Not the author's usual fare, including as it does rape and murder (and lots of both). Detective Hank Fairly is trying to figure out who’s behind the bizarre murder of multiple handsome young gay men around the country. Originally a Halloween offering.
“The victim is male, Caucasian, apparently early 20s,” the policewoman read from her report. “ID?” Fairly asked. The big butch woman shook her head. “Looks like the perp must have lifted it. Nothing on the victim.”
Fairly arched an eyebrow.
Charlene cleared her throat. “That’s another odd thing,” she continued. “The room was paid for in cash and registered to the resort’s VP for Sales.” Fairly gave Charlene a glance. “Who is on vacation in the Baltic with his wife and kids,” she added. “I’ve spoken to him already.” Fairly nodded. “Let me guess—we’re missing a desk clerk?” Charlene nodded again. “You want to see the victim?”
Cute little thing, Fairly thought. If he weren’t so thoroughly, messily dead.
The kid was short, slender, pale, longish nut brown hair tied back in a little queue, like he was a Revolutionary War soldier or something. In a heap in the corner of the bathroom, blood everywhere.
“Exsanguinated,” Charlene pointed out. “Or near enough.”
The point where the blood had left the body was all too plainly clear. “What did he use on this kid?” Fairly asked aloud. “A fucking baseball bat?” Charlene looked at Fairly. He rarely swore, much less dropped the f-bomb. “Are you sure he is the correct pronoun, Detective?”
Fairly nodded, clearly distracted.
“From the looks of it, Aileen Wuornos would have been gentler,” he observed. “They must have made a helluva racket.” Charlene checked her notebook. “Not so much, apparently. We tracked down the people on either side, across the hall, above, and below—no complaints.”
Fairly shook his head.
“Not much to work with.”
The Big Man only made it as far as Sacramento.
His time with Max Speer and Ben Costello had been more tiring than he had anticipated. He had planned to stay in his room that evening. Sacramento’s best hotel had a comfortable bed and a big screen television. The Big Man liked to watch sports, any kind of sport, so long as the protagonists were male and competing against each other. And yet…
He felt the call, and answered.
Walking through the gay district’s glitziest dance bar, he saw a dozen handsome young men, any of whom would meet his needs. Not bad for a city this size and a definite step up from Portland, much less Spokane.
From across the bar, Jamie Renteria was totally gobsmacked. The Big Man looked like he had stepped out of a Tom of Finland drawing, leather clad, huge, and handsome, with wavy dark hair, fine features, and an alabaster complexion. The Big Man turned towards Jamie, saw the look on Jamie’s face, gave him a smile. Jamie stopped breathing. It couldn’t be—the Big Man was coming his way, an aircraft carrier in the midst of water taxis.
“Call me Ben,” the huge man said, sticking out his large, powerful hand. “You are a very handsome young man.”
A few days later Charlene called with the lab reports. “He was raped to death,” she said. “In addition to blood loss, most of the major organs between his sternum and anus were ruptured or severely bruised.” Fairly nodded to himself. “Any indication of what sort of instrument was used?”
Charlene cleared her throat. “Well, that’s the thing, chief,” she said. “As far as the pathologist can tell, whoever did it had one helluva big dick.” Fairly sat upright. “You’re joking, right?” Charlene snorted. “You know me, chief, I don’t care dick about dick, but even I’m impressed—the Doc says the thing must have been at least 18 inches long and probably 12 inches in circumference.”
Fairly let out a whistle.
“Well, that shouldn’t be too hard to find, should it?”
Charlene’s laugh was a cackle. “Chief, I know men and women who have been looking for something like that all their lives and haven’t come close.”
Come to think of it, Fairly said to himself.
“And it’s not exactly like you Y-chromosome types walk around with no pants on either, is it?” Charlene had a point.
How was he going to find the biggest dick in America?
Jamie volunteered to drive Ben back to his hotel, although he was a little surprised that anyone who could afford that address wouldn’t have rented a car. He didn’t seem to mind the somewhat cramped quarters of Jamie’s BMW convertible, although perhaps it helped that it was a warm night and the top was down.
