Ace of Hearts by Jean Holloway

Jean Holloway
By Jean Holloway March 25, 2012 21:42

Ace of Hearts by Jean Holloway

Summary:

Shevaughn Robinson begins her career as a homicide detective with the investigation of an especially gruesome murder which quickly evolves into serial murders.

Right before the police find the first victim, she meets Tony O’Brien, a TV reporter interested in doing a piece on her life and her career. Sparks fly!

Detective Robinson follows murder after murder trying to catch this lethal sexual predator before he strikes again. She doesn’t realize the killer is someone who is not only obsessed with death, but is becoming more and more fixated on her. Watching the relationship blossom from afar, he plots its demise.

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Excerpt:

Ace of Hearts Prologue

Lenora’s hands shook as she lit the candles. Everything had to be perfect. This is your chance with someone that can help your career…your life, she thought. Besides, he was gorgeous. Born and raised in a totally middle class home, she never felt satisfied with her surroundings. Everything always looked just a bit shabby to her.

In 1963 at the age of seven, Lenora boxed up all her toys and began reading. By fifteen, she was at the top of her class. Several prominent universities vied for her attention during her senior year. College turned out to be a breeze. There she learned a lot more than academics. She learned about men and used it to her advantage, vowing never to return to the humdrum life she left behind. Pleasing men became her major. Lenora saw great things in her future, great things and she was determined to have it all. Tonight was her first step up the ladder of success.

First impressions were important. So everything had to be just right, from the Chicken Marsala she checked for the fifth time to her appearance, which had to be capital S-E-X-Y. By eight o’clock, it would be.

At seven forty-five, Lenora slipped into her one pair of imitation designer lounging pajamas. The turquoise color set off her caramel brown skin. She was in the process of admiring her reflection in the mirror when the doorbell rang. Right on time. She smiled so wide and hard the corners of her small mouth cracked, causing her the slightest pain. She quickly forgot it when she opened the door and saw him. He was everything she had remembered and a little bit more.

He wore an impeccably tailored charcoal gray Brooks Brothers three button suit with a crisp white shirt and a gray, blue and white tie. The blue in his tie matched his dark blue eyes. He ran his fingers through his russet hair and she watched as it fell back into place and softly landed over his eyebrow. Something about the move came across as sexy. His polished black wing-tipped shoes had a shine so bright the reflection of light bounced off of them. In her eyes, he could have passed for a lawyer or politician. He was exactly what she wanted in a man: rich, powerful, handsome and tall. Not so tall as to overwhelm her or cause her any strain, but just enough so that if she fell into his arms, he could catch her without bending.

“I’m glad you could make it,” she said leading him into the living room. She watched him look around her townhouse. She was very proud of her little place. Even if her money was limited, she did well with what she had and she had the mortgage to prove it.“Let’s have some wine before dinner. I picked up a bottle, just for the occasion. Is red okay with you?”Lenora reached for the chilled bottle of Chianti. He nodded in agreement.

She poured each of them a glass, and then settled down on the couch for what she believed to be the start of something wonderful for both of them. She wasn’t much for small talk, so she jumped right to the subject.

“So, what is it exactly that you do?”

She knew the answer before he started. She did her research. Lenora patiently listened as he went on and on about his education, but noticed he didn’t mention family until he revealed he was stuck in an unhappy marriage. Next, came the line about his wife not understanding his needs. Lenora smiled a wicked smile. That was something she was more than capable of providing. She knew he hoped she would take care of that, but prayed her office reputation hadn’t preceded her. She hoped he didn’t know how understanding she could be.

They sat in the little dining nook, under the dim lights, exchanging small talk, drinking, eating and enjoying the ambiance of the evening. Lenora had him right where she wanted.

“Let’s go back to the living room,” she suggested.

Lenora stopped as she passed the small, black lacquer liquor cabinet in the corner, retrieved a bottle of Martell cognac she saved for special occasions and her smoke box. Once they settled on the couch, she rolled a few joints of Panamanian Gold and then poured two stiff drinks. She lit a joint and passed it to him. Soon, between the joint and the drinks, they were happily on their way to cloud nine — laughing, snuggling and simply enjoying the moment. He moved in closer, placing his hands on both sides of her face.

“I want you,” he whispered, kissing her deeply, with so much passion that Lenora moaned with excitement and anticipation. They necked like teenagers on the couch for almost an hour. Although Lenora knew she should stop him, she couldn’t, wouldn’t, not when it felt so damn good. They couldn’t get enough of each other.

Before she realized it, they were both lying on the couch. He had her pinned down, squeezing her breasts a little too hard. It hurt. The effects of the joint were wearing off and she no longer felt as hot and horny as before, in fact she just felt tired. I have to put a stop to this, she thought as she sat up and gently pushed him away.

“Hey, slow down,” she warned.

He smiled back at her, but said nothing. She tried to get up and he pushed her back down onto the couch. It scared her a little. It surprised her that he was being so forceful. She had already decided he would get nowhere tonight. She knew how to handle anxious men. She also knew she had to hold off for a little while. She shouldn’t give in immediately if she wanted to keep him interested.

“I invited you for dinner, nothing else,” she said, firmly. “I mean it. If you can’t control yourself, you’ll have to leave,” she said, struggling beneath him, but to no avail, he was so much bigger and stronger than she was. Her efforts to remove herself only left her more exhausted.

In an instant, everything changed and Lenora knew she was in big trouble, but she hoped she could talk her way out of it as she had done many times before. When he spoke, she looked into those blue eyes and actually saw them go cold. It reminded her of an albino snake.

“You don’t get it, do you?” he asked in a voice raspy with lust. “The last thing I want to do is control myself.” Lenora sat straight up as that comment set in.

“Don’t ruin a perfectly good evening,” she said in a stern tone, hoping to stop him from thinking anything more would transpire that evening.

It didn’t stop him. Instead, he grabbed her by her top and slammed her back against the couch. Shocked, Lenora slapped him, hard across the face. They struggled for several minutes before he got her pinned back down. This time his hands were around her throat.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” he asked as his hands grew tighter. She would have answered, if she could, but she was trying too hard to breathe.

He kept glancing around the room, as if someone else was there, but there was no one else. It was just the two of them.She begged and pleaded for him to let her go, but it all came out in indistinguishable, choking sounds. At one point, he seemed to let up, his eyes drawn to a small picture on the end table. She realized he was staring at a family photo. Why would that make him so angry?

Lenora was losing the fight. She tried to scream, but couldn’t. He cut off her air supply. Darkness, which had been crouching right outside her peripheral vision, grew and began to close in. As her life dissolved, she focused one last time on his face. He was smiling!

Copyright© Jean Holloway. All rights reserved.

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Jean Holloway
By Jean Holloway March 25, 2012 21:42
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