Monday, November 2, 2015

New Release: Dogging, by Brenda Williamson


Julian’s hot for his friend’s sister, Tabitha, and the feeling is mutual. One dinner and they’re ready to jump each other. Only Julian’s a bit more reserved when it comes to where he wants to have sex with the vixen making all the moves. An old-fashioned fellow, especially in relationships, he’s more than surprised when Tabitha wants to take him dogging— a trend that involves a group of people having public sex.

Tabitha’s been hurt by love, and sexy Julian looks to be the cure for her wounded soul, but the temporary fix she wants gets out of hand when his emotions, and hers, begin to join. Running from his sappy sentiments seems a good choice, until Julian displays his heroics in protecting her against an old boyfriend. Then what’s a girl to do to avoid commitment? Especially when she prefers dogging, and to Julian, more than two is a crowd.

Available at:

Amazon ~ All Romance ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords
& other book retail outlets


Julian Devlet took a quick look at the steamy windows of the car sitting along the curb in the park. He noted the movement in the backseat. There was no guessing at what was going on by the way the car rocked. He’d spent a time or two in his teenage years doing the same thing, except he kept it private—in out of the way places, not in the public’s line of sight.

Shaking his head, he sped up, hoping the shortcut kept him from being late for a dinner engagement. According to his watch, he hit the parking lot on time. He got out, shut the car door and leaned to look at his reflection in the side-view mirror. Flicking several locks of hair back, he ran his fingers through them, combing the strays into place. The romantic couple behind the foggy glass brought back memories of some good times. He still had the looks after ten years, just not the ambition to have sex while straddling a girl and a stick shift.

Julian walked toward the entrance of the upscale restaurant. All evening, getting showered and dressed made him nervous. This was a night unlike others. He made a decent living, but bills always managed to suck the cash from his grasp. Extracting his wallet, he checked the contents. If the money wasn’t enough, there was always the credit card.

He went through the door and stopped in front of the hostess.

“Can I help you?” She smiled.

“I’m here to meet Derek Sutton.”

“Right this way, sir.”

He followed the woman, looking beyond her to see what his co-worker, Derek Sutton’s sister looked like. Derek said this was just a casual thing, but he sensed a set up.

Julian stopped next to the table.

“Hey. There you are.” Derek jumped up. “I was wondering if you might have changed your mind.”

Julian glanced at Derek’s sister. Her expression didn’t give him a clue as to what her first thoughts were at seeing him. He felt he was attractive, and he certainly had the body. However, who knew what a woman wanted? He’d seen guys not up to par in the looks department date some beautiful ladies.

“Tabitha, this is Julian.” Derek made the brief introduction to his sister, while waving at a waiter to come to their table.

“Hello, Tabitha.” Julian took the hand she offered, giving it a firm, yet gentle shake. After letting go, he eased into the seat next to her.

She flashed him a warm, breathtaking smile. Her “hi” was an enchanting sound. The radiant glow in her green eyes gripped his attention.

Never having met any of Derek’s family in the short time since they’d become friends, he had no idea how beautiful Tabitha was going to be when he agreed to the dinner. While he had considered declining Derek’s offer of a meal and good conversation, Julian was happy he chose to accept.

When Tabitha glanced down at the menu that she opened, it left Julian helplessly gawking. While he never had trouble getting a date, girls like her, the prettier, the bossier were out of his range of interest. He preferred a less complicated life.

“What would you folks like to drink?” the waiter asked.

“I’ll have iced tea,” Derek announced.

Tabitha glanced at Julian and licked her lips. “I’ll have the same. I need something tasty and wet on this scorching hot night.”

“Yeah, me too,” Julian croaked, spellbound by the vixen’s sensual display.

His raspy voice cracked. Tabitha laughed—not a harsh, insulting sort of a sound, but rather a nervous giggle. He didn’t believe for a minute she was apprehensive about meeting him. There had to be something else she found amusing.

