Lavender Lass Books - Tuesday Newsletter 9
Welcome to Lavender Lass Books’ Tuesday Thriller, Mystery & Suspense newsletter! This will be similar to our Fairytale Friday newsletter, but with a little more adult themes. The romance is still sweet, but with more adventure, thrills, mystery, and suspense. You can find out more about our books on the website!
And the Lavender Lass BookShop is now open! We have FREE stories available at our BookShop…and save 25% on any other ebooks from our store.
Also, we have a new group on Facebook just for our Tuesday newsletter! Most of our mysteries have an element of fantasy or paranormal along with the romantic suspense. If you’re enjoying Storm Front (and we hope you are) when we’re finished, we’ll be sharing Moonlight, Roses & Murder next…a chapter at a time!
Finally, we have the next chapter of our Tuesday story! Secret agent Jazzmyn Storm met the man of her dreams while in Romania. At least, she thinks she did. All she can remember, after being found floating in the Black Sea, was that she was on assignment…and now she’s missing a month of time.
With no answers to what really happened, her only clues are in her dreams. A mystery man with an incredibly sexy accent, whose name she can’t remember…but whose touch she can’t forget.
As she tries to piece together that missing month, she realizes the answers are in Romania. Jazzmyn defies her superiors and goes back to uncover what happened, who this mystery man really is…and maybe even the truth about herself in this paranormal suspense story! And remember, you can always catch up on all earlier chapters here.
As you can see, we have a new cover! We have decided to rebrand the story and serialize it in five parts, but we’ll keep posting each chapter here through the end of the story.
I walked through the large, upscale hotel lobby, following the blonde woman as she entered the dining room. She went over to the windows at the far end of the dining room and sat down at an empty table.
Glancing around, I saw the man from the shop the day before. Still handsome. He’d asked me to join him for dinner not five minutes earlier. I’d been tempted, but he was not my assignment.
“You are back,” he said, looking up from his menu. “Does that mean you have changed your mind about dinner?”
“Do you know that blonde woman by the windows?” I asked, not looking in her direction.
“I’ve seen her at the hotel.” He smiled. “She’s difficult to miss.” Setting down the menu, he asked, “Why did you come back? Surely, not to discuss some woman sitting across the room…unless, you are already jealous?”
I shook my head and couldn’t help a small smile. “No. She sat down at my table last night and I have no idea who she is.”
“That is interesting,” he replied, indicating I should take the chair across from him. “Why don’t you join me, and we can discuss it.”
I glanced quickly over at the blonde and sat down. “How long has she been at the hotel?”
“How long do you plan to be here?” he asked, his eyes looking directly into mine.
“My plans are not that definite,” I replied, casually waving a hand. “I’m here visiting some friends. What about you?”
“Now, you want to know my schedule?” He smiled. “I would be happy to write it down for you.”
I turned as the waitress approached us. “Just coffee, please.”
When I looked back, he was still smiling. “Why don’t you stay and order dinner?”
“I’m not hungry.” We looked at each other for a long moment. “Actually, I should probably leave.”
He reached across the table and put his hand lightly on my arm. “I wish you would stay.”
As he touched my arm, I felt a jolt of electricity run through my entire body. I looked into his eyes and could see he felt it as well. “Maybe, I will finish my coffee,” I said.
“You have not told me your name.” He moved his hand back to his side of the table.
“Jazzmyn,” I replied. “Jazzmyn Storm. It’s very nice to meet you.”
“The pleasure is mine.” He looked at me and for a moment, time seemed to stop. “My name is…”
I woke up and stared at the ceiling above my bed, wondering why my dreams always stopped as I was about to learn something useful. Did this man really exist? Or was he a figment of my imagination, which was working overtime to make up for my missing memories?
I closed my eyes and tried to put myself back into the dream, but it was no use. Getting up to start some coffee, I decided to go to work and see if Tristan could help me. Maybe we could identify this man of my dreams and the mysterious blonde woman.
I called my uncle at 7 a.m. and was not surprised he was already at the hospital. Liz had not woken up, but the doctors were optimistic. There were some indications she might be coming around soon. I was relieved to hear the hope in his voice and told him I would stop by during lunch.
I could have walked to work since my apartment was less than a mile from the agency. It was one reason I’d moved to Georgetown. As I came out of my apartment building, I saw a movement across the street. Someone had quickly stepped into one of the shops and I had the feeling they had been waiting for me. Holding tightly to my purse, and the papers inside, I flagged down a cab. I needed to find some answers to what all this meant. And if it had anything to do with me losing my memory.
I walked past the other desks and smiled as I set the cup of coffee in front of Tristan. Looking up, he said, “Two days in a row. I’m guessing you need another favor?”
“Actually, I would appreciate your help.” I took a sip of my own coffee. “Do you have access to facial recognition software?”
Tristan raised an eyebrow. “Maybe. Do you have a photo you’d like me to run?”
“Not exactly,” I admitted. “I have these drawings though.” I handed him the sketches and watched as he looked at them, then back up at me.
“Did you draw these?” he asked in surprise.
