Her Thin Blue Lifeline
Indigo Knights Book I
by A.J. Downey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Chrissy Franco has every reason to take one hell of a victory lap around the courtroom. She’s just defended her client to the best of her ability and what’s more? Her client was actually innocent. Oh, she’d killed her husband, baseball legend Skip Maguire, alright; but he’d been about to hit a homerun with Miranda’s head.
His rabid fan base doesn’t agree with the verdict, and they’ve set their sights on Chrissy as the one to blame. One of them is about to set into motion a dangerous game when he publishes poor Chrissy’s address online…
Enter Tony McCormick, a detective with the right kind of attitude and Chrissy’s sort of ex-boyfriend. When he’s called to Chrissy’s apartment, he’s prepared for the worst. He’s a homicide detective after all. When he arrives, it seems that someone might have forgotten to check to see if Chrissy was still alive… now it’s everything he can do to find the man who did this and the other behind it all before it’s really too late.
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Smashwords * Amazon UK
I heard Tony’s jacket hit the back of the chair he usually hung it on, and those heavy footfalls come my way, his shadow looming over me at the sink. He started to move my hair aside and I turned, whirling on my sneaker and backed up against the counter.
His blue eyes penetrated mine and he nodded carefully, leaning in none the less to kiss me. My eyes fluttered shut as his mouth moved carefully over mine. I kissed him back, and it was just as magical and as beautiful as the kiss the day before. I blindly set my glass aside on the counter and went to reach for him, but dammit, I’d misjudged and it slipped off the counter’s edge and shattered on the floor.
The crash of breaking glass made me jump and cry out, and I stuffed my hand against my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut. Cringing from my memories.
“It’s okay; it’s totally okay…” he murmured soothingly and smoothed some of my hair out of the way of my face so he could see me. “It’s just water and just glass, I’ve got it… no big deal.” He gently moved me the opposite direction of the mess around the kitchen island and said, “Go grab a stool, sit down.”
I swallowed hard, on the verge of tears, my heart racing, pulse jumping painfully out of the side of my neck, chest crushed as I struggled to breathe normally, in through my nose hold for a few seconds, and out.
The first panic attack had happened in the hospital, Pasquale had recognized it instantly and had helped me through some exercises. I knew what they were now. I am in control. I told myself. Tony went about cleaning up, letting me have some space and by the time he was done, I felt better. Still rattled, but better.
“You alright?” he asked, and I nodded.
I knew in the front of my mind that it didn’t matter, that Tony was the last person who would judge, that any number of medical personnel had seen the scars, but for some irrational reason, Tony was different. He wasn’t someone I wanted to see the ugliness… He just… wasn’t.
He came around to me and I twisted in my seat to face him, looking up at him and biting my bottom lip. He looked like he was going to give me a pep talk but the words died on his lips. He searched my face and stepped in close, between my knees and lowered his face to mine. I closed my eyes, and let him kiss me, kissing him back and sighing out with relief. I wanted so badly to feel something good and Tony’s kiss was like heaven.
His hands smoothed over my hips and up to my ribs and he gathered the hem of my fitted workout tank with his fingers, slipping his hand underneath and putting it against my skin. My desire for him shot through the roof at the same time my anxiety rose. I broke the kiss and pulled back and said breathlessly, “I can’t… my scars.”
He growled low and intense and said, “Baby, you’re gonna be on your back; no way I’m even going to see your scars.”
His Cold Blue Command
Indigo Knights Book II
Assistant District Attorney Damien Parnell leads a double life above and beyond his membership with the Indigo Knights. Driven by dark desires considered shameful by most, he covets the one thing he can’t allow himself to have – a real relationship.
Enter Ally Blaylock, an innocent by Yale’s standards. She’s the sweet and beautiful girl who makes his coffee at the café across the street from his office. She’s done her best to flirt off and on with the high powered attorney and he can’t help but be drawn to her whimsical charm.
When Ally finds her world tipped on its axis, Yale goes against his better judgment and offers her some unlikely help. He knows better than most that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but in this particular case, could it be the opposite? Could Allison Blaylock be the start down the road to his salvation?
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Smashwords * Amazon UK
She touched the side of my face and I refocused on her, her beautiful eyes trapping mine, something passing between us in that undefinable way… Whatever she saw in me made her smile, smile! I almost couldn’t believe it, but there it was, this sweet little smile painting her so soft looking lips, tempting me to kiss her and seal my fate, and for a flicker of a moment I wondered who was really in control.
“I don’t think you’re heartless,” she murmured dreamily, her fingertips dropping to graze my ribs.
