The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
If I was a tattoo guy, I’d have that somewhere on my body by now.
See, I never meant for any of this to happen.
All I wanted was to keep a few people out of jail, and a bunch of others from getting killed. So I convinced some associates to let me try a new approach to a business problem. Information is a powerful weapon in the right hands, I said. This’ll work, and it’s a hundred percent legit, I said.
I was right about all that.
But I was a hundred and eighty degrees wrong when I said it would be less messy.
I could tell Nichelle was shaken up, finding me on her sofa that first night. I meant for her to be. I have a knack for getting people to do what I want, and keeping them off-kilter makes it a whole lot easier.
But man, she’s got some guts. She got ahold of herself faster than any man I’ve ever dealt with. Hell, she had me a little nervous, wondering if I should’ve taken my story tip to the blonde from the TV station before I made it out the door. Know what else is powerful in the right hands? Intelligence. Guts. Sass.
I spent the rest of the week watching the paper, patting myself on the back. I got my way, nobody got hurt, win-win. Right?
Except I kept thinking about her.
Her long dark hair. Her longer legs in those sexy shoes she likes so much. The effort she put into keeping her voice even as she shot her cute little dog “you traitor” looks for staying in my lap.
I meet a lot of people, but I’ve never met a woman like her. Damned if I could find a way to shake her out of my head.
Then people all around the story I’d sent her off chasing started to disappear. I went back down to Richmond to have a look around. Not to check on her.
Until I rounded a corner in Shockoe Bottom and there she was, beaten up but still standing, flagging me down like a NASCAR pro.
I am hardly the knight in shining armor type, but when she fell into my passenger seat, pale from the blood gushing out of the gash on her leg and woozy from being clocked over the head—I like to think of myself as above losing my temper, but that night put it to the test. Every bit of self control I could summon nearly failed to keep me from ending the guy chasing her. Barely, I held my cool.
Stupidly, I tried to keep my distance. Until she grabbed my hand when the doc was numbing up her leg to stitch it shut—Jesus. Like someone stabbed a cattle prod into my palm.
I couldn’t stay away. Signore sa, I tried. Nearly drove myself out of my mind last year, avoiding her for five of the longest weeks of my life, hoping she’d get pissed off and find someone else.
Of course, as soon as she stopped calling, I started having frigging nightmares about her and Miller.
Would he be better for her? Absolutely. I knew it then, and turning onto her street tonight I still do.
She makes me see things in ways I never would’ve thought to. Makes me feel like a better man than I actually am. Three months of sharing her bed on a fairly regular basis, and I’m not bored. Nowhere close to it.
Like tonight: I haven’t seen her in almost a week, and…I don’t like being away from her.
No woman has ever been so necessary in my life.
So I’ll go inside, play with the dog, wait for her with roses and wine. Maybe a candle or two.
For a few hours, I can pretend I’m not a selfish bastard for putting her in danger just because I can’t seem to stay away from her and keep my sanity at the same time.
See more of Joey and Nichelle in Cover Shot, the fifth book in the “Headlines in High Heels” Mystery Series, available today. Buried Leads, the second book in the series is just 99 cents this week in all e-book formats!
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 17 for your chance to win a signed copy of your choice from LynDee Walker’s Agatha Award-nominated Headlines in High Heels series (Front Page Fatality, Buried Leads, Small Town Spin, Devil In The Deadline, Cover Shot). US entries only, please. Good luck everyone!
About the author
LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the U.S.
Her debut novel, Front Page Fatality, was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Cover Shot is the fifth in LynDee’s national bestselling Headlines in High Heels mystery series. The sixth is due out in Fall 2016.
LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children, working on her next novel, or admiring beautiful shoes she can’t wear.