Castle Roland

On The Web

by Jack Scribe, of Honored Memory


Chapter 13

Posted: N/A

A Fresh Start

by Jack Scribe

Tuesday night

Thad had a major reason for feeling extremely buoyant, and that was the telephone call from Brad Williams. Talking with the retired movie star was enough to excite him - even though he had met Brad the previous weekend at the hospital. But what sent him into overdrive was the glorious news that Rory Reed had been positively identified as the murderer of Harvey Fine and that Thad's name was completely cleared of the heinous crime. The Nightmare on Elm Street - in this case, on Harold Lane in the Hollywood Hills - was over. Brad was sketchy with the details, adding only that Rory was on the run.

As soon as he hung up, Thad skipped into the bedroom, where his boxer-clad roommate, Benny Siegel, was stretched out on the bed while reading a book. He started singing, "Ding-dong, the witch is dead. Which old witch? The wicked witch. Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead." He grinned broadly and strutted around doing a few high leg-kicks before jumping on Benny's bed.

"Whoa. Whazzup, Dorothy?" Benny asked with a snicker as he playfully pushed Thad away. "You having a Judy Garland moment? It's not often I have a hot stud boogieing around my bed in tighty-whities."

"The friggin' ordeal with this murder thing is over. Finis." Thad moved over to his own bed, sat down and crossed his legs in a yoga position. "Brad Williams just called. That investigator guy, Oleg, found video evidence at Harvey Fine's house that proves Rory is the murderer."

"Babe, that's great news." Benny put down his book and sat up. "And this Rory character is the guy who set you up?"

"Yeah. Not only that, the slimy cocksucker drugged me, and he's the same person who - as 'good ole Ed', they're pretty sure...well, you know the rest."

"Such an endearing term," Benny replied with a laugh, "for that evil prick."

"Normally it would endearing term, that is." Thad grinned with an arched eyebrow, slowly licked his upper lip and added, "To think this whole thing started at that porn studio cuz he couldn't keep his dick hard, and I wouldn't suck him."

"You probably just didn't want to be known as 'Felicity the Fluffer'."

Thad stuck out his tongue, shrugged and smirked. "The whole thing went down this afternoon at Fine's house. Apparently, it was something completely unrelated to his murder, and everything was covered live on all the TV channels."

"I haven't followed the news much today. Heard some details about a shootout up in the 'Hills' on the car radio when I was coming home from work, but I didn't pay too much attention. Seems like murder and mayhem - real and imagined - are part of our everyday lives here in La La land."

"News at eleven followed by a story idea conference the next day." Thad was happy this burden had been lifted from him and that he could joke about it with his best friend.

"All the out-of-work writers will be grinding out screen treatments tomorrow morning at Farmer's Market."

"I'll keep my mouth shut at the know anything else on what happened?" Thad asked as he stood up.

"Just that some Russian gangsters were caught in the house and SWAT teams had to roust the bad guys out." Benny shook his head and continued, "Of the people who were killed, one was a cop."

"Whoa, that is heavy duty. I hadn't heard anything about the shootout. Brad didn't know too much other than that Oleg was with the police when they searched Fine's house. There was some sort of secret video camera setup in the bedroom that taped Rory whacking living color. That's all I know - and maybe it's all I need to know. Rory is on the run and the police have issued an all-points bulletin for his arrest."

"We can probably follow it on TMZ and in the Internet blogs," Benny replied as he rolled his eyes. "And, of course, very soon on America's Most Wanted. Down the road, maybe I could package a porn reality show for you."

"That's one deal I'll pass on...Mr. Hollywood agent man. By the way, except for you, I'm not supposed to mention this to anyone. Oleg needs to be very invisible." Thad could only imagine in what kinds of investigative activities the handsome Mr. Petrov was involved.

"Ya got it. Sounds like Oleg is quite the guy to cover your back in a jam." Benny got off his bed and stepped over to Thad. "I'm really happy for you, roomie. Gimme a hug." He opened his arms and waited for Thad to join him.

"A hug's good." Thad untangled his legs, got up and moved close to Benny. Without saying anything, each man held the other tightly for a few moments. Thad backed away, winked and said, "I don't know if I can sleep, but I gotta try. I'm expected at the studio before seven in the morning."

