Lawyer Gabe Fontenot lives for the day he brings down his father's murderer. And after years of chasing phantoms, he's finally closing in. Until his longtime adversary Evangeline Rousseau interferes. The district attorney's little darling wants to see Gabe fail, whatever the cost.
Then Evangeline's secret agenda and Gabe's vow of revenge force them to ally with each other. But trust each other? Never. Yet now that they're posing as lovers, neither can run from growing temptation. And when a toxic threat is made against Evangeline, Gabe must concede that his plan for justice could be the undoing of them all....
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May 31, 2007
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Excerpt from A Little Bit Guilty by Jenna Mills
Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Fontenot did his best work in the dark.
Standing silently in an old warehouse that had been submerged during hurricane Katrina, he refused to let himself move, barely let himself breathe. Much of New Orleans had recovered. Homes were being rebuilt. Stores had restocked their shelves. Music again pulsed through the city, a touch of Hispanic added to the blues. Even tourists once more swarmed the French Quarter.
The city who charmed by day and seduced by night was on her way back.
But here on the fringes, squalor remained.
The night bled in, thick and suffocating despite the early-March breeze swirling outside. Away from the city, moonlight seeped in through the windows, but the smear of mud and grime revealed little more than shapes and shadows.
A metal wall guarded Gabe's back, stacks of empty crates took care of the rest. No one would find him unless he wanted them to. But Gabe did not allow himself to relax. Either a man learned from his mistakes, or he lost.
Gabe had no intention of losing.
The emaciated dogs had run off, leaving silence to throb through the warehouse, broken only by the occasional horn of a tugboat. There was no trace of the waitress who'd insisted they meet privately. Fear had flared in her eyes when she'd realized who he was and what he wanted. She'd paled, panicked.
And inside, for the first time in weeks, Gabe had smiled.
She knew something. A name, a place, any little detail that could link the senseless murder of a fellow waitress to the high-profile restaurateur who'd written both their paychecks. That was all Gabe wanted. A scrap, a crumb.
He could take it from there.
Young and scared, she'd refused to speak to him in the French Quarter restaurant where she continued to wait tables despite the murder of her coworker. Unwilling to so much as take his drink order, she'd gone on a sudden break--but not before slipping him a cocktail napkin with detailed instructions about where she would talk to him.
Restless, Gabe moved away from the crates. His watch showed that almost thirty minutes had passed. If the waitress was going to show, she would have done so by now.
And if she was going to approach him, she wouldn't stop moving every time he did.
Through the darkness he heard the muffled movement behind him. And when he stopped, it stopped. And, damn it, he was so freaking tired of running in circles and chasing phantoms. Him. Gabriel Fontenot. The man who could bluff an opponent into folding, even when Gabe had nothing but a handful of trash.
It had been a long time since he'd held anything else. Jaw clenched, he retraced his steps, confident the maze of crates would conceal him until it was too late for his pursuer to realize that the hunter had become the hunted.
He was a lawyer by training, a man of tailored suits, leather briefcases and expensive loafers. It was his cousin who was the cop. But Cain had taught him well.
Against the trickle of moonlight, the silhouette stood without moving. Except for the breathing. Gabe heard each rasp, felt them ricochet through his body. Fear had a taste and feel unto itself and, despite the darkness, he knew his target realized the tables had turned. Tall, he noted. Far too tall to be the petite waitress he'd met earlier that evening.
Quietly he lunged--and the shadow bolted.
Gabe gave chase, grabbing the high-powered flashlight from his pocket and flicking it on. The shadow boxer-danced around a shopping cart and sent it careening toward Gabe. Shoving against it, he sent it crashing to its side as he veered around an old piano just as the figure darted behind more crates. Gabe charged, sending the stack crashing down.
The distorted grunt told him they'd found their target. Rounding the pile, he saw the man scrambling to his feet. "Freeze," he called. "I have a gun." He didn't, but the punk didn't know that.