Thursday, February 25, 2021

Fragrance Lingers ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 1

Welcome to Fragrance Lingers, a Love in the City Romance. Mara Cross has a high powered job as an architect. She works hard, with the promise of a partnership dangled in front of her like a juicy carrot. Taking a much needed vacation, she flies to an island paradise, little knowing that something more alluring than a suntan, awaits her.

Mara Cross walked into her hotel room, tossing her shoes aside. Her luggage was piled by the door where she'd dropped it, hardly able to believe she was actually on vacation. She had two weeks to relax, unwind, and forget about the office. It was a wonderful, liberating feeling. The sun was shining, a gentle wind was blowing off the clear, blue water, soft music played in the courtyard of the hotel. It really was paradise.

Closing the door with her heel, she undressed quickly, digging for her swimming suit, sun tan oil and sandals. Her primary goal was to lose her city pallor and that could take the entire two weeks. Back home it was cold, raining, windy and gray. She hated the idea of having to return to the weather and the stress.

Shoving that aside, she picked up the phone and called her mother to let her know she was all right. No matter how old she got, her mother still worried about her. Three rings and her mother answered breathlessly. Rosalind Cross always seemed to be breathless as if she had run a race or climbed a mountain.

"Hi, Mom!"

"Mara! How was your flight?"

"Blissfully uneventful. We made good time, we had tail winds."

"Wonderful! Now, you aren't allowed to talk about the office or even think about it. Go down to the beach, have a few of those lovely drinks with the pink umbrellas and relax! Get a tan, go dancing, all that vacationy stuff!"

Mara giggled despite her fatigue. Her mother had such joy of life, it was contagious. Nothing ever stopped her or slowed her down much, even her health.

"I promise, Mom. I'll call you tonight and let you know how the first day of tanning went."

"Oh, wait till morning, dear. It's Canasta tonight and I'll be out late. Now you run along and enjoy yourself! Don't worry about a thing!"

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you too, honey. Bye bye now!" She hung up with a happy click.

Mara slathered oil on her body, grabbed her tote bag and headed to the beach. An endless array of beach chairs extended to her left and right. It was still early, so she pretty much had her choice. She found a spot not far from the water and fairly near one of the cabana bars.

She had just arranged her towel, removed her sandals and was sitting down when a slim and attractive waiter approached her. He was smiling and carrying a tray in one hand.

"Good morning, Miss. I am Julio and I will be your waiter. What may I get for you?"

Mara remembered her mother's advice. "One of the drinks with the little pink umbrellas," she grinned.

"Certainly, Miss. Would you like some help with your oil? A lady alone can't reach her back. You don't want a sunburn."

"No, not on my first day. Thank you, that would be fantastic!"

Julio rubbed oil on her back with enthusiasm. He brought her drink and started a bar tab for her.

"I'll check on you later, Miss, to see if you need anything else."

"Thank you, Julio. I'm set for now."

Smiling, he bowed slightly and walked back to the bar where he engaged the bartender in pleasant conversation. She could hear them laughing quietly as she closed her eyes and lay down on her stomach. Before she knew it, she was asleep.

The beach filled gradually, but nothing bothered Mara who was used to the noises of the city. Her apartment was in a loft unit downtown. It had once been a warehouse, back in the Prohibition Era. The historical society prevented its destruction, and her architectural firm redesigned it into apartments for young, upwardly mobile executives. She'd liked the results so well, she bought the top floor for herself.

"Miss?" It was Julio. He was bending over her looking slightly concerned. "It's been half an hour since you fell asleep. If you don't turn over soon, you're going to be toasted on one side and blank on the other."

Grinning at him, Mara obediently rolled over and ordered another drink. Julio brought it gladly, smiling happily as she added a handsome tip to the bill.

"I go off duty in an hour. If you sleep again, shall I wake you before I go?"

"Thanks, Julio, that would be great."

