Hell Is Empty

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This is a copyrighted work of fiction written by Tucker McCallahan. All rights reserved by Tucker McCallahan. If you are reading this story anywhere but at Literotica or the author’s personal blog then it has been posted without permission. Please report plagiarism to: tuckermccallahan-at-gmail-dot-com.

Author’s Note: This story is a crime drama that features violence. Consider this fair warning.


1 – JUNE 19, 2015, MORNING

“Once drops of blood are shed upon the ground they cry out for still more blood.” ~ Aeschylus

Detective Zachary Blake stared up at the high-rise building from the quiet of the car he shared with his partner, Detective Justin Easton. The front of the building had already been cordoned off with wooden barricades and police tape. Big surprise–the media had already shown up. Several reporters Zach didn’t want to tangle with filmed segments for the morning news.

“Live at six, murder and mayhem on the West Side.” Justin’s droll voice cut through the dread building in Zach’s gut.

“Yeah.” Zach pocketed the keys.

“You catch the action on the window?”

Zach climbed out of the unmarked Dodge Charger. He peered up at the high-rise again. The June sun had broken the horizon and crept steadily up the side of the building, creating a headache-inducing glare. Zach shaded his eyes with one hand.


“Seven windows up, two in from the right.”

Zach zeroed in on the window in question. Two messy, dark red stripes haphazardly scored the inside of the window. After ten years with the Cleveland PD–four as a detective–Zach knew blood spray when he saw it.

He and Justin headed for the entrance. Both ignored the shouted questions from reporters and ducked under the caution tape. Uniformed officers milled around everywhere. Several took statements. Zach caught snatches of the conversations as he and Justin walked to the bank of elevators.

“Never had a problem with either–”

“Levi’s been my neighbor for years; I just can’t believe–”

“I knew that boyfriend was trouble: I warned–”

Justin and Zach slipped into one of the four elevators and hit the button for the seventh floor. The doors slid shut silently. They both glanced around the elevator interior. Floor to ceiling mirrors, thick plush carpeting, and not one but two security cameras embedded into the car. Justin was utterly devoid of emotion as he ran a hand along the genuine oak trim gilded with shining, regularly polished silver. He glanced at Zach.

“Expensive building.”

“Very expensive.”

“We know what the vic did for a living?”

“Levi Reisbeck was a corporate attorney. Worked downtown for the Fed.”

The doors opened and they emerged into chaos. The medical examiner had already arrived, and Zach could hear the crime scene techs murmuring as they snapped pictures and set up evidence markers. The ranking onsite officer met Zach and Justin three steps into the condo.

“Glad you could make it.”

“Hell of a party,” Justin said quietly.

“It doesn’t get any weirder than this.” Sergeant Feldman shook his head.

“Oh I don’t know.” Zach’s sharp gaze swept the spacious entryway, the immaculate great room, the open kitchen beyond and multiple pieces of museum-quality art and sculpture scattered throughout the home. “That burned guy we pulled out of Lake Erie was pretty strange.”

“That wasn’t even homicide.” Feldman frowned at Zach as they moved through the condo. The three men stopped at the doorway to the master bedroom. “This definitely was.”

“What gave that away?”

Levi Reisbeck lay naked in the center of a massive king-sized bed, his throat gaping open like some obscene second smile. Wet, tacky blood had spread around the body in a Georgia O’Keefe-esque blossom. Zach looked over at the medical examiner.

“Time of death?”

“Very recent. Maybe two hours.”

“Who called 9-1-1?”

“The victim’s alleged boyfriend, Griffin Edwards.” Feldman checked his notepad. “He was arrested and taken to division headquarters.” The sergeant met Zach’s eyes. “He confessed.”

“Whoa.” Justin whistled softly. “Can we get closer to the bed?”

“Sure.” The ME nodded as he scribbled on a tablet. “We’ve taken a whole album-full of photos. We’ll run him in and do all the standard tests.” The physician used his plastic-covered stylus to point toward an old-style straight razor covered in gore that lay on one of the six pillows. “Weapon’s right there. He was almost decapitated; the blade cut through both external and internal jugular veins, the left external carotid, and the trachea. He even severed part of the thyroid cartilage.”

Zach and Justin pulled nitrile gloves on and stepped into the fray.

“Is that significant?”

“Takes a lot of adrenaline or physical strength to get through protective cartilage with a razor.”

“Looks like the body was arranged.” Justin cocked his head as he gazed down at what remained of Levi Reisbeck.

