Rectify (Return to Us Trilogy #2)

BOOK: Rectify (Return to Us Trilogy #2)
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Published by

Angel Press

 

 

Rectify (Return to Us Trilogy Book Two) © 2015 by M.K. Gilher.

Cover design © 2015 by Louisa Maggio of
LM Creations
.

Cover image © 2015 by Jeff DeHaven of
DeHaven Digital Photography
.

Cover model Jenna Mariah Balsley.

Cover image © iStock.com/YT.

Edited by
Angel Edits
.

This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from the author and publisher.

Warning: This is an erotic novel containing explicit sexual content and graphic violence. It is intended for adults and is not suitable for readers under eighteen.

ISBN: 9781519213617

Digital ISBN: 9781311938244

First Edition November 2015

Dedication

 

This book is dedicated to the rambettes in my life including all my Mogul's Gals. I'm not going to list all your names because well, we'd be here all night and there's a book to read. Thank you for teaching me how to kick ass and take names. A special thanks to my lovely and utterly resilient mother. She's taught me to fight for what I want and never settle for anything less. Plus, any mother who reads every page, blog, and social media post her author daughter writes deserves a medal—and a billion dollars. Thank you, Mama Mouse. You're my Lionheart.

Playlist

 

"Adrenaline" by Shinedown

"Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea

"Chains" by Nick Jonas

"Cop Car" by Keith Urban

"Desire" by Meg Myers

"Feel For Me" by Foy Vance

"Figure 8" by Ellie Goulding

"I'm on Fire" by Low

"Make You Feel My Love" by Adele

"No Matter What" by Papa Roach

"Rev 22:20" by Puscifer

"Russian Roulette" by Rihanna

"Send the Pain Below" by Chevelle

"Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money

"Talking Body" by Tove Lo

Listen to the
RECTIFY Playlist on Spotify

 

Prologue

 

Eighteen years ago

 

Jacade

 

Her muscles grip me with intoxicating raw power.

She responds like a beast in heat each time I push her to the next level.

Her growls beg me to take her to the limit.

I hammer down, and it's pure bliss as we blow home.

Fuck that bastard.

My cock revels in the euphoria of stealing his prized possession.

The risk of getting caught only amplifies the ecstasy.

This forbidden moment will launch a brutal family brawl, but she's worth it.

Yeah, my stepdad's Mustang was meant to be driven hard.

***

Jacade

 

Scratch
-
scritch
-
scratch
.

What's that noise? I peek up from my awkward bed in the backseat of the Mustang. Can't go home until the whiskey and heroin tonic knocks out my stepdad. He's easier to beat when he's hungover.

The end of a slim jim shimmies in from the top of the window and fumbles for the lock. Slumping down does little to conceal my lanky body, but there's no time to move to the floor. The slim jim slides the lock and the door opens.

My fists clench in preparation for a fight. No one steals his car but me. I've got a purple belt in jiu-jitsu and a lifetime of fighting to defend myself. Let's go, asshole.

A luxuriant waterfall of wild chestnut hair hops in behind the wheel.

Hold up. A chick?

She drops a drill and the slim jim on the seat and jams a screwdriver into the ignition switch. She picks up the drill and mumbles, "Please, please," as she sticks the bit into the keyhole.

I haven't seen her face yet, but the fact she can hot-wire a car turns me on. She drops the drill and picks up the screwdriver again to work it back into the ignition switch.

"Yes!" she says when the engine turns over. She shifts into gear and punches it. We fishtail from the curb and take off down the street.

The streetlights illuminate her sunken cheeks and full lips. Wide, vulnerable eyes dart from the road to her mirrors. She's fucking stunning.

She maneuvers to the left of a Mercedes in front of us and splits traffic between two trucks. She's a force to be reckoned with behind the wheel. I sit up and rest my elbows on top of the seats, linking my fingers together. Her vanilla lavender scent hits me like a chloroform punch.

I whisper in her ear, "Rule number one, sweetheart. Always check the backseat before you boost a car."

"Ahh!" She jumps, and the car swerves across two lanes. We bounce up the curb with a thunk. I wrench the wheel to avoid crashing into an ice-cream shop window.

She takes control of the wheel again, and I climb over into the front seat. I sneak a peek at her chest. Oh yeah. She's stacked under that thick black hoodie.

