Amp, the final book in my Jensen City Heroes series, is now available for preorder. It’ll be released June 9.
Click on the cover below to be taken to the Amazon page. The prologue is below the cover and is from Rose’s point of view! Linus’s and his love interest’s respective POVs pick up at Chapter 1. I needed a perspective from someone still in Jensen City for the prologue. Enjoy!
“Keys, cell phones and anything metal is prohibited on-site,” the guard grunts, not looking up from his newspaper as cell doors open and close around him to accommodate the other guards.
Remi, Darby and I look at each other and empty our pockets into the round bins like you’d see at an airport or courthouse when going through security. Remi drops her phone, keys and a barrette into a tray and takes off the hairband around her wrist while Darby does the same. “All of it, Remi,” Darby scolds, and Remi glares at Darby before getting a switchblade knife out of her back pocket and tossing it into the tray.
I look at Remi in horror, amazed that she carries a switchblade. “What?” she asks. “I’m a local superhero that’s pregnant. Zeke doesn’t like me walking around unprotected. In fact, he’d shit a brick if he knew I was here and took it out of my pocket.”
“So, we’re not telling our boys?” I ask, uneasy because this will be the first time I’ve kept something from Bennett. It doesn’t feel right. We tell each other everything.
“Hell no!” Darby and Remi answer at the same time.
“You’re not telling Archie?”
“Fuck to the no,” Darby says. “He’d shit the same as Zeke. We made a vow that we were going to do this for Linus and get the fuck up out of here. No tattling to the fun police.”
“If this is your idea of fun, I’m not sure I’m a good fit for your little group here,” I chuckle as the guard waves us back and opens the cell door. The door retracts back into the wall, and I look around the hallway before following Remi and Darby.
“So, this is jail?” I mutter under my breath as I nod my head.
“This isn’t jail. It’s prison,” Remi corrects. “Jail is usually a little more laid back.”
“Wow. You know a lot about jail,” I say to Remi, and Darby bursts into laughter she tries to stifle with her hands.
This place is depressing, and I suddenly feel bad that I accidentally sent Bennett to jail for an hour a few months ago. I make a mental reminder to get on my knees and apologize to him tonight.
The floor is concrete but painted a depressing forest green color, and the walls look like they were once white but got discolored from too many smokers in the area. We pass empty grey cells with nothing but a striped mattress and steel toilet and sink combo. The idea of spending any amount of time in this drab place is enough to make me pay any parking tickets I ever incur.
“Here you go. Visitors can only stay for twenty minutes. You’ll have protective plastic between you. Use the intercom system to talk to him.”
Darby nods like she does this every other Tuesday and walks into the visiting room that looks exactly like you’d see in movies. Small carrels with plastic dividers are placed in the middle of the room, and a guard is near the barred door. Remi, Darby and I shuffle over to one of the carrels and drag chairs so that we can all sit in the same one. Remi ruffles her shirt around her growing stomach as she sits in the chair at a pace only a pregnant woman would use. The last few weeks have been hard on her body. Like she’s trying to get used to carrying around a bowling ball under her shirt on her small frame. She looks like she’s going to tip over most of the time.
A buzzing noise makes me jump, and the cell door opens. A guard leads a man that looks like a weasel through the cell door, and Darby inhales deeply, cracking her knuckles like she can’t decide if she wants to run from the room or beat the man.
He’s dressed in a typical orange prison jumpsuit, and his head is shaved, a very different look than the haircut he had when he worked at Dallas Industries. Dark stubble dots the top of his head, and he squints when he sees Darby.
“Well, what the fuck do I have here?” he says, licking his lips and making a smooching gesture at Darby. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Remi grimace like she’s disgusted by the sight of him. “I get a visit from that pussy I wish I’d tapped while I had the chance. Should have done it while I had you all taped to the chair. I ended up here anyway,” he snarls and cups his crotch.
Darby doesn’t say anything, and I marvel that she’s keeping so calm. I’m not as lucky. Porter turns his eyes to me, and I feel my lip start to tremble. I bite it to keep it still, but I feel my eyes widen as he meets my eyes. “What’s Corbin Dallas’s secretary doing here with this cunt?” he asks, flicking his eyes to Darby.
“Oh, we’re besties now,” Darby replies. “In fact, you can thank Rose for us paying you a visit. This was her idea.”
