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by Gregory L. Norris
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: You have never met anyone quite like Lawrence Hunt. Few young men have ever been so beautiful to behold, so exotic...so dangerous. Just ask broodingly handsome Lieutenant Joe McMurphy, the rugged and jaded police detective assigned to investigate the case when Lawrence is brutally murdered one sweltering summer weekend. From the moment McMurphy enters Lawrence's world of luxury and mystery, he finds himself challenged by the clues - and fighting his attraction to the victim's portrait, which captures both his eyes and his heart. A jealous uncle, a cheating would-be husband, a missing personal assistant with a motive, and a self-obsessed, monstrously endowed celebrity blogger are but some of the scheming men in Lawrence's life, and the chief suspects in his murder. But McMurphy, falling more deeply in love beneath the watchful blue gaze of the dead man's portrait, quickly comes to realize that not all the facts in this particular murder investigation are as clear cut as they appear to be, especially when it comes to the attractive ghost who haunts his dreams and waking hours, Lawrence.
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance/Ravenous Romance, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: May 2010
8 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [236 KB]
Reading time: 138-193 min.
Chapter One: T.R. Ledbetter, the Sunday Morning After
I will never forget the weekend Lawrence died.
Humidity lay rotten across the city, making the air impossible to breathe. A platinum sun drifted in an alien sky from which all trace of blue had been banished. Lawrence's eyes were the bluest I had ever seen; magnificent twin sapphires beautiful enough to seduce even the most hardened of hearts with a simple, tilted glance. Lawrence Hunt was dead, murdered. Like Lenore in Poe's tragic poem, a tabernacle of jealous angles had stolen him from we many mortals who adored him, and they had taken the blue skies as part of their cruel punishment. Without Lawrence, this world would never again be so vibrant and alive.
I, T.R. Ledbetter, was the only man who really knew him, and I had just begun to blog about his story when another of those detectives invaded my stronghold in the Blayne Building's east penthouse. He caught me, quite literally, with my pants down. I could see him through the master suite's open bathroom door. He stood tall, a silhouetted column staring down at Central Park from the wall of windows leading out to the penthouse's patio and garden. In the absence of color, he was mostly shadow, exactly the kind of man you'd expect to come banging into your home to intimidate you with his height and authority. Even at the distance, I could see his cock lying thick and obvious in the front of his department store khakis. The shadow tugged at his balls, grunted.
I couldn't see his face clearly, but I knew his type. A cop now, probably ex-military. Handsome, no doubt, in a cheap, pedestrian way. When you've been in the presence of the truly divine, like Lawrence Hunt, the rest of the male species loses its appeal and is more likely to disappoint beyond the cheapest of thrills. After such rapture, men fall into two categories: the inferior, the ones you judge, ridicule, and dismiss as being so far beneath you that you barely acknowledge their existence; and rugged, primitive cave dwellers. Dicks with feet. I pegged him as being the latter. His feet, in those well-traveled, pedestrian shoes, were impressive in their size. Huge.
As stated, when you've loved and lost a creature as magnificent as Lawrence, the most you can hope for to break out of a miserable spell is the occasional cheap thrill. I could have a little fun with this Dick. Not too much, given the somber tone of the day, just a simple distraction, if only to keep going and to temporarily forget the reality of a life without Lawrence.
Until the cop's intrusion, I was relaxing in the big stand-alone tub with the inflated pillow behind my spine, typing away on my laptop, which sat on the stainless, swing-arm table. Blogging from the bathtub is as much a recognizable trait of T.R. Ledbetter as his silver walking stick. On rare but memorable occasions, I've given my many devoted readers a peek at a different kind of column inches over the webcam while I've worked.
Today, however, I ceased tapping on the keyboard and slid the tray table aside. Stretching out in the tub sent a rush of bubbles between my toes and behind my balls. I enjoyed the tickle of current across the sensitive flesh of my ass, and imagined it was Lawrence's tongue, which instantly made me hard. My walking stick is no random prop used simply to gain attention; the cave men believe the remote controls to their television sets and their oversized pickup trucks to be extensions of their cocks. Mine, I am proud to admit, could truly pass for an extra limb.
I gave it a squeeze at the root and marveled at its size. At ten long, very thick inches, it rose neatly, uniformly up from a trimmed strip of pubic hair to an arrow-shaped head. Peering eyes from outside the room would notice the ease in which I hunched down, drew the head between my lips, and performed the truest professing of love -- to one's own self. Lawrence was, perhaps, the only human being I loved more than Thomas Rolfe Ledbetter.
