Hi Everyone! Last night at midnight, I gave birth to a bouncing baby “book!” Yes, my books are my babies, holding them close to my heart. I pour my heart and soul into them and share the love through every cell of my being. In Libra, I have my book grandchildren. If you’re a parent or grandparent, you’ll love this book. Keep a box of tissues handy. And no need to fret if you haven’t read the first three books in the series. There’s back story weaved in so you won’t be lost. Here’s a tease, and below it will be an excerpt, the first two pages. “You’re a messenger of the system. Would you go against it? Because what’s right for the children… is against the law.”
It was over—less than forty-eight hours ago. The serial murder case that spanned nine years and took seventeen lives now put to bed. None of their own were lost, though it came close. Too close, with one of his favorite rookies, Samantha Wright. He’d relax. At least there was no bloodshed in here to clean up. Henry Slater had been the toughest of his cases to date, in his twenty-year career with the NYPD.
Detective Lex Withers blew out a breath of relief as he observed crime scene techs still putting down markers throughout the Upper West Side Manhattan apartment—over two hundred markers. Two teams of investigators were there now, all wearing Tyvek protective gear with nothing left up to chance. No telling what that Slater character would do to exterminate all of them. Withers trusted the system. Yeah, he was feeling pretty good now. Feeling good he was a cop.
When his cell rang, he went out into the hall to answer it. Markers lay on the carpet, and a long table holding photography equipment hugged the wall. He nodded, acknowledging what an arduous process this would be as he leaned against the spotless bone and gold wallpaper, talking on his phone.
At the other end of the hall, an elevator door slid open. With his back turned, Withers didn’t notice. The eldest child, Benjamin Slater struggled to push his sister’s stroller over the tracks, and then he started to roll it down the hall as the next oldest, Mel, held the toddler, Henry’s, hand. They didn’t get far.
Squeaky wheels on the stroller caught Withers’s attention, and he turned around. Stopping his conversation mid-word, he disconnected the call without saying “goodbye,” then put up his hand for the children to stop. “Whoa. Hold on.” Smiling, he approached them. “And who might you be?” His gaze scanned the older children before settling on the infant in the stroller.
The children just stared at him, then at the markers, then at the cluttered table but remained silent. Withers gave them their space. He knew damn well who they were. Frank Khaos was spot-on. There were little Henry Slaters out there. Their forensic psychiatrist did indeed have more nieces and nephews. The detective removed his badge from his pocket and showed it to them. “I’m a detective with the New York City Police Department. My name is Lex Withers.”
The older boy’s eyes widened in astonishment. “A real police badge? I never saw one up close.” His gaze darted around the hall. “And why are there cops outside our house?”
Mel trembled. “And where’s our dad?”
“And who is your dad?” Withers asked. The question was merely for confirmation. The older boy was a miniature Henry Slater with hair, and come to think of it, a miniature Frank Khaos, too. Damn!
“Henry Slater,” Mel said.
Withers bit the inside of his cheek to prevent expletives from flowing out of his mouth. Some choice words certainly filled his brain. This wasn’t what he wanted to confront right now, though he already knew it. “All right. Listen to me, okay?” The children nodded. He continued. “We’re going to help you, so there’s no need to be afraid of us, understand?” The children nodded again. Withers smiled. “Good. I need you to help me out, too, and answer my questions, okay? Who else lives here with you?”
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