"I'm going to finish this chapter before I bag it for the night," Benny replied. "Gimme five."

"I've brushed and put on my beauty mask." Thad rolled his eyes and glanced at his cell phone screen. The flashing in the corner alerted him to an unread text message. 'Hmmm, wonder when this came in?' he thought as he sat on the bed, 'Maybe while I was talking with Brad.'

He activated 'Messages' and smiled when he noticed that the sender was Bryan DiMarco. Thad held the cell phone closer and read the message on the screen: TRID 2 CLL ERLIER. WL B N LA DIS W/E. RU AVAIL 2 JOIN ME @ A COOKOUT @ DAVE N MIKES HOM ON SATDY? HOPE SO. BRYAN.

"Wow...the hits just keep on coming," Thad said loudly after he'd read the text message a second time. "Listen to this. Bryan is coming down from Stanford this weekend and wants me to join him for some sort of cookout at Dave Swenson and Mike Cole's house on Saturday."

"Super. Where do they live?"

"Someplace in Santa Monica near Ocean Boulevard," Thad replied with a smile. "Gads. I haven't seen a real back yard with grass for some time, but I gotta say that I'd do a cookout with Bryan on a concrete driveway."

"And you musta made a pretty good impression on him. Way to go." Benny put a marker in his book and set it on the floor. "I'm ready to turn off the lights when you are."

"Let me answer this message first." Thad thumb-typed: YES ON SAT. THX. TTYT, THAD (AAS). He hit send, placed the cell phone on the nightstand and turned off the light. "Night, Benny."

"Pleasant dreams...for a change," Benny replied. "Glad all this shit is behind you."

Thad blinked and stared upward at the dark ceiling. Gradually the faint outline of a crack in the plaster, caused by an earthquake years ago, came into view. It didn't seem possible that this horror had begun only five days earlier - on Friday night. He slowly pushed the memories away as he closed his eyes. 'I'm looking forward to seeing Bryan this weekend,' he thought as a feeling of tranquility crept over his almost-dozing body.

There was an extra bounce in Thad's step as he approached Doug's trailer on Wednesday morning, next to Sound Stage 14. Thad felt the same way Titanic director, James Cameron, must have when he won the Oscar and made the famous claim to be "the king of the world". He opened the door and waved at his boss and new friend, Charlie Rosen, First Assistant Director. It was only day number three on the job, but Thad felt positive about the growing professional relationship that was being established.

"Morning," Charlie said from the small pantry area. He raised the full glass coffee pot and asked, "You want some caffeine before we get to work?"

"Black, no sugar...please." Thad joined Charlie and flipped over an insulated paper cup. "It'll go with breakfast." He reached into his backpack and pulled out two Balance energy bars. "You eat anything yet?"

"Great. Now I don't have to suggest we grab something at the commissary." Charlie took a bar and added, "Thanks. We can talk about today's tasks while we polish these off with the coffee." He gestured for Thad to join him at the small conference table.

"I made sure we have plenty of masking tape." Today's task was to mark the floor with tape to simulate the set in an unused portion of the soundstage. Afterwards, they would requisition rehearsal furniture. "I'm happy that Doug believes in rehearsing," Thad added, "because I think it makes for a better film. I understand it isn't done very often because of the costs involved."

"Doug's idea is to get the cast comfortable with each other, right from the beginning. The next couple of days will be the only time that everyone will have a chance to act through the script sequentially. The rehearsal is more about the actors understanding the story better, being comfortable with their character and getting to know how Doug wants to approach the film. Separately, he'll spend a lot of time with each actor and dissect their character." Charlie took a sip of coffee and added, "Hopefully these rehearsals over the next couple of days will help the actors cope with those days during the shoot when we only get three useable minutes of film."

"And so they don't sleepwalk through their scenes." Thad knew there would be a lot of waiting around by the actors while the technicians set up shots. The three months of shooting would ultimately result in 110 minutes of edited film. "I remember a quote attributed to Orson Wells: 'They must pay us for the waiting because we would gladly do the acting for free'." He smiled and bit off a piece of his energy bar.

