Excerpt for 5 Prequels for the Action! Series by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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MILLER’S TALE

by

G.A. Hauser


Smashwords Edition

Copyright © G.A. Hauser, 2018

MILLER’S TALE

Copyright © G.A. Hauser, 2007

ISBN Trade paperback: 978-1475-1330-4-9

The G.A. Hauser Collection LLC


This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events or locales is coincidental.

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


WARNING

This book contains material that maybe offensive to some: graphic language, homosexual relations, adult situations. Please store your books carefully where they cannot be accessed by underage readers.

Second Printing

First The G.A. Hauser Collection LLC publication:

March 2011

Chapter 1


“459 in progress.”

“Roger, 459, code 3.” Officer Steve Miller hit his lights and sirens and immediately felt his heart and adrenaline pumping as he raced to what appeared to be a burglary in progress.

Checking his location, he shut off the wailing noise and picked up his radio. “9 Lincoln 59, arriving, standing by.”

The dispatcher repeated his words over the air.

Waiting until the second one-man unit arrived, Steve checked the clock. The call came out at 22:46, it was now 22:59.

“For units responding to the 459 in progress, we have an update…it appears there are no suspects on the scene, repeat, no suspects on the scene.”

“Roger.” Steve clicked off the mike and headed directly to the location as his back-up did the same.

When they arrived Steve spotted a woman standing at her door waving to them. He parked and shut off the engine, then climbed out of the car to meet her. Before he did, Brian pulled up behind him.

He stopped and walked back to Brian’s patrol car. “I’ve got it. You go ahead and clear.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.”

Brian looked up at the pretty blonde standing at the open doorway. “Nice one, Miller.”

Twisting over his shoulder, Steve just noticed she was attractive and petite. “I told you I can handle it,” he grinned.

“Right. See ya on the next one.” Brian smiled slyly.

Watching as his patrol car sped away, Steve cleared his throat, ran his hand through his hair and headed up the long curved walkway to the young woman.

“You all right?” Steve asked.

“Yeah, just a little frightened…come in.” She backed up and allowed him to enter.

He looked around the interior and could hear someone talking on the phone in the other room. Minimalist in design, the décor was crisp and clean, black, white, and cherry red, with a Mondrian style set of acrylic paintings over the leather couch.

“We had the alarm set and when it went off we got scared out of our wits!”

“So, did they get in?”

“Almost. Come here.” She led the way through the kitchen to a window.

Steve noticed a tall, slender African American woman standing with the phone in her hand, her long dark hair was pinned up on her head and her nightgown was sheer and silky. His mouth gaped open in amazement and he had to force himself to not ogle her overtly and be rude.

“He’s here now. Yes, thank you.” She hung up and addressed at him. “That was your dispatcher. She wanted to keep me on the line until you showed up.”

“Yeah, they do that.” He smiled sweetly at her.

“Over here.” The blonde waved at him. “See? The creep got the whole screen off.”

Steve leaned over her shoulder and nodded. “Did you touch anything yet?”

“I haven’t. Sonja, did you?”

“I didn’t touch anything!” Sonja held her hands up.

“After I get your information, I’ll see if I can get any prints, if that’s okay with you.”

“Yes! Get the creep!” Chelsea shivered and rubbed her arms to warm them.

Sonja laughed at her roommate. “Yeah, get him so I can defend him and get him off!”

“Oh, shut up!” Chelsea laughed.

“Ah, okay, who wants to give me their name first?” Steve took his pen and pad out of his pocket.

“I will. Chelsea Saunders.”

“Date of birth and middle initial?”

“Uh…you really need that?”

Steve glanced back at Sonja and smiled, then said to Chelsea, “I’m not being nosy, I just need it for the report.”

“Oh, give the man your damn birthday!” Sonja exhaled tiredly.

Chelsea rattled it off and Steve wrote it down efficiently. “You’re only twenty-eight. I don’t think that qualifies you as over the hill yet.”

“Whatever!”

Moving to her attractive roommate, Steve used a more personal tone. “Sonja M. Knight?”

“Yes! How did you know that?”

“You were the complainant on the call. It was on my computer. I wish I could say I had ESP.”

“Oh. Now you want my date of birth I suppose.”

“I do.” Steve imagined doing very naughty things to her. Just the sight of her long slender legs exposed from her dressing gown was enough to put him into heat.

She gave it to him and he slid his pad into his pocket. Trying to click back into his official mode, he said, “So, you heard the alarm go off, raced here to see what was going on and then what?”

Chelsea ran her hand back through her hair and said, “I don’t know. That’s it.”

“Did you see anyone?”

“No. I heard some noises, but when I looked out the window it was too dark to see anything.”

“So, no suspect description.”

“No.”

He spun around to Sonja who appeared lost in a daydream. “Same for you?”

“Hmm? Oh, I didn’t even hear anything. He must have been long gone when I got there. The alarm was so loud it made my ears ring!”

Giving her an affectionate glance, he had a tremendous urge to comfort her, hold her in his arms. “Uh…okay, let me see if I can get anything from outside. I’ll be right back.”

They walked him to the door and watched him open the trunk of the patrol car.

“You think he’s cute?” Chelsea whispered.

“Cute? Do I think he’s cute?” Sonja laughed at her.

“Yeah…he’s so big and brawny. And those blue eyes…man, what is it about cops?”

“Don’t get me started about cops, girl!” Sonja coughed. “Don’t you go falling in love with no LAPD cop!”

“How old do you think he is?”

“Young! He’s a mere puppy! You stay away from him!”

“Oh, come on, he can’t be that young.” They leaned on each other at the open door as he returned to the house with a small black plastic box.

As he passed by on the lawn he pointed to the backyard. “I’ll check out his point of entry. Okay? I’ll be right back.”

They nodded and he disappeared behind the house.

Chelsea shut the screen door and looked back at Sonja. “I’m exhausted. I hope I can get back to sleep after this.”

“I know. We both have court in the morning.” She yawned and covered it with her hand, then said, “Look, the alarm did its job. It woke us up before some nut-case got in the house. So, I don’t think you need to worry.”

“Right.”

They moved through the house and back into the kitchen to see what he was doing. Officer Miller was shining a flashlight on the window sill and dusting the metal frame of the screen. When he noticed them both standing inside watching him he said, “Nothing here. Sorry.”

