long? I was hoping you’d join me in a trip to the city” Kat laughed, the boys must be horny. “Actually I am going to Calgary for the weekend, wanna come?” “Well the ARGRA* dance is tomorrow night, I was going to that. Maybe I can be persuaded to go into town tonight” “Well, I am going to go about 8:00, is that enough time for you?” “Sure, come over and get me, if I am still sleeping you have my permission to get my ass out of bed” “Sure thing Kat” Lance laughs as he has visions of her wrestling him to the floor. Kat hits the bed and it feels like she just got to sleep when she hears the buzzer going off. Slowly getting up she buzzes him in. Lance knocks on the door and Kat lets him in. “Boy do you look a wreck!” Lance says, “Still wanna go?” “Yeah, just give me a couple of minutes” *Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association

3

Lance sits down on the couch while Kat gets ready. It takes her about 15 minutes and she is packed and ready to go. “You got a place to stay? Kat” Lance asks. “No, how about you?” “Nah, I haven’t been on-line fishing for a free bed lately. How about we get a room?” “Isn’t that gonna cramp your style? As much as I love you Lance, I don’t want to wait in the hall until you have had your way with some poor boy” “Ok, we can either get separate rooms or…we can work out some arrangement” Lance says. “Cash is tight honey, what arrangement?” “If I get the urge, I’ll head over to the baths and take care of it there. You can have the room till I get back.” “That’s sounds good, Lance, just one thing, what time?” “How about 03:00 – 03:30, does that leave you enough?” “Well unlike you boys that like to party all night, us women like to be in bed at a reasonable hour. That should be great” Lance carries Kat’s bag to the Jeep. They get in and are on highway one headed south in no time. “Hey Kat, on Sunday, Cole and I went mountain biking.” Lance related the fun the two of them had. “I have to ask you something though,” Lance says. “Is our buddy about to join the ‘team’?” “Why do you ask that? Lance” “Well when Cole was fishing out some stuff to clean the wound a book wound up on the seat. It was about coping as a gay man. Kat didn’t know whether she should divulge this. Cole should be in charge of who knows. “Did you ask him about the book?” “Yeah and he said we’d talk about it some other time” “Well I think that you should trust Cole to do that,” Kat says. “OK, I guess, but man, I’d marry Cole in a second”

3

“Lance you’d marry half the guys in Alberta in a second.” She looks at him with a big grin. “I, well, I think I’m about ready to get serious about someone, I can’t keep making this trek to Calgary every time I get horny” “Lance, I’ll believe it when I see it” Kat really hopes that Lance meets someone. He is a really good guy and he seems to get worn down by all the games people play on him. They drive along in silence for a while, and then Lance tells Kat about the tire. “That sucks Lance, have any idea who it was?” “Yeah, but can’t prove it though” “Not that Brent again, I thought he was happy just making your life hell at work” “Well he may be running out of ideas, cause I am not reacting the way he wants me to, to all the grief his is giving me. “That’s great, but if he is going to start slashing tires, how long before he does something else?” “Not sure, really not sure. Trouble is, this may be the way to get to me” Lance says softly “Maybe I should see if I can get hired on in Calgary or Edmonton?” “Well it is an option, hell of a lot more gay men in both places, however I think there will be a lot more Brent’s too” “Your right, I have heard that, despite all the advances in Gay Rights, the Fire Departments seem to have been exempted.” “Its hard enough to get on being a woman, I think you’d have to bail your ass back in the closet!” Kat says, “Maybe this is something you can talk to Cole about?” “I thought of it, but to me it seems like I am running to mommy if I get the Police involved.” “OK, have it your way, but keep me informed, I don’t want to have something serious happen to you”. “I will Kat, you can count on that, you are tougher than most of the men I have met” Arriving in Calgary they get a room downtown, in a relatively cheap hotel. “Moneypenny’s?” Kat asks, “My treat” “I wanna have a shower first, but sure we can go there” Lance checks the time, 10:00.

3

“Go right ahead, I may join you” “You’ll what?” Lance fakes being taken aback. Lance goes to the bathroom, turns on the water and strips. “Fuck it, if she wants to shower with me, have at it” Kat lets Lance get good and wet then she goes through with what she said. She is in the shower next to him and starts to wash his back. Lance refuses to turn around, but that doesn’t bother Kat as she takes the soap and washes him all over. “If I was into guys Lance, man!” Lance’s cock is starting to harden. The feel of another body close to him is making him hot. Lance takes the soap from Kat and then washes her body. She feels soft. He loves the curves of her body and he washes her everywhere. Kat and Lance rinse off, she looks at him ands says, “You wanna take care of that before we go?” She says looking at his hardness. “Naw, it’ll go down,” Lance says as he looks at his dick, “Down boy, down!” “Does it listen to you?” Kat asks, “It seems to me you guys listen to it, not tell it what to do!” Lance shrugs his shoulders and laughs and Kat joins him. They get dressed and then head out to Moneypenny’s. They arrive at the restaurant and it is packed. They manage to find a table on the Main Floor. This allows them to have to have sufficient time for cruising. The clientele here is both gay and lesbian. Lance checks out the bar tender, he has always found that guy to be hot. But it seems like the guy is always working when Lance sees him. Maybe someday I’ll give him my number and we can hook up. “So where are you headed tonight?” Kat asks. “Well I was going to go to Boystown, there are some people I know online that hang out there. But, I have the urge to go to The Eagle tonight. How about you?” “Well, I am thinking I have the urge to stay right here” As Kat says this she is looking at a woman at another table who is looking back. “You can’t go to The Eagle, you aren’t dressed for it” Kat looks at what Lance is wearing, the jeans are OK, but the shirt is a definite no-no. “Kat, I used to be a boy scout, be prepared was out motto” He winks, “I have a harness in the Jeep”

3

“I think The Eagle might be good for you then” She smiles. In the back of her mind she remembered that Cole goes to The Hawk in Edmonton, which appeals to a similar crowd. Kat does not believe in matchmaking but she likes the idea of her two best friends dating. As if he could read her mind, “What’s Cole up to this weekend?” “I’m not sure, he headed up to E-town”, Kat says as nonchalantly as possible. Lance takes this information in, our boy is headed up there to get laid. He dwells on this, maybe Cole really is coming out. If he is I better give him some space, he will be a walking hard-on for a while. They finish their food and sit back and take in the scenery. Kat has noticed that the woman at the next table is signalling that she is interested. Lance checks his watch, “I should be on my way, you staying here?” “Oh yeah” Kat smiles “Don’t worry about the bill, I got it” Lance stands and he goes around the table. He gives Kat a hug he checks out the woman that has her preoccupied. “Nice” he says. Lance turns to leave and says goodnight to the bartender before he hits the door. Kat waits until he is gone and she motions the woman to come over. When she does it Kat knows that she made the right choice. “Hey there, my name is Kat, have a seat”

3

Cole in Edmonton Cole gets into Edmonton at about 09:30. A little fast but he was motivated. He checks in at a Hotel about a block away from The Hawk. He walks over to Denny’s, which is in the neighbourhood and has a Club Sandwich and a beer. He reads The Sun and the local arts papers. The restaurant is quiet. He heard that it could be busy later on in the night though. When he is done, he walks over to The Hawk. He enters the unmarked door again. The same guy as last time is working. He recognizes Cole and buzzes him in, this time he did not ask for ID. Once inside the guy asks him if he would like a membership card. Cole panics at the mention of this. “Don’t worry” the guys says reading Cole’s face, “It is for your privacy more than anything. If you have a card, you just show it and in you come. I can set it up so anyone working here will only know your first name.” “Sounds good to me, is there a catch?” “Well there is one, we will have to ask the Manager.” “Nah, its OK, I live out of town, I am not sure how many times I will be coming here” “Well, all that I can say is every time you show your driver’s license, another person is gonna know you are a cop, and cops are how do I say, a valued commodity in here” “OK, you win” Cole smiles weakly. “Is the Manager here?” The man presses a button and a little while after another man joins them. “Hi there my name is Mike Ferrar, I’m the Manager,” he offers his hand. “How may I help you this evening?” Mike is being real formal, but his eyes are checking this man out. “Pleased to meet you Mike, my name is Cole, Cole Wheeler” he checks Mike out and likes what he sees. “Your man said that you might be able to arrange a membership card with just my first name on it.” “Well I could, but I only do it in special cases, like for Doctors, Politicians, Firemen etc. Are you one of those?” “Well I am not one of those, but I am a Cop” “OK Cole, I think we can do this for you, what Division are you with?” “Oh, I am not Edmonton Police Service, I am from Lacombe”

3

“Lacombe, great town, I know a woman down there, can’t remember her name” “Well she told me about you and she said you were cool”, Cole admires the guy’s discretion. “By the way her name is Kat.” “Yeah Kat, that’s it how could I forget!” Mike asks as he pretends to bang himself on the head. “How is she?” “She is great, I get to see her at least once a week, sometimes more.” “Hey when Andrew is finished with the paper work, come and join me at the bar” Mike says as he realizes he better get back to work. Mike signals to Andrew to go ahead. Andrew asks for Cole’s license again, this time he creates a file with the information on it. “Don’t worry Sir, we store this information off site. By the time whomever wanted it got a court order, it will disappear.” That makes Cole feel better. Not that he likes hiding stuff from fellow cops, but this is information they don’t need to know. Paperwork finished, Cole checks his coat. He makes his way down the corridor to the bar area. He sees Mike doing paper work on a table in a corner next to the bar. Mike looks up, “Hey Cole, welcome, come with me.” Mike takes him to the bar, “Give me your card” he holds out his hand for Cole’s membership card. “We run a different operation here. Every time you buy something, get your card swiped. Membership has rewards!” Mike smiles. “Rewards?” Cole asks. “Well we sell clothing and leather stuff here as well as beer. The more you use your card the better prices you get.” Cole smiles at this, it makes him feel like part of a club. “One thing though, we have a dress code for the back room on the weekend, you must be wearing leather. It’s the rules, we instituted that so that we don’t get peepers walking back there” “I guess I can live with that, what sort of leather do I have to have on?” “Well you can get away with a vest if you don’t want to wear a harness” “A vest I could do, but I didn’t bring enough cash to buy one.”

4

“Well I can take care of that, we take credit cards and charge then though the store that supplies us, so it will look like you bought something at B&D” “Not really sure I wanna do that, I am sort of new to this” “Relax, I am sure your brother officers buy stuff on credit at far more overt places, like Love Boutique and Adults Only” “Yeah, I guess you are right” “Anyway, first things first, let’s get you a drink, what do you want?” “A Bud please” Cole watches Mike go to the cooler get a beer, then comp it on the cash register, he swipes Cole’s card too. Mike comes back and gives the beer and the card to Cole. “Thanks Mike”, Cole says. “Well I got some stuff to finish here, why don’t you go over to the display there. I am sure we may have a vest that will fit you.” Cole wanders over to the leather display case and looks in it. There are cock rings, leather armbands and clamps held together by a chain. There is a rack behind the case and on it there are various sorts of leather goods hanging. Cole sees a vest and there, he tries to take it off the hanger but there is a lock on it. He wanders back over to the bar and gets the attention of the bartender. “Excuse me, I’d like to try on one of those vests” The bar man smiles, he signals to a waiter who comes over and gets a key. The waiter goes over to the rack and asks Cole which one he wants to try on. Several vests later Cole has found one he wants. The waiter takes his credit card and membership card over to Mike. Cole follows. “Found one eh?” Mike smiles, “this will just be a minute” Mike passes the cards back to Cole. Cole puts the vest on over his t-shirt. He decides to go to the washroom to see how it fits. Looking at himself in the mirror, he decides the t-shirt has to come off. He takes it off and puts the vest on. A surge of electrical energy flows through his body. He now looks like the other guys in the bar. Cole drops his t-shirt off at the coat rack to be added to his jacket.

4

Cole heads back up the corridor and finds a quiet place to survey the room. He sees Kurt there. The guy is obviously occupied as he and another guy in a harness are heading to the back room. Cole feels a pang, but it goes away soon enough. He notices that there are all kinds of good-looking men in there. A lot of them appear to be cruising him, but Cole just wants to stand back and at least get one beer in him. He looks over to where Mike is. Cole assesses the man. He is about forty and his body is in dammed good shape. He is wearing a vest and has a leather armband on his left arm. The man’s chest is covered with dark curly hair. He can see one of the man’s nipples. Looking further down he sees that Mike is wearing 501’s, which have tears and are worn out in places. Cole can see the outline of Mike’s cock. Mike notices that the cop is checking him out. Mike noticed that Cole had a great ass. He wouldn’t mind checking it out. Mike wonders if the man is up for that. Cole finishes his beer and heads to the bar for another. He sees that Mike is briefing someone and has put his papers away. Cole returns to the place he was standing. He is not there long before Mike comes over to where he is standing. “May I join you?” Mike asks. “Sure, why don’t I get you a beer, what re you drinking?” “A bud, same as you” Cole gets a beer and is back, he hands it to Mike. They clink the ends of the bottles and take a drink. “First time here Cole?” “No, I was up here about two weeks ago, that is how Andrew knows me. By the way how did he know I was a cop?” “Trade secret” Mike winks. “So, you must have had fun here, that’s why you came back” Cole’s face reddens. “Relax Cole, that is what we are here for, I mean you wouldn’t drive all the way from Lacombe just for some beers and to look at some men.” “Your right, it just I am finally accepting this side of myself, it is something new so I want to explore as much as I can”.

4

Mike feels his dick jump, keep talking that way Cole and you will explore some more. “Hey want to head back and see how the boys are doing?” “Sure, yeah if you want to” Cole decided right there he had found a guy he was interested in and to make sure Mike knew he locked eyes with the man. After what seemed like a long time Mike broke the lock. “C’mon lets go” Cole heads towards the backroom, he feels Mike closely following him. When they get in there they see that the place is far busier than the bar. The first couple Cole notices is Kurt and his date. Kurt is kneeling on the floor sucking the other guy’s cock. He stops and Mike bumps into him. Mike can figure out what is going on. Kurt is like a welcome mat and if the guy is new Kurt has had them. The thing that pisses people off is he never does the same guy twice. Cole was obviously a victim. They stand against a wall and take in the action. The boys are really active tonight. Some look like they are ready to fuck or be fucked. Mike has to let Security know about this, as there is only so much you can get away with in a bar. “Gets pretty fucking wild in here!” Cole says. “Yeah it can, but no fucking allowed” “How do you stop them, some of these guys look like that is where they are headed”? “We suggest they get a room, most are smart enough to realize that they can risk their membership if they don’t comply” “And what if they don’t?” “Security comes in here frequently, they gauge the action, and if they see it is about to progress to fucking they ask the parties to leave. If anyone should get caught they are barred for a month and if it is their second time – they should find a new bar to go to.” “Hey – sounds like my job” “Well, we actually get more than one person in your line of work in here. So we try to follow the book.” Cole raises his arm up and puts it on Mike’s shoulder. He pulls Mike close to him. Cole can feel tightness in his jeans he looks down and sees Mike has it too. “Here or my place?” Cole asks. Mike looks at him, the guy is certainly direct, “How long has he been out?” he says to himself.

4

Cole notices the expression on Mike’s face, “Sorry man, didn’t mean to put pressure on you but this scene has got me too hot!” Cole says with a big smile. “Let’s get out of here then, I don’t play where I work” Cole follows Mike back to the front of the bar. Mike goes over and speaks to the bartender and then signals for Cole to go get his coat. Cole is waiting at the door as Mike appears and, he notices that he is carrying a black bag. “Two questions Mike” as they head out the door. “I am sure you have more than that, but go ahead” “The armband, what does that mean?” “Well it means I am a top” “Top?” “I guess the easiest way to say it is I am the guy that does the fucking” That stuns Cole, as he is not sure he is ready for that yet. “Er, OK what is in the bag?” “Tools of the trade” Mike looks at him with a reassuring smile. As they walk down the street, Mike notices that they don’t seem to be heading to a vehicle, which is OK as Cole drank those beers pretty fast. “Oh I am staying at a hotel around the corner,” Cole says They reach the hotel and go through the lobby. Several staff look at the two men. Neither of them seem to care who is watching. When they get to the room, Cole opens the door and the two of them are locked in an embrace before the door is closed. Cole’s hands wander all over Mike’s body as Mike does the same. Their coats fall to the floor. Mike leads Cole over to the bed and the two of them fall down on it. Their tongues are fighting each other as their hands explore the muscular bodies.

4

Mike locks his mouth on one of Cole’s nipples. Cole can feel the warmth building up in it. Mike gets progressively more aggressive with it until he is almost biting it hard. This causes a reaction in Cole and he is thrusting his trapped cock into the other man’s groin. “Fuck man, FUCK!” Cole says loudly. The he starts to pound on the other man’s ass. Mike’s free hand goes to work on the buttons of Cole’s jeans. He rips them open and grabs hold of his partner’s cock. The end is wet, when he feels this he bites harder on the nipple. Cole finally begs him to stop. Mike does and locks his lips with Cole again. Cole opens up the other man’s jeans. He takes hold of the hard cock and starts to pump it. Cole frees his mouth and finds one of Mike’s nipples. He does exactly the same thing, working on it until he is almost biting it. “Bite that fucker! Cole” Mike orders. Cole bites down hard and he feels the cock give way with a pile of pre cum. Mike is thrashing his hard body against Cole’s. This turns him on. He removes his hand from the man’s cock and starts to work on lowering his jeans. Mike assists and soon they are bunched up at his knees. Mike’s hands work Cole’s jeans down his legs. Now the two hard on’s are pressed up against each other. Both men are thrusting as Cole has starts working on the man’s other nipple. Mike’s thrashing starts up again and Cole starts to whack the man’s ass. “Where did you learn that boy?” Mike demands. “Well I guess it is second nature” Cole says. “Fuck man that is hot! Lets get the rest of our clothes off, now!” Each man stands and takes their clothes off, they both examine the others bodies and take occasional strokes on their cocks. Cole is back on the bed first as Mike leans over and kisses him. Then he works his way down the man’s body with his tongue. When he gets to Cole’s crotch he licks up all the pre-cum and sweat. He loves the salty taste. He teases the man’s cock with his tongue and he sees Cole raise his hips. “The bastard wants me to blow him. Well he can wait” Mike says to himself. He licks Cole’s balls and takes first one and then both into his mouth and sucks. Cole is wreathing on the bed, he has never felt this before, and it is like the man is going to suck his balls off. Cole puts his hands on the man’s head, one part of him wants to pull him off his balls, the other wants the guy to do it some more.

4

Mike senses he better stop, this is all new to the poor guy. He plops the balls out of his mouth. Looking up at Cole he spits on the man’s cock. Then he lowers his mouth over the organ all the time keeping his eyes locked with Cole. Cole feels the mouth engulf him and he wants all of it in there. Cole holds Mike’s head and forces himself all the way in. Mike does not gag, like other guys have. He gets the whole thing in and starts to slowly move up and down on it. Cole can’t control himself and he feels the rhythm start as he fucks the other man’s mouth. Mike’s hands take hold of each of Cole’s legs and lift them up. Then they move down to play with the man’s ass. Mike lifts his head off the cock and spits on Cole’s hole. Then he works his way down. Cole doesn’t want Mike to stop sucking his cock. However he feels that something new is about to happen. He can feel coolness on his asshole where Mike spit on it. Cole can now feel Mike’s tongue. “Oh my God, Oh My God” Cole screams as he reacts to the man eating his ass. “Eat my hole eat my fucking hole!” New sensations pour through Cole as Mike does his work. Mike takes a couple of jerks on his cock. This man has him so turned on. Cole enjoys the sensations flowing through his body. After a while he feels Mike’s finger start to tease his ass. Then suddenly he feels the finger inside him. He clenches down with his ass muscles trying to get it out. The more he clenches though the better it feels. Mike removes the finger and Cole can feel the tongue go to work again. He hears Mike spit on his hole again. This time he feels two fingers enter him. He again starts to force them out. Mike’s fingers soon brush across Cole’s prostate and he can feel the hardness of it. Mike starts to work on it. Mike notices that the man’s ass muscles are starting to relax. He can actually feel Cole grinding down. The boy is almost ready, Mike smiles. Mike lifts him self up and move up Cole’s body. He still has his fingers in Cole’s ass and is moving them in and out. Mike puts his lips to Cole’s and starts to kiss him. He moves his cock close to Cole’s asshole. “Gee it doesn’t taste that bad” Cole thinks as he can taste himself on Mike’s tongue. He feels the other man’s cock close to his hole. He has to decide if he is going to let the other man fuck him. “Those fingers feel damned fine. I should be able to take his cock” he says to himself and then out loud, “Mike, I know what you want to do, I am not sure I am ready for that yet.” “Cole, it is going to hurt, I can’t tell you its not. But after a while you will feel pleasure like you have never known before”

4

“Let me think about it, in the meantime I wanna get in on this action” “You want to eat my ass” Mike smiles. Cole doesn’t respond he flips to the sides forcing Mike to lie down on the bed. Mike’s fingers come out of his ass. He feels a bit burning pain there. Cole proceeds to do all the things Mike did to him. He notices that Mike is totally comfortable when he is chowing down on the man’s balls. Soon enough he is ready to start eating Mike’s ass. He is tentative at first but soon gets into it. Mike’s reactions are a great turn on. Every so often Cole gets up and jacks his cock while looking at the man. “Cole, some people say that getting fucked is easier after you have cum” “Is it because you are more relaxed?” “Yeah, I guess that’s it” Cole grabs a hold of Mike’s cock and starts to jerk on it. He doesn’t know why but he moves forward on the bed so that his is close to Mike’s ass. Cole really wants to fuck this guy. Mike reads the look on Cole’s face. “He made my ass feel pretty good and that weapon of his is up to the task.” Mike frees himself and gets up from the bed. Cole knows better than to ask he just waits. Mike comes back to the bed with the bag. He opens it and takes out some condoms and some lube. He hands a condom to Cole. “Spit on your cock first so it has some lubrication” Cole does as he is told, then he rolls the condom down over his cock. He watches as Mike pumps some lube on his fingers and then applies it to his ass. Cole gets some lube too and he puts it on his sheathed cock and starts to jack it off to make it harder. Mike leans back on the bed and raises his legs. Cole can see his target. He leans forward and puts his dick to the man’s hole. Then he raises himself so that he can control his thrust. “Just go slow to start, OK Bud” The head of his enters the warm chute. Cole is watching Mike’s face. He is showing the pain but he is not telling him to stop. Mike has his hands on Cole’s hips, he can feel the man hold him then let him go and then hold him again. Each time Mike lets go he is

4

further inside him. Pretty soon Cole can feel his balls touching Mike. He is all the way inside. Watching Mike’s face he pulls out a bit and then goes back in. “That’s it Cole, fuck me slow until I get used to it. Fuck you are big!” “And you are so fucking tight!” Pushing out with his ass muscles one last time Mike can feel it is time to let Cole fuck him hard. He indicates this by shoving his ass down hard on Cole’s cock. Cole notices that Mike wants more motion so he starts to remove himself and then thrust in as hard as he can. Pretty soon he feels Mike’s ass loosen up and he is slamming the man. “Fuck me Cop, fuck me!” Cole does just that and he can feel the walls of Mike’s ass tense up every once in a while causing extreme pressure on his dick. Pretty soon there are slapping noises and Cole’s body meets up with Mike’s. The two of them are covered in sweat. A familiar feeling starts to build in Cole, as he knows that he is going to cum soon. He starts to pant and Mike reaches up and twists his nipples with his fingers. This pushes Cole over the edge as he goes for the home run. Cole buries himself as far as he can inside Mike and shoots load after load of cum into the man’s ass. Cole is twitching as he falls wasted on top of Mike. “Man, you are one of the best fucks I have ever had!” Cole kisses Mike as he slowly and carefully extracts his cock from the man. Mike puts his arms around the man lying on top of him. He softly kisses him and lightly rubs Cole’s back. Cole rolls over and looks at Mike, “I guess it’s my turn”. “Don’t worry Cole, this being your first time I want to make sure it is not your last time” Cole lifts his legs and spreads them. Mike moves down the bed so that he can attack Cole again with his tongue. He licks the sweat off him and then starts to work the man’s hole. He swats the ass in front of him and Cole reacts. Diving in he really starts to attack Cole’s ass. Spitting for lubrication he starts to work his fingers into the hole. He can hear moans from Cole as he starts to respond to the attention. After awhile he feels Cole loosen up. Getting up from the bed he opens his bag and pulls out a dildo and some lube. Cole watches Mike and plays with his cock. “Why are you going to use that?’ Cole asks.

4

‘Well, its something to use to get you ready for me, besides it’s hot!’ Mike says with a smirk. Mike puts the head of the dildo to Cole’s ass and starts to tease it. “Cole, I want you to push out when I put the head up to your hole. If you do that you’ll enjoy this a whole lot more.” Doing as he is told Cole concentrates on pushing out. He can feel the dildo get further and further inside him. “Slow, slow” Cole pants as he feels his hole sting with pain. The dildo comes out and Cole sighs. Mike puts some more lube on the dildo and some on Cole’s ass. The coolness of the lubricant makes the stinging go away. The dildo enters him again as Cole bears down. He can feel it going in further this time. Mike stops pushing it in and tells Cole to contract his muscles around it. “Man, that feels good Mike, put more of it in me” Mike pushes the rest of the dildo into Cole and, he stops and lets the man adjust to it. When the look of pain on Cole’s face has subsided he starts to move it in and out. A little bit at first but soon he has the dildo almost coming all the way out and then entering again. Cole’s cock starts to harden, as he can’t believe that this feels so good. “Think you are ready for a real cock now?” Mike asks. Cole nods and watches Mike, Mike gives him a condom and stands next to him. He opens the condom package and rolls it down Mike’s cock. He takes the lube Mike offers him and starts to jack him off. Cole raises his legs again. Mike stands on the floor next to the bed and positions Cole so that he can enter him. He puts his cock up to the hole and without being told he can feel Cole push out. He pauses when he has the head in and watches his lover’s face. Keeping his eye on Cole he pushes forward. Soon he is buried inside the man. He stops. He can feel Cole contracting muscles to get used to him. “Man you have strong muscles Cole, keep that up and you’ll make me cum!” Cole starts to move his ass up and down, as he wants to impale himself on Mike. Mike taking the signal starts to move in and out, slowly at first, and then he picks up speed as he feels the man loosen up. Cole grabs Mike and pulls him down to him. The two of them kiss passionately. Cole is bucking like a bronco. “Fuck me Mike, fuck me harder!” “No problem there Cole, you got a mighty fine ass”

4

Grabbing his cock, which is now hard, and again he starts to jerk off. He locks his eyes with the man fucking him. Cole can feel waves of pleasure flowing through him. He starts to jerk harder on his cock and grind his ass down on Mike’s cock. Mike shows that he is about to cum and he feels he will cum soon too. Cole’s hand goes to a nipple and starts to abuse it as he feels the load coming up from his balls. A spurt flies across and hits him on the neck, then another spurt and another. “Fuck me man, fuck me, fuck the cum out of me” Mike is now slamming into Cole. He can feel Cole as he cums and this puts Mike over the edge as he pulls his cock out, rips the condom off and shoots all over Cole. The two spent men lay on the bed side by side. Mike is tracing a finger through the pools of man juice on Cole’s chest and stomach. He looks up at Cole and sees the man is smiling. “Thanks Mike, I am glad you were the man to take my cherry” Mike doesn’t say a word he just grabs Cole and the two of them kiss passionately. Cole lays back and looks at the ceiling he is feeling very happy and very tired. Before long the two of them are asleep on the bed. Cole woke up at about 09:00 am. He looked over at Mike who was still asleep. Cole got up quietly from the bed and went to the bathroom. He examined himself in the mirror, “None the worse for wear”. Cole brushed his teeth and then turned around and started the shower. When the water was right he got in and closed the door. Cole started washing himself with a bar of soap. His ass stung when he washed it. Cole was washing his hair when he felt a draft, then he felt another body next to him. Cole moved out of the way so that Mike could get passed his and get wet. He picked up the bar of soap and started washing the man’s hard body. He spent a lot of time washing the man’s pecs. Mike was letting out little moans. Cole washed down Mike’s stomach and felt the hard cock pointing between them. Cole washed it as well. Pulling Mike to him he washed the man’s back and ass. His cock was now hard and was rubbing up and down on Mike’s stomach. Cole could feel his ass cheeks being spread and fingers brushing over his tender hole. Cole moaned and pressed himself into Mike’s body. This allowed the showerhead to rinse the soap out of his hair. Cole looked into Mike’s eyes, “Want more of my ass?” “You know it!”

5

Cole turned around and he felt the man’s cock in the crack of his ass. Cole assumed the position and felt it stroke up and down against him. “Be right back” Mike said as he got out of tub and grabbed a condom and some lube. He put the condom on before he got back in the tub. Cole could feel the cool liquid again. It felt really good and he raise he ass to meet Mike’s fingers. Soon enough the fingers were gone and he could feel the Mike’s cock against him. He felt Mike push into him and this time he didn’t stop he pushed his whole length in at once. “Fuck, fuck that hurts” Cole screamed. He was grateful that the man didn’t start fucking him right away. Cole concentrated and adjusted to the cock inside him. Mike let him do this for a short time and then he started to fuck the man’s ass. He was showing Cole no mercy. He could hear the man whimper but soon enough the man was moaning and actually pushing back to meet his thrusts. Cole grabbed a hold of his cock and started beating it really hard. The pain that engulfed him was now replaced by pleasure. He felt Mike pinching his nipple really hard, harder than they have ever been pinched before. Cole started to fight but when he realized that Mike was not going to relent he pushed his chest forward. When he felt a more intense pleasure. He started to scream for Mike to fuck his ass. Cole felt his cock let loose with a spurt of jism which hit the wall. Then another strong burst. He clenched his ass muscles hard with every shot. Cole had never come so hard in his life. He felt Mike take one last hard thrust inside him and then the man was taking short stabbing thrusts into him. The noises that Mike was making indicated he had emptied his load into him. Cole was frantic he turned around and grabbed Mike and forced his tongue into his mouth. They kissed hard for a while. Then Cole slapped Mike’s ass real hard. “I need one more ride on that before you go, Ok?” Mike looked at Cole, as there weren’t many men that would tell him that. The man has balls and the cock to back it up. “I’d like nothing better you fucker!” “Lets get some breakfast” Cole said as he started to climb out of the tub. “Sure man, I am fucking starving!” Cole and Mike get dressed – they both have Lacombe Police Service shirts on. Mike didn’t have a shirt to wear. They head down to Denny’s. Cole starts to have second thoughts about being seen in public with this man. Sure he is hot but his mind starts to tell him that everyone will be watching them. Cole is used to

5

being watched in public but he is not sure about this. He head starts to reel with thoughts about what the other people think about them. The waitress leads them to a table they sit down. Cole checks around, no one seems to be paying attention to them, and he calms down a bit. But the negative thoughts will not go away. Mike is watching Cole and notices the man seems to be withdrawn. “Hey Cole what are you thinking?” Cole checks to make sure no one is within earshot. “Well, its just I have never been in public with you know…..” “You really are new to this, don’t worry I won’t do anything to embarrass you” Mike ends the sentence with a reassuring smile. “So tell me Cole, how is Kat doing?” “Oh I forgot you know her”, Cole laughs. “She is just great. She has really settled in.” “So you know her really well?” “You could say that” Cole smiles. “She is one of the best friends I have down there. She is also the first person I came out to” “Well Kat is one cool lady” Mike says “there was a time when she almost convinced me to jump the fence” “Jump the fence?” “Well she will probably tell you this anyway, but we used to have a thing going” “Hey that’s cool.” Cole considers telling Mike the same thing but he has never been a person to kiss and tell. “I know Kat pretty well and from the look of you I think that she may have propositioned you.” Cole’s face goes red as it is like Mike can read his mind. “Ha, gotcha!” “You prick, did she call you and tell you I was coming?” “Well actually we email each other a lot. She has a lot of good things to say about you” “I actually found some of them out last night” Mike winks.

5

Cole smiles, this conversation has moved into a territory that he has lived in for almost all of his life. Guys talking about getting it. He can fell the apprehension going down in him. The two men talk about their lives. Mike tells Cole how busy that bar actually keeps him. They eat their breakfasts and tell stories about silly things that happen in each of their jobs. While they are eating Cole notices that two uniforms come in and grab a table. They are checking out Cole and Mike. Mike nods to one of them. “Now my turn to steer you, two EPS guys are just over there, when we go to leave let me do the talking” Cole fishes out some cash to cover the bill and asks Mike if he is ready, they get up and head for the door. One of the Uniforms signals them over. “Lacombe eh?” One cop asks as Cole checks the nametag, Taylor. “Yeah, just up for the weekend” The officers check out Mike, one of them recognizes him and Mike recognizes the man. Mike nods to the cop out of the view of his partner. Cole caught this. “Well guys name is Wheeler if you ever need to get bailed out in Lacombe, don’t call me!” Cole laughs. “Yeah right! Hey I am Rick Taylor and this here is my partner Mike Walsh” “Cole offers his hand, Cole Wheeler and this here is Mike” Cole realizes he does not know the man’s last name. Officer Walsh looks at Mike and says “You on the job too?” “Nah, I am just hanging out with Cole he called me when he came up for the weekend” Walsh looks at the t-shirt questioningly. But his partner doesn’t let him finish the thought. “We should let these guys go parts, we gotta get back out there pretty quick.” “Hey nice meeting you guys, look me up if you are down my way, I’ll point out a good doughnut shop.” The guys all laugh actually none of them could be accused of eating too many doughnuts. “Great to meet you guys.” Officer Taylor says.

5

Cole and Mike head off out the door they can feel the eyes of the two officers burning holes in their backs. Once they are away from Denny’s, Cole and Mike laughs their heads off. “I wonder what the fuck they were thinking?” Cole says. “Well I know what one of them was thinking”, Mike says and winks. “Yeah I noticed that nod you gave to Taylor” Cole says, “What was that about?” “Nothing you need to worry about right now.” Mike says. “I’ll tell you some other time.” On the street Cole can feel his heart rate go down. “That didn’t go so bad did it?” Mike looks at Cole. “Well, I guess not, but I bet Officer Walsh has an idea and he’ll be sharing it with his partner any time now. I know it is Edmonton and all, but the Fraternal Order has connections everywhere and cops talk” “Don’t worry about it.” Mike says reassuringly, “Besides, we got some unfinished business to take care of” They waste no time in getting back to the hotel. They are in each other’s arms as soon as they get in the room. Cole starts to work on the other man’s jeans and when he has them unbuttoned he kneels and take’s Mike’s cock into his mouth. Mike leans his head back as he feels the warmth hit his dick. He can feel Cole starting to work his hands towards his ass. He admits to himself that he liked the feeling of this man inside him last night. Cole stands and opens his jeans and Mike notices the guy has a rubber in his hand already. He watches Cole wrap his cock. Cole spits in his hand and applies it to the crack of Mike’s ass. “Lean over and spread’em” Cole commands. Mike leans over and puts his hands on the wall. He feels the head of the cock go straight to his hole. Cole puts his hands on Mike’s shoulders and pushes himself inside Mike. He wastes no time as he has his whole length in, in one thrust. He feels the man tighten up and then relax. Cole is really turned on by this and he starts to pump his cock in and out of Mike’s ass faster and faster. One of Cole’s hands reaches around and starts to jack Mike off.

5

Soon Mike is slamming his body back into Cole’s. Cole can feel his orgasm building and he leans forward and bites the back of Mike’s neck and as he does this he thrusts as hard as he can in and out of the man. Mike didn’t know he could get excited this fast but Cole is really working him over. He moans loudly as he feels his load start to shoot. Cole’s hand is pumping his cock faster and faster. He feels the man’s thighs slapping against his ass. “How long can Cole hold out?” he wonders. Cole starts to hold him harder and hard as his thrusts become more urgent. Finally Mike feels the man plough into him and stay there. The little jerks he feels indicate that Cole is shooting a load up his ass. When Cole is done he pulls out roughly and takes the condom off. He pulls his lover up and turns him around. The two men kiss deeply as their softening cocks are pressed against each other. “Whew!” Cole exclaims, “That was worth the wait”. “Sure was, boy you took to this really fast!” “Thanks, but I haven’t been just fucking my fist all these years” The two men pull their jeans up and walk to the bed. Cole lies down and Mike lies down beside him. “Cole?” Mike raises himself and looks at the cop, “So why now?” Cole knows what Mike is asking and he thinks a bit. “Over the years it has been like a seed that was growing, at first I brushed it off. Then the more I had contact with guys the more I wanted. Not to say that I wasn’t sleeping with women.” Cole pauses and looks at Mike “In fact the more this seed grew the more women I slept with.” “Finally, it was one woman that took me to a new place, she didn’t just lie there and take it, she actually pushed me around and I liked it. Sex with her was completely different. It challenged my masculinity. Sometimes she wouldn’t even let me get off.” “Sounds like Kat” Mike says “So you have been with her too?” “Yeah, guys weren’t always my first choice” “Well anyway, this fucked it up for the other women. I mean, I had some but it was not the same. It was, I dunno….”

5

“Vanilla, that’s what it is called in the gay world” Mike says. “Yeah, good word” “So anyway, Kat made it perfectly clear that a relationship was totally out of the question as she is first and foremost a lesbian” Mike nods. “So how did you get from Kat to guys?” “Well like I said, there was always the seed. Sometimes a guy would suck me off and that was it. I was happy. But after awhile I started to touch them, I mean their bodies as they were blowing me. I liked the firmness of the muscles and the intensity with which they interacted with me.” “The last time I was up here, was the first time I had ever gone to bed with a guy. I guess I had to know. If it was horrible, I was gonna stick to the odd blowjob. But you know, it wasn’t horrible. I felt a tremendous relief. I actually woke up in the middle of the night and studied his body as he slept and I was turned on.” “So you spoke to Kat about this?” “Yup, she knows it all” “What’s next?” Mike moves a hand to Cole’s head and plays with his hair. “Well I am reading a book about Coming Out the process etc.” “That’s a good start, but realize that the books are meant as guides. They tend to be pretty flat, time wise. You don’t have to ‘come out’ to everyone you know over night. What I have found is that you come out to the people that need to know and then slowly come out to the rest. Of course there are some people that you will never come out to.” “In your job, I don’t recommend coming out to too many people at once” Cole reaches over and pulls Mike to him. They kiss passionately. “Well Cole, it’s a work day for me, so I am sorry but I have to take off soon” “That’s cool, can I ask you about one other thing?” “Sure!” “Well back home there is a Fireman who has been out since he was fourteen. Some affirmative action thing hired him on. Anyway, he has a thing for me and the truth be told, I would give my left nut for him” Cole pauses, “Well he found the book in my truck when we went mountain biking last week. I told him we’d talk later. We haven’t talked yet. I am afraid to. He is like a little brother to me, as I can’t imagine him as anything else yet. Is this going to change?”

5

“Hard to say, I think it is something that will happen, if it is meant to happen. Till then be cool, remember if he is gay he is going to know what you are going through right now, he has been there” “Thanks, Mike” Cole hugs him tightly. Mike makes a move to get out of the bed. “Well Cole, it was great being with you!” “Same here, thanks for the lesson” Cole smiles at the man. Mike buttons his jeans up he notices that Cole is examining him. He looks down on the man and thinks that this guy is going to break a lot of hearts. “Mike packs his bag and heads for the door. Cole follows him and they kiss. Mike opens the door and heads out “See you tonight maybe, and thanks for the shirt!” “No problem, I have enough of them!” Cole says, “and I am sure I’ll be there tonight”

5

Cole out and about in Edmonton. Cole decides it might be a good time to go for a run it’s either that or he will fall asleep. He changes to his running clothes and goes to the lobby. Cole heads south towards the River Valley. Cole has heard that there are miles and miles of trails. Soon enough Cole is on a trail, which follows River Road, he heads west on it. There are a lot of people out roller bladders, cyclists and other runners. The sun is up and Cole is starting to get hot and of course the shirt comes off. He passes other runners and he thinks about the night he had with Mike. He knew now there was no going back, he found out a lot about himself. Cole replayed some scenes in his head, this of course had two consequences he got hard and he wasn’t actually seeing where he was going. “Oww!” Greg said as another guy ran him into. “Oops! I guess I was wrapped up in the scenery.” Cole says as he looks at the guy, “You OK?” “Nah I am fine, I was wrapped up in something too!” Greg says as he checks out Cole, his eyes wander up and down the man’s body and stop at the obvious buldge in the man’s shorts. Cole sees the guy has noticed and he blushes. “Name is Greg”, he says to the other man. He notices that the guys face is all red. “Hey it happens! I’m Cole” Cole extends his hand, “Sure you’re alright?” “Yeah I’m fine” Greg shakes his hand. He notices that Cole has a crest on his running shorts. “You a cop?” “Yup in Lacombe, I am up for the weekend, and you?” Cole looks at me. Greg remembers that he was wearing Edmonton Police Service shorts, which he usually wears to motivate himself. “Nah, not a cop, I work in Immigration” “Cool’ Cole was relieved the guy was not another cop, especially since he was embarrassed as to how they met. “Hey Lacombe, that’s a nice town, must be pretty quiet down there” “Well it was, but we seem to be getting busier every year. Hey do you want to run for awhile?” Cole asks “Yeah sure.” They start to take off running down the path. “How far are you running today?” Greg asks.

5

“I don’t know, I am working some things out, so as long as it takes, you?” “Well I try to stick to 10 k” he pauses, “if you are working stuff out maybe you’d like to run by yourself” “Hey the things I am working out are not going to get solved today. Besides you can keep me from getting lost and running into more people” Cole says with a smile. “Great – so do you want to head over to Hawrelak Park? There are lots of people there most of them wearing very little” Greg says with a wink. They head over to the park. The park has a road, which goes around the perimeter, the speed limit is very low so that everyone can use it without fear of getting run over. “Are you up here for work?” Greg asks “Nah, I came up for personal reasons. Lacombe is a nice place to live but you need to get away from it every once and awhile.” “Edmonton too!” Greg says and laughs. “So did you go out on Whyte Avenue last night?” “No, I stayed on the North side of the River, went to a small place” “Well you should check out Whyte Ave tonight, it is the place to be.” “I think I might head back to the bar I was at last night. Its close to the Hotel and friendly” “What’s the name of the bar? Maybe I should check it out” Cole figures it might not be a good idea to tell Greg the name of the bar. The guy might judge him. “I forget although I know where it is.” Cole figures the guy must think he is a dolt. “Well I only go to a couple of bars downtown, The Roost and the Hawk.” Greg says. “Man I wouldn’t mind meeting this guy at the Hawk” Cole thinks to himself. “How are those bars?” Cole asks. “Not bad, I don’t go that often, like I said Edmonton is a small town!” “Maybe I’ll buy you a beer sometime if I see you out.” Cole says. “Sure, that’d be cool.” Greg says. He is trying to figure out if Cole knows that those are Gay bars.

5

Cole debates with himself whether to tell Greg he was talking about the Hawk. But he just decides to play it cool. The two men enter a park keeping a steady pace. Cole looks around and sees groups of guys and girls in various forms of undress playing with frisbees and footballs. Soon they are out of the park and running up a long hill. Greg starts to slow down as he feels the effect of a back injury start to kick in as it always does. “Cole, listen I think I better start heading home, I can show you the way back” “Well to tell the truth, I was up late last night, so I better get back too!” Cole follows thee other man’s lead. They are running on a road that runs along the University campus. Looking north Cole can see the river valley. He notices a lot of apartment buildings and he can see the city’s downtown. They zigzag through some residential streets and then Greg points out the Sugarbowl Café. “This is where I hang out on my days off, it is a good place” “Hey maybe the next time I am in town we can meet up and have coffee here” Cole says. “Sure that would be great!” Greg leads Cole across the High Level Bridge. The views from the bridge never fail to impress even long time residents of the city. He looks at Cole and notices the guy is engrossed in checking out the scenery. As they run to the Legislature grounds, Greg asks, “What hotel are you staying at?” “The its on 105 St and 102 Ave, I think it is close to here.” “Yeah, I know which one you mean, I can’t remember the name.” Greg says, “You want me to show you how to get there?” “Nah I think I will be ok, it can’t be that hard!” Cole says. Greg looks at Cole, “I wonder how he meant that?” he says to himself, “Nah, I think that I am thinking too much. But damn I’d like to see this guy again.” “Well, see ya when I see ya” I say. Cole remembers that his partner says that all the time “Not if I see you first!” “Hey listen Greg, I enjoyed doing this and I wouldn’t mind meeting up again sometime.” “Same here, except I don’t have a pen on me and I don’t think you have one either.” Greg says as he takes one more look at Cole’s crotch.

6

Cole notices the guy check him out again. Now he is more motivated to see the guy again. “Well I am good with numbers, wanna give it to me?” Greg tells him his phone number. He can’t help wondering if the man is hitting on him. The guy certainly uses a lot of phrases, which could mean two things. Greg offers his hand and the two men shake. “See ya later Cole!” “Well I got your number and I’ll be sure to use it!” Cole says. He runs down the hill to his place and turns back to make sure Cole is heading in the right direction. Cole is just standing there with a big smile on his face. Greg waves to Cole, Cole waves back and then starts to run. That guy was pretty good Cole tells himself, not bad looking either. I definitely will call him. Cole repeats the number over and over committing it to memory. Cole writes down Greg’s number as soon as he gets in the room. He puts the piece of paper in his wallet. Cole strips off his sweaty clothes in front of the mirror. He is not normally so vain however he is proud of how his body looks especially after exercising. He takes a shower. Then he lies down to take a nap. His cock is hard and he takes care of it remembering his time with Mike although after awhile Greg’s replaces Mike’s face. When he finally comes, it covers his chest and he mops it up with his soggy t-shirt. Cole drifts off to sleep. Saturday night he makes his way back to the Hawk. He looks around for Mike but doesn’t see him anywhere. He does see the cop from Denny’s though. The guy is dressed in leather. Cole is disappointed that Mike wasn’t there so he stays for a couple of beer and then goes back to the Hotel alone.

6

Back to Lacombe Cole is up early Sunday. He takes a shower and packs. He checks out and outs his stuff in the truck. Cole drives over to Denny’s. He eats an omelette and tries to do the crossword puzzle in the back of the tabloid. When he has had enough coffee, he gets up to leave. As he is paying at the cashier he notices the same two cops as yesterday coming in. The one that was at the bar nods to him his partner says “Hey Lacombe, you off?” “Yeah, I figure I’d get out of town before the highway gets stupid” “Well then we’ll see ya” Cole gives Walsh a slight nod. “Same here” Cole is tongue-tied and he can’t help but feel that this is a pissing contest. The guy makes Cole feel like he has violated his space. Cole goes round the back of the restaurant and gets in his truck. He pops in David Gray’s “White Ladder” CD and heads out of town. The highway was really busy and he is worn out by the time he gets home. Cole unpacks his stuff and checks the phone for messages. Two calls from Mark and one from Kat. Cole calls Mark first but there is no answer. He probably wanted to go running or something. Cole dials Kat’s number. “Hey there, how was the trip?” Kat says. “It was great, I met a friend of yours.” “Mike, I can’t believe it. How is he doing?” Kat asks. “Well he is good, we hung out for awhile” Kat knows better than to delve any further. Cole doesn’t like to talk about conquests. “I am on nights this week, starting tonight. When can we get together?” Cole asks. “I am free most every night. I should come see how the place is doing” Kat says. Cole groans, “The place is probably the same as the last time you were here. I haven’t had much time to work on it” “No problem Cole, but you had better start soon. You have invested so much time.” “Yeah, I know. What I think I need is someone to come out here and make me do it” Cole laughs. It feels great to have a friend he can share anything with.

6

“Well I’ll call, what time are you up?” “Usually crawl out of bed about 16:00, why don’t you just come out and get me up,” Cole says. “Could be done” Kat laughs. “Well I’ll talk to you later, gonna have a nap now” “Have a good night Cole” Kat says as she hangs up. Cole strips off his clothes and lays down for a nap. Nights are the one shift he has trouble adapting to. But they are by far the busiest. Human nature he guesses.

6

Cole gets a new Partner Cole gets to the station at 19:30. The night shift is 12 hours 20:00 to 08:00. He gets his equipment on and goes to the Ready Room. Cole gets a newspaper and checks the news. He is waiting for Mark to show up. Mark doesn’t show up. Cole wonders what happened. Looking around the room he sees a new Officer sitting there. Cole gets a funny feeling. The Sergeant comes in and takes his place at the podium. The room becomes quiet. He tells them about current cases that are still open. Various ‘Wanted Posters’ from other Police Services are passed around. Finally the Sergeant says “I’d like to welcome Constable Kelly Pritchard, she is joining us from the RCMP, she transferred in.” The guys welcome the new officer. “I have made some adjustments and Officer Kelly will be partnered with Officer Wheeler. Officer Comry has been transferred to the B Shift. Cole you’ll be her TO for a couple of weeks until she gets up to speed.” Cole is not sure how he feels but it had to happen sooner or later. Cole is kind of pissed that Mark never told him about switching shifts. He glances over at his new partner and nods. Roll Call ends and all the Officers get up. Most of the guys shake the new Officer’s hand. Cole waits till every one has had their turn. “Cole Wheeler, pleased to meet you” “Likewise” Kelly says as they shake hands. Cole notices she is not wearing a wedding ring. As Cole and Kelly head to the car he notices a few of his fellow Officers checking her out. Lacombe’s Police Department has one other female out on the streets. Cole checks her out she is about 5’8 and in pretty good shape. Cole lets Kelly do the vehicle check. “I guess I’ll drive the first part of the shift, so you can get the lay of the land” Cole says, “Unless you want to”. “No, its OK Cole, I actually prefer to be co-pilot’ “Great! Mark and I used to toss for it, and he always wound up driving” Cole laughs “So excuse me if I appear rusty”

6

“No problem Cole, I am sure you’ll do fine” Kelly says with a smile. Cole notices she has intense blue eyes. She must be hell on interrogations. As they drive down the main drag the town appears very quiet. The sun is just setting. ‘So tell me about yourself Kelly” Cole says. “Well what do you want to know?” “The usual, who, what when, where and why” “Well I am 32 years old, born in Cold Lake. I have been a cop for 5 years. I was stationed in Peace River and decided I needed a change” “So what made you come to Lacombe? Other than its irresistible beauty and friendliness” Cole says with a smile. “Well, I was married to an Officer. He is with the RC’s too. Anyway we were in Peace River together and then the marriage went south. I tried to transfer out through RC’s but no luck” “So how did you get here?” “Well I was checking job postings on the net and I noticed that Lacombe was looking for Officers. I came down and saw the place and liked it so here I am” “So how about you, Cole?” “Well I was born and grew up here. My parents still live here. My brother is in Calgary and I have a sister in Vancouver. I have been with the force for 10 years” Kelly studies him and checks out his hand, no rings. Cole notices this and says “Oh by the way I am still single” He says. They both look at each other and laugh. “So why is that Cole?” Kelly asks. “I don’t know, I guess I have not met the right person yet” Cole wants a change of subject. “So where are you staying in town?” “Well, I didn’t find a place to buy yet, so I am renting an apartment, month to month. Do you own a place?” “Yeah, I have a house out on an acreage, that I just built. It is in Bentley, just west of here”

6

“Hey, that’s great I have always wanted to live on an acreage. Been living in towns most of my life.” Cole notices a car, which just drove though a red light. He looks to Kelly as he turns on the siren and lights. Kelly enters the license of the car on the car’s computer. The answer comes back immediately. “It’s registered to James McCleary, 55 Main Street” Cole notices that the car starts to speed up. He sees the driver and notices it is a young guy. He recognizes the car. “I thought I recognized that car”, he says. “I don’t think Mr McCleary is driving it” Cole speeds up to close in on the other car, but he has to slow down at the cross streets to make sure no cars are coming through. Kelly picks up on this and yells “Clear!” at every corner after checking for cars from the right. He notices the driver starts to look around quickly. The guy suddenly makes a quick turn to the left and accelerates. The car is a large older model Buick. The turn and the sudden acceleration cause it to swerve on the road. Cole closes in on the Buick, he doesn’t want to ram the car, as it appears that the driver may lose control. Cole holds back, he knows this road is going to come to an end soon and the driver will have no options. “The roads going to come to a dead end up ahead, hopefully we can end this thing soon” Cole tells his partner. He can feel the rush of adrenaline through his body. He loves the feeling. “Thank God for bad guys!” he tells himself. The car in front comes to a dead and stops suddenly. The door opens and the driver gets out and starts to run. Cole stops the car and gives chase. “57 Street” Cole yells as he runs after the man. “Dispatch this is Officer Pritchard, we have a lone male suspect running west on 57 Street and shit, oops didn’t mean that, can’t see the Avenue sign. Officer Wheeler is in pursuit on foot” “Roger that Officer Pritchard, I think I know the place, it’s a dead end right? Do you require backup?” “Roger it’s a dead end and Negative, the suspect is unarmed and the Officer is closing in on him” Kelly replaces the microphone and joins the chase. As she is running she gets her handcuffs out and has them in the ready position. Cole finally catches the guy and tackles him to the ground. The guy starts to squirm and punch Cole, Cole just holds him down, and he looks back and can see his partner coming.

6

“We can do this either of two ways,” Cole tells the man. “You can cooperate and we’ll take you into custody or you can resist and we will still take you into custody” “Which is it going to be?” As Cole is saying this he has managed to get a hold of the guy’s left arm. Cole stands and the guy the guy follows suit to ease the pressure on his arm. Cole bends the guy’s arm behind his back and positions it so the wrist is exposed with the thumb up. Cole applies a little pressure and he can feel the guy resistance go down. “Ok, Ok I give up!” The man yells “Fuck that hurts!” Kelly is there as the guy says this and she quickly cuffs the man’s wrist. “Put your other hand behind your back”, she orders, the guy’s hand does not come back far enough and she tells him, “Further!” The guy does as he is told. Kelly cuffs the other wrist. Cole puts a hand on the guy’s shoulder and they lead him back to the police car. “Pretty good take down Cole” Kelly says. “Thanks, nice cuffing” Back at the car they get the suspects name and address. They advise him of his rights. Cole grabs the microphone “Dispatch, this is Wheeler, we got one and are taking him in” “Roger Cole, do you need a truck out there to tow the other vehicle?” “Roger that” “Roger, over and out” “I guess we should get this guy in the back and take him in, eh?” Cole says. Kelly checks the cuffs on the guy and double locks them. Cole watches and then opens the back door. “Dispatch is sending a tow truck, you want to stay with car and come back in with the truck?” “Sure, lets go see how the guy got the car going” Cole and Kelly check the car, they see that there is a key in the ignition. Kelly gets in and starts it. She turns to Cole and smiles. Cops see this all the time people leaving keys in their cars and wondering why they get stolen. Cole heads back to the cruiser and gets in. “You Ok back there?” he asks. The man grunts. Cole takes this to mean he is ok. Cole sees the lights of the tow truck coming. He waits to make sure everything is ok and then he starts driving.

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“I seen you” the man says. “Oh yeah?” Cole asks. “Yeah, up in Edmonton the other night” “It must have been a guy that looks like me” “No, I am sure it was you. It was at the Denny’s on 104th, you were with another guy.” the man says. “I know cause I’ve seen that other guy around a lot.” Cole can feel his stomach tighten. He tries to recall if he has seen the man before. He draws a blank. “Well if he only saw me at the Denny’s than that’s not too bad,” he says to himself. “Yeah, that other guy owns a bar I go to sometimes.” the man says with a knowing look. Cole feels himself start to sweat profusely. “Well, I am sure it just a guy that looks like me.” “Well I guess, but I am good with faces and I am sure I have seen yours before, besides you both had on t-shirts with a police crest on them.” Cole remembers what Mike and him were wearing but he decides to let it go. The guy has nothing and it’s not going to help him get out of this jam. Cole sees the station up ahead and he wants to get this guy locked up ASAP. Cole pulls into the parking lot and parks. He gets out and waits for Kelly to show up. The tow truck comes about five minutes later. He goes over and directs the man where to park the car. When the car is parked, they go over to the driver of the tow truck. The man is filling out the bill. When he is finished, Cole checks it and then signs the bill. The man gives him a copy. Kelly and Cole head back to the cruiser after waving bye to the driver. “Did he give you any problems?” She asks. “Nah, we were just talking about the weather,” Cole says. Kelly goes to the back door and opens it. Cole helps the guy up out of the car. The guy still has a smirk on his face. They escort the man into the station. Cole takes him to an open interview room. He then takes the handcuffs off and asks the guy to sit.

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“Have a seat please, I’ll be right back” Cole says. Before closing the door he says, “Do you want anything? Coffee? Water?” “Just water” the man says. Cole heads out to the ready room to get some forms for the guy’s statement. He sees Kelly at the coffee machine. He holds out the cuffs for her. “Want some coffee Cole?” Kelly asks as she puts the cuffs back in their pouch. “No, not for me thanks” Cole says as he heads back into the interview room. “Nice looking partner you got there. I bet a guy like you meets a lot of ladies.” Pushing further the man says, “It makes me wonder why you’d hang out with the owner of a gay bar” Cole tightens more, “Look Jack, so you think you’ve got something on me that will help make this go away. Well I am sorry but you got nothing” Kelly comes into the room just as Cole is finishing “Hey Wheeler, what’s up?” “Nothing the guy is just mouthing off”, Cole says. Kelly puts the glass of water down in front of the guy. The man takes a drink, as the Officers make sure the man is aware of his rights. The guy shrugs him off. Cole starts the interview as Kelly takes notes. When Cole has got all the facts he turns to Kelly “Did I miss anything?” “I can think of nothing else.” She says. Cole asks the man to stand again and advises him that he is going to be handcuffed. Cole asks the man to turn around and put his arms out behind his back, thumbs up. Once the cuffs are on Cole leads him down to the lockup. Cole grabs a bag from a pile on a desk and then leads the guy into a cell. Cole closes the door and removes the handcuffs. “I need you to take off your belt and shoes. The man does as he is told. Cole puts them in the bag. “Do you have any valuables?” Cole asks. The man takes a wallet out of his back pocket and a pile of change out of a front pocket. He then takes off his watch and he drops all of it into the bag.

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“Is that it?” Cole asks. “Please turn around, I am going to have to search you.” The man complies and Cole pats him down finding nothing else. Cole gets some coveralls and asks the guy to strip and put them on. “You’re gonna like this cop!” The man says as he removes his shirt and passes it to Cole. The man then slowly removes his jeans and steps out of them. All the time he has his eyes locked on Cole looking for a reaction. Cole though is in work mode and his reality is his job. Sex is the furthest thing from his mind. The guy becomes frustrated with the lack of reaction from the cop. He finishes up quickly and puts on the overalls. All of his bravado has evaporated. Cole has noticed the man has become very quiet. He seals the bag in front of the man. Cole initials a strip over the flap and asks the man to do the same. Cole leaves the cell and locks it. He has a habit of closing it louder than he needs to. He likes the sound. He drops the bag off with the evidence clerk. Cole goes back to the interview room. Together Kelly and him complete the report. They gather their stuff together and go back to the car. They get in. “Remind me to call Mr. McCleary in the morning.” Cole says, “He’ll have to come pick up his car.” “I think I may advise him to watch where he leaves his keys” Kelly says. “You wanna go hit a coffee shop?” “Sure, I could use some, that stuff at the station was gross!” Cole laughs “Yeah, we usually give it to the customers” He starts to relax feeling that the incident with the car thief is over. “Why didn’t you say anything?” Kelly asks. “I didn’t want to influence your decision” Cole continues laughing. Kelly laughs too as they pull up in front of a coffee shop. She calls in that they are on a break and gives the location. They both get coffees and sit in a booth on the side. “So you going to tell me what that guy had on you?” Kelly asks.

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“What do you mean?” Cole responds. “Well it was obvious to me that the guy figured he had something on you. What I don’t get is why he didn’t play it.” “You are pretty perceptive Kelly.” Cole says. “Well you get that way after being on the job as long as I have been, so what is it?” “Ah, its nothing” “Well excuse me but my partner looking like he saw a ghost is not nothing” Cole thinks about this for a while. He just came out to himself, he is not ready to come out on the job yet. “Later ” Cole says and then looks down at his coffee. Kelly realizes that she is not going to get any more information out of Cole. She decides to let it be. She is used to partners opening up to each other. It just takes some time.

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Cole – before the next shift. Kat is just finishing up with a client when reception tells here she has a phone call. “Hello” Kat says. “Hey, Kat it’s me, are you busy?” Cole asks. “No, just finishing up with a client. What do you need?” “Just wondering what you are doing for supper.” Cole asks. “Oh the usual, I got a date coming over and we are going to explore each others minds” Cole laughs he knows the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Playing along “Do you think you can ditch your date and have supper with your favourite cop?” “Well I guess” Kat smiles “although I have been lining this date up for a couple of months.” “Cool, you wanna come over to my place and have steaks” “Your place, this is a first, are you gonna take advantage of me after dinner?” “Nah gotta work tonight, got to be ready. Oh speaking of work got a new partner. Just your type.” Cole guesses, he really doesn’t know Kat’s type but he feels Kelly would be a good catch.” “Well this sounds promising. I’ll be there right after work” “Great!” Cole says “see you later.” Kat hangs up. Going back to her station she wonders what’s up with Cole. Work ends soon enough. Kat goes home and gets her car and heads west to Cole’s place. It has been a long time since she has been there. The house was not even complete the last time. Cole was living in a trailer. It’s strange she thinks to herself. Cole is probably her best friend in Lacombe and she hasn’t even found the time to go out and see his place. But she knows Cole and he probably didn’t want her to see it until it was perfect. Kat drives up the Range Road and turns onto the winding driveway up to the house. When she turns the last corner she can see that it is almost completely finished. It is a chalet design and sits on top of a hill. The only thing missing is a deck. She can see that he has started building it. Parking her car she gets out and goes up to the back door. She tries the handle and goes in. She can hear water running. The boy is in the shower. I guess I’ll go let him know I

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am here. She walks towards the sound of the water and goes in the bathroom. She pulls open the door and says “Hi” “Shit woman! Don’t you know how to knock?” Cole says. Cole can’t see her as he has shampoo in his hair. He steps under the showerhead and washes the soap off. Kat stares at the man’s body. She steps in the shower and starts to help him rinse his hair. “Hey! You’re going to get all wet.” “I don’t care, I figure I’ll just borrow some clothes from you” Cole likes the openness of the relationship he has with her. He can feel as she starts to wash his back. It feels really good. He turns around and helps her out of her t-shirt. She unbuttons her jeans and soon she is naked with him. She takes the soap and washes his chest and then his crotch. She can feel him start to respond. Cole puts his arms around her and pulls her hard against him. He kisses her neck and then works his way up to her mouth. As he is doing this he can feel her rubbing his hard cock in her crotch. Cole can feel as she puts the head to her opening. A little shove and he is all the way in her. Kat’s fingers start to scratch his back. “Fuck me hard cop!” Kat orders. Cole puts his hands on her hips and starts slamming his cock into her. Kat’s right hand goes down Cole’s back. She finds his ass and pulls him hard towards her. The kissing becomes frantic and both of them are breathing really hard. Kat puts a finger up Cole’s ass and she bites down on the side of his neck. Cole screams as the combination of feelings cause him to start shooting inside her. He can feel Kat’s pussy contracting; she must be coming too. When they have finished cleaning off they both head into the bedroom. Cole gets a shirt for Kat. “I think I’ll have to put your jeans in the dryer. I don’t think I have a pair of pants that would fit you”. Kat looks in his closet and sees a pair of combat pants. She grabs them and put them on. “These’ll do, I’ll get the belt from my jeans” Cole eyes her as she heads out of the room. “Not bad Kat” Cole gets dressed in a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt. “Kat, I am going to start cooking now. Barbequed steaks?”

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“Right on Cole, need any help from me” she calls from the bathroom. “I don’t think so unless you want to make a salad” “I can do that, got Feta?” “Yeah, just look in the fridge, everything you need is there.” Kat heads off to the kitchen. She looks out the window and sees Cole getting the barbeque started. She opens the fridge and sees he has everything needed for a Greek Salad. Kat sets the table and soon both of them are sitting there. “Well, not a bad job on the house” Kat says “I could picture living here” “Er, thanks” Cole says with a grin. He isn’t looking for a roommate however if he were, Kat would be a good choice. “So what was so important that you dragged me away from my date?” Kat asks. “It seems that my trips to Edmonton have come back to bite my ass. Had a close call yesterday” “How so?” “Well I arrested this guy last night. After we were in the car, he tells me that he saw me at Denny’s with Mike.” “Oh my God!” Kat says with more emotion than she intended. Calming down she says, “So, I guess that made you feel uncomfortable. Thank God it was Denny’s” “Well the guy knew who Mike was and he tried to use it. I told him he must be mistaking me with someone else.” “Whew, did he buy it?” “He said he had a good look at me and was pretty sure about it. At the station he started up again. He got me there, it seems he noticed that Mike and I were both wearing Lacombe Police t-shirts.” Kat decides to say nothing she reaches out and holds his hand. “I think my partner Kelly picked up on something” “You have a new partner?”

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“Yeah, Kelly, she transferred in from the RCMP, she has been a cop for five years. Anyway, I don’t think she misses too much.” “How did you handle her?” “Well later at the coffee shop she started asking about it. I didn’t know what to say so I just said we’d talk about it later.” “That was dangerous, she may come to her own conclusions. Let me say from experience that that never leads to good things” “So what do I do now?” Cole asks. “Well, the best is to come clean. But I can see your position. If you come out to her it will be all over the station before you know it.” “Yeah you’re right, but I think it is only a matter of time.” Cole feels anxiety setting in. “So what’s she like, is she married?” Kat asks as she decides to change the subject. “Nope, she is newly divorced. Her and her husband were with the RCMP. She caught him screwing around and divorced him. Then she found out we were hiring so she transferred here.” Cole pauses. “She is a good looking woman. She is confident and a good police officer.” “So what’s she like to work with?” Kat asks. “I don’t know, she is ok I guess. Hell I have never had a female partner before. I am letting her feel her way around. I just hope she doesn’t have any designs on me.” “I guess the other guys are going to start to wonder about the two of you, spending all that time together. I would assume that the guys would start to paint a picture sooner or later.” “Yeah, I can see that coming. These things tend to take a life of their own.” “So what do you want from me?” “Nothing really, just your support. This is going to be a trying time for me.” “Believe it or not, I’ve been here before. I have had boyfriends of convenience before and I am sure I will have them again.” Kat smiles and looks at him. “At least it won’t be a complete lie this time!” Cole’s face reddens he is speechless. He does not want to use Kat that way, but if it helps him out of this mess he may as well go with it.

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“I guess I am going to have to be more careful in Edmonton. Think I should start frequenting Calgary?” “No, a change of venue is not going to make a difference. This is just upping the timetable.” “Timetable?” “Cole sooner or later, whether you like it or not you are going to have to be completely out. Otherwise you are not going to be a complete person.” “Yeah, I guess. I mean when I am out in Edmonton I feel so free. I don’t think I have ever felt truly like that.” “Well bud, I am here if you need me.” Cole gets up and moves to Kat. They hug and he can feel his eyes moisten. “Man, was I ever lucky the day I met you, thank you Kat!” Cole gets up and cleans up the dishes. He checks his watch. “Well I got to go get ready for work.” “Yeah, I guess I should go, got to get home and do some laundry” Kat smiles, “that’s why I didn’t mind getting my clothes wet!” Kat goes to the door to get her shoes as she is putting them on she asks “Are you going to get the porch finished before winter?” “Yeah, I suppose I should finish doing that. Other things have got in the way”, he emphasizes by waiving his hand over his crotch. “Men!” Kat laughs. “Well let me know if you want help, I feel the need to pound some nails.” “I sure will” Cole adds, “Drive safe!” Cole heads to the bedroom to change to his uniform. He hears Kat’s car as it makes its way down the drive.

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Kelly and Cole Cole gets to the station with 10 minutes to spare. He spots Kelly in the Ready Room. He sits down beside her and waits for the Sergeant. Cole checks out Kelly, he notices that she is looking pretty good. “Too good!” he thinks to himself, “I hope this isn’t going to be a problem” Pretty soon they are out on patrol, Cole tried to get Kelly to drive but she was OK to let him do it. The first part of the shift goes through with no excitement. The have their lunch at a Restaurant with a couple of other cops. Back out on the street they hear the radio squawk. It’s a domestic call and Kelly radios in that they are on the way. Cole arrives at the house silently. Both officers get out and head to the door. They can hear the sounds of yelling and thumping. Cole tries the door handle but it is locked. He bangs loudly to see if someone will open the door. No one answers, he asks Kelly to stand back and he takes a run at the door and hits it with his shoulder. The door flies open. The man, who had the woman held with one hand and was getting ready to hit her with the other. “Freeze” Cole yells out as he and Kelly enter the house. The man pushes the woman away and she flies across the room and hits a wall. The man then turns and starts to come towards Cole. Cole takes his baton out and has it in the ready position. The man gets set to take a swing at Cole, Cole deflect the man’s arm with the baton. Kelly is getting her cuffs out while this is happening and she is also making sure that the woman doesn’t get involved. Suddenly the woman gets up and starts to come towards Cole and the man. Kelly gets her baton out and blocks the woman’s path. The woman seems intent on striking both Cole and the man. “Are you going to calm down?” Cole asks the man. “The fucking slut, she was fucking around on me while I was at work!” the man yells. “Listen, I want to hear your story, but first we have to get some control in here”, Cole says. “I am going to get my cuffs out and you are going to let me put them on, Ok?” The man stands there and Cole can see that he is trying to work stuff out in his head. Pretty soon Cole notices that the man has resigned himself to what must come. The man

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puts his hands out in front of him. Cole quick cuffs one hand and then turns the man around. He asks the man to put his other arm back and then he cuffs it too. Cole watches to see how Kelly is doing. The woman has not calmed down and appears to still want to strike out. Cole asks the man to stay where he is and he steps over to back up his partner. The woman turns and starts to run to the kitchen. Kelly gives chase. Cole looks at the man and tells him for his own safety he better not move. Then he is in the kitchen too. The woman appears to be running to the drawers. Kelly is yelling at her to freeze but the woman doesn’t stop. Cole knows if the woman gets a knife that this will get ugly. He takes out his pepper spray and yells at the woman. She turns around, startled and the order. She can see the canister in his left hand and she reaches her hands to cover her eyes. Cole looks to Kelly, this is not ideal, but it has to be done. Cole sprays the woman’s face in a figure eight pattern. The woman starts to scream about her eyes burning. The woman had stop moving now other that to rub her eyes. He checks out Kelly, he can see that the spray has started to affect her too. “Better cuff her fast Kelly, there is some wash in the car!” Cole says. He can feel his eyes start to sting as well. Kelly gets the woman cuffed and escorts her out to the living room. Cole sees that the man is still there. He is looking at the woman who is now bawling her eyes out and screaming. They escort both people out of the house. When they are outside, Cole runs to the car, he radios in for an EMT unit and advises that pepper spray has been used. Cole takes the flush kit from the car and takes it back to the people on the lawn. Cole attends to Kelly first. He notices, as he is finishing that the woman is still screaming and then she starts yelling about a baby. “Do you have children?” Cole looks at both of them. “Yeah, my son, he is five years old. He is in the back bedroom asleep.” “Asleep my ass” Cole thinks to himself, “You going to be OK Kelly?” “I don’t know how much longer I can keep my eyes open Cole!” Kelly says in a controlled voice. “But if there is a kid in there, you’d better get him!” Cole races into the house and heads for the bedrooms, they are to the left of the kitchen. He opens the only closed door and he sees the boy hiding in the corner holding a teddy bear and a blanket. The boy is crying “Mommy, Mommy, I want my Mommy!”

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Cole bends down and picks the boy up. He puts the blanket over the kid’s head and takes him out to the front of the house to join the others. Outside he takes the blanket off the boy’s head. The boy continues crying, he sees his mommy crying and trying to reach up with her hand to her face, but his mother’s hands won’t come up. He sees that his Dad is trying to bury his face in the shoulder of his shirt. “What’s the boys name?” Cole asks calmly. “Danny” the man answers. “Danny” Cole says, he can see the boy wants to go over and comfort his mother, “I am a Police Officer and I am going to help your mother and father. But in order to do that I need a promise from you.” “What’s that? Mister”, Danny asks. “Well I need to give them some medicine that will make their eyes feel better, will you stay here so that I can do that?” “I want my Mommy!” Danny answers. Cole sees that this isn’t going to be easy, in order to keep the scene under control he can only do one thing. He takes Danny to the patrol car and puts him in the back seat. The kid is banging on the windows as Cole goes back to the gathering. He picks up the wash kits and gives one to Kelly. Cole then heads over to the woman, he asks her to kneel on the ground and Cole helps steady her as she kneels. Once the woman is kneeling, he puts the apparatus over her eyes and starts the wash. The woman calms down after about a minute. She then starts to react to her son banging on the window of the patrol car. “My baby! My Baby” she starts screaming. “Please be quiet Mam, your son is safe and no harm is going to come to him.” Cole says. Kelly goes over to the man and asks him to kneel and then she administers the wash. As she is finishing, the EMT wagon shows up. “Well we may as well use them while they are here” Cole says to Kelly. “We had to use some pepper spray in a confined space.” She tells the EMT, “There appears to be cross contamination. We have administered the wash.” The EMT’s take over and do their job.

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When they are finished Cole says, “My partner was exposed too, you may want to check to make sure she is OK” Cole helps the man up and leads him to the car as the EMTs tend to Kelly. When he opens the door, Danny comes bounding out. Cole was ready for this and manages to scoop the boy up. “Please sit in the car Sir” Cole asks. The man does as he is told. Cole then heads over to the Mother. She is still kneeling on the ground. He lets the boy down and he immediately clings to his mother. “Do you have a place you can stay tonight?” He asks her. “The pepper spray’s is going to be around for awhile.” “My Mother lives close by, we can stay there.” She says, “Where are you taking my husband?” “We are going to take him down to the station.” Cole explains, “Do you wish to press charges?” “No, no he’s done nothing wrong!” she pleads, “We were just having a fight. Surely everyone’s had one of those. Is there a crime against that?” “We are just taking him down to the station for the night. You may not wish to press charges but we did see him push you” Cole explains. “So he is just going to be there overnight? When can I come and get him?” She asks. “First thing in the morning” Cole says, he gets his wallet out and gives her his card. “Call this number if you need anything.” The EMTs pack up their stuff and indicate they are leaving. “Is it OK to take the cuffs off?” Kelly asks. “Yeah, I’ll hold Danny to make it easier for you” Cole gently pulls the boy off his mother. Cole gets his cell phone out and asks the woman to call her mother. Cole and Kelly go in the house. The spray has dissipated a bit. “We should open some windows to get this stuff out of here.” Kelly says. “I guess we are going to have to check on this place throughout the night to make sure nothing goes missing.” Cole says.

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When they are done Kelly has the woman lock the door. She managed to find the woman’s purse when she was opening windows. The woman’s Mother arrives. Cole and Kelly watch as the Mother and child get in the car. They can see the boy’s mother start to explain what happened. Cole and Kelly get in the cruiser. Kelly radio’s in that they are bringing the man to the station. “We are just taking you in to let you cool down.” Cole tells the man. “Your wife has decided not to press charges.” “How nice of her” the man says “Fucking slut!” Kelly tenses, Cole looks to see what she is going to do. “No need for that now guy.” Cole says firmly. “She screwed my best friend! How am I supposed to feel?” He says rather loudly. “Well this is something you and your wife are going to have to work out.” Kelly says, “There are places available that can provide counselling” “Besides you have to think of your son, Danny” Cole says. “You’re right. Danny has been such a good kid” the man says, “I grew up in a house where there was a lot of fighting. I promised I was not going to subject my son to it.” “Well the ball is in your court now” Cole says, “Try and use this time to get back on track.” “Easier said than done!” The man says, “Fuck what a mess.” The man tries to control tears. He doesn’t succeed. He buries his head in his lap so the officers don’t see him. When they get to the station they go through the standard routine and get him in cell. “You got the names of anybody we can contact?” the man asks, “For counselling?” “Ask at the front desk before you leave. We have pamphlets from various agencies”, Cole says. Cole and Kelly head to the front of the station. “Now the fun part” Cole says. “What do you mean?” Kelly asks.

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“Well because we escalated to batons and OCS, we have to write an incident report,” Cole says. “Great, we’ll be here for hours!” “The best is if we do it separately. The we can condense them” Cole says. “The Sergeant will then review it and hopefully that’s it.” The fill out the paperwork and file it with the Sergeant. When they are finished they head to the car. “Coffee?” Kelly says, “I’m buying.” “Sure, I could go for that, gotta calm down anyway.” Cole says. “You handled that pretty well Cole” Kelly says. She is starting to like the guy. For all of his toughness he is pretty sensitive. Cole can feel her eyes on him, “Fuck it”, he says to himself. “You been seeing anyone since your divorce?” He asks. “Nope, haven’t had the urge” Kelly says, “Its kind of nice being free. How about you, are you seeing anyone?” “Well I opened the door,” he says to himself, out loud he says “I have been seeing someone for a couple of years”. “That’s great Cole” Kelly says. She is disappointed. She did some digging around but could not find out for sure whether Cole was attached. He seems to keep his private life pretty quiet. Which is hard in a small town. They pull up in front of the coffee shop. Kelly radio’s in and then they head in. “I’m looking forward to my days off”, Cole says “I have to finish the deck before winter sets in.” “How much have you got done?” Kelly asks. Cole responds by laughing. “I got the posts in, I did them when I poured the foundation.” Kelly laughs. “The best laid plans of mice and men!” she says, “What has kept you from finishing the deck?” “Life” he says. Cole reflects back on the last couple of months. I am probably going to need some help. It may be a good chance to see Lance again. Where has that guy been? Kelly can see he has wandered off.

8

“Well we have two shifts left after tonight”, she says. “If you need any help, just let me know” “Nah, I won’t need any” Cole says, he would rather have Lance there with no one else around. Cole figures he has delayed the talk long enough. “So what are you up to on your days off?” Cole asks. “Not much, I may look at real estate or I may head down to Calgary.” “Buying a house, sounds like you like it here” Cole says with a smile. “Yeah, I like it. It’s not too big and close enough to Edmonton and Calgary to let me get away.” Kelly says, “That what’s made me leave Peace River”. “I guess it was hard up there after you and your husband split?” Cole asks. “Yeah, it was the station was split, most of the guys were his friends so it was kind of hard to work there.” Kelly says “My partner was his best friend so that was really hard.” “I bet” Cole says. “Ever spent 12 hours with a person and not talk?” Kelly asks. “Boy that would be hard.” “It’s not like I wanted to talk about Rick anyway.” Kelly says sadly “I felt like a pariah.” “Well we don’t have any problems like that here”, Cole says, “Most of the people get along well”. Cole’s mind wanders off into the future. If word gets out about me, I’ll probably have the same problems. He recalls his conversation with Kat. Cole thinks about how he will handle it. The rest of the night passes quietly. They go back to the station for shift change. The Sergeant catches them and says he reviewed the ‘Use of Force’ reports and finds no problems. Cole hopes it the last time he sees the damned thing. There is nothing worse than someone suing the department and having the reports reviewed by lawyers. Cole says good night to Kelly and heads over to the Fire Station, it is next door. He asks to see when Lance is on shift again. As luck would have it, Lance is there as he is starting a Dayshift. One of the fire guys goes and gets Lance. “Hey Cole, long time!” Lance says with a smile.

8

“Well I could say the same, you do know how a phone works don’t you?” Cole retorts. “Been busy”, Lance says with a wink. Cole catches the wink, “Maybe Lance has finally found someone,” he says to himself. “I came to ask a favour.” Cole says, “I need to get the deck finished before the weather gets bad.” “And you need a guy that’s used to manual labour to help?” Lance finishes Cole’s sentence. “Kinda like that, know anyone?” “As a matter of fact, I think I know of a great guy that could help.” Lance says, “When do you need me?” “Well I have two more night shifts, how about noon on Thursday?” “Hey you just happened to pick a day that I can help” Lance says. “Great, come on over round noon. If I am not up feel free to make a lot of noise” Cole says. “An offer I can’t refuse!” Lance laughs, “a cop giving me permission to break the law.” “Well I won’t be on duty so it may be up to another’s discretion, besides the RC’s patrol my neighbourhood.” “Foiled again, don’t worry I’ll be there at noon and ready to go.” Lance says. “I better get back to work, the A is watching my ass again trying to pin something on me.” Cole gets the reference to A. It looks like Brent is still up to his tricks. “Fine, I’ll see you then”, Cole says and heads out the door.

8

The Deck Cole woke up to the sound of a horn blasting outside. He checked the clock. It said 12:10. Cole ran downstairs in his boxers and opened the door. He saw Lance sitting in the Jeep. “Hey, why don’t you come in, I’ll make some coffee and get ready.” Lance gets out of the Jeep and comes into the house. He takes off his boots and heads into the kitchen. He checks out Cole as the man pours the water into the coffee maker. “Man what a sight!” he says to himself checking out his buddy’s muscular back and ass. Cole turns and sees Lance standing there, obviously the guy has been checking him out. He smiles, “Well the coffee’s on, I’ll run upstairs and get dressed” “No need to on my account” Lance says while he checks out the front of Cole’s body now. Noticing that the man has a buldge in the front of his shorts. Cole heads back up stairs and goes to the can. He smiles with embarrassment, “That’s why Lance was focused” as he pulls out his cock to pee and notices it is semi-hard. “Well it happens to all guys gay or straight” Lance is drinking a coffee when Cole comes back down. He checks out his buddy again and notices the guy is dressed to work now and looking damn hot. Lance has a plaid work-shirt on over a t-shirt. He is also wearing 501’s that are threadbare in spots and work boots. “Where on earth did you get those” Lance asks. referring to the Carhart overalls Cole has on. “I saw them on sale in Edmonton so I got some” he says non-chalantly. “Well in some of the places I hang out in you’d be raped if you showed up looking like that!” Lance says. “Why’s zat?” Cole asks. “Because you look fucking hot!” Lance says. He just takes a chance and throws it out there. It has been a while since he has seen Cole. The last time he saw him he wanted really bad to ask him about the book. “Er thanks” Cole says, “Well let me grab some coffee and we can get started.” he walks to the machine. “Don’t want to waste anymore time.” “Well I guess we’ll have lots to talk about” Cole says to himself “as we work on the deck.”

8

The two of them waste no time getting started. The sun is up and it is pretty warm. In no time they have the frame completed. A person watching the two men work would notice that they go about their tasks diligently. Once in awhile they tell some stupid joke and laugh. But they are focused on the task at hand and work together. After an hour Lance takes the work-shirt off. His t-shirt clings to his body, partly because of its size but mainly because it is wet with sweat. When the frame is completed Cole looks at Lance. “Well, I think we should take a break, I am starved!” “Me too!” Lance stands up and hikes up his jeans. He wipes some sweat away on the sleeve of his t-shirt. Cole does the same thing looking at the fire fighter as he is doing it. Lance notices Cole checking him out but does not say anything. “C’mon, lets get something to eat, omelettes good?” Cole asks. “Sure, you gonna cook?” “Well the maid has the day off” Cole says with a smile, “I’ll be the one toiling over the stove.” “Cool, have you ever cooked before?” “A hot dog here and there, this will be a first” Cole says with a straight face. “Maybe I should do it then, I have cooked at the station for years no-one has died yet!” Lance says. “You can help, but I am doing the cooking” Cole says. The guys head into the house. Both take their boots off at the door and take turns washing up. Cole opens the fridge and gets the stuff to make lunch. In no time he has the omelettes made. Lance has been saddled with the task of making more coffee and some toast. When everything is ready they sit at the table. The guys devour the food. They talk about the upcoming hockey season and their favourite teams. Cole is an Oiler’s fan and Lance supports the Flames. They joke about the rivalry between Alberta’s teams.

8

Lance takes care of cleaning up the dishes. Cole heads outside to get ready for the rest of the job. He has the wood piled down by the garage. He cuts the straps that bind the wood together off. Putting on gloves he carries several loads of boards up to the side of the house. When Lance comes out he sees that everything is ready to go. He picks up his tool belt and puts it on. Cole has nailed down the first plank. “I guess we should work together on this.” Cole says, “I have measured everything and we should be able to work from either end.” “But you don’t want a funny gap in the middle!” Lance adds and chuckles. “Yeah and besides that’ll give us a chance to talk.” Cole says. Lance does not respond. I guess Officer Wheeler is going to come clean about some things. The two guys continue working well together, laying the planks and nailing them in. “Well, I guess you want to know about the book you saw in my truck.” Cole says as he looks up into Lance’s eyes. “No pressure Cole, feel free to tell me what you want,” Lance says. Cole recounts most of his history of his experimentation with man on man sex since high school. He also tells Lance that he was having a perfectly satisfactory sex-life with women at the same time. “I don’t know what happened, Lance” Cole says, “When I was going out with my last girlfriend. It started, well it didn’t just start but I became more aware of it.” “How do you mean?” “Well, with the shift work I found I had a lot of time by myself.” Cole says as he pounds in a nail. “I started working on the plans for the house and I had to go to a lot of stores in Edmonton, to order material.” “While I was there I started to notice that there is a lot of good looking guys that work and shop in those stores.” “You’re telling me!” Lance says and then indicates to Cole to go on. “So anyway, I’d go out with Sherry and we’d go back to the apartment and have great sex. But it didn’t seem to be enough. It actually come to the point where I was taking longer and longer to finish.”

8

“On a day off I went into the city. I had to take a piss so I stopped at the truck stop up north of here. While I was there this guy kind of watched me and then started talking to me when I was washing my hands.” “His rig was parked outside and he wanted to show it to me. I wasn’t born yesterday, but like I said my sex life seemed to need a tune up so I went to his truck.” “It had a sleeper, the next thing you know we are in it and he is blowing me. In no time I was done and it felt so good. He asked me to do him and, I had never done anything like that before. But I decided, who is going to know, so I did it.” “I bet you felt like shit afterwards” Lance says. “I did.” Cole stops hammering. “It seemed different when guys were doing it to me, but actually doing it to some one else was basically admitting I was a fag.” Cole takes a pause and gets some more boards. When he is back his eyes are moist. “I felt like shit, but it was like a whole pile of lights went on in my head. I mean, it wasn’t that bad!” Lance smiles reassuringly and nods. “Anyway, Sherry gets an offer to move to a higher paying job in Calgary. She asks me to go with her. I said no, I was planning on staying here. Building a house and stuff.” “So it came to an end, it was like fate, it was about a month after that incident at the truck-stop.” “Do you think you would have moved to Calgary if that hadn’t of happened?” Lance asks. “I really don’t know Lance.” Cole looks him in the eye. “I suppose I would have moved and been happy for while, but would this thing go away. I’d like to think it would, but now I am not so sure.” “So you’re telling me you have officially joined the team?” Lance asks. “The team?” Cole says with a puzzled look. “It’s just a phrase, more politically correct than all the other words.” “Yeah, I guess I have.” Cole says with a smile. Lance stops hammering and hugs Cole. The two men embrace for a while. They finish the deck by eight o’clock and it is getting dark.

8

“Stay for supper?” Cole asks. “Sure, but on one condition” Lance says. “What’s that?” “I cook, no matter what it is!” Lance says. “Besides you can go clean up, you’re a mess!” “Hey Prince Charming you are not that clean either!” Cole says. The two guys stare at each other for an awkward moment. “You know what Cole?” Lance says, “Man I hate saying this. For the longest time I have dreamed of this day. I think I even had pictures of us living happily every after.” Cole blushes he doesn’t know if he is ready for this. “But” Lance pause, “I finally met a guy, Kurt, he lives in Calgary we have been dating for about a month.” “Congrats Lance!” Cole says with sincerity. “It’s about time you found someone, so that explains the lack of phone calls.” “Yeah, it has been great. We click on so many levels in and out of bed.” The guys head into the house. Cole goes to the kitchen and shows Lance what he has for food. “I guess I’ll go upstairs and have a shower. Got everything you need?” “Yeah, I do, let me wash up first in the washroom.” Cole comes downstairs about half an hour later he feels refreshed and lighter. Telling Lance has removed a lot of angst from him. When Cole enters the kitchen he sees Lance is wearing nothing but boxers. He has some dance music playing and he is zipping back and forth between the stove and the chopping block. Every once and awhile he sings along with the music and dances provocatively. Cole sneaks off and gets a camera, to take a picture. He comes back to the kitchen and gets off some quick shots of Lance at work. Lance sees the flashes and doesn’t mind. He turns around and Cole takes some more pictures of his friend. “I feel overdressed Lance.” Cole smiles.

8

“I have always wanted to do this at the station, but you know, it’s just a dream. Besides you opened up to me today, so I figured that I could do something I always wanted to do.” “Have at er!” Cole says, “The food smells good by the way.” “Wait till you taste it! Its better than sex!” “I’ll get the table ready, do you want some wine?” Cole asks. “Trying to get me drunk so you can have your way with me?” Lance asks with a smile. “Me? no way! Red or White?” “I prefer Red myself but if you want White, that’s ok.” “Well what goes best with what you are cooking?” “Red!” Lance exclaims. Cole goes and gets a bottle of wine and he also grabs a t-shirt and tosses it to Lance. “Here put that on, I don’t think I can handle eating with a naked man. “Naked!” Lance laughs looking down at himself. He shrugs and puts on the t-shirt, “Sorry my body is offensive to you!” They both laugh at that. Cole reaches around Lance and gets the corkscrew. As he does this he accidentally brushes his hand across Lance’s firm ass. He feels his face reddens and he quickly retreats. “By the way, what are you cooking? You are bouncing around like the Naked Chef, so to speak.” “C’est un surprise!” Lance says, “A surprise for my best gay friend.” Cole feels a stab to his stomach as he has never heard it in relation to himself. Lance notices the guy’s apprehension at the word, “Don’t worry Cole, this too shall pass.” Cole smiles, “Yeah I guess, I am just not used to hearing it.” Dinner is finally ready and they sit at the table and start to eat. Lance lifts his glass and proposes a toast. Cole gets his glass.

9

“To us, friends, fellow conspirators and now both members of the Universal Team of Lefties.” “And the best damn deck builders this side of Lacombe!” Cole adds as they clink glasses. “Lefties?” Cole asks, “Does the parade of names never end?” “Those are just the polite ones!” Lance says while laughing. When they have finished eating they both do the dishes. “So you wanna stay for some beers and crash here?” Cole asks. Lance has to think about this, he is still attracted to Cole and he would really feel like shit if something happened. Cole holds up his right hand, “Nothing is going to happen, Scout’s promise.” Lance thinks about it for all of ten seconds, “Sure he says but just one thing” He pauses and then asks, “Were you ever a Boy Scout?” “Nope!” Cole says with a laugh. “I just wanted to hang out with you.” When the dishes are done Cole says “Well bud, as hot as you look in your shorts, go get dressed, we are gonna break that deck in!” Lance heads off to get dressed and Cole goes outside to move the table and chairs onto the deck. It is a warm night for this time of year. Its great to sit outside as the mosquitoes have gone for another year. Cole heads back in the house and goes to the stereo. He loads five CD’s into the player. Some Jimmy Buffett, Blue Rodeo, Jann Arden and David Gray. He grabs a cooler from the closet by the back door and loads it up with some beer and then takes the cooler outside. Lance is back in the kitchen when Cole re-enters. “All the stuff is outside!” They go outside and Lance can hear the music perfectly outside. “Hey good planning!” “Yeah, I thought of it when I was building the house. This is the first time they have been used.” Cole says looking up at the speakers built into the wall. “Do you have any newer music?” Lance says with a smile.

9

“Nope, what you hear is what you get.” Cole says. “Actually this is part of the dream I had. Sitting outside drinking beers listening to these guys.” “Well I guess since you have your heart set on it.” Lance says. They sit and grab a beer. The sky is clear and there are lots of stars. The moon is shining brightly. “Thanks Lance.” Cole says. “Thanks for what?” “For this, for helping me. I don’t think if I had help I would ever finish this.” “Why is that?” “My motivation has changed lately, I seemed to be more preoccupied with getting laid than doing this.” Cole says. “Ah, the famous slut phase.” Lance says, “Most guys go through it.” “Slut, you calling me a slut?” Cole laughs, “Well I guess if I looked at it that way….” “So, you seeing anyone yet?” Lance asks. “No, I have just been experimenting, I guess.” “Where do you go?” Lance asks. “The Hawk in Edmonton. It’s close and I have met some cool guys.” “That’s funny” Lance says, “I met Kurt at the Hawk in Calgary. So why do you go to there?” “Well it was a fluke. I went past The Roost and there was a line up, so I went to the other place I looked up.” Cole says, “They treated me nice there and there seems to be a lot of guys that caught my eye. Don’t know about the leather thing though.” “That’s why I asked, you sort of dived in at the deep end.” “Are you a leather guy?” Cole asks. “Card carrying.” Lance laughs. “I find that the guys are more to my liking.” “So are you like” Cole pauses, “Really into it?” “Well yeah, but I have been at this for awhile.” Lance says while looking at Cole “I guess its what turns me on.”

9

“Well to tell you the truth, the look turns me on, don’t know if I can get into the bondage stuff. Or S&M!” “Why not, you are a cop, that’s part of your job!” “Well if you saw some of the things I have seen, you wouldn’t think of it as something to do in your spare time.” Cole looks back at Lance. “I use handcuffs on bad guys, not lovers.” “Yeah, I guess.” Lance says, “Different strokes for different folks, so to speak.” “You know?” Cole says, “When I was in training I used to go to a coffee shop to study.” “Study?” Lance says with a smile. “Yeah we study they don’t just give us a gun and tell us to hit the street!” Cole laughs. “Anyway, I was in the coffee shop every night. I usually had the same waitress and she’d ask me stuff. When we were going through handcuff training my wrists were all torn up.” Cole shows Lance some scars that are still on his wrists. “She asked me what happened to my wrists and I told her and she started flirting with me, she wanted me to try out the cuffs on her.” Cole says. “That works!” Lance laughs, “Memo to self, get handcuffs and display prominently.” Cole laughs, “I thought that too. But then I came back here and had to use them for real. Reality sure changed that.” “So your wrists got pretty beat up?” Lance asks, “Why is that?” “Well we, the class had to practice on each other. My partner, this big guy, and me we decided not to put masking tape on. Sort of a guy thing.” Cole says. “The next day my wrists were raw, so I gave in and put tape on.” “Did they hurt?” “Yeah, they hurt but not too bad, I wasn’t going to complain about it!” “Well sorry Cole, but Kurt wants to get into that.” Lance says. “Like you said, different strokes. I guess I have to get used to it.” “So you met some guys at The Hawk.” Lance asks, “Any that you might want to see again?” “Well, there is the owner.”

9

“You know Mike!” Lance says excitedly. “Yeah, we met. Why?” “Well besides you, I have had a crush on that guy for years!” “Well he just welcomed me to the club and we had some beers.” Cole decides discretion is best. “Anyone else, come on give me some dirt or I’m leaving!” Lance laughs. “Hey buddy, I don’t kiss and tell. Not even to you.” Cole says sternly, perhaps too much so and he feels guilty as he knows he has already shared some stuff with Kat. “All right, so you must have met someone you’d like to see again?” Lance smiles, he admires his friend’s scruples. “Actually, I ran into this guy when I was running in the River Valley.” Cole smiles “I mean literally!” “No way!” Lance laughs. Cole gets some more beer out of the cooler and gives one to Lance. They twist off the tops. “Yeah, thing is I am not even sure he is gay.” Cole says. “You didn’t ask?” Lance laughs knowing he’d never ask either. “Should I have?” Cole laughs. “A black eye clears in about a week!” the alcohol is obviously having an effect on Lance as he lets lose. “I am not that brave.” Cole says, “But he did say to look him up when I was next in town. I got his phone number and he showed me the coffee shop he hangs out in.” “Which one?” Lance asks knowing he might be able to help his friend. “It’s by the High Level Bridge, Bowl something.” “Ah, the Sugar Bowl.” Lance says, “Cool place I go there sometimes when I go to Edmonton.” “So what’s his name and what’s he do?” Lance feels safer on this line of questioning since carnal relations aren’t involved.

9

“Well his name is Greg and he is an Immigration Officer.” Cole says. “He is older probably about 45. “ “How long did you run together?” “Oh, about 8 km’s” Cole says, “We ran in the River Valley and then up past the Sugar Bowl and across the bridge. We talked about some stuff, nothing really. He did ask me where I went out, I just said a place by the hotel.” “Cool, well I suggest you run into him again the next time you are up there.” “Well it’ll be a lot sooner, now that we have this done.” Cole raises the bottle to Lance and they clink again. They sit quietly and look at the stars. Cole notices that the Northern Lights are on display. The sky is full of multi-coloured lights flickering. As they watch this, Blue Rodeo is singing a song about Pyramid Lake and spaceships. Cole can feel waves flowing through his body. It is almost like a runner’s high. Lance stares at his friend. He has never seen the man so content.

9

Prelude to a Big Day Cole was up early the next morning and went to the store for some food and a newspaper. Lance was still asleep in the spare room when he left. When he got back to the house he could see that Lance was still there. Cole’s head hurt from drinking. Standing outside he takes a look at the house, almost completed. Just need to get the landscaping done. When he enters the house he can smell coffee and hears Lance call “Hello” from the kitchen. Cole carries the bags in there and tosses the Edmonton Sun on the table. Lance is on it like a cat. “Geez that was fast!” Cole says with a smile. “Gotta check out the Sunshine Boy!” Lance says, “It helps me wake up in the morning.” Lance finds the page and checks the guy out. He shows the picture to Cole. “You gotta be kidding!” Cole says with a bit of a whine. “What?” Lance says, “Don’t tell me you still check out the Girl.” Lance flips through the paper to find the Sunshine Girl and shows her to Cole. “Well…” Cole says, “Gotta fit in with guys. Besides I still appreciate them and whoa! She is a blast of Sunshine!” Lance checks out the picture and then flips back to the guy. “Not me!” Lance says, “I’d take him any day.” Cole notices that Lance is dressed in a t-shirt and boxers again. Lance’s right hand goes down and adjusts himself as he looks at the picture. Cole heads to the counter and empties the bags, trying to get the sight of Lance adjusting himself out of his head. “You ever been with a woman?” Cole turns to Lance and asks. “Nope, I can honestly say I have never had the urge.” Lance says as he closes the paper. He then gets up and stretches. “So what are you up to today?” Cole asks. “Well, I think I need to make a trip to Calgary.” He says with a wink. “What are you up to?”

9

“Well today I think I am going to see my old man.” Cole says as he turns back to the counter. “Sounds serious, you aren’t gonna ‘come out’ to him are you?” Cole turns and looks at his friend, “I was thinking about it.” “Are you sure? I mean cool, I am all in favour of people coming out, however isn’t it kind of soon?” “I don’t know it feels right and besides I want him to hear it from me and not another source.” “Another source?” Lance looks puzzled “Besides me and I assume Kat, who else knows?” “This is between you and me?” Cole asks. Lance nods and makes the motion of sealing his lips. “I arrested a guy the other night, well my new partner and I did.” He pauses, “When I was in the car alone with him, he says he saw me in Edmonton with Mike, the owner of The Hawk.” “So what did you say?” “I told him it must have been a guy that looks like me.” “So now you are spooked?” “Damn straight. The last thing I need is for the department to find out. It was close though, my partner got to asking questions.” “Isn’t Mark your partner?” “Not anymore, I have a new one, her name is Kelly, she transferred in from the RC’s, freshly divorced.” Cole says. “So you have a female partner?” Lance asks. He stops himself from saying any more. Lance knows what its like to work with stereotypes but he has a stupid smirk on his face. “Get that grin off you face Johnson!” Cole says, “I am her training officer, hopefully I can be back on my own and put the rumours to bed.” “So to speak.” Lance says. Lance really does not know how to help with this. Being out for so long single women, in this town, haven’t hit on him as his reputation precedes him.

9

“Want some breakfast?” “Nah, I think I am going to head out.” Lance says. “That’s cool, I can get something in town before I go see my dad.” Lance goes up stairs and gets dressed. When he comes back down he finds Cole standing outside looking at his house. “Thanks guy” Cole says looking at his friend, “All done, except for the landscaping.” “Landscaping?” Lance says, “You know if there is one thing I am shitty at is that. But I couldn’t help notice that you need help inside.” “What’s wrong with the inside?” Lance just looks at Cole and laughs. “I take it you think it needs some work.” Cole says with a pout. “Sorry Cole, you may have found out that you’re Gay but I am afraid you don’t have a flair for decorating. Maybe someday we can get you some help!” “Yeah someday I guess….” Cole says. Lance walks over to his Jeep and stands there. Cole comes over to say goodbye. “C’mon give me a hug, cop!” Cole and Lance hug and squeeze each other. “Good luck today, call if you need an ear,” Lance says. “I should be Ok, I can get a hold of Kat if all hell breaks lose.” “Better warn her first.” “Yup” Cole says as he watches Lance get in the Jeep. The vehicle starts and almost immediately Cole feels the thump of bass from the stereo. Cole waves to Lance as the man takes off. He goes back in the house and pours himself another coffee. His hand is shaking as he as he pours. “This is going to be the toughest day of my life.” He says as he puts his head in his hands and sits at the table.

9

Big Day Cole pulls his truck up to his parent’s house. It is a bungalow Cole grew up here. It hasn’t changed much. It still has the basketball net over the garage door. He notices the lawn has lines, he guesses that since his Dad retired he has more time to perfect the lawn, even in the Fall. Cole heads up to the door, he was going to ring the bell but a quick knock and he is in. His Dad is on the couch in the living room. “Hi son, I didn’t see you pull up.” “Hey Dad” Cole smiles, “Is Mom in?” “You know better Cole, your Mom is down at the Church doing some goody good stuff.” Jack Wheeler laughs. He likes the fact that his wife has found something worthwhile to do. “So what brings you around Son? Need help finishing the house?” “Nah, the house is finished. Lance and I finished the deck yesterday.” “You don’t say.” His Dad says “Now Lance who is that again?” “He is a Fireman Dad, I have know him for years.” “Lance, oh yeah right.” Dad remembers who Lance is now. “Do you think you should be hanging out with those kind?” “Wha wha” Cole stops his mouth from saying the words. He came here for a purpose getting into a fight about Lance would not help. “He’s just a friend Dad.” “Well I was just about to make a cup of tea, do you want some?” “Why don’t you stay there and I’ll make it.” Cole says as he heads for the kitchen. “Well, sure go ahead if you want to.” Jack says, “So you never did answer my question.” From the kitchen Cole says, “There is something that has been bothering me that I want to talk with you about.” His Dad turns around in the chair and looks at Cole. “Sounds serious son. Have you finally met someone?” Cole indicates that he’ll be there in a minute. His parents have been suggesting now that Cole has a house he should look at getting married and settling down. His brother and sister are younger and they have already found significant others.

9

Cole finally re-enters the living room with two cups of tea. Both men take it black, he puts them down on the coffee table in front of his Dad. Cole takes a seat on the couch. Cole’s Dad looks at him and waits for his son to start talking. Cole doesn’t know how to start. He has had a great relationship with his Dad. His Dad has always been there for him. He helped Cole learn to play baseball and football. He practiced with him for hours. Cole’s Dad was kind of pissed off when Cole did not become something more than a Cop. The boy had the world at his feet, he always said. But he is proud that his son has made a good police officer and he sees that maybe it was the right choice. Besides it kept him in town. Everyone else goes off to the city to find his or her fame and fortune. “No Dad, I haven’t met anyone.” “I can’t see why not. You are a good looking guy and you have a reliable job and a home of your own.” “Well as you know over the years I have been seeing different girls. Through one thing or another the relationships all seem to go south. I think I know why now.” Jack Wheeler just stares at his Son in panic. Since retiring he has been exposed to enough daytime talk shows. This is starting to sound familiar. Cole looks at his Dad and can see the panic. “Well I came here to tell him, better do it now” he says to himself, then to his Dad he says “I’m Gay.” “What are you joking!” “No Dad, sorry I am not. I know it’s not what you wanted to hear from me or any of us. But its true.” “Well this is kind of a shock, you never showed any signs of being a, a guy like that”, Jack is very upset but he does not want to push his son away. “Well to tell you the truth Dad, I never really thought it was more than a phase, that I would grow out of.” “But you have had girlfriends.” Jack pauses, “Lots of them. Hey aren’t you still seeing that girl at the Hair Salon?” Cole remembers that his Dad had met Kat and him when they were headed to Bud’s one night for a beer. His Dad was at the salon waiting for Cole’s mother. “Kat, yeah well we are just friends.” Cole says. “You looked like more than friends to me, I said that to your mother.” “Well the point is Dad, Kat and I are friends only.”