“I grew up in a working class neighborhood,” Jamie chattered. “But I did well in school, good enough to get a scholarship to Reed College up in Portland.” The Big Man glanced at the rear view mirror, taking in Jamie’s sparkling brown eyes. “Then it was Stanford for the MBA and now I’m the youngest Associate VP in the company,” Jamie continued, stroking his own ego and seeking approval at the same time. Ben nodded to indicate his appreciation. “But you know how it is,” Jamie continued. “Big family, lots of brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews all needing a hand-out. I had hoped to have a house by now but I’m still stuck in a ratty apartment. The Beemer is my one indulgence.”
The Big Man let the words wash over him, nodding, grunting, tilting his head, automatically in tune with the rhythm of the conversation, paying no attention to it. “Where are you from?” Jamie asked. Most of the Big Man’s playthings never got around to asking questions, they were too busy seeking his approval or laying on the compliments.
“I ask because I noticed you have an accent, very slight,” he said. “I had to work very hard to get rid of mine but if you want to climb the corporate ladder, you know, it’s standard English all the way.”
The Big Man thought for a moment, then answered. “Norway,” he said. “Or what is now Norway, I should say.” What is now Norway probably registered on Jamie’s consciousness in some subliminal fashion but it did not deter him from his standard Gay.com set of twenty questions:
“Did you have brothers and sisters growing up? How tall are you? Over 6 ft., I can tell! And you’re so amazingly built—how much do you weigh?” Jamie glanced at the Big Man’s reflection in the window. Sometimes guys, especially ones he had just met, were irked by all the questions, but Ben’s face was expressionless, perfectly at rest, neither smiling nor frowning.
“Just brothers,” the Big Man said. “I was the oldest.”
Jamie grinned. He knew a thing or two about big brothers. He was the youngest of his family, an eldest son, then four girls, then Jamie. Growing up he had adored his big brother, Manny, a hunky auto mechanic who had been run over by a drunk driver while trying to help a stranded motorist.
“6’2,” Ben continued. “And, I don’t know. About 300 pounds, I think.” Jamie whistled. “You’re exactly twice my size!” The Big Man clenched his ham size fists, veins exploding across forearms the size of Jamie’s quads. “Yes, so it seems,” the Big Man acknowledged. “And quite a bit taller, too.”
Jamie grinned. “Yep, just 5’8 here,” he said, adding. “I’m surprised you’d look my way.” Ben’s eyes caught Jamie’s in the mirror, pinned him there, the way a lion pins a gazelle on the savanna. “You are a beautiful man,” Ben said. “And I am attracted to all things beautiful.” Jamie blushed.
In the bedroom of Ben’s suite, there was no foreplay, no doubt that Jamie wanted everything the Big Man had to offer. For whatever reason, the Big Man found himself taking his time, resisting the call, keeping a lid on the passion that would soon consume his plaything.
Jamie, the Big Man thought. His name is Jamie.
For his part, Jamie was aflame with desire. Never had he been with a man so huge, so built, so hard, so intimidating, and so remote. Ben’s body was made of marble, completely unpliable, and cold as marble, but his touch was like fire.
“Give it to me,” Jamie cried out. “I need it!”
The Big Man put aside his resistance and heeded the call, his member growing ever larger, thicker, his thrusting slow at first, but then quicker and more excited. The plaything—Jamie, he reminded himself—lasted a good long while. It was only after the Big Man passed the 13-inch mark that Jamie began to show signs of distress, and even those were submerged in the frenzy of his lust.
Only at the very last did Jamie seem to understand that something was amiss.
“Ben,” he said between grunts. “Ben, what are you doing to me? I, uh, I don’t think…” The Big Man put his big hand across Jamie’s mouth. “Hush, Jamie,” he said. “Ride it.” Jamie closed his eyes, his passion continuing to build. Only when the Big Man’s tool reached its full, mammoth expanse did Jamie orgasm, just as his internal organs were being ripped to shreds.
“Ben,” Jamie murmured. “Thank you…”
The Big Man ran his hand across Jamie’s fevered brow.
“Sleep now,” he said. “Sleep, Jamie.”
A few hours later…
The high-pitched shriek woke Jamie from his daze.
“Madre a dios!” the young uniform-clad Latina housemaid exclaimed.
Jamie’s vision doubled, tripled, and then for one brief moment, came into focus. “Alicia? Alicia, what’s wrong with me?” Alicia looked at the young man in the middle of the blood-soaked bed. His face was no face she knew, yet he seemed to know her name, and his voice…
“Alicia,” he murmured. “It’s me, Jamie.”
