Badge of Loyalty
Mike Angells is an openly gay CID inspector based in North East England. There are three men in his life: Raith Balan, Phil Roberts and Ross Whitburn. Mike is particularly close to Ross. Following a routine but significant investigation into thefts of farm machinery, Mike investigates the suspicious death of a footballer. The suspect’s father threatens to expose a crime Ross committed many years earlier, unless Mike withholds evidence that would incriminate his son. Mike must choose which badge he is loyal to—the one he was given when he joined the Force or the tattoo he wears that symbolises polyamory. His decision leads to a brutal conclusion when two men who bear grudges, an ex-con and Balan’s ex-lover, combine to exact revenge. Interspersed with Mike’s story are comments made by Raith, Phil and Ross about Mike, each other, and the nature of their polyamorous relationship. It works for them, but, as Phil explains, they work at it. Neither full-on erotica nor hard-boiled crime, and with many light moments, this is a story about love, hatred, and the price which is paid for loyalty.