First of First: Passionate Retribution
First of first #firstoffirst refers to the first chapter in the first book in the series.
Ex-Detective Carly Edwards, recovering from a horrifying attack, is determined to bring her attacker to justice - especially when the police prove to be of no use. With the help of friends, she begins to reconstruct her life. As the past collides with the present, Carly is determined to make the alleged attacker pay for his crime. Suddenly, love appears out of two different directions and she needs to decide. As events and emotions play havoc in her mind, she fears losing control. Soon, friends and family are being injured or killed, and she becomes more determined than ever to get retribution. But is the price too high to pay? Will it cost Carly her life? Or her friend’s lives?
Chapter One Carly Edwards slammed her fist down on the metal table. “Dammit! You’re telling me there’s nothing you can do!” “I’m sorry. We just don’t have enough evidence. He won’t get convicted,” Detective Marshall said. “Do you understand what you have done to me?” “Carly, please sit down. Let me explain.” “Why won’t the DA file charges? After what that monster did to me,” Carly threw her hands up in frustration and turned toward the wall. “I wish I could do something,” Marshall said, as he stood up and attempted to embrace her. “I’m really sorry.” She shuddered. “Don’t touch me!” she said to the wall. “I’m sorry. Elliot, I’m sorry,” she hugged her thin body and turned around to face the detective. “I’m so sorry. Please, just don’t touch me.” “Carly, please sit down,” he nervously ran his hand through his thick, brown hair. “I didn’t mean…” “Carly, we’ve been friends for so long. You were my partner. I still think of you as my partner. I know you. I wish I could help. I want to get him almost as much as you do. We just don’t have enough. What we do have won’t convict him. Unless we get a confession, it’s his word against yours.” “I used to be a cop! Doesn’t that count for something?” She anxiously ran her hands through her long auburn hair. “It’s not about your word, Love. I feel terrible about this but you have to realize there’s no physical evidence to prove what he did.” “That’s because of what he did. He was smart enough not to leave a trace of himself. God, Elliot, I couldn’t stop him. I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t strong enough. I wish I could’ve stopped him.” “Carly, please don’t relive this anymore. It’s been over six months.” “I live with this each and every day. I can’t get it out of my head. It’ll always be with me. It’s part of me now.” “Why don’t you just go home?” “And do what? Sit in the dark? Wait for him to come after me?” “Do you want me to come with you?” “No. Elliot, don’t worry about it,” she said calmly. “I’ll keep working on the case. I just wish I could get him off the street,” his green eyes saddened. “There’s nothing you can do. But, I’m not going to sit around and do nothing,” she sighed, as she stood up. “Carly, don’t do anything rash. I know how you get when you’re hurting. Remember, you’re a cop.” “No, Elliot. I used to be a cop. I’m just a tired, broken woman. I have nothing. I am nothing,” she walked out. Elliot ran after her. “Carly, please wait.” She turned around and crossed her arms tightly as her eyes met his. “Elliot, I need to go home.” “Please, take care of yourself. I care about you. I just hope you realize that.”
* * *
Carly walked out to the street and took a deep breath as she hailed a cab. “The corner of Hadley and Robinson, please,” she said, as she got in. Soon, the cab pulled in front of a large apartment building. “Thank you,” she said, as she paid the driver. She walked up the front steps and then took the elevator to the tenth floor. She looked up and down the hall before she unlocked her apartment door. She sighed heavily and walked inside. She plopped on the white sofa and stared at the ceiling. How do I stop this? How can I make this go away? She stood up, walked over to the window, and gazed at the skyline as the sun lowered behind the buildings. Nothing’s safe or sacred anymore. I need to get my life back, but how? He’s out there. He can do this to someone else. He will do this to someone else. He could be watching me right now and I wouldn’t even know it. Carly slowly sat up, as there was a knock on the door. She dragged herself over and looked through the peephole. She shook her head and opened it. “What’re you two doing here?” “Carly, we’re worried about you,” Peter Barker said. “Very worried,” said Derek Walters. “We knew you were going to the station and wanted to see how you were doing.” Carly smiled slightly. “I don’t know what I’d do without you two. Come on in,” she said, as she led them to the sofa. “So, how’d it go?” Derek asked, sitting down. Carly shook her head. “Not good. They can’t do anything. It’s been six months and they have nothing.” “Can’t Elliot help you?” Peter asked. “He was your partner after all.” “No. He’s the one who told me. I don’t know what to do. I lost everything because of what that monster did to me. He can just do whatever the hell he wants!” She curled her knees up to her chest and hugged her legs. “I hate being afraid. I hate not being able to punish him for what he did to me. My body aches with fear. I don’t know how to move on. I have this large pit in my stomach that won’t go away. How can I let the pain go?” “We really wish we could help you,” Peter said. “I’m sorry. I’m not great company right now.” “No worries,” Derek stood up and glanced around the room. “What you need is a less-sterile environment.” “What I need is my life back.” “I just meant that this place is just, so, well, um, white and stark. You even