The French Detective's Woman

The French Detective's Woman by Nina Bruhns Read Free Book Online

Book: The French Detective's Woman by Nina Bruhns Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nina Bruhns
Tags: Suspense
. So I won’t expect you in till late tomorrow. Hopefully in a better mood.” He ducked out, then right back in. “Oh, I almost forgot. There’s a nice snap of you two in the evening rag.” He tossed a rolled-up newspaper onto Jean-Marc’s desk. “Just the right touch for your already legendary reputation, I thought.”
    With that he disappeared again. Jean-Marc glanced at the clock as he plucked up the newspaper. Past quitting time. He spread the roll flat, and stared at it in shock.
    On the front page was a photo of himself with his arm around Ciara Alexander as they emerged from Club LeCoeur . He was looking down at her with a secretive little smile, and she was smiling back, her lips just puffy enough and her hair and dress just disheveled enough to look as though they’d been doing exactly what they’d been doing.
    Then he read the headline: Dutch Princess Robbed! And the caption under the photo: Commissaire Lacroix Too Busy To Foil Le Revenant!
    He pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers and cursed.
    “ Putain de merde .” This was just what he fucking needed. More negative publicity. Thank God he wasn’t the lead detective on the case. Because if he had been, it would be like a bad flashback—to the nightmare that had been his life five years ago. The nightmare that had sent him into the tailspin that lost him his wife and very nearly his job. And had made him the emotionally mistrustful bastard he was today.
    He straightened, tossed the newspaper into the trash and took a deep, cleansing breath.
    Non . Thank God for small favors. He was not in charge, so this thief would not be getting the better of him. Not this time. That wasn’t going to happen again.
    But he would not tempt fate, nor add fuel to the fire, by seeing that woman Ciara again, either. He had enough to think about, enough to do, without obsessing over getting laid.
    He could live without her. There were other women. Plenty of them. Ones who didn’t disappoint or betray a man. Ones who only sought to please you...for the right price.
    Mind made up, he determinedly stuck the faxes of her photo and Sorbonne application, along with the paper he’d written her name and address on, under the heavy leather blotter on his desk.
    And sat back glowering at the ceiling, trying to come up with a new strategy to catch the troublesome Ghost. But his imagination had deserted the case for greener pastures.
    Resignedly, he leaned over and fished the newspaper back out of the wastebasket and ripped off the front page. And for a long time he stared at the photo of himself with Ciara.
    Alors . He straightened his spine, stuck the news page under the blotter, too, and slammed his hands on the desk.
    One all-too-tempting woman gone from his life. For good.
    As soon as he arrived at 36 Quai des Orfèvres the next day, Jean-Marc was called into CD Belfort’s office.
    This couldn’t be good.
    He strode down the gray second-floor hallway wondering what he was going to be chewed out for this time. Despite having one of the best arrest records in the OCBC, he could never seem to please his boss. “A loose cannon,” Belfort called him. “Can’t tell the difference between you and the goddamned bad guys.”
    Bon , whatever worked.
    He ran into Belfort coming out of an incident room with Michéle Saville, lead detective on le Revenant case. Saville marched after their boss with his hands clasped behind his back like an idiot, looking smug.
    “What the hell is this all about?” Belfort demanded when he spotted Jean-Marc. He halted and snapped open a copy of last evening’s tabloid in front of his chest. The one with the photo. And the damning headline. “You were there before the robbery?”
    He could tell it was going to be one long, fucking day.
    “ Oui , I was there all evening. On my own time,” he added, matching Belfort stride-for-stride as he resumed his march down the hall toward his office. Saville was forced to

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