here's a first look at book 2 in the negus effect series...the expert
Malachi Roberts returned to his apartment after attending a celebration to honor his mentor, George Shaw. As a former Detroit Police officer, Malachi had walked in the footsteps of the legend, known as The Master.
Whenever George Shaw called, Malachi answered and in the process he’d created his own reputation as a man who did his job well. In fact, he was The Expert and when Malachi Roberts showed up, business was about to be taken care of, expediently.
Entering his condo that overlooked the Detroit River, he removed his overcoat and loosened his tie, before heading to the bedroom to change and get ready to sit down and watch the football game. The Lions were in their continuous rebuilding period, but he’d always support the home team.
Born and raised in the ‘D’, Malachi repped his city through and through. He’d spent several years on the force, first as an officer, then as a detective. He’d started his own P.I. company with guidance and advice from Mr. Shaw.
Malachi had worked with the Negus on more than a few assignments and admired the men for what they’d done for the city. It had been good to see all the men today, along with their families. For Malachi, being single worked best for his lifestyle.
Crime didn’t care if it was the middle of the night, or a special occasion, or a pre-planned date, it had to be solved, so the citizens could be safe. After changing into a pair of jeans and Detroit Lions T-Shirt, Malachi went to his kitchen and grabbed a bag of chips and a bottle of beer.
Settling in front of his big screen television, he reached for the remote and turned on the Sunday night game. It was rare that he got to simply sit and enjoy himself and hoped that his time wouldn’t be interrupted.
Placing both his phone and the remote on the table in front of him, Malachi put his feet up and watched the kickoff, ready for a good game. Snacking on chips and sipping from his beer bottle, Malachi enjoyed the first quarter until his doorbell buzzed.
“Damn…” he said, reaching for the remote on the table, then switched his screen to split and show the lobby downstairs.
Seeing the woman, he sighed.
She looked up into the camera and smiled. “Hey Mal…”
“Did you need something?” he asked.
“Do I have to need something from you?”
He frowned at the screen. “I’m watching the game.”
“Let me watch it with you, since you’re at home.” She purred. “I came all this way in the cold.”
“Who told you to do that?”
She smirked. “Boy, let me up…stop playing.”
Malachi lifted a brow and looked at the woman on the screen. Audrey was a headache, she could be sweet as pie, then in the blink of an eye, out of her fucking mind. He didn’t like the change up, so he’d ended any type of relationship right then, but she was still hanging on.
“I’m not for your antics tonight,” he warned her.
“I’m good…” she promised. “I know your rules.”
Malachi reluctantly buzzed her inside, then waited for her to arrive at his door. When he opened it, she smiled at him. “Hey, Bae…”
“What did I tell you?”
Audrey came inside and shrugged out of her coat. “I’m just playing with you…damn.”
Taking her jacket, Malachi hung it in his closet, then walked back over to his sofa to resume watching the game.
Audrey looked around then followed, sitting close to him. Reaching for his beer, Malachi turned his attention to the screen.
“Why are you here?” he asked.
She moved closer. “I miss you.”
“If you’re going to start that, I’ll get your coat.” He took a swig.
Audrey frowned at him. “Why did you let me in, then?”
He turned to her. “Because while you were at my door uninvited…my Momma raised me to be a gentleman.”
“Hmmm…I’ve never met her.”
Malachi shook his head. “And you probably won’t…now can I watch my game?”
Audrey stared at the handsome man then looked around his place. Malachi was strict with his need for rules and order. Everything in his apartment and his life had a place, and he didn’t tolerate anything less. She turned to him again and watched his profile.
Malachi was fine, sexy, successful, dangerous, smart, and a straight ass, when he wanted to be. To Audrey, the former far outweighed the latter, hence the reason she’d taken the chance to stop by his place. She’d known that Malachi had been at the big celebration for the bookstore owner, George Shaw.
Looking him over, she wondered who’d he’d taken as his date, because it certainly hadn’t been her. He’d put a halt to that a short time ago, and hadn’t looked back. Audrey had wanted to catch him with his date and put a damper on their evening, but he’d been here alone. She pondered if that had been by choice.
“Who’s playing?” she asked him, as his attention was glued to the large screen.
She looked at the television. “Are they winning?”
He didn’t look at her. “The score is on the screen.”
She chuckled. “Oh…is it almost over?”
“No, it’s almost halftime.”
“What happens then?”
Malachi turned to her. “You’re going home.”
“I thought you said you were a gentleman.”
“That only goes so far.”
She folded her arms. “I want to talk.”
“About us, Mal…”
He shook his head. “I’m done Audrey. I’ve moved on, you should do the same.”
“Why? Because I made one mistake?”
“It was the only one you were allotted.” Malachi raised the bottle to his lips and finished it.
“That’s not fair.”
