Patrick laid soundly with his eyes closed, his arms above the sheet and blanket resting just above his stomach after the nurse on call took his vitals. A nurse entered the room walking over to him without disturbing him placed a tightly folded piece of paper beneath his limp fingers.
Artie talked to the bodyguard outside Patrick’s door while Adam and A.J. waited a distance away. The guard made a phone call, and Artie shot them a reassuring glance.
“Can’t believe cops need to wait for permission,” said Adam.
“Raoul Cyprus Valdez owns this city,” said A.J.
“So where was he when his son went through this hell?”
“Maybe his little boy never called out for him.”
“A.J. you’re wrong on this, Patrick didn’t plan this.”
“After we question him we’ll know the truth.”
“A.J., Adam,” called Artie. The bodyguard stepped out of the way and allowed the three to enter the room. Adam was the first to enter. He moved quickly to Patrick’s side who still laid soundly and took his hand. Patrick opened his eyes locking on Adam. A smile lite up on his face.
“You came back,” he said squeezing Adam’s palm.
“Not even your father can keep me away from you.”
“Adam,” said A.J.
“Yeah, I know,” he said touching Patrick’s face and his eyes traveling to the spot of his injury. Patrick saw his concern and touched his chin to lock eyes with him.
“I’m alright Adam. The doctors said I could check out in a couple of days. I guess these detectives have some questions for me?” he said glancing towards them.
“That right we do,” Artie said coming into view.
“Adam, you can stay with me right?”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“Okay, go ahead.”
A.J. watched Patrick for a moment before speaking up.
“How did you know the killer in Adam’s apartment?”
“I didn’t know him until he stabbed me, and I saw his wrist.”
“There was tattoo on the inside of his right wrist I recognized it from the night Jay showed me.”
“And when was that?”
“The night that photo was taken you found in the store below Gavin’s apartment.”
“Why would you think it was Jay’s? Anyone could have had that tattoo?”
“Jay has—had a mole in the middle of his wrist that he pointed out to me. When I saw the tattoo my eyes just drew to the mole.”
“Did you suspect it was Jay?”
“At first I did and I went to see him.”
“You went to see a man who killed your friend and tried to rape you?”
“I needed to be sure. I went to his job at the convention hall. It was crowed so I wasn’t alone. He didn’t have the tattoo. When I saw it again last night I saw his mole. It wasn’t on his wrist when I saw him at the convention hall he must have used makeup to cover it up.”
“When you were attacked in Gavin’s apartment, did you see the tattoo?”
“Are you sure?”
“I didn’t know who it was,” Patrick’s voice risen causing a sudden bite of pain in his chest where he reached. Adam grabbed his hand, so he didn’t distress his stitches. A.J looked to his partner who took over.
“Alright, you say you didn’t know who it was at the time how about at the graveyard, the first time?” said Artie.
“I didn’t know who it was,” Patrick said. Feeling relief again as his pain eased.
“But now you do know both men, right?”
Patrick closed his eyes trying to calm his heart rate as Adam gave both men a cold stare. He’d buy his time and waited to see where they were going with this. Patrick squeezed Adam’s hand a little tighter as he opened his eyes.
“Yes, I know them both.”
“Funny how they would just start doing this scheme?”
“I didn’t find it funny detective.”
“Were you sleeping with Cain?”
“Have you ever met Justin Shi before all of this?”
“He said no,” said Adam.
“Adam, we need to talk,” said Artie closing his notebook and turning to leave.
“We’ll be right back Mr. Valdez,” said A.J., who also left the room. Adam rose to follow, but Patrick grabbed his arm.
“You’re coming back Adam?” Adam saw the fear and longing in Patrick’s face as he touched his tight grip rubbing the back of his hand.
“Of course I am. Let me just talk to them.” Patrick nodded and released Adam’s arm. Adam leaned down to kiss his forehead but Patrick tilted his head back and kissed Adam’s lips. Adam didn’t want to leave him; he wanted to take Patrick back to his place and keep him safe. He left the room closing the door.
Artie stepped to Adam in a huff.
“You’re intruding on police matters Potter I can have you arrested.”
“You’re interviewing a wounded man and trying to get him to incriminate himself.”
“We’re conducting an investigation where two men who had a connection with that suspect,” Artie said pointing towards Patrick’s room.
“Yes, two stalkers who came up with a sick plan to knock off any love interest Patrick might develop.”
“No, this isn’t about them.”
“Then who is it about Artie?”
“It’s about a possible love triangle between Cain Rollins, Jay Marcel, and Patrick Valdez.”
“Adam. Patrick was the only one in a troubled relationship that he wanted out of with Gavin. Rollins and Marcel were his protectors.”
“No way, he said he was friends with Cain but wasn’t ready to play his sex games. And Jay Marcel was just one of the Cosplayers who might have had an interest in Patrick but nothing more.”
“That’s what Patrick said.”
“So where’s your proof he had any sexual connection with either man?”
A.J. stepped around Artie and approached Adam with caution.
“Adam you’re too close to this case. We need to do our job,” said A.J.
“You mean you want to pin this on Patrick.”
“Things are just not adding up. Why suddenly now do these men commit murder and keep Patrick alive? What did they expect in return for doing this? Or did Patrick convinced them that he would be theirs if they free him from Gavin?”
“Patrick didn’t need their help he could have just asked his father to help him.”
“But he didn’t and now Gavin’s dead. Maybe Patrick wanted to be his own man and fix his mistakes and things just got out of hand.”
“Or maybe you’re both are grasping at straws.”
“Okay, we’re not going to get anywhere right now so why don’t you go have your visit, and we’ll come back later with a warrant,” said Artie.
Adam ignored Artie and turned back for the room.
“Think about it Adam,” A.J. called to him. “Cain was into some kinky sex why would he jeopardize his tenor to attempted rape, kidnapping, and being an accessory to murder?”
“Maybe he was sick,” Adam through back.
“True or maybe Patrick was use, to getting whatever he wanted by any means…persuaded him.”
Adam looked back at A.J., who he once loved, and wanted to smack the smug look off his face.
“You’re wrong A.J. I don’t know how else I can say it to you,” Adam said entering the room.
The evening before Justin’s release he went to see Patrick. After Patrick gave his guard permission to let Justin in he ordered the guard to leave them alone.
“How are you Justin?” asked Patrick waving his hand for the seat beside his bed. Justin walked over to the seat and glanced at it as he sat beside Patrick on his bed.
“I’m fine,” he said folding his hands and sitting them in his lap. “How are you?”
“As you must know from Adam. I was stab, and as you can see I’m fine. But you’re not really concern about my health are you?”
“Not really I want to know what you told Adam.”
“Well considering he’s taking you back to his place to take care of you.”
“That doesn’t mean you didn’t say anything.”
“I said nothing to incriminate you Justin.”
“You better had not. I like Adam and I want to keep working for him.”
“You mean you want to see if you can get into his bed. Well I hate to break it to you but you’re just not his type.”
“Oh and the spoil rich boy act is winning him over?”
“Since I’m the one who Adam wants in his bed and you’re just the lonely secretary. It would be in your best interest to keep your mouth shut.”
“Agree. But one day Adam need to learn the truth.”
“The truth. You mean you and me sleeping with countless men?”
“Gavin was blackmailing us.”
Go back to your room Justin. Forget, and if you ever think of telling Adam about the past. Make sure it stays your past and don’t include me, understood?”
“Good. Now get off my bed. I want to go to sleep.”
Justin left the guarded room and returned to his own regretting his dealings with Patrick but saw no other way around than doing as he says.