Responsibilities

Written By: D’be-D’be


Reed was waiting impatiently in the lunchroom for Malloy to come out of the Captain’s office. Malloy had gone into there at precisely two PM as ordered. How long could it take to tell Malloy what his fate was going to be after his behavior with that child molester? Reed looked at his watch for the fifteenth time in less than a minute. Geesh, he’s been in there over forty-five minutes. He really must be getting it. The door of the lunchroom opened and Reed turned in anticipation only to be disappointed to see two of his fellow officers coming in for their morning coffee.

“Malloy still in with the Captain?” Woods asked.

Reed just nodded his head and once again looked at his watch.

“I wonder who’ll you’ll be partnered with while Malloy’s on suspension?”

Reed didn’t want to think about that. He never ridden with anyone else but Pete and he didn’t want to start now, especially during the PM watch. Maybe Mac would give him desk duty or an L-car instead of partnering him up with someone, for a few days.

“I can’t stand the wait!” he told Woods. “What’s taking so long?”

“The Captain must be really raking Pete over the coals for his behavior. After all Malloy is the training officer so his actions must be above reproach.”

“I guess so,” Reed mumbled. “I’m going to find Mac to see if he knows anything.”

Reed left the lunchroom and was making his way to Mac’s office when he spotted Malloy coming out of the Captains office. He forced himself not to run to Malloy but increased his speed, reaching his partner in record time.

“Hey, Partner. How did it go?”

Since Malloy was very good at hiding his emotions, Reed couldn’t tell what he was feeling. When Malloy didn’t answer him Reed’s voice showed signs of impatience when he yelled, “Well, are you going to tell me what happened or am I going to have to guess?”

Malloy leaned in and whispered into his Brat’s ear, “If you don’t change that tone of voice, you’ll be the one in trouble.”

“Sorry, Pete. It’s just that I’m nervous of the outcome. I didn’t mean to shout.”

“I know, Jim. I’m sorry, too. It was pretty rough in there. The Captain really read me the riot act, but it could have been worse. I guess he could have sent me in front of the Internal Affairs Board or even kicked me off the force. All I got was four days off without pay.”

“Just what you suspected, eh, Pete? When does it start?”

“Right now, Junior. Look I’m going to change then make my way home. I’ll see you tonight.”

Reed, trying to lighten the mood, whispered, “It would be nice if you met me at the door with a martini in your hand and nothing on but a smile.”

Malloy gave a little laugh at his Brat’s attempt to make him feel better.

“I won’t do that, Junior, but I’ll have a nice light home cooked meal waiting, since it will be after midnight when you get home, and I’ll also throw in a couple of loving arms, how’s that?

“I can’t wait. Ah, Pete, before you leave, could come with me to see what Mac has in store for your partner?”

“No, you’re a big boy. You can handle it all by yourself and besides if the Captain comes out and finds that I’m still here, I could be in deeper crap. See you at home.”

Reed stood in the hallway watching Malloy make his way to the locker room. H e did his best to swallow the lump that was forming in his throat as he made his way to Mac’s office. Mac was waiting for the young police officer. He could read the apprehension on the young man’s face at the thought of what lay ahead of him for the four days he’d be without his partner. Reed’s face was always an open book and he always wore his emotions on his sleeve. He tried not to show favorites among the officers under his command but he couldn’t help but have a special place in his heart for this young man. He was so sensitive, bright, inquisitive, impatient , loving and gentle. Mac understood why Malloy fell for Reed so quickly and how Malloy knew the type of relationship Reed needed. They were a perfect couple.

“Hey, Mac, how’s it going?” Reed asked as he made his way into Mac’s office and took a seat in front of the desk.

“Just great, Reed. So did Malloy get his four days off?”

“Ya, he sure did. So what about me, Mac, do I ride a desk?”

“No, actually I have a special assignment for you. I’m going to assign you to Vice for a few days. They need someone to go undercover in the park.”

“Undercover in the park? Oh come on, Mac. I don’t have to dress up like a woman and be the bait for a mugger do I?”

“Ha…Ha…Ha… No, nothing like that. It’s a more serious matter, but I’ll let detective Sgt. Wilson fill you in on the details. I told him he could only have you for two days since you are coming up to your weekend off.”

“Ya, and Pete and I are going to have my son this weekend. I can’t wait.”

“That’s great, Jim, and I know you’ll help Pete get over his new ‘dad’ nerves.”

Reed, with a twinkle in his eyes, just nodded in the affirmative as his mind played back the conversation he and Malloy had after he returned from Mac’s house.

“Okay, Reed,” Mac interrupted his thoughts, “get out of here and report to Vice.”

“Yes, Sir!” Reed stood up and with excitement and anticipation of a new assignment, he practically ran all the way to Sgt. Wilson’s office. He loved doing detective work. Sometimes being on patrol day after day could be so boring, as he keeps reminding Malloy who in turn keeps telling him being a detective isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either. Oh well, he’ll finally get a chance to see for himself.

Sgt. Ben Wilson was a big man. He stood way over six foot five, 5 inches and the years of working out in the gym was very obvious as he filled out his gray suit. He looked up from his paperwork as Reed knocked on the door then slowly peeked his head in.

“Well, kid, come all the way in. Despite the rumors going around here, I don’t bite.”

Reed was a little apprehensive at the sound of the deep, growly voice, but did his best to stop his hands from shaking as he held his hat in front of him.

“Hello, Sir…ah, Sgt. I’m Officer Jim Reed and Sgt. MacDonald told me to report to you for a special assignment.”

“Jesus, kid, how old are you, nineteen? I don’t want no rookie on this assignment.”

“I’m twenty-four, sir, and I’m no rookie. I’ve been on the force four years now. I’m Pete Malloy’s partner.”

“Ya, I know Pete, he’s one hell of a cop.”

With pride Reed answered, “He sure is, he’s the best!”

“Okay, kid, let’s take a look at you. Yes, I can see why Mac chose you. You’re very good looking and you’ve got that innocent, na├»ve look to you and you could pass as a gay man.”

Reed’s mouth hung open at that last statement. ‘Oh shit, what was this assignment anyway?’ he thought to himself.

Wilson gave a loud belly laugh at the expression on Reed’s face. “Don’t worry, kid. I’m not going to ask you to kiss or hold hands with a man, so relax. There has been a lot of gay bashing going on the park lately. A group of young men, who consider themselves above reproach, have been targeting young queer men and giving them quite a beating. Now the Mayor is up for re-election and the homo groups are putting pressure on him and in turn he’s putting pressure on the Chief, so we have to nip this problem in the butt so to speak. Ha, ha.”

Reed cringed at the language Wilson was using, but Pete had warned him never to react strongly to that sort of rhetoric. “Don’t give anyone reason for suspicion, just shut up and except that’s the way it is in the force.” Pete had said.

“So what do you want me to do, sir?”

“I want you to get out of that uniform and into the clothes I’ve picked out for you. Then, after you familiarize yourself with the file, make your way to the park and hang out where the homo’s hang out looking for a hand job or a quicky or whatever they do. See if you’ll attract the attention of the bashers, and don’t worry, Reed, there’ll be backup there also to protect you from all angles.” Another belly laugh came out of the detective as he laughed at his own joke. Suddenly Reed wished Mac would have given him an L-car or another partner, as he had a bad feeling about this assignment.

After reading the file, Reed reached into the bag Wilson had given to him on his way out of the office. “Oh, great!” Reed said to himself. “Talk about your stereo type clothing; pink shirt, scarf with matching pink stripes and tight white pants. God, wait till the guys get a look at me in this getup. I’ll be the laughing joke of the department.”

Reed dressed quickly then, looking at his watch, decided he had time to give Malloy a quick call to tell him he may be running a bit late. He decided to tell Malloy he was on an undercover assignment in the park, but that he’d tell him in was for narcotics, not Vice. If Pete knew what Jim would be doing in the park, he would forbid him to go, and Reed wanted the opportunity to prove he was more than just a beat cop.

After three rings, Malloy answered the phone.

“Hello”

“Hi, Pete. It’s Jim. I just called to let you know I may be a little late. I have to go to the park and pretend I’m looking for a fix.”

“Oh, you’re undercover with Narcotics, are you?”

“Ya, I’m undercover.” That’s all Jim would admit, after all that was the truth so he wasn’t exactly lying, just hiding some of the details. That’s all.

“Okay, Jim, I’ll wait up. Be careful out there okay!”

“You know I will.”

“Oh, by the way, Jim. Jean called and she’s going to be dropping little Jimmy over tomorrow evening around six. Is that okay with you?”

“It’s fine with me, but is that okay with you. I mean you’ll be alone with him for a few hours, can you handle that?”

