Hero in Me
Zach's career as a police officer might be over, but his instincts haven't left him, along with the hard lessons he learned on the job. Zach just wants a nice night out, but his sharp wits and nagging conscience drive him to rescue a handsome young man from a bad situation. Will seems just like Zach's type, except that Zach doesn't get involved with victims. But Will isn't quite the victim Zach would like to make him out to be and, before Zach knows it, his personal principles are pitted against Will's fantastic body and determined spirit. (7100 words) ($1.99)To Buy
Zach wasn't sure when the young man had caught his eye, or even why. He'd been watching for twenty minutes now. Watching the hawks circle and the prey get entirely too drunk over a single pint of beer, while around them the pulsing, driving beat of techno music drowned out any possibility of talk. The people here didn't come for talk, though. They came for movement, for alcohol, for sex.
The sandy-haired prey was getting steadily more unsure on his stool. Zach tried to tell himself that he'd just not noticed how much the attractive man had been drinking. Zach also tried not to notice when the prey staggered away from the bar with an overly bright smile and wove his way through dancing, pushing bodies toward the bathroom. He ricocheted off a pair of women, stumbled into a table, and only barely managed to right himself against the wall.
Should anyone be that uncoordinated after one beer? Zach didn't think so, and despite what he'd been trying to tell himself, he was certain the man hadn't had more than that.
The song changed to yet another techno, the lights going from blue to yellow and hard white, spearing through the darkness. The prey still hadn't come out of the bathroom. Two more men had gone in, though.
Zach glanced around for a bouncer. They were out of sight -- just one at the door, and he wouldn't be moved for anything.
Zach was probably overreacting. He tried to focus on his drink, but found his gaze straying to the bathroom over and over again. The prey still hadn't come out. No sign of hair two shades too dark to be gold topping a lean, toned body. How long had it been? Two minutes? Seven?
Another patron walked up to the bathroom door, paused to look around, and ducked inside when someone else exited.
It seemed suspicious. Zach signaled the bartender, getting back the credit card they'd held for him and signing the short receipt. He stood, trying to stay calm, meandering his way through the crowd. Music blared and strobe lights flashed, casting shadows and light so quickly his eyes struggled to adjust. Stepping into the bathroom, with its fluorescent glare and plain white tile, was almost a relief.
Only one stall was open. Zach glanced in it automatically; the toilet seat was broken. He walked past, ducking to count feet under the doors.
Two, two, two, two--