“You don’t know me, yet…” I growled and I turned her to lay her down on the carpet. Her legs wrapped around my hips and I palmed hers, driving into her and pulling her down onto me at the same time. Powerful, driving strokes that made her cry out, those luminous eyes of hers closing, her bottom lip captured between her teeth. I drew it out with my thumb in a light caress and pressed it firmly, but gently past them. She sucked on it like I wanted her to, teasing the pad with her tongue while I drove into her, over, and over, and over again.
I dragged my fingertips over her body, rearing up to look down at her and used my thumb to tease her clitoris gently. She cried out again, arching, heavenly. So beautiful, she came around my cock and as she bent beneath me, I fully expected pure, white, wings to erupt from her back.
A Low Blue Flame
Indigo Knights Book III
Lillian Banks’ career took off like a house on fire and she’s on top of the world. Great job that she loves, moved to a great city, into an opulent new condo, in one of the world’s premier smart buildings no less; all she was missing was the kind of romance to set her soul aflame. She thought she’d found it but instead, found herself burned.
Backdraft knows what it’s like to get burned and not just by fire. His ex, Torri, did quite the number on him recently by banging one of his firehouse bros behind his back. He’s sworn off love and dating altogether for the time being and is happier for it. He just wishes he could get the time he wasted with that crazy skank back again.
Out of the ashes, an unlikely friendship is formed. Backdraft and Lilli could find themselves rising if only they can get past their hurts and give things a chance. Of course, lasting happiness is no guarantee, no matter how much they might burn for each other. After all, sometimes what was doesn’t want to let go.
His Wild Blue Rose
Indigo Knights Book IV
Alyssa isn’t completely honest when she answers the ad for a roommate online. True, she needs a place to live, true she’s getting a divorce, true; he’s a cheating jerk. There’s just a little bit more to it than that. So when the ad comes across her screen Indigo City beat cop looking to rent out a fully furnished room… she jumps on it, because what could be safer than living with a cop?
Golden isn’t too keen on living with a chick, but after posting online looking for a roommate, he’s found the pickings are slim. The softly spoken brunette doesn’t seem like she’s much trouble, plus she’s got the cash up front, so what the hell? She’ll just have to get over his bringing home badge bunnies from the 10-13. He’s got a stressful job, and the best way to blow off steam, in his estimation, is hot sex.
It’s a pressure cooker waiting to blow and it turns out the new roomie has moxie, which gets Golden to thinking, which leads to him feeling. This is either going to be a really good or a really bad idea.
Her Pained Blue Silence
Indigo Knights Book V
Everleigh has had a wandering spirit since the day she was born. Her boring, small town could barely contain her and at the first opportunity, she fled. It was only natural falling in line with the freedom that MC life brought to her. The allure of never being told what to do a strong one. Sadly, she found herself trading one cage for another. Given the road name Silence, for her shy lack of voice, she's been a part of a motorcycle gang out of Maryland. A rough and tumble lot believing in sovereignty, running guns and drugs through Indigo City.
Narcos has been undercover with the outlaw MC, the Knights of Crescentia for more than a year. In that time, he's seen and heard all sorts of things, except for Silence's voice. She's the president's Ol' Lady and probably knows infinitely more than he does as a prospect to the club. All that is about to change. Narcos is about to be patched in. Unfortunately, patching in means going to an extreme he'd never thought he'd be pushed to and Silence is in the crosshairs.
How will he get through this, through to her, and keep them both alive?
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo * Smashwords * Amazon UK
I waited, the light breeze rustling the trees, the sound of the river water rushing over stones the only answer to my call. I frowned, worry gnawing at my gut, and I cupped my hands around my bearded mouth and called again.
One of the shrubs at the edge of the clearing rustled and she came around it, dirt streaking the front of her white skirt, her long hair tangled and with at least one leaf in it. I watched as this wild woman picked her way gingerly across the bare earth in her equally bare feet, the bucket she’d taken brimming with dirt and bits of green.
“What have you got there?” I asked.
She held out the bucket, beaming and I looked inside.
“Are those leeks?” I asked.
She waffled her hand back and forth and I raised an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes at me and I had to laugh.
“Guess I’m going to have to trust you aren’t going to poison me.”
She nodded and it was as matter-of-fact as she could make it.
I shook my head and said, “I got the truck up and running. I’m headed into town. Did you make a list?”
She chewed her bottom lip and finally shook her head. I cocked mine and said, “I know we need more food, but what else?”
She set her bucket down and made like she was showering and I nodded.
“Soap, shampoo, probably some dish soap and laundry soap, too, huh?”
She nodded and made like she was brushing her teeth.
“Oh, believe me that is at the top of my list. You don’t even know.”
She giggled lightly and it was a good sound, like a babbling brook, laughing over stones.
I smiled and asked, “Anything else, Silence?”
