I know a lot of people hate when authors post new chapters on a story that are author notes, but I'm excited to announce that this story has been nominated on Fanfic-n-tastic Awards for Hottest Lemon and Best Fight Scene. Please, Please, Please, go vote! :) Link is on my FF profile.

Outtakes are also posted, they can be found with my other stories.

And just to be nice I'm going to share a Teaser for the sequel to this story about Stefan Roman that I'm working on called, Water Under the Bridge.


This is the beginning of chapter 2: Intrigue

Society bristles with enigmas which look hard to solve. It is a perfect maze of intrigue.

-Honore de Balzac

(Stefan)

After trekking back five miles to the office, I plopped down on my chair. Lowering my head, I pushed my hands against my temple hard, trying to force the images rolling through to go away.

My computer dinging had my head popping up.

It was an email. A bounty alert.

Really not all that interested, I opened it anyway. Slinging down old, nasty coffee, I read the case.

Name: Perry Johnson

Race: White

Age: 37

Sex: Male

The target was charged with fraud for a ponzi scheme in Las Angeles ten years ago and is suspected to either be in Seattle or somewhere close by. How that conclusion came to be, I had the slightest idea. No other information was provided. This is what me and Bella liked to call a needle, for obvious, metaphorical reasons.

There was also a picture attached. I clicked on it, chunking the foam cup with black sludge in it as I waited from the image to download. The picture popped up. The guy was young. With a clean, shaven face. He was smiling with his teeth but his eyes were...remote. Like someone had copy and pasted the happy expression on his face. He was definitely a pretty boy with dark features and creepy ice blue eyes.

The SOB was slick to go years with hardly a trace of his existence. The fact that he changed his name along with a few alterations to his features was evident. I googled his name and came up with hundreds of sites mentioning his name. Most were news articles about his crime. Scrolling down further I came upon some corporate sites. I clicked on Eclipse Inc. The company made and sold computer chips. It was a very large, lucrative business. Exactly why Perry pulled the scheme off for seven years.

Everyone that rode on Johnson's coattails were caught and put on trail. Many still are paying of their debt. How in the hell had Perry got away? He must of known the authorizes were catching on. Meaning, he had intel. This fact and the cold, calculating look in his eyes showed that this man was no fool.

My interest was highly piqued.

We hadn't had a case like this in ages. Most were dead beats without a clue. They provided no real challenge. This though would be fun.

Zoning out the rest of the world, I dug further and further into the evasive Perry Johnson.


I woke the next morning with a jolt to my shoulder.

I groaned but didn't feel like moving.

"Roman, wake up." I heard Bella's voice say, sounding exasperated and amused. "I have coffee, wake up before I pore it on you."

That had me sitting upright. Bella wasn't one to make ideal threats. Smiling sweetly as if she hadn't just threatened me, she handed me a large mug of joe.

"Thanks." I mumbled.

"Your welcome." She said as she awkwardly lowered herself on the chair while holding her belly. "You pulled another all-nighter?"

I nodded as I gingerly sipped from the mug. The temp was just right with the perfect blended of flavors. I had never found someone that had the same taste in coffee as I did and Bella hit it right on the head.

She frowned. "That's three nights in a roll now of you passing out on your desk. Are you going for a record?"

I shrugged, pushing the folder I had made last night in front of her. Eyeing me suspiciously, she opened it and started reading. Her expression changed quickly to intrigued. When she finally looked up at me she looked like I'd just given her a million dollars.

"Perry, eh?" She finally said.

I chuckled hoarsely, coughing through a dry throat. "Yeah, stupid name but the guy's smart."

She looked back down. "I can see that." She flipped through the pages. "You were busy." I didn't reply as her eyes skittered over the pages. "I can't remember the last time we had a needle."

"Two years, six months and 10 days ago."

She just blinked at me.

I shrugged. "I looked it up."

Shaking her head, she looked back down. "Have you looked into corporate business affairs in Seattle?"

I nodded. She waited with a fake patient expression. "And I found nothing." I answered.

"He's working in the shadows now."

I nodded, concluding the same thing. Men like Perry could never leave their lives behind.

Putting the folder back on the desk, Bella stood slowly. "Let's go."

I looked at her quizzically, still in half a daze. "Where?"

She smiled with a predatory glint in her eyes. "Hunting."


Eeeeh! Are y'all excited? Because I am. This is literally as far as I've gotten so it will take a while for the story to actually be published. But hopefully it won't take too long. I always post what I'm doing on my Twitter or Facebook account, so add or follow me to see what I'm up to. Links are on my FF profile.

Love,

Phee