"Yeah, I've heard that before. We're working our buns off while the stars are in their trailers watching the soaps. By the way, you seem awfully chipper this early in the morning. Whazzup?"

"Someone I wanted to see again contacted me about getting together this weekend. Cool guy." Thad decided not to mention that it was Doug's son, Bryan, who was 'ringing his chimes'.

"Now that's a positive sign. Good going. Speaking of which, we better get busy and mark up the soundstage before the minstrel troop of street actors arrive in their gypsy wagons."

"Right. Like a Bimmer SUV or Mercedes Coupe will ever look like a gypsy wagon. Let's go." Thad smiled as he chewed the final bite of the energy bar and washed it down with the cooling coffee. He couldn't wait to call Bryan later in the day.

'Jeez,' Oleg thought as he read the report, 'this case just keeps getting bigger. Curiouser and curiouser - like going down the rabbit hole.' It was very early Wednesday morning - the first cup of coffee still hot to the touch - and yet another unexpected piece of incriminating evidence from the Harvey Fine mess had landed in his lap. What had begun as a favor to Brad Williams had ballooned almost beyond control and was now merging with an entirely different AOI investigation. An hour earlier, Oleg had been alerted to breaking new developments by the AOI computer operations center in Washington, D.C.

Headquarters had also been working on emerging threads of information that was morphing into another full-blown Potomac scandal: this time involving a United States Senator from Utah. The closeted, elected official was on AOI's hit list because of his anti-gay political posturing and hypocritical arrogance. 'So far,' Oleg thought as he studied the analysis, 'the esteemed Senator from the Beehive State has covered his tracks pretty well. But it looks like his luck might be running out.' He needed to digest this information before calling back East. What intrigued Oleg was that the kiddie porn evidence had turned up unrelated illegal activities by the Senator.

The new development linked three of the kiddie porn clientele to an unrelated Los Angeles-based, high-end prostitution ring that operated in the power centers on both coasts. AOI had been able to match electronic fund transfers of three men identified in the porn bust by closely analyzing their labyrinth of personal accounts. Large sums of money - separate from the porn expenditures - had been periodically withdrawn and wired to a dummy corporation's account in a Cayman Islands bank. That corporation was actually a front for the exclusive 'escort service', TWINK-LING IMAGES, VIP. 'TI/VIP', as it was commonly referred to in L.A., specialized in providing model-quality young men and women, and charging very expensive fees that ranged from $4,000 to $6,000 per hour. This illegality of prostitution was compounded by the service's definition of 'young' - some of the beautiful companions for hire were thought to be only 16 and 17 years old.

Oleg was aware of TI/VIP only because of gossip concerning several movie stars and studio 'suits' who allegedly patronized the service - heir to the Heidi Fleiss call girl organization of the 90s. It was a very discrete enterprise that operated from behind the gates of a private estate in Beverly Hills. Because of their elaborate interview and screening process, it was more difficult to become a TI/VIP client than to become a member of the Los Angeles Country Club. For the upper echelon of the Hollywood community, TI/VIP was part of doing business.

He studied the details but nothing jumped out until he came upon the highlighted frequent money transfers to an obvious shell corporation account, PIVIT Deep Dredging, Inc. He noticed that the computer whizzes had earmarked those transactions. 'Hmmm,' he thought as he read further, 'PIVIT must be TI/VIP spelled backwards. Not awfully original but apparently effective.' This assumption proved correct when he noticed occasional transfers of funds from PIVIT to the personal Northern Trust-California account of R. M. St. Denis. Rachael St. Denis was the executive director of TI/VIP. In this case, 'executive director' translated to 'madam'.

A smile crept over his face as he came to the damning morsels concerning the Senator. Although three times removed, the origination of several payments to PIVIT was an "Elect Larry Kirk" campaign master account in the Wells Fargo Bank. $85,000 over the past eight months transferred to the Caymans. 'But it's not enough to nail the Senator,' he judged as he hit the speed dial button on the speakerphone to connect him with Jerry Sebastian, AOI's managing partner in Washington, D.C. It had been requested that Oleg call back East at 7:30 a.m., Pacific Time.