“Hey, you know I can. After all I babysat for him before so a few hours won’t kill me.”

‘Okay, Partner. Well I gotta go. They’re calling for me, see you soon,”

“Take care and, Jim, love you.”

“Back at you,” was all Reed could reply under the circumstances but Malloy got the message.

The first night at the park went without incident. Jim got propositioned a few times but he managed to avoid too much confrontation. He didn’t see any suspicious looking characters hanging around, so after four hours, Wilson called it quits and told Jim to report back tomorrow night to give it one last shot. Reed changed into his own clothes before heading home because if Malloy saw him in that get up, he’d catch on that more was going on than Reed was admitting. Malloy was waiting for him as promised and after a light meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, the two men cuddled on the couch. Then Malloy, noticing his Brat was having a hard time keeping his eyes opened, lead him to the bedroom and put him to bed. Reed cuddled up close to Malloy, and with his head on Malloy’s chest, he soon drifted off to sleep.

The next morning found the two men preparing the house for their weekend guest. They child-proofed every cupboard and made sure everything harmful was out of reach. Reed left Malloy to finish the work, while he slipped out to rent a day bed for his son to sleep in. When he returned they put it together in their bedroom and after a quick bite, Reed got ready for work.

“Going back into the park for another buy tonight, Junior?” Malloy asked.

“Yes, but if it’s like last night all I’ll be buying is a cold. Man, it gets chilly in that park after dark.”

“Aren’t you wearing a coat?” Malloy asked.

Not able to discuss his “outfit” with Malloy, Reed just stated he forgot his last night but he’d be sure to wear it tonight.

“Good! Now come here and give me a big kiss before you go there in that big bad world all alone.”

Reed laughed as he slipped into Malloy’s arms and pressed his lips to Malloy’s. Their tongues intermingled with deep passion and love and Reed found himself getting aroused at the closeness of Malloy’s body. “Ah, Pete, we better stop or I’ll be late for work for sure.”

Malloy laughed at his partner’s predicament as he pulled away.

“Okay, Junior, be careful out there.”

After one final kiss, Reed grabbed his car keys and headed off to work, leaving Malloy alone to wait for Jean to drop Jimmy off.

Things didn’t go so smoothly for Reed at the park on his second night. He had just picked out a nice spot to observe and be observed when he heard loud voices coming from a nearby path. His adrenaline level shot up a few notches as he prepared himself for the confrontation he knew was soon coming. He didn’t have to wait long. Before he knew it, six tough looking young men were approaching him and shouting out obscenities at him

“Hey, guys, look at the queer waiting for some action!” one of the men yelled.

“Hey, sweetheart, are you waiting for a lover to come and stick a cock in your mouth or are you one of those queers that will take in up the arse on the first date.”

Reed tried to act upset and nervous, which wasn’t all that far from the truth. He made his voice tremble as he replied with eyes down,
“Look, guys, I don’t want any trouble. Why don’t you just leave me alone? I’m not bothering you.”

Another one of the men grabbed Reed by the scarf and pulled him real close as he whispered, “That’s just it, sweetheart. You are bothering us, but I tell you what, if you’ll give me a nice long blowjob, I may consider telling my friends here to leave you alone. What do you say?”

“No, I don’t want to. You’re not my type.”

“Hey, boys, did you hear that the little fag is turning me down? Well I don’t take rejection that well, so if you’re not going to give me what I want willingly, my friends and I are just going to have to take it.” With that the man grabbed Reed between the legs and gave his penis a hard squeeze. Reed reached out and hit the man right on the jaw causing him to fall to the ground at the other men’s feet.

“Leave me alone!” Reed shouted. “Get out of here before I call a cop!”

“You, little fag, I’m going to make you pay for that little show of manhood. I didn’t think you queers had it in you, but now me and my friends are going to make you regret your little act of bravery.”

‘Where is my backup Wilson promised?’ Reed thought as he struggled against being pulled down the path and into the bushes. Before he could call for help, he felt a boot hitting him in the stomach causing him to loose his breath. He tried to fight them off, but all he could manage was a few punches. The six men were too many for him. Reed found himself being hit in the face and stomach, but the most painful was the kicks between his legs. Reed was crying out for help when he heard the sweet sound of police sirens in the air.

With one final blow that knocked Reed unconscious, the men tried to make their escape but Wilson and his men were on them before they made their way down the path. Wilson ran over to the young officer lying on the ground in the bushes. He knelt down to feel a strong pulse, but he also knew the kid was hurt badly. He called for an ambulance as he heard the kid coming to.

“Pete …Pete is that you?”

“No, kid, it’s Wilson. Just lie still, an ambulance is on its way.”

“I want Pete. Where’s Pete?”

“Take it easy, kid. I’ll call Malloy from the hospital. Just relax and try not to move.”

“Where were you? You promised me backup.”

“I know, kid, I’m sorry. We lost sight of you for a few minutes and when we finally discovered they had taken you down the path into the bushes, we came as quickly as we could.”

“Not quick enough,” Reed moaned as a wave of pain hit him. “ I want my partner, please. I want Pete.”

“Take it easy, kid. The ambulance is here and as I promised, I’ll call Malloy from the hospital.” As the ambulance attendants made their way to the young cop, Wilson noticed that Reed had once again passed out.

Meanwhile back at the apartment, while Reed was getting beat up in the park, an unsuspecting Malloy was greeting Jean Reed and Jimmy at the door. It was a very awkward moment for the two adults. After all this was the first time the two had seen each other since Jean made the move that forced Reed to realize it was Malloy he needed in his life and not her. Malloy moved aside and invited Jean and her son in. Jean accepted Malloy’s invitation for a coffee. She felt it was wise to stay for a little while to give her son the opportunity to become comfortable with his new surroundings.

“You like it with cream and two sugars if I recall, right, Jean?”

“That’s right, Pete, thank you.”

After a few minutes of idle chit-chat about the weather and such, Jean turned serious. “Pete, how are things going with you and Jim?”

“Jean, I can’t find the words that would be strong enough to show you how happy we are and how much in love we are. I can’t thank you enough for seeing the truth and making Jim see it as well. I don’t know if I would have ever made the first move if you two had stayed together. After all, I’m not a home wrecker.”

“I know that, Pete, and that’s why I made the decision I did. I could see how miserable Jim was becoming and I loved him enough to let him go. You know something, Pete, when I let him go I found my own happiness and I discovered my inner strength. I found the confidence to get into the job market and to go out on dates and everything.”

“That’s wonderful, Jean, so I guess it worked out for the both of us.”

“Yes, I guess it did. Well, I better be going or my sister will be wondering where I’ve gotten to. Have fun with the two Jims this weekend. I’ll be back Sunday around six PM, but if you need me for anything, you can get in touch with me at this number. It’s the Hilton Hotel in Vegas.” As Malloy reached out to the take the piece of paper out of Jean Reed’s hand, she grabbed his elbow and pulled him down for a quick kiss on the cheek. “Take care of my boys, Pete,” she stated as she started for the door.

“You can count on that, Jean. Have a good time and don’t worry about a thing. Jim and I have everything under control. We’re going to have a great time, aren’t we, Jimmy?” Malloy smiled as he turned towards the young man sitting on the sofa playing with his favorite teddy bear. The little boy looked up at him and Malloy saw the same smile he saw every morning on his lover’s face. Malloy noticed for the first time how much little Jimmy resembled his father.

After giving her son a last hug and kiss, Jean Reed left to meet her sister. She wasn’t out of the apartment for one minute when Jimmy’s smiles turned into screams.

“Mommy ….where Mommy…!”

“Mommy’s gone out for awhile, buddy. It’s just you and Uncle Pete.”

Instead of comforting the little tike, that only made him cry louder.

“NO ….MOMMY….MOMMY!”

Malloy tried to approach the boy to let him know he was safe, but every time he moved toward the sofa, the cries became louder and louder. Nothing Malloy did seemed to satisfy the boy. He tried offering him some candy, and when bribery didn’t work he turned towards the radio and turned in to a soft rock station and tried to make the boy laugh at his funny moves. Nothing! Jimmy just sat on the sofa and cried for his mother.

“Okay, Malloy. Don’t panic. Think, think, Mac’s right. I’ll call Mac, he’ll know what to do.”

He was so rattled at the loud sounds of crying coming from the living room, it took him a couple of minutes to find Mac’s telephone number and another few seconds to make his fingers work the dial. “Please be home! Please be home!” Malloy prayed as he counted the rings. “Three …four…Oh God, he’s not home!” What Malloy didn’t know, of course, is Mac was making his way to the hospital after being informed of the incident at the park. After eight rings, Malloy gave up and hung up the phone.

