Home > Steam (Collected Stories #1)

Steam (Collected Stories #1)
Author: Kay Simone

Part I

 

 

Red Handed

 

 

Warnings for: BDSM, consensual name-calling, consensual slapping

 

 

It’s always Thursdays.

 

You’d think the weirdos would come out on Friday nights or first thing in the morning or something — but no, Chester always gets saddled with the most annoying issues on Thursdays. It’s like clockwork.

It’s gotten to the point that Chester doesn’t even accept Thursday shifts if he can avoid them, but Barney had called with car trouble, begging Chester to take his grueling, 12-hour Thursday shift working guard duty at Arrow. He couldn’t say no to Barney. (Nobody could.) Chester feels dead on his feet and he’s kicking himself for being so nice.

It’s after 10, and the kid really couldn’t have picked a stupider time to start pocketing goods that he clearly didn’t intend to pay for. Things are so dead at the big box store that anyone with a set of eyes would’ve noticed the chestnut-haired teenager tucking stuff into his jacket. And the jacket itself is another thing: it’s July and approximately eight hundred degrees outside in Texas, even at night.

Chester really should’ve known that some stupid kid was going to make his night more complicated right before closing time. His shift had been too easy — and Thursdays are never easy.

So he stands by the exit, arms crossed in a way that he hopes is as intimidating as possible, waiting for the kid to try and make his escape. The kid approaches, shoulders slumped and hands stuffed down into the pockets of his jacket, eyes on the ground.

Chester whistles to get his attention. The kid’s spine goes straight as he whips up and looks Chester straight in the face, smiling suddenly — looking genuinely pleased, as if he’s not about to get busted for shoplifting. His eyes are blue and sleepy, as if everything is slightly amusing, and his smile is a mugshot grin if Chester’s ever seen one.

“Follow me,” Chester says.

“What seems to be the problem, officer?” the guy asks, sounding smug. Chester rolls his eyes.

“Just follow me to the back, kid,” Chester says. “No need to make a scene.”

The offices are largely dead — all of the Arrow management went home earlier and security just runs a skeleton crew for the last few hours of the night. They pass through the first large office and then down a short hallway, back to the smaller office with security cameras, a few file cabinets, and a desk that everyone in security shares.

“Go take a seat in the last office,” Chester says, sighing. This is going to mean more paperwork than he cares to deal with. He finds the file with the forms he needs, and he’s about to check that everything’s in order when he hears whistling. The kid is just standing there, watching Chester with a serene smile on his face.

“Last office,” Chester repeats, his teeth gritted. The shoplifter hitches his eyebrows but doesn’t stop smiling. He spins on his heel, this time Chester following him with the files under his arm.

“Jacket off,” Chester orders, not giving him the chance to sit down.

“I’m sorry — am I under arrest, officer?”

“I’m not a cop and you’re not under arrest,” Chester says. He slaps the file down onto the desk and massages the bridge of his nose. “But I can call a real cop and you can be under arrest, if you want to be an asshole about this.”

“Me? An asshole? Never.”

The attitude is starting to grate on Chester.

“There’s gotta be some misunderstanding, though,” the guy says. He starts to take a seat but Chester holds out a hand.

“Take the jacket off,” Chester repeats. “Seriously — I don’t want to be here any more than you do, so let’s just move forward and not treat each other like morons. Start stacking all the stuff you tried to steal on the desk and I’ll get started with this mountain of stupid paperwork.”

“Stealing stuff?” the kid asks, his voice going comically high. “Now, there’s definitely some miscommunication here and —“

Chester steps forward, gives the guy the most serious Mean Security Guard look he can muster, and roughly takes him by the jacket with one hand. With the other hand, he yanks the zipper down until the garment hangs open, sagging with the weight of things stuffed into the inner pockets. A pair of sunglasses with the tags still on it clatters conspicuously to the floor.

“Wow,” the guy says, sounding unastonished. “Well I’ll be damned.”

“And you’ve got no idea how they got there, huh?”

“You know, I really don’t,” he says. Chester flips the sides of the jacket open so he can get access to the inner pockets. The kid goes a little limp, like a docile show dog used to being handled, and this along with the continued smirking and playing dumb just makes Chester want to be rougher with him as he jerks the garment around.

There’s the neck of a bottle of wine protruding out of one of the deeper pockets, and Chester hefts it out.

“And you had no idea this was in there, right?”

“Not at all,” he says. “I’m really more of a beer man, to be honest.”

“Just out of curiosity: are you going to make me go through every pocket on your person, or do you think we could just cut the shit and you could help me out here?”

The guy shrugs and his grin goes crooked.

“I dunno,” he says. “A strip search might be in order.”

 

Shoplifting is a necessity.

Fucking with rent-a-cops is a hobby.

Fucking with hot rent-a-cops is something so beyond fun that Trent is surprised he’s only just now discovering the possibility.

He’s really hit the jackpot with this guy: tall and shaped like an inverted goddamn Dorito chip, light eyes and a nice smile, forearms that will probably haunt his dreams for a little while, and an unexpected deep voice that’s like the perfect bow on a pretty package.

He’s getting frustrated easily, too, which is just honestly more than Trent could’ve ever hoped for.

There’s nothing new for him about being pulled aside by security and trotted back to a private office somewhere. But normally security guards treat him with zero respect (admittedly this is the treatment he deserves, as an actively shoplifting shitbag) and this guy is talking to him like they’re on equal footing here.

And so Trent, being Trent, has decided to push the limits.

The guard just rolls his eyes at the strip search comment, so Trent shrugs his shoulders again.

“Hey, can’t blame a guy for trying,” Trent says. “So, uh, just stack it on the desk here?”

“Please,” the man says, sounding relieved that he’s finally dropping the act.

It’s really a shame he didn’t make it out of the store with all this stuff. Between the sunglasses and the wine, several books, floss, a nice toothbrush, and a bottle of fancy shampoo, it had really been a good haul tonight. He strips the jacket off, fumbles through all of its hiding places, and sets the almost-stolen items neatly on the desk.

He spins to sit and the man — who is now behind the desk — clears his throat.

“What? That’s all of it, seriously.”

The guard hitches an eyebrow.

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