Tawny Dell, a high-priced call girl with a PhD in art history who decides to give up the life. Unfortunately, while the FBI was looking into overseas accounts of a mob boss, one of Tawny’s ex-clients, her hidden account came up. Enter the NYPD sex crimes investigator, Lincoln Walsh, who received a call from a now-dead prostitute who mentioned Benny Cooper. Benny is an ex-Wall Street tycoon who runs a high-class bordello. Linc offers Tawny a deal: Go undercover at Benny’s brothel to find out if he’s the murderer and Tawny will avoid going to jail for cheating Uncle Sam. But the best laid plans don’t always work out.
The hotel was booked solid due to a writers’ convention, so that left Linc without a room. He needed to get his overnight bag from his car so he could shower and change. He trusted Tawny not to run a disappearing act on him. She said she wouldn’t, and she hadn’t lied so far. Maybe he was being conned, but he gave her the benefit of the doubt. She wouldn’t be hard to find if she skipped.
“I’ll be here,” she said. “There’s no warrant for my arrest, is there?”
“No. We thought we’d try the quid pro quo approach first.”
“You mean I screw over Benny Cooper so the IRS doesn’t screw me over, is that it?”
She sure had a way of nailing it. “Something like that.”
“Then if Cooper gets off, he gets his shot at me.”
“That won’t happen.”
She scoffed and pulled a bra and panties from the dresser drawer. “I know how these things work, Detective Walsh. I’m the pro in quid pro quo, remember?”
“Take your shower. If you don’t mind, I’ll take one after.”
She blinked in surprise. “Are you moving in with me?”
The thought stabbed Linc in the gut. “Just for tonight. No rooms in the inn. I checked. I could pull the cop thing, but I’d rather keep a low profile.” He pointed to the other room. “Sofa bed. I’ll even take you out to dinner to explain what we want you to do.”
“Then your office can pay for the night’s hotel charge. I don’t do anything for free. Remember that too.”
“You drive a hard bargain.”
She pulled her wet dress over her head and stood naked in front of him. It was the second time she’d done that, and each time the sight of her magnificent body had the same effect. He watched her gaze lower to the swelling inside his wet pants.
“Seems like you’re the one with the hard bargain, Walsh.” Then she turned and strolled into the bathroom, leaving the door wide open. “Key card’s on the dresser.”
Fuck! Fuck! He left the room and hustled down the long corridor to the elevators. His rain-soaked pants clung to his legs like packing tape. Goddamn uncomfortable. What was wrong with him? The woman was a hooker, and he was a sex crime investigator. That’s supposed to be like oil and water, but it felt more like accelerant and match. Get hold of yourself. Take a Valium or whatever you can find that makes stubborn dicks behave.
Ignoring the stares, he stopped in the bar and ordered a double vodka. He’d anesthetize himself. That would keep everything in place. He always called the shots when it came to women. This one had him tied in knots. All he could think of was getting her in bed. Maybe he should call the captain. No, he couldn’t do that. Wouldn’t.
The drink relaxed him and the walk to the car helped. Exercise. That’s what he needed. And a cold shower and another drink. And a five-fucking-mile run.
Polly Iyer was born on the coast of Massachusetts. After studying at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, she traveled to Italy, lived in Atlanta, and now resides in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina in an empty nest house with her husband and a drooling mutt named Max. Writing novels turned into her passion after careers in fashion, art, and business. Now she spends her time being quite the hermit in comfortable clothes she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing on the outside, while she devises ways for life to be complicated for her characters.
Click here for an interview with: Polly Iyer, Author of “Hooked”