Beginning: A PAVAD Prequel Novella (PAVAD: FBI Romantic Suspense)

BOOK: Beginning: A PAVAD Prequel Novella (PAVAD: FBI Romantic Suspense)
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The Lost River Lit Publishing,L.L.C. name and imprint are the sole properties of independent publishers Calle J. Brookes and B.G. Lashbrooks. They cannot be reproduced or used in any manner; nor can any of their publications or designs be used without expressed written permission. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, or locations, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. 

 

****

To all of my readers,
thank you!

***

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author

 

 

BEGINNING© 2014 Calle J. Brookes

ISBN: 978-1-940937-12-0

Beginning

(A PAVAD: FBI Romantic Suspense Prequel)

 

by

 

Calle J. Brookes

Prologue



SHE
hated dresses that were cut almost down to the navel. She hated the looks she received when wearing the damned things. She hated how naked and exposed she felt.

Special Agent Jasmine Len fought the urge to tug the red silk up over her chest once more, as she smiled the pretty at the politician at her left, while artfully dodging the groping hand of the drunken idiot at her right. Her eyes were trained just past the politician’s shoulder on the reason she was stuck dressed like a fifty dollar hooker. Assistant Deputy Director Edward Dennis. Her date. Her boss. She’d been looking for him in the crowd for well over ten minutes.

He was so handsome in his tuxedo, though she had no trouble seeing the four times he pulled on his bow tie in under a minute. He might be good at the schmoozing, but the man definitely hated it.

All of his dreams hinged on getting The Powers That Be up the FBI food chain to champion his cause, his creation. And the division he’d proposed was definitely needed. Jasmine felt privileged to be a part of its beginning. How many hours of research had the two of them put in? Compiling statistics on each type of case the division would handle? Reviewing personnel files on the agents currently assigned to St. Louis, under Edward? It had been some seriously exhausting work, but it was done.

Now all that was needed was the money to get the Prevention & Analysis of Violent Acts Division–the title she herself had originated–up and running. If her dressing in red silk and letting middle-aged perverts look down her cleavage would help get that money, she would do it. But nothing said she had to like it.

Ed finished speaking with the small group surrounding him and walked toward her. Jasmine felt a genuine smile touch her lips. She loved working with the older man, as his assistant and general go-to girl. It wasn’t what she had imagined when she’d graduated from the Academy at Quantico, but she’d found she was extremely good at what she did. And she did everything he asked of her. She stepped away from the drunken idiots surrounding her and joined him part way.

“Once again, my dear, thank you for agreeing to accompany me. Especially on such short notice.” His hand was warm on her arm, supportive. “And you look quite stunning in red.”

Jasmine smiled again. “It’s your daughter’s dress, Ed. Straight out of Georgia’s closet.”

Ed’s only child, Georgia, was a year or two older than Jasmine, and close to the same size. A bit curvier, though–the main reason why the dress wouldn’t cover Jasmine’s chest. Georgia had a bit more bust to fill out the garment. “I stopped by her house on my way to yours this evening.”

Ed shook his head. “I don’t want to even imagine my daughter in that dress. In my mind, she still wears those little girl sundresses and pigtails!”

His love for his daughter was one of her favorite things about him. Georgia was so lucky to have a father like Edward Dennis. Jasmine hadn’t been so lucky–she doubted her mother even knew her father’s name. Only that he was of Caucasian descent. And she’d met him in a bar somewhere. East of Chicago, Jasmine thought her mother had told her once.

“How was Georgia this evening? I didn’t have a chance to call her.”

“She was tired, but the case went well.” Ed’s daughter was a criminal profiler with one of the teams under Ed. Jasmine had always admired both Dennises for their dedication to their jobs and the skills with which they approached their fields. “They were a bit shorthanded, but she got called out before I left.”

“Yes. Agent Royal is still out on injury until next week, I believe.”

She knew he prided himself on knowing exactly where all of the teams in his unit were at any time. “Boston. A missing trio of teenagers. They’re not runaways, either. Georgia was going to bring Mattie over to Rosa on her way to the field office.”

Mattie was Ed’s three-year-old grandson, Matthew. Georgia was a single mother, and Ed and his housekeeper often watched the kid. Jasmine had babysat a time or two herself. She loved the kid just as much as she loved the grandfather.

Ed smiled again. “That will make this night a little easier to get through. We’ll make chocolate pancakes in the morning.”

“You’ll wind him up before preschool.”

“He likes them, though.”

“You, Deputy Director, are an old softie.”

“With those I love I am.” He tugged at the bowtie again, hopelessly messing it up. Jasmine straightened it, completely disregarding the room full of people surrounding them. Ed Dennis was her favorite person in the world, and her closest friend. “Agent Len, would you care to dance with an old man? Help make him feel less like a damned monkey or a fool?”

“I won’t dance with an old man, but I will dance with you.” She accompanied him to the dance floor and stepped easily into his arms. After a few moments, she asked the question she knew was burning in both their minds. “So how long are we stuck here?”