“It was.” The ME stepped Halkalı Escort up and indicated each arm with his covered stylus. “See the bloody fingerprints on the arms?” He then pointed up at the gaping throat wound. “The length of the slice, the angle, the depth, plus the arterial spray on the bed, wall, and window all indicate a slashing motion, left to right, from behind. See how the cut is shallow on that left side and angles up toward the right ear?”

Justin and Zach absorbed the information, their gazes intent on the body.

“Dude went downright Sweeney Todd on this guy.” Justin shook his head slowly.

Zach edged closer, careful not to step in any of the blood spattered across the expensive carpeting.

“So the boyfriend–”

“Alleged boyfriend,” Feldman supplied.

“Right.” Zach offered the veteran sergeant a sardonic smile. “Because most buddies party naked, front to back, on a big bed.”

“Sure,” Justin said, grinning. “If the Bucks on are the TV.”

“I’m just telling you what the subject said.”

“Were you first on the scene?”

“Bright and early. Good thing I didn’t have time for that egg McMuffin.”

“What happened?”

“We responded to the 9-1-1 call. Found the victim on the bed; Edwards covered in blood. He told us he slit the vic’s throat. We arrested him, called it in, had a black and white cart him off.”

Zach leaned down, his face uncomfortably close to the dead man’s gaping throat wound. His head whipped back to the ME.

“You get pictures of this?”

“The marks by the laceration? Yes.”

“Any theories on what caused them?”

“I have a good idea, but I’ll let our tests and measurements confirm it.”

“They look like teeth marks.” Zach’s deep blue eyes bored into the physician.

“There’s a swirl pattern under the left ear, too.”

“I see that.” Zach stared at the wound and marks, his face so close the fruity metallic odor of the blood oxidizing almost overwhelmed him. “Lick marks.”

“You mean …” Justin’s face pinched. “Edwards slit his throat and sucked his blood?”

“I’ll know for sure after autopsy.” The ME sounded calm and detached, but his eyes gave him away. He looked unsettled.

Zach continued to gaze at Levi Edwards’ slit throat. The cut was so deep across his windpipe Zach could see the faint glint of white bone. Zach tried to envision the crime: the killer behind the victim, one arm across his chest as he sliced the throat open, mashed his face into the spurting wound, and swallowed hot blood. The image disturbed Zach on a visceral level.

He was about to back up when a sliver of dark shadow rippled through the deepest part of the wound. Zach squinted; sure it had been a trick of the light. His eyes searched through the mutilated tissue and coagulated blood to find that bit of darkness again. He carefully put one gloved hand on the bed and the other on the body, leaning even closer, but he saw nothing. He wrote it off to his brain trying to process the gore. Zach pulled back and made sure not to touch anything with his bloody gloves.

“You good, partner?” Justin’s concern was clear in his voice. He and Zach locked eyes. The corners of Zach’s mouth quirked up.

“Our first vampire. Can’t wait to meet him.”

Without another word, Cleveland’s finest detectives turned and left the crime scene, pausing by the door to drop their gloves in the biohazard bag.

2 – JUNE 5, 2015, EVENING

“It’s only in love and in murder that we still remain sincere.” Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Levi Reisbeck unlocked the front door of his condo and stepped inside. He transferred his briefcase to his opposite hand and juggled the bag of groceries on one arm to close and lock the door.

“Grif? You still here?”

Levi’s voice was a rich baritone, and one of his best assets as an attorney. His colleagues all said he had a silver tongue. Grif had said the same thing in an entirely different context. Levi smiled as he slipped his Ferragamo loafers off and tread on socked feet to the kitchen. He set the groceries on the island and went into the great room. He hung his suit coat around the recliner and dropped his briefcase on the ottoman.


Levi didn’t expect his boyfriend to answer. They’d argued the previous night. His sexy boy wasn’t out, and he refused to move in with Levi despite the fact that they’d been seeing each other exclusively for over six months.

Grif still kept his belongings at his parent’s house in Shaker Heights. Grif’s parents were old-fashioned: very white, very religious and very wealthy. Of course, Levi could buy and sell them half a dozen times over. The issue with the elder Edwards couple wasn’t money. They might’ve even forgiven Grif for falling in love with a Jew. But a man loving a man was a mortal sin, and if Grif confessed to being gay, they would excise him from their home and their life like a cancerous tumor. That was the issue.

Levi was more than tired of it.