I lovingly fellated my dick with slow, wet sucks, tickling my balls with one hand and firmly choking the root of my cock with the other's forefinger and thumb. Before long, sugary sap ignited on my tongue. Electricity pulsed through my insides. Fresh flames baked the room, overwhelming the air conditioner. My pleasant reprieve from the day's heat vanished. Fresh sweat broke across my spine and forehead.
The thrill of being watched, no doubt envied while doing so personal an act, launched a chill down my spine. Only I wasn't being watched, I saw between downward plunges.
The cruel prick, bored with rocking on his heels, had turned his attention to the collection of priceless antique crystal and pottery displayed in the wall of glass shelves that divided the nearest section of the great room. One of his hands played pocket pool with his balls. The shift in location from the windows to the reliquary shed additional light on the intruder. The policeman stood, I guessed, in the six-two, six-three range. Cheap shoes on big feet. Cheaper slacks. A pin-striped button-down, the top button open, exposed the color of the white T-shirt beneath along with a thatch of dark chest hair. His tie was poorly knotted, likely yanked loose at some point in the morning so the man wouldn't pass out in the miserable heat.
His vintage leather jacket was the most interesting part of his attire from a visual standpoint. The policeman's armpits, I imagined, would be quite damp, scented of deodorant slapped on in haste.
I caught a clear look at his reflection in the glass. Sunglasses, propped on his head. A head of dark hair in an athlete's sort of haircut, pristine-neat except on the top where it was only slightly a mess of cowlicks and spikes. He hadn't yet shaved that day, judging by the shadows on his cheeks, chin, throat, and around his mouth. And if Lawrence's eyes were the bluest I had ever seen, this police detective's were the greenest. Twin emerald gemstones, they were.
To my surprise, his handsomeness threatened to rob me of my breath. For that, I instantly hated him.
Releasing my cock, which had grown so hard that it ached, I settled against the pillow and admired my body, now the most perfect male specimen on the planet following Lawrence's murder. My feet, with their long, elegant toes were works of art; my legs, gym-toned without being showy and reasonably hairy, finer than the legs of most male models. Though the policeman was younger, I assumed, I bet that my washboard abdomen, stunning to behold thanks to a waxing earlier in the week, put his to shame. A six-pack to him carried an entirely different meaning.
Beer, cheap beer, no doubt. He was beer and dirty sweat socks, tight white underwear and power tools, baseball games and other sports that men of his ilk blindly worship, pizza boxes left on the kitchen counter, and an endless succession of one-night stands, lays whose names he probably never bothered to commit to memory. A tool. A dude. How dare he barge into my home and presume the right to speak to me about Lawrence. Lawrence, who stood not only shoulders but whole stories above this common cock-with-feet.
My erection pulsed. Funny, how insulting and sometimes destroying simple men, putting them in their place, always adds a thrill to my sexual appetite. I imagined him cuffed to a chair, his shirt torn open, blood trickling from his lower lip. His naked, furry chest glistening with sweat under the glare of a bright lamp. Cliched, I know, but effective. The policeman, in this fantasy, was the one being interrogated. I, the interrogator, had stuffed one of the cop's own dirty socks into his mouth. I'd--
As the first hint of my approaching orgasm jolted through me, the policeman opened one of the glass cabinet doors. He picked up a piece of Wedgwood, the Tonquin-Ruby. Anger even more fiery than my last robbed me of the fantasy and the climax, for now. This was just what I needed on the heels of Lawrence Hunt's murder -- some dimwitted Cro-Magnon with a badge breaking one of my museum-quality treasures.
"Careful," I snapped, too sharply, I feared. Somehow, the brute didn't drop the ginger jar clasped like a baseball in his big caveman's hand. "Those priceless antiques are irreplaceable."
"This stuff?" he grumbled, his voice a masculine baritone.
"Yes, that stuff."
The policeman shrugged, set down the Tonquin-Red, and closed the glass door. He still refused to face me, either by design or, I thought more likely, outright stupidity.
"Would you come in here, please?" I prompted.
Finally, he turned, adjusting his tie while casting a suspicious look in my direction. The man's primitive handsomeness again struck me. My erection, already teased to the verge of ejaculation by strokes, licks, and fantasies, reacted to his notice. It wouldn't take much to send me over the edge.
