The Hanged Man's Ghost
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by Missouri Dalton
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Detective Fynn Adder is embarking on the case that will change his life forever. The ghosts of murder victims are leaving him clues, his drinking problem is out of control, and no matter how nepotistic the Chicago Police Department might be, there are some forces his family's reputation can't save him from. Just a few years ago, Fynn's longtime partner Robert was murdered and the case went unsolved. As he gets deeper into a new investigation, it becomes apparent that somehow the two cases are connected. To make matters worse, it's clear to Fynn that forces beyond this world have come into play. Forces like Internal Affairs agent Daniel Voight, who's determined to make dirt stick to Fynn any which way he can. The only real bright points in Fynn's day are when he's with Jack, his unfortunately straight partner. Fynn is going to have to pull himself together--because if the dead don't kill him, his family will.
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Top Shelf, 2012 www.torquerepress.com
eBookwise Release Date: February 2012
16 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [319 KB]
Reading time: 202-282 min.
The driving skills of Detective Jack Winchester have never been in contention. It is the manner in which he applies those skills I find disturbing. I also have my suspicions that he made a deal with the devil to always find a parking space when he needs one.
But I can't prove it.
"So...it's a yoga studio." I stared at the glass and metal monstrosity that was Modern Gym. Part of it was weights and treadmills, at least, the first floor was, and the sign above the very tan receptionist's desk had the second floor labeled for yoga and meditation.
My ex with the yoga thing hadn't gone to a gym like this. His gym had been conveniently located one floor up from his apartment that was all part of a renovated cannery.
"It's a monstrosity," Jack confirmed. "These places aren't gyms. My gym doesn't have mirrors."
"Your gym is in an old car garage and run by a guy called Spider." I gave him a look. "I don't know that you can talk."
"You can't say he's a bad fitness coach though." Jack flexed one arm. "I beat you in the ring, last I checked."
He snorted. "You wish."
The receptionist was talking on the phone in a voice that I was fairly certain was near the limits of the human ear.
"Miss?" Jack waved a hand in front of her face. "I'm looking for -- "
She held up a hand to silence him and continued to yammer away about her Yorkie's delicate digestion.
"Miss, I'm with the police."
I gave Jack a look and then reached over the counter and pressed down on the button, hanging up on whomever she'd been chatting with. She gave me a look that would have killed a lesser man.
"Hi." I grinned. "I'm Fynn, this is Jack, and we're detectives investigating a homicide. I need to talk to Jason Campbell. Where is he?" After which I showed her the star dangling around my neck.
"Uh...he's upstairs in the Shangri-la room. But there's a class going on right now."
"That's okay, I'm sure they'll understand that murder comes before yoga," Jack said. "Thanks so much for your help."
We headed up the stairs, I took them two at a time just to prove to Jack I was still in shape and beat him to the top with a grin. "Ha."
"That proves nothing. You get back in the ring and we'll talk."
"Maybe I will."
He snorted. "I'll believe that when I see it."
We headed down the hallway the stairs opened onto and found the Shangri-la room about halfway down. I put on my cop face and gestured for Jack to go first. He opened the door and I followed after him.
The room was occupied by about fifteen very limber young women currently engaged in bending their bodies to resemble pretzels, and a man at the front of the room. Behind him was a raised platform where sticks of incense burned, giving the place an odor of musky herb over warm bodies.
The man had a sheen of sweat over his tan skin. I noticed lean muscles, and the tight shorts he wore gave a clue to the reason for the amount of pretty faces in the room. He wasn't bad looking, but there was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way.
I tugged at the collar of my shirt and suddenly wished I wasn't wearing so many layers.
It was kind of hot in there.
The man gave us a look. "I'm sorry but we're in the middle of a class..."
"Well, yes -- "
"Detectives Jack Winchester and Fynn Adder, we need to ask you a few questions about the murder of Jessica Yates." Jack flipped open his wallet to flash his star. "Why don't we talk in the hall?"
"Uh...okay. Ladies, take five; I'll be right back." He smiled reassuringly and followed Jack and me out into the hall, closing the door firmly behind him.
"You and Ms. Yates dated, correct?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, like four months ago. It's old news."
"Why don't you let me be the judge of that," I said. If this was the guy...well, I wasn't all that sure if he'd make it to the station in one piece. "What caused the breakup?"
"Jessica wasn't willing to share me," Jason said. "I told her I couldn't be monogamous, and she freaked out. She threw a bottle at my head. I had to call the cops."
"Where were you the night before last, around four a.m.?" Jack shouldered in front of me ever so slightly.
"I was giving a private lesson at my apartment," he said smugly. "I have three witnesses."
"I suppose that's a cute little code for fucking your students?" I raised an eyebrow.
"Maybe. I can even give you their names. We were occupied until sunrise. Dawn greeting is very cathartic."
"Right." Jack pulled out his notepad and a pen. "Write down the names of your tryst partners and the best way to contact them."
Jason wrote while Jack stared at him.
"Here." He practically shoved the notepad back into Jack's hands. "Can I go back to my class now?"
"Of course," I said. "But don't leave town."
Jason sneered at me and then stormed back into the yoga class.
"Well, I think his chi is off balance."
Jack rolled his eyes. "We can't really hold him on anything you know."
"I don't like him."
"That's not a crime."
"It should be. Who else are we talking to today?"
"Well, I think we'd better call his little playmates. Let's make sure that alibi is legit. If it's not, we can arrest him for interfering with a homicide investigation." Jack's grin was positively feral. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of it.
God damn it. Why does he have to be straight?
"I -- I'm hungry. Let's get lunch before we start making phone calls."
"Sure. Chinese okay with you? There's a place just around the corner from here with really good spring rolls."
Jack tucked his notebook into his pocket and gave me a sharp look. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah. I just really don't like that guy."
"Okay." He started to head down the hallway, and I stood frozen for a moment. Sometimes Jack made me feel like a high school kid with his first crush on the captain of the lacrosse team. Timmy Mullins...a lazy smile crept across my face. Just him and me in the locker room after the championship match.
I shook my head. Why was I thinking about that? I gave myself a mental slap and hurried after Jack.