Tonight, I am going to dedicate my blog post to giving you a sneak peak into the world of Vincent Adcock, Jude Brittain, and Andrew Beaumont...
From Vincent - Blood Retribution:Abigail stood hidden in the shadowy entrance of the building across the street from the high rise. In the darkness she watched Vincent Adcock pause and briefly scan the street. His piercing gold eyes seemed to locate and then lock on her. She drew herself tighter into the corner, holding her breath, until he turned to pull open the set of smoked glass front doors and disappear inside.
She stayed put, her feet rooted to the concrete beneath her, until she was sure he’d had time to reach the elevator. A man who appeared to be of some wealth, carrying himself the way he did, would most likely inhabit the penthouse high above the city.
Abigail had observed him from a distance since the day her sister-in-law returned home to Baton Rouge. Most of her memory of the night he rescued her in the alley had returned, but she hadn’t known how to find him. Until she ran across a newspaper photo of him handing off a sizeable check to a local charity. Then she had his name as well as his company title. The rest had been simple digging on the internet.
Her research of the property revealed a building with twenty floors and the penthouse. Abigail was determined to meet him privately. How had he found her in the alley the night she was attacked, and why could she only vaguely remember him being in her hotel room? She needed answers.
He was dangerous. The unsettling way he got inside her head. As much as that bothered her, Vincent Adcock could be useful, and she planned on approaching him tonight. Her skin prickled with chill bumps at the thought, but she brushed her anxiety aside, weighing her safety against needing his assistance to find Reilly. And she reminded herself of how her dreams seldom misled her. He had been occupying them for some time now.
From Jude - Blood Reckoning:Jude was leaning over the front of the desk, his hands flat against the polished surface, watching as Andrew scrolled through the photos on the screen. Gerard sat back, his expression thoughtful, never once showing any sort of emotion even when photos of beaten women came up on the screen.
Jude sensed them first, before the sound of their steps echoed against the floor in the hallway. He knew Gerard sensed them too because the corner of his mouth twitched in just a hint of a smile at his mate’s arrival. It was impossible for them not to know when someone with whom they shared the bond of creation was near.
Straightening, he turned toward the door at the same time his two colleagues did. He was prepared for Chantel to hand the disobedient little ragamuffin over to him and he pulled himself up to prepare for the whirlwind. Cyclone. Hurricane. Whatever, she was a damned handful.
He wasn’t prepared for the docile, feminine creature that stepped into the library. Obviously, neither were his two friends. Everyone was speechless, and with good reason.
Gone were the raggedy, bloody clothes and spiked black hair. No more streaks of dried bayou mud on her face, arms and legs. There was no irritation on her face and no vulgarities coming out of her mouth and she made no move to attack Jude. For which he was grateful.
Instead, this girl in front of them was dressed in a tastefully cut sundress, her slender legs glimmering with some sort of lotion that smelled like heaven tucked in a pair of high heeled sandals. Her hair had been toned down to a rich dark brown with shimmery auburn highlights and her face was no longer pale and harsh with the wild make up she had worn before.
Gerard had come to his feet and stepped around the desk, holding out a hand for Chantel, bringing it to his lips for a brief brush of lips. “Good evening, my love.” He turned to look at Reilly. “I see that the two of you make good use of my credit cards tonight.”
“Are we interrupting your business, gentlemen?” Chantel raised her eyebrows in a look that told them that even if they had interrupted, it was just too bad. “Or perhaps we could join you for a bit.” A statement, not a question. She tucked her hand around Gerard’s arm.
Andrew spoke first. “Of course, you aren’t interrupting us Chantel. And I take it this is the pretty little sister of our friend, Abigail?” He looked over at Jude and snickered. “I’ve heard so much about you.” He held out his hand to Reilly who shyly took it. “It is nice to meet you under better circumstances.”
Jude was beside himself. The voice that came from the lips that just a few hours earlier had screamed and cursed at him earlier was softer, more feminine. “I can’t say that the circumstances are much better considering what I am.” Her eyes flashed at Jude. “But then again, I guess it’s better to be out and about instead of locked up in the attic with this fu…”
Chantel shot her a warning glance before Reilly got the word out of her mouth and to Jude’s surprise, the girl stopped midsentence and smiled. “Oops, I forgot. Sorry Chantel.” She shot a fiery glance at Jude with a smirk that warned him she wasn’t done with him yet.
With a sweeping gesture, Gerard motioned to the wing chair in front of the desk. “Please, have a seat young lady.” He led Chantel around the desk and helped her sit in the chair he had vacated before he looked at Reilly again. “You look rather lovely this evening. Enchanting I should say.” He turned to the other two men. “Doesn’t she, gentlemen?”
Andrew smiled again, tucking his hand automatically above his holstered gun. “Absolutely, yes she does.”
