Fake Fan Fiction ❯ The Unexpected II ❯ A Possible Break ( Chapter 32 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

Title: The Unexpected II
Chapter 30 - A Possible Break
Rating: R
Fandom: FAKE
Pairings: Ryo/Dee (mostly), some Dee/Ryo
Warnings: Yaoi, Male/male, MPREG, AU If you don't like, don't read!
Disclaimer: FAKE is not mine. We have Sanami Matoh for giving us Dee, Ryo and the rest of the 27th precinct characters. Any OCs appearing in this fic are mine.
March 13, 2006
After a bad start to their honeymoon, things started to improve. They woke up in Atlanta to be greeted almost civilly by the man who delivered their breakfast to the room. Ryo learned the staff was in a state of major rearrangement, with many positions suddenly becoming vacant. His grandmother assured him that she was personally overseeing the interviewing process and had contacted several Carrier-friendly agencies in Atlanta for candidates to fill the soon to become vacant positions. The bellhop and the manager from the night before were already gone. Cari-Ann was being looked into for promotion. Apparently the hotel also had racial issues as far as hiring goes, Estelle had discovered. While Cari-Ann was qualified to rise above maid, her skin color kept her as one. From talking to her the night before, Ryo agreed with his grandmother and mentioned that he also had the impression that they managed to shoot down her self-confidence which prevented her from looking elsewhere for a job.
The bellhop who came to get their luggage and take it to their waiting car congratulated them for seeing that much needed changes were made. He let it slip that male employees of the hotel were released if management discovered they were a Carrier, even if said male was heterosexual, married and had a family the traditional way. The bellhop admitted that he had worked everyday in fear that he would be discovered and released. Dee and Ryo got him to further explain how him and his wife were saving up to go in virto. The year before his wife had complications during a miscarriage which left her unable to carry children to full term. He stepped up to the plate, knowing how much both of them wanted children of their own. The process was expensive, and he had too many years in the job to need to start over again. Later that day, when Estelle called Dee to make sure he was doing well, Dee told her about that bellhop, and quietly suggested he should get a bonus. Estelle jumped on it, as well as promising to look into health care provided to the employees, making sure that what the bellhop was hoping to do with his wife was covered in the insurance. By the time Dee hung up the phone, he loved Ryo's grandmother more for everything she was doing in righting a wrong situation.
The person who delivered their breakfast blamed them for disrupting a good situation in job, as he did not want to work with Carriers. The manager on duty that morning basically kissed their asses during the check-out process, which was not much of a process and took only a couple of minutes. Ryo was handed a receipt showing no charges on the room, or hotel services incurred, such as their breakfast. That morning, after making love, and waiting for their breakfast, Dee had checked his account for his credit card and confirmed that the charge for the room reservation he had made the night before was cancelled. Ryo checked his own AMEX card that he was using for the honeymoon and discovered the same. He happily reported that to his grandmother during his phone call with her that morning.
The night before, the attitude of the hotel staff upon checking in did little to lessen the mood they found themselves in once they were settled in their room. After their bath, they engaged in a mutual masturbation session, which helped in Dee taking a much needed nap for an hour. Cari-Ann arrived with their dinner from one of the nearby restaurants in downtown Atlanta. Ryo and Dee encouraged her to stay a while and talk to them about the situation at the hotel, about herself and life in Atlanta in general. After she left to return to work, they ate dinner by the window of the living room, looking out over the lights of Atlanta, as the hotel was the tallest building in the city. They snuggled and took their time with foreplay on a comforter they grabbed from a bed in the additional bedroom in their suite, and set on the floor near the window. Dee had brought Ryo to orgasm twice, and Ryo got Dee to once during their session. After laying down and dozing a while in each other's arms, they finally moved to the master bedroom, where Ryo made love to Dee. He took it slow, almost torturous for them, making Dee beg to be taken, crying out and writhing in that sexy way that still new to Ryo to watch, but looked forward to see more of it.
No more than ten minutes after they came from that round, they called it a night. Both men were too spent and exhausted to do nothing more than fall asleep, Ryo holding Dee in his arms.
While they were waiting for Cari-Ann to arrive with their dinner, Ryo took out the laptop they had with them. He canceled their reservation for the limo to the airport from the company that provided the car to the hotel, and looked up Carrier-friendly car services in the city. He managed to reserve them a Town Car for the next morning. Dee let Ryo know that he was not disappointed to lose out on the limousine, and would have gladly stood curbside, hailing an old, beaten up yellow taxi, if it meant having a friendly driver with no prejudices.
Ryo had also called Lois on her cell phone while waiting for dinner, asking the woman they made friends with on the flight to Atlanta if she had any knowledge of places that were less stressful for Carriers. He was curious, knowing her brother had just given birth and lived in the area. She assured him that downtown Atlanta was a designated Carrier-friendly zone, but there were still some older establishments that clung onto old prejudices. Her brother lived in a neighborhood on the outer fringes of Atlanta that was referred to as the “Carrier Ghetto”. The gay community in Atlanta was still split on the subject of Carriers, but she explained that was slowly changing as more gay men who were Carriers started to settle down, get married and realize they wanted a family of their own, and had the means to make it happen.
Ryo was amazed at how the city seemed to be so segregated, with designated Carrier-friendly zones here and there within the city and surrounding suburban areas, and there being one or two “No Carrier” zones. New York was nothing like that. It was one big Carrier-friendly zone. Sure there were people who had problems with it, but it was a civil crime to discriminate based on Carrier-status. He realized he appreciated the city he called home more than ever, once faced with how life for Carriers were outside New York.
