Read 7 Degrees of Alpha (a collection of seven new BWWM, Alpha Male Romances) Online
Authors: et al Phoenix Daniels Sara Allen
Jessica Watkins Presents
7 Degrees of Alpha
Sara Allen, Phoenix Daniels, SK Lessly, Kasey Martin,
DJ Parker, Tiffany Patterson, Mariah Violet
Table of Contents
LOVE IN PARADISE – TIFFANY PATTERSON
Copyright © 2016 by Jessica Watkins Presents
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Peter Jones is a no nonsense detective, fighting crime, catching the bad guy and doing what he needs to in order to get the job done. When he meets a sultry, dark beauty, who’s not too impressed with his brand of charm, he’s intrigued and captivated. He’s less interested in her name, and more interested in getting the woman herself. When outside forces try to threaten her, he acts in the only way that he knows how. He’s determined to protect what’s his, and Val definitely belongs to him. Whoever wants to bring harm to her, will have to go through him first.
*THIS IS A SNIPPET OF A FUTURE RELEASE*
4:18 a.m. June 23, 2005
The sky had just started to lighten, causing streaks of dark and light to stretch across the sky. He squeezed the velvet-covered hip under his hand, not believing that Val was there. Every day, he would look up from what he was doing, see her and remember how close he had come to losing her. Six months and the anxiety from that day had barely diminished. Six months and he couldn’t get the smell of smoke out of his nostrils, or the anguished screams from his mind.
Jones’ hand snaked higher, moving from her hip to the gentle rise of her stomach, feeling the new life that swelled there. His child. And hers. Created with the love that they had for each other, love and understanding that came about as a result of their closeness.
He felt his hardness as he spooned against her, lining up his body with hers.
“What are you doing?” Val asked in a sleepy voice.
“Shhh, I’m having the best dream, don’t disturb me,” Jones told her, sliding inside of her. A perfect fit.
He moved slowly, positioning himself firmly against her back, as Val arched into him, bending at the waist to allow him deeper.
She gasped, sighed and let a small laugh escape her lips. Making his chest ache with animal pride. He bent over her, kissing, then biting her neck as he felt the rising and tightening in his stomach.
“Pete, don’t stop.”
“I couldn’t even if I wanted to,” he told her.
They disconnected, and Jones rolled her onto her back, covering her with his body again, reconnecting. The protrusion of their growing child causing him to hold himself above her, pinning her to the bed so she had nowhere to escape to. The small words they spoke to each other; a request for more, a groan, a gasp, a giggle at something that tickled. The scratch of Jones’ chin stubble on Val’s breast, causing her to draw in a breath at the heightened feeling on her sensitive nipples.
Val gripped his hair, running her fingers through, as she opened for him to go deeper, to feel him where only he could touch.
“Don’t talk, you’re distracting me,”
Val giggled, “Baby, I need to … now!”
He groaned. Raised himself up on his knees, pushing her legs further apart and buried his face in her neck. The bed moved, rocking with their motion, once, twice, three times. Before they collapsed in a heaving, gasping, satiated heap.
“Thank you, baby,” Jones said, covering her lips with his own, gently, possessively.
“Wake me up like that every morning,” she told him, purring with satisfaction.
“How could I refuse,” he grinned, sliding to the side of her, not wanting to disconnect, wanting to stay there forever.
Jones looked at her closed eyes, her satisfied smile, feeling pleased with himself.
It hadn’t always been like this, they hadn’t always been so close.
But one thing was certain, he would never forget how they’d met, or the circumstances that led them to be where they were now.
10:35 a.m. October 12, 2004
“Jones! My office now!” bellowed Detective Chief Inspector Mackenzie.
“Shit…,” mumbled Jones under his breath. The last thing he needed to do was go into Mackenzie’s office. It would lead to the inevitable, and he wasn’t sure if that he would be able to hold his tongue today. He could see it all now; that “man-thing” that they both did just before getting into a strutting match with each other like two rabid dogs facing off in a fighting ring, tension and atmosphere all but set to ignite.
Jones walked through the foyer, scanning the office to see who or what was in attendance, finding there were a few arrestees sitting around, some handcuffed to their chairs, others looking bored and resigned, as though they’d had every expectation of arriving at their current situation. They exuded a distinct feeling of finally getting what they deserved, as though it had only been a matter of time before they ended up arrested and chained to a chair. It was a shitty situation that both them and the law were forced to endure continually. With today’s forensics, nothing escaped detection for long, which made you wonder why they even tried.
There was a man in the corner, screaming out his innocence, his mouth gaping, profanities spewing like bitter poison, infecting everything within hearing. Jones shook his head. He knew that type; weeping for innocence when they’d had their asses hauled up and put in a jail cell and nowhere to go for the next fifteen to twenty-five years.
