So today I decided to post an excerpt from my current work in progress, Ticket to Ride. Probably to be released in December. I think.
“Holy shit, do you know who that is?”
Lieutenant Jack Reeves paused his pen in the middle of a notation about the crime scene and eyed Detective Albert Ramirez who stood beside him.
He followed Al’s gaze to the man sitting in the white plastic patio furniture chair. The man leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees and his head in his hands. He had short blond straight hair done in some fancy salon fashion. Jack still visited barbers himself. Jack estimated the blond to be in his mid to late thirties and though he admitted the guy was pretty he was also a total stranger.
“No, should I?”
Al shot him a look as though he were a complete idiot. He supposed he was to the much younger detective. Jack, who had turned forty-three on his last birthday, felt positively ancient compared to thirty-three year old Al. He started jotting down his notes again.
“Chad Storm,” Al said.
A soap opera name if ever he’d heard one. He shrugged. “Actor?”
Al groaned. “No, lieutenant. Chad Storm.”
Like saying it again would clue him in. He shrugged again.
“The lead singer of Lightning.”
“Oh.” Jack nodded and closed his spiral notebook. “Rock music, right?”
Al tsked. “Yes.”
“I’m not really into that sort of thing.”
“Fifteen years ago Lightning was the hottest group out there.”
“Hmm. What about now?”
“Well, they broke up a few years ago, actually,” Al admitted. He turned to watch the body of the victim being lifted out of the bloody swimming pool. Then he turned back to Jack. “Can I question him?”
“No way. You’re too much of a fan boy. I’ll talk to Mr. Storm. You go talk to the maid.”
Al grimaced. “All right.”
Jack patted Al’s shoulder and walked past him toward the rock star. He grabbed a nearby plastic chair and brought it over next to Storm. He sat down and cleared his throat.
Storm straightened and looked at him. He had killer blue eyes, Jack quickly noted. “Hello,” he said softly.
“Lieutenant Reeves, homicide.” He opened his notebook again. “Is Chad Storm your real name?”
“Yes. Well, it is my legal name. I officially changed it when I formed Lightning.” Storm smiled a little crookedly. “You know, it went with the band name.”
“Uh-huh. What’s your real name then?”
Storm shifted uncomfortable and stared out at the reddish pool. “Do you really need that?”
Though it wasn’t a funny situation, Jack found himself smiling just a little. “It can’t be that bad.”
“It is.” He sighed. “Lester Chadwick.”
Jack blinked, wrote it down, and cleared his throat. “Okay, Mr. Storm, how did you know the victim?”
“We were…you know, a couple.” Storm looked away from the pool and bit his bottom lip. “Not anymore. I mean even be-before this.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.” Years ago when he’d began his career as a police officer he practiced those words. Practiced making them sound almost casual. A police officer wasn’t supposed to have any feelings. Or at least that’s what his first partner told him. He no longer needed to practice. The words just came out, though they still sounded hollow to Jack’s ears. “How long ago did you and Walters end your relationship?”
“I didn’t,” Storm said softly. “Mark did. He wanted his freedom, I guess.”
“To see other men?”
Storm only nodded.
“How long ago was this, Mr. Storm?”
He met Jack’s gaze and his baby blue eyes were filled with an almost unbearable sorrow. “Last week. I found a plane ticket in the desk drawer. It was a one-way ticket to Baltimore. I asked him about it and he said he was flying there to meet someone.”
Jack made notes. “And when was his ticket for?”
“Um, tonight actually. He was supposed to leave tonight.” He studied his folded hands a moment before looking up once more. “Do I need a lawyer?”