Back to working on my new book, Jeanne Dark. This one is the hardest thing I’ve ever written, and the most fun. It’s the hardest because I’m working with the most complex character set I’ve ever attempted. It’s also more than just a mystery; it’s literary fiction full of suspense, political intrigue, and plot twists. The fun part is that it’s also a collaborative work; I’ve the good fortune of having my partner provide insight to Jeanne that I’d not muster alone. Foss is my beast, however, enamored with his partner, and troubled by secrets he wished he didn’t know and a raging passion that wants release.
Here, he meets a suspect in her place alone for what he’s convinced himself is follow-on questioning. Rosie, the interviewee, has other ideas, however. As always with the Dark excerpts, this is raw, just-written stuff. Here’s my vision of Rosie, in case you’re interested. That’s right, Lucy Damned Liu. Have mercy.
— start of excerpt —
Once at the door, it was fairly easy to pick the lock and invite myself in. I took the leap that a place that didn’t bother to install a security light or cameras wouldn’t have invested in underground wiring for an alarm system. I was right. Were I a burglar, I could have picked this place clean. I made it to apartment 2C, Rosie’s flat, without encountering anyone. It was just where I’d predicted – in the front, third from the right. At least I’d been watching the right place. Given we’d had Rosie in for questioning, it was reasonable for me to have simply called her and requested a follow-up meeting. However, I wanted the real girl, not the suspect whose guard would likely be up. If I was to get anywhere, she needed to see me as more than a cop-for-hire. If I was lucky, she’d assumed I’d come to take her up on her offer. Part of me wondered if I had. I told that part to shut the hell up.
I straightened my tie, growled at myself for preening, and rapped on the door. That took fully ten seconds, as I went back and forth in my head about whether to give her a forceful “policeman’s knock” or use the gentle approach. Stupidly, I’d not decided on my interview strategy beforehand, being preoccupied with insane French women. Given Rosie’s belligerence at Scotland Yard, I opted to approach this as the “good cop” come to follow-up and see what happens. I rapped on the door, using just the knuckles of two fingers. Rosie opened the door almost immediately.
“Bloody hell,” she said, “it took you long enough to come up.”
I tried to pretend she’d not caught me off-guard by jerking the door so quickly. “Mind if I come in?” I asked.
“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t. I got all pretty just for you.”
She pulled the door open the rest of the way and I stepped in. All I saw for five seconds was the sexiest pair of legs I’d ever seen. They started at her perfect little feet, which were adorned in high-heel slippers with little puff balls on the tops, and ended at her hips, which were barely covered by a tiny, asymmetrical skirt with a split all the way to her waist. She complemented them with a sheer, black blouse that revealed taut abs and a frilly black bra. Rosie smiled as she caught me looking, and pushed the door shut behind me. Rather than move, she stood there, leaning against the door frame with her stunning body sideways towards me. Her hair was loose, flowing to her mid-back. It seemed longer than when I saw her before, although I struggled to picture her any other way than she was right then. One thing was certain; my visit was more of a surprise to me than it was to her. The woman was dressed for company. In my current state, I was pretty damned inclined to give her some.
“Can I get you something?” Her voice was a warm purr. “I have wine, beer, vodka …” She took a step towards me and placed a too-warm hand on my tie-burdened chest. “Or, we can just go in the bedroom and have fun until the sun comes up. I’m off tomorrow.” She looked up at me and gave me an intense stare. “I can be a lot of fun.” I didn’t doubt it for a second.
I stood stupidly for three beats, with my head wanting to pick “fun.” She needed to be interviewed, and I wanted to interview her something fierce. I wanted to interview all of her sexy little bits, starting with those pretty feet and ending with the pink tongue that was teasing the tip of her top lip. Being the pro that I am, however, I managed to shake my head and say, “I only came here to talk, Rosie.” I almost believed it myself.
She smiled at me and stepped back. “Sure you did.” She winked, approached me, and kissed my cheek. “After then,” she said, whispering in my ear.
This woman was trouble, and my favorite kind at that.
— end of excerpt —
Whom am I channeling for Foss? Mostly a lantern-jawed version of this guy.
Will Foss remain a pro? I don’t know; you gotta read the book. 😉