New Orleans. A city rich in tradition, diversity, and on the comeback trail from hurricane Katrina. Francois “Frankie” Choteau, a resident of this town, a cop with a hot temper and low tolerance for bs. Kajika Fortier, a transplant from Oklahoma came here looking for a dream and unfortunately it’s turned into a nightmare. On a hot summer night, they meet and cross paths during a very difficult situation. Despite this, the attraction between them is evident and loneliness for both men is a fate worse than death. They’d both like a chance at happiness but the cost might be too high of a price to pay.
Unedited Excerpt (In this scene, Kajika and the Detective meet!)
“Fuckin’ hell! Anotha homicide to add to the long list!” Frankie shifted gears in the El Camino disguised as a police car and turned on the siren. “That’s like the third one this week ain’t it?”
“Yep.” Kenina only nodded and stared blankly out the front window.
Frankie noticed her change in demeanor since their conversation and blinked once before turning his attention back to the road. “You got the particulars, Kenie?”
“Yeah, Sampson says white male in his upper fifties with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. There’s a witness present though, a younger man who claims to be the decedent’s fiancée.”
“Really? Is Sampson sure about it being self-inflicted?”
“Well that’s our job to find out, right? I mean we are in homicide,” she snapped.
“Look gal, don’t get’cha thong all up in a bunch, I just asked the question. Just because it appears to be done by the dead person don’t mean shit!”
“It’s just an observation by the man on the beat, alright? I think he’s experienced enough to make that judgment.”
“Nah, I don’t think so, chere.” Frankie shook his head and made a left on Vine. He slowed the car when a small crowd of onlookers came into view. “Shit, what took ‘em so long to call? Channel eight’s already here.”
“I dunno, I guess we’ll find out when we talk to Sampson, hmm?” Her emerald green gaze met his and she cocked an eyebrow.
Frankie pursed his lips and rolled his eyes. “Yeah we will. We’ll talk later, babe. I know our lil’ chat is buggin’ ya.”
“Yeah, it is, but nothin’ I can’t handle.” Kenina shoved the door open then slammed it behind her.
“Shit.” Frankie could only shake his head and get out the vehicle to follow his partner. Right now, they’d have to put their regular feelings aside to tackle this new case that just popped up out of nowhere.
And I thought this would be a quiet night!
As they made their way through the throng of people, they flashed their badges, both yelling, homicide on their way to the address. Frankie stopped a moment and glanced at the mansion that looked like one of the plantation houses his granny talked about in her old southern tales. “Hmph, nice. And what happened here?” Why all of sudden did the crime in New Orleans reach the well to do part of town too? Seemingly, most of them occurred in the inner city or around the quarter. Robberies and assaults around the Louie Cemetery, murders closer to the Dome in downtown Nola.
Rarely did violence happen in the Garden District so if they stayed with that assumption, this could very well be a suicide but Frankie always kept his first thought; things didn’t always look as easy as they seemed.
Frankie yanked the police tape and allowed his partner Kenina to go under first.
“Thanks,” she said dryly and headed up the white stairs to go through the open door.
Frankie didn’t respond. Instead, he kept his eyes peeled for any clues and took out his notebook. Once the two of them made it inside, Officer Ted Sampson and his partner David Mulroney came into view. Once of them asking a young man something while the other was busy taking notes.
“Hey Sampson, Mulroney. What’cha got so far?” Kenina nodded at the man they were questioning.
Frankie however stopped dead in his tracks. The sounds of people outside, the snaps of the camera, and any other noises fell on deaf ears. Who is this? No way was he checking out the witness in a homicide case but his cock betrayed him and told Frankie otherwise.
Long silky black hair with reddish brown tips, a narrowed face with high cheekbones, a perfect nose, and slim lips. And those eyes, beautiful wild brown eyes, flowing lashes just like a chick. God was he pretty! The man’s flesh a perfectly sun kissed bronze, and even though the rest was covered with a white terry cloth robe, Frankie could tell he worked out regularly.
“This man here says he heard the gunshots and found the victim slumped in the chair, already dead with a gunshot wound to the head. I guess this would be a suicide.”
“Maybe.” Kenina strolled closer to the young man and nodded in his direction. “Detective Kenina Porter, New Orleans Homicide.” She showed her police badge. “What’s ya’ name kid?”
“Kajika…Kajika Fortier.” The witness’ voice creaked, sounded shaken. His hands trembling and his face visibly wet from tears. Right then Frankie wished he could just stroke his head and hold the man, telling him everything would be okay.
“Pretty name, Kajika. I like that a lot. You mind if we ask ya’ a couple of questions? I know it’s been a rough night for ya’ honey but we need to make sure we get all the facts straight.”
Pretty name for a beautiful man. Frankie couldn’t stop gawking but he had to so Sampson and Mulroney wouldn’t notice the attention he was paying to the guy. He dropped his gaze to the notebook and listened intently to Kenina ask Kajika some questions.
“Here’s some notes we already took, man.” Mulroney patted Frankie’s back as he passed by. We’ll go and see if we can gather up any information form the people outside. See if they heard or so anything.” Sampson followed his partner close behind and Frankie only grunted to let them know he was listening. If he didn’t know any better he would’ve thought the two men were romantically linked but their constant homophobic jokes at the station told him otherwise.
“Kajika, this is my partner Detective Francois Choteau. We’ll go easy on ya’ this evening since this has been so traumatic.”
Frankie locked eyes with the beauty and moistened his lips.
Goddamn he’s even hotter up close!