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by Jade James
Description: The ultimate sacrifice. That's what Elena Montes thought she was doing when she left her fiancé Marc Garcia on Valentine's Day. But to save his life, she would endure anything. She just never expected to end up his bound captive. Detective Marc Garcia has moved on. At least that's what he tells himself every night. But when Elena reenters his life as a murder suspect, moving on is the last thing on his mind. Now he's willing to do anything, including kidnapping to keep her by his side eternally.
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: August 2009
9 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [79 KB]
Reading time: 47-66 min.
February 13, 2007
"Did you hear what case we've been assigned?"
The file hit his desk with a loud slap. Marc Garcia glanced up and gazed at his partner Noah Adams. Marc had transferred out of the NYPD's drug unit, and was now working with Noah at the Homicide Division. It was a personal decision on his behalf. He was in a rut, and had thought changing divisions would help.
Raised in the same neighborhood, they had been close friends growing up and were like brothers. It eased Marc to know his best friend was there to help him out.
"I just got in. What's up?"
"We've been assigned to investigate Scarlet Escort Services. A woman by the name of Sara Davis was found strangled in one of their rooms this morning. The owner called the murder in. We have no eye witnesses. The details are all in here." Noah pointed to the files on the desk. "But I haven't gotten to the best part of it yet. You'll never guess who the owner of the fine establishment is?"
Marc groaned. The way Noah murmured the words was a sure indication that he wasn't going to like what came next. "I have a feeling I'm going to regret asking this. Who's the owner?"
The two simple names were said softly, but that didn't stop them from hitting him with the force of a Mack truck. The memories assaulted him and he had to breathe past the pain surrounding his heart as he tried to grab hold of his emotions.
"Dios! Does the captain know?"
"Not yet. It wasn't my place to tell him."
Marc's insides twisted into knots as his mind tried to sort out all the information. Elena was many things, but she wasn't a killer. He should have been upset that she was involved in a murder, but it wasn't his top worry. Instead his mind worked on ways he would make her pay for leaving him.
Marc struggled in an effort regain his composure. No one had ever made him lose his anger so quickly. But hearing Elena's name had that affect on him.
"You have to take a back seat on this case, Marc. You have a history with her. If the captain finds out you took this case, you'll be writing parking tickets for a month."
"That's why he's not going to find out," Marc gritted through his teeth. "Elena is mine, Noah, and you will back me on this one."
"Don't let your heart cloud your judgment. You haven't seen her in years. At the very least, I should be the doing the questioning."
"Not going to happen. Elena Montes has penance to pay."
"I understand why you want revenge. But you haven't seen her in five years. I'm only looking out for you here, bro. This lady did a real number on you. I don't want to see you go through that again."
Marc opened his mouth to reply, but snapped it shut as the phone on his desk rang. "Homicide."
"I want to see you and Noah in my office now," Sergeant Jonah Matthews commanded.
Marc grimaced. The sergeant didn't sound happy. "We'll be right in." Marc hung up the phone and rose from his seat. "Matthews wants to see us. Probably a debriefing on the case."
"Let's go," Noah replied, already leading the way to the Sergeant's office.
They entered without knocking. Noah took the seat across from him, while Marc chose to stand. Jonah Matthews was short compared to Marc and Noah. But looks could be deceiving.
"Close the door," Jonah said.
Without looking back, Marc kicked the door closed. "What's this about?
"The Scarlet case. Have you taken a look at it yet?"
Marc tensed. He folded his arms across his chest to hide any unease. "I just got the paperwork from Noah. He brought me up to speed on the murder. I'll be leaving to question the suspects shortly."
"Before you do, I ran a check on Elena Montes. You'll never guess who her stepfather is?"
Could this get any fucking worse? He had known her for two years, and she'd never mentioned any living relatives. She'd had him convinced she was alone in the world.
"Who?" Noah asked.
"Drug trafficker and murderer, Victor Lang."
The words stunned him. He was speechless and that was a good thing. Because if he let loose the fury coursing through his veins, Jonah would know something was up, He wasn't going to let anyone get in his way of seeing Elena. He shoved the thought back. Now was not the time to analyze this sudden need to see her.
"Isn't that the same bastard who got off last year with just a slap on the wrist? Rumor has it he bought the judge on that," Noah replied.
"I'm inclined to agree with the rumors on this one," Jonah agreed. "This Victor Lang stinks and I want the bastard caught. Investigate Elena thoroughly. If you find any evidence, I want her arrested. If Victor's involved in anyway, I want him to stand trial."
"Does she have a mother?" Marc asked calmly, though he was feeling far from it.
"Her mother died of an overdose when Elena was seventeen. She has no other siblings or relatives, so Elena was left in Victor's care," Jonah replied. "Here are the reports I have on her and on Victor, along with a search warrant. She gave permission for our officers to search her building, but the warrant is for her office."
Marc took the report. "We'll be in touch," he said as he walked out the door.
"What's the next step?" Noah asked.
"I'm on my way to question Elena," Marc answered as he reached his office and grabbed his coat. "I want you to go and question Victor."
"No deal. I say I question Elena and you go to Victor. It's safer that way."
Marc holstered his gun, refusing to be swayed. "Elena is mine to investigate. Find out where Victor is staying and question him. You can call me on my cell if you need anything."