Several months later he received a call in the weapons cage, instructing him to report to the desk sergeant. “You wanted to see me?”
“Yes, Peters. I need you to go to the Kyle Matthews residence, 3479 Cedar Oak Drive and find out if he wishes to press charges against Corey Collins for assault stemming from an incident that happened at the County General Cafeteria two days ago. Here’s the paperwork on the case. Take patrol car 217. Here’re the keys.”
“Okay. I’ll head right on over there.”
Officer Peters arrived at Kyle’s house a few minutes later and rang the doorbell. “Officer Peters. What can I do for you?”
“I need to speak to you for a couple of minutes. May I come in?”
“Sure. Come on in. Can I get you anything to drink, water, coffee, iced tea?” Kyle asked, ever the thoughtful host.
“I’d love some tea, thank you. Nice place you have here.”
Kyle froze momentarily when he heard that phrase, remembering the last time he heard those words from a stranger in his living room. He nervously handed the officer a glass of iced tea. Noting his nervousness, the officer reassured him. “Relax, Mister Matthews. I just need to talk with you about the incident that happened two days ago at the hospital.”
“Sorry. The day I was raped the guy said the same thing you did about my house. It just brought back a painful memory.”
Officer Peters placed a hand lightly on Kyle’s arm. “I’m so sorry. The last thing I want to do is cause you any discomfort.” There was no doubting the sincerity in his voice.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?”
“The man you got into the altercation with is attempting to file assault charges against you. According to him, you kicked him in the groin several times.”
“I kicked him twice, but that was after he grabbed me from behind, stuck his tongue in my ear and sucker-punched me in the stomach because I refused to go home with him.”
“The security guard from the hospital said that he attacked you and you responded to protect yourself so he has no grounds to file assault charges against you. What I need to find out from you is whether or not you want to file assault charges against him.”
“Are there any charges against him now?”
“Yes. The hospital filed disorderly conduct charges against him.”
“What would happen to him if I don’t press charges?”
“He’ll probably get probation, a small fine and community service. Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor.”
“If I filed assault charges against him, what would happen?”
“There would be a trial, at which you and the hospital security guard would be key witnesses for the prosecution. If he were to be convicted, he’d face a maximum of up to five years in prison, and a five-hundred dollar fine.”
“To the best of my knowledge, he’s never been in trouble with the law, so he’d want revenge. He’s definitely the type that would come after me after he gets out. What if, instead of filing charges against him, I asked for an order of protection?”
“It would most likely be granted, but he’d be free to go after someone else.”
“That’s unlikely. The only reason he came after me is he was my first boyfriend, and since he was the first guy I had sex with, he felt like I was his property. I seriously doubt he’d go after anyone else.” Kyle said.
“Okay, well, the choice is yours. Think it over and call the precinct when you’ve made a decision.” He stood up, glancing at the clock on the fireplace mantle. “Listen, I’m off duty as of two minutes ago. Want to go out and grab a beer?” He asked, hopefully. Please say yes. I really need a friend to hang out with. He silently prayed.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t drink. Besides, I’m not into hookups and I already have a boyfriend.”
“You misunderstand me, I just moved here a few weeks ago and I don’t have anybody that I can hang out with and just be myself.”
“You don’t have any friends on the force?”
“Not that I can be myself with.”
“Why’s that?” Kyle asked.
Okay, do I come out to him or not? If I don’t, I may never have a chance of having a gay friend. But if I do, I might not be able to stop coming out to people and word could get back to my captain. Goodbye dream of becoming Detective. God, I don’t know how much longer I can stand living this double-life. Might as well go for broke. “Because I’m gay, and my captain is a homophobic prick. I’m not out at work.”
“And that’s all you want, me to be a friend to hang out with?”
“Come on, look at me. There’s no way in hell a guy as hot as you could possibly be interested in someone like me.” Despite the light brown hair, hazel eyes and a five-foot-eleven inch, one hundred and ninety-five pound muscular frame, he had never considered himself in any way attractive.
“Don’t put yourself down like that. You’re very attractive and you appear to have a nice body. While I don’t know you, you seem like a good guy. Surely there’s a boyfriend somewhere.”
“I never had one. If I was out I might be able to find one, but not the way things are now. I constantly have to look over my shoulder whenever I go anywhere. My captain probably had me followed here and is wondering why I’m still here when my shift is already over.”
“Believe me, I understand. My boyfriend is in the exact same situation only his is worse because he’s with the FBI. It’s hard on both of us. He wants to be out, but if he did come out, his supervisor would revoke his security clearance and fire him. Nine years of hard work down the drain. Have you thought about transferring to another precinct?”
“I would totally love that, but I have no grounds to request a transfer. I can’t claim hostile working environment. That would be like putting a nail in my coffin, so to speak.”
“I think I know of a way to help you out, if you’re interested.”
“What could you do?”
“I could make a phone call to someone who would love to help you out, discretely, of course.”
“That would be awesome! I don’t know what to say.”
“Let me give him a call right now.” Kyle got out his phone. “What’s your first name?”
“Greg. Greg Peters.”
“I’m pleased to meet you, Greg. I’m Kyle. What precinct are you assigned to?”
He dialed a number. “Hi, this is Kyle Matthews calling for Dave Barton, please.”
Greg’s eyebrows were raised to the ceiling. “You know the Deputy Mayor?” Kyle nodded affirmative.
“Hi, Dave, I’m doing fine, thanks for asking. And thanks for all your help when I was raped. I really appreciate it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. That’s what family is for. Listen. I need a favor. Do you remember that prick cop’s partner, Officer Peters? Well as it turns out, he’s having a rough time over at the tenth precinct and wants to transfer out, but he doesn’t have any grounds to request the transfer.” Kyle listened for a moment. “Actually, he’s right here. Let me put him on.”