The flight from Atlanta to Miami was much different. Upon arriving at their gate, they noticed several other same sex couples, and two other Carriers. When they boarded the plane, they were treated as 1st class passengers should be. The Carriers and pregnant women who were in business class were among the first to board after 1st class, along with those traveling with small children. There was another gay couple flying first class. Not only how Dee and Ryo were treated, but seeing the other Carriers treated with respect and courtesy made the honeymooners very happy. They had struck up a conversation with the other couple, who were also on their honeymoon, but staying in Miami. By the time they landed in Miami, Dee and Ryo had also talked to the other two Carriers.
Ryo noticed how Dee seemed to enjoy being around the other pregnant men. He also figured after the way they were treated the day before, Dee probably thrived being with other men who were in his position. Ryo allowed the three men to commiserate about treatment at times, compared notes of pregnancy and shared the joys of being pregnant. Ryo had no problem to give up his seat and go over to chat with the husbands, giving the pregnant man freedom to talk.
In Miami, once again they met up with their driver at the baggage claim area and got into the stretch limousine. The driver was chatty, talking about his own children. They found out he had one from a previous marriage back in the days when he thought he was heterosexual, or he admitted, tried to convince himself that he was. Ryo was grateful he was saved from making that mistake thanks to Dee. The driver then went onto to explain how he had finally left his wife to be true to himself, and had two more children with his current husband. First his husband Carried, then learning he was a Carrier, the driver had their second child. The driver drove through the heart of the GBLT section of town. All was like in New York, integrated and smooth. Ryo also knew that the gay section was more like a gay downtown than a ghetto, as gays lived all over Miami.
Their hotel was not in the main GBLT area. It was a five diamond hotel on the beach and was a very popular destination with the vacationing gay and Carrier communities. It included services for pregnant Carriers. It was what appealed to them when planning out their honeymoon, and Estelle agreed, glad to see it was a five diamond hotel. It was Estelle who pointed out the hotel to them, having everything the three were looking for to make a pleasant stay for the couple.
After checking into the hotel and taking a short nap, they spent some of their day walking around, and on the beach. Dee seemed to enjoy being able to walk, being outside without worrying about being grabbed, or getting cold. He was enjoying the freedom he had taken away from him in New York City because of the Carrier killer. Walking was good for Dee, too. Ryo had decided they would do as much walking as possible without tiring out Dee or pushing it during their honeymoon. Back at the hotel, Ryo convinced Dee to get a massage before dinner. When Ryo went down to meet Dee after his hour spa treatment and massage, Dee looked completely relaxed. Both men would never trade the wedding they had for anything, once it was said and done, but it was stressful and the last week was exhausting. They were running on pure adrenaline the day of their wedding, and by the time they woke up the morning after, they would have been happy to spend the next week in the Pierre, and never come out of their room. Now Ryo was glad for the honeymoon getaway. After dinner, Dee decided to give Ryo a massage. It started off to be relaxing, before kicking it up a notch. They ended up making use of the suite, deciding that having sex only in the bedroom was becoming boring. They knew once they returned to New York, they would find themselves having bedroom sex most of time, to prevent being walked in on by Bikky. Dee and Ryo decided to make the best of their time alone while they had it.
The next morning, they dared to venture into the hotel restaurant for breakfast, after a quickie round in the shower. After breakfast, they went back to their room to get their luggage ready for to leave.
The flight to Nassau was short. Before they knew it, they were landing in Nassau International. It seemed as if they never made the standard cruising altitude before they were in descent. This time, after they retrieved their luggage, they met their driver outside. They stepped out of the terminal into the warm, slightly balmy sunny day to find a driver in a tuxedo holding a sign with their last name on it. He was sent by the resort they were staying at, as the hotel provided transportation for those who purchased a VIP package. Dee's jaw almost dropped, and his eyes were wide as they approached the silver and black Rolls Royce waiting for them among taxis and Town Cars. Knowing the guests that were to be picked up were newlyweds, the Rolls was decorated in the classic style with ribbons running from the hood ornament to each side view mirror, and had a white bow on the grill.
Laughing, Ryo took Dee's hand and lead them up to the driver.
“Mr. & Mr. Laytner-MacLean?” the dark skinned driver asked them with a friendly smile.
“That's us,” Ryo said with a grin and took out his reservation paper to confirm it.
“Welcome to the Bahamas,” the driver greeted, then opened the door for them to get in, and placed their luggage in the truck.
Ryo got in first, having to scoot across the car, allowing Dee to just get in the car and settle down. With a grin, Ryo watched Dee as his eyes took in all the features of the inside of the Rolls, as if they did not use a Bentley on their wedding night and then to the airport from the Wedding brunch.
As the car started to leave the airport, the driver added, “On behalf of the staff of the Royal Sands Bahamas Resort, we pledge to make your stay most enjoyable.”
Ryo smiled as Dee squeezed the hand he still held. “Oh, I'm sure we will,” Ryo replied and leaned over to lightly kiss Dee.
“There is champagne and sparkling grape juice for refreshments, along with a light snack,” the driver told them.
