Authors: C.E. Hansen
It’s A Crime
2013 by C.E. Hansen
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the US Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written consent of the Author.
ISBN-13: 978-0615760629 (It's A Crime)
Cover Image File licensed by
Cover Art By Fiona Jayde
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
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All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by C.E. Hansen.
I’m so grateful to Michelle Maloney for her unending support and encouragement, and most important, her love.
You were instrumental in making my first book a wish come true.
My deepest gratitude to my contributing editor Kelly Lynne, her edits to this book were an invaluable lesson for me and she is deeply appreciated.
Thank you to my husband, Tom, and my daughter, Kate, for putting up with my endless interruptions.
A special thank you to Fiona Jayde, for her talent and wonderful eye in creating the stunning cover. Thanks to Gee Lewinsky for her patience.
You have all been wonderful and I totally appreciate each one of you.
And last, but never least, a great big thank you to the readers, without you it would all be for naught. This experience has been a learning lesson for me and you all have been the best teachers.
This is for my daughter Kaitlin, I love you with all I am.
You will always be the light in my life.
stepped out of the bar into the cold damp night air.
Winter in New York City,’ ya gotta love it
. She locked the door and bent her head down as a gust of cold air moved down the small side street. The chill the breeze carried found its way through her clothes, her skin, her bones. She shivered involuntarily as she grabbed her coat closer to her chest and lifted the collar to her neck. She didn’t own a scarf, something she would have to rectify tomorrow. She also left her gloves on the table by the front door of her apartment, something she remembered as soon as she was too far to go back and still get to work on time. She would have to walk brisker than normal to keep warm.
Tonight turned out to be one shitty night moneywise.
The regular drunks did not tip much and stayed far too late.
ne really nice-looking guy with blonde hair and blue eyes sat alone for two hours, nursing two beers. She caught him staring at her several times. She fully expected him to hit on her. He didn’t. She cursed under her breath.
He did leave her a ten-dollar tip, though.
She tossed the keys into her
pocketbook and pulled the strap over her head, and it slid into place until it crossed her chest. After adjusting her collar again, she dug her hands into her coat pockets and put her head down, pushing forward into the onslaught of the cold wind.
She was happy she
had worn her sneakers, not only for the comfort factor, but they enabled her to walk quicker than she would have had she worn her boots. Her boss wasn’t there tonight so she got away with dressing down. Her sneakers also made her footsteps on the pavement relatively noiseless.
This would not have been so much as a thought other than the fact
the street was even quieter at 2:40 in the morning and she thought she heard footsteps behind her. She turned around but saw no one. She sped up and walked faster, looking over her shoulder. She still saw no one. She did notice when she stopped to turn, the sound of the footsteps following stopped too. She sensed someone was behind her, but couldn’t be sure.
This is like a bad B movie
. She started walking faster.
She hated this area,
where these two long streets were darker before reaching 10
Avenue and the glowing neon lights. The lights on the busier avenue always made her feel safe somehow, the safety in numbers thing. She was a city girl, born and raised, and definitely monsters were out there, but fear rarely played into her thinking. If it did, she would certainly not bartend till after two in the morning and walk home alone.
Avenue was about 200 yards away and she quickened her steps. The smell of exhaust mixed with the smell of the food vendors that lined 10
Avenue wafted toward her and hit her like a locomotive. She was hungry and bone tired, dying to get home, open a beer and get back to that book on her Kindle. She thought Tina Fey’s
, was funny and helped to numb her from the hurt and anger caused by the latest jerk she dated. She had to throw him out after finding him with another dude in their bed. Really? What the fuck? Was she that undesirable?
The guy at the end of the bar
who stared at her all night surely didn’t think so. She looked up, and watched the people crossing the alleyway ahead of her. Tenth Avenue was the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
raffic was scarce this time of night so Terry walked in the middle of the street as opposed to the sidewalk, where it was darker. She reached into her jacket pocket for her cell phone, and clumsily stumbled on a raised cobblestone. She dropped her phone, trying not to fall. It skittered across the cobblestones as though on a pond, bumped against the curb, jumped and then rested on the street. She bent to pick it up, shaking her head and laughing at her clumsiness.
She turned and
glanced back at the cobblestone that caused her to lose her balance, as if it had raised itself on purpose. She didn’t see him coming from the shadows of the doorway. Didn’t see the sharp as a razor knife. Didn’t see the evil in his eyes. She raised her hand to her neck, pulsing blood pumped through her fingers. Her only thought…
funny, a cobblestone
felt the rough surface as her body slid unceremoniously to the ground. Her blood slowly filled the hollows framing the cobblestones encircling her head, appearing black in the dim light of the moon.
“Are you going to be ready any time soon? Can’t believe I’m waiting for you.” I shook my head, laughing. “Isn’t it supposed to be the girl who’s always late?”
lmost finished, just fixing my tie. Anyway, I wouldn’t be late if it weren’t for my very horny fiancée.”
, blushing. His accusation was true.
“I heard that.
Love it when you’re all giggly. How’s your dress look?”
“You’ll see when you finally get your butt in here.”
Whittier walked into the room, the look on his face showed he approved of my dress choice. His mouth hung open. I was happy I listened to my mother and went to her designer. Commuting and having to deal with my mother was well worth the aggravation.
Preston, you look spectacular. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
“I’m not the only one
who looks great. Look at you. I’m so glad I made you buy that suit. You look hot.” I licked my lips exaggeratedly. “And
the lucky one.”
He walked to where I stood and
lifted my head to meet his eyes. That look always gave me butterflies, and now was no exception. I pulled his head down to mine and greedily kissed him.
“How about we don’
t show?” Frisky…I loved him like that.
“Well, aren’t we supposed to be fashionably late anyway?”
“No, that is the bride on her wedding day, not the couple going to their own engagement party.”
“Mmm. I don’t think I can wait until we get home tonight.” His hands kneaded my hips.
Mr. Whittier, you’ll just have to.” I kissed him softly.
“Just one more month and you a
re all mine…Mrs. Grace Whittier, I’m digging the sound of that,” he whispered in my ear, his breath causing a shiver to run through me. Goose bumps rose on my skin. He always did that to me. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.
“You’re making me crazy
. Stop or we won’t get out of here at all.”
He smiled and my heart skipped a beat.
“Mmm, you won’t get an argument from me.”
I pouted exaggeratedly.
Okay, okay. We’re going, but your mother owes me big time.” He crossed to the closet then pulled out his jacket. Shrugging it on, he said, “I’ll go get the car. It’s raining. Your hair will be a mess.” He looked up and down my body. “God, Grace, you look hot. Later...”