"Morning, Oleg. Thanks for getting up early." Jerry always answered before the second ring unless he was in a critically important meeting. "We've already had a productive day out here so far. I assume you had a chance to review the first wave of our analysis?"

"Yes...and I hope you've got more data coming. From what I've seen, the only firm evidence we have is for a violation of the bank secrecy laws." Oleg wanted to voice his slight annoyance at having the information dribbled out and not being privy to the big picture. But he decided to err on the side of politeness because, aside from the corporate culture of AOI, Jerry Sebastian was his actual boss.

"Sorry for the piecemeal approach. I've just sent you the remainder of their findings."

"I'll open the email while you continue," Oleg replied as he clicked on the incoming mail icon, "and see what sort of concrete boots you've found."

"I'll give you a re-cap - we now have solid evidence by tracing telephone numbers and text messages from Senator Kirk's personal cell phone. The calls were to the TI/VIP offices and to a cell phone in the L.A. area. The Verizon cell phone number is issued to a male's name - Chadsworth A. Black, Junior - but the billing address is a P.O. Box number. Senator Kirk's text messages are always sent to this number and refer to 'Chad' on occasion. This is circumstantial evidence that might nail Kirk as a client of Chad's, who we know is a male prostitute. But there's more."

"Whoa, this is juicy stuff." Oleg had opened the most recent email and was looking over the text messages. "The Senator seems to enjoy Chad's companionship." Except for the use of the tag name, 'Stallion', there had been no attempt by the Senator to code his prurient sexual desires and Chad seemed to be very willing to reply with blatant responses. "How appropriate that Chad calls himself, 'Colt' to Senator Kirk's 'Stallion' a kinky, equine father and son relationship. I wonder if they neigh when they do it?"

"Or just whinny and snort," Jerry said with a chuckle. "Seriously, the most recent messages are shown first. Scroll down to the end and you'll note that the Senator and this rent boy have been text messaging and meeting for the past six months, mostly in L.A. at the Beverly Hilton."

"It appears that we've got the honorable Senator by the balls, with aiding and abetting prostitution. Slam dunk." Oleg wasn't usually interested in getting involved with someone's sex life...however his involvement came about. "This self-righteous, hypocritical morality do-gooder has it coming."

"That's where you and your staff come in. It appears that Chadsworth A. Black, Junior, is a sophomore at University High School near UCLA. The key word is 'appears'."

"Appears?" Oleg asked with a frown.

"We tracked down the young man from his cell phone number. That's all. We need to positively match the evidence with the actual person. Something that will stand up before a court."

"Got it. I know the school very well and if this Chad is a sophomore, it makes him 16 years old at the most," Oleg said, "and therefore he's officially a juvenile prostitute." He knew that in California, anyone under 18 is considered a minor.

"Exactly. And with one rendezvous documented to have occurred in Las Vegas, authorities can charge Senator Kirk with trafficking a minor over the state line. What I need is a quick investigation of this Chad with photos, verify that this kid is who we think he is. I'm bringing the FBI in on this but I want be sure that our initial findings are accurate. From what we've pieced together, the boy lives with his mother in a West L.A. apartment near UCLA."

"And mom probably isn't home that much because she's busy supporting her family." Oleg had seen this unfortunate situation too many times in other cases. "I've got just the man to head up the team. Gordy Bostwick looks young enough to be around the high school without causing suspicion. He was the lead on that take-down at that porno studio." Oleg thought that Gordy would appreciate a more mellow assignment after the shootout with the Russians.

"I trust your judgment; Bostwick does good work. And I'll work with the FBI, so they can get a court order to monitor the telephones of TI/VIP. I hate to, but I need to rush you with this situation."

"Let's talk in 24 hours. I'll have Gordy email you the results of our investigation after I review them later tonight. You'll have our findings on your desk first thing in the morning, and we'll go from there." Oleg was sure there would be enough information by that time to allow the FBI to take the ball and open up a public corruption investigation. "If I have any problems, I'll call you."

"At any hour - we're hot after this guy. As always...thanks, Oleg," Jerry responded before he ended the call.

