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This story was first published in 2010 as part of GayAuthors Fall Anthology: No Going Back
Trace kept one eye trained on the rearview mirror at the car that had been behind him for the last couple of miles. No matter where he went the car seemed to stick with him. So far it hadn’t gotten close enough for him to make out any specific details other than that it was black, but his gut told him that he might just be in trouble. Testing his theory he made a couple of quick right turns without signaling. The squeal of his tires was the only indication that he had taken the turns too fast, but the vehicle remained behind him. Even as Trace watched the car sped up and began to close the distance between them until only a few feet remained between the two vehicles.
“Son of a bitch,” Trace swore. He felt like a mouse being chased by a hungry cat, lucky for him though, he was smarter than the damn cat chasing him. Trace gripped the steering wheel and made another hard right in the hopes of losing his pursuers. They must have been expecting the move as they turned at the same time, jumping the curb and delivering a glancing blow to the right rear fender of Trace’s truck. The impact started to push Trace around but he used his training and calmly got the truck back under control as he reached for his phone. He flipped open his phone and quickly dialed in the number for dispatch and waited impatiently for it to be answered.
“Hey Gabby, it’s Trace. Listen, I have a black sedan following me, they just clipped my right rear fender.” He listened for a minute before smiling, “That will work, I’m heading north bound on 52nd. Thanks Gabby, I owe you one.” Trace flipped his phone shut with a satisfied smirk. “Alright asshole, the board is set, the pieces are in place; let’s just see if we can get a checkmate.”
Trace saw in the rearview mirror as one of his department’s unmarked cruisers pulled out behind the sedan following him. Knowing he now had backup, Trace smiled as he took his next left, leading the two cars behind him towards the police station where his buddy and partner Mitch would be waiting. As he closed the distance between him and the station, the car behind him pulled back slightly before turning off as soon as the station house came into view ahead of them. The unmarked cruiser followed the unknown as Trace pulled in front of the station and cut the engine.
“Where’s the car at?” his partner Mitch asked as he moved out from behind one of the pillars in front of the concrete building of the police station.
“Not sure, it fell back a few blocks from here, but our unmarked is following them, trying to figure out who they are,” Trace answered with a look down the street.
“Must have realized you were headed back here, any idea who it was?” Mitch asked as they turned together to head into the building.
“Not sure, but they were persistent, I’ll give the bastards that. I am wondering if it has something to do with that big arrest that we made last week.”
“What would make you think that?” Mitch asked cautiously.
“I don’t know, it’s just the only big arrest we’ve had recently. If you remember right, when we arrested Jarvis he swore up and down that he had people who would follow him anywhere. That’s the only thing that makes sense. You know as well as I do that I’ll have to testify at the hearing.” Trace had been uneasy ever since he had made the arrest but had shaken it off. He’s made dozens of other arrests in his quest to rid the area of the drug dealers and other criminals, and couldn’t figure out what would be so different about this one.
Trace heard the distinct squeal of tires on asphalt and turned towards the sound at the same time as Mitch. He didn’t have time to react as the sounds of gunshots filled the air as the black sedan that had been following him sped past, firing bullets out the half open windows. After the report of the first gunshot, Trace felt a fiery pain in his left arm and quickly fell to the ground as he pulled Mitch down with him.
“You hit?” Trace asked as he clasped his right hand over the bicep of his now numb and useless left arm.
“No, you?” Mitch asked, his gaze focused on searching for the car that had fired the shots, so he failed to notice the blood seeping out from beneath Trace’s fingers.
“In the arm,” Trace admitted, biting antalya escort back a wince of pain as he tried to move his arm.
“Shit man,” Mitch answered as the doors to the police station opened and multiple officers converged on them. “One of you, call an ambulance,” Mitch yelled as the officers approached at a run to form a tight barricade of blue between them and the street, pistols drawn and held at their sides as they studied the street and the surrounding area.
Mitch gingerly helped Trace to his feet, being careful of the arm that was hanging limply at his side. Mitch helped Trace hold his injured arm tucked up against his body as the small contingency of officers herded them towards the doors to the station. Mitch had just called out for a pressure bandage when the doors of the station opened and paramedics rushed in. In a flurry of activity, the paramedics gently pulled Trace’s hand away from his arm and applied a pressure bandage to his forearm before starting an IV and asking if he was allergic to any medications. When Trace shook his head they inserted a needle into his IV and depressed the plunger. It was when the paramedics left the building and came back with a gurney that Trace started to object.
“It’s my damn arm that was shot, not my legs. I can walk just fine, I’m not going out on that damn thing,” Trace groused as he fought the pain from the pressure bandage.
“Obviously your mouth works just fine too,” Mitch answered him. “You’re pale, you’re shaking, and you’re breathing too damn fast. I’m not about to break in a new partner, so just do what they tell you and shut up.”
