At long last, my full-length romance debut is available for purchase! (Links to buy are at the end of this post.) So without any further ado, my dear readers…
I give you the opening chapter of When the White Knight Falls!
Vinyl car seats…
Vinyl car seats aren’t comfy, not at all. They’re not like old couch cushions, resting upon worn-out, well broken-in sofas, into which one can comfortably settle. No, vinyl seats are cold and unforgiving. They don’t conform to the human posterior; they swelter in the summer and radiate winter’s chill like a cowhide icicle. Kate hated vinyl cushions of any kind. They reminded her of the leather seats in her father’s chauffeured Bentley, and she hadn’t liked those either.
Shifting uncomfortably in her seat, Kate tried desperately to find a position that wouldn’t make her behind ache. She was rather tall for a woman, and this backseat was, as Dr. Seuss would have put it, “three sizes too small” for her frame. And this whole situation would have been much, much easier without the handcuffs!
Giving up on the prospect of finding an accommodating position, Kate leaned back and stared at herself in the rearview mirror. The police officer assigned as her “babysitter” was sitting coolly in the front, listening to the radio. The Los Angeles Police had ordered a female officer to arrest her. Smart move, thought Kate sourly. The last thing the LAPD needs is the famous Kathryn McCoy suing them for sexual harassment.
Kate met her own brilliant sapphire gaze, hoping against hope that this was all just a bad dream. Just a little while ago she’d been going about her business; she still had her makeup on, for crying out loud! Not that most people thought she needed it. Her long, straight, jet black hair and porcelain complexion were usually adornment enough.
This can’t be happening, thought Kate. But the flashing police lights belied her wishful thought. The street upon which the police car was parked was inarguably picturesque; palm trees lined the thoroughfare, and the surrounding cityscape was defined by beautiful stonework. This part of L.A. was no place for horror … but here she was, living out a nightmare.
Hanging her head in despair, Kate entertained a brief fantasy of suicide. She’d just suffered a death in her family, and her exhausting career had pushed her to the breaking point. Relationship issues had caused her personal life to become an emotional roller coaster. She’d been on the edge for quite some time … and now this.
The police car was rather stuffy. Kate wondered absently if her makeup had melted enough to expose those stubborn freckles across the bridge of her nose. She had been pampered and spoiled her entire life, from her upbringing in Long Island to her current situation in California. Being cuffed and rudely shoved into a cruiser was not something to which she was accustomed.
Kate lifted her head as a detective approached the car. He motioned to the officer in the front seat and waited outside the rear door. “I can exit myself, thank you,” said Kate as the officer opened the door. She was in no mood to be rough-housed out of the backseat. Stepping primly from the vehicle, she balanced carefully on her high heels, adjusting the back of her evening gown as best she could manage with cuffs on.
“May I help you?” she asked the detective coldly.
“Is this yours, Miss McCoy?” asked the detective calmly, reaching into an opaque evidence bag.
Please don’t, pleaded Kate inside. I don’t want to see it. She turned her gaze away as the officer held up something upon which she couldn’t bear to look: a violin bow, broken in half and covered in blood.
“Is this yours?” repeated the detective.
Kate bit her lip, remembering vividly the words of her Virginian friend, old Jerry. If you’re forced to defend yourself, NEVER talk to the police! One misspoken word, and they can hang you. Shut the hell up and wait for a lawyer!
“Miss McCoy,” said the detective, assuming a patronizing tone. “I need to know what happened in there. If you don’t tell me what he did to you, I can’t help you. I’ll have to book you on the charge we arrested you for.”
A police officer can’t help you, Jerry had said. They work for the district attorney, and the district attorney’s job is to convict you. Resolved to keep her cool, Kate just stared defiantly at the detective.
“Miss McCoy—” began the detective.
“If you’re going to grill me for the third time in four hours,” said Kate between clenched teeth, “then by all means call me ‘Kate’!”
“Kate,” re-started the detective, “I need your story.”
“Ask my lawyer,” retorted Kate.
“Then, Kate, you leave me no choice,” sighed the detective. “Your ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ friend is dead, apparently by your hand. This is your violin bow, and there was no one else on the scene. You have blood on your hands and your dress, and your prints are all over the place.”
“Lawyer!” said Kate firmly.
“I heard you the first time,” said the detective.
Kate waited for his next words, knowing that they would spell out her doom.
“Kathryn Leigh McCoy,” said the detective, “I’m going to charge you with murder in the second degree. Are you sure you don’t have something to say?”
Kate looked away, half-amused by the detective’s last-minute attempt to coerce a damning statement out of her. “Yes, sir,” she said contritely. “Yes, I do.”
“What is it, Kate?” said the detective, assuming a falsely intimate tone. Kate looked daggers at him.
“May I get back into the car, please?”
“That’s it, Miss McCoy?”
“No!” spat Kate.
“AND,” screamed Kate at the top of her lungs, “I WANT MY LAWYER ALREADY!!!”
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