Sunday again – kick back and relax and enjoy a snippet from one of my novels, this week it’s WEALTH.
We join our heroine cop, Kaitlyn at the start of her relationship with Randolph.
Senior officers have sent her undercover to guard cheeky international banker, Randolph Quinn, come what may and feed back information to them. He’s up to something and has not been straight with the police but needs protection after a murder attempt. She’s attracted to the guy and he’s a terrible flirt – in another life she’s sure they would have dated. But this is work. When someone blows up the safe house where she’s due to watch over him, the two are forced to go on the run together. It’s not clear who in the police to trust – since someone has clearly leaked their cover.
Randolph, however, is a guy with resources and wealth and the means to help them disappear. He calls on his own contacts to help resolve the situation. Kaitlyn has no choice but to be swept along with his plan, which is less than clear. She’s been ordered to stick with him after all. She finds she has warmed even more to the guy, his charm and charisma are seductive. In the short time they’ve spent together they’ve developed a bond – a feeling of unity in surviving a shared danger. He plans for them to hide up on his his super yacht, currently moored in the Thames. She is annoyed but secretly impressed when they detour for a private, but lavish, shopping spree at the oh-so-discreet Harrods. He figures she’ll need some suitable clothes if they’re out of circulation for a while, with no chance of returning home. Now she finds herself heading off with this enigmatic man and a suitcase of designer outfits and accessories, to some boat in the south east of London and a life very different from anything she’s ever known and with no idea of what lies ahead……
EXCERPT FROM ‘WEALTH”
She could feel the warmth of Randolph’s smile like the sun on her cheek. His hand stroked her fingers one by one. She should pull it away and establish control of law and order as the super smooth limo cruised into the soft violet shapeless seduction of the London night. Randolph was speaking in his deep voice.
“We’ll go aboard. Call the office to collect the car. I fancy a bit of open sea.”
“Open sea?” she repeated.
“England, it’s an island. You’re never far from the sea,” Randolph replied as if this was a normal day at the office.
“Yeah. It’s the other side of Tower Bridge and the Thames Barrier. Once we’re aboard I’ll fix us both the drink we deserve and you can do whatever beautiful women do. You know all that stuff, not me. I’m going to be staring at a door waiting to see that dress properly displayed. Then we’ll eat, then we’ll dance, then we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
The car was pulling up on the quay next to HMS Belfast, the famous museum battleship. The driver had sprung out and was opening her door. In the distance she could hear piano music, smoochy jazz that just hooked you and melted into your soul like sucked dark Belgian chocolate. Randolph eased his hand into the small of her back and directed her along the dock. A powerful motor launch with uniformed crew was waiting at the foot of some steps. He steadied her as they boarded. The boat pulled away, passing under the bow of the huge gray warship. Moored alongside was a white vessel, maybe even longer. In the side of it was an illuminated open space, like a garage. The launch slid into the belly of the huge white ship. At once the hull closed and a series of engraved glass doors opened into a fabulous marble-floored atrium with palm trees, paneled wood, and waiters in bow ties.
She hoped her mouth hadn’t hung open like some dolt.
“What is this? Where am I?”
Even the questions seemed dumb, but how could such things exist?
“You’re on board the Platinum-Demeter, my personal yacht.”
“It’s a bloody liner.”
“Not quite, but she’s big enough. I hope you don’t mind but we’re setting sail at once. London’s a bit hot for me at the moment and I prefer the neighbors on the high seas.”
“Well, where the fuck are we going?”
“I’ve got some business in Milan. Venice is a convenient port, and I keep a very special Ferrari there. Just maybe I’ll let you drive.”
“My passport is at Harrods in my suitcase,” she said realizing that that was the least of her worries.
“Your suitcase is in your room. I had it collected while we were shopping.”
“You can’t just take me over and assume I’m going to play along.”
“I’m just cooperating with the authorities, Kaitlyn. Your boss told you to stay close and pump me for information didn’t she? You can’t deny it. You’ve not even switched your pump on yet, and bosses always want results. Just do your duty, constable.”
“I don’t do plumbing.”
“Good job I don’t leak then,” he said taking her by the hand to the elevator. “It’d be such a cliché to kiss a girl in here.”
“Then keep your gob to yourself. The next scene in the film is where they lose track of space and time, the doors open, and there’s a crowd gawping at the show.”
“Not in my personal suite, I hope.”
His lips felt for hers, his eyes closed when she peeped. This time his hand touched the side of her breast, the pressure sending that same ping to her groin. She let him draw her tight against him. He had a slight smell of the day, of male. The elevator door opened. She took a breath but kept her eyes on his face.
“Don’t tell me there’s a crowd and they’re about to applaud,” she said.
“There would have been but this is a budget movie. I couldn’t afford the extras and the champagne.”
She turned as he smiled and led her by the hand into the room. A magnum of champagne waited on a beautiful antique table.
“OK, I’m just a regular corny billionaire. I have to watch gangster movies to know how to behave. The guy gets the gorgeous yet unobtainable woman and offers wine. Then she realizes maybe she could want him, it all goes misty and they start singing.”
Kaitlyn smiled. She had to. She just had to. She struck a pose.