He shrugged. “This isn’t a game.”
“I want another chance.”
A play on the screen caught his attention and he yelled, “Dammit that was a catch!”
“What was a catch?”
Frowning, he turned back to Audrey. “I’m trying to watch the game. Now you can sit and be quiet or you can dip out.” Malachi told her firmly. “No talking, no discussion.”
“I bet if Cynthia Walters called, you’d talk to her.”
He turned back to the screen to see what was going on. “Cynthia wouldn’t bug the hell out of me and she knows what a catch is.”
“Did you take her to that party today?”
Malachi looked at her again. “Who the hell are you talking to?”
“This is why you got curbed.”
“Because I checked you?” She rolled her neck.
“You tried it.”
Audrey pouted. “And you lied…”
“And you’re crazy…”
“You kept saying that she was a friend and you worked together,” Audrey pointed out.
“Where’s the lie?”
Her eyes narrowed. “You know she wanted you.”
Malachi reached for his chips and turned back to the game. “As flattered as I am, every woman doesn’t want me.” He told her. “Cynthia and I worked together, just like I work with a lot of women.”
“You spent more time with her,” Audrey pointed out.
“You’re only validating my point of cutting you off.” Malachi replied. “You aren’t going to control me. It doesn’t matter that you’re a beautiful, successful woman, I won’t be questioned like a child about my business.”
“It seems that beautiful and successful is your type…”
Halftime began and Malachi stood to get him another beer. “Until they start acting crazy.”
When he returned with another bottle, Audrey frowned at him.
“Do you have any wine?” she asked.
“No, I’m in the mood for beer tonight.”
Smiling, she said, “Next time I’ll bring a nice bottle.”
He reached for his chips. “Next time, I’m not letting you in.”
“I believe you.”
“I don’t lie.” He glanced at her. “Which is why I can’t be with you. You couldn’t take me at my word.”
“Your actions said differently.”
Malachi shrugged. “According to you…”
“We were good together,” Audrey told him softly. “Don’t you miss that?”
“I’d rather be by myself than with someone who wants to question me, suspect me, and attempt to chastise me.” Malachi replied. “So that’s that.”
“No woman wants her man all cuddled up with another woman.” She complained.
“I had women friends before I met you, and I still have them.” He explained. “And even after someone becomes my wife, they’ll still be my friends, because I’m not a man who will tell the woman I love one thing and do another.”
His phone on the table buzzed and Audrey rolled her eyes before he checked the screen. Malachi smiled before he answered.
“Hey,” he said into the phone up to his ear.
He heard the laugher, then the silky voice. “Just making sure you’re going to have my money after this game, when your Lions lose to my Steelers.”
He laughed softly. “First of all, you’re a sellout, going against the home team. Second, it’s only halftime and if it wasn’t for that bogus call, we’d be up.”
“Excuses, excuses…” Cynthia teased. “I want my ends.”
“Yeah, we’ll see.”
She laughed again in his ear. “I don’t know what you were drinking at the party, but I’m not going to let you claim drunkenness for making this terrible bet.”
“I didn’t drink at the party,” he rebutted. “But I saw you knocking them back…”
Cynthia laughed harder. “Open bar? Hell yeah…” She replied. “Mr. Shaw and the Negus only serve the best, too. I can’t get that kind of top shelf liquor often on a journalist’s salary.”
“I know for a fact that your pockets are fat,”
“Because I’m not spending it on top shelf liquor,”
It was his turn to laugh.
He turned to the forgotten woman next to him, then heard in his ear. “Oh snap! My bad, Malachi. I didn’t know you had company.”
“You’re good.” He told Cynthia. “It’s an unexpected visitor.”
“I’ll talk to you later,” Cynthia said, then ended the call.
Malachi sat the phone back on the table, then watched as the game began to start.
“That was rude,” Audrey told him.
“Just as rude as showing up at someone’s home without being invited or calling…” he replied.
She glared at him. “I know who that was.”
“So what’s not about to happen, is me arguing with you over what I do in my life. It’s been real, but I’m going to need you to raise up, so that I can enjoy the rest of the game in peace.” Malachi then stood, and walked to his closet.
After retrieving her coat, he stood at the door waiting for her to join him. Audrey hesitated, then saw the determination on his face. Slowly, she got to her feet, and met him. Malachi helped her with her coat, then opened the front door.
“Good bye, Audrey.” He said, looking down at her. “Let’s not do this again.”
“I hope she breaks your heart.”
Malachi stared at her. “Any woman that I eventually give my heart to, will have earned it, by trusting me with her life.”
“We’ll see how that works out for you.”
Audrey walked out and Malachi closed the door behind her. Rushing back to the television, he turned the game up and reached for his beer with a smile.
THE EXPERT -Book 2 - The Negus Effect Series 11/29/18 Pre-Order Now!