The Reality of Dreams
Hathaway savagely ripped his tie from around his neck the second he got through the door of his flat. The same jerky movements opened the collar button plus the next three on his shirt and removed his suit jacket.
How could Robbie support Anne Sadikov? He'd thought his new guv'nor beyond reproach. Had he made an error of judgement here? He'd thought Robbie was nothing like DI Knox. Lewis's down to earth manner and adherence to the law made him an excellent mentor, someone Hathaway could look up to. Correcting himself, Hathaway thought, 'his usual adherence to the law'.
Irritated at this new wrinkle in his reality he went to the kitchen, opened one of the wall cupboards and extracted a tumbler. Picking up the bottle of scotch on the worktop he carelessly sloshed a good measure into the glass and swallowed it; holding his breath for the few seconds it took the cool liquid to transform into a stream of comforting warmth and flow down his throat into his stomach.
Rolling the empty tumbler between his palms he slowly perambulated around his kitchen and lounge, the movement helping him to clarify his thoughts.
Platt had cold bloodedly murdered Anne's mother. That was an established fact. No defence, and he'd done it because he wanted to try a new high; adrenochrome. By implication Linn, Greely and Bundrick were also guilty, by omission, if not actual commission.
Just how was it that different to Anne allowing the dogs to get to her disabled husband? Anne would still go to prison, as would Tina, but not for the mandatory life sentence attached to the crime of murder. Anne would get pled down to involuntary manslaughter and, no doubt, Tina's lawyers would have an equally valid plea worked out before long, too.
On the other hand, the murder of Patsy Worth would not have been brought to light without their actions, and four men would have gotten away scot free, not to mention the emotional crime of taking a mother away from her young child.
Who carries the most guilt?
Which, of the many misdeeds here, should have meted out the greatest punishment?
Whose soul carries the bigger stain of sin?
Hathaway dropped his head back and groaned aloud. It was too bloody late in the day for this. He'd gone along with the paperwork for the case, without making an official complaint, therefore making himself complicit with Lewis.
Absently he poured himself another drink. Picking up his suit jacket he made his way to his bedroom. Not bothering with a light he hung the jacket in the wardrobe, took off his shoes and put those away, fished his mobile from his trouser pocket then lay back on the bed, one arm folded behind his head, going over the case in his mind whilst savouring the sips of his scotch. Vaguely he knew he should think about getting something to eat before long but at the moment he was far too comfortable to think about moving.
Reaching out a long arm he put the empty glass on the bedside table, his hand falling back onto the 'V' of his skin where his shirt gaped open. He smiled into the darkness remembering Robbie's more than suggestion that he'd be more believable on the chatline and his own embarrassment when Innocent had been standing in front of him just before he dialled. Lewis sitting beside him he could cope with, it felt like support and back-up. Chief Superintendent Innocent listening in from three feet away felt plain wrong. He'd been too wound up in the office to be in any way affected by Tina's suggestive words and tone, however now, his off the wall imagination began playing with the voices and switching them around. Laura, in a waspish mood, would be sarcastic and unhelpful. He laughed out loud as the voice on the telephone became Jean Innocent. At first he could imagine her being charming and diplomatic then switching to giving firm orders should the caller be inclined to linger over their pleasure. Between one irreverent thought and the next he tipped over into sleep.
Lewis turned to face him, his mobile clamped to his ear.
'Ready?' he checked.
'Ready for what, Sir?' Hathaway asked, confused.
'Away man! Don't try that on me! We did rock, paper, scissors in the office and you lost. So.' Lewis pressed a button on his phone.
Hathaway heard and felt the vibration of his phone ringing in his pocket. Pressing the answer key he said, 'Hello?'
'Hello, and what should I call you, then?'
Hathaway looked at his boss sitting less than four feet away and speaking to him through his phone in a growling parody of a sex chatline voice, albeit one with a distinct North East flavour.
'If you want. Sounds a bit pretentious though. Sure you don't want to pick another name?'
Lewis lowered his phone against his chest, saying in a hissed whisper,
'You'll have to do better than that. Her ladyship won't like it if you mess up the tape.' He jerked his head towards the window on his other side where Jean Innocent sat wearing a pair of earphones and glaring at Hathaway.
'Um, J... James. Call me James, Sir.'
'You'd like me to give you orders then, James?'
Hathaway was torn between keeping his attention on the phone call and Innocent's face looking at him.
'Ma'am, sorry, I can't, not with you looking!'
'Hathaway, get on with it!' Innocent ordered, through the glass.
Suddenly, shockingly, his chair was spun around so Hathaway's back was to the glass and Lewis was sitting in his own chair alongside him, close enough to touch.
'You're a bit shy, is that it, James?' Lewis asked, his voice softer than normal and, thankfully, without the throaty tone.
'Umm, yes, yes, I've never done this before,' James stammered back, still talking into his phone even though Lewis was close enough for him to see each individual pore on the other man's face.
'You just need to relax, James,' Lewis replied kindly, reaching out to lay his palm against James' cheek.
Robbie's hand felt hot against his face. Hot and staggeringly intimate. Hurriedly James switched ears.
'You just let me take care of everything and I guarantee you'll love it!' Lewis said, allowing his hand to slide slowly down Hathaway's face and onto the skin of his chest where he'd undone his shirt earlier. His hand kept going, his voice speaking softly, background noise to soothe him.
James could feel his breathing changing; getting deeper. That hand, arousing, erotic, as it undid every button. Before he knew it his belt was unbuckled too. He swallowed hard. Lewis couldn't fail to notice the state his Sergeant was in.
'Shush, shush,' Lewis sighed at him. 'It's OK. It's what's required.'
Lewis was leaning forwards towards him. The welcome heat of his hand sliding down the fabric of his trousers. He was going to touch him there and kiss him. Robbie was really going to do it! Hathaway licked his lips then leaned forward meeting him half way in a soft kiss, then another, then another. Each hotter and wetter than the last; a touch of tongues and Hathaway's hand was sliding behind Robbie's neck to hold him close at the same moment that Robbie's other hand began to move earnestly and knowingly at his still covered crotch.
An undignified groan broke from him. Incongruously he hoped that wouldn't make it onto the tape, which, in view of the little show he and Lewis were putting on, should have been the least of his worries.
When Lewis began kissing down his jaw to his throat he was embarrassingly aware he wasn't going to last too much longer.
Whispering in Hathaway's ear, Lewis said,
'Ah, bonny lad, you look beautiful like this. Just let it happen. Relax and do it for me.'
Then the mobile, which was no longer in his sweaty, tight grip began to ring.
Hathaway opened his eyes onto his pitch black bedroom with a gasp. His heart was racing and he could feel sweat cooling at his hairline and on his upper lip. And his mobile really was ringing. Groaning when he saw the caller id, he picked it up.
'Sorry about this Hathaway, duty calls. Three car pile-up on the by-pass and uniform found a spare human head in the boot of one of the cars. Innocent wants us to deal.'
Hathaway was making a valiant attempt to orientate himself from sleep to awake and real life.
'Hathaway, you alright?'
'Yes, Sir,' he replied automatically.
'Well, are you coming?'
'Sir!' He broke the connection, swung his feet to the floor then stopped.
'Wrong tense, Sir,' he muttered to himself as a familiar, faintly bleachy odour wafted up to him.