“Never mind,” Chelsea sighed.

Steve packed up his kit and walked around to the front again. He set the box down on the front stoop and used a disinfectant wipe to clean off the black powder from the dusting kit from his fingers.

“Is that it?” Chelsea asked, leaning on the door frame watching him.

“I think so. Can you get that window locked again?”

“Oh! I didn’t think of that.” She hurried back to the kitchen.

While she was gone, Steve whispered to Sonja, “So, you’re a criminal lawyer?”

“Damn, how did you get so smart?”

“I’m just very observant. You said you’d just end up defending him and getting him off.” The amount he wanted to kiss those gorgeous lips was killing him.

“Oh, I did, didn’t I?” She smiled wryly. “I guess that makes us mortal enemies.”

Loving the look in her eye, Steve replied seductively, “Not necessarily.”

Blinking her eyes in surprise, Sonja blushed uncontrollably and turned away.

“I can’t!” came a shout from the kitchen.

“May as well come on in again.” Sonja waved him on.

He winked at her and headed to the sound of Chelsea’s fretting voice.

“It won’t shut! He’s bent it or something!”

“Let me have a look.”

She backed up and bit at her nail nervously as Sonja stood behind her.

When Chelsea glimpsed back at her she caught her staring at him. Chelsea whacked her arm playfully and shook her head.

“There. I got it sealed again but I do suggest you call your alarm company and make sure the contacts are working.” When he turned around he caught some kind of silent communication happening behind him.

Chelsea met his eyes quickly and said, “Yes! We will do that!”

He stared at one set of eyes and then the other curiously, then gave up and found one of his business cards. He clicked his mike and asked the dispatcher for the case number. When she responded he wrote it down on the card and acknowledged he had received it.

“How do you hear with that thing crackling in your ear all night?” Sonja asked, her arms crossed over her chest.

“You get used to it.” He handed her the business card.

“I couldn’t understand a thing she said.” Chelsea tried to look at the card her roommate was handed.

“Anything else I can do before I go?” Steve gave Sonja a very inviting smile.

A surprised looked appeared on her face.

“Uh, no, Officer Miller,” Chelsea read his name from his name tag which was on his chest. “I think you’ve done enough for two damsels in distress.”

Choking at the comment, Sonja mumbled under her breath, “Yeah, right. Two damsels.”

Steve walked to their front door and picked up his fingerprint kit from the steps. He looked over his shoulder and made eye contact with Sonja, saying, “You never know, I may see you in court.”

“You may!” she answered, “and if it’s on a case, you’ll lose!”

Loving her confidence and fire he grinned. “I wouldn’t mind getting beaten by you.”

Chelsea’s eyes widened in surprise.

“Good night, Officer Miller.” Sonja smiled at him.

“Good night, ladies.”

“Bye!” Chelsea waved and they both watched as he walked back to his patrol car.

When he drove off, Chelsea closed and locked the door, staring at Sonja.

“What?” she asked.

“You flirt!”

“Me? I didn’t do a thing to flirt with that man!” She turned her back on her and started shutting the lights.

“You did too!”

“Go to bed, Chel, and get some rest.”

Setting the alarm again, Chelsea hurried up the stairs behind her.


Standing at his locker at the end of shift, removing the uniform and heavy gun-belt and vest, Steve felt exhausted and couldn’t wait to get horizontal.

“So?” Brian opened the locker behind him. “You make a date with the hot blonde?”

Smiling to himself, Steve replied, “Naaa…”

“She turn you down?” Brian laughed.

“I didn’t ask her.”

“Why? Was her boyfriend inside?”

“No. She had a female roommate.”

“Oh…one of those…”

“No, ya, moron! She’s not, ‘one of those’! Grow the fuck up.”

“Oh, fuck you. You’re just pissed off because you don’t have the gonads to ask a pretty woman out. Man! Use the uniform! Chicks go mad for it. And you’re not too disgustingly ugly—you can get away with it!”

Tilting to look at him from over his shoulder as he buttoned his civilian shirt, Steve said, “Too bad you are disgustingly ugly. That’s why you’re trying to live vicariously through me!”

“Shut the hell up!” Brian laughed, shoving him.

Steve finished getting dressed and waved to him and a few of the other men who were getting off shift.

“Bri,” Gary whispered to him, “What’s the rookie done now?”

“Nothing. He just had an opportunity to make it with some hot chick on a call and he didn’t even ask her out!”

“Maybe he’s gay,” Gary snickered.

“Don’t even joke about it!” Brian curled his lip in revulsion.

“He’s not! Don’t be a fucking idiot.” Gary tucked in his shirt and found his car keys.

“Christ, you never know with these newbies they hire. Shit- gay-bi-transsexuals! They get every kind in here now. Not like it used to be, ya know.”

Gary looked to where he was nodding and found a black officer taking off his kit. Sighing tiredly, Gary waved, “Night, Bri, see ya tomorrow.”

“See ya.”


Shutting off his truck, Steve looked around the silent parking area of his condominium for anything suspicious. Even though it had an electric gate at the entrance of the garage, sometimes people managed to break in. He climbed out, grabbed his keys and then chirped the alarm on his rig and scuffed tiredly to the elevator. In the wee hours of the morning the halls were vacant and hollow. Seeing his unit number on the door he opened it up and deactivated the alarm, then locked it up behind him and tossed his keys and his waist pack with his handgun on the counter in the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator, he removed a beer and then some leftover pasta. Sticking the pasta into the microwave and the beer in his mouth, he leaned back on the table and sucked it down thirstily trying to unwind.

Remembering something, he dug through his tight jeans pocket and removed a piece of scrap paper from his pad. ‘Sonja M. Knight 7/8/77’ “Twenty-nine,” he mumbled, “…an older woman…Christ, you are fantastic.” He began to spin a fantasy in his head about meeting her, seducing her, and making hot passionate love with her. “Sonja, Sonja, Sonja, oooh, my…you are one hot lady.”

The bell on the microwave went off. He set the bottle down and opened it up, stirred the macaroni in the little plastic Tupperware container, then he started eating it hungrily. When he had finished it, he set the plastic in the sink and drank the rest of the beer, then scuffed his way tiredly to his bed.

Once he was washed up and naked, he crawled under the sheets and grumbled, “This fricken’ shift work is killing me,” then closed his eyes.

