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by Pepper Espinoza
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: Mutilated corpses litter Pomona, California, and Detective Jason Squires is pressured to find a killer who leaves no evidence. His private life is a nightmare as well. Estranged from his wife, he finds himself in the grip of growing obsession with young prostitute, Daisy Winters. As Jason and the killer dance around each other, Jason is increasingly distracted and frustrated by Daisy, who never loses control in their mercurial, violent relationship. Daisy, who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect herself and her interests. Daisy, who will take down anyone who gets in her way. Daisy, who cannot resist the agonizing passion she shares with a man who could destroy her without a twinge of remorse.
eBook Publisher: Atlantic Bridge/Liquid Silver Books, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: August 2009
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [494 KB]
Reading time: 330-462 min.
The city hung between night and day in orange heat. Too many bodies crowded into the narrow alley, stepping all over each other, throwing elbows, flashing cameras, and shouting orders. At the center of the chaos, Detectives Jason Squires and Laurel Davidson delicately investigated the dead body for clues. They ignored the crowd and the simmering heat, their attention focused completely on their work.
"Caucasian female with abrasions on her legs and torso. She's missing all her digits ... and half of her face," Jason announced.
"And a few toes too," Laurel informed him. "Jesus, Jason, can you imagine what his trophy room must look like?"
"Is there a positive ID yet?" a reporter asked, forcing his way through the crowd and almost stepping on the body.
Laurel gently pushed him back. "No, and there probably won't be."
"Who found the body?" the reporter asked, before he could be pushed away completely.
"What's your name?" Jason asked.
"Mal Adams, I'm with Channel Five News."
"Well, Mal Adams, get the fuck out of here. This is a crime scene, in case you failed to notice," Jason snarled. He hated the fucking press at the best of times, and he definitely didn't feel like dealing with them then. "Evans! Get these fucks out of here. They're trampling on my evidence."
Unperturbed, Mal Adams looked at Laurel again. "Who found the body?"
Laurel sighed. "A little girl. She was playing back here, and apparently went home covered in blood. Her mother was hysterical when she called 9-1-1."
"Where's the little girl now?"
Jason squatted beside the body and gently lifted her shoulder. Beneath the body, in a dark pool of blood, something sparkled in the dying light. He leaned over and picked it up, examining it carefully.
"Laurel!" Jason snapped. "Look at this."
Laurel left Mal with his unanswered questions and returned to Jason's side. "What is it?"
"A charm ... it looks like she may have been wearing a bracelet."
Laurel produced a small bag from her pocket and opened it. "He's never taken personal items before."
"Maybe he didn't mean to take this one. It might have fallen off her wrist when he killed her ... or maybe when he transported the body."
"Then how did this one charm get here?"
Jason shrugged. "I guess that's another thing we'll probably never know."
"Maybe ... maybe it's time to call in the Feds," Laurel suggested.
"Fuck, fine with me. I don't give a fuck anymore."
"You don't mean that."
Jason stepped away from the body and peeled the bloodstained gloves off his hands. "I do mean it, Laurel. But the Feds will never come out here. Not nearly enough have died for anybody to notice. He'd have to start slicing and dicing people who actually matter."
"They do matter," she insisted quietly.
"If you say so," He tapped a pack of cigarettes against his hand and pulled one out. "They're the dregs out here."
"I don't know how you can say that."
"Because it's the truth; if it wasn't the truth, why aren't we getting more help? A serial killer on the loose and there are only two detectives assigned to the case? It's because the people who really matter ... the ones we're really sworn to protect ... aren't in danger right now."
"There'd be more help if we had the bodies," Laurel countered, "And the budget."
"He's right under our fucking noses," Jason muttered.
They both stepped back as the EMTs pulled the stretcher through and lifted the body. They watched silently until she was wheeled away.
"Are you okay?" Laurel finally asked when he reached for a second cigarette.
"Are you sure? You look a little pale. Have you been sleeping?"
"What's with the fucking questions?" Jason growled.
"What's with the fucking attitude?"
Jason sighed and flicked the ashes away. He wasn't in the mood to fight with Laurel, and she would just keep pushing until she got her answer. "It's just been a long day, and the last thing I wanted to hear is that our little friend has struck again. What's this? The second one in as many weeks?"
Laurel put a friendly hand on his arm. "Why don't you go home? I'll take care of the paperwork."
"Jason ... I don't want to be around you when you're like this."
"You're being an asshole," she stated bluntly. "I know you're frustrated and tired. We both are. So go home and have some dinner and get some sleep."
Jason flicked his cigarette indifferently. "Fine."
The night finally fell, hot and late as Jason walked. A star or two struggled to flicker through the heavy smog cover and there was only a hint of silver light from behind the distant mountains. The dry air sucked the moisture from his skin and lips, and the steady roar of the passing cars and the helicopter overhead echoed in his ears.
