Folks, please note that this fic was originally posted as the rating of "M," but it will be shown in "T" at times. Please look for it in the future under "M" or "T". Thanks.

Disclaimer: This story is not for profit nor intended for profit.


Chapter One:

Detective Carl Horvath's POV

The uptight, pretty blonde lady lets me know with a slight twitch of her upper lip, that she doesn't welcome my interruption. She smears on a broad smile that doesn't reach her eyes, "May I help you?"

I fake a smile back at her, though my smile is far more practiced and far more intimidating. "I'm looking for a Mr. Brian Kinney, I believe he works here?"

Her smile widens, it's almost as if she's challenging me to fake-smile competition, "Mr. Kinney is unavailable at this time. May I get your name and the name of company that you present?"

"Detective Carl Horvath, and this is Detective Barney Rolsky, we're with the Pittsburgh Police Department." I pull out my badge and hold it up to her face. "Would you tell Mr. Kinney that this is important? I'm here on official business."

The blonde lady's smile falters, but she makes an admirable save. She slowly stands up behind her desk, her eyes are now as wide as her smile, "Excuse me, I'll be right back." She takes a couple of steps and then stops and turns back to me. Her lowered voice cracks when she speaks, "This is in regards to….?"

I stare down my nose at her, and chew out, "I'm not at liberty to say, ma'am. Go and see if he'll talk with us, please?"

She nods, and briskly steps over to the large wooden door looming behind her. She rapidly knocks on the door, but enters before she receives an answer.

Barney is frowning, and he resembles a bulldog. He and I are both taking in the surroundings and they're impressive. It's one of those fancy, snooty-expensive offices. Barney's irritated because he's feeling intimidated. I'm frowning because my Sear's special-red-dot-sale suit is feeling hot and heavy, and my new polyester shirt is sticking to my back.

Boy, would I love to peal out of this monkey suit, grab an ice cold Bud, and flake out on the couch, in front of the air conditioner.

I check out Barney's appearance. I'm smugly gratified to see large sweat stains spreading out from under his armpits of his suit.

Kinney…I know he's one of those guys Debbie calls her 'lost boys'…I might as well kiss my chances with her good-bye, because who knows how this is going to turn out.

Barney is bobbing his head like he's listening to a silent rock band. I elbow him to knock it off.

The lady comes out of the office and gestures to us to enter.

This guy's sure as hell has done well for himself. Not bad for a mick fag from the wrong side of the tracks.

I take a long look around Kinney's private office; it's nice, real nice. Real expensive looking furniture, more expensive looking than the furniture out in the lobby. He's got those abstract, artsy-fartsy types of pictures on the wall. A ping of envy shoots through my gut. No fucking big deal, I've been to better places. Way better than this.

Kinney looks like he's had a rough night.


He's dressed up to the nines. That suit probably costs as much as a week of my salary.

"Detective Horvath, we meet again."

I nod my head in reply. Yep, he's a real smartass, this one. He looks hung over today. It seems every other time I've seen Kinney, he's been drunk…Just another alcoholic mick.

No fear in his eyes. That's good for him, not so much for me.

"Mr. Kinney, thanks for seeing us. I'm Detective Carl Horvath, as you know. This is my partner, Detective Barney Rolsky. We need to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind. We're investigating a missing person case. Someone you know. You may want to make this a private conversation."

I glance at the lady. Kinney gets my drift and dismisses her with a "Thanks, Cynthia. Hold all my calls, please."

Cynthia hesitates, he nods her to leave.

"So, what's – ah, please have a seat…So, who's missing? One of Claire's – my sister Claire - kids?"

Barney and I sit. Kinney sits behind his desk and crosses his hands in front of himself. He looks bored and isn't trying too hard to hide it.

Still no fear in his eyes. He meets my stare with a firm gaze.

I reach into my pocket and pull out my note pad. This is where Barney and I work our shtick. I act casual, he'll watch like a hawk, until it's time for him to be up at bat. I'm watching too. We're looking for excessive sweating, twitching, and lack of eye contact – all the signs of a guilty conscious.

Kinney, let's see if you're our man.

I take a deep breath and huff it out. It's time to start the show.

"Mr. Kinney, we've been told that you are an acquaintance of a Mr. Justin Taylor? You are…were…boyfriends? I know this true, so don't try to deny it." I follow up my last sentence with a humorless laugh, it intentionally sounds harsh. I watch him closely.

