-Big Trouble in Little China-
“So where’d you run off to yesterday?”
With a deep wheeze, Doug sat down on one of the long benches in the officer’s locker room. A fresh, unopened box of Krispy Kreme donuts laid nearby.
“I mean, usually you can’t wait to get off shift and hit the gym, but when I ran into Hans and Gruber earlier, they said they hadn’t seen you all day.”
Leaning backwards, Dominic quickly peered around the edge of his locker. As he watched the plump man shove an entire glazed donut ring into his mouth, he gave a slight shake of his head.
“You do know it’s Heinz and Gustave, right?” Dominic rolled his eyes as he corrected the other man. “Hans Gruber is the bad guy from the movie ‘Die Hard’.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know that,” Doug chortled before playfully punching his partner in the arm. When Dominic didn’t answer, droplets of sweat broke out above the man's thin, cracked lips. “Oh come on man, you know I’m just messin’ with you.”
Dominic’s jaw ticked as he glowered at the spot where Doug’s fist had connected with his arm. “Don’t ever do that again,” he growled in warning. His nostrils flared as he struggled to contain the beast who wanted to interpret the action as a threat.
With a lick of his lips, the stocky officer eyed Dominic nervously. “Yeah, alright,” he said as he stood up and placed a booted foot on the bench.
As Doug bent over to lace up his shoe strings, Dominic could almost feel the other man’s eyes boring holes into the back of his head. “Are you sure you’re all right, man? You’ve been acting really strange ever since yesterday.”
“I’m fine,” Dominic shrugged.
He shook his head ever so slightly, praying that would be answer enough. It’s not exactly like he could tell Doug the truth anyways. He certainly wasn’t about to tell him about Hailee or how she had bitten him just the night before and turned him into the Wolf-man.
Thinking of Hailee, as he gazed at his reflection in the half length mirror inside his locker, the corners of his lips threatened to turn upwards in a smile. Hand trailing down his naked torso, the hulk of a man smirked as he remembered the feeling of Hailee’s plump lips, that were just this morning, wrapped tightly around his thick--
“Yo! Earth to Hastings!” With the snap of fingers in his face, Dominic was pulled back to reality. “Damn, pretty boy. Didn’t your Momma ever teach you that you could go blind from too much of this?” As his dark lips pulled back over his blindingly white smile, Wes clasped the big man on the shoulder with one hand while the other pumped the air up and down in an obscene gesture.
“Well if that’s the case, then I guess you better go get your eyes checked out ASAP, huh Clark?” Plopping down on the same bench as before, Doug crammed another donut in to his mouth before continuing to come to his partner’s defense. “I mean after all, isn’t that why you’re right arm is so much bigger than your left?”
An almost unnoticeable blush crept into Wes’ cheeks as the entire room burst into a chorus of hearty laughter. If ever one needed a poster child for the stereotypical dick cop, they needed to look no further than Wes Clark. Glaring down at Doug, his hand suddenly whipped out and knocked the man’s box of donuts to the ground. With unapologetic eyes, Wes looked back and forth between Dominic and Doug.
“The chief wants to see you two about a briefing on Bojing.” His voice was tight as he stormed off to the other room.
Dominic briefly watched the retreating form of the young, cocky officer before turning back to his partner who appeared to be mourning the loss of his sweets. Even as the man literally struggled to strap the velcro on his vest, Dominic couldn’t believe the words that were about to come from his mouth.
“How ’bout we swing by Dunkin Donuts on our way out tonight?”
Doug’s eyes narrowed as he looked up at Dominic suspiciously.
“Come on,” Dominic sang. “I’ll buy you a dozen as a way to say thank you for sticking up for me.”
“I don’t need your sympathy,” the man grunted.
“And you don’t really need another donut either,” Dominic hissed. “But I’m trying to extend you an olive branch here, man.”
“Why?” Bitter laughter floated up towards him as Doug stood. “It’s just what partners do for each other, right? I’ve got your back, you’ve got mine?”
