Read Now You See Me Online

Authors: Rachel Carrington

Tags: #Erotica

Now You See Me

BOOK: Now You See Me
9.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Now You See Me

Rachel Carrington

 

Blush Sensuality Level: This is a suggestive romance (love scenes are not graphic).

 

He wants her, and not even the bars of his cell will keep him from getting her.

Kate Elliott’s interview with convicted serial killer John Ramsey is the stuff most reporters can only dream about. What Kate doesn’t know is it’s really the beginning of a nightmare. After one short meeting with the legendary murderer, she becomes the object of his desire.

Brad Jericho became the prison warden to keep an eye on the man who’d killed his sister, to make sure Ramsey paid with his life. But when the killer targets a sexy reporter, Brad can’t step back and do nothing. It doesn’t matter that Ramsey lives in a prison cell. Brad knows the man isn’t an ordinary convict. If Ramsey wants to kill Kate badly enough, he’ll find a way.

Danger sparks a shared desire that neither can deny, and if Kate can avoid becoming Ramsey’s next victim, they might just have a chance.

 

A Blush®
romantic suspense
from Ellora’s Cave

Now You See Me
Rachel Carrington

Dedication

 

To Rhonda Jackson Joseph—my sister, my friend and the woman who helps keep me sane. For that alone, I’ll love you forever.

 

 

Author Note

 

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your support. By reading
Now You See Me
you enable me to continue to do what I love. I hope you enjoyed the suspense and that, even if just for a short while, I was able to transport you to a fictional reality and entertain you.

If you could spare the time, I would greatly appreciate your kindness in leaving a review at Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, Barnesandnoble.com or AllRomanceEbooks.

To learn more about my other books, please visit my website at
http://www.dawnrachel.com
. Please feel free to connect with me at any of the sites listed in my bio, and you can always send me an email at
[email protected]
. I try to respond as quickly as possible!

Also, if you’d like a digital autograph of this book, you may request one at
http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/rcarrington2004
.

Thank you again!

Best wishes,

Rachel Carrington

 

Chapter One

 

Nothing like waiting to interview a killer.

Kate Elliott checked her watch for the tenth time, tucked her legs to one side and slid the rickety wooden chair closer underneath the scarred oak table. From this vantage point she could watch the metal door. Her heart continued to hammer beneath her breastbone no matter how many times she told herself to calm down.

The air stank of cigarettes and scorched coffee, and a thin, hazy film dangled overhead like the inside of a bar on Friday night. The windowless room offered no ventilation, and other than a fluorescent light hanging above, not even a glimpse of brightness.

But she’d endure the discomfort for this. The interview every other investigative journalist in the city had been scrambling for since the verdict five years ago—a face-to-face meeting with John Ramsey, one of the most notorious serial killers on the East Coast.

Nerves had her tapping her fingernails against the scratches etched into the table. She supposed she should have questioned why Ramsey had asked for her, especially since he’d categorically denied every other newspaper’s request for an interview. But in truth, she’d been too stunned by the opportunity, and her editor had been practically dancing on the ceiling.

Too many newspapers and media outlets had been dangling everything from a front-page spread to full coverage in a glossy magazine in front of John Ramsey, and he’d denied them all. Now, five days before he was scheduled to be executed, he was ready to talk. As horrified as her parents had been at the thought of this one-on-one meeting with a killer, Kate hadn’t even thought about refusing the request.

Metal screeched and her gaze shot toward the door. Snapping to a stiff posture, she folded her hands in front of her as the gap between the hallway and the room widened.

Chains clinked, and muted voices filtered inside. Broad shoulders filled her line of vision and Kate’s palms grew damp. She’d seen Ramsey at his trial but never up close. The man was much taller than she remembered and thicker, like he spent all day honing his muscles. He sported a crew cut that only showcased the hard line of his jaw, and flinty eyes the color of gunmetal pierced her with a stare that increased the moisture on her palms.

“Sit down.” The guard guided Ramsey toward the chair opposite Kate, squatting to secure the leg irons to the brass hooks cemented into the floor. “I’ll be right outside, Ms. Elliott.”

For a moment Kate wanted to ask the guard to stay but one look at Ramsey’s face tore that notion out of her mind. He expected her to want the reassuring presence of a corrections officer in the room. Maybe it was pride that made her remain silent but she wanted this interview more than she wanted her own peace of mind at present.

