Kinney Get You Anything Else?

"There are two detectives here to speak with you, Mr. Taylor," Janine told him when she buzzed his office.

Startled, Justin hastily brushed the crumbs from his croissant off his tie. It was only 8:15 so the gallery wasn’t even open yet. What would the police want with him? "Send them in, Janine, and hold my calls until I say otherwise. And call Mr. Bryant and ask if we could reschedule his appointment for after lunch."

"Yes, sir," she replied crisply and he bit back a laugh. He remembered her first day working for him, and how she told him outright the only time she called anyone ‘sir’ was when she was tied to a headboard. Over time, it became their password for ‘hot guy alert’.

His smile disappeared though when two men walked into his office. He felt himself tremble slightly. Police made him very uncomfortable considering the events of his last break up. "Good morning, gentlemen," he said politely, waving his arm to the two chairs in front of his desk. "How may I help you?"

The two homicide detectives were the same height and build, one with brown hair and one with black. The brunette was wearing an expensive tailored suit that accentuated his muscular frame, but the raven-haired detective wore a suit that was obviously off the rack and looked as if he’d slept in it.

"Mr. Taylor," the rumpled detective offered his hand over the artist’s desk. Justin took it, but did not get up, causing the brunette to frown slightly, enhancing his already brooding features. Justin figured he was the one Janine had the hots for. Well, fuck him, it was his office, and he didn’t have to stand if he didn’t feel like it. Asshole.

"I’m Detective Logan, and this is my partner, Detective Kinney," the wrinkled suit said. Kinney nodded slightly and dropped into the first chair, stretching his lean legs out in front of him and stifling a yawn.

Justin eyed the brunette warily as the detective settled his right ankle over his left knee and idly observed the small office. Conceited asshole.

Logan also sat down and leaned forward to watch Justin’s face more closely as they talked. "We’re investigating the death of Kenneth Lawrence. I believe you knew him as Lenny, your sister’s boyfriend."

Justin’s head snapped back to the man who was speaking and the color drained from his cheeks. "Lenny? Lenny’s dead? Oh my god," he breathed softly. "Where’s Molly, is she okay?"

Logan nodded. "She’s a bit shook up after finding the body but she went home with a friend," he consulted his notepad, "Ginny Clark after giving her statement."

Justin knew Ginny, and figured she would be the first one Molly would call, although he didn’t understand why she didn’t call him or her mom and tell them what happened. No, actually he did understand. She probably figured they’d say ‘good riddance’. Fuck.

He looked away for a moment to compose himself. Then he buzzed Janine. "Jan, would you bring in some water please," he asked, hoping no one could tell his voice was near cracking. He noticed his hands were shaking and folded them together on the top of the desk to steady himself. "So what can I help you with?"

"Where were you between nine and midnight last night?" Logan asked abruptly.

Justin blinked at him. "At home."

"Can anyone corroborate that? Your girlfriend?"

The young man smiled slightly. "Does my cat count?" he joked lamely.

"As your girlfriend or your alibi?" Kinney asked.

It was the first time the other man had spoken, and Justin felt his cock twitch in response to the man’s sultry voice and he blushed slightly, confused by his immediate dislike for the man, yet the attraction was undeniable. He glanced at the man, still slumped in the chair, idly tapping his long fingers against his bent knee. Their eyes met and Justin felt a spark pass between them. Holy shit! His gaydar gave a good solid ping that reverberated through his body. Sir, yes, sir!

Justin tore his eyes away and looked back to Logan who appeared a little cross at his partner. The artist tried to clear the lump in his throat but it continued to stick. Gratefully, Janine appeared on cue with a tray bearing a pitcher of water and three glasses with ice.

She offered the detectives each one then handed one to her boss. He gulped down half and settled back in his chair, forcing himself to regain his composure. "Why do I need an alibi?"

"We’ve been told you threatened the deceased on more than one occasion."

