Well back on Wipitup Wednesday. Late due to computer crash and not on my new website, but here it is. Right now I'm reworking a serial I published from November 2013 to July 2014. Unfortunately didn't write it for a while so I unpublished it. I'm now getting ready to republish with a reworking and the next episode. I love this story best of all. It's the story of Leo and Raisa and has a suspense element and a love triangle.
This is the new opening:
PrefaceDrip, drip, drip…
It is deeply dark.
I peer through a nighttime, black velvet absence of light only present in the semi-wilderness. I choke on the cloying, fetid stench of the water and centuries of layered undergrowth and fallen forest. The frozen dampness seeps in through my ripped clothing and torn flesh. I shift awkwardly to ease the ache of lying in this place for so long. I try again to struggle against the tight bonds that render my wrists and ankles immoveable. Faint sounds of movement further down by the bank of the lake alert me again to the grotesque activities enacted over the past hours. A soft, muffled weeping reaches me. I strain to see through the dark. Clouds move across the night sky. A sudden revelation lit by the half-moon uncovers a wretched sight.
Dark figures hunch over the inert form, their foul work finally at a close. All hope leaves me as I watch them heave the body into the lake. The movement of the trussed form through the dark water takes on an aching, slow motion quality, drawing out the agony. Desperate to cry out to mark the descent with the piercing howl it deserves, the filthy rag at my mouth denies me even that. Instead, I’m left only with the sound of the dripping forest, the lapping waves and Aura’s keening lament tearing through the night.
My breath escapes in measured gulps as my surroundings come back into focus. The bullseye target hurtles down the shooting range towards me. The repeated bullet holes at its center form a ragged circle that testifies to the effectiveness of my aim. I’m aware of the weapon heavy in my hand.
Stepping away from the range, I remove the protective earmuffs that deaden the sound of repeated gunshots from the other lanes. Passing a shaky hand over my face, I’m met with the dewy dampness that covers it. I close my eyes, willing the misery and fear away. The sound of a long, low, drawn out whistle eases me free me from the power of the haunting sights and sounds.
“Good to see you haven’t lost your touch, teach.”
I breathe out, grateful for the teasing nickname and steadying balance of the deep male voice behind me. My legs are still shaky from the dark images that invaded me for those few moments. Drawing heavily on my cop skills to banish the aftermath of the waking dream, I manage to turn round with a casual grin on my lips
“It’d take more than a few weeks away to do that, Kincaid.”
The 6’1’ rugged, rough around the edges detective winks at me. “Guess I can confirm your weapon reclassification, then.” He takes my Glock, records the serial number, signs off on the form and hands it back. “Good to have you back, Raisa.”
I weigh the weapon, fondling it like a lost lover and then fit it tenderly back in my shoulder holster. Six weeks is a long time to be parted from my baby.
“Yeah.” I answer Kincaid, huskily.
“But not for long, I hear.”
Kincaid’s tone holds a quiet rebuke. Despite that, I feel a quick rush of excitement. Something I’ve not felt for a while.
“Yeah.” My tone is hard against his reproach.
He runs his hand through his hair in an action I know he adopts when he’s troubled. I rest my hand on my weapon, keeping my sight on the target in front of me. I shrug. My tone is flippant.
“Yeah, well. How was I to know that two years of evening courses would get me up to speed enough for the chief to enter me for a police scholarship? Guess he really wants shot of me.” I turn and grin, trying to lighten the mood. “Imagine, in about three months, I’ll be sitting in the halls of learning of a prestigious institution – me, Raisa Gordon.” I shake my head. “Go figure.”
Detective Luke Kincaid is not deterred. He counters my grin with a determined, searching stare. “I don’t get it, Raisa. I thought law school was just to help you be a better cop. Isn’t that what you told me? So you’d never screw up the arrest or the search. Now you’re going to be one of them.”
I match his look, giving him the seriousness our association deserves. My voice is soft, slightly apologetic, recognizing his sense of betrayal. “Yeah, vice has been good to me, partner, but it’s time.” I lower my voice and meet his eyes, my own darkening with a request for his understanding. “It’s still law enforcement, Luke.”
His accusation melts with my unusual softening, coupled with my almost never use of his first name. He looks at me soulfully before he realizes he’s doing it. When he does realize, I see the blush creep up his neck and along his hard, darkly stubbled jaw. He drops his eyes hiding their green glow. I don’t have to see it. I know him too well not to be able to picture it. Six years on the force hasn’t managed to erode his endearing mix of tough and tender. He’s one of the best rookies I brought through during my days as a training officer. After I left training for active service, it didn’t surprise me that he’d moved through the ranks rapidly enough for us to serve in the same department. He was my partner in vice for three years until he moved up to homicide last year.
I know he carries a torch for me.
My reputation as a badass and the seniority of my training role never intimidated him the way it did the other rookies. He’s a genuine nice guy and despite his dark, hard man looks, a bit of a soft touch with women. None of which detracts from his hotness. Several sources attest to his considerable talent in the sack and I’m tempted every time we reconnect, but it would be cruel to hook-up with him. His feelings are engaged and I know he’d not be satisfied with anything less than a relationship.
Raisa Gordon doesn’t do relationships. Hot sex with hot guys when she has the time, but not relationships. Professional camaraderie, even friendship, is fine at a certain level. Love is too dangerous an emotion and to be avoided unfailingly. I ruthlessly discarded it on any intimate level – family, lover, husband, child - when it catastrophically shredded me apart eight years ago.
I focus on the procedure of returning the earmuffs and securing my weapon, giving Luke space. He soon recovers and starts talking shop as we head off the range together. In the lift to the detectives’ floor, he fills me in on the significant goings on that I’ve missed at the precinct.
As we walk across the bullpen, he nods over to the senior detective’s office. “The chief’s been in there with two agents from the bureau for the past hour.”
My pulse starts to quicken. I follow his gaze. The only gig we have with the bureau these days is the Gold Task Force. Their trafficking and other nefarious activities have been under surveillance for over three years. Rumor has it there’s a new lead in the case. I’ve wanted to be on that task force from day one, but no way so far. Luke’s filled one of the spots for homicide for just under a year. Letting me live vicariously through him, he usually keeps me updated as much as my classification allows.
“Yeah? Any idea what the gig is?”
He confirms what I’d heard. “There’s a new lead in the case.” He gives me a pointed look, like there’s something I should know.
I raise my eyebrows, frustrated that he’s making me work for it. Wishing I were a bitch so I could unscrupulously use his feelings for me to indulge in constant pillow talk about the investigation, I just give him my best badass, I trained you, look. It really pisses me off that he has less experience and yet pulls more challenging and higher rated duties. It may be the 21st Century, but the glass ceiling is still there for women in the field as well as the boardroom.
He gives me a meaningful look. “You’ll find out soon enough.”
I turn quickly, heart hammering. Active duty does that to me “Fuck, Luke, you serious! They’re bringing me in?”
He nods darkly and gives me a non-committal answer. “Not for me to say.”
“Hey, you schmuck, you can’t tease me like that and leave me hanging.”
He’s not happy about them bringing me in. I wonder why. I know it can’t be because he feels I’m not up to the job.
He shrugs. “Like I said, you’ll find out soon enough.”
Hope that's peaked your interest. Please checkout my new website and maybe download the free book and join my mailing list. Just remember however tha tthe websitis also a WIP!
Helen Karol x