A Tangled Web
Genre: Gay (m/m) Romance
Length: Short Story Anthology
Release Date: November 11, 2011
Length: Short Story (5K words)
Cover Artist: Jared Rackler
"Adam, you're with me!" Lieutenant Jacob West stormed through the precinct, angry enough that the rest of the team were giving him a wide berth, finding things to do in other departments and well away from his temper.
Detective Adam Mallory trailed in his boss’s wake, wincing every time Jake growled or slammed his fist on whatever surface was handy. It wasn't his fault that their informant had decided to shoot his way out of the building. Fine, he should have listened to Jake and not provoked the junkie into revealing his position. Still, it had been a good gamble, one that had actually paid off.
Turning around suddenly, Jake stalked right up to him, not stopping until he had Adam plastered against the grey cement wall.
"Did I not tell you to stay down?" Jake growled, his voice vibrating with anger. "Did I not tell you to stay behind me?"
That close, Adam was able to pick out the subtle woodsy smell that seem to cling to Jake. Blushing at the direction of his thoughts, Adam shrank back, hoping to buy himself an extra inch of space. "But I was safe. I knew he couldn't--"
Slapping a hand right next to Adam's head, Jake roared, "Did I tell you to think or did I tell you to follow orders?"
Anger made Jake's blue eyes sparkle, and Adam almost whimpered at the sight. Those eyes would be so hot if only they weren't shooting daggers at him. "But, Jake, he was getting away--"
"You still don't get it, do you?" Jake was close to shouting, his voice rising with each syllable. "I give the orders and you follow them. Period."
Adam really wished Jake would let him explain. If he would only listen to his reasoning, Adam was sure he would understand. "Listen, I thought--"
Backing off completely, Jake just glared at Adam. After a few seconds, a mantle of calm settled around his shoulders. Placing a warm, callused hand around Adam's throat, Jake snarled softly, "I will teach you obedience if it's the last thing I do. If you're going to die, I'd rather it be at my hand than some washed-up junkie's." Leaning forward, he placed his mouth next Adam's ear and hissed, "Be at my house tonight, seven o'clock. And don't be late or you will wish you'd never taken this job."
Marching back to his desk, Jake grabbed a file and headed for the captain's office to report on the latest incident.
Adam took a deep breath and peeled himself off the wall he'd been holding up. Now that Jake had left, he felt his heart beat again. His breathing was still erratic, but at least he wasn't blacking out. Yet.
Looking around the bullpen, Adam noticed that he was alone. The rest of the team must still be hiding from Jake. Damn. Somebody should have warned him that Jake would get so forceful when angered. Double damn.
For the rest of the afternoon, Adam wondered what Jake had in store for him. Whatever the punishment was, it promised to be unpleasant. Lt. Jacob West had a reputation for maintaining a team of vice detectives that were the envy of the other police captains. His training methods were shrouded in mystery, and those who knew were sure to keep their mouths shut.
Later that night, Adam walked to Jake's front door, hands sweaty and a small shiver racing up his spine. He'd only been on the job for six months, and already he had seriously pissed off his boss. In the past, it had usually taken him at least a year to really infuriate a superior to that level.
Reluctantly, he raised his hand and knocked, his heart pounding in fear of what awaited him on the other side.
When Jake opened the door, he had an eyebrow raised sardonically. He motioned for Adam to enter, but he didn't move back, forcing Adam to edge around him. Then as soon as the door closed, Jack gripped the back of Adam's neck and forced him against the wall.
Adam wasn't hurt, just surprised. He'd really expected Jake to rip into him and give him the lecture of his life, but if the other man was getting physical this early in the night, he was in bigger trouble than he'd thought.
"Jake? What are you doing?" His voice was muffled against the wall.
A Tangled Web short story is available on my Free Stories page.
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