Black Jack, picks up four years into Detective Shevaughn Robinson’s career as PPD’s lead homicide detective. She has gone from the cop that everyone, including herself, doubted to the “golden child” of the police department with a record of sensational arrests and closed cases.
Buckle up and follow Shevaughn as she moves closer to solving the Elliott murder, unknowingly rekindling old grudges and awakening a sinister spirit.
Get ready, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Black Jack’s Prologue
HELENE put the menu down, took off her glasses and pinched the top of her nose, massaging the corners of her eyes. Concentrating on the menu’s small print made them so tired. She looked up, blinked hard and, in doing so, brought his handsome face back into focus. Maybe I should have left that second glass of champagne alone. However, it’s not every day a lady got to share a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvée ’77 in Napier’s, the most exclusive French restaurant in the Portsborough area.
Tonight‘s definitely a cause for celebration. She still couldn’t believe she’d been dating this young man for the past three months. Young man, humph, never thought I’d be referring to a man in his fifties as young, it’s all quite relative, isn’t it? Although proud of her sixty-eight years on earth, right now she wished she could turn back the hands of time. The last few months were like a romantic dream.
But what about the money?
The thought flickered like the restaurant sconces’ candlelight against the wall. Damn, why did her mind always go back to that? It spoiled one of life’s best moments by nagging at her.
About a month ago, he asked her for a considerable loan, one hundred and ten thousand dollars to be exact. Although it took over half of the remainder of her fortune and her mind told her it really wasn’t the smart thing to do, her body quickly overruled the objection. She knew, in time, it would be well worth it. Besides, he looked so distraught while he explained his temporary dire financial predicament and petulantly requested her help, how could she have said no while looking at that persuasive face? It would only be for a short time and he promised to repay her, with interest, as soon as his stocks rose as predicted. She would have it back before Thanksgiving, the beginning of December at the latest. What the hell, she’d never gambled before and gambling for love made it worth the risk.
When Helene’s husband, Frank Elliott, died almost four years ago, he left her a surprise in the form of an insurance policy that netted her a comfortable three hundred and seventy thousand dollars. After she sold their little Mom and Pop store and paid off their mortgage, she no longer needed to worry about money. Bored, she began filling her time by going to auction houses. She never bid on anything, although it meant less time spent in her empty home. Besides, one day she would come across that ultimate treasure. Then, in late May, on an ordinary day, at yet another ordinary auction, she spotted him. He walked right down her aisle. As he approached, she quickly grabbed her jacket and purse from the padded, folding chair next to her and nodded for him to sit. My God, he’s beautiful, in a sexy, animal kind of way. Her first thought surprised her as he sat down and proceeded to introduce himself. His name matched his persona. With skin the color of onyx, the contrast between it, his full head of stark-white wavy hair and dazzling turquoise eyes made her heart jump. Tall and muscular, later he told he gave jogging all the credit for his physique. She remembered thinking, thank God for jogging. He appeared almost too pretty with a magnetism she couldn’t deny. He took her breath away, literally.
At the end of the auction, he politely invited her to lunch and she jumped at the opportunity to spend more time in his presence. The meal ended with her giving him her number, something she’d never done since reciting her marriage vows, some forty-eight years ago. When he sent her flowers the next week, then later called and invited her to dinner, she gave a prayer of thanks and quickly accepted.
And now, here we are. She realized she had been silent for a while, picked up the menu to hide her embarrassment and peeked over it to see if he noticed. He seemed engrossed in the menu. She placed hers back on the cream linen tablecloth and watched him do the same. He removed a clove cigarette from its thin, silver case. She watched him leaned back, close his eyes and take his first drag. Although she hadn’t smoked in years, she could feel his enjoyment. She saw how he turned his head, just slightly and carefully blew the smoke away from her. Helene smiled because even though she disapproved of his smoking, his actions were always so thoughtful.
“Have you decided, ma petite chérie?”
She loved when he called her that.
“I’m leaning toward the Poulet au Jambon, although the Filet De Porc Rôti sounds delicious.” Besides, at my age, a little prune sauce couldn’t hurt. Sometimes, I crack myself up. She noticed she did that a lot since becoming a widow and hoped he could tell she’d been practicing her French.
“Ah, your French is très bon. The improvement is quite impressive. Reward yourself, splurge, order whatever your heart desires.” She pictured the two of them in bed, taking care of all sorts of desires. Suddenly, she lost her appetite and dinner didn’t seem so important, yet she didn’t protest when he refilled her champagne flute. Slight intoxication would come in handy for her late night plans.
Copyright© Jean Holloway. All rights reserved.