The policeman approached the door. "Do you always hang out in your bathtub, and by 'hang out' I mean literally, in clear view of the general public, Mister Ledbetter?"
My trademark snark trumped my shock at seeing this rugged male's magnificence up close. "Aah, I see you recognize me, and now understand that the rumor is true."
"What rumor is that," he said drolly, breaching the threshold.
I aimed my monstrous cock proudly upward, extended my tongue, and swabbed at the flow of pre-come. Only a few stiff sucks would paint my tonsils in the best sperm the city had to offer, but I didn't want to be done with the detective and his obvious misery just yet. The harsh look on his face put a grin on mine.
"Jealous?" I asked.
"Then don't give me that disapproving scowl. You came here to see me, remember? And you have. All of me, in fact."
I spread my legs, kicking one over the lip of the tub, and resumed masturbating.
"We're both men," I continued. "And this is what men do."
The cop snorted a humorless laugh. My balls felt as though they had transformed into lead ingots. Fresh shivers teased my flesh. My nipples ached almost as much as my cock.
"I love it when you talk dirty to me," I said between gasps for breath.
"That's enough, Ledbetter," the policeman huffed. He grabbed one of the exquisite Hepplewhite chairs angled in front of the windows, swung it around backwards, and took it in that classic stance of tough guys and cowboys. The elegance of his moves stunned me almost as much as his handsomeness. Up close, I caught a hint of his sweat, clean and masculine smelling, almost piney. His jacket fell open enough to reveal his shoulder holster, explaining his reason for wearing vintage leather on so brutally hot a day. The anger in his emerald gaze challenged my confidence. He wasn't merely a caveman but the king of all knuckledraggers.
"You seem to have me at a disadvantage, Detective-?"
"McMurphy," the policeman said.
"McMurphy?" I parroted. "Not Joe McMurphy, the Hero of the Heights?" His expression tightened. "The famous 9-11 responder whose face graced all those magazine covers?"
The policeman nodded. "Yeah, that's right."
An icy-hot wave rolled through me. The skin of my neck dissolved in tingles. "One moment, please, if you don't mind."
And then I came.
McMurphy's narrowed gaze greeted mine once the room stabilized. "I remember you took a bullet in that warehouse in the Heights -- in the leg."
Obviously unimpressed with my knowledge, McMurphy shrugged.
"I always respected that policeman with the leg full of lead. I blogged about you, back at the start of my column, you know." If he did, he didn't acknowledge it. "You don't appear to me like a man suffering a serious limp."
I gazed down at his crotch.
"It only affects me during the cold weather," he said. "Besides, you're the one seen around town with a walking stick."
"This is true," I said with a smirk. Then I gave my still-impressive swell a shake. "Hand me that robe, would you?"
I indicated the luxurious designer robe tossed over the matching Hepplewhite with a tip of my chin. McMurphy rose up and turned, his movements surprisingly elegant for a caveman. He grabbed the robe less elegantly and tossed it at me. I caught it and stood, noticing the way his eyes dipped lower, drinking in my nakedness with a quick glance. I stepped out of the tub, making sure he got a good look at the back as well.
McMurphy studied his surroundings. This attractive man, mostly simple in design but also, I could tell, complex in other, deeper ways, knew he was out of his element. He didn't belong among the marble columns and double French doors leading to the terrace or the long-stemmed antique roses growing out there, picked that very morning from the garden and arranged in the Waterford vase on the vanity.
"Nice, humble place you've got here," he said.
"Fuck you, it's luxurious. But it's my home. I assume you're here to discuss the Lawrence Hunt murder."
"You're a perceptive man, Ledbetter. Yeah, I've just been put in charge of the case."
I hastily toweled dry, drew on my robe, and reached for the swing-arm table. A few clicks upward on the directional arrows brought me to the statement. "Yesterday morning, when they found Lawrence's...body...your detectives Shabbert and Wultz took my official statement, so I'll repeat to you what I told them. On Friday night, Lawrence and I had plans to have dinner. He phoned to cancel our engagement at precisely six o'clock."
McMurphy removed an older model personal data assistant from his jacket's breast pocket, last year's model, and scrolled through several pages.
"After that--" I started.
"You ate a lonely dinner, then got into the tub to blog. Let me guess -- 'blogging' is your code for that snake charmer act you just pulled."
My smile widened. "I do love a good 'blog', McMurphy."