Cary flopped back on the hotel room bed, sighing in relief. It wasn’t that he hated business trips. He just… OK, he hated them. He missed his city, his apartment and his friends. Especially Hugh. They’d met a month ago at a street fair Preston had dragged him to and had hit it off immediately. It had taken only three dates until they’d fallen into bed. Cary was contemplating the idea of their moving in together, he was that smitten, but common sense said it was way too soon to broach the subject.

This was the first time they’d been apart for more than a day or two since they’d met and Cary had promised to make it up to Hugh by taking him out to dinner and one of the slash and burn movies Hugh was so enamored of. With that in mind Cary had stopped at a news dealer on his way back to the hotel to pick up the Winterfield paper so he could see what was playing.

He rolled over on his stomach to snag the paper from the bedside table, flipping through it to find the movie section. As he did a short item buried on page four caught his eye. He sat up swiftly, folding the page back to read it, his stomach clenching at the headline.

‘Local porn star dropped at hospital after attack’
‘Preston ‘The Sergeant’ Davison, was found early this morning
on the steps of County General Hospital. According to hospital
authorities one of the doctors arriving for his shift saw a body on
steps, bleeding profusely. He immediately called for assistance
and Davison was taken to the emergency room. He was
suffering from a blow to the head and major blood loss from
innumerable deep cuts to his face and torso. As of this time
Davison is in intensive care and has not regained consciousness.

Davison is a minor star in male-male pornographic movies, using
the name ‘The Sergeant’, apparently an homage to ‘Sergeant Preston
of the Yukon’, an old television series. According to the owner of the
company he works for he was to start work on a new film within the
next week. Mr. Fulton refrained from commenting further other than
to say he knew Davison frequented several leather bars in the city.

Cary crushed the page in his hand as he reached for the phone to call the airlines and get the next flight out. He swore viciously when he was told that Winterfield’s airport was snowed in, as was most of the mid-western area, by the first major snowstorm of the season. The best they could promise him was a ticket for a flight two days from now if the weather improved.

Slamming the phone down after booking a seat, and vowing to be at the airport first thing in the morning to get on stand-by in case the situation changed, Cary picked up the receiver again. The first call was to the hospital. They asked who he was when he inquired about Preston’s condition and he kicked himself for his stupidity when he said he was a friend and they told him they could only release that information to immediate family members.

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