She made a face and shook her head, waving her hand back and forth. It was a strong reaction to have to wanting to know what she wanted from the store, so that couldn’t be it.
“What? ‘Silence’? You don’t want me to call you ‘Silence’?”
She nodded emphatically and I had to smile.
“Well, what do you want me to call you, then?”
She frowned, then frowned harder. I chuckled and with a sigh said, “I’m sure you’ll figure out how to tell me. You’re crafty like that.”
She cocked her head and nodded slowly.
“For now, it’s all I’ve got.”
She looked a little dejected, but nodded.
“Be back as soon as I can,” I told her and she nodded again.
I climbed into the old truck and fired it up. It wasn’t happy about it, but it started and it stayed running. I climbed the old switchback driveway up to the front of the cabin where she stood just outside the front porch and waved, her lips twisted in what looked like regret at my leaving.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up that that was what it really was. I mean, shit, if I were her, I wouldn’t be able to wait to see the back of me after what I’d done. I just wanted to get into town, get the shit I needed to pick up from the general store, get the fuck out, and get on with it.
Part of it was I shopped like just about every other guy, except Pasquale, but fuck he was some kind of mutant hybrid, I swore. Too good for the likes of us, for all that he kept hanging around. The other part was, I didn’t like hanging around where I was seen and people got curious and started asking questions I'd have to lie to answer. The thing about lying is how much and how many lies were you going to have to keep straight down the line. That, and these were good, salt-of-the-earth kind of folk. They didn’t deserve to be dragged into our melodrama, because, unlike television, ours was very real and got people really dead.
I pulled up at the auto parts place first to return the starter; it had turned out it was the battery and some really filthy sparkplugs. I got it running with the battery I picked up along with the starter here yesterday. I’d bought the battery; the parts guy had actually loaned me the starter and told me if that was the trouble I could just pay him for it today. If not bring it back; no harm, no foul.
Yeah. That’s how Podunk small-town this place was.
“So, I see you got her runnin’!” he called jovially when I went through the front door.
“Yeah, yeah I did.”
We chatted amicably, and I got the fuck out of there before the questions could start.
“She sure is a beaut, ever thought about fully restoring her?” he asked before I ducked out the door. I looked at the old, tired truck and shook my head.
“Naw, it was just there with the cabin when we bought it, title for it came with the deed to the place.”
“Shame, she’d be worth the love and attention. Ain’t many like her nowadays.”
I nodded and said my final goodbye, and got over to the general store as quick as I could. I only had an hour or so until closing.
I was thinking about Si as I went up and down the narrow aisles with my basket. The final words of the parts guy echoing in my brain. There sure weren’t many like Silence nowadays. You could tell she’d been through some shit, with her always jumping and flinching, always trying to please everyone around her. Yet, resiliently, she still managed to trust people who she honestly had no reason to trust. People like me.
She hadn’t put up too much of a fight back at the hotel. Hadn’t tried to run away, or bounce on me. Hadn’t tried to back out of testifying – and I still didn’t know how the fuck we were going to pull that off.
I stopped in the hair-care aisle and picked up the box of her red, that deep auburn she was so fond of that made her spectacular green eyes something out of this world. I remembered this one time, we were on a run with the Knights of Crescentia and stopped at this gas station-market hybrid store. More than a mini-mart, but less than a full-blown grocery or drug store, you know? King had sent Si in for road beers and smokes and she’d come back out with those items, but when he’d demanded the change, he’d nearly blown a gasket, until he got a hold of the receipt.
He’d laughed and said, “Leave it to a bitch. Send her in for smokes and beers, she comes out with that and a bag full of fuckin’ hair dye.”
She’d pulled the box from her bag and had pointed out the clearance stickers on it; at that price, if I were a chick, I would have scooped them up, too. I remembered the box, not for the smiling model, but for the pink flowers on it. I’d had the stray thought that those pink flowers belonged in a crown on Silence’s head. How she’d be the perfect hippy chick, straight out of a Woodstock photo with her white hippy skirts and dresses.
I picked up two of the boxes. It’d been a while since she’d colored her hair, and with as much of it as she had, I couldn’t imagine one box would do the trick.
I rushed through the rest of my shopping and got up to the cash wrap. Dick, the store owner gave me a nod and rang through my items by hand on the old-school register.
“Mitch over at the hardware store said he managed to scare up a couple of them fuses you was lookin’ for after you left. Said if I seen you, I should send you over,” he said as he bagged up my purchases.
“Oh, yeah? Thanks for letting me know, much obliged to you.”
He gave me a solid smile and I dumped my change in his dusty little donation jar by the register.
“You have a good night, now, y’hear.”
“You too, Dick.”
