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



His lips quirked as Joel slowly shook his head. “More is at play. With you, there always is. Tell me what I’m missing.”

That was the thing. Chloe felt as if she was missing something, too. So how could she tell him what she didn’t know? “It feels personal.”

“Murder usually is personal. Especially if you’re right and the perp was the vic’s lover.”

“No.” She lifted her chin. “This feels personal…to me.”

His eyes narrowed as he studied her. “I don’t get it. You’ve literally had sick fucks sending you notes asking you to ‘Come and get me’ and that didn’t seem too personal for you.”

That had felt like a challenge. This was different. This was her past. Rising up to try and bite her in the ass. Or…

Slice her throat. From ear to ear.

“Take two minutes and explain to me,” he urged, “just how the hell this is different.”

They were on the edge of the street in the French Quarter. It was early evening, and a few cars ambled down the road. People were strolling along the sidewalk. The road glistened slickly from the afternoon rain that had rolled through the city.

“I’m not psychic,” Joel rumbled. “Despite my best efforts, I can still not manage to read that mind of yours.”

She didn’t want him to read her mind. “It was staged.”

“The scene? You didn’t tell that to Cedric.”

No, she hadn’t. “The blood on the mirror…when I looked straight into the mirror, it was like I had blood on me.” Blood is on your hands. That had been the message she received from her reflection.

“Chloe, that was a blood spatter pattern. You know that. You—”

“The building wasn’t always a dance studio. At one point, a long time ago, it was a dress shop.” She didn’t look away from him. “Your mother used to work in that shop.”

His broad shoulders stiffened. “Do I even want to know how you learned that?”

“When I was doing my research on you, I came across this place,” Chloe whispered. Joel had lived in New Orleans a lifetime ago. His return to the Big Easy had been a fairly recent occurrence, as in…he’d come back when his world in Dallas had turned to ashes around him. He’d come back to New Orleans for a shot at a different life. “I remembered the address. I don’t…it could be a coincidence.”

“Fuck that.” He reached around her and yanked open the SUV’s door. “You said it was staged. Staged at a place that has a link to me. Staged and you were specifically called to the scene?”

Yes, all of those things were setting off red flags in her mind. She was glad that he could appreciate her unease.

“Hell, yeah.” Joel gently pushed her into the passenger seat. “We’re going to talk to the stepfather.”

Hmm. Interesting. She hadn’t even needed the full two minutes in order to convince him.

***

The stepfather didn’t live far away. Chloe got his address from—well, hell Joel didn’t honestly know how she’d gotten it. While he’d started the vehicle, she’d fired off a quick text to someone, and then started giving him driving directions. Her voice was calm and cool—quintessential Chloe with just the faintest hint of her British accent sliding beneath the words—but something was off with her. He should know. He was her lover. He knew her, inside and out, and when something rattled her, he was one of the few people who could see her small shakes.

But she wasn’t telling him enough about what was happening and that fact pissed him off. He didn’t want Chloe keeping secrets from him. He wanted to be all-fucking-in with her.

He braked in front of the stepfather’s sprawling house. Also in the Quarter, it reeked of old money. For a moment, Joel considered the location, and his stomach twisted. Hell… “This isn’t too far from your place.”

“No.” Her eyes were on the house that waited behind the iron gate. An open iron gate. “It isn’t.”

“Do you know the man, Chloe?” He knew of the guy. The man owned a chain of casinos in New Orleans, but Joel had never personally met Glenn Towers. Chloe had a way of knowing folks, though. Her friend—or maybe acquaintance list—was surprisingly large.

“We’ve never met.” She was still looking out the window. “A Porsche is in the driveway, so it looks like someone is home.” Her hand reached for the door.