"What the hell?" Her voice is sexy too. She turns her head to me for the first time, and her eyes knock me out. Innocence, vitality, fear, but most of all, kindness. She's a good girl. She didn't want to steal this car. She's breathtaking.

I'm in love.

A high-pitched din permeates the closed windows, and blue lights flash across her cherubic face.

She looks in the rear mirror and chants, "No. No. No."

Oh shit. We're going down.

She parks the car in an empty parking lot and hangs her head. A yellow Corvette pulls up next to us, and the dude driving it gives me a death stare. Who's this punk?

***

Bernard

 

Motherfucker. All I wanted to do tonight was get my dick sucked by a stunning paid-by-the-hour brunette with sapphire eyes. Instead, I'm at the police station sorting through the moronic shenanigans of this pubescent fuck-up I'm forced to babysit.

Viktor had one job. Only one.

Click-clack
.
Click-clack
.
Click-clack
.

My black dress shoes echo off the marble floor as I approach the woman sitting at the check-in desk. Her annoyed face scowls at me. "Can I help you?"

Flashing my pearly whites, I say, "Well, hello there. Dr. Heldman to see Commissioner Boothby." Skeptical hazel eyes analyze my appearance from my gray tie to my crisp, navy three-piece suit.

Yes, this suit is expensive. Now, get the commissioner.

"And what's this regarding?" Come on, lady, jam your fingers into those numbered buttons and phone him. Her stick-up-her-ass posture tells me she hasn't been bent over a desk and fucked in a long time. I should grab her by the hair and force her to the wood until splinters mark her cheeks. If she made one comment about the pain, I wouldn't let her come. I'm a sick bastard.

I glance down at her nametag and manufacture my politest grin. "That, Rose, is confidential." I angle in closer. "Ya know. Doctor-patient privilege." I throw her a beguiling wink.

She harrumphs, but bends to dial the phone. I remove my tan trench coat, shake off the droplets of rain, and fold it over my left forearm.

"Dr. Heldman, thank you for coming." The police commissioner's voice resounds over my shoulder. I turn to him and immediately notice he's aged since the last time I saw him. His curly, brown hair shows gray streaks, and his crooked nose has grown. What Vera saw in this man, I will never understand. At least her sister has better taste in men.

He extends his hand, and the rose gold of his pinkie ring catches my eye. Three brilliant diamonds set in a row sparkle in the fluorescent light. I've seen this ring before in yellow gold. He's an ass for flaunting it. Damn psychopath. I know what you did.

"No problem, Gerry." He squeezes my hand a little too hard. I tighten my grip. Fucker.

"How's Maggie doing?" His eyes narrow at his wife's name coming from my lips. It was even more fun hearing my name from her lips as she came.

"She's good." He's so full of bullshit. He knows I nailed his wife and she liked it. Of course she would.

He releases my hand. "Why don't we talk in my office?" Good idea. He turns and strides past the reception desk. "Rose, hold my calls." Her curt nod acknowledges her boss's request. Now, why couldn't my request be answered so obediently?

With a grin, I saunter behind Gerry. "Pleasure to meet you, Rose." Her eyes narrow and she glares at me. Yeah, she doesn't like me. Too bad, Rose, you and I could've had some fun on your desk.

Gerry leads me to the stairs instead of the elevator. He shoves the hefty metal stairwell door and holds it open for me as I enter. The door swings shut with a loud click. He clutches the lapels of my suit and smashes my vertebrae against the concrete.

"What were you thinking coming in through the front door? I did this out of courtesy for the council." His green eyes fume and remnants of spit land on my cheek. "I could've booked him and tossed him in a damn cell."

I throw my shoulders back to break out of his hold and straighten my suit. I was thinking coming through the front door would ruffle your feathers, Gerry. And I was right. All my actions have a well-calculated purpose.

"Well, I would've been fine with it." Viktor causes me more problems than he's worth.

"Next time come in the back way. You know the drill, Bernard. Follow me. They're in interrogation rooms four, five, and six."

My brain processes his words as I take two stairs at a time to catch up to him. "Wait, there are three of them?" I knew about Jude's brother and Viktor. If Ivy is the third, I'm going to slay Viktor with my pocketknife right here in the police station.

Without an answer, I trail behind him to the observation area outside the interrogation rooms. On the other side of the one-way mirror to my left, a wiry teenager with olive skin and strong Mediterranean features sprawls in a chair. His jeans and motorcycle jacket hang off his gangly limbs. He's a beanstalk compared to Jude. He taps his fingers on the metal desk as he reclines in a nonchalant slouch.