“Think, Malloy, you’ve been in tougher situations than this. You’ve dealt with some real bad people in your lifetime, you’ve even been shot at and held hostage, for pity sake. Don’t let yourself go down in defeat at the hands of this three year old little boy. Mrs. O’Brien, his landlady, of course, why didn’t he think of her? She’s had plenty of experience with kids, she’s a great grandmother for goodness sake. Malloy dialed her number and was extremely thankful when she answered on the second ring.

“Mrs. O’Brien, this is Pete Malloy.”

“Who?”

Malloy found he had to shout to make himself heard over the screams.

“Pete Malloy. I was wondering if you could come up to my apartment. I think, no I don’t think, I know I need your help.”

“My goodness, Pete, is that your roommate screaming like that? For the love of angels, what are you doing to him?”

“No, Mrs. O’Brien, it’s not Jim. It’s his son. Jim’s got custody this weekend, but he’s not home from work yet, and his ex-wife just left and the little fellow is feeling strange.”

“I thought you told me you babysat for him before. Doesn’t he know you, Pete?”

“Well to tell you the truth, Mrs. O’Brien, he was always in bed when I was there and he never woke up. The other times I was over at Jim’s house the little tike wasn’t afraid of me because his parents were there, so this is the first time he’s really been alone with me.”

Mrs. O’Brien couldn’t hide the amusement in her voice at the predicament her young tenant found himself in. “Don’t worry, Pete, I’ll be right there.”

“I can’t thank you enough, Mrs. O’Brien, and please hurry!”

“Keep your pants on, young man, I’ll be there in a jiffy.”

Mrs. O’Brien had never seen such a look of sweet relief on anyone’s face as the one Malloy had on as he opened the door and quickly ushered her into the apartment. Little Jimmy was still screaming his lungs out as Mrs. O’Brien approached the sofa.

“Well well now what do we have here, are you practicing to be a police siren for Uncle Pete?”

The young boy stopped screaming at the female presence but tears were still flowing.

“I’ll tell you what, sweetie, why don’t you and I put on some cartoons? I just love that wasskilly wabbit, don’t you?”

Jimmy began to laugh at Mrs. O’Brien’s attempt to imitate Elmer Fudd. She continued to do so as she turned on the TV set. After switching it to the proper channel, she slowly made her way to the sofa and gently sat down on the edge, not to close to the child but close enough to assert her presence. Jimmy instantly stopped crying and inched his way to the woman and began pointing towards the TV set.

“Bunny funny!” he shouted as Bugs was trying to get away from the hunter. Mrs. O’Brien sat all the way down and pulled the young man towards her. Malloy just sat and starred at them.

“Why isn’t he scared of you? He’s never met you before and he’s acting like he’s known you all his life, but with me all he’s doing is screaming.” The landlady couldn’t help but detect a note of hurt in Malloy’s voice.

“Pete, he sensed your nervousness and picked up on that. Now come over here and show him the calm collective man I know.”

Malloy moved over to the sofa and picked up his godson and placed him on his lap and he also began to laugh at the antics of the cartoon characters. Jimmy, now feeling secure laid back until his head rested on Malloy’s chest. The tears and fears were soon forgotten. Mrs. O’Brien was getting ready to leave when an urgent knock came on the door.

“Will you get that please, Mrs. O’Brien?” Malloy asked her since she was closest to the door and he still had Jimmy on his lap. She opened to the door to find Malloy’s Sgt. with hat in hand, standing there with a very serious and urgent look on his face.

“Oh, hello. Mrs. O’Brien, isn’t it? Is Pete around?”

“I’m in here, Mac. Coming to check up on me and Jimmy?”

Mac excused himself as he pushed past the landlady. He took a deep breath. He knew breaking the news to Malloy what happened to Reed wasn’t going to be easy.

“Pete, do you think Mrs. O’Brien could baby sit for you?”

“Why for God’s sake?”

“It’s Jim. He was attacked in the park and he’s on his way to Central hospital. Ben Wilson called me and I decided to swing by here and pick you up. Jim’s been calling for you. He wants you near him.”

“Oh my God! Mrs. O’Brien…?” Malloy didn’t have to finish the request. She grabbed his coat and after helping him on with it, she pushed Mac and him out the door and told them to hurry to the hospital. She told Malloy he didn’t have to worry about getting home, she’d stay with the young boy as long as she had too. Malloy thanked her with a quick kiss on the cheek and, after giving Jimmy a quick kiss also, he followed Mac out to the car.

On the way to the hospital it hit Malloy that Wilson wasn’t in narcotics. He was in charge of the Vice squad.

“Mac when did Wilson transfer to narcotics?” he asked.

With a confused look on his face Mac turned to Malloy. “Narcotics, why would you think Wilson transferred to narcotics. He’s still in Vice. Didn’t Jim tell you he was working under cover with Wilson to try and stop the gay bashing going on in the park?”

By the look on Malloy’s face, it was quite obvious, Reed had deceived his partner and in turn himself, because when he approached Reed to ask him if he had informed Malloy about going under cover, Reed stated he did. What the young officer neglected to mention to Mac was that he didn’t tell Malloy what division he was going undercover for.

“How bad is he, Mac?”

“I’m not sure, Pete. All Wilson would tell me is Reed took quite a beating in the park but he didn’t think the injuries were life threatening.”

With a lump in his throat, Malloy turned to Mac. “Damn it, Mac. I can’t loose another partner. I just can’t! I love this kid so much it hurts. But it’s a joyful hurt, know what I mean?”

Mac just nodded as he let his friend talk out his emotions and fear for his partner and lover.

“He’s so sweet and loving and a joy to be around and then on the other hand he is such a…such a…” Malloy began to choke up.

Mac finished the sentence, “Such a Brat!”

Malloy let out a slow laugh. “Ya, you could say that in more ways than one. He’s still so independent and stubborn. I know he wanted that assignment. He loves playing detective and he also knew if he told me what it really entailed, I would have forbid him to take it. So what does he do? He tells me half-truths and keeps his fingers crossed that everything will work out and I’ll never know the difference. What he has to learn is, I’ll eventually find out the truth, then I’ll have to turn around and discipline him. It’s like he’s baiting me to take action.”

“No, Pete. Jim would never do that. It’s just the way he is. He never had anyone looking after him, not really. I mean his parents tried to keep him from harm, and at the academy he had instructors, who did their best to train him and prepare him for what he was going to face, but he never had to answer to anyone for his actions. He never had the privilege of allowing himself to give up control and let someone else take over. This is all new to him and you have to admit, he’s getting better. He just still has a way to go. “

“That’s an understatement if I ever heard one, Mac.”

“Maybe so, but after he’s healed and feeling better I’m sure you’re going to show him the errors of his ways. Afterwards he will be able to once again make one more step in giving over control. Jim is the type of personality that his training in the discipline area is going to take time and patience and maybe, Pete, he will have to be disciplines a lot more than your last partner, but in the end it will all be worth it, you’ll see.”

“I sure hope so,” Malloy said forlornly as he hesitated and played over in his mind, how he would word what he was thinking. He came to the conclusion being direct was the best course.

“Mac, he also lied and deceived you. If you think you need to discipline him as well, you have my permission to do so, under one condition.”

“And what condition would that be?”

“You wouldn’t use the paddle on him. He’s not ready for that yet.”

“That makes sense. I’ll think about it, Malloy, and let you know what I’ve decided.”

Malloy just nodded as his mind drifted to what he would find when he got to the hospital. ‘God let him be alright!’ he prayed as Mac’s car turned into the hospital parking lot and stopped at the main entrance.

“You go in, Pete, and after I park, I’ll join you. Wilson said he would be in the ER.”

“Thanks, Mac.” Malloy stated as he jumped out of the front seat and ran through the sliding doors and made his way to the emergency area. Having been there on many occasions, taking both victims and suspects there for various states of repair, Malloy didn’t need to ask the front-end nurse for directions. The nurse recognizing Malloy because of his frequent visits, made no effort to stop him from getting past her without filling out those tedious forms and signing in for security purposes.

As Malloy made his way around the corner, he stopped short as he recognized Ben Wilson sitting in one of the waiting room chairs with his head in his hands. Wilson made those overstuffed chairs look like a kid’s size, as his huge frame engulfed the furniture that was obviously not made for a man of Wilson’s stature. The Vice-Detective stood as he observed Malloy coming around the corner.

“Pete, he’s going to be fine, just a lot of bruising and a slight concussion. Nothing is broken and there are no internal injuries.”

Malloy’s heart was beating in his chest and his legs were a little shaky but at the sound of Wilson’s news he started to feel a little better.