1

“So when did this happen?” Jack pauses, “Did you just wake up one day and say that, that you are….” “No Dad it didn’t happen like that. It seems like it has been a part of me, it’s always been there. I just never accepted it until now.” “Who else knows?” Jack tries to think of what his friends at the Legion will say. “No one Dad, except Kat and Lance.” Cole says he is on the verge of tears. His Dad does not appear to be taking this well. Cole can see that the man’s face is getting red. Cole becomes very emotional and turns away from his Dad. The tears start to fall from his eyes. “Why did I have to do this?” He thinks to himself. “I could have gone on like I was before.” Jack is feeling very uncomfortable, as here is his son, a man crying. “Son, I think I am going to need some time to think about this.” Jack says, “You aren’t going to do anything.. anything.. Geez how can I say this. You aren’t going to run down the street yelling you are Gay are you?” “Dad, I think you know me better than that.” Cole is a little offended. But then he looks his old man in the eyes, he can see that he is trying to keep control and accept what his son is saying. “Well that’s why I came by Dad” Cole picks up his tea and has a drink, puts it down and then stands. His Dad looks up at him. “Son I want you to stay here and talk this through, is there help you can get?” “Dad, its not a disease, it’s not like cancer or MS, it’s how I was built. It just happens it has nothing to do with the way you and Mom brought me up nor is it hereditary, it just is!” Jack stares at his Son. God he looks good, he is everything a man could want for a son strong, healthy and good looking. But right now he doesn’t know his son at all. He pictures is Gay Pride parades he has seen on TV and he transposes Cole into those scenes. He doesn’t want to have a son who is one of them. “What did I do wrong?” he asks himself. “Dad, I can see this is hitting you pretty hard. I think I better go.” “I think that may be a good idea Cole.” Cole heads towards the door. “Cole go to the washroom and wash your face, you aren’t leaving here looking like that!”

1

Cole does as his father asks. When he is finished he walks back to the living room and looks at his Dad. The man appears to be a million miles away. “Dad, I’ll call next week sometime, OK?” There is no response. “See you later Dad.” Cole leaves the house and goes to his truck. He starts the motor and sits there. He stares back at the house. Cole is at a loss for what to do. The CD player is playing ‘Insensitive” by Jann Arden. He listens to the words and sings along. Cole thinks about what he is going to do. He wants to talk to someone but he decides he better head to the gym first. “Yeah, take a run and lift some weights, I’ll feel like a new man.” He says as he puts the truck in gear and heads to the Rec Centre. Cole gets to the gym and changes. He doesn’t feel like talking to people so he gets his Discman and puts it on. An hour and a half later Cole has finished. He is dressed and back in the truck. He feels light headed as he pushed himself really hard. Sitting in the truck he picks up the phone and calls Kat. “Hey lady it’s Cole, you free?” He says to her as she answers the phone. “I think I can squeeze you in Cole.” Kat says. “Great, I’m at the gym, I’ll be over in five.”

1

Kat’s Place Cole races up the stairs after she buzzes him in. He knocks on the door and hears her yell to come in. Kat is not alone, his partner, Kelly is there. This catches Cole off guard and it shows on his face. “Kat Kelly” he says as he nods to the two women. Cole’s mind races to figure out what is going on. “Hey Cole!” Kelly says, “I guess Lacombe is a small town, I live in the same building as Kat.” “Real fucking small town” He says to himself. “Yeah” Kat smiles, “We met in the Laundry Room and found out we knew someone n common. So I invited Kelly up for coffee, want some?” “Er yeah.” Cole says as he takes his shoes off and heads to a vacant seat in the living room. He checks out Kelly she is wearing sweat pants and an oversized t-shirt. Kat is dressed almost the same. He tries to figure out if the chance meeting was all that occurred. It would take a load off his mind if Kelly were gay too. But somehow he senses that is not the case. “So how are the days off going, productive?” Kelly asks. She checks out Cole, his hair is still wet from the gym. He is wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket. She can see a faint glow on his face probably the result of strenuous exercise. “Yeah actually” He says and then smiling “Lance and I finished off the deck yesterday.” He says it loud enough so that Kat can hear. Kat re-enters the living room and puts the coffee down in front of Cole, “That’s great!” She says as she stands beside him and indicates she wants a hug. Cole hugs her a little firmer than he normally would. He hopes that Kat notices and gets the message. It’s not Kat that speaks though, it’s Kelly, “Well I suppose I should get ready if I am going to hit Calgary tonight.” Kelly stands and starts heading to the door. “Hey you don’t have to leave on my account.” Cole says smiling. “Kelly come on and stay for at least another coffee.” Kat says her eyes still checking out the woman.

1

Kelly looks at Cole with his stupid grin and Kat checking her out. “I don’t think I am ready for this. “ she says to herself “as attractive as I find Cole I don’t want to be part of a threesome.” “If I sit around and have more coffee I won’t be getting to Calgary.” Kelly says. “Besides I’ll have to use every rest stop on the way!” “Have a safe trip Kelly” Cole says. “I will and thanks for the coffee Kat.” “Anytime Kelly.” The door closes and Cole hears hall door close as Kelly heads to the stairs. Both start laughing. “I don’t know if that was such a good idea, she is my partner!” Cole exclaims. “Relax, it takes suspicion of the other thing away.” Kat laughs. “For a minute there I actually thought she was gonna stay!” “Well she likes you a lot Cole.” “I guess I was the topic of conversation then.” “Amongst other things.” Kat says, “What was with that hug? I could feel your manhood!” “Sit down, I have news.” Cole tells her. Kat sits down she notices his tone has got serious. Cole sits down next to her on the couch. “I came out to my Dad today.” “Cole, that’s, that’s. Geez I don’t know what to say.” “That’s ok, just being with someone is helpful.” “So how did he take it?” “Not well, especially when I started crying.” Cole says his eyes start to moisten again. “Well you men! Uncomfortable when another human being shows emotion!” Kat says as she grabs a tissue and gives it to Cole. “Thanks” Cole is more relaxed letting the tears flow around Kat, but he still doesn’t like it.

1

“So how do you feel?” “Well, so much has happened since I feel like I am on a roller coaster!” “How do you mean?” He describes his activities since he told his Dad. The covered the full range of emotions. “None of them was really a surprise except for the last one.” He says as he recalled his shock at seeing Kelly here. “Yeah, well I think she was on a fishing trip.” Kat says, “When she found out who I was she almost begged to come for coffee.” “Well she is a good cop and I guess it goes with the territory.” Cole says, “Did she bring up the guy we arrested the other night?” “Yeah, she said you kind of acted strange after being alone with him.” Cole explains what happened. “That scene was a major factor in coming out to my Dad.” “Why is that?” “He had me by the balls Kat and I think he was trying to use it to get off.” Cole says and then adds,“I was lucky that he saw Mike and I at Denny’s, if he’d seen me a The Hawk I’d have been royally fucked!” Kat hugs him some more she has never seen Cole so defenceless. “I guess the other thing is finally taken care of” Kat says, “I hope you came out to Lance. That boy has been bugging me ever since he found that book in your truck.” “I guess I owe you for that too!” “Owe me?” Kat asks, “I like the sound of this a cop that owes me favours.” Cole doesn’t answer he knows he can trust Kat to defend his back. He knows that that is what friends are for. Kat has proven herself to be the best friend a guy can have. “So after all that, how do you feel now?” “I feel like I have been hiding for a long time and now I am finally showing my face.” Cole says, “I know there are better metaphors but I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my back.” “It has Cole and you will feel more comfortable with yourself as time goes on.” “So what is on the menu now.”

1

“I guess I am going to make a trip to Edmonton.” Cole says with a smirk. “Feeling that good, eh?” “Well you know how it is, I have to celebrate my new found freedom!” “Boys will be boys! Does your dick have to be involved in every celebration?” Cole looks down at his crotch he can feel it starting to thicken. “Yup!” Kat looks there too and punches his in the arm “You pig!” “You know me too well!” “It’s not just that though, I need some time away to get comfortable.” “I understand, this town may be too small for you now.” Kat says, “I’d ask if you wanted to go to Calgary, but….” “I have done enough coming out today.” Cole says, “My luck she’d being hanging out with friends at the Eagle there.” “The next part is going to be fun. Cops rely on their partners for backup, their record in backing up gay cops is not that good.” “You got that.” Cole says, “In my mind I have done an informal survey and Mark is the only guy that I think will stand behind me.” “People may surprise you!” “You are right, but I don’t think I want to test the water right now, at least not that water.” Cole says with a grin. “Hey is there something you are keeping from me?” “Well, maybe.” “A guy you met?” “Uh huh.” “Great, well I think you should get your ass up there and explore the possibilities!” Kat says, “Unlike you I am heading to Calgary, there is a beer with my name on it waiting at Moneypennies.” “You go girl!” Cole laughs as he gets up. “So I guess you are off, eh?”

1

“Yup, we both have places to go, people to see. Thanks for the coffee” Cole says as he puts his shoes on. “Be safe Cole.” Cole smiles at her and pulls Kat towards him as they embrace tightly. A quick peck on the cheek and Cole is out the door. When he gets to the truck he notices Kelly is pulling away in her car. She bangs the horn and waves as she passes. Cole waves back. Cole winds up behind Kelly on the way to his house. He breathes a sigh of relief when she takes the south on-ramp to Highway 2. Getting back to his place he packs a bag and then hits the road.

1

On the Road Cole thinks about his day so far as he drives to Edmonton. He relives the talk with his Dad wondering if he did the right thing. He decides that it was right, no sense delaying the inevitable even with as hard as it was. Most of Cole’s life has been without this type of stress. Being a cop exposes a guy to many different situations. But he has learned to isolate it, like it is like in a box removed from him. Sure some of the situations have caused reactions in him. He remembers an accident where he was the first officer on the scene. It was in his second year, a Mini Van had rolled and the family was killed. Cole remembers it was the first time he saw dead children, He puked and was pretty upset for weeks afterwards. His fellow officers helped him through it. He managed to bury it in the back of his psyche only to have it rear its head at every accident. He guesses he stored the whole gay side of his persona in a box too. “What opened the box?” He asks himself. The signs must have been there, his reluctance to commit to a relationship with a woman. It didn’t matter whom it was and how much he wanted to fall in love, to make the effort. It just wasn’t there. It didn’t help that there was always an available supply. The guys at the station were jealous of him, he always seemed to have a hot looking woman on the go. When the last girl told him she was going to Calgary, he wasn’t even fazed, as the relationship had run its course. He could have tried to get a transfer to the Police Service there and in fact she said she had friends that could make it happen. But he just let it die. His thoughts turn to Kelly and he is not sure how long his private life can stand up to her prying. She is going to hear about the endless parade of women. She’ll probably take it as a challenge. “Well Kelly, the challenge is bigger than you think.” Finally his thoughts turn to Kat. He smiles, “Boy did I luck out when I met her.” He thinks about their relationship. “People will think we are fucked!” We have sex but it is with no strings attached. In the book he read about men having ‘fuck-buddy’ relationships. This is the same thing, but with a twist. Cole wonders how a guy may react to this situation. This final thought brings up something he had never even thought of. “What happens if I meet a guy and we hit it off?” He pauses and waits for the thoughts to percolate, “Should have asked Lance about it.” Driving past Ikea Cole finds that he can’t think anymore, as there is too much traffic. “Boy, the city planners had a brain fart when they allowed this!” He gets to the hotel half an hour later. He gets to his room and changes into shorts and a t-shirt. Cole heads to the hot tub to relax.

1

Friday Night Cole heads to the bar at around 22:00. It’s the usual routine at the door. He gets in and heads to the bar. Mike is there. “Hey Mike, how is it going?” He checks the man out as he says this and remembers what Lance said. Mike is dressed as hot as usual and Cole almost wants to take him right there. “Cole, where the fuck you been?” Mike’s eyes slowly look up and down Cole’s body. “Fuck he’s hot!” Mike thinks, “Something appears to be different, the guy’s confidence level has shot up.” “Here and there, mostly there.” Cole smiles as he grabs a seat next to Mike. “Can I get you a beer?” Mike asks as his leg presses up against Cole’s. “Sure, can’t turn down a free beer!” Cole says, “Or anything else you are offering.” “OK guy what’s up?” Mike asks. “In my dreams I have wanted a guy to use a line like that on me and here you are doing it.” “Well Mike there aren’t many secrets between us, I figured I’m allowed.” Cole says, “Was I wrong?” “No, you weren’t wrong but right now I feel like saying fuck the beer and lets go.” “So why don’t you?” Cole presses harder with his leg. “Cause I am the Night Manager on Friday’s” Mike says disappointedly. “But don’t let me hold you back.” “Hey thanks!” Cole smiles, “I have your permission to fuck around?” “No strings man!” Mike says, “If we hook up again that’s be great, but we ain’t boyfriends.” “Oh ok” Cole feels like he has been punched. Reading the look on Cole’s face he remembers that the man hasn’t been out that long. “I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I like to get to know a guy for a long time before I make a commitment.” “Yeah you’re right.” Cole says, “So since I can’t have one I’ll take the other.” “You drink Bud right?” Mike asks as he heads behind the bar.

1

“Sure do.” Cole says he is starting to feel better again now that he knows where Mike stands. “So what brings you to town?” Mike asks he winks as he says the words. “Well a pretty big day actually.” Cole says. “I came out to a friend and to my Dad.” “Whoa, this is a big day!” Mike says. “What made that happen?” “Well circumstances necessitated it.” “Really, how is that?” “Well I arrested a guy in town that had seen us together and he tried to work out a deal.” “Seen us together?” Mike tries to remember back, “Well he couldn’t have seen too much!” “No he just saw us having breakfast together at Denny’s” “So I take it the guy knows that I am Gay and was trying to use that on you.” “Yeah, that’s about it.” Cole says, “So I guess or rather suspect the guy is trying to use that to get the charges dropped.” “Holy shit you must have been spooked!” “Oh yeah!” Cole says, “I was sweating bullets! But that’s not all.” “There’s more?” “I have a partner and she picked up that something was not right between the perp and I” “Oww!” Mike says. “So how did you deal with her?” “I didn’t really, I just sort of brushed her off.” Cole looks Mike in the eye. “Hoping she saw it as just another game our customers play.” “So you figured you were safe for now, but it was only a matter of time?” “Yeah! I think it is everyone’s worst nightmare, well every gay man’s anyway.” Cole says, “Shit I’d only come to the bar twice and this occurred!” “Do you believe in fate Cole?” “Yeah sort of, I guess.” “Well, I don’t like to tell people how to live their lives, but maybe your time had come.”

1

“Just my luck!” Cole says, “But I sure wish I could have had some time to get used to it!” Mike laughs, “Time, I have heard that from guys over and over. They say I’ll do it someday, but you know what?” “Someday never comes?” Cole finishes Mike sentence. “You got it!” “So anyway, that put a scare in me and I felt it was only fair to my Dad to tell him before rumours started flying.” Cole says, “The guy is still in the jail awaiting a court date.” “So you afraid he is still going to play that card?” Mike asks. “Yeah, its in the back of my head all the time.” “Well, you’ll just have to deal with that day when it comes.” “Yeah ain’t no use worrying about it, besides my partner will surely pick up on it.” Mike sees where the man is going, he thinks of something to say to get Cole out of the dumps. “You remember those cops that saw us at Denny’s that day?” “Yeah, yeah I seem to remember you knew one of them.” “Well I more than know one of them” Mike winks. “Good for you!” Cole says as he forces a smile. “Well this isn’t common knowledge and I am only telling you cause I think I can trust you.” “Thanks Mike.” Cole says, “But why the big secret?” “Ah nothing, he is just a private kind of guy.” “He’s not out yet, is he?” Cole says as he starts to feel down again. “Hey it’s not the same as you Cole!” “How do you mean?” “Well Rick has been way more discreet than you. This is a guy that took off to Toronto, Montreal and Chicago to get laid!” “Really!”

1

“Yeah, he has come a long way since I have known him.” “He must see something in you that makes it worth taking a chance.” Cole feels the load lifting up off him and he smiles at Mike. “How’d you meet then?” “It’s ironic actually!” “Go on.” “Well it was after I shut the bar down on a Friday night, I was going faster than I should have been on my way home.” “No fucking way!” “You got it, he stopped me and wrote out the ticket.” Mike says, “He gives it to me and then says, wait here.” “So you waited.” Cole is amazed. “Yeah, he goes back to the car and comes back with a business card and gives it to me.” “What made him do that?” “I asked why would I do that, he says ‘I saw the flag in the back window and I thought you may want to get together!’” “Flag?” “I have a leather flag in the back window of my car.” “I guess it was fate again.” Cole says, “Wonder what made him have the balls to do that? I know when I am at work I put all my personal things away.” “He said that too!” Mike replies, “But later he said he decided to take a chance.” “So when we saw him and his partner at Denny’s…” “You want to know if we were together then?” “Not really, we had slept together once and had an OK time. But he was nervous, that was the first time he had done anything sexual in Edmonton, with a guy that is.” “I am surprised he even acknowledged you at the restaurant!” “Me too!” Mike says, he was going to expand on this but he sees Cole is in a much better mood, no sense pissing on it.

1

“So then what happened?” “About a day goes by and then he calls me and asks if he can come over.” “Cool!” “Yeah, I think so!” Mike has a big smile on his face. “Why are you looking like you just swallowed Tweety?” “Well he has been over several times since then.” “That’s great isn’t it?” “Oh yeah!” Mike says, “He managed to learn a lot on his little excursions out of town.” “So I guess you are off the market now?” “Well it’s starting to look that way, Cole.” “So what happens if you two still keep going out?” “Well that’s up to him. But I am not going to be a secret lover.” “He know this?” Cole asks. “Yeah, we had the talk, the ball is in his court now.” Mike says and then he asks, “Do me a favour?” “Sure, want me to talk to him?” “Yeah, you two do have some things in common.” “Well I am not sure I want to come out at work yet. But the Police Service in Edmonton should be more tolerant of that sort of thing. I know Calgary’s is.” “Well they are, but he comes from a long line of cops.” “Ah, has he got a relative in the force now?” “His brother. I guess he doesn’t want to cause grief for him.” “Well, I guess its his life, but I can tell you I am feeling better today than I have in a long time! Sure I’ll talk to him.” “Thanks, it means a lot to me.” Mike says, “I remember those feelings you’re having, of course I was a lot younger then but I’m glad I did it!”

1

“Thanks man, stuff like that makes me feel like I am doing the right thing.” “Leave your wallet in your pants tonight Cole, beer is on me!” Mike says as he turns to the bartender to make sure he heard it. “Well, cheers guy, I gotta get back to work.” “You don’t have to do that.” Cole says, “I mean buy me the beers!” “Yeah, I do when a guy has the balls to come out to his Dad he gets a free night.” Cole toasts Mike again and then he gets up to wonder around the bar. He notices it is not too busy. He checks out the TV it is playing porn, it is the first time Cole has seen Gay porn and his cock reacts immediately. Cole sits down at a table and watches the TV. He can feel his cock getting harder and harder. Cole watches for about half an hour and he really is getting the urge to get laid. He feels a presence near him and he looks up. “Hey cop, can I join you?” Rick says with a smile. Cole reacts with a start, as his hard-on must be pretty obvious as was totally engrossed in the action on the screen. He sits straight and drops his left hand to cover his crotch. “Er sure Rick…” Cole says he blushes as he sees the man checking out his crotch. “Rick Taylor and you’re let’s see wait a minute….” “Cole Wheeler” Cole says as he offers his right hand and starts to stand. “Don’t stand Cole” Rick says with a laugh, “I think you’ll be more embarrassed than you already are!” Cole laughs too as they finish shaking hands and Rick takes a seat. “So how’s tricks?” Cole asks, he averts his eyes from the screen and prays for his hard-on to go away. Rick looks up to the screen. “Pretty hot, eh! I can see why you have wood.” Cole resists the urge to look at the screen again. “Yeah, it is. Actually this is the first Gay porn I have seen.” “Well then that deserves a toast!” Rick says. “To your virginity.” They clink glasses and take a drink. Cole notices that Mike is watching them from the other side of the room. Cole takes some time to check out Rick. The man is well built and he is dressed in leather vest, no t-shirt and jeans, Cole notices that Rick has a pierced nipple and a tattoo on his right arm. Cole can see why Mike would want to see this guy and he wouldn’t mind a go at him himself.

1

The bar is starting to fill up and Cole notices a lot of guys are checking the two of them out. “So what brings you up this way?” “Well I decided to get drunk tonight and maybe take in some of that!” Cole says as he nods towards the screen. “What are you celebrating?” Rick asks as he looks at Cole and avoids the urge to check out the screen. “Well I came out to my Dad today.” Cole says checking for Rick’s reaction. “Congrats Cole!” Rick says, “What made you do that? Was it time?” “Well I don’t know if there is ever a good time” Cole says, “It was more preventative maintenance than something I wanted to do.” “How so?” “Well we’ll talk about that over coffee.” “Ok guy, no problem.” Rick says. Cole looks up at the TV and sees some guy getting fucked really hard. He nods to Rick, “Check this out!” “I wish that was me!” Rick says as he looks up. “Which one?” Cole asks he is really new to this and gives a questioning look to Rick. “The guy getting it of course, that’s why the tattoo is on my right arm.” Rick points to the armband. “It means I am a bottom.” “Bottom, you mean you like getting fucked only?” “Well most of the time, every once in awhile I like to fuck a guy.” Rick says, “Which do you prefer?” This is kind of new to Cole, “Well I guess I like both.” “You are versatile then, that’s cool.” “I don’t mean to pry, but why would you want to be the bottom?” “Hey, you aren’t prying, I wouldn’t have this tattoo if it was a secret.” Rick says, “Besides it helps meet guys.”

1

“Are you saying that guys go out looking for those kind of signals?” “Yeah they do. It’s different than the straight world where there isn’t that possibility. So to speak.” “Yeah that’s true, but its kind of overt.” Cole stops a second, “So do the guys at work know? Surely they have seen your tattoo and nipple ring.” Rick does not want the conversation to go in this direction. He is not out to many people and those are close friends only. “Well the guys bugged me about it for awhile, but they are used to it now.” “If they are anything like the guys I work with they probably worked you over pretty good!” “Not too bad, some of the younger guys have tats and piercings when they join up.” “I guess that’s the advantage of being in the city!” Both men laugh and take a pull on their beers. “Well I have to get another beer, want one?” Cole asks Rick as he stands. “Sure, I have a tab at the bar, put it on there.” Cole smiles “I can’t buy beer at all in this place!” Cole gets two beers and comes back to the table. He notices that Rick is checking him out again. Cole smiles as he proceeds to sit down. When he sits he checks out the screen again. Now it is showing a threesome, which is ironic as that is what occurred to him on the way back from the bar. Cole has seen the way Mike keeps checking the two of them out. He has figured that Mike has lined Rick up for some action after he closes. “So Rick, I am trying to figure out a way to take the edge off today.” Cole says. “What do you mean?” “Well I figure since I have bought the horse, so to speak, I may as well ride it.” “Ah, so you want to sow some oats tonight?” Cole tips the bottle to Rick and smiles before he takes a drink. Rick smiles and then looks over to Mike at the bar. “Hey Mike come here!” Cole watches Mike come over. He gets a strange feeling that he has been had.

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“What’s up?” Mike says as he comes over. “I think our friend here wants an invite.” Rick says. “You sure about that?” Mike looks Cole in the eyes and says to Rick, “Have you asked him?” “No sir, I was waiting for your permission.” “Mmmmm” Mike says, “Cole you have something you want to ask me?” “Er” Cole stammers, “I guess.” “Come on man ask for it!” Mike orders. “I’d like to join you and Rick later, if that’s ok with you guys.” “I guess I’ll have to think on that.” Mike says and returns to the bar. Cole is blushing again. He has never seen anything like what just went on. His cock is hard and he has to adjust himself in his seat. He wants more of this. Rick takes a drink and stands, “I gotta go take a piss.” Cole notices that Rick’s cock is hard too. He suddenly has the urge to go to the can and he gets up too. He looks to the bar and sees Mike nod to him and smile. “You got the key Rick?” Mike asks. Rick nods and then leads Cole into the back room. The room is occupied with guys performing various sexual acts. Cole stops and stares. He notices Rick doesn’t look but keeps on walking to the far end of the room. Rick puts a key into a lock and opens the door to let Cole in. Rick follows Cole and closes the door when both of them are in there. “Don’t worry, no-one else except Mike has the key.” Rick says. Cole looks around it seems to be an office. He sees there are several monitors showing various parts of the bar. “Must be for security,” he thinks. Rick comes up behind Cole, wraps his arms around him and holds him tight. Cole turns around so that the to men are pressed together crotch to crotch. He can feel Rick’s hardness pressed against him. Rick’s lips brush across Cole’s. Cole opens his moth and feels Rick’s tongue enter him. At the same time he wraps his arms around Rick and holds the man tight.

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Rick’s hands move between the two men, he opens Cole’s belt and then the fly of Cole’s jeans. Cole’s hard-on springs free. He can feel it pressed against the rough denim of the other man and it feels good. He can feel himself getting harder. The two men kiss for a while more and then Rick breaks the kiss and goes to his knees. His tongue flicks the head of the penis. There is pre-cum there and Rick licks it all off. He presses his tongue to the underside of the shaft and opens his mouth wide. Cole feels a rush as he feels the whole length of himself entering the man’s mouth. He puts his hands on the man’s shoulder to brace himself and moans. “Man that feel’s so good, suck my cock Rick!” Rick slowly moves his head back so the cock is free from his mouth. He grabs it hard with a hand and licks it. He looks up into Cole’s eyes and says, “That’s one nice weapon you have there!” “Get back on it Rick, I am so fucking hot!” Rick does as he is told and proceeds to move the cock in and out of his mouth. Cole’s hands move to the back of Rick’s head and hold it. He starts to thrust deeper and deeper into the man. Rick moans and starts to growl as he gets into the act of blowing Cole. His right hand goes to his own fly and opens it. He yanks his dick out and starts to jerk off. “Fuck man this is hot!” Cole yells. He then grabs Rick’s head to hold it steady and he starts fucking the man’s face. He notices that no matter how hard he thrusts Rick does not fight it. This just drives his more and more. Cole starts to moan loudly as the sensations flooding over his body have taken him to the brink. “I’m gonna shoot!” Cole exclaims, “I’m gonna shoot my load down your throat!” Cole puts his hands back on the man’s shoulders he doesn’t want to force Rick to swallow his cum. “Arghh, fuck, fuck!!!!” Rick does not remove his mouth from Cole’s dick. He is ready Cole’s reactions indicate his mouth and throat are going to be flooded with semen. One last thrust and Cole is buried all the way inside and he starts to shoot. Cole feels like he cannot get himself far enough inside the man.

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“Swallow it, swallow my load! Cocksucker!” Cole looks down he can see that Rick is shooting his load all over Cole’s jeans and the floor. The man is moaning loudly as his mouth is still stuffed with Cole’s cock. Cole moves his hips back and feels his penis pop free. He looks down and sees Rick looking up at him with a big smile. “I have wanted to do that since I saw you at the restaurant!” “Well was it worth the wait?” Rick doesn’t say anything he stands and kisses Cole again. Their tongues intertwine and Cole can taste his semen on the man’s tongue. When they break they stand there catching their breaths. Finally they stuff their softening cocks back into their jeans. “Man you shoot a good load!” Rick says. “Thanks and you suck a mean cock!” They head towards the door. “Now I really gotta take a piss!” Rick says. “Me too!” Cole laughs. “Hey later you’ll see that my ass is as accommodating as my mouth.” Rick whispers as they enter the washroom. The two men stand side by side at the urinal, it takes awhile for the piss to start flowing. “Hey that’s a pretty nice dick you have too! Rick” Cole says. “Thanks man!” Rick says as he stands back further from the urinal to give Cole a better look. Mike eyes the men with a smile when they head back to the table. “Hey boys you still have some buttons undone!” They adjust their fly’s openly in front of Mike and then sit at the table. A few other guys notice this. “That’s a yes Cole” Mike yells from the bar. “Thanks!” He says to Mike. He turns to Rick and asks why he feels like he is being tested.

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“I nodded to him on the way back from the can, you see it wasn’t up to him.” “So he was deferring the decision to you.” Cole smiles, “Glad I passed the test.” Rick smiles, he has never had a threesome before but the idea always turned him on. He is glad that they found someone they both like to try it out with. Cole smiles as he nudges Rick leg. Then he turns and toast’s Mike. “Well if that was an appetizer, I can’t wait till later!” “Me either, I have been looking forward to this for awhile.” “What do you mean?” Cole asks and then he thinks some more, “Was I set up?” “Well yeah, Mike and I had a discussion about this a couple of weeks ago.” Rick says, “We were talking about fantasies and I told him how I always wanted to try a threesome.” “So you guys picked me?” “Well Mike did actually.” Rick says, “He asked me about it after you two had that hot time.” “Mike told you about that?” “There isn’t much we don’t share.” Rick says, “So anyway to tell you the truth I was a little jealous when I saw you two together that day at Denny’s” “Were you seeing Mike then?” “Well we had been fooling around, nothing serious, but seeing you two together sort of pushed me.” “How’s that?” Cole asks this is new to him normally when two people are seeing each other they don’t want to share. “Well I started to have strong feelings for Mike, I wanted to go past the fuck-buddy stage. I guess I was tired of going away every time I got the urge to get laid.” Cole turns and looks at Mike. Mike, who has figured out what the look was for feigns innocence. “Well, you know someday I want to do what we just did in the backroom.” Cole says, “The thought of all those guys watching kinda turns me on.” “Well I am not sure I’ll ever be ready for that!” Rick exclaims.

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They both look at the screen some more and talk about the scene. “Wanna play some pool?” Cole asks, “if I keep watching that screen I am gonna want to shoot again.” “Sure pool sounds great!” They play pool for the rest of the night and each of them has their fair share of beer. They are oblivious of other guys in the bar. Some of them are actively cruising both of them. Finally the bar starts to quieten down. Mike gets to spend more time with them at the pool table. He eventually has a couple of beer. He doesn’t want to be the odd man out. “So who’s on top?” Mike asks the two of them. “I guess I am” Cole says, “I have beat him four games out of six.” “Well then I should play some games with you” Mike says, “To find out who is really on top!” “Sure, rack them up!” Mike sets the balls up. The first game is over pretty fast as Mike accidentally sinks the eight ball. The second game takes a lot longer and basically neck and neck until Mike sinks the eight. “One game each, this is great!” Rick says “Who’s you money on Rick?” Cole asks. “Well I am not sure, but I do have a bias.” He says as he smiles at Mike. Cole smiles back. Lacombe doesn’t have much going most nights but there is one sure thing. Guys that are willing to play pool. Mike breaks and sinks a high and a low ball. He can’t sink his next ball so the table is still open when Cole takes his shot. Cole sinks a low ball and proceeds to run through them. Mike and Rick both have their jaws hanging as Cole finally sinks the eight ball. “I may be a virgin to some things guys, but pool is not one of them.” Cole says cockily, “So now that we have determined I am the top, can we get goin?” The other men turn to each other and smile, “I’ll call the cab”, Rick says Cole helps Mike make sure the bar is locked up and the money is in the safe. “I’m the manager, I’ll cash out tomorrow!”

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“Thank God!” Cole says, “Rick and I would be fucking on the pool table while you did that!” “Soon enough boys, soon enough!” The cab arrives and Mike sets the alarm and locks up. They go to Mike’s place. It is a bungalow in the west end. Mike opens the door and shows the men where to hang their coats. Cole checks out the place. He is amazed the place looks like it was attacked by Interior decorators. There is a leather couch and chairs. The walls are painted in some off grey colour with a tint of green. There are numerous pictures on the walls. A lot of them are of male forms. He also notices a lot of knick-knacks but the place has a masculine feel to it. He thinks about his place, “I have a long way to go to get it to look remotely close to this.” “You guys help yourselves to beers. I’m gonna go down stairs and set up.” Mike says. Cole and Rick go to the kitchen. Rick opens the fridge and gets three beers. They head into the living room and sit. “What’s he setting up?” Cole asks. “You’ll see!” Rick says and winks. Mike comes back upstairs. He is wearing a full harness and a pair of boots, other than that he is fully naked. Cole checks the man out and he sees there is a ring around the base of Mike’s cock and balls. The leather straps are taught and he can see they are attached to the cock-ring. “Shall we?” Mike says. He indicates the stairs and Cole follows Rick down them. He follows Rick to a room at the end of the hall and into it. The room is all black and there is little light. Rick immediately starts to remove his clothes, leaving his harness on. When he has his jeans off he puts his boots back on. Cole notices the man has a cock ring on too. Cole feels Mike come up behind him. The man presses his body against him and wraps his arms around him. Mike starts to roughly kiss Cole’s neck. Rick comes close and takes Cole’s beer from him and puts it a on a table next to his own. Rick then comes over and starts to kiss Cole. They kiss passionately. Cole’s apprehension calms down and he submits as he feels both men start to undress him.

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Soon Cole is naked too, but he feels out of place, as he is not wearing any leather. He doesn’t feel that way for long as he feels Rick’s mouth attach itself to a nipple. At the same time Mike, who is still behind him starts to roughly caress Cole’s torso and crotch. He is instantly hard and has to control himself to keep from coming. Cole turns his body so that he can pay attention to Mike. His hand grabs a strap of the harness and he notices when he pulls he has complete control over Mike. “Does it hurt when I do this?” Cole says as he yanks on a strap, which is attached to the cock-ring. Cole notices the cock jerk as he does it. Mike smiles and offers his mouth to Cole. Cole responds by kissing him hard, all the time maintaining his ministrations on the strap. Mike’s cock is now pressed up against Cole and he can feel pre-cum leaking out of it. Rick gets down on his knees and grabs a hold of Cole’s cock and starts sucking on it and his right hand grabs a hold of Mike’s. Cole feels the urge to fuck Rick’s face, forcing as much of himself into as he can. He can feel the man relax and let him do this. Suddenly Cole pushes the man off him, he is very close and does not want to cum yet. Rick reading this starts to suck on Mike’s dick. Mike starts to thrust into Rick’s mouth too as Cole watches. Shortly, Mike is starting to breathe heavy and he pats Rick on the head. Rick immediately removes his mouth from the cock. “I guess you guys are pretty close eh?” Rick asks as he wipes saliva away from his mouth. Both men nod and they break apart. Rick gets up and walks over to a sling. Cole didn’t notice it when they came in the room and he has never even seen one before. He watches as Rick gets into it. Cole sees that the slings holds Rick’s legs up in the air, his asshole is visible. Mike goes over to his lover and kisses him hard on the mouth. One hand starts to spank the man’s ass. Cole watches and sees that Rick is enjoying this. The man responds to every slap with a groan. Pretty soon Rick’s ass is red and his cock is very hard.

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“I think our boy is ready for some action.” Mike says. “I am too, that ass looks mighty hot!” Cole says as he gropes himself. “Well, he really likes to get fucked, you wanna go first?” Cole doesn’t respond he just moves over to Rick and reaches down and feels the man’s warm ass. Mike moves around behind Cole and he can feel the Mike fit a condom over his cock. Cole moves closer to Rick and rubs the end of his dick over the man’s asshole. “Get some lube on there!” Rick says. Cole sees Mike’s hand squirt some lube on his cock. After working his dick around Rick’s hole Cole puts the head to the entrance. “Just push all the way into him.” Mike says softly in his ear, “He doesn’t like to be toyed with.” Cole looks into Rick’s eyes as he shoves all the way inside him. He can see the man grimace with pain. When he is all the way in he gives a small shove and he feels the man move. “Do it again!” Rick screams. Cole pulls out and then he shoves in again. This time he shoves harder. He starts to notice that if he grabs the chains holding the sling up that he can move the man away from him and then pull him back. Pretty soon Cole is using the chains to do all the work. He also noticed that Rick’s ass has relaxed. “Fuck me harder!” Rick screams. Cole gets into it, it doesn’t matter how hard he shoves his dick into the man, the man screams for more. Mike is not standing idly by. Initially he was jacking himself off while watch Cole fuck his lover. But he noticed that Cole’s ass looked mighty inviting as it moved back and forth. He put a condom over his cock and showed it to Rick. Rick nodded and started reacting more to Cole’s fucking. Mike puts some lube on his fingers and reaches for Cole’s asshole. He rubs the lube up and down in the man’s crack.

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Cole feels Mike doing this, he’s not sure he wants to get fucked. He wonders how Mike can do it while he is fucking Rick. “Fuck it!” Cole says as he spreads his stance more to allow Mike access to his ass. “You sure Cole?” “Stick your cock up my ass!” Cole orders “I want to feel you inside me as I fuck your lover!” Mike positions himself and bends his knees, he waits until Cole’s ass comes back. Soon as that happens Mike thrusts his dick into Cole. “Arghh, fuck!!!!” Cole screams as he feels the man enter him all the way. His ass is burning and he wants it to stop. He feels Mike’s fingers pinch his nipples hard. This displaces some of the pain. “Fuck this is hot!” Rick screams, “Always dreamed of this Cole!” Pretty soon Cole feels his ass stretch to accommodate Mike. He notices that with each of Mike’s thrusts he enters Rick further than he ever did before. “Fuck me guys, I love the feel of cock inside me!” Rick says. Is hands hold the nearest chains and he actually propels himself harder on to Cole’s cock. The scene is hot perhaps too hot! Soon all three men are screaming as they cum. Rick blasts off first and sprays his cum all over himself getting some of it on his face and in his mouth. Cole starts to cum just after Rick and his orgasm causes his ass to contract on Mike, which pushes him over the edge. They continue their thrusting until they almost pass out. Finally all the movement stops, Mike carefully pulls out of and caresses the man’s sore asshole. Cole does the same. They take off the condoms and Cole gives his to Mike, as he is not sure what to do with it. Mike jokingly pretends to pour the contents over Rick, but then puts them on the table. “Hey do it man, pour that jism over me!” Rick says. It falls on deaf ears as Cole and Mike are kissing passionately. Rick stress at his buddy’s and his dick twitches. Mike breaks from kissing Cole and leans over his lover and starts to kiss him. Mike’s fingers start to scoop up cum which coats Rick’s body and feed it to him. “Cole, pass me the lube.” Mike asks.

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Cole gets the lube and hands it to Mike. He wonders what Mike is going to do now. Cole is still sated from the action they just had. Mike puts some lube on his hand and puts his hand down to Rick’s ass. He starts to work his fingers inside the man. Rick continues kissing he grabs the back of Mike’s neck and pulls him harder to him. Cole sees that Mike has worked four fingers inside Rick and he seems to have no intention of stopping. Every once in awhile he sees Mike withdraw his fingers and then reinsert them. Pretty soon he sees that Mike’s hand is disappearing into Rick’s ass. He notices that Rick is pushing himself onto the hand. “Get me a glove off the table over there Cole” Mike asks as he breaks from his kissing. Cole gets a surgical glove and gives it to Mike. Mike stands up and puts the glove on his right hand. Cole notices that Mike’s cock is hard again and there is a bit of semen dripping off the end. Cole kneels down and licks it off. When he stands he looks at Rick, the man smiles back. Mike covers the glove and his forearm with some grease, which is in a container under the sling. He turns to Cole and winks. He then kneels down and starts to insert his hand again in the man’s ass. Cole moves around to the head of the sling, he starts to play with Rick’s nipples and he presses the man’s body down on to Mike’s hand. “Fuck yeah!” Rick screams. Cole leans over and starts to kiss Rick, he can feel that the man’s is tight as a rubber band and the man frantically kisses Cole. Cole can feel himself getting aroused again as he watches the scene before him. Mike’s hand is all the way in Rick’s ass and his wrist and forearm go in there too. He has heard of fisting but never dreamed of actually seeing it done. Mike readjusts his position so that he can get better entry into Rick. He is down at the other end of the sling. He watches Cole and Rick kissing and can see that Cole is hard again. Mike looks longingly at Cole’s cock. Cole is transfixed as he watches this scene, he thought he was spent before but now he has recovered. He notices that Mike is kind of bent over and he has an idea. Cole breaks his kiss with Rick and walks down so that now he is behind Mike. He sees some condoms and lube lying on the floor. He picks up a condom and puts it on his dick. He looks at the harness on Mike and notices that it would restrict access to the

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man’s ass. In the middle of the man’s back is a ring. The offending strap is attached to the ring and Cole can see a snap there. Pressing himself up against Mike he releases the snap. The strap is now hanging down between Mike’s legs. Cole puts some lube on the now open asshole as he does this Mike spreads his legs a bit. Rick watches this scene unfold. His lover is about to get fucked while fisting him. He has never seen Mike take it before and it turns him on more. “Fuck!” Mike screams as Cole pounds his way into him. “You have fuckin balls Cole!” Rick can feel Mike’s hand tense up inside him. He pulls Mike down on top of them and they kiss hard. Cole pulls on the harness straps as he fucks Mike mercilessly. The man’s ass has taken all of him. He feels his balls slapping against the man’s ass. Mike is enjoying the different sensations as he is in total control of Rick’s body. He loves the pressure of the man’s insides on him. The feel of Cole’s pounding away on him helps him to identify with Rick. He doesn’t know of anyway that he could feel closer to his lover. He feels his cock start to harden as he takes all of this in. Cole feels animal rages as he fucks Mike. The smells and the sounds of man on man action are getting to him. With one hand still holding a strap of Mike’s harness, he reaches around and grabs a hold of the man’s chest. He grips the man’s pec as hard as he can and buries himself further in the man. “Fuck man, take me hard!” Mike screams he can feel the feral attack that Cole has unleashed and he is likes it. Cole reacts by punching Mike on his chest. He has let go completely, its like his need to orgasm has taken over his whole body. But Cole’s orgasm is nowhere near occurring, having just emptied a load recently he is good for a long time. Mike has never been fucked so hard or savagely by anyone in his life. The fuck is just adding to his fisting. Rick never gets hard when being fisted to him it is more cerebral. He enjoys having his body controlled by the other man. This is all the satisfaction he needs. But watching the man controlling him being fucked by another man is turning him on. Rick consciously presses his body down on Mike’s arm. This causes more pressure to be applied to his prostate. Rick’s cock leaks pre-cum profusely. “Take him Cole, take that fucker hard!” Rick yells. “You got it Rick!” Cole says back, “The both of you are gonna have sore asses tomorrow!”

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Mike starts to breathe heavy as this scene is very hot. He can feel the urge to have an orgasm start. “Fuck man!” Mike screams, “I’m gonna cum!” Mike’s cock erupts and shoots. Every thrust of Cole into him causes another volley. His hand has really tensed up inside of Rick. He looks into his lover’s eyes and he can see that his lover is close too. Mike holds Rick as hard as he can, he wants to feel this orgasm from inside and out. Rick moans unintelligible words as he cums. The orgasm almost causes him to black out he doesn’t think he has ever had one so intense. Cole is having spasms, which feel like orgasms, but he doesn’t shoot. The two men shooting in front of him spurs on his assault. He is really starting to pummel Mike’s body with his cock and his fists. Rick sees that Cole is starting to lose it, he has seen this enough on the job. He looks to Mike to see if he should do something. Mike as if reading his mind, says, “Just let him go Rick I’m OK.” The action continues for what seems like an eternity, Cole finally pulls out of Mike and tears the rubber off. Then he goes and stands beside the two men. Cole jerks hard on his cock and starts to pinch a nipple. Harder and harder he jerks his cock. He is also working his nipples really hard. Cole can feel his whole body start to shake as his arms and legs spasm. Finally Cole looks at the two men as the cum flies out of the end of his dick.

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The Morning After Cole awakes with a start. When he opens his eyes he sees he is in a strange bed. He tries to remember where he is. Gradually his body starts to react to waking up. He has a massive headache and he feels achy all over. He looks around to see if he can remember anything. He can remember coming to Mike’s house and the three of them having sex. The last thing he can remember is fucking Mike. It all goes blank after that. Cole is very thirsty and his mouth is raw. “Boy I must have drank a lot last night.” He says as he tries to sit. The sudden motion makes his headache worse, but it is nothing he hasn’t endured before. He tries to think of the last time he was this hung over. Getting up off the bed he heads to the door and opens it. He sees the bathroom across the hall, as he doesn’t need to use it just yet so he walks left to the kitchen. “Hey Cole.” Mike says as he sees his friend walk naked into the kitchen. “Water and aspirins?” Cole asks. “On the counter by the sink.” Mike says, “I was prepared.” “Thanks.” Cole groans as he fills the glass with water and takes two pills. Cole pads over to a chair at the table and sits. “Remember much?” Mike asks. “Well some, but I don’t know how I got in the bed.” “You passed out Cole.” Mike says, “Right after you fucked me into next week.“ “Passed out?” ‘Yeah, Rick and I had to carry you to the bed.” “Where’s Rick?” Cole asks, “He ok?” “He is still sleeping and yes he is ok.” Cole looks at Mike who is sitting there wearing only a pair of boxers. He notices the man’s chest is red with some yellowing. “Looks like some bruising is coming.” He says to Mike. “Yeah, you were pretty rough last night!”

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“It’s nothing I can’t handle and besides you were in a place that I have not seen many guys go to.” “What do you mean?” Cole says with concern. “If you were fighting I’d say you’d lost it.” “Fuckin A he lost it.” Rick says as he comes into the kitchen. He is naked as well. “You were on fire man!” Cole grimaces at Rick’s words both the volume and the inference. “Well at least I am not going to be the only one that is sore.” Mike says, “From the look of your dick you are going to remember this night for awhile.” Cole looks down at his dick, it looks like it was attacked. “I’m not surprised.” Rick says, “The way you were pumping it!” Cole’s face aches as he forces a smile, “Well I guess I must have had a good time!” Then he adds, “How’s your ass?” “Well my ass is fucking sore!” Rick says while laughing, “It has never had a workout like that!” Rick sits down on the floor next to Mike and supports his arms on the man’s legs. He sucks up the pain signals that his ass is sending him. Cole looks at the two of them and smiles, it seems they are closer to each other. “Thanks to you Cole, we went to a place we have never been before too.” Mike says. “Yeah, we did.” Rick looks up at Mike and offers his lips. Mike obliges by kissing his lover. “Cool, glad I could help!” Cole says, “How do you mean?” “We were one last night.” Mike says, “We have never been so close.” The two men kiss again, this time more passionately. Cole watches them and his sore dick starts to harden. He likes the picture of to men being so open and comfortable with each other. “Well, I better get going and allow you two to have some alone time.” Cole says with a smile. “I think we have to recharge our batteries.” Rick says. “We fucked again after we put you to bed.”

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“You did?” “Yeah, it was different than before though.” Rick says, “This time we did it as lovers it was slow and passionate.” “Yeah we must have kissed for an hour!” Mike says. “And we both came at the same time.” Rick adds as he moves his hand to Mike’s crotch and gives it a gentle squeeze. “I had something to do with that?” “Yes you did.” Rick says and smiles. Mike nods and smiles and puts a hand on top of Rick’s. “I need to get going though, I have some things I want to get done today.” Cole says. “Yeah, I gotta get back to the bar and do cash.” Mike says. “Rick why don’t you take our guest home.” “Sure I can do that, maybe we can get that coffee together.” “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that.” Cole says as he gets up and stretches. “Where are my clothes?” “I moved them to your room, they are hanging in the closet.” Mike says. Cole goes down the hall and goes to the bathroom. He carefully has a piss. “Man! My dick is sore!” When he is done he washes his face and wets down his hair. Then he heads to the bedroom and gets dressed. When he gets back to the kitchen he has a seat at the table and drinks some more water. Mike and Rick come down the hall both are dressed and holding hands. He notices that Rick is wearing different clothes than last night. Cole smiles they look like boyfriend/girlfriend. He thinks about this phrase, it doesn’t apply here as neither one of them could be accused of being effeminate, but saying boyfriend/boyfriend doesn’t seem to convey the same message. “You ready stud?” Rick asks as he heads towards the closet to get his coat. Cole follows him there and gets his coat and then he turns to Mike. The two men embrace.

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“Thanks man, not sure if I am going out tonight.” Cole says as he points at his crotch. “That’s ok, but wait a sec” Mike says as he foes and grabs a pen and some paper. “Here’s my number, use it the next time you are in town. Crash here.” “Thanks!” Cole says as he puts the paper in his wallet. He then kneels and puts his boots on and Rick does the same thing. Rick stands and kisses Mike goodbye, “See you tonight hon.” He blushes as he says this having never said it to anyone before. Mike playfully swats Rick’s head and then says, “You bet!” The two men go out the door and get in Rick’s truck, which is parked out front. Cole looks at Rick. “I came here last night, Mike and I were getting together anyway.” Rick says, “When Mike phoned and said you were at the bar I took a cab.” “Oh yeah!” Cole says as he remembered the ‘chance’ meeting was planned. “What were you gong to do if I didn’t show up?” Cole asks. “The usual, hang out till Mike got home and then we’d play.” Rick says, “I am not that comfortable going out by myself yet, too many unknowns.” “Unknowns?” “It’s different for me Cole, I live and work here.” Rick sighs, “I seems like every time I go out I live in fear of being seen.” “So how did you meet guys?” “I’d go to the peeps or the bathhouse. With our job you get to go at non-peak times.” Rick says, “Or sometimes I’d head to Calgary.” “Yeah, I know it!” “I think it would be hell if I were outed” “Me too!” Cole echoes Rick’s statement, “But I think that that time is about here.” “Do you have a place in mind for coffee?” “Yeah, the Sugar Bowl.” Cole says he is hoping he can run into Greg there. “Sugar Bowl it is!”

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Sugar Bowl They get to the coffee shop and manage to find a parking spot out front. The patio is open but it is too cold to sit outside. They enter the café and Cole looks around. Walking straight in the door the first thing he notices is a large bar which dominates the back of the café. The bar juts out and has a serving area close to the door. There are lots of table sitting on a hardwood floor. He notices it must be an old building as there are brick walls. The sun shinning in the windows makes the place nice and bright. They walk up to the serving bar and see that a lot of the tables are occupied. “Go get us a table I’ll get the coffee.” Rick says. Cole looks around he sees that the bar does not go all the way to the wall on the left. He spies a free table in the back. Cole manoeuvres through the café and gets a seat. He faces the door as he always does. Something about the cop in him, he always has to be aware of his surroundings. Rick arrives with two coffees. “If you want cream or sugar, you have to go to that table on the other side of the bar.” “It’s ok, the way my head hurts I’ll take it black.” Rick sits down and takes off his coat. Cole takes his off too. “So you arrested a guy that that says he saw you and Mike together.” Rick says, “It happened to me too. Can you tell me the details?” Cole relays the whole story about the car thief that says he’d seen him. “Sounds familiar.” Rick says, “A little too familiar.” “Do you think it is the same guy?” Cole asks. “Describe him for me.” Cole gives him a description of the guy and then adds the man’s name, John Stevens. “I don’t recall the name but the description sounds the same.” Rick says. Both men drink some coffee. Cole lets Rick take some time and then he listens as the man tells him the story. “I was working by myself that night. It was a weeknight and my partner took time off.” Rick takes a drink of some coffee.

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“Anyway I was driving down a street in the west end, near Mike’s place actually, and this car comes careening around the corner. The guy was going way too fast for a residential street.” “I immediately chased him and the guy sped up. Soon enough though he is trapped on a dead end street. He stops the car and opens the door and starts running. We are over by a ravine and I ran after him really fast. If he got down in the ravine there would be lots of places to hide.” “Sounds familiar, he found a dead end in Lacombe too.” Cole says. “I thought it was kind of weird too about the dead end street. Anyway I give chase and tackle him to the ground. The usual mouthing off occurred as I got the cuffs on him.” “It’s funny, you know, the only thing I had to charge him with is speeding at that time. Now he has added evading arrest, it seemed like a lot of trouble to go through over a speeding ticket!” Cole nods he can’t believe the stupid things people do. “So I get him in the back and I run the plates on the car.” “Wait a second!” Cole says, “You are alone and you didn’t run the plates did you call it in?” “Well I guess I fucked up!’ Rick says, “I was actually in the neighbourhood as I was gonna stop in at Mike’s for a coffee.” “I guess it goes back to our little problem.” Cole says and indicates to Rick to go on. “So after I run the plates, nothing. I run the guy’s name, nothing. I am puzzled why he tried to bolt. So I turn to him and ask him what’s up.” “Just so I get this straight”, Cole says, “You have a perp in your car and no one else knows, right?” “Yeah and you know what?” Rick locks eyes with Cole, “I think he knew it too!” Cole doesn’t say anything. We all have our own way of handling things. He begins to wonder if Rick is a loose cannon. Rick reads Cole’s face, he hasn’t told this story to anyone but Mike. Mike had a hard time with it too. “I ask for some background on the guy and he is upfront. I am still puzzled about the cat and mouse, so I ask him.”