She was grateful for her olive toned skin. Had she been fair skinned, she'd already have been fried. She didn't fancy tending a burn for the first days of her vacation.

Mara tipped the chair up slightly and took out her book. It was a science fiction novel she'd been hoping to read for some time, but hadn't gotten past the first few pages. She flipped back to the beginning and started reading. She was just getting into the story when a volleyball landed heavily in her lap, dropped to the ground beside her and knocked over her drink. Mara looked up angrily and saw a man waving to her apologetically. He was medium height and build, with medium length, medium brown hair. He trotted up the beach, hand extended.

"I'm so sorry," his tone was sincere with a hint of a Southern accent. "I guess my friend hit it harder than he needed to. We haven't played in years, but he still thinks that he's the king of the spike."

He pointed down the beach to a short, squat, freckled, redheaded man in orange swim trunks. He looked embarrassed and his face was so red, it rivaled his hair.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Emma Dangerous is Over


Emma Dangerous is over, so what's next? As of the writing of this post, January 6, 2021, I have no idea. I have many stories I'd like to share with you, but I want to make sure it's the best I can offer.

I hope that at least one person is reading and enjoying these stories as much as I do. Sometimes, I feel as if I'm an audience of one – me. If you like my stories, please feel free to leave a comment and share. I'd also love it if you'd buy my books (obviously).

In the meantime, please come back and visit again. I promise to have something new for you twice a week.

As always, this is Dellani Oakes. Goodbye, and have a blessed tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Fresh out of a stint in prison, Jagger Reed wants his life back… ~ Stealing Dallas – Book 2 The Search and Seek Series by Amanda Mackey


Fresh out of a stint in prison, Jagger Reed wants his life back… Finally released from prison after serving only eighteen months of a twenty-year sentence, Jagger is excited to reunite with his disabled brother Dallas. With the help of Rosalind McAllister, the creative writing teacher at the prison, Jagger was given a full pardon and legal guardianship of his brother. The fight to get his old life back has just begun… When Jagger and Rose arrive to pick up Dallas from his temporary foster parent, Lena Radcliffe, they are horrified to discover she has moved out with no known address. Worried that his brother may be in danger, they enlist the help of the local police who discover Lena in Great Falls, Montana. Rose vows to help Jagger reunite with his brother. Jagger is out for blood, and heaven help anyone who stands in his way… Live or die, Jagger will find his brother so they can start fresh. But there’s more to Lena Radcliffe than meets the eye, and suddenly Jagger and Rose are in over their heads. They’re in the middle of something much bigger and more dangerous than a family dispute. The clock is ticking, and they’re running out of time to figure out Lena’s motive for… Stealing Dallas

Can Kate rise to these challenges, discover the truth ~ The Long Road Home: Romantic Murder Mystery by Carolyn Bowen


After a lifetime of being protected and sheltered by her parents, Kate is thrown into a state of turmoil after their sudden death. With nowhere else to turn, she finds herself living with her fiancĂ©, a conniving businessman who is well on his way to becoming a corrupt super-lawyer. At the same time, Kate’s father’s law firm houses more secrets than a politician’s hard drive. Later, she receives a shocking surprise when a long-lost half-brother enters her life. Can Kate rise to these challenges, discover the truth and re-emerge as a stronger, smarter version of herself?

Unfortunately, so far, the killer's identity and whereabouts are Undiscovered ~ Undiscovered by Dellani Oakes


Kent Griswald is a high powered movie executive known for his micro-managing and aggressive supervision of a movie from beginning to end. He's not well liked professionally or personally, so when someone puts a knife in his chest, no one is terribly surprised. However, someone also took pot shots at his younger brother, Connor, who has no enemies.

Detectives Walter Scott and Vanessa Weinstein are called in on the case, ready for action. Unfortunately, Detective Scott hadn't counted on the eyewitness, Cadence Stuart. Pretty and personable, she's also terrified that the killer may come after her next. It's up to Scott to protect her from the tall, dark killer. Unfortunately, so far, the killer's identity and whereabouts are Undiscovered.

