Hustler Sinbad: Book One: Sinbad

Lt. Detective Lawrence J. Hanft


By Jason Jarman

I couldn't sleep, which stank. It was my day off, too. I had been on edge since the wrecking ball brought that damned kid and his belt back into my life.

Saturdays were my day to spend with my son, Travis. Beth and I separated when he was 8. We're better friends now than we were when we were hitched. I'm married to my job, corny as that sounds. But I'm trying to honor my role as a father.

Travis is nearly 15, and he's finally gotten all that defiant teenager shit out of his system. We've gotten to the point where we both finally like each other. It's good to spend time with him. But today I'd been like a zombie.

Up until it was time to pick Travis up, I sat in the living room, looking at that fucking belt. I'd taken it out of that hustler punk's lock box at the jail. I was sure I had him again. He looked so much like the punk who'd trashed that church. Same face, same body. Only the voice was different. I couldn't be sure if it was him or not. And he didn't have the real belt on him. Just this fake.

It looked exactly like the one I'd seen on that other punk. Except it was just a belt. I put it around my waist, not knowing what to expect, and tightened it up. Nothing happened. It was a nice piece of leather, and the buckle was A-1 craftsmanship. I used to do a little metalwork for a hobby, so I know good casting and engraving when I see it.

Something about the belt gave me a hard-on. My mind flashed back to that moment in the park. I've never done anything like that with another guy before. But there was something about this boy. Talk about charisma. We all got caught up in it. I'd never seen a cock that big. Not even in my nightmares.

After we'd locked the punk up, we didn't say word one about it. It was like it never happened. And that was fine with me. I couldn't afford the scandal if anyone found out.

Still, I had dreams about that night. Over and over. Maybe that's one reason why sleep was so difficult. I knew that dream would show up if I surrendered to it.

I thought about jacking off, but I felt too tired to try. My hard-on went soft. I left the belt on the living room coffee table and went to get my son.

We went to see some stupid action flick, and Trav kept nudging me and cracking wise about the movie. I was staring at the screen, but all I could think about was that wrecking ball. That, and that demon I'd almost caught.

I've gotten good at faking being a dad when I'm tired or not focused. Travis is getting old enough to tell when I'm not all there. He kept me engaged as best he could.

At one point, over burgers and fries, I leveled with him. "Trav, I'm in a rotten mood. Work's been hell lately."

"You want to talk about it?"

"I'd like to, but it's a top-secret case. They won't let me discuss the case off the clock."

"Oh." He looked disappointed in his old man.

"Sorry, kiddo. Nothing personal."

"'Saw right."

Those two newspaper articles had me on pins and needles. I'd begged them not to mention the punk and his belt. But it snuck into the second story. Even though Lt. Dicotta disregarded the testimony of those fuckhead party boys, it was still there. And anyone who read it would be worried. Especially if they remembered that incident with the church, a year ago.

When we got home, Travis headed to the living room to play XBox for the evening. I was in the kitchen when he found the belt.

"Oh fuck! Is this for me?"

I came into the living room as Travis had put the belt on. He had a huge grin on his face. "Damn, Dad, this is so fucking cool! Thanks!"

"Huh, glad you like it, Trav. Just something I picked up for you."

"Wait til Devon sees this on Monday!" He tightened it to fit his slim waist and flopped down on the couch.

I didn't really need the belt anymore. I knew what it looked like. And I didn't want to depress my son. He's had a rough time of it lately, and he hasn't caved in. If a stupid belt makes him happy, why the fuck not?

One trillion games of XBox later, Travis couldn't keep his eyes open and trudged off to bed. "Thanks again for the belt, Dad."

"You're welcome, kiddo."

I had a strong vodka and tonic to calm my nerves. I stood at the window, watching the snow fall outside. Somewhere out there, maybe right close by, he and that fucking belt were on the loose. A total outlaw, with no regard for the well-being of others. He was someone kids like my son would envy and idolize. All it takes is one punk like that to break down the conventions of society. He could bring civilization to a complete stop.

I said to myself, "thank God there's only of them." Then my heart skipped a beat. What if there were two of those punks, pumped up on those belts, running wild out there? Until I knew for certain, I'd keep having sleepless nights. I couldn't stand the thought of that.

I finally gave up and headed for my bedroom. In the hallway, outside of Trav's room, I heard a jingling sound. Then a stretching sound. Travis' door was open a crack. Curiosity got the better of me. I peeked in and saw him, naked, with the belt on, standing in front of his mirror. He was doing something I did frequently when I was 15. And it wasn't something any 15 year-old wants to get caught doing by his dad.

He was pleasuring himself with one hand, and using the other one to tighten the belt. Maybe it was just the light, or my imagination. But Trav seemed kind of muscular. I hadn't seen him with his shirt off in a year. Maybe he'd been lifting at school.

If so, he never mentioned it to me.

I tiptoed away. He never even noticed me.

I couldn't sleep, which stank.


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