Her eyes flew open. “Jamie? But how?”
She took his hand in one of her own, while paging her supervisor with the walkie-talkie at her hip. “Alicia, tell mama…” Alicia began to sob. “Jamie, por favor, who did this to you?” With his last breath, Jamie whispered…
“Ben,” he said. “Ben Costello.”
The small young Latina stopped dabbing her eyes and looked up at the detective.
“I don’t understand,” he continued. “You claim that the victim is your cousin, Jamie Renteria, but he has the face of another man.”
Alicia shook her head, then nodded, and looked ready to sob again. “I don’t understand, Mister Fairly,” she said. “I don’t know why he has the face of another man. But he is my cousin Jamie, I swear on our grandmother’s grave.”
Fairly felt pieces begin to click into place. “And the name he gave you?”
She looked at him again. “I told the first policeman, Mister Fairly, before I ever met you, you can check with him,” Alicia said. “Jamie said Ben Costello, I’m sure of it, without any doubt.”
Fairly looked at her again. “How can you be so sure? We might have…”
Alicia interrupted. “Mister Fairly, my father was named Benito, Ben for short, and he loved Abbott and Costello movies, so much that I was sick of them. There is no way I could forget a name like Ben Costello!”
Fairly nodded his head. “Miss Lopez, I can’t explain what is going on, or why, but I think you have just helped me solve a very important puzzle.” Alicia’s eyes flashed. “It is Jamie you should be thanking,” Alicia said, and then she did begin to sob again.
Fairly stood up.
“I’m very sorry, Miss Lopez, I know it doesn’t bring your cousin back. We all owe him a great many thanks,” he said, then he left the room.
“Well, chief, that’s totally X-Files, if you ask me,” she said.
Fairly stared into his coffee cup. “Indeed,” he said. “But it would explain a lot, wouldn’t it?”
Charlene nodded. “How the missing Orlando hotel clerk wound up dead in the hotel room in Atlanta? Yes. How the last man seen with the dead hotel clerk turned up dead at the Palmer House in Chicago? Yes.”
Fairly sighed. “But how it happens…” Charlene snorted. “Chief, you’re the one with the Ph.D. in Norse mythology, not me,” she continued. “It sounds like one of the stories you’re always telling me.” Fairly dropped his coffee cup, the steaming java staining the hotel room carpet.
“Of course!” he said. “It’s Loki and the Mask of Death, all over again.”
Charlene gave Fairly a glance.
“Uh, Chief?” she asked. “Wasn’t that a Jim Carrey movie?”
But Fairly wasn’t listening, he was gathering up his stuff.
“Charlene, I want you to do a trace of Renteria’s whereabouts…”
“He’s in the morgue, Chief!” she exclaimed.
Fairly shook his head.
“His corpse is,” Fairly said. “His identity, however, has been stolen. We can track this fucker down.” Charlene blinked. This is way over my head, she thought to herself. “I’ll meet you back here in two hours,” Fairly said. Charlene raised an eyebrow. “Where are you going?” she asked, while punching in numbers on her cell phone.
Fairly’s voice was grim but excited.
“Where else?” he replied. “I’m going to the library!”
The door of the inn blew open and the Big Man walked in the warm, cozy room, his head nearly brushing the smoke-blackened ceiling beams. The innkeeper hurried over to close the door behind him.
“I’ll be needing a room and a meal,” the Big Man said.
The innkeeper gulped. The newly arrived guest was not only extremely tall (As tall as General Washington, I wager, the innkeeper thought) but extremely broad and powerful looking.
“Aye, sir, it’s no fit night out for man or beast,” the innkeeper said, licking his lips. “And while I have plenty of grub for a traveler, I fear we have nary a room available on a night like tonight.” The Big Man grunted, then pulled out a fat purse. “Surely the stable…?” The innkeeper’s eyes bulged. “Oh, surely, sir, the hay loft is warm and clean, if ye don’t mind being in with the animals.”
The Big Man nodded his head.
“I have come a hundred miles,” he said. “And I have another hundred to travel on the morrow. A good night’s rest is what I need.”
The innkeeper motioned to his nephew, who doubled as a serving boy, bar back, and general handy man for his uncle’s establishment. “Nick,” he said. “Take the gentleman’s cloak and get him settled in for a bite.” Nick did as his uncle bade him to do. When the Big Man handed him his cloak, Nick gasped in astonishment. The guest was a veritable giant, with shoulders the width of an ox, a chest the size of a prize bull, and arms that appeared to be made of cannonballs.