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Rick takes a pause and drinks some more coffee. Even though Cole and him have slept together it is hard for him to discuss being gay. “He blurts out that he saw me and Mike at the bar a couple of nights before. I almost had a heart attack. My only time in that fucking place and the guy sees me.” “Now I am starting to get the picture. Can I ask you one thing though?” “Sure” Rick says quietly, he thinks he knows what the question is as he left it out of the story when he told Mike. “When you first saw the car, did you get a look at the driver?” “Yeah.” Rick says, he is almost whispering. “Hey bud, I am not here to judge you!” Cole says as he pats the man’s hand. “Yeah, I recognized him from the bar. I was running on pure adrenaline. I wasn’t thinking straight, but I was not going to let him get away. I couldn’t stop doing my job.” “Need some more coffee?” Cole says. He wants to let the man gather his thoughts before continuing. “Sure” He says as he passes his cup over. Cole is in a line-up to get refills he looks around at the people but he doesn’t see anything. He is busy in thoughts about how this impacts him. “Geez, it gets busy in here!” Cole says as he gets back to the table. “Yeah sometimes!” Rick says and shows Cole a little smile. “So this guy, he knows from my reaction he has got me by the balls. He starts to negotiate with me. Saying I am going to let him go or he is going to tell all the guys at the station that I like cock.” “So you let him go?” “Well what else could I do Cole?” Rick is close to crying, “I fucking live to be a cop and this guy was going to take it away!” Cole notices there is a washroom to his left. He indicates with his eyes that Rick should go there. Rick gets up and enters the room and closes the door. “Hey Guy!” Greg says as he comes down the walkway beside the bar. “Hey Greg!” Cole says as he stands and offers his hand.

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“So you finally made it, are you alone?” He look down and see two coffee cups. “Well a friend of mine is here and we are having a deep conversation.” Cole says. “OK well I’m at the front, doing the crossword, come up and see me after you are done.” “I’ll be there, Greg you can count on it.” “Cool.” he says with a smile and goes back to his table. “Who was that?” Rick asks as he comes back to the table and nods towards the guy leaving. “Just a guy I met running a couple of weeks back.” “He on the job?” “Nah, he’s an Immigration Officer.” Cole notices the guy’s spirits are better. “But I am not comfortable knowing there is a guy out there that has me by the balls. What if he has told his friends, he has my name?” “I see, well has anyone else tried this on you?” “Not yet, but I have always been with Mike, my partner err my fellow officer, since then.” “Now we have to figure out what to do with this guy, I mean he is still in jail in Lacombe as we speak.” “I don’t know man.” “Well Rick I am going to have to think this through. We can’t let a guy run around thinking he owns cops!” Rick dreads what this means, “I guess I am going to have to come out too!” he says to himself. “So what say I think about this and get back to you.” Cole says, “I have Mike’s number I’ll call.” “Yeah whatever.” Cole can see that the man is going through hell. He knows he has been there. “Why don’t you go to the gym and take it out on the weights.” Cole says.

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“Yeah, I think I should, I am so wound up!” “Well I should go over and talk to Greg.” Cole says, “After all that is part of the reason I came up here this weekend.” “Well if it remember correctly your dick is pretty beat up.” Rick says with a smile. “It seems to me that you have to be careful too!” Cole responds. Rick gets up and grimaces. He had forgotten how much his ass hurt. “Bye Cole, see ya when I see ya.” Cole stands and picks up his cup, “Not if I see you first!” The two men walk to the front of the café. Rick heads to the door and Cole heads over to Greg’s table.

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You’d have to ask “Is this chair taken?” Cole asks with a smile. “Go ahead and have a seat.” Greg says. “You are almost done!” Cole says as he looks at the crossword the guy is working on. “I can never get those things!” “It just takes some practice.” Greg says as he puts his pen down and looks up at Cole. “Its nice to see you again.” Cole says, “I actually came here hoping you would be here.” Greg’s tongue is tied. “This guy actually came here to see me.” He says to himself. “That is ok isn’t it?” Cole says as he notices the look on the other guy’s face. “Er yeah, yeah!” “So this is your Saturday in the big city, crosswords and coffee.” “Yeah, pretty much.” Greg says, “Usually some friends of mine drop by and we bullshit for awhile.” “Well I don’t have much planned for today, mind if we hang out?” Cole asks. “Sure if you want to, but I must advise that it’s not too exciting. I usually drink coffee till I can’t take anymore and then head to the gym.” “Sounds fine to me, if you want I could go to the gym with you.” Greg feels like pinching himself, this has to be a dream. “OK” he says, “But I gotta know something.” “I bet you want to know why I came all the way from Lacombe to hang out with you?” Cole says. Greg didn’t respond, he can think of nothing to say. “Well to tell you the truth Greg, I am going to start hanging out in Edmonton a lot and I figured I may as well get to know some people up here.” “Cool, I guess but there is one thing you should know before we go to much further.” “What’s that, you gay or something?” Cole asks. “As a matter of fact, yes.” he says hoping that the guy doesn’t get up and leave.

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“So that’s why I wanted to see you again, I guess I picked up on that.” “You telling me you’re gay too!” he asks. “Affirmative.” Cole says and offers his hand. Greg shakes Cole’s hand, “Well this is a pleasant surprise.” “Thanks for being candid, I was talking to my friend Kat the other day and said I’d met someone in Edmonton.” Cole says, “She asked if you were and I told her I didn’t ask.” “So what gave me away?” Greg asks, “It’s not that I try too hard to hide it but I don’t think I advertise either.” “I don’t know, I just had a feeling of trust and that happens to be what I look for in friends.” “So you want to hang out here for awhile, drink some more coffee, tell each other our life stories?” “All 77 years?” Cole laughs. “We’ll be here for awhile!” “77 years, you don’t look that old.” Cole just laughs in response as it dawns on Greg that Cole has added their ages together. “Let’s see you are 30?” he asks, “How did you know my age?” “No comment!” Cole says. “You checked me out! “ Greg looks around the café, “How did you do that?” “Well it seems that a guy matching your description was seen by me driving around Lacombe a couple of weeks ago in a burgundy coloured Oldsmobile with a rainbow flag on the back.” “Fuck!” Greg says as the air goes out of his rage. He was wondering if he’d accidently bump into Cole when he drove through Lacombe on his way to Calgary. “So I ran you on the computer.” Cole says, “You came up clean by the way.” “Thanks, that’s good to know.” Greg smiles, “So you knew I was gay before I spoke up?” “No, it was circumstantial, I guessed after I saw one of those flags at a bar. By the way you have two flags, what does the other one mean?” “You haven’t been out that long, have you Cole?”

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“Nope!” Cole laugh, “As of 14:00 it will be one day!” “Really!” “I came out to my Dad yesterday at that time.” Cole says soberly, “Before that I was trying to convince myself it was a phase.” “To your Dad?” Greg asks, “It must have been something pretty serious for you to come out to him!” “It was or is.” Cole replies. “Ah so its unfolding as we speak, was that the deep conversation your were involved in?” “Yeah, But that’s all I can say right now.” “Anyone else know?” “Just Kat and a guy named Lance, he is a fireman in Lacombe.” “A fireman? Is he on the team too?” “Yeah, he is and has been since he was a teenager. Got hired due to equality legislation. I admire him, it’s not easy to be out in that job.” “I guess not!” “I think he has some problems with a guy I used to go to school with. But he hasn’t come to me about it. So I guess he is handling it.” “Has he told you this?” “No, I just figured, the guy is a redneck asshole and always has been.” Cole says soberly. We drink some coffee, Greg writes another word in a space in the crossword puzzle. “Need help with that?” Cole asks. “Nah, I find if I stare at it long enough I usually figure out the answer.” “So how about you? You work for the Federal Government it must be safe to be out there?” “Yeah, I guess it is safe, but I’m not out at work.” “Any reason?”

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“Well I am out to some people, the rest are just co-workers. I don’t think I need to come out to them.” “I wish it was that easy for me.” Cole says, “As a cop you rely on your partner. I have heard that they are not that open to backing up a fag.” “Me too.” Greg says, he has read stories where a cop was killed in the line of duty after his partner let him go into a situation alone. Cole reads the other guy’s face think this from the frown he can sense the other guy’s concern. “Hey I think I am just about coffeed out!” Greg says, “You wanna hit the gym?” Cole is grateful that Greg has changed the subject as the conversation was going a place he is not ready to go yet. “Yeah, the gym sounds good but I don’t have my stuff with me, it is back at the hotel.” “Are you driving?” “Nah, my friend dropped me off.” “Let’s go then, my car is in the back.” They both get up and head to the back of the café. Once they are outside Greg follows Cole. “Hey! You remembered.” he says with a laugh. “Yeah the flags!” Cole says, “What does the other one mean, the blue and black stripped one?” “That’s the leather flag.” “You mean there is a separate flag for leather guys?” “Yeah, it’s not as well known as the other one.” “Cool, I should get one.” Cole says. “Why?” “I don’t know, I guess it is because I just want to feel part of this.” Greg smiles, the guy is coming out in a blaze of glory. Out loud he says, “Look out Lacombe!”

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Cole laughs as Greg opens the doors to the car and they get in. “Where are you staying again?” As they pull out of the stall. “The hotel on 105th Street just south of Jasper.” Cole feels around for the key to look for the name. “It’s OK, I know which one you mean, isn’t that the same one you stayed at before?” “Yup, small town boy here!” Cole laughs, “Find a place and park it.” It is a short drive there. Greg waits in the car as Cole goes up to his room to get his gym bag. He comes down and runs to the car. The exaggerated semi-run that jocks are renown for. He opens the back door and throws his bag in and then gets in. They head off to the gym.

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The Gym They get to the gym and Cole pays for a pass. The representative at the desk tries to sell him a membership. He tells them he is from Lacombe and he hasn’t seen a World Health Club there. Cole checks out the machines and some of the patrons as they head to the locker room. When they get to the locker room and find lockers next to each other. Greg heads to the washroom as Cole starts to undress. When he gets back Cole is almost changed just tying up the lace on his running shoes. Cole is wearing a dark blue t-shirt with a Lacombe Police Service crest on it and grey sweat pants. Greg gets changed while Cole sits on the bench waiting for him. He notices that he the man checks him out while he changes. He is almost springing a rod, never had this happen to him before. “We’re all guys here Cole.” Greg laughs nervously. “Yeah!” When both men are finished getting dressed they take a tour of the locker room. Cole notices there is a steam room. “Great! I know where I am headed after the workout.” “Yeah I usually do that too, it’s one of the reasons I joined this gym.” They go out into the gym and head to the mats. “I do stretches and crunches to warm up.” Greg says as he gets on a bench and starts doing some crunches. Cole does the same, he is grateful to have someone to work out with. It has been a long time since Mark and him have worked out together. “Great exercises!” Cole says, “I feel limber now.” When they are finished on the mats they head to the water fountain and get some water and then Greg leads them to a treadmill. “We can run in here or outside.” Greg says, “But I should warn you we are in suburbia and there is not much to see.” “I like the views in here.” Cole says as he looks down the line of machines and nods towards the guys working out on them.

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Greg looks where Cole indicates and sees several hot guys working out. He turns to Cole and smiles, “It’s gonna be like that, is it?” Cole winks as a response. The two men start running slow at first but then they pick up the pace. Greg tries to keep up with Cole but he notices the other man is really punishing his body. “Geez I really must have slowed you down, that day we were running!” he says. “No problems man, I would rather run with someone than alone.” Cole says as he turns to Greg. Greg has calmed down and stares openly at Cole. He sees the sweat start to stain his tshirt and the crack of his ass. Cole nods as he sees he is being checked out. “You’re in pretty good shape for a guy your age, you must be pretty active.” Cole says as he wipes the sweat off his brow with the bottom part of his t-shirt. “Well I haven’t always looked this way.” Greg says, “I used to be a couch potato!” “Really?” “Well, I was married before. I had a good paying job at the phone company. I worked shifts and found I never had the time to exercise.” “Did you exercise before and just fall away from it.” Cole asks, “So many guys from high school and college have done that.” “Well I was never the jock type. I was thin until I was in my thirties.” Greg says, “Then years of inactivity caught up to me. “ “So what made you start exercising?” Cole asks. “Well I took a buy-out from the phone company after I realized the job was going nowhere and I was going to be stuck on shifts forever.” he looks at Cole, “It’s not that shifts are bad it’s just I got sick of my job.” “Well, shift work is part of my job.” Cole says, “But I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” “So anyway, I was getting pretty active in mountain biking in my time off.” he takes a drink of water, “I was finding it hard to keep up with guys I went biking with.” “So you decided to do something about that?”

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“Yeah, I was 235 pounds and it seemed that no matter how often I biked I wouldn’t lose any weight. A guy I road with was also an avid runner. He said running is a great way to lose weight.” “Well it must have worked!” Cole says. Greg smiles back, “Yeah, 12 years 2 marathons and countless days in the gym and voila!” “Good for you, you must have been pretty motivated.” “Yeah, well I had the time.” he says, he didn’t think he should bring up the other reason why he was staying at home. “So you had no plans of getting another job?” “Not initially, besides I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t want to get back in the same rut I just left. Besides we had just bought a house and we were doing renovations” Greg says, “Anyway, during this time the pounds started to come off and I felt a lot better.” “Exercise has that effect!” Cole says, “So did this lifestyle change have any effect on your marriage?” “You bet, but that wasn’t the only thing.” “That sucks, did you know before you got married?” Cole says. “Well yeah, but I figured it was a phase and it would go away, common interests and all.” “But it didn’t!” “Nope” Greg laughs, “And that’s enough about that!” “So you ran some marathons, I have always though about running one.” Cole says, “What made you do it?” “Well the first one I did because I was feeling so good about myself. I’d lost a lot of weight and I was really enjoying running.” he pauses, “and besides it was there, know what I mean?” “Yeah, I have been there, in my training class I not only wanted to pass, I wanted to be the best.” Cole says, “You know how hard that is with a pile of guys that feel exactly the same way?” “I bet, it’s funny, the night before the marathon I slept probably for all of an hour. Every time I closed my eyes I was thinking of running the race over and over again. Thing is sometimes I would finish really well, but other times I was dead last.”

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“That sucks, I have had that happen to me in college and in training school before a big test or interview.” Cole says. “Well when I did run the race it became obvious that I was not going to win it, so my motivation became a) to finish and b) not to be last.” “That’s fair. So did you meet your goals?” “Yeah, I finished in 4.5 hours, not the best time but not the worst.” “So did that make you run the second one?” “You bet! I trained for months before running in Vancouver.” “How did you do?” “Worse” Greg says, “I herniated a disk during the race, so I finished in 5 hours.” “Oww!” Cole exclaims, “I am surprised you can run at all, obviously it got better.” “Well it is better, but I am not back to where I was before I had the operation.” “Well it’s good to see you kept at it, I mean exercising.” “I had too much invested, going to the gym became part of my coping skills.” “I hear you, I have to hit the gym regularly for my job and to relieve stress.” Looking down at the timer Greg sees that they have been running for half an hour. His body is starting to give him signs that it is time to stop. “Well I gotta go do some stretches,” Greg says as he pushes the cool-down button on the machine. “I’ll join you, I feel pretty good.” They head over to the mats and do some stretches. Cole starts to show Greg some exercises that he has never tried before and he can feel the effects on his body. The comradeship is good too. It seems Cole has opened up and is trying to become a true friend. “Thanks for joining me Cole!” Greg says as they head back to the locker room, “I can never seem to find a guy to work out with.” “You can’t find someone?” Cole laughs. “I mean workout with at the gym!” Greg says as he punches Cole in the arm.

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“Oww!” Cole says as he put up his fists, “I knew that! A guy like you should have no problems finding a workout partner for the other thing!” Greg can’t believe how open Cole is, part of it maybe it is because he is not from here. But other guys have started to notice the two of them goofing off. “Sorry I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Greg says, “Guess I didn’t know my own strength.” Cole just laughs, he get to the locker and opens the lock. “Wanna take a steam?” “Sure” Greg says and opens his locker. They strip off their sweaty clothes grab towels and head to the steam room. The steam room is cold so Cole hits the button to fire the steamer up and pretty soon steam is coming out of the vent and the room starts to cloud up. “So you going out tonight?” Cole asks. “Not sure, I have been avoiding the bars lately.” “Why is that?” “Have you ever seen that movie ‘Groundhog Day’?” “The one with Bill Murray?” “Yeah that one, I feel the bar is like being trapped in that movie, same people same music every week.” “Which bar you go to?” “Well normally Buddy’s but I have gone to the others as well.” Greg says, “to me I don’t think I am going to find the right guy at a bar.” “Well come tonight to the Hawk, maybe you’ll meet him!” “Would he be someone I know?” “Maybe.” Cole says. “You know what Cole?” “What?” Cole says with a look of concern on his face. “I think I am going to pass.” “What! Was it something I said?”

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“No, not that at all Cole.” Greg turns to him, “I am looking at meeting someone to do things with besides the bar. Things like today, working out together.” “I see.” Cole is stunned, he feels rejected but then again he is not sure he is ready to dive into a relationship just yet. “You are taking this the wrong way Cole, I can tell.” Greg says, “If I go to the bar tonight I will think I am on a date with you and then my expectations will go up.” “So what’s the matter with that?” “There’s nothing wrong with that, but I am to the stage where I want to meet someone and get to know them.” “I think I am starting to see, so you don’t want to go with me as you like me?” “You’re starting to get the picture Cole. I liked you since you first ‘bumped’ into me!” “So why not do something about it?” “Well, I have been burnt in the past and this time I want to take the time to get to know a guy before going any further.” I say, “Besides I think you have some more ‘wild oats’ to sow before settling down.” Cole thinks about this, “It’s not like he is brushing me off, in fact he has expressed interest in me. But he is going to let me fuck around some more.” “When I am ready Cole, I’ll let you know.” I pause, “and if you are still interested..” “Cool, I guess.” Cole says, “never been brushed off like that before.” “No, no I am not brushing you off, I am just giving us a chance to get to know each other.” Greg looks at Cole’s naked body he is mighty tempted but he decides that he is going to stick to his resolution. At the same time Cole is checking Greg out, he wonders if this will happen to him someday too. Some time passes with neither of them saying anything. “I think I know what you are getting at.” Cole says. “There is a song by Sting called ‘Set them Free.” Greg says, “Basically give someone time to adjust. “Never really thought about what that song was saying, I just sort of sang along with it.” “Well that’s where I am at.” Greg stands up and heads to the door, “Gotta take a shower, it’s getting too hot in here!”

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Cole follows me “You’ve done a good job on your body Greg.” “Fuck! you don’t give up do you!” Cole just laughs, “I wanted to be number one in the training class and I did it.” “So getting me is going to be easier?” Greg asks sarcastically. “Well let’s just say its on my ‘to do’ list.” “Thanks! Hopefully it can happen,” he says and than adds, “But I am in it for the long haul.” “I am starting to see that.” Cole says as he soaps himself. Both men take a shower and then go get dressed. A couple of guys are changing in the dressing room. Cole catches Greg’s eye knowingly as he checks some out. He notices the other man is not doing it and turns to him. “I guess this is your gym. Eh?” “Yeah, I don’t do much cruising here.” “I guess it’s like your home turf. Tell you the truth I don’t do much in Lacombe either.” When they are finished dressing, Cole checks himself in the mirror. He notices that a couple of guys check him out and he nods to them. They leave the gym and head back to the car. “Where can I get one of the blue and stickers?” Cole asks. “Well I got mine at a leather shop, I can take you there if you want.” “Sure, I think I am going to get one for the truck.” Cole says. After they are moving Cole finds a CD case. He looks through it and pulls one out. It is REM’s Greatest Hits. He skips to the second song, the other one about Andy Kaufman. Cole starts to sing along. They listen to REM all the way to the store. Cole sings along with all the songs. “You know what this song is about?” Cole says as “What’s the Frequency Kenneth” plays. “Some guy in Miami that bugged Dan Rather.” Cole says without waiting for the other man to answer. At the store on Jasper Avenue they park, plug the meter and head inside. Clint the owner of the store is working, he says hi to Greg when they enter the store. Greg goes over and gives the man a hug.

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“Clint this is Cole, he is visiting us from Lacombe.” “Nice to meet you Cole” as Clint holds out his hand. “Good to meet you Clint.” “Cole is here to look at what you’ve got.” Clint in his normally flirty self raises his eyebrows. “For products.” Greg says quickly, he knows that even though Clint has a lover he’d be all over Cole and want to take the guy home. “Depends on what you are looking for. We mainly supply leather stuff though.” “I see that” Cole says as he looks around, “I think I already bought something of yours at the Hawk, a vest.” “Quite the gold mine that display at the Hawk is.” Clint says. “Well we’ll just look around, we’ll holler if we need you.” Cole says. They look around the store, check out the clothing racks and then go to the back where the ‘toys’ are. The ‘toys’ consist of floggers, handcuffs and various leather goods some of which look like they may hurt. Cole picks up some ball stretchers and asks what they are. When he hears the explanation, he flinches. The two men look around for about twenty minutes each of them trying out various toys on the other. Clint stares from the front and yells that he wishes he had a camera. They head back to the front of the store, “How much for a pair of chaps?” Cole asks. “$300.00 but we are flexible.” Clint says with a wink. “So how does it work, I don’t see any in my size here.” “Well I make most of them to fit. Do you have a pair of jeans that you can leave with us?” Cole says that the jeans he has on are the only pair he had with him. “I can go out and get my gym shorts and leave these with you, I guess.” “So you want the chaps to have the same fit as those jeans?” “Yeah, is there a standard design?”

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“Well sort of but there are variations.” Clint gets a pad of paper and draws a pair of chaps. He then asks Cole a whole pile of questions and when he is finished he has drawn a picture of something that he figures the guy would like. “He that looks great! Greg what do you think?” Cole asks. Greg checks out the design, “That appears to be pretty much like the pair I have. Clint made them for me last year.” “I’d like to see you in those Greg.” Cole says, “Listen I gotta give Clint my jeans so that he can get busy.” Cole says as he holds out his hand. Greg hands over the keys and watches Cole run out the door. “Where the hell did you meet him?” Clint asks. “Running, he sorta bumped into me!” Greg winks. Cole re-enters the store and he has his gym shorts. “Got a place I can change?” Clint shows Cole to the change room and returns to the front of the store. Cole pays for the chaps and looks at his wallet and keys, his gym shorts have no pockets, and he wonders what to do with them. Clint gives him a bag and Cole smiles. They are about to head out the door when Cole remembers why they came. He asks if they have any leather stickers. He goes to pay for it but Clint says it’s OK. “Friendly enough guy!” Cole says, he is laughing and rearranging his crotch. “Yeah Clint is great, his lover is too!” “Not sure I’d be that comfortable if I had a lover that flirted like that.” Cole says Greg doesn’t say anything and he lets Cole digest what he just said. In front of the hotel Cole asks if Greg if he wants to come up. He has been in this situation before and he doesn’t trust himself. His aim is true but somehow the plan gets fucked up. Cole reads Greg’s mind, “I guess I should give you my number so that we can keep in touch.” “I happen to have a pen and paper this time.” Greg laughs. Cole writes out his number and gives it to Greg, who gets his cell phone and programs the name and number into it.

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Greg then writes his number and email address out and gives the paper to Cole. “So you have my number Greg, don’t be afraid to use it!” Cole says as he leans towards the other man offering his lips. “Don’t worry Cole, I will.” their lips meet and they kiss. They break apart and Cole reaches for the handle. “Thanks for the day Greg!” “No, Thank You Cole!” He opens the door and heads past the Doorman into the hotel. The doorman stares at Greg and then at Cole. Greg waves to the man as he drives off.

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Cole – the rest of the day Cole gets back up to his room and lies down on the bed. He thinks about what Greg has said to him. His mind has started to accept that maybe the man is right in taking it slow. Cole has just come out and he is not sure what he is looking for. He decides he better have a nap if he is going to go out that night. Cole strips off his clothes and gets under the covers and he is quickly asleep. Cole wakes up a couple of hours later. He turns on the TV to the Hockey Game, Edmonton is playing Vancouver. It doesn’t look good for Edmonton, as it’s the second period and they are down by 3 goals. He heads into the bathroom takes a piss and then washes his hands. Then he splashes water on his face to wake up. Lying back on the bed he fishes out his wallet and gets Greg’s number. He stares at it for a while, debating whether he should call. “Fuck it!” Cole says as he dials the number on his cell phone, which he retrieved from the bedside table. The phone rings but he gets a machine, “Hey there Greg, its Cole, just wanted to thank you again for this afternoon. I also want to remind you where I’ll be later. But if you don’t show, I’ll understand.” Cole watches Vancouver sail on to an easy victory, he wonders if Greg would like to go to a hockey game. Cole likes to attend sporting events as he picks up on the adrenaline rush better than watching it on TV. Cole gets ready and heads to the bar at 22:00. He wants to be early so he can talk to Mike. Once he is in the bar he sees Mike talking to a guy at the far end. He takes a seat and orders a beer from the bartender. The man talking to Mike checks out Cole for a bit longer than he should have. Cole is getting used to this in a Gay Bar, but he senses there is something different about this guy. Cole’s eyes check out the bar, it is pretty dead. Looking up he sees the TV is playing porn again. The guys on the screen are dressed in leather, three of them. One guy is on a bench sort of thing. His legs are spread and there is a can of Crisco next to him. He can see one of the other men greasing up his hand. Cole can figure out what is going to happen next. He looks around for something else to do. He sees a rack with some magazines on it. He checks out the titles and decides on a gay monthly that is published in Calgary.

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Cole reads some articles on a Gay Bathhouse, which was raided by the Calgary Police. The Magazine seemed to be down on the Police. He has seen this in papers before and wishes he could send a letter in with the real story but that’s what the courts are for. Cole tells himself to talk to a friend of his in Calgary to find out the real story. Once and a while he checks the TV to see how the fistee is doing. “Hey Cole!” Mike says as he pulls up a seat next to him at the bar. “How was your day?” Cole notices that the man Mike was talking to heads straight for the door and avoids eye contact with Cole. “Not too bad Mike” Cole says, “By the way I had a great time last night!” “We did too!” Mike says, “Although I don’t think I have fully recovered yet!” “Wonder how Rick is doing?” Cole says as he looks up at the screen. Mike looks up and laughs. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that!” Cole exclaims. “You don’t have to, some guys just like it. They take it as a challenge.” Cole has a drink, “Well Rick and I managed to compare notes about our guy.” “Yeah, anything I should know?” “Not yet, I think it requires further investigation.” Cole notices the bartender come over and he figures he needs to talk to Mike. “Right back”, Mike says. Cole continues looking at the screen. The camera has zoomed in on face of the guy being fisted. He sees the guy is showing a little bit of pain but mainly his face is flushed and he yells at the other man to go harder. “So what else did you do today?” Mike asks as hit sits back down. “Well, I met up with that guy I ran into last time I was up” “Did you tell me about him?” “No, don’t think so.” Cole replies, “We had coffee at the Sugarbowl and then went to the gym.” “Sounds good, anything else?” Mike winks.

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“We went to a leather store and bought some chaps.” Cole says. “And…” Mike asks, his face shows frustration, but he is smiling. “You’d make a good cop!” Cole says with a laugh. “Yeah right! now tell me did you nail the guy or not?” “Not!” “What happened, a little wiped out from last night?” “Nothing like that, he says he wants to get to know me better.” “Sounds serious to me.” Mike says. “Exactly!” “So how does that make you feel?” “Not sure, never been turned down before.” Cole says with a laugh. “Did he say how long?” “No, I think he is just giving me some space since this is all new to me.” Cole says and then remembers, “He said I still have some wild oats to sow!” “I think he is right!” Mike says. “Seriously, I don’t think I could settle down with a guy that just came out either.” “What about Rick?” Cole asks defensively, he almost wants to grab the words back. “Ah, Rick.” Mike says and thinks a bit before he says, “Rick is a different case, he may not be out publicly but he has accepted the fact he is gay. I have been watching him for about a year.” “So in a way you waited for him?” “You could say that.” Cole doesn’t respond he feels badly for digging into their business. He has only known them for a short while but they are friends. Looking up at the screen he sees the bottom start to cum while the fist is still inside him. From the way he is thrashing about it must be pretty powerful. He wonders what it would feel like.

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“Well, I think I better get back to work.” Mike says as he pushes his stool back from the bar. “Cool, I think I am going to finish this beer and go see what the guys in the back are up to.” Cole nods with his head to the backroom. Mike smiles at him, “Well have fun, make sure you say good bye before you head out.” Cole nods and then finishes his beer. He gets up and heads to the backroom.

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Back in Lacombe Cole arrives back at his house about 15:00. The drive down was slower than normal, as snow had fallen during the night. The highway was cleared but it was still slow going. He pulled up and parked. Cole is slow getting out of the truck. He is sore from his activities the night before. Grabbing his bag from the back of the pickup he heads into the house. Taking his boots off prove to be quite the chore. He heads into the kitchen and checks the answering machine. It shows there are 4 messages. There are two messages from his mother and one each from Mark and Kat. Cole calls Mark first, figuring this would be the quickest one. “Hey Mark, what’s up?” “Cole, finally you called, where were you?” “I was up in the city.” “You seeing someone up there, shit you are gone almost every time I am off.” “Yeah sort of, so what’s up?” “Nothing, it’s just been a while since we have gotten together.” “Yeah, I was thinking that myself, but I just haven’t had time, sorry man.” “Well if you are romancing someone I guess that explains it!” “So who is she? How’d you meet her?” “I think we should do this over coffee Mark. When are you free?” “How about after dinner tonight. I can come out to Bentley and we can meet there.” “Well, I may be in town tonight, have a feeling Mom wants to see me.” Cole says, “I’ll call you later.” “Sure bud!” Mark says. Cole hangs up the phone and then calls Kat. He gets her machine and leaves a brief message saying he is back in town. Cole goes to the fridge and gets a bottle of juice. He picks up the phone and calls his mother.

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“Hello”, the phone is picked up on the first ring and Cole hears his mother’s voice. “Hey Mom!” “Cole, well it’s about time you called back!” She says, “I was worried sick about you!” “I’m OK mom, was just up in Edmonton.” “Well is that the right thing to do, tell your father some distressing news and then leave town?” Cole feels an ache in the pit of his stomach, as he knew he should have stuck around to face his Mom. Well time to pay the piper. “Yeah, I guess I should have stuck around Mom.” “Well I don’t want to talk about this mix up on the phone. I want you to come over here!” “OK, I’ll be there in half an hour.” “See you then!” Cole hangs up the phone and just stares at the wall. After 5 minutes Cole goes up stairs and changes. He puts on a dress shirt and some slacks. Coming back downstairs he heads to the door.

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Dinner with the folks Cole arrives at his parent’s house with time to spare. He notices the curtain move in the front window. “No turning back now!” he says to himself. Cole knocks on the door and then opens it and enters the house. The first thing he notices is the smell of a roast cooking. He remembers that his Mom always cooked roast beef on Sundays. It brings him back to a much simpler time when her lived at home. He takes off his shoes and goes into the living room. He can see his Mom sitting in her favourite rocking chair. The chair is swinging back and forth as it does when something is bothering her. His Dad is in his chair, which is almost next to hers. He has his feet up on the footstool. Cole leans over and hugs him Mom, he says hi to his Dad. Cole then sits down on the sofa. His mother is looking at him his Dad avoids eye contact. The atmosphere is kind of tense. Cole mentions the snow on the highway on the way back from Edmonton. “When in doubt, stick to the weather!” He tells himself. “Well it wouldn’t a been a problem if you hadn’t gone off to the city!” His Dad says. “Now, now hon” His Mom says, “there is no need to rile the boy up!” “No need!” His father says, “He comes here and tells me he is a faggot, no need!” “Stop it now George!” his Mother says forcefully as she looks at his father. “Well I am not going to sit here and listen to this again!” Cole’s father gets up and heads to the bedroom and slams the door. The sound of the television soon emanates from that part of the house. “See what you have done, your father has been in a state all weekend!” his Mom says, “What were you thinking? Tell him that stuff and then take off out of town!” “What do you want me to say?” Cole asks, “I know I was a fool to drop that bombshell and then leave town. But I am here now!” “Ok, I guess there is nothing we can do about it now!” his Mom says, her voice is still elevated. Cole considers telling his Mom to calm down but thinks better of it. “I don’t know where to begin.” “Well its true, what I told Dad.”

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“No Cole, I refuse to believe it! You have always had girlfriends and been popular, I don’t buy this.” His mother struggles with what to say. Cole considers debating with her about gay men having girl friends too. But he knows it’s a battle he would lose. “Well Mom, I guess all I can say is it is not a phase. It’s not something that isn’t going to go away!” “So what made you come out all of a sudden, your thirty years old. You must have known before this!” “Well Mom, I guess I didn’t want to lie to myself anymore. Besides would you have been more accepting if I was 18?” “Well I, I mean we thought you just hadn’t found the right girl yet.” She says. Cole has to stop himself before he says anything else. He can see this is hurting his Mother. “Well have you seen anyone about this Cole?” “What do you mean? A doctor?” “Yeah, I have seen stories on Oprah and other shows where they have managed to cure this.” Cole thinks about what she says. He has been able to hide it for this long, couldn’t he get some help and it would go away. Then he remembers talking to Greg, a guy that did just that. It didn’t go away. Cole then thinks about his antics on the weekend, man he had fun! He figures he better say something before his mother thinks her words are having an effect. “Mom, I have never been surer of anything in my life. I finally feel like I can be true to myself!” Cole says, “I don’t think that it would be fair to me or to you guys if I tried to convert back.” “So that’s it then, we have a fag for a son!” “I’m afraid so, Mom.” “Well I still feel upset about this, I am not sure I want you to be here right now.” Cole sort of knew this was coming. He doesn’t want it to be this way but he can’t say the words she wants to hear. Cole stands up and walks to the hallway and puts his shoes on. “Bye Mom, I love you!” Cole says he doesn’t wait for a response as he turns and opens the door and heads to his truck.

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Cole gets in the truck and starts it. He digs out his cell-phone, the time display shows it is only 17:00. It is way to early to phone Mark, he decides to head over to the gym and do some running. Cole is on a machine and he runs in a zombie state for an hour. Friends of his walk by and say hi, but Cole doesn’t even see them. “It’s funny!” Cole says to himself, “The effects of coming out seem to affect me less and less with each person I tell.” Cole gets off the machine and heads to the showers. The exercise has managed to calm him down. In the locker room after he has changed he calls Mark and tells him to meet him at Ugly’s. Cole drives over, the street is almost deserted, he sees the bar is open and heads in. Cole notices that it is almost empty and takes a seat. He normally sits near the bar, but he doesn’t want the barkeep to hear their conversation. Cole orders a beer from the waitress. She comes back and sets it down in front of him. “Can I run a tab?” “Sure Cole, is someone joining you?” Nicole asks, she has known Cole for years and has never seen him come in here and drink by himself. “Yeah Mark, he’ll be here soon. Bring him a beer too, when he shows up.” Cole says with a smile. “Sure Cole.” She says with a smile and then she turns and goes back to the bar and sits down. Mark shows up and joins Cole, he is no sooner seated than Nicole places a beer in front of him. “Thanks Nicole!” Mark says and he toasts Cole as he takes a sip. “Man you look beat, you OK?” Mark asks. “Yeah, yeah just came from the gym.” Cole says and he forces a smile. “So how are your Mom and Dad. They actually phoned me this weekend to see if I knew where you were.” “They did?, Funny Mom didn’t mention that.” “Yeah, your Mom called she said it was urgent that she talk to you.” “She said that, she must have been concerned.” “So what’s up Cole?” Mark takes on a serious tone, “I am getting a sense of doom here.”

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“Well last week Kelly and I arrested a guy for stealing a car.” Cole says, “A couple of times after the arrest me and the guy were alone together and he started spouting off.” “So what’s different than the other times a perp feels he has been wronged?” Mark asks. “Well he says he saw me in a restaurant with someone he knows in Edmonton.” Cole he feels himself tense up, “The guy he knows owns a gay bar.” “So were you?” “Yeah, I was there with Mike, the guy he knows.” “Alright, since you brought it up, what were you doing there with this guy?” “Actually we were just having breakfast. But the guy does own a gay bar and I was there the night before.” Cole looks up at Mark to let it sink in. Mark stares at Cole he does not know what to say. “C’mon man, say something!” Cole says. “So this guy, the one you arrested, he is trying to get off because he saw you with this Mike guy?” Mark finally says, “Come on there’s more to this than that!” “Well the guy was hinting that I was gay too.” Cole says, “And if I didn’t let him off he would spread the word.” “So are you?” Mark asks and looks Cole in the eyes. Cole nods and waits for Mark’s reaction. “You bastard! I have been your friend for years and you never told me!” Mark is mad and Cole can see it. “Mark it’s not like that, I didn’t really admit it to myself until about a month ago!” “So all of a sudden it happened, you just decided to switch teams?” Cole analyzes Mark’s use of words, how come he knows that term. “No man, it wasn’t a sudden thing, it came after years of fooling myself!” “You mean you have been fooling around with guys for years and now just came to the realization you were gay?” Mark checks around to see if anyone can hear what he is saying.

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“Sounds pretty stupid when you put it like that Mark.” Cole says, “but until a month ago it was just something that happened every once and awhile.” Cole does not want to go into specifics, its not Mike or Rick, it’s his best friend. “Look Cole I can handle the fact you are gay, Mary and I were starting to wonder anyway. But it pisses me off that you didn’t tell me.” “Well like I said, I wasn’t sure myself until a month ago.” Cole pauses, “And I don’t think I’d be telling anyone now unless this other guy hadn’t happened along.” “So you were content to lie to yourself and everyone else as long as you weren’t caught?” “Well Mark, it not a fucking easy thing to deal with, hell I’m a cop for fucks sakes in the middle of the Bible belt!” “So this guy sort of forced you out of the closet, eh?” “In a way yeah, but I was working on coming out anyway, he just accelerated the process.” “Was there a time line on this Cole?” Mark asks sarcastically. “Well Mark, I guess if things were different and we lived in a perfect world it would be no big deal, but we don’t and it is a big deal.” Cole throws it back in Mark’s face. “So for all these years I have known you, you have been hiding this big secret?” Mark says apologetically. “Yeah and after what happened at my parents I need your support Mark.” Cole says. “Mom and Dad didn’t take it that well, I guess?” Cole nods, “Yeah, they were not too receptive of my announcement.” “Can you blame them, you think you know your son and then he tells them out of the blue he is gay.” “Well, I didn’t stay around to make it worse than it was.” Cole says, “I bit my tongue a lot!” “I bet you did, you never wanted to cross your Mom.” Mark laughs, “You remember when you told them you were going to be a cop?” “Oh yeah!” Cole laughs he is surprised that Mark has made him laugh. “I am surprised she even let me come over after we made that decision!” Mark says and then he thinks about Cole’s being gay. A question pops into his head and he has to ask it.

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“Cole, other than the fact that I wanted you to be a cop, did the gay issue make you do it?” “You know I haven’t even though of that.” Cole says, “But come to think of it, I really wasn’t comfortable with the feelings when I was younger. Maybe I joined up to compensate.” “You weren’t comfortable!” Mark says incredulously “Fuck!” “Well I was motivated, I didn’t want to think I was I think they call it the ‘Don Juan Syndrome’.” The both of them laugh Cole rarely went a weekend without a date all the way through High School and College. “So while you were chasing all those girls you secretly wanted to be…!” Mark pauses and a look of shock comes over his face. “So you were checking your team mates out in the locker room?” Mark says in a loud whisper. Cole looks guilty and he actually is, he had checked Mark and the rest of the other guys out in the locker room. “C’mon Mark all guys do that, doesn’t matter which team they play for!” “But all guys aren’t…forget it!” “So Mark how does that change things?” Cole says, “Think we can still be friends?” “I don’t know Cole, you think you know some one and then they spring this on you!” Mark says, “Would you still be my friend if it was the other way around?” Cole has to think about this, “Yeah Mark, I would.” Mark smiles and offers his hand to Cole, “Let’s shake on it then Wheels!” “Wheels!” Cole shakes Mark’s hand and laughs, “I haven’t heard that in ten years!” “Well its sort of appropriate Cole, think about it” Cole starts to relax. He didn’t think Mark would come around to this revelation quite as well as he has. He thought for sure he was going to lose Mark as a friend. Worse than that he was going to have to quit the department. “By the way Cole this is a freebie, if you ever forget to tell me something again I may not let you off so easy.”

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“Well I assure you I have nothing else in my closet.” Both men laugh at the double entendre. “One thing I don’t get Cole, is what is your relationship with Kat?” Mark asks, “Mary and I thought for sure you two were dating.” “We are just good friends Mark.” Cole smiles and picks up his beer, “Very good friends.” “So I guess she knows?” “Oh Yeah!” “Well it sounds like you have got some support to help you through this.” Mark says, “And you are going to need all of our support to get you through this!” “Thanks Mark” Cole says. “One thing Cole? Did you tell your Dad and then take off out of town?” “Yeah I did, but it almost killed him man, you should have seen the look on his face!” “Why’d you do that, leave town I mean? I have known you for years you have never done anything like that before.” “I am not really sure Mark. When I left there I was pretty down. But you know what?” “I can guess, you felt pretty good about yourself too!” Mark says, “It’s like a big weight was lifted off your back.” “Yup, I felt free, the freest I have felt in a long, long time.” “But you didn’t have to leave town!” “Yes I did Mark, you see it’s all new to me and I feel a sense of community with my friend sin Edmonton.” He pauses, “People that have been through this, you know?” “All too well, it’s like cops hanging out with cops!” “Ok, I’ll give you that, but you didn’t have to go so far to get that support.” “Thanks man!” “Have you eaten yet? I would think from what you said you left your parent’s place without supper” “No I haven’t.” Cole looks at the glass of beer, which he has barely touched. “In fact I haven’t eaten since about noon.”

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“Come on then, lets go to my place and see what we can scrounge up.” Cole says sure, stands and puts his coat on. He walks over to the bar and pays for the two beers. Outside both men get into Mark’s car. Cole knows it’s for the best, even though he hardly drank anything. Besides it’s not too far to walk from Mark’s place to here. They get to Mark’s place and head inside. Mary comes down the hall to greet them. She is not surprised Cole came over. “I’m just reading a bedtime story to the kids, I’ll be done shortly.” Mary says and heads back down the hall. “Go and say goodnight to them if you want Cole, I’m sure it’s OK” After Cole has taken off his boots and coat he heads down to the kid’s bedroom. He sees Mary reading them a story. Both kids react when they see him and ask if he will finish reading the story. “If it’s alright with your Mom.” Cole says. The kids start to scream “Please, Please!!”. Mary gets up and hands him the book. She leaves them alone in the room. Cole read the story of the little train that could, with appropriate changes in cadence. The kids try saying the phrase ‘I think I can” and sound like a train. Cole fears this is getting them too excited before bed. But he sees them fight their yawns and knows they will be asleep soon. Mary comes back to the bedroom when things are quiet. She looks and sees Cole just staring at them. Mark had told her what had happened while she was in the kitchen. She feels for Cole as this is probably something he won’t get to do for himself. “I think that did it, good thing I didn’t choose acting as a profession, the audience would be snoring by the second act.” Cole is please with himself for getting the children asleep. “Anytime you want to come over and put them to sleep is fine with me.” Mary whispers as they head out of the room.

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Dinner with Mark and Mary Cole follows Mary back down the hall and into the dining room. He sees a plate of chicken and potatoes on the table and sits by it. “Go ahead Cole!” Mark says, “You must be starving!” Cole doesn’t answer he devours the food. Mark and Mary sit quietly for the most part and hold hands. “Thanks guys, I really needed that, I didn’t know how hungry I was!” “No problem Cole!” Mary says. “I love those kids, are they always this good?” Cole asks. “They have their moments!” Mary says. “I’m sure they do.” Cole says, “Even when they have moved out.” “So your parents gave you a rough time?” Mary asks. “Yeah they did and I think it is going to be awhile before they calm down.” “Well you know where to come if you ever need someone to talk to.” Mary says. “Or need a home cooked dinner!” Mark adds on. “Well I was sort of looking for a place to go to get a good Sunday dinner” Cole says with a smile. Mark gets up and heads to the living room. Mary grabs the dishes and puts them in the kitchen. Cole goes into the living room and sits on the couch. “Did you know my brother is gay?” Mary asks when she comes into the living room. Cole looks at Mark, “No I didn’t know that.” Mark gets a sheepish look on his face. “Yeah, he moved to Vancouver soon after finishing High School.” “So he moved because he was gay?” “Well we didn’t really know at the time, but later when he told us he said he couldn’t live in Lacombe.”

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“Why’s that?” “Well he knew that people around here aren’t that open about those sorts of things.” Mary says, “And he could not hide, so he left.” “We are just telling you this stuff because we know it’s going to be hard.” Mark says. “So besides being my friend, is this why you took it so acceptingly?” “Yeah, and I have mellowed since the first time!” “You said it!” Mary exclaims, “You should have seen him when he found out!” “Well I wasn’t so tolerant then!” Mark says. “You a redneck?” Cole asks while stifling a laugh. “I was terrified to tell you!” “Well I have calmed down a lot since those days.” Mark takes Mary’s hand in his. Cole smiles, he sees that that married life has been good for him. “So what next Cole?” “Gee I don’t know!” Cole laughs and then soberly says, “I guess sooner or later some people at the department are going to have to know.” “Well I figure that’s the best thing.” Mark says and then stops, he was going to mention the guy that Cole had arrested, but he stops. “I think it’s OK, I think Mary has heard worse.” Cole says. “Well Cole says he arrested this guy that tried to use the gay thing against him.” “My God Cole!” Mary says, “Now it makes sense why you are doing this now!” “What do you mean?” Cole knows the answer but he is interested to hear Mary’s take on this. “Well my brother said he could never come out in this town, that’s why he left.” “Well Lance came out.” Cole says. “Yeah he did, but I think the poor guy is not having an easy go of it!” “Well he mentions that Brent is causing him trouble at the station.” Cole says, “Is there more to it than that?” “Well, I am sure if Lance wanted you guys to know, he’d tell you.”

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“Guess Lance and I are going to have to have a talk the next time I see him.” Cole says. “Well you didn’t hear it from me!” Mary says. “So I guess I am in for more fireworks if I come out at work?” Cole asks. “Probably a lot more then you have already experienced!” Mark says. “Now you are making me change my mind. But I have to, otherwise there’ll be another guy that comes into town trying the same thing!” “You’re right Cole, I don’ think there is an easy way out of this one.” Mark says. Mary nods her head. Cole can feel tension start to build again and he is feeling very warm. “Well, if worse comes to worst, you can always partner up with me again!” “Thanks Mark, but I don’t think I could put you through that.” “Through what? You think I’d be a cop if I cared what people said about me!” “Well the people that are going to be saying it may be your six someday.” Cole says. “I’ll take that chance!” Mark says, “The same people are going to have to do it for you too!” “Well there is no sense getting upset about it now Cole.” Mary says, “They may surprise you. I mean you were surprised by Mark, weren’t you?” “Yeah, you’re right.” “You’re on days tomorrow, right Cole?” Mark asks. “Yeah” Cole looks at his watch, “Come to think of it I should get going!” “Let me drive you back to your truck.” Mark says, “Speaking of your truck, what’s that blue and black sticker mean on the window?” “Oh it’s a coming out present, it’s a leather flag.” Cole says. “Leather?” Mark looks at Mary. “It’s sort of like a subset of being gay.” Cole says, “I think we should leave it at that. Not too many people know what it means so I felt comfortable putting it on the truck.” “As opposed to the rainbow flag?” Mary asks.

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“Yeah” Cole laughs, “Not that ‘out’ yet!” “Ready when you are Mark.” Cole says as he stands. Mark gets up and heads to the hall to put on his shoes and coat. Mary stands and Cole hugs her. They break and then Cole heads to get his stuff on. “Thanks for dinner and everything.” Cole says to Mary. “Anytime Cole!” They head out the door and get in Mark’s car. It is cold outside and both men shiver. “I spoke to a cop in Edmonton.” Cole says as he puts his seat belt on. “Why?” Mark asks as he backs the car out of the driveway. The streets are still covered with snow and the ride is pretty bumpy. “Well it seems he had a run in with our guy.” “So what happened?” Mark says, “Obviously not much if you got him!” “Exactly! That’s why I have to stop this!” “I feel for the guy, but he fucked up!” Mark manoeuvres the car onto 50th Avenue. It is clearer and he picks up speed. “Well I am going to ask him to come down this week and see if we can figure out what the perp’s game is.” Cole notices the Station as they drive by it. It appears quiet. “Is that a good idea?” Mark asks and he flips on his signal light to turn left on to 50th Street. “Yeah, if he has done it to us, how many other officers do you think he has compromised?” “Your friend, the other cop, may not get out of this!” Mark says, “He aware of that?” “Well, I guess he is going to have to cross that bridge when he gets to it.” “Good luck!” Mark says, he cannot imagine how Cole is going to work this. “We’ll need it!” Mark pulls up beside Cole’s truck. The car has barely warmed up and now Cole has to get into another cold vehicle.

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“Geez, winter is coming!” Cole says, “Maybe I can get a transfer to Palm Springs!” “If you go I’m going too!” Cole opens the door and feels and gets out. “Thanks Mark!” Cole says as he closes the door. Cole opens the door and starts the truck he notices Mark waited to see if the vehicle started. Mark waves good-bye and drives down the street. Cole waits for the truck to warm up a bit before he drives back home.

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Dayshift Cole struggles out of bed and gets ready for work. He loves his job but Dayshift’s really suck. No matter how long he sleeps he is always beat. He gets to the Station and sits down for Role Call. Kelly shows up she is spry as a spring chicken. She seems to radiate with excitement. “Oh joy!” he thinks, “and I haven’t even had coffee yet!” As they sit through the meeting it becomes apparent that Cole and Kelly will be riding the desk today. The Sergeant wants to do evaluations with the two of them. Cole shows Kelly to the front desk, they do shift change there. The Night Officer relays information form his shift. Cole checks the detainees report, it shows their buddy is still there. Cole decides he better go in and see him later. The first couple of hours on the desk are really busy. People come in and file statements on vandalism and thefts. It seems there was a lot of activity on the weekend. Cole shows Kelly the ropes, file creation, reviewing the statements and putting them in the right slots for referral to the investigators. Kelly assures Cole she has worked a desk before and says there doesn’t seem to be much difference in procedures. “So what’s the Sergeant like?” Kelly asks Cole. “Mmm Sergeant George Williams. He is a straight forward by the book kind of guy. He isn’t a stiff neck though and he will back his Officers up to the end. Provided you give him all the facts.” “Well that’s good to hear, we had a Sergeant that was biding time till pensioning out. If there was a problem he didn’t want to hear about it.” Kelly says. “Well there was a guy like that here when I started. I have been working with Williams for the past eight years.” “Hey men!” Sergeant Williams says as he comes out of his office. He winks at Kelly to show it was just a joke. “Good day, Sergeant.” Kelly says as she offers her hand. The Sergeant smiles as he shakes it. The Sergeant joins them at the desk. They discuss various cases that Cole has worked on. Cole asks what’s going on with the car thief. “Well it seems he’d rather wait here for his date in court.” The Sergeant says. “Why is that? No one to bail him out?” Cole asks.

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“I guess not, he didn’t even want a bail hearing. He did want to see you again though.” “Has he got a complaint?’ “Nah, I don’t think it’s that, I think the guy is a little light in the loafers.” The Sergeant smiles. “Really?” Cole asks inside he can feel anxiety building. “Yeah, he keeps calling you ‘The Hunk’!” he watches Kelly for reaction as he timed it to when she was taking a drink of coffee. Kelly chokes and sputters coffee as she tries to control her laughter. “Geez Sarge, she has only been in for an hour and you got her!” Cole says as he hands a napkin to Kelly. “Timing is everything! You are officially welcomed to Lacombe Officer Pritchard!” the Sergeant says. “The Sarge likes to baptize all the Officers, so to speak. It used to be worse in the old days!” “Yeah, those were the days remember when we used to…” “Stop right there Sarge, I don’t want my partner thinking she is getting special treatment.” “Hey Cole, you think your charge can handle the desk by herself?” Cole looks to Kelly, she nods. “Yeah, I think she can, besides we won’t be too far away.” “Well actually I was thinking of heading out for coffee to do this, if you don’t mind.” “Sure, I could use multiple cups of good coffee, let’s go!” Cole and the Sergeant get their coats and start to head out the door, Cole turns to Kelly, “What do you take?” “Double, double!” Kelly says. Cole cringes, “Do you want coffee in there too?” He waves to her and follows the Sergeant to the car. They get to the coffee shop and find a secluded table, which is hard since it appears that the whole town has decided to have a break.

