Detective Jack Marsden is a volatile cop with no love for his ex-wife, but he didn’t kill her. At least, he doesn’t think so, after waking up in her house and finding her dead in the bathtub. He has no idea who murdered her or how he got there.
Mikki Baker, Jack's beautiful partner, is an excellent detective known for her grit and determination. The higher ups love her. Her jacket is filled with commendations, and even that might not be enough to get anyone to buy Jack's story.
Then the lab finds evidence condemning Jack, and the grand jury indicts him for his ex-wife's murder. He attempts to defend himself, but soon becomes a pariah to everyone in the department except for Mikki, who risks not only her career, but also her life to prove his innocence.
"Who... what... oh God!" Susan bolted up in bed. "Why are you here?"
"What? No. Get out!" She zeroed in on the knife in his hand, and her eyes widened. She threw off the covers and lunged for something on the nightstand, her filmy white nightgown swirling around her like an ethereal fog. Her fingers nudged a cell phone.
No time. He palmed the blade's handle and grabbed her before she could get the phone. His gloved fingers tangled in the sheer material at her back as she twisted away from him. She screamed and clawed at his hands, knocking the phone to the floor.
"Stop it!" he growled, clapping a hand over her mouth and wrapping his other arm around her waist. Light glittered off the blade as he plunged it deep into her belly. "You lied to me."
"No!" she squealed, jerking sideways and flailing like a wounded bird as he bent her backward over the bed and stabbed her again. She cried out in agony.
"No more." With a dark snarl, he lifted her off the bed and half-carried, half-shoved her into the tiny bathroom, leaving a trail of blood along the way. He bypassed the sink, ripped aside the shower curtain, and tossed her into the tub. She screeched and tried to catch herself, but her strength had waned and she lost her balance. Her head smacked the pristine surface.
Before the stunned look left her frightened eyes, he plunged his shiny blade into her gut again. More blood spurted, and a gleaming crimson ribbon rolled down the side of the tub.
Gratification filled him.
She whimpered and waved one blood-flecked hand. Her dark eyes pleaded with him to stop, and yet he couldn't. The warm, coppery scent of her blood fed his lust for power. His need for control. He liked subduing her, loved having her at his mercy after all she'd done. She might be an ice queen in life, but in death she was just like everybody else.
Helpless. Crying. Needy. Laughter bubbled up his throat.
He stabbed her one last time, just because he could. Right below the ribcage. Then he yanked the knife free, reveling in the satisfying snick of its serrated edge against bone, and stood back as the life drained from her svelte body.
He couldn't stop the satisfied smirk that spread over his face. Too bad he couldn't sit back and enjoy the rush of adrenaline. He still had to complete phase two of his plan.
Once he was done, however, he could finally sit back and relax.
"Life is good," he whispered, sparing the dying woman one last sneer. "Maybe not for you, but I'm going to revel in your death."
He slung the excess blood off the knife and marched from the room, careful not to smear the spatter on the floor. On to the next step.
Soon, if all went well, he'd have everything he'd always wanted.