I took myself to the hardware store just as Mitch was flipping the sign to ‘closed.’ I halted in my step and waved, backing off but he unlocked the door and opened up for me.
“Glad you got the message,” he greeted me, and I nodded and said, “Yeah, Dick just told me about it, but I can come back tomorrow, it’s no problem.”
He chuckled and waved me in with one gnarled hand. “Naw, get in here. I haven’t cashed out my register yet. You made it in the nick of time.”
“Oh, man, you’re saving my life right now, you don’t even know.”
“Ed over at the bakery said you come ridin’ into town with your girl; I think I might have an idea.”
Shit. I thought to myself. Word travels fast in a small town. Thanks, Ed.
I bought the fuses with a promise to pick up the others coming in the next day as spares. The sun was just starting to set when I got back to the truck. I made sure everything was secure and headed back to the old fishing cabin, suddenly nervous about what kind of project Si would have for me this time. Although, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to regret the screened-in porch tonight when I had all the windows flung wide and the cooler air moved through the cabin.
I felt weary all the way to the bone and was totally ready for a hot shower and some rest. Boy, was I in for a surprise when I got back to the cabin.
I got out of the truck down by the garage and took a load in each arm, to head up the outer stairs. Si appeared out of nowhere at the bottom as I turned from the truck, and I jumped, taking a faltering step back and just barely keeping myself from accidentally dumping the paper bags from the general store.
“Jesus Christ!” I gave a restrained cry. “You like to scare the shit out of me!”
She hunched her shoulders and wrinkled her nose in this adorable sheepish expression that screamed ‘Sorry not sorry’ and I took a second to catch my breath.
“Jump-started my heart, that’s for sure. Can you take one of these?”
She rushed forward and took one of the bags from me, allowing me to grab the last one. I followed her up the stairs, which she took lightly, and stopped cold just inside the back screen door.
“Where the fuck did you find an entire bed?” I demanded and she beamed at me, impishly.
She’d found an entire full-sized daybed somewhere. An old one with what looked like an iron frame. She’d put it out here on the porch, a classic area rug underneath it. She’d stacked apple crates to one side, closest to the back door and I realized, she’d set it up the way she had because I could see her from the bed inside at night, knowing I would want to keep an eye on her. I shook my head in disbelief.
“You were busy while I was gone.”
She nodded happily and pointed up to the loft when we went inside.
“Was that where it was at?”
“How’d you get it down here?”
She raised one finger, then two, then three, then four.
“One piece at a time?”
“You took that whole thing apart and put it back together all by yourself?”
“Good job,” I declared, impressed.
She beamed at me.
“I’ll be right back, hardware guy managed to scare up some of those fuses. I want to get the electricity going while I still can. A hot shower sounds really good right now.”
She smiled even bigger and nodded enthusiastically.
I left her rooting through the bags on the table and went out and around to the side of the cabin that held the metal fuse box. I flipped the catch on its metal cover and opened it up, replacing the blown fuses and hoping like hell that was all that was needed. This place was older than dirt and needed a lot of renovation, so…
I flipped the switch and a light came on inside. I heard a smattering of applause from Silence and ran a hand back through my hair, pushing it out of my eyes.
“Looks like we’re good to go!” I called. “Should have hot water in an hour or two.”
I went around the corner in the back door and stopped. She was standing so very still by the rickety dining table with a box of hair dye in each hand, staring at them with an unreadable expression.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, leaning a shoulder against the back door’s jamb.
She looked up at me, her eyes troubled, and held the boxes out almost helplessly in front of her.
“Well, it’s your brand, isn’t it?”
She nodded, her confusion clear.
“Is it the wrong color?” I asked, knowing it damn well wasn’t.
She shook her head, and I pushed off the door frame.
“Well, all right, then.”
A Code Blue Call
Indigo Knights Book VI
It was a dark night of the soul for Angel, the night she appeared like his namesake. He would have liked to have known her, but she was gone the next morning. Now, more than a year later, he was doing much better, continuing his work in Indigo City’s streets as a paramedic, responding to medical emergencies.
Claire could never forget the medic whose life she saved just by being in the right place at the right time. Still, it wasn’t enough to rescue her from her own dark night of the soul and unlike him, she followed through.
Fate had other ideas for the both of them and for whatever reason, their paths crossed again at exactly the right moment. Both of them were now determined to not let this second chance pass them by, not like the first…
**Releasing in April!!**
A.J. Downey is a born and raised Seattle, WA native. She finds inspiration from her surroundings, through the people she meets and likely as a byproduct of way too much caffeine.
She has lived many places and done many things though mostly through her own imagination... An avid reader all of her life it's now her turn to try and give back a little, entertaining as she has been entertained. She lives in a small apartment in a quiet neighborhood with a larger than life fiancé and two cats.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!