Here's a first look at book 3 in the negus effect series...the ace
Ethan Hall sat at the desk in his office, across from Malachi Roberts. He listened as the man known as The Expert filled him in on their current assignment.
“So you’re telling me that the little dude that works for Corvus is one of the Neo Negus?” he asked.
Malachi nodded. “I’m sure of it.”
“Have you hollered at him?”
“Not yet. I don’t want to tip them off too soon of what we know.” Malachi replied. “He might warn the others and cause them to go into hiding even more.”
“So what’s the next step?” Ethan questioned.
“Identifying the rest.”
Ethan gave him a look. “Okay, how?”
“One person knows who they are…”
With his eyes narrowed, Ethan began to shake his head. “Hell nah!”
“She still has a soft spot for you…somewhere.” Malachi told him with a smirk.
“I’m not fucking with Patrice.”
“We need you. You’re The Ace.”
Ethan frowned. “Right, not the Joker.”
Malachi laughed. “You act like you’re scared of her.”
“You do remember that she tried to kill the Police Chief, using her own damn officers?” Ethan reminded him.
“Yeah, that was boss…” Malachi admitted.
“She’s not going to tell me anything.” Ethan replied.
“We don’t know that until you talk to her…in person.”
Ethan ran a hand down his face. “I didn’t sign up for this.”
“She can’t hurt you Ethan. She’s in prison.”
“You sound stupid.” Ethan told him. “Didn’t your woman’s house get bombed?”
“That wasn’t Patrice.”
He smirked. “How the hell do you know for sure?”
“She didn’t want Cynthia dead. She wanted her to write her redemption story.” Malachi answered.
“If she didn’t do it, then she sure as hell knows who did.” Ethan countered.
Malachi agreed. “And that’s what we need you to go find out…” he told him. “She’s already accepted a visit request from you.”
Ethan groaned. “I promise you, on God…I’m only going there one time.”
“Well, if you get what we need, only one trip will be necessary.”
“One trip is going to be it…period.”
Malachi sat back as Ethan glared at him. “Make it worth it.”
“What else do you have to tell me, before I put you out of my office?” Ethan asked.
“Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.”
Ethan grinned. “The messenger is full of shit.”
Malachi smiled. “Tell Patrice, I said, ‘hey’…”
“You’re the ladies’ man. Use that charm you throw around in these streets…”
Giving him a look, Ethan said, “I didn’t used to be the only ladies’ man.”
“You didn’t, and you still won’t be…”
“So, you’re really going to marry Cynthia?”
Malachi frowned. “Why are you saying it like that?”
Ethan shrugged. “I mean, y’all was good being friends, then you added some bomb sex…why mess that up?”
“Mess it up?” Malachi asked, lifting a brow. “How is that?”
“By adding some…commitment.” He said the last word as if it was difficult to speak.
“I want the commitment.” Malachi replied. “I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life committed to her.”
Ethan sighed. “I think you’re just emotional over almost losing her in that bombing.”
“Knowing that I could’ve lost her, makes me want to assure her even more that she is the only woman I want in my life.” Malachi told him firmly.
“You want a tissue?” Ethan asked sarcastically. “You need a minute?”
“Don’t do it.” Malachi warned.
Chuckling, Ethan replied, “Hey, don’t get crazy. I’ve seen how that works out for people.”
“I don’t play around about my pretty baby,”
“I think the whole city knows that.”
Malachi relaxed. “Now, about the wedding…”
“Next month, Malachi?” Ethan asked. “What’s the damn rush?”
“What did I just tell you?”
Ethan shook his head. “Nah, it’s more than that.” He studied Malachi for a moment. “Oh shit!”
“Oh shit!” Malachi watched him put a fist to his mouth. “Damn, man…”
Ethan stared at Malachi, then said, “She was letting you hit it like that?”
“About the wedding…” Malachi began again, giving him a hard look.
Putting his hands in the air, Ethan conceded before he really did set the brother off. “Congratulations.”
Ethan smiled. “Can I be the godfather?”
“Hell, no.” Malachi replied.
Laughing, Ethan continued, “I’ll ask Cynthia.”
“Do your talking to Patrice.” Malachi instructed. “But, Cynthia does want you to walk Dawn down the aisle…”
“Yeah, her best friend.”
He frowned. “Can’t Mathias do that?”
Malachi shrugged. “It’s what my baby wants,” he pinned Ethan with a look. “So that’s what she’ll get. She saw it in her dream.”
“I have to be with Dawn because of Cynthia’s dream? Is she still having problems with her head?” Ethan questioned.
Malachi stood to his feet quickly, causing Ethan to do the same.
“Last warning, Ethan.”
“My bad…I shouldn’t have gone there.” Ethan apologized. “I know that was a scary time for both of you.”
He walked over to Malachi and stuck out his hand. “For real though, I’m happy for you. I don’t know two better people.”
Malachi shook his hand. “You’re going to make me beat your ass.”
“Nah, we straight. You know I don’t like the hands.” Ethan replied. “But I do stay strapped…”
The two shook tightly, then looked at one another. “I don’t want to hear my business in the streets.” Malachi told him.
“I feel you.” Ethan agreed. “I’m not trying to take Audrey’s place.”
“Nah, you don’t want that.” Malachi agreed and stepped back. “Check in with me after you meet with Patrice tomorrow.”
“Will do.” Ethan said, then frowned. “If I’m still alive.”
Malachi shook his head. “Keep your guard up. I’m not going to save you, again.”
“When have you saved me?” Ethan questioned.
“Today.” Malachi responded. “From your mouth…”
Ethan walked him to the door. “We’re good, fam.”
After seeing Malachi out, Ethan went back to his desk and sat down. His mind went to the meeting scheduled tomorrow with his ex. He’d met Patrice at an event in the city and they’d hooked up immediately.
Initially, Ethan had vibed with her bad girl persona until he realized that it wasn’t a façade. Patrice was gangsta through and through. While he was nobody’s punk, Ethan didn’t get involved with that life voluntarily.
With both knowing that they were not pursing any type of relationship outside of the bedroom, they shared a mutual understanding. Patrice was a sensual woman who was all about getting hers and didn’t mind allowing Ethan to get his along the way.
For his part, that’s the way Ethan liked his dealings with women. Watching failed relationships had been his way of life, which is why he didn’t engage in them…on any level. He had no problems entertaining a woman and making her feel good, but then it was time to bounce.
And speaking of making a woman feel good, he had some business over at the City Planner’s office with one Toya Acker. She’d jumped on his radar a little while ago at Cynthia’s birthday party and now he’d waited the allotted amount of time to not look like he was just out for a smash, and he could say to her face, that he’d been thinking about her, without lying. Some women could spot that kind of thing…and that always caused him to have to lie even more.
Shaking his head, he cleared his desk, then smiled and headed for the door.
THE ACE-Book 3 - The Negus Effect Series 12/28/18 Pre-Order Now!