Read Dracul's Revenge 02: Anarchy in Blood Online

Authors: Carol Lynne,T. A. Chase

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Dracul's Revenge 02: Anarchy in Blood (16 page)

BOOK: Dracul's Revenge 02: Anarchy in Blood
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Aaron sat up and stretched.

“Aaron Baker, this is one of my investigators, Tina Mendosa. Tina, this is your client and my boyfriend, Aaron.”

Tina held out her hand. “Nice to finally meet the man putting a smile on the boss’ face.”

Aaron blushed, but shook Tina’s hand. “I’ll try my best to keep it there.”

Gray pulled the garlic bread out of the oven. “Dinner’s ready, guys. Kaplan will be up in a moment.”

“Won’t we have to buzz him in?”

Both Gray and Tina laughed. Gray pulled Aaron’s chair out for him, pushing it in after the younger man sat.

“Don’t worry about Kaplan. He’ll find a way to get in without bothering us.”

Ten minutes later, a knock sounded on Aaron’s door. Gray went to answer it, and true to his word, Kaplan stood there in the doorway.

“Hey, boss, something smells good.”

“Grab something to eat while I give you the rest of the instructions.”

“Great. I missed lunch today.”

Kaplan nodded to Aaron and winked at Tina while filling his plate with pasta. Tina shook her head, but Aaron glanced at Gray.

“So what’s going on?”

“Tina, you’re going to take Aaron there, and turn him into a girl. That’s why I wanted you to bring over that dark wig, and some of your clothes. You’re about the same size.”

“A girl?” Shock filled Aaron’s face. “Why?”

“We’re going to walk you right out the front door, but I don’t want the reporters to know it’s you. Kaplan and I will set timers on your lights and thirty minutes after we leave, they’ll go out. I want those jackasses to think you went to bed.”

Kaplan nodded as he caught on to what Gray wanted to do. “I’ll escort Aaron out. We’ll be a couple going on a date. I’ll get him to my car and drive him over to your house.”

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“Right. Tina and I will leave shortly before you. We’ll be Harold and his wife. She’ll continue to bitch at me about me making her go to her mother’s for the rest of the week.

We’ll distract them with our arguing and Kaplan will hustle you out of the building.”

“Which will explain the suitcase,” Aaron added.

Gray smiled. “Right. I knew you were smart.”

Aaron rolled his eyes. “Is this really going to work? I’m not sure I’ll make a convincing woman.”

“You don’t have to fool them completely. Luckily, it started raining, so Kaplan will hold an umbrella over your head which will help block some of your face. Now, if we’re all done, Kaplan and I will clean up in here while Tina gets you ready.”

Kaplan watched Tina and Aaron wander off in the direction of Aaron’s bedroom, carrying the bags Tina brought. “Do you think this’ll work?”

“Sure it will. Listen, we don’t have to convince them that Aaron is a woman. None of them are going to be looking that close at you when you leave. We just have to get him through the crowd and into your car. I don’t want anyone following you to my house.” Gray frowned. “I’ve had more than my share of news reports done on me.”

Clapping Gray on the back, Kaplan said, “True. Don’t worry. Between the four of us, I think this will work out.”

They cleaned up and put the dishes away. After that, they set the timers, not wanting the media to figure out that Aaron wasn’t in his apartment. While they waited for the others to finish up, the phone rang. Gray checked the caller ID.

“Hey, Aaron, it’s your mom. Do you want to talk to her?”

“No. I’ll call her from your place. She probably wants me to tell her everything that’s going on, and I don’t want to talk about it at the moment.”

“Can’t blame you.”

Gray let the phone ring. He stood to one side of the window, making sure no one could see him from outside and studied the milling crowd of people in front of the building. His plan wouldn’t hold up under scrutiny, but he didn’t plan on any of them sticking around long enough for the reporters to figure out the disguise.

“Ready, boss.”

He turned and his jaw dropped. While he knew the pretty brunette in front of him was Aaron, anyone just glancing at him would never know.

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“Christ, you make a pretty girl.” Kaplan grunted as Gray elbowed him. “What? I was just making an observation.”

Aaron shifted uncomfortably on the high heel shoes he wore. “I feel like an idiot.”

