One more that I got back the rights to. I am also working on the stories for the brothers so those will be coming as well.
This is the current cover, there will be a new one once I get it made.
The newly-dark skateboard park was shattered with a single shot, followed by muzzle flashes and the stutter of an automatic weapon.
Silence returned as quickly as it had been destroyed. Not even dogs barked in the area. As the night progressed, rain came and cleansed the city. Blood mixed with the water and washed down into Seattle’s drainage system.
An early morning jogger heading through the park discovered the body. He grabbed his phone from his pocket, called 911, and then waited for the police to arrive.
A detective’s car rolled up and stopped, its red flashing light cutting through the misty conditions. A tall, powerful man exited. His stern face settled into grim lines as steel-gray eyes flickered around the crime scene, taking in the yellow tape defining the perimeter. He noticed an officer taking a statement from a man in running clothes. The coroner stood in the drizzle, beside a gurney and the sheet-covered victim, waiting on him.
The detective sighed. Nothing worse than starting a Sunday morning with a dead body. Being a detective was hard. However, Ian Cavanaugh added onto this by being in Homicide. Carrying his Starbucks coffee with him, he went to the victim.
“Sorry for the hold up, Parsons. Won’t take me but a minute and I’ll let you get the vic back to the morgue.” His deep voice stopped the coroner in his conversation with his assistant.
“Morning, Ian,” the old man said as he wiped some moisture off his face. The morning drizzle had picked up, becoming a steady rain.
“Whaddya got?” Ian crouched beside the dead body. His hand reached for the sheet and slowly drew it away so he could see the face.
Gil Parsons answered, “Multiple shots. Some through-and-through, some not. With the rain I don’t know what trace has been ruined and lost, but I’ll let you know, what I know, as soon as I know it.” The man sighed and waited for Ian to look.
“Thanks.” Ian glanced down at the unseeing eyes staring back at him. “Ah, hell,” he muttered.
“You know him?”
Running his hand down his face, Ian didn’t answer right away. He closed those sightless green eyes and recovered him with the sheet. Ian drained the remainder of his coffee before crushing the cup in his fist.
“Ian?” Parsons spoke in a low voice.
“This here is Gregory Maddox.” Ian rested a hand on his thigh as he pushed to his feet. “I know you’ve heard of the Maddox clan.”
Gil and his assistant got the body ready for transport with swift effectiveness. “The foster kids that raised holy hell?”
Ian helped load the body in the van, his mangled coffee cup stark against the somber blackness of the body bag. “Those are the ones. Trouble alone, terror on wheels when together.” He sighed. “Only one lives here now, I should go tell him.” At the last second, Ian grabbed his cup off the bag.
“Bye, Ian.” Parsons climbed into his vehicle and drove off.
Ian watched him go. His mind worked fast as he stood there in the increasing rain. I hope this is solved, and fast, before the Maddox Clan is reunited.
Shaking off the twinge of foreboding, Ian tossed the cup in a trash receptacle, headed to his car and on toward the house of Herschel Maddox. The streets of Seattle may very well turn into a war zone if this wasn’t cleared up very soon.
Fallon Maddox stood at a high vantage point, alone, and watched through the gray haze the burial of the only father she could recall with fondness. The hole was just waiting for the men press the button to lower his casket down into the waiting ground.
She picked out her four brothers. They had all made it. She hadn’t been sure, when Herschel called to tell her the news, if they would all make it. But there they were.
Clayborne. Shawn. Herschel and his family. And the youngest sibling, Dylan. She felt tears prick the backs of her eyes.
She never moved from her position. She was late in arriving and it was a miracle that she had made it. Part of her wanted to be down there, but the part that won wanted to be alone, needed to be alone. Fallon observed stoically as people said their farewells and got into their vehicles. It was a huge turnout.
Finally, it was just her brothers and a man she didn’t recognize. Snatches of their conversation reached her. The voice of the unknown struck her as familiar, but she couldn’t place from where. Her brothers were upset and it was from more than just their recent loss.
Fallon stopped herself from going down there when Clayborne sent his fist flying into the guy’s face. Now was not the time to get involved in an altercation. Herschel stepped in and so she remained where she was. The one in the scuffle with Clayborne turned his head and looked in her direction. Fallon stepped behind a tree and remained hidden from view. Hiding wasn’t her forte, but she wasn’t up to questions yet. Fallon had to say her goodbyes first, which was something to be done in private.
Once everyone had left, Fallon moved to the grave and laid a bouquet of flowers at her mother’s headstone before saying her final farewell to her father and leaving a single rose for him. Silently she walked to the waiting taxi and climbed in.
The taxi pulled up to her childhood home. Fallon paid the driver, took a deep breath, and got out. I can’t believe Pops is gone. Picking up her duffle bag, she walked up the steps, unlocked the door, and entered the silent house. The door clicked behind her, the sound reverberating through her empty soul. She was alone. Her bag hit the floor as she turned on a light. Her eyes swept the room. Memories danced before her. With another deep breath, she proceeded further into the room. It all looked the same. Light tan carpet and comfortable but old furniture.
The walls were covered by myriads of photos. A small smile crossed her face as she looked at her family. Why did Pops have to die?
“I miss you, Pops,” she said absently as she retrieved her satchel and headed towards the room she had used while living there.
Pushing open the door, Fallon was shocked to see that nothing in there had changed since her last visit. Her patchwork quilt still covered the twin bed. Over the pillow hung a framed cross-stitch her foster mother, Nadine, had made for her.
FALLON DELU MADDOX
She set her olive green bag on the dark cherry rocker and touched the framed work. The thread was vibrant red and sat on a white background. A new wave of tears threatened.
Fallon turned a complete circle, pausing as she was met by her reflection. The dark brown eyes staring back at her seemed dull and lifeless. Looking intently at her image, Fallon touched her face. Funny, she didn’t remember her face being that tired looking, there were bags under her eyes. Again tears threatened and this time she allowed them to escape. She was safe here. No need to be tough as nails. No one watched over her shoulder at how she behaved.
For the time being, she could be what her body needed to be. A child who had just lost a parent. Not a United States Marine. Not a hard-ass, take-no-shit instructor. Just a mourning child. A half-stumble landed her on her bed where she promptly curled up with her one-eyed doll. The sobs came and after a fashion so did the much needed sleep.
Voices woke her. Loud, angry voices. Fallon was instantly awake as she ascertained where the yelling was originating.
“Clay,” she whispered, getting out of bed and going to the door.
She would recognize the graveled baritone of her brother’s tone anywhere. The one she didn’t recognize was the one in the discussion with him. Still that ripple of familiarity danced across her skin, just as it had at the cemetery. So, whoever it was, the same person had exchanged blows with her brother.
Pressing her ear to the door, she eavesdropped on the two men.
Her brother was yelling. “I don’t give a flying fuck what bullshit story you told Herschel! I’m not buying. I want that report.”
“It was a gang hit,” a deep voice countered.
“Fuck you. That area is a neutral one, we both know it, and Herschel knows it as well.”
“The whole place was shot up. It’s just a case of wrong place, wrong time,” the unknown male responded.
She heard her brother growl low before the sound of flesh against flesh reached her. “Oh Clay,” she muttered, yanking open the door and moving swiftly down the hall.
Rounding the corner, she narrowed her eyes at the sight of her brother pressed up against the wall, unable to move an inch. There was a gun pressed against his back.
She reacted immediately. Within seconds, Fallon slammed the larger man to the floor, his gun skidding out of reach.