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The Sergeant fills out the forms as he asks Cole the questions. It takes about half an hour. “So is there anything else?” “I guess you are asking if I want to keep her as my partner?” “Yeah, I am. She seems to like you and I’d like to keep you together. But if you have other plans let me know.” “Well Mark and I were partners for a long time.” Cole says. The Sergeant has opened the door and Cole is deciding whether he wants to go there. “Well think about it.” “Well I guess we should get back and let her have a break.” “Yeah and I have a mountain of paper on my desk that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.” Cole stops at the counter and gets a coffee to go for Kelly. When they arrive back at the station they see that Kelly has managed to clean up the area. Cole has never seen it looked so organized. “Good job Pritchard!” The Sergeant says, “I may have to keep you so that you can show the others how to keep this place organized.” “Thanks Sergeant!” Kelly says, “and thanks for the coffee Cole.” “Well try not to wear it!” Cole laughs, “Why don’t you go back to the ready room and have a break, I think I can handle this.” “You sure Wheeler?” the Sergeant asks, “You have managed to skip Days for a long time, and I might have to have you re-trained.” “It’s nothing Sarge.” Cole says as Kelly makes her escape to the back of the station. Cole answers the phone a couple of times but other than that there is not much to do. Kelly comes back and tells Cole to go check on their guest. “I checked in on him while you were out!” “Why’d you do that?” Cole asks and acts pissed off, “Now he will be calling to see me,” “Yeah, he has been!”

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“Well I guess I better go back and see what’s so important.” Cole says as he goes to the cells. Cole enters the. cell area near the back of the station. He says Hi to the jail guard. Bart Smith, the guy has been with the department for 22 years. He is close to retirement and actually volunteered to do lockup duty. “Hey Cole, long time!” “How is it going Bart, natives behaving themselves?” “Yeah nothing I can’t handle. By the way the one you dragged in has been hot to see you.” Bart says and winks. “I heard that, I came back to see what’s up. Can you buzz me in?” Cole hears the door buzz and he pulls it open and enters. He walks past several cells and sees his guy in the last one. The guy looks like shit. “Hey there Officer!” “How you doing John, they treating you OK?” “Fucking great man!” John Stevens says, “Three squares a day and they even let me shower!” “I guess that’s good, you must like it here.” “Well I’d rather not be here, but since you busted me, I guess I got no choice.” “No I guess you don’t” Cole says, regretting his grammar. “So tell me John, for a smooth talking guy like you, why are you still in here?” “Got nothing better to do.” “I think there is more to it than that.” Cole says. “I hear you have been asking for me. What’s that about?” “Well I was hoping you had time to think about our little discussion.” John says, ”I been fair I ain’t outed you, I figured one favour deserves another.” “You haven’t outed me!” Cole is amazed. “Well look I saw you with the owner of the Hawk.” “Last I heard we have freedom of association.” Cole says calmly.

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“But you know, I figure that cops sorta don’t” John says, “I don’t think your fellow Officers are the most tolerant.” “If it was true, how would you know about the other Officer’s tolerance levels?” “Well, I do have some experience with that.” John winks. “OK, I guess I have to listen to this.” “Well I sorta have a hobby.” John says, “I case out cops and try to get a hold on ‘em.” “So is that so you can be above the law? So to speak.” “Yeah, that’s it!” John manages a big grin. “Well you haven’t got anything on me, so I can’t see what game you are playing.” “Ah, but I do, you see.” John says in a low voice, “I wasn’t following you to that restaurant, I was following an Edmonton Cop.” John pauses. “You mean the cops Mike and I said hi to at Denny’s” “Yeah one of them, I had been following him for a couple of weeks after I saw him and your buddy making out at the Eagle.” “So you have a hard-on for this cop?” “Well I did and I was planning something to get the goods on him.” “So why didn’t you?” “Well two things, first you don’t fuck with Mike, learned that the hard way and secondly I took one look at you and decided you were a better target. You’re hot man!” Cole is startled the guy is hitting on him. “Er thanks, I think!” “Well at first I was nervous as Mike was involved, but I overheard that you were a cop down here. So here I am, besides I think Mike is fucking that other cop so he isn’t gonna worry about you” “Well if you knew about this past weekend, you wouldn’t be so cocky” Cole says to himself. “I wonder why he is afraid of Mike though, is there more too this?” “So Officer, Wheeler” John says as he reads Cole’s nametag. “What’s it going to be?” “Nothing John, I figure you are here till the court decides what to do with you.” “So I guess I have your permission to start singing then.”

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“Chirp away!” Cole says, “Well I gotta get back to work, see if we can get some company in here for you.” Cole turns and heads back to the holding cell door. Bart buzzes him through. “That was longer than I though it would be.” Bart says. “I just him rant, I guess he is lonely.” “He say why he hasn’t tried to get bail yet?” “Nope, tell me though has he even made any phone calls?” “Yeah, he did make one call it was to an Edmonton number.” “Did you get the number by chance?” Bart smiles, “Would you be asking for it?” “Nah, its not my business.” Cole says. “See ya later Bart.” Cole heads back to the front desk. Kelly is still there nothing appears to be happening. “How’d it go?” She asks, “Learn anything?” “Not much, is the Sarge still in his office?” “Yeah, he came out and muttered something about being hungry and then went back in.” Cole heads over to the open door. He sees the Sergeant busy reviewing cases. Cole knocks on the doorframe. “Hey Wheeler come on in give me a break from this shit!” Cole enters and closes the door, “You mind?” “Nah, sit down take a load off what’s up?” “Well I went down and spoke to our guest.” “Well that’s good, so what have you got?” “Well he seems to think he can blackmail me into dropping the charges.” Cole says solemnly. “How is he going to do that, I read the arrest no obvious abuse of force?” “Well it’s not that but it may prove to be worse.”

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The Sergeant closes the folder, which is open on his desk, as he wants nothing to distract him. Cole drums up the courage and blurts it out. “He saw me with a guy in Edmonton with a guy that owns…” Cole pauses this moment could affect his career and his life. “Come on Wheeler spit it out!” “A Gay bar.” Cole sits and waits for the Sergeant to digest the information. “Is it true?” “Yeah, it is the guy, Mike owns the Hawk. It’s a bar in Edmonton.” “So you were meeting with a guy that owns a Gay bar, what’s the big deal?” The Sergeant resists the urge to ask his Officer why. “Well the guy in lockup seems to think that if he lets it out it will cause me problems, so he figures he can get off or force me to change my statement.” “Sounds like something a guy that has that kind of information would use. But it could only affect you if there is something you are trying to hide.” “Well, that’s the thing.” Cole says and looks down. “What’s that, you gonna tell me you’re a fag?” Looking back up at the Sergeant, Cole nods. “Jesus Christ Wheeler!” the Sergeant screams, loud enough so that anyone outside the office can hear him. Then he stares at all the work on his desk, “Fucking Mondays!” Cole sits and waits for the Sergeant to calm down. “Fuck I don’t know what to do, never had this problem before and never though I ever would have it.” “It’s not a problem Sergeant.” “It’s my job to keep some semblance of order among you guys.” He pauses, “It’s hard enough dealing with who won’t work with whom without throwing this into the mix!” “Well, I have told Mark, I mean Officer Comry, he said he’d be my partner if all hell broke loose.” “So I guess that answers that question from earlier, you wanna be parts with Comry?” “Yeah I do, we have been friends for years and I know he will back me up.”

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“What about Officer Pritchard?” “Well I will continue as her TO, if you want, but I am not sure how she is going to take it. At least with Mark I know.” “Is there a reason she wouldn’t?” “I think I’d prefer to work with a known quantity at least until we see how the rest of the guys take it.” “What’s the game plan if they don’t take it well, have you thought of that?’ “I guess I will have to consider my options. I don’t want to cause a rift in the department or to effect Mark in anyway.” “So I guess we’ll have to formalize this, it means the Captain is going to have to know.” The Sergeant pauses, “How long have we got?” “I figure Bart is gonna be the first to know, the guy said drop the charges or he starts to sing.” “Bart, the man does a great job but he is also the biggest source of information in the Station.” The Sergeant says, “Nothing seems to go on in here without him knowing about it.” “Hey can’t fault the guy, he works Days all the time, interacts with all the guys.” Cole says, “Lets face it its not the most challenging job in the world.” “That’s very understanding of you, Wheeler, especially since he is going to be the guy spreading the news.” The Sergeant gets a new file folder and puts it together and he eyes Cole while doing this. “Well Cole, I am going to discuss this with the Captain to see what happens next. Till then not much I can do, you’ll have to finish out the week with Pritchard until I can get a new shift schedule up.” “Thanks Sergeant.” Cole says as he gets up to leave. “Cole, one other thing.” “Yes Sergeant?” “Good luck, you are a damned fine Officer.” Cole nods and then salutes the Sergeant. He turns and leaves the office closing the door behind him.

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“Hey Cole, what was that about?” Kelly asks. “Just something personal.” “Wasn’t about me was it? Sarge got pretty excited.” “Nah nothing about you, hey Kelly I need to go out for about an hour, ok with you?’ “Sure Cole, it hasn’t been too busy here.” “Thanks I owe you one.” Cole says as he head to the door.

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Sergeant gets to work The Sergeant sits at his desk and doesn’t move for a couple of minutes. He is stunned as he would have never expected to be commanding a gay Officer and also because he never suspected Wheeler to be one. Personally he can’t stand the idea of homosexuality, it’s not natural. However after all the courses in sensitivity training there is not much he can do about it, it is a new part of his job. He quickly jots down some notes on what Wheeler has said. He notes the date and time. He puts the paper in the file holder. “This thing is gonna get pretty thick.” he says to himself. He reaches over to the phone and picks up the handset. He pushes the speed-dial button for the Chief. The conversation is short and the Chief asks him to go to his office. The Sergeant takes the file with him and heads to the other office. “Sergeant, Officer Wheeler has taken some personal time, he will be back in an hour or so.” Kelly says. “Thanks Pritchard, I will be in the Chief’s office.” He walks behind the desk and shows her the autodial button to push. “Call using that button if you need me.” “No problem Sergeant.” She notices the man is carrying a file folder and it has no name on it. “This has got to be related to Cole.” She says to herself. The Sergeant carries on to the Chief’s office. “Have a seat Sergeant.” The Chief Lawrence says. “I see you brought the file.” “Yes Chief, although it’s pretty thin right now.” “Let’s see if we can keep it that way. So before we start to tackle this, any problems you want to tell me about?” “No sir, it’s a bit of a shock and I never thought I’d have to deal with this, but no problems.” “That’s good, I want it to stay that way and remember the door is open if there is something you want to talk about.” “Thank you sir.” The Sergeant says out loud. He knows that he will be tested on this so he will use the Chief as a last resort. “What about the other Officers, do you see any problems arising there?”

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“I am not sure Chief, apparently Officer Wheeler has already spoken with Officer Comry. They have been friends for a long time and Officer Wheeler says that Comry offered to be his partner.” “That’s good, I guess we will want to confirm this with Comry.” “He is in later, I’ll have a chat with him.” “Where is Officer Wheeler now?” “Officer Pritchard said he needed some personal time, he should be back in an hour.” “Any thing else I should know?” “Well this all came about as we have a guy in lockup that says he knows Wheeler and he will start to talk if charges proceed.” “And of course Officer Smith is in charge of the lockup so it could be all over the station pretty soon.” “Wheeler advised me of that. Funny thing he bares no ill will towards Officer Smith.” “Part of being a good cop, you know people are going to talk and there isn’t much you can do about it. At least he did the right thing and went to you and didn’t put it off.” “Well, talk to Comry get his thoughts and then let me know.” The Chief says, “I am going to find out more about this from the guys in Edmonton and Calgary. Maybe they have run into this situation.” “Do you want me to add that to the file sir?” “Yes Sergeant, we are adding everything to the file.” “Yes Sir, is that all?” “Yeah, I better get on the phone. I will update you later.” The Sergeant gets up and heads to the door. He is carrying the file with him and asks if his boss wants it. The Chief nods, “I better take that so I can add notes on my conversations with Calgary and Edmonton.” The Sergeant puts the file on the desk and walks out closing the door behind him. The Chief gets on the phone immediately. Walking back down the hall the Sergeant decides to get in touch with his counterpart at the Fire Station. He should have some hints as they have a gay fireman.

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“Hey John, its Sergeant Williams here.” “Hey George, long time! What’s up need some help from the fire guys?” “As a matter of fact I do. Can I come over?” “Sure although there is not much happening here so your visit will not go unnoticed. Wanna go for coffee?” “Sure, I could use a cup, meet you at the usual place?” “You go it, 10 minutes?” “I see you then.” The Sergeant says as he hangs up the phone. Getting up from his desk he goes out, he notices that Wheeler has returned. He is explaining a by-law to a customer. Something about dogs and leashes. Pritchard is sitting at the desk and talking on the phone. He catches Wheeler’s eye and indicates he is going out for coffee. Wheeler nods. At the Coffee shop he sees John is already there. He gets a cup and joins the man at his table. “So how are things John?” “Not too bad, quiet time of year except for the odd yard fire that gets out of control.” “Same here, it seems like colder weather has calmed down the populace.” “So how can I help you George?” “Well it seems that we have a situation that has arisen which has something in common with one you already have.” “Well I can only think of one situation, so you got a gay cop?” “That was pretty astute, you telling me that everything is ok at the station?” “No everything is not ok, Johnson is a hell of a kid, but some of the attitudes have not adjusted. I got one guy that goes out of his way to make the kid’s life hell. But Johnson won’t lodge a complaint so I can’t do anything.” “What goes on?” “Well it seems that Johnson’s Jeep has a tendency to get flat tires. I don’t know how many times the guy has been hanging around waiting for a new tire after he completes his shift.”

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“Why doesn’t he say anything, that’s gotta be costing him a fortune.” “Well let’s say that Johnson has a bit of a chip on his shoulder, not a bad thing though. Because he got in through the back door so to speak, he doesn’t want to make any waves or get preferential treatment. I guess he wants to show the other guys he is just as much of a man as the rest of them.” “Is there a question?” “No, no I don’t mean it negatively, I think it is the same way in the City where they have female fire fighters. Those women try and try to out do the guys on just about everything. Which in our line of work is not a bad thing.” “That’s the least you can ask for, I guess.” “So I guess you want to know what to expect when word gets around about your officer?” “Yeah, to tell you the truth I am still a bit shocked, I never would have guessed.” “Well if Johnson has taught me one thing, they don’t all act like they are portrayed on TV and in the movies. In fact I read that in the US some of their best soldiers are gay and no one would question them in the least.” “I guess you have had to get up to speed on this already?” “Oh yeah, when Johnson came in the way he did he was kind of high profile. The department had me go on special training on how to handle it.” “Really?” “Well there have been problems in some US cities with Fire and Police departments and the way the co-workers react to their gay counterparts. I have the manuals still if you want to take a look at them.” “Sure, I probably should have a look at them.” “The thing is that you have to be prepared for anything. Guys that seem like the most level headed characters get bent out of joint when all of a sudden they realize they have a gay man working with them.” “In what way?” “Well it has to do with growing up and all that, but the basic thing it comes to is that the gay man is going to hit on them.” “I guess in the Fire House that may be a problem, but cops go home at the end of their shifts.”

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“True, but you know what the other thing is and this is hilarious so to speak.” “What’s that, the guys get pissed off when they don’t get hit on?” “You got it! So basically you are dealing with the whims of the male ego. Soon as you understand that you will be able to handle the situations that arise.” “What about the females?” “Well we don’t have a female firefighter yet, I am sure it is just a matter of time. But basically they present a whole other pile of problems.” “I guess I may have to council you on this when it occurs.” “I guess I should get back, you want me to drop off those manuals?” “Sure, but maybe at my house. I am trying to keep this low level right now.” “I understand, so I am not even going to ask who it is.” “I appreciate that, you think that maybe my guys could help with Johnson’s problem?” “I am tempted to say yes, but I am not sure how Johnson would react, maybe it is something your Officer could look into.” “I’ll think on that.” The Sergeant says as he gets up. “Well I guess I’ll get back to the station and wrap things up.” “Anytime George, I mean it.” The Sergeant gets back to the station and gets his notes together for role call. He heads to the ready room and sees the night shift is already there. He leaves Wheeler to man the desk and calls Pritchard in to the ready room so she can relay any information she has. The briefing is short, these are all experienced officers. He asks Comry to come and see him before he goes out on patrol. “You wanted to see me Sarge?” Comry asks from the door to the Sergeants office. “Yeah, come in and have a seat.” Mark has a feeling he knows what this is about as Cole had told him earlier that he has advised the Sergeant of his gayness. He guesses the Sergeant is just following protocol. “Well Mark” the Sergeant says, he wants to keep this informal. “I have spoken with Officer Wheeler and it seems something has come up.” “Yeah” Mark says.

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“He says that you understood the situation and have offered to be his partner, I guess what I need for the file is that this is ok by you.” The Sergeant opens the file, which he retrieved from the Captain’s office when he returned. “Sure I have no problems working with Cole, err I mean Officer Wheeler.” “OK, I guess I’ll put that in the file and I am going to ask you to sign it to show that this is ok with you.” “No problem Sergeant.” “You sure you know what you are getting into Mark?” “Yeah, I know, Cole and I have been friends for years, best friends he would do the same for me.” “What about the other guys, I mean if they aren’t as open about it as you are?” “Well, I discussed this with Mary, I am secure in myself and I absolutely have nothing to fear from Cole, so knowing that, I guess the other guys are just going to have to accept that I have a partner that happens to be gay.” “Well that’s a good way to be Mark.” “Is that it Sergeant?” “Yeah that’s it, I will work on the new schedule, and I won’t disrupt your rotation I think Wheeler will be the one that gets all turned around.” Mark smiles as he leaves. “The Sergeant seems to be taking this pretty well.” He thinks to himself, “I guess it shows how much society has changed even here.” “Hey Wheeler.” Mark says as he notices Cole has not gone home yet. “What’s up Mark?” Cole says he hopes that Mark has come through on his word, although he doesn’t know why he questions it. “Come with me as I sign out my equipment, riding solo tonight.” Mark says. “Just let me grab my stuff.” Cole says as he gathers up the radio and other things he signed out at the start of shift. Cole hands over his stuff to the Officer working the equipment desk and then signs the log. The Officer keeps all the equipment Cole turned in but gets a new radio and then has Mark sign this stuff out. Cole walks with Mark to the car, looking around to make sure that no one is listening Mark tells Cole what occurred in the office.

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“I still can’t believe the Sarge is so good about this Mark.” “Me either, I thought you had borrowed some stuff from the evidence room!” Mark punches Cole’s shoulder. “If I was inclined to do that I would have spent the whole afternoon in there!” Cole laughs. Mark laughs too as he opens the trunk and puts some stuff in there. Cole does a walk around for him. “The Sarge said he will do up the new schedule soon.” Mark says as he gets in the car. Mark closes the door and lowers the window a little bit, “He says you are moving to my rotation!” Then he closes the window tight and drives off. Cole watches as Mark drives away, well if changing rotations is the worse thing to happen he can live with that. Cole heads over to his truck and gets in it. He notices a note on the seat and he reads it. He is stunned by the graphic language and blatant homophobia in the note, but what did he expect? “That didn’t take long!” he says to himself, amazed at how fast information flies around the station. He checks the door, which was locked, but he can see no marks from someone forcing their way in. Cole’s phone rings, as he is about to back up. It’s his mother asking him to come over for supper.

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Dinner with Mom and Dad Cole pulls up in front of their house and parks. He is a little shaken by the note he found, but not that much. He folds it and puts it in his shirt pocket. His Mother answers the door and welcomes him in. Cole hangs he coat and takes his boots off. He is still wearing his uniform. He heads to the Dining room where his father is seated at the table. They lock eyes and his old man does not look away. “Have a seat Cole,” his father says. Cole sits down and his mother quickly comes to the table with some serving plates of food. He misses this as when he cooks he only cooks for himself and basically it all fits on one plate. He sees his Mom has made meatloaf and mashed potatoes, one of his favourite meals. “You go first Cole.” His Mother says and she passes him a spoon. Cole takes some meatloaf, two scoops of potatoes and some green beans. His plate is full. His Dad then takes his turn, but with smaller portions and then his Mom. They talk about the neighbourhood and getting ready for winter. His Mom asks what he is doing for Thanksgiving and tells him the rest of the family will be there. Cole says he will come too, if he can. When they are finished eating Cole and his Dad get up from the table. Cole starts to clear the plates away, but his Mom tells him to go sit in the Living Room. The two men talk about the Baseball season, which is winding down and about the Hockey season, which is about to start. Soon Cole can hear the dishwasher going and his Mother joins them in the Living Room. She sits down and looks at his Dad. “Cole” his Dad says, “you mother and I have had time to think about this and we just wanted to say that….I guess it is OK with us, about this thing.” Cole sits there and he is stunned. He sees that both his Mother and Father are looking for a reaction. “I don’t know what to say, Mom Dad. I am happy…” Cole gets up and goes to hug his Mother. “Can I ask why?”

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“Well, it wasn’t easy and I did have a talk with the Priest. He helped out a lot. Something about God created everything for a purpose. We had him over for supper and he answered all of our questions.” His Mother says. “But it wasn’t the Priest that changed our opinion the most.” His Father says, “It was Mark.” “Mark, he came here?” “Yes. Mark bought Mary over and the two of them sat with us for quite awhile. They sat with us for quite awhile.” Cole does not know what to say, he starts to feel tears coming on. He had no idea that Mark would do this, he feels guilty for doubting his at the station. “The one thing in common all of them stressed was that none of us had anything to do with how you are, that was something that was decided for us.” “Thanks Mom and Dad. I guess I should thank Mark the next time I see him.” “Yes you should!” “Well, I guess you should know this, I told the Sergeant at work today, he is partnering me up with Mark starting next week.” “How did George take it?” His Dad asks, “He is a pretty level headed guy, but I haven’t know him to be liberal in his ways.” “The Sergeant was very professional, which I guess he should be.” His Mother tentatively asks if anyone else knows. Cole decides that he better not show them the note he received. “No, but it will only be a matter of time, the guy in cells if getting talkative.” “What are you going to do about him?” his Dad asks. “Not much I can do, my coming out has sort of removed his leverage.” Cole pauses, “but he doesn’t know that yet.” “Well I wish we could help some more son, but this is your road to travel and I guess we will be there to support you in whatever way we can.” His Mother says. “Thank you at least I know that you guys are behind me.”

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“Hey how is it going?” When Cole gets home he strips off his clothes and puts on some sweat pants and a t-shirt. Going back downstairs he puts White Ladder by David Gray on the stereo and cleans up his place. While he is cleaning he thinks about the day he has had. He wishes that he had someone to share it with. Sure he could phone Kat or even Mark, but he wishes he had someone else. While cleaning in the kitchen he finds Greg’s phone number. It has been awhile since he talked to the guy, but things have been hectic. Cole finishes the last of the cleaning and then grabs the cordless phone and heads to the couch. Laying down he dials the number. His heart starts to flutter after he hits the last button. He can feel himself sweat as he waits for the pause before the first ring. The phone rings several times and Cole figures that a machine is going to kick in. “Hello” a voice answers. “Greg?” Cole asks he is not sure, as the voice sounds different. “Yeah, it me, who’s this?” “It’s Cole here, the guy from Lacombe.” “Hey Cole, long time. Sorry if I sound out of breath but I only have a cell phone and it was in my coat pocket. I was tearing the place apart looking for it!” “That’s OK, at least I got to talk to you instead of a machine.” “So what’s up Cole?” “Not much here. If you want the truth I was cleaning and I found your number so I decided to use it.” Cole says. “Well its good to hear from you. So when are you coming back up here?” “Not too sure, things are kind of hectic down here. But I really would like to get together again and hang out.” “Believe it or not so would I” Greg says. He starts to get nervous now, is Cole gonna suggest a date or something. “So how do you feel like travelling?” “What you want me to come down there?”

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“Yeah, I got lots of room you could stay for the weekend.” “Are you asking me out on a date Cole?” Cole feels his face flush, this too is new asking a guy out on a date. “Cole, you still there?” “Err yeah Greg, I am.” “You are what, still there or asking me out on a date?” Another pause then Cole says, “Both” “Sure Cole, a weekend away from the city would be great.” Greg says and then he asks, “When should I come down?” “Well I am working Friday daytime and then due to a shift change I think I will be working days next week. So to answer your question, Friday would be OK or Saturday too.” “Well then you better give me directions.” “Sure” Cole relays the information on how to get to his place. Then he gives Greg his cell and home phone numbers. “Well I’ll see you on the weekend then Cole, thanks for phoning.” “No problem Greg and thanks.” “Thanks for what?” Greg thinks to himself and then says “No problem man.” “Well bye for now Greg.” “Bye Cole, have a great week, I know I will.” Cole hears the dial tone as Greg hangs up. That’s not exactly what he expected to happen, but telling Greg about the latest events face to face is way better than on the phone. Cole decides to go and make up the spare room. He remembers what Greg said about taking it slow. When he is done he tries to decide if he should call Kat. He decides against it, he wants to do this all under his own steam. When Cole gets back to the living room he hears the familiar chords of the song Babylon start up. He sits on the couch and sings along “Let go your heart, let go your head, and feel it now.”

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The song is just ending when he hears a car pull up in the drive. Cole heads to the door to see Mark getting out of a Police Cruiser. Cole opens the door and lets Mark in. “What brings you ‘round Mark?” “Nothing much Cole, I just decided to come out and see you on my supper break.” “Well glad to see you, I was going to phone and thank you but I wanted to do it in person.” “I guess you spoke with your parents?” “Yeah, Mom called and asked me over for supper. They told me everything is OK and I guess I have you and Mary to thank for that.” “Hey man it’s the least I could do, you’re my best friend!” “And you’re mine!” Cole says, “Its it too much to ask for a hug?’ Mark doesn’t answer he just stands there and lets Cole hug him. He embraces Cole back and they slap each other’s backs. When they break apart Mark says he better be going. He also notices that his friend is pretty red in the face. He doesn’t want to embarrass him. Mark is feeling pretty emotional too. “Thanks for dropping by, I’ll see you tomorrow Mark.” Cole says as he watches Mark get back in the car. Mark starts the car and taps the horn as he drives away. Cole heads back in the house, he turns off the lights and heads up stairs. When he is in bed he says a prayer of thanks to God. Cole doesn’t pray often, but he feels he needs to tonight.

1

The Chief’s Office The Chief arrived at work the next day and was settling into his morning routine of reviewing night reports and drinking coffee. The phone rang on his desk. It was a Captain from the Police Service in Calgary. The Chief had phoned and spoken with the guy yesterday. “Hey Bob” the Chief said after the man identified himself. “Hi Chief, I am calling back with some news for you about that matter we discussed yesterday.” “Geez that was fast, do you have an open case?” “Yeah in fact we do, both Edmonton and Calgary. It was sort of sitting there waiting for something to occur.” “How you mean?” The Chief asks, he realizes that those cities are busier with cases but there must have been something to shelve this one. “Well we had word that this sort of thing was occurring, but no Officer was brave enough to come forward.” “But you have an open recruitment program for Gay Officers.” “I know we do and it looks great on paper, but you know how theories work when put to the test.” “So even though they can’t be discriminated against they still are closeted?” “Well its not so much the Officer’s hired under that initiative, in fact they were questioned and none of them has been approached in this way. It seems to mainly exist with out 5-7 year Officers.” “The ones still in the closet? I guess.” “Yeah those guys. There still seems to be a dividing line between the Gay Officers and the Straight ones. So the ones that we hired before are still I the closet so they can maintain their friendships, I guess.” “So there appears to be a targeting process going on? “Looks that way. So anyway we, myself and my contact in Edmonton have a favour to ask.” “A favour, am I going to like the sound of this?”

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“Well it’s all part of the job and you, of your Officer, seems to have given us the break we need.” “Is this an undercover assignment?” “Well I am just giving you a heads up actually as this problem seems to be centred in Edmonton. So I guess you can expect a formal request from them.” “If it is occurring in Edmonton, how is it that you have Officers involved?” “Well I guess, if you want to stay in the closet you don’t mess around in your backyard. So my guys go to Edmonton to sow their wild oats.” “If that is so, do the Edmonton Officers go to Calgary?” “Yeah, I guess so but there doesn’t seem to be an organized effort to co-opt them down here.” “So how would they know about it in Edmonton?” “Well I guess some of their guys don’t go through the trouble to travel to get laid.” “Pretty risky, I guess. I know if I was going to mess around on my wife I sure wouldn’t do it here.” “Exactly, that’s why all the travelling. You see we have our Gay Officers making their presence known in that Community. So they tour bars and speak with the community.” “I get it now, so they would recognize a fellow Officer that wasn’t out.” “So doesn’t Edmonton do this?” “Well I am not aware of it. They have a liaison Officer but they seem to be behind the times on actually getting involved in that Community. You’ll have to speak to them about it.” “Well am I going to see a file on this before I make any decisions?” “Yeah, we have shared all the information and when Edmonton gets in touch with you, I am sure they will give you a copy of the file.” “So I guess that’s it, I will have to wait for them to make a request.” “Yeah, Chief I don’t expect it will be too long. They were pretty psyched to get on top of this case.” “Well Bob, thanks for the information. I can see how any interference in an Officer doing his or her job would be a concern.”

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“Yeah, it tough enough out there! Take care Chief.” “You too, Bob.” The Chief had known Bob for a number of years. The man was in charge of the Internal Affairs Unit in Calgary. It was a pretty big step for Bob to take and it even surprised the Chief. Internal Affairs being the least liked section in any department. Lacombe wasn’t big enough to have its own unit so the Sergeant and Chief handled those duties. He hated investigation Cops but it was something that had to be done. The phone rang again as the Captain was refilling his cup of coffee. He had brought in his own coffee maker a couple of years. Walking back to his desk he picked up the hand set and identified himself. “Hello Chief Lawrence this is Captain Boudreau with the Edmonton Police Service, how are you?’ “Good Captain how’s your self?” “Better since I had a chat with my counterpart in Calgary, Bob Hastings.” “That’s good, so how may I help you today? Captain.” “Well to get to the point we want to borrow one of your Officers for a case we are working on.” “Well Captain, that was to the point. Is this to do with the blackmail attempt currently going down in my Station?” “As a matter of fact yes.” “Well then I think we should have a face to face to discuss the issue.” “I couldn’t agree more Chief. I think it would be better if I came down there.” “No problem Captain, although I am sure your visit will not go unnoticed at my station.” “Well if you prefer we could meet someplace more neutral.” “I don’t like the idea of a file being outside a station Captain, especially one that could impact one of my Officers.” “How about up here then, you could get a driver and meet me in my Office.” “Better plan Captain and I guess that in order to make life easier my Officer should be the driver?” “No comment.”

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“Well it just so happens my guy is on Days, how about this afternoon?” “That would be great, do you have a pen handy? I’ll give you my number.” The Chief takes down the number and ends the phone call. When he hangs up he calls the Sergeant into his office. When the Sergeant arrives he tells him that he will have to borrow Officer Wheeler for the rest of the day. He asks the Sergeant to have Wheeler report to him in 20 minutes in civilian clothes. When the Sergeant has left the Chief changes his clothes as well. “They are going to know we are Cops at the Edmonton Station but they won’t know where we are from.” He says to himself. Cole knocks on the Chief’s door. He is dressed in civilian clothes, jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket. The Chief opens the door and Cole sees he is dressed in slacks and a sport coat. “Officer Wheeler.” The Chief says as he sees Cole. “We are going on a road trip, I have a meeting in Edmonton and you are my driver.” Cole wonders why the Chief needs a driver but his is not to question why, “Yes Sir, I’ll Go sign out an unmarked vehicle.” Cole returns to the office with keys to the explorer in hand. Lacombe doesn’t have much use for unmarked cars so he has to take an Explorer with a cage in the back. Cole and the Chief head out of the station, Cole notices that Kelly is watching them as they leave. He wonders what is going through her mind. Cole does a walk around while the Chief gets in the passenger seat. Cole checks the mileage in the logbook to ensure it is correct. He resets the odometer so that the number of kilometres can be tracked.

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Road Trip “Well Wheeler how are things going?” “Not bad Sir considering.” Cole feels uneasy speaking to his boss. “Well I want to thank you for what you did yesterday. It reaffirms my faith in all my Officers.” “Thank you Sir.” “I know it was probably pretty hard for you and you would never have done it if there wasn’t that problem sitting in our cells. I just wanted to let you know I don’t care what you guys do in private as long as it stays private. But if it affects an Officer’s ability to do his job, then I want to know.” Cole says nothing. “I bet you are wondering why this trip to Edmonton?” “I have a feeling it is related to me sir.” “As a matter of fact it is, Wheeler. We are headed to a meeting at the Downtown Station. I can’t tell you much right now Wheeler, but I promise that you will have the opportunity for a briefing before too long.” The Chief thinks about the predicament that Wheeler has got himself into. He wonders how the rest of the Officers are going to handle it. “We have a bit of time together Wheeler, May I ask how this is affecting you?” “Informally sir?” “Yeah Wheeler, this won’t be hitting your file. It’s just to help me understand the issue from your side.” Cole measures his response, “Well Sir, my family and close friends know. I have been slowly coming out to them over the past month.” “Any problems?” “None now Sir, my family took awhile to come around but they are on my side.” “That’s good, you were born and raised here, weren’t you Wheeler?” “Yeah, been here all my life. I just finished building a house.” “Good for you, I guess you have no plans of moving on?”

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Cole tenses, he wonders if the Chief is giving him a suggestion. “No Sir, I hadn’t planned on it, but then again the situation may change in a couple of months.” “Yes it could. I just wanted to let you know that the Sergeant and I will support you in whatever you decide.” “Thank you Sir, that takes a load off my mind.” “I’ll bet it does. There is one thing though, you are going to have to be forthcoming on any incident that involves this issue.” “I understand Sir.” “Good Wheeler. I want to let you know that I have an open door policy. Feel free to come and talk about it at anytime.” Cole says thanks again. He tells himself that he will only involve the Chief if it really gets out of hand. He just has to define really out of hand. The two men stare out the window and watch the scenery. Winter is not far off; the farmers are in various parts of harvest. Every once and awhile clouds of dust blow across the highway. When they arrive in Edmonton the Chief suggest they stop and get something quick to eat before going to the Station. “Anywhere in particular Sir?” “No you pick a place I am not picky.” Cole pulls into a Donair place on Calgary Trail. The two men order large donairs and pop. They sit in the restaurant to eat them. It is early in the afternoon and several Edmonton Police Officers stop in and get orders to go. When they are finished they head to the Station. Cole parks the Explorer in the visitor parking and the two men head into the station. The Chief looks at the phone on the wall to call Boudreau but uses his cell phone instead. After a few minutes Captain Boudreau appears at the door. He is in a suit and scans the waiting room. He sees two men who appear to be cops in civvies and walks over to them. “Chief Lawrence?” Boudreau asks. “Captain Boudreau, I recognize your voice.” The Chief says, he flips his badge quickly for the man. “This is Officer Wheeler.” “Please to meet you Wheeler.” Captain Boudreau shakes Cole’s hand.

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“Well we better get up to my office, come with me and I’ll get you a pass.” Boudreau signs them in and tells them to leave organization blank. The Captain leads them through the door into the restricted area. Their arrival is noticed by numerous sets of eyes. Cole is thankful he does not see any Officers that he knows. They take the elevator to the fourth floor and they follow Boudreau to the IA Unit. There are offices with a waiting room and several interview rooms. Cole notices that other than a small window on the Unit door there are no windows. “This must be for privacy,” he thinks. “Officer Wheeler, could I get you to sit in one of the interview rooms for awhile?” Captain Boudreau asks. The Chief nods and Cole heads to the nearest room, he stops at small table and picks up some magazines to read. Then he enters the room and has a seat. Flipping through the pages Cole tries to imagine what this is all about. He really feels uneasy sitting in Internal Affairs. “What do I know to help them out with?” he asks himself. He leans back in the chair when he is tired of reading and closes his eyes. He thinks about the question the Chief asked about leaving Lacombe. He had never really thought of it before, but it may be something he has to do if things get too tense. He thinks about Lance working at the Fire Station, he doesn’t appear to going anywhere and hasn’t mentioned any problems except with Brent. Cole hopes it will be the same for him and that he continues to live and work in Lacombe. Cole opens his eyes when he hears the other door open. The Chief and the Captain come into the interview room and close the door. Cole moves the magazines to an unused chair. They are replaced on the table with several file folders. Cole notices one is thin and the rest are thick. “Officer Wheeler, Captain Boudreau has a proposal for you, I have agreed in principle but the final decision is up to you.” “Sure Chief, just a question what happens if I decide to say no?” “Not much, I would be disappointed but I think I would understand.” The Chief says looking directly at Cole. “We are not asking you to do something that would risk your life and it does not involve any of your fellow Lacombe Officers.” Captain Boudreau says. “Thanks for clearing that up Sir.”

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“As for the proposal the only people that are going to know about it is the Chief, my counterpart in Calgary, you and myself.” “Excuse me Sir, not to be blunt or anything but how about all those Officers that saw us come in here?” “That’s a good point, Wheeler. We are just going to have to make sure this is the only meeting that occurs here.” Cole looks at the Chief, the Chief nods giving him permission. “Well Sir I guess I will have to listen to the proposal but I am not convinced that half your station house doesn’t know by now.” “Well, if it helps, the focus of the investigation is on people that are trying to co-opt cops, not on cops themselves.” “Co-opt, you mean like that guy we arrested in Lacombe?” “Precisely, we believe it is an organized effort to blackmail Officers such as yourself, except maybe this time it has backfired. We are hoping you will help use crack this case.” “You mean other Gay Officers? Sir” Captain Boudreau cringes at the term, he is obviously not comfortable with it as the Chief and Sergeant were. “Yes Officer others like yourself.” He was going to add “Not that there is anything wrong with that” but it would sound trite. “Ok Sirs, I will look at the proposal and give you my answer after that.” “Well we would prefer to have a commitment before, but since you are already a pawn in this scheme, nothing in the files will be a surprise to you.” “Wheeler, I have to advise you that if you decide not to do this that you will have to sign a termination agreement.” The Chief says, he doesn’t look at Cole when he says this. “Termination agreement?” Cole asks. “Yes, we require a signed affidavit that you will not divulge anything you read in these files.” “Ok Sir” Cole says as he looks at the Chief, “I’ll sign that.” Cole feels very nervous he holds his career as a Police Officer in his hands. His decision today will affect the rest of his life. The Captain opens the first file, it is upside down but Cole can see the picture attached to the inside of the cover. He recognizes it instantly and feels a pang in his chest.

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“We’ll here is a synopsis of what we feel is going down.” The Captain says. “It appears that there is an organized effort to gain advantage on Police Officers by a business operating in Edmonton. We are not sure if this business extends beyond Edmonton, we are hoping you can find that out.” “Right now all we can say is that there have been several suspicious cases that have fallen apart because Officers have had really bad memories, misplaced notes or not even shown up in court. This is all circumstantial and in the big picture it occurs all the time. But through contact with the Services in other cities we have found that the same individuals seem to get off on crimes for the same reasons.” “How did you find out about this, if I may ask?” “We actually stumbled across it and Officer that relocated from Calgary happened to see a perp that he had seen arrested in Calgary on much the same offence. He did a check on the guy and found out that the man’s record was clean. So he became suspicious.” “What was the context which allowed him to do the check?” Cole asks. He doesn’t want this case falling apart before it even starts. “Well it seems the Officer had a run in with the arresting Officer in Calgary and he became suspicious. His being in Edmonton is part of that run in. He consulted with his supervisor and was referred to us. We acted fast enough to allow the check of the perp before he was released.” “So no rights were violated then?” Cole asks. “No we have a supervisory capacity which enables us to check on cases. Basically it is to ensure that the department and its Officers are following the rules. Don’t worry its bullet proof and will stand up in court.” “So my investigation is only looking into the business and not these cops that may have got involved.” “That’s correct Officer, we don’t like people messing around in our house. Especially when good Officers are being blackmailed.” “What about the guy in Calgary, it sounds like you have him dead to rights.” “We don’t have enough of a case to pursue that Officer, nor does Calgary. I promise you Wheeler that part of the case is closed.” Cole looks at the Chief and says “Forget about the termination agreement Sir, I’m on.” “But we haven’t gone through everything yet.” The Captain says. “It doesn’t matter Sir, I am doing it for my fellow Officers and besides I know how it feels.”

2

Back to Lacombe The meeting lasted about two hours. When it was over Cole and the Chief headed back to Lacombe and arrived just as the shift was over. Cole said bye to the Chief as the man went straight to his car to go home. Cole took the keys to the Explorer into the Station and handed the logbook to the desk Officer. Cole could here the Sergeant running through the role call. He waited for them to finish. Mark was the first one out the door he saw Cole in his civvies and asked him what was going on. He had heard that Cole and the Chief had gone off together at about lunchtime. Cole said it was just some follow up to yesterday. He hoped that Mark would leave it at that. The Sergeant came by and indicted he wanted to see Cole in his office. “Yes Sergeant.” Cole said as he stood in the open doorway. “Come in Wheeler and close the door and have a seat.” Cole sits down. “I haven’t completed updating the schedule yet, is there anything I should know?” “Yes Sergeant, it looks like I won’t be partners with Officer Comry next week. I guess you could say I am on leave.” “Fine, I’ll indicate that on the schedule.” “Well good luck Wheeler, that’s all. I’m sure I will get a run down from the Chief tomorrow. You are here tomorrow?” “Yes Sergeant, I am here for the rest of the week. I will sign off on Officer Pritchard’s evaluation before I am gone.” “Good to hear.” The Sergeant says and then cleans up his desk. “I have dinner waiting for me at home, is there anything else?” “Not that I can think of Sergeant.” “Good man. See you tomorrow.” Cole gets up and leaves. He heads out to his truck, some Officers are slow getting out on patrol, they look at him and some whisper to each other. Cole is thankful he is going to be working in Edmonton for a couple of weeks.

2

Mark is still in the parking lot and comes over to Cole’s truck, as he was about to get in it. “What’s up?” Mark asks. “Really can’t talk about it Mark, but I am going to be on leave for a couple of weeks.” “Did they make you do this?” Mark says referring to the Chief and Sergeant. “No, it’s not like that at all Mark. I’ll be fine.” “You sure?” Mark grabs Cole and forces his friend to look at him. “Really there is nothing to worry about, for either of us. That’s all I can tell you.” “Great good to hear that.” “So what’s up with them?” Cole nods to the Officers in the midst of pulling out on patrol.” “You know how it is, the word is out you have been meeting with the Chief, some of their noses are bent out of shape.” “If anyone of them wants to do what I’ll be doing they can have at it!” “Yeah, well that’s the point we don’t know what’s going on. So they are making things up.” “Anything going around about the other thing yet?” “No, no-one seems to know about that.” “Well someone does” Cole reaches in his pocket and pulls out the note, “I found this in my truck yesterday.” Mark reads the note, “Geez Cole, you tell anyone about this?” “Not yet, I don’t have a clue as to who put it there.” “The only person that I would think knows is Bart and he hasn’t been having his little conferences yet. Not that I know of.” “Mmm interesting. Hey I could use you for something though.” “Yeah what’s that?” Mark asks.

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“Well I was thinking that we could have a little chat with the guy in cells.” Cole says, “I need you as we have to get Bart away from there so I can have a heart to heart with the guy.” “Maybe I should be the one having the heart to heart, Cole.” Mark says and makes a fist. “Well it wasn’t going to be that kind of encounter, but I will have to think about how to handle it. Besides I don’t need you to beat the guy up I am capable enough by myself.” Mark laughs, “But you might break a nail!” “Fuck off!” Cole says with a smile, he is used to Mark’s sense of humour and knows the man means nothing personal against Cole. “Well I am off, you take care.” Mark says. “I will, hey I got a date this weekend.” “Now you can fuck off, I don’t need to know about this!” Mark exclaims and turns to go. Cole laughs and gets into his truck. He watches his friend head back to the patrol car. Cole heads over to the gym. He hasn’t been getting too much time in there lately. While he is there he uses a treadmill for a while. He remembers running with Greg in Edmonton. “Might get a chance to do that more often.” He thinks. The gym is not very crowded as people are probably home eating. Cole does his whole weight routine without having to wait for any machine. When he hits the locker room he sits on the bench. He is really beat. He never has much energy on Dayshift, that’s part of the reason he hates them so much. He strips off his clothes and heads to the showers. Cole takes a long shower because it feels good to have the water rushing over his body. He is lost in his thoughts, thinking about all that is going on his life. He starts to think about Greg coming to visit for the weekend and his heart rate climbs. He imagines them running in a field. They are on a trail that looks like it is not used very often. On one corner he sprints around the corner and hides. He hears Greg run by and he jumps out of the bushes tackling the man into the grass on the other side of the trail. Cole is lying on top and Greg is cursing at him. Cole shuts him up by planting his mouth on the other man. Greg’s mouth relaxes and soon they are kissing passionately. Cole presses his body down on Greg’s. He feels his cock press against the other man’s. Their arms pull each other closer and closer together, their cocks frantically rub up and down against each other’s bodies. Pretty soon he can feel the familiar rush as he gets closer to orgasm and he can tell by Greg’s reaction that he is getting close too. Cole hears another shower start up and he opens his eyes. A man is standing there looking at Cole. The man is actually looking at Cole’s mid section. Cole looks down

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and sees he has a raging hard-on. He turns away from the man quickly, his cock stays hard but his face is really red. “Must have been a pretty good dream.” The man says and winks. Cole looks at his and he notices the man is spending a lot of time washing his own crotch. He can see that the man is getting a hard on. “Yeah, not bad, damn!” Cole says, “Must be something in the water.” He then heads to the towel rack. The man is eyeing him lewdly while Cole dries off. Cole heads to his locker and dresses quickly. His hair is still wet as he goes outside. When he is in the truck he is both embarrassed and excited. “Woo Woo” he yells as he peels off out of the parking lot and back to Bentley. It’s Tuesday night and he realizes he hasn’t spoken to his friends in awhile. Cole calls Kat first when he gets home. The conversation is short with Kat asking what is new and Cole telling about his parent’s acceptance of Cole. He tells her about all the support Mark has given him. Then he tells her about Greg coming to visit for the weekend. “Hey that’s enough about me, what new with you Kat?” “Well I finally met someone too.” Kat says. “That’s great Kat!” Cole exclaims, “Maybe we can double date sometime.” “That would be good Cole, but I think it will be awhile.” “Why, what’s up?” “I don’t know Cole, its just all of the change it has me sort of up in the air.” “This sounds like something we should do face to face Kat.” “Yeah, but I think I still need a little time.” Cole listens to her voice, it doesn’t sound like the normal upbeat Kat he is used to. “Yeah sure Kat.” He says slowly. “Hey Cole, it’s not you. It’s just that I moved here because my life was too hectic in the city. I was enjoying actually enjoying the way things were going here.” Cole was going to speak, but he realizes that until recently he was a part of Kat’s life here. He knows her well enough to let her work this out. “Well you know my number, feel free to call when you want to talk.”

2

“Thanks for understanding Cole.” “Listen, I have a project that I will be working on so you had better use the cell.” “Going to be unavailable Cole?” “Well it is a case I am working on and I might be out of town for a couple of days here and there.” Kat knows better than to pry so she doesn’t ask where he will be. “Well that’s great news for you Cole, your family and friends are all coming around and you met someone.” “Thanks again Kat, you have been a lot of help through all of this.” “No problem Cole, well I gotta go, you take care.” “You too Kat remember I am just a phone call away if you need me.” “Yeah I remember. Besides you are gonna have to be in the shop sooner or later for a hair cut.” Cole feels his hair as she says that, “Starting to feel pretty long right now.” Cole laughs, “Good night Kat.” “Night Cole.” Cole sits at the table, he feels a bit of guilt and wonders if Kat was falling for him. He dismisses that idea, sure he has had women fall for him before, but Kat is different. “Or is she?” Cole picks up the phone again. “Hello” “Lance how is it going, busy?” “Nah, the bf and I are just taking a break before we go at it again.” Lance says in a deadpan voice. “You have someone there?” Lance laughs, “No Cole I have no one here, Kurt went home this morning. I was just pulling your leg!” Cole laughs too. “So what’s up Cole?”

2

“Well my parents are cool with me now thanks to Mark and his wife. I met some guy and he is coming down for the weekend. Nothing much, what’s new with you?” “I think we should talk more often Cole, I don’t think I can keep up with how fast your life is changing!” “Tell me about it. So are you still seeing that guy from Calgary?” “Yeah, I am. Things are going great and he works in a job that allows his to work from home. He is thinking of moving up here with me.” “Geez that was fast Lance!” “Hey buddy gay relationships are like that.” Lance laughs some more. “Does that mean you’ll be divorced by the end of the year?” “Well I hope not Cole, Kurt and I are both at a phase of our lives where we want to settle down. I think we are ‘bar scened’ out.” “That’s funny, Greg is in the same position I think. He says he was tired of empty relationships.” “Are you ready for that Cole?” “I am not sure, Lance, I am leaving it open. I know I am ready for something, I mean I can’t keep going to Edmonton or Calgary to get laid.” “I did it for years and to tell you the truth until Kurt came along I thought I’d be doing it for years to come.” “I hear yah, I did call for another reason though, Lance.” “Kat?” “Yeah how did you guess?” “Well we had a talk over beers a couple of days ago.” “Anything I should know” “Yeah, I guess there is bud.” Lance pauses. “What?” “Well it appears our friend fell for you.” Lance says. “But how?”

2

“I think it was an accident Cole. At first she felt safe because you knew she was into girls and that anything you two did was transitory.” “Transitory, you mean like a one night stand?” “That’s it, she thought of you two as fuck buddies. No strings sex.” “Well that’s what it was. I mean the sex was good, but she did make it known that it would stay good as long as we didn’t fall for each other.” “And you being a stand up guy kept your part of the bargain, but then something changed.” “My coming out?” “Well yeah, she wasn’t falling for you before then, but then when you came out she realized that she may lose you for good.” “’You don’t know what you’ve got til its gone!’ To quote Joni Mitchell” “So anyway that’s where it is at. But there is a good side to this Cole.” “Yeah, she met someone. That didn’t take long.” “I think she needed a push and you were the one that gave it to her.” “Why is she still down then?” “Not sure, but I think she just needs some time.” “I am psyched about this weekend man!” Cole says as he decides to change the subject “That’s great Cole. Got anything planned?” “No, I have decided to play it by ear. We’ll probably do some running and go to the gym. Other than that nothing.” “Running, the gym? Sure glad you never asked me out on a date!” Lance says. “That’s not all Lance, I just haven’t planned anything I want it to be relaxing, not organized. I have been on enough organized dates.” “Come to think of it Cole, I really don’t plan anything for Kurt’s visits. We just enjoy each others company.” “Yeah, well Greg seems to be pretty easy going. I am going to be a cordial host, besides we have enough in common that we should figure out something to do.”

2

“What is it that you see in him?” “I honestly can’t describe it. It’s just a collection of things.” Cole says. He thinks about what it is that makes him want to see Greg again as opposed to Mike or Rick. “What is it about Kurt that made you pick him?” Lance laughs, “I don’t know, it seems like a pile of things and I can’t put my finger on any one thing.” What Lance just said was what Cole feels. It was enlightening and scary at the same time. “Is this what love feels like?” He asks himself. “You still there Cole?” “Err yeah sorry about that, what you just said is how I feel too!” Cole says. “That’s cool Cole. You’ll have to let me know how it goes.” “I sure will Lance and by the way thanks for the other thing too, I honestly didn’t know Kat felt that way.” “Well I figured you should know. It was a shock to me, Cole.” Lance says. “Well I better let you go, I need to get some sleep. I am on days.” “Good night Cole, call me anytime.” “Night Lance.” Cole hangs up the phone. He turns off lights and goes upstairs and gets ready for bed. He tosses and turns and can’t get to sleep. First he tries to solve all of his problems, work, Kat and coming out. He can’t seem to get a handle on any of them. He finally goes to sleep imaging Greg and him out running.

