The Reluctant Private Eye

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: Steamy
Word Count: 65,102
0 Ratings (0.0)

Darcy Greenwood finds out from the police that her husband was killed by a mugger in an alley when he should have been at work. After the funeral, she arrives home to find her house turned upside down, and there’s a suspicious car parked on the street. She starts to investigate her husband’s death and finds herself wanted for murder. She enlists the help of a handsome young coworker of her husband to investigate a possible national security breach. Will she find her husband’s killer before the police find her?

The Reluctant Private Eye
0 Ratings (0.0)

The Reluctant Private Eye

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: Steamy
Word Count: 65,102
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Cover Art by Martine Jardin
Excerpt

Aaron made it a point to catch me alone during the reception. I had walked out to the church’s kitchen to refill the fruit platter. He followed me. I had noticed him earlier, staring at me from across the room. It made me feel slightly self-conscious. I wasn’t sure why. It couldn’t have anything to do with some type of advance. That would have been totally inappropriate. He had to have been at least a dozen years my junior—closer to my daughter’s age. I still smirked at the notion.

“Hi Darcy. Aaron Michaels.”

 “Yes. We talked the other day.” His approach was innocent enough, but I still kept my guard up.

 “I’m so sorry for your loss. Art and I worked closely together, and I learned a lot from him.”

 “Thank you.” I smiled and relaxed a little.

 “Here’s my card.”

He handed his business card to me. That seemed a bit strange, almost like he was trying to sell me something, but I took it nonetheless.

 “I’ll get all your husband’s personal belongings together. Give me a call when you wish to come pick them up.”

That explained the business card, but he didn’t offer to drop them off. I couldn’t figure that one out. Maybe he was concerned about appearances. It didn’t matter. I told him to give me about a week and watched as he left the kitchen. Turning back to the fruit platter, I felt relieved and genuinely appreciative of the young man’s gesture.

Sam stopped over when my daughter and I were standing next to the coffee machine. He offered the standard condolences but went on to explain how indispensable Art was and that replacing him was going to be a difficult task at best. I smiled at the true eulogy of the day—at least the one I’d actually heard.

 

When I’d had my fill of well-wishers, I needed to get out. Sylvia offered to take me home and then return to help clean up the church. I took her up on the offer.

The short trip should have been uneventful, but it quickly deteriorated.

 “The pastor did a great job setting up the service and the reception, didn’t he?” I mentioned, once we were out of the parking lot.

 “And his eulogy was beautiful,” my daughter added.

 “Yes…it was.”

 “Oh come on, Mom. You didn’t even hear it, much less listen to it. You were more interested in your friends.”

 “That’s not true.”

 “What were you thinking about, then? Or were you more interested in the way they were dressed? Were you wondering why half of them weren’t wearing black?”

I frowned. “Just what are you getting at?”

 “They were the last words to be said about Dad. The pastor went out of his way to make it a memorable service, but you didn’t care.”

My eyes grew wide as I looked directly at her. “Do you really believe that?”

 “What am I supposed to believe?” Her eyes started to water.

I turned forward and sighed, staring at the road ahead. It took a moment for me to form my thoughts.

Turning back toward her, I said, “You know how much I love—” I choked and swallowed—“how much I loved your father. It was the whole situation. I’m not ready to hold onto his memory, baby.” My voice struggled to eke out, “He should be here.” I instantly started to weep.

Sylvia pulled over and grabbed hold of me. Crying, she said, “I’m sorry, Mom.” We held onto each other until almost on cue, we both regained out composure. Sylvia sniffed once and put the car back in drive.

We decided to spend the evening watching our favorite movie together. We were all we had, now. I knew that tomorrow, I’d have to figure out my next move, but tonight was all about consoling each other. And we’d both had our fair share of tears. We needed the escape.

We pulled into the driveway, where I noticed Art’s car parked in its familiar spot. I turned my head away, but I realized I had to get past this—sooner as opposed to later. I found myself wondering how others coped after their life was turned upside down unexpectedly. Did it come naturally or did they have to work at it?

I removed the key from my purse and slipped it into the deadbolt, turning the doorknob after unlocking the door. My jaw dropped when I pushed the door open. The living room had been ransacked.

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