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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Against The Night Excerpt by Kat Martin

Good morning everyone! I hope your weekend is off to a good start. As a reminder, we have our first contest running, it started on March 1 thru Mach 4. Winner will be announced on Monday (03/05). Good luck!


On to our latest news, author Kat Martin final excerpt for Against the Night is here. These southern men are hotter than ever, especially when they flexed their muscle taking down the bad guys, lol

http://katmartin.posterous.com/kat-martins-against-the-night-excerpt-5
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 **** T E A S E R ****


       “Amy, this is Detective Rick Vega.  Rick, meet Amy Brewer.”
     His dark gaze skimmed her, sending a rush of color into her cheeks.  From the way he was looking at her, he knew she had been there all night.  She was a school teacher, for heaven’s sake.  She should have left earlier.  Thank God, she was fully clothed, though the way he was looking at her, she might as well have been naked.


     “Nice to meet you,” he said with just enough of a Spanish accent to sound sexy.  


     “Back off, Rick.”  Johnnie eyed him darkly.  “This ones off-limits.”

     He should be thinking of a strategy to get her out of his house, the way he normally would, but all he wanted to do was take her back to bed.
     “You look good enough to eat.”


     She blushed, “We need to find my sister.”


     “Exactly.”  He poured her a mug of coffee, added some of the Coffeemate he kept for guests, then pressed the cup into her hands.  Her palms curled around it and she blew on the surface to cool it, took a tentative sip.


     Her eyes closed and she sighed with pleasure.  “That tastes wonderful.  Thanks.”  Her gaze slid back toward the bedroom.  “I’d better get dressed.  You said I could use your shower.”


     “Sure, go ahead.  The towels hanging next to the sink are clean.”


     Amy turned and headed in that direction.  Johnnie didn’t mention he planned to join her.


***


     Freshly showered and desperate for another cup of coffee, Amy walked barefoot back into Johnnie’s kitchen.  Dressed in the jeans and white tank top she had worn the night before, her damp hair pulled into a rubber band at the nape of her neck, she carried her high spike heels, which seemed absurdly wrong for the morning after.


     As she set her purse and makeup kit on the counter, she looked at Johnnie and couldn’t stop a blush.  She had never had this much $ex in her life.  The man was insatiable.  Worst of all, he made her feel that way, too.  Just looking at him leaning against the kitchen counter in his jeans and Ranger T-shirt made her want to jump him again.


     It was embarrassing.  And ridiculous.  After last night and this morning, she didn’t have the strength.


     “You ready for another cup?” he asked, distracting her, thank God.


     “Absolutely.”


     He poured her a mug and handed it over, opened the oven and took out a tray of perfectly baked cinnamon rolls.  The delicious aroma made her mouth water.


     “Wow, a man who can cook.”


     Johnnie chuckled.  “They’re out of a can but I figured you could use a little nourishment.”


     Oh, Lord, could she.  Every bone and muscle in her body felt limp and sated.  Her appetite was fierce, her stomach growling for food.  She felt wonderful.


     Johnnie frosted the rolls with the orange topping out of the can, took down a couple of plates and filled them, and they sat down at the table.  Amy ate two delicious rolls, Johnnie polished off the rest.  The man could really eat and yet he certainly didn’t have a weight problem.  It took more calories to burn muscle, she had read.  Looking at the impressive muscles beneath his T-shirt, clearly that was the answer.


     She tore her gaze away.  “So what’s our plan for the day?”


     “Yesterday I went to see your sister’s friend, Mary Lou Kammer.  So that’s out of the way.”


     “You talked to Mary Lou?  I talked to her when I first got here, but she didn’t know anything useful.  She was nice though.  I met her through Babs.  She knew I was going to take Rachael’s old job.  Mary Lou said I could use her address so the police wouldn’t know I was working as Angel and living at the club.”


     He took a drink of his coffee.  “A couple of days ago, Mary Lou found some travel brochures down behind the cushions in her sofa.  She thinks they fell out of your sister’s purse.”


     Amy’s interest sharpened.  “Where was Rachael going?”


     “Looks like Belize.”


     “Belize.  That’s in the Caribbean.  That fits with what Mrs. Zimmer said.  Have you heard anything from that friend you called about the passenger lists?”


     “Trace Rawlins.”  He shook his head.  “Not yet.”


     “Has Mary Lou told the police about the brochures?”


     “Yeah.  She went in to see Lieutenant Meeks, so we’re all on the same page.  Mary Lou confirmed that she and Rachael went to Rembrandt’s more than once.  She said your sister occasionally went there alone.  She thinks maybe she met a guy, someone she was interested in.  She thinks they might have been dating.”


