Taking the 60

It's not that he was hiding it from Sherman, it just never came up in normal conversation. And for the past ten miles, Ben hadn't said a word. Disgust he could deal with, ignorance he could handle. But silence? Silence was impossible to gauge.

Why the hell did he even care what Sherman thought? It's not like this was Arkansas or some other part of Backwardstown, USA. He couldn't get fired for being gay. If anything, the brass might make him do more speaking engagements at youth centers. It was thinking about that impending poster boy doom that caused him to miss the freeway exchange and accidentally get on the 60 instead of staying on the 10 West...

Shit, I'm going to be hitting the mountains as soon as it's dark. Damn you, daylight savings time. His knuckles instinctively tightened on the steering wheel.

"Good call taking the 60. The 10's going to be backed up to Banning right about now." Sherman nodded along after giving his verbal high-five.

"That's all you're going to fucking say?" He instantly regretted the spittle that landed on the dash.

"And maybe we can stop at the Moreno Valley mall? I need some new Nikes."

"Absolutely incredible," he exhaled sharply.

"What do you want me to say? That I forgot to pack my 'straight but not narrow' t-shirt and that Rodriguez in Traffic borrowed my rainbow flag last week?" Sherman looked over at the older man with his boyish sideways smile firmly in place. He looked back and couldn't help but laugh. He brought his eyes back to the road as they started their ascent into treacherous mountain curves. "So…you and Rodriguez ever—? "

"You can stop talking now." Being a cop is all about taking risks. And John Cooper? He was taking the 60.