Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fiction Friends - Stifled (Summoned Book 2) By Rainy Kaye


englishedstifledDimitri would like nothing more than to live a low-key life in Naples, Italy. His girlfriend, Syd, has other plans. After three months of researching, she is positive she has found a jinn on a killing spree in San Diego, California. Since Syd gave Dimitri the one thing he thought was out of reach, he feels obligated to use his ill-gained talents for her cause. A few hours back in the US proves that Dimitri and Syd didn’t quite make the clean escape they had thought. As they trail the elusive jinn, someone else trails them. What should have been a simple trip to confirm once and for all if the jinn are living among humans, instead reveals a community keeping dark secrets. Unfortunately for Dim, the only way out is in.

   


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Friday, February 24, 2017

Erotic Romance Excerpt - You Never Could Be

What happens when the office eye-candy sets his sights on you?
 A passion-fueled encounter in the corridor of a hotel convention room reveals two anguished hearts struggling to reconnect despite life’s difficulties. Will Carlisle, the eye candy of the office, is every woman’s dream, tall, handsome, and dashingly charming. Sara Rozek never guessed he has secretly wanted her for months now. When a bad day falls upon them and Will breaks the reins of his own restraint, she sees the burning passion in his eyes, and there is no denying the mutual attraction. Will and Sara’s start quickly runs awry, and Sara becomes convinced she was played for a fool. Will begs her to listen to him, but she turns away in fear. Can Will mend her broken heart, or will the passion they shared vanish forever?

Excerpt
They walked out of the meeting with a definite maybe. It was the best answer for now. Will complimented their hard work and said he was proud of the presentation they’d put forward.
They separated from Rick. Will’s flight departed in just under two hours. Sara pulled out of the parking lot in silence, letting the radio fill the void. Her eyes focused outside the truck. The abrupt shift in his demeanor was uncomfortable and Sara was in agony. She couldn’t stand the tension but didn’t know what to do.
The car jumped, and Sara pulled at the wheel to remain in control.
“Shit!”
She pulled off to the side of the road. Her temper flared, the culmination of the tension in the car and the disappointing results from the meeting.
She thrust the door open and walked alongside the truck, where she saw her shredded back tire.
Will came around the corner, meeting her at the back of the truck, and he immediately reached for the hatch. Lifting it, he removed his jacket while Sara removed the carpet. She pulled out the jack and the crow bar. He took them from her, putting the jack beneath the truck. He met her gaze, a raging testosterone fury firing in his eyes, and she stepped back. He raised the truck and removed the hubcap. She took it from him, watching as he began to loosen the lug nuts. He’d gotten three of five, but the last two weren’t cooperating. She watched him struggle with them, doing her best to remain silent, resisting the need to comment.
He continued to try and then bent over in frustration.
“I can call roadside assistance if you—" she began, and was met with a glare that stirred annoyance in her chest. “You’re going to miss your flight. At least let me call Rick to come and get you.”
He glanced over, his eyes squinting. Brow furrowed.
“What?” She asked.
“How much do you weigh?”
“Excuse me?” He laughed and she bristled “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing, I just…I need your help.”
“Um, okay what do you need me to do?”
“Come here.” His eyes brightened, and she moved. He took the hubcap from her hand and set it in the back of the truck. “The lug nuts are stuck.”
“I noticed.”
He gave her a sideways smirk before pushing his hand though his hair and loosening his tie.
“What’s your plan?”
“We are going to jump.”
“Jump?”
“Ah, yeah,” his shoulders fell before he positioned the lug wrench onto the stuck lug. He scratched at the back of his neck. His eyes focused on the meddlesome tire. “If we put enough weight on the lug, we should be able to pop it.”
“By jumping?”
“Yep.”
“Okay.”
“Put your hands out.” She complied and he grasped her elbows, locking the embrace. “Okay, now put your right foot on top of the crowbar, then your left.”
She followed his directions, using his arms to steady her balance on top of the piece of metal. She got her bearings and met his gaze.
“Now what?”
“I am going to jump onto it as well, and with any luck, the force will pop the nut.”
“You’re serious?”
“Absolutely.” His gaze held hers in a steady reassurance. “Ready?”
“No, but okay.”
He grinned, and she braced herself for the jolt. Will placed his left foot on the metal just between her ankles.
“Okay, one, two…” with a silent three, he lifted himself onto the bar and bounced. The lug didn’t move. He stepped down and tried again. After the third attempt, she began to giggle, which in turn made him laugh. They found themselves perched on top of the metal, holding onto each other for dear life. She felt herself drop, and his arms clutched her as they fell. She landed hard and realized she was on top of him.
“Oh my god, are you all right? I’m so sorry!” She shifted, getting off him. He sat up, his arms still around her. She found herself propped against him, looking down into his eyes.
“You guys need some help?” 


