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Authors: Elisa Archer

Detecting Desires

BOOK: Detecting Desires
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Detecting Desire
s

 

Elisa Archer

This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places, events, and other concepts are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places, establishments, events, and locations is entirely coincidental.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without express written permission from the author.

 

Copyright © 2013 Elisa Archer

All rights reserved.

 

 

For my muse--

Author’s Note:

 

The following is intended for mature, adult audiences.  The story contains romantic themes, including explicit sex and brief, strong language.  You might need to have a cold glass of water nearby.

Chapter 1

 

“Alessandra Sarcone?” I heard my name, or rather the name my parents had sidled me with after my father’s grandmother. We were Americans. Somewhere down the line, I had an Italian heritage, but I didn’t speak Italian. I didn’t even know the proper way to pronounce half the desserts or cheeses when I was ordering in a restaurant.

“It’s
Lexie, sir,” I corrected, blushing. I had just transferred to burglary division from vice. Being an olive-skinned brunette with a decent rack and shapely figure had immediately made the male brass at the precinct believe I would make a great decoy hooker, and there had been a lot of johns who had been fooled by the bright red lipstick and thick eyeliner.

“Whatever,
Sarcone,” the lieutenant muttered as he continued through roll call, passing out ride-along assignments.

As I waited to figure out who my partner was going to be for today’s tour, a
detective I had never seen before entered the room. My eyes immediately roamed over his body. He had broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and under the fitted navy shirt he wore was the outline of washboard abs. Glancing at his face, I found piercing blue eyes, a strong jaw with a day’s worth of stubble, and short dark brown, nearly black, hair. It was longer than a crew cut. Frankly, it was just long enough to give a girl something to tug on. Shaking off my thoughts, which were traveling into the gutter, I blew out a slow, calming breath.

It had been two years since I’d been intimately involved with anyone.
My last boyfriend had decided he was too macho to date a cop, and once I was accepted into the police academy, he had been accepted into some blonde bimbo’s bed. I hope she gave him the clap. Anyway, I had better things to focus on besides men, except parading around street corners in skimpy skirts and barely there tops hadn’t done anything but attract plenty of men. Thankfully, the vast majority were seedy or sleazy enough to make me cringe and stick to being celibate. However, the detective who just entered roll call was a tall glass of water, and I ached to get wet.

“Are you sure?” the lieutenant asked, and Detective Strong, Dark, and
Ruggedly Handsome nodded. “Hawking, Kemper, and Sarcone, follow Det. Riley. He’ll brief you today.”

Du
cking my head to try to hide my embarrassment due to my x-rated thoughts, I followed the other two officers out of the room. No one said a word as we went up the stairs and into one of the conference rooms. A few of the first grade detectives were assembled at the table, sipping lattes and studying blueprints. They barely even glanced up as our posse entered the room.

“I’m glad you brought us some gofers, Michael” Detective
Holowitz whispered to Riley, just loud enough that I heard the comment. Great, we were going to be doing legwork for the detectives.

“You said we needed help,” Riley remarked, “so I brought us help.
The lieutenant gave them each five-stars. I’m sure they’ll be up for any challenge we can throw at them.” Riley noticed my gaze and winked. If only I could disappear.

“Okay, here’s the deal people,”
Holowitz said, standing up and looking at the group assembled. “There have been a string of B&Es around this neighborhood, and until we figure out who’s responsible, we gotta go knock on some doors, ask some questions, and be a pain in everyone’s ass. Since most of us got better things to do, like look into the liquor store and gas station that got robbed two nights ago, we’re going to have you,” he pointed at me and the two other officers, “go knock on some doors. It’s called canvassing. Maybe you heard about it in the academy.” Hawking, Kemper, and I had all been cops for at least two years; there was no need for Holowitz to treat us like rookies.

“Canvassing?” I had a smart mouth.
“But don’t you think we might need some gear for that? Maybe a couple of paintbrushes and some acrylics?” I turned to my two friends. “Unless you guys rather work with oils.”

“Oh, you’re being funny.
You think you’re a funny girl?” Holowitz looked annoyed. “Do you think it’s funny that hardworking people have been coming home from third shift and finding their apartments cleaned out?”

“No, sir,” I muttered, hating that
he had just put me in my place.

“Then get to work,” he ordered.
The three of us took down the addresses and were dismissed.

 

~*~

 

“I got spit on,” Hawking complained as we met outside the second building we had canvassed. “I tried to ask a simple question, and this old woman spat on me.”

“She must not be a fan of the uniform,” Kemper snorted.
“There was this smokin’ hot chick in 2B that couldn’t take her hands off of me. I think she watched that stripper movie one too many times because she kept asking if I was wearing a thong.”

“Well, are you?” I giggled.

