When police Lieutenant Sadie Sadowski goes to the big city to scratch an itch that she can’t satisfy in her very public job in her very small town, she thinks a one-night stand is the perfect solution. Until she meets Jack Richardson. The one-night haunts her dreams even when she is in a coma from being shot during a drug bust gone bad. The one-night stand also won’t leave Jack alone. He finally quits his job as a criminal lawyer in a big New York corporate law firm and looks for someplace that he can try to escape the memories of that one-night stand. He throws a dart at a map and hits Hamilton Massachusetts who is desperately in need of a public defender. He takes the salary cut and heads north. When Jack discovers who the shooting victim is and that he is defending the accused shooter, all hell breaks loose. Follow Sadie and Jack as they work out the passion for their jobs and the passion for each other.
She stepped out of the hotel into the fast-moving stream of pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles. Anything that could move, did. A pulsing onslaught of noise and humanity, every voice and rumble competing for space. It was energy unmatched anywhere on earth, with the power of an exploding volcano and the creativity of the entire surrealist movement. Greek pillars drowned in the shadow of towering glass and steel, like delicate orchids surviving next to a soaring redwood tree, with an occasional brownstone squatting like a mushroom. Flashing neon urged her brain to join the party.
New York City. She loved it and wondered if the space/time continuum jittered along faster here than in the rest of the universe. In the organized chaos, a screeching taxi hit an oily puddle of garbage, sprayed a fine patina over a man and his Burberry coat. He screamed an obscenity, gestured accordingly as debris slid off onto his leather shoes. His extraordinarily expensive footwear made obscene sucking sounds as he stomped across the street. Springtime in New York had it all over anywhere else in the world. Paris might be for lovers, but New York City was for everyone.
Did she want to live here? Been there, done that, never again. But, it was an easy place to get lost, to hook up with a stranger, scratch an itch. Dangerous behavior? Maybe. She suffered a moment of insecurity. Inhaling deeply, she sucked in the familiar scents of the City, finding comfort in familiarity. Business over, she relaxed. It was time to play. She grinned, threw her head back and let the wind rushing down the canyon of buildings ruffle her hair. She imagined a lover running his hands through the short strands and sighed.
In a smaller city, she strapped on a badge and a gun and faced murderers and thieves every day. She could handle a one-night stand in the big city. And no one would ever know. The itch needed to be scratched, she needed to be desired, if only for one night and only, especially, by a complete stranger. Existing in the male dominated world of law enforcement made casual sex difficult, or maybe impossible. For a woman. A discreet man might get away with it, and that made the itch even worse. She hadn’t crossed paths with anyone who tempted her anyway, casual or otherwise.
She walked down the street, breathing in odors that collided in big cities everywhere; cooking food, garbage, piss, and, well, shit. What goes in, she thought, eventually comes out, and in a city this size, that’s a lot of shit.
Police Lieutenant Suzanne – Sadie - Sadowski slid onto an up-scale bar stool in an up-scale bar in an up-scale hotel in midtown Manhattan. She was no stranger to the city. She had served some time on the force here. The memory of blood pooling on dirty cement flashed through her brain. The young, innocent face she had known, now lay with his eyes fixed open and staring at nothing.
Her partner had shrugged. “Live with guns, die with ‘em,” he muttered. She felt the need to scream at him; this was a child, not deserving death. She didn’t care if the kid was still clutching the gun he used to hold up the corner store. The owner had pulled out a bigger gun. What Sadie wanted, needed, was an environment where she knew she could make a difference. Here, she was too small a fish in too big a pond, mixed in with too many piranhas. After six months as a New York City cop she had found an opening in Massachusetts. She loved the small town. She had come to think of it as hers. After two years, she made promotion to lieutenant, found friends, hadn’t had to shoot anyone or clean up anyone else’s kill, and was, largely, a happy cop.
But there were things you could not do in a town with a population smaller than one long block in New York City. Scratching that special itch was one of those things. Her life was too public and she knew she might become the Chief of Police one day. So, she steered away from intimacy. But she ached for the feel of a man’s hands running down her body, giving her pleasure. Or the fullness achieved with final penetration, the welcomed weight above her.
A man heaved himself onto the seat next to her. He was middle-aged, slightly paunchy and soft. He looked like he might have been left out in the rain and if she poked him the dent would be permanent. She thought of the Pillsbury dough boy. And he was more than slightly drunk.
“Buy you a drink?”
“I’m fine, thanks.” She sipped her scotch on the rocks.
Dressed carefully to avoid being mistaken for a “professional”, she wore a silky black one-piece dress. It hugged her curves, skimmed her knees and could be easily removed. Spiky shoes, with only a few inches of spike, sexy but not likely to break her ankle. Underneath, a lacy black bra and matching panties instead of a squirm-inducing thong. A professional would have chopped eight inches off the dress and added four to the shoes. The thong would have been standard operating procedure. And a professional prostitute probably wouldn’t have been allowed to stay very long in this bar. It was designed to appeal to the fashionable and upmarket. Hook-ups were fine as long as money didn’t change hands within sight of the bouncer.
The drunk persisted. His hand jerking over to land on her knee. She glanced down and then, slowly raising her gaze, gave him her best hollow-eyed cop stare. He withdrew the hand, slid off the stool and moved away quickly. The bartender smiled and moved closer.
“Nice technique,” Jack said.
“Not the guy I was looking for.” She returned his smile.
“Ah, I could have guessed that.” He glanced down the bar at the man who had moved on to less challenging territory. The woman he planted himself next to looked like a low-level secretary from the same conference he was probably attending.
Jack had time to waste, he was a good listener. He didn’t handle boredom well and this woman was the first interesting person in a slow evening.
“I expect I’ll know the right one.” She looked at him more carefully. As a cop, she knew anyone in the service industry, and a bartender qualified, could be invisible if they wanted to be. It might be harder for this guy. He was slightly over six feet, lean muscle, fashionably long brown hair and piercing blue eyes. She wondered if he did some modeling on the side. His voice was deep and soothing. Maybe an aspiring actor. They were in New York City, home to thousands of aspiring actors, waiters, and bartenders. She could see him on stage. He had a kind of presence. His hands were large, long fingered, maybe he played the piano. But there was something more about him, a hidden danger, that said whatever you thought about him was probably true. Where ever you thought he’d been, he had and worse. This man knew things, maybe things she wanted to know. She leaned closer.