Save Me From The Dark (Death and Moonlight #2) by Cynthia Eden

“You can trust me,” he murmured. “Chloe, let me in.”

She was trying. Didn’t he get that? She stared into his eyes and saw the flecks of gold buried in the darkness of his gaze. Joel. He’d agreed to start working as her partner. Her job wasn’t typical. Far from it. Chloe spent her days and nights tracking killers, and she’d decided that she wanted someone around to watch her back.

Enter Joel Landry.

He wasn’t just physically strong, though, of course, that was certainly a lovely bonus. He had a very unusual skill set that she quite admired. Because he was a former surgeon, he was intimately familiar with the human body. He had a vast knowledge of medicine and health care, and, in a pinch, the man was absolutely great at patching up a knife wound or a bullet hole.

He also was well trained in a variety of marital arts. He could, quite honestly, kill a man in a hundred different ways. He was skilled with knives. Guns. He was a perfect predator.

Mostly because…he’d once been a victim. And he was determined to never be one again.

Her stare swept slowly over his rugged features and lingered just for a moment on the faint scar that cut across his upper lip. There were more scars on Joel. On his neck. His arms. His chest. He didn’t talk about them. As a rule, he didn’t talk about the nightmare attack he’d survived. Joel liked to keep his secrets close. She could understand that. She did the same thing.

“Talk to me,” Joel urged her. His voice deepened, turning into that rough growl that Chloe had discovered—much to her surprise—caused a dark, primitive response within her.

Her lips parted.

“Chloe!” And Cedric was there. Rushing from the building and adjusting his blue tie as he hurried toward her. Wind blew against his body and sent his coat billowing back to reveal the holster strapped beneath his left arm.

She found herself stiffening as he approached her. “Why am I here, Cedric?”

“Uh, because you usually love jumping into a killer’s head?” His answer was immediate.

He wasn’t wrong. Usually, she did quite enjoy that endeavor. “You can handle this case. I know you saw everything that I did.” Cedric was the best homicide detective on the NOPD force. If he wasn’t the best, he wouldn’t have been one of her closest friends.

He straightened his coat. “You were requested. If you must know.”

Joel finally let her go, but he didn’t move far away. He stayed at her side, and his broad shoulder brushed against her. Protective. That was Joel. But, then, he had been hired to be her muscle. And for other reasons…

At the beginning of their partnership, she’d been the profiler, the brains who got into the heads of killers. He’d been the brawn. The man there to kick ass if things got out of hand.

Though, truth be told, Chloe was pretty good at kicking ass. I’d just needed Joel close. I’d needed the chance to get to know him better.

She had gotten to know him better. Intimately so.

“Who made the request?” Joel asked.

Cedric glanced over his shoulder, then back at them. “You know you make the papers a lot, Chloe.”

Not like she tried to be in the Press. In fact, she worked hard to avoid any interaction with reporters. They often misconstrued statements, and, in her experience, they were too hungry for blood. Much like many of the killers she tracked.

“Lucia’s stepdad is Glenn Towers,” Cedric revealed with a wiggle of his dark brows. “As in Towers Casino. He has money to burn, and he’s a frequent contributor to our dear mayor’s political fund. Before I could even get my ass in the car to come to the scene, I was being told that you would be a consult on this. The mayor wants the case closed yesterday.”

So Cedric was already getting political pressure and the body was barely cold. “The mayor should trust you to do the job.” In fact, as far as Chloe was concerned… “You should be in charge of the entire police force.”

“Thanks.” He flashed her a grin. “Working on that.”

She knew he was. She also knew that a faint headache was pounding behind her eyes. “Lucia was acquainted with her attacker.”

Cedric inclined his head.

“But that was obvious to us all.” She knew that was why he’d inclined his head. “There were no signs of a struggle. No marks at all her arms or hands. She didn’t fight. Because of the mirrors, there would have been no way for her not to see him closing in on her.” She considered the scene in her mind. The way it must have unfolded. “They were close. Friends or lovers. Probably lovers.”