“Until the end, dammit. I still have sixteen more idiots to hobnob with.”

“Torture. I know.”

“Once this is over, how about we share a pizza? Then I’ll give you a lift home. You don’t need to be driving home this late.”

“I can take care of myself, Ed. Fully trained FBI agent here.”

“Just humor this old fool. Just once.” She hated dresses that were cut almost down to the navel. She hated the looks she received when wearing the damned things.  She hated how naked and exposed she felt.

Special Agent Jasmine Len fought the urge to tug the red silk up over her chest once more, as she smiled the pretty at the politician at her left, while artfully dodging the groping hand of the drunken idiot at her right. Her eyes were trained just past the politician’s shoulder on the reason she was stuck dressed like a fifty dollar hooker. Assistant Deputy Director Edward Dennis. Her date. Her boss. She’d been looking for him in the crowd for well over ten minutes.

He was so handsome in his tuxedo, though she had no trouble seeing the four times he pulled on his bow tie in under a minute. He might be good at the schmoozing, but the man definitely hated it.

All of his dreams hinged on getting The Powers That Be up the FBI food chain to champion his cause, his creation. And the division he’d proposed was definitely needed. Jasmine felt privileged to be a part of its beginning. How many hours of research had the two of them put in? Compiling statistics for each type of case the division would handle? Reviewing personnel files on the agents currently assigned to St. Louis, under Edward? It had been some seriously exhausting work, but it was done.

Now all that was needed was the money to get the Prevention & Analysis of Violent Acts Division–the title she herself had originated–up and running. If her dressing in red silk and letting middle-aged perverts look down her cleavage would help get that money, she would do it. But nothing said she had to like it.

Ed finished speaking with the small group surrounding him and walked toward her. Jasmine felt a genuine smile touch her lips. She loved working with the older man, as his assistant and general go-to girl. It wasn’t what she had imagined when she’d graduated from the Academy at Quantico, but she’d found she was extremely good at what she did. And she did everything he asked of her. She stepped away from the drunken idiots surrounding her and joined him part way.

“Once again, my dear, thank you for agreeing to accompany me. Especially on such short notice.” His hand was warm on her arm, supportive. “And you look quite stunning in red.”

Jasmine smiled again. “It’s your daughter’s dress, Ed. Straight out of Georgia’s closet.”

Ed’s only child, Georgia, was a year or two older than Jasmine, and close to the same size. A bit curvier, though–the main reason why the dress wouldn’t cover Jasmine’s chest. Georgia had a bit more bust to fill out the garment. “I stopped by her house on my way to yours this evening.”

Ed shook his head. “I don’t want to even imagine my daughter in that dress. In my mind, she still wears those little girl sundresses and pigtails!”

His love for his daughter was one of her favorite things about him. Georgia was so lucky to have a father like Edward Dennis. Jasmine hadn’t been so lucky–she doubted her mother even knew her father’s name. Only that he was of Caucasian descent. And she’d met him in a bar somewhere. East of Chicago, Jasmine thought her mother had told her once.

“How was Georgia this evening? I didn’t have a chance to call her.”

“She was tired, but the case went well.” Ed’s daughter was a criminal profiler with one of the teams under Ed. Jasmine had always admired both Dennises for their dedication to their jobs and the skills with which they approached their fields. “They were a bit shorthanded, but she got called out before I left.”

“Yes. Agent Royal is still out on injury until next week, I believe.”
She knew he prided himself on knowing exactly where all of the teams in his unit were at any time. “Boston. A missing trio of teenagers. They’re not runaways, either. Georgia was going to bring Mattie over to Rosa on her way to the field office.”

Mattie was Ed’s three-year-old grandson, Matthew. Georgia was a single mother, and Ed and his housekeeper often watched the kid. Jasmine had babysat a time or two herself. She loved the kid just as much as she loved the grandfather.

Ed smiled again. “That will make this night a little easier to get through. We’ll make chocolate pancakes in the morning.”

“You’ll wind him up before preschool.”

“He likes them, though.”

“You, Deputy Director, are an old softie.”

“With those I love I am.” He tugged at the bowtie again, hopelessly messing it up. Jasmine straightened it, completely disregarding the room full of people surrounding them. Ed Dennis was her favorite person in the world, and her closest friend. “Agent Len, would you care to dance with an old man? Help make him feel less like a damned monkey or a fool?”

“I won’t dance with an old man, but I will dance with you.” She accompanied him to the dance floor and stepped easily into his arms. After a few moments, she asked the question she knew was burning in both their minds. “So how long are we stuck here?”

“Until the end, dammit. I still have sixteen more idiots to hobnob with.”

“Torture.  I know.”

“Once this is over, how about we share a pizza? Then I’ll give you a lift home. You don’t need to be driving home this late.”

“I can take care of myself, Ed. Fully trained FBI agent here.”