The waiter left before Julian realized what he ordered. He didn’t like tea. Something in Tabitha’s green-eyed gaze had turned his brain to mush, especially when her tongue made a pass across her top lip. He would have ordered a beer. But watching her lick her lip led him to imagining dragging his tongue over any part of Tabitha’s svelte body. It gave him a mega hard-on and he shifted on his chair to readjust the pressure of his balls in the tight fitting jeans.

Stealing another glance, he found her looking his way. He smiled, she smiled. Then she wet her bottom lip this time, and pulled it between her teeth. The movement was driving him crazy.

Tabitha resumed studying the menu. She had his full attention, and she knew it, so he scrutinized every detail of her features. Not a blemish marked her oval face. She had a perfect nose, gorgeous blue eyes and a mouth he couldn’t stop staring at or fantasizing about.

When her pink tongue peeked out from between her parted lips, his whole body heated another notch. She swished it around the rim of her mouth as if she were thirsty, forcing him to reach down and adjust the crotch of his jeans. She looked toward his movement.

Brazen was a lightweight word to describe Tabitha. While she made him nervous, a bit out of his league, it didn’t stop his cock from jolting against the constraints of his pants. His mind took another deviant turn. If Tabitha were as agreeable as she obviously appeared to be, he’d be delighted to give her something to drink.

The waiter set a glass in front of him. He ignored the man, not wanting to miss a moment of checking out Tabitha. Initial meetings were all about first impressions. However, they were also very revealing about a person’s character. Minutes into the casual dinner with a friend, he already liked Tabitha’s personality and began hoping he was being set up on a date with her.

She lifted an ice cube from her glass and rubbed it up and down her neck beneath her chin. “It’s so hot tonight,” she murmured. “Are you hot, Julian?”

Was he nodding too fast? And was it wrong to find her brazenness in front of her brother outrageously sexy?

“Hey.” Derek nudged him. “What do want to eat?”

Your sister’s pussy. Not paying attention, he didn’t know if he voiced the thought aloud. His gaze flew to Derek’s face for a reaction. His friend didn’t bat an eye.

Julian took a deep breath, relaxing from the narrow escape of having his nose punched in.
Sometimes, he had the best fantasies at the worst times. With Derek as a third wheel he didn’t expect he had to watch what he said and what he did.

“Oh, leave him alone, Derek. Maybe he needs more time to decide what he really wants to eat.”
Tabitha leaned toward Julian.

Without thought, he looked down into her blouse at the soft swells of the firm breasts she wet with her ice cube.

“Then I’ll give you a few minutes.” The waiter’s annoyed grunt faded as he walked away.

Julian lifted his eyes and watched Tabitha’s emerald irises twinkle brighter. She came closer. Had she read his mind? Were her words as suggestive as they sounded? Did she want him as much as he lusted for her?

Probably not.

She tapped the menu on the table in front of him. “It might help if you open this up, Julian.”

He loved the sound of his name caressed by her voice. Picking up the menu, he selected the first thing he saw. Food was not as appetizing as the idea of licking every inch of Tabitha’s pussy, lapping up the sweet cream he’d force to spill from between her thighs. Given half a chance, he’d savor every drop.

“All decided?” She batted her long lashes in that flirty way girls thought they had to do to get a guy’s attention.

She had him captivated. “Uh-huh,” he answered, the sound stuck partway.

“Good. There’s this club I belong to and I don’t want to be late.” She scooted her chair closer to him and put a hand on his thigh. “You’d like to go, wouldn’t you?”

Surprised by her forward move, he started his reply with a nod.

Her foot slid along the outside of his leg and stroked several times, making no mistake about her provocative actions up to that point.

“Sure.” He lifted a brow at Derek’s burst of laughter. “What? I like going to clubs.”

“It ain’t a nightclub she’s talking about.” Derek had a jokester’s grin that made Julian suddenly wary.

“Oh?” He stared at his friend, wondering what was so damned funny.

“Tell me, Julian.” Tabitha’s hand rubbed dangerously close to the bulge his cock made in the pant leg she continued to run her fingers along. “You do like sex, don’t you?”

Millions of nerves tingled throughout his tense body. “Um, yeah, sure.” What kind of question was that? Was she serious? He actually waited for Derek to laugh hysterically.