The Big Man gave Nick an appraising look. The young man was short, slender, and pale, with longish nut brown hair tied back in a little queue. For all his youth and slenderness he was obviously healthy and strong and he filled his white breeches in a manner that showed he was indeed a man, not a boy.
Nick felt his heart begin to race. He had had a few encounters with some of the lads over the years but always brief, unsatisfying, and seemingly pointless. He had always dreamed of meeting a Hercules or a Samson, knowing it was unlikely in this day and age, even in the newly independent United States. He brought food, plentiful and hearty, over to the Big Man, and listened as his uncle tried to engage him in small talk. The visitor was a man of few words and the words he did deign to share had a slight, Germanic accent. The Big Man saw the innkeeper’s expression and answered the question the hosteler dared not ask:
“I mind you take me for a Hessian,” he said, “but you’d be wrong to do so. I’m a Dane, here on my king’s business.”
The innkeeper breathed a sigh of relief. “And be your name Hamlet then, good sir?” the innkeeper asked, with a wink and a nod.
The Big Man just stared.
“Uh, well, yes,” the innkeeper said. “I am needed in the kitchen. Nick here will escort ye to your quarters when ye have finished supping.”
As soon as the innkeeper left, the Big Man motioned Nick over and, much to Nick’s surprise, engaged in him in conversation, asking about life in the inn (boring), whether he had traveled (no, unfortunately), whether he had fought in the recently concluded war (too young), and whether he had met any other Danes.
“You are the one, good sir,” Nick said. “Please, sir, how shall I call you?” The Big Man chuckled. “I have forgotten my manners, it seems,” he said, extending a hand the size of a Virginia ham. “You can call me Mister Lokesen.” “Locason?” Nick repeated. The Big Man nodded.
Nick wound up bringing Lokesen two more plates of food before handing him his cloak and lighting the lantern to take him to the barn. Lokesen followed Nick up the ladder to the hayloft and when Nick turned to head back down his way was blocked by the Lokesen’s mountainous form.
“Tell me, young Nick,” Lokesen said, doffing his coat and beginning to unfasten his silk shirt. “Have you ever seen a man as large as I am?”
Nick’s eyes were bulging. The more Lokesen undressed, the more besotted he became. He had never seen anyone remotely close in size to the Big Man, even the big Hessian mercenaries who had passed through the village more than once. Nick slowly shook his head. Lokesen began loosening the laces of his breeches.
“But you’ve seen men,” Lokesen said. “Men undressed, Nick, yes? With nothing between your flesh and theirs?” Nick licked his lips. He nodded. “And you know what to with a man, do you not? How to please a man?”
Nick nodded again. Can this be real? he asked himself. What brings this God to my little village? “You do,” the Big Man said, answering his own and Nick’s questions. Nick’s eyes grew larger as he saw the Big Man’s cock. “My God,” he said.
“Yes,” Lokesen said. “Your God.”
And then he took Nick in his arms.
The next morning the innkeeper found the Big Man’s purse on the table where he had supped. His horse was gone and, presumably, the Big Man as well.
Nick had neglected to start the morning fire, or to bring water from the well. The innkeeper began yelling for his nephew. He knew that Nick had, well, yearnings that might get him into trouble but thus far he had managed to do his work and carry his share of the load. His sister’s orphan was as close to a son he would ever have.
“Nick,” the innkeeper called again. “Nick, goddammit. Where are ye, lad?”
Walking under the hayloft, the innkeeper felt a wet drop land on his nose. He reached up, wiped it, and looked at his finger. Deep red blood, still relatively warm.
And so Loki cursed the beautiful mortal who spurned his affections. Haakon would have the body of a god, a twin of Thor, who Loki detested, but no face of his own. For a thousand years he would wear the face of each beautiful man his lust—Loki’s lust—would consume. Only when called by his own name, a name he could never utter, would Haakon be set free.
Fairly spoke into his cellphone when he exited the library:
“Charlene,” he said. “I’m headed to San Francisco.”