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fiction Friends - Summoned by Rainy Kaye


englishsummonedTwenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told - literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker. Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd - assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd - he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can't tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn't the type to tolerate secrets. Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl's ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming - the wish that will destroy him. A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him.

   



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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Kiss - A Pivotal Scene in Any Romance

Little girl’s dreams are built around it. Boys brag about it, and it's the force driving every book I write. Romance all about the kiss, not just any kiss, ‘the kiss’.  Sounds like a pretty weak way to drive anything, but that is my focal point. The first kiss and then the renewal kiss. 

In any romance the basic bare bones plot is usually the same.  Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back.  Obviously there are a million variations of this but the core is the same. So for a writer to truly translate their vision we must have a focus.

In my latest erotic novella, the entire novel started out as a single moment. A passionate, unexpected, but wanted moment between two professional people. I focused on the single image rolling all of the possibilities in my head, why wouldn’t they be able to fulfill their desires? What was holding them back and what would make them so desperate to act? Where did the need to be in the others embrace stem from? What were the consequences if they acted on their desires? The answers to each of these are of course endless, but in the end You Never Could Be was born. The two people became Sara and Will.

Will finished his conversation, and hung up his phone, having booked himself on the next available flight. Highway assistance had solved their lug nut challenge, and they were back on the road to the airport. Sara saw the exit and glanced at him with a grin, her stomach churning. His phone beeped and he glanced at the screen with an audible sigh.
“Is everything okay?”
“Uh, yeah, it’s fine.”
“You don’t sound so convinced.”
“I’m not.” His focus went toward the window a deafening quiet lying between them once again.
“Are you going out of the same terminal?”
“Yeah, I think so, American.”
She grabbed her drive-through pass and headed to the terminal. The curb side thorough-way was closed. She pulled into the garage and found a space. Sara was unwilling to break the boundary of silence he’d put up, and wordlessly popped the hatch.
“Make sure you get a new tire. You shouldn’t be driving on the donut for longer than a day.” He came around the side, pulling his luggage from the back.
“I will.” She pulled her fingers against her hair. The tension was killing her, and she’d had enough. “Will…”
“They’re replacing me.” Her blood turned to ice.
“What?”
“The phone call, it was Regan. They decided to split the departments, and my position has been absorbed into the transition.” Unable to deal with the news without emotion, she turned away from him. “There are a couple of positions available in Phoenix. They are setting up interviews for me.”
“When?”
“I’ll announce it Monday. They want me to work through the transition so probably a few weeks.”
“I can’t believe this is happening. Will, you’ve been—“
“It’s okay Sara. It’s not personal. We knew with all the changes' stuff like this was going to happen.”
“Yeah, but not to us.”
She saw him take a deep breath before he closed the hatch. Her emotions rose to her chest and she wasn’t sure what to do. She did her best to gulp it back.
“Well at least, you’ll be around for the next few weeks, so I can still harass you when needed.” She meant for the statement to be light, but it came out like a final farewell. “You’ll have to come up with an excuse to come visit. I’m sure the group of us can come up with a plausible justification.”
“I’ll be around.”
“I know you will. You're always around when I…we need you.” His eyes bore through her, and her body involuntarily tightened. “You’d…uh…you’d better get moving or you’re going to miss your plane again.”
“Yeah, I think I would have a hard time using the flat tire excuse twice.”
“Have a safe trip.” She stepped into him, wrapping her arm loosely over his shoulder in a hug. Her heart raced at the solid heat of his body against hers. “Let me know if you need anything. Seriously, if you need anything just call.”
“You too.”
She nodded and went to step back, his hand lingering on her hip. She hesitated. He moved, and she took another step. He threw his laptop case over his shoulder and unfolded his luggage before waving good-bye.
Heaviness settled on her chest, forcing a deep sigh. Her mind felt thick, and she pulled herself away, getting in her truck. She lifted the handle when the smacking of hurried footsteps against concrete got her attention.
“Sara!”
She spun on her heel following his voice around the truck.
“Did you forget something?” He didn’t respond just kept walking, a startling determination in his eyes. She waited in open confusion. He kept coming and before she could react, his hand curled on the back of her neck. His mouth crushed hers with a heated demand and she had no choice but to give in. She opened beneath him, and his tongue diving into her mouth. He shifted his arm, wrapping it around her waist, resting on the small of her back. His mouth still dominating her attention, his overpowering torso pressed her against the truck. She was trapped, unable to escape his possessed siege of her mouth.
The kiss broke, and they both gasped for air. His eyes searched her face, his fingers kneading her neck. He wordlessly pulled at her lips, and her hands balled against his chest. She took another gasp of air, looking up into his heavy-lidded eyes. "Don't go.”