“Then it’s settled.” Tabitha patted his leg and took her hand away.

He hated to see it go, but it was a good thing. At any moment, he was going to have an orgasm, and once started, there was no chance of retreating from the explosion. Not many women made him hot enough to cum in his pants.

Derek never expressed a “gotcha”, so Julian had to assume Tabitha was on the up and up. Before he could ask questions about the club, the waiter returned with a basket of buttered rolls. He took their order for food and disappeared again.

“Mmmm, I love warm things in my mouth.” Tabitha gave Julian a wink and smile.

She picked up a roll and took a large bite. The melted butter shined her lips and she made that whisking movement again with her tongue over them. Julian watched her lick them clean. He shuddered, imagining the tip swabbing the sensitive spot under the head of his cock.

“This is so good.” She tilted toward him and held the roll to his mouth. “Try it.”

He chomped into the bread without looking and nearly took off her finger.

She jerked her hand back. “Easy boy, we’ll get you some real food.”

She pushed the bread toward his mouth. He tried taking a small nibble. However, Tabitha shoved the whole thing in. Before he had the chance to chew, she rubbed his lips with her fingertips, wiping away the butter. Her touch lingered, gently moving as if she were an artist painting his lips.

He almost groaned when she pulled her hand away. Then she poked her finger into her own mouth.
The exaggerated sucking sound she made pushed him toward choking when he tried swallowing the lump of bread.

Damn, she’s sexy. He gulped the food down.

Throughout dinner, Julian watched her. He tried to act as if he didn’t, and he appreciated the way she pretended not to catch him. But there was no way to resist her. Everything she did during the meal made him relate it to a sexual act. In some ways, he felt like a letch, a perv, a damn silly moron.
When had his cool nature vanished? Had the geek in him finally emerged? Tabitha was making him a blithering idiot.

Derek did most of the talking, which was good. Anxious like an alley cat hunting for a mate,
Tabitha’s teasing rub of Julian’s leg rendered him mute. Several times throughout dinner, she rested her hand on his thigh, raking the talons of her nails in a teasing closeness to his poor tortured cock.

He tried imaging what kind of club she planned to take him to where she needed to know if he liked sex. When the word bondage came up in the conversation between Derek and his sister, Julian gagged on the piece of steak he gulped down too fast. His eyes went wide and he stared at his plate.
He could deal with kink, but who would be the one tied up?

“Are you all right?” Tabitha stood and patted him on the back.

“Fine,” he wheezed.

“Here, take a drink.” She picked up his glass and held it to his lips.

The tea burned going down, and he strained to squelch the start of another fit of coughing. Tabitha’s concern really marked the dinner with a special moment. Beautiful, friendly, and not self-centered as he thought—she was worth getting to know. Losing his cool wasn’t putting forth what he wanted her to think of him.

“Sit down,” he wheezed hoarsely. “It was just a piece of meat going down the wrong way.”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

New Release: Vulnerable to Love, by Brenda Williamson

House builder, Mallory Parker's attraction to client, Brady Parker comes with a few problems and the greatest is his psychotic ex-fiancé who's out to kill her. But she's not ready to give up the sexy man vulnerable to love.