dress white and stark. I don’t mean to sound rude or anything, but what happened to the things you used to wear? You used to be so rough and tough. Now, well, you’re kind of a femme.” “A femme? You’re calling me a femme?” she laughed slightly. “I’m sorry, but, yeah. I didn’t mean to sound…” “Derek, do you want to redecorate my place?” “Well, I’d love to. You know you could use a new wardrobe, too. One thing at a time, though. I just want to help you in any way I can. I’m not a police officer or anything very important. I want you to be happy. I care about you. You’re not the same anymore. You’re so important to us. We love you very much,” he said, as his thin body stood over her. “Derek, sit,” Carly said. Derek sat down next to Peter and she took their hands. “You two are my best friends. I love you both. Just you being here is what I need. You two are the most important people in my life.” “Ki-Ki, you know we love you, too. You were there for us when we told Derek’s father about our relationship. You held our hands. We just want to help you,” Peter said, flashing his friendly, crooked smile. “I hate it when you call me that,” she laughed slightly as she brushed her fingers through his sandy hair. “I know,” Peter smiled. “We love you, Ki-Ki,” he said, as he hugged her. Derek kissed her cheek. “Yes, Ki-Ki. We love you.” “It’s funny. You two are the only men who I’ll let touch me.” “It’s not funny. You just know we’d never hurt you,” Derek said. “We know you can never go back to who you used to be. You have changed.” “And, we’re not saying it’s bad. We’re just saying you’re a new person,” Peter added. “Sometimes I just want to curl up and die. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know what kind of person I am. I can’t be a cop. I can’t even be a wife anymore.” “Have you heard from Ted lately?” Peter asked. “No, just from his lawyer. I should be getting the final papers any day now.” “Well, it’s his loss. Any man, who would leave you when you needed him the most, isn’t worth it.” Carly touched Peter’s freshly shaven cheek and smiled slightly. “He wasn’t cut out to hold my hand,” she said, as she stared at the wedding ring that haunted her finger. “Forget about Ted. You need to focus on Ki-Ki,” Derek jumped in, his blue eyes smiling. Carly laughed. “I’ll focus on Carly. How ‘bout that?” The men smiled. “Yes. But, how are you going to do that?” Derek asked. Carly stood up quickly. “You know, Derek, you were right. This place is way too white for me. What do you think about touches of gold and red?” “Kiddo, that would be perfect. I have so many ideas. I could go on forever,” his excitement sped up the words coming out of his mouth. “He will go on forever,” Peter said. “Are you sure you want Derek to redecorate?” “Yeah. Why not? I’ve gotta figure out what to do with my life. Maybe a new look in this apartment, this hospital-esq apartment, will help,” she paused. “I don’t know how to do anything but be a cop and a victim. Oh, I just wish I knew what to do.” “The first step is removing that ring from your finger. You have enough reminders of being hurt. You don’t need any more,” Peter said. “It’s so hard,” she twirled her ring. “I just don’t know how to take it off.” “Please,” Derek whispered. “Give me your hand,” he kissed it gently and slowly pulled the ring from her finger. “Over and done. Take care of Carly, please,” he handed her the ring. She looked at the ring in the palm of her hand. “Thanks, Derek,” she smiled slightly. “If you need anything from us, we’re right next door,” Peter said, as they stood up. Carly stood up and hugged them. “Thanks. I really needed this. Derek, go shopping and let me know when you’re ready to start. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.” “We’ll see you later. Bye, Ki-Ki.”
* * *
Carly closed and locked the door behind them and then looked around her large apartment. He’s right. Besides, it’s Derek. Anything he’ll put together will be beautiful. I need a change. This isn’t even who I really am. Who am I really? She opened the desk drawer and placed the ring carefully next to her wedding picture. She gazed at the picture for a little while and smiled. “Good-bye, Ted,” she whispered. She plopped down on the sofa and put her feet up. Am I a new person? Yes, I guess I am a new person. What kind of person am I? Where’s Carly? She closed her eyes and fell asleep. Elliot’s words played repeatedly in her head. “I wish I could do something. I’m really sorry,” her mind flashed to the monster’s face. She jumped up with a start. I can’t let him do this to me. Eric James will pay for what he did to me! She stretched out her left hand as if it were a gun and mimicked a shot. She shook her hand. “Dammit! I can’t even do that. I can’t even hold a gun anymore. Let alone pull the trigger,” she stood up and walked into the bathroom. She ran the hot water over her left hand. “Some detective,” she whispered, as she looked in the mirror. “Can’t even hold a damn gun!” I’m the only detective on the force who is left-handed, but I could shoot better than any man could with his right. I always teased Elliot at the shooting range because he had to use both hands to steady his shot. Now, I can’t even hold a pen. She dried her hand off and walked into the kitchen. She poured a glass of white wine and walked into the bedroom to lie down. She turned on the television and impatiently flipped through the channels until she found a program that interested her.
Hope you enjoyed chapter one of "Passionate Retribution". You can purchase the book to finish by clicking on the book cover.
Next book in the series ... "Passionate Retribution II"
Passionate Retribution is a 3-book series, with each book being a stand alone.