Grinning, Ryo poured a glass of grape juice for Dee, while Dee filled a matching flute shaped crystal glass with champagne for Ryo. For the first sip, instead of handing the other their glass, they held out the glass in offering to sip out of. Dark eyes were fixed on deep green eyes as they drank. Ryo grabbed a scone and leaned back, breaking it in half as Dee looked on. Cuddled together in the back of the Rolls, with drinks and snack, they gazed out the windows as the car went from the airport to the resort, the newlyweds commenting on the various European styles of architecture on the island.
As they were finishing up their drinks, the Rolls turned onto the tree lined driveway that led to the main building of the resort. Dee's eyes went wide again as the car drove up to the building with a marble exterior and Doric columns, looking like something from classical Rome.
“Here we are, gentlemen,” the driver said as he came to a stop. “Remember, if you want to go into town or a tour, your package includes use of the Rolls. I look forward to driving you around our beautiful island.” Already there were people in motion, coming up to the car. As the driver popped open the truck, a man started to take their luggage out and place it on an ornate baggage cart. Another man was opening the door on Dee's side. A woman in a suit in the same dark blue as the men's vests and pants, with a dusty rose shirt, stood waiting, holding a clipboard, smiling at the proceeding.
Dee got out of the car, looking around. People were coming and going from taxis and limos. He still looked stunned. Ryo got out of the car after Dee, grinning and smiling at the attendants. He thought Dee was adorable. They did see photos of the resort, but being there did not compare to the photos. Ryo also found it fascinating that while Dee was still acting stunned whenever luxury was offered to him, it did not take him long to settle in comfortably among the opulence of their wedding. The more Ryo thought back to it, the more he realized that by the time they walked down the aisle to the back of the atrium, Dee acted as if it was the most natural thing to him. It was the same as they entered their reception. It was definitely amusing to Ryo, but it also spoke volumes of how Dee felt about their wedding day. Subconsciously Dee felt as if they deserved everything they had on that day. It made Ryo feel good knowing that.
The woman came up to them. “Dee and Ryo Laytner-MacLean?” she asked.
Dee smiled at her. “Yes. Can you say that again, darlin'? I'm still getting used to how great that sounds.”
Ryo hugged Dee as the woman laughed. “Of course I can. Dee and Ryo Laytner-MacLean?” she asked.
“Oh yes, that is us,” Dee laughed.
“Your luggage is already on it's way to your apartment. I'm Gabrielle, and I'm going to be your orientation hostess. If you'll follow me inside for your check-in. Once we're finished, I'm afraid our transportation around the resort is much less than your ride from the airport.” She smiled at the two handsome men. Her eyes settled on Dee's swell that was very noticeable in his short sleeve tan and olive green silk shirt Estelle purchased for their honeymoon travel. “When are you due, Mr. Laytner-MacLean?” she asked as she lead them inside the building.
Dee's eyes did a quick swept of the interior, with marble floors and columns, the walls in brocade of cool colors with gold gilt edging. It screamed wealth and luxury. Dee knew he should be getting used to it by then, had known what the resort looked like from the photos on the internet, but he was still more than impressed. He shook himself and looked over at Gabrielle. “I'm sorry. You were asking?”
Ryo laughed. “Don't mind him. For some reason the life of luxury still overwhelms him.” He rubbed Dee's back reassuringly.
“Well, I grew up in one of the poor parts of New York, in an orphanage,” Dee admitted. “Just so happened the woman who adopted me was the nun who ran the orphanage, so even if I had a mother, I still had to make concessions to share with the other kids.” Dee smiled charmingly at Gabrielle. “I call it coming from a very large family.”
She smiled at Dee. “I would think so.”
“We're due in July,” Ryo answered her initial question.
“I'll bet your excited,” she said.
“Very,” both men said at the same time. They looked at each other and laughed.
“Aw, now don't you two sound just like the cute couple you present,” Gabrielle said. “Now before we go through check-in, let me make sure we have your reservations correct. You have an oceanfront apartment in Villa Bordeaux, which is the Carrier exclusive compound. It comes with a private pool, along with beachfront views from your living room. While all meals are inclusive, which we'll cover on our tour, your apartment does have a kitchenette and a very grand dining room. Dee is signed up for the Carrier Plus package in addition to your VIP package, which also includes some programs for couples. I'm sure you'll both enjoy it. Does that sound right?”
“That sounds perfect,” Dee sighed happily.
“Well then, let's get you checked in and off on our tour we go.”
The check-in process did not take very long. Before Ryo and Dee knew it, they were lead out of the main building through the other side, where there was an electric car waiting for them. It looked like a miniature dark blue and dusty rose taxi. Gabrielle waited until they were settled in the back before she got in behind the wheel and took them around the resort.
They had selected the Carrier complex of the resort, wanting a place where there would be others like them, and have a place to get away from stares. Both men were not naïve enough to believe that everyone at the resort would be sensitive or supportive of Carriers. They had no intention of spending the entire honeymoon in the compound, but liked the idea of having a place to escape and not have to worry about how someone might look at Dee or say something. Gabrielle explained that they had full use of all facilities in the resort, including all of the many restaurants and cafes on grounds. She reminded them again that there were no additional charges regardless of what activity they choose or where they decided to eat.
“So order up, gentlemen. It's all the same price, whether you order a salad, fish and chips, or the grilled lobster and steak meal.” She glanced back, smiling at Dee. “I read your questionnaires you filled out when your reservations were made. So I need to tell you, Dee, that our Japanese restaurant has a wonderful selection of Carrier-approved sushi plates. Not raw fish, I'm afraid, but from what we've heard from guests, any Carrier who loves sushi walks away a very happy man.”
