BENJAMIN was a cop. It was all he had. He lived his life according to the rules, breaking very few of them along the way. He knew what was right, and he knew what was wrong. Easy. Being a cop came naturally. He’d spent six years in the Army with special ops. He loved it and had planned making it his career when a fragment from an exploding building lodged in his right eye. Surgery had brought back most of the sight in that eye, and his vision had been restored almost back to normal—just not good enough to continue on in special ops. He’d been offered the opportunity to stay in and teach or train new recruits, but that wasn’t for him. Two years after leaving, he graduated from the police academy. It wasn’t the life he’d planned, but he enjoyed it. He kept his nose clean and made sergeant the first time he tested for it. Now here he was—a son of a Pennsylvania farmer, forty-three years old, and a captain in the LAPD.
Ben was well respected by his peers and thought of as a hard-assed, by-the-book superior to those under him. He was a cop 24/7, worked seven days a week—at his desk before anyone else in the morning and at his desk each evening after everyone else had gone home. There was just so much to do. Every case interested him and was studied thoroughly.
Actually, work was all that interested him. He had suffered through five years of a bad marriage early in his life as a beat cop and had no desire to start up another relationship of any kind.
Sex was something he refused to think about—most of the time, anyway. When the need got too much, there was always his good right hand and a magazine or two he kept hidden under his mattress like a guilty teenager. He had to be careful though, he told himself often enough. This was not the little farm community he grew up in. This was Los Angeles, California, one of the biggest cities in the world, and nothing was ever exactly as it seemed. That’s what he loved about the city. That’s also what made him shy away from sex for as long as he could stand it.
When the need for a human connection became too great, he indulged himself with visits to a few places he had learned about shortly after he’d made sergeant. He’d heard that they were safe and clean and many of the city’s finest frequented them on a regular basis. This was extremely important to him as he was nearly fanatical about always using protection. The meeting could be set up either in one of the city’s many hotels or in clubs like Juno’s Place over on Wilson Drive or Barney’s a few blocks away. He debated for weeks before he finally indulged, and he’d been frequenting them for nearly two years before he learned they had young men available as well as women.
The young men he met with were handsome and eager to please, and Benjamin enjoyed himself immensely. At first, he was terrified someone would find out his secret. Then the months and years rolled by, and he became more secure. These places had never been raided, and there had never been a breath of scandal about them. He settled into a routine of about one visit a month before letting police work, once again, become all-consuming.