Ray always treated these trips like little undercover assignments, trying
to be as inconspicuous as possible. He parked the GTO in the far corner of
the lot, hidden in the shadows beside the dumpster. He hunched down in his
jacket and darted across the parking lot to the front door. He hated this part.
As a cop, he understood why 24-hour cash businesses were so
well lit; as a guy, he hated feeling like he was under a spotlight
that announced to any passersby that he, Ray Vecchio, formerly
Stanley Raymond Kowalski, was a porn store customer.
He strolled into the store, practicing his “I’m
not a sad and lonely pervert” walk. Which he didn’t
think he was, really. He was just a guy who needed a release,
no different from guys who got theirs by picking up tipsy secretaries
at Houlihan’s happy hour. Just because his release was
more along the lines of Loaded Lumberjacks Volume 12 didn’t
make him a pervert.
He tried to believe that. Still, he was always quick about
getting in, getting his movie, and getting out fast.
Renfield Turnbull tried to be as inconspicuous
as possible; it was difficult, as he towered over the display
also made browsing problematic, as the shelves only came up
to his chest. He didn’t want to appear to be scrutinizing
the lurid boxes too carefully, but he had learned through experience
not to grab the closest item at hand. Booty Bandits hadn’t
been quite to his taste, despite the impressive proportions
of some of the actors.
Turnbull stooped, trying not to look as though he might need
assistance from one of the cheerful, multiply-pierced salespersons.
Ray rounded the corner, walking quickly past the transsexual
section and into the alcove where the gay videos were. He scanned
the room. Not too crowded, not totally empty; good. Then, out
of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of navy pea coat.
For one horrible moment, he thought it was Fraser; then the
size of the coat registered, and he realized it was Turnbull.
Gee, the things you never knew about people. He thought for
sure the big guy was straight; Turnbull had gone nuts over
that country singer chick. Then he reflected that maybe that
was the Canadian version of the Judy Garland thing.
He watched for a moment as Turnbull leaned over to peer at
the movies on the shelf. He didn’t look like he was trying
to hide, just trying to pick a film; he looked like he came
here all the time; hell, Ray, thought, maybe he did. He imagined
Turnbull sprawled out on a couch, pants open, jerking off to
Whoa. That was kind of a nice image.
Still, he wasn’t keen on having a gay porn bonding experience
with anybody, especially not someone who worked with his partner,
who Ray knew just wouldn’t approve. He could practically
hear Fraser now, lecturing him on exploitation and sexual politics,
probably illustrating his points with wise little anecdotes
about a seal who took advantage of a caribou. He shuddered.
That’d be enough to put a guy off porn for life. He hustled
quickly over to the relative safety-- not to mention the huge
cardboard display case-- of the Girls Gone Wild section.
Turnbull had just found an item that looked
promising. True, the title Working Class Studs seemed a bit
trite, but the slim
man on the box cover, adorned in torn overalls, a smudge of
auto grease, and a smile, seemed quite appealing. As he stood
up, selection in hand, he noted someone darting out of the
room. He wondered if it might be a shoplifter and thought perhaps
he should give chase, despite the many signs which proclaimed “CCTV
Cameras in Use! Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted!”
He saw the man disappear behind a lurid display of silicon-
enhanced young women cavorting on a beach. Turnbull slid into
the next aisle and peered over the shelves. Although the man
was facing away from him, Turnbull recognized the spiky hair
and leather jacket.
Turnbull was so surprised that he dropped the box he was holding,
and it tumbled loudly to the floor, knocking over several copies
of Nasty Nurses as it fell. Detective Vecchio turned, looking
for the cause of the commotion, and they looked at one another
“Good evening, Detective,” said Turnbull, taking
refuge in politeness.
“uh…” the detective responded.
Oh dear, thought Turnbull, he seems quite embarrassed. Turnbull
knew that the cornerstone of etiquette was making others feel
comfortable; he tried to set the detective at ease.
“I was just finding something to watch this evening, “ Turnbull
said, “it seems we are both interested in film.”
“uh, yeah,” said Vecchio, still flushed bright
red and wide-eyed in shock.
“I could be mistaken, but I thought I had perhaps seen
you in the other room,” Turnbull gestured to the gay
room, “which would seem to indicate that we have something
else in common as well.” He winked at Vecchio.
To his surprise, the detective’s face broke out into
an enchanting smile. “Yeah, I guess we do,” he
Turnbull liked seeing the detective smiling; he was usually
scowling when he visited at the consulate, likely due to the
presence of Inspector Thatcher. Turnbull decided he’d
like to see more of that smile; perhaps a suggestion was in
order. To put the detective at ease, of course.
“I notice you haven’t made a selection,” Turnbull
said. “Perhaps we could watch mine together. I do have
a large screen television at home as well as a comfortable
sofa, and I could prepare some snacks as well as-"
“Turnbull, you’re babbling,” Vecchio said, “Let’s
grab that movie and go.”
He looked at Turnbull’s selection and grinned. “I
fix cars, you know,” he said, and winked.
This time it was Turnbull who blushed as they walked to the
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