City by the Bay now available everywhere! I'm in love with the new covers. They embody Cleo's journey. Cleo's face is a 100% original design. You won't find it anywhere but Baby Girl books courtesy of Manuela Cardiga multi-talented author/ graphic artist!
Genre: New Adult
Officer La Tige
My first order of business was getting a job, and I had my sights set on just the one: La Tige Investigative Services. La Tige the ex-cop who worked Perdy’s, my kidnapper/mother’s, case while he was on the force when her battered and beaten body turned up in the river.
Etched into the frosted glass door read Detective La Tige Private Investigative Services. Inside, the office a small wooden desk covered in clutter sat in a corner. A large man with his back turned away from the door sat on the edge of a well-worn pleather chair talking on the phone. I waited. After several minutes he turned around and introduced himself.
“Jim La Tige, may I help you?” He leaned further into the chair, resting his back.
“Yes, I’m inquiring about the receptionist position?”
“Yes, yes, my last receptionist left four weeks ago and as you can see,” he gestured to the scattered piles atop his desk, “I’m in need of another. Too many jobs going to keep the office neat. Any recent job experience?”
“No, but if you give me a chance I’ll organize this place and have it running smooth in no time.” I never worked a real job, except modeling as Justine, but I needed a job and specifically this job, so I turned on my charm and puckered out my chest.
“No experience. Can you answer a phone?” His eyes did a quick glance across my chest, then back to my face. Well, at least he wasn’t being picky, and from the condition of his office, he was in desperate need.
“Yes.” I flashed him a sweet smile.
“Can you file alphabetically and numerically?”
What kind of idiot couldn’t? I went to the row of filing cabinets, picked up a file marked with a blue colored dot then found the cabinet with blue dots and looked at the alphabetically filed drawers - A-G/ H-N/ O-Z. I opened the A-G drawer, flipped through until I got to the G’s, next Garcia’s, Gomez, Jose, Mary and Richard.
“Impressive! The job is yours. I need to make a copy of your driver’s license and social security card. While I do that, fill out these papers.” A hint of rush in his voice.
“I don’t have a driver’s license, but I have a passport. Will that do?”
“That’ll work.” I pulled it out of my purse. He took it in his hand and eyeballed it. “Twenty two, how’s it you have no license?”
“Public transportation has always done me well and cars pollute, adding to ozone depletion and global warming.” A quick save which rolled off my tongue like melted butter.
“Humph… You’ll fit right in here in Frisco, lots of tree huggers.” A correct observation, although not in the way he assumed. San Francisco was a place of beauty and freaks - I blended. At night it sparkled with magic and glowed with excitement - everybody unique and every corner of the city its own world.
He pulled a chair up to his desk, grabbed his file piles placing them on the floor. Then he handed me a pen, a form, and shuffled his approximate six foot bulk to the copy machine, which made loud swooshing, kerchunking noises. I never filled out a tax form. My name I got, but exemptions. I filled in 0’s and signed. I handed it back to him, he shook my hand, gave me back my passport and social security card. He picked up the pile of files from the floor and shoved them into my hands.
“I’ll return in an hour,” he grumbled, and with that disappeared out the door, which I found odd since he just hired me.
Now I could access more information than on the internet alone. Officer La Tige’s brain would be assistance to my investigation too. I wasn’t using him. After all, he desperately needed someone to keep things organized and under control, and I needed to solve my own mystery, so I thought it a fair trade. I found what I was looking for and tumbled head first into it.
Officer La Tige, or P.I. La Tige. - nah, officer, sounded more official - was a large man of few words. He stood six feet tall with a bulky, muscular build, and a slight but noticeable limp in his left leg. Thick tufts of dark brown hair infused with gray spirals framed his head accentuating his square shaped face. His eyes were a stunning blue, which offset his rhinoceros-like appearance. He was straight and to the point, and didn’t talk much about himself or anything else, rather he barked orders. He lacked social graces and was intimidating. I understood why he had a difficult time keeping a receptionist. The only way to get anything personal out of him would be to gain his trust. I came in every day and did my job - nothing less, but always more.
For Romance enthusiasts - Cleo's life is never short of lovers...
“You got moves.” Said a male voice behind me. His body heat radiated against my back. I contorted my body sideways to observe my admirer, his chest centimeters from my face. Tall, Dark, and Ever so Beautiful. In that second the world froze as my eyes traced the outline of his broad shoulders, cruised up his neck, over his Adam ’s apple, lingered on the five o’clock stubble that danced across his chin then rested on his silver bullet eyes. Our bodies coalesced into a single form undulating in waves of human lust. As the song wound down, he grabbed onto my hips, gyrating in sync towards the bar, a consuming, feverish wave drifted with us.
Always in trouble...
“Nu, you come up the front. Don’t go in. I’ll be going in from the back.” He said, laying a heck of a bombshell on me. At that moment I felt proud, like I was actually his partner, no, more than that. Since the day we met a connection formed, something more than friendship, but too unfamiliar yet to be discerned.
I waited at the front door, my back against the house with my ear molded to the siding. I heard an eerie, dead silence, so I slid the door open a smidge, enough to peer inside the home. The lights from the street illuminated a sliver that flowed over the tile floor and rested on a family picture of Mr. Nomes’ partner Fred and his wife Jeanne. The suspense wrenched at my guts, and I figured since I opened the door a smidge I might as well slip inside before she noticed the sliver of light. Inside I fumbled around blindly in the darkness with my hands outstretched attempting to avoid bumping into something that would crash and give away my position. My eyes adjusted to the darkness, and a hallway appeared. I tip-toed down the hallway with the utmost caution.
A dim light shone from under a doorway. I drew closer and closer to the light as I eased towards it. From behind, a strong male hand wrapped around my mouth and forced me into him. Not a smart thing to do. I always got caught from behind so my self- defense moves kicked in and I elbowed his ribcage hard.