Justin finished his water and poured another glass, cringing as the pitcher shook from his nervousness.

Kinney leaned forward and took the pitcher from him, filled the glass, and gave the younger man a cool smile that didn’t reach his eyes. "What did you and Lenny argue about?" he asked smoothly.

Justin found the cold hazel eyes unsettling and focused back on the other man. "Molly. He’s too old—he was too old for her. And he’s a bad influence."

"What made you think that?"

"Her attitude, her grades. She’s drinking underage. Maybe trying drugs. Ever since they met, she was obsessed with this guy. She would do anything he told her to do. Cut class, blow off family obligations…have an abortion. She thinks she’s in love with him, but I know he didn’t love her. I had him checked out."

Kinney raised an eyebrow. "How so?"

"I knew he was an ad exec, so I shopped the gallery around, like I was looking for a new firm to handle our account. I talked to people who were familiar with his work. Every story was the same. Brilliant business man by day, asshole by night. His M.O. is always the same. Find a new, innocent girl and use her up. When he gets bored he dumps them and moves on. Lot of bitter women in his office. But I don’t think it was because they got used, I think it was because they didn’t. They were older, professional women. He obviously likes them young, and naïve."

"You should’ve been a detective, Mr. Taylor," the brunette smiled wryly.

Justin shook his head. "I don’t have the…" he wanted to say ‘stone cold heart’, but squashed his temper, "…stomach for it."

"So you confronted him?" Logan asked, cutting through the obvious animosity developing between the two men. He was used to his partner rubbing people the wrong way.

"No, I confronted her. She was becoming even more out of control because things were cooling off. I tried to warn her that he was through with her, but she told me to fuck off, and then must’ve told him, because he was waiting for me outside after work the next night."

"What happened?" the crumpled suit asked.

"He told me to mind my own business, I told him she was my business. He told me to back off or I might have another accident. I told him to stop seeing her or I would bury him," the artist replied hotly. He knew that wasn’t he smartest thing to say since they were looking for a killer, but he also knew they already had this information. "Professionally speaking, of course," he added anyway.

"Another accident?" Kinney cut in this time.

"I had a car accident a year ago." Justin’s tone clearly stated that was all the information they were getting on the subject.

"And what do you think he meant by his threat?"

Justin rolled his eyes and huffed a bitter laugh. "I didn’t really think he was going to try and run me down, if that’s what you mean. He just thought it was fun to taunt the gimp. Made him a big man to try and intimidate me."

Kinney’s curiosity was peaked, but Logan stayed on track. "When did you and Mr. Lawrence have this fight?"

"Two weeks ago."

"Did anyone else witness it?"

Justin nodded. "My partner, Emmett. Business partner," he hurried to clarify, though he didn’t know why. "He came outside while we were talking and overheard the whole thing. Actually, he’s the one with pull to kill Lenny’s career, and the scum knew it. As soon as Emmett told him to fuck off, he left."

"Emmett Honeycutt? The sole heir to the Shickel estate?" Logan verified, although he knew it was true. They were sitting in The Shickel Gallery so it made sense.

Justin nodded. "When George passed, Emmett and I opened this gallery in his honor. Well, Emmett opened it, and I run it." He smiled fondly at the memory of the man who’d been like a father to him.

"When did you see Mr. Lawrence again?" It was Kinney’s turn to keep things on track.

Justin’s smile faded. "I saw him twice after that. Each time at Sunday supper with my mom. We had the same fight both times." Justin frowned, realization suddenly dawning. "Molly’s the one who told you. She thinks I killed him?"

"She told us you didn’t approve and were fighting with him," Logan clarified, "and another witness in the building said he saw a blonde man fitting your description fleeing the building around the time Mr. Lawrence died."

Justin suddenly chuckled. "I guarantee I wasn’t fleeing the scene."

"But you were there?"

"No, I’ve never been there. I meant, I can’t ‘flee’ anywhere. I’m…disabled." He gave both men a wistful glance. "Never thought I’d be happy to say that."

