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    Parker Owens
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Predator Prey - 32. Sat Down

Warnings for recollections of non-consensual sex in this chapter.

"Let's go over the timeline again, Mr. Colebrook."

Chief Inspector Wayne Lovett sat back in his chair and exhaled slowly. Inspector Vinson sat mutely to the side, yellow notepad in hand. A small recorder sat on the plain, careworn table in front of him.

He'd been at the State Police offices for quite a while.

They'd taken him, most politely, to a holding room, and asked him to wait. "Chief has to finish with someone. He'll be right in," the man called Snyder had told him.

Yeah, right. He'd sat there for fifty-five minutes, fidgeting. He wondered which of his many sins had brought him to that room. He considered shouting for someone, calling to demand a lawyer. But he hadn't been arrested, had he? Could he just walk out the door?

He stared at the mirror. He didn't doubt that it was a two-way mirror. He had no idea what the observer on the other side expected to see.

Mostly, he worried about Graham. What would his boyfriend think when he arrived at the Feigenbaum and found him gone? He could picture the stages Graham would go through. First, there would be worry. Then frustration, or exasperation. Maybe some phone calls or a search around the dock area would be made. Then anger. Graham would surely think he'd been toyed with and dumped.

And then Graham would take off, pissed as hell.

Perhaps Graham would go out and get drunk. More likely the taller man would just feel lucky to be rid of him.

Eventually, Chief Inspector Lovett, a tall African American with hair just beginning to show gray, had bustled in, radiating efficiency and business. Then the questions began.

At first, it had been fairly straightforward. Lovett began by being pleasant. "Mr. Colebrook, I just want to be clear here. You aren't under arrest. We've detained you as a person of interest in an ongoing investigation, and we hope you will be helpful. But you're free to go at any time."

He wasn't sure he bought that one, but he nodded, cautiously. Inspector Vinson glowered at him from another chair.

"Good," Lovett went on. "I'd like to ask you some questions. If you don't want to answer, well, you don't have to. But it could help us a great deal," he said, emphasizing the last two words.

He blinked. "Okay," he assented.

At first, Lovett asked relatively easy questions, establishing identity, residence, student status, and so on. But it didn’t take long for the going to get rockier. "Mr. Colebrook – Scott? Can I call you Scott? Scott, how long have been dealing?"

There was an incriminating question, and he knew it. He knew his rights. He had the right to consult a lawyer about that question. He had the right to say nothing. Hell, he had the right to march right out of the room, if he wanted, if he believed Lovett.

But at that moment, he remembered Graham; kisses in the night, full of hope, full of life.He remembered his promises – to quit the dealing and to make things right. Even if it meant going to jail. Even if he had to lose Graham. "Four years, maybe," he answered quietly.

He noticed Vinson stir. He'd surprised them. They hadn't expected cooperation, capitulation. At least, not so soon.

"Tell me about your supplier," Lovett followed up.

"Which one?"

Lovett's eyebrows rose a little. "You had more than one?"

"Yeah. I knew five, maybe six regulars."

"Can you name them?"

Now they were down to it. He hesitated. Naming names and giving details would mark him. He had no doubt there would be retribution. But maybe that would be preferable, really. He'd missed his chance with Graham, and now it was too late.

Lovett interrupted his thoughts. "Scott, listen, if you can help us, maybe I can help you out. You know, with the DA, if things come to that. I can't make promises, but I'll do what I can."

He sighed. "Sure. Who do you want to know about?"

"You pick."

"There was a guy I met every other Thursday, regular. He sold me crap weed in quantity. Called himself Seth. Big guy, smiled a lot. Used to meet him at the minimart near the University golf course, you know the place?"

His listeners nodded, faces immobile, betraying no other information.

"He must have grown the stuff himself, but he always had plenty...."

His discourse went on at some length, covering his transactions with dealers who didn't interest Lovett all that much. It was clear to everyone what he wanted to avoid. There were other, far more dangerous sources to talk about. When he faltered, there was silence.

His hosts waited expectantly.