He opened the Halkalı Escort Bayan door to the master bedroom and his breath caught. Any thoughts of arguing about how Grif’s closeted status affected their relationship vanished as Levi drank in the beauty sprawled across his king-sized bed.

Grif’s tall, well-muscled body laid diagonally, the royal blue sheets twisted around his torso and the upper part of one leg. His face was the picture of masculine beauty. Long dark eyelashes lay like French fans against the supple curve of his pale cheek, an exquisite contrast to the five o’clock shadow covering the sharp angle of his jaw.

Levi groaned as his body reacted to the sight. Something about Griffin Edwards drove him wild.

Entering the room on silent feet, Levi pulled his tie off and unbuttoned his shirt. He freed the pearl cufflinks from his French cuffs, taking the time to open his cufflink case and press the pair into the velvet slot they occupied when he wasn’t wearing them. His shirt and tie went into the dry cleaning bag on the back of his closet door, and he hung his crocodile belt on his belt rack. He was sliding out of his suit pants when he heard a soft chuckle.

“You are so anal.”

Levi turned toward the bed. Grif was propped up on one arm, watching him undress. Levi carefully hung the pants on a padded hangar and slowly approached the bed in his silk shorts and socks.

“I didn’t expect you to be here.”

“Work kept me til 3. I was too tired to ride the bus all the way home.” Grif fell back into the mound of pillows, his eyes closed.

Levi climbed onto the bed beside him, leaning down to gently brush his lips over Grif’s belly. He spoke with his mouth hovering over all that smooth pretty skin.

“This is your home.”

Grif groaned and rolled into Levi, reaching for him.

“Don’t wanna fight,” he mumbled, curling around Levi like a big house cat.

“Me either.”

Levi stroked a hand through Grif’s short hair. It was bed-mussed and beautiful, like the rest of him.

“Mmmm. More pets.”

Levi’s hand caressed Grif’s throat, slid over his broad shoulder and ended spread over a firm pectoral. A smile bloomed over Grif’s face as his eyes fluttered open, the blue of them as deep and royal as the sheets. A bolt of lust shot from Levi’s groin to his brain. He cupped Grif’s face.

“I want you.”

“I’m right here.” Grif rolled onto his back again. He was well on his way to being fully aroused, his erection tenting the sheet that covered it.

Levi knelt up and pulled his shorts off, letting them fall to the floor. His manicured hands gripped the sheet and untangled it, slowly pulling it free and exposing every inch of Grif’s pale flesh. Grif’s smile morphed into a naughty grin and he stretched, spreading his thighs wide. The sheet landed on the floor beside the duvet. Levi slid up Grif’s body and blanketed it, grinding against him.

“Fast and rough, or slow and hard?” Levi whispered, staring into Grif’s eyes.

“Fast and hard.”

“That wasn’t a choice.”

“I figured a big-time lawyer would be open to negotiations.”

Grif’s hands landed on Levi’s firm ass and squeezed. Levi’s chocolate-colored eyes darkened to almost black.

“You’re cheating.”


Levi wrenched away just long enough to yank open the bottom drawer of his nightstand and deal with the condom and lube. He scooped Grif’s legs up over his forearms. Grif moaned, a shiver running down his body as Levi rubbed against him, teasing.

“Oh God ….”

Before Grif could start praying in earnest, Levi buried his cock deep in Grif’s body.

Grif’s hand went to his dick as his back arched. Levi did exactly what Grif had asked for and pounded into him hard and fast. Grif went boneless, relaxing completely and sinking into the pleasure blazing up over his body. His hand fell away from his erection and his head kicked back, his mouth dropping open as he rode the ecstasy of all that friction.

“You feel so good.” Levi leaned over Grif and claimed his open mouth in a hard possessive kiss.

Grif whimpered, clinging. This angle was better. The flames licking over his skin ate down into his bones. Orgasm burst over him, and he attacked Levi’s mouth.

“Fuuuuck ….” Levi groaned as Grif came, rippling and clenching so hard Levi’s eyes rolled back. The warm spurts of Grif’s release spread between them and Levi tripped. The rush was all-consuming. Collapsing against Grif’s damp body, Levi petted him and pressed kisses all over Grif’s face.

“I was afraid you’d be angry I came here.”

“Grif, I meant what I said.” Levi pulled Grif close and held him tight. “This is your home.”