“Just humor this old fool. Just once.”

 

 

Chapter One

SUPERVISORY
Special Agent Dakon Royal’s arm ached like a bitch. And it had been well over a week since the steel he’d fought with and lost had sliced into the skin of his forearm. Still, he had passed on the painkillers for the evening. And now he was grateful for that as he pulled his government issue SUV up the winding drive of the Assistant Deputy Director’s house.

Three a.m. was a strange time to receive a call from the boss, but when called Dakon answered. The gate that protected the deputy director’s home listed to one side when Dakon passed it. Something had knocked the reinforced steel down. Someone intent on something. Was that why Dakon had received the hushed call from Dennis’s assistant less than twenty minutes earlier?

Was he about to find the deputy director hurt or killed? He sure as hell hoped not.

The deputy director’s daughter was a close personal friend of Dakon’s, and a teammate he respected. He’d hate to find her father hurt or dead. Especially since Georgia was out of town on assignment with the team. That was news he did not want to break to the woman who had already had a pretty rough few years. 

Dakon pulled up to the front entrance of what could only be described as an estate. While it was not a grand mansion, it was obvious that the occupants were well off. Dakon’s mind cataloged the security as he knocked on the door. Security lights were strategically placed for maximum effectiveness without intruding on the residents’ comfort. The entire property was surrounded by an eight foot tall stone wall that was both attractive and functional. It was hard to tell in the darkness, but he suspected a roll of wire fencing–most likely electric–surrounded the top of the stone. Good. The deputy director was a target worth hitting for anyone angry at the Bureau for any reason.

The deputy director’s assistant waited in the front hall. Dakon studied the small woman and felt his tongue slide down the back of his throat. Jasmine Len. Had he ever saw her look like that?

Dakon sure as hell didn’t think so.  Red was definitely the woman’s color. Her hair was black and straight and hung down almost to the most perfect ass he’d ever seen. Had he ever looked that close at Dennis’s assistant?

Usually she wore prissy little suits and skirts, and had tiny gold framed glasses perched on her nose. Quintessential Asian nerd–that was how he had always viewed the deputy director’s glorified secretary. Now he wondered what else she owned in red silk. “Len.” 

“Agent Royal. Thank you for coming so quickly.”

“What’s going on?” He forced the thoughts of her in a red silk thong aside, and focused on the mysterious reason why he’d been called out when he was still on medical leave. 

“Someone was waiting when we pulled into the garage. Four rounds went into the back of the deputy director’s vehicle. The rounds are lodged in the console and dash of the vehicle. We’re sending them to Indy to be processed.” Len’s words were low and Dakon leaned closer–to better hear her.

“Indy? Why not our own lab? And was the deputy director hurt?” 

“A graze on his right arm.” Len’s mouth twisted, and anger flashed in her brown eyes. “Where he’d grabbed me and shoved me aside. And we’re sending them quietly to Indy, because Ed is convinced that the threat is internal.”

A traitor in their field office. It left a sour taste in Dakon’s mouth. The people on your team, in your field office, they were supposed to have your back. “What makes him think that?” 

“Apparently he’s been getting threats for weeks. Just hasn’t bothered to tell anyone about them. And they’ve convinced him it’s from someone inside the St. Louis field office. That’s why you were called.”

“Me?” 

“Ed wants people he can trust on this. Trust completely. That’s his daughter’s team and me. Period. And the rest of your team is out of town.”

“So that leaves me… and you.”

“Exactly. So let’s get started.” She tugged the top of the dress up over her chest and Dakon forced himself not to sneak a peek down the fabric. Now wasn’t the time. “And Agent Royal?”

“Yeah?”

“No one is to know about this–just the two of us, and Ed. Got me?”

“Crystal clear.”

“Good.  Where do you want to start?"

“With the gate outside. Let’s find out how the bastards got in to begin with.” Dakon would find the bastards and teach them a bit about loyalty. Ed Dennis was a fair leader, one who treated everyone who worked for him justly. And the older man cared about the people who worked for him. Royal had seen the deputy director show care and concern personally. The older man didn’t deserve to be ambushed in his own damned driveway. “I’ll make sure this place is as secure as I can make it, then I’ll speak with the deputy director about the threats he’s received.”

“We’ll speak with him. In case you’ve missed it, Agent Royal, I’m taking point on this investigation. And I won’t stop until I’ve caught and neutralized the threat, ensure the deputy director and his family are safe. It’s what I’ve been trained to do. Period. It’s my job to do just that.” 

Her eyes flashed dangerously, and for the first time, Royal wondered if maybe Deputy Director Dennis’s personal assistant was a bigger threat than anyone had ever expected. Maybe the lovely little nerd everyone dismissed was more than a mousy little secretary?

Deputy Director Dennis’s personal security detail, perhaps?

BOOK: Beginning: A PAVAD Prequel Novella (PAVAD: FBI Romantic Suspense)
3.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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