Authors: Jenna Byrnes
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
A Totally Bound Publication
©Copyright Jenna Byrnes 2014
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright April 2014
Edited by Rebecca Douglas
Totally Bound Publishing
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2014 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
Kansas City Heat
Book one in the Kansas City Heat series
A serial rapist and murderer on the loose. Will Kansas City’s finest solve the case before the madman strikes again?
Detective James Dixon is determined to track down the most recent serial killer terrorising the people of Kansas City. The chase leads him to the Last Chance Bar and Grille, where he meets and immediately falls for the sexy owner, Bryan Scott. But things at the bar aren’t exactly as they seem.
No one there remembers seeing the latest victim the night before she was brutally murdered. So why do the clues keep pointing back to the Last Chance? When the attacks strike close to home, Dix and Bryan must work together to save the next victim and whatever chance they have for happiness.
To Jude Mason, always.
While the Kansas City Police Department is definitely a real organisation, the stories you will read in this series are complete works of fiction, with made up characters who are in no way based on actual persons. Likewise, some neighbourhoods and locations are similarly fictional. The stories are simply born from a love of Kansas City, from the stockyards to Arrowhead Stadium, the Plaza to Legends Outlet Mall, and lots of things in between.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Lincoln Navigator: Ford Motor Company
Golden Globe: Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Blazer: Chevrolet, General Motors Company
Red Bull: Red Bull GmbH
The Royals: Kansas City Royals
Dodge Ram: Chrysler Group LLC
Curves: Curves International
Max Fitness: Fit Cats LLC
Camel: Reynolds American, Inc.
’72 Ford: Ford Motor Company
Mercury: Ford Motor Company
CBS Corporation/Paramount Pictures Corporation
The Wrath of Khan
: Paramount Pictures Corporation
The Voyage Home
: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Burger King: Burger King Holdings Inc.
“Time of death was approximately ten to twelve hours ago. I’ll know more when I get her back to the lab and can run specific tests.” Abigail Walters, the medical examiner for the Kansas City Police Department, rose from her crouched position then stepped back from the corpse.
Detective James Dixon leaned in closer, studying the abrasions around the woman’s neck. Her long blonde hair was splayed around her shoulders, but the reddish-purple marks on her skin were still visible. As were two round scorch marks on her breasts. “Strangled, just like the victim last week. Cigarette burns. Can’t say I like where this is heading.”
“Nope. Dix, check out her simple black dress and shoes. She doesn’t look like a hooker, more like a business woman out for an evening on the town.”
He glanced at the victim’s left hand. “No indentations from a wedding ring, not that she’d still have the ring if she
wearing one.” He looked in either direction down the alley they were standing in. “Who knows how many people were through here last night?” He turned to the uniformed officer who’d been first on the scene. “No sign of a purse or handbag of any kind?”
“No, sir.” The officer shook his head.
“Let’s keep looking. Have your team scour every inch of this area, including the dumpsters over there. Our perp may have taken what he wanted and ditched the bag.”
“Look for cigarette butts, too,” the ME added. “We might pull some DNA off them.”
“We’re on it,” the man answered, then headed to confer with the others on his detail.
She made notes in a small book. “Very similar MO to the last vic, pretty, mid-thirties, long, light-coloured hair. If it is the same guy, he’s definitely got a ‘type’.”
Dix waggled his brows. “Better watch out, then. You just described yourself.”
She tucked the notebook into her pocket while rolling her eyes. “Thanks, dude, but the ‘thirties’ door slammed on me a few years ago. And these gals had blonde hair, not shades of grey. Of course, the colour
have come from a box. ” She tucked a wispy strand that had fallen out of her ponytail behind her ear.
Facing her, he ducked his head and said quietly, “Your hair is a beautiful, shiny shade of silver, not grey, and I hope you never use bottled colour on it. And as for the ‘thirties’ door being closed”—he shook his head—“well, Abby, you could have fooled me.”
His gaze scanned up from her military-style boots to the unattractive navy jumpsuit she wore at crime scenes. It sported large KCPD letters on the front and back, and the boxy style successfully hid whether the wearer was male or female.
Abby laughed. “Dix, if I didn’t know you were gay, I’d either have to jump your bones or bring you up on sexual harassment charges. Can’t decide which would be more fun. I’d love to watch you squirm.”