Lokesen lay on his back upon the magnificent bed in his suite at the Clift San Francisco. As he had done every night for centuries, he marveled at the body Loki had given him. The vast shoulders, the Herculean chest, the gigantic arms, the cobbled midsection, the stallionesque legs, the ponderous calves. He longed to touch the body, to enjoy its magnificence, and yet he dared not do so. The call would come soon enough and he would submit to it, submit as he had done so many thousands of times, each time taking the life and the face of another beautiful young man, each time loathing himself, his heart breaking for the life he had taken, just as it had broken long before he had ever been visited by Loki, when he had been rejected by Nils, the big, strapping, village blacksmith. Had it not been for Nils, he might have said yes to Loki, and spared himself and the world so much grief. But he had let the pain of his rejection turn into vanity and arrogance.
Loki, a God, hadn’t been good enough; the beautiful young man who had been Haakon had spurned Loki’s attentions.
The call came soon enough.
The dance club was filled with beautiful young men, as only a dance club in San Francisco can be. Yet it wasn’t the beautiful young men who caught Lokesen’s eye that evening, it was the leather man. Probably 40, if Lokesen were any judge of these things (and he was a poor judge at best), just his height, fit and well-muscled but still small in comparison to Lokesen’s imposing physique. Dark hair, receding, a beard around his mouth and chin (a goatee, they called it), shot through with silver as well as black, brilliant dark brown eyes.
“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?”
Lokesen twitched slightly. They never approached him first. That was part of the curse. He had to make the first move, even when he knew in advance the horror waiting at the end. And yet this man did.
“And you are a man who appreciates beautiful things,” he continued.
Lokesen looked at the man more closely. In his own way, the tall man was beautiful. Handsome, they would say in this time. Manly, masculine. Something about him reminded Lokesen of Nils, although Nils’ face was as lost to Lokesen as his own; it had been far, far too long.
“Jamie,” Lokesen said, sticking out his hand. “Jamie Renteria.” The tall man took the proferred hand. Lokesen felt a shock run through his body. “Fairly,” the tall man said. “Hank Fairly.” Lokesen realized that Fairly was the one that night but the usual urgency, the need to conquer and consume quickly, was missing.
“You are a very handsome man, as well,” Fairly continued. “But I would guess that you are older than you appear.” Lokesen felt a prick of his old vanity, vanity that he thought had left him so long ago. “And what makes you think…” he began. Fairly interrupted. “It’s a compliment, you know. Most people guess my age wrong, too.”
Lokesen looked him up and down again. “I’m no great judge of ages…” Fairly put a hand on Lokesen’s giant arm, trying to gauge its massive girth. He ran a thumbnail along the backside of Lokesen’s upper arm and the giant shivered slightly.
“I’m 57,” Fairly continued. “Shall I take you back to your hotel?”
There was no need for a car in San Francisco. They walked the streets, two tall men, one hugely muscled, the other obviously fit and athletic. Two hot hunky gay men in a city full of them, although the never-ending glances made it clear that they were deemed hotter and hunkier than most.
Back at the Clift, Fairly slowly undressed Lokesen. He worshipped every inch of the giant man’s body. Lokesen was amazed to realize that there was no fear, no anxiety, in this man’s touch. That his touch was appreciative and only appreciative, not at all intimidated. He relaxed and enjoyed it, his giant meat becoming ever harder the more relaxed he became. Eventually, Lokesen’s tool was at its maximum length and girth. By this time, most of the playthings, the objects of Loki’s lust, would have been dead or screaming in mixed pain and pleasure, the last moment of ecstatic bliss before the catastrophic failure of their internal organs.
“You know what this will do to you, don’t you?” Lokesen asked, wonder in his voice. It took both of Fairly’s big hands to circle Lokesen’s gigantic cock. “I know what it could do, yes,” Fairly replied. “I know what it has done, for that matter.” Lokesen put his massively muscular hand on Fairly’s chin and turned his head to face his eyes.
Did he really…?
“To Jamie,” Fairly said, as Lokesen gathered him up in his arms.
“To Ben,” he continued, as Lokesen lay him down on the bed.
Lokesen propped himself on his gigantic arm and ran his thick, powerful fingers over Fairly’s body. “How could you possibly know?” Lokesen asked. “Are you a policeman?” Fairly nodded. “I’m a policeman, yes,” he said. Lokesen sighed. “So are you going to, what is the expression, put me under arrest?” Fairly shook his head. “I know about Nick, too,” he said. Lokesen glanced at Fairly in astonishment. “How could you possibly know about Nick?” Fairly continued to run his hands over Lokesen’s body, including the instrument of death between Lokesen’s legs.