The metal door clanged shut.

“So you’re Kate Elliott.” The voice, raspy and coarse as if filtered through barbed wire, startled her.

She scooted her chair back a notch.
Come on, Kate. Keep the focus.
“Yes, I am.” She kept her tone polite, professional. “I must say I was surprised to receive your request, Mr. Ramsey. It has long been the media’s understanding you don’t give interviews.”

Thin lips parted in what should have been a smile but was more a parody. “Five years on death row can cause a man to change his mind.”

Lowering her hand to the leather carryall at her feet, she retrieved a slim silver digital recorder. Depressing the record button, she set the device on the table. “Is that really what changed your mind, or was it your upcoming execution date?”

Something flashed in the gray eyes, but it disappeared as quickly as it appeared. “Ah yes, the day the state intends to murder me.”

Kate hadn’t spent a sleepless night in anticipation of this meeting to debate the pros and cons of the death penalty with a convicted murderer. She skipped over the comment. “So what is it you would like to talk about?”

“My conscience.”

“Excuse me?”

“As you mentioned, Ms. Elliott, my death draws near. I’d like to clear my conscience.”

Where was this going? “And you don’t prefer a priest?” Her editor would kill her if she blew this interview but instinct told Kate John Ramsey hadn’t called her here for an ordinary one-on-one. Now that she’d met him, seen his eyes, she knew there was more…much more Ramsey wanted her…and the public…to know.

He coughed, a deep, hacking cough that shook his shoulders. When he recovered, his face was blood-red. “I don’t really put much stock in religion, and I figured what better way to clear my conscience than by addressing the people who condemned me. After all, hasn’t everyone been waiting to hear what I have to say?”

She didn’t answer the rhetorical question. “The recorder is running, Mr. Ramsey, and the floor is yours.”

Ramsey leaned closer and Kate caught a whiff of something reminiscent of antiseptic. “I’d like to confess.”

She scooted her chair closer. This was big—bigger than she’d imagined. Was John Ramsey really going to confess to killing those ten women? He’d claimed his innocence throughout three separate trials. She held her breath.

“The police are fools.”

Goose bumps littered her skin. Where was he going with this? Pushing him didn’t seem like a good idea, so she remained silent, her eyes never straying from his face.

His gaze settled on her face, stayed there long enough to make the hair on the back of her neck rise. “All this time they’ve been thinking they got everything they need.” He shook his head, lifted his chained hands to scratch the side of his face. “But they don’t. Not nearly enough.”

Unable to resist, Kate pushed a little. “So what is it they’re missing?”

He grinned, revealing teeth desperately in need of a dentist’s attention. “The other half.”

“The other half?” Her nerves jangling, Kate tapped one foot against the stained tile. “The other half of what?”

He leaned back in his chair, resting his clasped hands in his lap. “
My
other half.”

“Are you trying to tell me you had a partner?” Kate didn’t believe it for a second. Sounded like something a desperate man would pull out of his hat.

“If you can’t understand what I’m saying to you, Ms. Elliott, then perhaps I chose the wrong reporter.”

She didn’t like being played. “Or maybe you’re just looking to waste someone’s time.” Calling his bluff, she pushed her chair back from the table and stood. “I understand you’re looking for a sympathetic ear, maybe someone who will take up your cause, but I’m not that person. I’m here to do a job, nothing more. So if you want to talk riddles, you called the wrong person.”

Purse strap on her shoulder, she headed for the door, ready to bang on the solid metal to get the outside guard’s attention. The three short claps behind her sent her nerves into overdrive. She forced herself not to turn around.

“I didn’t kill all those women.” Ramsey’s voice held a note of mirth, like this was nothing more than a game to him.

“A jury believed otherwise.” She kept her back to him but refrained from knocking, wondering if he’d qualified his answer by including “all”. Did he mean he killed some of them and a partner killed the rest? That would make for one hell of a front-page headline.

“Juries are controlled by slick-talking prosecuting attorneys and by their own desires to get home to an evening meal. They knew nothing about me, just what I had supposedly done.”

Kate did a slow pivot, her gaze pinned on the man’s face. “The evidence was enough for them.”

John Ramsey’s lips peeled back in another gruesome grin. “Like I said, they didn’t know me. That’s why I asked for you, Kate. I’ll let you get to know me, to see the real me.”

Fingers of warning danced down her spine. “Why me?”

