Authors: Fox Harper
Half Moon Chambers
Revised edition, November 2012
2012 by Harper Fox
Cover art by Lou Harper
All rights reserved and asserted by the author Harper Fox.
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This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
A cop and a recovering addict - no chance for romance there.
Yet Vince, a street-hardened narcotics officer, is having to reassess his life. Six months ago, he hit rock-bottom. A bullet brought him down, and his beloved partner Jack betrayed him. Badly disabled and in constant pain, Vince is flying a desk these days, and it doesn't suit him at all. His world is looking grim when he meets Rowan Clyde, sole surviving witness to a vicious drugs-related killing.
Rowan doesn't want to talk. He's vulnerable, trying to hold his own life together in the wake of a crippling addiction. Vince should have no time for him, and Rowan certainly shouldn't trust a cop with an agenda to get him onto the witness stand at any cost.
Yet despite their differences, there's an instant pull of attraction between these two damaged men. Their new bond is put to the ultimate test on the tough streets of Newcastle during a dark northern winter, as each turns out to hold the keys to the other's survival - and to his destruction.
Half Moon Chambers
would never have seen the light of day without the help of a group of people I've come to rely on so much for my FoxTales publications. My lovely other half - and, since September, my civil partner -
has attended the book through its birth pangs with all her usual patience and kind but thorough proofing and daily inspection of word count.
, my beloved mentor, has been even more instrumental than usual in helping me plot, plan, dismantle and rebuild, and any remaining holes in the weave are entirely the responsibility of the author.
produced a particularly stunning piece of cover art, catching exactly at how I see the guys and Half Moon Chambers, and
once more brought the book safely home from my shaky draft to the formatted finished product you see before you. I am so appreciative of every single one of you.
This book is dedicated to the memory of
Margaret Louise Stafford,
2 April 1932 - 8 September 2012:
a wonderful mum.
range streetlight fought with neon for
of my desk. Neither was winning. I'd
liked to put out the overheads, then the
bulb, and let the dark come down. Our
squad-room renovation had given me my own
well, a cubicle, but better than nothing,
I had a window. Beyond it lay all the beauty of
northern city night, a sky of midsummer violet.
I'd walked down to the station for my late shift in
civvies; jeans and a light cotton shirt. It
Saturday, lairy lads and lasses tumbling around in
streets, falling or getting pushed out of clubs.
No-one had looked at me twice. Briefly I'd
the fantasy of being part of the crowd.
But I wasn't. The reality was better still. I'd
up the steps of Mansion Street police
, ignored the lift and torn up the sixteen
of steps just for a workout. I'd got changed,
, into my uniform. Then I'd sauntered into
deserted squad room, fetched myself a coffee,
sat down at my desk.
I was expecting a quiet shift, and just as well.
Every rung of the ladder of police promotion had a
pile of paperwork waiting on it, as far as I
see. The backlog confronting me now was
own fault, of course. I'd spent every spare
for the last two weeks on the range,
through all our available police
, from handguns to the coveted HK MP-7
-piercing rifles. Tonight I'd come in early,
to catch up. My team was off on a
course at the Ponteland HQ. Not me,
. My schedule was different now.
I pushed back from my desk, as far as my
's confines would allow. Yes, I wished I
sit here alone in the unadulterated dark, just
a short time. I didn't know how many
Newcastle midnights I would see, and despite
I would miss their deep galactic blue.
The city wasn't so big that you couldn't escape
it by a short drive, and beyond it were hills,
Pennines whose green shoulders I could
from this very window on a clear day. It
't be like that in London. A month ago I'd
a letter that had changed everything.
No, I wasn't just a city lad. Born and brought
in its meanest suburbs, educated in its war-zone
, I had nonetheless scrambled up here, eight
away from the late-night party boys
and puking in the streets below. I was a
officer. Detective Sergeant Vince Carr of
drug squad, eight floors up and destined to go
. The letter, which I kept discreetly folded
always within sight beneath my mountain
award paperweight, was a summons to try
for a special-ops training programme with
Met, a new unit being formed in the capital to
drugs and gang warfare. They wanted men
women from the cities where these problems
endemic, where officers had cut their teeth
them. They wanted tough bastards like me.
I knocked back my coffee, enjoying the scald.
They could have me, that was for sure. I loved my
skies, but everything under them I could
without one pang of regret. I was ready.