Follow their inspiring story of faith and service ~ From Sea to Sea by Nelda Bedford Gaydou


From a three-week voyage of more than 7000 miles from New Orleans to Buenos Aires in 1964 through an eight-day, 3258-mile round-trip drive between Evanston, Illinois and Clovis, New Mexico in 2017, whether in their prime or in their nineties, the Bedfords have packed a lot into their life's journey. Follow their inspiring story of faith and service, set in fascinating times and places in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

They are the Dark Knights of Heaven ~ His Soul to Keep (Dark Knights of Heaven Book 1) by TW Knight


Where fallen angels battle Hell’s demons, find their lost souls, and discover love while hunting for a prophecy that holds the key to either their redemption or their destruction.

At twenty-eight, Cassidy Long is happy with her life. She has a job she loves, a great family, and a future open to possibilities. That all changes after she discovers she is the vessel for the immortal soul of an angel cast out of Heaven, and the only way to break the bond is by her death. Spirited away, Cassidy finds herself in the middle of an eternal war and falling for her angel.

Rail is captivated by Cassidy immediately, but fears it’s only the connection to his soul fueling his interest. He’s vowed to never fall in love, but fate has different plans. The more he fights his growing feelings, the deeper in love he falls. Cassidy not only holds his soul, but his heart. Now, he will fight Heaven and Hell to protect her.

Heaven abandoned them, but they did not abandon their calling. Once they were the Watchers, teachers, and mentors to human kind. Now soulless and exiled from Heaven, forced into an endless war, some will fall while others rise to find their destinies. They are the Dark Knights of Heaven.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 69


Sam and Emma begin working at at Ravenwood. They are ready to spend their first night together in their new home. He carries her over the threshold, and she teases that there's a rule about him carrying her over the threshold.

"Then I've broken it. And I'm going to keep breaking it, every chance I get." His lips met hers and he kissed her a long time.

Emma sighed contentedly, touching her lips. "That feels so good. How does it feel so much better now?"

Sam pulled her shirt off, tossing it across the room. Their jeans followed. Once they were down to their underwear, Emma laughed. Sam was wearing his Sponge Bob boxers that she'd given him.

"It feels better because we aren't totally messed up. For the first time, we're going to make love without anything in our systems except a whole lotta lust." He chuckled deeply, undoing her bra.


"Hm?" his lips moved to her throat.

"No condom," she said with a sigh.

He looked at her, surprised. "You're sure?"

She nodded. "I want to feel all of you."

"As my lady wishes."

They made love slowly, savoring the experience as if it were the first time for them both. They felt reborn by the experience, their love forging an even stronger bond. As they lay together, holding one another close, Sam tickled her breast with the tips of her hair.

"I've been thinking about your proposal," Emma said softly, shifting in the bed.

"Yeah? It's still on the table. You can take me up on it any time you want."

"I still think we're too young, but there's no one in this life that I love more than you. I want us to be officially engaged."

"I'd like that. I don't have a ring for you, babe."

Emma got up, walking over to her dresser. "Donna took care of that," she said. "She did a spread for some jeweler and they gave her a bunch of stuff. It's real," she said excitedly, bringing a small velvet bag to the bed.

Upending it, she put a diamond ring in his palm. It was one large, square cut diamond, with two narrow rectangular ones flanking it. Even in the dim light, it glittered enticingly.

"Samuel Masters, will you marry me?"

Sammy chuckled, slipping the ring on her finger. "Emma Gallagher, I'd be honored to have you as my wife. Gonna have to marry you soon," he added, rubbing her abdomen. "Cause I want at least ten kids."

Emma laughed, smacking him. "Oh, you do not!" She grabbed his side, making him jump. He almost fell out of the bed. She caught him as he slipped, pulling him to her.

Sam held her close, kissing her deeply. "I love you so much, Emma. But damn, you're f**king dangerous."