As he inspected his partner a little further, Dominic realized it looked like the weight of the world had just placed itself on Doug’s shoulders.
“You know, I was supposed to have been in the cyber division by now. Sitting at a desk tracking down hacker IPs and stopping attacks before they even happen. But then along came Molly, the woman of my dreams--” Doug trailed off with a smile before turning somber eyes up towards Dominic.
The larger man couldn’t help but wonder when those dark circles had formed and how he hadn’t noticed them before.
“One thing led to another and before I knew it, one kid turned into two-- then three-- And suddenly now, I’m the old man who gets more jollies from that little red light flashing up ‘hot and fresh’ than seeing my old lady in her knickers once a month.”
“A-- a month?” Dominic gulped.
“You’re right,” Doug nodded, forgiving the fact that he had been interrupted. “That’s far too generous. I’m lucky if I get it on anniversaries, birthdays and Christmas.”
As he fell silent for a moment, Doug’s shoulders slumped forward. “Molly’s pregnant,” he sighed as his head dropped into his hands. “And I still have another seven years before my pension kicks in. Even then, it’s only fifty percent of my salary.”
“Damn.” With a high pitched whistle, Dominic sat down. “I didn’t know things had gotten so bad.”
“I just want to be able to go home, take a nice hot shower, drink a cold beer and sleep in my own bed without three other people laying between me and my wife.” Doug sighed heavily before shaking his head. “I swear to god I had no idea one woman could get pregnant so easily.”
“I’ll have to keep that in mind,” Dominic replied thoughtfully before offering his partner a toothy grin. He wondered how it worked on the supernatural side of things. “You know, if you’re about to be a father of four, maybe you should start laying off the sweets a little.”
“Oh? And I suppose next you’re going to offer to help ‘pump me up’?” Doug snorted while giving his best Schwarzenegger impersonation. “I’ll have you know, RoboCop, there is such a thing as too big. I mean seriously, look at you! What are you on roids now?”
Dominic smirked before looking down at himself. He had to admit, he did feel pretty incredible. If he was being completely honest with himself, he actually felt damn near invincible. Shaking his head, Dominic grabbed out one of his standard issue navy blue shirts before slamming the locker shut.
"No vest today?” Doug looked up at him with concern. Dominic opened his mouth to answer but he suddenly found himself following Doug’s gaze towards his torso.
“And are those hickeys?” The other man’s voice was laced with disbelief as one of his sausage-like fingers pointed to the numerous raised bumps scattered across Dominic’s chest. As he slowly buttoned up his shirt, Doug continued to gape at him, waiting for an answer.
“You do know it wasn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger that played in ‘RoboCop’, right?”
The Chicago skyline was beginning to gray as the sun slowly began peeking over the city. Only a couple hours left till he could head back to Hailee’s, Dominic thought. His mouth was already beginning to water just thinking about that ass.
“Alright man, what the hell is going on?” Doug’s eyes quickly darted over to Dominic with an irritated glare. For a moment, he had forgotten Doug was even in the car.
“This is the third time we’ve passed by this place tonight,” Doug pointed out.
Dominic shifted in the driver’s seat uncomfortably before shrugging his big shoulders. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh come on!” Doug yelled. “Why don’t you just tell me what we’re doing here in Fuller Park when we should be driving around Chinatown.”
Nodding his head, Dominic looked out towards Hailee’s building one last time before pulling on to Halstead. It may have just been the fact that he had a mate now, someone to care for and worry about when they were apart, he couldn’t be sure. But something difinitely had him all riled up tonight.
“You never know,” Dominic tried to recover. “Big Dragon seems like the unpredictable type. They want him to be in Chinatown, so maybe he’s really hiding out in one of these other neighborhoods instead.”
“Come on Dom, he’s number one on Chicago’s hardest criminals to find,” Doug snorted. “I’m pretty sure he’s not hiding out around here. The son of a gun probably lives somewhere on Lake Shore Drive. In the Gold Coast no doubt,” Doug muttered under his breath.