Available from:
& other retail book outlets


Mallory looked up from her exam of the blueprints of the house they were currently building.
“Watch out!” someone shouted.
She tripped over an electrical cord and fell hard on the unyielding concrete slab. The whole framework of a freestanding interior wall fell. It crashed within inches of her and spared her added pain.
“How the hell did that fall?” She eyed the workers. “Where’s the bracing for this wall?”
“Mallory, are you all right?” her construction foreman and one time boyfriend, Cort yelled, working his way through the framework of an exterior wall.
“Find out who removed the brace from this wall,” she ordered him.
“Your father’s here.” He nodded to the pickup truck parked near her jeep.
“Great,” she groaned when she saw him talking to one of the workers.
She tried to think how to fight the argument he’d bring up.
“So, you’ve had another mishap. How did it happen?”
She took a short, deep breath. His grim face conveyed all his thoughts. Every aged line with the set of his straight, tight lips warned her he was going to try to pull her off the job again.
“I don’t know, Dad. The wall had a brace and someone removed it.” She rolled up the blueprint and nervously tapped it against the side of her leg.
“This is the third accident in two weeks, Mallory. Maybe this isn’t where you should be.” He draped an arm over her shoulder and led her along through doorway gaps of wood until they were outside. “This is getting serious, cupcake. Let Cort handle this house and you can run the show on another.”
“This is my project. I’ve waited years for you to let me finally be the one in charge instead of him. I own half of this business and I have an equal say. I’m not your twelve year old little cupcake any more, I’m twenty-four.”
“I know you can handle the actual job and the problems. It’s this particular one that worries me with the threats, and the environmentalist group being involved.”
“I don't know why the law can’t do anything about those activists. If you ask me, Brady Harwood needs to spend a little time dealing with this situation himself.”
“The police have all the information,” a man said from behind her. “There’s no proof the environmental group is behind the problems here.”
Mallory turned to see the body attached to the sexy deep voice. He reached a hand passed her to her father. She picked up a hint of his cologne, a spicy musk, very appealing.
“Mr. Parker, another problem?” the man shaking her father’s hand asked.
“No problem. A small construction mistake by a worker, that’s all. It’s been taken care of. This is my daughter, Mallory. She’s in charge of your project.”
“Miss Parker.” He offered his hand and a smile. “I’m Brady Harwood.”
Mallory slid her fingers across his warm palm. He didn’t seem to care she stared too long, and she didn’t mind the time he took to rub a caress with his thumb over the back of her hand. Electrical shocks rode up her arm making the chambray shirt she wore feel even hotter than she’d thought earlier.
“A lot has been done. I’m impressed. If I’m not interrupting, maybe you could give me a tour, Miss Parker?” he asked.
“Yes. Of course.”
Mallory took her time going through the different planned rooms and reminding him what they were.
“I’m not sure I like where the laundry room is located,” he commented as they went through a kitchen area and another utility room before coming to where the laundry facilities would be.
“It’s exactly where it’s shown on the blueprint.” She started to unfurl the paper.
“Oh, I don’t doubt that. I guess I just didn’t pay much attention to the layout. My fiancé was pretty much in charge. Can it be changed?” He put his hand on the edge of the blueprint and leaned against her back to look over her shoulder.
A tremor turned up every hair follicle on her skin. She wondered if her deodorant and mouthwash were still working.
“Your architect could make the alteration.” She inhaled the intoxicating scent of his cologne. “If you’d like, I could call him and see what can be done.”
“No. That’s all right. I don’t want to get into a time consuming battle with him.”
“I could make an addition of a small stackable washer/dryer unit in this linen closet.” She flipped the page over and pointed to the hall in the second level.
“Near the master bedroom?” His finger followed the hall lines to the doorway.
“Too close? We could—” She held her breath as he moved closer.
“Not close enough for me.”
The heat of him swept around her.
“Sitting it right in the bedroom would be ideal,” he continued. “But that wouldn’t be so attractive. I like your idea. Do it.”
She nodded, afraid her voice might squeak.
He put a hand on the back of her shoulder. “To have such a quick fix makes me think you’ve already studied this plan.”
“Yes. Sort of a habit with me, to find what I think are flaws. I don’t mean that your design is bad. It’s little things like the washer and dryer I notice. It comes from living alone and doing for myself, I suppose. I just couldn’t imagine having to go that far to wash my clothes and then carry them back upstairs.”
“Precisely my problem with that laundry room. I suppose Jenna didn’t consider it because she’d have a maid.” He looked through the frame of where windows would give a view of the gulf. “Do you have any other suggestions for changes you’d make?”
“I do, but some would cost a considerable amount to make now that we’ve already framed the lower half of the house and are working on the second story.”
“I’d still like to hear them. How about over dinner tonight at my condo?”
“Any changes might be better for you to visualize from here, instead of on a piece of paper. Besides, don’t you think you should ask your fiancé first?” She tried not to let him catch her looking at him, but he seemed to be doing his own share of observing her.
“I’m sorry, did I not mention Jenna is my ex-fiancé? We’ve gone our separate ways. Seems I wasn’t as in love with her as much as I thought.”
“I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you,” she said as sincerely as possible without meaning it. “I suppose we could just discuss the changes I would make first and if any sound like they’d interest you, we could go over them here.”
“Then my place for dinner?”
“An early one. I do have to show up here at seven tomorrow morning.”
Five o’clock? I could come pick you up, if you’d like.” He ran a hand over his blond, sun-bleached hair. The wavy locks obeyed his positioning of them.
“I can manage to drive myself, Mr. Harwood.”
“It’s Brady.” He held his cell phone out to her. “Put you number in and I’ll text you my address.”
She typed her name and the number of her cell into the boxes he had opened in his contact list, and then handed the cell back to him.
“I suppose I should go see about cleaning up my condo. No telling where I’ve left my dirty clothes scattered.” He chuckled. “I’ll see you later.”
She felt the sigh bubbling up her throat and swallowed.