     “Danny?”


     “Maybe.”


     Amy set her mug down on the table.  “Let’s go back to Rembrandt’s, see if we can find Danny.”


     “I stopped by last night before I came to the club to see you.  I talked to T.J. and Kenny.  They said they knew a couple of guys named Danny who came in once in a while, but they didn’t have any last names and they never saw either of them with your sister.”


     Amy chewed her lip.  “Maybe if we went back, we could find the Danny that Rachael was seeing or find out if there was somebody else.”


     “We can try, but she could have met him anywhere.”


     It was true, but they were running out of leads and she was beginning to panic.


     She started to say something, but the doorbell rang just then.  Johnnie set his mug down and walked out of the kitchen to see who it was.


     A few minutes later, he strode back in, a handsome, black-haired Latino trailing behind him.  In a perfectly fitted chocolate brown suit and a pair of expensive loafers, the man was downright dapper.  She bet women fell all over themselves for this guy.


     “Amy, this is Detective Rick Vega.  Rick, meet Amy Brewer.”


     His dark gaze skimmed her, sending a rush of color into her cheeks.  From the way he was looking at her, he knew she had been there all night.  She was a school teacher, for heaven’s sake.  She should have left earlier.  Thank God, she was fully clothed, though the way he was looking at her, she might as well have been naked.


     “Nice to meet you,” he said with just enough of a Spanish accent to sound sexy.  


     Still, he wasn’t her type.  Not that she had a type.  At least she hadn’t until she’d met Johnnie.


     “Back off, Rick.”  Johnnie eyed him darkly.  “This ones off-limits.”


     The detective actually flushed, faint color staining the bones in his cheeks.  “Sorry.”


     The stiffness in Johnnie’s shoulders eased.  “Coffee?”


     “Sounds good.”


     Johnnie went over to the counter and poured the detective a cup, walked back and handed it over.


     “Thanks.”  Vega took a sip, sighed with appreciation.


     “Late night?” Johnnie asked.


     Vega smiled, flicked a glance toward Amy.  There was no heat in his gaze this time.  Johnnie had made his ownership clear.  Amy wasn’t sure how she felt about that.  “Probably no later than yours.”    


     Johnnie’s gaze slid over her like a warm caress.  “Probably not.”  He took a sip of his coffee.  “So what’s got you up here on a weekend?”


     Vega tipped his head her way.  “Maybe we should talk in private.”


     “This about Amy’s sister?”


     He nodded.


     “She’s come a long way to find out what happened to her, taken a few hard knocks trying to dig up information.”  He was talking about Kyle Bennett and how close she had come to being raped.  It made her stomach churn to think of it.  “She has a right to know.”


     “If that’s what you want.”


     “She...she isn’t dead,” Amy blurted out, her chest squeezing as the thought struck that might be the reason he had come.


     “No, not that we know of.”  Vega took a drink of his coffee.  “The thing is, I’ve been keeping an eye on Rachael’s file.  I figured if something new turned up you’d want to know.”


     “So what turned up?”


     “One of the undercover narcs picked up a rumor.  Street talk has it Rachael was involved with Manny Ortega.”


     Johnnie hissed out a breath.


     “You can say that again,” Vega added.


     “Who’s Manny Ortega?” Amy asked.


     “He’s the son of a big-time drug dealer,” Johnnie explained.  “Carlos Ortega’s a high-ranking member of the San Dimas cartel.  Their territory runs from here all the way into the Baja Peninsula.”


     “Carlos Ortega--El Caballo,” Vega said.  “They call him The Horse.  He’s into everything from cocaine to human trafficking and anything in between.  So far he’s been able to skirt the law and get away with it.  He’s powerful and as mean as they come.”


     “Carlos lives on a guarded estate in Ensenada but his son lives here in L.A.,” Johnnie explained.


     The detective took a drink of his coffee.  “Manny’s tried to keep his nose clean, but Papa wants his little boy to take over the business.  Manny’s not a guy your sister should have gotten involved with.”


     Amy’s heart was beating a little too fast.  “Maybe she wasn’t.  You said it was only a rumor.”  She looked over at Johnnie, saw sympathy etched in his face.  Her eyes widened.  “Oh, my God.  It wasn’t Danny, it was Manny.”  And she could tell by looking at him, Johnnie had already figured that out.


     Vega sipped his coffee.  “If the rumor’s true, she was playing with fire.  If Ortega wanted her to disappear, we might not ever find her.