“Wait a minute, I live on Lake Shore Drive.” Dominic gave his partner a hurt look. “Does that mean I’m a son of a bitch?”
“No. You’re an asshole.”
Dominic’s eyes narrowed as his head angrily whipped towards Doug. He was about to comment how ‘it takes one to know one’, when he suddenly slammed on the breaks.
“Did you see that?”
With the force of the stop, Doug’s body violently lurched forward into the dashboard before crashing back into his seat. “Judas Priest! You could warn a guy,” Doug complained as he rubbed a hand over his sore torso.
“I could.” Dominic grinned as he pulled their dark SUV into the nearest alleyway. “But apparently, I’m an asshole.”
As both men hopped out and rounded the bumper of the vehicle, Doug asked for more clarification as to what exactly Dominic had seen.
“I don’t know,” he replied honestly. “But trust me when I say I really think we should check this out.”
Dominic heard the man groan before falling into line behind him. In his own personal opinion, he was the better shot anyways, not to mention he was bigger, faster and stronger. And with his new enhanced supernatural abilities, it only seemed fitting that he was first. Besides all of that, he was pretty sure Molly would never forgive him if something happened to Doug-- truthfully, he’d probably never be able to forgive himself either.
Drawing out his gun, the sound of his own blood pumping through his veins pulsed in his ears as he snuck a quick glance around the side of the building. A small group of men gathered around some shipping crates, while another group appeared to be moving a shipment from a box truck into the trunks of a couple of black Cadillac’s. Swinging back around, Dominic placed his back flush against the bricks of the abandoned warehouse.
“What did you see?” Doug asked.
As the smell of something sickly sweet and copperish floated around the corner, Dominic realized he was panting heavily and the hackles on the back of his neck immediately rose.“Get back to the vehicle and radio for a 10-94,” Dominic instructed.
“But what about you?”
“Don’t worry about me,” Dominic hissed. “Just go. Now!”
Dominic bent his head from side to side, cracking his neck as adrenaline mixed with something else-- something primal-- pushed through his veins. As he took another peek around the building, he knew without a shadow of a doubt that he and his partner had stumbled onto Big Dragon’s territory. Before they’d headed out this evening, the chief had told them that he had received a tip that Bojing ‘Big Dragon’ Long was on the move. With the opioid crisis garnering more publicity, the Chief’s informant had said Big Dragon was starting to panic, believing that the DEA was on to him.
Suddenly and with the sound of a dozen nearing sirens, Dominic watched a fear set in amongst the cartel. As some fled the scene on foot and others scattered to their cars, the officer knew there was nothing he could do to stop them. Slamming his fist against the building, Dominic growled in frustration. He could possibly pursue Big Dragon on foot, but then what? He was only one man. As Dominic watched Chicago’s most notorious drug dealer head over to a silver Range Rover Sport, he suddenly made the rash decision to step out from behind the empty warehouse.
Oddly enough, with a sniff of the air Big Dragon turned around to face him. It had occurred to the police officer that the strong scent from earlier had indeed belonged to the drug lord, but at the time, he had really hoped it was just a pungent cologne.
Big Dragon’s penetrating gaze never once left Dominic, even as the Asian man popped open the passenger side door to his SUV. As their eyes locked onto each other, the young weremale could feel the animal inside of him pace back and forth. The beast was restless, but as far as he could tell, the human seemed to pose no imminent threat. Or at least that’s what Dominic thought. As the other man’s face split into a demonic grin, he relaxed into the car seat, taunting the larger cop to try and stop him. Dominic, however, remained motionless as the engine purred to life-- there was nothing he could do and both men knew it.
With a snarl, his long fingers angrily curled into a giant fist. He couldn’t believe this human was about to escape arrest again. But as the SUV passed by bringing Big Dragon closer, the agitated werewolf suddenly gasped--
A pair of unnaturally glowing gold eyes stared back at him.