The Surveillance Detail

an excerpt

I spotted my man coming towards me as I completed my second circuit of the park. From the looks of him, he'd been running all out on the streets just northeast of downtown before he crested Capitol Hill, loped into the park, and connected with the track that circled the reservoir, where he could take his time and do a few easy cooling-off laps. Even with his hair plastered to his forehead with sweat, and his features distorted by the stress of his run, I recognized him easily from the photo that Macy had shown me in his private office yesterday. He was handsome-eyes wide-set, a strong beak of a nose, high forehead, cleft chin-the features all brought together by his winning smile.

The photos I saw hadn't given me any clues as to the condition of his body, though. That was strictly a bonus, I thought bitterly. As long as I had to get close to this guy in order to fuck his life over, at least I wouldn't have to fake the attraction. My tastes ran to hot, hairy men, and this dude would have riveted my attention, any time, any place. He bulged where he should have bulged, then flattened out in all the right places. He also had the best legs I'd ever had the pleasure of watching in action; every time his feet hit the track, his thick calves bulged out into knots, and his thighs swelled like they were trying to split his swarthy skin. I closed my eyes and imagined how his ass, hidden by his baggy shorts, would curve out at the tops of those legs, then cut back sharply into the small of his back. I put on some speed and started closing the gap between us.

* * *

"Hey, Driscoll. Macy wants to see you, pronto." My buddy Kaplan shot me a sympathetic glance as he hurried by on his way to the coffee room. "He's got a mean look on his face and Commissioner Phillips is with him. Good luck, man."

"Thanks, Kaplan." I pushed the chair away from my desk and reluctantly got to my feet. Captain Macy, my boss, didn't like me one bit and the feeling was mutual. I didn't know exactly what was up, but I figured I could pretty much rule out any possibilities of a morale-boosting chat.

"Shut the door," Macy barked when I entered his office. "This here's Commissioner Fred Phillips." He indicated a bulky form sitting in the far corner of the room. The bulk didn't offer a hand in greeting, so I nodded curtly and sat down in front of Macy's cluttered desk. "I don't have much time, so we'll just get straight to the point."

"Suits me." I eyed him warily. I definitely didn't like the look on his ugly face as he sat there giving me the once-over.

"As you know, Commissioner Phillips is heading the anti-drug effort here in Seattle. For months now, he's been looking for a way to get substantive information that will lead to the break-up of the Gambarelli family's crime syndicate. We know that they're up to their assholes in cocaine and prostitution, but to date we haven't been able to make anything stick. The Commissioner has been telling me that he's definitely feeling the pressure to get results." Macy glanced around at the silent bulk. "He's real anxious for us to collar these bastards and get the media off his back."

"You've had guys tailing that crew for months," I interrupted. "Just exactly where do I fit in with your plans?"

"Victor Gambarelli has a younger brother that we haven't been paying much attention to up to this point. The guy doesn't appear to have any connection with the family's business dealings, but Fred and I think that's bullshit. Now, listen up Driscoll. We need some information and we need it fast. The elections are coming up soon and Fred here needs something positive that he can take to the polls. We want a conviction, and if we have to go for the small fry first, then that's what we'll do. We might be able to force the Gambarelli family's hand if we can get something on the little brother."

"So you want me to question him?"

"I want quite a bit more than that, Driscoll. I've been doing a little research, and I figure you're a perfect match for this job." Macy lowered his voice and favored me with a nasty smirk. "It appears that you omitted a few details about your lifestyle when you got accepted to the force."

"Oh? I don't recall being asked any questions about my lifestyle when I applied to join the force. I'm not sure what you mean." I'd always made it a point to keep my private life just that. Or so I thought. Evidently I had underestimated the caginess of my boss. I struggled to stay calm, but when I glanced down for a moment to collect myself, I noticed I was gripping the arms of the chair so tightly that my knuckles had gone white.

"You know exactly what I mean, Driscoll." Macy glared at me, obviously itching to say more. He started to rise out of his chair but was brought up short when Commissioner Phillips raised a warning hand. Macy sat back down and cleared his throat. "This Peter Gambarelli has a taste for handsome, young," He spat out the word men like it was a bad oyster he'd been eating. "That's where you come in Driscoll-with your special talents, this should be a natural for you. I want you to get cozy with him, and I want a conviction."

"And what if he hasn't done anything?"

"Are you hard of hearing, Driscoll? I said I wanted a conviction. My friend Fred here needs a conviction. Do you understand?"

"And if I don't find anything," I repeated doggedly, my blood starting to boil.

"Don't be naïve, Driscoll. There's always something to find. You just have to look long and hard."

"I'm not going to railroad an innocent man, Macy."

"Then you can kiss your career goodbye, Driscoll. And that hero-worshipping little brother of yours might just have to find out the truth about his big brother, the cop."

"That's blackmail," I sputtered, rising from my chair. My brother Danny was only twelve. He had been emotionally traumatized by the death of our parents in a boating accident the year before and was only now beginning to recover. I had been doing my best to be father, mother, and big brother to him and couldn't risk any further shocks to his system. Danny needed something rock-solid in his life right now and that something had to be me. Macy had me by the balls and the bastard knew it.

"That's politics, mister." The bulk in the shadows spoke for the first time. "I need a scalp to save my ass and you're the Indian who's going to get it for me. Don't fuck up."