Chapter 2


A week later, bleary-eyed and sitting with a dozen other exhausted cops in the county court house, Steve rubbed his face and ran his hand back through his hair trying to appear alert.

Stifling a yawn, he heard the judge coming in and stood as it finally came in session. Once the judge sat, everyone dropped back down in their seats in exhaustion. Brian sat down next to him heavily. “Thanks, Miller.”

Steve looked at him tiredly.

“This is your damn case I’m here for. I should have just blanked the subpoena. I didn’t do nuthin’.”

“You never do anything. I have no idea why you even bother.”

“Shut up.”

One of the prosecutors leaned over the crowd with a list, reading out names. Steve nodded when his was called and then the few who hadn’t shown up had their names repeated in vain.

A monotonous trail of people stood before the judge as she doled out courtrooms and warrants for arrest for suspects who, predictably, didn’t show up.

Just about to nod off in his chair in the stuffy crowded room, Steve jumped as the judge hit her gavel trying to get the murmuring in the room to subside so she could hear.

Opening his eyes and rubbing his face again, Steve came into focus on a tiny form in a snug fitting black skirt and blazer, her long chocolate brown hair was flowing down her back and her heels were narrow and high. He sat up at attention and tried to figure out which case she had been handling.

“…damn, I forgot my fucking pen…Miller, can I borrow—”

“Shhh! Hang on!” He tilted over his lap to try and hear over the low din.

Brian asked, “Is it your case?”

“If you keep talking, I’ll never find out!”

“…the defense is ready, thank you, Your Honor.”

“…prosecution is ready, Your Honor.”

“Courtroom 4 at nine am.”

“Thank you, Your Honor.” Sonja folded up her paperwork and looked at the young black male she was representing.

“Shit…shit…” Steve needed to speak to her again. He had to or he would go mad.

“What? Was it for us? Our case?”

“No. I have to go for a minute. Can you listen for it?” Steve gave him a copy of his police report. “It’s for a guy named Jack Smith—got it? Find out what’s going on with it, and I’ll be right back.”

“Wait! Where the hell are you going?” Brian leaned back as Steve jumped over him to get out.

Stumbling over bodies to get to her before she vanished, Steve kept saying ‘excuse me’ and nudging people aside as politely as possible. When he made it out of the room he found her standing at the elevator with her client.

“Ms. Knight!”

She spun around and met his eyes. The prosecutor on the case read his name tag and then looked over his list.

“Officer Miller, so we meet again.” She smiled wryly.

“I hoped we would.” He caught his breath.

She glanced around nervously. “I’m rather busy. Is it urgent?”

“In a way.” He smiled seductively.

Looking around first, she then said sharply, “Perhaps you can ring my office if you have a problem.”

“I don’t know your office number.”

Appearing put out by his request, she dug through her purse for a business card and handed him one in a huff. “Let’s go,” she told her client when the doors opened.

“Are you on this case?” The prosecutor checked Steve’s name tag again.

“No.” About to add, “But, I’d like to be on hers,” he stopped himself at the coolness of her expression and backed away as the elevator unloaded and loaded.

In a blink of his weary eyes, she was gone.

“Hey, good news, our Mr. Smith didn’t show and the judge issued him with a warrant. What are you doing?”

“Huh?” Steve looked over at Brian. “What? Didn’t show?”

“No. So, just get your overtime slip signed and let’s get out of here. What’s that?”

Before he could prevent it, Brian had snatched the business card from his hand. “What the fuck do you want with a defense attorney?”

“I…uh…”

“Wait! This is the name of the chick from the call last night! You devil! Was she here? I didn’t even see no gorgeous blonde around! I knew you weren’t gay!”

“Oh, shut the fuck up, Potter! Gay…” Steve took the card back, shaking his head.

“So, when are you seeing her? Did you guys make a date?”

“You sound like my mother. Let me get my overtime slip signed so I can go home and sleep.” Steve took the folded paper out of his pocket.

“Here…here’s your report.”

“Oh, thanks, Potter.”

“No problem, Miller. See ya at the precinct later.”

“Right.” Steve nodded and escaped him quickly. Making his way back into the madness of the original courtroom, he waved his slip in front of a prosecutor and he signed it without even reading it. Steve thanked him, then tried to get out of the building in one piece.

Once he was inside the safety of his truck, he read the business card a few times as if it would give him a clue as to her opinion of him or some hint of encouragement. It did neither. After the cool reception, he was wondering if he was barking up the wrong tree. Trying not to feel defeated, he started his truck and drove his way home to shed the uniform and catch a few more hours of sleep.


Lying in his bed, staring at the ceiling, the daylight making sleep almost impossible, Steve picked up that business card from the nightstand and stared at it. That image of Sonja standing in the courtroom before the judge in her tiny little skirt was driving him mad. Imagining calling her, thinking of what to say, he felt the instant anxiety one gets from the fear of rejection. Since he couldn’t sleep anyway, he got up and dressed in his running clothing, then headed out to run his normal route.


Sweat dripping down his temples and chest, Steve untied the front door lobby key from his running shoe and opened it up. Jogging up the stairwell, then managing to enter his apartment while dripping with sweat and catching his breath, when he finally got in, he heading straight to the refrigerator for a bottle of water. He guzzled it thirstily and tried to cool down. Checking the thermostat, he turned it a few degrees cooler and hoped the air conditioning would kick in quickly.

He made his way to the bathroom and stood at the sink looking at himself in the mirror. His tank top and shorts were drenched in sweat and he felt even more exhausted because of the odd shift hours he had to suffer with on his days on duty. Trying to sleep and eat normally for two days was almost worse than keeping the odd hours consistently.

After some time he began to cool down and catch his breath. That card was resting on the counter in the kitchen. He stared at it as he finished his water.

“Fuck it.” He picked up the phone and dialed. “Yes, I would like to speak to Ms. Knight, please.”

“Who shall I say is calling?”

“Uh…Mr. Miller. Is she in?”

“She’s in court at the moment, can I take a message, Mr. Miller?”

“No. No, it’s all right. I’ll call her back…Oh, uh, do you know a good time to actually get her in the office?”

“She does come back after three or four most days. You can try then. Are you sure you don’t want me to take your number? It may be easier if she rings you back.”