“Next time you’re the one getting shot,” Trace retorted as Mitch helped him onto the gurney. “My damn arm feels like it’s on fire!”
“Can’t you give him something for the pain?” Mitch asked the paramedics as they prepared to pack his partner out of the station towards the ambulance waiting outside.
“We already gave him 5 milligrams of morphine; it should start dulling the pain any time,” one of the paramedics answered.
“See there buddy, you’ll be feeling better in no time,” Mitch told Trace. Mitch watched as the paramedics left with his partner before going to find out how the hell the people from the car had been able to backtrack to the station without anybody knowing.
At The Hospital
“So when will you be able to be sprung from this joint?” Mitch asked a couple hours later as he sat next to Trace’s hospital bed.
“Probably not for a couple days, they say the bullet shattered the bone in my arm and I’m going to have to have surgery if I want it to heal right. They’re just waiting on the surgeon to get here, and then they’ll keep me for another day or two before they release me.”
“That bites man, I know how much you hate hospitals,” Mitch answered with a grimace.
“Not a whole hell of a lot I can do about it, plus then I’ll be out of commission for at least six weeks, maybe longer. Did we find out who the sonofabitches were that shot me?” Out of everything else he could have asked, Trace was the most curious about the culprits behind the shooting.
“We’re not sure. We’ve ran the plates and the car was reported as stolen a couple of days ago. I don’t have a good feeling about this Trace. They followed you and then shot you outside the station. Who knows what their next plan is.”
“What the hell happened to the car that we had following them? They should have fucking called in that the car was headed back towards the station, so what the fuck happened?” Despite the pain killers that they had given him, Trace was still feeling twinges of pain in his upper arm which made him temperamental at best.
“Actually, they had called in that they’d lost them. The guys inside were on their way to warn us when you were shot, that’s why they got there so quickly. I hate to tell you man, but the chief is worried. Obviously when you get out of here you’re going to be a target. We’ve already got someone stationed outside of your room and once you’re out of here, there’s going to be an unmarked parked outside of your house.”
“I’m not too worried, I’ve got Hercules at the house, I don’t see anybody getting past him, even if he is retired,” Trace answered, thinking of the German Shepherd he had worked with when he was a part of the K-9 unit. Hercules had been shot the year before antalya rus escort and despite having recovered, he didn’t have the movement that he’d had before and had been retired. He knew if anything happened at the house that Hercules would follow his training to the letter, despite his disability.
“Well, Hercules or not, I don’t think you’re going to get the chief to change his mind. What are your plans for the dog while you’re stuck in here?”
“I’m not sure, with his training he could be dangerous if a person didn’t know how to handle him. Would you possibly be able to take him for me? It should only be for a couple of days, as soon as I’m out of here you could bring him back to me.” Trace knew that out of everyone, Mitch was the most capable of controlling the retired police dog.
“I’d have to check with Cathy, but it shouldn’t be an issue. She’s been around him and so have our kids and we’ve never had any problems, but the final decision on that will have to be hers. I’ll go give her a call and if she’s good with it then I’ll get your keys and go pick him up,” Mitch said as he gained his feet and headed out of the hospital room. He was back within minutes with an affirmative and after telling Trace to rest up he headed out to pick up his friend and partner’s dog.
Trace lay in the bed questioning everything that had happened that day. The only ones he figured he could have pissed off recently were the people associated with the dealer that he’d arrested the week before. It pissed him off that they hadn’t captured the guys who had shot at him, he had some questions for them that he would love to have answered.
His thoughts were interrupted when one of the nurses came in and informed him that the surgeon had arrived. He merely nodded as she injected something into his IV. He could feel his thoughts slowing and he struggled to keep his eyes open. He finally succumbed to the welcoming sleep and was unaware when they came in to wheel him into surgery.
One Week Later
“God it’s good to be home,” Trace groaned as he made his way through his house, Hercules at his side. He should have only been in the hospital for a couple of days, but his arm ending up infected, along with a couple of other issues had kept him in the hospital longer than anyone had planned. He reached down and clutched his fingers into Hercules hair as they went room by room, checking that everything was as it should be.
Mitch had been good enough to pick him up from the hospital and had even stayed around the house with him for a little bit, but eventually Trace had sent him home, needing the alone time after nearly a week of having people bustle in and out of his room. Leaving Hercules in the kitchen chomping on kibble, Trace continued his check through the house. Not finding anything to worry about, Trace let out a sigh and finally relaxed. He had been more worried than he’d wanted to admit.
He made his way into the bathroom and started filling the tub with water. God he was looking forward to a real bath. Being careful of his left arm and the brace on the upper portion he stripped out of his clothes and using his good arm lowered himself into the warm water.
