Authors: Ali Parker
Blood Money, Book 1
Dirty Money, Book 2
Hard Money, Book 3
Cash Money, Book 4
Bill Turner is the new threat in town and he's hell bent on bringing Marcus and Kate back under his leadership, but Victor’s not at all willing to part with his new associates. Kate struggles as a new drug is brought onto the market, namely because she’s given dominion over it.
Jon continues to struggle with his attraction to Kate and his need to remain good, but when things come to the boiling point, he has a decision to make that will change everything. The tension between Kate, Jon and Marcus starts to dissipate, and new emotions emerge – comfort and peace.
With too many players in the game, someone has to go. The question is who, and even more so – how?
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Copyright © 2015 by Ali Parker
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
The novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and plot are all either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons – living or dead – is purely coincidental.
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Nothing felt better than Kate's arms wrapped tightly around his waist. He knew she had nothing to do with the case on the two dead bodies behind her club. Hell, she's been out of town. Not only that, but it had Billy's name written all over it. Jon knew very little of the bastard, but his case file was thick and, of course, - missing. Seth had made certain of that before pulling out his cards and working hard to take over as the city's number one drug dealer.
Funny thing about New Orleans... the biggest shark in the city never had to worry about the competition. He had to worry about those beneath him that got hungry. Seth's demise was formulated through Victor showing up, but the timing was just too perfect.
After thinking through things, Jon knew without a doubt that there was more to the story that he'd been told. Hell, he had far more to his own story, but it was almost time to start sharing that. He needed to solidify his relationship with Kate, and her partner and best friend, Marcus. Once that was done, he would open up and help them out of their current situation.
Stopping at a red light, Jon let out a shallow breath and closed his eyes, wanting so fucking bad to reach down and rub Kate's arms as they held him. She had to be furious with him for pulling out a warrant on her, but he had no other choice. He needed to see her alone, and in a setting that he could control. The last interview room in the station wasn't bugged, nor was it wired for video.
He needed answers, and she was going to give them to him.
The light turned and he took off again, reaching down absently and cupping her hands. She tightened her arms and pressed her helmet to his back, surprising him a little. They'd been at each other's throats for the last few days, but it was mostly his fault. He was vomiting emotions and denial on anyone who got near him. Having lived a life too close to Marcus and Kate's, he had forced himself onto the good side of the track in hopes of keeping himself clean and out of trouble. It had worked for the last ten years. His past was a distant memory, until a few weeks back when his brother, Adam, was gunned down behind Kate's nightclub. All hell broke loose after that.
He pulled the bike to the side of the station and got off before offering her a hand.
She ignored it, which caused a smirk to lift the side of his mouth. He could tell by the grimace on her impossibly beautiful face that, where she missed him, she was pissed over his dick-move of bringing her downtown.
"I'm not saying a fucking thing to you until I get my lawyer down here. You know that." She crossed her arms over her big breasts and pursed her lips.
His cock twitched in his pants and he turned, putting up the helmets and trying to think through how to turn her from being hostile toward him back to wanting to let him in. There was no way around it really.
"I'm not interested in your lawyer, Miss Jarrett." He took her arm roughly and moved her into the station, forcing her down a long hallway. She walked beside him, her disposition tight, her shoulders locked and chin up. She could own the place with nothing more than a few well-placed looks and a command. She was just that kind of woman.
He opened the door and tossed her in before walking in and slamming it behind them. "Sit down. Now."
"I'd rather stand." She turned to face him and pressed her hands to her curved hips. "You better have some damn good evidence on me, detective. I'm going to crucify your ass for dragging me down here for nothing."
"Sit down. Now, Kate. I'm not asking again." He moved toward her and she lifted her chest, as if ready for one hell of a fight. "Please."
She let out a sharp exhale and walked to the table, sitting down and watching him like a hawk. He had to play his cards right this time, or not only would she walk, but most likely Victor would show back up at his door. Kate's new partner was a dead man walking, but his time had yet to come. Jon planned to watch the ugly mother fucker die slowly, if for nothing else, for making Kate his bed mate.
He sat down across from her and tried to still his beating heart. She was breathtaking. Especially when angry. He couldn't help but let their last night together roll over him. The drugs Victor had her selling were some form of ecstasy, and caused anyone who took them to want to fuck like crazy. Kate had been tricked into taking them a few times, and he had just happen to show up the last time.
A groan lodged in his throat and he glanced down at his hands.
"Stop thinking about us and get this over with. I'm done with you. With this bullshit." She hit the table between them hard, and Jon jerked his head up.
"Did you know Seth, Kate?"
"Your partner?" She tilted her head to the side, giving him a look that said she truly believed that he'd lost his fucking mind.
"No. Why would I?"
"You're lying." He sat back and pressed his fingers to his lips as his other arm wrapped around him.
"Think what you want. You asked the question. I answered it." She leaned forward, her black hair draping over her shoulders and brushing by the table. The intensity of her warm brown eyes stole his thoughts for a moment.
"Billy was the one to take you from your parents’ house all those years ago. Right? He's the one that got you started on this life."