“No. It’s all right. I’ll try her another day. Thanks.” He hung up and stared back at the card again. “Shit. Now she’ll know I called. I should have said Mr. Jones!”

Cursing at his stupidity, he scuffed his weary feet to the shower.




“Any messages, Yvonne?” Sonja stopped by her desk before going to her office.

“Yes.” She handed her a stack of notes.

“Thanks.”

Unloading her briefcase on the chair and sitting at her desk, Sonja sorted through the messages quickly, then stopped at one. ‘Mr. Miller, no call back number.’

Sitting back in her leather chair, she smiled to herself. “Officer Miller…” Tapping her lips with the paper, she remembered the way he looked the last time she had seen him in that starched dark uniform, very handsome indeed. She actually imagined meeting him socially. Then reality kicked in. “You have to be kidding, Sonja! What are you going to do with a white macho cop?” She tossed the note into the waste basket and got busy on her calls.

Chapter 3


Having two week days off had its advantages and pitfalls. The shopping malls were less crowded, as well as the grocery stores, but all his old civilian friends were working and no one wanted to go out drinking on a weeknight. After completing some morning errands, he drove to his parents’ house in Burbank, and parked behind his mother’s Volvo in the drive.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Steven. Are you off today?” She came to the screen door and unlocked it for him.

“Yes, today and tomorrow. Is Dad working?”

“You should know your father’s schedule better than I do.”

“I suppose.” He closed and locked the door behind him. “What are you up to?”

“I was just making some cakes and cookies for this weekend’s church charity bake sale.”

“Is that why it smells so good in here?” He sniffed his way to the kitchen, following behind her.

“Have a seat. You want a cup of coffee?”

“Yeah, thanks, Mom.”

When she made him one, she set it next to him at the table, then checked her oven quickly. Once she had, she sat down with him and pushed a loose strand of hair back from her forehead. “You look very tried, dear. Aren’t you sleeping well?”

“It’s working nights. I hate it.”

“Your father doesn’t work nights anymore. Why don’t you get off them?”

“Dad has been on the force for almost thirty years, he can do what he likes.”

“Can’t you ask for a transfer?”

“I will do. But, I’m just in my first year, Mom. I don’t want to look too anxious to move around. You get a bad reputation if you don’t pay your dues. I’ll do a little more, then try and go.”

She hopped up again and grabbed an oven mitt. When she removed the cookie tray a waft of sweet air filled the room. Steve moaned and sniffed the scent again hungrily.

“Christ, I can eat that whole tray.”

“Let them cool off a bit, then I’ll give you some. Are you hungry? Oh, my, it is almost lunch time.”

“I’m starved.” He stood and set the empty mug in the sink, looming over the baked goods like a vulture.

“Let me make you a sandwich.”

“Okay.” He stole a cookie off the sheet, burning his fingers and juggled the molten lava from one hand to the other, blowing on it.

“Really, Steven, you can wait a minute.”

“No, ouch, I can’t!” He sat down again and tore pieces of the gooey cookie off and stuffed them into his mouth.

“Mustard or mayo?”

“Mayo. Extra cheese.”

She layered some meat and sliced cheese on the roll and then spread some mayonnaise on it. “Onion? Lettuce? Tomato?”

“Yes, yes, and yes.”

She finished the sandwich and shook some potato chips with it on the plate, then set it before him. As he dove into it and consumed it quickly, she shook her head at him. “You need a wife. You’re not eating well, are you?”

“When the hell can I eat? I get home at four in the morning, eat my dinner out of a microwave, most days I eat lunch in the patrol car…Mom, it’s just not the kind of job you can luxuriate on a big home cooked meal. That’s why I come here.” He smiled at her.

“Are you seeing anyone?”

He shrugged.

“You’re twenty-five, you need to have a girlfriend, Steven.”

“It’s not like I’m not trying, Mom…Can I have more chips? Just set the bag over here.”

“Are there any lady cops you can date?”

“Some. But, I’m not keen on dating at work. You know, too complicated if it doesn’t work out.”

“True.” She washed her hands and lifted the cooled cookies off the tray with a spatula, setting them into brightly colored tins.

“What’s Laura been up to?” He finished his sandwich and brushed off his hands, then dug into the bag for more potato chips.

“I can’t keep track of your sister. I think she’s doing okay at work.”

“I should call her.”

“Stop eating so many of those, they’re not healthy.”

“I can’t help it. I’m still starving.”

“Well, make some salad, or eat some fruit.”

“Naaa…”

“You’ll get fat.”

“Like Dad?” He laughed.

“Your father’s not fat.”

“No, not much.”

“He’s just got a small stomach. Steve, he is in his fifties.”

“Small? That beer gut? Man, I hope you talk about me that way!”

“I do. I say you are my gorgeous son. I tell all the ladies at church to ask their daughters to meet you.”

He stopped eating and stared at her. “You don’t.”

“I do!”

“For cryin’ out loud, Ma, you make me sound like some wimp charity case!”

“Nonsense.”

“No? Any takers?”

“Not yet.”

“See!”

“Have an apple.” She took the bag away from him and set a bowl of fruit down.

He picked one up and rubbed it on his shirt.

“Stay for dinner tonight.”

“Okay. Ask Laura to come.”

“You can call her right now.”

“Where’s her work number?”

“In that drawer is my address book. Her business card is in there.”

He set the apple back in the bowl, stood and found the address book, then set it on the counter and picked up the phone.

“Laura Miller, how can I help you?”

“You can stop avoiding your little brother and call him once and a while.”

“Hi, Stevie!”

“Hi, Laura! What are you doing tonight?”

“I don’t know. What have you got in mind?”

“Come to Mom’s for dinner.”

“Okay. Did she invite you?”

“I’m here now. She’s baking cookies and not letting me eat any.”

His mother chided him loudly.

“I doubt that. She always spoils her little precious boy.”

“You hear her yell at me just now? Or are you jealous?”

“Yes, I heard her and no, I’m not jealous. I had Dad to pamper me. So? What time?”

“What time, Mom?” Steve stole another cookie from her and bit it quickly before she smacked it out of his hand.

“Six-ish, Steven! Stop eating them all!”

“See?” He asked his sister, “You hear that?”

“Yes. Six, and stop eating all her church fundraiser cookies.”

“See ya later, sis.”

“Bye, Stevie.”

