FIRST THERE WAS THE NINJA TATTOO!
NOW YOU CAN READ IT’S EXCITING SEQUEL
DELLANI WANTS US TO HAVE A FREE PEAK: READ THE EXCERPT NOW
Jasper Meets Nadeya:
Jasper knew that Teague would forget all about him when he went after Vivica. That was all right. He had some pursuing of his own to do.
Needing a quiet place to think, he drove south toward Oak Hill, heading to Billy’s Place. It was a restaurant owned by Teague’s uncle and was as familiar as his own home. Billy had a dock that jutted far into the river. Jasper intended to sit there while the pieces fit together.
He turned up the dirt road that led to Billy’s place. It ran past Pop’s Restaurant, a family place with great food and good prices. A dark haired woman walked out the door, spotlighted by a streetlight. There was something familiar about the way she walked. The set of her shoulders told him she was a soldier.
It hit him like a blow to the gut—he knew who she was. He’d seen her from a distance when she talked to Teague on his boat. He’d visually tracked her when she left the dock.
Nadeya, what are you doing here?
He watched and waited to see where she was going. When he saw her turn in at the park entrance, he rolled past and turned around at the point. He saw the ranger let her in and sat in his darkened car with the motor off.
Nadeya went into the cabin and didn’t come back out. Moving quietly, Jasper got out of his car and hopped agilely over the barricade. Assessing the situation, he decided the direct approach was best. Nadeya might feel threatened if he sneaked in and the possibility of him ending up with a bullet in the brain escalated exponentially. If he went up and knocked on the door, she might still shoot him, but he hoped she would hear him out instead.
As he approached the door, he prayed for inspiration. It was going to take some fast talking for Nadeya not to freak out and kill him. He raised his hand to knock. Rethinking his position, he moved so he wasn’t standing directly in front of the door, but slightly to the side so the thick, log wall protected him. He tapped lightly and waited for a response. The curtain over the tiny window moved aside imperceptibly. Only someone trained to be observant would have seen it.
Jasper faced the window and smiled. “I’m Jasper Waters,” he said quietly. “I’m a friend of Teague’s. You hid on my boat.”
The door opened a crack and one dark, wary eye peered at him. “I remember you. What?”
“May I come in? The skeeters are pretty nasty and they’re feasting on me.”
Nadeya took a step back, leaving barely enough room for Jasper to squeeze through. She shut the door with her foot and slammed him against the wall, one hand pulled up at an uncomfortable angle behind him. She did a thorough frisking of him, leaving no areas untouched, before letting him go. She stepped out of easy reach, eyeing him with a neutral expression.
“I just want to talk,” Jasper said, holding his hands slightly from his sides.
“You’re a cop. Why should I talk to you?”
“Because I don’t think you killed that man on the beach. We’re both friends of Teague’s, maybe we could build on that.”
“Teague has lots of friends. . . .”
“No, Teague knows every damn body, but there are only a few of us he calls friends. You’re one of them—He told me what happened to your fiancé.”
She tightened up. Jasper took a step back, raising his hands.
“Would he share that with just anyone?”
Nadeya’s lower lip trembled slightly and she blinked hard. Jasper caught the hint of a tear in her eyes.
“He wouldn’t unless he knew I would help. You think I drop what I’m doing and run everyone out to a crime scene just cause I’m nice? Teague and I trust each other and I’d like to extend that courtesy to you, if you’ll let me.”
She stared at him several minutes, sizing him up. She gestured to one of the two chairs near the window. “Want some water or instant coffee? It’s all I’ve got.”
“Water would be good, thanks.” Jasper sat.
Nadeya got two bottles of water out of the mini-fridge and tossed him one. Jasper caught it with a grin. His left hand gripped it as he twisted it open.
“Nicely done. Now you know I’m a lefty.”
Nadeya smirked. “And you’re not armed. I could have taken your head off.”
“Yup, but I trusted you wouldn’t. And I thank you for that.”
She nodded as she opened her own bottle. “So, you’re here, talk.”
ABOUT DELLANI OAKES!
Dellani Oakes makes her home in Florida, but she grew up in Western Nebraska.
Before that, she lived in Tennessee, Ohio, Massachusetts and Texas.
After graduating from high school, she added Mississippi. The diverse
locations gave her a unique perspective on life. Always a people
watcher, Dellani put that talent to use when she became an author
Bitten by the writing bug early in life, Dellani first pursued poetry as her
medium of self-expression. Soon, she moved on the song parodies and
then short stories and humorous essays. Once she got to high school,
it became apparent that she needed to learn to spell when she got a
paper back from her English teacher, “For content: A+. For
mechanics: F.” That comment changed her life, forcing her to focus
as much on how she said things as well as what she said.
Dellani took up writing full time when her youngest son started kindergarten
in 2002. Since then, she has published five books. She has two
romantic suspense novels are with Tirgearr Publishing and an
historical romance and two sci-fi novels with Second Wind Publishing.
She has also contributed to several anthologies, MJ Magazine and
shares her unpublished works on her blog.
Because she loves to talk to other authors, Dellani hosts two talk shows a
month on Blog Talk Radio. Listen in every second Monday of the month
at 4:00 PM Eastern for DELLANI’S TEA TIME, and every fourth
Wednesday, at 4:00 PM Eastern for WHAT’S WRITE FOR ME.
Armed with bravado and wonderfully supportive friends and family, Dellani has embarked on a journey of self-publication. Conduct Unbecoming is her first venture into
this new, and somewhat scary, world.
CONDUCT UNBECOMING IS AVAILABLE AT: