Undercovers (Box Set)
Ruth D. Kerce
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2008 Ruth D. Kerce
An Authorized Excerpt

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Chapter One
1:00 AM

The dirty brown sedan blended into the night and the neighborhood. He pulled to the curb and killed the lights, far enough away so nobody would notice him, yet close enough to see his target.

The bitch was standing on the corner, not quite how he remembered her but just where his informant had said she would be. He'd never realized what a hot body the woman had. Not that it mattered. Nothing was going to distract him from his plans.

He felt the rage build as it did every time he thought of her. The anger had eaten at him for years. And now, to see her again, to be so close… She would pay for what she'd done.

Extracting his revenge now wasn't possible. The danger was too great. But he'd have her trapped soon. The best part of all this was that she didn't even know it was coming. Oh, how sweet!

Until he served up his form of justice he didn't intend to let that female pig out of his sight. He might miss the perfect opportunity if he did. And he needed to take care of her fast, before she found out he was back and took extra precautions.

He blew into his fisted hands to warm the chilled skin and delicious thoughts flowed through his brain. Maybe he'd even have a little torturous fun with the whore before he ended her pathetic life. She deserved to suffer after all she put him through.

"Yeah, her pussy is mine." His laughter echoed inside the car. I'm coming for you, baby.

* * *

Renee's breath formed a small cloud of fog each time she exhaled. The chill in the air had grown with the lateness of the hour and robbed her of much needed body heat. She kept moving, strolling down the sidewalk, but the motion didn't generate any warmth.

She was tired, achy and bored. A breeze stirred her long hair, lifting the strands away from her face. She turned so that the coldness blew against her back. What a crappy way to make a living. She almost felt sorry for the working girls doomed to walk such streets due to choice or circumstance.

Her gaze skittered over her surroundings. The urban area, illuminated only by the occasional lamppost and cluttered with trash, had taken on an eerie feel. Not even the moon was out tonight.

Shops had long since closed. A dog howled in the distance. Late-night traffic from the highway several blocks away reached her ears. Other than a drunk passed out in the alley, she appeared completely alone. So much for a target-rich environment. It didn't look to her like any Johns were out tonight.

She tugged on her red leather mini-skirt. "Why would any sane woman wear something this short?" she whispered. At least the garment covered the tops of her stockings. That was something. A draft rushed up her thighs and made her shiver. Dang. She hated the cold. She should have worn pantyhose.

Black clouds drifted across the sky, reminding her of the horror movie she'd watched last night about the undead. Goosebumps rose on her skin. From the cold or thoughts of zombies, she wasn't sure. She felt like a plucked turkey, all dimpled and exposed out here. Ready to be served up to any psycho who might come along.

She crossed her arms over her chest to hold in what body heat she could. The sleeveless black silk top she wore was laced closed in the front, but still barely covered her tiny bra and straining-to-be-freed breasts. She'd wanted to wear a jacket. The higher-ups wouldn't allow it. They'd been quite clear. Don't cover the assets. Fine. She'd like to see one of them out here parading around in a jock strap three sizes too small, a pair of toe-pinching street shoes and nothing else but a come-get-me grimace.

When she turned the corner, she tripped on a defect in the concrete and almost toppled headfirst off the curb. Damn heels! Not only were they uncomfortable, they were butt-ugly in her opinion. Multiple neon colors with 3-inch spikes that glowed in the dark. Blech!

She peered down the dark street. Not a car in sight, other than a couple of abandoned pieces of crap against the curb. And no foot traffic. Even so, she felt watched, and with good cause. She knew the backup police officers were close in the surveillance van listening to her breathe. And probably video taping everything too, from one of the nearby side streets.

The new, experimental microphone attached to her bra was sensitive enough to pick up a whisper from several feet away. Or so they'd told her. She'd better not belch, pass wind or do anything else embarrassing. She'd never hear the end of it.

If she'd had her choice, she would be investigating the Mariani drug case right now, but the department used her too often for undercover work as a streetwalker. That's what she got for having a 'killer rack and ass,' to quote her Captain. If Jansen were anything other than a fifty-eight-year-old hard-as-crust grandmother, Renee would have pitched a fit about the comment. As it was, she simply felt annoyed.

From her experience, she really doubted it mattered that much what she looked like. Men were always trolling the streets for sex. She'd seen plenty of flat chests and pancake butts picked up over the years. Okay, that was catty. But she was in a mood. The department needed to utilize her investigative talents better than this.

A pair of approaching headlights caught her attention, and she sashayed toward the street. Finally, some action. She hoped. Nobody had propositioned her all night.

The car slowed as it drew near. "Here we go," she whispered, flipping her auburn hair off her shoulder. She'd recently died it from plain brown to auburn and whenever she caught sight of a reddish strand, she remembered the screech of horror she'd let fly when the color had turned out purple on the first day. Thankfully, the purple turned to reddish-brown; otherwise she seriously would have considered shaving her head. Maybe that would have convinced the department to end my hooker duty, she thought with a smile. She stuck out her chest to give the driver a good view of her barely-covered tits and stepped up to the car door when the vehicle eased to a stop.

A man around her own age -- late twenty-something -- with chestnut brown hair rolled down the driver's-side window.

She leaned forward to reel him in. "Hey, baby! You lookin' for a date?"

"That depends. How much do you charge to suck dick?"

Renee's mouth fell open in disbelief. She quickly gathered her composure, snapped ramrod straight and stepped back. "Sam Hooper. What the hell are you doing out here?"

The detective smiled up at her, his green eyes sparkling with mischief. "You looked a little lonely."

"You're going to blow my cover." Her heart pounding, she glanced up and down the street. Still deserted. So no harm, she supposed. She let herself relax. His timing left something to be desired. He'd been trying to get her on a date for months. She'd known him for a while now and liked him a lot. She even considered him a friend. He was funny and sexy as hell, but she never dated colleagues. And especially not those she outranked. She'd been quite clear with him about that right from the beginning. It was just too messy when things didn't work out.

His gaze flickered over her breasts and then his eyes met hers. "Be nice now. The boys sent me out to rescue you. Grady's calling it a night. This area is dead. Hop in. I'll take you home."

"Oh, okay." She instantly felt better. He wasn't trying to put the make on her, despite his obvious ogle. And home had such a great sound to it about now. "Thanks. These heels are killing me. Besides, I'm freezing." She hobbled around to the other side of the car and slid into the passenger seat. "I swear, I am never wearing high heels again." She slipped off the shoes. "Ah…"

"Too bad." Sam smiled. "They make your legs look a mile long. By the way, nice catch back there when you almost landed in the gutter."

"Fuck you."

His deep, sensual laughter filled the compact. "You want an RSVP on that?"

"Just keep your eyes on the road, detective," she warned, tugging at her skirt, which had ridden way too high on her thighs. "And turn up the heat."
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