King of Paine: Sample Page 6

“Look, I’m as sickened by rape as anyone,” Frank said. “But even if I was crazy enough to write a script like this to boost my image, we save the girl before the perv touches her. Our informant has a different goal. We need to figure out why he wants us here.”

“And why you, in particular, my friend.”

He loathed himself for doing it, but Frank trotted out his trademark smirk to seal the deal. “Don’t hate me because the chicas love me. Maybe he figured my celebrity would bring attention to the case. We need to ask why he wants that attention. Our suspect seemed surprised by the girl’s reaction, and that chick is no innocent victim. She let a stranger cuff and gag her.”

And, while he couldn’t explain his suspicions to Jeronimo Reyes, someone lurking in the shadows harbored a grudge against dominant men. Jolynn Decker might fit that description and, at twenty-five, she was the same age as the victim, but Frank had his doubts. Although she had one good reason to ruin him, revenge, she had a million to keep her talented mouth shut. Any violation of the confidentiality agreement his lawyers had drafted resulted in forfeiture of the entire settlement.

Were his doubts fueled by the remote chance she might still forgive him? Who else could have sent the tip and why? He wished he could question the girl alone, but all a Fucking New Guy could do was plant the seed.

“Maybe she’s part of a plan to humiliate the exec,” Frank said. “Frame him on a false rape charge.”

Reyes glared at him. The old Paine charm worked better with some people than others.

“That woman has been violated. We will treat her with dignity and respect. Understood, cabrón?

“Of course,” Frank said. Not the hoped-for reaction, but he’d bought some time. He nodded toward the hallway as Woodbridge led the suspect back in.

Now unmasked, the man’s light brown hair was neatly trimmed with a patch of gray on each temple. His blue pin-striped suit and diamond cufflinks presented an image more akin to an aging model for Gentleman’s Quarterly than a rapist. Although vaguely familiar, Frank could not associate him with Jolynn Decker or anyone else who might mean him harm.

 Copyright © 2011 by Larry Kahn

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