Saturday, April 5, 2014

As promised... The prologue to Love is Bleeding. Book 4 in the Croft & Croft Series....

You guys get the first look at it!!!!


  There’s nothing worse than when your plans fall through. You could have the best intentions, and then all of a sudden, it crumbles all around you.

It didn't matter how big or small the mission. Fate has a way of screwing with everyone, even a killer.

You can strategize, plan, and structure everything to the minutest of details, and it will still go to hell in a hand basket.

Look at this situation.

The big plan was to sneak into the house, leave the bloody calling card, and escape into the quiet of the day.

Simple, right?

Only, that wasn’t what was happening.

Oh, getting into the house was fairly simple. All that had to be done was wait until the wife left to do the grocery shopping, and then get down to business. By the time she returned, with her bags of food, it would be over.

As would be her husband’s life.

Yet, that wasn’t what was destined to happen. Fate decided to throw in a monkey wrench and screw with everyone involved. Who knew that the Fed’s wife was going to forget her coupons, having to return to the quiet of the house for them?

Certainly not the killer.

Oh, but that bitch Fate, she knew.

It was all in the universe’s master plan.

For the killer, if there was any inkling that this mess was going to happen, there would have been a contingency plan. Instead, the one who broke into their quaint house was just placing the bloody handprint on the wall when there was a noise.


Before there could be a hasty escape, the wife walked right into the living room and found the intruder.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, backing out carefully. Then, she saw the gun and froze. “You can have whatever you want. Please, don’t hurt me. My husband is in the FBI. He’ll find you if you hurt me!”

There was nothing but sardonic laughter that filled the room. Oh, the intruder was well aware that her husband was with the Feds. In fact, he was the reason for the visit.

She could blame him for her untimely death when they met in the afterlife.

“Move closer and don’t make a sound, or I’ll kill you.” The statement was shrouded with total lies. This woman was going to be one more on the list of those who must die.

Only, she wasn’t a target.

She was collateral damage.

“Turn around and let me tie you up. Then, I’ll be gone.”

The woman relaxed marginally, already memorizing everything about the intruder’s face. When she saw her husband, she would describe everything. After all, being the wife of a Fed meant getting the job done. This home invader didn't have a snowball’s chance in hell.

Putting on faux sweetness to mask the fear, she spoke, “Thank you for not hurting me,” she offered softly, trying to bullshit her way through the next few minutes. “I promise I won’t go to the cops.”

Which wasn’t exactly a lie.

She was going to the FBI instead.

The intruder said nothing, only flipped the gun to use the butt to do all the dirty work. With one swing, there was contact and the sick crunching of bone as metal met skull.

The woman crumbled to the ground in a heap.

Unfortunately for her, it wouldn’t end there. The strike wasn’t enough to kill, and the intruder knew the truth. There could be no loose ends, and this woman was a huge problem.

Careful not to leave any evidence behind, hands wrapped around her neck and squeezed until the shallow breathing slowly came to a stop.  

It was done.

“I’m sorry, but you came home. You weren’t supposed to die, but think of it this way- now you won’t have to attend your dear husband’s funeral. I’ve given you a gift. You’ve been spared the heartbreak of that.”

Checking her pulse to assure she was indeed dead, the killer went back to work, placing the bloody print on the wall. This day was an unmitigated disaster, and hopefully the second part would go more smoothly.

As the red dripped down the wall, the killer was incredibly proud of the plan, and the calling card being left behind. The FBI would never trace it back, since all precautions were taken. Fate may like to throw everyone for a loop, but planning was key.  

The intruder wasn’t stupid.

Not by a long shot.

Stepping over the woman, lying prone on the floor, it was time to get across town to take care of the true business at hand.

Her husband.

The best agent was a dead agent.

That was for sure.

Once that trigger was pulled, there could be no mistake this time.

Justice was on the horizon for those who no longer had a voice of their own.

“Let’s get this show on the road. I have work to do.”


                              *   *   *


Across Vegas

Just Outside of Town


 Greyson Croft despised bullshit.

It was one of the things he didn't have much patience for in his life. His days were so jam packed with FBI related work, that the next thing he would be forced to give up, would either be sleep or sex with his wife.

Goodbye sleep.

The other option was never happening, even if he started to resemble the walking dead. A man had to have priorities, and his wife was going to be number one on that list.

