I didn’t come back and give you these two days ago. Remember, get them at Amazon Kindle Unlimited. They are right on top of my page there at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Deirdre+O%27Dare
Again, PG-13 excerpts but the books are definitely NC-17! Blood and violence doesn’t seem to make the rating but ..well, there is plenty of that in the second one along with some hot sex.
First, Always on My Mind: (I like to share meetings that set up the issues to pique your curiosity. Garth and Peter are not strangers but have been apart for many years when Peter seeks Garth’s services as a noted attorney.)
At that moment, his intercom jingled softly. Melanie Davis, his secretary, announced his visitor. “Mr. Nightrider is here. Shall I send him in?”
Garth steadied his voice by sheer will. “Give me a couple of minutes. Tell him I’m on the phone.”
He pushed a button to light one line, just in case Peter was paying attention. When he hung up and it went out, Melanie escorted Peter to the door.
He’d seen pictures, of course. The likeness of a star of Peter Nightrider’s caliber was splashed across magazines, television and the internet daily. Still, there was no way Garth could have prepared himself for the reality. Beautiful, masculine, arrogant, and exuding a raw animal energy that defied definition, Peter Nightrider in person lived up to his reputation. He resembled a force of nature, a compelling, overwhelming presence.
The bad boy had become a man, and what a man. The rebellious youth had morphed into a charismatic performer who was always on stage, who played into his persona and wore it like a perfectly tailored costume. Peter dressed simply–jeans and a denim shirt, decorated with fringe and beading in an elaborate but tasteful design. His hair swept his shoulders, sleek and ink-black, shiny as spilled oil on water. Age had sharpened the blade of his nose, carved hollows beneath his high, strong cheekbones, and traced a fine web of lines at the corners of his eyes. He still had a sensual mouth, lips more fine than full, but carrying just a hint of curves and softness, parting now in a smile over even white teeth.
Garth did not always get up and circle his desk to greet a client. Often he remained in his seat to establish his status. The client had come to him for help, not the other way around, which put him in the driver’s seat. This time he could not resist the magnetic tug of his charismatic guest.
He stood, hesitated a moment to make sure his hard-on wasn’t too obvious, and circled the desk. “Peter. It’s been a long time. Looks like you’ve done very well.”
Peter continued to smile. “You’ve not done so bad yourself for a kid from the wrong side of town. I’d bet the rent for this office runs more per month than your mom’s house cost for five years. They say you’re the best there is when we performers get in a bind. I’m here to put that to test.”
Instead of holding out his hand, Peter bypassed Garth’s offered handshake to settle both hands on his shoulders. “You’re taller than you were, too. Late bloomer?” His grin took the sting out of his words, and his steady gaze acknowledged a new equality.
They were now almost of a height, although Garth had always been a few inches shorter than Peter when they were in school. He found himself gazing straight into Peter’s jet-black eyes, close, almost too close. He swallowed, torn between wanting to span the small gap to bring their bodies together and an urge to get a safe distance away as fast as he could.
After a long moment, Peter dropped his arms and took a half-step back. For a moment a flash of uncertainty crossed his face as his expression went somber. “I’m not sure how bad a problem I really have, but it could be a big one. Underage groupies in the hotel suite, statutory rape, booze and drugs–and there’s just enough truth in the story to make it believable. Only thing is, I wasn’t there. But Derek told the kids he was me. We look enough alike they bought it, especially when under the influence.”
“I didn’t realize your kid bother had joined the group. Have you got an alibi?”
Peter shrugged. “I don’t really. The lady I was with would be mighty embarrassed if the fact we spent the night together came out, and her husband would be positively savage. I wouldn’t ask that of her unless it becomes a lot more serious than I hope it’ll be.”
Garth shook his head. “Shit, man, when you get in a bind, you do it up proud, don’t you? I suppose you have the detailed charges? I’ll need to look everything over and see if I can find any loopholes for a start. Where’s Derek? Can I get a statement from him?”
He motioned Peter to a seat and got back behind his desk. He had to get his mind on business and forget about how much he wanted to touch and taste this latest case, to ignore all the rules of attorney-client interaction and lose himself in smoking hot sex.
Not only would that be unethical, he knew it would probably be a piss poor idea from a personal standpoint as well. From what Peter was saying, he preferred to seek his pleasure with the fair sex anyway. One juvenile experiment didn’t mean he’d pursued that any further. There had been no rumors or even hints the notorious Nightrider was gay, but plenty of tabloid pieces about the many women with whom he was seen. There was hardly a blonde starlet or pop diva who hadn’t been photographed clinging to the handsome Indian like ivy to a brick wall.
For the next three hours, Garth pored over papers and questioned Peter at length about the incident. The cops had made a couple of minor procedural errors, but probably not enough to get the case thrown out or even to make it questionable. He’d have to find more than that to hang a defense on if he was going to keep Peter out of serious trouble.
Unfortunately, one of the girls involved was the daughter of an influential politician who made combating vice a big part of his platform, always coming back to the theme of protecting vulnerable youth from the corrupting forces of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. The man was pushing hard to have the whole Nightrider group put away for a long time, and the DA was right in his pocket, pursuing the case with avid intensity.
Dusk had fallen by the time Garth felt he had a start on the case, enough to get to work on it the next day. He looked up and met Peter’s ebony stare.
“I can’t promise you any miracles, but you know I’ll give it my best effort. I’d do it even if I’d never met you before, but we do have a history, and I can’t totally forget or ignore that.”
“I hope not. Old friends are few and far apart in my world. Like fame and success changed me somehow, like I’m too good for family and the folks I used to know. Shit, I could be behind bars in a few weeks, everything lost and no better than one of my cousins from the rez who gets into a bar fight and busts a bottle in somebody’s face.”
“I don’t think it’ll go that far,” Garth said. “Somehow we’ll prove you were not there and that even Derek didn’t do half the things he’s accused of as your surrogate. Maybe we can get a statement from your”–he hesitated over a word, not sure how to refer to the woman Peter had been with–“your date that will allow her to remain anonymous, at least to the public, but will corroborate your whereabouts. Give me a couple of days to work on this, okay?”
They both stood. Garth prepared to shake hands in a formal, business-like manner and escort Peter out. He knew his office staff had left for the day so it was up to him. Somehow that didn’t happen. They walked together through the doorway from Garth’s office to the reception area. Garth collected his suit coat off the back of his office door before he passed through it. Slinging it over his shoulder, he glanced at Peter, who shook his head, a wry twist of a smile on his mobile lips.
“You’re too damn pretty now, buddy. I liked you better in T-shirts and cheap, no-brand jeans. But then that guy couldn’t do for me what you’re able to do, could he?”
Garth shrugged, disturbed by something in Peter’s gaze, by the words which were spoken in an almost wistful tone. “The old saw about the clothes make the man, I guess. Clients like you, who are among the ranks of celebrities, expect a lawyer to look a certain way, especially a successful one. I have to maintain an image, just like you do.”
Peter had the grace to lower his gaze and grin, more that a little abashed. “Point taken.”
They proceeded toward the closed outer door, Garth in the lead. Suddenly Garth was stopped in his tracks as Peter gasped his shoulders from behind in a talon-like grip and halted him.
And Guilty By Innocence: (I’ll just do the prologue here and a tiny bit of chapter 1–it may jolt you a little! As a ‘meeting’ it is not typical.)
Cold. Pain. Floating and yet so heavy. Sensory details flooded his mind, but they only confused him.
Where am I? What’s happened?
He realized then that odors were the most insistent cue. Hot, metallic–the raw, thick scents of fresh blood and terror.
Holy Mother, what’s happened?
Sticky moisture seemed to coat his skin, growing crustier by the minute. The fingers of his right hand clenched around something hard, solid. His hand hurt, but he could not let go. He clutched it with unremitting urgency. Next, he heard a low, anguished moan followed by the building scream of sirens.
Then the scariest question of all entered his mind: Who am I?
He could not come up with a name or even a single trace of an identity. Before utter terror overcame him, he let the dark weight of silence close over him like water.
A Few Minutes Later
Jackson Byrne “Jax” McDermott pulled his unmarked car to the curb, cut the ignition and stepped out. 3150 Rincon Street was ablaze with lights and starting to swarm with action. The first responders had begun to arrive. He watched four EMTs led by their sergeant, Delia Maldonado, unload from their ambulance, which had pulled in behind his car.
Before they went to work, he needed to view the scene. From the sound of the call, they’d probably just be picking up pieces anyway. Two uniforms were already stretching yellow crime scene tape around the simple, boxy, typical tract house on the sprawling city’s northeast side. Jax stepped across one tape band and headed for the open front door, which hung off a single hinge.
Mickey Finnegan, one of the newest rookies on the EPPD, came charging out. He skidded to a stop and then puked into the arbor vitae to the left of the cement stoop.
Jax looked at the young cop with a trace of sympathy. He’d been there once. “Bad, huh?”
Micky coughed and gagged before he replied. “Yeah. Real bad.”
Edging past the green-faced rookie, Jax went inside the house. With ten years as a cop behind him–six on the street and four as a detective–broken by a tour in the Middle East with the National Guard, there wasn’t much he hadn’t seen. He’d deal with it. He stopped two steps inside, blinked and began to breathe in shallow pants through his mouth. You could cut the stench with a knife–blood, puke, piss, fear and death. There might have been a place somewhere when he’d seen that much blood, but he couldn’t recall it. The whole room seemed to have been painted red. He counted six bodies.
Delia came up behind him. He held out a hand, halting her for a moment. “They look like coroner cases,” he said. “Give me a minute and then you can do your thing.”
He did a quick mental count–an older man against the far wall, a middle-aged woman two steps to the man’s right, a young woman with her arms extended toward a kid, apparently a boy maybe four or five. Gaping throats slashed open, still-seeping gashes on limbs and torsos. They all must have struggled, resisting to no avail. An infant, just beyond the boy. Whoa. Unbelievably, the kid moved and made a faint mew like an injured kitten.
Delia shoved past him. He let her. He managed to draw a fast sketch of the scene in his notebook to show the small form’s spot on the sticky floor as the EMTs worked. When his gaze skidded to the last body, he went dead still. From the blood-crusted face of an apparent corpse, two eyes stared at him, eyes holding a clear and unmistakable shine of life and awareness. No gashed throat on that one, either. He was definitely still alive. The eyes blinked shut, as if the man knew he’d been made. Jax grabbed his camera and snapped a couple of fast shots.
Delia and her team bundled up the infant to evacuate it. As she started past him, following one of her crew with the baby, Jax halted her.
“Del, that one’s alive, too.” He pointed.
She stopped. Her glance whipped around to the last body, apparently a young man.
Sixth victim? But wait, in one blood-painted hand, he clenched the rough wooden handle of a two-foot long machete, the wide blade streaked black with blood.
“You can take him as soon as I mark the placement of the body, but tell the ER crew he doesn’t go anywhere until they hear from me. He could be the perp, and I’m not taking any chances. Save his clothes, too, and anything else you or the ER staff find on him. I’ll get hold of Nat at the ME’s office and see if she can meet you at the hospital to get blood samples and anything else she can while it’s fresh.”
Del nodded. She knew the drill. These days, crime scene pickups were a regular part of her team’s routine. El Paso had become a war zone. Like Jax and a number of others on the force and in the first responders, she’d been in the military in the Middle East. None of them had seen anything worse while they were over there.