©2020 Dellani Oakes


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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 68

Dr. Stewart surprises Emma and Sam with the invitation to take jobs at Ravenwood.

"We can get an apartment nearby," Emma began.

"You won't need to," Dr. Stewart said. "As it happens, the music room his only a small part of that building. There's a one room house attached. It's small, but perfect for the two of you. That's if you want it."

"We'll take it!" Sam replied, laughing. "Thank you, Dr. Stewart."

"You're very welcome, Sam. Meanwhile, there are some folks coming by to see you later today. In fact, I believe they should be arriving soon. We'll get all the paperwork out of the way tomorrow. I'm so glad we'll have you as permanent additions to the Ravenwood family." She glanced at Emma. "I know you don't like that word much."

Emma went around the desk, hugging Dr. Stewart. "I don't mind it anymore," she replied, hugging her again. "Because you've helped me see that the best family you can have, is the one you pick for yourself."

They went to the common room and found a clutch of people waiting for them. One was Rosalee, another was Dr. Rivers. Grant and a couple of their good friends were also there. They stood when Emma and Sam came in. The friends exchanged hugs and kisses.

"I'm starting the program next week," Grant announced.

"You'll do great," Sam assured him. "How about you two?" he asked the others.

"They're coming to the day groups," Grant replied. "If you and Emma can do it, we can."

"I hear we're going to be working together," Dr. Rivers told Sam as they sat down.

"We are? What?"

"The music program," he replied. "Amanda enticed me away from the ER."

"Admit it, you were bored," Rosalee added. "When my contract runs out at the hospital, I'll be joining the team here full time. Meanwhile, I'll be here part time, so we'll still see one another."

"That's fantastic!" Emma hugged them both.

Rosalee smiled, patting her shoulder. "I can't get over the changes in you both. You don't look, or act, like the same young people I saw less than two months ago. I am delighted that you're doing so well."

"Oh, hey, bro," Grant said suddenly. "We went by your foster parents' house and got your stuff."

"And we went to Emma's as well," Rosalee added. "Your parents were most cooperative in giving us your clothing and personal items. We've brought it over in a P.O.D. Storage and you can go through it at your leisure."

"Have you thought of everything?" Sam asked.

Rosalee smiled. "Yes."

Their friends stayed until after dinner. Emma and Sam went to bed in her room. His had been released, but Molly and Raleigh thought they deserved to have a little special treatment for their last few days.

Grant started the program the same day that Emma and Sam were released. Although they were no longer guests, they were allowed to join them for meals and after dinner activities. The only real difference was that they were both working, instead of just going to therapy. However, as part of their pay, they were allowed to continue conversations with Dr. Stewart and join group therapy.

That night, they went back to their small house. Emma stood at the door, surveying the cozy, well lit space. She, Molly and the girls had worked tirelessly for the last week to make it homey. Sam picked her up, carrying her inside. He shut the door with his foot before taking her to the bed.

"I thought you were only supposed to carry me over the threshold when we married."

Sam kicked off his shoes, yanked off his shirt and flopped on the bed beside her. "Maybe so, but is there a rule against it?"

Emma screwed up her face, pretending to think deeply about it. "I'm sure there's a rule somewhere."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Though she's reluctant to use Jason's skills, Agent Driscole realizes that sometimes, It Takes a Thief to catch a murderer. ~ by Dellani Oakes


Jason Banes is a thief, he readily admits that, but he's quick to deny that he's also a murderer. Accused of multiple homicides, and theft, he agrees to help a multi-national task force find the real killer. When he's assigned to an FBI team for protection, he meets Agent Taylor Driscole. It's a race to find Orchid before she kills again. Though she's reluctant to use Jason's skills, Agent Driscole realizes that sometimes, It Takes a Thief to catch a murderer.

