Just a heads up about this story. It's very different than my last one which was quite heavy on the angst. I loved writing 'Love Between Sexes,' and I loved your response to it even more. The story meant a lot to me personally, so I doubt I will ever be able to recreate something like it. I hope you can judge this story on its own, and not compare the two. My only hope is to write a fun, action-filled, love-story between two men. It's not a typical slash story, yes, there will be sex, just like there was in 'LBS' but it will be built into the story, so please take that into consideration before you continue to read on. Thank you for taking a chance with this second slash story!

~*EFC*~


~*Private Dicks – Chapter 1*~

EDWARD CULLEN STARED AT the front page of The New York Times. Grinding his teeth, he slowly counted to ten. He breathed in and out, trying to control his blood pressure and when he reached ten, he spread the newsprint on his desk and smoothed out the wrinkles made from his fists. He stood up, pushing his chair back and leaned over to read the by-line again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Whitlock Locks in Million Dollar Drug Bust

He skimmed the article for the third time, but this time he focused his eyes on one quote in particular.

"Private Investigator Whitlock's findings were instrumental to this operation. Without his work, we never would have found the persons involved. His investigations gave us the leverage we needed to get the warrant. The city is grateful to him." The statement was issued by Police Commissioner C—

Edward did the only thing he could do. "Alice!"

In the other room, Alice Brandon, the woman in question, cringed when she heard her name yelled from the lips of her boss. She took a deep breath, putting the lid back on the ruby-red nail polish, and counted to ten while she waved her fingers to dry her nails. She leaned her head over the side of her desk to look in the garbage bin. The newspaper she'd discarded earlier was gone which meant Edward had seen this morning's paper despite her efforts to keep it from him. She cursed under her breath and poked her head around her boss' doorframe, batting her eyelashes innocently.

"Yesss?" she asked, and gave him her most winning smile.

"Did you see this?"

"See what?"

He grunted. "Don't play dumb, you tried to hide it from me." He hadn't looked up at her, his head was still hovering over the front page.

"Oh! That. Yes. Yes I did."

"Oh! That... yes." He mocked her. "And how is it that Jasper Whitlock managed to grace the front page of The New York Times again. Front page!" He crumpled up the newspaper and slammed it in the waste basket beside him. "Again!"

"Well..." Alice knew she needed to tread softly. "That was the case you didn't want to take."

"What? No it wasn't," he snapped.

"Ah, yes. It was." Edward shook his head and Alice raised her finger at him. "I distinctly remember you saying, and I quote, 'Let the bottom feeders take in Yorkie. He's not worth the dry cleaning bill.'" She used her 'Edward' voice, tight and petulant, and when she imitated him like that, she usually ran her fingers through her hair like he did some times in vain, but she didn't this time because of her nails.

"I didn't say that." He walked around the desk and stood in front of the glass windows overlooking Battery Park. He put his hands on his hips, avoiding the piece he wore, and let out a frustrated sigh. He looked over his shoulder at her. "And that doesn't sound like me."

"It sounds exactly like you."

"How does he do it?" He said it under his breath, more to himself, and Alice knew this was her cue to let him mull this over and brood the morning away. "I'll need a—"

"Venti extra hot, no water, soy Chai latte," Alice mumbled as she left the room. "Coming right up."

She grabbed her purse, carefully avoiding her tacky nails and left the office as quickly as she could. Alice knew better than to stick around when Edward was in one of his moods, especially when that mood was caused by the one person who could always get under his skin. Jasper Whitlock was relatively new to the city, and was making quite the name for himself, taking some of the glory away from her boss, who, for the past four years, was all too happy to take. Edward Cullen didn't like to share. Ever. And he definitely didn't like to share with a 'crass-backwoods-hillbilly-hotshot' like Jasper Whitlock. Edward's words, not hers.

She liked working for Edward. She liked the flexibility that came with the job. She didn't have to work a typical work week, which suited her just fine, even if the hours made it difficult to have any kind of relationship, but Edward paid her well. Very well. Edward liked nice things, and he liked to surround himself with nice things, which Alice enjoyed immensely. Come tax time, she claimed a nice respectable income, just like any personal assistant would earn in Manhattan. But Alice's job wasn't as black and white as that. The business Edward was in, tended to fall in and around the grey areas which meant so did her paychecks.

She had told him about the Yorkie job, just like any other job, but Edward Cullen was stubborn. She learned this in the first year she worked for him. Anything Edward didn't want to do, he didn't, even if that meant offending the wrong people. It was the reason he took an 'extended leave' from the police force four years ago. According to the Police Commissioner, Edward owed an apology to the Mayor of New York City. Edward respectfully disagreed. What Edward had done to warrant the apology, Alice knew that story, but what she didn't know was the reason why Edward had done what he did or why he wouldn't apologize. No matter how much digging she tried to do, no one seemed to know the real story behind Edward's suspension and eventual dismissal. There were rumors of course, 'Edward was a dirty cop on the take. How else could he afford all of the expensive things he owned.' But Alice never believed that. Despite Edward's stubbornness and propensity for fine things, he was solid and on the level. His honor shone bright and proud, and he would never be on the wrong side of the law. The truth was, Edward Cullen did have a lot of money, but he had a lot of rich clients who paid him for his expertise and, more importantly, for his name.

