Read Kiss From a Rose Online

Authors: Michel Prince

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Genre Fiction, #Holidays, #Multicultural & Interracial, #cop, #valentines day romance, #red hot valentine, #holiday romance, #interracial

Kiss From a Rose

BOOK: Kiss From a Rose
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Kiss from a Rose: A Red Hot Valentine Story
Kiss from a Rose
By
Michel Prince

“Kiss from a Rose”
Copyright © 2014 Michel Prince

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Cover Art by Michel Prince
Edited by Kyle Lewis

****

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to place of purchase and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system-except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine, newspaper, or on the web -without permission in writing from the author.

Special Thanks

I wish to thank the fans of my books as well as those who take a chance on a new author. I always thank my husband and son who allow me the time away from them to pursue my dreams.

Special thanks to my editor Kyle who helps me make my work shine. Thanks to Tricia, my Beta reader from the Gods and my mentor Laura for giving me the strength and support to publish. For this book I also thank Officer Pippen for the technical help to make my characters real.

Chapter One

October 3rd

“Jenna?” A deep male voice interrupted her lunch. “Are you Jenna?”

“Yes? And you would be?”

“Marcus Peterson. Kurt’s friend. He told me to meet you here.”

“It would have been nice if Kurt told me I was meeting someone.”

Jenna set down her sketchpad and took in the clean-shaven man with liquid mocha skin coloring. He was smartly dressed with a tight cable knit sweater clinging a little too nicely to his chest and arms. There was no way her brother actually sent her a hot and sexy guy.

“I guess his idea of blind date is more of a blindsided date,” Marcus said with a smile that caused his coffee colored eyes to sparkle.

“You wouldn’t mind if I gave him a quick ring would you? Just to make sure you aren’t a stalker who knows my lunch patterns.”

“I insist.”

Jenna quickly dialed her brother, only to get no answer. His avoidance only confirmed he was setting her up. Of course he’d ignore her call when he sent a guy to try to pick her up.

“It’s a public park. You might as well sit down instead of hovering over me,” Jenna insisted as she covered the patty she’d gotten from the Jamaican food truck a few minutes ago.

“No answer huh?”

“No, so how long has old Kurt been planning this?”

“I don’t know, but he thought we’d get along. You eat here every day?”

“Mostly. The food trucks rotate through here so I can get a pretty good variety without venturing into downtown.”

“As a cop I have to warn you against doing that—as a stalker I appreciate your OCD.”

“You’re a cop. Figures.”

“Why? You have a men in uniform fetish I should know about?”

“Kurt’s over-protective of me.”

“And yet he threw you to the wolves today without warning.”

“How long have you known Kurt?”

“A few years.”

“Has he ever made sense?”

“I guess not,” Marcus laughed.

Damn, even though Marcus had an amazing smile, she could feel the familiar twitch of guilt for not using the time for work.

“Did I interrupt something?” he asked.

“I’m an architect, I was just sketching up an idea.”

“You still do that? I thought it was all done on computers.”

“Mostly, but well…” She wrapped her fingers tighter around her sketchpad. “There’s something about the way that leaf is lying.”

“A leaf?” he asked with an arched brow.

“I know it’s crazy but…” She opened her sketchpad and showed him the design she’d started with the arched sides. “The lines in nature are symmetric and I’ve always thought about someday designing a building without hard edges. Not that I’m the first, but—”

“No, that’s actually really cool. It’s inviting and not foreboding. I could see it for a children’s hospital or school.”

“I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right. I was just looking at the general lines. I hadn’t gotten to the usage yet.” Jenna smiled up at Marcus, then back at her design.

The leaf got caught up by a gust of wind that had them both squinting to avoid bits of dust in the air. When she looked back, the heart shaped poplar leaf had bounced down the sidewalk and disappeared. The vision of its position on the ground, thankfully, was permanently etched in her sketchpad, and Marcus’ suggestions of uses already had her mapping out floor plans.

“So, what did Kurt tell you to do? Or…expect?”

“I was going to buy you lunch, but you’ve already acquired one.”

“Yes, sorry.”

“Not a problem. What kind of trucks are here today?”

“I went for the Jamaican over there.” Jenna pointed to the west side of the one-block park. “But over there, that’s Manny’s. He’s got tacos and other Mexican food. And it looks like the sandwich wrap truck is back.”

“This is a popular place.”

Golden Mill Park at the edge of downtown Minneapolis was popular at lunch. Between the actors from the Guthrie, the locals who had lofts, and people like Jenna whose office filled the few commercial buildings in the area, they usually had at least two or three trucks here at lunch and dinner. When she was lucky a breakfast truck would park for a few hours in the morning.

“You live around here?”

“No, but I work in that building.”

Marcus looked at the plain gray building, and for some reason Jenna felt ashamed. It wasn’t like she designed the damn thing.