“Hoo, like a virgin. Touched for the very first time. When your heart beats next to mine,” she sang.
“I’m karaoke cop. You’ve been warned.”
She was pleased to have asserted an ounce of her own style. What a room. Thick pile cream carpet, chandeliers, chocolate brown buttoned leather sofa, paintings she guessed were old master Italian style with cherubs and rich noble types. An intercom was buzzing gently on the wall.
“We’ll fill our glasses and go along the corridor for a moment. They’re opening Tower Bridge for us. I love it. It reminds me of going through the turnstiles to watch soccer at Selhurst Park when I was a kid.”
He popped the cork of the Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill vintage champagne. She took a sip, then a gulp. It was delicious and complex. Almost at once the hit went to her brain and belly. Her last meal had been lunch with DCI Shannon Knightsmith. Another glass of this golden thrill of temptation and she’d be letting go.
They took their drinks through a door to a darkened room with uniformed officers, sweeping radar screens, a ship’s wheel held by a sailor. The view ahead was of Tower Bridge, illuminated against the night. Reflections rippled in the dark current-dappled water. Slowly the bridge started to open.
“This is power. Now this is fucking power,” she said.
And how she loved it. How it was not to be an ant struggling endlessly against the world. How this power went with the champagne. A waiter was at her side with the bottle.
“May I?” he inquired nodding at her empty glass.
The huge ship eased itself through the bridge. Straight ahead stood the tall quirky-shaped skyscrapers of Canary Wharf with illuminated signs of the world’s greatest banks. By far the biggest was Sackman-Platinum.
“Impressed?” he asked.
“Yeah, who wouldn’t be?”
“I’ll show you your suite. All your clothes are prepared. Then we’ll eat.”
He opened a wood-paneled door. The smell was of perfume, maybe flowers. Her clothes from Harrods lay neatly on a golden silk-covered king-size bed. He stroked his hand down her cheek.
“I’ll leave you now because I can be a very naughty boy sometimes. You must be hungry and you do need to eat. Our bellies are from the same London kitchen. I bet if I like it, you’ll like it.”
“How do I find you again or am I on CCTV?”
“Go through that door in the corner. Don’t forget to give me a twirl as you come in.”
For a moment she sat on the edge of the bed. The perfection of the silk shocked her even through her half-drunk, befuddled senses. There was something she just had to do although she had been ordered not to. She hit the call button on the unfamiliar cellphone.
“Who’s this?” said the voice of DCI Shannon Knightsmith.
“It’s me, Kaitlyn Thorn. I know you told me not to call, but I haven’t got fifty options.”
“Look, you’ve done the right thing. I’ve been calling you over and over.”
“I’ve had a phone change. Shannon, it looked like the bad guys, whoever they are, were tracking me. I’ve stuck with Randolph Quinn but I’m clueless now.”
“I’m so sorry, Kaitlyn. Someone inside our unit must have tipped them off. Believe me we’re turning over every stone but right now we can’t trust anyone.”
“Cool, I’ll just hang in here on his personal yacht. As far as I know we’re on our way to Milan via Venice. I guess you’re OK with signing off my overtime pay. I haven’t got much jurisdiction as a cop once I’m out of UK waters.”
“I can live with that. The boat is on satellite surveillance so we won’t lose you. Has he opened up at all?”
“Too early to tell. I’ll know better after dinner if we pop another bottle of champagne. He’s one hell of a generous guy.”
Her thoughts focused briefly on the small matter of his illegal possession of a firearm. For now the boss didn’t need to know small details.
“I’ve got your number now. Stay with it, Kaitlyn.”
“It’s tough, but someone’s got to do it. Gotta go, duty calls,” she replied.
So, she’d checked in with the boss and she was a working girl pleasing the system. Better get changed and not forget the twirl.
She knew she looked good. The sapphire and diamond earrings sparkled in the light from the chandelier. The ring glinted on her finger. The dress was a perfect fit, the slash running just high enough up her thigh to provide an interested man with a glimpse of her lace trimmed panties. Was she allowing herself to be seduced by wealth, power, and sexual desire? Could her integrity be so easily put at risk? Too damned right it could and she knew it. She looked good, the champagne was a dream and Randolph Quinn was gorgeous. It was time to go through that door.
For a moment he didn’t speak. His hair was still wet and even darker, swept back with an aristocratic insouciance. He had changed into a white shirt accentuated by his tan. A Hermes belt held up his black Zanella handmade trousers. She held his eyes before executing her twirl.
“So, so lovely,” he said with an astonished simplicity. “I thought you’d scrub up well, but you didn’t need much on top of what you’ve got. But bloody hell, how am I gonna keep hold of a girl like you?”
“First you’ll have to get hold of me at all.”
He took a couple of strides and pulled her into his arms. His kiss was as if their lips had once before been molded in the history of a man and a woman. It was a finding of place, some place that you would always crave once you knew it existed. A helpless pulse buzzed in her groin……
To find out what Randolf is up to and to follow he and Kaitlyn’s international pulse-racing adventures in passion, grab a copy of WEALTH here; http://www.smarturl.it/webwealth