2

Riding the Desk The days leading up to Friday were pretty uneventful. Cole and Kelly rode the desk. Cole managed to complete the evaluation. She passed with flying colours. Kelly did ask him if she did something wrong when it became apparent she would have a new partner. He told her that he would be working on a special project for a while. Kelly tried to get some information out of him but he was tight lipped. The guy in lock-up was finally released on bail. But one of the conditions was he had to check in each week on Tuesday. The Chief was waiting to see what Edmonton would do before he would recommend the charges be dropped against the man. The chief would have to advise the Prosecutor’s Office of the new twist in the case. On Friday, Cole let Kelly handle all the inquiries at the counter, which just made his day appear longer and longer. He noticed she was calm and did not get fazed too easily. The Sergeant called him into the office in the afternoon. Apparently the Chief had advised him of what was going to be happening. He found out he had to head into Edmonton on Monday for a meeting with Boudreau. He would be in Lacombe on Tuesday and Cole was going to have to handle dropping the charges against Stevens. The rest of the week was left open. “Hey there Wheeler, weekend is finally here!” Mark says as he comes by the desk. “Thank frickin God. I though this day would never end!” Cole says as he looked around first to see if anyone was in earshot. “So what do you have planned, taking Kelly out for a beer?” “Well normally I would but I have a friend coming into to town, he should be arriving soon.” Cole winks as he says this. “Ah the D word.” Mark smiles, “I hope you won’t be hurt if I don’t ask you how things go?” “Well parts as it happens, I have to head into Edmonton Monday, but I will be here Tuesday to share all the details.” “You two seem pretty happy!” Kelly says as she comes over and joins them. “It’s Friday Kelly, reason to celebrate!” Cole says. “Speaking of celebrating, I am headed over to Ugly’s for a beer after work, you want to join me?”

2

“Normally I would Kelly but I have a friend coming down for the weekend. He is meeting me at my place.” Cole says. “Well maybe later then, you and your friend could come out for a beer?” Cole was going to beg off but he decided that maybe it was a good idea. It’s normal for a couple of guys to head out to a bar. Kelly may be more suspicious if they just stayed in. “Yeah, Kelly, I am not sure what time he is getting in, but maybe we’ll be out later after supper.” “Well, I’ll see you then.” Kelly says, “Is it Ok if I take off Cole?” “Sure, I can hold the fort til relief gets here.” After Kelly has gone Mark looks at Cole with a questioning look. “Hey, its what two guys would do isn’t it?” “Yeah, I guess but aren’t you taking a risk?” “It’s gotta be done sooner or later. Besides…” “Yeah I see what you are saying, if the two of you are holed up in the house all weekend…never mind I don’t want to know.” “And that is precisely why it is a good idea to go out tonight.” “Good luck bud.” Mark says as he goes to the ready room. Cole heads back to the ready room and stands in the doorway during role call. That way he can cover the desk or get the phone. Role call is normal until close to the end when the Sergeant mentions some staffing changes. A guy is moving from this shift to be Kelly’s new partner. Several of the guys look at Cole after this is announced. The guy changing shifts takes it in stride. He has been on the force for eight years. “Kelly managed to luck out and get another single guy as a partner,” Cole says to himself. The relief guy comes back to the desk with Cole and they complete the shift change. Cole bolts for his truck as fast as he can. He bangs his horn as he passes Mark, before he turns left and heads to Bentley.

2

Dinner at Cole's Greg pulls up the long drive and parks his car next to a truck. He checks out the house. He is impressed. He walks up to the door and looks for a doorbell, he sees none so he knocks. Greg hears a pile of thumps and then the door opens. “You made it!” Cole says with a smile. “Good directions, Cole.” Greg says as he checks Cole out. The man was obviously in the midst of changing. He still has his uniform on however the shirt is unbuttoned. He can feel a stirring in his crotch. “Let me put some shoes on and I’ll help you with your stuff.” “No need for that Cole, I only brought one bag.” Greg says as he heads to the car and pulls out a bag from the back seat. He thinks about the other bag and decides to give it to Cole later. “I guess the drive down was uneventful?” “Yeah, once I was passed the Airport.” Greg says, “I almost took the first Lacombe turnoff though.” “Lot’s of people do that, it is not a bad drive but it adds about half an hour if you are coming to Bentley.” Cole says as he opens the door wide to allow Greg in. Greg puts the bag down and bends over to take off his shoes. When Greg is standing again, Cole offers to take him on a tour of the house. Greg is impressed when he sees the side of the house facing a lake is almost all windows. They tour the main floor and then Cole picks up Greg’s bag and leads him upstairs. Cole shows Greg his bedroom and puts the bag on the floor by the bed. “I know it’s not much but I actually haven’t had many guests. There are extra blankets in the closet if you need them.” Cole says, he notices that he can’t make eye contact with Greg. Greg senses that Cole is nervous, hell he is too. He decides to step closer to the man, so he goes over and tests the bed. This puts him next to Cole. “This is great Cole!” He then turns towards the other man and opens his arms. Cole steps closer to Greg and the two men embrace. “Thanks for having me down, Cole.” Greg says as he squeezes Cole’s shoulder.

2

“Thanks for coming.” Cole says as he pulls away from Greg and looks into his eyes. They break apart and Cole says that he has to finish changing. He shows Greg where the bathroom is and then heads to his room. Greg unpacks his bag. He didn’t bring much, just enough for a quiet weekend in the country. When he is done he heads down stairs and admires the view from the living room. Cole walks into the living room and steps up beside him. “Great isn’t it?” “Yeah, especially with all the trees changing colour.” “You picked a good weekend, they will all be barren next week.” Cole laughs. “Yeah, Fall in Alberta should be called Drop!” Both men laugh. “You hungry?” Cole asks. “Yeah, I all I had was a bagel so far today.” “A bagel that’s it?” Cole asks. “Yeah, I tend to get busy and forget to eat.” “I can’t imagine ever forgetting to eat.” Cole shrugs his shoulders at the idea. “I thought we’d have some steaks.” “That would be good.” The mention of food makes Greg hungry, “You want me to fire up the barbeque?” “Sure, if you want. Do you need some matches?” “Actually no, I have some.” Greg has a guilty look on his face. “You mean you smoke?” Cole asks. “Yeah, do you mind?” “I was just a little surprised that’s all.” “Well I am a light smoker, actually looking for a reason to quit.” Greg heads to the door, to put his shoes on. He is glad to get that out of the way, hopefully it doesn’t affect Cole too much. “The barbeque is on the porch, to the left. I’ll get the steaks ready, want a beer?”

2

“Sure Cole.” Greg says as he stands up. “I have Bud, Bud and Bud.” Cole says. Greg laughs, it takes some of the tension out of the air. “I guess I’ll have a Bud.” as he heads out the door. “So he smokes, well this weekend was to find out more about each other.” Cole says to himself as he goes to the fridge and pulls out two bottles of beer. “Guess I shouldn’t make a big thing about it, maybe he will quit.” Greg gets the fire going and closes the lid so that the grill will heat up. He lights a cigarette, as he is really nervous. He just finishes having a pull on it when he hears Cole come out. Cole looks at the cigarette and smiles. “Don’t worry I am house trained.” Greg says. “No problem guy, if we were all perfect I wouldn’t have a job.” “Really?” Greg asks. “Yeah really.” Cole smiles and passes a beer to the other man. They clink the necks of the bottles and toast each other. “You know, I was so nervous I must have smoked three or four while driving down here.” Greg says. “You were nervous too?” “Big time!” Greg says looking into Cole’s eyes. “You know what, me too!” Cole says. Greg stubs out the cigarette and motions Cole towards him. The two men embrace again pulling each other close. They break apart, Cole heads back into the house to get the steaks Greg follows. “You don’t have to come in.” Cole says. “Yeah I do, gotta use the can.” “There is one to the left just inside the door.” Cole points it out as they enter the house.

2

“Gonna get something out of my bag.” Greg says as he runs up the stairs. He gets his toothbrush and toothpaste and heads to the bathroom. He brushes his teeth and notices some mouth wash. He rinses his mouth out and then heads back downstairs. Cole is out on the deck and Greg can hear the sound of the steaks cooking. Greg steps up behind Cole and grabs him around the waist and then he rests his head on Cole’s shoulder. Cole turns and smiles he can smell the wintergreen scent of mouthwash. He leans towards Greg and offers his mouth. The two men kiss. “How do you like your steak?” Cole asks, as they break apart. “Medium rare.” “Same as me.” Cole checks the meat and sees it is almost time to flip them. “ Are we going to eat out here?” “Sure if you want, I didn’t bring anything out though.” “It’s Ok I can get some plates and knives and forks.” “Ok, do you want me to tell you where everything is?” “Nah, I think I can find it.” “There is a potato salad in the fridge, take that out too.” “Sure will.” Greg is back in short time with everything. They are soon eating, as there is no table so both men are balancing their plates on their legs. “How is your steak?” “Perfect” Greg says. “I had planned to eat at a table, like civilized people, but there won’t be too many more nights when we can eat outside without parkas.” “It’s all good Cole.” “My partner of the past several weeks is transferring to a different shift, she wanted me to come out for a beer tonight. You interested?”

2

“Sure I’m easy, does she know I am coming?” Greg knows that this will be a test, but then again everything is going to be a test for a while. “Yeah, she originally wanted to go out right after work, I said I had company and may go out after supper.” “Anything else I should know?” “Well she is recently divorced and shopping I guess.” “Shopping?” Greg says and starts to laugh, Cole laughs too. “That’s too funny!” “Yeah it is. She doesn’t know yet though.” “Cool, your secret is safe with me.” Greg says as he picks up his beer and tips it to Cole. Cole beams he is happy. This trip tonight while totally unplanned will help him he knows that. If the two of them can pull it off he will have nothing to fear, he hopes. They finish eating and take the dishes to the kitchen. Greg turns on the taps and washes everything. Cole gets a towel and dries. When they are done, the two men kiss again. They break apart and Cole says they better get going. “I think I should drive Cole.” “Why is that?” “Because sooner or later I am gonna want a cigarette and I don’t want to smoke in your truck.” “Ok, you win but I am buying the first round.” “Your on!” They get dressed to go outside. Cole goes and turns off the barbeque, which he left running to let it burn some of the grease off. He gets in the car and puts on his seat belt. He notices Greg doesn’t put the car into gear so he looks at him. Greg leans over and kisses Cole again. “How are you doing Cole?” “Not too bad, how are you?”

2

“Well I told you before that I had sort of retired from the scene, it’s been a while since I have been on a date. I want to thank you for changing that.” Cole says nothing, he just thinks about it, and a date with a guy in his hometown. “You’re nervous aren’t you?” Greg asks. “Terrified is more like it.” Cole says. “Good we both have something in common.” Greg says and he reaches over and grabs Cole’s hand. Cole looks out the window, he is enjoying Greg’s company. He notices there is music playing at a low volume. He recognizes it, as it is his favourite CD. “You like David Gray too!” Cole says as he reaches over to turn up the music. Suddenly feeling more confident. Greg removes his hand and Cole looks at him. “Gonna have a smoke before we get there.” Greg lights a cigarette and rolls down the window. Cole thinks this is the only thing so far he would change about Greg. “Geez I am gonna have to quit this soon before the weather gets too bad. Nothing worse than standing outside at –20 to have a fix.” “What’s stopping you?” Cole asks. “I think…I think it is too soon to share that with you.” Greg says. “Maybe going out with a non-smoker is the reason,” Cole says to himself.

2

Ugly Pub and Grille Cole directs Greg to the bar and they pull up and park. They have to wait to cross the street to get to the bar. Cole sees a police car go by. It is Mark who gives a small wave. “Friend of yours?” Greg asks. “Yeah, my best friend!” “Kind of ironic he would just happen to be driving by.” “Not really, he knew we were coming here tonight, that’s probably his 50th cruise by.” “That’s cool, so I guess he knows?” “Yeah, he has been a really good friend. Especially now.” “He is just looking out for you, making sure I am not an axe murderer.” The Ugly Pub and Grille is situated in a brick building. Greg notices when they enter the bar that is has open brick walls. The ceiling is covered with wood painted in different colours. At the back of the room is a large screen TV. The place is packed with people glad to be finished another week at work. Cole who is totally at home leads Greg through the bar, he turns to the right and a short hallway leads them to the Grille side. Cole sees Kelly sitting at a table. She is not alone there is a guy sitting with her. He notices it is another Police Officer and his chest tightens. “Hey Cole!” Kelly says, “Pull up a chair.” “Hey Kelly, Matt. This is Greg a friend of mine down from Edmonton.” “Welcome to Lacombe Greg.” Kelly and Matt say at the same time. “So you on the job?” Matt asks Greg as soon as he is seated. “No, not a cop. I am an Immigration Officer.” Matt immediately cools, he is not used to hanging around with civilians. Cole knows Matt but not that well. Matt is big friends with Brent the fireman. They play hockey and fastball together and when they aren’t doing that go to Red Deer to pick up chicks. In fact Cole is surprised to see that Brent isn’t here. He would basically describe Matt as a red neck. Cole prepares himself to get ready to bail if Greg and Matt butt heads. “Immigration that must be interesting?” Kelly asks.

2

“Yeah it is, it’s sort of like the import export business.” “Seems to be a lot more importing than exporting.” Matt says. Greg hopes someone changes the subject really fast, it is obvious he has struck out with one of Cole’s co-workers. “How is everyone’s beer?” Cole asks, “I’m buying” Everyone wants a beer and Cole indicates a four to the waitress. Greg notices that Matt and Kelly are both drinking Bud. Sure enough the waitress shows up and serves them four Buds. “Something I will have to get used too” He says to himself. “To good friends and good beer!” Cole toasts. Everyone echoes Cole and they cling bottles and take a drink. “Nice place.” Greg says to no one in particular. “How did it gets it’s name, there is certainly nothing Ugly.” “We aren’t really sure.” Cole says, “You seem to get a different story anytime you ask someone. It’s been here for about three years and is doing well.” “I can see!” “So what brings you down from the big city, Greg?” Kelly asks as she checks Greg out. She notices the man is put together pretty well. She checks to see if he has a ring, but doesn’t see one. Of course that isn’t an indicator almost all the guys she works with don’t wear their rings. “I came down to hang out with Cole for something different. Besides, he just finished his house, had to see that!” “You finally finished the house Cole?” Matt asks, “When’s the housewarming?” “Haven’t decided yet, not sure if I want to have all you wild guys out there!” Kelly and Greg laugh, Matt doesn’t know whether to be offended but laughs as well. Greg notices some peanuts on the table and takes some. When he has shelled them he makes a pile. Looking around he sees the floor is covered with peanut shells, so he brushes his off the table to join the others. “Have you known Cole long?” “Actually no, but we have some friends in common, we met through them.” Greg says. Cole is impressed and he kicks himself for not coming up with a story while they were driving here.

2

“Yeah, Greg and I are thinking of running a marathon.” Cole adds, “We were going to get a training plan set up and pick a race.” “Gonna be tricky for you two to train together, living so far apart.” “Not really Kelly, we both run anyway, we are just going to set up a plan. When we can run together that would be great. But we’ll still do our own training.” Greg says he looks at Cole for concurrence. Cole nods. “Either of you run one before?” Matt asks. “I have done two.” Greg says, “Edmonton and Vancouver.” “I am still a virgin so to speak, but I am eager to try it.” Cole says. “We are going to laugh our asses off when we get back home,” he says to himself. “I ran Edmonton’s in 2000.” Kelly says, “What year did you do it?” “I ran it in 94, it was my first one.” Greg says. “I think I want to do another one. Which one are you guys planning on doing?” Kelly asks. “We haven’t planned anything yet, ideally it would be Chicago, but that is less than a month away, so we will have to plan for something in the spring.” Greg says. “I still want to do Chicago sometime though.” Cole says, “Maybe next year.” “Why Chicago?” Matt asks. “Two reasons Matt, its flat and the city is an architectural wonder. Lots to look at while you’re running.” “I could think of a lot more interesting things to look at then buildings!” Matt chortles. Cole picks up his bottle and has a drink he notices that he has almost completely finished his beer. “Anyone for another beer?” Cole asks. Kelly and Matt both indicate they want another beer. Greg says he is ok. Cole has his back to the small hallway but he notices Kelly look up and smile. “Hey guys behaving yourselves?” Mark says as he walks up to their table. “We are Officer.” Cole says, “What brings you in here?”

2

“Just doing my job, making sure the town is safe.” Mark says as he looks at Greg. “Mark this is my friend Greg, he is down from Edmonton.” Cole says. Mark steps over and offers his hand, Greg stands a bit and shakes it, “Pleased to meet you.” “Come down to see the sights?” Mark asks. “Yeah, I figured I’d make a getaway before the snow falls.” Greg says. “Supposed to be nice this weekend.” Mark turns and looks at Cole, “You should take him to the Maze.” “Is that still open?” Cole asks, funny he can’t remember when the damned thing closes down. “The Maze?” Greg asks. “It’s a maze, you know, but this one is in a corn field.” Cole says “Come to think of it I haven’t been there either.” Kelly says. “Maybe we could go there tomorrow afternoon.” Cole says and looks at Greg and then Kelly. “Well I’d love to but I am heading down to Calgary again.” Kelly says. Mark says good-bye to everyone and takes a tour of the bar. “So your heading down to Calgary again parts. Is there something we should know?” Cole asks with a big grin. “None of your business Wheeler! I am allowed to have a social life.” Kelly protests. “Besides I haven’t found a reason to shop locally yet.” She looks at the three men as she says this. “Fraternization, its in the manual, what section Matt?” Cole says. “Haven’t got it handy but I sure don’t want to be in front of the Sarge and explain bopping in a cop car.” “Well here’s to finding a bopping partner!” Cole says and they all take a drink. “Speaking of which guys, I gotta head er.” Matt says with a wink. “Got something lined up?”

2

“Oh yeah!” Matt says and downs the rest of his beer. When he stands he waivers a bit. The guy has obviously been drinking for a while. “I hope it’s within walking distance.” Kelly says. Cole knows better than to say anything, he is walking on pretty thin ice bringing a date here as it is. Matt puts on his leather jacket and then heads for the door. “You staying for another beer, Kelly?” Greg asks as he gets his wallet out. “Yeah sure, it’s Friday night, not much else going on. Besides I live close.” Kelly says and looks at Cole. She remembers bumping into him at his girlfriend’s in the same building. Greg gets the waitress’s attention, she makes a circle sign and he nods. “So have you met Kat yet Greg?” Kelly asks. “No, I haven’t had the pleasure.” Greg tries to remember if Cole had mentioned her. It is obvious though that Kelly is trying to get some info. “Our coming out tonight wasn’t planned at all Kelly, in fact I sprung it on Greg after dinner.” Kelly’s intuition reacts to the coming out part of that sentence. She looks at both of them and they just don’t seem as relaxed as most guys are. “Are they hiding something?” She asks herself, “Or does this have something to do with Cole’s project which she heard involves his going to Edmonton.” The waitress comes and puts down the bottles and Greg pays her. “Well I have to go to the washroom guys.” Kelly says and gets up. “Be right back.” When she has entered the Ladies Cole quickly says in a low voice, “Mark knows, Kat is a lesbian pretending to be my girlfriend and Kelly is getting mighty suspicious.” “Got it.” Greg says. The two of them talk about marathons. They are still talking about it when Kelly gets back. “I was just telling Cole about this father and son that were running in Vancouver.” Greg says and looks at her. “I passed them several times by this point and the son, I think he was about 14 or so. He looks like he doesn’t want to do it anymore. We were over halfway through at this point anyway the Dad keeps telling his son ‘don’t let it get to you,

2

its just a thing and no thing can beat you!” Greg puts on a fake Texas accent as he quoted the father. The three of them laugh. Cole and Kelly each try to say it with a Texas accent. Greg tells some more stories from his marathons and Kelly joins in and tells some from the one she ran. Cole enjoys listening to them. But something else is bothering him. He thinks that Kelly is just about to figure things out so he prepares himself to confirm her suspicions. He feels it is only fair as she was his partner until today. “Well guys after all that talk of healthy stuff I have to go do something gross.” Greg says as he flashes his pack of cigarettes and puts his coat on. Kelly looks stunned, “But you’re a runner, you know better!” “Been telling him the exact same thing Kelly.” Cole says. Greg gets up and walks to the bar side, he finds room at a stand up table and lights a cigarette. He didn’t want to smoke at the table, besides Cole was nice enough not to say anything when he smoked in the car. Cole and Kelly get down to some shoptalk. Kelly asks about her new partner and Cole tells her is he a good guy and she should have no problems. “How is the house?” Kelly asks. “It’s great! I finally got the deck finished. Now I just have to fill it up!” Cole laughs. “It has been my experience that you don’t have to fill it up, it just does.” Kelly says, “My ex and I accumulated tons of shit while we were married.” “Did you guys own a house?” Cole realizes he never did ask her too much about her life. “Yeah, we did. The ex bought me out. I did pretty good.” “Well that’ll help you get started here.” “It sure will. I should really start to look now.” Kelly smiles, “Now that I know I will be staying.” She takes a drink. “By the way I never did get to thank you, that was a great evaluation you wrote!” “Thanks, but I was just telling it as it is.” Cole smiles. “Can I ask why you are switching shifts?”

2

“Nothing personal Kelly, I am just used to working with Mark. We have been together for several years and have a great relationship.” “Actually my ex had the same partner for a long time too and he did everything he could to make sure that didn’t change. You’d think he’d do as much for his wife.” Cole doesn’t say anything but he does know that Kelly should hit it off pretty well with her new partner. They may test that fraternization policy. He smiles. “Why are you smiling?” Kelly asks. “Oh nothing!” He answers. He is glad that the conversation went this way. He actually was thinking of tell her the truth about himself, but he has had enough change in the last month. He wants to sit back and let things normalize for a while. “Really cool bar, I got to speak to some guys and put some loonies in the jukebox.” Greg says as he comes back to the table. “Did you get your fill?” Kelly says sarcastically. “Sure did!” Greg says. “I am sure you get asked this a lot, but why don’t you quit?” “Well its kind of a pile of things, but don’t worry I think the time is coming soon.” Greg says as he flashes a smile. Cole nods and takes a drink. Kelly is oblivious to the interaction between the two guys. “Oh yeah, besides if I am going to kick your ass in that marathon, I better quit!” They all laugh and drink some more. “Well Guys I am getting tired and I sure don’t want to drink anymore. Maybe I should head off home and let you loose on the local women.” Kelly says. Greg looks around and then says, “Nice timing I think you waited till all the single ones were gone.” Cole laughs as he notices this too. “More than just a pretty face!” Kelly says. “Well, we should be going too.” Cole says, “May we walk you home?” “Sure Cole that would be nice.”

2

The three of them put their coats and stand. Cole stops at the bar and pays his tab as Greg and Kelly head outside. “He’s a good guy isn’t he?” Kelly says while the two of them wait on the sidewalk. Kelly takes this moment to see if she could put a finger on what is bugging her. Greg is aware of what she is trying to do and he thinks carefully before he answers, “Yeah he is a great guy. He seems to have a things set here, a good job, his own house. I think he is going to make someone really happy.” “Yeah he is going to make someone a great partner.” She intentionally used this word to see if she could trip Greg up. “That’s kind of a dual purpose word to use Kelly.” Greg says as Cole comes out and joins them. “What’s that?” Cole asks. “Oh nothing, we were just talking.” Greg says and smiles at Kelly. “Well from the look on your faces I don’t think it was about the weather!” “Your right Cole, we were talking about you!” Kelly says and starts to laugh. “Well as long as it was good!” They laugh as they head down the street. Kelly is in the middle and offers her arms to both men and they take them. They window-shop whenever they pass a store, making comments about the various wares on display. They arrive at Kelly’s building and stop. Kelly invites them up for a nightcap. Cole fakes a yawn and Greg says he is at his limit as he is the designated driver. “Well I think you still have to wait some time yet.” Kelly says, “Why don’t you come up?” “We can take the long way back to the car besides it’s nice out.” “And I want another cigarette!” Greg says with a fake whine. “Well then good night boys.” Kelly says as she puts the key in the lock. “Night Kelly, it was nice meeting you.” Greg says. “Nice meeting you too, Greg. Don’t make yourself a stranger.” “I’ll try not too, if we are going to stick to the training plan you should see a lot more of me.”

2

“Night Kelly.” Cole says. Kelly turns and goes into the building. She looks back at them before she gets in the elevator. They wave and turn to walk back to the car.

2

Donuts and Chaps They head down the street taking the long way back to the car. Greg lights a cigarette. “That wasn’t too bad, eh?” Cole asks. “Not so bad at all.” Greg turns and smiles at Cole. “Good company, good beer!” Cole laughs. He feels relief as he managed to get through the night without anyone finding out. “You got an inquisitive partner there, Cole.” Greg says they are on a major street with traffic so no one could hear what they are saying. “Yeah, I think she clued in there and I was almost going to tell her.” Cole says. “I could sense that, I wouldn’t have been pissed if you did.” “Well I have had enough coming out for awhile, I need to take a break and let things adjust.” Cole hears a car pull-up beside them and he looks over and sees it is Mark. The passenger window rolls down and Cole leans in to talk. “You guys need a ride?” Mark asks. Cole looks at Greg, who stubs out his cigarette and says “In that!” “Sure, we could cuff you and throw you in the back!” Cole says. “Nah, I think I might like that.” Greg says jokingly, “Why don’t we go over there?” Greg points to a chain donut shop which is across the street. “Donuts!!” Mark says, “I’ll radio in and meet you there.” Cole and Greg cross the road and meet Mark as he pulls into the parking lot. They order some coffee and donuts and find a table. Cole and Greg sit facing Mark. “So how did it go guys?” Mark asks. “Not too bad, I think.” Cole says and looks at Greg. “No problems on my part, besides you were the one with his balls on the line!” “I must say Cole, in all the years I have known you that is the ballsiest thing I have seen you do!” Mark laughs.

2

“Tell me about it, I was just telling Greg I didn’t know how long I could keep it up.” “Well Parts, I am there remember that.” Mark says and puts his fist out Cole meets his fist. Greg smiles, these guys are obviously very close, they even have the jock thing going. “So if I may ask Mark, what the fuck were you doing? Chaperoning?” Cole says. “There is nothing going on tonight at all, I thought maybe there’d be a big fight I’d have to break up.” Mark says “What with Matt there and all.” “We had it all under control, Greg here was improvising like a mad man.” “He must have been for you to last that long!” Greg smiles he can’t think of anything to say, he feels good that he seems to have made a friend out of Mark. It’s obviously important to Cole. Mark’s radio squawks. “Well guys it looks like its time for me to go to work.” Mark says as he gets up, “Call me tomorrow Cole.” “Sure, night Mark.” Cole says. Greg waves as Mark hurries out to the car. “So ready to head back?” Cole asks. “Yeah, I think so.” Cole and Greg head to the car. It is parked about two blocks away. Greg opens the door and unlocks Cole’s door. Before he gets in he goes and gets a bag out of the trunk. “I picked up these for you.” Greg says as he gets in the car and passes the bag to Cole. It is the pair of chaps he bought on his last trip to Edmonton. “Cool! How come you have them?” “Well I saw Steve the other day and we were talking, he asked about you. I told him I was coming to see you on the weekend. He said to stop by the store before I leave town, so I did. Hope you don’t mind?” “No I don’t mind. I would have liked to have known though.” Cole says. “Don’t sweat it, I’d be dumb to take off with them, have a cop and a mad leather guy chasing me!” Cole laughs, “Just joking Greg! I think I trust you enough.”

2

They drive back home. Cole’s hand manages to find Greg’s. David Gray is still playing in the CD player. Cole sighs, leans back and closes his eyes. At the house they get out of the car, he lets Cole go inside while he has a cigarette. “Man, I gotta quit this soon!” He says to himself. He notices it is really quiet and he can see the Northern Lights flickering away. When he is done he enters the house. Greg is taking his shoes off when he hears Cole come downstairs. “How do they look?” Cole says. He went upstairs and put the chaps on over his jeans. He had fun doing the snaps up on the side and he found them stiff to walk in. But they feel good and the closeness of the leather got him excited. “Hot man!” Greg says as he looks at the other man. He takes in the whole image from head to toe, focusing on the chaps the man is now wearing. He can feel a hard-on starting and can’t help but notice Cole has one too. Cole studies Greg’s face and he can see this is really having an effect on the man. He walks over and opens his arms. He doesn’t care about the smoke in fact he doesn’t care about too much right now except for the feeling in his loins. The two men kiss for a long time. They hold each other’s bodies tight, their hard-ons pressed against each other. “So you wanna use the spare bed tonight?” Cole asks, as they break apart. “Is there a better offer?” Greg says softly. Cole takes Greg’s hand and leads him up the stairs to his room. Greg goes to say something but he is cut off when Cole starts to kiss him again. Their t-shirts come off easily and they rub each other’s bodies. Cole starts to undo the buttons on Greg’s fly. Greg rubs Cole’s back. Greg pulls back and looks Cole in the eye, “Cole what would you say if we didn’t rush into this?” Cole is stunned as he is so horny he can’t think straight. “Is there something wrong?” Cole asks. “No, nothing’s wrong Cole, I just want to savour this. I want to have it mean something, that’s all, is that Ok?” Cole feels like a teenager. His cock is doing all his thinking for him, “Hold off till when? I don’t get this, I mean we are both pretty horny it’s only natural.”

2

“How about tomorrow man, if we still feel the same way we can screw our brains out.” He locks eyes with Cole, “I just want to make sure it is something our big heads want, not just the little ones.” Cole smiles, the man is telling him in a round about way that he doesn’t want this to be a one-night stand. He manages to remember the talks they have had. As much as he doesn’t want to, he pulls back and smiles at Greg. “Ok”, he says. Greg smiles and he feels a sense of relief, he hasn’t ruined everything. “One thing though Cole.” Greg says. “What’s that?” “Don’t wear the jeans tomorrow night!” Greg smiles. Cole laughs and pulls Greg to him again and they kiss again. “Still wanna sleep here?” Cole asks with a strained voice. He is uncomfortable trying to bend in the middle with a raging hard-on and takes the chaps off. “Sure, can I trust you not to do anything?” Cole smiles as he stands and drops his jeans. “Well you can trust me, but I am not sure about him!” Cole points to his dick. “Well if its any consolation mine wants it as much as yours does!” Greg says as he finishes taking his jeans off. “Well let’s go brush our teeth and then hit the sack.” Cole says as he heads to the bathroom. He notices Greg heading to his room. “I got a spare one!” Greg joins him in the bathroom and takes the toothbrush that Cole gives him. He puts some paste on it and starts to brush his teeth. Both men look at each other’s reflections in the mirror. They study each other’s bodies and both men still sporting erections, which show through their underwear. “Fuck its gonna be hard to take a piss!” Greg says. Cole starts laughing as the other man says this and he accidentally swallows some toothpaste and starts coughing. “What did I say?” “Well it seems I have had this problem a lot lately.”

2

“If that’s the only problem!” Greg laughs. It takes awhile but both men are finally able to relieve themselves. They go to bed and lie down and start to kiss passionately. When they break apart Cole turns on his side and Greg settles in behind him. Cole can feel the man’s erection pressed up against his body. It makes him feel good. Pretty soon both men are sound asleep.

2

Running Greg wakes up first and extracts himself from the bed and he takes a look at Cole’s sleeping body before he covers it. “I could get used to this!” he says to himself. He brushes his teeth and then goes to his room and gets some boxers and a t-shirt and puts them on. Then he goes downstairs and puts on some coffee. The coffee has just finished percolating when Cole shows up at the doorway. Greg looks up from a magazine he has found and smiles. He notices Cole is dressed the same way as he is. “How did you sleep?” Cole asks. “Not too bad, how about you?” “Good good” Cole heads to the counter and gets a cup of coffee. He kisses Greg on the top of the head before he sits down. “I missed you when I woke up.” Cole says and smiles. “You looked so cute lying there I decided to let you sleep.” “Gee thanks!” Cole says. “I think you are going to have to change the sheets.” Greg says with a guilty look on his face. “Why’s that?” Cole tries to get a serious look on his face. “Well, I kind of had an accident.” Cole stares at him and then breaks out in a really big grin, “It’s Ok, I kind of had an accident too!” Both men laugh. Cole can feel the effects of the night before. He is hungry but doesn’t feel like moving. “Got any food in this place?” Greg says. “Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll make some breakfast.” “No you sit there and recover, I’ll cook.” Greg can see that Cole does not look like doing too much. “No, it’s Ok you’re my guest.” “Well your guest wants to cook!” Greg gets up from the table and opens the fridge. He pulls out some eggs and bacon.

2

Cole feels guilty, but decides if the guy wants to do it, have at it. Pretty soon the smell of bacon fills the room. Cole starts to feel hungry. Greg goes about cooking breakfast. He makes eggs over hard, toast and a whole pile of bacon. Cole refills his coffee cup and tries to help, but Greg shoos him away. He does manage to sneak a piece of bacon though. Cole sets the table and puts on some more coffee. Soon the two of them are eating. “So what do you want to do today?” Cole asks. “Well, I am easy but I do want to go for a run, you up for it?” “Sure!” Cole says, “Always up for a run.” Cole remembers the dream he had the other night and smiles. Greg watches Cole smile and he wonders what the man is thinking about. He decides not to ask. “Well I gotta go shave, I’ll leave you the dishes.” Greg stands and looks at Cole for a reaction. “Shave? It’s a Saturday why don’t you kick back, I’m not shaving.” Greg rubs his face it doesn’t feel too bad. He shrugs and gets some more coffee. “How about last night eh!” Greg says. Cole laughs too. “I loved the line about planning a marathon, what ever made you think of that?” “I honestly don’t know, but I knew we’d be busted PDQ if there was no plan. So I said the first thing I thought of.” “I don’t know why I didn’t plan for that on the way there.” Cole looks down. Taking one of Cole’s hands in his Greg says, “Don’t sweat it, it all worked out. Besides I got a tremendous rush!” “Me too, after you started if I didn’t know where it was going to go!” “Well, I want to assure you I am not going to do anything to embarrass you. Hell if you decided to come out last night I would have been there.” “If I came out last night, you would have had no choice!” Cole laughs as he imagines what would have occurred if he told Matt straight out.

2

“That’s funny, when I came back from having a smoke, I was nervous you had told her.” “The words just wouldn’t come out, besides we were on a date.” Greg blushes a bit at the word. He can’t believe that he was actually on a real date with Cole. “And it was a great date Cole!” “Play your cards right and there will be more of those.” “More what?” Greg says playing coy. “Dates stupid, now come here and give me a kiss.” Cole smiles. Greg goes over to Cole, who stands. The two men kiss again. “God you feel good, I could get used to this.” Cole says. “Mmm me too.” “If we keep doing this, we won’t be going running today!” Greg says as he slowly pulls away from Cole. “Would that be a sin?” Cole asks and then he remembers his dream. “No you’re right let’s go!” They race up the stairs and get into their running clothes. When Greg comes into Cole’s room he sees the man has on way more clothes than he does. “Expecting a cold snap?” “You’re just wearing that!” Cole exclaims as he sees Greg standing there in shorts and a t-shirt. “What’s wrong with this?” Greg looks down at himself, “I am usually only cold for the first mile, then I am fine.” “Ok.” Cole says sarcastically, “Go on down, I’ll be there in a sec” Cole says. He waits until Greg has gone then he heads to the washroom. When Greg is gone Cole gets a couple of condoms from a drawer in the bathroom and puts them in the pocket of his vest. When they are outside they start running down the driveway. When they get to the Range Road, Cole leads them to the left. They run up the road for a while and then Cole leads them on a path through the trees. It is a windy path and the two men pick up the pace as their bodies warm up. The path leads them down to the lake. They run around it a couple of times. It is sunny and there is a bit of a breeze. There are geese in the lake, taking a rest on their trek to their winter homes in the south. “Feels good!” Greg says.

2

“Yeah, this is just what the doctor ordered!” Cole says as he feels the cobwebs clear from his brain. He thinks about the time he has spent with Greg. He still doesn’t know what attracts him to the guy, but he knows that the feelings are not going away. He hopes that Greg feels the same. Greg is thinking about Cole. He has fallen for guys before only to wind up getting hurt. He had built up a wall to protect himself. After meeting Cole he can start to feel the wall come down. He doesn’t know how to tell Cole this without scaring him away. Greg also thinks about the sex thing. “How long should he hold out?” he asks himself. He doesn’t want to ruin this by holding out too long. Greg sees Cole take off ahead of him as they climb the hill back into the trees. Soon he can’t see him anymore. He starts to pick up his pace wondering why Cole ran off. Wham! Greg is suddenly on his side in a pile of leave on the side of the path, “What the fu..” He starts to say but his mouth is covered by Cole’s. He feels the man’s warm body on top of him. He feels the cold ground beneath him. Greg responds to Cole’s kiss. He frees his arms and pulls the man close to him. He feels Cole’s hard-on pressing into his groin. “Just go with it man.” Cole whispers as he gyrates his hips. He can feel Greg responding and this makes him hotter. Cole’s hands were holding Greg’s. He frees one and lifts his body away from the other man. His left hand goes up under Greg’s t-shirt and feels for a nipple. He must have been a bit cool as he finds the nub easily and starts to caress it. Greg frees his other hand and he lets them explore Cole’s body. He slides his hands down Cole’s back and into the man’s shorts. He pulls Cole closer to him. “Wanna do it here?” Cole whispers. Greg doesn’t respond verbally, he is so hot he doesn’t care where they do it. Cole removes his hand from the man’s chest and moves it down into Greg’s shorts. He immediately grabs the hard cock and starts to jerk on it. He can feel Greg grab hold of his too. The two men continue to kiss and jerk each other off. Before too long Cole can feel himself getting close. He can tell by Greg’s breathing he is getting close. Cole cums first and he thrusts his cock hard up against Greg as he feels himself shoot. The feeling of Cole having an orgasm pushes Greg over the brink. They both pant when they are finished. “I needed that in the worst way.” Cole says.

2

Greg holds Cole’s head in his hands as he kisses him deeply. He doesn’t say how much he wanted this to occur. The past looms up before him all those times he fell for a guy and he found out it wasn’t mutual. They separate and get up. Greg starts to feel cold and shivers. “We better get back, besides it won’t be too comfortable running like this!” “Yeah and I am starting to get cold!” They sprint back to the house. Both were surprised at the amount of energy they had. Greg beats Cole to the house and puts a claim on the shower. Inside the doorway Cole takes the condoms out of his running vest before hanging it up. “Prepared?” Greg asks. “Yeah, I have had a fantasy about doing that for a while.” “How was it?” “Better than I dreamed of, thanks to you!” Cole says and smiles. “I’m glad I could help.” Greg says, “Now I have to go take a shower, I feel gross!” “Need someone to wash you back?” “I wouldn’t mind.” Greg says and looks at the condoms. “Take those.” Cole smiles, the two of them are naked as they hit the bathroom. Cole gets the water to the right temperature and gets in. Greg follows. They both have a bar of soap in their hands as they wash each other’s body. What happens next calms Greg’s fears down totally. They both have their turns making love to the other man. Cole takes the lead and puts a condom on Greg. When Greg has finished he takes a condom and puts it on Cole. “I’d like for they’re to be a day when we don’t have to do that, Cole.” Greg says. Cole is speechless as he realizes that Greg is feeling the same way he is. He then reaches for some towels and they dry each other off. “Fuck I did it again!” Greg says to himself, “How do you tell a guy that you like him a lot without scaring the guy off!” “Hey lets go to the maze.” Cole says as he heads to his room. He really wants to talk to Greg but he doesn’t know what to say.

2

“Sure Cole.” Greg says as he heads to his room and gets dressed. Greg is dressed and runs downstairs. He puts on his coat and decides to have a quick smoke before they leave. He was amazed he had made it this far in the day without one. When Cole comes out he smiles at Greg. He knows the man must be having the same feeling he is. Cole heads over and starts the truck and Greg gets in when he has finished the cigarette. “There is a CD case under your seat, go ahead and pick one.” Cole says. Greg picks up the CD case and goes through the music. He notices Cole listens to the same music he does. He picks a CD that sort of echoes how he feels. “Jann Arden, good choice!” Cole says and squeezes Greg’s leg. They drive into town. It is pretty busy for a Saturday. Cole goes to a local coffee shop and they both order. “My day revolves on coffee!” Cole says, “Better get used to it!” “Mine too!” Greg says and then realizes that Cole has sort of committed. The girl at the counter heard it too. She is trying to figure out what is going on between these guys. They sit at a table and look out the window. Their legs brush against each other and they both pull them away. Cole finally doesn’t give a shit and presses his leg up to Greg’s. “Did you catch that?” Cole asks as he looks at Greg. “Yeah and the answer is yes.” Greg says as he locks eyes with Cole, he pushes his leg harder against Cole’s at the same time. “Cool, very cool.” Greg blushes and then looks away and mumbles, “Real cool.” Cole puts his fist up and Greg having watched him do this with Mark meets the fist with his. They get more coffee to go and then head over to the Maze, which amazingly is still open. The corn plants are dying though several frost seeing to that. It is not very busy and Cole and Greg get to explore the maze virtually by themselves. When they are finished Greg asks what they are going to do now. “Well Mark said to call, you want to meet him on a more informal basis?” “Sure, I like Mark.” Cole calls Mark from his cell phone. A short conversation ensues and he starts the truck.

2

“He said to come over.” Cole starts the truck and they go to Mark’s place. Mark opens the door and welcomes them in to his house. They shake hands and then Mary comes out from the kitchen. Cole introduces Greg. “I just made some sandwiches, come and sit down!” Mary says. The four of them sit at the table, Cole asks where the kids are and Mary tells his they are at a birthday party. The four of them sit and chat about various things. Mostly stupid things that Cole has done in the time Mark have known him. Greg excuses himself to go outside and Mark says he’ll join him. Cole looks surprised. “It’s Ok, he has to have some flaws!” Mary says, besides you can help me clean up. The two of them go outside, Greg passes a cigarette to Mark. “As you have heard I have known Mark for a long time.” Marks says “Sounds like you two are the best of friends.” “Yeah, we do almost everything together. We are pretty close, I can read him like a book, he can read me too.” “Geez, it must be great to have a friend like that.” “Well I am lucky, I have a friend like that and my wife. I have always hoped the same for Cole.” “This sounds serious.” “No, it’s not at all.” Mark pauses, “I have known him for years and other than high school I have never met anyone he was seeing.” Greg feels a chill on his back. “Cole, is not a very verbal guy when it comes to how he is feeling. He usually defers to me to speak for him.” Mark laughs. “I’m not getting it.” Greg says abruptly. “As you can see I am not the best at this either.” Mark says, “He likes you!” Greg smokes his cigarette and thinks to himself, “Am I ready to commit to Cole?” “I guess it is up to you, if you feel the same way.” Mark says.

2

“Whoa this is pretty deep, I mean I have always wanted to meet someone like Cole and now here I am, what the hell do I do now?” “Who knows Greg, just keep doing what you are doing I guess.” “Thanks Mark!” Greg says as he puts out his cigarette, Mark does too and they head into the house. “Cole can I see you a sec?” Greg asks. Cole comes out from the kitchen and Mark says something about needing to brush his teeth. Greg can hear Mary banging around in the kitchen. “Mary’s making a cake, what’s up?” “Mark’s in the bathroom.” Greg says as he pulls Cole to him and kisses him. “Wow, that was the best one yet!” Cole says. “Well we can practice making them better one kiss at a time.” “You’re on!” Cole smiles broadly. “I think we should continue this conversation someplace else.” Greg says as sees Mary looking at them from the kitchen, she is wiping her eyes. “I think you’re right!” Cole says and leads Greg to the kitchen. “You boys off?” Mary asks. “Yeah we better go, got some stuff to take care of.” Cole says. “Well nice meeting you Greg, you’re always welcome here.” Mary says. “Nice meeting you Mary!” “You guys off?” Mark asks. “I thought maybe we could shoot some hoops.” Everyone in the room starts to laugh. “Later Mark, I am sure you and Mary can find something else to do.” Cole winks. More laughter occurs, as Greg and Cole get ready and head out the door.

2

Monday Cole gets ready to go into Edmonton. Greg took off the night before, the weekend flew by. They made plans to meet again soon as Greg left. Cole did not mention he would be up in Edmonton today. He wanted to surprise Greg. Cole met with the Captain at a coffee shop in Edmonton. They were in a place that was relatively quiet. They managed to review everything they knew and put together a plan to implement the undercover operation. Cole went to the gym and worked out. It was the best place he knew of to work things out. He would have gone running, but he did two runs on the weekend. Cole didn’t rush through his workout. He paced himself so that he would be finished about the same time he Greg would be off work. He laughs to himself, “Greg will be surprised!” “Hello, just a sec” Greg says in a rushed voice. He was driving when the cell phone rang. Greg pulls into a parking lot. “Hey, it’s me” Cole says, “Did I call at a bad time?” “Hi Cole, no I was just driving, off to the side of the road now. What's up?” “What are you doing for supper?” “Didn’t plan anything, I was actually going to the gym.” Greg says puzzled why Cole would be asking this. “We’ll I’m in town and I thought we could go out. But if you are headed to the gym, it’s ok.” “You think I’d go to the gym instead of having supper with you?” “Hey no pressure Greg, I should have told you I was coming to town.” Cole says, “But I wanted to surprise you.” “Well it worked!” Greg laughs, “Want to meet me at my place?” “Yeah, give me the address.” Greg gives Cole the address and gives him directions. When he has done that he says goodbye and speeds home. Cole wasn't the only one that was hiding something. Greg just bought a condo and is in the process of moving to it. This place is a mess. Greg is frantically stacking boxes and worrying about what Cole is going to say when the buzzer sounds. Greg doesn’t speak he just buzzes Cole in.

2

Greg opens the door when he hears Cole knock. He managed to make the place look halfway reasonable. They greet each other with a hug as the door closes. “Don’t worry about your boots.” Greg says as he invites Cole in, “as you can see I am in the process of moving.” “Moving?” “Well I bought a condo and take possession on Wednesday.” “Good for you, was this supposed to be a secret?” Cole asks he is puzzled why Greg didn’t tell him. “No more of a surprise!” Greg smiles. He hopes Cole will understand. “Well I guess your surprise beats mine hands down!” “I wouldn’t say that.” Greg puts his arms around Cole again. “I just didn’t think it was too important you, being in Lacombe and all.” “Yeah, I guess you’re right. But I could have helped you move!” He slaps the other man’s ass as he says this. “Nothing against you Cole, but I hired movers.” “Can you cancel?” Cole looks around, “I think the two of us can handle this.” “How long are you up here for anyway?” Greg asks. “Well I am on loan to EPS for a little while, starting this week.” “No fucking way!” Greg pulls back a little and he doesn’t know whether to be mad or happy. “I can’t tell you much, it’s work related. I really hoped you’d understand.” They stare at each other for a short time. “Was this our first fight?” Greg says as he laughs. “Yup, it wasn’t too bad was it?” “No, I guess we are just going to have to try to be more open about stuff.” “I’ll try Greg, but the job thing…” Cole shrugs his shoulders.

2

“Work is work, I understand, I can’t tell you much about mine either. I guess we share stuff that involves the both of us, deal?” Greg holds a fist up. “Deal!” Cole smiles and meets Greg’s fist with his. “That is good but this is better!” Cole leans forward and kisses Greg. “I think we should cancel the movers, I’ll take some time and help you.” Cole says. “You sure?” “Fuck yeah, besides it’ll give us a chance to know each other better.” Greg admires Cole’s enthusiasm and he says he will try to cancel the movers. They make plans to go eat. Greg gives the directions as Cole drives. They head to a restaurant on Jasper Avenue. It tends to have a trendy crowd, but Greg says the food is good. They get stares from several people as they are seated. Greg sees some other members of the gay community. They cruise Cole as he walks by them. Cole appears not to notice. They get coffee and water to drink. “How was that, did I do ok?” Cole asks. “You mean the catwalk thing?” Cole nods and smiles. “No complaints here, but I think it will be the subject of more than one or two conversations.” “It was the same in Lacombe whenever I was out with a girl.” “How are you feeling about this?” “This?” “I mean us.” “Can’t really say but I do know I missed you last night.” Cole says and lays his hand open on the table. “I missed you too!” Greg says as he holds Cole’s offered hand. “Nervous?”

2

“Yeah!” Greg says, “I am sweating like a fucking pig!” “Me too!” Cole starts to laugh and the separate their hands. The waiter shows up with their drinks. He asks if they are ready to order. “We haven’t even looked at the menu yet!” Greg says, he is still laughing but forces a straight face to talk to the waiter. Cole laughs some more at Greg. “Um, what are the specials tonight?” Greg manages to get out. He wonders why he is acting like a teenager. The waiter tells them the specials and they order. Both of them are having steak. They make a crack about needing the protein. The waiter moves away from the table wearily. Wondering what the hell is up with them. Several people at tables around them noticed there is something strange about them too. “Well if they weren’t talking before, they are now!” Cole says and starts laughing again. When they have calmed down Cole asks about the new place. Greg says that he was tired of rent increases and he needed more space. So he decided to get a place of his own. Cole tells about having a secure job and the fact he had the land. So he decided to build. They talk about their jobs and how much they like them. It occurs to both of them that this could be a problem in the future. They talk about that issue and Greg says that they will worry about it when it becomes a problem. Cole agrees, and then he mentions the support he has from the Sergeant and Chief but he is really worried about how the other guys are going to take it. Greg says to just take his time and he will know when the time is right to come out to more people. They share a piece of cake for desert. Cole pays the bill when it comes, Greg objected but Cole waived him off. “Well that went ok, ready?” Greg asks. “Yeah, besides we need to get outside so you can smoke.” Cole says with a smile. They head out of the restaurant Greg in the lead. When they are outside it is dark and cooler. “I am going to quit this real soon.” Greg says once he has lit the cigarette and they are walking towards the truck.

2

“No pressure, quit on your own terms.” Cole says, “I’ll be here to support you!” “Thanks Cole.” Greg smiles. “If anything smoking outside in the cold will be a big motivator!” “I am going to start the truck and warm it up while you finish your smoke.” Cole gets in the truck. He is feeling good. They managed to talk about some things that are problems in long distance relationships. He watches his lover outside and he smiles. “Lover, I guess that’s who he is isn’t?” Cole asks himself. “You better get me home, you staying in Edmonton tonight?” Greg says as he does up his seatbelt. “Well I have to meet the Chief in Lacombe tomorrow to finalize things, but that’s tomorrow.” “Geez you got a long drive, you should have told me.” “I can drive back to Lacombe in the morning.” “And where would you be spending the night?” Greg asks. “Next to you if it’s ok.” Cole smiles. “Er, yeah but as you saw I wasn’t expecting company.” “You still have a bed?” Cole asks and winks. They head back to Greg’s apartment. Cole parks on the street he will be long gone before the parking restrictions kick in. “Want to watch a movie or is it too late?” Greg asks as he hangs up their coats. “It’s kind of late and besides.” Cole says and points at his crotch. “Gotcha!”

2

Tuesday – Chief’s office and questioning Stevens Cole arrives at the station just before eight. He would normally start earlier but since he is officially on assignment he comes in when the Chief starts. “Hey there Wheeler, no uni?” An Officer stationed at the desk asks. He knows Cole is on assignment, he is just bugging the man. The Officer wishes he could get an assignment some time. “Nah, here to see the Chief, he in?” “Not yet, Sergeant is here though.” Cole heads over to the Sergeant’s office and knocks. The Sergeant looks up, he takes in the fact that Wheeler is not in uniform. This is not normal to him as he is used to them all being properly dressed when on duty. “Come on in, take a load off.” Cole closes the door and sits down. “How’d it go yesterday everything set?” “Just needs the Chief’s approval.” “What about Stevens?” the Sergeant asks. “Shit, I forgot!” Cole says and then looks at how he is dressed. “Don’t worry Sergeant I have a spare uni in my locker.” The Sergeant laughs, he finally caught Wheeler in a gaff. “The guy’s human after all.” He says to himself. “I think you better get dressed before the Chief shows up, he might not share my sense of humour!” “Sorry Sergeant, I stayed in Edmonton last night, didn’t get a chance to go home.” Cole says as he heads to the door. This is venturing into an area that the Sergeant would like to avoid. He watches as Cole leaves his office. The guy appears no different than before. But what’s with the smirk on his face. Cole changes and reports back to the Sergeant. “He’s here, let’s go.” The Sergeant leads Cole to the Chief’s office.

2

After knocking they enter. Both men sit down and the Chief opens the file. “Well Wheeler, I spoke with Captain Boudreau yesterday and everything is set from our end. Sergeant, I need to have you here for the administration part.” The Sergeant says ok but he would like to hear the whole plan but obviously the Chief is the point man on this. The Chief pulls some forms out of the file. He had previously filled out most of the spaces. “Wheeler I need you to fill in the blanks on this form. Basically it is your transfer to EPS. Don’t worry it’s temporary.” Cole takes the form and fills in the blank spaces. He sees a space for next of kin and he pauses. He normally just puts his parents names here, as he didn’t have anyone else. He puts Greg’s name in there. He doesn’t know why but it felt right. He puts the contact number down but he can’t fill out address. He completes the rest of the form and then hands it back to the Chief. The chief reviews it and signs he has Cole sign and the Sergeant witness. “Sergeant, I am thinking of breaking the rules for the next step. I need to know how you feel.” “I have a feeling I know what you are referring to Chief. I will back you up on your decision.” Cole says nothing he figures this has to do with his weapons, badge and uniforms. “Do you see any problems Sergeant, any thing that will come back and bite us in the ass?” “I thought about this Chief, Wheeler has significant ties to the community and he owns a house nearby. I don’t think the Officer is a risk to our trust.” “Ok Wheeler, I concur with the Sergeant. You get to keep your uniform, weapons and badge. Do I have your word that you will maintain your oath?” “Yes Sir!” Cole sits at attention and gives a parade ground response. He feels proud that his superiors trust him completely. “I have prepared a form, showing that we agree to this deviation for the norm, if the trust is broken the penalties will be significant.” “I understand and I will sign it Sir!” The three men sign the form in the appropriate places. The Sergeant is dismissed when this is done.