In my first romantic suspense series, ‘Trust Me’, we have two people, breathless and desperate to kiss each other but unable to act on their feelings. The two people became Rebecca and Eric, the scene wound up in a very different place than I imagined it and the consequences were shattering to both of them.

Eric sat for a moment, letting the advice settle in his gut before he rose from the table. He made is way down the hall and over to the kitchen. He popped a few quarters in the vending machine his mind heavy in thought.
Just promise me, if you find her you won't walk away…
Then the world literally stopped. I looked up and there she was smiling at me as she said hello.
I wish that were true…
He made his way back to the conference room, two sodas in hand. He rounded the corner and bumped into someone. He heard a gasp and he turned. Her blue eyes looked at him in terror.
"Beccs."
He'd scared her again.
Damn it what was she doing out here alone?
She was breathless and he watched her body begin to quake. Her eyes watering, she looked to him helpless. He grasped her hand and scanned his ID before he led her into an empty conference room. She propped herself against the wall and he shut the door. Her trembling worsened while tears slid down her cheeks.
He pulled her into his chest wrapping his arms around her protectively until the trembling passed. She clung to him and he pulled her tighter against him, kissing the top of her head.
After a few minutes she seemed to calm. He looked down at her, his hand grazing her hair. She met his gaze, her cheeks still wet with tears.
"Okay?" He gently wiped her tears away with his thumb.
A quiet desperation shone back at him and he drowned in her eyes. His heart refused to be ignored. The walls he'd so carefully built crumbled like ash. Eric leaned down pressing his lips against hers, his hands pushing into her hair. He covered her mouth and a rush of fire swept through him. Her lips were warm and sweet. She opened up to him and he pulled her closer to him devouring her mouth. They melted together into one enduring embrace.
She pull away, their lips parted, and his heart screamed in protest.
"We can't do this," she said in a breathless whisper. His forehead rested against hers, eyes closed, fighting the need to kiss her again. "Eric…"
"If it was anyone else…" his voice a deep growl talking his way back from her warmth, "Rebecca I--"
Her warm hand rested against his cheek and stabs of pain pushed at him like his heart was being ripped from his body. He tried to catch his breath. Her eyes were brimming with life, pain, and unquenchable warmth.
She rose up on her toes. His arms still wrapped around her, she kissed him once more. Full of emotion and regret, her lips fit within his. She broke away and lowered herself back to the ground. Unable to pull away from her eyes, he could see the strain and exhaustion she fought to hide. His hand grazed her hair and her eyes closed.
Like the screaming of an alarm, his cell phone rang. Her eyes opened looking at him with strength, hiding the pain and fear only he could see. Her shoulders squared, her back stiffened and her arms dropped from his chest.
Eric kept her resilient but anguished gaze. He dropped his arms from their protective position around her. She took a step back. His cell phone rang again. She took another step and turned toward the door. He struggled with not being able to touch her, or hold her. She glanced back but within seconds she disappeared. It was a torture beyond his imagination and it was killing him.
His phone rang again and he pulled it from his pocket.
"This is Detective Stiles."