Yet, that wasn’t the worst of his problems.

Now, he had some serious anger issues. There was an asshole with one mission in mind.

Infuriate the head Fed.

It pissed Greyson off to no end, that he was being called out in his own town. Maybe it was ego, or maybe it was the simple fact that the second he took the job in Vegas, he was a marked man. Either way, someone was screwing with him, and he didn't doubt that this new call was part of it.

Someone liked playing games, and he was caught in the midst of it.

As his team milled around the field, they looked for the victim who had been called in. An anonymous tip was relayed into their hotline, saying that another body had been left, and this was the location.

Only, he didn't see anything.

Well, that wasn’t true. He saw his team milling around, the ME looking befuddled, and his watch ticking away precious seconds.

Something had to be here.

For the last few weeks, they had been turning up bodies. Not just any bodies mind you, but dead Feds. After Christmas, there had been an onslaught of issues dumped onto his already burdened shoulders. For the last three weeks, there had been murdered agents left for him to find. One was taken out in the front seat of his car, another on his way into the building, and then one was even in his kitchen making coffee.

Now, Greyson was on a scavenger hunt.

The prize?

A dead comrade.

It pissed him off like nothing else. Not only because someone was killing the good guys, but because they were screwing with him. Greyson loathed jumping through hoops.

This was an affront to his manhood, and when he got his hands on the killer, heads were going to roll.

That was if they caught him.

To add insult to injury, not only was the killer taking innocent lives, but he was taunting them. At every victim’s house, he was leaving behind a calling card.

Oh, it wasn’t a love note, proclaiming a reason for the madness, but instead it was one single bloody handprint. As hard as they tried, no one could figure out the meaning. It was like trying to decipher a clue, which was still locked in the mind of a madman.

It was frustrating.

It was irritating.

It was driving him bat shit insane.

So much so, that he was losing sleep over it. At least with the last big serial killer they encountered, he had a clue why. Kris Kringle was taking a list of those he perceived to be ‘naughty and nice’. This asshole was just killing his men and leaving a handprint.

In his book, a cop killer was the lowest of low.

Something had to be done, and he’d made this his personal mission. He didn't have time to be working on it, but Greyson had a responsibility to the fallen.

To HIS men.

Glancing around the open field, he took in the surrounding area. If the killer had left a body here, then it had to be underground. It was a flat piece of land surrounded by trees and some hills in the distance. He would have had to drive in, bury the remains, and then drive out.

“Start digging,” he yelled, as his team made crisscross patterns with ground penetrating radar, trying to find the body.

Someone had to be here, and if it was a Fed, he was bringing them home.

Suddenly, there was a shout.

“Over here!” yelled one of his agents, waving frantically.

He had Greyson’s full attention as he crossed to him, but he wasn’t alone. Unfortunately, as the second his agent called out, it stirred up the media which was being held behind the crime scene tape. They were desperate for anything at that point. When the big man in Vegas headed to the field, something huge was brewing.

So, of course they were going to be there. Why wouldn’t they be? After all, they followed him everywhere he went. Home, work, the grocery store, and even when he bought gifts for his wife. The pariahs of society were dogging his every move.

“What do you have?” he asked, ignoring the calls from the TV crews and reporters. It sickened him that the media vultures were already all over this, giving this bastard what he wanted.


It was bad enough that he had his sole focus, but now the world was his audience. If this wasn’t a priority one case, he’d be back in his office doing paperwork and day dreaming about his feisty little kitten, Emma.

Yeah, this killer was a huge asshole for so many reasons.

“We have something poking out of the ground,” Agent Jamie Price said, glancing up at her boss. She was in awe to be able to work with the man. When she transferred out from the east coast, she wanted into his division in the worst way. Everyone heard about the ‘Ice King’ and his closure rate. Yeah, he was tough, but that was okay. She wanted to be the best, and working under him was the way to do it.

Besides, it was easy to go to work every day when the scenery was this fine. From her boss’s staggering gray eyes to his sexily tousled black hair, it made everything else fall away. Granted, he was a married man, but all the ladies on his staff liked to check out Greyson Croft.

You had to be blind or dead to not notice him.

Maybe it was that scar across his cheek, or the whiskey smooth voice, which gave a girl chills. Everyone found something different to like about him, but one thing was for damn sure.