Oleg disconnected and analyzed their informative conversation. The 'we' in 'we're' was code for Alpha - the secret GLBT powerhouse organization behind AOI. He dialed Gordy's text message pager and punched in, "8-1-1. AOI CU ASAP. Dress H.S. casual surveillance." At AOI, using an '8' rather than a '9' meant very important but not an emergency. He thought for a moment about the ideal team member to work with Gordy and checked the status screen for the availability of two of his younger associates. One was on assignment in Santa Barbara. 'But Stan Bernstein will do just as well,' Oleg thought, 'and, as I recall, he graduated from Uni High.' He dialed Stan's pager and repeated the message.

Midway in his read of the email attachments, he made a fast round trip to the staff kitchen to toss out the now-tepid coffee in his mug and get a caffeine refill. With fresh, hot coffee, Oleg continued wading through the minutiae of the communications. There were numerous messages - this six-month liaison had resulted in a lengthy electronic paper trail - concerning the fees, confirmation of electronic fund transfers, and locations, including specific hotel room numbers. There was also an intimate 'buddy banter' between Senator Kirk and Chad - rather warm and friendly in nature - in addition to the intimate desires of the Senator. On a few occasions, Chad had needed to cancel his 'date' because of heavy studies for tests. 'The guy obviously cares about good grades,' Oleg thought, 'in addition to good bank balances.'

There was another indication that Senator Kirk was an experienced client in this sort of commerce; his account usually had a balance so that any last-minute urges didn't mean he had to scramble to get more money. This was the same senator who had recently voted against additional funding for the children's health insurance program. 'But he'll spend $5,000 from his campaign funds to shtup a kid,' he thought with disgust, 'what a guy.'

"Hi, Oleg," Gordy said, standing at the office doorway, "You rang, sir?" He mockingly bowed and turned to show off his ensemble including low-hanging Lucky jeans, a loose black tee worn over a long-sleeve white knit jersey, and Nikes.

"Hey, dawg, you look great." Oleg grinned and waved his associate in. "Is that a banana in your pocket or..."

"Am I just happy to see you?" Gordy replied and then stuck out his tongue. "Whazzup, dude?" He walked over to a side chair and sat down.

"First, it's University High, not Ridgemont...dude." Oleg laughed and reached over to shake Gordy's hand. "You do look convincing - maybe for a senior. Thanks for pulling yourself together on such short notice."

"The idea of going on assignment and not getting shot at is very appealing right now. And since I'm not into jailbait, there's very little temptation other than checking out some hot twink eye candy."

"I'm teaming you with Stan Bernstein so let's wait until he arrives. Then I'll give you both the briefing," Oleg said. "By the way, you have a nice, rested glow this morning. Seems to me that that's a sign of being pregnant or getting laid." He grinned and rolled his eyes.

"Just taking care of my houseguest. Since I'm no longer officially involved with that case, Andy Leeds and I are getting to know each other...very well." Gordy frowned a little and added, "Um...that's not a problem, is it?"

"No problem at all. Seriously, Andy's a good guy and I wish you well with whatever happens." Oleg silently wished himself well with his regenerated love life. "How's Andy doing now that all the chaos is behind him?"

"He rented a car and is getting his life back together. Andy plans on returning to the studio tomorrow to help keep Frat Loft running until he finds other work. He'll probably find an efficiency apartment so we can keep a little space between us. It's for the best that..."

"Knock, knock," came a voice at the door. Stan Bernstein, in an Abercrombie & Fitch muscle polo - layered on top of a white tee - camo cargo shorts and flip-flops, stood at the door.

"Come on in and take a load off." Oleg stood and extended his hand to the short, lithe man with dark hair and sparkling gray eyes. 'Fortunate for us that Stan doesn't have much of a beard,' he thought as he watched the youthful, fit, 25-year old ex-police officer walk in. 'It's not much of a stretch to imagine these guys in high school.'

"Morning, Gordy. Haven't seen much of you since we pulled that stakeout in Pasadena a few months ago." Stan shook hands and sat down in the spare chair. "But I heard all about your action over these past few days. You're rapidly becoming an urban legend. Good going."

"Just one of those things where the years of training came in handy for a few moments of crisis. Thanks." Gordy shrugged and looked at Oleg, "I guess we're ready for school, boss."