Excerpt from It Takes a Thief

The man on the left looked puzzled, the man on the right and the driver chuckled. Driscole stared straight ahead. Jason shrugged. He wiggled around trying to get comfortable, but his companions took up most of the seat. He was more of a wiry build himself, but he had very broad shoulders. Feeling slightly claustrophobic, he wiggled some more.

Mr. Left gave him an evil eye. Mr. Right eased slightly toward the door, angling his shoulders so the each had a little more room.

"Thanks," Jason murmured, smiling a little.

The man said nothing, but nodded and a smile flickered for a second and was gone.

"May I ask where we're going?" Jason directed at the group.

No one said anything. Driscole shifted in her seat, ignoring him.

"Oi," Jason said rather more loudly. "I know I'm a criminal, but I think I've got a right to know if I'm going to be safe. Might I point out, that you need me—rather a lot?"

Driscole glared at him over her shoulder. Firming her lips, she inhaled slowly. "Look, Mr. Banes. I'm not here to be your friend. I'm here to protect you. The less you know about our destination the better."

"What? Am I going to yell out the windows and give it away? Who am I gonna tell, Special Agent in Charge Taylor Driscole? Eh? And while we're having this lively repartee, perhaps you could ask one of the kind gentlemen to undo the handcuffs? I assure you, I'm not inclined to go anywhere. Besides, they'd break me in two before I even got to a door or disabled the driver—not that I know how to do that in any case. I'm a thief, not an assassin."

Agent Driscole nodded to the man on Jason's right. He took a key out of his pocket and undid the cuffs, putting them back on his belt.

"Thanks, mate. Jason Banes, thief." He extended his hand.

Somewhat surprised, the man took it. His grip threatened to crush Jason's hand. Instead of giving in, he met the other man's bone crushing grasp with his own. He knew how to move his hand to make the bones and sinews grind together. He didn't quite do it, but Mr. Right got the idea and eased up.

"Greg Kisler," he replied politely.

"Pleased to meet you." Jason turned to the man on his left and went through the same process.

"Alex Graves. The driver is Tim Stuart. We've been assigned as your primary team. We'll be seeing a lot of one another."


"We'll be living with you—at least until the rest of the team members are assembled. Taylor's in charge."

"Is she?" Jason couldn't help being happy about that.

"Enough socializing," Taylor snapped. "He's our primary, not our best friend."

"Being polite, Taylor. We're going to be under the same roof. We might as well be friendly."

"I didn't come to this point in my career to be chummy with a petty criminal," she replied.

"Hardly petty, love," Jason corrected.

"I am not your love," she snarled.

"Expression only, I assure you. And I'm not asking to be your best chum. A little courteous conversation, maybe knock back the odd beer.... And I haven't been a petty criminal since I was sixteen." His feelings hurt, he sat back in the seat with his arms crossed petulantly.

Driscole stared straight ahead, eyes fixed on the road, her back ramrod straight. The men watched their environment, never taking their eyes off their surroundings. After they'd driven about half an hour, the neighborhood became increasingly upscale and familiar. Jason looked around him taking in the details. It was hard to see from the back seat, but he was sure he knew this area. When they slowed down, making a sharp left turn into a driveway, he grinned. The security gate stopped them, but the driver leaned out toward the monitor, taking down his dark glasses.

"Agent Timothy Stuart. Package has arrived."

Jason smiled happily, dark eyes glittering excitedly.

"By corky," he said with a chuckle.

"What?" Alex asked him.

"Home Sweet Home," he announced, holding out his hands toward the Spanish style three story mansion. "Gentlemen, Agent Driscole, welcome to Casa Blanca."

Three of them gave him a questioning look. Agent Driscole gave him what could only be described as a withering glare.

"You're kidding, right?" she said with a sniff of disdain.

"Seriously. This is my house. I call it Casa Blanca. Not because of the movie. You see, Banes means white and it's a Spanish style house, or casa.... Well, it seemed a good idea at the time."

"Cool house, JB," Kisler, the youngest of the men, said. "Got a pool?"

