Sam owes his and his mothers’ jobs at the Stonewall Inn to a violent, closeted mobster, so he puts up with a lot of things, including the man’s abuse. In fact, when rookie cop Luke Delany meets him for the first time, Sam’s face is black and blue.
In general, Sam doesn’t care for many white men, especially cops who are constantly harassing nonwhites and homosexuals like himself. But Luke is in great turmoil over his own sexuality and needs Sam’s help. Is Sam willing to aid a lawman whom he considers an enemy?
Genres: Gay/Nostalgic Contemporary (1960s-Era)/Interracial/Multicultural
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Novella (38k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...Charlie tossed his head toward the bartender and his friend. “That bartender has Marconi stamped all over him, and from the look of his face, Marconi knows how to keep him in line, too.” He sniggered.
“I think it’s disgusting.” Luke sipped his coffee.
“Those guys are disgusting.”
“No, Charlie, what happened to his face. No one has a right to beat someone like that. I’m sure Marconi wouldn’t like it if I did it to his face.”
Charlie sat back in the booth. “These freaks like it. Trust me, they get what they ask for, on their knees, sucking men’s cock. What do you want?”
Luke didn’t comment.
“You some big defender of Nellie boys now?”
“No. I’m a cop. I thought our job was to protect people.”
“Those aren’t people, they’re freaks.”
Luke shook his head and drained his cup. “I don’t think so.”
Charlie sighed, not prepared to give up the argument. “Listen, those kinds are like chicks in their head. Some broads like to be tossed around a bit, makes ’em feel loved to be put in their place. That bartender over there is the same. He likes big, tough guys like Lewis to make him feel…I don’t know, feminine or some shit.”
“You know what, Charlie, personally, no offense, but I think your theories are full of crap and based on nothing.”
Charlie’s eyes widened. Then he started to laugh. “You’ll learn, and you know, you need a haircut, kid.”
Julie came back with the food. It was going to take more than a haircut for Luke to start believing that anyone wanted to end up battered and bruised.
They ate. Luke had to tell Charlie a half dozen times that the pancakes were the best he’d ever eaten. As he ate, he was aware of the bartender watching him off and on. He really tried not to look at him, but sometimes he couldn’t help it. The man was directly in his line of vision.
It bothered him that the guy’s face looked like that, and that bastards like Marconi were allowed to walk around, doing whatever to hell they wanted to people. Guys like the bartender were vulnerable. Who was going to protect them against bullies like that? And it looked like they couldn’t even turn to the cops.
Charlie excused himself to go to the bathroom. As soon as he did, Luke got to his feet. He walked over to the booth where the bartender and his companion sat.
The bartender looked shocked. “We weren’t doing anything wrong, officer.”
Luke saw the other guy tighten his hand on his napkin.
“I didn’t come over here to cause you any trouble. What’s your name?”
“Sam, Sam Brooks.” He cleared his throat. “You wanna’ see my—”
“No. I want you to consider pressing charges against Lewis Marconi. I’m at the 6th precinct. If you come in, ask for Officer Luke Delany, okay? I’ll process the complaint personally.”
Sam just stared at him. Then he laughed.
Luke hadn’t expected to be laughed at. “Did I say something funny?”
“I can’t believe how naïve you are.”
“Sam.” The other guy shook his head.
Luke stiffened. “I’m sorry?”
“Listen, I told you once, the cops won’t help us. You’d be wasting your time. Besides, Lewis Marconi is practically untouchable. Everyone knows that. You’d be laughed out of the station. How long you been a cop anyway, a day?”
Luke’s mouth hardened. “Listen. Whatever hang-up you got with cops, I’m sure you have your reasons. I don’t give a damn. I’m just trying to do my job. I see a citizen who’s been assaulted by someone and that’s a crime. I see the perpetrator walking around with the idea that it’s okay to use his fists on another person. I don’t like that much. If you want to make a report, you know where to find me. Just don’t wait until he kills you...”