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Overkill
Author: Sandra Brown

 

Prologue

 

 

The blowout was in full swing.

It had gotten off to a comparably moderate start at around ten o’clock. By midnight, boundaries of behavior had begun to wobble under the influence of liquor, controlled substances, and carnality.

By now, in the wee hours, any semblance of civilization had been abandoned. More guests than not had discarded articles of clothing. All had thrown off their inhibitions. Rap pounded from speakers discreetly hidden throughout the stately home, making it seem as though the walls themselves were secreting the cacophony. It thumped through the otherwise decorous Buckhead neighborhood. For hours, that precinct of the Atlanta P.D. had been kept busy taking noise complaint calls.

The host of the bacchanal had issued a blanket invitation. The majority of revelers overflowing his house were strangers to him, including the young woman who’d offered her inner thigh as the surface from which he was snorting a line of cocaine.

For a while now, the two of them had been lounging on a sofa in a relatively private corner, sharing not only a vial of the white powder but also a bottle of vodka. The latter had been the source of numerous phallic innuendos.

If she’d ever told him her name, he was too stoned to remember. When he’d asked her what she did, as in a vocation, she’d replied, “This.”

“This?”

“I party.”

Perfect. She was here to have a good time, and that happened to be his specialty.

She was a looker. She had dark eyes, which were heavily lined like Cleopatra’s. Her hair was black and sleek, worn perfectly straight and long enough to almost reach her oh-so-smokin’ ass. Plush breasts were on display above the low, loose neckline of her slinky dress. The fabric was gold and shimmery and so gossamer-sheer that her areolae showed through.

When he’d complimented her on the dress, she’d told him she’d worn it “on the red carpet,” but he didn’t know which red carpet, and didn’t care. From his vantage point as he sniffed the remaining cocaine, he enjoyed the view beneath her short skirt all the way up.

This girl had a spirit of adventure and no modesty.

He inhaled deeply, then sat up, flung his head back, and shouted an obscenity toward the ceiling to express his ecstasy.

She giggled and took a drink from the bottle of vodka as she slid her bare foot up his thigh, stopping just short of her toes touching his crotch. “While you were down there, did you peek?”

“What do you think?” He grinned. “I’m a naughty boy.”

“Naughty boys are just my thing.”

“Are they?”

She raised her pair of perfectly shaped brows.

He laughed. “Then you’re going to love us.”

He looked around for his two best friends and spotted them across the room at the food buffet, which looked like it had been plundered by a wolf pack. A naked girl was curled up asleep on a bed of lettuce where chilled shrimp had been earlier. His friends were garnishing her slumbering form with leftover slices of citrus.

“Come with me,” he said, taking Cleopatra’s hand.

She resisted. Reclining against the sofa cushions, she raised one knee and swayed it back and forth as she whined, “What’s wrong with right here?”

“Too public.” He hauled her up and caught her around the waist when she swayed against him.

As they walked toward the buffet table, she looked over her shoulder. “I left my sandals.”

“They’ll be fine. I want you to meet my friends.” When they reached the table, he said, “Boys, we’re going upstairs for some grown-up fun and games. Wanna come?” He laughed. “No pun intended.”

With glazed eyes, the two looked Cleopatra over. The tall blond, who had a drowsy smile that women found irresistible, drawled, “Sure.”

The other looked down at the girl sleeping among the lettuce. “What about her?”

“You can come back for her later,” the host said. “If you have the energy.”

“You won’t,” Cleopatra purred, tiptoeing her fingers up his sleeve. “I can go all night.”

“My kind of girl,” said the handsome blond.

She gave him the look most women did, like she wanted to lick him all over. “We’re gonna have fun.”

The host felt a pang of jealousy, but another line of coke and a swig of vodka would take care of it. He would be the one Cleopatra remembered from tonight, not his irresistible buddy.

“I left the coke on the table over there. Go get it and her sandals,” he said to the third man. “We’ll take the elevator. I don’t trust any of us trying to climb the stairs.”

The cocaine and gold sandals were retrieved. The quartet threaded their way through other guests who were either already passed out or engaged in their own debauchery.

The elevator was situated beneath the sweeping staircase and was for the private use of the homeowner. It was built seamlessly and invisibly into the paneling. It was small. The four of them crowded in, which required sandwiching Cleopatra’s curvy body between the host and the blond. The third wrapped them in a group hug.

The ride to the second floor was brief. They piled out of the elevator and staggered their way down the wide hallway to the bedroom. The host went in first, then bowed at the waist and gestured them all in with a wide sweep of his arm. He shut the door and locked it.

He turned Cleopatra to face him and, smiling, said, “Our games have only one rule. I call the shots.”

She slid the skinny straps of her dress off her shoulders and let it slither down her body to the floor, then walked naked across the room and stretched out on the bed, arms extended above her head. “Fire away.”

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Zach Bridger’s life was upended while in the Cayman Islands, sitting at the pool bar, sipping a cold beer, and chillin’ to Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

It was only eight-thirty in the morning, but his date-of-the-week had wanted to claim an ideal spot for sunbathing the day away, so she’d dragged him out of bed early. Other guests at the swanky resort must’ve been of the same mind. A line had formed for the breakfast buffet at the open-air restaurant, and the bar itself was doing a lively business.

“Isn’t that your ex?”

Zach, who’d been enjoying the array of lubricated female flesh around the swimming pool, turned toward the bartender, who hitched his goatee up toward the TV, where a photo of Rebecca dominated the upper right-hand corner of the screen behind the anchorwoman’s shoulder.

An indifferent grunt was Zach’s response to both the bartender’s question and the picture. He couldn’t attach the word “wife” to the woman beguiling the camera with her sloe eyes. It escaped him how he could have pledged his everlasting love, honor, and fidelity to her. Neither of them had kept the vows. He had, however, endowed Rebecca with a helluva lot of his worldly goods.

He said, “Best years of my life have been the five since our divorce.”

“Hear ya.” The bartender gave him a kindred grin. “It’s been three since mine.” He reached for Zach’s plastic glass and topped it off from the beer tap, then glanced over his shoulder at the TV, which now featured another picture of Rebecca. “Recently she’s been hanging with a hockey player. One of those without any vowels in his name.”

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