He should be thinking of a
strategy to get her out of his house, the way he normally would, but
all he wanted to do was take her back to bed.
“You look good enough to
She blushed, “We need to
find my sister.”
“Exactly.” He poured her a
mug of coffee, added some of the Coffeemate he kept for guests, then
pressed the cup into her hands. Her palms curled around it and she
blew on the surface to cool it, took a tentative sip.
Her eyes closed and she
sighed with pleasure. “That tastes wonderful. Thanks.” Her gaze
slid back toward the bedroom. “I’d better get dressed. You said I
could use your shower.”
“Sure, go ahead. The towels
hanging next to the sink are clean.”
Amy turned and headed in
that direction. Johnnie didn’t mention he planned to join her.
Freshly showered and
desperate for another cup of coffee, Amy walked barefoot back into
Johnnie’s kitchen. Dressed in the jeans and white tank top she had
worn the night before, her damp hair pulled into a rubber band at
the nape of her neck, she carried her high spike heels, which seemed
absurdly wrong for the morning after.
As she set her purse and
makeup kit on the counter, she looked at Johnnie and couldn’t stop a
blush. She had never had this much sex in her life. The man was
insatiable. Worst of all, he made her feel that way, too. Just
looking at him leaning against the kitchen counter in his jeans and
Ranger T-shirt made her want to jump him again.
It was embarrassing. And
ridiculous. After last night and this morning, she didn’t have the
“You ready for another cup?”
he asked, distracting her, thank God.
He poured her a mug and
handed it over, opened the oven and took out a tray of perfectly
baked cinnamon rolls. The delicious aroma made her mouth water.
“Wow, a man who can cook.”
Johnnie chuckled. “They’re
out of a can but I figured you could use a little nourishment.”
Oh, Lord, could she. Every
bone and muscle in her body felt limp and sated. Her appetite was
fierce, her stomach growling for food. She felt wonderful.
Johnnie frosted the rolls
with the orange topping out of the can, took down a couple of plates
and filled them, and they sat down at the table. Amy ate two
delicious rolls, Johnnie polished off the rest. The man could
really eat and yet he certainly didn’t have a weight problem. It
took more calories to burn muscle, she had read. Looking at the
impressive muscles beneath his T-shirt, clearly that was the answer.
She tore her gaze away. “So
what’s our plan for the day?”
“Yesterday I went to see
your sister’s friend, Mary Lou Kammer. So that’s out of the way.”
“You talked to Mary Lou? I
talked to her when I first got here, but she didn’t know anything
useful. She was nice though. I met her through Babs. She knew I
was going to take Rachael’s old job. Mary Lou said I could use her
address so the police wouldn’t know I was working as Angel and
living at the club.”
He took a drink of his
coffee. “A couple of days ago, Mary Lou found some travel brochures
down behind the cushions in her sofa. She thinks they fell out of
your sister’s purse.”
Amy’s interest sharpened.
“Where was Rachael going?”
“Looks like Belize.”
“Belize. That’s in the
Caribbean. That fits with what Mrs. Zimmer said. Have you heard
anything from that friend you called about the passenger lists?”
“Trace Rawlins.” He shook
his head. “Not yet.”
“Has Mary Lou told the
police about the brochures?”
“Yeah. She went in to see
Lieutenant Meeks, so we’re all on the same page. Mary Lou confirmed
that she and Rachael went to Rembrandt’s more than once. She said
your sister occasionally went there alone. She thinks maybe she met
a guy, someone she was interested in. She thinks they might have
Amy set her mug down on the
table. “Let’s go back to Rembrandt’s, see if we can find Danny.”
“I stopped by last night
before I came to the club to see you. I talked to T.J. and Kenny.
They said they knew a couple of guys named Danny who came in once in
a while, but they didn’t have any last names and they never saw
either of them with your sister.”
Amy chewed her lip. “Maybe
if we went back, we could find the Danny that Rachael was seeing or
find out if there was somebody else.”
“We can try, but she could
have met him anywhere.”
It was true, but they were
running out of leads and she was beginning to panic.
She started to say
something, but the doorbell rang just then. Johnnie set his mug
down and walked out of the kitchen to see who it was.
A few minutes later, he
strode back in, a handsome, black-haired Latino trailing behind
him. In a perfectly fitted chocolate brown suit and a pair of
expensive loafers, the man was downright dapper. She bet women fell
all over themselves for this guy.
“Amy, this is Detective Rick
Vega. Rick, meet Amy Brewer.”
His dark gaze skimmed her,
sending a rush of color into her cheeks. From the way he was
looking at her, he knew she had been there all night. She was a
school teacher, for heaven’s sake. She should have left earlier.
Thank God, she was fully clothed, though the way he was looking at
her, she might as well have been naked.
“Nice to meet you,” he said
with just enough of a Spanish accent to sound sexy.
Still, he wasn’t her type.
Not that she had a type. At least she hadn’t until she’d met
“Back off, Rick.” Johnnie
eyed him darkly. “This ones off-limits.”
The detective actually
flushed, faint color staining the bones in his cheeks. “Sorry.”
The stiffness in Johnnie’s
shoulders eased. “Coffee?”
Johnnie went over to the
counter and poured the detective a cup, walked back and handed it
“Thanks.” Vega took a sip,
sighed with appreciation.
“Late night?” Johnnie asked.
Vega smiled, flicked a
glance toward Amy. There was no heat in his gaze this time.
Johnnie had made his ownership clear. Amy wasn’t sure how she felt
about that. “Probably no later than yours.”
Johnnie’s gaze slid over her
like a warm caress. “Probably not.” He took a sip of his coffee.
“So what’s got you up here on a weekend?”
Vega tipped his head her
way. “Maybe we should talk in private.”
“This about Amy’s sister?”
“She’s come a long way to
find out what happened to her, taken a few hard knocks trying to dig
up information.” He was talking about Kyle Bennett and how close
she had come to being raped. It made her stomach churn to think of
it. “She has a right to know.”
“If that’s what you want.”
“She...she isn’t dead,” Amy
blurted out, her chest squeezing as the thought struck that might be
the reason he had come.
“No, not that we know of.”
Vega took a drink of his coffee. “The thing is, I’ve been keeping
an eye on Rachael’s file. I figured if something new turned up
you’d want to know.”
“So what turned up?”
“One of the undercover narcs
picked up a rumor. Street talk has it Rachael was involved with
Johnnie hissed out a
“You can say that again,”
“Who’s Manny Ortega?” Amy
“He’s the son of a big-time
drug dealer,” Johnnie explained. “Carlos Ortega’s a high-ranking
member of the San Dimas cartel. Their territory runs from here all
the way into the Baja Peninsula.”
“Carlos Ortega--El Caballo,”
Vega said. “They call him The Horse. He’s into everything from
cocaine to human trafficking and anything in between. So far he’s
been able to skirt the law and get away with it. He’s powerful and
as mean as they come.”
“Carlos lives on a guarded
estate in Ensenada but his son lives here in L.A.,” Johnnie
The detective took a drink
of his coffee. “Manny’s tried to keep his nose clean, but Papa
wants his little boy to take over the business. Manny’s not a guy
your sister should have gotten involved with.”
Amy’s heart was beating a
little too fast. “Maybe she wasn’t. You said it was only a
rumor.” She looked over at Johnnie, saw sympathy etched in his
face. Her eyes widened. “Oh, my God. It wasn’t Danny, it was
Manny.” And she could tell by looking at him, Johnnie had already
figured that out.
Vega sipped his coffee. “If
the rumor’s true, she was playing with fire. If Ortega wanted her
to disappear, we might not ever find her.”