His wife was a lucky woman.

“What is it?” he asked, crouching down beside the ME and his agents.

It was the doctor who spoke first, “Director, I think we’ve found your body,” he said, touching the protruding object with his gloved fingers.

Croft glanced over at the man. “Doctor Bentley, get your team to dig him up ASAP. I want to know who we have, so we can find this asshole and stop the games.”

The ME knew the Fed well enough to see he wasn’t in the mood for chitchat. He and Croft were building a pretty decent relationship between them. Granted, the man was still suspicious of him and his friendship with Emma, but it was getting better. At least now, they could have some banter and easy conversation.

Then again, could he blame the man? When you found love, you had to hold onto it with all you had. While Emma Croft was one of his closest friends at work, he had no sexual attraction to her whatsoever. With any luck, Greyson Croft would figure that out, and he could add him to his small circle of friends. 


“Step back, Director, and we’ll get right on it,” he replied, waving his team of techs over. They would start the long tedious process of extricating the body from the makeshift grave.

Croft did just that, as he pulled out his phone and began ripping off text messages to the rest of his team. He was bumping this to priority one. At this point, he didn't care what everyone was working on. If they were in-house, they were pulling duty on this one. He’d justify the overtime to his bosses later. Already, they knew what he was dealing with and had offered their support.  

As he moved to give the team room, Greyson could hear the calls from the media and chose to ignore them. As long as he kept his back to them, they couldn’t get any on-air shots of his face, and the anger plastered there.

Hate was more like it.

You’d think by now they’d know him well enough. He wasn’t going to give them jack shit, but they couldn’t let it go.

No, wouldn’t let it go.

When they began throwing out his wife’s name, he fought not to spin around and give them all hell. Greyson knew they were well aware of his one weakness, and that they would use it. Instinct won over intelligence. With a quick glance at them, the look must have said it all, because the noise quieted down.

“Director, excuse me,” said Agent Lester Williams, getting his bosses attention.

“Yes, Agent?”

“I have the report in on the last victim,” he offered, pulling out his phone to start breaking it down for his boss. For the last few hours, he’d been working tirelessly on it in an effort to impress the man.

“Let me hear what you have,” Croft said, moving to face him. As his back remained to the crowd, Lester Williams had a bird’s eye view.

“They’re crazy,” he muttered, staring over his boss’s shoulder.

“Yeah, almost as nutty as this killer. I hope you have something we can use, because I’m getting damn tired of this bullshit.”

Yeah, everyone was well aware that with each dead Fed, Greyson Croft was one step closer to losing his mind. “Yes, sir,” he said, as he began relaying his report.


                              *   *   *

Sitting in the distance, the killer watched the FBI in their spiffy blue and gold jackets. If they only knew that wearing them to a crime scene made them easier targets, they wouldn’t be so willing to sport the team colors.

Now would they?

Just aligning themselves with the most corrupt entity on the planet made them easy pickings. Pulling the trigger had been incredibly easy the last three weeks, since it was all in the spirit of an eye for an eye.

Who could point the finger of blame, when the job at hand was wiping the corrupt from the game?

This was a mission which couldn’t be turned down.

It was in the blood.

It was a calling.

Staring down the sight of the Remington M24 sniper rifle, the next victim was picked out. It was easy to find him in the crowd as he stood there among the others. When the time was right, he’d be meeting his maker and taking his sins to a higher power.

Then, he’d be judged by God for the crimes he committed.

That would be justice enough.

Hell was certainly going to be one hot place to spend the rest of his sin-filled afterlife.

Getting ready, the killer let out the held breath, focused on the target, and prepared to make the kill.

Revenge was coming, and it was well past due.

Nothing could stop it now. Those who committed the crime needed to suffer, and this was the only way to pay for their sins.

The game was in play, and the victory would go to those who were on the side of justice.

The bolt slid back and the killer’s finger was on the trigger, ready to make history.

In three.




I hope you liked the preview. If you're reading this, you're also the first to know that it's been released! You can find it here.  Because I love you all best, you get a day head start!

 © Copyright 2014 by Morgan Kelley LLC All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or in an information storage or retrieval system without written consent from the author. All characters are fictional and any similarity to real life or individuals is coincidental.