Title: Her Thin Blue Lifeline
Series: Indigo Knights MC Book I
Author: A.J. Downey
Genre: MC Romance
Cover designed by: Dar Albert from Wicked Smart Designs
Chrissy Franco has every reason to take one hell of a victory lap around the courtroom. She’s just defended her client to the best of her ability and what’s more? Her client was actually innocent. Oh, she’d killed her husband, baseball legend Skip Maguire, alright; but he’d been about to hit a homerun with Miranda’s head.
His rabid fan base doesn’t agree with the verdict, and they’ve set their sights on Chrissy as the one to blame. One of them is about to set into motion a dangerous game when he publishes poor Chrissy’s address online…
Enter Tony McCormick, a detective with the right kind of attitude and Chrissy’s sort of ex-boyfriend. When he’s called to Chrissy’s apartment, he’s prepared for the worst. He’s a homicide detective after all. When he arrives, it seems that someone might have forgotten to check to see if Chrissy was still alive… now it’s everything he can do to find the man who did this and the other behind it all before it’s really too late.
“Yeah, Tony, got a couple of fresh ones at two-two-one-six, east 53rd; apartment two-oh-six. You’re up.”
I finished scribbling the address he’d given me on a legal pad in front of me saying, “I think this damn city has had enough with the baseball references, Captain.”
“Yeah, whatever, get your ass over there, this city has had enough with the homicides lately, too.”
“You ain’t lying; I’m on it.”
I tossed the receiver back onto its cradle with a clatter. I sat up from where I’d been hunched over my desk and rubbed the back of my neck, giving myself at least enough time to indulge in a stretch before getting up. I picked up the pad of paper, my eyes roving over the address as it tickled the back of my brain.
I knew it, but couldn’t place it. Something about all those twos and sixes was just niggling at me in the worst way but I figured I’d see it soon enough. I needed to get over there before the bodies got cold. Before the medical examiner got any kind of time with them. It helped to see the scene before anything was touched or moved.
I got up and hauled ass, heading down to the garage and my assigned cruiser. It was a short drive from the 12th precinct to the apartment’s address and there was plenty of parking in among the black and whites with their party lights that were already there. Hell, the coroner’s van wasn’t even here yet. Just a couple of uniformed units. Lucky me. I double parked and then it clicked… this was Chrissy’s place. She was a lawyer, a defense attorney that I’d taken out a couple of times. We were like ships passing in the night schedule wise, and after the fourth interrupted date, we had pretty much come to the conclusion that it was nice, but it wasn’t going to happen.
That’d been over three years ago, pushing four; I’d always sort of wondered if our paths would cross again. I never imagined it might be on a homicide call in her building, that is, if she still even lived here. Who was I kidding? I knew, deep in my gut from the minute I’d pulled up it was the feisty lawyer’s apartment I was headed to.
“Well you can definitely say there were signs of forced entry, huh detective?” a uniform, Johns by the nametag on his chest, said as I stepped carefully over the shattered debris that’d been Chrissy Franco’s doorframe and lock.
“Jesus Christ,” I muttered taking in the raw scene.
There was a blonde, draped back over the arm of the couch, a movie-perfect shot through her fuckin’ forehead, right between the eyes. I walked carefully up to the second body and leaned down over my knees.
“Yeah, that’s Chrissy Franco, alright,” I said, heart heavy in the center of my chest. Regret weighed me down like a thousand pound boulder in the center of my chest. She was beautiful, even like this, body cooling on the floor. If ever there had been one that’d got away, it was Chrissy. I’d thought about her a lot in the intervening years since I’d last seen her. I’d even caught myself lingering in the corridors of the courthouse on the occasions I’d had to be there. Hoping to run into her, hoping to rekindle things; that she might happen to be single, maybe willing to give it a shot again… This was a-fucking-shame, and I was gutted that it had to be me to catch the call.
I pulled on a pair of gloves and went to trace some of her long dark hair away from the side of her face so I could get a better look at her when she gasped.
I nearly shot through the fuckin’ roof.
“Call a bus!” I screamed and knelt down amid the broken glass and spilled wine, the sweet smell of alcohol and coppery tang of blood singeing my nose even as hope filled me up like a helium goddamn balloon.
“H-he-help me,” she stammered out and I took her hand.
“Ambulance is on the way, just hang on, baby.”
“Yeah, yeah, you remember me?”
“It hurts!” her tone was mournful, pain filled, and I deflated a little on the inside, but I wasn’t willing to show it. Confidence, surety, that’s what she needed right now.
Shit. Both of those things were the last things I was feeling right now. I wasn’t used to live victims, especially not ones I’d had the occasional date with. I couldn’t fucking help her except to wait for paramedics and I hated it. I glared at the uniform who was spewing panicked words into the mic at his shoulder.
“Didn’t you check to see if she was a-fuckin’-live!?” I demanded, needing to direct my helpless anger somewhere.
“I mean, who gives a shit, man? I didn’t know! Just look at her!” he shouted and I swore I was gonna have a quiet conversation with him and his CO later, whether or not she lived or died. That shit wasn’t right. You didn’t get to pick the vic. I strapped down my incendiary rage at the comment and stroked her hand, giving my attention to the wounded woman on the floor, the person that needed it most.
“Hang on, Chrissy, we’re gonna get you some help.” She squeezed my hand and I could swear my heart squeezed down with it, a tight ball of sympathy for her pain.
Nobody deserved this shit. To have someone break down your door; shoot you up, and for what? I thought about it. About the uproar over the Maguire case, it was the likeliest conclusion based on what I knew so far… Because you did your job?
“Just hang on for me, baby. Stay with me…”
Rattled didn’t even begin to cover how I felt about this one.
Also by A.J. Downey
Check out A.J. Downey's website for purchase links
The Sacred Hearts MC series
The Virtues Trilogy
(A Sacred Hearts MC spin off)
The Moon Forged Trilogy
(A Paranormal Romance trilogy co-written with Ryan Kells)
The Sacred Brotherhood
The Sacred Hearts MC continued
If you enjoy hot, tattooed bikers and the women they love, you'll want this anthology on your reading list. Some of your favorite MC authors have teamed up and now these bad boy bikers are helping to raise money for End Rape On Campus.
A.J. Downey is a born and raised Seattle, WA Native. She finds inspiration from her surroundings, through the people she meets and likely as a byproduct of way too much caffeine.
She has lived many places and done many things though mostly through her own imagination… An avid reader all of her life it’s now her turn to try and give back a little, entertaining as she has been entertained.
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