Malaysia Debaul’s mouthwatering figure burst out of the warehouse. Hustling to the driver side of her car, her eyes roamed over its roof, landing on my vehicle right away. For a tense moment, I thought my cover was blown, stakeout over. She hadn’t come this close to discovering me shadowing her until today. When she vanished inside her ride, she took the most stunning set of plump lips and smooth, caramel skin out of sight too soon. Slender-thick, she was slim in the waist and just about every other place on her body except for her backside. This was a woman who had weight in all the right places. Five feet eleven inches in bare feet, she was damn near perfect for me. Our twelve-year age gap made perfect just out of reach. Dating her was not the reason I was here though.
Relieved she was in too big of a rush to look deeper into my presence, I tipped my head back on the headrest. It was a crying shame that her ride was parked so close by and she was hidden inside it. I could watch her slightly curvy hips and apple-shaped ass all day, as I had been doing for the last month. After accidently discovering she’d moved to Long Island, I stopped silently hunting Tobin Graham against my will. No female had intrigued or captivated me before or since I met Malaysia under the worst of conditions.
One chance meeting with her fifteen years ago altered a core belief I held about myself; I couldn’t be thrown off my game. Well, there was one woman on this planet that could distract me and make me wish I were someone who was capable of loving someone else. She deserved no less. I still wasn’t that guy, but I could still hold a grudge better than anyone. Malaysia was certainly an inescapable distraction while presenting an indirect way to satisfy my grudge with Tobin, who was marked for death.
It was impossible to kill him when a part of me preferred tracking Malaysia rather than him. That forced my plans for him to change. Malaysia was going to be the source of the tremendous pain I inflicted on Tobin. His debt to me had to be paid in full. Leaving my organization without my say-so was high treason.
One day, he and I were teaching Martin Hughes a lesson together that may or may not have gotten out of hand. The next day, Tobin had gone AWOL to join the military. How was that for irony?
After six months in my employ, I saw his potential and quickly began to trust only him. It wasn’t long before I thought of him as my protégé and successor. At forty-nine, I had no kids, didn’t want any either. My rough past, short but brutal military career, plus the level of cruelty I operated at didn’t make me the best candidate for offspring that could smoothly navigate polite society as well as the streets. Even I struggled with that.
Tobin was a flawless fit for ruling the underworld of Long Island and mingling with those in high places. Despite having to play nice with people whose palms that had to be constantly greased, I couldn’t control my cruelty and bluntness. Tobin was calm, collected, and quick thinking on his feet. His quiet disposition and cool head wouldn’t attract unnecessary attention. Powerful fists on each of his wrists meted out street justice like I had trained him myself. Even better, he took orders well.
A better person than him to take over my throne didn’t exist. That was if my organization still existed. It didn’t, thanks to Tobin’s brother taking a fatal bullet in my place. Though an investigation into his death brought the end to my businesses, Greg Graham was a loyal soldier. His killer didn’t last a month in Rikers thanks to some associates of mine.
Too bad Tobin was a traitor. Forgiving his betrayal against me and by default his brother was never going to happen. Hitting him where it hurt the most was a must. Using his girlfriend’s sister-from-another-mother connection with Malaysia to cause him an agony he could not soothe was not my preferred method. Up close and personal was my modus operandi but going about it in a roundabout way would do if Malaysia were involved.
She reversed out of her parking space. My cell phone rung. Instead of following her, I removed an earpiece from my ear, tossing it in the cupholder while swiping the accept-call icon on the car’s radio screen. The GPS locator behind her front passenger-side tire would keep track of her for me. Trailing her now would only heighten her suspicions. I couldn’t have her raising her guards and messing up my kidnapping scheme taking place later tonight.
“Jason, is everything set up as it should be?” I asked my lieutenant as Malaysia took a right at the end of the parking lot. She sped off down the road as if hounds from Hell were on her rear bumper. I cringed. Not being able to call and demand she slow down almost hurt me physically. It shouldn’t have, but I wasn’t surprised it did. She seemed to touch me in places I thought long dead, like my emotions. Who the hell really needed such things? It infuriated me that she could invoke mine.
The clicking of computer keys on Jason’s end resonated out of the car’s speaker system. “Yep, boss. I just got word that all your demands were taken care of for your stay in paradise. The keys will be waiting for you in the lockbox on the knob. Everything is in its place for your exile.”
Once I left Long Island for good as mandated by the District Attorney with a shitload of my money in his pockets, a secluded mansion on remote island Cayo Largo in Cuba would be my permanent home. It had been fully stocked for a long stay for two with things like groceries, wine, cognac, furniture, fabric rolls, and a top of the line sewing machine. A private jet was gassed up at a small airport and ready to go. The only thing left to do was secure one other passenger. How long I was keeping her with me had yet to be determined.