"Indoors. And a hot tub, gymnasium, sweet home theatre. Just finished putting it in."

"And you paid for all of this by stealing things from other people?" Driscole was disgusted.

"Actually, love, this is built with investment money that I made by removing rather expensive objects d'art from unsuspecting, disreputable people who thoroughly deserved to be robbed."

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 67

Frank Tan and his wife come by for dinner, the day Sam gets out of the hospital. The detective pieces together events for them.

"What did Hempe do to get in the psych ward?" Sam wanted to know. "Why the hell was he so damn desperate to get out?"

"He pleaded insanity for a string of murders, and attempted murders," Frank said. "But it was coming up for review and Dr. Spiner was going to testify that he wasn't any nuttier than a pecan. He could be tried and convicted of seven murders and two attempted. In this state, that can get you a death sentence. Since two of the fatalities, and one of the attempts, were on police and law enforcement, you can bet he'd get the maximum sentence. I guess he wasn't ready to die."

"What happens to him now?" Sam asked.

"He goes on trial for murder and two counts of attempted murder, assault and extortion. Anything else I can throw at the bastard and make stick, I'm doing."

"Hempe murdered Frank's partner," Sylvia added, putting her hand on her husband's arm. "And he tried to kill Frank."

"And what happens to Ravenwood?" Emma asked. "Dr. Spiner is dead, Dr. Abernathy and Dr. McNulty are out—I assume?"

"McNulty's in jail. Dr. Abernathy will have to face a review, and may lose her license. That leaves Dr. Stewart in charge. There are a few other doctors on staff. We'll manage," Raleigh said. "It won't feel the same without Mannie at the helm. He was a good man and a dear friend," Raleigh said.

"With Amanda in charge, it will still be our home," Molly replied.

Frank and Sylvia finally said goodnight and the residents went upstairs. Sam's room was still blocked off, but a second bed had been moved into Emma's room. They were separated by a large, heavy dresser. Sam saw that and chuckled.

"Which of you decided I needed a cock block?" He looked right at Carlos.

His friend blushed, ducking his head.

"Man, I'm so beat, I couldn't get it up if you put a gigawatt through me."

"I know that we men prevail, half dead or not. I wasn't going to have you get in trouble for breaking the rules. Molly would fuss."

Sam chuckled. "Good point. And that right there, is block enough."

Tim, Shelby and Carlos were due to leave Ravenwood. Two days after Sam got out of the hospital, they had a going away party for them. The following morning, they were released by Dr. Stewart. It was her first day back after her husband's death.

After they left, promising to come back and visit, the household got very quiet. Everyone missed their friends. Sam and Emma had only another week in their stay and they were making plans. Dr. Stewart called them to her office. Curious, they walked hand in hand, knocking on her door.

Her smile was tinged with sadness, but she greeted them both with a hug. "I hear you're leaving us soon."

Sam and Emma exchanged a look. Holding hands, they sat in front of her desk.

"That's right," Sam replied. "We're planning to find an apartment nearby. We want to join some of the day therapy groups. This is like home now, crazy as that sounds."

"Not at all," Dr. Stewart said. "That pleases me to hear. Maybe you'll like what I have to say, then." She sat at her desk, hands folded in front of her. "Molly told me how marvelous it was having music. Would you be interested in helping with a new music therapy group we're planning to start? One of our new doctors will be leading it."

Sam's eyes brightened. "Really?"

"Really. In fact, I've been looking at the budget, and I think we could find money to help with your education. Yours too, Emma. Now that Molly has the baby, she wants to lighten her work load. She said that you were a wonderful help in the kitchen. She'll train you to take over that job, if you're interested?"

Emma burst into tears. "I'd love it! Dr. Stewart, you don't know what this means to me. To us!"

"It means a lot to me, too," the doctor replied. "I'm delighted that you feel so at home here. That was our plan—our dream. Mannie and I started this place with the idea of helping people find themselves. I'm thrilled that it's done that for you."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 66


After the fight with McNulty, Sam is taken to the hospital. Emma is allowed to stay over night. The others head home.