“Science is catching up,” Fairly said, quite reasonably. “DNA testing and other forensic analysis made it clear that the victim we found in the Orlando hotel room wasn’t born in the 20th century. And I grew up in Waldo, Connecticut.”
Lokesen blinked. He had never forgotten the name of Nick’s village. “The mystery of Nick Hornby is nearly as old as Waldo itself,” Fairly continued. Lokesen put his hand around Fairly’s neck, easily encircling it despite its 18 inch girth. “But how could I have had anything to do with that?”
Fairly pulled Lokesen’s face to his own.
“I’m also a student of Norse mythology,” he murmured. “At least, I thought it was mythology.”
The call was urgent now, insistent. Lokesen positioned his brutal hands on either side of Fairly’s much smaller frame, the giant shaft of his murderous cock slapping against Fairly’s torso, stretching from his pubes to his pecs. Fairly showed no trace of fear but somehow he managed to slip out of Lokesen’s grasp as if he were an eel. Lokesen twisted and came to rest on his back, with Fairly’s comparatively frail frame straddling Lokesen’s hips, Fairly’s handsome 10-inch dick fully erect. Lokesen looked up at Fairly’s handsome face.
“You are joking, yes?”
Fairly’s expression held intense concentration.
“Haakon,” he barked. “Yield!”
All the murderous passion left Lokesen’s body.
“How did you know?”
Fairly entered Haakon. Despite its small size, Fairly’s engorged cock scraped and tore at Haakon’s anus, the pain a pain he hadn’t felt in a thousand years. He grimaced and thought to push Fairly off, he could crush the man with one hand, but instead he submitted. He enjoyed his submission.
All through the night Fairly fucked Haakon and Haakon made his confession, reeling off the tens of thousands of names (when he had known the names) of all the men he had fucked to death, each name or face coming unbidden into Fairly’s head, all the way back to the very first, all the way back to Haakon’s face, and that of Nils!
“I remember!” Haakon and Fairly cried out. “I remember!”
And then they slept.
Fairly awoke to the sound of one hand clapping.
“Well done, Detective,” said the tall blond young man standing in front of the bed. “Well done indeed.”
Fairly was resting against pillows, alone, his giant arms alongside his massive torso. He sat up and looked from side to side. Alone? he thought. Massive torso? He looked at the figure at the end of the bed.
“What do you want of me, Loki?”
The glimmering creature shook his head.
“Nothing at all, Detective,” the God said. “Haakon has paid his price.”
Fairly gestured at the body that had been Lokesen’s for a thousand years.
“And this?” he asked.
Loki shrugged. “Yours to keep,” Loki said. “Do with it as you will. It will not last you a thousand years although I daresay it will last longer than the one you had, nice enough though that one was.”
Fairly climbed out of bed. He towered over Loki and weighed at least twice as much but he knew better than to lay a hand on a God.
“It’s your face,” Loki observed, “Slightly enhanced, of course, to fit the rest of your body.” Fairly looked down. “That’s been slightly enhanced, too,” Loki pointed out. “Although not as it was before—you’re not a God, after all.”
Fairly tilted his head, a questioning cast to his brow.
“But why me?” he asked. “And what of Haakon?”
Loki laughed, and began to dissolve.
“Why not?” he shot back. “I’m a God. I’ll do what I like. As for Haakon…”
Charlene looked at the man who had been her boss. He was nearly twice the size of he had been when she’d seen him in Sacramento three days earlier.
“I resigned because he got away,” Fairly said. “There is no one to bring to justice.”
Charlene nodded. “Chief, I hate to say this but the truth is—I’m glad.” Fairly looked at her. “This whole thing has been way too X-Files for me,” Charlene continued. “I would not want to take the stand and try to explain what all has happened.”
Fairly nodded. “That makes two of us, Charlene.” She rested her hand on Fairly’s. Charlene was a big woman and a week ago her hand and his had been about the same size. Now his dwarfed hers, the size of a hubcap, and apparently made of steel.
“Chief, can you live with this?”
For the first time in a long time, Fairy smiled. In the mirror on the wall behind Charlene, he saw Haakon’s face, also smiling.
“I can live with it,” Fairly said. “I don’t have much choice, do I?”