A child is snatched from her home, the one place she should feel safe. Will the KCPD find her before something more sinister happens?
Detective DeMarcus Gage of the KCPD Missing Persons Unit knows that most child abductions are perpetrated by family members or persons known to the child. True ‘stranger’ abductions are rare—and taken very seriously by the police. When eight-year-old Leticia Braden disappears from her front yard the family are ruled out as suspects but actual leads are few.
Her traumatized parents need all the support they can get, and designate Leticia’s uncle Jack Braden to be their liaison with the detectives. When he meets Jack, Gage struggles to keep his mind on the case. The two men share an immediate case of lust, which they fight to keep under control for more reasons than one. Jack’s not out of the closet, and Gage isn’t keen on sneaking around. A relationship beckons, but finding Leticia is their first priority. And as every cop knows, time is not on their side.
About the Author
Jenna Byrnes could use more cabinet space and more hours in a day. She'd fill the kitchen with gadgets her husband purchases off TV and let him cook for her to his heart's content. She'd breeze through the days adding hours of sleep, and more time for writing the hot, erotic romance she loves to read.
Jenna thinks everyone deserves a happy ending, and loves to provide as many of those as possible to her gay, lesbian and hetero characters. Her favourite quote, from a pro-gay billboard, is "Be careful who you hate. It may be someone you love."
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Jenna Byrnes 2015. All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
“My baby is gone!” The hysterical woman on the nine-one-one recording was almost incomprehensible.
“Ma’am, please calm down,” a dispatcher tried to assist her. “Your infant is missing?”
“No, my daughter! She’s eight. Leticia…” She sobbed, then screamed, “You have to find her!”
“Ma’am, please. I know it’s difficult, but try hard for me. We need to gather some information. What’s your name?”
The reply was unintelligible, muffled by crying and sniffling. “Help me!”
“I’ll send a patrol car right over, but I need you to speak slowly and clearly for me please.”
The Kansas City Police Department dispatcher must have had the patience of a saint. Detective DeMarcus Gage scrubbed a hand over his face then glanced at his captain, who was playing the tape for him. “This call came in two hours ago?”
“Yes.” Blake Arnold nodded. “Dispatch sent a black and white unit to investigate. Jones and Percy from the Fourteenth reported back that the child was playing in her front yard with her little brother. Mom was supposedly ‘keeping an eye’ on them from inside the house. Brother went in to use the can, and when he returned his sister was gone.”
“Did they check with the neighbors?”
“Jones said the mom went up and down the block. Returned to her house and called Dad to come home from work, then rang nine-one-one. Dad’s been canvassing the area since he got home. You and Kelly need to get out there and make a determination about the Amber Alert.”
Gage sighed. Cases with missing children were the worst. He and his fellow detectives in the Missing Persons Unit would do a little digging and usually uncover a domestic dispute within the family. Mom was unhappy or Dad was pissed. Someone got mad about something and took off with the kids. This case didn’t sound as clear cut.
When the uniformed officers of the KCPD couldn’t determine what had happened, a detective from Missing Persons was required to investigate and if needed, put out an Amber Alert that blasted all media outlets with reports of the missing child.
Almost always the child turned up at a relative’s house, or a friend’s home without permission. Sometimes in a vehicle known to the parents—oh, yeah, that’s my brother Joe—and often a state or two away. Almost always.
Gage focused on the recording again, and the dispatcher’s voice. “Your daughter is Leticia? What’s your first name?”
“Janae.” The mother’s voice quivered.
“Okay, Janae, good. Now your last name?”
“Crossley-Braden, it’s hyphenated. Leticia’s name is Braden.”
“Great, Janae. Give me your address and I’ll get a patrol car en route.”
As she spoke, Gage jotted down the address on Gregory Boulevard.
His captain shut off the recording. “That’s enough for now, you can listen to the rest later. You and Kelly need to hit it and figure out what the hell we’ve got on our hands.”
Gage looked at him, understanding the urgency of the situation. “We’ll leave now.”
The stocky captain ran a hand through his short, blond crew cut. “Marc, keep me posted.”
“Ten-four.” Gage hurried through the bullpen. His desk faced his partner’s, who was on the phone. He snapped his fingers and when Rex glanced up he nodded seriously.
“Gotta go. Call you later.” Rex Kelly ended his call and jumped to his feet.
Gage motioned for Rex to follow and he continued walking out of the door. His partner at his heel, he asked, “How’s Heather feeling?”
Rex came alongside and shook his head. “Still feels like crap. It’s early in season for the flu, but she’s got all the symptoms. Luckily her mom can pick the girls up from school.”
“Good, because there’s another girl who needs us now.” He clicked the button on the key to his tan Ford Expedition and the doors unlocked. They climbed inside and fastened their seatbelts.
Gage knew this case would hit his partner especially hard. Rex and his pretty wife Heather, a registered nurse, had twin nine-year-old daughters. Lexi and Andi took after both parents, with curly blonde hair and blue eyes. His partner doted on his girls. Even Gage, a confirmed bachelor, had to admit they were pretty damned cute.
“What do we know?” Rex pulled out a notepad and wrote as Gage filled him in. “Father’s name?”
“Don’t know. Mom was pretty distraught. We’ll have to find out when we get there.”
Rex sniffed. “So she says.”
Gage smiled. Most detectives carried a healthy dose of skepticism. They’d seen too damn much, heard too damn many lies, and interviewed too damn many ‘distraught’ parents. The ones who eventually admitted that, yeah, they had shaken their kid because he wouldn’t stop crying, then dumped his body in a trash bag somewhere off Route 66. Gage liked to keep an open mind until he’d assessed each situation, but some days that was harder than others.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
FourStars This is book 5 in the Kansas City Heat series but can be read as a stand alone. DeMarcus Gage is a Detective on the Kansis City Missing Person's Unit. Jack Braden is the uncle of a little girl abducted from her street. When Gage answers the call of a missing 8 year old, and meets the sexy uncle Jack, the attraction is immediate. However the priority is finding the missing little girl. This might have been a short story but you don't feel like you are missing out on anything. The author is knowledgeable about police terms. I couldn't help being impressed with the professional attitude by Detective Gage during the investigation, even with his growing attraction to the Uncle. The uncle, Jack is not out to everyone, and he struggles with that secret. You can feel his anguish. This story captures your attention with sexy, intense men dealing with a serious situation and resolving it in a timely manner. I would read more in this series! I was given this in return for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads. Kimberley