This Sunday’s Fly on the Wall takes a look at hiring the P.I. As you all know Secrets and Lies, book five in the Men of Action Series will be out November 1, 2011.
Thena Davis took over her father’s contracting business when he died and while working on one of the sites she gets another shock of her life, finding a body that’s been missing for nearly twenty years buried in the walls of the home she’s remodeling. When she realizes the police are doing nothing to solve this old case, that she’s being stonewalled at every turn, she takes matters into her own hand and hires a private investigator—none other than Thomas McGregor of McGregor Investigations. She’s taken with him instantly, but can she convince him she’s worth breaking his own rules for? Find out when Secrets and Lies releases in just a couple weeks. For now, take a little look at Thena hiring the P.I.
“Will you please take my case?”
Thena’s words brought him back to the present. Should any of his new leads pan out he wanted to be ready to leave at any moment, but at the same time he had to pay his bills and eat. Having money saved didn’t mean he wanted to blow through his savings when he could be working. And beside that fact, she needed his help. Her life was in danger. How could he turn his back on her plea?
“Case taken,” he nodded. He watched the visible ease in her shoulders and the slow exhale that left her lips.
“Now tell me about this attempt on your life.”
“Well, I was leaving the site last night—”
“In addition to the contracting business, I design and flip houses. I take about three…well if I were a lawyer it would be called pro bono cases I guess…so it’s about three pro bono houses a year. I buy them, usually at five to fifteen thousand dollars and if they’re salvageable I gut them out and fix them. If they’re not then I tear them down and start over on the lot. Then, once they’re finished I rent them out to people who are getting back on their feet. My friend runs Twist of Fate; it’s a program to get people back on their feet after ending up jobless and homeless. I built her a place three years ago out of one of the houses I bought for practically nothing. She keeps about six individuals there at a time. She gets them off the streets, helps them locate employment and I help with housing. Three houses a year go up for rent to the people staying at her house so that they can move into more permanent residents once they have secured a job. I keep the rent at about three hundred a month. They pay utilities. Once they’re on their feet and can move they move and somebody else moves in. Unfortunately there’s higher demand than what I have to give. And I’m not rich so I can’t exactly give more than I do. It helps that I know everything about construction, building, electrical, and some plumbing, because of working with my dad as I was growing up. What he didn’t teach me an old…friend…did.”
Thomas noticed the hesitation, which told him the friend was definitely more than a friend. Why that bothered him he wasn’t sure. She was just a client, like any other client, and he couldn’t let that fact slip his mind no matter how sexy she was.
“When my dad died I took over his contracting business. That was about six years ago now. I was twenty-three at the time and everybody thought it wouldn’t work, but those men really respected my father, and I guess by extension they respect me as well.”
He could see the hint of sorrow in her eyes, thinking of the father she no longer had in her life. Twenty-three; that was rather young to take on sole ownership of the family business, especially one in construction, but she had done it. He imagined her age and gender probably made dealing with clients a little more difficult.
“Of course I’ve always loved the architecture and design of buildings. I hated cookie cutter houses and I always said when I grew up I’d make something different. Taking over my dad’s business curtailed my dream a little. I planned to have my own architectural firm, but now I have the contracting business with a small hint of architectural work mixed in. I have a few clients who come to me to design and build their homes, but most already have the home plans drawn up, or they just want remodeling. I send the employees out to those, and occasionally I step in to help. But on the pro bono cases I work on them myself. I have to keep overhead low. I have a friend who helps out once or twice a year, and some of the people who have gone through Twist of Fate are skilled workers so they help. I’ve even hired a couple of them. Anyway, I guess that’s a lot of detail just to tell you that I was leaving the construction site when somebody tried to run me down.”
Her voice was so matter of fact that he wondered just how disturbed she was by the occurrence. Most of the women, hell, even some of the men, he knew around town had a tendency to panic about things of that caliber.
“Thena,” he leveled his tone. If she wasn’t taking this seriously he wouldn’t hesitate to lecture her about it. “You do realize that’s serious; right?”
“Of course,” she pushed a strand of curly hair behind her ear. “It’s just that I’m more concerned with what happened with my mother. I don’t care about who tried to run me down. That is, I don’t want you to work that case.”
He exhaled slowly, trying to keep his cool. When she walked into his office he had been all set to tell her no. She had told him about a dead body they had found on one of her construction sites. Then she told him that the woman was perfectly preserved. Eventually she got around to telling him that the woman looked just like her, only older, and that she knew it was her mother who had gone missing when she was ten years old. The woman had been adducted from the hospital parking lot after her shift. He made a mental note to himself to do research on the case. A doctor going missing had to make the news…but he didn’t remember the case. Why would he? If Thena was ten at the time then he was thirteen. At thirteen he was too busy tagging along with his older brother, Gavin, to worry about the news.
He virtually had to pry the information out of her. She had come to his office and then she wanted to clam up. He had looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Lady, I can’t help you if you won’t tell me what’s going on.” Once she told him he understood her dilemma. This was personal. It wasn’t just about some dead body. This was about her mother. This was about closure.
For him it was going to be about more than that. She might not realize it, but she needed protection; she needed his help. He wouldn’t let anybody hurt her. She said she didn’t want him working the case from the angle of who had just tried to kill her—tough. He was going to look into both whether she wanted him to or not. In his book it was probably, if not definitely, related to her mother’s murder.
If you haven’t had a chance to read books one through five in the Men of Action series, now is a good time to buy your copy and catch up on these Men of Action before book five comes out. There are some non series Capri Montgomery books available on Amazon Kindle books as well, including Watch Over Me and Returning Sheba. Native American Indian and other multicultural books including Dream Walker and Dream Stalker, and many other book options. As always, books are available in my Lulu Storefront as well as a PDF download and a print copy.