"This is Dispatch. We have a possible 10-55 in progress on Milham, any patroles nearby?"
Joe paused at a red light. He knew Milham Street, it was off of Main, downtown Schitt's Creek. Well, if you could call anything in Schitt's Creek 'downtown.' Or 'town' for that matter.
"Dispatch, this is Lewis. I'm nearby, will respond," he said into his radio. 10-55, domestic disturbance. Rarely a problem in such a small, quiet place. But Joe Lewis had been an officer for the Elm Country Sheriff's Department for too long to assume things like that. Hopefully this wasn't one of those situations. Maybe he could stop by the cafe if it was still open tonight. The gal who worked there was always so nice.
"10-4, Officer Lewis," the radio crackled. Joe flipped on his blinker, turning left to head out of Elmhurst, while dispatch called again on his private channel. "Location is 26 Milham in Schitt's Creek. Apartment 5. Call came from neighbor, said they heard shouting."
"10-4," he said again. "15 min out, will radio if needed."
"10-4," said the radio.
It only took 12 minutes to arrive in Schitt's Creek, carefully pushing the speed limits. He didn't want to use his lights to make it here any sooner, not wanting to scare any locals nearby.
"Oh thank god!" A woman came rushing over as soon as Joe had parked and stepped out of his vehicle. "I'm Jane Sampson, I'm the one who called."
"What seems to be the problem, Mrs. Sampson?"
"My neighbors are fighting," she said frantically. "I think he's beating his wife! I kept hearing him say 'Does that hurt enough for you?' and then I heard her scream." The woman wrang the edge of her robe in her hands. "I moved in last week, this is the first time I've heard anything like this."
"You did the right thing, ma'am," he assured. He knew people were often nervous about calling the police on their neighbors. "You can stay here if you'd like."
"Okay," she said, looking relieved. "It's apartment 5."
Joe nodded and walked into the building, heading up the stairs. Sure enough, by the time he reached the landing before the third floor, he could hear sounds echoing down the hall.
"No! No!" Someone was shouting. "Please!"
He hurried the last few steps and rushed to the door.
"David, please! You have to stop!"
He pounded on the door. Instantly, the voices went silent.
"Um, who is it?" Someone called from inside.
"Elm County Sherriff's Department," Joe announced.
"Shit!" They hissed. "Be right there!"
He waited, straightening his back to make himself taller. He had no idea what he'd be facing.
After a few seconds, Joe heard the locks click, and the door opened. Before him stood a tall, dark-haired man in a silk… kimono? He was breathing heavily, cheeks pink.
"What can I do for you, officer?"
"I got a call about a domestic disturbance," he said, voice stern.
"What?" The man asked, eyebrows furrowing.
"Neighbor said she heard a woman screaming."
The man's cheeks reddened even more, and he bit down a smile. "Ah," he said. "Well that would be my husband. We got some new nipple clamps and he was quite enthusiastic."
That… was not what Joe expected.
"Is he okay?" Was all he could ask.
The man cocked his head. "He didn't use his safe word, so I'd assume." He called to someone inside. "Honey? You doing okay?"
A second voice, choked and raw but definitely male, called back. "Great!"
Joe wasn't convinced. He'd even heard the pleas himself, the begging. "Do you mind if I step in and see for myself?" He said it in a way that let the man know it wasn't a question.
The man just raised a thick eyebrow. "Be my guest," he said, sweeping his arm across the room. Then he froze, raising one finger. "Wait, hold please."
The man hustled off out of sight, leaving the door open.
"This is your fault, Patrick!" He hissed.
"I'm sorry, David!" The other man replied.
"I'm coming in!" Joe announced, pushing back the door and stepping in.
The man, David, he presumed, was standing to his left, over a bed. On the bed was a second man, likely Patrick, completely naked except for the throw pillow David had precariously placed over his… you know. He was splayed out over the mattress, wrists and ankles in leather cuffs at the corners. He was red, splotchy from his face down his chest, breathing heavily. And sure enough, his nipples were in two silver clamps, a delicate chain between them.
But, he didn't look in distress. Well, not that kind.
"Hello, officer," Patrick said politely as David quickly started tidying up, throwing a bottle of personal lubricant and a number of adult toys into a drawer. He reached for Patrick's chest, as if to release the clamp, but he hissed, "Don't!" and David pulled his hand back, grinning.
Joe coughed, and the two men looked up at him.
"Well, things seem to be… under control," Joe stammered, feeling his own cheeks heat. "I'll just… leave you to it." He turned to leave, clearing his throat. "Just… try to keep it down. In here. I'll let Mrs. Sampson know it was, um. Just a misunderstanding."
"Oh, we will," David insisted, eyes dragging back to his husband.
"And, uh… be careful."
"Maybe we should get Mrs. Sampson a gift basket," Patrick said to David.
"Probably two, with the way you were screaming!"
"Yeah? You gonna make me be quiet this time?"
Joe let himself out.
Joe sat at the counter of the cafe while the nice waitress poured him a cup of coffee.
"Any interesting calls come in tonight?" She asked.
"No," he answered quickly, keeping his eyes down. He lifted the intricate glass salt shaker in front of him. "This is really nice," he told her.
"Oh, thanks!" She beamed. "I got it at Rose Apothecary across the street. Have you been?"
"No, I haven't made it over there yet."
"You'd love it. It's run by two husbands here in town, David and Patrick." She didn't seem to notice Joe choke on his coffee. "David has a lot of personality, but Patrick's kind of quiet."
"Not that quiet," he muttered.