“Jesus, Wilson, what in the hell went wrong out there? You know he’s inexperienced in undercover work. You should have kept a better eye on him.”

“Look, Malloy, I feel guilty enough without you yelling at me. Don’t you think I haven’t been racking myself over the coals for my stupidity? But that’s not going to do any good now. I’m sure the review board will have field day with this one. Leave it in their hands and go in and see your partner. He’s been asking for you ever since it happened.”

Malloy knew the big cop was right so, after taking a couple of deep breaths to regain control, Malloy left Wilson waiting in the hall for Mac and he made his way down the hall to the private room they had put Reed in after he had returned from x-ray.

He slowly opened the door so as not to disturb his partner, in case he was asleep. A tiny nightlight sitting on the bureau next to the bed was on casting a yellow glow over his young partner. Tears formed in Malloy’s eyes as he took in the sight. Reed looked like a little boy lying in that big bed. He had a huge bandage on his forehead and his hair was caked with sweat and blood. Because of the sheet covering him, Malloy couldn’t see the rest of the injuries, so he quietly and slowly made his way to the side of the bed and as gently as he could he lifted up the sheet. Tears escaped his eyes as he took in the damage. Because Reed was naked under the sheet all his injuries were in plain sight. A huge black and blue bruise covered his abdomen where he had been kicked and his groin area was covered with deep bruises.

‘God that looks painful’ Malloy thought to himself as he gently replaced the sheet, then bent down to place a tender kiss on his Brat’s forehead. This action caused Reed to open his eyes. At the sight of Malloy standing over him and despite the pain it caused, Reed sat up in bed and flew into Malloy’s arms and began to cry like a baby.

“Oh, Pete, it hurts so bad…they hurt me so bad! I…I…I’m so sorry . I thought you’d be so mad at me for lying to you that you wouldn’t come and see me.”

He clung to Malloy with all the strength he could muster. Malloy, for his part, rocked him back and forth and rubbed his back in a sign of love and comfort. Knowing the way Reed was sitting up was causing him great discomfort, Malloy pulled Reeds arms away from him and gently laid him back down into the bed. But he kept physical contact with him by holding on to his hand.

“Oh, baby, I would never be mad enough at you not to come and be by your side when you need me. I love you so much and all I want to do is take your pain away.”

Reed squeezed Malloy’s hand as the tears continued to flow.

“I tried to stop them, Pete, but they were too strong and they outnumbered me.”

“I know that, baby, but let’s not talk about that right now. Let’s concentrate on healing right now.” Again noticing the blood in Reed’s hair, Malloy asked his young Brat, “Didn’t they clean you up in the ER?”

“I wouldn’t let them. I only wanted you to touch me, no one else. The doctor and nurses only did what was necessary to make sure I wasn’t seriously injured. As to anything else, I made it quite clear only my partner would be allowed to clean me off and do what ever else that was needed.”

“There’s that stubborn streak again,” Malloy laughed as he made his way into the bathroom. He found a clean washcloth and mild soap. After wetting the cloth with warm water, Malloy rubbed the soap over the surface just enough to cover it with cleanser but not make it too soapy, incase some would slip into Reed’s eyes. He made his way back to Jim’s bedside and with the most tender of touches, he washed the blood and sweat away along with the tears that streaked Reed’s face. All the while he spoke loving and warm words of comfort.

“There you go, baby, does that feel better?”

“Yes. Thanks, Pete.” and with those words, because Malloy was close, Reed stopped fighting the pain medication and soon drifted into a deep sleep.

Malloy had just finished disposing of the dirty washcloth, when the hospital room door opened to admit Sgt. MacDonald and a small black man wearing a white coat. Malloy assumed this was the admitting doctor who took care of Reed. He was correct.

‘Officer Pete Malloy, I would like you to meet Dr. Harris Thompson,” Mac introduced them and the two men shook hands.

“I understand, Officer Malloy, that this young man is living with you since his separation, and that you are also his patrol partner.”

“Yes, Doctor, that’s true.”

“Also by the way this young man carried on in the ER, it has come to my understanding that he trusts and depends on you for support, friendship and well being.”

“That’s what happens, Doctor, when you ride with someone for along time. You become very close and you find yourself depending on each other for everything, from watching each other’s back in both the work environment and off the job as well. We’re more than partners, we’re best friends.” Of course, that’s all Malloy could admit to.

“Well, Officer Malloy, I hope you are willing to take on the responsibility of tending to your partner’s injuries and mending him back to health.”

“Without hesitation, Doc. Just tell me what I have to do.”

“We will have to keep him here overnight for observation because he suffered a slight concussion, but that is not my main concern. My main concern is the injuries to his groin area. Are you uncomfortable or embarrassed to administer physical therapy to Officer Reed in this area.”

Malloy looked over the doctor’s shoulder at Mac and both men were doing their best not to laugh. Malloy put on his best professional voice, the one reserved for all those crying females he’s stopped for speeding or running a stop sign and who did their best to get out of the ticket.

“No, Doc, that wouldn’t bother me at all.”

“You have to understand, Officer Malloy, that the pain medication, which also contains a powerful antibiotic, will be in cream form and you will have to administer if by gently rubbing it into the wounded areas. The contact may stimulate Officer Reed, if you know what I mean.”

“Doc, are you trying to tell me that my rubbing Jim’s penis is going to cause him to become aroused?”

Doctor Thompson was slightly taken aback by Malloy’s bluntness, but quickly recovered. “Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.”

“Fine! I can handle that.”

“One more thing, Officer, if he does become aroused and finds himself in need of ejaculating I want to warn you, that will cause him great discomfort. Both his penis and scrotum were badly bruised and if he were a married man I would be advising him to have no sexual activity for at least two weeks, until he is fully healed.”

“I understand. What should I do to alleviate his pain?”

“If he becomes aroused, to avoid him getting to a point of no return I advise you to nip it in the bud and take a very cold compress and place it over his genitals, which will of course cause him to lose his erection. If he is the type of individual who becomes stimulated very quickly and you find he is at the point of no return, stop the massage and begin to gently masturbate him. Help him along and be prepared for the pain to follow. How you deal with that will be up to you. Do you think you can handle that, Officer? If you can’t, I have a professional on staff who can go to your apartment to do what has to be done.”

“After the way Jim acted in the ER, do you honestly think he would let anyone else but me touch him?”

“No, I think not, but if you are not up to the challenge, he will have no choice to allow my staff member to do the job. It has to be done.”

“I’m well up to the challenge, Doctor Thompson. How often will I have to apply the ointment?”

“Twice a day, morning and night. In between, he is to take hot baths in Epson salts for time periods of fifteen minutes. He should take a least four baths a day for the first three days then I wish to examine him again and, if all goes well, he can cut the baths down to two a day, preferable before the ointment is applied. He is also to be given liquid antibiotics. If he refuses to take the medication orally, you will have no choice but to give it to him in suppository form, is that understood?”

“Oh, you’ve made yourself quite clear, Doctor.”

‘This should be fun,’ Malloy thought to himself. He already knew Reed would refuse to take the oral medication because Reed had a hard time keeping any liquid medication down and having him vomit with his sore stomach and all would not be wise. If the suppository method was his only option, he may have to ask Mac for assistance. He would also have to ask Mac for two weeks off. There was no way he could take care of Jim properly and still do his twelve-hour shifts.

“Fine! Before you leave, come see me in the ER and I will give you the medication that you will need instead of making you go to a drug store.” Without another word, Dr. Thompson turned on his heels and left the hospital room, leaving Mac and Malloy alone to deal with their injured friend.

“Oh, it looks like you’re going to have oodles of fun taking care of your Brat,” Mac teased his friend.

“Ya, doesn’t it though. And speaking of taking care, I may need your help if I have to administer the suppositories.”

“I figured as much. Anytime, Pete, you know that, and before you have to ask, I’ll slate you off on medical leave for as long as is necessary.”

“Thanks, Mac, you are a true friend.”

“As are you, and by the way that matter we discussed on the way here, you know the one about me also dealing with Reed’s actions?”

“Yes, have you made a decision?”

“I certainly have. I find it is absolutely necessary for me to administer some discipline in this matter. He has to learn he cannot lie to or disrespect me, but I like you, will wait until he is fully healed.”

“Agreed! Now if you don’t mind staying with him in case he wakes up, I’m going to call Mrs. O’Brien and ask her is she would be willing to keep little Jimmy overnight, because I’m not leaving the hospital.”