He took a deep breath. He wished he could have told Graham he was keeping his promise before signing his own death warrant. "And there was a guy who called himself Marquez."

Lovett and Vinson exchanged a glance. "Go on."

"I went to Marquez for pills and acid, mostly."

"You buy any heroin from him?"

He shook his head. "No. I didn't deal in that stuff much. I got a better markup on other things."

"So how did you meet Marquez?"

"I never met him directly. My contact was a guy named Kenny. I'd phone him, set up a meet, make an exchange."

"Same place every time?" Lovett was definitely interested.

"No. Different places, never the same way twice."

"What did Kenny look like?" Vinson put in.

He closed his eyes to think. "Shorter than me, kind of thin. Long, stringy hair. He's going gray, sometimes has a mustache."

He decided not to mention Kenny's old Camaro, or terrible teeth.

"When was the last time you met him?" Lovett again.

"End of January, early February. It's been a while."

Lovett grunted, not very satisfied by the answer. "Any other suppliers?"

"Yeah. Once in a while, I'd go to another guy. Worked for someone called the 'Russian.'"

The two inspectors traded looks again.

"How often you see him?"

"Not a lot. I didn’t like dealing with him. He was way too pushy, always trying to get me to buy more shit I didn't want."

"Describe the guy."

"My height, medium build, bald head, goatee. Diamond stud in one ear. Definitely older than me."

Lovett leaned back in his chair and let out a long breath. "I'll be back in a minute," the man said, rising.

Needless to say, he wasn't going anyplace. He and Vinson stared at one another, neither one giving anything away.

Lovett strode in a moment later with a couple of folders. He watched the man sit and pull a photo out. It was placed in front of him. "You recognize this man?"

He inspected the photo.

He hesitated. Every syllable he uttered swept him farther from Graham, from life. But the tide was irresistible. "That's Vassily. The guy who worked for the Russian."

Lovett nodded. "Vassily Golovkin. How well did you know him?"

"Just enough to deal, that's it." He hadn't liked the guy. Then again, he didn't like most of the suppliers.

"You ever romantically involved with Vassily? Sleep with him?"

Now it was his turn to be surprised. "Hell, no. No way." He spoke emphatically.

"But you like the company of men." So Lovett knew he was gay.

"So? Does that make a difference?"

Lovett let the combative tone pass. He fished another photo out of the pile and tossed it on the table.

His ex-roommate stared back at him from the glossy surface of the picture. The red hair and pale skin were unmistakable. Only one small detail marred the likeness of the fey, laughing face he'd known: the small, dark hole in the middle of the forehead. "How about this man?"

He stared back at the dull, half-lidded, lifeless eyes in the picture. He felt sick. "That's my roommate. Ex-roommate, at the University."

"Devin Doyle," the Chief Inspector confirmed. He already knew.

"What happened to him?"

In his long nights in the University library, he'd imagined getting even with the redhead someday. But not like this.

"Looks like he got shot in the head," Lovett replied.

"How? When?"

"We were hoping you'd be able to tell us."

He shook his head, as if to clear it of the image in front of him. "I don't know…I didn't have anything to do with it."

"When did you see your roommate last?" Lovett continued

He did not want to remember that occasion. "Early December, maybe. I don't recall the date."

"Come on, try."

He bit his lip. "First weekend in December. But I really don't know what that date was."

"That's before finals, right?"

He nodded.

"And you saw him where, exactly?"

He shut his eyes. The last he'd seen of his roommate was the boy's dick as he'd been forced to suck it. As he'd been raped.

"Mr. Colebrook, your cooperation is vital here. Where did you last see your roommate?" Lovett had misinterpreted his silence.

"Before a party. There was a party in the suite that weekend, and he was there."

"Uh huh. A party. What kind of party?"

How the hell was he supposed to respond to that? What did Lovett think went on in party dorms? Tupperware sales?

"Devin organized it." The redhead must have done that much.

"Was this guy at the party?" Lovett produced another photograph, taken with a long-range lens. His roommate featured largely in it, kissing a rugged, handsome looking guy on the cheek. He recognized the face.

