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Authors: Tara Lain

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Golden Dancer

BOOK: Golden Dancer
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Golden Dancer

 

Tara Lain

 

www.loose-id.com

Golden Dancer

Copyright © September 2011 by Tara Lain

All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the original purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without prior written permission from Loose Id LLC. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

 

eISBN 978-1-61118-560-7

Editor: Heather Hollis

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Printed in the United States of America

 

Published by

Loose Id LLC

PO Box 809

San Francisco CA 94104-0809

www.loose-id.com

 

This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Warning

This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Loose Id LLC’s e-books are for sale to adults ONLY, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

* * *

DISCLAIMER: Please do not try any new sexual practice, especially those that might be found in our BDSM/fetish titles without the guidance of an experienced practitioner. Neither Loose Id LLC nor its authors will be responsible for any loss, harm, injury or death resulting from use of the information contained in any of its titles.

Dedication

 

To Heather, who has believed in me since before the beginning, puts up with my commas, and graces every book with her special touch. I’m so glad you’re my editor. :)

Chapter One

 

Golden. Glowing. The sweeping grace of the statue took his breath. Capturing it had been no picnic. He didn’t much like some of the assholes he’d had to deal with, but play in the dirt, and you’re going to get some on you. It was worth it. Who wouldn’t want it, even if they had to steal it?

* * *

“What you working on, Mac Mac?”

Mac started, then looked over his shoulder at his boss. Towering personality, tiny frame.

“What do you think, Woo Woo?”

She tousled his hair so the curly mass fell into his eyes, and he had to brush it back. “I think you’re working on your Terrebone-the-billionaire-is-a-big-fat-art-thief story.”

“And you would be one hundred percent right, boss lady. I know you don’t think a guy like that could be a thief—”

“You can say that again, big guy.”

He leaned back in his desk chair and looked not very far up into that damned-intelligent Chinese pixie face. “Yeah, but Terrebone tried to buy that statue from Von Berg last year. The son-of-a-Nazi turned him down flat. Said it was some family heirloom. Yeah, well I can’t find much record of that. Anyway, I heard Terrebone tried to buy it a couple more times through back channels. Clearly, the man would kill to get his hands on that statue. Theft should’ve been easy.”

“There’s a lot of art in the world, Mac Mac. Why would a billionaire collector have to go to big extremes like stealing? Seems unlikely to this lady.”

He rubbed a hand over his neck “Yeah, true. But you’ve trusted my instincts on other stories. There was desperation in the bid he made for the
Golden Dancer
. It’s worth a lot, but most experts agree he offered more than it was worth. Plus, the guy’s a player. Hell, he’s got the money and the technology to steal it. I think he’d just do it for fun. And to rip Von Berg a new one. There’s no love lost there, I’m told.”

She shrugged. “You keep believing, baby.” She patted his head, the little witch. “You want to take a break from fantasyland for awhile?”

He loved his editor in chief, so he busted his butt getting stories no other online news source could get. Of course, he’d do it for free.
Never tell her that
. “Maybe. What you got?”

“Think I could turn you into an entertainment reporter for a day? Hirschfield is sick to death.”

She was so damned cute. “Sick to death of writing entertainment columns for the
Daily Window
?”

“No, smart-ass. He got the flu.”

“And so how am I qualified to step into his patent leather shoes?”

“You big ballet guy, right?”

Shit. “Now why do you think that, Woo?”

“Debbie, she tell me your parents are ballet dancers, and you know everything about it, right?”

He glanced across the makeshift newsroom toward a bobbing red head. Debbie the rat friend. See if he told her any more about his past. “Yeah, my parents are dancers. That doesn’t qualify me to write entertainment columns.” It was not entirely true.

She perched on the edge of his desk, squashing a few of his papers, short black bob swinging. He noticed she held an envelope. “I got this situation. The New York Ballet Theatre is doing their end-of-the-season tour in LA, and they gave just a few invites to press to see a special rehearsal of some new ballet show, you know? And Hirschfield got one, and now he can’t go ’cause he’s sick to death, and he’s freaking out that the
Daily Window
is going to miss this big scoop with some Russian ballet dancer or something. I mean he’s really freaking, Mac.”

Jesus. Medveyev. “Do you mean the
Spectre of the Rose
with Trelain Medveyev?”

She beamed. “There, you see, you ballet guy like Debbie say, right? You can go and see this rehearsal and interview the guy, and Hirschfield will stop freaking out, and everything will be good, yes?”

“Hang on. Interview?”

“Yeah. With the Russian. Medv…what you say.”

Okay, he had goose bumps. Sixteen years backstage and in the rehearsal halls of ballet theatres kicked in. Jesus. He could actually meet the man considered to be the greatest dancer still performing. Also one of the most beautiful. Shit, he wasn’t sure why he’d thought of that. Medveyev. “He’s only half Russian. His mom’s English.”

