Jackson Stiles is used to having bad days, but they’ve been especially bad since a certain tabloid reporter seems to have it out for him.
Emma Green doesn’t mean any harm. She simply sees it as her duty to report the misdeeds of certain Private Detectives who charge too much in a society where people need more superheroes and less villains; something even Jackson has convinced himself he deserves to be called, deep in his gut.
When the two of them realize they’re investigating the same suspicious circumstances, Emma makes Jackson an offer he only wishes he could refuse. But can the man who trusts no one allow the one woman he can’t stand help him get to the bottom of a murder he feels responsible for?
Exposed and unsure, these two unexpected allies come together to unmask the mysteries cloaked in plain sight while uncovering secrets within each other. A lost soul and a seeker of truth travel down the road to redemption and discover more than they bargained for.
“Morning, Stiles.” The five-and-a-half-foot brunette that likes to make my life miserable is easily five-eight, maybe even five-nine, in the heels she’s got on today. Combined with the dark blue power suit she’s wearing, she comes off as all business despite the fact that she doesn’t make eye contact with me. She’s too busy scrolling through a bunch of bullshit on her smartphone.
I growl a response so it comes out as more of a warning than a greeting. Is it a bit much for this time of day? Maybe. Considering our history, I’m not exactly worried about her impression of me, though.
Emma Green is the latest and greatest “crime” reporter for our friendly neighborhood tabloid. And I use the term “reporter” loosely, by the way. Very loosely.
Doesn’t care about getting the story right in certain cases, if ya know what I mean, loosely.
Her name’s been on nearly every article the Redemption Chronicle has put out since she arrived from somewhere down in Florida. She shows up at most crime scenes, from burglaries to homicides, and has very much become a royal pain in my...
“You’re late, by the way. They were just talking about you.” She mutters and points, blindly, down the hall as she steps into the elevator. Which is my cue to get the fuck out.
My one and only cigarette calls to me from the front pocket of my button down. Thank God I remembered it. But quite frankly, I don’t have the energy to pull it out. Not that I wouldn’t get arrested if I did, but . . .
“And you look like hell.” She’s full of compliments today, I see.
“Fuck you very much, Green.” Not that I’m complaining. It makes it easy to respond to her in like fashion. And bonus: I’m feeling pretty good about getting the last word in on this battle of the banter, as the doors close but then they open again.
“Maybe you shouldn’t stay up so late playing around with your buddies over at the police department.” I look back to see her foot blocking the sensors that would normally allow the doors to close. She still can’t be bothered to look up. She’s too busy burying her nose into the iPhone.
Let’s be real here. Flirting is not her forte.
“I appreciate that enlightening bit of useless advice, Green.” Despite my attempt to be nice sarcasm spills out of every word. It’s only when she pulls her foot all the way in and the doors are halfway shut that I ask myself─ how did she know I was downtown last night?
Emerald eyes peer up at me as the question enters my mind. And I swear, she’s fucking smirking.
Between the pleasant smile and the way her expression lights up like she’s about to pounce, I’m not sure what the hell to think. I haven’t seen her smile like that since the day I briefly met her on the scene of a break-in I was hired to investigate. First thing I noticed was her smile. She seemed...new.
The next thing I noticed was her eyes.
Deep green. The grab-a-hold-of-you-and-don’t-let-go kind that make you wanna know everything that’s going on behind them.
And don’t even get me started on her ass. It begs for mercy because she, no doubt, runs it every day, then follows up with a pint of fat free yogurt and a jug of water.
Not that I’ve thought about it.
But I digress.
She was polite enough. Or so I thought. Asked me if I had any insider’s information on what had gone down that day. It’s not like I was rude or anything. All I did was tell her I wasn’t doing her fucking job for her.
I paid the price for that comment in the article she ran the next day. The headline read, “Local P.I. steals more from family than burglar.” I won’t bother you with the details, but let’s just say, the article was less about the break-in and more about what an asshole I am.
I mean, what the fuck?
I can assure anyone who has the balls to ask, I charge less than ninety percent of the dicks working the tri-state area. Just ask the bill collectors.
The asshole thing is still up for debate...in most circles.
Lesson learned here? Never trust a woman with eyes that stunning or an ass that tight.
Basically, I fucking hate her.
About the Author
A movie fanatic, a writer of stories, a lover of life.
I grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity – but it was too cold up North for this thin blooded girl. So today, I live in Florida with my two girls and a husband that shares my same sense of humor and basic take on life as we know it.
Life is too short to put dreams on the back burner.