"Yeah. His name's Ted." He shuddered.

"Ted? Ted what?"

"I don't know. He just said his name was Ted."

"Not surprising. His name was Teodor. Teodor Golovkin."

His mind reeled. Ted was Vassily's – what – brother? Part of the Russian's network?

"When did you meet Ted?" Lovett didn't give him time to think.

His stomach clenched. "The night before the party."

"You sure it wasn't before that?"

"Yeah, I'm sure." He was sorry he'd ever met Ted. Sorry he'd ever started down the long road that led to that bar, that night.

"What was your relationship with Ted?"

"Relationship? What do you mean?"

Lovett didn’t give him any room to squirm in. "Business or pleasure? Was he a convenient hook up?"

"No. It wasn't like that."

"So what was it?"

He was cornered. He didn't want to talk about this, but Lovett wasn't going to give him a choice. "Ted fucked me, okay? I woke up, he slapped me around, and then he fucked me." It was close enough to the truth.

"Are you saying you were forced?"

He didn't answer immediately. The truth was he had been forced. "Yes."

"How many times did he have sex with you?"

"Just that one time." That one weekend. He prayed Lovett hadn't seen the video, too.

"When was the last time you saw Ted?"

"The morning after the party. He was asleep on the couch."

"What kind of condition was he in?"

"I don't know, I didn't stop to ask."

Lovett slid another photo in front of him. A full face shot of Ted stared back. Ted's face had the same sleepy, half-amused look as his ex-roommate's. The same dark hole graced the man's forehead. He felt a sudden chill. He looked back up, eyes wide.

"He look anything like this when you left?"

"He was alive, I know that much. He and Devin screwed on the couch that night and fell asleep there."

"Any idea how Ted wound up like this?" Lovett asked neutrally, tapping the photo.

"No. No idea." He felt bewildered. Who had killed his roommate and Ted with identical bullets to the center of the forehead? "When did this happen?"

Lovett wasn't about to give away information. The Chief shifted in his chair. "Let's talk about something else. After the party, what happened?"

He felt on firmer ground here. He recounted fleeing the suite, living in the library, and finding a place on the Feigenbaum. He was led, question by question, through a timeline of events – when he joined the ship, when the January cruise ended, and when he returned for the spring semester cruise. Lovett zeroed in on the time between cruises. He was questioned closely about those days he'd spent with Javier and Oscar.

"Let's go over what happened when you got off the Feigenbaum in January. You went to stay with your friend Javier Cabrera. You hung out at the Cabrera house. You went back to the ship. Is that right?"

"Pretty much. I biked around a little."

"You met up with Kenny, Marquez' courier during this time?"

"Yes."

"When?"

"I stopped at a bar for a beer before going back to Javier's house. Flappy Jack's was the name of the place. Kenny found me there."

"Sure it wasn't you who called him up to meet him there?" Lovett pressed.

"No, I told you, Ted stole my phone."

"What did you talk about?"

"Kenny offered to give me some goods to sell. Kind of like a loan."

"And you weren't interested."

"I wasn’t interested."

"Just out of curiosity, why not?" Lovett seemed genuine.

"I…I didn't think I could start over again. It would have killed me, inside, you know? What I was doing…was bad…I hurt people. I didn't want to get back into all that."

Lovett narrowed his eyes, looking at him in a calculating way. "Maybe you'll forgive me if I find that hard to believe," he said drily.

"I…I had a change of heart," he replied at length, staring at the table.

"So you wouldn't take Kenny's help in getting set up again?"

"No way. You borrow from Marquez, and you kiss your ass goodbye," he said with conviction.

"And he just let you go? Just like that?"

"No, he tried to push me into some kind of deal, wanted me to trade my ass for goods."

"And you just walked away."

"No I ran away – as fast as I could."

Lovett wrote something down on his pad. "Exactly when did you get back to the ship?"

This line of questioning went on for another hour or more. They covered the same points, the same topics, over and over. Where had he been? Who with? When was that, exactly? His answers were compared with dates from a calendar Vinson called up on his phone. When Lovett decided to get up and leave the room, Vinson took over until his boss returned. His replies never changed; he stuck unshakably to the bare truth.

And the stark truth of Ted and his roommate's lifeless faces stared back at him the whole time.

Lovett finally came to the decision that no more information could be wrung from his memory. "Mr. Colebrook, you are still very much a person of interest in this investigation, do you understand?"

He nodded.

"You've been cooperative, and I'm going to note that. Where are you supposed to be staying?"

"With a friend. He was going to pick me up at the ship at five o'clock."

"Where does he live?"

"Sand River."

"Where in Sand River?"

"I don't know," he admitted. "I've never been to his apartment."

"Mr. Colebrook, I'm not going to arrest you or have you charged right now. But I am instructing you not to leave Fernando County, is that clear?"

"Yes."

"And while you are not under arrest at this time, I would advise you to retain a lawyer."

Where the hell was he going to get a lawyer? He sure as hell wasn't going to ask his father. Or maybe he ought to try calling up one of his father's lawyer pals directly – tell the whole story – and see how fast the scandal spread through town. Now that would be sweet revenge. But he wasn't going to do that. He wanted nothing to do with that world, either.

Lovett stood, interrupting his reverie. "Well, Mr. Colebrook, for the time being, you are free to go. But if you remember anything else, anything at all, I want you to call me at this number." The Chief Inspector proffered a business card.

Numbly, he took it. Where was he going to go? He didn't have Graham's number. Graham would be frantic, pissed, and long gone by now. He wondered if he'd ever get a chance to explain. Wearily, he guessed he could look up Javier's number – if it was listed – and grovel for a room. Maybe he could beg a ride back to Sand River. He gathered his things.

The Police Inspectors exited the room ahead of him.

He turned down the long hallway toward the front entrance where they had come in. There, on a long bench against the dull colored wall, sat a familiar figure. The bearded face turned in his direction and broke into an expression of relief, mixed with equal parts concern and discomfort.

Graham.

Craftingmom edited this and every chapter, and I offer her my unstinting thanks for her help and encouragement. tim, Carlos and Spike all read parts or all of this story, and gave me the insight and courage to write and post it.

If you would like to leave a comment, I would welcome it. I appreciate all remarks, rants and raves.

Copyright © 2017 Parker Owens; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments



Oh thank lord graham was at the station. It had to be hard for Scott to see those pictures. I'm sort of on the fence about them being dead. On the one hand they did to Scott what he did to others. On the other hand the way they went about it was horrible and inexcusable! Great story though

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That last word was such a relief! I am so glad that Graham was somehow able to be there at the police station waiting for Scott! I’m sure Graham will have mixed feelings about where Scott was, but should be pleased that Scott provided all that information instead of clamming up.

 

I was right that they were looking to catch bigger fish. It didn’t seem like the cops knew about the video, but now we know who Ted was. Still lots of mysteries for you to reveal though…  ;-)

 

 

When did you find the time to ‘like’ all those comments on A to Z and still write this chapter?  ;-)

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Why was Graham at the station? How did he know to go there? Did Lovett call him when he left the room?

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22 minutes ago, Wesley8890 said:

Oh thank lord graham was at the station. It had to be hard for Scott to see those pictures. I'm sort of on the fence about them being dead. On the one hand they did to Scott what he did to others. On the other hand the way they went about it was horrible and inexcusable! Great story though

 

Scott felt sick at seeing the photos of Ted and his roommate. I am sure it brought back far more than he wanted to try and process, let alone the idea that he might be implicated in their murders. In this chapter, the changes wrought in him stand out - he values his promises to Graham over his own skin.

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Nooooooo.....everything was turning around and going so well.  Wow, talk about karma.  Ugh, life sucks lol

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So, suddenly some of the dots are joined but many more have appeared that haven't been visible before. Scott has a full name now but how long before he has to change it again to avoid retribution? Just being with the police will have been enough to put him on a hitlist ... :o

 

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:o  SERIOUSLY , how could you Parker , a cliffhanger.....please let something good come out of this.

Don't let this get between him and Graham.  :no:

 

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1 hour ago, Freerider said:

It is sweet that Scott decided to come clean for Graham. I am thinking he might regret that though.

I am slightly worried Graham is not who he claims to be. Or am I being paranoid here? ;)

 

Scott shows again how much he has changed, and how much Graham has been a part of that. Scott also knows how dangerous coming clean might be. Right now, all that must be forgotten in the rush of relief at seeing the man he loves; the one he did not expect to see again. Paranoid? Given the revelations in this chapter, Scott would have every right to be.Thanks for reading this far into the story!

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1 hour ago, spikey582 said:

Well on the plus side Graham found Scott and waited for him.  On the downside Scott basically has a bright red bullseye painted on the back of his head now.  A lot of people who are seriously bad news might be looking for him for talking to the police.

 

Scott probably knows all this as a rational thought. But then, on seeing Graham in the hallway, I doubt Scott is thinking rationally. Scott can only feel an enormous relief and surge of love for Graham right now, and that will probably chase anything else out of his head. Thanks for your acute reading, as always!

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3 hours ago, northie said:

So, suddenly some of the dots are joined but many more have appeared that haven't been visible before. Scott has a full name now but how long before he has to change it again to avoid retribution? Just being with the police will have been enough to put him on a hitlist ... :o

 

 

Scott, more than any of us, must get this objectively. Emotionally, with Graham waiting for him at the station, I doubt he gives a damn. He said what he said in order to keep promises to the man he loves. That seemed more important than anything else in that moment. Thank you for your comments, and for reading the story to this point.

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Did he not tell them Kenny was on the ship looking for him when they picked him up? He needs police protection... thank God for Graham... I wonder if he called the police on his own, or did he run into Kenny and put two and two together?  Look what you've done to me, Parker... frigging cliffie king... :P  Great chapter, sir, and well written... cheers... Gary....

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7 hours ago, Carlos Hazday said:

Sometimes, a little confession does a lot of good.

 

It will certainly give Chief Inspector Lovett something to think about. And Scott can know he did right by his promises to Graham. Thanks for your response and thoughts!

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I am soooo relieved Graham was at the station waiting for him! Whew! I think Graham will be very pleased Scott didn't fight with the police and told them what he knew. One of your readers mentioned it, and I was also wondering, why Scott didn't tell Lovett that Kenny was on the ship looking for him. Unless he just forgot with everything else that was going on?

 

Awesome chapter, Parker!! :)

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You ask a good question; you may have noticed that Scott cooperated with the police, but did not volunteer very bit of information he possesses. The police are interested in how Ted and the redhead got murdered, and on establishing a timeline of Scott's movements. The line of questioning went in that direction, as it is recalled. And Scott surely wants to step carefully around saying too much about Marquez. Anyhow, that's how it felt to me as I wrote it...

I completely agree that Graham will be pleased that Scott cooperated. Graham may not realize how much Scott has changed that he would do that for him. Thanks so much for reading and for your remarks and response!

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I too am relieved. I'm so glad that Graham somehow knew where to find Scott. Which makes me wonder if and how Kenny was able to figure it out too. 

I feel badly that Scott had to relive all that again and see how Ted and his roommate ended up. Which makes me wonder why Kenny is so intent on a meet. It can't be good, and that has to have Scott more than a little rattled. 

I can't help but believe that he will have Graham's support, and even if Scott doesn't emerge completely scot-free (hehe) this is not entirely a bad thing to happen. 

Great chapter Parker.. 

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Scott is quite probably both relieved and rattled and just happy to get out of that damned little room. Relieved because Graham somehow found him; rattled, because the moment he gets to land, his past comes back to smack him. He evaded Kenny, but Graham knew how to find him...and so did the police. Scott is considerably sobered by the pictures of Ted and his roommate; they came to a bad end, and he doesn't want to end up that way. But he is remaining true to his promises to Graham, which says so much about how their love has changed him. Thanks for reading this chapter, and for your comments!

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