Friday, October 30, 2015

New Book Release: WILD SPAWN, by Griffin Merek

Wild Spawn

Available at:

Amazon ~ All Romance ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords
& other retail book outlets

Investigative journalist, Griffin Merek has some rules when it comes to the women he screws around with, and that’s to steer clear of potential victims, leads in a story, the obviously high maintenance, the married and the crazies. But he’s older, wiser, and has had a steady, yet casual relationship with one woman that keeps his life on an even course. Except things between them seem to have cooled. With a lust for sex and a penchant for getting himself into sticky situations, Griffin discovers the gorgeous, blonde he has hooked up with goes against all his rules, especially since she was married to the victim and may be the femme fatal that killed him.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Recent Book Release: Blood Stained, by Brenda Williamson

Blood Stained

Assistant District Attorney, Lorelei Blackwell has worked hard for her position. When she takes on a case against a dangerous drug lord, she finds herself slowed down by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Her biggest problem is with ATF Agent, Rafe Salazar, a vain, egotistical and highly attractive man. A distraction to her independence, he has a way of undermining her usually calm demeanor.

Rafe can’t help but put his foot in his mouth every time he’s around Lorelei. Her witty sarcasm is attractive. That she is as intelligent as she is beautiful, intrigues him. But his blood-stained past threatens to hold him back from falling for her. Then his partner is killed and he suspects Lorelei may have been the intended target.

When Rafe takes Lorelei into protective custody, he finds he can’t avoid falling for her. But can he save Lorelei from an enemy they never saw coming?


Smart, sophisticated and sassy, Lorelei Blackwell eyed the documents lying on her cluttered desk. When had her life dulled? While she loved her job as an assistant district attorney, she blamed it for her lack of social relaxation. It seemed a bad day when a girl had to imagine a lover and provide her own relief to sexual frustration.

She stared at the papers ready to fall off the edge of her desk. Scooting back into the leather seat, she pushed the stack back. But the note clipped to the front of a file folder caught her attention. She leaned forward and picked it up. She didn’t recognize her sloppy handwriting anymore.

The slip of paper fluttered to the desk when someone knocked on her office door, startling her.

Her boss poked his head into the room. “Hello, Lorelei.”

“Charles, what a surprise.”

“Can you come to my office for a few minutes? There’s something I want to discuss with you.”

With her current case lagging due to the lack of evidence, Lorelei didn’t need another distraction to keep her from figuring out a new angle. But what could she do? Her boss’ position granted him the privilege of interrupting her.

“Sure, give me a few minutes.” 

He nodded and disappeared from her doorway.

She picked up the note and tucked it back under the paper clip on the file folder. Then she glanced around the small, square space she called an office. It had very little room for standing—no windows, no colors and barely any furniture. Nothing to offer a person an open invitation for socializing. Filing cabinets and boxes packed every nook. When she took meetings with victims, she had to use one of the conference rooms upstairs, out of the basement.