"The car accident?" Kinney asked.

Justin nodded, unable to meet those steely eyes again. He could feel them boring into him, gauging his weakness and he refused to cower like a helpless victim in front of another condescending asshole cop. He squared his shoulders defiantly, his eyes hard and unwavering as he glared back at the man. "My leg was permanently damaged. I’ve only just started walking under my own power again, and I will always need this cane." He lifted a smooth black walking stick with an elaborately carved ivory handle from his side and lay it across the desk. Now that he’d cleared himself, he just wanted them to leave. "Is there anything else?"

Suddenly, there was a commotion in the reception area. The men heard Janine shouting, then a screaming banshee with multi-colored dreadlocks burst into the room and launched herself at Justin. "You asshole! You killed him! I hate you!" she squealed as she attacked her brother. The detectives pulled her back, but not before she knocked the man over in his chair. Logan dragged her to the sofa against the wall and held her down while she continued to kick and sputter that Justin ruined her life.

Kinney knelt beside the young man to help him up. Justin was obviously in pain as he lay on the floor squirming. "Hey," Kinney put his hand on the artist’s shoulder. "Just relax. Which leg is it?"

Justin groaned but lay still. "Right."

His right leg wasn’t tangled, but the chair was on it, with his left leg wrapped around the base. The detective gently dislodged his foot from beneath the desk and managed to get the chair off him. Once both his legs were straight, the older man ran his hands up both from ankle to hip, carefully watching Justin for any signs of discomfort.

He was relieved when the younger man insisted everything was fine and slapped his hands away. As much as he wanted to continue his inventory of the blonde’s slim body, he knew his arousal would give him away if he didn’t stop now. "Can you get up?" he asked brusquely.

Justin nodded and groaned again when he tried to sit up, but managed to stand with the detective’s help.

Kinney steered him toward the sofa. "Get her out of here," he growled to his partner. He had never been one to leap to a damsel’s defense, but it had nothing to do with his sexual preference. He just hated hysterical women. The man had been surrounded by them all his life and had no tolerance anymore.

Molly was a whimpering ball on the sofa now. When Kinney helped the young artist over, the other detective nudged the girl so Justin could lie on the sofa. When she looked up and saw Justin’s pain clearly etched on his face as he limped over, she started crying again. "Oh, god, Jus, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry," she sobbed as she jumped up and hugged him.

Despite his discomfort, Justin held her and whispered reassuringly in her ear until she calmed down. He wasn’t mad at her. He didn’t hate her. It would be alright. Janine was hovering in the doorway and Justin mouthed for her to call their mother. Finally, he couldn’t stand any longer and started to collapse.

He should’ve fallen, but knew he wouldn’t because the detective had been holding him up from behind the entire time. Janine returned and let him know their mom was on the way. Kinney then insisted the receptionist take Molly to the restroom to wash up. And Logan conveniently stepped outside to make a few phone calls.

The detective settled Justin on the sofa. "Do you need a doctor? Can I do anything?"

The blonde shook his head. "I just need to rest a minute," he muttered through clenched teeth.

"Do you have anything to take for the pain?"

Justin desperately wanted a pain pill, but just glared at the other man. "I said I’m fine."

The older man bit his cheek to keep from yelling at the infuriating twat. He obviously wasn’t fine, but too fucking proud to admit it.

Justin felt bad for snapping at the man when he was only trying to help. He ignored the pain and tried to focus on the morning’s earlier events. "Can I ask how he died?"

Kinney nodded. "He was stabbed."

Justin closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Do you still think I killed him?"

The detective shook his head. "No. There was obviously a struggle before he was killed. In your condition he would’ve easily overpowered you and we’d have found you this morning."

Justin paled. "But Mol found him."

"She said they had a breakfast date before her class."

Justin’s eyes popped open. "How did she get in?"