So that was the beginning of the Trust Me series, or at least the kernel of inspiration.  Now that was not the first kiss, nor would it be the last, but it is a crucial part of the plot. First kisses as I stated are of monumental importance to me. They have to be perfect. They have to feel honest, real and natural. One of my pet peeves is to have a kiss feel rushed or awkward, or when as the reader I am saying – where the hell did that come from. There has to be a build up, tension and finally the explosion that lifts the characters story to the next level.

In Shockwave, the first kiss is the turning point in the novel. It is the place where the reader is finally satisfied by the flirt. Kate Weiss and Jack Tucker are from two different worlds, he is always in the spotlight and she is always behind it. In the beginning of the story Jack and Kate hate each other until Kate is attacked by a group of thugs.  From there, the flirt is on and in this scene the readers are given what they have been hoping for…

It took a little time, but they managed to make their way out and hail a cab back to the hotel. Stumbling into the hotel laughing, they managed to navigate their way to the elevators. They stepped in, and concurrently forgot the floor of their rooms.
“Twenty-three Three is sticking in my brain.” She leaned against the back of the elevator.
“Twenty-three Three it is,” Jack pushed the button and leaned against the wall next to her.
“You’d think they would put it on your key or something.”
“What’s your room number?” His brain flipped like a coin in mid-air.
“2509.” He looked at her with a smile. “Seriously?”
She reached forward, pushed the button for twenty-five. He laughed.
“What’s your room number, Tucker?”
“Ah…I…well…I have no fucking idea!”
“See!” She stepped back leaning next him. “So I don’t want to hear any sass out of you about my 23!”
“My sass will remain closed.” The heat of her body made his head spin more than it already was.
“That’s why!”
“Why what?”
“I finally understand why she calls you Sass. I didn’t see it before, but now I definitely agree that you are…”
Abruptly the doors opened and they turned to move out of the elevator. He realized they were on the wrong floor and pulled her back.
“What are you doing?”
“Twenty-five remember, not twenty-three.”
“Oh yeah,” She turned to him with a lopsided smile. It hit him like a hammer. He realized it was the first time he had ever really seen her smile.  It lit up her face, and he couldn’t help but smile back. “Do you know that saying?”
“What saying?”
“The whole, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas thing.”
“Yes, I am familiar with it.” The doors of the elevator opened again, and he gently turned her around moving her forward into the hallway.
“Well you need to make sure you understand that saying because well…” She rummaged through her pockets for her key. “I am breaking so many rules right now you wouldn’t believe.”
“Rules?” She stopped at her door leaning against it, key card in hand.
Jack watched her struggle to maintain her mental and physical balance.
“Yes, rules. Many, many rules.”
“What kind of rules?” Warmth enveloped him. Her scent and deep eyes drew him in, and he was powerless to resist.
“Important rules.” His palms rested on the door trapping her between his arms, and a deep sigh escaped her lips. “Very important rules.”
“Kate,” He breathed her in, just inches away from her lips, her emerald eyes shining brightly up at him.
“Yes?”
“Forget the rules.” He caressed her cheek with his thumb, his heart pounding against his chest. Jack let go of his fear, and covered her mouth with a passionate kiss.
He expected the moment of surprise. Then she kissed him back, her arms wrapping around his neck pulling him closer. After a hesitant but passion filled exploration of the other's lips, their touch parted, and he bit back a groan. He didn’t want to stop. He wanted to keep kissing her forever.

****

A little steamy, right-- Well all of that flirting tends to build up a little tension…and POW!

The kiss is a powerful weapon in the romantic suspense, more so than in other genres. The kiss is a prize, a reward for hard work and a job well done. You have managed to stay alive, here is your treat…you get the girl / guy!
Every writer has something that propels them forward, the kernel of truth they search out.

I ask you, with the utmost sincerity, what is more honest than a kiss? You cannot fake a kiss, not a real one anyway. It has the power to sway opinions, cease and cause wars, make you faint, swoon and or gag. For me, the kiss is the first breath of love, it is an act of passion and most of all awareness.  There is no way to deny, retract or ignore a real kiss, not even if you want to.
The core of my writing is the kiss in all of its glorious forms, whether is it a first kiss or a kiss goodbye, it is always memorable. It is my job to make you remember why.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Romantic Suspense Excerpt - Dead Air Book 3 Fallout


Fate brought them together, now they must fight to survive.

