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Call From the Jailhouse

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Rick Novak

ISBN :978-1-4874-3950-7

Page :296

Word Count :84547

Publication Date :2023-09-08

Series : #

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Call From the Jailhouse (prc) , Call From the Jailhouse (pdf) , Call From the Jailhouse (mobi) , Call From the Jailhouse (epub)

Category : Contemporary Romance , Romantic Suspense and Mystery , Romance

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-3950-7

Litigator Cicely Vella rarely loses a case, but her extraordinary record is in jeopardy when she chooses to defend her ex-husband Sam, the only suspect in what appears to be two indefensible murders.

Cicely is living the dream life of a young professional. She’s bright, beautiful, Black, and successful, but she harbors one weakness—lingering feelings for Sam, the husband who got away. 

Samuel Vella is a physician with high intellect, striking good looks―and a proclivity for making poor decisions. In the aftermath of his split from Cicely, Sam initiates an affair with Scarlett Lang, a free-spirited married woman, and their liaison lands Sam behind bars. 

Cicely, meanwhile, feels the triple lures of her emotional attachment to Sam, the opportunity to redeem the Vella name in the courtroom, and her zest for fame in a sensational high-profile trial. 

Nothing in the world but this court date could make Cicely and Sam sit elbow to elbow, day after day. The odds of a divorced couple remarrying the same person are 6 in 100, a statistic Cicely is both aware of and wary of, as she’s drawn back into Sam’s life.

Samuel Vella walked into the bar of the Mahogany hotel with the confident look of a dominant baseball pitcher striding toward the mound. He was a broad-shouldered man dressed in a black sport coat, an open-collared blue shirt, and faded black jeans. His look—olive skin, brown eyes, thick eyebrows, and day-old stubble—expressed Mediterranean cool. He wore his wavy hair long and free. A solitary lock fell in a curl across his forehead. 

Located less than two miles from the sandstone arches of Stanford University, the Mahogany bar was more than a watering hole. It was a nightlife hotspot and the most coveted meet market in Silicon Valley. Sam frequented the Mahogany at least twice a week, but never on Thursday—a night known locally as Cougar Night—an evening when middle-aged women congregated in the hopes of meeting a younger man. Sam had no interest in older women. He preferred his women young, and he preferred them to have short memories. He wasn’t looking for a soul mate, a companion, or another wife. He was looking for fun.

Until that very night—the night he met Scarlett.

The barroom was brightly lit, graced with tall tropical plants, and topped by slowly twirling ceiling fans. It was eight in the evening, too late for happy hour and too soon for the hardcore crowd. A dozen handsome, well-dressed men lingered around the bar rail. They were drinking, laughing, and talking too loudly. Two dozen attractive, well-dressed women congregated around the bar. Like the men, they were also drinking, laughing, and talking too loudly. Sam smiled at the ratio. Two to one—he loved the Mahogany. No music played. The Mahogany didn’t need music. Success was the melody of this nightspot. Patrons did their best to appear wealthy, whether they were or not. 

Sam spotted his younger brother Mark at the curved elbow of the bar rail. Mark was waving his hands in an animated monologue, directed at a brunette with a Coke-bottle figure and wide gold hoop earrings. Mark beckoned him over, and Sam wormed through the elbow-to-elbow crowd to join them. 

“Great to see you,” Mark said, draping an arm around Sam’s shoulders. Side by side the two men could have been twins. 

“Great to be seen, Axe,” Sam said. 

“Sam, I want you to meet Mindi,” Mark said. “She’s from Wisconsin just like us. And she used to play hockey, too.”

Mindi’s eyes widened. “It’s so super to meet you, Sam,” she said. “I love connecting with Midwest people out here in California. You played hockey at the University of Wisconsin?”

“I did.”

“I played right wing on my high school team in Eau Claire. My family used to drive down to Madison to watch the college games. Sam Vella! I remember you! I saw you score a hat trick against Michigan when I was in the fourth grade!”

Sam sighed. A hockey groupie, eons after his career was over.

“This is so wonderful,” Mindi said. She fluttered the feather dusters of her false eyelashes at him. She was young—she looked closer to 18 than 26. If she had a single wrinkle, he couldn’t find it. He’d met dozens of girls like Mindi. They were like cotton candy—sweet but short on substance. 

Mindi ran her tongue across her upper lip as if she were savoring him. “Mark told me you were a doctor,” she said. “What kind of doctor are you?” 

“I’m an anesthesiologist.” 

“What does that mean?”

“I put people to sleep.”

“His patients don’t feel a thing,” Mark said, grinning. “That’s what his last girlfriend told him in bed.”

Sam rolled his eyes. 

“Why do you call him Axe?” Mindi said.

“It’s short for Accident. Mark was born ten months after me. He was an accident—our mom thought if you were breastfeeding you couldn’t get pregnant.”

  Mindi gave Sam’s shoulder a playful shove. “That’s so funny!” she said. “So, being an an-ol-ogist—is that hard work?”

“Very difficult,” Sam said. “But much better than being a lawyer like my brother here. Mindi, do you know what happens to a lawyer when you give him Viagra?”

She giggled and said, “No.”

“He gets taller.”

Mindi laughed again and ran a single manicured finger against the back of Sam’s hand. “That’s funny, I think?” she said, with upward inflection. Sam followed the path of the lavender nail and wondered if her signature included a little heart on top of the i in her name. 

Her cell phone rang. “Can you guys order me a Lemon Drop?” she said. “Excuse me, I have to take this call.”

Sam stepped aside as Mindi passed him and headed toward the lobby. The bartender, a redhead named Lily, took their order and mixed the drinks. She slid a Jack Daniels and Coke to Sam. Mark took a sip from his margarita and said, “What do you think of Mindi?” 

“Eager,” Sam said. “Looking for a man with money.”

“Looking for you, Sam,” Lily interjected. “Looking for a handsome doctor with a pocket full of five-dollar bills.”

“I think not,” Mark said, “Like most of the ladies here, she’s trolling the Mahogany looking for a rich CEO or a venture capitalist worth millions.”

“I’ve got news for them,” Lily said, leaning in. “The CEOs and VCs who come here aren’t looking to buy. They’re just looking to rent.”

Sam chuckled and said, “Are there any venture capitalists here tonight?”

Lily scanned the room. “I don’t see any,” she said. “They’re all at home with their trophy wives and perfect kids. Nothing but wannabes like you two here tonight.”

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Tags: Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Noir Fiction, Crime