This close to all my schemes coming to fruition, I half-smiled. “Excellent, Jason. What about the designer clothes I ordered to be brought there in a couple days?” If Malaysia wasn’t kept busy with creating for the deadline her sponsor had given her, she may just tear down the mansion around my ears. Or, she’d escape it. Neither was an option.
“The shipment is scheduled to be collected late tonight and flown to you as soon as transport is available.” The jet had to return to pick up the packages. Celebrated fashion designer Darren and Dr. Cherise Johnston had more than enough money to repair the doors to their establishments and homes that my men were going to enter quietly. At appointed times, Malaysia’s things would be collected from those places.
“Has a flyer for promoting my new adventure been produced?” In other words, where the hell was my pilot whose silence I had set aside a lot of coins for?
Everything had to be in place and happen accordingly. The window for our departure was tight. Tobin’s ceremony would last no more than three hours. Through the bug planted in the warehouse by one of Darren’s designers that needed an influx of cash, I heard Malaysia mention she’d be coming back here. The warehouse district would be all but vacant then, the opportune time for some to take her. For me, it would be easier to snatch her from the bar where she, Cherise, Tobin, and a close friend of his, Andre, were celebrating at tonight. It was closer to the small airport my hired plane waited at.
A crowd of intoxicated individuals wouldn’t present a problem. Nobody in New York wanted to admit being a witness to a crime when drunk or sober. Nor would they intervene as I carried her off. I just had to wait until she was alone to avoid her friends’ interference. Tobin and Cherise had a bad habit of getting wrapped up in each other. Andre was often at Tobin’s place across town or indulging himself in conversation with the closest woman. Abducting Malaysia was just a matter of picking the right moment when no one was paying attention.
“The flyer was produced and a lot more expensive than it should’ve been, boss, but everything’s in place,” Jason broke into my thoughts. The pilot was on the plane and he had many hours to wait for me to board the jet with Malaysia.
“How much more expensive, Jason?” I requested.
“Only a few more bucks that wouldn’t break the bank.” That meant another ten grand had been added to the twenty-five already agreed upon. “But, we had expected that price to rise at the last hour, remember? So, we’re covered.”
Greed was a rising epidemic in this day and age. Everyone thought they should have more than they were getting. That only increased when folks realized you were in a bind and needed to keep things quiet. Hence setting aside the extra ten grand beforehand and offering the retired pilot a lower price from the start. He had gotten no more, no less than what I intended for him to have.
Presuming Malaysia had gotten far enough away to miss my leaving, I put the car in drive. “Anything I should be worried about?”
“Not on my end,” he quickly contributed. “All you have to do is snatch up whatever you’re taking with you and catch a flight.”
Easing toward the street, I looked for Malaysia’s Jetta loitering nearby. She was nowhere in sight or any other vehicles that might seem out of place. “For sure, I have my end covered, Jason. We’ll talk later.”
I entered the skeleton traffic, glad to end the call. Speaking in code was tiresome when I usually shot straight from the hip. As with my own recent actions, I wasn’t taking chances of someone listening in on the conversation. If I was capable of it, so was everyone else who wanted me out of this town for good. Some wanted me dead. Several million-dollars’s worth of dope I had just secretly received from the cartel in Mexico were seized from my basement during a surprise search warrant executed after Greg’s death.
I hadn’t made it home in time to verify the shipment’s amount then send the agreed upon amount for it back by courier before all hell broke loose in my world. A drug deal wasn’t the type of transaction you wanted a bank to handle, creating a paper trail. I didn’t keep millions laying around locally or in my pockets either but in offshore accounts. The stupid ass pigs were already implementing a search warrant in my house when I got there. They thought I had something to do with my clean-up man’s murder, a sloppily performed one at that, just down the street from my home.
Just about everyone who knew Greg knew he worked for me in some capacity, and he was often at my old home I should say. It had been sold, gone like my business was. Now, I had to lay low until the heat from local authorities were off me. Jason would go to the mainland of Cuba to go get my money out of a local bank then fly to Mexico, to pay Dominguez when it was safe. Until then, we’d hold up on a remote island, and I was taking Malaysia with us.
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By this time, you might have heard that Rhonda is coming back. She's here to bring closure to the Secrets of a Kept Woman series.
Check out the synopsis to book 4!
With what seems like only a slap on her wrist by a judge, Rhonda Jackson is a free woman. Some think she gets away with everything, and that may be true until she’s faced with murder charges for killing one of the guards at her mental health facility. This time, Rhonda may have done something so damaging that even her good luck won't be able to save her.
By the end of this page-turning, riveting drama, you won’t know if you love her or still hate her. It’s going to be a long road getting there, but Rhonda’s road to redemption includes real soul searching and revisiting demons from the past. Will she ever walk into the light she tried so hard to avoid her whole life, or will the darkness finally consume her?