Jack and Kate struggle to navigate through the web of lies surrounding them.  Chasing shadows, the truth is closer than they realize. Isolated and hiding from unknown forces, can they uncover the buried secrets that killed Mike, and put a price of their heads? When Kate makes a deal and leaves Jack behind, will she make it back or will or will one misstep destroy all of their hopes for the future?
Melissa and Dan said goodbye shortly thereafter, and Jack searched for Kate, finding her in the kitchen finishing the few dishes they had dirtied. He wrapped his arms around her waist nibbling on her neck.

“Someone is feeling better.” She giggled, and turned meeting his eyes. They were soft and adoring. He leaned down placing a gentle kiss on her pink lips. She teased his lips with her tongue.  Jack pulled her against him, his hands entangled in her hair. Their lips parted and he gazed down into her eyes and she smiled. “Hey.”
“Hey.” He lowered his head and she met him half way, her arms wrapping around his neck. He lifted her off the ground sitting her on the counter. Exploring her mouth, his hands spread themselves beneath her shirt exposing her soft skin to the cool air. She shivered and he took to nibbling on her ear.  His hands moved up her back, leaving a trailed kisses down her neck. 
“You are supposed to be resting.” She tried to lean back and away from his mouth. His hands on her back prevented her from going far and he simply adjusted to the opposite side of her neck. “Jack.”
“I am resting.” He nipped at her earlobe, and his phone rang. 
He growled, Kate smirked and he disappeared to get the phone. Hopping off the counter she started preparing the coffee maker for the next morning and when she was finished, she moved back into the living room. 
She could hear him talking on the phone as she cleaned. Kate returned to the kitchen a few minutes later she found him waiting for her. “Who was on the phone?”
“You threatened Elisa?”
“What?”
“Why on earth would you…”
“I didn’t…well not exactly. It’s complicated.”
“How is it complicated, Kate? Either you threatened her or you didn’t. You’re a goddamn spy for Christ’s sake! I would think you would know the difference!”
His eyes were clouded and she immediately knew what was happening. “Jack, calm down.”
“I am not going to calm down until you tell me what the hell is going on!” 
“Listen to me…”
Where do you get off thinking that bullying my friends is okay? Especially, someone as small and fragile as Elisa, she couldn’t hurt a fly!”
“I know you think…”
“Think?” His face began to redden, his eyes dilated and his chest heaved. “Sorry I forgot I’m not supposed to think. Just sit back and blindly trust you again as you ruin my life!” 
“Jack, please stop.” He backed her against the counter. Her heart pounding, she struggled with what to do. “There’s something wrong and you have to fight it.”
He grabbed her by the arms and squeezed. “Wait, maybe you are the problem. It seems to follow you around, all of the death and the pain. The destruction.”
“Jack let go.” She pushed against him. “This isn’t you talking, it’s the poison. You have to calm down.”
“Maybe if I cut you out of my life and walk away it will all disappear?”
“You’re right. I’m the problem. I am the one who brought you into this hell and I am the one keeping you here.”
A wave of confusion crashed over his face and she took a breath.
“She was so upset.” His eyes searched for something beyond her. “She was crying and she said it was your fault.”
“It was my fault and I am sorry,” Kate watched him begin to float back to the surface.
“She said you threatened her at the memorial and then again at the hospital. She said you saw us at the funeral and you were jealous…trying to keep me away from her.”
“Jack, I need you to look at me. “
“Kate…I…”
“Just take a deep breath.” His eyes widened and he burst out of his own mind realizing what was happening. He looked at her in confusion. He became conscious of his harsh grip on her arms and immediately released her. “It’s okay, just breathe.”
He stepped back, his face scrunching in pain. “No…what…” 
“You’re okay. It is fine.”

“Get away from me, Kate!”

He fell back into the wall of cabinets behind him, his chest heaving. “Jack…breathe.”

“I can’t…I…” He met her eyes and she saw terror. “Kate…”

His legs quickly betrayed him and he slid down to the floor. Kate moved to him, grasping his hand “Jack, I’m here, you’re going to be okay.”
 
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Knight of Cups - Backlash (The Dead Air Chronicles)


In the grip of fate there is no escape
They were worlds apart, drawn together by an undeniable passion. Ripped apart by fear, they ran from each other and now struggle to stand alone. Tragedy descends, and they are pulled together in search of a killer.

