The Back Stairs (A "Sundown" Story)
By: KC Kendricks | Other books by KC Kendricks
Published By: Amber Quill Press, LLC
Published: May 23, 2010
ISBN # 9781602726901
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket, Epub
The Back Stairs (A "Sundown" Story) (Sundown) by KC Kendricks - Romance>Werewolves/ShifterFallon Roxbury has a nose for trouble, and the uncanny ability for landing in the middle of it the moment he finds it. While investigating the gruesome murder of a young male prostitute in the red-light district, Fallon gets a whiff of something strange. Forensics has unidentified hairs. Very unidentified hairs, like nothing in any of the textbooks. Following a tip from a person of interest, Fallon meets Sundown, an apparent hustler who apparently knows a lot more than he will admit.
Getting personally involved with Sundown breaks every rule in the police manual, and in Fallon’s own personal code. But Sundown is like a drug, and Fallon can’t stop at taking only one hit. Yet when Sundown is forced to reveal the truth about the murder, Fallon’s world is turned upside down, and he’s left with only two options—check himself in for psychiatric evaluation, or accept a new reality with a strange shift.
Shapeshifters, that is...
“Anything you want it to be.”
I took a deep breath, battling back the surge of arousal his words evoked. I had to keep my mind on business. Somehow.
The swept-back shiny hair, the little six-pack abs under the smooth, flat stomach, the twin thatches of silky-looking dark fur in each arm pit—I could easily fall to my knees and do something exceedingly stupid. I reined in the thought, but I couldn’t banish it.
“A mutual friend suggested I ask if you know Michael Carlton.”
He shook his head. “I didn’t know him.”
“But you know he’s dead.”
“Everyone knows that, darling.”
“How did you find out?”
He smiled, and I melted inside, but I kept my best officer-of-the-law face sternly in place.
“I heard it on the grapevine, Lieutenant. The fire marshal made us stop using smoke signals because it sent the boys in the station house into a tizzy.”
I knew the man he spoke of, and my cop composure cracked as I grinned at him.
“That would do it. Listen, whatever your name is, someone’s son is dead, and I need to find out who killed him and why. If you don’t have any pertinent information, I’m sorry to have bothered you.”
He regarded me coolly, his green gaze strangely familiar. I’d seen him somewhere before, and it would bug the hell out of me until I remembered where.
Why had Muffin told me to come here? My cop instincts, which were pretty good, said this fellow had told me the truth when he said he didn’t know Carlton. Those same instincts whispered the man was hiding something, though. But who didn’t have secrets?
“Come in and have a seat, Fallon. I happen to have some very good Kona coffee beans. I’ll grind up a few and put on a pot to brew.”
The hair on my arms prickled with unease. “How do you know my name? I didn’t give it to you.”
My business card simply said, F. Roxbury. I didn’t give my name to Muffin, either. As for the coffee, Kona was difficult for me to turn down.
“Word travels around here.” He took a step backward and motioned for me to take a seat at his table.
I took a breath to tell him I was leaving and caught the aroma of fresh-brewed java beneath the scents of sandalwood and patchouli. I was tired of being jerked around, even by a man so incredibly sexy. Put it on to brew, my ass.
“You’re awfully sure of yourself, aren’t you? I don’t need pseudo-intimate conversation any more than I need to flirt.”
He shook his head. “You didn’t listen very well, Fallon.”
“Listen to what? I’ve a mind to haul your scrawny carcass down to the precinct house, and let someone else pick your brain for answers, but I don’t have a legitimate reason to have you interrogated. Yet.”
“Tough talk, but you don’t mean any of it. Please, Fallon. Come. Sit at my table and think of nothing but my very good coffee.”
Would it be so bad to spend half an hour talking with this attractive young man? Heaven help me, he drew me, a tired moth to his steady flame. And he had my favorite coffee, already hot.
Words echoed in my memory. I tried to pull them in so I could hear them again. What had Muffin said? More importantly, it was what she hadn’t said. She didn’t actually say anyone here knew Michael Carlton.
“I’ll sit at your table on one condition.”
He tilted his head, a smile teasing his full lips. “Oh? What is that?”
“You tell me your name.”
Was it victory I saw in his green eyes, or desire? I needed to know if they were the same. His chin lifted as his gaze locked to mine.
“You can call me Sundown.”
I trembled as the girl’s words resonated within me.
Take the back stairs. You’ll find what you need there...