Alice took the elevator back up to the twenty-first floor and used her key card to enter through the glass doors of Cullen Agency Inc. She nodded to the tropical fish swimming in the tank—which was built into the wall—like she did every time she walked to her desk. Then she leaned in to smell the fresh cut flower arrangement which was delivered every Monday morning, white lilies mixed with eucalyptus leaves, her favorite combination. She really did like her job she reminded herself before walking back into Edward's office with his drink. She hated the smell of Chai, and couldn't for the life of her understand why Edward would drink it. It was something new he was trying, another health fad he must have read in a magazine at the gym. Hopefully it wouldn't be long until he found something new to try.

She opened the door to find him still staring out the window in the same spot she had left him. His shoulders were tense, and she could see his jaw was tight while he was deep in thought.

"Here is that god-awful drink you're drinking now. When are you going to switch to something new again? The smell gets up my nose and takes a while to get rid of it. Can't you go back to the caramel macchiato? At least it smelled delicious."

"Too fattening," he said absently.

"Yeah, you were getting chubby."

"What?" He turned around and looked down, patting his stomach. "Really?"

"No, you oaf, I'm kidding. You could never be chubby."

He finally smiled at her as he lifted his drink. "Thanks, Alice. I needed this."

"No one needs that, but I'm glad I could help." She raised her eyebrows. "Dumb question, but are you okay?"

"Yes. No. Ah… I think so." She noticed he had uncrumpled the newspaper and it was sitting on his desk again.

"I've never seen someone get to you like he does." She pointed to the picture of Jasper leading Yorkie up the steps of the 1st Precinct in handcuffs. "Not even the Commissioner does," she mumbled. "What is it about him?"

"I don't know, Alice. The guy irritates me. He's a menace." He flicked the paper and added, "My own backyard, too. He did that on purpose, bringing Yorkie to the First."

"You're reading into things."

"Hardly. He's toying with me. He has been for the past few months. He's got something. Something big he's working on and he wants me to know it."

"Why would the 'hillbilly—'" Edward's head snapped up and Alice raised her hands in defense. "Hey, your words." She sidled around his desk and rested up against it knowing he hated it when she did it. He looked down at where she was sitting, making it known he was displeased, but then went back to looking at the newspaper. "So, why would Whitlock want to toy with you?"

"I don't know, but I'm going to find out." He turned and pulled a file folder from his desk. "Yorkie is a two-bit criminal. Petty stuff, he's not done any real time. So, how is it he's involved in one of the largest drug-trafficking busts this year? And more importantly, how did that yokel know about it?" He had opened the folder and his finger was tracing Eric Yorkie's rap sheet. "Parking tickets, possession, theft, solicitation... this kid is a nobody."

"Apparently. At least not enough to show up on your radar."

"So, why Whitlock's then?"

"Want me to do some digging? See what I can find out? Rosalie owes me a few favors."

"I need to get in and talk to Yorkie."

Alice scoffed and rolled her eyes. "We both know that ain't gonna happen. The last time you went through those doors, you were forcibly removed right back through them."

"McCarty was just being territorial. Trying to prove a point."

"And the point was?"

"That he's in charge." Edward was getting annoyed now, Alice could see it written across his forehead. That little indentation always appeared when he was deep in thought, or something was puzzling him.

"Usually a Captain is." She tried to make light of it but it was lost on him.

"You know what I mean."

"Edward, you and I both know Captain McCarty will never let you have an audience with Yorkie."

"True enough." He nodded and pulled on his lower lip with his fingers. "I'll just have to improvise."

She put her hand on her hip and gave him 'the look.' The one that said she didn't like where this conversation was going. The one that meant she was going to have to do something she didn't want to do, or he was going to do something that landed in that grey area of the job. "Am I going to have to start looking for a new job, oh for... let's say... five to ten years? You just bought me that company car and it would be a shame to return it."

"Keep the car," he said absently.

"What are you going to do? Break into jail?" She laughed at her own joke, and he thought on it for a moment, and then a wolfish grin slowly appeared on his face.

"You're a genius, Alice."

"Oh, no! You're not planning what I'm thinking. Please tell me you're not! Edward, don't be stupid." He winked at her and was still grinning. "Let it go! The bad guy was caught, there's nothing more for you to do."

"There's more to this case. I can feel it."

"Edward," she warned.

He shoved the file folder back in his desk, grabbed his suit jacket off the back of his chair and headed for the door.

"Edward!"

"Keep your phone on," he said as he waved and left the office.

"You're incorrigible, Edward Cullen! But you already know this!"


Dedicated to V.