Jude just stared, waiting for the next move. Ready to defend himself if she came flying at him like a rabid cat. He just couldn’t believe the transformation was more than skin deep and in his experience with women, years of experience and hundreds if not thousands of women, he just didn’t trust any of them. Especially not this one. He had been bashed up against the wall one too many times in the last couple of nights and he much preferred that any physical contact with a woman was of the naked kind.
The silence in the room was awkward, with everyone waiting for Jude to say something. To acknowledge the young woman’s transformation. All eyes bore down on him and he threw up his hands. “Yep, Reilly, you sure are a pretty little thing all gussied up like that.” He looked around the room at the faces of his friends. “That better? Hell, I can’t win for losing around here tonight.”
From Andrew - Blood Reward:He stepped over a couple of broken boards and moved closer to the porch that ran the whole length of the front of the house. Over the years, the Victorian woodwork that trimmed the porch had rotted in a couple of places and wasps had taken up residence in the softened wood. He touched his holstered gun and took a step up on the bottom step of the porch.
The front door opened, and a willowy shadow appeared in the light. When she stepped out onto the porch, he saw a pale slender woman with black hair that cascaded in waves almost to her waist. Her eyes were covered with dark glasses despite the time of night and he wondered if she were blind. The same soft seductive voice from his phone call to her beckoned to him. “Please, come in officer.”
When she stepped back, he surveyed the woman a bit more. A black dress clung to her slight curves and was slit up the side to her thigh. A diamond ankle bracelet hung from her slender ankle and the tiny feet that were tucked into a pair of stiletto sandals were pedicured with blood red polish.
He stepped into the interior that was not as run down as the outside of the house. The main room was a parlor and the walls were elegantly painted in an eggplant color on which exquisite watercolor paintings hung. If he were a betting man, he would put his wager on the paintings being originals. Tiffany lamps sat on elegant tables on each side of the French Provincial sofa upholstered in a lighter color than the walls and a fainting couch sat in the corner and was tossed with needlepoint pillows that hinted of the colors in the paintings. As if she could read his mind, she spoke again.
“Yes, the paintings are originals by Claude Monet. Quite a fascinating man, I must say.” She motioned for him to sit on the sofa and sat down next to him. “Such beautiful art. I like beautiful things. How about you, Officer Beaumont?”
Rapid footsteps sounded through the otherwise quiet house and a young woman appeared. “Auntie, you must take care and stop this putting men in a position to compliment you all the time.” A warning look came from the slight redhead clad in jeans and a New Orleans tee shirt.
The woman laughed softly and touched his leg. “Nonsense child. Officer Beaumont needs no urging to compliment me.”
“Auntie…” The girl stepped further in the room and Andrew guessed her to be in her late twenties.
The woman held out her hand and waited for him to take it, a smirk on her red lips. “Isn’t that correct, Officer Beaumont?” She nodded at him, her hand still extended.
Avoiding the contact and any question that might come from the cold lifelessness of his hand, he reached for a notebook in his pocket instead. “I don’t think I need to tell you how beautiful you are, ma’am. I’m sure you have a significant other to tell you that every day.”
She watched as her niece took a seat on the edge of the fainting couch before she tucked her hand back in her lap. Andrew noticed that it was as pale as her face. She must not spend a lot of time outside because the skin was like perfect porcelain.
“Officer Beaumont, this cheeky young woman is my niece Jordan Murray.” She watched him through her dark glasses as he jotted down the name on his notepad, then continued. “Jordan helps me manage my properties and we’ve just come from an extended trip to Ireland where her father’s family lives. I so love the weather there as even during the daytime I can venture out without affecting my skin.”
“I can no longer permit this house to go unoccupied as with all the crime here in the city, I am constantly worried that my precious things will be stolen by some common criminal.” She nodded her head toward the paintings. “Or vandalized to ruin. I’m sure that you understand.”
“Yes ma’am, I do. We try out best to keep things under control but sometimes it’s like fighting a losing battle.” He stood up, suddenly uncomfortable under her sharp scrutiny. She was obviously not blind but for some reason wore the dark glasses to cover her eyes.
“Well, I am certain that there are ways to take care of those who would damage or steal a person’s property.”
There was an icy undertone to her voice and it served to make Andrew more uncomfortable. “So, you believe that renting the house to someone would be more suitable for you? Don’t you worry that a tenant might do some damage or steal? Often they do.”
“They wouldn’t dare.”
“You seem so confident, ma’am.” He had yet to obtain her name and he raised an eyebrow. “I’m sorry, I don’t believe I have your name anywhere.”
“No, I’m sure that you don’t.” She stood and motioned to Jordan. “Come, child, let us show the good officer the rest of the house.” She glided across the room as if she were walking on clouds, holding her head high and her back straight as a rod. “Perhaps, once you see the house we can talk business over a refreshment.”
He heard a choked exclamation from Jordan who was following them both and felt her eyes on his back. Green pieces of ice were those eyes. And they chilled and burned him at the same time.