"Someone's been doing their homework." She sat back. "What does Seth have to do with me? I left that life years ago, Jon. I didn't pay attention to any of Billy's lackey's other than Marcus. I was high most of the time, remember? I didn't know who was coming or going."
"And you had nothing to do with Adam's death?"
"Fuck you." She stood up. "I've already been down this road with you. I'm not going down it again."
He got up and followed her to the door, spinning her and slamming her against the wall with his body. Anger burned through him, but lust rode the high just as much as his fury.
"Victor sent me that goddamn video of him and Marcus fucking you, Kate. How could you? That's... sick," he spat at her, not wanting to dive back into his angst, but unable to get over it.
"You saw what you wanted to see." She pushed at him and he moved back just a little.
"I saw what anyone would see. You being a whore." He hated himself the minute he said it, but taking it back wasn't going to happen.
She slapped him hard, the pain of it waking him up a little. Her eyes filled with tears. "Fuck you. You have no idea what I've given up for you. For all of you."
"Then tell me. Explain it to me." He reached for her as she pulled the door open.
"Go to hell, Jon, and watch your back. Victor's not too keen on anyone messing with his whore." She pulled from him and walked down the hall, disappearing as he moved back to slump down in the empty chair nearest him.
Billy must have been with Kate before Seth joined the ranks. Marcus had to have always been part of the gang when everything transitioned from Billy to Seth though. If that was the case, then why didn't Marcus take the kingpin seat? Why Seth? Where was Kate during all of that? Free?
He could work through it later. He needed to get Kate back in here and explain why he was an emotional basket case.
He opened the door to find his new partner, Clay, standing in the hall with Kate. Clay glanced back. "Jon. Captain wants to see you."
"Great. Leave her alone. She's my witness. Not yours," he barked and walked by them, giving Kate a hard look.
"Not sure that's the case, partner, but we'll talk later." Clay's voice was respectful, but strong.
Jon ignored him and half-stomped down to Mike's office. He paused at the door and took a deep breath, trying to calm himself enough that he wouldn't piss off his boss and end up with another extended leave.
Knocking once, he walked in and stood behind the chair in front of Mike's desk.
"You wanted to see me, captain?" Jon asked.
"I did. You're not supposed to be back just yet. That was part of the deal, remember?" Mike leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. "And yet you're here and questioning a witness by yourself in a room with no mirrors and no camera access. Why?"
"Because Mike. This chick is involved somehow, or someone is setting her up with incredible skill. Is she the kingpin or a pawn in the game?" Jon moved around to drop down in a chair across from Mike.
"She's not the murderer in Adam's case. We've established that, and the fucking case is closed." Mike moved to the edge of his seat and tapped the desk between them. "The case in her club has been closed down too. The kid that seized due to a drug overdose was a known drug addict. His supplier was busted last week on the west side of town. Once again - not Miss Jarrett."
"And the Drazman case? Two guys dead in the alley behind her club, and all in a fucking matter of weeks? Come on, Mike." Jon couldn't stop himself. He was implicating Kate, but nothing he said was false. He needed someone to clear her name up, for him if nothing else. Mike was one of the best detectives on the force before he took the captain’s chair. If he truly believed that Kate was innocent - then she was.
Jon needed it to be true. He could push all of that excess shit to the side and work to get over whatever the hell was happening between her and Victor. He needed to talk to Marcus and clear that up though. Kate wasn't budging on why Victor had just up and let him go, on what she'd given up to make it happen. Something about it all made his stomach turn. Probably the truth bubbling deep within him.
Jon wasn't at all a liability, and if Victor knew Jon's past at all, much like he'd touted that he did, then he knew he'd let go of a great asset in the dark world they played in.
"We know that was Billy Turner. The boys were both missing their right hand. That bastard used that as his calling card up until the day Seth busted him."
Jon rolled his eyes. "Busted him. Right. Too bad the bastard was in bed with him. Must have pissed old Billy off something good to have his right hand man turn him in."
"It's usually those closest to you that you have to watch out for. Hell, Billy took the seat of power from Benton Jefferies. Remember that old shit?" Mike shrugged and picked up a file on his desk.
A shiver ran down Jon's back, but he worked to hide it. "Yeah, I do."
Mike nodded toward the file. "You're not going to want to hear this, but you're under suspension for the next two weeks until I clean this shit up. Take a look."
"What?" Jon glanced down and quickly scanned the e-mail from the office of the mayor. They would be investigating Jon's involvement in Adam's case. Someone had called in and linked the two of them together. A Mr. Victor Parence. "Un-fucking-believable."
"Yeah. You know the guy?" Mike took the folder back and dropped it onto his desk.
"No, not really. Just can't seem to get a break." Jon got up and walked to the door, hoping to catch Kate. He wanted to see if she knew about Victor calling in the information on him.
"Maybe that's exactly what someone's forcing on you. A break." Mike stood. "See you in two weeks, kiddo. Get out of here and keep away from Miss Jarrett. Something tells me that you have more going on than you're expecting us to believe."
Jon nodded and walked out, not willing to lie to Mike, and yet, not at all willing to tell the truth.
Seemed like the truth only offered malcontent anyways.
He'd keep his own to himself until the time was right to share it - if ever.