“Don’t. It’s a disguise, nothing more.” Gray leant down and kissed Aaron quickly, not wanting to smudge his lipstick.

“I give women a lot more credit than I did before. It’s amazing all the trouble they go through to look good for you guys.” Aaron eyed Kaplan.

Kaplan threw his hands up in the air. “Hey, I appreciate everything they do. I love women and everything about them.”

“Except when they make you wait,” Tina pointed out, her eyebrow raised.

“Okay. Look, one time I make a comment about how long it took for the chick I was dating to get ready, and you’ve never let me forget it.” Kaplan folded his arms over his chest and glared at them. “Are we ready to go?”

Aaron took a step and teetered on his shoes. Gray slipped his arm around Aaron’s waist, drawing him tight to him.

Pressing his lips to Aaron’s ear, he whispered, “Take it slowly, and we’ll be back at my house before you know it.”

Aaron nodded, but didn’t say anything. Kaplan and Tina gathered their things while Gray picked up Aaron’s suitcase.

“Remember, Kaplan, keep the umbrella and your body between Aaron and the reporters. Aaron, keep your head down. Since it’s raining, no one will think anything about it. Tina and I will go out first. Wait a few seconds before leaving. Kaplan, keep up a running commentary on the plans you made for your big date tonight.”

Kaplan offered Aaron his arm. “I can do that. If you haven’t noticed, I love to talk.”

The other three snorted and Kaplan looked wounded for a moment before he chuckled.

They rode down in the elevator together, but Tina and Gray left first.

“Christ! Harold, why are you shipping me off to my mother’s? I told you I don’t like the old biddy.” Tina glared at Gray as they stepped out of the building.

“I’m sorry, honey, but the apartment’s being re-painted. I thought you’d be more comfortable in Albany with your family.” He put a suffering tone in his voice, like he’d gotten used to listening to his wife screech at him.

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They got to the middle of the bunch of reporters when Tina swung around and slugged him in the chest.

“You just want me out of the way while you fuck that secretary of yours. I saw that slutty bitch. She’s just using you for all those stupid presents you buy her. She’s not interested in a rundown old man like you.”

Gray raised his hands. “Now, honey, you know that’s not true. I love you, baby.”

Tina punched him in the arm. “You lie.”

Tears welled in her eyes and Gray silently applauded her acting ability.

“You’re not in love with me anymore because I put on a few pounds.”

“You’re still as beautiful as when I first met you.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Kaplan’s red umbrella walking by. Tina saw them as well. She narrowed her eyes and swung her purse, nailing Gray in the back with it.

“You bastard, I’ve been married to you for twenty years. I can tell when you’re lying.

I’m going to my sister’s instead. After you’ve been on your own for a week or so, maybe you’ll remember all the things I do for you. Though maybe I’ll decide you’re no longer worth it and divorce your cheating ass.”

She whirled around and stomped off. Gray followed behind her, pleading for her to listen to him. They made it to his car without incident and jumped in. Tina’s phone rang.

“Mendosa.” She stayed silent after that for a minute. “Okay. We’ll meet you at the boss’

then.”

After hanging up, she met Gray’s gaze. “Kaplan and Aaron made it out of there without any problems. Kaplan’s going to take a circuitous route to your place, just to make sure no one’s following them.”

“Great. Let’s go. I need to talk to you both after I get Aaron settled.”

“Fine by me. The shit’s hit the fan and we need to help your man out any way we can.”

Gray pulled into traffic and congratulated himself on hiring good people. If anyone could solve this case with him, it would be Kaplan and Tina.

* * * *

Gray sighed as he flopped down on the couch. Kaplan stood by the fireplace and Tina sat in one of the chairs, petting Kid. Butch had claimed Aaron as his and wouldn’t be budged ANARCHY IN BLOOD

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from the bedroom where Aaron had gone to lie down. Their getaway from Aaron’s apartment had gone well, none of the reporters wise to the fact that Aaron slipped out right under their noses.

“If I still drank, this would be an entire bottle kind of night.”

Tina nodded in agreement. “So what are we going to do now? Things have gotten more complicated, and I’m not seeing a happy ending in all of this.”

“I know. Blaine Matthews going to the police and to the media? I never thought the guy would do that.” Gray shook his head. “I worked with him for a month or two and he always seemed like a loyal guy.”