"Here's the deal. It's just about 8:30 and I need a complete report ready to send Washington by 6:00 p.m. Just for the record, I've got an important dinner engagement and our friends in headquarters needed this 'yesterday'." Oleg smiled as he thought about his dinner date that night with Giorgio. "I've emailed both of you all the files I received earlier and the clock is running against us. Your mission is to verify, without any doubt, that the Uni student is the same person as the escort that has been engaged by Senator Kirk." He leaned forward and gave the younger men a verbal ten-minute overview of the case. When he was finished, Oleg spread out his arms, raised an eyebrow and tilted his head.

"Okay," Gordy said after a moment of silence, "here's what I suggest. Stan and I should go over to an available conference room and closely review the email attachments. That way we can spread out our notes. We should contact DMV for a photo I.D. and L.A. Unified School District for any school files that might be applicable."

"And I'll call my LAPD contacts," Stan added with a nod. "Barring any problems, we should be on the high school campus by first period lunch hour. I've got gym gear in my car to use if we have to cover this kid in P.E."

"Me, too," Gordy replied. "Yikes, it's been a long time since I was in high school. Glad I don't have any tats from my past in the Marines. Ink wouldn't look cool at that preppy school."

"I haven't been in Uni in seven years. Now, a wife and two kids later..." Stan smiled and shrugged. He was part of the 30% hetero, but gay-friendly staff at AOI.

"Not to mention college and your two years on the police force. Since you went to school at Uni, you can be the official guide." Oleg turned to Gordy and continued, "The building is pretty complex in its layout but you won't need a floor plan with Stan's knowledge."

"I'll just call him Tonto." Gordy winked and squeezed Stan's shoulder.

"Okay, men...time to age regress for eight hours. Ask the reception desk which conference room is available and get cracking. And I'll call my friend who runs security for L.A. Unified. He'll be able to get official clearances for you two to be on the school campus and access Chad's files. I'll also check out the TI/VIP website. I've been given a premium-level password that should do the trick as far as pulling up Chad's page."

"Trick...that's probably the best word for our case," Stan said with a chuckle. "I'm not much of a moralist, except when it comes to adults messing around with under-age kids...regardless of the minor's willingness."

"Being 16 is an 'iffy' area," Oleg replied. "It's the age of consent in most European countries and the U.K. Our esteemed Senator should have found a lad in London to boff."

"Or hired a rent boy in Arkansas where it's legal." Stan rolled his eyes and added, "He could have used Bill Clinton's favorite hotel suite."

"All past history, Professor." Oleg smiled and thought about President Clinton's current situation, 'Traveling around the world, making millions of dollars, just imagine the temptations for that old horn dog.'

"Okay, dude. Let's hang ten in a conference room." Gordy stood and patted Stan on his compact shoulders.

Stan drove his commuter Honda, with Gordy in the passenger seat busily reviewing the personal data of Chadsworth Black, Junior. He was a good student - with a 3.5 G.P.A. - and didn't have a disciplinary history. It was no surprise that Chad wasn't active in extra-curricular activities. 'Between studying and screwing,' Gordy mused, 'this stud muffin hardly has much spare time.' They had obtained headshot pictures of Chad from DMV and more flattering body shots on the TI/VIP website. The professional photographs, cropped above the neck, advertised his wares...especially the pose with wet, white CK briefs. A more revealing picture of his backside featured a small reptilian tattoo on the left buttock. At 16, the handsome young man was well developed - everywhere.

The large University High School campus - home to 2,300 students - sprawled out over the top of a small hill and it took time to find street parking. But by 10:50 a.m. the two men, each carrying books and gym bags, were cleared at the school entrance security checkpoint and found their way to a hallway near Chad's class that would be ending soon. At 11:00 o'clock, he was scheduled to proceed to the gym for P.E. and then take second period lunch at 12:15.

Gordy stood by a locker near the classroom door and Stan was further down the hallway. If someone looked closely, they could see a small earpiece in Stan's ear with a thin wire running down to his gym bag. Inside the bag was a cell phone 'roving bug' that was pre-set to quickly eavesdrop on Chad's cell phone through the microphone. They maintained their poses as the 11:00 buzzer sounded.