He’d only been in the tub for about twenty minutes when he heard Hercules barking and throwing a fit. He’d worked with the dog long enough to know that he was highly agitated and used his good arm to push himself out of the tub. Not taking the time to bother with a towel, he rushed out the bathroom door towards the sound of his dog’s barking.
“What the hell!” Trace exclaimed as he walked into the back bedroom to find Hercules with his jaws locked around the arm of a man on the floor. He made his way cautiously into the room only to find a pistol within a foot of the man’s hand. While Hercules had him contained, Trace moved closer and quickly kicked the gun out of the guys reach. The guy on the floor was using a closed fist to try and fight the German Shepherd off. Not wanting his dog to end up injured, Trace gave the release command followed by the command for Hercules to guard.
“Don’t even fucking think about moving,” Trace advised the man as he moved towards the spare bed and the phone on the night table. “You move and he’ll be all over you, not that I would mind, but you might.” Trace quickly made the call and within antalya ucuz escort a minute Carl, the cop sitting in the unmarked that had been parked in front, came into the bedroom after using the key Trace had provided to get into the house.
“Guess the chief had a reason to worry,” Carl muttered as he made his way over to the man and quickly placed steel handcuffs around his wrists to subdue him. “I already called for more backup,” Carl said to Trace with a raised eyebrow as he took in Trace’s unclothed state.
“I was in the tub,” Trace answered lamely.
“I’ll take this guy out while you go put some clothes on. I don’t think the rest of the precinct wants to see your naked ass running around,” Carl told him with a grin as he muscled the guy up from the floor and paraded him out of the bedroom. “Don’t touch anything,” he called back as he made his way down the hallway with his prisoner.
“I’m not stupid,” Trace muttered as he called Hercules to him and headed into his bedroom. He quickly pulled on a pair of sweatpants, sans underwear, and a tank top before making his way out to the living room to find the place nearly overrun with officers. The one Trace was surprised to see was Mitch. It wasn’t because he was there, but because he was off duty and Trace was trying to figure out how he’d heard about it so quickly.
“Heard it on the scanner,” Mitch answered at Trace’s questioning look. “They must have been watching your house and planned to finish the job they had started as soon as you were alone.”
“I’m never alone,” Trace answered with a grin as he stroked the devoted Shepherd next to him.
“The guys are already searching around the perimeter of the house trying to find his car, but so far no luck. My guess is that they’re not going to find anything,” Mitch told him as they made their way into the bedroom where other officers were bagging the pistol and searching for any indication on who their man was.
“If they were watching the house then they’d know about the unmarked parked in front. My guess is they parked in the alley that runs behind these houses. One came in and the rest waited in the car to make their getaway.”
“I really don’t like this Trace, maybe you should come and stay with me and the family. They’re obviously going to keep trying for you.”
“Can’t do that Mitch. Think about it, if they know where I live, then there’s a pretty damn good chance that they know where you live. I won’t place your family in jeopardy just to keep my ass alive,” Trace said vehemently.
Two Days Later
“You’re doing what?!” Mitch practically yelled as he watched Trace load a couple of suitcases into the back of his truck.
“You heard me,” Trace answered. “I’ve already talked to the chief about it. I need to recuperate and I’m not spending the next who knows how long at a damn motel. I found a place a couple of hours from here that I can rent for a couple of months. It will get me away from here and they won’t know where I’ve gone.”
“So you’re just going to run from them?” Mitch asked unbelievingly.
“No, I’m not going to just run from them. As much as I’d love to stay and fight them, the chief has already put me on a medical leave of absence. I’m not going to just sit here and wait for them to come at me again.”
“You know we’ll find them,” Mitch assured him, already coming down from his outburst. In the year that they’d been partners, Mitch had begun to feel more like Trace was his brother and hated to see all that was happening to him.
“I’m counting on you to do just that,” Trace answered seriously.
“What about Hercules?”
“He’s going with me. The place I’m going allows pets, and nobody will be getting past him,” Trace assured his partner.
“Take care of yourself,” Mitch told him as he clasped a hand on his partner’s good arm. “I meant what I said before; I don’t plan on breaking in another partner anytime soon.”
Trace didn’t tell Mitch where he was going and his partner didn’t ask. He loaded Hercules into the truck before climbing in himself and starting the engine. As he pulled away from his house he thought about the place he was going. As a kid he’d visited a place up in the mountains that had about a dozen little cabins that they rented out. When he found out it was still there he had talked to the chief and then quickly made reservations. Luckily for him, it was too early in the spring for most people to be up in the mountains and so they’d had plenty of cabins available. He kept an eye on his rearview mirror in case anyone was following him and breathed out a sigh of relief as he watched the city get smaller.
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