He grinned. “Which one of those two choices might make me squirm? Never mind, not sure my heart could take it. It’s been a long dry spell since Raph left. You’re starting to look pretty good to me, jumpsuit notwithstanding.”
hard up! Sexy beast like you shouldn’t have trouble finding a man. Everybody loves shaggy brown hair that perpetually looks overdue for a trim and a three-day beard growth like yours. And those puppy-dog eyes have the tiniest little crinkles around the corners when you smile. Damn. Now I’m making myself horny.”
He feigned a horrified expression. “Eye wrinkles? God, that is sexy.”
sexy on a man. A woman, not so much.”
“Yeah,” he grumbled. “Got those when that ‘thirties’ door slapped me on the ass on my way out.” He glanced up as his partner approached.
“Got a witness who says he saw the vic coming out of a bar last night around midnight.” He glanced at the ME. “Hey, Abby.”
“Mac,” she acknowledged. “If that’s the case, this woman died shortly thereafter. Probably wasn’t time to kill her somewhere else and dump the body.”
“So she died here,” Dix repeated. He glanced at Steve MacDonald, his partner for the past three years. “Want to let the unis know that? Might make a difference how they process the scene. You and I should take her picture to that bar and see if anyone recognises her.”
“Let’s do it. I’ll talk to the unit commander then meet you down at the end of the block. Bar’s just around the corner.”
“Sounds good.” Dix watched Mac walk off before turning back to Abby.
“How’s his wife doing?” she asked. “Last I heard she was starting chemo.”
He nodded. “The doc thought he got all the cancer with her lumpectomy, but there was something about a suspicious lymph node. So yeah, chemo. It makes her sick as hell for a few days. Mac said this round is really kicking her butt.”
“I’m sure it’s rough, but it’s the best option for a good outcome. I’ll keep her in my thoughts.”
He batted his lashes. “Me too?”
Abby chuckled. “Always. Go do your thing and let me finish up here. I’ll text you when I have results, or phone you if we get lucky.”
He kicked at a pebble in his path then headed towards the end of the alley. Over his shoulder he replied, “I won’t hold my breath. I haven’t gotten lucky in a
“You’re due!” she called after him.
Dix grinned to himself and kept walking.
Mac was speaking with the captain on scene when Dix approached. His partner looked tired, with definite lines creasing his forehead and the skin around his eyes. Wrinkles, nothing that could be called ‘crinkles’.
Worry lines. Lack-of-sleep lines.
Dix figured he could take his pick. He couldn’t imagine caring for a spouse with cancer and counted his blessings that the disease hadn’t touched his life. “Ready to do this?” he asked Mac.
“Yeah.” They fell into step and headed around the next corner. “Place is named Last Call Bar and Grille. Ever heard of it?”
“No, but I don’t frequent this neighbourhood.”
“Like I do.” Mac rolled his eyes.
Dix grinned. His buddy’s longish-blond hair and tweed jacket with patches on the elbows made him look more like a professor than a cop. Mac had three daughters, six granddaughters and a one-year-old grandson who was sure to be spoilt beyond belief. The family was a great support system for his wife Cecile, who’d been stoic since her diagnosis. Dix knew Mac would love to retire and spend more time with his wife and family, but police work didn’t pay that well. He’d work the streets or shove papers around on a desk right up to retirement age, as would Dix, who had a few years longer to go than Mac.
He paused in front of the neat little sign identifying Last Call and checked it out. “Nice place. Not what I expected.”
“Yeah,” Mac agreed, opening the door. “Seems decent enough.”
They stepped inside. The bar was dimly lit, but Dix could tell it was well-tended. “Pretty clean, too.”
“Yeah. Could have fooled me, ’cause the neighbourhood sucks.”
Dix thought so, too. He hadn’t figured the bar would be more than a dive, commonplace for the area. This place was no speakeasy—it seemed like more of a restaurant. And from what he could smell, a good one.
“Afternoon,” the bartender greeted them. “Sit anywhere, as you can see we’re not too busy today.”
“That’s no shit,” Mac mumbled under his breath.
There were ten to twelve tables in the joint, and only one was occupied by a young couple eating burgers and fries. A lone man sat at the bar, thin with straggly grey hair. Dix wondered if the old guy was still breathing or if he’d kicked off and no one had realised it yet.