Title: Night Shift (Night Shade 2)
Author: Carey Decevito
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance/ Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Cover Designer: Clarise Tan of CT Cover Creations
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
A serial killer…
A past that haunts no matter how much the distance…
Which one will strike first?
Eighteen deaths over eight years has left Shane Peters itching to find his mark. The death that started it all ensured his obsession with the murderer who had turned his life into a living hell, leaving him to raise a newborn daughter on his own.
Starting over wasn’t the easiest thing, but Emberlyn Roth had managed by shear grit and the skin of her teeth. It’s too bad one can’t outrun their past.
A protector of the wronged, Shane is torn between his duty as a detective for the Jacksonville PD and a quest to find himself some peace. Red tape binds his capabilities and moonlighting as an investigator for Nightshade Securities has him feeling stretched thin. Late nights on the streets and his sense of duty keeps him from being the father he wants to be. Throw onto his already rickety house of cards, an attraction to the mysterious Emberlyn, the lead he’s got on the murderer he’s been hunting for nearly a decade, and threats his woman is receiving by an unsavory character from her past, and he’s seriously tempted to take Dalton Kipper’s offer to join his team in a permanent basis.
Rules have a place, but when you’re faced with losing the one that means most to you, lines can become blurred. With the fate of his family’s future hanging in the balance, he’s ready to risk it all.
The man’s gaze was intense. “Is everything all right?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” I asked him.
“You seemed a little tweaked this morning. I saw you on your front step.”
He made to approach me, which caused me to back up, right into the side of his desk, knocking a slew of papers and the file they’d been tucked into on the floor.
Hurrying to my knees, I started rallying everything up in a pile when I felt Shane kneeling next to me.
“Let me. You shouldn’t–”
I took a closer look at the shots of random pieces and froze, studying them.
“What? What is it?” he asked. “Do those look familiar?”
“They just remind me of something I once wanted to try and never have,” I told him. “A photographic mosaic.”
His body went rigid. “A what?”
“A photographic mosaic…or photomosaic,” I explained. “It’s when you take different images of the same size and compile them together to make a larger picture. Kind of like a puzzle, because each image has to be in the right color scheme to make the larger image true.”
“You’re shitting me, right?” he asked.
“Well, no,” I said, then inquired further. “How many pieces do you have?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “I’d have to pull my files for the last eight years to know for sure. Do you know how to do these photo…”
“Mosaics?” I supplied. He nodded. “I’ve been wanting to try. Most people do these on computers these days, but I’ve seen them done by hand in a few galleries I’ve visited since I moved here.” I studied the photos closer, then moved to inspect the next one in the pile in my hands, and gasped, dropping everything I held onto the floor.
“Emberlyn,” I heard Shane say, but I was too busy processing the shock of what I saw. “Ember,” he tried again.
“Shane! Ember! Dessert’s ready!” Nora called out, but I couldn’t respond, closing my eyes to try and imagine something beautiful to replace the horror I’d just seen.
“Give us a minute, Mom. We’ll be right in.” I felt his hand grab my chin, gently tilting my head until we were face-to-face. “Look at me, Emberlyn. Look at me right now!”
My eyes snapped open, and I realized I wasn’t breathing; the dark spots slowly clouding my peripheral vision.
“Breathe, sweetheart. Breathe with me.” Shane put a hand of mine on his chest, covering it with one of his as his other remained at my chin.
“T-that’s the woman…” I swallowed the bile in my throat. “She was found dead in…Oh God!”
“Don’t talk. Just breathe, baby.”
Something in me snapped, and my body jerked, filling with cold dread and even chillier memories. “Don’t call me that!”
Shane’s grip on me retracted as if I’d touched him with a cattle prod. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t call me that,” I repeated at a whisper. “It’s what he used to call me.”
That’s when I realized I’d said too much.
Jumping to my feet, I backed toward the front of the house, stuttering, “I-I have to go.”
I shook my head, swallowing what I knew would be my dinner coming up to greet me again. I didn’t want to be here when it did. “I’m sorry. Tell your mom and Rosie thank you.”
Turning, I rushed out of the Peters’ residence as if my hair was on fire, barely making it to my front bushes before my stomach revolted, turning the wonderful dinner that Shane had put together into plant fertilizer.
What I didn’t expect were the steel bands that would come to wrap around me while I sobbed.
“Is everything okay?” Mom had run into the den as soon as the front door slammed shut. “What happened, where’s Ember?”
I shook my head. “I’ve got to go after her.” I couldn’t explain because I didn’t really know the whole of it myself. “Can you look after Rosie? And don’t let her come in here. I’ll clean this up when I get back.”
She nodded, a distraught expression entering her gaze as she peered at the mess around me. “Okay, baby,” she choked.
I winced. “Mom–”
“Go,” she said. “You need to go. I’ll go check on Rosie.”
Nodding, I hurried out the front door, catching sight of Emberlyn hunched over one of her bushes, her back and shoulders heaving violently.
I didn’t hesitate. Rushing to her, I wrapped my arms around her middle and held on to the sobbing woman, who in turn began to scream like a banshee.
“Let me go! Help! Someone–”
My hand snapped up to cover her mouth, and I bent my head to the bucking woman’s ear. “Shh,” I whispered as she continued to fight me. I got a kick in the shin, causing me to groan. “It’s Shane, Ember. It’s me. I’m here.”
Her body went slack, but shock set in almost immediately and she began shaking like a leaf, her sobs resuming.