“Oh good,” Dee crowed happily. “I intend to spend a lot of time there.”
Ryo shook his head affectionately. “My Dee and his sushi. You'd swear he was part Japanese and not me,” he said with a chuckle.
“You're part Japanese?” Gabrielle asked, looking amazed.
Ryo laughed. “I tend to look more like my father, who was Scottish. But my mother was half Japanese.”
“So you're the MacLean then? You look like one,” she replied.
“But if you look at his eyes, you'll realize there's some Asian in him.”
“You know, his eyes did strike me. And what nationality are you, Dee? Other than New York?” she asked with a grin.
“Don't know,” Dee replied. “I was found as a baby with no history. But my mother is Irish, and raised me as Irish,” he said with a wink. “Then I went to college in Japan, and adapted some of their culture as my own. I pick along the way, including from the neighborhoods of New York. Apparently as of Saturday, I'm also Scottish now.”
“You married a Scot, you're now a Scot, Mr. Laytner-MacLean,” Ryo said with a laugh.
Gabrielle continued the tour, showing them the various beaches, including an area where they could reserve a small private section for their own use for a few hours, where the various spa and gym programs were located, where games were played. By the time she pulled into Villa Bordeaux a half hour later, they had seen everything. They were told there was a portfolio with a map of the resort and a rundown of everything they had seen inside their apartment.
The compound had five two story buildings, looking like French chateaus. On one side of the compound was a wooded area for picnics close to the water. On the other side, a channel from the ocean ran along the outer sides of the buildings. Not too far away, it connected with another channel coming from the compound next to it, forming a large pool for both compounds to use. The buildings surrounded an inner garden with a fountain, gas lamps, and benches along the walkway. It looked very French provincial.
“This is beautiful,” Dee exclaimed.
“It looks very restful,” Ryo noted in approval.
“Oh, indeed it is. All our Villa compounds promise tranquility from the wild nightlife of our clubs and parties,” Gabrielle said, pulling the car up to the corner building by the channel. “You have unit #1, which is a corner unit and the premiere apartment. It has a beautiful view of the beach. And it has a little extra than the other apartments,” she added. “Come inside, gentlemen.”
They got out of the car, and holding hands, followed the friendly brunette to their front door. She unlocked it, and upon entering the entryway she smiled. “And there's your luggage. I'm going to give you a quick walk through of your apartment, and then I'll leave you to settle in. I'm sure my talking has worn you out already.” She led them out of the entryway.
Dee laughed. “You still can't beat me at my best,” he said with a wink.
She took them through the apartment, which included the kitchenette, a large living room with wide, tall windows overlooking the beach. There was also a door on that side of the living room. It lead to a small patio and walkway around the building, and beyond the patio were stairs to go onto the beach. By the kitchenette was a small table and chairs set by a window. Another room was the dining room. They had a small bathroom with just a toilet and sink. Inside the master bedroom were more windows, looking out to the private pool. There was not much of a view of the resort because of the stone wall with flowers that enclosed the pool patio. The bathroom in the bedroom suite had a sunken Jacuzzi tub, a shower stall, the toilet in an enclosed corner, and a dressing area. In a hallway between the living room and the bedroom were stairs going up to the second floor, which was a loft for relaxing. While the rest of the apartment was decorated like a chateau in France, the loft with its wall of windows overlooking the beach and resort was more modern in décor, but just as rich. A couch, a love seat and a table were set up for viewing of the beach. On the other side of the second floor was an entertainment area including a large screen TV. On the side facing the courtyard, the upstairs had traditional French style windows, and a balcony with ornate black wrought ironwork.
Dee's jaw was almost hanging again by the time they came back down into the living room.
She handed Dee the keys, and gave Ryo another set. “If you require anything during the day, here's my card with my extension. If I'm unavailable, one of my assistants will see to your needs. You can book or reserve any of our programs through the front desks of each amenity, but it is usually best to reserve everything through me. And as much as we have to offer here, please remember to take some time to get out and about the rest of the island.”
“We intend to,” Ryo said, with a smile. “Thank you for everything.”
“Thank you for choosing us for your honeymoon. Congratulations on your recent marriage.” She smiled at Dee. “And on the little one.”
“Thank you,” Dee grinned. “I think we're going to enjoy our stay here very much.”
“I'm glad, gentlemen. I'll see you around.” She waved and left the apartment, leaving Dee and Ryo standing close to each other in the living room.
Dee pulled Ryo closer, putting his arms around the slightly shorter man's waist and kissed him.
“Do you want to take a nap?” Ryo asked, brushing Dee's bangs from his face when they broke the kiss.
“I want to lay down a bit,” Dee said with a grin. “But I think I need a little incentive to be tired enough to sleep.”
“Oh?” Ryo asked, coyly.
“Yeah.” Dee kissed Ryo again, then holding his hand, lead him into the bedroom. “I think you're going to be needing a nap too when we're done.”
“Oh, I love how you think!” Ryo exclaimed as they entered the bedroom. He closed the door behind them.
~+~ ~+~ ~+~ ~+~ ~+~
“So what do we have?” Marty asked as he entered the CI squad room. He noticed Drake and JJ, along with Ted, gathered around Drake's desk and conferring. “Good news, I hope.”
Grim faces looked up to greet him.
“We have IDs,” Drake replied, indicating a folder. “Jim had it waiting for us when we came in bright and early.”
“The Battery Park victim was only 19,” JJ remarked sullenly. “We're working on contacts and then Drake and I will hit the road. Without Dee and Ryo around to break the news to families, it's on Drake and me.” He let out a heavy sigh.
Marty picked up the folder to peruse the contents. “Brent Carmichael, huh?” He glanced up at the others after reading on a bit. “The ME believes he's been dead for at least five days before he was found?” he asked.
Ted nodded. “Yeah. We may have a problem with Carriers from around here showing up dead, but this one could have come from anywhere along the Hudson's currents. Including New Jersey.”
“His last known address was in Staten Island,” Marty pointed out, reading the file again.
Drake nodded. “Unfortunately the current doesn't run from Staten Island. We're going over there in a bit. If we can't get contact names before we leave, we'll see if there's anyone still there who knows him.”
“And our other vic?”
“We're suspecting from out of town,” Drake said. “He doesn't fit the two missing persons we have on file.”
“Carmichael wasn't one either, was he?” Marty asked.
“No,” JJ stated, looking annoyed. “He's been dead for a week, and who knows how long before that he was missing. 19 years old, and no one cared to file a missing person.”
Drake sighed. “For all we know, he hasn't lived at home for a while, JJ. We went over this already. But we'll find out what's going on soon enough. Okay?”
JJ just nodded his head and sat down at his desk, going over the paperwork on his desk.
Marty looked grim as he said, “I hate to point out that we still have two more potential victims.”
“Hopefully not,” Drake sighed. “I'm hoping that there are good reasons why they went missing. Like getting away from a bad situation or eloping out of state, or who knows what, as long as they're still alive.”
“I hope so too,” Marty agreed, but he felt within that it was hard to believe that. He suspected Drake was having the same problem.
Jim entered the office, knocking on the open door as he passed it. “Yo dudes, here's your contact info.” He tossed a folder on Drake's desk. “And apparently our Corona victim is also a resident of New York City. Brooklyn, to be exact.”
Drake picked it up and read. “Well, seems we do have someone still living in Staten Island.” He glanced over at JJ. “Parents. And a husband for Doug Santiago.” Softly he swore under his breath. They had to find the killer, because this had to stop. The murders were more tragic than usual because of the unborn babies that would never have a chance to live.
Ted and Marty exchanged glances, and they nodded. “Hey Drake,” Ted stated. “Since you'll be busy in Staten Island, how about Marty and I handle the Corona one? We can get this out of the way today then. We'll even canvas the area while we're there and follow any other trails.”
Drake gave Ted a grateful look. “I think that sounds like a plan. We'll need to be back here by 3. The Commissioner is hoping to have an update on if and how the FBI will be involved.”
Ted nodded, and watched as Marty wrote down the information they needed in his notebook. Marty placed the notebook in his jacket pocket and waved to everyone. “C'mon, Teddy-boy, and let's check out a car.”
“Gotcha. Later.”
Drake watched the two men leave and looked over to JJ. “I guess we should be heading out too.”
JJ nodded, and stood up, going over to get his coat.
Drake understood JJ's silence. Suddenly it felt as if they were racing against time, with Dee's life on the line. It wasn't a very pleasant feeling. If nothing else, he dreaded Dee's return from his honeymoon if things were still as they were. He was also more than a little worried about how Ryo was going to handle the news. He continued to hope that the little discovery on the Corona victim would remain out of the press, should Dee or Ryo feel inclined to read up on news from home while they were in the Caribbean.
~+~ ~+~ ~+~ ~+~ ~+~
Drake and JJ sat in the car outside the colonial style home, with the meticulously trimmed shrubs surrounding the front lawn that was still sleeping from winter frost, and strips for flower beds come the warmer weather edging each side of the driveway leading to the garage. There was a BMW parked in the driveway. From all indications from the outside, it was a nice home in what seemed like the rural part of New York City. There was most likely a nice family inside, unaware of the news the two detectives were about to give them.
“I hate this part of the job,” Drake said with a sigh, unlocking the car doors.
“Yeah, me too.” JJ glanced over at Drake. “Somehow it seems more difficult than the other times.”
“I know what you mean. I had to deliver news like this about Carriers before, but it was a random crime, an accident. Not that they were killed because they were a Carrier. Just another victim among the statistics.”
JJ stared out the window at the nice medium sized home and nodded.
Drake rubbed JJ's shoulder. “C'mon and let's get this over with. We're hoping we still have a few more places to visit and maybe get some clues.”
“What makes you think this is going to be different?” JJ asked quietly. “Just because we want him captured before Dee and Ryo get back doesn't mean it's going to happen. Chances are it's not.”
“Don't talk like that JJ. We need to keep a positive, can do attitude about this, if we're going to catch him,” Drake said gently. “Besides, we have to catch a break at some point. He increased the number of victims, therefore he's bound to get sloppy. He's probably also getting pissed off because the Commissioner hasn't released any news about letting Dee go. I'm hoping that will cause him to make a mistake somewhere.”
JJ nodded again, only to appease Drake. They were running on the assumption that their killer was a male because of the victim they found in Corona Park. It was a snowy morning and quite a walk through unpaved ground to the grove of trees the victim was placed. There were no signs of the body being dragged. Their victim, in his 7th month of pregnancy, weighed around 175 lbs. While it was still possible, the chances of a woman being able to carry that much weigh, especially after rigor mortis set in, without dragging, was not very likely. If it was a woman doing the killing, then most likely she had an accomplish. From what they were able to gather so far, all were in agreement they were on the lookout for a male.
