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A Jefferson Chene Mystery
It was supposed to be a friendly round of paintball. But blood, not paint, covers Kyle Morrissey's body. Though admired by the public for his charity, the businessman was no choirboy. Could it be that more than one person wants him dead?
Sergeant Jefferson Chene and his detective squad catch the case. With two new faces on the team, he finds himself in the unfamiliar role as mentor. He is also cautiously beginning a relationship with Simone Bettencourt, the beautiful woman he met while pursuing a serial murderer.
Complicating the case are two retired gangsters, a fortune in jewels, and Detroit's history of organized crime. But the squad must utilize every resource available to catch a killer.
Page Count: 354
Word Count: 87608
Graymaker propped one elbow on the bar and studied me over the rim of his Salty Dog. “You know what you need, Chene? You should spend some time with a very qualified, experienced psychologist.”
I leaned against the cooler and let my eyes wander over the thinning crowd in the saloon. “Like I’m going to take advice from anyone drinking gin and grapefruit juice?”
He wobbled on his stool. “Don’t knock therapy. You could work out a lot of your problems with a good head doctor.”
“What makes you think I’ve got problems?”
Graymaker grinned and slugged down half of his drink. “C’mon, Chene, I’ve known you a long time. You’ve been with the state PD ten years and now you’re back here tending bar. You must have problems.”
Cissy, a skinny brunette with the high squeaky voice of a cartoon character came to the waitress stand to get a drink order filled. Two draft beers, one rum and Coke and a frozen margarita later, I returned to my position across from Graymaker.
“Just because I’m helping Ted out doesn’t mean I’ve got problems.”
He shook his head slowly and pushed his empty glass across the counter. “It goes deeper than that. Probably all the way back to your childhood. Want to tell me about it?”
“Sounds like you’re trying to drum up business. Having trouble making your malpractice payments or are you behind in your alimony again?”
The old man shook his head and wobbled again. “My practice is thriving. But I can spot the signs of someone who needs to resolve matters in their personal life. You’re a textbook example. You can’t commit to an emotional relationship. You have a problem dealing with people in authority. That’s just for starters.”
“I have plenty of relationships, thank you very much.” Abandoning my spot against the cooler, I began to wipe down the mahogany bar with a towel.
“We’re talking about the opposite sex.”
My eyes landed on a petite blonde across the room. “My favorite kind. I enjoy the company of women.”
“One night stands are not relationships.”
I flicked the bar towel a few centimeters from his knuckles. “Maybe I’m just more selective than you at finding the right woman.”
“No need to bring my divorces into this.” Graymaker waggled a forefinger at me. “We are talking about you.”
“You’re the only one talking. Course, you do enough for both of us.”
Ted appeared on the stool beside Graymaker. “I miss anything?”
I shrugged. “Graymaker is trying to drum up new patients. He’s getting so desperate he wants to analyze me.”
“Forget it, Gray. The guy’s got enough problems without getting hooked up with the likes of you.”
“I don’t have any problems.”
Ted and Graymaker stared at me. I poured Ted a cup of coffee and turned my attention to a trio of late arrivals at the opposite end of the counter. The two cronies were awaiting my return.
Graymaker pounced. “You were saying?”
“I have normal relationships. Friends. People I enjoy spending time with. People I have feelings about.”
Ted snorted into his coffee mug. “Name six.”
“What the hell is this? Analyze Chene night? I’ve got better things to do—”
“Name six,” Ted repeated, in case I’d forgotten the subject.
Ted and Graymaker were taking turns, like a couple of geriatrics watching a tennis match. “Yeah. Six. Half a dozen people you have feelings for.”
“Ted. McDonald. Kozlowski. Cantrell. Frank Powell…”
“Dead guys don’t count,” Ted interrupted.
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