"We are - were - together, yes." Kinney breaks eye contact with me and focuses on his computer screen. I can tell he's not really registering what's on it.

"Mr. Kinney, Justin Taylor has been reported missing by his friend, a Miss Daphne Chanders and his mother, Mrs. Jennifer Taylor. He's been missing now for thirty eight hours. Would you happen to know where he is?"

Kinney slowly looks back at me. His pupils have turned into pinpoints. He looks like he's holding his breath. He hoarsely responses, "No. He…I saw him two days – nights, ago. He was at…he left. He left with the chin rat…Ian...Ethan. He left with Ethan Gold."

I can tell Kinney's blood pressure is going up, I can tell by the color rising in his face. I can hear anger creeping into his voice.

"When was the last time you saw him?"

"That was the last time…two nights ago. At Babylon. The dance club. I was hosting a launch party for his comic book, Rage."

He goes quiet and fades out, distracted by his own thoughts.

I pull him back into the conversation, "So, are you sure? That was the absolute last time you saw him?"

He looks at me and nods. He cops a condescending attitude and dismissively sniffs back a reply, "Detective, Justin has run away before…and that is probably what has happened now. Maybe Ian…Ethan… and he fought and he's sulking somewhere. Have you considered that?"

I glance at Barney – that's his cue. He takes over.

"Mr. Kinney, we've been told that you and Mr. Taylor argued that evening. That there was a fight. We're told that he actually broke up with you that night and left with his new boyfriend. Someone said you got into quite an argument with him. You were heard telling him that he was as 'good as dead.' Is that right, Mr. Kinney? Did you threaten him?" Barney is sitting on the edge of his chair now, getting into the part of the aggravator. Practically everything he has said is bullshit, but that's what we're here to do. Poke the bear and sees how he reacts.

Kinney looked like he was about to swallow his tongue.

"That's bullshit! Who the fuck told you that shit? He left…there wasn't any fight. No words…He just left. That was it. He wasn't happy…seeing me f-…seeing me with someone, so he left. Whoever told you that crap is lying."

Barney pokes again, "So, he broke up with you, so you were hurt. And angry? You were so angry that you wanted to hurt him, isn't that right Mr. Kinney?"

Kinney stood up with such force that he sends his chair crashing into the wall behind him. "This is bullshit." He straightens his clothes, adjusts his tie and then sneers at us. "He dumped me. Okay? No fights, no threats, no…nothing. Hundreds of people can refute every word of crap someone told you about a fight. There was no fight! I would never hurt him…definitely, not physically. I know what you're doing here, and this is not the time or the place for it. This is where I work, detective! Now get the hell out. Now!"

Barney and I share a glance and then get up.

I look onto Kinney's eyes. "Fine, would you consent to meet with us down at the precinct? Finish going through our questions?"

Kinney curtly responds with a "Fine! I'll call and make an appointment."

I hand him one of my cards and he snatches it from my fingers. His face is one long, angry scowl.

I politely smile back at him, "Thanks, Mr. Kinney. We really appreciate your time. We'll be waiting for your call."

I nod to Barney to head for the door.

As we both turn towards the door, Kinney rounds his desk and barks at me, "You need to talk to the fucking fiddler! He was the last one with him!"

Barney and I nod in unison back at him and turn again to leave.

"Wait!" Kinney is right behind me and grabs my shoulder. I turn and knock his hand off. He takes a couple of steps back. "Listen…I want to know – please tell me when you hear something." He's swallowing a lot now. I see fear in his eyes now. But not the kind I was looking for – not guilty. This fear is coming from his soul…if you believe in that and I do.

He clears his throat and through gritted teeth, he quietly pleads, "Please."

I quickly nod my head at him, then turn and tap Barney's shoulder to lead the way out the door.

Back at our car, as Barney is buckling his seatbelt, he asks me, "What do you think?"

I shrug my shoulders and respond, "Don't know. It's too soon. But I'm sure this will be like all our other cases…I'll be surprised if we're surprised by anything."

Yep, in my thirty-two years on the force, I'm rarely surprised by anything anymore…mostly. But every now and then, someone or something does surprise me.

I quietly say, "Nope. It's way too soon."

I ask who's next on the list.

"Chris Hobbs."

Thanks for reading!