My desk phone rang, making me jump
only, as I had been taught. The coffee didn't
ripple in its polystyrene cup. I picked up. The
was an internal one. "DS Carr."
"Carr? Inspector Monroe. In my office,
just for a heartbeat, not long
to be considered an impertinence. The
of unattended files loomed over me. I'd
thought I might get away with it tonight...
"Yes, sir. On my way."
Well, I was in trouble now. Monroe had
grim. I got up, tucking my shirt more
into my uniform trousers and straightening
tie. Whatever lay in store for me, it would be
if I kept him waiting. Nevertheless, I didn't
. I could feel a burgeoning smile tugging at the
of my mouth, and I carefully smoothed it
. A light was on in the office at the far end of
an interview booth, technically
, and one of the few spaces in the open
squad room that gave a little privacy.
I pushed the door open. Jack Monroe looked
solemnly from the desk. He was gorgeous, six
tall, blond as a wheatfield, and no more an
than I was. He was my partner, on the
and occasionally in my bed, and he'd be
off the whole senior-officer thing better if
'd been wearing a shirt, or anything at all from
waist up. "DS Carr," he said, tapping an
file on the desktop. Only the tiniest
in his voice betrayed him. "This is
. Very serious indeed."
"I can see that. For God's sake, Jacky
in to do my paperwork."
"Then by all means feel free to go back to it."
He was grinning at me now. He'd laced his
behind his head, displaying the breadth of
shoulders, the musculature across his chest.
Jack too had had his letter from the Met. We were
there to train as partners. He was wild,
, unscrupulous with witnesses, constantly
hot water with our real inspector for
. He was the man I wanted with me
the London streets. I said, unconvincingly
"This is stupid. What if anyone from B group gets
"By all means give them a display. Or you
shut that soundproof door and come here."
I shut the door. The trouble with Jack Monroe
his instant, drug-like effect on me. One glance
the right sort from him and I might as well be
Viagra. If he sometimes played rougher
if sometimes, like tonight, he chose a
and place that could screw both of our hard
careers in a second
I never held out against
. I told myself I could, but I'd never tested that
trying. I was hard and ready for him now, pulse
, desperate to play out his game. "What's it
be, then, Inspector
my place or yours?"
"Don't ask silly questions, Carr."
I nodded. The truth was that my place was a
sore from our encounter in the locker room the
before, but there was no point in telling him
. Things didn't always go his way. Like many a
man before him, occasionally he liked to be
into submission, and I could do that. I
shorter than he was but wiry and powerful.
Tonight, though, he was going to fuck me
, across a desk in the squad room. Excitement
through me. He got up, the chair crashing over
We tussled briefly. I was on the losing end
, by prior arrangement, and I hung on to the
that my surrender was as simple as that. I
't have been slammed belly-down over the
if I didn't like it. He flattened an experienced
on my shoulder. Painless restraint of a
suspect, that was, and he wasn't shy of
business moves either. English coppers
't tell detainees to spread 'em
your feet apart, sir
but Jack liked to cross
Atlantic with me in that regard, and I assumed
position before he could snarl the command at
. I undid my belt and zip before he could get to
cried out in protest and lust as he
down my trousers. All of this was what I
. I summoned it. "Come on. Get on with it."
"Wait a sec."
"Brought the lube this time. Didn't mean to
you to ribbons the other day."
I lost a breath in laughter. "Oh, my God. And
say chivalry's dead." I rested my brow on the
-stained surface of the desk while his fingers
on me, spreading the lubricant inside. I
loved to be touched and handled. We
had time, though, and beyond the barest
he wasn't taking chances now. The head of his
cock pushed at me. Nerves and excitement had
me up. I moaned as he slowly thrust
, drove my nails into my palms in a luxuriant
of penetration. The trouble with
Monroe was that I loved him. DS Carr's best-kept
, that one. We worked together. We fucked
. We had everything two ambitious
lads could want as we scaled the career
. Love was for civilians, for little people,
Oh, but I loved the bastard. The confession
burst from me then and there, as he started
screw me, his first big movements shaking and
my bones. I bit down hard on my lip. He
so bright and perfect. If we fucked looking
and he liked that
I would have to
my eyes. I didn't know why his beauty had
itself to my ordinary face and form, not
we were brought together like that. Didn't
what he saw in me.