JJ opened the door and got out of the car without a word. Drake followed suit, aware of being watched from across the street. Neighbors had noticed the strange car that had been parked in front of the house for at least five minutes and now were curious. Unlike the rest of New York City, Staten Island had a small town feeling. Especially in a neighborhood called Tottenville on the furthest end of Staten Island.
A woman opened the door to another well kept home across the street and watched the two detectives make their way to the front door.
JJ rang the bell and waited for someone to answer. He wanted to take Drake's hand in his, get some comfort from his boyfriend, but did not dare.
The door opened and a kindly looking woman, who appeared to not be 40 yet answered the door. She had shoulder length brown hair in a stylish cut and held in place with plenty of hairspray. She was about JJ's height.
“I'm sorry, but we don't need any today,” she stated, taking them for door to door salesmen. The days of salesmen knocking on the door, selling house wares were long gone, replaced by people who wanted contracts for services such as satellite TV, wireless phones and satellite radio.
JJ showed her his badge. “Mrs. Carmichael? We're with the 27th Precinct in Manhattan.”
“You're cops?” she asked. “From Manhattan. What did Brent get himself into now?” she asked, looking partly worried, partly annoyed.
“Yes, ma'am. I'm Detective Drake Parker, and this is my partner, Detective JJ Adams. May we come in, Mrs. Carmichael?” Drake asked.
The woman stepped aside, opening the door for them. “I told Brent it was going to be hard surviving on his own, and wondered what he would do for money. He had a bit of a habit of lifting things when he was a teen. I was afraid he'd end up doing the same trying to live on his own,” the woman talked on, allowing Drake and JJ to enter the house. “So what did he do now?” she asked.
“Mrs. Carmichael,” Drake said gently. “Please sit down. I'm afraid we have bad news.”
Irene Carmichael glanced at the grim faces before her. “Oh no…” She put a hand to her mouth. “Please tell me what he did. No wait. Joe,” she called out toward the kitchen. “Come here. Quick”
A man in a sports shirt and Dockers , looking a little older than Irene, came into the living room. “What's this all about?” he asked. “Cindy from across the street called saying there were strangers in a car, looking at our house. I take it that would be you fellas?”
JJ nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Joe, Brent has gone and got himself into trouble again,” Irene stated, going over to her husband. “They are detectives from Manhattan.”
Joe Carmichael shook his head in annoyance. “I don't know what got into that boy. Ever since he hit his teens, he was a handful. And then when he came home announcing he was having a baby! A baby!” He glanced at Drake and JJ, not giving either detective a chance to cut in. “Like a man has a right to be giving birth. That's a woman's job. And my dear Irene agrees with me.”
JJ's mouth was set in a line, not daring to say anything, for fear he'd say a few things that could get him in trouble.
“Mr. and Mrs. Carmichael, please,” Drake firmly said, trying to gain some control of situation, aware of JJ's sudden demeanor. “It's more serious than that.”
“How much more serious can it be than your son who doesn't like to pay for what he wants suddenly coming home and expecting us to raise his child?” Joseph Carmichael asked. “That boy had some nerve wanting to bring one of those monsters in this world.”
“Brent is dead,” JJ snapped loudly.
The room went silent. Drake stared at JJ in concern. JJ was glaring at the Carmichaels with disgust. Joseph and Irene Carmichael were still, digesting the fact that their son was dead.
Irene covered her mouth again, burying her face in her husband's arm, quietly weeping.
With an arm around his wife, Joe glared at the detectives. “Are you absolutely sure it was our son?” he asked sternly.
“I'm afraid so, Mr. Carmichael,” Drake stated.
“What happened? Did that monster kill him?”
JJ's jaw was clenched and his hands balled into fists. “If you are referring to whomever killed him, yes, I see your son's murderer as a monster. Anyone who would kill a man merely because he's having a baby is a monster.” JJ's tone was clipped. He had trouble keeping it even and not to start screaming at the parents. He found some small satisfaction that he noted some grief from them, despite everything they felt about the baby.
“He was killed?” Joe asked.
Irene started to openly sob.
“I'm sorry, but yes he was. His body was found in the south cove in Battery Park City.”
“Was he still carrying that… that thing when he was found?” Joe asked.
JJ frowned. “No, he wasn't. But that's only because whomever killed him, removed the fetus. He most probably died from bleeding out from that.”
“JJ,” Drake warned, taking JJ by his arm and pulling him back from the Carmichaels a few feet. He looked over to the parents. “I'm afraid we don't share your views on Carriers. It's even harder for us, because your son is the latest victim of the Carrier serial killer that's been striking around the city.”
“Where do you have him?” Joe asked.
“He's in the county morgue in Bellevue Hospital. While we're certain that it's your son, you'll have to go and identify him, of course, so they can release the body to your custody.”
Irene Carmichael dropped heavily in a nearby chair. “No. That can't be my son,” she moaned in denial. “I told him he couldn't live here any longer if he didn't get rid of that baby, but that doesn't mean I don't love him. I was hoping he'd get an abortion and stay here. That one day he'd come back without that creature, and live with us again. He was a handful since he hit his teens, but he's still my son. I love him. Please tell me this isn't true.”