Biggest dumb asses this side of forever,
Jones thought as he looked to the left of the screamer, trying to assess if the screamer was disturbing anyone. Generally, he didn’t care, but a lady had caught his eye, and he liked the look of her caramel skin, even though it was plain as day that she was out of her depth with the look of quiet desperation on her face. She bit the corner of her mouth, making Jones stop in his tracks and cock his head to the side, like a hound dog waiting for a sign or signal. Her simple gesture, catching her lip between her teeth, had his stomach churning in strange ways he couldn’t understand, but he wanted to find out more about her.
“Fuck…,” Jones whispered. He felt lost and confused due to the feelings that looking at the woman evoked. He hadn’t had reactions like that in a long time; sensations he thought had died years ago, but clearly were still alive, even if only barely.
“Jones!” DCI Mackenzie bellowed again.
He cringed. He’d been distracted staring at her so intently that his face reddened slightly with embarrassment, as he saw the young lady look up in his direction. She gave him a sympathetic smile with her full, sensually attractive lips, before turning away to speak to the officer, who was engaged in taking notes on his desktop computer. Jones wondered what she was doing there. He thought that there was no way that she could have been arrested unless it was a blatant mistake. She oozed innocence. He considered making a quick detour, but seeing his DCI standing in the office doorway changed his mind.
Jones pulled tired fingers through his long, tangled hair; hair so black that it shone back the light in fractured rays. It was ten o’clock in the morning, and he had been working since late the night before. Tiredness was sapping the strength from his bones. He was used to the night shifts, but it was sitting in one place all night with nothing to occupy his mind that got to him.
He was supposed to have been on a stakeout last night, but it was obvious that they had been fed bogus information again. Why the hell, it kept happening was a mystery to him, especially when the sources were supposed to be rock solid. Now his DCI was about to chew him out for something that he’d done on the spur of the moment, which was why he hated to have this conversation now.
“Sir?” Jones queried, as he knocked and then slipped through the door into the cluttered corner office. He eyed his DCI, whose body had inevitably turned towards a larger, less active version of himself. His eyes and skin showed the life of a career police officer, with its sallow, yellowed hue, like old parchment paper.
“Where the hell do you get off thinking it’s okay for you to bust in someone’s door at…. Four in the morning?” Mackenzie asked, scanning a document on his cluttered desk. “I’ve been upstairs trying to explain your fuck ups all morning…You. Go. Too. Far!” he shouted, causing Jones to cringe visibly.
“Sir?” Jones questioned.
“Don’t give me that shit. You know what the fuck I'm talking about…”
Jones thought it best if he kept quiet for a change. He’d made a break decision and obviously it had been the wrong one. But how was he supposed to know that he was about to break in an old woman’s door? He’d been looking for lawbreakers, not little old ladies with four cats! He had found an old lady and not the criminals he’d been looking for, and it was that one that was the cause of his current predicament.
He had made a monumental mess, busting down an old woman’s door, pointing a gun in her face and screaming about drug runners. He’d accused the elderly lady of protecting her family, hadn’t believed a word she said. He groaned when he remembered shouting that she was hoarding a known criminal, more than likely a family member, who was using her age as a cover. He could’ve kicked himself, but he was going to kick the bastard who had given him false information even harder because that old woman, Mrs. Beasley, turned out to be pretty well connected.
“Mrs. Beasley has influential friends. Now tell me why I shouldn’t throw your ass to the dogs?”
“Sir. We had a good tip.” He tried to sound reasonable, but he could see that it wasn’t working.
The look Mackenzie gave him made Jones clench his jaw so the words he knew would aggravate him didn’t slip past his teeth.
“If you ever give me a bullshit excuse like that again, I will personally kick your ass!” Mackenzie promised him. “Don’t think that this…” He paused to indicate his paunch. “…is gonna stop me. Even if I have to get the rest of your crew to hold you the fuck down while I do it!” He shouted the last part, causing his face to turn purple with rage. Jones thought he’d burst a blood vessel or something, and then he would officially be blamed for the cause of the death of his supervisor and department head. “Get the fuck out of my office. Screw up like that again, and your ass is mine. I promise you, Jones!”
“Yes, sir.” What else could he say?
Whoever wanted him off their back had gone out of their way to make Jones look like a fool, and he had happily jumped at the chance with both feet. He cursed himself, his thin lips drawing over his teeth in a feral grimace.
Jones crossed to his desk, ready to write up his notes on the incident, knowing that he had to explain himself. There was protocol to follow, and his boss would demand the written explanation if not today, then tomorrow.
He heard snickering from over to his left, and without looking up, he flipped his finger up, saying with his hand what he couldn’t be bothered to convey with his expressive mouth. He took a seat and looked around. His piercing, storm gray eyes scanned everything, leaving nothing to pass unnoticed.
Someone was using him to cover their tracks and he didn’t like it; not one bit, especially when he felt they were all so close. But considering the amount of progress they’d made in the last four months, they were so far from closing this case that they may as well have been conducting the investigation from Nova Scotia.