Grif’s arms tightened around Levi. This was right; Grif knew it was. He loved Levi more than he’d ever loved anyone. Levi kissed him again, stealing the breath from his lungs and leaving Grif dizzy. He gazed up into Levi’s beautiful face, his mouth open to agree to move in, finally. A black shadow Escort Halkalı that wasn’t quite hidden by the rich chocolate color swirled through Levi’s eyes.

Grif froze, the words he’d been about to speak forgotten.

Levi smiled, and it was terrifying. “I’d claim you body and soul if you’d just let me.”

Every hair on the back of Grif’s neck stood up. Ice flooded his veins and chills erupted over his whole body. Struggling free of Levi’s embrace, Grif rolled out of bed so fast he almost fell. He bolted for the bathroom leaving Levi in bed, staring at Grif’s retreating back.

3 – JUNE 13, 2015, EVENING

“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk

Grif dressed stiffly, yanking his tight, skinny jeans up over his hips. A whisper on the still air of the condo brought his head up like a prairie dog. His head whipped right and then left as he strained to listen.

The only audible sound was the extremely loud ticking of the antique clock in the great room.

Still, Grif couldn’t shake the sensation of being watched. He felt the eyes on his body, sensed something tracking every move he made. Tears filled his eyes. Being gay wasn’t his fault. It’s just what he was. He swallowed the sob threatening to burst from his throat. His parents had warned him ….

You know what to do.

The shock of the voice whispering in his ears sent Grif to the floor. He crouched low, desperately peering around the bedroom for the source of the voice.

He saw no one; he was alone.

You’ve sinned. You must make it right.

Grif clapped his hands over his ears. For a solid week he’d heard the voice. Sometimes it preached with such righteousness he ended up paralyzed with fear and shame. Other times, like now, it whispered insidiously.

“Stop. Please.” Grif spoke to the empty room, his voice pleading.

You know the law. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

“Leave me alone!”

Grif scrabbled for his boots as the voice grew louder, repeating the damning verse from Leviticus 20 over and over again. With a strangled scream, Grif left his boots untied and fled from the condo out onto the street.

He was supposed to wait for Levi to get home. They were going to have dinner before Levi dropped Grif off at the bar for work. Grif couldn’t stay in the condo another second, and if he was honest, he didn’t really want to see Levi. His boyfriend would do the lawyer thing and badger him relentlessly about why he was being difficult and distant. Or worse, Levi would just give him that look and mutter about “petulant children.” The nine years that separated them¬–which hadn’t mattered in the six months they’d been going out–had shown a lot lately.

Grif hurried down the street, immediately feeling warm and sticky in Cleveland’s close summer heat. Normally it wouldn’t bother him, but with the voice’s stern reprimand echoing in his ears, Grif felt dirty.


He stopped at the bus stop. It was abandoned at this hour on a Saturday. Everybody who had gone to work this morning had already gotten home, and anybody who was going out hadn’t left yet. Grif was going to get to the bar hours before his shift, but he needed to be around people. The servers would all be at the bar, getting ready to open.

The bus pulled up exactly on time. The driver greeted him, but Grif kept his head down and went to sit near the back of the bus. He didn’t want to talk to anyone.

The ride to work was blissfully quiet. Grif breathed slowly in an attempt to calm his nerves. When the driver pulled up to his stop, Grif moved up the aisle to exit the bus. The driver stared at him as he approached.

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” The bus driver’s face was blank, his eyes a flat matte black. “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

Grif nearly leaped out of his skin. He ran from the bus and the driver, sprinting down Detroit Avenue.

The sight of the familiar sign above his workplace brought a small measure of comfort until Grif discovered the door was locked. He pounded on it with a closed fist. Just as he grew frantic, the door swung open. Cindy, one of the servers, stood in the open doorway. She looked at Grif like he’d gone insane. He shoved past her and headed straight for the bar.

“Uh … You know you’re like, an hour and a half early, right?”

Grif ignored her and helped himself to a healthy double shot of tequila. He slammed the shot back and immediately poured another.

“Did you and Levi break up?”

Grif didn’t even acknowledge her until he’d downed the third double shot. He used his foot to open the fridge below the bar and scooped the container of limes out. The plastic wrap over the container fluttered to the floor. Grif grabbed a wedge, shoved it in his mouth and bit down, his cheeks contracting as he sucked hard. His eyes watered, his stomach burned, but his head felt better almost instantly. He tossed the mangled lime in the trash and looked cautiously at Cindy.

“Yes. And no.”

“You broke up, but you didn’t?”

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