He handed the phone to a suddenly very nervous Greg who took it reluctantly. “Hello?”
“Officer Peters? This is Dave Barton. How are you doing?”
He shot to his feet. “D-d-d-d-deputy Mayor, I’m fine, sir. How are you?”
“I’m good, thanks for asking. I understand you’re having problems at your precinct?”
“Nothing I can’t handle, sir.”
“I have a feeling that you’re not being completely honest with me.”
“I’m being as honest as I can be.”
“Where are you right now? Are you on duty?”
“No sir. I’m at Kyle Matthews’ house.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes. I want to discuss this further with you.”
“Thank you sir, but I’ve already taken up more of your valuable time than I have a right to.” Please don’t come over. Please. He pleaded silently. He knew that if the Deputy Mayor said anything to his captain his life would be made a living nightmare.
“Officer Peters. You will remain where you are. That is not a request. I will be there in ten minutes and we will discuss this situation further.” Dave said, sternly.
“Yes sir.” He replied meekly as he hung up and handed the phone to Kyle. “Some help. I’m in a world of shit with the Deputy Mayor. I’ll probably lose my job now.” He said bitterly, turning an accusing eye to Kyle.
“I seriously doubt that.”
“How do you know? You can’t possibly know that.”
“Ah, but I do, because I know Dave Barton quite well. Our illustrious Deputy Mayor is openly gay, and the Police Commissioner had a gay son. You have no fear of being canned for being gay. Neither of them will allow open homophobia, or bigotry of any kind for that matter, within the ranks of the Police Department, nor is it allowed in the Fire Department. If they find out about it, it’s dealt with immediately and severely.”
All too quickly by the nervous young police officer’s estimate, there was a knock on the door. Kyle opened the door to admit Dave, who gave him a bear hug. “I’m glad you’re doing okay.”
“Thanks, Dave. Dave, this is Greg Peters. Greg, Deputy Mayor Dave Barton.”
Dave smacked Kyle on the back of his head playfully. “Since when have you ever introduced me as Deputy Mayor, especially in your house?”
“Since you got elected Deputy Mayor.”
“That’s right, and its spelled Beautiful, Intelligent, Thoughtful, Courteous and Helpful, thank you very much.”
“Helpful? Don’t you mean horny?”
“Now who’s being the bitch?”
Greg took in their playful banter in awe. Kyle must be a very important person to be on such a personal level with the Deputy Mayor. He had no clue just how down to earth the Deputy Mayor was, but it was something he would soon find out. “It’s a pleasure to see you again, Deputy Mayor.” He said respectfully as they shook hands.
“My name is Dave. I only use my title when I’m required to, and this is not one of those times. Now, what kind of problems are you experiencing at your precinct, and how can I help?”
He swallowed nervously, which did not go unnoticed. “It’s nothing more than the usual bullshit for the new guy.”
“Why do I think there’s something you’re not telling me?”
Greg shot Kyle a frightened look as he was passing out glasses of iced tea.
“Greg, would you feel more comfortable if I left the room and allowed you two to talk in private.”
“I can’t ask you to leave your own living room.” Greg said quickly. Don’t go. Don’t go. Don’t go.
“You’re not. I’m offering.”
“Please don’t leave on my account.” He gave Kyle a look of pure terror, a look that was not lost on Dave.
“Ah, I see. So that’s how it is, huh. Let me guess. You’re gay, and because of your captain, you’re in the closet, but you don’t want to be in the closet. You want to be out, so you can be free to meet other gay men and perhaps find a boyfriend. Am I right?”
Greg hung his head. “Yes,” he whispered.
Dave sensed that Greg was about to break down, so he moved over to the couch next to him, put his arms around him and pulled him close. “There’s no reason to hang your head. It implies that you are ashamed to be gay. Are you?” Greg shook his head as his arms slowly encircled Dave. All of his fears, frustrations and loneliness spilled forth in a flood of tears that would no longer be denied. Kyle quietly slipped from the room and started making dinner for the three of them. Dave rocked him gently, whispering words of comfort. Eventually, Greg settled down and regained his composure. Dave placed his hand under Greg’s chin and gently lifted his head so he could brush the tears away. He tilted his head down and planted a tender kiss on Greg’s lips. He released him and sat back on the couch, keeping one arm around him as he got out his cell phone. “Fred, Dave Barton. Listen, I need your help. It’s come to my attention that there is a young gay officer in the tenth precinct who is having a hard time over there and is being forced to remain in the closet. Yes, the tenth. Officer Greg Peters. Okay, I’ll tell him. Thanks, Fred.” He hung up and looked Greg in the eyes. A shower of sparks flew between them. “Tomorrow morning at eight a.m. you are to report to the Police Commissioner for reassignment to the fifteenth precinct.”
“The fifteenth? Where’s that?”
“They patrol the area around the LGBT Center.”
He looked at Dave with relief, love and appreciation shining in his eyes. “I don’t know what to say.”
“How about saying yes to going out with me to celebrate?”
Greg threw himself on Dave. “Yes. Oh, yes.” He kissed him soundly just as Kyle came back into the room.
“The guest room is that way, guys.” He pointed towards the stairs. “Make it a quickie,” he joked “because dinner is ready. I hope you like spaghetti, Greg.”
“If you don’t now, you will. Kyle makes a killer spaghetti sauce.” Dave stood, and taking Greg by the hand, led him into the dining room where they enjoyed a wonderful meal, although if Greg were to be asked later about it, he wouldn’t be able to tell you what he ate or where he ate. He had fallen hopelessly in love with Dave, feelings that were most definitely returned.
After the dining room and kitchen were cleaned up, Dave and Greg left for the club to celebrate Greg’s new assignment, and, they both hoped, their new relationship.
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