(Nick and Jacklyn Book 1)
A new love affair and a serial murder case don’t go well together.
Nicolas put his elbows on the table. “Can I ask you a question and expect you’ll answer it seriously without the usual mocking?”
Jason stopped chewing his hamburger to look intently at him, mouth full. He put down his lunch, wiped his lips clean and took his time to swallow the bite. “If you start like that, it sounds so damn serious I feel ants trampling down my spine.”
“I’ve heard better metaphors before. But, honestly, will you answer me?”
“Yep.” Jason took a swig of his Diet Pepsi without losing eye contact.
Nicolas still doubted his friend’s seriousness but went on quietly. “Jacklyn proposed some… games in the bedroom. She calls me a chicken because I’m not familiar with them and not really at ease with ropes and other shackles.”
Jason’s eyes widened, but he kept his mouth shut. The waitress came to ask if the food was all right, and they both agreed. She left with a professional smile.
Once again, Nicolas thought it hadn’t been the smartest idea to bring up the subject. “See, she stopped when she realized I was uncomfortable, but I see it in her eyes. She wants to… play.” He wrung his hands and stopped once he became aware. “She gets aroused by chains and gags and what she’s got in her closet.”
“You didn’t check? I’d have checked what she’s got in store. Maybe there’s a roll of barbed wire. That, honestly, I wouldn’t want around my wrists or any other body part.”
Nicolas cocked his head and sighed. “I just need… a hint. A direction. It’s nothing I’ve ever come across.”
“Yeah, and since you’re the most experienced man under thirty in this country, you’ve got the right to—”
“Hell, Jason, can you for once be serious?”
Jason pursed his lips, and the flicker of amusement left his eyes. “She asked you to be frank from the first moment on, right? Right. She’s been frank with you and asked you about kinky games in the bedroom. It’s something she wants. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have asked you. Why not play along? She’s fond of you, on the way toward coming to love you. Don’t think… too conservatively. As an FBI agent, you’ve learned to think outside the box. Only when it comes to a love affair, you want to do it strictly by the book? Get real! Jacklyn wants to have fun with you, and her fun includes some toys. As long as she stops when you… chicken out, you’ll both be fine.”
“Till the last sentence, I was close to believing you.”
Jason folded his arms and tried in vain to remain serious. “In my humble opinion, you’ve been overrun by her self-confidence so badly you’re still struggling to crawl out and get back in shape.”
“Right now, I see Wile E. Coyote.”
“You’re afraid she’s going to dictate every part of your relationship.”
“Isn’t it always like that? The woman controls the relationship? If she doesn’t want what the man proposes, you don’t stand a chance.”
Jason rolled his eyes and blew out air. “That’s too philosophical for lunch.” He continued eating his hamburger.
“So you think I should let her tie me up?”
Jason’s expression changed from amused to mock compassion. Again, he needed a moment to swallow the bite. “Nick, if that woman fucks you blind and sends you to heaven just because you’re tied up and gagged—why the hell not?”
“You make it sound so easy.”
“You’re making everything too difficult. Do you need your hands when she’s doing all the work? Do you have to talk while having sex? If you can say no to both without throwing up the steak you just had, then give up control to Mrs. France and be happy.”
Nicolas chuckled as he looked down on his empty plate. “Okay, that sounds simple enough, even for me.”
“Glad I could help.”
After four murders of young men along the east coast, the FBI realizes they’re dealing with a serial killer. Agent Nicolas Hayes is assigned to lead the investigation. Besides solving the crimes, he tries to spend time with his new flame, Jacky, who’s got ideas of her own about how their love life should develop. Things turn ugly once a fifth kidnap victim is reported. Time is running out to find him alive.