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Released

Dead Men Play the Game
July 1, 2015

Magic Man
October 15, 2015

Novellas
Bystander
December 15, 2015
© 2015 Jacqui Jacoby

Seal the Deal
In THE DEAD MEN Series
February 1, 2016

Illegal Exit
June 5, 2016

Soon to be Released

Aaden's Hope
October 3, 2016

A Collection of Dead Men: 13 short stories
December 12, 2016

© 2016 Jacqui Jacoby


:: Book Excerpts ::

Magic Man

Dead Men Play the Game

Seal the Deal

Aaden's Hope

Bystander [Novella]

Illegal Exit [Novella]

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
~Theodore Roosevelt

The Dead Men Series, Book II

Seal the Deal

Released February 1, 2016
Purchase on Amazon HERE
© 2016 Jacqui Jacoby, Body Count Productions, Inc.

CHAPTER ONE

Dead Men Play the Game - book cover
Davenport, Oregon
October 12th Decades Later

On the incline bench at the gym, Jason Sullivan anchored his feet and started on his last set of the night. Breathing with the movements, he pushed himself. His first workout of the week, he wanted to start it off right.

His faded Doctor Who T-shirt had a wet mark down the center indicting the hour and a half he put in tonight was worth the effort. Forty-five minutes on the treadmill, he spent the rest of the time on barbells and machines, inching up the weight this round. The whole time he ignored the iPod attached to his bicep and instead listened and watched the people brave enough to hit the gym at this late hour.

It was a surprise how many people patronized the gym at this time of the night.

Jason had a sunlight restriction. Late night was the only time for him. But others, sometimes he watched and wondered why they didnt hit the place during their lunch time. Women came in almost as much as men, making it a surprising place to pick up dates.

On this particular Monday night, though, the woman he had his eye on was busy on the floor mat. She had been coming in for about three months. New to the area, he suspected from some of the Where do you find questions she had posed to the front desk. He had used the same eavesdropping technique to find out her name was Taylor and judging by the Southern lining her voice, she wasnt a local girl.

They had smiled at the drinking fountain, said a polite hi at the door as they both left at the same time. But, they had yet to have a conversation.

She liked the stair climber over the treadmill, he figured out.

Machines over free weights.

She was heavy into stretching.

He was heavy into watching her stretch.

Asking her out was definitely on his list of things to do, if for nothing more than a cup of coffee after the gym. There was a nice caf open this late with premium blend. It would be a good place to start what he hoped might be a friendly relationship.

He watched her without being creepy because creepy wasnt what he was going for. Dressed down in a black yoga pants and a red shirt proclaiming Trust me, Im a Lawyer, she had her short, dark blonde hair pulled back into a pony tail.

Finishing up, he gave her one more glance, deciding tonight didnt seem like the right time. He headed to the mens locker room to clean up a bit, grabbed his leather jacket and black gym bag. He headed out past the front desk getting a smile from cute Tiffany who did nothing to his pulse. It didnt stop her from batting her eyelashes at him every time he left or dropping the occasional hint. He said goodnight to her with a smile and hiking his bag up on his shoulder, pushed on the glass door heading into the lighted parking lot. The chill in the air cooled his worked out body, his breathe making only a little fog as he hit the walkway.

Looking up ahead toward his own black Land Rover, he smiled and figured he couldnt have planned for a better opportunity if he had begged the cosmos for a chance. His car sat three spaces from hers. No cars in between.

Taylor, no last name, stood beside her red Mazda Miata, her arms folded against the damp cold, her lips pursed as she stared at the front tire, drivers side.

Problem? he asked from a respectable distance.

She looked at him and managed a smile in the middle of the night, in the cold. He had a feeling polite had been bred into her at about the same rate as the accent.

No, sir. Everything is fine.

He looked at the tire. Doesnt look fine. Looks like a long walk home unless you have other plans.

She released a sigh. I can call someone for help. Thank you.

You have Triple A?

She shook her head. No, I never thought to get it.

You call for a tow truck now and you could be waiting here in the cold for hours.

Thank you for the concern. I can figure it out.

Yeah, Jason smiled. He dropped his bag onto the ground by the front of the car, and pulled off his leather coat. Stepping close, he draped it over her shoulders, smelling her perfume and forcing himself to ignore it.

Well start here, he said, and then well figure out where to go from there.

Indecision lined her face.

Its supposed to be in the forties tonight, he said. With rain. Want to wait it out or give me the twenty minutes I need to get it done? Put your arms in the coat. Youll stay warmer.