In the middle room, a girl bent at the middle rests her head on her forearm, a black hoodie covering her head. My instincts tell me she's Ivy.

Behind the window on my right, Viktor leans against the wall in a tattered and stained T-shirt, his hands shoved in the pockets of his dark jeans. Gravity drags his blond locks over his eyes as his head hangs low.

"From what the rookie told me, this kid was with the girl"—Gerry points to the room on the left—"in a Mustang he says is his stepdad's. This one over here"—he points to Viktor's room—"was in a stolen Corvette. It appears they decided to compare cocks and race. So far, that's all I know. We're waiting for some surveillance footage from a gas station they passed."

Well, hell, this is a mess.

"Did you call the owner of the Mustang yet?"

"No." Gerry says, as he widens his stance.

I stare at the middle window. "What do you have on the girl?" I need to determine if he recognizes Ivy. Viktor's job was to get Ivy to me, but instead, he brought her straight to Gerry, the person I'm trying to conceal her from.

Gerry sighs. "Nothing. She won't talk." A woman after my own heart. Keep holding your tongue, Ivy.

Gerry stops me with my hand on the door to the room housing Jett's brother. "Don't forget to unplug the camera."

"Naturally." Does he think this is amateur hour? I close the door behind me, stride to the corner of the room, and withdraw the power cord from the camera.

I walk over to the chair opposite the boy, not yet a man, and place my hands on the metal table. He has yet to acknowledge my presence.

Interesting. Strike one, kid.

In an unyielding voice I say, "What's your name?" His eyes remain focused on the table.

"I asked you a question, son." Not even a glance in my direction. This is why I never had any kids of my own. I don't have time for this crap.

Remembering Gerry can probably hear my voice, I murmur my next words. "Okay, listen. Jude sent me." He lifts his chin and looks at me for the first time.

Whoa.

Intense aquamarine eyes strike me speechless. I gather my thoughts and say, "I don't need to know what happened right now. Keep your mouth shut until I come back."

Silence. At least he knows how to follow directions.

I turn and exit his room. I move my head back and forth to Gerry as if saying,
He said nothing
, and go to Viktor's room. He sparks to attention.

"Bernard, I'm sorry. I—" I hold my hand up and walk over to the camera.

I unplug the camera and whip around. "Haven't you learned anything? You don't speak until the camera is off. Come on, Viktor, use your fucking head!" He looks down at his shoes.

"I'm so goddamn tired of cleaning up your messes, Viktor." I'm too livid to talk to him. The council was smart to ask me to evaluate his potential before investing time and money sending him to school. Obviously, ending up in jail is his potential. He's going to have to get by on his looks because his brain isn't going to get him anywhere. I run my hands through my hair, turn my back to him, and walk out the door.

Gerry stands beside me in the middle of the observation room. "So, Bernard, what about her?" He tilts his head toward Ivy.

"Well, Gerry, I think she's an innocent girl who got in Viktor's way."

He rubs his fingers across the short stubble on his chin. "I can't place her, but she looks familiar."

I freeze.

Shit.

"Well, what do we do? One of them has to get charged with something. The rookie who picked them up knows too much," he says. Oh thank god, he doesn't recognize her. The weight of the elephant on my chest lifts.

I need to be careful how I handle this with Gerry. One wrong move and he'll squeal to his side of the council and find a way to blame it on me. The gas station surveillance tape has to be destroyed. No trace of anything. The problem is getting to it before Gerry.

I glance at Jett's brother. My gut tells me he can be trusted. He shows admirable self-restraint for a young kid. Viktor, on the other hand, is full of excuses.

"How about I make a deal with you?" I ask Gerry. "Viktor goes down for stealing the Vette. Trust me, a couple nights in a cell would do him some good. We tell the rookie the kid's stepdad cleared him, and the girl and the kid get off free."

He glares at me. Come on. Take the bait.

He snickers. "Make sure the kid and the girl don't say a fucking word to anyone."

"Trust me. I'll take care of it. Do we have a deal?" I grin, sticking out my hand for a shake.

Come on... come on.

His eyebrows scrunch. "What's in it for you, Bernard?"

"Gets Viktor out of my hair for a little while."

***

Bernard

 

Hitting the red button on the VCR records static over the entire video. I've seen what I need to see. The tape finishes rewinding when Gerry enters the room.

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