QSFer J.V. Speyer has a new MM paranormal book out: Hunter.
Luis has spent his career chasing the darker side of life. First a vice cop, then an FBI profiler, now he lands in the Boston field office, and not by choice. He expects his case load to have a much lighter tone than he’s used to.
He wasn’t counting on New England’s dark history, or their pride in it. He didn’t understand how close-knit the old towns could be, or how protective they were of their own. He soon finds he’s going to have to count on every skill he ever used in his time at headquarters, and a few skills he didn’t know he had, if he wants to keep body and soul together.
Complicating matters is a new case Luis has just been handed, working with the Mass. State Police. Luis has history there, and ugly history too. Detective Donovan Carey is the guy who broke Luis’ heart over a decade ago. He wasn’t willing to even peek his head outside the closet, certainly not for someone like Luis. Can they put their history aside to deal with a mystery centuries in the making?
Warnings: There’s a certain amount of violence in a book with serial killers in it. Mentions of drug use, suicide, promiscuity, questionable life choices.
Luis would have happily stayed asleep for several more hours. He was comfortable. He was warm. He was not alone, which counted for a lot in his book. He was, in fact, happily wedged between not one but two beautiful, talented, and charming men. For Luis, this was as close to heaven as he would ever get. When he’d gone to bed, he’d fully intended to enjoy every minute of his bliss. His plans to stay asleep until his alarm went off evaporated when the hotel door opened with a whisper-soft click.
Luis came to life in a fraction of a second, pulse racing. He sat up and aimed his gun at the door in a single fluid motion. He didn’t worry about how his companions would react. They knew who and what he was. They’d be fine.
“Freeze!” he barked. “Federal agent!”
Only then did the haze of sleep clear from his eyes enough to recognize the face of his new partner, Kevin. Kevin’s face had frozen somewhere in between astonishment and laughter, a perfect O with a gray mustache for a hat.
He held two large steaming cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, one in each hand. No New Englander went anywhere without a cup of Dunkies. Luis had learned that much in his short time here.
“Easy, tiger,” Kevin said in a voice choked with what Luis suspected was laughter. Of course, Kevin was local. Tiger came out sounding more like “tigah.” Luis suspected Kevin exaggerated the accent for his benefit.
“We’ve got a case.” He looked Luis over and then eyed the groggy men on either side of him. “Where are your clothes?”
Fausto, the hot photographer on Luis’ left, turned to Luis with his mouth agape. “You brought a gun?” he demanded in Spanish.
Had Fausto forgotten the gun? Ignored it? Mentally blocked it? Luis had stashed it under his pillow before they went to sleep, for crying out loud.
“You brought a gun to a threesome? Are you a psycho?”
Franklin, a chef at a big hotel downtown, recoiled. “Case? You’re a cop?” In English, just to add a Babel-like air of confusion to the scene.
Franklin had absolutely forgotten Luis’ job, because last night he’d eyed Luis’ credentials with suspicion until Luis promised he was off the clock. Oh well, no one was at his best at five o’clock in the morning. Luis wouldn’t hold it against him.
Luis clicked the safety on his gun and slid off the foot of the bed. He’d be perfectly justified in reaming Kevin out for breaking into his room, but he decided to play it casual. It would hopefully dissuade him from using his lockpicks again.
Kevin gaped as Luis padded across the floor as naked as the day he was born. “You don’t tell your partners you’re with the bureau?” He put his coffee on the desk and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Seriously?”
“Can we not do this right now?” Luis yawned and slipped into the bathroom. “I can’t have a reasonable conversation before coffee.” Before he closed the door behind him, he turned around and wagged his finger at the other three. “No awkward moments, the three of you.”
It wasn’t as though there could be nonawkward moments when a man had burst in on three others in an intimate moment. Kevin deserved what he got for showing off his lock-picking skills. The freaking Boston office had boundary issues.
For all Luis’ affected nonchalance, he took the world’s fastest shower. He didn’t want to spend too much time alone with his thoughts. He refused to be ashamed of anything Kevin had just seen. He was a grown man, and he was allowed to do grown-men things in his off-hours. If Kevin couldn’t handle it, the problem belonged to Kevin, not to Luis. Boston might have been founded by Puritans, but by God, they had separation of church and state now.
He emerged from the bathroom, clean and dry, and got dressed. Both of the other guys had at least found underwear and tee shirts, which was a damn shame. Especially in Fausto’s case, because he had a body on him that just would not quit. Oh well, it wasn’t like Mixr existed for long-term love affairs anyway.
He turned to the trio as he finished buttoning his shirt. Franklin watched him work his way into his shoulder holster.
“So who is this dude, anyway? Your dad?” Fausto said.
Luis glanced back at Kevin, who scowled and pursed his lips at Fausto. Luis snickered. Fausto’s comment should take Kevin down a peg, if nothing else came of this.
“No. He’s not my dad. Kevin, this is Franklin and Fausto. They’re friends of mine. Franklin, Fausto, this is Super Special Agent Kevin Rourke of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Franklin’s dark skin took on an ashen sheen, and sweat stood out at his temples. “You’re a fed?”
Franklin, Franklin, what did you do? I’d hate to think about a mouth like that on a criminal. Luis had told him he was with the FBI the night before. Clearly, he wasn’t here for his brains.
Kevin held up the coffee. “Relax. We’re on a case, as of four thirty this morning. And neither one of us is allowed to make any arrests until we’ve completed one infusion of standard-issue DD-Unit L, Black.”
Fausto figured the joke out first, possibly because he wasn’t cataloguing every traffic light he’d ever run. “Cute.” He sighed. “Well, thanks for a good night, Luis. Er, Agent.”
“You only have to call me agent if I break out the cuffs.” Luis winked at Fausto as Kevin hustled him out the door. “Thank you both! I had a great time!”
J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem.
J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game or avoiding direct sunlight. She’s learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.
J. V. can be found on Twitter at @JVSpeyer, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyerAuthor
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14108614.J_V_Speyer
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B074G3SMMB