Into the FuryBy: Kat Martin
SINNERS, SLUTS, and WHORES--BEWARE. Your TIME is at HAND.
Standing next to the long mahogany table in the conference room, Ethan Brodie reread the note he’d just been handed. Printed on a plain sheet of white paper, the ominous words were typed in different fonts and sizes, all of them in big bold letters.
Fairly old-school for the twenty-first century, Ethan thought. But then, e-mail was a helluva lot easier to trace.
The client, Matthew Carlyle, was head of operations for La Belle Lingerie, a retail fashion chain, kind of a knockoff of Victoria’s Secret with slightly less expensive garments. In his midforties, five ten, lean and fit, Carlyle had silver-threaded dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and a thin scar that ran close to his ear along his jaw.
The other man in the room was Ethan’s boss, his cousin Ian, owner of Brodie Operations Security Services, Inc.
“I imagine in the lingerie business you get threatening notes all the time,” Ethan said to Carlyle.
“We get kooks all right. Plenty of them.” Carlyle accepted the note Ethan returned. “But a letter like this was mailed to each of our ten top models, sent to them at our flagship store here in Seattle, and the company isn’t happy about it.”
“You talk to the police?”
“Not yet. We’d prefer to handle the problem discreetly, avoid any bad press. That’s why I came to BOSS, Inc. Ian and I have worked together before. I trust him to handle the problem.”
Ethan turned to his cousin, conservatively dressed in tan slacks and a yellow button-down shirt. While Ian was blond, Ethan was dark-haired, like most of the Brodie men. Both were tall, Ethan taller, at six foot three. “You have the notes checked for prints?” he asked.
“I did,” Ian said. “Papers were all clean. The letters were mailed out of different post office locations in the area so that led nowhere. Since the models are about to go on tour, Matt’s decided to temporarily beef-up La Belle security, just to be on the safe side.”
“Probably a good idea.” Though Ethan wished someone else was taking the job. The thought of traveling for weeks with a group of airheaded fashion divas was the last thing he wanted. Still, he worked for a living, and this was exactly the kind of job he was good at.
Silently communicating his dislike of the assignment, he flicked a hard glance at his cousin, whose blue eyes lit with amusement.
“Ethan’s the best man for the job,” Ian said, not the least repentant. “He’s an ex-cop, worked personal security for some of the top execs in the dot-com business. You can be sure he knows what he’s doing.”
Carlyle nodded. “I read his résumé. Looks like he can handle the job.” He returned his attention to Ethan. “Aside from working protection, you’re a private investigator, correct?”
“That’s right. Before I went to work in Seattle, I was a homicide detective on the Dallas police force.”
“Good. I’d really like to find the guy who sent those notes. I’ve got a feeling about this, and I’m not liking it. I’m hoping with your background, you’ll be able to sniff around, talk to the models and the hands backstage. If the guy’s part of the crew, we want him out.”
“I can do that.”
“You’ll need to be discreet. I don’t want people shook up before we go on tour. But it’d be best for everyone if you could come up with something that will help us track this bastard down.”
“Understood.” And he’d rather be busy than standing around waiting for trouble that probably wouldn’t come. With any luck, the most he’d have to worry about was crowd control and a few overzealous fans.