“I told you,” I replied, “climate change isn’t really my area of expertise.”
“Good to know,” he said, taking the first drawing and scanning it. As I watched, he brought the sketch up on his screen and hit some keys. “This may take a few minutes.”
Within seconds, the blonde woman came up in a photograph that looked very similar to the drawing. “Marta Kushnir,” I said, reading the name. “It says she’s an international courier for an eastern-European conglomerate.”
“My guess is she’s carrying something besides paperwork,” Tristan said, pulling up another screen. “There’s nothing specific about this conglomerate. It could be a front for drugs or even illegal art.” He glanced back at me. “Is that how you know her?”
“I’m not sure,” I admitted. At his look, I smiled. “I don’t know her, but I’m not sure she deals in illegal art.” He nodded and I realized my amnesia didn’t seem to be common knowledge at the agency.
“How’s your friend doing?” he asked as he scanned the second drawing.
“She’s still in the hospital,” I replied, “but thank you for asking.”
He nodded and after a few moments, the man of my dreams popped up on the screen. He was a few years younger, but it was definitely him.
“Dimitri Volkov,” Tristan stated. “It says here he’s an antiquities dealer in Romania, but there’s some question as to how he acquires his inventory. And it’s rumored he might have ties to the intelligence community. How do you know this guy, Jazzmyn?”
“I don’t,” I said, feeling my knees go weak. I hoped it looked like I was casually leaning against the desk, not holding myself up. “These are some people I saw when I was on my last assignment in Romania.” Glancing around, I added, “I’d really rather keep this between us.”
Tristan looked over and nodded. “Sure. I’m just an analyst. Who am I going to tell?”
I needed a friend and Tristan seemed like a good choice. Besides, if he had been assigned to keep an eye on me, he probably already knew what I was about to tell him.
“I had some problems on my last assignment,” I began. “I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I woke up in a hospital here in D.C. The reason I’m on desk duty is I have no memory of what happened.” I glanced around and said more quietly, “But I dreamed about these two people last night. I think they may have some answers as to what happened to me.”
“You don’t have any memory?” Tristan asked. “Were you in an accident?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. I looked back down at the computer screen. “I should probably take this information to Mr. Smith and see if he can tell me if they had anything to do with my last assignment.”
“Let me print these off for you,” Tristan offered.
“That would be great,” I replied, glancing at my watch. “I think I can catch him before he goes into his morning meeting.”
“You know Mr. Smith’s schedule?” Tristan sounded impressed. “I didn’t think even agents knew that information.”
“Full disclosure, my mother and his wife were good friends.” I smiled. “Just don’t tell anyone. I wouldn’t want it to seem like I’m getting assignments based on their relationship.”
“Another item I’ll file under things to forget.” He smiled and handed me the printed pages.
“That’s ironic, considering you have a photographic memory.” I smiled back. “Thanks again for your help.”
“Something tells me you may not be here much longer.” He looked at the pages. “Does this mean you’ll be back on assignment?”
“I don’t know, but I hope so. Either way, I promise to drop in with coffee once in a while.” I stood up and reached for my purse.
“That would be nice,” Tristan said. “Hey, if you like I can see if Mr. Smith is still available.”
“How would you do that?” I asked. “Hack into his schedule?”
“Very funny,” he said. “I was thinking I’d check the camera in the hall outside his office.”
As Tristan hit a few keys, we saw a man in a dark overcoat walk down the hall, following Mr. Smith’s secretary. As she opened the door to his office, the man moved his head slightly to the side and I recognized him from Union Station the night before. “Can you find any other images of that man?”
“I suppose,” Tristan said. “Do you know him?”
“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Maybe one of his face?”
Tristan pulled up some camera footage from the lobby. “Just don’t tell them where you got this,” he said, scrolling through the images from the past fifteen minutes. When he found the man, he stopped. “Looks like the same coat.”
I nodded and tried not to panic. I’d seen him before and like a flash it all came back to me. The blonde woman getting up and walking out of the bar and a man…this man, walking in and sitting down across from me. He apologized for being late and asked the waiter to bring us coffee.
As he set the cups down on the table, the man reached across mine to get his own. He had what looked like a sugar packet in his hand and accidentally spilled a little in mine. “Sorry,” he said. “Hope you don’t mind a little sugar in your coffee.”
“It’s fine,” I’d said, switching the coffee for my empty wineglass.
I sat at my desk staring at Tristan’s computer screen. I didn’t remember his name, but he must have been the one to put something in my drink. Was he the reason I had lost my memory?
“You know, I think I’ll go visit my friend, then come back later to talk to Mr. Smith.” I took the pages and put them into my purse, along with the drawings I’d made and the papers I still had from last night. “Thanks again.”
“Any time,” he said. “Take care, Jazzmyn.”
I nodded. “And Tristan, you’d better wipe all traces of helping me today. I wouldn’t want you to get into trouble.”
“Already on it,” he replied, tapping away at his keyboard.
Join us next week for another chapter on Tuesday Thriller, Mystery & Suspense!