“Pete, I think you should reconsider that. It’s not fair to either Mrs. O’Brien or little Jimmy. He’s your responsibility and it’s about time you get a handle on that. If you’re worried about Jim being alone, don’t be. My wife is still out of town, so I’ll stay with Jim. Go home to your godson. He needs you know almost as much as he’s father does.”

After thinking it over for a moment or two, Malloy realized Mac was right and told him as much. So after checking on Reed one last time and giving him another gentle kiss, he left his Brat in Mac’s capable hands. He did call Mrs. O’Brien however to get her up to speed and to tell her he’d be home within the hour. Then, before he went to find Dr. Thompson, he once again slipped into Jim’s room to get Mac’s car keys. He realized after he hung up from his landlady, he had come in Mac’s car and since Mac was going to stay overnight, he’d take his car, then Mac could drive him and Jim home in the morning after Jim got discharged. Malloy found Dr. Thompson waiting for him in the ER pharmacy. Thompson went over the instructions again with Malloy on how to administer the cream and how much he should use. He also handed him a bottle of oral medication and a box, which held a number of suppositories, just in case they were needed. As Malloy made his way to the parking lot, he looked up at the wall clock. It was two AM. Too late to call Jean, but he would do that before he left for the hospital in the morning.

As Malloy stepped into the living room he noticed Mrs. O’Brien had fallen asleep on the sofa. He walked silently across the floor then gently shook his landlady awake, keeping his voice down as to not disturb his sleeping godson.

“Mrs O’Brien, wake up. I’m home.”

“Oh, Pete, I must have dozed off. I’m sorry. What time is it?”

“It’s around 2:30 AM. Why don’t you slip on home now that I can take over from here?

“How’s your partner, Pete?” the concerned elderly lady asked as she folded the blanket that had covered her and placed in on top of the sofa.

“He’s pretty bruised up and he will sore for a couple of weeks, but it could have been worse. I’ll be bringing him home tomorrow.”

“You must be very tired. Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?”

“No, thank you anyway. I appreciate the offer, but I’ll be fine and after all Jimmy is sound asleep, so things should be okay.”

“Well what ever you say Pete, but remember,” Mrs. O’Brien stated as Pete led her towards the door, “I’m only a phone call away if you need me”

“Thank you, Mrs. O’Brien, and if I could ask you for one more favor? Could you watch Jimmy when I go back to the hospital to pick up his father?”

“Of course, I will. He’s such a little angel. Just give me a call when you’re ready to leave and I’ll come right up.”

With a final thank you and a kiss on her cheek, Pete opened the door and watched as his landlady made her way down the hall to her apartment. He had just closed the door and began to undress to get ready for bed, when the sound of crying child vibrated through the door of the bedroom.

“Oh shit, that’s all I need. The little angel is awake,” Malloy said to an empty room.

He slowly opened the bedroom door and peeked in to find his godson sitting up in bed with tears streaking down his face.

“Hey, Jimmy, it’s Uncle Pete. What’s the matter?”

“Bed wet…Pet…Jimmy had an oh-oh.”

Malloy smiled to himself at being called ‘Pet’. The little tike couldn’t pronounce his name so what came out sounded like pet. Oh well, at least he had stopped crying.

“Hey, that’s okay. Let’s say we get you cleaned up and into clean pajamas, then you can crawl in with Uncle Pete and sleep in the big bed. How does that sound?”

“Yeah, Jimmy sleep in big bed…yeah!”

Malloy was so pleased that the little fellow had stopped being strange. That’s all he would have needed, Jimmy still afraid of being alone with him He picked up the youngster and carried him off to the bedroom. When there, he stripped off the wet pajamas and underwear and threw them in the hamper. He quickly washed him off with a warm wet cloth, then reached in to the bag Jean had left and pulled out some training pants and a clean pair of pajamas.

Seeing the training pants, Jimmy began to shout, “No…No. Jimmy big boy, no need baby things!”

Malloy trying to reason with the boy, told him if he’d put them on he would stay dry. “Wearing them make’s you a big boy, Jimmy.”

Wiggling out of Malloy’s arms, a naked three year old took off in a dead run out of the bathroom and made his way into the living room, with a tired police officer close on his heals. He kept running around the sofa and laughing, “Pet can’t catch Jimmy, ha ha! Pet can’t catch Jimmy!” Malloy tried everything he could to catch the boy, he chased him around and around, he tried to jump over the sofa in order to catch him as the now wide awake and energetic “little Angel” made his way around the back of the sofa. But Jimmy was to fast for his tired Godfather. Out of breath and an exhausted Malloy finally gave up and fell to the floor. Jimmy thought that was hilarious and, with a playful giggle, took a beeline run and threw himself on Malloy. “Ha, ha, Pet, me won, me won!”

Malloy grabbed Jimmy around the waist and whispered “Gotcha!” This made Jimmy laugh even harder, then he took Malloy’s face in his hands, bent down , placed his lips on Malloy’s left cheek and blew making a farting sound.

“Me luv you, Pet!”

Malloy looked up into the deep blue eyes of his Godson and a lump formed in his throat. He was looking into the eyes of a miniature Reed. That teasing, playful look Reed gets in his eyes when he’s sitting on Malloy’s lap was so evident in his son, it made Malloy fill up with joy, pride and love.

“Oh, Jimmy, I love you too. Now, what do you say about putting on your pajamas?”

“No baby things.”

Giving in, Malloy stood up, swooping the young man into his arms at the same time. “No, you don’t have to put on the baby things, but you do have to get to bed.”

“Okay, Pet, we go night-night.”

Fighting to keep his eyes open, Malloy managed to get Jimmy dressed and into bed. He lay down next to him and within seconds he found the youngster cuddling up to him.

“Just like your daddy,” Malloy chuckled. After setting the alarm for nine AM, he closed his eyes and soon both big boy and little boy were fast asleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Malloy awoke to loud sounds coming from the living room. He forced his eyes open and turned to look at the clock. Seven AM.

“Damn, I’ve only been asleep three hours. What is that noise?” It took Malloy a few seconds to discover that Jimmy wasn’t asleep beside him. ‘Oh great, that must be the noise. I better get up and turn that TV down before the neighbors start calling,’ Malloy thought to himself. When he walked into the living room he wished he had stayed in bed. Caos awaited him. Clothes were scattered all around the living room floor as well as a path of corn flakes that could be seen running from the sofa into the kitchen. Malloy bravely went into the kitchen only to wish he hadn’t. The fridge was wide open and a broken bottle of milk was leaking it’s way under it. A chair was pulled up to the cupboard where drawers and doors were splayed open. Boxes of cereal were tipped and running down the cupboard counter and unto the floor, leaving a mountain of fruit loops and corn flakes in its wake. Trying to control his temper, Malloy once again made his way into the living room.

Jimmy was sitting in front of the TV with a mug full of corn flakes and milk. Trying to imitate an adult, Jimmy was blowing on the mug as if to cool it. If Malloy hadn’t been so mad the scene would be comical.

“James Reed, Jr.! What is going on here?”

“Hi, Pet, me was hungry and loud noises were coming out of your mouth and your eyes closed, so like big boy, I eat myself.”

“Did you also try to dress yourself?” Malloy asked trying to keep his voice at an even keel not to frighten the boy as helooked at all the various items of clothing spread all across his living room floor.

Placing the mug to his lips and sipping a mug full of corn flakes, Jimmy nodded proudly. Malloy finally noticed what Jimmy had on. His pants were on but they were backwards and his shirt, which was not only put on backwards, was also inside out. He had one white sock and one blue sock and his sneakers were on the wrong feet, but Jimmy didn’t seem to notice or care. He was just so happy that he had gotten dressed by himself.

“Jimmy, what did Uncle Pete tell you about the danger in climbing and getting into things without a big person around?”

“It bad.”

“That’s right, it’s bad. Look at the mess you made, young man, and you could have fallen off the chair and got hurt.”

“Me no fall!”

“You were lucky!” Malloy’s voice began to rise a little at the thought of what might have happened if Jimmy and fallen.

“Oh, oh, mad voice!” Jimmy looked up at Malloy with the same pouty face his father puts on before he’s about to get disciplined.

“Yes, Jimmy, mad voice. Uncle Pete is mad at you, you were a bad boy!”

“Pet spank Jimmy?”

There was no look of fear in Jimmy’s eyes just the look of understanding. He must be used to being disciplined. ‘Jean must make him tow the line,’ Malloy thought.

“No, Uncle Pete is not going to spank you this time, but you are going to help clean up the mess.”

“Me good with broom, Pet, watch!”