He hung up and smiled at his mother sweetly.

“Is she coming?”

“Yup.”

“Good. Where are you going?”

“I’ve got some errands to do. I’ll be here at around five or so.”

“Okay.”

“You need me to buy anything to bring here?”

“No, dear, I have everything we need.”

“Okay, see ya later.” He kissed her cheek and left.




It was nearing six pm and Laura parked her car in front of her parents’ home and looked around. Climbing out of her car, she grabbed her purse and approached the door and tapped it lightly.

Hello, Laura, dear.”

“Hi, Mom.”

“Come in. Help me set the table.”

“Isn’t Steve supposed to be here?”

“Not yet. He left to do some errands but he should be here shortly.”

“What about Dad?” She set her purse on the counter.

Susan checked her watch. “I phoned him after Steve left to tell him you were all coming for dinner. He said he’d take some time off at the end of his shift to get here. I hope he hasn’t gotten caught up on a late call…oh, I hear someone…Dick?”

“No, it’s me, Mom.” Steve came in and closed the door. “You shouldn’t leave it unlocked, Mom.”

“I don’t normally. It’s just that Laura just came in…did you get all your things done?”

“Yeah. Hi, Laura.” He kissed her cheek.

“Hey, Stevie. Man, do you look tired.”

“I am. I hate working nights.”

“Get off them.”

“I will. Ya got a beer, Mom?”

“In the refrigerator.”

“You want one, sis?”

“I’d rather have some wine.” She followed him to the refrigerator and they both looked in. “That blush will be fine.”

He took out the bottle and handed it to her then grabbed a beer for himself and twisted the cap open.

“Mom? Can I pour you a glass?” Laura asked.

“All right, dear. Thank you. Where is your father?” She checked the time.

“Is he coming home early?” Steve swigged the beer.

“He’s supposed to be.” Susan set out a bowl of salad.

While her back was turned, Steve nodded for Laura to go out to the living room to speak privately. They escaped the kitchen and Laura smiled at him curiously. “What’s up?”

“I’m in love.”

“Are you? Great! Who is she?”

“She’s an attorney. I met her on a call and I can’t stop thinking about her.”

“How long have you been seeing each other?”

Steve looked away from her eyes shyly, then said, “Well, I haven’t even asked her out on a date formally yet.”

Laura laughed. “Well, maybe you should ask her out first! Duh!”

“I’m dying to, but I don’t think she’ll go.”

“Why not? You’re cute in a soldier-boy sort of way.”

“What?” He made a sour face at her analogy. “Soldier-boy? Shut the fuck up.”

“Well? You’re my brother! I can’t say you’re gorgeous! Give me a break!”

“Soldier-boy…” He shook his head and drank more beer.

“Anyway…what woman in their right mind would turn you down?”

“This one.”

“I don’t get it. Why are you even trying if she’s not interested?”

“Well, I’m not sure she’s not interested, and I won’t stop trying because she’s amazing.”

“What’s she like? Wait—let me guess—blonde bimbo with big tits.”

Staring at her in annoyance again, he sighed, “Why do I even talk to you?”

“No? I get it wrong?”

“Forget it.” He moved to get away from her.

“Wait, Stevie—”

As he made it to the hall his father opened the front door. Steve saw he was still in his uniform, and very proud of his gun and badge. Sgt. Dick Miller was rarely out of it.

“Hi, Dad.”

“Hi, Steve… Laura. Sorry I’m late. Is your mother angry?”

“A little…” Laura replied. “Late call?”

“Yeah, some wacko spade fought with some security guards.”

Steve flinched at the racial slur.

“Daddy!” Laura admonished. “That’s not nice.”

“Since when did I raise a bunch of lefties?” He muscled his way passed them to the kitchen. “Sorry I’m late, Suz.”

“It’s okay, Dick. I wasn’t going to put it in the oven until you came home.”

“Good girl. Let me just get changed.”

“No hurry now.”

Watching him walk down the hall, Steve drank his beer bitterly. He didn’t want to hate him, but sometimes he still did.




The music soft and low, the candle lights flickering across the tiles and porcelain, aromatic bubbles of lavender and spices floating on the warm moist air. Sonja tried to unwind in the bathtub. A glass of wine drooping in her hand, her head resting on an inflatable pillow, she was almost drifting off when a light rap was heard at the door.

“Sonja! Your Mom is on the phone!”

“Tell her I’ll call her back!”

“Okay!”

Settling back down, Sonja finished her wine and allowed herself a few more minutes of luxury.

Chelsea was curled up on the sofa in front of the flickering television in her sleep-ware when she came into the living room. Sonja, in a fluffy robe and slippers, plopped down and let out a loud exhaled sigh.

“Rough day?” Chelsea laughed at her.

“Long. I need a vacation.”

“You need to stop defending creeps!”

“That too. So? My mom called?”

“Yeah.”

“I got to get up the energy to call her back. I’m just too tired to talk to her now.”

“You have to call her! If you don’t she’ll think I didn’t give you the message!”

“Yeah, yeah, don’t get your panties in an uproar. Give me the damn phone.”

Chelsea handed her the cordless and lowered the sound on the television.

Dialing, Sonja gazed dully at the screen and then realized it was an old Ally McBeal repeat.

“Hello, Daddy…”

“Sonja! How you doin’, child?”

“I’m all right. Mama called. What’d she want?”

“Just to talk to her baby-girl. How’s the practice going?”

“I’m sick of it, Daddy. Half of them are guilty as sin and they never even bother to show up most of the time. I feel like I’m not getting anywhere.”

“I didn’t think it would take long for you to get disillusioned. You’ve been doing it for what, five years?”

“Plus. I don’t know what I want anymore.”

Chelsea peeked over at her. Yawning, Sonya rubbed her eyes tiredly.

“Sonya, there are so many other branches of law you can do. I don’t know why you don’t get out of criminal law. You can do corporate law like I do.”

“It’s what I thought I wanted to do, Daddy. I was really keen on it at first.”

“Oh, I know. You were all righteous and pigheaded about fighting ‘the man’! But, I knew you’d get burned out. They’re not all innocent, sweetheart. Not all innocent men out to get their names cleared.”

“I know, Daddy, I know…” She rubbed her face again. “Is Mama there?”

“You hold on and I’ll get her…Leticia! Your daughter is on the phone…Okay, Sonja, you be a good girl and stop by soon and see us.”