The detective smirked. "Good question. She had a key."

Justin gaped at him. "What?"

"She said she had a key. Am I correct in assuming you didn’t know about it?"

Justin frowned and shook his head. He shifted uncomfortably on the sofa and winced at the pain in his leg.

The detective pulled a pillow from the other end of the sofa and propped it under the artist’s knee. "Better?"

The blonde settled back and nodded. "I’m sure she would’ve told me. It would’ve been proof that I was wrong about him. Was I wrong?" he muttered as he chewed his lip in contemplation.

Kinney stood and retrieved Justin’s cane from the desk, setting it next to the younger man so he could reach it. "Don’t doubt your judgement. You were only trying to protect your sister, and from what I’ve seen, you were right."

Justin smiled weakly, slightly relieved that the detective agreed with him. Although he didn’t know the detective agreed with him for different reasons.

"Ready, Bri?" Logan called from the doorway.

Kinney pulled out his wallet and wrote on the back of a card before handing it to the younger man. "That’s my cell number on the back. Call anytime if you need anything."

Justin glanced at the card then put it in his pocket. "Thank you, Mr. Kinney."

The brunette smiled, and this time the hazel eyes seemed to glow. "Your welcome, Mr. Taylor."

The younger man felt the spark pass between them again and smiled back.

The detectives said their farewells and left. Knowing it was the only peaceful moment he would have for the rest of the day once his mother arrived, the artist closed his eyes and pushed all thoughts of Molly and Lenny out of his mind as he imaged Brian Kinney posing for one of his sketches.


The two detectives pushed out into the crisp December air. Although it was unseasonably cold, there was still no snow for which they were grateful. Neither man felt the lack of drifts hindered their Christmas spirit.

Brian paused just outside the doorway and lit a cigarette. His partner scowled but didn’t say anything. The other man had been trying to cut back and only smoked when he was particularly agitated. Logan wondered which of the young Taylors had his partner bent out of shape. He’d bet on Mr. Taylor. Brian saw death everyday, but it wasn’t everyday he was charmed by a young blonde. In fact, his partner was somewhat of a gay Cassanova so it really took something special to catch his attention.

"So, while you were groping the suspect--" he ribbed.

"He’s not a suspect," Brian clarified between drags. Logan noted he didn’t deny the groping though.

"While you were carrying on your end of the investigation," he continued, "I spoke with the secretary. She verified Taylor’s story about the accident. Appears it was a nasty collision between two cars and him in the middle. Happened last January and laid him out nine months. Just returned to work last month, permanently disabled like he said. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t hire someone else to kill him."

The other man took another drag and stomped out the remaining half of the cigarette. "Maybe, but I don’t think so. He had the means to ruin Lawrence professionally, and it seems more his style."

Logan shrugged. "Maybe. You learn anything? I mean besides the size of his--"

"Would you shut the fuck up?" the other man suddenly snapped.

Bingo. Logan recognized the button he’d pushed and held his hands up defensively. But he wasn’t backing down. Screwing a suspect was a dangerous hazard in their line of work, and Brian was usually very conscientious about keeping his personal and professional lives separate, but he was also only human. And this human man was very taken with the blonde. Time for someone to start thinking with their brain again. "Come on, you have your friend the porn king hooking you up with all the men you can handle, and you go soft on some blonde artist that’s half your age? What’s up with that?" he asked bluntly.

Brian didn’t say anything else as he got in the car and started the engine. Logan got in as well and waited for his friend to respond. He would eventually.

Brian slowly eased into traffic and headed back to the precinct. "Doesn’t matter," he finally mumbled. "I don’t think he’d accept a date with the guy who arrested his sister for murder."

Logan sighed. His partner was fucked if he was actually talking about a date. Brian Kinney rarely went on real dates. Then the other half of his statement hit home. He thought they were going to arrest Molly Taylor. "Shit. The key?"

"Yeah," Brian responded grimly.

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