2

“At ease Wheeler.” The Chief says as he looks at his Officer. “I want to thank you Sir.” Cole says. “No need for thanks Wheeler, I trust you will do the right thing. Now let’s go through this” The Chief says as he holds up another pile of paper. The papers outline Cole’s assignment in Edmonton. He will be working out of the WestEnd Station in the same area of town where Mike lives. All parties agreed that he might be remembered in the downtown Station where the bar is located. Cole will be assigned a partner and do regular policing. This is part of the cover, his main purpose though will to be to get inside the organization at the bar. The file on Rick shows that this may have already occurred with him. His contact will be an Officer from Internal Affairs. Cole is to make regular progress reports to him. They have set up a system by which he can do it. Cole is familiar with the plans, as Captain Boudreau had managed to go over most of it the day before. The only unknowns at this time are who is partner and liaison officer will be. The Chief tells Cole that they are venturing into new territory and he is not sure how things will be. He stresses many times that officer safety is tantamount and that Cole should be cognisant of that at all times. “Lastly Cole” the Chief says solemnly, “This goes against everything that you know. It is going to change you, you will have to lie, cheat and do countless other things in order to get this job done. Do you have a partner?” Cole feels his face flush. “Yeah it’s Greg the guy listed on the transfer form.” “Well, be prepared for a rough ride, this will be a serious test of your relationship.” “Thank you Chief.” Cole feels numb as the implications of this assignment start to sink in. “If there is any consolation Wheeler, they brought this to the table. They have to be shown that we will not accept this type of behaviour!” They sit silently, Cole digesting the information and the Chief waiting for any questions. “I have a favour to ask Chief.” “Just one?” “Yeah, Greg is moving tomorrow and I offered to help. I think I need to earn some brownie points. Would it be possible to start Thursday?” “You didn’t read that first form when you signed it Wheeler?” the Chief smiles. “You start on Monday at the job. We gave you time to set up your bona fides.”

2

“Thanks again Chief!” He has a smile on his face as he says this. The Chief’s phone rings. “Send him in.” The door to the Chief’s office opens and Officer Comry comes in. He sits when the Chief points to a chair. Mark smiles at Cole as he shrugs his shoulders. “I have decided to have Officer Comry sit in with you when you meet with this Stevens guy.” “Is there a change of plans, Sir?” Cole asks. “Not too much of a deviation, Comry came to me with a suggestion. He thinks we should get as much information as we can out of Stevens before we let him walk.” Cole looks at Mark with a puzzled look on his face. “Well Chief, I have worked with Officer Comry for years, I trust him completely. However is he aware what could go on in there if we push this guy?” “Well, Officer Comry?” The chief asks. “Chief, I have been a police officer for awhile and if there is one thing I have learned is that there is always something to learn.” “If I may speak Chief” Cole looks to the Chief, who nods, “This is not going to be easy and the guy is going to be slinging dirt at me. I am not sure Officer Comry will be able to be objective.” Mark listened as Cole said this and he knew his friend would try to say something like this to get out of having him there. He had to explain this to the Chief as well. Mark is sure he can do it. “Officer Comry has already discussed this with me. I agree with you Wheeler but we have to go with what we know. Comry has no problem with your sexuality, he is a good Officer and”, the Chief looks directly at Mark, “he will remove himself from the room if he loses his objectivity.” “Yes chief!” Mark says. “Well I’ll let you men get to it.” “Yes Chief.” The two officers say at the same time. They get up and leave the office. “Are you sure you know what you are getting yourself into?” Cole says in the hallway. “Cole, I am your partner and I have your back, that’s all that I need to be sure of!”

2

“Well I am sure you have been exposed to worse. Let’s go.” They see Stevens he is seated in the waiting area. “Hey Wheeler how is it going?” Stevens asks. “Here to check in, as requested.” “It’s going fine Mr Stevens, Officer Comry is going to take you to an interview room. I’ll be there in a minute.” Mark leads Stevens to a room. He asks Stevens if he wants anything to drink. Stevens asks for a coffee. Cole gets some forms, a tape recorder, some blank tapes, a pad of paper and some pens. He sees Mark come out of the room and head to the coffee machine. Cole smiles. Cole enters the room he places the stuff he is carrying on the table. He sets up the tape recorder and tests it. Mark comes in with the coffee and sets it in front of Stevens and then he sits down. “Hey Wheeler what’s going on?” Stevens asks, “I thought I was just coming to sign in as a condition of my release.” “Well some things have changed.” Cole starts the tape recorder and pulls the form towards him. “I am Officer Cole Wheeler, badge 1274 and this is Officer Mark Comry, badge 1273. Mark do you want to read his rights while I start filling this form out?” Mark advises Stevens of his rights and asks Stevens if he wants a lawyer present. “I don’t need a lawyer, but I do want to know what is going.” “We just have some questions. When did you arrive in Lacombe?” “I came to town earlier that day, the day you arrested me.” “What was the purpose of you visit to Lacombe?” “Just came to see what’s happening, it’s a free country!” “Yeah it is a free country, I have no problem with you coming to see what’s happening, but I do have a problem with you coming all the way from Edmonton to steal a car.” “Well maybe I decided that Lacombe was too quiet for me and I wanted to go home.” “You couldn’t wait for a bus?” Mark asks.

2

“Nah didn’t feel like it.” Stevens says. “How did you get down here?” Cole asks. “Well a friend of mine was heading to Calgary and he dropped me off.” “Why didn’t you go to Calgary with your friend?” Mark asks. “Just felt like coming here.” Stevens is starting to get nervous about where this is going. “Later in the car, after I had arrested you, you mentioned something about seeing me in Edmonton. I find it strange that the day after seeing me you are suddenly hanging out in Lacombe. Can you clear that up for me?” “There is nothing to clear up, it just a coincidence.” “A coincidence now there is my problem. Maybe you can help me work it out.” “Yeah sure, but there is not much to tell.” “Well first off, who it the friend that drove you down here?” “I don’t remember.” Stevens is really nervous now. Cole looks at Stevens with an incredulous look on his face. “It was a guy I picked up in the bar.” Stevens says, “We did it and then he told me he was heading to Calgary and I asked if I could get a ride.” “Which bar?” Cole asks. “The Eagle.” “So you did it with this guy and you don’t know his name?” Mark asks. “It’s like that, most of the time you see some guy and you want to get it on, names and stuff aren’t important.” Cole smiles reassuringly. “Ok now after the guy drops you off in Lacombe, what did you do?” “Well I walked around the downtown and stopped at a bar for a beer.” “Were you cruising?” Cole asks. “Yeah, I guess I mean if I got hit on I wouldn’t have turned it down.”

2

“So after spending time looking to get laid and having no success you decide to steal a car and go back to Edmonton?” Mark asks. “Yeah that’s it.” “How’s your coffee?” Mark asks, “You want some more?” “It’s fucking gross man!” “You forget to make a fresh pot again Comry?” “I keep forgetting where the filters are.” “Here, I’ll show you.” Cole gets up. He takes the tape recorder with him and they head to the coffee machine. “I’m not buying this at all Mark, I think he was down here to meet me.” “Why do you say that?” “Because if his story is true he should have been with his friend when he saw me in the restaurant.” “How do you want to handle this?” Mark asks. “He doesn’t know you know, I think I will use that, you game?” “Yeah, I am going to enjoy this.” They re-enter the interview room. Cole starts the tape recorder again, states his name, date time and location. “I have some problems with what you told me Mr Stevens.” “Yeah, what’s that?” “Well you told me in the car that you saw me together with the owner of the Hawk. Then today you said that you were with this unknown friend and asked to get a ride off him. So first off, when you were in the restaurant, were you alone?” “Yeah, I was. I picked the guy up that gave me the ride in the restaurant.” “In the restaurant. Ok so between the time you saw me, you picked up a guy had it off and then decided to come to Lacombe?” “Yeah, that’s it.”

2

Cole reads the notes he was scribbling on the page. It says it right there, the guy said he picked up the man in the bar. “Earlier you told me that you picked up the guy in the bar.” “Well I was mistaken, it was at the restaurant.” “Ok, It was a stressful day for you, you probably have problems remembering what happened before you were arrested.” “That’s bullshit man!” Mark exclaims, he tells us one thing and then changes the story when we question him on it. “Calm down Mark! I am sure Mr Stevens is telling it the way he remembers it.” “No way this guy is yanking our chain!” “Mark, step outside for a minute, I think you need to cool down.” Mark glares at Cole and then he gets up and leaves the room, slamming the door. “Sorry about that, Mark gets upset when he thinks people are lying to him.” “It’s Ok, but one more outburst like that man and I am outing you!” “No, there is no need for that!” Cole pleads. He wants to make Stevens think that his fear of being outed is the most important thing on his mind. “Well let’s get this over man. I gotta get back to Edmonton ASAP!” “Ok, how well do you know Mike, the owner of the bar?” “I’ve seen him around. I mean he owns the bar I hang out in, of course I am going to see him.” “Ever slept with him?” “No, I guess I am not Mike’s type.” “Come on you’re a good looking guy Stevens, you obviously work out. You are masculine, I think you are Mike’s type.” “Well to tell you the truth I have wanted to get it on with Mike for a long time.” as Stevens smiles. “So what has stopped you?” Cole says sympathetically. “To tell you the truth, I would like to get it on with you, if we met under different circumstances.”

2

Stevens leans back in the chair, spreads his legs and smiles. Getting cruised by a cop in uniform, wait till Mike hears about this. “Well Mike doesn’t do it with…” Stevens catches himself, he immediately puts rights the chair. Mark was watching, he decides it is time for him to re-enter. He goes in and sits down. “Did I miss anything?” Mark asks. “Nah, we were just chatting.” Cole winks at Stevens. “You were telling me that Mike doesn’t do it with and you stopped. Whom doesn’t Mike do it with?” Stevens doesn’t say anything he looks from one officer to the other. He is fucked, he has opened the door and he can’t see anyway out of it. He looks Wheeler in the eye defiantly. “I ain’t gonna tell you, it’s none of your business!” “Come on Mr. Stevens, just tell me and pretty soon this will be all over.” Cole says. Mark fidgets in his chair, he is not sure who Mike is but he feels Cole is close to finding out what is going on. “Hey man, please just let me go, it really is the best thing for all involved.” “Let you go! You stole a car and then you proceed to blackmail my partner!” “Blackmail, I didn’t blackmail anyone.” “Sure you did Mr Stevens, you have been threatening me since I have arrested you.” “With what, I have made no threats!” Stevens is confused, Wheeler obviously doesn’t care if he is outed. “You were going to tell everyone that I am gay and you were using this to get the charges dropped and it almost worked.” Mark stares at Cole and his friend looks back at him. “You’re gay? I have a faggot for a partner!” “Sorry Mark, listen we gotta talk about this later. I just want to deal with this guy and get out of here.” Stevens watches, he sees that Wheeler’s partner is really pissed. He can’t understand why Wheeler outed himself though. But one thing he does know if this guy is willing to do this he won’t settle for anything but the whole truth.

2

“So Mr Stevens, why won’t Mike have sex with you?” “Because I work for him.” Stevens mumbles. “Could you say that again, a little louder please?” Cole asks. “I work for Mike.” Stevens says. “Mike who?” Mark asks. “Ok I get it, I work for Mike the owner of the Hawk, a bar in Edmonton. If he finds out I told you this I am a dead man!” “Why would he kill you, you only work in a bar?” Cole asks. “Mostly I work outside the bar.” “What is it you do for Mike?” “Well I am sort of a freelance guy, Mike calls me up when he needs a favour.” “A favour?” Mark asks calmly. “Can I get a glass of water?” Stevens asks. His body language indicates that he has no fight left. Cole gets up and leaves the room. “Why’d he do that?” Stevens ask Mark. “You don’t know my partner.” Mark says softly, “Obviously I didn’t know him too well either.” “Looks like Mike picked the wrong cop to fuck with.” “Damn straight!” Cole re-enters the room with the water and Steven’s file, he got a glass for himself as well. He likes the way this is going although the thought of Mike using him is not good. “You said that Mike uses you for favours. What kind of favours?” “Well the bar has a scanner at the door. When a guy enters we ask for ID and nine times out of ten the guy gives a driver’s license. We have programmed the computer to identify cops, there is a special code on your license.” “So when you identify a cop what happens next?”

2

“Well when we identify a cop, Mike is notified. You see he has some things going on in his business.” “What kind of things?” Mark asks. “Well the room at the back, the one where the guys get it on, that is not legal. If it were raided the whole club would be shut down. Then there are the cameras which tape almost everything that goes on in there.” “I wondered how he got away with that stuff.” Cole says to himself and then he remembers that he will be on one of those tapes. “Anything else?” Mark asks, “Can’t imagine this guy just using leverage on cops just for that!” “Well he is a drug dealer as well, which is kind of tricky as at any given time there may be a cop in the bar while a deal is going down.” “Any idea how many Police Officers have been in the bar?” “No idea man, I know I have had to go out and try and test them.” “Test them how?” “Well normally, Mike goes through the whole welcome thing, he turns on his charm and usually tricks with guy. The morning after he takes the guy out for breakfast. The Denny’s for instance. Mike usually gets in touch with me and tells me where to go to see them together. Later on, Mike has me go steal a car or something like that.” “How do you know when they are working?” “Pillow talk.” Stevens says, “Mike tries to find out when the guy is working next.” “Then you go do your job?” Cole says as he opens Steven’s file. He notices the guy doesn’t have too many charges. “Yeah, I usually do something like steal a car, then I look for the cop on patrol and then get his attention, usually with a traffic infraction. Once the guy stops me, I negotiate with the cop.” “I guess it didn’t work with me.” “Well it was fucked right from the start, you weren’t supposed to have a partner.” “So that threw a wrench into your plans?” “Big time! Mike told me not to play my card to wait it out and see if I could get you alone. But there always seemed to be another cop around, so I waited and waited.”

2

“You didn’t tell anyone?” “No it wouldn’t work if I did. Mike is very clear on that.” “Sure you didn’t tell some one?” “No, I am sure, the Officer in the lock-up pretty much knew I was a fag after the first day. But nothing about you man. Mike’d have my balls!” Cole wonders how the person that left the note in his truck found out, if what Stevens said was true. “So anyway, I was getting pretty fucking bored in there. I called Mike and said he would have to pay me double.” “What did he say?” “He said he was going to work on it again from his end.” “How was that going to happen?” Cole asks as he remembers that he hasn’t seen Mike for a while nor has he been in the bar. “That’s his business, all I know is I was stuck here!” “How many guys does he have doing this?” Mark asks. “Me and another guy.” “How many cops have you co-opted this way?” Cole feels uncomfortable as he asks this, as this is an answer that he does not want to hear. “Seven.” Stevens looks down as he answers. “How about the other guy, how many?” Mark asks. He is not too comfortable either. “Not sure as we don’t hang out together often, but I think he has done six.” “Where are these cops?” Cole asks. “Mostly in Edmonton and Calgary, but there are some all over Alberta and Saskatchewan. “I think I better get the Chief.” Cole says. “No Cole, I think we should finish this up and give it to him all at once.” Mark says. “Ok so once he gets the cop onside, how does that affect his business?”

2

“Well it works best with the Edmonton and Calgary cops. He owns another bar in Calgary. He tries to get the guys to transfer into the division where the bar is. Once they are there. These guys are to respond to any calls about the bar. Of course they don’t notice any indiscretions in the back room.” “What kind of calls?” “Well some guys manage to get robbed in the back room or a dealer gets questioned. Anything that a Police Officer would be called in for.” “So how were you going to use me or any of the other cops not in Calgary or Edmonton?” “You are assets, Mike considers all cops an asset. He never knows when he has to use you, but he will.” The word hits him in the stomach like a knife. He tries to figure out all the variables. What if he was alone that night, would he have given in? Mike has him on tape, is he going to use it? Mark senses what Cole is going through. He doesn’t like Stevens at all and he hates what he is doing. But the implications to Police Services are really big. He wishes he were going to Edmonton with Cole. “Well I have enough here.” Cole says, “I think I need to talk to the Chief. Mark do you want to take this guy’s statement?” “Sure Cole, what ever.” Mark says. Cole leaves the room again and heads to the Chief’s office and knocks on the door. Cole runs through his notes and relays all the information to the Chief. The Chief is stunned. He had an idea of what this involved but he didn’t know how organized it was. “So where is he now?” The Chief asks. “Comry is taking his statement and I think we are going to need protection for the guy. He said Mike would kill him. Based on the information I feel his fear is credible.” The Chief weighs the options, the easy one would be to let the guy go and watch him. Then nab Mike if he tries anything. But this could take a long time. He figures the plan that he has worked out with Boudreau is the most efficient. “I think we may need to use Stevens in the play, Chief.” “I think you are right, it sounds like this Mike is watching what is going on. If he doesn’t see Stevens soon he will think something is going on.”

2

“I’ll talk this over with the guy, suggest that it may be in his best interests to cooperate and not blow my cover.” “If the threat is real Wheeler, I don’t think we’ll have a fear of that.” The chief says, “Besides tell him I’ll put in a good word with the Crown Attorney’s Office.” “I’ll relay that to Stevens.” “Well you did a good job Wheeler, I think we are better prepared for the road ahead. By the way how was Comry?” “He was great Chief a natural, not a thing to worry about.” “That’s good, I look forward to hearing the tape on how you guys did this.” “There is one more thing though Chief.” Cole says seriously, he wasn’t going to say anything but this could deep six the case. “It seems that Mike has video cameras and tapes anything that goes on in the back room. I may be on one of these tapes.” “Ok, tell me what you did.” Cole tells the chief about a guy performing oral sex on him. “Did you do anything?” The Chief doesn’t know if he wants to hear the answer. “No Chief, I did not do anything.” Cole remembers the scene, he kissed the man but the other guy was the active participant. “Good, you’re sure that’s all?” “Yes Chief that is all.” “Are there any signs in the bar?” The Chief asks, “Something about video surveillance.” “Not that I noticed, if there are they are pretty well hidden.” “Well it appears that Mike was illegally taping you, that may play in our favour.” The chief watches Cole waiting to see if there is anymore he should know. “Is that all Chief? I want to get some things done before I take off for Edmonton.” “That’s it, be careful Wheeler.” “I will Chief.” Cole gets up and returns to the interview room. Mark is tapping the pen on the table and Stevens is looking around the room. “How is it going Mark?”

2

“Pretty good, Mr Stevens did not add anything to the statement. What next?” “I spoke to the chief about your situation and we are going to have to let you go.” Cole says as he looks at Stevens. “Let me go! Are you nuts?” “Well at the moment Mike does not know that you have betrayed him, we are taking steps and unfortunately your disposition could affect the investigation.” “So what do I do? Stevens asks. “The same as you were doing before.” Cole says, “however we are going to have a word with the Crown Attorney’s Office on your behalf.” “That’s if I am alive long enough!” “Our hands are tied.” Cole says. “You’re free to go Mr Stevens, I wouldn’t think of running though as you’d have the Police and your buddy looking for you.” Mark says. “Okay.” Stevens sighs. Mark and Cole get up and lead Stevens to the door. “How am I getting back?” Stevens asks. “Here!” Cole hands Stevens some change, “There is a phone booth just up the street.” When Stevens has gone Cole and Mark head back into the interview room to debrief each other. “Well that was a very productive first step parts” Cole says. “Now step two!” “Good luck up there, man I wish I was going with you!” Mark says and he hugs Cole. “I’ll be Ok.” Cole says, “Now I gotta get changed and head out.” Cole opens the door to head to the locker room. ‘Wheeler, aren’t you forgetting something?” Mark says with his fist up. Cole laughs and bounces his fist off Mark’s. “Take care buddy!” “Thanks, I will!”

2

Kat and Cole After Cole has changed and said by to the Sergeant he heads down the street to get a haircut. He asks the receptionist if Kat is in and the woman pages her to the front. He sees Kat as she makes her way from the back of her shop. “Hey Cole!” She says with a smile. “I didn’t know you were off.” “That’s sort of why I came to see you, besides its getting kind of long.” Cole tugs on his hair to make a point. “So what’s new with you cowboy?” Kat says with a big smile as she leads him to her station. “Well two things both of them pretty big actually!” “Well, let’s start with the one Lance told me about.” Kat starts to cut his hair. “His name is Greg and the weekend went really well. I was up in Edmonton yesterday and surprised him with a visit. Got back this morning” “Why were you up in Edmonton?” Kat asks. “Well that has to do with the other news.” Cole says, “I am on an assignment up there for a while.” “Assignment?” Kat asks. “The Chief thought it would be good for me to get out of town for a while after I came out. Let the dust settle so to speak.” It was the best reason he could think of, as he could not tell Kat the truth. “Sounds like big changes in store for you Cole.” Kat says, “Any chance you will be staying in Edmonton?” “I sure hope not, I’d hate to have to leave my friends and family here!” “Let’s hope it doesn’t happen then.” Kat says softly. “Don’t worry Kat I don’t think it is in the cards, but if it does, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Cole says with a little bit of life. Kat doesn’t respond she just cuts his hair. She remembers how she used to love to run her fingers through it after they had made love. She is happy that Cole has found another man to share his life with, but she is sad for what she has lost.

2

“Hey, enough about me, what’s new with you?” Cole says as he watches her reflection in the mirror. “Well, I met a woman form Calgary. We have seen each other on and off for about a month. I met her when Lance and I went down there.” “Good for you!” Cole smiles. “The really great thing is she has a portable job, she works for an Internet company. Give her a phone line and she is set.” “So you thinking of asking her to move up here?” “More than thought of it, she is moving her next month!” “Boy, oops Girl you move fast!” “She was not adverse to it as she is tired of living in the city. She is originally from a small town in Saskatchewan.” “Big changes coming to Lacombe, Lance and his guy, you and your girl. Now if there is someway that I can get Greg to move here.” Cole laughs. “If it is meant to be, you’ll find a solution.” Kat says as she finishes up his hair. Cole stands and digs in his pocket for a twenty, he stuffs it in her tip jar. He notices Kat is silent and he turns to her. “Are we going to be Ok?” “Ah yeah sure.” Kat says and it is obvious he has spoken with Lance. “I just..” “Kat I honestly didn’t know how you felt, I never meant to hurt you.” Cole says as he offers to hug her. Kat moves next to Cole and lets herself be hugged. She enjoys the strength with which he does it. It reminds her this is something she is going to miss. Cole wants to talk about the whole thing with her but he feels that he should do it when things have calmed down. “Well good luck in Edmonton Cole.” Kat says as she pulls away. “Don’t be stranger!” “Trust someone else with this hair?” He asks with a big smile, “No frickin’ way!” They walk to the front of the salon and Cole hugs her again and then goes out the door. Kat stares out the window as she watches him walk away, she doesn’t know why but tears start to form in her eyes.

2

Cole shakes off the emotions that he feels. As much as he loves Kat he realizes it could never work. When he gets back to the station he gets in his truck and heads home to pack. He phones his Dad and tells him he will be working in Edmonton for a while, his Dad asks what is going on. Cole said it was work related and he couldn’t say anything. He asks his Dad to come out and check on the place. His Dad says he’d be glad to. Before he hangs up he says he’ll call his Mom later tonight. He then calls Lance and leaves a message that he will be out of town for a while, but he will still have his cell phone. He only has to pack civies, as they will issue a uniform in Edmonton. The bag is packed and he is downstairs running through a checklist when he remembers his chaps. He bolts up the stairs and grabs them.

2

Man on a Mission – Part 1 Cole gets to Greg’s place just as he arrives back from work. They go out for supper and hit the gym. When they get back to Greg’s they start to fill the boxes with books and stuff. They finish about 22:00 and both men are beat. They go to sleep soon after they hit the sack. The next day they use Cole’s truck and the two of them complete the move in about eight hours. They take time and place everything in the new condo. When they are finished there is just a mountain of boxes to go through. Greg says that he can do that another day. “This place have a hot tub?” Cole asks. “Nah, I was thinking I could use a good soak as well.” Greg says, “I know, we can head to the baths, they have one.” “The baths?” “Yeah a place guys go to get lucky!” Greg winks. “Never been to one of those before, not sure if I want to share you.” Cole says with a smile. “Don’t worry guy, I have no interest in anyone else!” Greg says and then leans in and gives Cole a kiss. “You better not!” They both laugh. “So you want to?” Greg asks. “Sure, I’ll go with you.” Cole wraps his arms around Greg and they kiss. “Besides maybe we can get it on there too!” “Now that’s the best offer I have heard all day!” They head to the bathhouse and both of them get lockers, as they did not plan to stay that long. They agreed in the truck that if anything was to happen, they didn’t care if other guys watched. They take a long soak in the hot tub. Both men were too involved in themselves to notice anyone else there. They had sex in the shower. When they were done Greg took him on a tour. Cole noticed the place was busy. There were quite a few guys that openly cruised both of them. Cole was fascinated by the place, as a guy could come here and get off anonymously and then leave. He also decided it was dangerous to a relationship, so he figured he would not be coming here by himself.

2

They got dressed and headed off to the Condo, stopping at a grocery store on the way. Greg cooked steaks on the barbeque and after they had eaten they lay side by side on the couch and watched TV. Cole was woken up by Greg who said they’d be more comfortable in the bed. They went to bed and had sex before going to sleep. They spent the next two days unpacking and arranging stuff in the Condo, when that was done they went back to the old apartment and cleaned. “Let’s go to a restaurant for supper, I am too fucking tired to do anything else!” Greg says. “Hey we can go back to that place we went on Monday!” Cole says with a big grin. “We’ll have to change first, besides I need a shower!” Greg says as he sniffs himself. “You don’t smell that bad to me!” Cole says after he leaned over and sniffed Greg. “We can shower together!” Greg says as he caught a whiff of Cole. “You sayin’ I stink?” “Not to me Cole, but other people may not be so accepting!” Greg says, “Besides, I’ll wash your back!” “There’s an offer I can’t refuse!” They head back to the Condo and take a shower and get dressed. When they get to the restaurant they wind up at the same table as they had before. They also got the same server. Both men laugh. The Server recognizes them and wonders if they are going to act like fifteen year olds again. “Hey guys!” the waiter asks, “Had a chance to look at the menu yet?” “Yeah, we are going to have fajitas for two.” Cole says to the waiter, “You don’t mind if I order, eh stud?” he asks Greg and winks. “Fajitas sound good!” Greg says as he kicks Cole under the table. The waiter heads to his station to enter the order on the computer. He watches both men, as he can’t believe they are gay. He mentions this to another server and she is surprised as well. After they have finished eating they order coffee. “I guess I have to tell you a little about my assignment Greg.” Cole says.

2

“Why is that?” “Well I can’t tell you too much, but I will tell you that this could be a trying time for us.” Cole looks at Greg, “I guess that’s why I wanted to spend as much time as I could with you.” “Is it dangerous?” Greg asks. “It may be, but I think the real danger is to us.” Cole takes a hold of one of Greg’s hands. “How so?” “I may have to do things, sex things, that will probably get back to you.” Cole is dead serious as he says this. “Why is that, why would the Police expect you to do that?” “Because it is apart of the case” Cole says, “If I am going to be credible I would have to participate so to speak.” “I don’t know about this Cole, I mean, I am not a prude but I thought we had something going!” “We do!” Cole says, “that is why I am telling you now!” “Can I ask what it is you are working on?” “You can ask but I can’t tell you, all I can say is that when this is done, it will only be you and me.” Cole says sincerely. “How can I be sure? I mean it is a pretty big stretch to think the Police would expect you to put out for a case, how do I know its because you don’t want to commit?” “Well you have got to know me a bit in the last week, I have gone out of my way to open up to you. You’ll just have to trust that I am only doing this because of my job!” “Answer me one question?” “Shoot.” Cole anticipates Greg’s question. “Is there anyone else that can do this assignment?” “No, unfortunately not!” Cole says, “They need a gay cop and that’s all I can say.” “Geez guy you are asking a lot, it’s only been one week for fucks sakes!” Greg can feel his eyes redden. “I know the timing is really fucked!”

2

“You said it may be dangerous, how so?” “One of the people I am investigating has threatened a witness, I have to assume the threat is real.” “So this guy could hurt you if he finds out?” Greg is almost at the point of crying now. “Yeah, he could, but don’t worry, I can take care of myself!” Greg thinks about it, he knew Cole was a cop from the start. Sometimes the man is going to have to do things that put him in danger, but he never thought that they’d set him up in a sex operation. He feels that if he overreacts right now it could put their relationship in danger and Greg doesn’t want that. “I guess I am going to have to trust you Cole.” Greg says, as he looks him in the eyes. “That’s all that I can ask, I promise things will be better when this is over!” “Hey we should go, they probably think we are having a fight now!” Greg says with a smile as he nods towards the waiter’s station. Cole looks over there and when the waiter catches his eye he waves him over and pays the bill. Greg lights a cigarette as soon as he is out the door. Cole decides to let the guy think about things for a while. He walks beside Greg to the truck and waits for him to finish the cigarette. Cole starts the truck up and they head back to the condo wordlessly. “You know I care about you a lot Greg!” Cole says as he takes his coat off in the Condo. “I care about you too, Cole!” Greg says fighting back the tears. To himself he says, “Gotta stop this the guy is going to think I am a flake!” “I feel for you too bud!” Cole says as he hugs Greg. “Shit, fuck!” Greg says as he pounds Cole’s back with his fists. Cole just stands there and lets Greg take out his anger. “You staying here tonight?” Greg asks with a cracked voice. “If you want me to.” Cole says, “I’ll understand if you want me to leave.” “No, I want you to stay, I think I need to feel you next to me!” Cole pulls back and smiles, “Thanks, I need to feel you next to me too!” They go to the bedroom. Cole undresses Greg slowly and caresses the man’s body. He notices his lover gets hard in spite of all the emotion and he smiles.

2

Cole removes his clothes and leads Greg to the bed. He lies down and pulls the man on top of him. “Cole is doing all the right things!” Greg says to himself. “Maybe he really does care.” Cole lets Greg take control of their lovemaking letting him do anything he wants. He smiles as he feels Greg enter him. They make love for a long time and Cole wishes it would never end. Greg pulls out of him and then positions himself so that Cole is now inside his lover. Cole watches Greg raise and lower his body slowly over him. He can see the man is enjoying the feeling of having him inside. He watches Greg’s face and can see that he is getting close to orgasm, he times it so that he has his about the same time. He wraps his arms around Greg and holds him tight as the man falls forward on him. They lay together for a long time until Cole has to move to take care of the condom. “Someday Greg we aren’t going to need those things.” Cole says referring to the condoms. “I can’t wait!” Greg doesn’t say anything, Cole saying that means more to him than anything else. It sinks in that Cole really must be serious about him to say that. Cole wraps himself around Greg as he gets back into the bed, “I love you.” He mumbles. “What’s that?” Greg asks, he thought he heard what he said but he wasn’t sure. “I love you!” Cole says slowly and clearly. “Me too!” Greg agrees, but he doesn’t say it. With all that has gone on tonight he doesn’t feel he is ready yet. “Cool!” Cole says, as he is relieved that the other man may feel the same.

2

Man on a Mission – Part 2 Cole wakes up in the same position he went to sleep. His arm is numb from Greg lying on it. He extracts himself from the bed and goes into the kitchen and makes coffee. He takes two cups back into the bedroom. Greg is still sleeping and Cole sits in a chair and drinks his coffee while watching him. Greg wakes up and feels around for Cole, his eyes open and he turns and sees him naked in a chair watching him. “Morning sunshine!” Cole says. “Morning to you!” Greg says, he notices the coffee on the night table and he picks up the mug. “How was your sleep?” “Good and you?” “Lying next to you, it was fantastic!” “Come here!” Greg says Cole puts down his mug and gets in the bed. He lets Greg hold him and kiss him. “So when do you start?” Greg asks. “Today, tonight actually.” Cole says as he rubs the other guy’s back, “I got to ask you a favour though.” “Yeah, what is it?” “I would prefer if you didn’t go to the Hawk for a little while.” “I hardly go as it is!” Greg says, he doesn’t think he could handle going there anyway. This must have something to do with that place, he thinks to himself. “Well I’d appreciate it if you didn’t start, my job is difficult enough!” “What you afraid your boyfriend would screw it up!” Greg laughs, surprising himself. “No more like me, I don’t think I’d be able to concentrate with this” Cole grabs Greg’s dick, “in the vicinity.” Both men laugh. “Shower?” Greg asks.

2

“Sure, I think I can fit it in.” Cole tugs on Greg’s cock again. “One for the road so to speak?” Greg winks. “More like one to remember!” “Yeah, guess I’ll have to do a lot of this while you’re away.” Greg makes a jerking motion with his hand. “I hope that’s all the action you get!” as he slaps his ass. “Hey, did you mean what you said last night?” Greg asks. “Mean what?” Cole wonders if Greg is going to spring the L word on him. “About the condoms?” “Yeah I did.” “Well when this is over we’ll get tested and wait the six months and get retested, ok?” “Did a lot of thinking last night, eh?” “Sure did, I don’t think I can say the words yet but I am starting to feel it.” “Take your time baby, you’ll know when it is right for you.” Cole whispers in Greg’s ear. “Let’s get in that shower now!” Greg cooks breakfast when they are dressed. “Shit! I have to find a place to stay while I am here, know anywhere?” Cole asks. “Hotel or apartment?” “Well to be in the role I think I better get a furnished apartment.” “You could stay here!” Greg says but he knows that that is not viable. “Nah, you are not to be involved in this at all!” Cole takes his hand and looks him sternly in the eye. Cole remembers Mike’s offer and thinks that that might be the best place to stay. “Well, I better get going.”

2

“Yeah, I guess it is time, besides if I look at you any longer we may wind up in bed again!” “Ain’t nothing wrong with that!” Cole says as he gets up from the table. Greg watches Cole as he heads to the hallway. He studies the man’s body, he misses Cole already and the guy isn’t even out the door. Greg gets up and joins Cole and they have one last kiss before Cole heads out the door. Neither of them says goodbye. They just touch fists together. Cole calls Mike on his cell when he is in the truck. “Hello, Mike here!” “Hey guy its Cole!” Cole says confidently. “You in town?” Mike asks. “Yeah, I am I was wondering if that offer was still good?” “You mean stay at my place, hell yeah!” Mike says enthusiastically, maybe the three of them can get together again and he gets hard just thinking about it. “You at home now?” Cole asks. “Nah, but I can meet you there in half an hour!” “Sure, I’ll see you then!” “Can’t wait!” Mike says as he drops one hand to his lap and adjusts himself. “Me either!” Cole puts some enthusiasm into his voice and then ends the call. Cole places a call to Captain Boudreau and tells him that he has spoken with Mike. Boudreau asks if the guy suspects anything. Cole says he doesn’t think so then he tells the Captain where he will be staying. Boudreau likes what he hears and wishes Cole good luck. Cole is waiting in front of Mike’s place when he sees the other man pull-up. Cole gets out of his truck and grabs his bag. “Still looking hot!” Mike says as he takes in Cole. “You too stud!” “Feeling studly too!” Mike says as he grabs himself, “Come on in and we’ll get reacquainted.”

2

They embrace and kiss soon as the door is closed. Soon they are naked rolling around on the bed. Cole cannot get hard enough to be on top so he has to take it. He figures this is something he has to work on. But Mike doesn’t seem to be complaining. Cole does enjoy the sex but he feels guilty about cheating on his lover. “So just up for the weekend?” Mike asks when has finished and is lying next to Cole. “Nope!” Cole says with a smile. “What’s up?” “I am up here for some cross training with EPS.” Cole says. “Cross training?” Mike asks suspiciously. “Well Lacombe is getting bigger and the Chief figured it would be good to give officers exposure to the types of crimes we can expect.” Cole says, “they have an EPS guy down there replacing me.” “Where are you stationed?” Mike asks, “How long you up for?” “West end for about 6 weeks.” “Cool, you can stay here the whole time if you want!” Mike says, he wonders why Rick never mentioned anything about this. “Hey I don’t want to be a bother, besides you and Rick may need some alone time.” “Don’t worry about it, we are big guys we can take care of ourselves!” “Well sure, but if it becomes a problem let me know.” “I don’t think you will ever be a problem around here!” Mike says as he grabs Cole’s dick. Cole is unsettled by the similarity between Mikes doing the same thing Greg did. “Rick otta be home later, he is working days. Why don’t you get yourself settled and then we can go get something to eat. I have to go do cash at the bar, you can come.”

2

The Hawk Cole follows Mike into the bar it looks completely different with all the lights on. Mike tells him to help himself to pop. He gets a glass and fills it with ice and then some coke and then heads back to the office. Mike is opening in the safe as Cole enters. He casually looks to see what is in it. He sees the cash trays and what appear to be videotapes. He takes a seat by the desk when he sees Mike sit there. Mike takes the cash tapes out and then counts the money in a tray. “Takes a lot less time if two guys do it!” Mike says as he pushes a tray towards Cole. “Sure you can trust me, that’s a lot of cash!” “If you can’t trust a cop, who can you trust?” Mike laughs. After Cole has finished balancing the cash. Mike tells him to leave a float of $200 and then add the bills to his piles. Cole counts out a float, he makes sure to leave lots of smaller bills and change. When all the trays are balanced, Mike hands over a stack of bills and gets him to count. Cole counts all the stacks of bills and then Mike recounts them. He writes numbers on a bank deposit slip when he is done. When they are done, Mike stuff all the bills and deposit slip in a cash bag. He then puts all the trays back in the safe. “Alright then, let’s go deposit this.” Mike says. They head out of the office and Mike locks the door with a key after the door is closed. They stop at a bank and Mike puts the bag in the night deposit box. “Rick should be home, boy is he gonna be happy to see you!” “Been thinking about the last time we were all together, that was hot!” “That’s all Rick has been able to talk about for the last couple of weeks. If I didn’t know any better I’d think you two were lovers!” “Hey it’s nothing Mike, just big boys having fun!” “My kinda fun too!” Mike pats Cole’s knee. “So I guess you two must be in an open relationship?” Cole asks.

2

“As a matter of fact, yes.” “May I ask a question?” “Sure!” Mike says as he already has figured out what the question is going to be. “I just want to know why you’d want an open relationship, I have read about it in the book, but I don’t get it.” “Well for me, I have been in several relationships that have always gone south when one guy or the other fucks around. I decided that I am not going through that again.” “Sorry man, I guess that is something to consider. Is there anything you can do to stop that?” “As far as I can see it’s the nature of the beast!” “Yeah I guess, something all men have in common.” “I am not saying that a monogamous relationship can’t happen, I have some friends that have been together for years.” “I guess it depends on how much both guys want it.” “Yeah, can I tell you something, between us?” “Sure, is it about Rick?” “Yeah as much as he talks about the stuff the three of us did together, he is not so accepting of doing it with other guys.” “You mean he wants to have you all to himself?” “Yeah, that’s about it, I am not sure I am ready for that!” “Could it have something to do with him not being out yet?” “Yeah probably he is afraid of being known as a fag. But I think that is what attracts me to him more than anything.” “So you are into closeted guys?” Mike thinks about this, “Yeah I guess so, I am sure not turned on by guys that feel they have to let everyone know they are gay!” “To tell you the truth neither am I, but I do respect them for having the balls to be so open.”

2

“So why the heavy conversation?” “Just asking, I guess it’s the cop in me.” Cole says. “I can tell by that look on your face that you are probably close to settling down, who is he?” “Ah, it’s not serious yet!” Cole blushes. “So I guess you are in the process of sowing your wild oats before committing?” Mike laughs as he has seen so many guys do this. Cole laughs and turns red as he remembers that he has already sowed some oats with Mike earlier today. They pull up in front of the house and head in. Rick greets them at the door and gives Cole a big hug when he sees him. “When did you get here?” “I came a couple of days ago, I am up here for awhile.” Cole says. “It seems Cole is gonna be working with you guys, maybe you can partner up!” Mike says. “You working with EPS!” Mike feels a shiver down his spine, “What division?” “West end, I am up here for 6 weeks.” Rick calms down when he realizes Cole won’t be at the same station. He smiles as he imagines the benefits of having Cole in Edmonton. “The best part is that he is staying here for the whole time!” Mike says. Cole looks to see Rick’s reaction to this, the man seems happy. Cole feels sorry for him as he thinks about what is going to happen to the man. “How was work Rick?” Mike asks. “It was a quiet day not much happening.” “Good then that means you have some energy to expend. Go get ready!” Mike tells him. Rick does as he is told he goes down the stairs and strips down in the playroom. When he is undressed he gets in the sling. He is hard thinking about the action that is about to come.

2

Cole and Mike start to kiss in the hallway. Mike removes the man’s t-shirt and then takes his off. He then leads Cole to the playroom. They kiss again in the doorway to the room as Rick watches. “Leave that cock alone boy!” Mike orders. “Yes Sir!” Rick puts his hands above his head and holds onto the straps. Mike opens Cole’s jeans and pulls the man’s cock out. He starts to suck on it. Cole notices that Rick has his eyes fixed on the scene before him. “Deeper man!” Cole says as he holds head and forces himself down Mike’s throat. He can feel the muscles constrict around him. He lets thee man’s head go and Mike comes up for air. He coughs a couple of times as he gulps in air. He then looks up at Cole and smiles. “My turn!” Cole says as he helps Mike up. He opens the man’s jeans and takes his cock into his mouth. He notices that Mike doesn’t force it. Cole manages to get a look at Rick in the sling. He can see the man’s dick drip with precum. He is obviously getting off on this. The three men spend about two hours having sex in several different positions. Cole even manages to get hard enough to ride Rick really hard. When they have finished Rick and Mike take a shower together. Cole heads up to take a nap.

2

Rick is a Total Bottom Cole is lying in the bed half awake. He is thinking about how things are going so far. He has managed to get into Mike’s world. He is comforted that the man doesn’t suspect anything. He starts to think of things he has to do. The safe in the office has a lot more than cash in it. “How can I get into it?” He asks himself, Mike understandably keeps the safe and the office out of reach. He wonders if the man keeps anything in the house. It shouldn’t be hard to snoop around here sometime when Mike and Rick are out. He is deep in his thoughts and hears a sound, and then he feels wetness on his penis. “What the hell!” Cole says as he looks down to see the top of Rick’s head. “Sorry to wake you, but you looked so hot!” Rick looks up at Cole, “Mike’s out and I couldn’t help myself.” “No problem man that felt really good!” Rick goes back to licking Cole and soon he has him inside his mouth. Cole goes to hold Rick’s head but he pushes the hands away. “Just lay there, don’t do a thing!” Rick says and then goes back to sucking. Cole feels really good and he starts to moan. Soon he can’t help himself, he writhing on the bed. Rick manages to keep his mouth locked on him in spite of the movement. “Oh Fuck!!” Cole screams as he shoots in Rick’s mouth. Rick keeps sucking even as Cole’s cock starts to soften, it is really sensitive and he tells him to stop. Rick doesn’t listen. “Fuck I can’t take it anymore!” Cole screams. “Stop it!” Rick still ignores him and keeps going. “Rick come on this isn’t fun anymore!” Cole can feel himself getting mad. Finally when he can’t take it anymore he forcefully grabs Rick and pulls him off him, “What the fuck are you playing at you damned cocksucker!” Rick releases Cole from his mouth and then looks up at the man, “I just needed to push you Cole, see what you’d do!” “Why’s that?” Cole asks as he moves a hand protectively to his crotch. “Well since the last time you were here Mike has managed to dominate me completely, I get off being beaten. I seem to need to be put in my place 24/7.” He looks up at Cole, “I just needed to see if you would do it too!” “This is pretty serious Rick, why do you need that?”

2

Rick doesn’t answer, he is not sure Cole would understand. He is a guy that took the steps to come out and is adjusting to it. He can’t come out, as he’d hurt too many people and probably lose his job. The only way he can reconcile this is when he is forced to do stuff. The more he is dominated the freer he feels. “Hey we should get something to eat before going out.” Cole says. “Yeah, pretty hungry myself.” Rick makes no move to leave the room. Cole gets up out of the bed and gets dressed with Rick watching him. “Gotta use the can.” Cole says as he squeezes past Rick and heads to the bathroom. As he feels the water start to flow he looks and sees Rick licking his lips while watching him. This scares Cole, “How far has Rick fallen?” He asks himself. “Hey you guy’s got a computer, I have to check my email?” Cole asks as he remembers that the guy at the bar said the membership information was stored off site. “Maybe it’s here.” “Sure do, nice one too!” Rick leads Cole to a room downstairs. “Nice!” Cole says as he takes in the computer. “Yeah, it really is, dual processors and three hard drives.” Rick smiles, “There is a ton of porn on there, I’d never have to the leave the house!” “You mean you can watch movies on there?” Cole asks. “Yeah here I’ll show you.” Rick sits down and signs on to his account. He goes to an icon makes a selection and a movie starts playing. “I better check my emails before I get wrapped up in this!” Cole says. “Maybe we can go again before we eat!” Rick says as he winks. Cole laughs, “Nah that’s Ok Rick, just get the browser going.” Rick kills the movie and fires up a browser. He leaves the room as Cole checks his email. He doesn’t have any, but he uses the time to explore the computer before signing off. He sees that there is another userid, “Must be Mike’s” he says to himself. “Ready?” Rick asks as he sees Cole come up the stairs. “Yeah and I am starved!” Cole heads to the kitchen to see what they can have for supper. “We have to go out, Cole.” Rick says, “I haven’t had a chance to do any shopping.”

2

“Cool, gotta place in mind?” ”I’m easy, besides that a decision I don’t get to make anymore.” Rick looks down at his feet. “You what!” Cole exclaims, “You can’t even decide what you are going to eat?” “Cole it’s like this, outside of work my master makes all the decisions for me.” “Oh!” Cole says he has seen this before in domestic disputes, he can’t imagine a cop letting himself be used this way. “I know a place.” Cole says, “Let’s go.” Cole goes to his truck, which is parked in front. He opens the door for Rick and then goes to his door and gets in. Cole drives to the Denny’s, which is close to the bar. He was tempted to go to the restaurant Greg were at the other night, but he decides that is their place. Besides, it was at the Denny’s that he stumbled into this mess in the first place. Rick doesn’t look at the menu as he lets Cole order for both of them. “This is weirding me out Rick!” “How is that Sir?” “I mean you are your own guy, you should have a say in things you do!” Rick nods in agreement. “I know it’s not my business but are you doing this to hold onto Mike?” Rick doesn’t answer. “Are you afraid Mike will dump you if you don’t play this game?” “It’s not a game Sir.” Rick says, “I am a bad person and need to be punished and Mike is the guy to do it!” “A bad person” Cole has an incredulous look on his face, “What makes you say that?” “I suck cock, I get fucked and I enjoy it, Sir!” “So that stuff doesn’t make you bad, I do it too!” “I am not like you Sir” Rick looks into Cole’s eyes, “I can’t accept this part of myself, and I don’t think I ever will, Sir.”

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The food comes and both men start to eat. “So how’s the job?” “Fine Sir, everything is great!” “Stop it with the Sir, Rick!” Cole says. “Ok.” Rick says meekly. “So this isn’t affecting you at work at all?” Cole asks he figures he may be able to change the guy’s reality if he talks about the place where Rick is in control. “Well I guess there have been some problems, but nothing serious.” Rick feels he can talk about this stuff with Cole as they have two things in common. “What kind of problems?” “Well I have been flying off the handle, doing stupid things and I don’t know why.” “What kind of things?” “Just minor things, every cop does them.” Rick says, “He remembers hearing the stories in the locker room after a shift. “Well I am a cop too and I am not sure what you are talking about.” “Ok, you know when you collar a guy for something.” Rick says, “Well I probably take it to a higher level of force than is necessary.” “No one has complained about this?” “Well the department gets these kinds of complaints all the time and since we are dealing with scum they usually fall on deaf ears.” “Well Rick, I have some advice for you, you better get a handle on this real soon!” “Yeah I should I guess, I keep telling myself I am going too far, but the next time I do it again!” “Your Parts know about this, I mean he will start to notice!” “Yeah he said some things but he doesn’t see it as being that bad.” “Not until a review board and then when it comes to a choice between him and you.” “Maybe you can transfer and be my Parts and we can work on this?” Rick asks.

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Cole thinks about this, it might not be a bad idea to bounce it off Boudreau. He can keep an eye on Rick and also be in the Downtown division, where the bar is. He decides he will call Boudreau at home when he gets a chance. “I haven’t even reported in yet Rick, that’d be a stretch!” “Hey, what are you up here for anyway?” Rick asks, “I was so excited to see you I forgot to ask.” “A special project, the Chief wants us to get big city experience, he asked for volunteers and here I am!” “Well the West end is good but nothing beats downtown for action.” Rick says, “Besides I have great ideas for down time!” Cole stops eating looks Rick in the eye and says “When I am in uni I don’t fuck around.” Rick gets the message loud and clear, Cole is obviously one of those by the book cops. He dreads his offer of taking him on as a partner. When they have finished eating Cole pays the bill and they head back to the truck. “Let’s get back to the house and get ready.” Cole says. He wants to go to the bar tonight as he suspects Stevens will be there. “Sure Cole, but I was thinking we could occupy ourselves at home.” “A man has to get out of the house once in awhile Rick.” Cole laughs. “Yeah, you’re right. Gotta recharge these puppies!” Rick says as he grabs his crotch. Cole laughs with Rick, “Me too!”

2

The Hawk – Saturday night Cole and Rick enter the bar at 22:30. After they check their leather jackets they head to the bar. Cole is wearing a tank top, 501’s and his chaps and Rick is wearing a harness and jeans. Several men cruise them as they wait for the bartender to come serve them. Cole orders the beers. He’s noticed Rick has gone back into role of being a slave. The two of them find a free spot along the wall and survey the room. Cole notices a familiar face trying to hide in a corner. The man is staring at him and Cole tips his beer towards him in salute. The man pretends not to notice but Cole catches his eyes dead on. Stevens looks like a deer caught in headlights. “Gotta go see a guy, stay here!” Cole tells Rick as he heads over to talk to Stevens. “One good thing about a sub, they do as you tell them!” he thinks to himself. “Gotta take a piss, coming?” Cole says to Stevens when he reaches the man. “I don’t have to.” Stevens says but he is talking to Wheeler’s back as he sees the man head to the can. Stevens follows when he realizes it was an order. “So you seen Mike yet?” Cole asks as he stands at the urinal and looks at Stevens. “Yeah, he cornered me when I got in, we went back to his office and talked.” Stevens says as he unbuttons his fly. “So anything I should know?” Cole looks at the board hanging from the wall, he knows he has Stevens by the balls and the guy isn’t going to lie to him. “He wonders if you know anything, I think he may watch us tonight to see how it goes.” “Cool, I’ll act the part, nothing personal!” Cole says as he relishes being a total asshole. “I wouldn’t expect any less, Wheeler!” Stevens checks out the other man’s penis. “You think there is a chance of me getting some of that? When this is over?” Cole looks at Stevens and sees where he is looking. “Not a fucking chance!” Several guys come in to use the washroom as the two of them are talking. To them it appeared as if two guys were cruising each other. They have all seen it before. There were only two urinals, so the guys had to go into stalls to take a leak. No one appears any wiser to what was really going down. Cole buttons up and flushes and then he heads to the sink. He walks back out into the bar and resumes standing next to Rick. “Get some? Sir.” Rick asks. “Nah, the guy isn’t my type.” Cole says, “How about you, anything catch your eye?”