“I don’t want to talk to you bitches. The last time I was with you, some asshole hit me in the head with a shovel. Who the fuck are you?” he asks Remi.
Deadpan, Remi cocks her head to the side. “I’m the asshole that hit you in the head with a shovel.”
His lip curls in disgust, and I start to shake because I’m worried he can get to Remi through the plastic. However, I think lunging for Remi would be a very bad idea. If Remi wasn’t my friend, I sure wouldn’t mess with her in a dark alley.
“We’re here because we have a common enemy,” Darby says.
“Your boyfriend?” Porter asks and laughs at his own joke.
That shuts him up, and he looks at me like he’s confused about why I’ve turned on Corbin. “What do want with me?” he asks with gritted teeth.
“You know a lot about him. In fact, you’re years ahead of us on revenge with him. We need to know what you know about him. Something that Rose or Corbin’s wife wouldn’t know.”
“He visits the golf club. The special part,” Porter says, licking his lips.
“He’s not there. I know people there,” Remi says, not elaborating about her relationship with her former coworkers at the sex club.
“Look, we’re here about the plastic strengthener. Did Dallas have any other hiding places for it? Someplace he could live long-term with plumbing or heating? You worked in product development before he fired you. Were there any other testing sites or warehouses?”
“Why should I help you?”
“Maybe you shouldn’t help us. But Corbin Dallas is missing. He’s in hiding and has run off like a little bitch after he did some bad shit to our friends. The police won’t dedicate time or resources to find him, so we’re on our own. What can you tell us?”
Porter chuckles and leans forward until his face is almost touching the plastic divider. Maybe he thinks he can intimidate Darby, but she doesn’t back away. She maintains eye contact with him while I hold my breath and watch the conversation.
“See, that’s the key isn’t it?” he says.
“What’s the key?”
“The police. Let me guess. There’s a police officer that’s assigned to the case that actually wants to work and catch the bastard, but he can’t.”
“She. The person assigned to the case is a female.”
“Even more typical. The old boys club, the ones that get their dicks sucked at the secret part of the golf club, don’t want their buddy caught. And those dicks in city government love to see a woman fail. They see her as someone that doesn’t fit the old boys club mold.”
“Are you saying Fred Dawes is on the take? That’s a pretty big accusation.”
“Nah. My impression of Dawes is that he’s a little bitch or willing to be someone’s little bitch. This goes bigger.”
“Blanc?” Remi says under her breath.
“What’s that?” Porter asks as Darby and I turn to look at Remi.
“Blanc and Dallas are friends. Are you saying Blanc is risking his career in an election year by helping Corbin hide?”
“Look who’s a smart little cunt,” Porter says with a sinister smile while leering at Remi.
“Watch your mouth,” Darby warns, and Porter actually straightens his face. “You’re saying Dawes isn’t running the show over there. Blanc is?”
Porter only shrugs. “I’m saying more than that,” he says, backing up and almost looking respectable as he adjusts his shirt. He then adjusts his balls and ruins the image of him actually attempting a decent conversation.
“Get to the point, Porter,” Darby grunts. “You implied Blanc is impeding the investigation.”
“I’m not implying. I’m saying. Also, I don’t think he’s just impeding the investigation, sweetheart.”
“Wait, do you think he’s actively hiding him?”
“What are you going to do about it if he is? Call the police? That’ll go over well with their buddy, especially when the boss’s boss gets in trouble. Do you think they’ll send SWAT to the mayor’s house?”
“We can tell the feds.”
“Good luck, baby,” he coos at Darby. “What are you going to do? Go to the mayor’s house with a hoard of police that has no intention of busting the chops of one of their golf buddies and demand that a guy that invited them to Christmas parties with top-shelf booze and good cocaine come out with his hands up? You’re dumber than I thought. Corbin Dallas is just as revered as the mayor. He made sure everyone had a stiff drink and a stiff dick in a whore.”
“You mentioned the mayor’s house. Would Corbin actually hide there?” Remi asks, directing the question to me more than Porter.
I could see it. Max Blanc and Corbin are best friends. I didn’t want to believe it because I always think everyone acts as kind as me and with the public interest at heart. Naïve Rose strikes again.
Darby looks at me. “Is it possible Rose?”
Porter answers for me because my tongue is suddenly on the roof of my mouth. “That mother fucker is probably sitting in Blanc’s dining room right now.”