“Oh,” Marcus said with a tinge of disappointment.

“Is there something wrong?”

“You’re working today and you’ve already gotten your lunch, which means you probably only have twenty minutes left before you have to head inside.”

“Are you a cop or a detective?”

“All cops are detectives, but I have recently taken the exam.”

“What area you want to…detect?”

“Homicide, you know, the big time.” He smiled again and Jenna felt a warm flush.

Since when could her brother pick a man for her this well? She was going to have to double down on his Christmas presents this year.

“I know lunch hours are sacred time so please, eat. I’ll get something after you go back to work.”

“Thank you. I probably would have forgotten about it until I went back upstairs again. It would have been my reheated afternoon snack when I got dizzy.”

“If you’re going to get dizzy I’d prefer it be for a better reason.”

“And what reason would that be?” Jenna asked with a slight lilt in her voice.

****

Marcus eyed the brown-eyed goddess in front of him. Her white skin still had a bit of tan from the summer and her blonde hair was cut short in a bob that had her tucking the few loose strands behind her left ear. She must be adopted because there was no way this girl was related to Kurt. Her curves outlined like a river on a map—ebbs and flows he could see his fingers exploring for hours.

Unlike most in the business world with the standard starch white shirt, Jenna was wearing a crimson shirt with a gray pencil skirt stopping a few inches up from her knee and high-heeled boots that cupped her calves in a way he wished he could.

The only way he could see this failing would be if she suddenly decided a cop was too scary of a profession. There are those types of women. Then again if she was a Badge Bunny he’d be stepping away faster than she could tuck her stray hair behind her adorable little ear.

Damn it, he always did this. See the adorable and miss the cray cray.

“Well,” his southern brain took over and he leaned in a little too close. The smell of lavender and vanilla filled the air between them. “I’ve found being close to the right person at the right time can make me extremely dizzy.”

“How’s your world right now?” she asked, then bit her bottom lip.

“Like a tilt-a-whirl.”

“You are nothing but game, aren’t you?”

“I’m more than that.”

“Really, then tell me something real, officer.”

“I don’t want to pull back right now, but I’m a gentleman.” Marcus sat back and crossed his legs at the knee to give Jenna personal space.

“What kind of real are you looking for?”

“Why are you accepting set ups from Kurt?”

“If I go to a bar I’ll end up attracting Badge Bunnies—”

“What’s a Badge Bunny?” Jenna asked with a smirk.

“You think celebrities are the only ones with groupies? Some women—”

“Girls?”

Oh, he liked Jenna’s spunk. She was right, women would not describe a Badge Bunny.

“True, girls, get off on dating a cop. And they tend to hop around. It’s part of our benefits package.”

“Is it because you know how to use handcuffs correctly? I hear they’re all the rage right now.”

“Possibly. There’s a cop bar in downtown St. Paul. They crawl all over that place. If someone says you’re a cop they swarm like buzzards on a fresh carcass.”

“Of all the analogies that’s the one you use. I can feel your disdain for them.”

“They’re fun when you’re in your twenties and fresh out of the academy, but at some point you want to grow up.”

“So you’re in the settle down, have a few kids and go to the Dells part of your life now?”

“I’m not big on water parks, but the rest is what I’m looking for. And you, why do you have Kurt dropping mysterious strangers at your feet?”

“He thinks I need a protector.”

“And you don’t?”

“Need a protector or think I need one?”

“Think you need one.”

“I’m still alive. Feed myself a few times a day without much hassle.” Jenna took a bite of her patty. “Even shower without being told.”

“Bills paid?” A knot formed in his stomach as an all too familiar dread made his voice crack.

“Have yet to be evicted and my student loans are current. Kurt didn’t give you my info so you could pull up my police record did he?”

“No, he knows how much I like serial killers.”

“You’ll never catch me. I used the bones of my victims as building materials.”

“I see you’ve planned things out.”

“Gotta be ten steps ahead. Thank God for all those profiling shows.”

“Am I your normal victim?”

“Nope, I hunt rabbits,” she held her index finger and thumb about an inch apart. “Little ones that hang around the precinct.”

Marcus let out a small laugh, uncrossed his legs, and rested his forearms on his knees. Looking up at Jenna’s perfect pink lips curled into a smirk, he could only think one thing—
there had to be a catch.

****

There had to be a catch. Marcus was hot, funny, and not put off by Jenna’s strange sense of humor.

“Besides wanting to be on top of the cop totem pole, why homicide?”

“I’m really good at one liners that can only be done over a corpse.” Jenna shook her head and smiled. “Truthfully, it’s about closure, things shouldn’t be left open to fester. I’ve seen the pain in families when they don’t know why their baby had to die. Or their mother, father whoever it was.”

BOOK: Kiss From a Rose
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