“Because I saw your picture in
The Chronicle
, knew I could trust you.”

No woman wanted to be trusted by a serial killer who targeted their gender. Kate was no different. “If you didn’t kill all of those women, what is your story, Mr. Ramsey?”

He brought a finger to his lips as though to shush her. “Let’s don’t rush into anything.”

“Pardon me for being so harsh, Mr. Ramsey, but you only have five days. Isn’t time of the essence?”

“Not when you don’t believe death will actually take you.”

 

Brad Jericho paced in his functional but staid office, impatience in every step. How much longer was that reporter going to chat with John Ramsey? Hadn’t she realized by now the bastard was a liar?

He stopped, propped one hip on the edge of his desk and stared at the door of his office. Six years ago his name had been etched onto a plaque and secured to the other side of the hard oak. As luck would have it, Ramsey’s final trial and subsequent death sentence in South Carolina had placed him at Marsden Correctional Institution. Brad couldn’t have planned it better himself.

The intercom on his desk buzzed and he stabbed it with one finger. “Yes?”

“Miss Elliott is ready to see you, sir.”

“Show her in, please.” Brad straightened, rounded his desk. He hadn’t waited all these years for justice only to have a reporter with a yen for a Pulitzer scrub it all away.

The door opened and at least five feet eight inches of beauty walked into his office. Over half of that height had to be legs. For a moment Brad forgot why he’d wanted to see her.

“Mr. Jericho, I understand you wanted to see me.” She held out her hand. “Kate Elliott.”

Shaking himself out of the daze, Brad accepted her handshake and inclined his head toward a circular leather chair opposite his desk. “Please have a seat.”

She did, but those hazel eyes, sharper than an ice pick, stayed trained on his face. Her long, honey-colored hair fell across one shoulder and she pushed it back as casually as she crossed her legs. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“I’m sure you have. Your readers must be interested in everything I do, considering how often you write about me.”

“I write about crime, Mr. Jericho. By virtue of your job description, you factor into my writing. You know, it’s funny how many times I’ve asked you for a quote or to comment on the record and you’ve declined. I didn’t know a meeting with John Ramsey would garner me a face-to-face. Would you like to make a comment about Mr. Ramsey?”

“I definitely want to talk about him, Ms. Elliott, but this is strictly off the record.”

If she was disappointed, her cool demeanor didn’t show it. “Why is that?”

That husky voice of hers sluiced over him like a hot shower. He sat and rolled his chair forward to rest his hands on top of his desk. “I don’t know what his game is but I do know it’s a game. Men like Ramsey like to pull strings.”

“And you think that’s what he’s doing to me?” Kate sat up straighter, a challenging stance in Brad’s opinion.

“He preys on innocent women. You know his history, or you wouldn’t be here.”

She chuckled, and while the response annoyed him, the sound punched him square in the jaw. He’d been prepared to go to battle against an armored truck, not a high-powered Jaguar. This woman didn’t look like the backing-down type at all.

Regardless of his current level of irritation, Brad had to admire her finesse. He didn’t impress easily but this reporter had managed to do it in less than thirty seconds. “While you might find my assumption of your innocence amusing, Miss Elliott, don’t underestimate the man behind your next story.”

“I never underestimate any man, Mr. Jericho.” She slid forward, black pants whispering over leather. “Now what is it you’d like from me exactly? I’m on a deadline.”

The clear dismissal in her voice might as well have been a bucket of cold water. Brad had grown up with powerful women and Kate Elliott had just reminded him why they weren’t really the weaker sex.

“I’d like to see the story before it gets printed.”

A flash of anger filtered into her eyes but just as quickly as it appeared, it vanished. “I’m afraid that won’t be possible. My editor doesn’t allow previews.” Kate stood, smoothed a wrinkle out of her pants. “Now, if you will excuse me, I really do need to get back to the office.”

Brad wasn’t finished yet. “Ramsey asked for a follow-up, didn’t he? A second interview to flesh out the story?”

She shifted her supple leather handbag to the chair and met his gaze. “And you intend to block that if I don’t allow you to review the story before it goes to print.”

BOOK: Now You See Me
9.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Break of Dawn by Chris Marie Green
Always Kiss the Corpse by Sandy Frances Duncan
Mr. X by Peter Straub
Shepherd's Cross by Mark White
Paradise Court by Jenny Oldfield