“Did you learn nothing about making jokes this morning?” Hawking inquired as we went back to the patrol car.
“Holowitz was furious. I think he was going to crap his pants that someone stood up to him like that.”

“Well, we aren’t rookies,” I defended.
“For the past year, I’ve been trying to sell my ass to half the city and arresting the ones who took me up on that offer. I transferred to burglary in the hopes of getting some respect, but apparently that’s a pipe dream.” The three of us got into the car and went to the last location listed on the sheet. “You’ve both been in burglary for awhile now. What can you tell me about the detectives?”


Holowitz is a hard ass. He thinks he’s the only real cop in this entire place. A bit of a narcissistic blowhard. Most of us ignore him, even the other detectives. Um, Preston is quiet and serious. She’ll get the work done, but you won’t see her sitting at a desk once the case is closed. There’s a pool going on whether or not she has a secret family and kids or if the reason for her fast getaways has to do with a certain ex-lover,” Kemper said.

“What ex-lover?”
It was unsubstantiated gossip, but it was fun.

“Rumor has it she used to be hot and heavy with Riley.
They worked a bunch of stakeouts together. Late nights in a car with nothing else to do,” Hawking said before mimicking seventies porn music. “Bow chicka wow-wow.”

“So does Detective Riley try to avoid her too?” There was no point in inquiring, but he had piqued my interest.
Plus, this was only friendly conversation.

“Not that I’ve noticed,” Kemper said, narrowing his eyes at me through the rearview mirror.
“Does someone have a crush?”

“No.
Not in the least,” I said vehemently. The two of them exchanged a glance and teased me mercilessly for the rest of the ride.

It was a relief when we got out of the car to canvass the final building for today’s tour.
To save time, we were splitting up. It was a routine check with the neighbors, ask a couple of questions, and continue on. There really wasn’t a need to have back-up, and this saved time and effort.

As I stepped onto the third floor landing, I heard a commotion coming from the end of the hallway.
Assuming it was a run-of-the-mill argument, I didn’t pay much attention as I knocked on the first door to the right. All at once, a man wearing a hoodie slammed the door at the end of the hallway and took off running. He had a backpack shoved over his shoulder and as he ran past me, a jewelry box fell out of the bag.

“Stop,” I yelled, “police.
Freeze.” He continued to run, and I clicked the radio, requesting back-up as I pursued. As I raced down the two flights of steps, I heard Kemper coming down the stairs from above me. “Evidence is on the third floor,” I called up to him.

The suspect burst through the front door and ran to the left.
I sprinted after him, gaining as we went down the next street. He was coming to the crosswalk, and just as I was getting close enough to take him down, an unmarked cruiser rolled to a stop in front of him. The suspect collided with the car and fell backward, his bag of loot spilling onto the ground.

“Officer
Sarcone,” Detective Riley greeted as he handcuffed the perpetrator, “I believe you called for back-up.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Good job.” He tossed the handcuffed guy into the back of the car just as Kemper and Hawking came up behind me. “Did you secure the area?”

“Yes, another unit is at the apartment,” Hawking responded.
He had put the jewelry box into an evidence bag. “I think he dropped this.”

“He did,” I said firmly.

“Okay,” Riley took the bag.
“Sarcone, let’s take a ride.”

Chapter 2

 

Riley pulled the cruiser to a stop underneath an overpass and turned off the engine.
The thief was still handcuffed in the backseat. “Sarcone, go get us a couple hotdogs,” Riley turned around. “What do you want, Frank?”

“Turkey dog with kraut and mustard.
Make sure they hold the relish,” the suspect replied.

“What the hell?” I shifted my confused look back to Riley.

“Don’t worry about it,” Frank the Suspect, said from the backseat.
“Mikey and I go way back. Frank Devereaux, your one stop shop for all your undercover needs.”

“Just get us some lunch,
Sarcone,” Riley sighed. He pulled a twenty from his pocket. “Whatever you want is on me.” True, I thought wistfully as I got out of the car. Although answers might have been more practical.

By the time I came back carrying a sack with a plain hotdog, Frank’s order, and a turkey dog with ketchup for
myself, Riley had uncuffed the undercover officer. I ate in silence as I listened to Frank and Michael talk about last night’s baseball game. Neither mentioned a word about the current case or why an undercover cop would be breaking into an apartment and fleeing the scene. None of it sat right with me, but I was just a gofer. I was certain the only reason Riley let me ride with him was so I could go get the hotdogs.

“Okay, the coast is clear,” Riley announced.
“Just watch yourself out there. If we arrest you again, we’re going to have to make it look real. Today you happened to get lucky Sarcone didn’t cuff you before I arrived.”

“Sure, sure,” Frank said as he got out of the car and disappeared down the street.

“So, Alessandra,” Riley said turning to face me.


