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Sinful Rain

Sinful Rain by Rebecca Vinyard
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Private investigator, Justine Damaris, had her heart shattered when Reed Burkett told her their one-night affair was a mistake. Now he’s back with the news that the child his scheming high school sweetheart claimed was his--isn’t. To complicate matters more, the boy is not the sweetheart’s child either.

Justine would like nothing better than to throw Reed out of her New Orleans office, but her father has disappeared and left her with all his debts--including the seventy-five thousand dollars he owes a loan shark. When Reed tells Justine to name her price, she sets the fee at hundred thousand dollars.

To her surprise, he readily agrees. Reed would pay any price to win back Justine’s heart. He knows he was wrong to let his fear of commitment stand in the way of their love. What neither of them counted on was the price of love might be their lives.

Awe-Struck Publishing; January 2005
320 pages; ISBN 9781587494864
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Sinful Rain
Author: Rebecca Vinyard
“I’m not paying you to get drunk,” Reed’s voice sounded almost prim as Roy set the flaming shooter down in front of her. Justine calmly went through the drink ritual, then scowled at Reed as she set down the shot glass. The Kaluha tasted bitter now, as bitter as her hurting heart. “You’re not paying me to baby-sit Cindy either, but apparently you think that’s part of my job description.” “You’re already drunk,” he muttered under his breath. She pretended not to hear, riding high on alcohol and outrage. “Oh and let’s not forget I’m supposed to spread my legs whenever you snap your fingers too. You expect a lot for your hard-earned dollar, don’t you, Reed?” Leaning forward, she jabbed a finger into his chest. “Well, I got news for you, Mr. Reed Thinks-He’s-God’s-Gift-To-Women Burkett. Mr. Use-Her-Then-Lose-Her! I wouldn’t go to bed with you even if you got down on your knees and handed me a million dollars. No way. No how. Not at any price. Have you got that?” He looked stunned. Good. About time she put him in his place! She jabbed at his chest again, this time a little harder. He didn’t even flinch. She might as well poke her finger into a stone. “I said, have you got that?” Nothing. He had on his poker face, damn his green eyes. She wanted to hurt him. She wanted to make him mad. She wanted…some sort of reaction. Just one tiny flicker of emotion. Nothing. Not a spark, not a twitch. The man’s heart must be made of stone too. “Oh, why do I bother?” she mumbled, grabbing up her purse. Tears filled her eyes as she pulled out her keys and a twenty-dollar bill. “Keep the change, Roy” she called as she slapped the twenty on top of the bar. She slid off the stool, intending to brush past Reed and head out the door. Reed grabbed her arm. She looked down at his hand, then up at his eyes. Green fire burned there now, but she was past worrying about whether he was pissed or not. “Cheré,” he whispered, “you’re in no condition to drive.” She jerked free. “When I want any advice from you, I’ll ask for it. Just do us a both a favor and stay away from me. I’ll be gone tomorrow and with any luck, I should be out of your life by the end of the week. That’s what you want, right?” He didn’t answer. Her hand holding the keys curled into fist, itching to put a dent in that impenetrable armor of his. Instead, she felt the keys bite into her palm. Oh, what was the point? He probably wouldn’t feel it if she slugged him anyway. Talking it out was no good either. They couldn’t have a single conversation without it degenerating into an argument. Not that he’d made any real attempt at a conversation either. No sir-ee. He’d come in here, spouting off accusations and orders. She wanted to ask, ‘Whatever happened to the devil-may-care, fun Reed she used to know?’ She wanted to ask… Oh, to hell with him! With an inarticulate growl, she spun around and stalked out of the bar. Rain swamped her the instant she stepped outside. Head down, cursing Reed and the Mexican Kisses for making her legs wobbly, she groped for the stairs and banister. Thunder rolled like kettledrums as she slipped about halfway down. Still holding the banister, she managed to check herself and get to the bottom without falling. Maybe she wasn’t in any condition to drive after all, she thought, as she tried to insert the car key. She couldn’t get it in the door lock. Maybe she’d take a nap until the storm blew over or she sobered up, whichever came first. At least in the car, she could do that without being tormented by Reed. The key would not go in. Puzzled, she held it up to her face. It didn’t look damaged. With a shrug, she tried again, this time bending down to put her eye closer to the key hole. Wait. When did she lock the car? It had been raining and… As she started to unbend, an arm wrapped around her throat, cutting off her air and all thought of anything except survival.