The minutes dragged with his feet. He needed to get home, but the thought of his house, of his wife, of the blaring TV and the uncomfortable bed and the smell of cold dinner made him hesitate. His skin felt too tight.
The image of the dead whore hung in front of his eyes, no matter where he went. The bastard was just fucking with him now; he knew it. Every body they found was a personal insult, a mockery, a taunt. Clean of clues, clean of evidence, clean of every identifying feature. In ten years as a detective, he'd never faced a criminal so methodic, so calculating, so fucking invisible.
Lost in his thoughts, he heard her before he saw her. If she hadn't caught his attention, he would have walked right by without giving her a second thought. But she spoke just loudly enough for him to hear, and her invitation was enough to make him stop.
"Hey, baby, looking for a good time?"
Jason sighed as he came to a halt. He didn't have the time or the inclination to deal with her. He decided to let her off with a warning. It wasn't even technically his job to arrest whores anyway. He had real cases and real problems. Resolved that this situation wouldn't take more than five minutes, Jason turned around. And he felt like somebody kicked him in the gut.
The little blonde thing looked like a whore. She dressed like a whore in a too short and too tight red dress, makeup spackled on her face. She was cute, but not beautiful, with fine features and full lips. Her upswept hair exposed her neck and shoulders. She popped her gum, and gave him a measured look through half-lidded eyes. There wasn't anything to separate her from the dozens of other whores he came across on a nightly basis. Not anything he could put his finger on. She had a quality or a look he couldn't recognize or describe. He was hard for her immediately.
"What's your name?" Jason asked thickly.
"You can call me Daisy," she informed him, with a saucy smile. Her face and voice were bright, but her eyes were still narrowed and calculating.
Jason lifted his eyebrow. "Well, Daisy, how much do you charge a night?"
Daisy stepped forward and ran a painted fingernail down his chest. She stopped at his belt and let her finger linger there. A real pro. "Hundred dollars an hour."
"That's a bit steep."
"I'm worth it," she informed him, jutting out her hip.
"Do you get any customers charging that much?" Jason asked.
Daisy hooked her fingers around his belt and pulled him a step closer. She was only a few inches shorter than him. She looked up and batted her eyes. "You'd be surprised what a man would pay."
"Yeah, I bet." He studied her for a minute. Her body was tight, but she had alluring curves. She couldn't quite pull off the innocent seductress look she was aiming for, but he didn't care. "Follow me."
Daisy shrugged and fell in step behind him, and he felt a strong urge to slap her. Didn't she know any better? Didn't she know that merely three blocks away, another girl just like her was mutilated and brutalized? He wanted to shake her and tell her to stop being so fucking stupid ... that he wouldn't be able to protect her. That he couldn't stop the guilty motherfucker, that he didn't even know who to look for, and until he did, nobody was safe. Didn't she fucking know?
He didn't go far--his cruiser was parked just around the corner, in an abandoned alley. He looked over his shoulder to catch her expression when he led her to the car.
She stopped short when she saw it. Jason felt perverse gratification when he saw color race up her cheeks, and her eyes widen. "What? Are you some kind of cop?"
"Some kind," he confirmed.
"Look, this is a mistake. Really." She took a step back from him. He liked the way her voice sounded coated with fear. He liked the way her indifferent eyes suddenly came alive with glittering panic. That was better. At least she had some sense of self-preservation. "I can't go to prison tonight, please. I'll just go home, okay?"
"Come here," he demanded.
Daisy took another hesitant step back. "I gotta go..."
Jason stepped forward quickly and grabbed her arm. "I said, come here." He spun her around and pushed her to the car.
She looked up at him with frightened eyes, and for a moment, Jason wondered if she could be afraid of him. But more likely she was more frightened of being arrested. Perhaps they could work out a solution agreeable to both of them. He didn't feel like dealing with the paperwork anyway, or dragging her to the station.
"Do you really think I'm going to let you run off?" He gripped her wrist tighter. To her credit, she didn't even wince.
"If you're going to arrest me," she bit out, "just do it."
Jason ignored her and reached for her bag. "How about we see what's in that purse? Any needles? Knives?"
"No," she muttered.
He ripped it out of her tightly clutched fist and gave it a quick examination. There were bills, condoms, and a small bottle of lube, but no drugs or drug paraphernalia. More often than not, the whores had more drugs on them than money. Actually, for a hooker, she looked quite healthy. "No drugs?"
"No," she snapped.
"You telling me the truth?"
She licked her lips, a small nervous twitch, and his cock jumped. What are you? A rookie? Keep your dick in your pants, for Christ's sake! Daisy didn't miss his reaction, and she smiled slowly.
"Been a while, officer?" she purred.
Hot anger gripped him. "Keep your mouth shut."