Malloy knew his Godson deserved a spanking for putting himself in harm’s way and making such a mess, but right now he didn’t have the heart to do it, and besides before he begins disciplining Jimmy he wants to discuss it with Reed. He walked over to the broom closet and pulled out a broom and dustpan. After he wiped the milk off the floor, he gave Jimmy the dust pan and told him to hold it down on the floor, where Malloy with small strokes pushed all the cereal into the pan. He didn’t put too much in at a time so it would be easy for Jimmy to walk over to the garbage can and dump it in without spilling any. It took a little more time but to see the feeling of accomplishment on Jimmy’s face was worth it. After they were done in the kitchen, they moved to the living room where Jimmy was made to pick up all his clothes and place them in the duffle bag his mother had so lovingly packed for him. When all the work was done and Malloy had his clean apartment back, he set out to make them both a proper breakfast. Jimmy insisted at having bacon and eggs just like Malloy, so that’s what he got. Jimmy managed to eat most of it with only a small amount of mess. After cleaning him up and fixing his clothing, he led Jimmy back to the sofa and turned the TV back on. When he was sure Jimmy was settled down watching one of his favorite programs, Malloy went back into the kitchen and dialed the number Jean had given him. After reaching the front desk, he was put through to Jean’s room. Jean answered on the third ring with a sleepy “hello”.

“Jean, this is Pete.”

Knowing Malloy would only call if there was something wrong, Jean quickly sat up in bed suddenly wide awake.

“Oh my God, Pete! What’s wrong? Did something happen to Jimmy? Is he sick or hurt?”

“No, Jean. It’s not Jimmy….it’s Jim.”

“Oh God, he’s been shot. He’s hurt bad. Oh, Pete, is he…is he?”

“Jean, calm down! No, he didn’t get shot and you know I wouldn’t break that news over the phone, but he is hurt. He was working undercover and he got beaten up pretty bad. The injuries are not life threatening or anything but he will be very sore for a couple of weeks. I hate to cut off your weekend, but do you think you could possibly come home and pick up Jimmy?”

“Of course, Pete. We’ll leave right after breakfast and I should be there around dinner time.”

“Thank you so much. I’ll try and make it up to you, I promise. Mrs. O’Brien watched him last night while I was at the hospital and she offered to keep him again this morning while I go pick Jim up.”

“You mean you left him alone all night in that awful hospital room all by himself?”

“You know I wouldn’t do that, Jean. Mac stayed with him. I wanted to but he reminded me that I had a responsibility towards Jimmy and my place was here with him.”

“Oh, Pete, I’m sorry. I guess I’m still a little protective of Jim as old habits die hard. I know you would never do anything to upset him.”

“Forget it…I know where you’re coming from. I better let you go and get ready to leave. See you tonight!” After a few more pleasantries, the two of them hung up. Pete then dialed the hospital and asked to talk to Mac. Mac sounded very tired when he came to the phone.

“Hi, Pete.”

“Hey, Mac, how’s he doing?”

“He’s very sore and in a lot of pain and he had a few nightmares during the night. He’d wake up crying and asking for you. He seemed satisfied however to find me there and let me hold him and rock him back to sleep. He sure loves to cuddle, that Brat of yours.”

“Ya, he sure does. So does his son. Listen, I’m going to call Mrs. O’Brien to come up and after I take a quick shower I’ll leave for the hospital.”

“Terrific! So I’ll see you in a little bit. I better get back to Jim.”

“Tell him I love him and that I’m on my way.”

“Will do!” and with those parting words Mac hung up.

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Leaving Jimmy in Mrs. O’Brien’s capable hands, Malloy left for the hospital. He had taken the time before he left to go through Jim’s closet and grab a pair of loose fitting jogging shorts and a baggy LAPD T-Shirt. The traffic that time of morning was crazy and caused Malloy’s impatience to grow by the minute. He decided to turn down Sunset and take the express route to the hospital. He wanted to get to Jim as quickly as he could. Having Jim on mind, Malloy really wasn’t paying attention to how fast he was going until he heard a siren behind him.

“Shit! That’s all I need, a ticket!” Like he’d seen many drivers do when he gave them the red light, he pulled over to the curb, turned off his ignition and took out his driver’s license and Mac’s registration. He recognized Officer Bill Jenkins making his way to the car. Jenkins partner stayed by the squad car. Jenkins started to laugh when he approached the car and realized whom he had stopped.

“Hey, Pete, where’s the fire?”

“Hi, Bill. I’m sorry. I was on my way to the hospital to pick up my partner and I guess my mind was on other things instead of my driving.”

“Ya, I heard Reed was gay bashed in the park and I hear he really looked the part.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, he sure played a queer to the hilt. I think those guys get what they deserve. I mean if I ever came across a homo, I think I’d lay down the law, if you know what I mean.” Jenkins motioned to his night stick as he spoke.

Malloy was getting a little sick to his stomach at the thought of what Jenkins would do with that nightstick. Then a thought struck him, how did he know how Jim was dressed. A chill ran down his spine as realization set in. ‘Oh God, Jenkins was one of the men in the park. He had to be!’

Malloy tried to keep his cool as he handed Jenkins a copy of his license.

“Hey, Pete,” Jenkins continued as he took the offered paper. “Isn’t this Sgt. MacDonald’s car? What are you doing with it?”

Malloy was starting to get annoyed with this situation and it was starting to show.

“If it’s any of your business, Mac picked me up and took me to the hospital. When I had to go home, I had no car, so Mac lent me his.”

“Mac stay at the hospital?”

“What the hell do you care if he did or not, Jenkins? Come on, just give me the ticket so I can pick up Reed at the hospital.”

“Okay…Okay, Malloy, you don’t have to get so touchy. Under the circumstances, I’ll cut you some slack and let you go with a warning, but be more aware of what you doing behind that wheel, okay?”

“Thanks,” was all Malloy said as he took back his license. He started the engine and tried to pull away but Jenkins was still by the door.

“Hey, Pete, hope your partner recovers quickly and tell him pink is not his color.”

Malloy tried to manage a smile as he was thinking, ‘You son of a bitch, your ass is mine!’

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“What took you so long?” MacDonald asked Malloy as he entered Reed’s hospital room.

Not seeing Reed in bed he didn’t answer Mac, but inquired where his partner was.

“They’ve taking him down to X-ray for one more look at his head before they release him. Just a precaution, Dr. Thompson told me. Now, are you going to tell me what took you so long?”

Malloy told his Sgt. and his friend about being stopped for speeding and Jenkins comments about Jim was wearing. Mac agreed with Malloy that it sounded very suspicious. “After all” Mac informed Malloy, “The only one’s who knew what Reed was dressed like and where he would be located in the park was myself and Wilson and his team. If Jenkins knew what Reed was wearing he had to be one of the bashers.”

“Ya, but don’t you think he would of recognized Reed?”

“Maybe, maybe not, Pete. Jim was pretty hard to recognize and maybe by the time he did realize who Reed was, he was past the point of no return.”

“Do you think Jim’s in danger if Jenkins was in the park and he thinks Jim would recognize him as a police officer?”

“Good point! Listen, I’ll talk to Wilson and have him spread the word that Jim doesn’t remember a thing about that night because it was so dark and everything happened so quickly, he didn’t get a look at any of his attackers’ faces. That way Jenkins will relax and he may let something slip or get caught off guard. Either way, Reed will be safe.”

“Reed will be safe from what?” Both men turned in unison at the sound of Reed’s voice coming from the open door of the room.

“I was telling Mac here, you will be safe from disciplinary action until you are feeling better. By using those police terms, he gave the orderly who had wheeled Reed back to his room, the impression that Reed would have to go in front of a review board. Of course, what Malloy was really referring to, was the sound spanking Reed was going to get when he was fully healed. Reed knew exactly what Malloy meant and despite the pain of his injuries, he hoped he healed slowly.

When the orderly had left, Reed slipped into Malloy’s arms and snuggled up as close as he could. “I’m so happy you’re here, partner. I really needed you last night.”

“I know, Junior, but Mac reminded me of my responsibilities to my Godson, and besides, I knew I was leaving you in capable hands.”

“You sure did! Mac is a good hugger. I felt almost as safe and secure in his arms as I do in yours. I’m really lucky to have two ‘Tops’ taking care of me.”

Malloy gave Reed a long lingering kiss. Then he pulled away and sat him down on the bed.

“I brought you a change of clothes, Junior. Something nice and loose so you won’t feel confined.”

“Thanks, Pete,” Reed commented as he looked into the bag.

“Do you need some help putting them on?”

“That would be nice, thanks!” Reed whispered with eyes downcast.

