As I've just got a release day for Kera's book Killer at Christmas of December 13th, I'll tease you from there I think.
(no cover yet so here's Dark Isle, the island in Loch Lomond the facility is on)
A killer and a hooker? An unlikely mix, especially, at Christmas.
Rio Buchanan, a Government operative, and member of the Dispatchers specializes in seduction. He just never thought his target would be his ex-wife. Andie might now be a hooker, but there’s no way she’s a traitor.
There’s only one way to get to the truth—kidnap her to keep her safe.
Andie doesn’t know what to think when Rio disrupts her life again, let alone when she wakes up in a prison cell shackled to him, and not in a fun, kinky way.
The secrets of his job already ended their marriage. Will they now end her life too?
Imprisoned on the Dark Isle they have to work together to catch a traitor, and discover if they can forge a new life together.
Shit, his head ached. He hated being cooped up in a flying tin can, dreaded what he would find when he got to his destination and swore long and hard at the idiots who had behaved so badly in the past that the airline didn’t serve alcohol before 8 a.m. Not that he normally drank at such a time, but he’d not been to bed, and was squashed between an overweight Geordie and a chattering airhead whose leg kept rubbing up against his thigh.
The guy had snorted, farted, and snored his way through the flight. Once he’d drunk three miniature rums he’d pulled out of his pocket—against the rules but the crew didn’t see him—and eaten a selection of snacks so fast Rio felt sick on the bloke’s behalf. The airhead—call me Cherine—had dropped her nuts and fondled Rio’s nuts as she picked the packet up with an inane giggle so often he was about ready to stuff both sets down her throat and gag her. Except, he hoped to be able to fly commercial again sometime, and being charged with attempted murder or disorderly behavior on a plane wasn’t likely to help him in that quest.
“Look sweetheart, if you do that again you might find I’ve accidentally broken your fingers,” he said wearily as he lifted her hand and squeezed the digits somewhat cruelly. “Once is an accident, twice is persistent, and times three to now is a fucking annoyance. If you want your bloody nuts so much just eat them and stop trying to finger mine. Okay?”
She went the color of the plane’s logo, stood up and stalked down the aisle to the lavatory. Someone behind giggled and the blond haired, stocky guy across from Rio raised one eyebrow. “Bit harsh, buddy?”
“You sit here then, and let Octopus Annie feel you up. I’ll have bruises where no bruise ever should be. She’s got nails like talons, and grips like a bloody bird of prey.” Rio grinned. “Apt description actually.”
The guy nodded. “Point taken and no thanks. I’m off to visit my woman. I don’t think Andie would be too pleased if I went with unusable assets.”
Andie? It had to be a coincidence, surely? “That’s an unusual name for a girl,” Rio said with a non-committal smile. ‘Short for Andrea?”
“Nope. Her name is Sandie, but there were four Sandies in her class so she went for Andie. She’s a sweet thing, not at all boyish if you know what I mean.” The guy sketched an hourglass figure in the air. “I don’t know why she just didn’t use her proper name, Sandrine, but hey—that’s women for you.”
Rio’s breath left him. How likely were there two people named Sandrine who called themselves Andie because of too many Sandies at school. But sweet? That didn’t sound like his ex-wife? They’d split because they were both opinionated, wouldn’t back down, and there was no give and take. He needed to probe more. Because if this was the guy Darke spoke about, he, Rio needed to make plans.
“Yeah, women, eh?” What else could he say? “So, she knows you’re on your way home?”
The bloke shook his head. “She’s expecting me later, but it’s not home, she’s just working out there for a bit. I’m gonna get there early, use the key she doesn’t know I’ve got, and surprise her. I’ll show her what she’s missing. For some reason she won’t move in with me. God knows why. I’m sure she would be the perfect Susie Homemaker.” He winked. “You know. A lady in the kitchen and let me lead in the bedroom. A quick tweak here and there and wham bam thank you ma’am every so often and she’d be happy. I get my shirts ironed and my rocks off when I can’t get to my mistress.”
What a fucking asshole.
“Everything covered then.” Rio sat back and plotted. “Lucky bastard. I’m between woman and I tell ya, my wrist aches. Hey what’s your name? I can keep calling you hey.”
The guy guffawed. A bit like a hyena. “Anton Hoag. You?”
Anton Hogg? Ant… Hogg? Can’t be a coincidence. Fuck it to hell.
“I’m Ron.” Rio used the name he often did as an alias. “Ron Parker. Hey you want another?” He pointed to the coke can in front of Anton. “I’m off to get one.”
“I’ll have the rum to go in it.”
Figures. Rio nodded, walked to the front of the plane, and purchased the drinks. He bet the guy got the time alcohol was served down to the second.
Anton was a bit of a contradiction. Killer or drunk? He didn’t seem the sort of bastard who’d let his woman work as a hooker but who knew? Nor did he seem the sort to kill women and do whatever it was that was dirty and underhanded. But then didn’t most serial killers look like they kissed babies and helped old women across the road?
Rio put the rum down next to Anton and tucked his can of soda in the pocket of his own seatback. The next few minutes relied on Anton the asshole not knowing where Rio had stashed his carry-on, and not paying any notice to Rio’s next move.
A diversion in the form of Cherine helped. She stomped down the aisle and glared at Rio. “Will you get my bag down? There’s a spare seat at the back. I’m moving.”
“My pleasure.” Her bag was next to Anton’s. Assholes of the world unite? Rio flipped the catch of the overhead locker and handed down the case Cherine pointed to. Barbie pink and sparkly. What else?
She tuned without a word of thanks and Rio slid his fingers around the lock of a nondescript black leather bag, and played around for several long seconds. Success. He moved the zipper, slid his fingers inside the tiny gap until he found what he was looking for. Pulled it out, relocked the zip, and moved away from the hold-all to the very end of the locker.
“More space now, I can put my backpack up and not have it squash my toes.” He bent to his battered rucksack and slipped it in the space now vacant. Grabbed his purloined treasure and shoved it deep inside.
Satisfied, Rio settled back to endure the last hour of the flight. At least with Octopus Annie aka Cherine gone he could stretch out a bit. Snoring, snorting, farting, window seat man never moved.
The plane landed, Rio grabbed his possessions and set off down the aisle and into the terminal building as soon as he could. He needed to get away before Asshole Anton realized that not only was his lady no longer his, his passport seemed to have vanished out of a locked bag.
Sometimes the skills learned at Dispatcher school came in useful. Even the non-killing ones.
Catch the other #MidWeekTeases here
love Raven and Kera x