“I will, Daddy—Oh, I never even asked how you’re doing, Daddy. How’s your practice doing?”

“We’re all right. I can’t complain. You know the door is always open if you want to come and join us.”

“I know. I appreciate that. Good night, Daddy.”

“Good night, sweetheart.”

“Hello?”

“Hiya, Mama.”

“You sound exhausted, child. Why don’t you take some time off?”

“I can’t right now, Mama. Soon. So, why did you call?”

“Can’t I call to talk to my daughter? I don’t need a reason to call. If you called me more often, I’d not have to call you!”

“I know, I’m sorry. You okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“How about Harry? He staying out of trouble?”

“I never hear from your brother. I don’t know what he’s up to. Both my children neglect me. And neither of you is married! How long do I have to wait before I have some grandchildren running around here?”

“Forever. No one wants us we’re so damn ugly.” Hearing her mother roar with laughter, she looked at Chelsea and stuck her tongue out at her for listening.

“You come here for dinner one weekend and bring a nice man with you. I’m sure there have to be lovely men out there you work with.”

Sonja thought of Officer Miller. “No, Mama, no men, only lesbians.”

Her mother laughed again and then said, “What am I going to do with you? What about Frank? Frank Williams…you never talk about him anymore.”

“I don’t see him much, Mama…anyway, let me get some sleep. My eyes are rolling back in my head I’m so tired.”

“Go. Go get yourself some sleep. I love you, baby.”

“You too, Mama. Good night.” She hung up and handed Chelsea the phone. “I’m going to bed. Don’t forget to set the burglar alarm.”

“I won’t. Good night, Sonja.”


She watched her go up the stairs, then sighed, turning the sound up on the TV set. Then she leaned over to the side table where the telephone sat and slid a card off of it. On that card was written a case number and the name, ‘Officer S. Miller, LAPD.’

Chapter 4


“…as you can see, Your Honor, the legality of the initial search falls under fruits of a poison tree. I therefore would like to strike them for use in the trial as illegal confiscated evidence…”

He crept into the back of the room and sat down. It felt odd to be in that building in his street clothing on his day off. Dreading being recognized, he kept turning his face away from anyone in uniform.

“…So stricken—the evidence obtained during an illegal search will not be used in the trial…”

“But—Your Honor!”

“Sorry, Council, you should have known better than to submit this report. Case dismissed with prejudice.”

Sonja smiled and closed her file.

“Does that mean I can go?”

“Yes, but, Manny, you keep yourself clean, you hear me? I got you off on a technicality and I don’t want you back here! You got that? Get some therapy or rehab or you will be doing time!”

“Yes, Ms. Knight. Thank you.”

As she watched him flee, she shook her head, stuffed the paperwork back into her leather case, and checked her schedule.

“Free for lunch, Sonja?”


Steve bristled as an attractive black attorney stood chatting with the love of his life. He stood up and imagined shoving himself between them.

“Thanks for the offer, Frank…”

Steve noticed her tilt her head to him, as if she had just noticed him.

“…but, I’ll have to take a rain check.”

The man turned to his direction but never made eye contact with him.

“Are you sure, Sonja? You’ve been avoiding me lately. At least let me take you out for a drink tonight.”

“Can I let you know?”

When she touched his sleeve, Steve went crazy. Clenching his fists, holding his jealousy back by the skin of his teeth, he wanted so much to rush them and shove him away it was killing him to do nothing.

“Sure, baby. You just call me when you change your mind.” Frank winked at her and left with his briefcase in his hand.

Steve glared at him as he passed, but Frank never even noticed him standing there.

“Officer Miller, are you stalking me?” Sonja asked looking him over.

“Yes, no! I mean, not really.”

“No uniform today?”

“No. I’m off today.”

“Do you normally come to court in a business suit on your days off?”

He opened a door for her and allowed her through. “Only when I’m subpoenaed.”

“Then shouldn’t you be in court?”

“No. Not today. I haven’t been summoned to appear today.”

She sauntered to the elevator with him close behind.

“Uh…I wanted to take you out to lunch.” Just standing with her was setting him on fire. He could smell her perfume, imagined touching her cheek.

“Really? What makes you think I’m available?”

They stepped in and waited for the door to close as a crowd of people did the same. When they began descending, Steve whispered in her ear, “I was hoping.”

Smiling, she didn’t answer.

They filed out of the tiny elevator box and into the lobby of the courthouse. Steve noticed a group of LAPD officers coming his way and twisted around to avoid them.

Sonja had continued walking to the exit and stopped when she realized he wasn’t still walking beside her. She paused and looked back at him curiously.

Having successfully dodged his co-workers, he hurried to where she was waiting.

“Lose something?”

“Yes,” he replied, “My mind, over you.”

“Why, Officer Miller, are you trying to seduce me?”

“Is it that obvious?” He grinned shyly.

“Yes.” She smiled.

They were standing in front of the very busy courthouse. The sun was brilliant in the blue sky and pedestrians came and went from all directions around them.

“Please. Can I take you to lunch?” He imagined getting on his knees and pleading, ‘Oh, please…please…please say yes!’

Taking a moment, she looked at her watch, then checked her diary quickly as he waited, holding his breath.

“I think I can fit you in.”

“Great!”

“Where would you like to go?”

“Name it. Anywhere you like.” His heart was pumping wildly in his chest.

“All right. Where is your car?”

Sinking slightly at the idea of having her climb into a large Ford truck, he thought on his feet and flagged down a cab. “This is quicker.”

He opened the door for her and gazed at her lovely long legs as she climbed in, salivating at the sight of her incredible fit body.

When they had sat relaxed in the leather bench seat and were settled, the cab driver waited for a destination.

Sonja purred, “How about the Sunset Grille?”

He nodded and started the meter as Steve melted in her aura of sex appeal.

Sonja spun in her seat to look at him directly. “How long have you been an LAPD cop, Officer Miller?”

“Steve. Call me Steve, please.”

“All right.”

“A little less than a year. I’m still on probation.”

“Well, that explains it.”

“Explains what?”

“Why you haven’t turned into a racist pig yet. I’ll give you a few more months.”

“Ouch. That was harsh. You don’t mean that.”

“Don’t I?”

