Officer Anthony Lutz was standing on the curb in front of the Middleboro Sentinel, and he waved tentatively as Chris drove past and into the parking lot. Officer Lutz—Spanky to most everyone in town—had never impressed Chris as the epitome of officerdom. He was slightly built and had a seventies-style porn mustache that looked like he’d borrowed it from the prop department of the local community playhouse. Of course, on the other hand, Spanky certainly seemed to have a nose for illicit activity—especially if it was of the prurient kind. When he found it, however, he usually took part.
Chris got out of his car, shouldered his gym bag and walked over to Officer Lutz, who looked as though he was about to bust wide open.
“So, what is it, Spanky?”
Anthony leaned forward. “I told you not to call me that, Chris!” He kept his voice low as he looked back down the street as though he expected someone to be walking up. “Jesus, I don’t want everyone to know…!”
“Everyone knows, Tony. We all know you like to be disciplined. Who doesn’t know, at this point? Christ, it’s why you joined the force. You love the uniforms.”
Tony grinned and ran a hand over his crisp, blue uniform. “Yeah, I do like the uniforms…but still. I don’t think everyone knows about me.”
“No, they don’t.”
Chris slapped his forehead. He was getting tired of this routine. “Yeah, Tony, they do…” It came out sounding a little harsher than he’d intended.
Tony looked away for a second and then seemed to focus on his shoes. “What’s wrong with you? You’re mad about something, aren’t you?” Tony never looked you in the eye when he was upset. It was part of his subservient nature.
“I’m not mad,” said Chris, feeling suddenly a little more conciliatory.
“Your neck’s red.”
“Your neck…it always turns red when you’re mad.”
Chris felt his neck. “It does not turn red.”
“Yes, it does. It turns bright red. Ask anyone.” Tony suddenly stepped forward and touched Chris’ neck.
“Stop it! Get your hands off me, Spanky!”
“It is so red!” Tony seemed suddenly proud of himself, but he still wouldn’t look Chris in the eye. “Red. Look everyone! His neck is so red.” He said this last part to the street, but there was no one there but Chris and Tony.
“Why did you call me?”
“It is red.”
“It is not red. Why did you call?”
“Because. We got another one. You said, ‘call me if you get another one.’ Well, we got another one.”
Chris, who’d been getting tired of this conversation, suddenly perked up. “Really? Are you kidding me?” In his sudden excitement, Chris playfully punched Tony in the arm.
“Ow. Don’t punch me,” said Tony. Then, looking up with a sly smile, he added: “Unless you mean it.”
“I don’t. Who was it?”
“Why don’t we ever play, Chris? A big strong wrestler like you could teach me to behave. Would you like that?”
“You’re neck is red.”
“Who, Tony! Who was it?”
Tony made a face and stomped his foot. “You…oh! Chris, you make me so mad sometimes…!” He folded his arms across his chest and looked away for a second, but Chris could tell Tony was dying to tell what had happened. And, sure enough, after a second or two of pouting, Tony whipped out his cell phone, looked for something, then he held it out to show Chris a photo of a man. “His name was Lonnie Douglas.”
“Lonnie Douglas?” Chris took Tony’s phone and looked at the picture for a few seconds, then he handed it back. “I know him. He went to high school with me. He’s into the wrestling scene.”
“Did he wrestle in high school?”
Chris had to think. “No, I think he played football. Kind of a big guy. Hairy. Really into pro.”
Lonnie looked up. “He was a prostitute?”
“He liked professional style wrestling. Boots. Masks. That kind of stuff. So, tell me what happened?”
“Well, Mr. Douglas hasn’t been to work in a few days and his boss asked us to check up on him. There were no signs of forced entry. But we found his clothes in the garage and a big pile of cum on some wrestling mats. His wallet wasn’t taken. It just looked like he wrestled, came and then…” Tony smiled. “Went.”
“Very…very funny. Jesus, Tony. How many does this make? Seven?”
Tony put away his phone and put on his best Officer Lutz face—which meant he was trying to look stern. It did not work. “Have you had intercourse with this man?”
“Really, Tony? Intercourse? You sound like an idiot.”
“Have you guy’s fucked?”
“That’s more like it. But no, Tony, I never fucked him. I haven’t seen him in months. I wasn’t into the pro scene.”
“That’s too bad, I think he was kinda hot. I wonder if he liked leather…”
“Okay, focus, dude. Have there been any ransom demands for any of these guys?”
“No. Nothing. They just vanish. Apparently after having really great sex.”
“The cum stains.”
“Yeah. Just come and go.” Tony laughed again. “Get it?”
“Yeah, I get it. Jesus.”
Tony cocked his head to one side with a look of concern. “Are you sure you’re okay? You look upset about something.”
Chris unconsciously rubbed his neck. “No. Nothing’s wrong. I’m…I’m fine…great…”
Tony looked at him with feigned sympathy for a second and then brightening up, he added. “Guess who I saw in town today?”
Chris, whose thoughts had gone somewhere else, managed a “Huh?”
“Matt Damon. Standing on the street.”
“Matt Damon?” Chris was having a hard time getting his head around this turn in the conversation. “What are you talking about?”
“I mean Matt Hot-as-hell Damon. I saw him. Standing on the side of the road just a block from Lonnie Douglas’ house. He was just standing there, looking at me, as I drove past. I almost wrecked the squad car. You know how I have this big fantasy about Matt Damon in a state trooper’s uniform arresting me…”
Chris waved him away.
“I mean it, Chris. It was Matt Damon, in the flesh. And guess what? He was dressed in a state trooper’s uniform. If I hadn’t been with fat old Officer Bill, I would have slammed on the breaks.”
Chris was shaking his head. “That makes no fucking sense, Tony.”