Kaplan glanced up from his contemplation of the ash in Gray’s fireplace. “Maybe he’s loyal to the office of the President, not the man.”

Gray pinched the bridge of his nose. “So you’re saying, he respects the position and authority of the President, but he doesn’t necessarily respect the man holding that position. I wonder if it has anything to do with Douglas being gay.”

His friend shrugged. “You know Matthews better than we do. Did he strike you as a homophobe when you worked with him?”

“No, but he seemed like a very by-the-book type agent.”

“What do you think about the President slipping his security detail like that?” Tina picked up a file from Gray’s coffee table. “And why didn’t the FBI wrap him up before he could get to the media? I mean, this isn’t looking good for Douglas.”

“And Broomfield is having a field day with all of this. I found out right before you got here that the last victim worked as an intern for Nathan Griggs.”

“Fuck. So we can expect a photograph to pop up soon with the guy and the President, I’m sure.” Gray shot to his feet and started to pace. “We need to get a break in this case, or Douglas is going to get railroaded out of office. And all for being gay, because I guarantee that it’ll get out eventually.”

Kaplan yawned and Tina stretched. Gray realised he’d kept his friends up way too late when there wasn’t anything they could do for the rest of the night.

“Go home and get some sleep. We’ll start fresh tomorrow, and we’re not going to stop digging until we get the information we need.”

“Sure thing. See you in the morning.”

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Gray shut and locked the door behind the pair. He went through his nightly routine of checking all the locks on the doors and windows before setting the alarm and heading upstairs.

After getting ready for bed, he slipped under the covers and wrapped his arms around Aaron. His lover mumbled something, and snuggled close to him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. His gut screamed that as bad as things looked right now, events were in play to make everything a whole lot worse. All he could do was hunker down and do his damnedest to make sure Aaron didn’t get hurt in the fall out.

ANARCHY IN BLOOD

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Chapter Nine

Juggling his coffee and files, Gray managed to get the door to his offices open without spilling anything. Ruth glanced up from her desk and smiled.

“Good morning, sir.”

“Morning, Ruth. Kaplan and Tina in?”

“Yes, sir. They’re in the conference room waiting for you.”

He waved his thanks and headed to the other room. This time, he kicked the door in a demand for someone to open it. Tina yanked it open and glared at him.

“What is it with guys always carrying everything at once? It would be so much easier to make two trips instead of tempting fate.”

Both he and Kaplan shook their heads. Gray set all his stuff on the table before turning to Tina.

“All men are lazy at heart. Why make two trips when you can make one and be done with it?”

She rolled her eyes at him and took a seat. Gray got settled, pushing some of the papers out of the way to ensure nothing got spilled on. He rested his elbows on the table and stared at his friends.

“Please tell me we’ve made some progress on this case. When I dropped off Aaron earlier this morning, he was so tense about going to work, I almost turned the car around and told him to call in sick.” Gray clenched his hands together, not happy at all about Aaron being pale and still exhausted when he said goodbye to him.

“I don’t know if it’s lucky or not, boss, but I got a hit on the photographer who took those pictures. He was the only one at both events. Nicco Barias freelances for several of the national newspapers.” Kaplan shuffled through some papers.

Tina picked up the conversation. “I did some searching of Barias’s financial records.

Seems he got an infusion of cash about two or three months ago. I’m thinking someone paid him for those pictures. I don’t think he’s in on the whole attempt to ruin Douglas’

reputation.”

“Probably not, but I want to know who bought those pictures from him. I have a feeling it was Broomfield and that the V.P. has been plotting since he agreed to run with ANARCHY IN BLOOD

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Douglas. The man’s ego is big enough for him to believe he should never have to be second best.” Gray chuckled harshly. “Especially to a fag.”

“The bad thing is many other people might feel the same way. They have to be scrambling at the White House for damage control. Broomfield took this opportunity and is running with it. He’s hoping something will break and he’ll get the Oval Office.” Kaplan scowled out the window.

“Not if we can do something about it.” Tina glanced at her watch. “I have a meeting with a potential client in an hour.”

BOOK: Dracul's Revenge 02: Anarchy in Blood
10.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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