JJ went to open his mouth again, but Drake saw enough on his partner's face to know it was not words of comfort. “I'm afraid it is true. Would you like us to take you?”
Joe shook his head firmly. “No. I can get us there.”
Drake nodded. “I know this isn't a good time, but we still have some questions. We do want to find the person who did this.”
“What type of questions?” Joe asked, as his wife sat and cried. “We just told him to leave the house. No one wanted him dead. My wife and I were hoping that he'd come to his senses after he had that creature, give it away or drop it off at a safe house, then come home. He wasn't a bad boy since he entered college. Except he started to sleep around with men, then got himself knocked up. It wasn't an easy time while he was still living here.”
“Mr. Carmichael,” Drake cut in, “when was the last time you saw Brent?”
“Two months ago. He made his choice and we told him to leave.”
“From the day he came home and told us he was having that creature, we told him if he wanted to remain at home, to get an abortion,” Joe explained with no hesitation. “We gave him chances. Right up to his fifth month, we did. Then it was too late. No doctor in his right mind would do an abortion. We gave him all that time. He made his choice. So we made him leave. He was welcome back here at anytime. Without that monster.”
JJ spun on his heels and stormed for the door without saying a word.
Drake sighed. “Mr. Carmichael, I can assure you that a Carrier child is not a monster. And there are enough men in this world who carry child not to make them freaks. I would appreciate it if you kept those opinions to yourself.”
“Don't tell me that little detective is having one of those things too?” he asked.
“No. Not now, but I know he would like to one day. However, one of the detectives in our unit, in fact, one of our leading detectives, is pregnant.”
“And he's still allowed to work? What kind of police force do we have?” Joe asked, disgusted.
“One that isn't blind sighted with prejudice. One that believes in equality for all,” Drake answered. “Let me ask you something, Mr. Carmichael. The Carrier gene is inherited. Who gave Brent the gene?”
“That would be me,” Joe remarked. “Not that I had a choice in it, being my mother passed it down to me. We almost didn't have children because of me, but Irene wanted to have a child badly. So we had Brent. The way that people should have children - through the woman. Our son could have slept with whoever he wanted. All we asked him was to use protection if he was going to put himself in that position. But then he thought he fell in love with that one boy. He told us after we came out of our shock that he did it because he believed that bastard would stop sleeping around with others and settle down with him, have a family, and everything like that. I thought we raised Brent better than that. I don't expect a woman to play that game on a man, I most certainly disapprove of a man doing that. So our son was knocked up and had a lover who wanted nothing to do with him or the… baby. That's when things got rough here. Goddammit! If he had listened to us and got rid of that monster, he'd still be alive!” Joe swung his fist in the air.
Drake sighed. One thing he could not refute. The Carmichaels loved their son, and were hurting. He just had problems with how they showed their love. “Would you mind giving us the name of the other father?”
“No, of course not. I never did like that one anyway. But my boy had to get this notion that he couldn't live without him. Brent biggest fault, even during his shop lifting, drug taking teens was he was attracted to the wrong people for friends.”
“It would be helpful if you provided us with any other names you would know.”
“Of course,” Joe stated. “Can we do this in the kitchen, please?” He turned to his wife, who was still crying over her son and carefully pulled her up from the couch. “Irene, why don't you go in the bedroom for now. I'll handle this, and then we'll go and….” he left his words hanging, not sure what else to say. He guided his wife to the hall where the stairs to the second floor was located, then gestured for Drake to follow him into the kitchen.
~+~ ~+~ ~+~
JJ needed to get out of there. There was no way he was going to remain professional, when all he wanted to do was throttle both of them. It didn't matter if Irene Carmichael was obviously upset over her son's death. The thought that she had also insisted that her son abort a baby was appalling to JJ. No one had the right of a say in that matter, except the one having the child. To think that he was asked to leave home because he refused to get rid of his child was enough to make JJ see red.
As far as he was concerned, the Carmichaels were the monsters. He hoped they would find themselves with plenty of regrets over that decision now that their son was dead. He also wished for an extra helping of guilt to come their way.
After he managed to get a few deep breaths, and clear his head of his anger enough to think, JJ did not remain idle. He went off to canvas the street, feeling only a little guilty that he left Drake inside alone. Thank goodness Dee and Ryo were on their honeymoon, he thought. Because otherwise, it would have been their job to come here, just as they went to the next of kin of their other victims. Dee would have been livid, and Ryo… JJ shuddered. He did not want to think of what Ryo would have done. Ever since he stepped into the light about his relationship with Dee, counted down the days to their wedding, and looked forward to raising their baby with Dee, Ryo proved to have a very short fuse when confronted on issues concerning homophobia and anti-Carrier feelings. Dee handled it like he handled everything else in life when it dealt a blow in his direction. He got mad sometimes, always let it roll off his thick skin, then pick up and carry on from there. Ryo was yet to learn how to handle things that way. Or perhaps Ryo was not one to let it roll off him. He might end up being one of those who would shout the loudest, “We're here, we're queer, and we're pregnant. So fuck you.” JJ actually found himself smiling as he went between houses, when the thought came to him. Ironic that the one with the biggest mouth and liked to carry a big stick over Gay and Carrier Rights would be Ryo. JJ actually thought it kind of fitting. He decided there was nothing wrong with it, and he'd back Ryo all the way - while also stopping Ryo from doing something stupid that he'd regret, or would hurt him and Dee.