"All right," Tan said, asserting himself. "Everyone but Emma needs to go home. Raleigh, I'll talk to you tomorrow. You go home and get some rest. Have you been checked by the doctor?"

"Yes. Few bumps and bruises, but at least he didn't stick me with that shit."

"Good. Emma, if you don't mind, I'm staying, too. I'm going to sit outside the door."

"You don't think that we're safe yet? Even here?"

"I'm sure you're safe. But I promised to stay and I'll stay."

"You weren't at Ravenwood when he attacked us," she reprimanded after the others left.

"I know. I was on my way back from Dr. Abernathy's apartment."

"Is she really sick?"

"No, of course not. She was too afraid to come in. She had a lot to say, much of it pointing at McNulty. I came back as soon as I could."

The staff got Emma settled in the room with Sam. Frank sat in a chair just inside the door. Emma felt better having him in the room. They talked for a little while, then she fell into an exhausted sleep. Frank listened to his recordings and went through his notes, trying to piece everything together.

Two days later, Sam was allowed to go home. Glenn, Carlos and Vera were allowed to drive over in the van and pick him and Emma up at the hospital. Glenn practically carried him into the common room.

"I can walk, man. I'm not that broken," Sam protested.

"I'm under strict orders from the women. You gonna argue with them?"

"F**k no," Sam mumbled.

"As you're recovering from a near death experience, I shan't charge you for that language," Molly said as she walked in. "But no more."

"Yes, ma'am. I mean, no ma'am."

She smiled, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "Don't you dare scare me like that again, is that clear?" She hugged him to tightly, she nearly chocked him.

"Yes, Molly. I promise," Sam gasped.

The residents had fixed a huge feast and even baked a cake. They were about to serve the meal when Frank Tan walked in. A tall, beautiful blonde was with him.

"Everyone, this is my wife, Sylvia. She wanted to come meet the heroes of Ravenwood."

Dinner was delicious. Everyone had pitched in to cook and they all cleaned up, except for Sam and Emma. Even Frank and Sylvia took their dishes to the washer. Once they were settled with after dinner coffee, Frank took out his notebook.

"I imagine you want to know what the hell happened."

He was greeted by nods, smiles and a million questions, all fired at him simultaneously.

"Let me just start with what happened the night Emma and Sam found Dr. Spiner." He cleared his throat, sipped his coffee and looked at his notes. "Spiner found out that Hempe was intimidating and manipulating some of the residents in lock down. He had also gotten his hooks into some of the staff. We're still sorting out how extensively he'd influenced people. Spiner confronted him, and Hempe killed him."

"How did he find out about Sam and Emma?" Vera asked.

"Unfortunately, Hempe had his hooks in McNulty rather deeply. Hempe threatened his wife and daughter. He also threatened to reveal that Dr. Abernathy and McNulty were having an affair."

"Really?" Sam scoffed. "She bought the hot red shoes for that pimple of a man? What a waste."

Everyone eyed him strangely. He waved it off as unimportant.

"So, between the two of them, they kept Hempe informed, whether they wanted to or not. Hempe had pictures of the two of them together, or said he did. We haven't found them yet."

"Why did he trash Dr. Stewart's office?" Emma asked.

"Hempe said he'd hidden them there the night he killed Spiner. We've been through it top to bottom and have found anything," Frank said.

"He could have been lying about that," Raleigh said.