As gently as he could, Malloy helped Reed off with the hospital gown. Then with tender and slow hands, Malloy began to dress his Brat. To avoid Reed having to raise his hands over his head to place his hands in the shirt sleeve which would cause the bruise on his stomach to act up, Malloy placed one of Reed’s arms in the sleeve then the other. He then pushed the shirt towards Reed’s chest and lifted the shirt collar up to place it over Reed’s head. He then placed Reed’s legs in the shorts, stood him up and with as much caution as he could slipped the shorts up over Reeds bruised genital area. When material touched skin, Reed gave a low moan and placed his head once again on Malloy’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Junior. I was as careful as I could be. When you get home you can remove the clothing and stay nude under the bed sheets.”

“Why do I need the bed sheets when it’s just the two of us?”

“You’ve forgotten, it’s the three of us. Jimmy will still be at home when we get there. Jean is only picking him up after dinner, probably around seven PM or so.”

“You called Jean? Why?”

“Well, if you must know, young man, she has a right to know what happened and, secondly, I wanted her to come home early to pick up Jimmy so I could devote all my time to you.”

Hearing the authority in Malloy’s voice, Reed didn’t pursue the subject any further, instead he just laid back on the bed and waited for his release papers to arrive.

Malloy noticed that Reed was trying to hide how much pain he was in. It was obvious the pain medication was wearing off. As soon as they got home, if Mrs. O’Brien would take Jimmy to the park, he would give Jim a warm bath then administer the medication. Speaking of medication, Malloy thought this would be the perfect opportunity to bring up the liquid medication versus the suppositories.

“Jim, Dr. Thompson gave you two forms of antibiotic medication, liquid and suppositories. Now, I know you don’t like liquid but under the circumstances would you prefer it to the suppositories?”

“Pete, you don’t have to be concerned about using the suppositories, I’m used to them. My mother got sick and tired of cleaning up after me being sick every time she gave me liquid medicine so she switched to suppositories. I’ve been getting medication that way since I ws seven years old. Even last year when I had that really bad flu bug, Jean gave me nausea medication that way. If I didn’t mind Jean administering them to me, I sure as hell won’t mind you doing it.”

Malloy breathed a sign of relief. He wasn’t looking forward to a struggle every time that duty had to be done or to have to bother Mac to lend a helping hand. Malloy also noticed the relieved look on Mac’s face as well.

Dr. Thompson finally arrived with the release forms and, after a few papers were filled out, the three men were on their way. Malloy pushed Reed in the wheel chair up to the door, while Mac ran ahead to get the car. He pulled up as close to the curb as he could. Malloy helped Reed into the back seat so he could lie down. Malloy also sat in the back seat and placed Reed’s head in his lap. Mac drove twenty miles and hour all the way home to avoid any bangs or bumps that would cause Reed pain. A few times it couldn’t be avoided because of poor road conditions. At those times when Reed let out small cries of pain, Malloy took his hand and reassured his Brat they were almost home. He was very proud of Reed. He knew he was in a great deal of discomfort but he was doing his best to be brave and fight the pain. Finally they were home. After Mac helped Malloy get Reed up their apartment, he left for home.

Seeing his father, Jimmy became very excited. He wanted to jump up on his father, but Malloy played interference and grabbed Jimmy before too much damage could be done.

“You’re daddy has had an accident at work, Jimmy,” Malloy explained to the little boy. “He’s very sore, so we have to be very careful. I’ll hold you while you give him a big hug and kiss, okay?”

Being a very perceptive and bright little boy, Jimmy understood what Malloy was trying to tell him. He leaned into his father and gave him a couple of wet sloppy kisses on his cheek.

“Daddy got a boo-boo?”

“Yes, Jimmy,” Reed answered his son “Daddy’s got a bad boo-boo. Look, why don’t you go to the park with Mrs. O’Brien so Daddy can rest for a little bit, and when you get back, I’ll read you your favorite story, deal?”

“Yeah…come on Mrs. Let’s go play on the swings!”

“Are you up to that, Mrs. O’Brien?” Malloy asked.

“Oh, come on, Pete, you know I’m a real swinger. Let’s go, my little man!”

Reed and Malloy both laughed at Mrs. O’Brien’s play on words. They were still laughing as Jimmy slammed the door behind him in a rush to get to the park. As soon as they were alone however, Reed gave in to the pain and began to cry in earnest. Malloy was at his side in less that a heartbeat, and picked up his partner. He cradled him in his arms all the way into the bedroom. When they reached the bed, Malloy still with Reed in his arms laid down taking Reed down with him. Reed grabbed on to his partner and just screamed out. He had been keeping it in for so long, Malloy just let him cry it out. He rubbed his back and stroked his hair. All the while speaking words of love and comfort.

After twenty minutes, the loud cries turned to soft tears.

“Jim, let me up so I can run you a bath then give you your medication, okay/”

Although Reed was reluctant to let Malloy go, he knew a bath and medication was what he needed so he pushed away from his partner and rolled unto his back. When the bath water was the right temperature and the Epson salts added, Malloy undressed Reed with the same caution as he dressed him, then carried him into the bathroom to lower him into the tub. While Reed was soaking, Malloy prepared a cold compress just in case things got a little out of hand. He also placed the pain cream on the table as well as the antibiotic suppository. When the fifteen minutes were up, he grabbed a soft fluffy towel. He lifted Reed out of the tub, placed the towel around him, and carried him into the bedroom. Instead of placing Reed on the bed Malloy placed him by the bed and told his partner to kneel down. Malloy knew lying in the fetal position was the best way to administer a suppository, but Reed was in too much pain to get in that position, so kneeling on the bed would be next logical solution. When Reed was in position, Malloy gently spread his butt cheeks and placed the suppository in. It went smoother that Malloy had anticipated. When that job was done, he helped Reed to his feet. After placing pillows on the backboard, Malloy told Reed to lay back and spread his legs. He once again gave Reed a choice.

“Jim, do you want to put the pain medication on yourself?”

“I want you to do it, Pete, please…I want ….I need you to take care of me.” Once again the tears started to flow.

“Sssshhh, baby, it’s okay! Of course I’ll take care of you, I’ll always take care of you.”

Malloy placed a small dab of the cooling cream on his fingers and began to gently rub the cream on. He did his best to rub on, not into, because he knew touching Jim would really cause him pain. Although he was careful, it still caused Reed some pain. Reed moaned during the whole process, especially when Malloy made him place his feet flat on the bed and spread his legs even wider so Malloy would have better access to the scrotum.

“OH, PETE….IT HURTS….GOD IT HURTS!” Reed cried out as Malloy put some cream on Reed’s scrotum.

Hearing his lover’s cries of pain and knowing he was the instrument of that pain, caused Malloy to tear up. He knew it was necessary, but it didn’t make it any easier.

“There, there, baby. I’m all finished. Here put this cold compress on as well. It will help dull the pain until the medication takes affect.”

“I’m sorry to be such a baby, Pete.”

“You’re not being a baby! I know you’re in a lot of pain, so don’t worry about crying out, okay?”

“I’m so lucky to have you, Pete. I love you!”

“I love you, too. Now close your eyes and try to get some sleep while I get lunch ready for us and Jimmy.”

Reed didn’t argue, as a matter of fact he found it difficult to keep his eyes open. In less than a minute he was fast asleep.

Malloy had just finished putting the finishing touches on the potato salad when Mrs. O’Brien and Jimmy returned. Malloy told Jimmy to be very quiet because his daddy was asleep. Jimmy put his finger to his lips and with his best Elmer Fudd imitation which he loved doing. He turned to Mrs. O’Brien, “Mrs. we have to be vewy, vewy quiet.”

Mrs, O’Brien burst out with laughter, as did Malloy.

“Would you like to join us for lunch? There’s plenty.”

“No, thank you, Pete. I have my cribbage game this afternoon and we start off with a nice meal at Bernie’s Diner.”

“I can’t thank you enough. How can I ever repay you for all your help?”

“Well, now that you ask, I have a few speeding tickets that you could fix for me.”

By the glint in those Irish eyes, Malloy knew she was pulling his leg as she continued, “I don’t want a thing, your thanks is enough. You know, Pete, you’re like a son to me, and what mother wouldn’t help out her son in time of need. Now, I don’t want to hear any more about it or I’ll raise your rent.”

Knowing she had the upper hand on him once more, Malloy gave her a kiss on the cheek as she left for her card game.