By the time Drake left the normal looking house with the monsters living within, JJ had spoken to several of the neighbors. He had names and descriptions of people they saw associated to Brent. It was not an easy job, he discovered after the 4th house, since apparently Tottenville was unofficially a non-Carrier zone within New York City.
He saw Drake come over to him, and somehow they finished going to all the houses, before they got into the car and went off for the park Brent was known to hang out in. They passed by the house on the way back to Manhattan and noticed the BMW was gone from the driveway.
Neither man mentioned anything about the hatred they encountered. Drake did not bring up JJ's fit inside the Carmichael home. They hardly said anything if it were not facts they had gathered about Brent and his lifestyle.
It was only when they were halfway across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, going into Brooklyn, did Drake speak. “Hey JJ, would you like to come over to my place after work tonight?”
JJ leaned toward Drake and nodded. “Please? I don't think I can handle being alone tonight.”
“Neither can I,” Drake agreed.
~+~ ~+~ ~+~ ~+~ ~+~
Ted and Marty had left Bobby Santiago's grieving husband with his sister. Doug Santiago had called his sister, who lived on the top floor of the two family home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She came down immediately and looked as devastated as Bobby upon hearing the news of his brother-in-law.
Ted closed the door to the unmarked car after the two detectives talked to neighbors. “That was not fun,” he announced to Marty, who was about to start the car.
“Tell me about it. Bobby wanted kids, but was not a Carrier. Convinced Doug, who was to finally get pregnant, and now Doug's dead.” Marty sighed. “That poor man is already guilt-tripping over insisting that Doug got pregnant.”
“Yeah, huh? And wouldn't you know it. Doug was finally starting to become at ease about his pregnancy. And now this.” Ted hit his fist against the dashboard. “This just sucks, man. I just hope we finally got a lead.”
“I would like to look into that online buddy support system that Santiago talked about,” Marty mused. “Sounds fishy to me. I mean, talking to Dee, his OB medical clinic provided him with plenty of resources for group and one-on-one support to deal with Carrier pregnancy. I find it hard to believe Dee lucked out with the only medical group in NYC with such a network of coverage.”
“I guess we'll find out after we visit Doug's MOP, which I believe we have time to do next,” Ted stated. “And while you're driving, I'm going to dig around and see what I can pull up about this supposed Carrier support group Doug got himself involved with.”
“Good idea.” Marty glanced at his notes to remind himself of the address to Doug Santiago's MOP.
“I think it's probably a good idea to go back to that Carrier store and look around. See if anyone else can recall the man who recruited Doug to join their group. I can't shake a bad feeling about that,” Ted said, opening his laptop.
“I agree. After we speak to the MOP, we'll see if JJ and Drake have time to meet for lunch and compare notes,” Marty said.
“I'm all for the lunch part,” Ted nodded, half his attention on his laptop. “Please God, give us a break with this case already.”
“I'm not sure which one worries me more right now,” Marty said. “Dee coming back to find out our killer wants him off the force, but Rose is not hearing any of it. Or come Saturday or Sunday, we're looking at possibly three new potential victims.”
Ted sighed heavily. “And Dee's reaction dealing with the new victims. I know Dee likes to play off being the tough guy, but there's a reason he's a detective. And to have that bastard place the blame on Dee for any new victims. Hell, I know Dee is going to take it just like that too. That it's his fault that people died. It won't fare well with him, I'll tell you that. Especially when he gets into his `I'm useless' moods.”
Marty smirked. “You know what's scary, dude? I can almost feel sorry for the son-of-a-bitch should Ryo get close to him.”
Ted laughed. “Oh God. Scary thought for sure. Don't mess with Ryo's family. Okay, I'm getting one single simple page here with a disturbing image for this group.”
“Define disturbing,” Marty asked as he stopped the car at a light. Ted turned the laptop around so Marty could see the illustration of a very pregnant Carrier surrounded by angels. “I didn't feel good about the name Carriers Inc to start with. Sounds like a set up for something we'll end up investigating at some point.”
“I know. So you agree with me about this image?”
“A Carrier being beckoned by angels. Oh hell yeah. Drake and JJ will be interested in this. What's the contact information?”
“Just an email address. Too simple if you ask me. We'll have to discuss it with the others before poking around and inquiring using it.” Ted shook his head. The email address was contact @ carriersinc.com. “Dude, I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I can't help but think we finally have a solid clue. I'm going to look into domain registration and see what we get.”
“Great idea, Ted. And we're almost here,” Marty remarked as he turned right from Nassau Avenue, onto Eckford Street. “Once I turn onto Norman Avenue, keep an eye out for the address.”
“Gotcha,” Ted said, emailing the domain information he gathered to his email at work. “I got an address, by the way. In New Jersey.”
Marty rolled his eyes. “Great. Good thing we're hopefully collaborating with the FBI. I have a feeling we're going to need it if we're going to keep running around outside our jurisdiction.”
“Yeah, huh?” Ted's eyes started to look at numbers on buildings when Marty turned left. “Even numbers are on your side, dude. And there it is.”
“Great. Now to find parking around here. Hell, someone call traffic and get these idiots parked in the no parking zones ticketed,” he grumped.
“Be thankful it's not like some of the streets I noticed as we passed where there's double parking,” Ted said. “Make another right at the corner and see if there's something there. We can always hoof it for a block or two.”
“Whatever,” Marty mumbled, realizing he was approaching the intersection, and followed Ted's advice.