Excerpt for Poked by the PO PO by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Published by EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING ® at Smashwords

Copyright© 2018 T. Lee Garland

ISBN: 978-1-77339-768-9

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Editor: Audrey Bobak


WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


This story is dedicated to all the first responders around the world. Your devotion and limitless courage to a difficult job does not go unnoticed.

Thank you.


Romance on the Go ®

T. Lee Garland

Copyright © 2018

Chapter One

Nicole’s high heels clicked in a steady repetitive tap down the corridor of the police station. She was vaguely aware the officers working at various desks and counters turned to follow her progress with interest. She had always captured the attention of men. It was just one of those things she had become accustomed to through the years. Men were visual creatures and easily swayed by a pretty face and shapely figure, and she had been blessed with both.

In the courtroom, when she had their attention, that was when she would go in for the kill. Those she opposed in court always underestimated her. Assumed she was a dumb blonde who had slept her way to the top at the DA’s office. By the time they realized differently, their clients were in handcuffs and on their way to prison. She used what good genes and hard work had given her. She had a job to do and she never took that job for granted. In her book, the guilty had to always pay and it was her job to make sure they did.

Turning the corner, she stepped into a large room used by the detectives. Her hazel eyes immediately fell on a couple of attractive men standing in the back and to the side. One of them she recognized from court. Detective Marsh had testified in a hit-and-run case she had prosecuted last year. He was a large African American, with dark, laughing eyes and a sexy, fuck-me-now grin. He was mouthwatering hot. She had spent the trial with her thighs clutched together under the desk to help still the tremors whenever he was in the vicinity.

Beside him stood a man only slightly smaller, not that small would ever be used to describe either one of these men. Unlike Marsh’s bald head, he had short-cut blond hair and intense, dark-blue eyes. They both smiled and nodded at her when she went past. Nicole returned their regard with a tilt of her blonde head.

She moved with deliberate purpose to the back of the room where a glass-enclosed office stood. Behind the glass she could see her boss, DA Perkins, and Police Chief Howard. They noticed her arrival and motioned for her to enter the room.

Perkins stood up from the corner of the Chief’s desk where he had perched. “Nicole, thank goodness you’re all right.”

Nicole stopped at the front of the desk. “What’s going on? Why was I pulled from court and summoned to the police station with an escort?” She placed her hands on her hips, cinching in the navy sheath she wore. “And why wouldn’t I be all right?”

Perkins and Howard exchanged quick looks and Perkins eased himself back down on the corner of the desk before taking a deep breath and replying, “Roger Mann played sick, killed, and impersonated a prison doctor, and walked out of the penitentiary earlier this morning.”

Nicole felt the pounding begin in her ears. It was like she was in a tunnel with a set of drums. Her heart sped up, and her legs suddenly felt like jelly and were no longer able to support her body. She started to sway and dropped down onto a waiting chair. It took her a moment to compose herself and thankfully Chief Howard and Perkins gave her that time.

Her mind whirled and she took a deep breath to steady herself. Roger Mann had escaped from prison? Mann was a sick, sadistic murderer, and a psychopath. He was a skilled manipulator and brilliant when it came to technology and computers. He had fooled many women with his George Clooney good looks and his promises of forever. That was always right before he used them, robbed them, and in many cases, murdered them.

He was a serial murderer and also her ex-stepfather.

He had written her numerous times from prison, the letters filled with all the filthy things he wanted to do to her before snuffing out her life. When she had reported the letters, they had stopped, only to be replaced six months later with emails to her work computer. Roger Mann had hacked into the computer system from the prison computer lab. His brilliance made him terrifying and dangerous.

Nicole took a calming breath and tried to get control of her trembling body. Show no weakness was her life motto. It had gotten her through the difficult years after her mother’s death. She cleared her throat. “No sightings of him since his breakout? Perhaps he’s headed for the border.”

“We have good reason to believe he’s coming after you, Nicole,” Perkins said simply. Nicole respected James Perkins. He never minced words. He was her boss and one of the best prosecuting attorneys in the country, but he had to be wrong.

She shook her head. “You can’t know that for certain, James. He knows that’s what will be expected and that an APB will be out on him. He’ll want to get out of town.”

Perkins picked up some papers on the desk and handed them to Nicole. “He left this behind in his cell, un-mailed letters to you. He’s made it very clear that you are to be his next victim. He’s obsessed with you and he wants you dead. He blames you and your testimony for putting him away.”

“Don’t worry, Ms. Bevens, we’ve got you covered. I have a couple of detectives on standby. Marsh and Wallace are two of my best. They are ex-military and experienced. They have been briefed on the situation and are ready to move you to a secure location. You will be put into protective custody until Mann is located and apprehended.”

“Babysitters? No, thanks, Chief, it won’t come to that. I can take care of myself.”

“I don’t think you understand, Nicole. This isn’t a suggestion. This is a direct order. As your boss, I insist that you agree to being placed under protective custody.” He could see her mouth open to protest and he quickly held up his hand. “Just, until Mann is located, you will be off the clock.”

Nicole jumped to her feet, her eyes wide with disbelief. “James, you can’t do that. I have pending cases. You just had me pulled from court, for heaven’s sake. I’m in the middle of an important trial. The victim is counting on me. I can’t let her down.”

“I understand and I’ve already taken care of that. I have transferred your active cases to other attorneys in the office. The pending cases have been delayed whenever possible and reassigned to others when we were not able to get them deferred.” Perkins shook his head. “Don’t fight this, Nicole, because you won’t win. This order is coming from the top. We all know how dangerous Mann is and I’m not going to chance the life of my best prosecutor and especially one I consider a friend.”

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