Malloy managed to keep Jimmy occupied until he heard Reed coughing in the bedroom. “Okay, Jimmy, Daddy’s awake. Why don’t you go on in and tell him Uncle Pete will bring the food into the bedroom and we’ll have ourselves a picnic.” Ten minutes later, with picnic basket in hand, Malloy entered the bedroom to find father and son on the bed. Reed was reading ‘The Cat In The Hat’ to his son. Malloy, not wanting to disrupt the great literary reading, waited until Reed had said ‘The End’ and closed the book before setting the table. He placed a red checkered tablecloth over the bed. He then took out trays of cold cuts, vegetables, potato salad and for Jimmy, his favorite wieners. The three of them had a great time. The medication had taken affect so Reed could really enjoy himself. For the rest of the afternoon, the two men enjoyed each other’s company along with the antics and joy of Reed’s son. Before they knew it, a knock came to the door and Jean was there to pick up her son. After hugs and kisses were given and received and Jean made sure her ex-husband was all right, she left for home. Finally, the two partners were alone.

At nine PM Malloy ran another bath for Reed and they went through the same procedure as the last time. As he did in the afternoon, Reed cried out in pain as the cream was administered. After Malloy was done and another cold compress was placed between Reed’s legs, Malloy got undressed and slipped into bed next to Reed. Lying on his back, he took Reed into his arms. He spoke loving, tender words to him and rubbed his back until he was fast asleep. Malloy fell asleep soon afterwards.

As the days went by, Reed began to heal and the pain became less and less. At the start of the second week when Malloy was putting the cream on, Reed began to react to his touch in a different way. He found himself becoming aroused. He began kissing Malloy’s neck and putting his tongue in his ear, doing his best to arouse his partner as well. Of course it was working, but Pete wouldn’t give in. He stopped applying the cream and placed a cold bag of frozen peas in Reed’s lap.

“Hey, that’s cold!” Reed screamed “What happened to the cold compresses?”

“I ran out of ice, so tough! Frozen peas are just as good and I see by your deflation it works just as well.”

Although Reed was getting better physically, his mood was getting worse. Dr. Thompson came over to examine him and told him he was still to remain in bed for the rest of the week. This annoyed Reed to no end. He advised the Dr. he was feeling better, but the doctor wouldn’t give in. He left Malloy with a very bored, restless and cranky Brat.

By Thursday, Pete couldn’t take Reed’s sassy behavior and temper tantrums any longer. The final straw came when for the 100th time Reed asked to go for a walk. When Malloy for the 100th time said no, Reed pitched the magazine he was reading at the wall and screamed, “You’re just being a control freak! I’m fully healed and I want out of this bed!”

“Well, I’m glad you’re fully healed, Junior, because now I’m going to redden that little butt of yours.” With one swift movement, Reed was out of the bed and over Malloy’s lap. Malloy gave him five solid swats on each cheek then laid him back down in the bed.
Reed rolled over and began to cry, then he began to pout. Finally he turned over to face Malloy who had sat down in the corner chair waiting for Reed to get out of that funk. Reed got out of bed and crawled into Malloy’s lap. “I’m sorry, Pete. I didn’t mean to throw that magazine and I’m sorry I called you a control freak because you’re not. You’re the best Top and partner in the world and I love you.”

“I love you, too, Junior. Let’s forget it. Tomorrow is Friday and Mac is coming over. You can get out of bed then and join us in the living room, and then if you’re feeling up to it, we can go for a walk in the park.”

“I’m feeling up to it now, Pete, so I know I’ll feel even more up to it tomorrow.”

“Don’t be so sure, Junior. You know you have to be disciplined for your actions. You lied to Mac and worse of all you lied to me. That will not be tolerated. Now, Mac and I discussed it and we agreed that he has the right to discipline you as well. Do you understand that?”

Reed was wondering when he and Malloy would be having this little discussion. He knew what he had done was a disciplinarian offence, but he never thought he would be getting a double whammy. He knew he had no choice. Pete was right. He knew Pete wouldn’t let Mac spank him if he really and strongly objected and if his objections were of some substance, but deep down Reed knew Mac had the right to discipline him. He respected Mac very much and he also considered him a friend. He knew Mac had the experience of being a ‘Top’ so he trusted him as much as he trusted Pete not to harm or hurt him in any way, so he didn’t object to Mac’s participation. The only question he asked was if Mac was going to use the paddle like he did on Pete. Malloy assured him that a paddle would not be used.

The rest of the day passed quickly, too quickly for Reed. Before he knew it, it was Friday morning and Mac was sitting in their living room. Reed came out of the bedroom when Malloy called him. With head down and his hands by his side, he waited for further instructions.

Mac spoke first. “Come here, Jim.”

Reed walked over to his Sgt. with head stilled bowed.

“Pete told me he explained to you that I was also going to administer some discipline to you, is that right?” Mac asked.

“Yes, sir!”

“And do you know why I am going to spank you?”

“Yes, sir. For not telling Pete the real truth about the under cover assignment and by letting you think I did. It was like lying and disrespecting you and that’s wrong. I’m really sorry.”

“That’s right! Good, I’m glad you understand, so come here and lie over my lap.”

Because Reed was still naked, he didn’t have to go through the motions of pulling down his pants and underwear. He lay across Mac’s lap and waited for the inevitable. He didn’t have to wait long. In two seconds he felt Mac’s big hand on his butt. One cheek to the other, fast and hard until after thirty swats Reed’s butt had two red spots on them. Mac also heard small whimpers coming from the young officer and knew he had had enough. He pulled Reed off his lap and stood up and opened his arms. Reed wrapped his arms around Mac’s waist and took the offered comfort. After holding him for a minute, Mac pushed him away, and with a big finger, wiped the tears away.

“Okay, Reed, now you know never to lie to me. I’m going to leave the rest of the discipline in Pete’s capable hands. I will see you both at the station on Monday.”

When they were alone, Pete took Mac’s place in the big chair and motioned with his hand for Reed to assume the position. Reed did as he was told and soon felt another wave of spanks on his bare and red butt. Pete didn’t stop at thirty. He continued until he had reached sixty, and his Brat was crying out in pain and begging for mercy.

“Pete, I’m sorry I lied to you! I’ll never keep anything like that from you again! Please stop….I’ve learned my lesson!”

Malloy stopped and lifted Reed off his lap then stood to face his Brat. He took Reed in his arms and held him close.

“There you go now, baby, it’s all over and this incident is behind us. Why don’t you get dressed and we’ll go for that walk I promised you, if you’re up to it that is.”

Reed stopped crying and began kissing Malloy. “You bet I’m up to it. Let’s go!”

Laughing at how quickly his partner was recovering from his discipline, Malloy teased, “I think you better get dressed first before you go out there and get arrested for indecent exposure.”

“Okay, you’re right.” Reed ran into the bedroom and threw on a jogging suit. Before he knew it he was enjoying the fresh air and a sunny day in the park. Malloy suggested that they stop at a flower vender and pick Mrs. O’Brien up a nice big bouquet of flowers to thank her for taking care of Jimmy. Reed willingly agreed. On their way to the vender, Malloy took the opportunity to question Reed on what he remembered that night.

“Things are a little foggy, but it’s slowly coming back to me. You know, Pete, I could have swore that one of the men who was hitting me, was using a night stick and that I’ve seen him around the station.”

“Do you remember his name?” Malloy asked in anticipation.

“Yeah, Johnson,,,, no Jenkins. Yeah, that’s it! Jenkins.”

“That’s goes along with Wilson’s investigation,” Malloy replied. Seeing the confused look on Reed’s face, Malloy told him about the speeding ticket and how Jenkins had talked about what happened to Reed and what Jim was wearing. “Realizing no one knew what you had on except the undercover team, I became suspicious so I told Mac about it who in turn told Wilson who turned it over to Internal Affairs. Sure enough Jenkins is the leader of the gang that is responsible for all the gay bashing that’s been going on the past month.”

“Holy Shit, a cop! I would have never of guessed it.”

“I know, but with all the homophobic guys on the force, it’s really doesn’t surprise me. You know you may have to testify against him in court.”

“Oh well, if I have to, I have to, but with your help I can make it through.”

As they reached the flower stand, the two men changed the subject and went about the job of picking out just the right flowers for Mrs. O’Brien. When the selection was finalized, the partners made their way back to their apartment building. Mrs. O’Brien was very touched by the flowers and after spending a few minutes with her, they made their way back to the apartment. Once alone in the safety of their apartment, the two men fell into each other’s arms and after a few preliminaries, Malloy picked Reed up and carried him into the bedroom and placed him in the middle of the bed. After their clothes were removed they made hot, passionate love. Basking in the after glow, Reed cuddling up to Malloy and thanked him for his patience and gentleness in taking care of him in his time of need and for also taking care of little Jimmy.

Giving Reed another slow kiss on the lips, Malloy replied, “As Mac was right to point out, it is my responsibility to take care of you and my Godson and it is a responsibility I accept freely and with deep abiding love.” With those words they began to kiss and before they knew it they were both aroused and ready to make love again.

THE END