She batted her eyelashes again, and that shouldn't have affected him, but it did. He swallowed hard, and all of his instincts told him to let her go. Let her go and forget about her and go home. Right now. Every sane and rational part of him wanted to shove her away because suddenly she wasn't a normal whore at all. He didn't like the way she looked, but he loved the way she felt. Daisy rubbed herself against him, grinding her hips into him. Instead of stepping back, he moved closer.
The alley where he parked was always empty this time of night. That's why he parked there. Jason pushed against her without thought. She responded by wrapping her arms around his waist, holding him tight against her supple body. He thrust against her repeatedly, and she matched each movement.
His hand slipped under her skirt, and he was not surprised to find that she wasn't wearing panties. Without warning or ceremony, he spun her around and bent her over the hood of the car. It looked like he was about to arrest her, but that was the farthest thing from his mind. Jason wasn't thinking now, just operating on pure lust and need. He unzipped his pants, and his cock sprang out. He grabbed himself as he pushed her skirt up. She squirmed and moaned and pushed against him, but he put one hand in the small of her back to hold her down.
He dug through the discarded purse until he found what he was looking for. The condoms and the lube. She caught sight of him over her shoulder.
"What are you doing?"
Jason didn't answer, just poured a healthy amount of the lube on two fingers. He discarded the tube, and pushed her head back down on the car. He smashed her face into the hood until she got the hint and he moved his hand. She didn't move when he eased the pressure. He slid his fingers in and out of her, stretching her, preparing her for what would come next.
Jason knew the chance of being caught was low, but the chance was still there. This would not look good on his record. And he did not make it a habit to screw random hookers on the hood of his police car, especially when he should be heading home to dinner and Drusilla. But compared to the whore's luscious ass, none of those things really mattered. Not at that moment. At that moment, he wanted to fuck her more than he had ever wanted anything. And she wanted him, too. She was already wet and writhing on top of the car, waiting for him.
At least he had the presence of mind to slide the condom on before he completely lost control. He braced himself on the car, and then guided himself in between her cheeks and deep into her ass. It felt like she could take it. It felt like he could pound everything into her, and she could take it. She gasped. It could have been in pleasure or pain. Jason didn't know, or care. He grasped her hips and pulled her back until he was inside of her completely. She squirmed and tried to pull forward, but he held her still. He didn't move until she stopped squirming and just lay lax on the car.
He moaned. "That's a good girl."
He pulled out slightly, and then rammed into her again. She grunted, but didn't try to move. He did this once, twice, three times, each time pulling out a bit farther, and slamming in a bit harder. Her grunts turned into cries.
Jason covered her mouth quickly. "Quiet," he growled. She nodded and he moved his hand off her face.
He changed tactics, and this time moved slowly, almost gently. Daisy responded better to this, small mews of pleasure, but nothing too loud. Despite the situation, Jason did not want to hurt the girl. Not like this, not now. He didn't need to hurt her, anyway. He tried to keep control of himself, taking it slow, but he couldn't. There was no way he could keep the gentle pace, not with the noises she made and the way she pushed back against him. Not with the adrenalin pumping through his body, and the almost insane lust making his blood sing. Lust, and something else so dark it clouded his vision, made it hard to see.
For a brief moment, an image of Drusilla hovered in his mind. Drusilla--with her distant eyes and cold beauty--was completely out of reach. That was the final straw. He thrust into Daisy wildly, furiously. He gripped her neck, holding her still as he moved faster and faster. All of the feelings he had repressed and locked away came pouring out, and he slammed into the whore with an intensity born of those emotions, anger paramount.
Jason moved so fast the car rocked beneath them, and still he didn't stop. Daisy still pushed back against him, still matched his every move, still made small sounds of satisfaction and pleasure. He finally came, exploding inside her so hard it was nearly painful, and tears sprang to his eyes. He quickly blinked them away as he finally pulled out of her completely. He ripped the lube and blood-covered condom off and tossed it away in disgust.
She didn't move, not even to pull her skirt down. Suddenly the sight of her was singularly unappealing. He couldn't look at her anymore. He never wanted to look at her again. Disgust and revulsion rolled through him and he just wanted to get home and shower the smell of her away.
"Get up," he said gruffly.
She did as she was told, pulling her skirt down as she straightened. She turned around and faced him calmly, as though getting pounded up the ass was a common occurrence. And maybe it was. Jason pulled his wallet out and tossed a few bills at her without even looking.
"That should cover it," he said.
Jason couldn't tell if she was being sarcastic or not.
"Don't let me catch you out here again," he warned. Because I never want to see you, never want to go through this again. Because if you don't get your stupid ass off the street, you'll be next.
Daisy rolled her eyes. "Or you'll what?"
Jason gave her a hard stare. "This is your only warning."
Daisy shrugged as she walked away. He could tell she wasn't worried at all. Their paths would cross again, he was sure. The thought made him hot and sick and angry.
And he couldn't wait.