Suddenly, the formerly empty hallways were teeming with students. Talking, shouting, laughing - the noise was deafening - as the hoards scrambled to their next class. Gordy was concerned by the noise and the fact that Chad had not surfaced as the departing class numbers thinned out. 'If he skipped class we're screwed,' he thought, 'so I better check out the classroom right now.' Just then, he saw blondish Chad - lanky and packaged in a pair of faded 501's with a loose polo shirt hanging out in a preppy sort of way - exit with his hand cupped around the waist of a girl. They were both laughing and talking in low tones. He kissed her on the lips and they walked their separate ways. Gordy thought Chad's ice-blue eyes were striking and that the slight crinkle of smile lines projected the rakish image of someone more mature.

Almost immediately, Chad pulled out his cell and looked at the screen. At the same time, Gordy glanced over to make sure Stan was ready to intercept any calls. As soon as Chad punched his 'send' button, Stan's phone microphone was activated. It was a sure bet that the high school sophomore was heading for the gym, so Stan walked ahead of Chad and Gordy followed. As they approached the locker room door, Stan stopped for a drink of water. He wanted Chad to enter the locker area first; Stan was going to find a locker that was out of sight so he could continue to eavesdrop. Gordy would go in last, find a locker near Chad and change into gym clothes to complete the ruse.

"He just finished a call-back concerning work," Stan said in a low voice when Gordy sidled up next to him. "Chad is going to skip out of gym early and take care of some woman by the name of Nance at 666 St. Cloud Road in Bel Air during lunch hour." He gave a thumbs-up and entered the locker room.

'When you're 16,' Gordy thought, 'you're randy as hell.' At 26, twice last night with his new pal and fuck buddy, Andy, was quite enough. He counted to ten and strolled in. The large locker facility was comprised of several changing bays with floor-length mirrors on the opposite wall along the aisle. Each bay had approximately 30 lockers in a 12' x 12' open 'U' space with permanent benches bolted to the tile floor.

He slowly walked past the first two locker bays and didn't see Chad. In the third bay, Stan was sitting on a bench. Stan pointed to his ear and then indicated to go on to the next bay. 'There's my boy,' Gordy thought as he passed Stan and caught the reflection of his target in the mirror. Chad was standing in front of an open locker, with his shirt already off, and was in the process of toeing off his sneakers. Gordy was impressed with what he saw when he quickly studied the young man from the rear. Chad's slightly tanned and freckled back, accented with appropriate muscle definition for a teen of that age, tapered from broad shoulders to a trim waist.

Gordy found an unoccupied locker and sat down to remove his shoes, just as Chad pulled down his 501's and briefs in one quick motion. Reaching into his pocket, Gordy grabbed a ballpoint pen and clicked the top a couple of times. Each click placed a digital photograph in the mini-camera that was camouflaged in the top of the pen. He clicked one more time for a final shot of Chad's peach-fuzz glazed, bubble butt and the tattoo of a snake on the left glute. 'Maybe the cobra is a little bravura concerning talents offered in his after-school job?' Gordy thought as he surveyed the muscled thighs and calves that suggested a 'swimmer'. Chad's limbs were dusted with light brown hair.

Both guys casually acknowledged each other at the same time - their eyes momentarily locked onto the other's - and nodded as strangers sometimes do in intimate, male surroundings. Gordy retrieved his workout note pad from his bag and flipped it open. Click. Click. "I'm just in for a make-up class and can't decide whether to work on my abs or legs today," he said nonchalantly. Click. Click. 'Whoa. This lad doesn't have to make apologies to no one,' he thought as he started writing, 'Chad's frontal nude shots will probably turn on a few of my associates.' A patch of trimmed hair was background to a flaccid four inches of young, circumcised, veined meat. The flare of the glans suggested the potential of a very serious projection when fully excited. Gordy had to suppress a laugh as he envisioned the horny teenager probably plagued by popping constant boners at inopportune times. 'At least I did when I was his age,' he thought, 'and with that whopper, it'd be hard to hide.'