Kate returns to Dallas in search of Mike’s killer. Within hours of her arrival, events quickly spin out of control. Jack struggles to keep his distance, but when Kate becomes a suspect, his instincts take over and he rushes to her defense. As danger looms, all of the reasons they walked away from each other disappear, leaving the passionate fire that brought them together.

Unknown forces set their sights on Jack and Kate, and the pair is forced to run or become the latest in a long line of victims. In a desperate search for the truth behind Mike’s murder, they fight their way through the lies, discovering that not all is as it seems.

Excerpt 

Kate Weiss pushed her way through the doors. She just wanted to get this over with. After three weeks of being undercover, she’d gotten the collar and closed the case. Now all she wanted was a glass of wine and a nice long, hot, bath.She would have to wait, paperwork first, always.
She made it halfway through the bullpen when she heard her name. She turned and saw Andy waving her down.
The sight of him stabbed at her, the memory of her return from Dallas creeping from the back of her mind. She tried to push the memories of her time in the lone-star state out of her head. It was the whole reason she’d jumped back into work. Taking the first deep cover assignment she could get.  It was ironic really she’d gone to Dallas to regain her memory. Not only did she fail at that attempt, but she also managed to mangle her own heart in the process.
Jack
She pushed it away and made a u-turn toward Andy’s office.
“What’s up?”
“Come in and close the door.”
“Is everything okay, you don’t look like the boss of someone who just broke a two year old case?”
“Kate, there is something I need to tell you.” His face was hard and set in a pained expression. Her stomach immediately dropped when he met her eyes, and she pushed the air from her lungs.
“What is it, what’s wrong?”
“Kate…I…”
“What is it, Andy? Spit it out!”
“Mike’s dead.”
Kate felt all of the blood draining from her face and her body became unbearably heavy. “How?”
“He was shot in the head, it looks like a hit.” She was speechless. She stared at him, feeling the walls closing in and sat in the chair behind her. Clasping her hands together, she tried to collect her thoughts and bring her buzzing mind under control. “There has to be some kind of mistake, Andy. There’s no way…”
“It’s been confirmed. They just finished the autopsy. We should have the ballistics in a few days.”
“What— wait, autopsy? When did this happen?”
“Ah…we got the news last week.”
“Last week, and you are telling me now?”
“Kate, there was no way to get a message to you without compromising your cover.”
“God damn it, why didn’t you…” Her body began to shake but she reeled herself back in, not wanting to show the weakness in front of him. “So I assume Washington is handling the investigation?”
“No, the Dallas office is handling it,” he replied looking at her, somehow knowing she was going to object. “Don’t start, there is no way to transfer it here I have already asked.”
Kate decided to leave it. The less she involved him the better.
“Do we know when the funeral will be?”
“Not yet. I have a call into the AD in Dallas. A lot of it is going to depend on when they release the body.”
“Yeah.” She stood from the chair hiding the shaking of her limbs.
“You okay?”
“Yeah,” she said with a nod. She watched him move around the desk. He touched her arm before pulling her toward him.
Andy wrapped his arms around her, and she reluctantly let him. He was trying to comfort her, so she humored him, laying her head on his shoulder. They stood silent before she pulled back. “Thanks, Andy.”
“Why don’t you take the rest of the day off? Let it settle in,” he suggested and she nodded in agreement. “I’ll stop by later and see how you are doing, okay.”
“Call me if you hear anything else?”
“Definitely.”
Kate opened the door and exited the office. She moved through the bullpen, grabbed her things from her desk, and headed out of the building. Once she reached her car, she pulled out her cell and dialed.
“Jane. Hey, it’s Kate. Are you busy, I need a favor?”
***          
Jack’s cell rang and he answered seeing the number from the mortuary.
“This is Jack Tucker,” he said into the phone as he cleaned out the coffee pot. “Yes. Yes, please that is fine. Thank you.”
The entire situation was frustrating, and he was glad it was almost over. Everything was put on indefinite hold until the FBI released Mike’s remains. Something they were told would take a few days had dragged on for over two weeks.
He'd found his boss and friend dead in his own kitchen two weeks ago. He had dropped by to deliver his laptop as requested and that was when he found him. The memory chilled him to the bone, and everything since had been a dizzy haze.