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“Only two guys I have eyes for in here Sir!” Mike comes out from the back and sees Cole and Rick standing along the wall. He goes and joins them. “Hey Cole!” Mike says, he doesn’t even acknowledge Rick being there. “Long time, Mike!” Cole laughs as he gives the man a hug. “So you boys out shopping?” “Well I know I am.” Cole says and then he looks to Rick, “He appears to be happy with what he has!” “That’s good!” Mike says to Cole, “but maybe you should go find someone to come party with us later.” He says to Rick. They watch Rick as he walks over to the entrance to the backroom and then disappears. “Have a good nap?” Mike asks. “Yeah, it was good, I woke up to him sucking me off!” Cole laughs. “I told him to wake you about 18:00.” Mike laughs, “At least he does as he is fucking told!” “Boy have we got a lot more to talk about.” Cole says and then he sees Stevens walk by. “Hey fuckhead!” Cole shouts, “What the hell are you doing here?” “I just came to see how my favourite fag cop was doing!” Stevens says. Several guys gather round to watch the scene. Cole pushes Mike out of the way and makes his way to Stevens. He grabs the man by the t-shirt and says quietly, “Well I am doing fine, no thanks to you, now get the hell out of my face!” “It’s a gay bar Wheeler, I am a customer here, I’m not going anywhere!” Stevens says as he tries to push the man away. Cole grabs one of the guy’s arms and escorts him to the door. Stevens tries to resist but it only hurts more. Cole opens the door to the street and pushes the man through it. “I don’t want to see your face again! If I am here and you see me, you leave! If I come in and you see me you leave! If I am walking down the street and you see me, you go the other way, got it!” “Yes Sir!” Stevens says, “I need to get my coat though it’s fucking cold out here!”

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“Give me your tag, now bitch!” Stevens give him the tag and Cole goes and retrieves the man’s coat. He slips a card with his phone number on it into a pocket. He hands the coat to Stevens and tells him to get lost. A patrol car passes by on the street as Cole is giving his instructions to Stevens. To the officers it appears two guys are just having a heated discussion. The car parks and Cole sees the doors open. Stevens bolts as he sees the cops coming. “Any problems here?” The first cop asks. Cole notices the guy is checking out how he is dressed, he wonders if this is another Officer compromised by Mike. “Nah, we were just fighting over a guy, you know how it is!” Cole winks. “Er, no can’t say I do.” The Officer responds. “Well there’s nothing going on here, you guys better get back to looking for bad guys!” Cole says and turns to head into the bar. “Hey! I didn’t say you could leave!” Officer Pearson calls after Cole. Cole stops and puts up his hands and turns around slowly. “May I see some ID Sir?” Pearson asks. “Let me get my wallet.” Cole slowly lowers his right hand, he has to open some buttons on the chaps to free up his back pocket. He fishes out his wallet and grabs his driver’s license and hands it to the Officer. “You on the job?” Pearson asks. “Yup, just like you.” Cole is enjoying this as he suspects the guy is obviously closeted. The man is not doing a good job of hiding it. Cole wonders if the guy’s partner knows. “So you’re from Lacombe, what brings you up here?” “R and R” Cole winks. “Ok, well let’s tone it down a little, last thing we need it to be taking your ass in to the station!” “I will Officer and thanks!” Cole turns and heads back into the bar. “What was that about?” Pearson’s partner asks as he gets back to the car. “Ah just two fags having a fight!”

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“Should have let them go at it!” Pearson’s partner says, “I think I have seen that guy around before, he on the job?” “Nah, he is just a tourist.” Pearson says as he gets back into the car. “Hey, it’s been slow, let’s do a walk through, I feel like some fun!” “No John, not tonight, I swear we are gonna get a complaint, the way we hassle them!” “Just big boys having fun! C’mon I’ll take the heat!” Pearson groans and grabs his cover. His partner radios in that they are doing a walk through at the Hawk. Cole gets back to his position along side the wall. Mike nods at him from the bar. There is a flurry of activity as the crowd starts to react to the Police Officers entering the bar. Mike signals to Cole to head to the backroom with his eyes. Cole nods and goes in there. Mike heads over to talk to the Officers. He notices that one of them is Pearson and he is relieved. Cole goes in the backroom and notices it is all lit up. Several guys are doing up their clothes. He finds Rick easily as he is opening a door to the back of the room. “I should go back out there, they know I am in here!” Cole says once he is alone in the room with Rick. “No, it’ll be Ok trust me!” Rick says. “You sure, they just spoke to me out on the street!” “Yeah I’m sure, you spoke to them, what happened?” “The guy that blackmailed me in Lacombe was in the bar tonight, I sorta asked him to leave!” Cole winks, “They were driving by.” “Well no fears I am sure Mike can handle them!” Cole looks around the room. Now that he knows what this room is used for he pays special attention to the monitors. He watches the Police Officers on several different screens as they make their way through the bar. He notices several of the monitors are almost whited out, he wonders if they are the ones taping in the now lit up back room. They must have a special lens to video in low light. Cole tries to figure out how to get a tape from one of the recorders. He has to get that key off Rick somehow. The Officers finally leave and Cole sees that the whited out monitors now show the men standing in the backroom. He can make out faces, “Man these cameras are good!” he says to himself.

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Rick signals it is ok to go back outside. He says he thinks he has found someone to take home later. “Well let’s see if he’ll meet Mike’s standards!” Cole winks. Rick heads over to the guy who is still in the backroom. Rick goes to his knees immediately and starts to open the guy’s jeans. Rick gasps as he sees the man’s cock. “Hey do you think you can handle that Rick?” Cole asks. “Yes Sir!” “You know what?” Cole gets a smile on his face as he figures out how to get the key, “I wanna see him fuck you!” “Here Sir?” “No in the fucking street!” Cole says sarcastically, “Get your pants off now!” Rick stands and does what he is told. Cole takes his pants when he has them off. Rick has never felt so naked, however it excites him. “Got safes in here?” Cole asks as he checks the pockets of the jeans. “Yes Sir!” Cole finds a Trojan and opens the wrapper. He walks over to the man. “I’m gonna suit you up, that ok?” “Er yeah, sure the man says as he thrusts forward.” Cole puts the condom on the guy, “Ride him hard he has been a bad boy!” The man pulls Rick up onto his feet and tells him to get against the wall and spread his legs. Rick does as he is told. Cole watches as the man enters Rick and then he says he is going to put the jeans in a safe place. He doesn’t wait for a response he just pulls out the keys and opens the door to the video room. Cole quickly switches a tape in one of the recorders for the backroom. He is lucky that they are digital recorders. The tape looks like a pack of cigarettes in his back pocket. When Cole comes back the man is really giving it to Rick. He starts to get hard watching the action and he notices several guys are standing around jerking off to the scene. “Come and get me when you are done!” Cole says. “Yes Sir!” Rick says. It is not until Cole has left that he realizes he will have to go out into the bar naked. He is terrified at the thought but then he thinks that the humiliation is

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what Cole wants. Rick shoots all over the wall and his boots at the thought of the degradation to come. The man slaps Rick’s ass as he is done. He takes off the condom and empties it on Rick’s boots. “I think you’d better go get your master now!” The man says as he buttons up. He wants to watch this. Cole is standing at the bar talking to Mike when he hears the crowd react. He turns and watches as Rick makes his way towards him at the bar. “You put him up to this?” Mike laughs. “Yeah!” “Good one, where the fuck are your pants?” Mike asks. “Cole put them in the video room, Sir!” “Well I think we should go get them.” Mike says, “I think this may take awhile Cole.” “Gotcha!” Cole winks as he sees the bulge in Mike’s jeans. “I think I am gonna head out Mike.” Cole says. “You sure, the night is still young!” “Yeah, I am beat!” Cole smiles as it occurs to him he can run over to see Greg and they won’t be any wiser. “Your loss!” Mike smiles as he slaps Rick’s ass. Cole watches as Mike leads his slave to the backroom. When they are gone he heads to the coat check and gets his coat.

2

Later that Night Cole puts the tape in a lock box he has in his truck. It is too late for him to call Boudreau although the Captain said to phone anytime. Cole figures he can do it in the morning. Cole does call Greg however. “Hello” Greg says after the phone rings numerous times. “Hey lover!” Cole smiles as he hears the man’s voice. “Cole it’s 12:30 in the morning!” Greg says. “I know, I was just checking to make sure you were alone!” “Of course what kind of question is that?” “Nothing intended I just figured you’d like some company!” “Er, sure, but I was in bed.” “No problem man, I’ll take you anyway I can get you!” Cole was really turned on by the scene in the bar and he is horny as hell. “When are you coming?” “Hopefully soon after I get there!” Cole laughs really loud at his joke. “Well get the fuck over here then!” Greg responds with a laugh. Cole takes a round about route to get to Greg’s place. He uses every evasion technique he knows and is sure he was not followed as he parks a couple of blocks from Greg’s place. Several people that are out late stare at him, he nods to them. He pushes the buzzer when he gets to the lobby and he hears the door buzz immediately. “Gotta teach this guy to ask who it is!” he says to himself. Greg opens the door as he hears the knock. He is stunned at how Cole is dressed when he opens the door. He plants his lips on his lover’s before the door is completely closed. “Get those boxers off now!” Cole tells Greg. “Yes Sir!” Greg says with a smile as he lowers his shorts. “Get that smirk off your face!” Cole tells him. “Yes Sir!” Greg doesn’t know where this is going but he decides to play along.

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“Bed now!” Greg does ass he is told. He is waiting for Cole on the bed as the man enters the bedroom. His cock is hard as a rock. Cole slowly starts to remove his clothes watching Greg jack off as he does so. “I am gonna fuck you so hard!” He says as he finally lowers his jeans. “Yes Sir!” Greg reaches over to the bedside table and gets a condom. He opens the package and puts it on Cole when he moves in arm’s reach. “Think you can take it?” Cole asks as he gets on top of Greg and lifts his legs. “I’d prefer lube, but I don’t think that goes with the scene playing in your head!” Cole puts his cock to Greg’s hole and pushes in all the way. He can feel the man tense up in pain. He stays still to let him adjust. “Fuck man that hurts!” Greg screams. Cole imagines it must be painful, he wants to go on and start fucking hard but a voice in his head says he should slow down. “Sorry man, it was just a scene tonight, I lost control, all I knew was I wanted to fuck!” “It’s Ok Cole, just give me a minute ok?” “Sure!” Cole says and he jams his tongue into Greg’s mouth. Their tongues fight with each other and Cole feels the other man start to relax. Cole slowly starts to move in and out of Greg’s ass. Pretty soon he is pounding away like there is no tomorrow. Cole cums first, the excitement from the bar and from fucking his lover is too much for him. He rolls off immediately and sighs. “My turn!” Greg says. “What!” Cole is surprised as this wasn’t part of the scenario. “Gotta see if you can take as you good as you give, sorry bud!” Greg puts a condom on and gets on top of Cole. He watches the reaction in his eyes as he slams into him. Cole gets hard again and jerks off as Greg fucks him,he cums at the same time Greg does. “Man that as hot, one of these days you are going to have to tell me what got you all fired up!” “I sure will partner!” Cole leans over and kisses Greg.

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They stare at the ceiling, their bodies covered in sweat. Both men’s heart rates are too high to let them get to sleep. “I think I am done with the fucking around, I made good progress in the case tonight.” Cole says. “You work fast.” Greg says he felt a pang in his chest when he heard that Cole had fucked around already. “You Ok with that?” “I can’t say I am happy about it, but you made up for it with that ride tonight!” Greg says as he takes a hold of one of Cole’s hands. “I can’t believe I even made it here tonight.” “How’d you get away?” “Made up a story about being tired. Besides they didn’t need me for what they are doing!” “I really have to hear this now!” “You will Greg, you will.” Cole turns to the other man, “I need to hear something from you though.” Greg knows immediately what it is. He fights with his mouth to form the words and after several attempts they come out “I love you Cole.” “Say it again.” “I love you Cole!” “Again!” “I love you Cole!” Greg doesn’t give Cole a chance to repeat himself again he raises himself and kisses Cole hard. “Your turn, say it!” “I love you too, Greg!” They embrace and kiss and neither of them says anything else. Their hands explore each other’s bodies, their cocks get hard but they leave them alone. Each man revels in bringing pleasure to the other’s body.

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Man on a Mission – Part III Cole wakes up early and gets ready to go. He puts his chaps in a bag and kisses Greg goodbye at the door. When he gets to the truck he calls Boudreau. They arrange to meet at a coffee shop in the west end. Cole makes sure he is not followed again. The coffee shop is pretty quiet when he arrives. The two men sit in the back. Cole gives a recount of the day before and hands over the tape. “You got further than I expected.” Boudreau says. “Yeah its amazing how much thinking men do with their dicks.” Cole says bluntly. “Well it was a great gamble on your part, how did you know you’d get away with it?” “Well it appears that your Officer is beyond help. I mean he is totally fucked, excuse my French.” “Yeah, I have seen it before. Hopefully we can wrap this thing up quickly.” “I hope so too Captain.” Cole says. “You think there is enough on here to wrap it up without you going back?” “Not sure, but I would like to make sure, that’s why I am going to the house.” “Well I am going to give you some time to let this unfold, but if we don’t hear from you tomorrow by 11:00 we are going in.” Boudreau says. Cole thinks about what the Captain said, it’s Sunday they are giving me two days to get this thing done. “I pray it doesn’t take that long!” “Me either, have any idea what you are in for?” “Not really but there is a room in the basement, where we will probably be. I am pretty sure it is sound proofed.” Cole starts to sweat, “I hope your guys have a strong stomach!” “They will be from Internal Affairs, don’t worry I will brief them on what to expect.” “Ok Captain, wish me luck!” “One thing before you leave Wheeler.” Boudreau says. “Yes Captain.”

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“I hope you had a good time with your partner last night, but the next time, don’t ever involve significant others when you are under cover!” “You knew Captain?” Cole is puzzled he took all the steps necessary to evade anyone following. “Yeah, we put a tracking device on your truck, it wasn’t hard to figure out where you’d gone when we found it.” “How’d you know where he lives?” “You don’t need to know that Wheeler, but suffice it to say we had to watch his place after the display you guys had made this week.” Boudreau smiles, “Sorry I had to know all the variables.” “Display Captain?” “Let’s just say the scene in the restaurant was like a great big flag, I had to cover my assets!” “Yeah, I guess we were a bit over the top.” Cole says. “You are a good officer Wheeler and I would love to have you as a member of my team. Just learn a lesson from this, the Chief doesn’t have to know about it.” “Thank you Captain!” “If there is nothing else I suggest you get going!” Cole gets in his truck and heads to Mike’s house. He tentatively puts the key in the lock and opens the door. “Hey Cole, how was your night?” Mike asks. “Not too bad!” Cole smiles, “How about yours?” “It was a really good night, thanks in part to you!” Mike smiles as he opens his robe to show he is only wearing leather gear, “In fact we are still partying, and you should join us.” “Er sure Mike!” “I think you should call me Sir!” Mike says as he steps over to Cole. “Yes Sir!” “Take those fucking clothes off now, boy!”

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Cole is still standing in the hallway as he takes off his t-shirt and drops it to the floor. He maintains eye contact with Mike as he removes all of his clothing. “Take these!” Mike says as he hands over a couple of pills. Cole looks at the pills and then looks at Mike questioningly. “Need water, boy?” “Yes Sir!” Cole tries to figure out a way to fake taking the pills. “Don’t fuck with me boy!” Mike says as he gives the glass of water to Cole, “I wanna see those pills on your tongue before you swallow, got it!” “Yes sir!” Cole says puts the pills in his mouth. He shows them sitting on his tongue and then takes a drink. “Good those should start to kick in right away!” Mike says, “Come on, get your ass downstairs!” Cole heads down the stairs to the playroom. When he looks inside he can see Rick standing beside the sling. He turns to the right and sees Stevens is bound and gagged in the corner. He feels fear rush over him. “Rick, help this piece of shit into the sling and then tie his hands and feet.” “Yes sir!” Rick grabs Cole’s arm and gets him in the sling. Cole looks for help from the man and but he sees the man’s eyes are vacant. “Now, I suppose you are wondering what happened, eh cop?” Cole doesn’t say anything, he figures Mike must have a pretty good idea if he has Stevens here. “Answer me you fuck!” “What gave me away?” Cole says defiantly. “That’s not how you address me, cop!” Mike nods to Rick who punches Cole in the stomach. “What gave me away!’ Cole screams and again Rick punches him in the stomach. “Say it right cop, I got all day!” Cole finally says it with a sir on the end. Rick punches him again just for effect.

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“Well I didn’t really know until after Rick and I fucked in the video room. I was just throwing the rubber away and I saw a wrapper in the garbage.” Mike says proudly, “A tape wrapper.” “So I checked the tapes and sure enough I found one that was only partly used. You made a good choice cop, you picked one with one of your fellow officers on it!” “You got me on tape man!” Rick yells, “You could fuck my career forever!” Rick looks to Mike who nods and then he punches Cole. “I fuckin trusted you man, I was going to let you in on this enterprise!” Mike starts to rant. “You ever see Reservoir Dogs, Cole?” Mike asks with a smile. “Yes sir!” Cole knows what scene Mike is talking about. It is the one with a cop tied to a chair and a crazed man, Mr Yellow, slashing at him with a knife while dancing to a song. Every time Cole hears that song he remembers that scene. “Well I have a variation of that planned for you, sorry knives aren’t my thing!” Mike says as he reaches into a bag and pulls out several dildos. The last one is huge and he shoves it in Cole’s face. “I don’t have to draw you a picture as to where these are going to go, do I?” “No Sir!” Cole responds trying his best to maintain the defiance in his voice. “Good, now those pills should have started to kick in, so I guess we’ll start.” Cole remembers what time it was when he entered the house, he figures he has about 2 hours of this to go through before it is through and he starts to be afraid. “Gag and hood him!” Mike orders. Rick was waiting for this and he quickly places the gag in Cole’s mouth and then puts a hood over his head. He fixes the straps so that it will not come off. Cole feels a sharp pain as some clamps are put on his nipples and tightened. He then feels hand roughly put something on his cock and balls. He doesn’t know what it is but it restricts their movement. Once the restraining device is attached to his cock he feels pulling on his nipples. They must be attached, his suspicions are confirmed when he contracts his dick and the pain form his nipples increases. Cole is starting to feel disoriented, as he can’t see what is going on. He also feels lightheaded as the pills, whatever they were starting to take effect. He feels all the nerves in his body at once. The slightest touch brings him intense pleasure. His body feels warm all over and he is actively moving on the sling trying to get contact with something to get more pleasure. Cole feels some lube being applied to his ass and then something is shoved up it. It initially hurts but the pain soon goes away.

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Cole hears the door slam and then it is quiet in there. He can hear moans coming from Stevens who must be still in the corner. The gag in Cole’s mouth prevents him from saying anything. He tries to fight with it but realizes it is no use. Cole twists and turns in the sling trying to get his hands free. The more the sling moves back and forth the further it pushes the thing in his ass into him. It seems like hours and no one has come back in the room. Cole is tired from struggling with the bindings and he really has to use the bathroom. He starts to nod off, but can’t get to sleep the pain in his bladder is getting worse. He is afraid he is going to piss himself. The pain finally gets to Cole and he decides to let it go, it doesn’t start immediately and the pain now moves to his penis. Finally he starts to feel the urine flow and it is coming out all over his stomach as the apparatus on his cock and balls had kept his dick semihard. Cole feels relief and embarrassment at the same time. When he is done he closes his eyes and lets himself go to sleep, he is cold and wet, but realizes he can’t do much about it. Cole doesn’t know how long he slept for but he is woken up by a hard slap on his foot. “You fucking pissed all over the place, cop!” Mike yells. As Cole starts to awaken he feels soreness in his arms from being suspended as they are and he feels numbness in his fingers. “Get a bucket and wash this pig!” Mike says. “Yes Sir!” Rick says. Cole feels the cold water as it is splashed on his mid-section. He is now really cold and starts to shiver. The thing that was in his ass is pulled out quickly and Cole feels a great relief. “Get him ready!” Mike says. He feels something hard rub up and down in the space below his balls. This drives him nuts it feels so good. The hard thing goes away and he feels a tongue licking him. The hard thing comes back and he feels it replace the tongue. It enters him and sets his ass on fire. It is withdrawn and then re-inserted further. This is repeated several times until he can feel it is all the way inside him. It hurts like nothing else he has felt in his life. Finally it is removed and Cole fears what is coming next. Cole feels another larger object enter him. There is no playing around this time as the whole thing is forced into him at once. He wants to scream but can’t. He bites down hard on the gag. Then he feels a burning on his chest and can hear muffled voices talking about the wax.

2

Soon the pain is coming from many sources, someone is shoving things up his ass and another person is pouring hot wax all over his body. Just when he becomes accustomed to the pain in one place he feels another part of his body tortured. Cole starts to focus on Greg and dreads what he would think if he saw this. He decides he will concentrate on the previous night with his lover. He hears him saying the words over and over again. This puts him into a trance and despite everything they are doing to him, he focuses on seeing Greg again. Soon he feels no pain at all. He thinks this must be what dying is like. He seems to leave his body and looks down on it lying on the slings. He watches as naked men do various things to the body lying there. He sees the largest dildo disappear into the body’s ass. Cole is amazed he doesn’t feel it. Suddenly it is all bright, Cole’s eyes which had been closed open and he looks up and sees Rick. He is asking him something but Cole can’t make out the words. He sees Rick’s hand and it appears to be slapping him. He gradually comes to. “Cole, Cole wake up for fucks sakes!” Rick screams and he is near tears. Cole can’t figure out what is going on. “Cole it’s ok now!” Rick is pounding on Cole and crying. He feels the gag as it is pulled out of his mouth. Cole’s tongue immediately senses blood. It feels around and he finds a broken tooth. His hands are untied and then his feet. Cole looks down and sees all the other things have been removed from him. His body still has the remnants of wax on it. It cracks as he starts to move. “Thank God you are Ok!” Rick says as he hugs Cole. “What happened? Where’s Mike?” Cole asks. “I couldn’t take it anymore Cole, I saw what he was doing to you. I gradually came to the realization that I was going down no matter what happened. I am sure that sooner or later a pile of cops are going to come through the door looking for you!” As he moves Cole can feel a great amount of pain coming from his ass. It is burning and he feels like he needs to take big shit. He feels down there and his hand comes away with blood on it and Cole just about faints. “What happened to you man?” Rick asks, “You were acting like anybody going through this and then you stopped fighting it. I mean you totally went limp. That’s when I freaked and hit Mike, knocking him out.”

2

“I don’t know man, I just went someplace, someplace nice where nothing could hurt me.” “Where is he?” “I have him tied up in the hallway.” Rick says, “I am so sorry man!” “How long have I been like this?” Cole asks. “It’s about 10:30 on Monday, we sorta left you there for awhile.” “There are some guys that are coming here soon, we sort of expected this.” “I better get you dressed then, I don’t want them to see you like this.” Rick says as he runs to get Cole’s clothes. Cole sits up and the pain in his backside gets worse. “Better go see a doctor when this is over!” He says to himself. He looks over and sees Stevens still tied up in the corner, “Were you next?” Stevens nods his head. Cole extracts himself from the slings and kneels down next to Stevens. He pulls the gag out and then starts to undo the ropes that bind him. Stevens gets up when he is free and helps Cole up. “Man, you sure took a beating!” Stevens says with admiration. “I feel like it too!” Cole laughs. Rick comes back in the room with Cole’s clothes and he has Steven’s too. He also brought a washcloth and proceeds to clean the man. The water and soap sting Cole’s ass and he winces. He feels like a baby letting Rick do this but he knows it has to be done. Rick rubs some anti bacterial cream on Cole when he has finished cleaning. Cole and Stevens are dressed when the Police arrive. Rick is still naked, Cole tried to get him to get dressed but he refused. “I should have been in the sling, I should have taken all that punishment man!” Rick says. “Hey guy I knew the risks when I took the assignment.” Cole says. “Did you know the extent to which Mike would go to break you?” Rick says in a loud voice. “He loved you, man, I knew that since we had that threesome weeks ago.” “He loved me.” Cole asks, “He sure has a funny way of showing it!”

2

“Nothing I did was ever good enough!” Rick cries, “That’s why I let myself be dominated more and more!” “Why did you stay then?” “Because he gave me what I needed.” “Come on you are better than that!” “If I was better I would have come out, like you did!” Rick sobs, “But I couldn’t!” “Get dressed Rick!” Cole tells him, “They’ll be here any minute.” “No Cole, no one tells me what to do anymore!” “They’ll treat you like shit, a cop gone to the other side, c’mon man think!” “Sorry Cole, I am sorry this had to happen to you. But you had your job to do and I have mine.” They hear a loud bang upstairs and then footsteps rushing across the floor and down the stairs. “Officer Wheeler!” A man shouts, “You Ok?” “In here!” Cole says as he gets his wallet out. The men appear in the doorway and they have their weapons out. Cole sees that there are six of them. There are two pain clothes guys and four Tactical Team guys. They look around the room to make sure everything is safe. Several eyes lock on the dildos and Cole notices the men wince. The plainclothes officers check his ID and then they cuff Stevens and Rick. Cole slowly follows them to where Mike is tied up on the floor. One of the men unties the ropes as another sits him up. They slap him a couple of times and Mike finally comes too. Mike doesn’t say anything as he glares at Rick and Stevens and then Cole. He locks his eyes on Cole and maintains it through all that followed. The plain-clothes guys let Cole arrest Mike. When they are upstairs, the plain-clothes guys get some sheets and the wrap Rick and Mike in them before they take them out to the car.

2

Aftermath Version II Cole is in a daze after Boudreau’s men showed up. He remembers walking around the house answering questions but can’t remember what was asked. Now he is sitting on the couch dwelling on what occurred and what he could have done differently. Cole feels really ashamed of himself and he can’t imagine what the other officers think of him. He was ordered to stay here until Boudreau got there. Cole was deep in thought about what Greg would think. Shit he promised him last night that there would be no more sex. He tries to figure out why Mike tortured him instead of just killing him, he wishes Mike had picked the other option. He tries not to think of Greg and then other people that are important to him take his lover’s place, like his parents, his friends and his fellow officers. Cole doesn’t notice Boudreau when he comes in the room he hears someone talking and then realizes it is Boudreau speaking to him. “How are you holding up Wheeler?” “Not too good Captain.” Cole says as he lifts his head and looks at the Captain. Boudreau sits next to him on the couch, Cole wants the man to hug him, and he wants to be held in the worst way. But he knows the Captain is not going to facilitate this. “We need to get you to the hospital and have you checked out.” Boudreau says. “Can you call Greg?” Cole asks, “Tell him I am OK.” “Already thought of that, I had a car go pick him up and he should be here shortly.” “Thanks Captain!” “Look Wheeler, I don’t exactly know what happened here yet, but I just want to say I admire you for tackling this problem straight on!” “Was there another way?” “I can’t think of one, but you put the Department before yourself and I appreciate that!” “Thank you.” Cole listens as Boudreau speaks the words, he sees the man is sincere and it makes him feel a little better. “What’s going to happen now?” “First off, you need the hospital and then I want you to see a councillor.” Boudreau says, “then we are going to need you to go through the paperwork. Looks like you might be riding a desk for awhile.” “I think we’ll wait till you get to work to take your statement.” Boudreau says, “Keep notes of anything you remember.”

2

“Yes Sir!” Cole says. Cole hears car doors slam and he hears Greg talking to the Officer at the door. Boudreau doesn’t know what to do. He dreads the two men making a scene in front of him. They introduce themselves and shake hands and then Greg heads to the couch. “Hey!” Greg says. Cole turns to him and smiles weakly without saying a word. He pleads to Greg with his eyes. “Captain, do you think we could get some time alone?” Greg asks Boudreau. “Um yeah.” Boudreau says as he turns and goes out to the porch. Greg puts his arms around Cole and hugs him. He feels the weight of his lover’s head as it rests on his shoulder. Greg slaps him firmly on the back, “It’s going to be OK, and I’m here buddy!” “You ready to go?” Greg asks. “Yeah.” Cole says as he sits up straight. “Back in a sec” Greg says as he gets up and goes to the door to speak to the Captain. “I’m going to take him to the hospital if that’s OK with you Captain.” “Sure anything you guys want.” Boudreau says and then adds, “Help him get over this, he is a damned good Officer!” “Yes Sir!” Greg says and heads back into the living room. “C’mon Cole lets get out of here!” Cole grimaces as he gets up from the couch. He makes his way to the hallway. Boudreau is waiting there, “Can I take my coat Captain?” “Sure Wheeler, which one is yours?” Boudreau asks. “This one.” Cole indicates his coat. He watches as Boudreau takes it from the hanger and examines it. He knows that this is just procedure and waits patiently. “Here you go.” Boudreau says as he hands Wheeler his coat. Cole puts his coat on and digs around in the pocket. He takes his keys out and hands them to Greg.

2

“We’ll release the rest of your stuff after we finish the search.” Boudreau says. “Thanks Captain!” Cole appreciates this, as he knows it will be months before he gets his stuff back if it goes into evidence. They get in the truck and Greg pats Cole’s knee. The other officers are watching them from the porch. “Where are the CD’s?” Greg asks. “Umm here!” Cole says as he hands the case to Greg, “but I really don’t feel like listening to music right now!” “Well I personally think it is good therapy.” Greg says as he picks out ‘The Rising’ by Springsteen and jumps ahead to one of his favourite songs. Cole reaches over and grabs Greg’s hand as they drive listening to 'Nothing Man'. The music sends chills through him as it echoes how he feels. They arrive at the University Hospital and check in the Emergency Room. Boudreau had called ahead and the nurse is ready to admit Cole. She turns to Greg and asks him to go to the waiting room. “I’d rather he stayed with me!” Cole says. “Are you two partners?” She asks. “Yeah.” Greg says, laughing inside at the double meaning. He notices Cole manages a smile as well and he is happy. Cole lets Greg help him get changed. He sees the look of shock on his lover’s face as he looks at the mess his body is in. Neither man says anything and they hug before Greg helps him into the bed. The Doctor comes in and asks Cole some questions. He asks Cole if he wants Greg there when he conducts the examination. “Yes Doctor.” Cole says softly. When the examination is over the Doctor says that Cole is going to need a CT Scan to make sure there is no internal damage. He leaves the room and an Orderly comes in and wheels Cole’s bed down to Imaging. Cole is back in half an hour, he holds Greg’s hand while they wait for the Doctor to come back. “Good news Officer Wheeler!” the Doctor says, “No permanent damage.”

3

“That’s good Doctor.” Cole says and then he looks at Greg. “There is going to be some pain for awhile. I am going to prescribe a laxative and a special diet.” The Doctor pauses and then says, “I also have to refer you to a councillor.” He purposely omits the word ‘rape’. Cole grabs Greg’s hand and holds it as they digest the last bit of information. “When do I have to go there?” Cole asks. “As soon as possible, Officer.” The Doctor says as he writes on a referral pad, “I recommend this guy.” Then he gives the piece of paper to Cole. “So other than that, he’s free to go,” Greg asks. “Are you going to be with him?” the Doctor says as he looks at the two of them holding hands. “Er yeah!” Greg blushes. “Just make sure he gets lots of rest.” The Doctor says while smiling, “Get dressed now, I’ll send the nurse in with some samples and a diet.” “Thanks Doctor!” Cole says as the Doctor leaves the room. Cole is dressed when the nurse shows up with some samples and a diet sheet. She lets him read it and then asks if he has any questions. “Looks like baby food!” Cole laughs. “Well if you don’t follow it, you’ll be back in here!” She says. “He’ll follow it!” Greg says as he smiles at Cole. Cole manages to smile at both of them. He starts to feel better as he realizes that Greg is going to help him through this.

3

Back at Work Cole reports in for work the next day and Boudreau is surprised to see him there. “Have you seen the councillor yet Wheeler?” “Got an appointment this afternoon Captain.” Cole says, “I just figured I come in and get the admin stuff done so that I can finish up with this case.” Cole actually figured that it would be better to be doing something. He didn’t sleep that well and he actually woke up screaming a couple of times the previous night. He was thankful he wasn’t alone. “Well see Sergeant Murray, he’ll get you fixed up.” Boudreau says. “Yes Captain!” Sergeant Murray quickly processes Cole’s access card and various userid’s and passwords for the computer. Cole is sitting at a desk familiarizing himself with the computer and reading the squads operating procedures when Captain Boudreau shows up at his desk. “Come on Wheeler, I’ll take you on a tour.” Cole gets up and follows the Captain. He shows him the gym, which is on the same floor. Takes him down to the property room where all the evidence will be stored. “Geez it sure puts our station to shame!” Cole says as they are sitting in the cafeteria drinking coffee. Captain Boudreau laughs, he couldn’t imagine working in a small town, but he guesses it would have its advantages. “So you checked out OK at the hospital?” “Yes Captain, I am on a special diet but there appear to be no long term effects.” He says as knows the Captain will get a fitness report, he needs one to allow Cole to work. “Just the session this afternoon and then we can start finishing this case up!” Boudreau says.

3

Cole nods the mention of the session makes him edgy. He looks around and sees several guys check him out. They are obviously wondering about him. Cole wonders how much they know already. “We should get back, I gotta go back out to the scene and see how it is going.” Boudreau says. Doctor’s Visit The Doctor’s office is within walking distance of the station. Cole arrives about 10 minutes before his appointment. He flips through several Psychology Today magazines as he waits in the waiting room. The last time he saw one of these guys was when he joined the Police. He passed with flying colours but he didn’t enjoy the process. The Doctor comes out and leads Cole into his office. He takes in all the certificates, which line the walls. The Doctor introduces himself and gives him some background information. Cole notices the guy focuses on his experience with rape counselling and counselling Police Officers. “Tell me about yourself Cole.” Doctor Reid says. “I am going to be taping this, but it is for me. I won’t be sharing the information with anyone as law on this protects you. I will however have to make do a fitness report based on my findings, you OK with that?” “Yes Doctor.” Cole says, “Where do you want me to start?” “Where ever you want Cole, this is your session, I am here to listen.” Cole gives a brief history of himself and he starts to feel comfortable. He notices the Doctor takes notes every once and a while. “Well I guess I should tell you that I am gay, I have been in the process of coming out for the past while.” Cole says and waits for a reaction. The Doctor smiles reassuringly, “Go on.” Cole is trying to read the man, seeing if he is being profiled. But Doctor is hard to read. “Anyway, my coming out is probably the reason you are seeing me.” Cole goes through the history of meeting Mike and then the incident with Stevens. He recounts coming out to his parents and friends. “Sounds to me like you have made a good progression Cole.” “Thanks Doctor, the main thing is I don’t want this to effect my job!”

3

“We have covered a lot of ground here Cole. I am going to need to digest this information before we go on to why I am seeing you.” “I would prefer to go on Doctor and get this over with!” “I can appreciate that Cole, I think we should meet again tomorrow. In the meantime I will review the tapes and my notes. I will have to do some reading too!” “OK Doctor.” Cole says, “I’ll be back tomorrow.” The Doctor stands and comes around the desk. He takes Cole down to the receptionist and makes room for Cole’s appointment tomorrow. The Doctor has no slots available during regular hours, so he schedules Cole to come in after the last appointment. “Thanks Doctor!” Cole says. “That’s what I am here for, by the way, how are you sleeping, need anything?” “Not sleeping to well to tell you the truth, but I’d rather not take anything.” “OK Cole, we’ll see you tomorrow.” The Doctor shakes Cole’s hand and then returns to his office. Boudreau is in the Office when he gets back. Cole reports that he has a follow up appointment tomorrow. “That’s great Wheeler, why don’t you get on home. I’ll see you tomorrow!” “Thanks Captain.” Cole says and heads out the door.

3

Wednesday – the Station Cole sleeps better and has a lot more energy when he shows up for work on Wednesday. As much as he hates to admit it, he is excited about his appointment with the Doctor. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel!” he says to himself. Cole starts reviewing the statements of the suspects Rick and Mike. He makes notes on various things, which are different from his memory. He notices that Mike is probably more forthcoming than a normal suspect. Probably because he knows his partner Rick is going to come clean. While reviewing he notices that the scheme seems to be well organized. He wonders how Mike dreamed this up. He reviews the man’s work history. There doesn’t appear to be much other than working in various bars. Another things occur to him, “How did he afford to start a bar in the first place?” Cole is going to mention this to Boudreau when he comes in. When Boudreau comes in he tells Cole there will be a meeting at 09:00, he wants him to bring his notes. Cole continues reviewing, before the meeting he runs to the cafeteria and gets a coffee and a bran muffin. As he heads back up the stairs he dreams about eating real food again. “Well well, Officer Wheeler!” Pearson says as he comes up the stairs. “Hi.” Cole says and he remembers that he had added Pearson’s name to the list of officers who may be compromised. “Working IA, how is that going?” Pearson says with a sneer, he considers IA almost as bad as the scum on the streets. “Not too bad Pearson, it sort of a different way of looking at things.” Cole says as he starts to climb the stairs back to the 4th floor. “I’ll bet, word has it you closed the bar.” “I closed it? Sorry Pearson I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Well I’d just watch my back Wheeler.” Pearson says softly.

3

“Don’t worry about me, I can take care of myself.” Cole says as he makes his way away from Pearson, “Sorry I can’t stay and chat, have a meeting to go to!” “Yeah right!” Pearson says as he looks at Wheeler head up the stairs. He starts to sweat as it occurs to him that he maybe part of the investigation. The door slams and Cole takes a deep breath. He knew he’d bump into Pearson sooner or later, he just didn’t expect it this soon. “You’re late Wheeler!” Boudreau says as Cole heads into the meeting room. “Sorry Captain, it won’t happen again!” He sees that all the other Officers are there. Cole makes his way to a vacant chair and sits. “Well let’s get started, you all have your notes?” Boudreau looks at Wheeler who appeared to have a coffee and a muffin but no papers when he arrived. Cole looks at Boudreau, “Go get em Wheeler!” Cole is back in his seat with his notes in front of him and he is shaking from all the attention Boudreau is brining on him. He noticed later that it did make him forget about the other things bothering him. “First off I want to introduce Officer Wheeler to you guys.” Boudreau says. Several officers say hi to him and he starts to calm down. “We are a team here, so there are no secrets. If you uncover something it comes out at these meetings!” Boudreau looks at everyone seated at the table to ensure that they understand. “Yes Captain!” the officers say at once. “OK Wheeler, you’re up!” Cole goes through the notes that he has taken. He mentions all the discrepancies between his recollections and the statements. Several Officers question him. Cole notices their lack of judgement and he is appreciative. “Anything else Wheeler?” “Yeah, it came up when I reviewed Mike’s work history.” Cole says, “First I would like to know where he came up with this idea or plan and secondly, the guy has worked in bars all his life, where did he get the cash to open a bar?” “Anybody have any ideas?” “I think he has a backer.” Cole says when no one else appears to offer any opinions.

3

“Well that’s an interesting theory, Wheeler.” Boudreau says, “Barton I want you to dive into the books, see if you can find anything.” “Yeah Captain.” Officer Barton says he is the point man on doing financial checks. He graduated from University and majored in Economics. He joined the Police soon after graduation and has never looked back. The other officers do their reports. The meeting is over at noon, Cole is back at his desk when Barton comes over and asks him if he wants to go to lunch. Cole smiles and grabs his coat. “Welcome to IA Wheeler!” “Thanks, but I feel like a shit, I am never late!” “Its Boudreau’s way of welcoming a new guy, sort of like an initiation, we have all been through it!” Barton laughs. “So you guys expected that when you saw me!” “Yeah, one thing though he must really like you, he managed to give you shit twice!” “I feel a lot better now, it’s Cole by the way!” Cole turns and offers his hand. “Pete, pleased to meet you!” Barton says and shakes Cole’s hand. Cole asks Pete about his career as a cop. He wonders why the man is in IA. “Basically, it’s a way up the ladder!” “Fair enough.” Cole admires the man’s forthrightness. “I was late as one of the Officer’s we are investigating cornered me on the stairs.” Cole says as they are walking back to the station. “Well you better let Boudreau know, that’s the kind of information he expects to be shared.” “Thanks Pete, I’ll tell him soon as I get back.” “Don’t worry, it is a period of adjustment, as a guy you don’t feel comfortable sharing threats, he will understand. Especially since you were drafted into IA!” Cole heads to Boudreau’s office when they return and tells the Captain about his encounter with Pearson. The Captain thanks him and says he will probably get some grief from other Officer’s.

3

“Just remain cool, Wheeler. How these guys react to you is going to be a major factor in the course of action we are going to take.” “Yes Captain and thanks!” “For not tearing a strip off you?” Boudreau asks rhetorically. “Get back to work and by the way a good observation about the backer.” “Thanks again Captain.” Cole says as he heads back to his desk. He notices Barton give him a thumbs up and he smiles. Cole does some more revision for the rest of the day as a clerk distributed photocopies of everyone’s notes. Finally it is time for him to go to the Doctor’s Office and he heads out. Session II “I reviewed everything Cole and now I think we are ready for the incident.” Doctor Reid says, “I think we are going to use the couch for this.” “I though you guys didn’t use them any more?” “Well we have occasion to use them and this appears to be one of them.” Cole heads over to the couch and lies down. He closes his eyes and starts to recount what happened on Sunday. It takes Cole about an hour to go through everything the doctor interrupts him only a couple of times. “Do you have a lover Cole?” “Yes, Greg, I am staying at his place.” “Are you sleeping together?” “Yeah.” Cole is amazed at how open he is sharing this information. “Anything different from say last week?” “Well, we haven’t had sex, if that’s what you’re asking.” “That’s part of it, how about being with him, anything?” “Greg has been a great help Doctor, he was with me at the hospital, I trust him!” “That’s good, how about sex, do you think that it’ll happen again?”

3

“I am not sure, I really don’t have the urge for it now, but I don’t think it is permanent if that’s what you are asking.” “That’s good.” Dr Reid says, “I just have a couple of more questions and then we are done.” “Shoot!” Cole is eager to get out of here. “Do you bear any ill will against any of your attackers?” “You know what, I keep asking myself that. If I was alone in a room with Mike, what would I do?” “So what would you do?” “One part of me wants to beat the hell out of him. Hurt him like he hurt me!” “And?” “The other side wants to sit down and calmly ask him why so I can close the book.” “Good, how about Rick?” “Well, I just feel sorry for the man more than anything, he was in a no win situation and he couldn’t find a way out.” Cole says, “I think that he probably was hurt the most in this whole thing!” “Anything else?” “Am I going to be OK Doctor?” “You are a pretty strong guy Cole and you have a good support system. I think that you will withstand this.” The Doctor smiles, “I am giving a positive appraisal on your fitness report.” Cole thinks about what the Doctor said. “I passed! I passed!” he says to himself. “Here is a card with my cell number on it Cole, I don’t think you are going to need to use it, but if you think it’s necessary call me any time!” “Thank you Doctor!” Cole takes the card and puts it in his wallet. “Well we are done, I hate to rush you out Cole but my wife wants to go to a new restaurant for supper!” “No problem Doctor, I think I want to head out to a restaurant too and celebrate!” “Good Cole, now get out of here!” The Doctor laughs.

3

“Don’t have to tell me twice!” Cole gets up and heads home.

Movie Night Cole helped with the case for several more weeks. Then they assigned him a partner and he spent the rest of the six weeks doing what he loves, out on patrol. He had checked in with Boudreau once and awhile and he could not believe what he got involved in. Apparently Mike was the front man for a gang in Montreal. They financed him and he had to send back a certain amount of the profits, but what they were really after was the information on the Police officers. Cole figured they must have similar operations in play across the country. But he’ll let someone else work on those. Rick went before a disciplinary board and was released from the force. Cole did testify that it was Rick that had knocked Mike out to end the torture session. This helped ensure that the man would get no jail time. The board was really hard on him though. Cole asked him what he was going to do, Rick didn’t know. Cole told him to call if he was ever in Lacombe. The other cops went before the disciplinary board too, Mike had files on all the Officers. Most of them got a reprimand and a couple of days suspension but they managed to save their careers. One Officer however got the book thrown at him, it appears he had more opportunities to come clean about Mike’s operation and never did so. Officer Pearson was let go as well. Several of the Officers dropped by to thank Cole. They all told him they were blackmailed and didn’t know of a way out. They didn’t hold a grudge against Cole but were dreading what was going to happen now that was known that they were gay. Cole told them to give the other guys some time and that they may be surprised how some of them react.

3

He is now back in Lacombe, with Mark as his partner. Most of his fellow Officers accept him for who he is although some of them are taking longer than others. Cole took Kelly out for lunch one day and came clean on everything. He figured he owed it to her to tell her face to face before she heard it on the grapevine. Cole was surprised with how well she took it. She understood why he didn’t tell her before. He was offered a position in Edmonton before he left. He really wanted to take it so he could be with Greg, but the realization of what he had in Lacombe dragged him back. Greg lived with his decision. He just said they’d be putting a lot of miles on their vehicles. It was a cold Saturday night in November that Cole planned to have some people over for supper and a movie. He had bought 'Mambo Italiano', about a closeted cop in Montreal and he decided to have a theme party. The movie is very bright with lots of colours in it and he decided that he would have a dress code for the night. Greg was down from Edmonton, the two of them spent the day doing their normal routine, running, hitting the gym and shopping. They were home at 16:00 and decided to have a quick one before their guests arrived. Cole felt he was completely recovered he managed to put the incident in a box in his head and pack it away. It was made easy by the fact he was on the job when it occurred. He resumed having sex with Greg about two weeks after the incident. It did have its problems the first couple of times, but they to went away. Both of them had their first HIV tests and the results came back negative. Cole was really relieved by this. The two of them were dressed in Hawaiian shirts and orange shorts. They were preparing supper when Mark and Mary arrived. “Boy those are bright!” Mary says as she looks at how Cole and Greg are dressed. “Good thing I brought these!” she says as she pulls out a pair of sunglasses. “Well it is a theme party!” Cole says, “Get in here and show me what you got!” Mary and Mark take off their coats and they both have Hawaiian shirts on as well. “We have a present for you!” Mark says as he takes out an envelope and hands it to Greg. “What is it?” Greg asks, not expecting an answer. “Well you might know if you open it!” Cole says and punches Greg on the arm. “This is great!” Greg says when he opens the envelope and pulls out a watercolour painting. “The kids did that” Mark says, “It’s a picture of you two in front of your house.”

3

‘Look it says our names on the bottom, Uncle Greg and Uncle Cole!” Cole exclaims, “We gotta hang this up!” Greg puts it on the fridge and uses fridge magnets to hold it on place. “Well come on in guys, can I get you something to drink?” Greg asks, “We have a special on boat drinks!” “Those umbrella drinks?” Mary asks, “I want one!” “Umbrella drinks! I’ll stick to beer.” Mark laughs and makes a face, “Can’t drink that sweet stuff.” “Sorry no beer Mark, but we can make you something with tequila or a martini.” Cole says, “We bought a book!” “Looks like we won’t be going home tonight!” Mary says. “Glad I had my parents look after the kids.” Greg hears another car pull into the drive. Soon the door opens and Kat and her partner come in. “Glad you made it!” Cole says as he hugs Kat. He wasn’t sure she would show up. What with everything that happened between them and worse yet, she knew Mike. “Hey Cole, welcome back, I see your hair needs some work!” She hasn’t had a chance to talk to Cole since he got back and she heard some rumblings in the community about a cop from Lacombe that managed to shut down a bar in Edmonton. She wants to get Cole alone to talk about it sometime. “Yeah, I was seeing a barber up in Edmonton, somehow it’s not the same.” He winked as he said this. “Cole this is Terry.” Kat says as she introduces her girlfriend. Terry and Cole shake hands and then Cole introduces Greg. Greg says hi and then hurries back to the kitchen. “Oh before I forget, Lance offers his apologies, Kurt and him won’t be coming.” Kat says.” “Did he say why?” This shocks Cole as he has big plans for tonight and he wanted all of his friends to be there. “No, but I think he is coming down with something.” Kat says. “Well that’s too bad!” Cole says as he wonders why Lance didn’t call. Everyone introduces them selves in the living room. Cole gets drinks for the new arrivals and then heads into the kitchen to help Greg.

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“Dinner is served Everyone stress at the table, it is very bright. The tablecloth is red and there are orange place mats. The napkins, in keeping with the theme are bright yellow. “OK Cole, what’s with all the colour?” Kat asks as she looks at the table and then all the people wearing Hawaiian shirts. “We just thought that we’d be festive, besides you’ll understand better when you see the movie!” The food is several types of pasta some noodles and a lasagne. Everyone digs in and starts to eat. There are several bottles of Italian red wine and Cole pours everyone a glass. “No one leaves the table until all the food is gone.” Greg says, “We don’t want any leftovers!” There is lots of talking and joking going on as the six of them eat and sure enough they manage to eat all the food. “Anyone for dessert?” Cole asks with a big smile. Several napkins are thrown at him as people start to get up from the table. After helping clear the table Mark and Greg go outside for a cigarette. They talk about the Oilers and the Flames and which one is better. “How is he doing?” Mark asks, as he hasn’t had a chance to talk to Greg in awhile. “He is a lot better than he was, those first couple of days were pretty tough!” “Was it tough on you guys?” “No not really, we managed to have a talk. But I have to realize its part of his job.” “Yeah, I know!” Mark smiles. “Have you and Mary had any problems?” “Yeah, but we manage to talk them out.” Mark says, “Communication is the key, if you don’t have that, there will be problems.” “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.” “I think you guys will do fine. Mark smiles. Kat helps Cole load the dishwasher and they are both silent waiting for the other to break the ice. Finally Cole tells Kat what he can, mostly paraphrasing what the media reported.

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“I didn’t know Cole!” Kat says referring to her friend Mike. “I didn’t think you did Kat.” “You gonna tell me why Lance isn’t here?” “It’s not Lance it’s his lover, he didn’t want to come!” “Something to do with the case I take it.” “Yeah word is going around that it is another example of the Police harassing gays.” “But..” Cole starts to say and then he stops. He knows better to argue with Kat about this. Kat smiles to indicate that she understands his point of view. “So are you guys happy?” Kat asks. “Oh yeah, Greg is a good man.” Cole smiles, “Except for the smoking thing!” “Terry and I are getting along great!” Kat says, “And I think it was for the best, I mean you and I, it would never have worked.” “Damn it was fun while it lasted though!” Cole opens his arms and Kat moves towards him and hugs him. “It sure was.” Kat says and she feels her eyes moisten. Terry comes in the kitchen and sees the two of them hugging she smile and then walks over and hugs the two of them. “Did you see this?” Cole points out the picture that Mark and Mary’s kids made. “This is great.” Terry says, as she is impressed with the other couple that are here tonight. They all break apart and laugh and head into the living room. The guys had come back in and everyone was sitting around talking. Greg looks at Cole and asks if it is time and Cole nods. Greg stands up and says he has an announcement. “Oh no!” several of them say. “You lost the DVD?” Mark asks.

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“No we have the DVD!” Cole says holding it up, “We just want to thank you guys for being there for us!” “Any time Cole and Greg!” several people say and then they resume their various conversations. “Well that wasn’t the complete announcement!” Greg says. “No it wasn’t, go ahead parts!” Cole says and he winks at Mark. Mark wonders what that was about and then it dawns on him. “If we lived in one of many provinces in Canada, I guess we’d be announcing that we intend to get married.” Greg says scans the room and then focuses on Cole, “But since we live in Alberta we can only commit to each other.” “Some day that will change guys!” Mary says and she starts to cry. Mark puts his arm around her, as he feels emotional as well. “Get next to each other you two!” Kat says as she stands. Cole and Greg are standing side by side as she says, “ Cole you are my best friend and I am happy that you have met someone to share your life with.” Cole takes Greg’s hand in his. “To Cole and Greg, this is the start of a wonderful journey and I pray it is a long one!” Kat says as she raises her glass. Everyone else stands and raises their glasses and toasts them, a lot of clinking occurs before they take a drink. Greg and Cole don’t drink they kiss each other. “I hope that you’d pick me to be your best man!” Mark says, he puts down his drink and walks over to hug them. “Thanks Mark!” Cole says. “Well enough of this emotional stuff” Greg says, “Let’s watch the movie!” Everyone pairs up and gets comfortable to watch the movie. “It really is a bright movie!” Greg says as he puts a pile of cheap sunglasses on the table. It doesn’t take long after the film starts before everyone is wearing glasses. They party all night and go to sleep wherever they can find a space. In the morning Kat and Terry cook breakfast. When everyone has eaten they thank Cole and Greg for the great night and make their way home.

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“It sure is quiet here!” Greg says as he is outside with Cole. He has his arm around Cole’s shoulder as he smokes, “I think I could get used to it.” “What do you mean?” Cole asks. “You have a good job, good friends and a house, I think I could get used to living here full time!” “But what about your job?” “I can get other work!” Greg says and laughs, “I could be a consultant, use the Internet to work. Lot’s of guys do it when they retire.” “A consultant, aren’t they like lawyers?” “Yeah, but I’d be pickier!” Greg laughs. “Well don’t make any rash decisions yet, let me think about it.” Cole says quietly. Greg throws the cigarette away, “Come lover lets go get under the covers!” “I thought you’d never ask!” Cole says as they race back into the house.

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