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May 6

Written by: host
5/6/2012 8:52 AM  RssIcon

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This Sample Sunday is from Bruce's latest release, Philadelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.

Philadelphia Story has been a Top 100 Hard Boiled Detective Novel on Amazon and is available via:

Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook


“Oh, Lance, you’re up.  I was starting to worry a bit…”  Nathalie said as she walked down the hall, hands behind her head putting her hair into a ponytail.  I watched it bob back and forth toward me.

“Yea, my phone was ringing but I missed the call.  Not sure where it is actually.”  She came up to me, buried her face in my chest and hugged me tight.

“You look better,” she said with her face muffled by my shirt. “I was worried.”

“I’m feeling much better.” I placed my hands tentatively around her back and embraced her ever-so-lightly.  With her head resting on my chest, my gaze returned to the pocketbook and the business card.  What did she have to do with #1 Velvet?  Was she a dancer?  Maybe she was paying for school by stripping?  Or… hooking?  She certainly had the body for it… and it was currently warmly pressed up against mine.  Nathalie squeezed me and pushed her hips firmly into my groin in the most pleasant way.  I closed my eyes and thoughts of #1 Velvet Dragon drifted away.  Nathalie’s body wriggled slightly and I felt warm lips on my neck punctuated by a gentle lick. Reflexively my head tilted down to meet her inviting mouth and we kissed.  It was warm and comforting.  It was one of those kisses when your lips interlock and stay that way without moving.  It was familiar yet new and we both easily fell into it.  When we finally parted I heard her gasp just a little bit.

“Oh,” she said, “Lance, I…”

“Shhh,” I put my finger to her lips, “don’t.”  The gaze locked and we held it until the Deep Purple’s chords rang out once again.  Reality came hurdling back to me.  A quick look at the clock told me it was 12:45 in the morning.  I broke the embrace and raced into the living to locate my phone.  I picked it up on the third rendition of the opening to Smoke on the Water.

“Hello?” I hadn’t noticed the number.

“Lance?” the now-familiar female voice asked tentatively.

“Yea, yea... I mean, yes, it's me.”  I was a little out of breath and could feel my head begin to throb just a bit from the exertion.

“Can you help me?”  she said in a quiet monotone.  There was almost no emotion behind it whatsoever.

“I don’t know.  You keep calling but you never say anything.”  I tried not to sound desperate but I knew my desire to help her was creeping through.  Nathalie came into the living room out of the corner of my eye.  “How can I help?”

She was quiet, no response for a solid minute but I didn’t push.  Then with a thoughtful tone she said, “I’m in trouble, I need help… I need your help.  They… I need help.”

“I want to help, sweetheart, but I don’t know what you need…”

“Come, help me… I’m hiding.  They’re going to…. I’m scared!”  There was an urgency creeping into her voice and it kicked my protective streak into overdrive.  I looked at Nathalie.  She was watching me but not reacting at all to my glance.

“Where are you?  I will come right now!”  I visually searched the room for my holster.  “Tell me where, I’ll keep you safe.”  Nathalie take a step closer to me with her head cocked slightly.

“Come to the boat… the restaurant…” There was noise in the background. “Someone’s coming — I have to hide.”  There was more rustling and I was about to speak when she fired off the next line.  “You know where it is, Lancelot, hurry!”  And then line went dead.

“I know where it is…”  I mumbled staring at the lock screen picture of Copper sitting in front Independence Hall staring off into the distance as if he were watching something.  Maybe he was watching my mystery caller by the boat.  The one that I know where it is, only I don’t…

“You know where what is, Lance?”  Nathalie asked.

“The boat?”  I answered weakly, putting my phone in my pocket.

“What boat?”  Nathalie was suddenly in front of me.

“That’s the problem.  I don’t know.  But she said I’d know… only I don’t.  How am I supposed to know?  I don’t even know who she is…” I stared down into Nathalie’s face hoping for some understanding, but instead her eyes grew probing and all I got were more questions.

“She’s on a boat?  Where?”

“I just told you I don’t…” But then like a slap in the face what she said echoed in my mind… you know where it is, Lancelot.  The voice, so young and familiar… and she called me Lancelot.  “I know where she is.”  I grabbed Betsy and my car keys from the table and started for the door.

“Oh no, mister.  You aren’t going anywhere,” Nathalie said firmly with a hand on my chest.

“I have to… she needs me,”  I implored her.

Philadelphia Story has been a Top 100 Hard Boiled Detective Novel on Amazon and is available via:
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook

Copyright ©2012 Bruce A. Sarte

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