Lorelei’s assistant, Mary strolled in carrying the file Lorelei requested. “Mr. Vaughn came to our little hole down here?” 

“Surprises cease to amaze me nowadays.” Lorelei took the folder and thumbed through the sheaf of papers.

“I know what you mean. Last week I thought I lost my wallet and luckily the janitor found it in the trashcan. I must have knocked it off my desk.”

Lorelei glanced up from the documents she scanned. “What are you talking about?”

“Surprises.” Mary laughed. “It didn’t astonish me at all that he found it. That man is very thorough. And it’s not the first time I lost something that way.”

Lorelei shook her head. Mary’s babbling was all too confusing to figure out.

“This won’t help.” Lorelei frowned, handing the file back to Mary. 

“It’s too incomplete. I need information from a litigation that ended successfully.”

Lorelei shuffled the scattered mess of papers together on her desk. She tucked them into a worn blue folder. For a legal action, the more dog-eared, finger-smudged and torn covering, the older the case. “File all of these.” She scooped up a stack from the desk.

“What do you think he wants?” Mary whispered, as if they weren’t alone.

“I don’t know.”

“I can’t remember the last time he came down here.”

“That’s because he hasn’t been down here before.”

“Maybe you’re finally getting the bigger office,” Mary wistfully sighed. “Oh, how I long to have windows.”

Lorelei smiled. “Some sunshine would be nice. It might make these bleak, criminal-laden days appear hopeful for our side.”

“Hopeful! Now there’s a word that is overused,” Mary scoffed. “The day we get through an hour without any violence in the Miami streets, will be the day we’re in heaven or all the villains are in hell.”

“Still, we have to be hopeful, if for no other reason than to feel a little bit safe in life.”

Lorelei watched Mary cram the blue folder in the filing cabinet, while holding the others under her arm to return upstairs.

“Well, the only way I’d feel one hundred percent protected in this city is if I had a bodyguard to keep a lookout for the bad guys.”

Lorelei stood and glanced at the work she still had on her desk.

“You better get going,” Mary coaxed. “Perhaps you’re getting an 
accommodation or a promotion.”

“I can’t get any higher up the ladder unless I kick Charles Vaughn out of his office and take over as District Attorney.”

“You go, girl.” Mary leaned on the doorjamb without any clear intention of leaving. “It’s about time this city had a lady D.A.”

“Get those files back upstairs right away.” She passed Mary and left the office, anxious to find out just why Charles had come to her as opposed to phoning.

Lorelei hurried her pace. She walked along the hall to the stairs. Her shoes clicking rhythmically on the terrazzo floor sounded different from the ping her heels made on the white marble steps. Even the lobby had marble and the taps reverberated with a tune of success on the upper floors.

She stopped at Charles’ office door and knocked firmly on the thick glass. Her gaze flitted over the impressive words, District Attorney, etched in a fine script with Charles’ name below, stenciled in white.

“Come in,” Charles answered.

The room had two windows. The brightness made Lorelei squint. Mary was right. They needed a room with a window. Charles’ space clearly defined the perks to the job.

“Sit.” He motioned to a brown, tufted leather chair.

Lorelei tucked her tight, navy blue skirt under her bottom and dropped onto the seat. “If this is about the Barnes case, I still think we might be able to get the judge to allow the journal into evidence. I’m not going to give up without trying everything.”

“Yes, I know.” He nodded with an uninterested bob of his head. “That’s not what I wanted to talk to you about. Your gung-ho is what I need for another, more serious matter.”

His obvious reluctance caught Lorelei’s attention. She scooted forward to the edge of her seat, eager to hear what he had to say. 

“It’s a very delicate matter and something I didn’t want to discuss outside this office.”

She tried to stay dignified, instead of drooling like a dog over a juicy steak that just landed in her path. Charles Vaughn had a tendency to keep all the high profile cases to himself. Or he handed them off to one of the boys, the male assistant district attorneys who had a way of making her feel as if she was beneath their intellectual level. But then, just as Charles, they were all over fifty. To them, she figured they saw her as a kid, a pesky little sister,  the girl that spent more time on make-up and hair. Little did they know she was capable of looking gorgeous and doing her job.

Prepared to take on anything, she waited. Anytime he asked specifically for her to take a case, goose bumps tickled her arms as an excited pride swept through her.

“A man was arrested for murdering his girlfriend. Evidence is there, but we have a problem with how it was obtained. To make matters worse, there’s another ongoing investigation overlapping with a different agency.” He sat back in his chair. “It would seem our suspect, Victor Bennington, is under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That means we’ll take a lot of flack about our interference.”

“And just what is the ATF’s problem with our Mr. Bennington?” Lorelei crossed her legs and eased back in the chair, ready to hear more.

“They won’t say.” He shook his gray-haired head. “You know how other agencies like to keep all information in-house.”

“What do you mean they won’t say? How ridiculous. He either deals in bootleg alcohol, untaxed tobacco or he’s a gun dealer. Or God-forbid, he plans to blow up something. Do they want us to pick which one like a pea under a walnut shell?”

“I don’t know, but I have a witness. He may be the link we need to get the judge to accept the other evidence.” He lifted a folder and she rose to take it. “You have until Monday morning to get a better case together. They were going to release Bennington, however, we got him under some...ah...misplaced files until then.”

“Who’s the witness?” She sat back down.

She smoothed her fingers over the thin, red cardstock paper, nearly worn through in spots. A new case came with a new folder. What she held had seen better days.

“That’s the tricky part, and it’s why I wanted you on this case. I need discretion—no leaks and above all, I wanted someone sharp.”

Lorelei shifted, slightly uncomfortable by the compliment. She often felt men gave them to gain ground with her. After taking a few seconds to settle into the idea he really did think she could hold her own, she smiled.

“Who’s the witness?”

“He’s an undercover ATF agent.”

“What has his agency said about this?”

“I don’t think he’s told them his plans. Seems he’s a man with a conscience. He came straight to us and offered a tape recording.”

“This Bennington is dangerous, isn’t he?”

“You can refuse the case.”

Refuse had no meaning in her vocabulary, except where dates were concerned. She spent many Saturday nights sitting home with take-out food menus, a bad movie and her folders from work.

“Now why would I want to refuse something this interesting?” She smiled.

“If I thought you would, I wouldn’t have come to you in the first place.” He fiddled with the tape dispenser on his desk as if he weren’t telling her everything.

“You said he offered a tape recording, but what about testifying?”

Charles shook his head. “He’s a bit iffy on the testifying part.”

That was the downside he had waited to give her.

“We need him to testify.” She glanced at the inside of the file.

“He says he can’t. You know how closed-mouthed other agencies are.”

“Won’t is more like it. I’ve met some of those ATF boys and they all had egos like they were God almighty himself.” She gave pause and read a gruesome bit about Victor Bennington’s murders. “But the ATF agent, he called us, right? You said you thought he had a conscience.”

Charles nodded.

“Then I’ll work on that bad, bad trait I’m sure his superiors aren’t overly thrilled about.” She grinned.

“You get full cooperation from him and this indictment will be a breeze.”

“Well it most certainly should make things easier for the judge to see our position. If we go to trial with an impeccable witness such as an ATF agent, then we’ll have it in the bag.”

“It’ll only work if you get him to that witness stand.” Charles leaned forward placing his elbows on the desk. “He says it would jeopardize their investigation and hoped we could use only the tape. That’s why I need you, Lorelei. If anyone can convince a witness to testify, it’s you.”

Her cheeks heated with another blush of gratification to have her skills voiced by her boss. Offhanded compliments were nothing compared to his reason for trusting her to get the job done.

“We can’t just use the tape. We have to show how we came into possession of such a thing and if it were obtained through legal means. The witness would have to verify this information personally and when I get through talking to him, I’ll have him begging to spill his guts.”

“Well, Lorelei, that is your job. The ATF agent’s name is Phillip Reynolds. I’ve talked to him and I can’t seem to get anywhere. It’s your case now, so I’ll leave it up to you to convince him.”

“You’re not using me because I’m a woman, are you, Charles?” She reconsidered his reasons.

“Just keep your feminist panties in place, Ms. Blackwell. Reynolds is married with three boys. He goes to church on Sundays, coaches little league for his oldest son’s team and is a model citizen. I doubt he’s interested in checking out your legs.” He cocked his head and gave a look for himself.

Lorelei pursed her lips. “All right, just as long we’re clear on that.”

“Now when did I ever ask you to take a case because you’re an attractive woman?”

“You don’t fool me. I know you have.” She shook the folder at him. 
“You’re a man and if I didn’t like you so much, I would have reported you a long time ago for sexual harassment.”

“Well, Lorelei, whatever works, huh?” His teasing smile coaxed one from her.

While she believed he was as sexiest as the other men in the office, he was the one that hired her. It had to count for something.

“I suppose.” She stood and flipped open the folder again to look at a rap sheet riddled with arrests and no convictions.

At the door, she turned and looked at Charles. She tugged up the edge of her skirt. “What do you think, Charles, another couple inches for Mr. Reynolds?”

She left to the sound of him chuckling. While she had no intentions of trying to sway a witness by showing him her legs, if he glanced, she’d not hide the weapon at her disposal.

Lorelei carried the information to her office. Surprisingly, Mary had returned before her and sat typing away on the keyboard in front her computer.

“Mary, I want no interruptions for the next half hour.”

“Sure thing, but aren’t you going to tell me what Mr. Vaughn wanted?”

“It’s nothing, just a case he thought I would handle best.”

“Oh pooh, I guess I really didn’t need that window after all. I’d just get distracted,” she sighed.

“I need an appointment with Phillip Reynolds.” Lorelei read off the phone number on the file. “Get him on the line for me.”
She closed her office door, went straight for her desk and dropped into the chair behind.  Mary opened the door.

“I have Mr. Reynolds on line two.” She gave her a curious look. 
“ATF, huh, are you taking my advice and getting a Special Agent to protect you?”

“It’s just business.”

“Too bad, he sounds cute.”

Lorelei reached for the phone on her desk and waved Mary away.

“Hello, Special Agent Reynolds. This is Lorelei Blackwell. I’m from the District Attorney’s office and I’m calling regarding Victor Bennington.”

“Come by my office, three this afternoon and don’t be late.” He hung up before she got another word out.

“Well, he obviously knows who I am and what I want.” She put the receiver back in its cradle.

Next on her agenda was to have a one on one with their killer, Mr. Victor Bennington. She made the arrangement through his lawyer. At one o’clock, she waited in the small visitor’s room of the city jail. The place badly needed a paint job to cover over the filth on the walls. She tried to imagine how graffiti managed to appear on the old painted block. Continuing down one corridor after another, she examined the traces of coffee, food and maybe even blood interwoven with the scribbling. Prisoners allowed to roam freely concerned her each time she visited the place.

“Good morning, Ms. Blackwell.” The familiar guard smiled through the mesh security door.

“It’s afternoon, Bill.” She took the clipboard to sign in.

“Can’t tell that in the basement, there aren’t any windows. Could be night for all I know.” He unlocked another door.

“I know just what you mean.” She stepped through the opening and listened to the key turn in the lock behind her. Bill took a stance at the exit and it made her think of Mary’s sudden obsession with bodyguards.

“Mr. Thomas, I presume.” She extended her arm, offering her hand to the man alongside the table.

“Yes, and this is my client, Victor Bennington.”

She gave a nod to the man.

Brazenly, Bennington studied the length of her.

“Nice stems,” he smirked. “I bet your man loves them wrapped around him while he’s poking it to you.”

“Mr. Thomas, if your client doesn’t wish to have a conversation about his predicament, I can leave this until another time,” she commented, not batting an eye at Bennington’s crude behavior. It wouldn’t be the first time a criminal made sexual wisecracks.

“Victor is willing to cooperate, Ms. Blackwell.”

Lorelei pulled out a chair and sat down. She hated talking to the scum of the earth. Somehow, it made her feel dirty being near Bennington. Unfortunately, it came with the job.