“See. You expert.” She bumped his shoulder. “The interview is tomorrow. Here’s the invite and the press disk.” She plopped the envelope on his keyboard. “You know those ballet fans are crazy nuts, so impress the hell out of them, baby.”

“Not much pressure.”

“It’ll be good for you. Get you over your obsession with Terrebone for a day. Okay?”

“Okay. You got me. Tell Hirschfield not to weep into his lavender pocket square. I’m on the job.”

“Thanks, Mac Mac.”

“Sure, Woo Woo.” She insisted that because his name was MacKenzie MacAllister, she should call him Mac Mac. Woo Woo was his only revenge. She did her roadrunner imitation over to another staffer’s desk in the crowded little room that served as a workplace when the reporters weren’t all working from home. That was one of the great things about online news reporting—working from home.

Maybe he’d head back to the home office, catch a cappuccino on the way, and review the press disk. He could miss the worst of the LA traffic on the 405 if he left now, and be breathing ocean fumes in Laguna before dinner.

He looked over the other heads at Debbie, who was currently hiding behind her mane of red hair. Even her roots looked guilty. Threading between the desks, he approached his prey, then stared down at her.

She held out for a minute, ignoring him, and finally looked up with a smile. Definitely sheepish. “Okay, don’t yell at me.”

“See if I ever tell you anything personal again.” He perched on the edge of her desk, and she made room.

She patted his thigh. “Oh, c’mon. I did you a favor. I’ve heard you talk about that dancer. You know you’re excited to be going.”

She had him there. “Okay, yeah, I actually am. Jesus, I should call my folks, but I’m afraid they’d jump on a red-eye and want to go with me.”

“Do they know the Russian?”

“Yeah, they’ve met him. But they can hold forth for a couple hours on his”—he raised his voice—“lyricism, athleticism, and virtuosity.” Debbie smiled. She’d met his mother. “They’re fans.”

“And you get to see this paragon dance up close and personal. All because of
moi
.”

“And interview him. Pretty cool. I’ll send my folks a link to the article.”

“Say thank you.”

“Okay, loudmouth, thank you.”

She turned back to her computer. “How’s the art theft story?”

“I’ve got to call a source and get him working on tracking down the security hacker. If I can find that person, I should be able to link back to Terrebone.”

“Good luck. You going home?”

“Yep. Want a ride?”

“Nah. Brought my car.”

“Want to do Chinese later?”

“Okay, for a little while. I want to do a quick run first, and I’ve got to read the press kit and plan my questions.”

“Maybe I can help?”

“Sure.” He started back to his desk. “See you later.”

He threaded his way through the desks back to his cube and began loading his backpack. Planning questions with Debbie helped. She had a quirky perspective, and as a chick, she got more personal than was his bent. He guessed Deb qualified as his best friend. They’d fucked two or three times when they first met, but they just didn’t have that kind of chemistry. No, pretty as she was, she was a pal.

These days, if he didn’t have Debbie, he’d hardly have a girl in his life at all. Jesus, when was the last time he’d had sex with something other than his hand? His relationships didn’t last. Hell, even his short ones were crap.

He looked around at the hive of activity. No one was paying attention to him, so he reached in and took out the private cell phone he used for contacting sources. Woo might think he was overstepping, but his hunches were generally right, and they were going crazy over this Terrebone story. He knew he had to keep his objectivity, because this was the kind of break he dreamed about. The kind that could give him the name recognition he hadn’t quite landed yet with his trips into war zones and interviews with serial killers. He wanted this story, but he couldn’t push the truth too hard. Terrebone was powerfully motivated to collect that statue. Yeah, and that didn’t prove he stole it. He needed more. A lot more. He picked up the phone and dialed.

A soft voice answered. “Kizwalski.”

“Hey, John. Mac. You know that case I told you about, the art theft?”

“Yeah.”

“Think you could nose around and find out who might be up to getting through that kind of triple-redundancy, hard-wired access security?”

“Sure. The list won’t be as long as the computer hackers.”

“That’s what I figured. Let me know, okay. I owe ya.”

There was a soft chuckle. “You know how to pay.” The call ended.

Mac stared at the computer again. John was a great source. Still inside the fucking CIA. John had access, and Mac had him. Finding him his boy hookers was no fun, but what the hell. If he could crack this case, he’d have an open door to the really juicy stories. He craved juicy.

He closed the laptop and packed it away. When he got home, he’d look at the Web site for those cute boy whores for John. He seemed to have an eye for the pretty ones that John liked. Had to keep his sources happy. Happier than he kept himself. Maybe he should go to the doctor and get a drug or some hormones or something.

He threw his backpack over his shoulder and headed for the elevator. Five minutes later, his car oozed along the 405 freeway in traffic that was already stop-and-go even though it was only three thirty. The bright spring sun reflected off his rear window, and a guy swerved in front of him. He gripped the wheel, realized what he was doing, and took a deep breath. If he got upset every time an asshole appeared on the freeway, he’d have a heart attack before he was thirty.

BOOK: Golden Dancer
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