Jones muttered to himself as he scanned through the notes he had taken before Doug and he had left the night before. There was serious criminal activity operating in their catchment area. He wasn’t sure how far their tentacles reached, but he knew they had ties that were firm, secure connections. Connections that were able to feed false information to a reliable team of detectives investigating a case. It seemed that this was a new organization that had recently taken over a few areas, clearly vying for more and using the most deadly means available.
The way Jones saw it, there had to be a mole on the force, probably close to his department, definitely well connected and undoubtedly well hidden. He needed to find the mole in order to even begin to crack the case open. This particular mole was able to pass on information that at first glance, was solid, hard evidence, but turned out to be false, just like the tip-off they had gotten today causing them to bust down Mrs. Beasley’s front door.
It wasn’t as though the south London district hadn’t seen drug rings before, but this group was more sinister, more deadly, and more calculating. The police wouldn’t even have known about the existence of a new syndicate if it hadn’t been for the four burned and tortured bodies that had turned up over four months ago. Not one of the attending officers had been able to hold onto their dinner that night. Veterans and newbies alike had turned green, some even going so far as to lose their meal with one look at the mutilated bodies.
The slaughter had eventually led the police to knowledge of a new drug cartel, whose methods of dealing with their competition, marked them as the most insidious yet. Deadly and quiet were not a good combination. It meant that the members of the cartel were ruthless and uncaring, barely taking notice of their crimes. No one was safe, and no one was too big to take down. The fact that they hadn’t been detected spoke of the fear they instilled in the criminal community.
Being a Detective Inspector was a dream come true for Jones, and someone somewhere was trying to fuck it up. If he didn’t pull his finger out of his ass and get some movement on this case, he would be joining the ranks of the unemployed, not moving up through the force as he wanted.
“Pete, let’s call it a day… night… whatever! Let’s get out of here,” Doug, his partner, said, as he leaned up against the side of the cubicle that separated each of the individual desks from one another.
“Do you remember where that message came from?” Jones said, scanning the notes on the desk. “Maybe we got…”
“Come on! Let's not think about it now. Let's go and get breakfast…Shit, look at the time! I guess we’ll be getting lunch then.”
“Fuck it!” Jones said. “Why the hell not?” He was hardly making a difference sitting there like a target waiting for someone to shoot him between the eyes. Perhaps it was better if he got out of the firing line before someone else remembered what he’d done that morning, “Café down the street, okay? They should still be serving a breakfast menu.”
“Sure, why not.”
Jones swung his dark green field jacket over his shoulder as he marched out of the closed section of the police station. His distressed, dark blue jeans rode low on his narrow hips and hugged his muscular thighs. Jones had a body that would make any woman forget her own phone number, obtained from the number of times his career frustrated him, forcing him into the gym. Rather than taking his anger out on unsuspecting villains, his co-workers or someone else, he chose to work off his frustrations in the gym, a pastime that led to him having the perfect boxer’s physique.
“So, Mackenzie decided to roast you this morning?” asked Doug.
“Haven't you got anything else to talk about? Or I'm going to eat alone!” Jones warned him, anger causing his eyes to narrow.
“What?” Doug asked.
“Yeah, yeah you know exactly what!! Gloat all you fucking want, but something has to give, and I'm gonna find out who these murdering bastards are, even if it kills me.”
“Or if Mackenzie kills you… and probably takes a few of us out as well!” cautioned Doug.
“Sissy tendencies again, Doug?” sneered Jones. “Didn’t think you had it in you.”
“Fuck you!” shot Doug as they passed through the outside door leading to the busy, late morning bustle of Tooley Street in South London.
The warm, early October sun shone down on them, making a mockery of Jones with its jovial beams. The mild wind rustled his unruly hair as he swept it back into a ponytail.
Jones laughed at Doug’s outburst as he stopped on the steps leading down from their station building.
“Say what you want, we have a mole. I’d put money on it.”
“You think it would be easy to catch a mole in our department?”
“I didn’t say easy, but we need to lay a trap for the bastard, just the same as he laid for us last night.”
Jones glanced around, spotting the caramel skinned beauty he had seen earlier sitting with another officer.
“Not bad looking, is she?” Doug pointed her out with a lift of his pointed chin.
The comment made Jones grunt non-committedly, which only made Doug snicker.
“Go talk to her. It’s the first in a long time that I’ve seen you looking at a woman like that,” Doug suggested.
“Nah… let’s go get coffee.” Jones wasn’t sure, but something about her gave him a “back-off” vibe, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to risk the rejection, not after the morning he’d had. He was intrigued, yet wary at the same time.
“Want me to go and ask her out for you, then?”
“I'm not a kid; I can ask for myself. Thanks!”
“Yeah… I'm really getting that sense of determination from you… not!”
Despite his reluctance, Jones couldn’t pull his eyes away from her. He sensed that she was aware of them still standing on the steps, even though she wasn’t looking in their direction.
, Jones thought.
“See you later, Doug, lunch is on me, next time,” he said, descending the steps, and walking towards the woman who’d stirred his interest.