Dying to touch her, he reached for her hand and couldn’t believe how soft and smooth her mocha skin was. “No. I’m not like that.”

She glimpsed down at the contact, then raised her long dark lashes up to him again. “You will be. You all turn out that way.”

“I promise you you’re wrong about me.”

The cab came to a halt and the driver shouted, “Sunset Grille.”

Steve fumbled to get his wallet, feeling very defensive about what she was saying, and painfully hurt by some of the truth in it. He gave the driver the money and a tip, then climbed out and hurried to her side of the cab to open the door for her.

Gawking at her legs as they seemed to go on forever in her short skirt, Steve had to physically force himself to calm down and stop staring at her.

He gave her his elbow and she held it gently, allowing him to escort her to the front door of the restaurant. A doorman opened it for them and tipped his hat. Having this incredible woman on his arm made Steve feel like he was the luckiest man alive. The host greeted them and then led them to a table near the window. Steve asked, “Is this okay, Sonja?”

“It’s fine, Steve.” She sat down as he held her chair and then set her briefcase under the table.

Feeling completely out of his depth in such a fancy establishment, Steve stared at the man holding out the wine list, and took it from him, thanking him. “You want wine, Sonja?”

“Why don’t you order us a bottle?”

“I knew you were going to say that.” He shoved his finger into his collar uncomfortably.

With Sonja watching him intently when the waiter approached, Steve cleared his throat awkwardly and asked him, “What do you recommend?”

He offered his suggestion and Steve nodded, handing him back the menu.

After he left, Sonja teased, “Nice save.”

“Thanks. I’m trying not to fall on my face.”

“I can see that. No culture or fine cuisine in your family tree?”

Leaning his elbows on the table to get closer to her, he replied, “Okay, here’s where I either come up with some outrageous lies to make you think I’m high class, or tell the truth and risk you thinking I’m from white trash. Which do you want?”

“Oh, lie to me, Steven, it’ll be much more fun.”

“Christ, you are so beautiful.”

Blinking her eyes at him, she smirked, “Hmm, I tell him to lie and he tells me I’m beautiful.”

“No! I didn’t mean that! Oh, just shoot me.”

“I could. You have your gun on you.”

He moved his jacket lapel to cover his shoulder holster. “Sorry. Regulation.”

Noticing the wine steward returning, he sat back as she observed his actions once more.

He was shown the bottle. He nodded. The steward opened it and handed him a sample. He tasted it, nodding again. Two glasses were poured. Steve thanked him.

When he left, Sonja asked, “How is the wine?”

“I have no clue. It tastes okay to me.”

She laughed at him and lifted it up to sip. “Yes. A fine bouquet. Slight hint of plums and berries. Rich, full bodied. Good choice.”

Trying not to gawk at her class, feeling so inadequate he could crawl under the table, he saved himself and replied, “That’s exactly what I was going to say.”

“I know.” She smiled sweetly.

“You must think I’m insane. You know, to even try to go out with you.”

“I guess I’m just not sure why you want to?”

He looked around them first, then leaned close so he could whisper. “Sonja, the minute I laid eyes on you that night at your house I was completely enamoured. Not only are you intelligent, successful, and witty, you’re the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I know you must think I’m crazy. I’m sorry. I feel like I’m wasting your time. Forgive me.”

When she reached under the table to his thigh, he blinked his eyes wide.

“Don’t apologize. You have nothing to be sorry about.”

“Oh, god…you’re touching me. Please don’t tease me. I’ll explode.”

Smiling in complete pleasure, she smoothed her hand up and down his tight muscular thigh and whispered, “Go ahead, explode for me.”

A tiny noise came out of his throat. Then he placed his hand down on top of hers and slowly brought it to his lips to kiss.

Her expression changed to a soft sensuous pout as she watched him. “Do you want to make love to me?”

Thinking he must be dreaming, he cleared his throat and squeaked out, “Yes…”

“Are you free today?”

“Yes!”

“Let’s have our lunch then, shall we?”

He let her hand go reluctantly, and then raised his glass to her. She tapped his with her own and smiled at him.


Too much wine firing his desires, Steve once again took a cab to his condominium leaving his truck in the police station lot. He let her into his building hoping he’d left the condo clean and not strewn with dirty clothing or dishes.

Holding back from groping her until they were in private, he opened his door, deactivated the alarm, and then gestured for her to come in.

Moving slowly, she looked around the spacious condominium and appeared to be impressed with the design and style of the interior which was similar to the one she and her roommate shared.

Trying to be polite and not drag her off to the bedroom like an animal, Steve tossed his keys down on the table and said, “Uh, can I get you anything?”

Once she had set her briefcase down, she moved across the room to him and smoothed her hands over his chest under his suit jacket to his shoulders. Instantly he wrapped around her and brought her to his lips. When they made contact he groaned in delirium and grew weak in the knees.

Slowly dropping his jacket down his arms, Sonja felt the leather holster and caressed it sensuously. And keeping his lips attached to hers, he unbuckled it and slid it down to the carpet, then held her shoulders and turned up the passion of their kissing. When he could he parted for a breath and moaned, “My god you’re amazing, amazing…”

Untying his tie, opening his shirt, she spread it wide and smoothed her hands over his chest.

Feeling her hesitate, he stared down at the contact and tried to catch his breath. “Sonja? What is it?”

“Nothing…”

He clasped her hands in his and kissed them lovingly. “Are we going too fast?”

“No. No, Steve, I want this.”

Gently he urged her back to his bedroom and turned on a dim table lamp. As she watched, he took off his shirt and tie and draped them over a chair, then opened his slacks and let them drop soundlessly to the floor.

In the flattering dim light, she smiled and purred, “Not an ounce of fat on you, Officer Miller.”

“And I intend to keep it that way.” He took everything off but his briefs and then reached out to her.

Before she embraced him, she began opening her blouse slowly.

He dropped his hands to his sides and waited.

Her top, her skirt, her hose and shoes, everything went until he stopped her at her matching lace bra and thong. “Wait…not yet.” As if in a dream he floated over to her and kissed her lips, then slowly he worked his way down her neck to her chest.

She closed her eyes and let her head fall back as if she were savoring the tenderness and affection like a fine wine.

The color of her skin and the texture were driving him completely mad. His mouth watering at her incredible beauty, she felt so exotic, so wild in his arms. He wrapped his massive biceps around her and nuzzled her cleavage gently. “Oh, Sonja, you are such a woman…I’ve never felt anything like this before.”