"You never go wrong with abs, dude," Chad replied with a chuckle as he lazily and immodestly scratched his smooth, low-hanging balls. He stepped into a jock and pulled up his gym shorts.

"Yeah, you're probably right." Gordy looked up as he wrote a few notes and added, "Abs and arms." Click. Click. He casually set down the notebook and proceeded to take off his layered shirts. 'I think I'll lose the long sleeve shirt when I re-dress. It's getting too warm,' he decided as Chad finished dressing. Even with a loose tee and baggy shorts, Gordy thought the young man exuded masculine sexuality...appealing to both sexes.

"Later," Chad said absentmindedly as he walked by Gordy and left for the gym.

"Yeah...later." Gordy watched Chad depart before he joined Stan in the next bay. 'The kid's friendly enough and will certainly be welcomed as someone's bitch at juvenile detention.'

"Our stud muffin has a date with this Nance woman at noon in Bel Air. He told her he'd drive over as soon as he could. That means he'll probably come back to the locker after attendance is taken, dress and cut out." Stan removed the earpiece and held it.

"Which means I'm not going to follow him into the gym. It also means the guy has a car at his disposal."

"Got a plan?" Stan asked.

"Since he's already seen me, I'll go retrieve the car and position it near the student parking lot. You follow him when he gets dressed and we'll tail him to Bel Air, take a few pictures and go back to the office. We can write a detailed report with great back-up."

"Here's the keys," Stan replied. He reached into his pocket, brought out the keys and handed them to Gordy. I'll position myself, maybe with a towel wrapped around me, in a bay where I can see him. Since he's in a hurry, I doubt he'll shower. After we dress, I'll tag after him and catch up with you at the car. Deal?"

"I like it. Set yourself up and I'm going to split. See you at the car near the parking lot." Gordy smiled and returned to his locker to put on his shoes and grab his belongings.

Gordy was pleased this assignment appeared to be minimal hassle after the ordeal with Andy. He retraced his steps out of the locker room, to the classroom and to the entrance. He noticed a ticket on the car window when he approached the Honda. 'Cost of doing business, I guess,' he thought as he grabbed it, and got in to start the engine. Four minutes later, he was positioned in the car near the student parking lot entrance and was waiting. But not for long.

Stan was moving forward at a pace somewhere between a fast-walk and a shuffle-trot. He got in the car on the passenger side, placed his gym bag on the floor and retrieved the earpiece. "If we stay close," he said as put in the earpiece, "I'll still be able to pick up his cell phone."

"Good idea." Gordy turned and smiled at his partner. "You barely gave me time to get the car."

"Our boy returned to the locker room just moments after you left, and quickly changed clothes."

"He didn't detect you?" Gordy asked.

"He was too busy getting his shit together and everything went well. We're looking for a black Miata MX-5...07 or 08. Plate number is 5QT 487."

Moments later they watched as the black convertible eased out of the parking lot and turned north. Gordy stealthy followed the Miata through Brentwood until they arrived at Sunset Boulevard. Since he knew the destination was St. Cloud Road, there was no need to keep close. As expected, Chad turned left on Copa de Oro and entered the exclusive Bel Air community.

"He just received a call from 'Stallion'," Stan said while holding the earpiece closer in his ear.

"Enterprising little fucker." Gordy got his miniature camera and prepared to shoot a few photographs of Chad arriving at his date's home.

"You bet. 'Colt' just confirmed he'd meet 'Stallion' at the Beverly Hilton this coming Saturday afternoon. Usual suite."

Gordy stopped at a distance and took a few pictures of Chad getting out of the Miata. He turned to Stan and said, "I'm ready to get back to the office, if you are. We have all we need and more. The date with 'Stallion' will be sure to get everyone's attention. It shouldn't be hard to find out what the Senator's favorite suite is at the hotel."

"I'll call Oleg and give him a verbal briefing." Stan patted Gordy on the back and added, "It's a pleasure working with you, buddy. Looks like I might be home for dinner with the wife and kids. How about you?"

"No wife, or kids. But I do have someone to go home least, tonight." Gordy smiled and thought about his new friendship with Andy. 'We gotta talk soon, so he understands that there can't be anything other than what's going on between us... physically.'

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