Lexie. Sarcone. Your personal assistant assigned to retrieve lunch. Whatever.” I was annoyed for being made a fool, particularly by some hotshot detective who despite his jackass demeanor, was still too attractive for his own good.

He smirked.
“Hey, you’ve got something,” he leaned in and ran this thumb across my button lip. Instantly, my heart fluttered, and I stared out the windshield, afraid he would notice my blush. He pulled his hand away. “Ketchup,” he announced. “Apparently there was a fatality involving a tomato.”

“Cute.”

“I know you are. That’s why they had you working vice, isn’t it?” I looked at him and nodded. Had he just given me a compliment? Or was that flirting. I had been out of the game so long I didn’t remember what a guy making a move looked like. Obviously, I was out of my mind if I even thought someone like him would have any interest in me. “I’m sorry about today. Holowitz likes to play ops close to the vest. Frank has infiltrated a local gang we believe is responsible for the recent home invasions. The apartment he ransacked was a plant. It’s all good. The back-up unit who responded to your call is aware of the situation. So,” his eyes were penetrating through mine, “I’m sure no one will hold today against you. After all, you were just doing your job.”

“That’s me.
Always striving for a job well done.” What a stupid thing to say, I criticized. Being around him had turned my normally competent self into a bumbling idiot.

“I enjoy a well done job,” his voice sounded sultry.
Stop thinking these things, Lexie. There is no double meaning. He’s just trying to be polite because he thinks you’re a complete moron. And being polite is what you do when you’re around stupid people so they don’t feel quite so stupid.

“Um, right.”
He was still staring, and I wondered if I was completely covered in ketchup. “Shouldn’t we get back to the station?”


I guess we could do that.” He put the car in gear and pulled into traffic. “So why’d you become a cop, Lexie? It seems to me someone as pretty as you could have done something else. I don’t think anyone would turn you away.”

“It was this or
work in my parent’s luggage shop. Frankly, I hate luggage.” Conversation, that was what normal people engaged in. I could do this. “So Detective Riley, how long have you been on the job?”

“It’s Michael,” he dazzled me with a bright, smile.
“If we’re going to be working together, we should be on a first name basis. And I’ve been doing this for six years. It’s our family business. My dad was a cop, his dad, and his dad. Both of my brothers are cops. It wasn’t a decision so much as a way of life.” He stopped for the traffic light. “Anyway, getting back to business for a sec, had Frank been an actual perp, you would have made a fantastic collar today. I feel responsible for ruining it. Would you be willing to stick around and help out the current team on the apartment heists, or did you have your heart set on picking up new cases everyday from the lieutenant during roll call?”

“What do you think?” I practically jumped at the opportunity.
This was a big case. It could help with a promotion since I had been considering the detective’s test, and it would mean enjoying some eye candy.

“Great,” he gave me a friendly smile as he parked in the back lot at the precinct.
“I’m happy to be the first to welcome you to the team, Lexie Sarcone.” He walked around the car and extended his hand. We shook and I felt goosebumps on my skin and a slight jolt from our touch. I really must be hard pressed for a guy to be reacting like this.

“Thanks, Detect…Michael.”
He slung an arm around my shoulder, in a friendly manner, and escorted me inside to share the news with the other two detectives.

 

~*~

 

Despite the fact that I had been invited to work the investigation with the detectives, Holowitz and Preston kept me at arms’ length. I was an officer, only on the job for two years, and unless someone needed me to take my clothes off and try to solicit sex, they saw no practical use for me. Michael Riley was the only exception. He had let me ride along with him on calls and spit-ball ideas about means, motive, and opportunity.

It was getting late, and Preston had just escaped from her desk, making a beeline for the exit.
I spotted Kemper across the room, and he looked at her pointedly. Ignoring his intended message, I typed the last few words from my notepad and saved my file on the computer.

“Why do you do that?” Riley asked, rolling his chair next to mine.

“This way if I need to reference my notes, I can hit ctrl+f and type in a key phrase and voila.” I reached for the keyboard to demonstrate and our fingertips touched. Again I felt the same electric intensity. Riley ran his pointer finger up the back of my hand, from my fingernail to my wrist, sending wonderful tingles throughout my body.

“Sorry,” his voice sounded hoarse, but
I was probably imagining it. “Would you like to grab a drink?” My mouth must have dropped because he quickly added, “y’know a bunch of us are going across the street to the bar.”

“Oh, um, I’ve got other plans,” I lied.

“Date?”

“Excuse me?”

“Do you have a date?”

“No.
Nothing like that.” I shook my head. And he chuckled. “Not that dating is a bad thing. I just, it’s been awhile.” Shut up now, my mind screamed.

“Someone should definitely rectify that very unjust situation.”
He stood up from the chair. “Have a good night, Lexie.”

“Thanks.
You too.”

BOOK: Detecting Desires
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