She moaned softly and closed her eyes.

When he lifted her into his arms and set her down on the bed, she reached for him lovingly. His hungry kisses made their way all over her body. Touching her with warm tender hands he waited until she was squirming with pleasure and reaching for him to make love to her.

He lowered the shoulder strap of her bra and found her nipple. As he sucked on it he felt her watching him, panting small breaths of air in her excitement. When he slipped his hand inside her thong she opened up for him like a rose.

At one point when she had become calm and still, he sat up and reached into his nightstand. When he set the condom on the bed, she slid her thong off and waited. He stood off the bed and dropped his briefs down his legs.

When he was exposed she reached out for him and stroked it gently. “You are one handsome man, Officer Miller.”

Kissing her lips, he whispered, “Make love to me, Sonja Knight.”

She found the condom and opened it, taking it out of its foil, then she rolled it on his length and reached out for him. When he penetrated they both gasped in amazement.

“Oh, you feel so good…so incredible,” he breathed.

She wrapped around his broad back and groaned in pleasure. It was slow. It was deliberate, and he was making sure it was just on the spot.

Gasping wildly, she began to spin into an explosive climax.

Feeling her body burst with pleasure, he pushed in, pumping deep and hard and grit his teeth as he came, his entire body shuddering with chills.

Forcing himself to open his eyes, he found her watching him, still catching her breath as she witnessed his expression of bliss. “You look fantastic when you come,” she whispered sensually.

Loving the compliment, he looked down at their connection and found one brown body and one tan one. “Look at that.”

She was still catching her breath when she asked, “Look at what?”

“That.” He nodded his head to where they were still attached. “Is that beautiful or what?”

Leaning up to see what he meant, she smiled and lay back, laughing softly. “You are one hell of a fuck, Officer Miller.”

Blinking his eyes at her in surprise, he replied, “You’re not so bad yourself, Ms. Knight!”

“Whoa! I am so satisfied!”

He burst out laughing at her expression and then finally pulled out to lie next to her. “I pleased you then?”

“You did more than please me! Where did you learn how to make love to a woman like that? Is that what all white men are like?” She smiled slyly, her tongue planted firmly in her cheek.

He roared with laughter and then wiped at his eyes as they filled with water. “Oh, Ms. Knight, you are a handful.”

“You have no idea! Do you know what you’re in for?” She crossed her arms over her chest defiantly.

“No, but I’m ready. Bring it on.” He wrapped around her and nuzzled her.

“Bring it on? You don’t want me to bring it on, Officer Miller. You be careful what you’re asking for!”

“You think you scare me?” He leaned up over her to smile at her.

“Scare you? Of course I scare you!”

He chuckled and said, “Well, you do a little. But not in bed!”

“Speaking about bed…”

“I know. I have to get you home.”

“Yes, and how are you going to do that without your car?”

“I’ll get us a cab.” He stood and took off the rubber.

She watched him as he did, then asked, “What kind of car do you drive? What is it an old Volkswagen bus or something?”

“Volkswagen bus? You really know how to hit a guy where it hurts…no, it’s a Ford truck. A brand new one.”

“Brand new? Then why were you afraid to let me see it?”

“I just couldn’t picture you wanting to climb in and out of a big rig.”

“So? What are you going to do? Buy a new car to chauffeur me around in?”

He stopped what he was doing and looked at her. “Does that mean you’ll see me again?”

She sat up and fixed her bra. “I didn’t say that.”

“But, you implied it.”

“Don’t you go putting words in my mouth.”

Feeling let down, he mumbled, “I just need to wash up,” and pointed to the bathroom.

While he was gone she got dressed and checked her hair and makeup in the mirror on his dresser. When he returned she held up a framed photo of his academy graduation with his parents and a young woman in it. She asked, “Is that your ex-girlfriend?”

“No, it’s my sister, Laura.” He started getting dressed.

She set it back down and watched him. “Why do you look like you just got your face slapped?”

“I feel like I did.”

“Why?”

“Well, you said you don’t want to see me again.” He slipped on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

“I did? When did I say that?”

“You—You said—”

“Shut your stupid mouth and come over here and kiss me.”

He brightened up and rushed her, wrapping around her to kiss passionately. Setting back to stare at her face, he asked, “So, you’ll see me again?”

“I think I can fit you in.”

He grinned excitedly and went for her neck, kissing and rubbing his face on it playfully.

“Oh! You give me a hicky and I’ll give you a fat lip!”

“No hicky, promise.”

When they slowed down she reached up and cupped his face tenderly. “You are a very lovely man, Officer Miller.”

“A man who is falling head over heels in love with you.”

Sighing softly, she whispered, “What ever am I going to do about you?”




Pulling her Mercedes into their driveway, she climbed out, carrying her briefcase and purse up to the front door. As she approached Chelsea opened it for her and let her in. “Hey.”

“Hey back.” Sonja set her things down by the stairs and headed to her bedroom to change.

“Did you eat?”

“Had a big lunch. I may just fix myself a salad.”

Chelsea hopped up the stairs behind her. “Who did you have lunch with?”

“You’re worse than my mother—on me with the questions the minute I walk through the door!” She laughed and then kicked off her high heels and went to her walk-in closet for some comfortable clothing.

Waiting by her door until she emerged, Chelsea sighed, “Well, I think I may have made a fool of myself.”

“Why’s that?” Sonja shouted out to her as she changed.

“I called the police precinct where that cop works.” When silence returned, Chelsea shouted, “Can you hear me in there?”

“Yes…”

“Well, I just thought about him, you know, and figured maybe we could get together or something. I mean, I’m not a criminal attorney, it’s not like we have any weird karma or anything going…” She waited, then moved closer to the closet. “You sure you can hear me?”

Sonja had changed into her loungewear and was hanging up her skirt and blazer.

Chelsea sighed, “But, he wasn’t in, so I left my name with some stupid desk clerk. Now I wish I hadn’t. I mean, if he liked me, he would have tried to call here, right? I mean, he has my home number, right? So, odds are he’s not interested and I just made an ass of myself…Sonja! Are you even listening to me?”

Finally stepping out of the closet, Sonja walked passed her and mumbled, “I need a glass of wine.”


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