Mike had no immediate family, so Jack and his on-air radio co-host, Melissa, took it upon them-selves to make all of the funeral arrangements. This, if nothing else kept them both busy, stalling the impending shock of emotion going to rain down soon enough. His mind went to Kate. He'd attempted to call her several times with no response. He wasn't sure why he would have expected her to answer. He'd gone to California to apologize for the way he rejected her when he discovered she was an FBI Agent, but she shut him down and walked away. Telling him that she wasn't who he thought she was. Despite their recent history, he was sincerely worried about her. Jack knew how much she meant to Mike, he could only imagine that the feeling was reciprocated.
Jack shook himself out of his head and immediately got to work. His first order of business was to call Melissa, and let her know that they were a go. He started at the top of the list and worked his way down. He had accomplished half of it when his phone rang.
“This is Jack.”
“Jack, it’s Elisa.”
“Hey, what’s up?”
“The FBI is here, and asking about Mike’s laptop. Do you still have it?” Her voice was strained and he could only imagine how she was handling things. She was, after all, Mike's assistant. All of this must have been horrible.
“Ah, yeah, do they want me to bring it there?”
Jack heard her asking someone something in the background, and then she came back to the phone.
“They want you to bring it to the field office downtown.”
“Yeah okay I can run by there. No problem.”
“Okay, I’ll tell them, thanks.”
He decided it was a good excuse to get out of the house, and he grabbed his keys. Half way to the federal offices, his phone rang again and he saw Melissa’s smiling face.
“Hey Miss, what’s up?”
“Are you busy?”
“Not really, I was just going to drop something off downtown. What do you need?”
“I am at the funeral home and I have no idea what I am doing,” she replied sounding frustrated and breathless. “Do you think you could come by and help me with all of this?”
“Sure, where are you?”
Melissa gave him the address and he veered off course to the funeral home. When he arrived, she was shaking her head in indecision. He didn’t offer any suggestions just acted as a sounding board and support. This enabled her to make the necessary decisions.
Two hours later, he was able to walk out of the funeral home knowing that the arrangements were all made. Now it was his job to send everyone the information.  He wanted to put together a respectful email so he decided to head to the federal office and then back home. Melissa wanted him to meet him for dinner later, so if he hauled ass he should have time to get everything done, and be able to clean up before dinner.
Jack pulled into the parking lot, grabbed the laptop off the back seat, and headed to the main doors of the federal office. As soon as he walked in, he saw a reception desk. He stood behind a man, and a woman, who were both waiting their turn while the receptionist talked on the phone.
A few minutes later, it was his turn and he looked to her with a smile.
“Hi, my name is Jack Tucker. I was asked to bring this down,” he said, motioning to the laptop.
“Mr. Tucker,” she said scanning her computer screen. “There you are. They are expecting you. Just go through security and up to the fifth floor.  Talk to the receptionist, and ask her to direct you to Agent Mitchell.”
“Great, thanks.” He turned and moved to the security station. Once through, he made his way to the fifth floor. “Hi I’m here to see Agent Mitchell, my name is Jack Tucker.”
“Mr. Tucker, if you can fill this out for me I can take the laptop for you.” The receptionist handed him a clipboard and a pen. He looked over the form and began to fill it out. Abruptly Jack heard the faint echo of shouting voices followed by the slamming of a door. Looking up, he watched a suited man cross the room of cubicles. The man, seemingly irate, stopped, yanking open the door of a glass walled office. “Get Andy Whitaker in Los Angeles on the phone now!”
 Jack watched in curiosity while the surrounding agents scurried through the cubicles like frightened mice looking for a place to hide.
“All set, thanks for bringing this down, Mr. Tucker.”
“Sure, no problem,” he replied with a nod before turning toward the elevator.
“Carol, Nighton wants the files on Kate Weiss,” a man said as he leaned over the counter.  A chill went up Jack’s spine, and he turned to get a look at the man. He was a bald middle age man, but he quickly disappeared into the maze of cubicles. Jack turned back to the elevator and stepped on just as an angry male voice bellowed through the office.

***

Shockwave, Backlash and Fallout are the three short novels that comprise the Tarot series by Amy Romine. T This series was a little jewel that I recently stumbled upon. Quick, addictive and sexy are probably the first three words that pop into my head when recalling this series.- Amazon Reviewer

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