“Let’s get you inside, sweetheart.
”She didn’t argue. In fact, she didn’t say anything or physically acknowledge me.
Bending down to pick up the tiny purse she’d dropped to the ground, along with her keys, I made to pick her up in my arms.
“I-I can walk,” she said, teeth chattering.
“Okay,” I said softly. “How ‘bout you hold onto me and we’ll take it slow. I’m not liking your color right now.”
I didn’t realize how extreme her fear was until I’d closed the door behind us, and attempted to usher the woman toward where I knew the living room would be, but she shrieked a, “Lock the door!”
After that task was done, we made our way to the couch.
Emberlyn quickly backed into the armrest, curling her knees up to her chin. I grabbed the throw off the back of the sectional and draped it over her.
“Let’s get you a glass of water,” I told her, heading toward the kitchen.
In case you were wondering, this wasn’t my first time inside this house. I’d been here plenty while growing up, but it sure had changed. Emberlyn had put her mark on her grandmother’s old place, and it was a warm and pleasant one with a more modern flare to it. I approved.
Glass in hand, I set to run the water until it was nice and cold, filling it from the tap.
When the floor creaked beneath my feet, Emberlyn jumped, panic in her eyes until they settled on me. She melted into the cushions almost immediately with palpable relief.
She didn’t waste time, grabbing the glass from my hands, chugging its contents immediately. I took the glass from her and settled it atop the one coaster I saw on the coffee table before crouching down in front of her.
“Better?” I asked. She nodded. “Want to talk about it?” She shook her head, no. “Do you want me to leave?” Another shake. This had me standing to sit next to her, but not too close, since I didn’t want to make her more uncomfortable than she clearly was.
That plan was squashed as soon as my ass met the cushion and she launched herself at me.
“Whoa! Calm down, sweetheart. You’re okay,” I whispered my reassurance into the side of her face, one arm wrapped around her back, her legs over my lap, and the other sifting into her hair. I couldn’t help myself. I pulled the pin that held her hair together, chucking the thing onto the coffee table, and resumed stroking her.
For a long moment, we sat together, neither of us saying a word, when so much remained to be said. Then she opened up.
“He used to call me baby,” she told me what I already knew. “My husband…that’s what he’d call me, when he tried to gain my forgiveness after he’d beat me.” My blood began to simmer. “Trevor and I had a very volatile relationship. I would do everything he asked of me, and he’d never be happy. I learned to be subservient to him early on. Mouthing off only got me punished. So I did what I had to until I could get out. I just didn’t do it fast enough.”
“Sweetheart, I know,” I said against her hair.
“You know?” she whispered, she pulled back so she could look at me, then realization must have hit her. “You’re a cop, of course you’d know.”
“Detective.” I smirked.
Her brown scrunched up. “Huh?”
“I’m a detective. I wouldn’t know about your case, but since my girls have been spending time with you…I just hope you’re not mad that I looked into you.”
“No.” She forced a smile, but it was nice seeing something other than tears in her stormy gray eyes, despite my apprehensiveness to her reaction that I might have overstepped my bounds with her past. “You have a daughter…a family to protect. I’d have done the same thing.” Settling in against my front again, her hand came up to lay on my chest. “Thank you, Shane.”
Swallowing the large lump in my throat, I rasped, “You’re welcome.”
Then silence enveloped us once more—not awkward—comfortable.
Something stirred me awake, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was until I saw a blanket being draped over me.
“I’m awake,” I husked.
“I’m sorry. We fell asleep, and–”
Grabbing her wrist to stay her movements, I did an ab curl to sit up. Emberlyn’s free hand sifted into my hair. She was standing between my legs, looking down as she massaged my scalp. Fuck, it felt good. I closed my eyes to enjoy the intimacy of the moment. So much so that I gripped her hips.
“I should go,” I whispered, my eyes opening to meet hers.
“Uh-huh.” Her head bobbed up and down with her words.
This made me smirk, and confess. “I don’t want to leave you.”
“Rosie’ll need her father tomorrow morning,” she rationalized.
“Fact, but it still doesn’t make me want to go.”
Her smile showed her pleasure at my words. “I’ll be fine.”
“You’re sure?” I asked.
“Pinky swear. Go home, Shane. Your family needs you.”
That had me smirking. “If you need me, you know where I’ll be.” I pushed her back, so I could get up, I curled my hands around the sides of her face, bending it forward so I could touch my lips to her forehead. “Walk me out?” When my feet hit her front step, I gave her one last assessing gaze.
“I’ll be fine.” She giggled nervously. “Thanks again.”
I smiled, then bent to kiss her cheek. “You’re welcome again,” I whispered, then left, but not before I heard the clicks of her front door locking.
Born and raised in small town Northern Ontario, Canada, Carey Decevito has always had a penchant for reading and writing.
More than a decade later, with weeks of sleepless nights, where exhaustion settled into her everyday existence, she finally gave in and put pen to paper (more like fingers to keyboard!) She submitted to the dreams that plagued her. And the rest, as they say, is history!
A member of the RWA, Carey enjoys spending time with family and friends, the outdoors, travelling, and playing tourist in Canada’s National Capital region. When life gets crazy, this contemporary erotic romance author seeks respite through her writing and reading. If all else fails, she knows there’s never a dull moment with her two daughters, her goofy husband, and cat who she swears is out to get her.
She is the author of both The Broken Men Chronicles and Nightshade series.
I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl