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WHISKEY SOUR: An Addison Holmes Mystery (excerpt only)

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Prologue

 

 

 

Matt Savage was two hundred pounds of solid muscle. I knew because he had me pressed against the wall of a teeny tiny closet in a suite at the Marriott. His muscles had muscles, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t his gun pressing into my belly. 

Soft light seeped around the edges of the closet door, and his eyes gleamed like black fire against the darkness of his skin. He was fifty percent Native American and a hundred percent raw sex. His face had been chiseled by Michelangelo—prominent cheekbones and a sharp blade of a nose—his lips were full, and the white scar at his chin kept him from being too perfect.

Did I mention I was only wearing two small scraps of lace to cover my lady bits?

If there hadn’t been a dead body less than ten feet away with more holes in it than Swiss cheese, then I’d be in a hell of a moral predicament.

My name is Addison Holmes, and I was no stranger to moral predicaments. I was also no stranger to dead bodies, which was why I was gasping for oxygen instead of gasping in pleasure. If it weren’t for the fact that I had one too many men in my life at the moment, I’m almost positive my morals would have known what the hell to do in this situation.

I was in danger of hyperventilating, and I couldn’t quite decide if I wanted Savage to kiss me so I could forget that I’d just witnessed a man being blown to smithereens, or let him give me CPR.

“Relax,” he whispered against my ear. “And be ready to move on my say so. Someone else is in the room.”

He pushed me harder into the wall, his body shielding mine, as he brought the gun in his hand up and pointed it at the closet door. I bit my lip hard enough to taste blood, and I took comfort in the way he put his free arm around me. I fit against him easily—too easily—and it was something I’d have to consider later. Preferably when I had clothes on.

I heard the crunch of glass as someone made their way across the room. Then there was nothing but silence, and I knew whoever was out there stood just on the other side of the closet door. Savage and I both held our breaths as the knob jiggled once before it turned.

Light flooded the closet and I squenched my eyes closed against the glare, not having any desire to actually see my death up close and personal. I waited for the sound of gunfire and for hot metal to rip through my skin, but there was nothing but tense silence.

I cracked my eyes open one at a time and immediately wished I’d left them closed. Nick Dempsey stood in the doorway, his weapon pointed steadily at Savage as his glacier blue eyes met mine. I should have ignored the slow flush of guilt that worked its way up my body. But considering I was all but naked in a closet with a man Nick had once threatened to cut the balls off of, and my leg was somehow wrapped around that same man’s waist, I could see how Nick might get the wrong impression.

“It’s not what it looks like,” I croaked out. “I swear.”

“Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar.” His voice was harsh, and the lines of his mouth were pinched—a mouth that had the ability to turn me into a puddle of jelly when it touched my skin. “Just remember that payback’s a bitch, sweetheart.”

If looks could have killed, I’d already be six feet under. Nick and I had a tumultuous past, and from the looks of it, we were going to have a few road bumps in our future.

Nick sure as hell knew how to hold a grudge. It’s not like I meant to shoot him. My finger just slipped on the trigger. I swear.

 

 


 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

Wednesday—One Week Ago

Criminals are mostly dumb. At least in my experience. And Walter Winthrop III, Noogey to his friends, was no exception to the rule.

I squatted behind a group of dumpsters at the Lone Ranger Trailer Park, ignoring the flies that swarmed around day old Hamburger Helper and dirty diapers. I was hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two and reminded myself to get my birth control prescription filled as soon as possible. Not that I was having a lot of sex or anything lately, but I didn’t want to take any chances. I wasn’t ready to be responsible for a child. I was barely responsible for myself.

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