He watched her do as he said, pulling the coat tight.

Do you know where the jack is on this thing?

She blinked at him.

He suppressed the groan. Owners manual?

Oh, she perked up. That thing that took up so much space in the glove box?

He smiled tightly and put his hand out for the keys.

Nice car, he said as he searched for the tools he would need. A peek at Google on his phone helped. Doesnt seem to match the pearl earrings, he said.

Thank you, she smiled. I stole it.

He glanced at her, saw nothing but honesty in the expression and chuckled. I will hide my keys from you.

Lug nuts.

A jack.

A rock behind the tire. He got the work done on autopilot while she politely asked about the town. About the weather. About how he liked this gym.

He smiled and let her fill the silence.

I dont really know how to say thank you, she said.

Name might be a good start.

She laughed, a sound he liked.

Oh, I am sorry. That was rude of me. Its Taylor. Taylor Grant.

Hello Taylor Grant, he smiled as he stared at what he was doing.

And you are?

Jason, he said.

Do you have a last name, Jason?

Its Sullivan and if you want to get technical, Patrick goes between the two.

You must have someplace to be this late and I am keeping you.

I have a house with a video game system I was planning on hitting tonight and five roommates, most of whom are at work. Except for the married couple who are rich so they dont have to work. Theyre probably home fooling around about now. Theyre newlyweds so they fool around an awful lot.

She smiled. Lucky for them.

He laughed. Yeah, we think so.

Reaching for the hubcap, he placed it back on. He secured the flat into the spare slot and that about wrapped it up.

I would get the car into a shop as soon as possible and have the spare repaired or a new one ordered.

I dont know where to get that kind of stuff done.

Have you done that kind of stuff? Jason asked, standing straight at the front of the car.

Not exactly.

So you would need help with that kind of project?

She waved her hand. Oh, no. I wasnt suggesting

You can go ahead and suggest. It wont bother me.

Its just she paused. Im not dating men.

He smiled, feeling more disappointed than he should. Completely acceptable and still worth a tire change.

She flustered. Oh, no, thats not what I meant. I meant Ive given men up for lent. Only on a more long term basis.

So, dinner Saturday night? He still smiled.

She laughed outright. No.

Friday better for you?

I am not going out with you.

Why not?

It wouldnt be worth your time and effort. Ive totally given up sex and I wont sleep with you, so you would be wasting your time.

He finished cleaning up the jack, lug and wrench and put it all away.

I wouldnt even try. With that accent? Whispering sweet things in my ear in the dark? Would drive me right up the wall and break all my concentration and we would get nowhere.

You are an odd man, she smiled at him.

He stood across from her, his hands covered in grime and let his arms hang by his side. A sink was inside the gym in the mens room but he didnt want to take the time away from her to go take care of it. So he wiped his hands on his grey sweat pants.

Gimme your phone, he said, holding out his almost clean hand.

What?

Let me have your phone. For just a minute.

She reached into her bag and pulled it out, handing it over.

He fiddled with it, entering information then held it up in front of him to take a smiling photo. A second later it played four notes of a song and then stopped. He handed it back.

She checked her contact list and found him entered. Name, phone, address, birthday, e-mail. Twitter, Facebook. He had given her every way she needed to contact him, including his very own ring-tone now set to the Doctor Who theme, and added the photo to boot.

I know electronics. Not a phone exists I cant get into.

Show off, she said.

Usually, he chuckled. You want to know how to fix the tire tomorrow, send me a text and I will make some calls. No problem. I cant go out and help, but I can make the arrangements.

Do you pick up all of your dates this way?

Only the Southern ones. Where do you work?

Masters, Jenkins, Seacliff Law Group.

He nodded. Explains the shirt.

She looked down, smiled then turned toward the car door.

Text about the tire if you need a recommendation. Email if thats easier and you want to add sweet nothings. Call anytime if you just want midnight starry-eyed talks, as I dont go to sleep until six a.m., and if you decide yes to Saturday night, use all three and Ill make sure we have a lot of fun.

She laughed again. I dont even know what to think about you, let alone say.

Then say thank you, I will see you in a few days when you are on the stair climber and maybe next time we are standing together at the drinking fountain, you can smile and say hi.

I think I can do that.

He reached over and picked up his gym bag, putting the long strap over his shoulder.

Night, he said without any fanfare, and headed over the three parking spots to his own car. He had it unlocked, the bag tossed into the passenger side and the car started and moving out the driveway in record time. He was well aware the whole time he never asked for his leather jacket back.

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