"We considered that possibility. McNulty is still unconscious and Abernathy never saw pictures, though she thinks McNulty may have."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Monday, February 08, 2021

Are the incidents related, or simply a series of alarming coincidences? ~ Bad Fall by Dellani Oakes


Former Army Captain, Frank Atherton, has left the dangerous life of a soldier behind. Retired from the military, he now works in a large nursing home facility, as assistant director. Things are pretty quiet, until the annoying blister of a man, Ralph Penwarren arrives, doing his best to break into his mother's apartment. Soon after his arrival, Frank meets the lovely new psychiatrist on staff, Marka Ventimiglia, who takes his breath away. Their relationship seems to be moving swiftly ahead, until Ralph Penwarren is seriously injured by a bad fall. If that weren't enough, Frank's office is trashed, his car vandalized, and a dead man is found in the ravine behind his house. Are the incidents related, or simply a series of alarming coincidences?

Dellani Reads First Chapter of Bad Fall

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 65

Dr. McNulty joins them for dinner. Afterward, he asks to speak to Sam and Emma. Raleigh goes along. McNulty takes him hostage, demanding to know where It is. Sam strings him along to buy time.

That was all Raleigh needed. He elbowed McNulty and spun out of his grasp. Dropping to the floor, he rolled away. Emma threw a book at the doctor. McNulty made a grab Emma. Sam rushed the doctor. It wasn't his smartest move, but she was in danger.

The short, pudgy doctor made another grab at the girl. Sam's shoulder connected with his flabby gut. Knocking him back a few steps, he did his best to bring the older man down. He felt a sting on his arm, but the needle went flying as Emma took a swing at the doctor's hand. The syringe landed with a clatter on the other side of the room.

Sam's grip weakened and he saw spots. McNulty, sensing he had the advantage, grappled Sam's throat. With his last strength, Sam hit the doctor in the head with his clenched fist. Stunned, McNulty let go. Sam followed Raleigh's lead, rolling away before the older man could snag him again.

Kicking and pushing, Sam crawled away. The doctor tried to follow him, but Emma swept his legs from under him. He landed with a crash. Raleigh lunged at the doctor, hitting him with a body slam. He pinned the shorter man down.

McNulty scrabbled at his pocket and Emma saw he had another syringe. She kicked the doctor in the head, knocking him out.

Sam lay, unmoving, a few feet away. Raleigh was already on the phone. Seconds later, security, police and the nurse raced in.

"Whatever shit he gave him is in a syringe over there," Raleigh pointed to the far side of the room. "He has more in his pocket. Be careful."

The police did a thorough search. The nurse examined Sam. She was a tall, bony woman with steel gray hair, and a commanding voice. She ordered the nearest police officer to carry Sam to his car.

"You take us directly to the hospital, do you hear?" She continued giving orders as they went out.

Emma tried to follow, but the police wouldn't let her go. She fought like a wildcat, screaming so loudly, she brought Molly and the others.

"I'm taking her," Raleigh said. "Carlos, come with me," he commanded. He gave Molly a kiss. "Hold the fort."

"Always. Be safe."


The three of them left with a police escort. They were still waiting for news when Frank Tan joined them nearly two hours later. Emma clung to him like a life preserver. Tan held her while she cried.

"They won't tell us anything," Raleigh said, rubbing his face. "We don't even know if he's alive or dead."

The door opened and a tired looking doctor came out. "Family of Sam Masters."

Emma stood, clinging to Detective Tan. "Is he—?" She couldn't bring herself to finish the question.

The doctor smiled. "He's fine. He's kinda beat to hell, and we nearly lost him a couple times, but he's going to be all right."

Emma dashed forward, flinging her arms around his neck. "Thank you! Thank you!" She kissed him on both cheeks.

"May we see him?" Raleigh asked.

Carlos disengaged Emma from the doctor. "She's his fiancée," he explained.

"He's sleeping right now," the doctor explained. "If you'd like to spend the night, we can arrange that."

"He always stays with me," Emma replied. "Please?" she asked Raliegh.

"You bet. I imagine Molly's already packed a bag."

As if on cue, the door opened and Glenn walked in with Vera.

"Molly sent us with a bag for Em," he explained.

"He's okay, right?" Vera's lip trembled.

"He's okay," Emma replied, hugging her friend. "He's okay."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 25

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