Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan – Part 23 by Dellani Oakes

among the shine clan cover

Fiddlestix, now out of the military, is a solo for hire. She’s been approached by a man named Donan Varin, the Contractor King. He has a problem, and he wants her help. He’s accompanied by two bodyguards, Buzzard and Blacksmith.

The bodyguards stepped forward. Buzzard laid a restraining hand on her shoulder. Blacksmith detached her fingers from his employer’s shirt front.

“I would hate to hurt a lady, but if you do that again, ma’am, I’ll end you,” Buzzard said in a mild tone.

Shrugging their hands aside, she stalked away from Varin. “You still haven’t said what you want.”

“I hear you’re connected.”

“Maybe you heard wrong.” She lit another cigarette and waited, feigning disinterest. The set of her broad shoulders gave her away.

Varin shook his head. “You have a relationship with two groups I most need to contact. Not many can boast the same.”

“I have many acquaintances. Which ones?” She blew smoke at him casually, as if he didn’t have her full attention.

“The Shine Clan and the Harlichs.” Varin looked smug.

“I don’t know who you mean.” It was a feeble bluff.

“You know exactly who I mean. My wife also has connections with them, which is why I need your help.”

“Maybe she wanted to leave you, Varin. Did that occur to you?”

He shook his head adamantly. “Scarlet would never do that.”

“What connection does your wife have with them?”

“The same as you, blood bond.”

Fiddlestix fell silent, waiting.

“The name Scarlet Obert Varin should elicit a distinct response from both organizations.”

“Hannah Braun officially died years ago, Varin. I don’t know if my contacts will be expecting a call from me.”

“All I ask is that you try. I will pay you handsomely.”

“How handsomely?”

He named a figure that made her mind boggle. That got her full attention.

“Half now, half when the job is complete.”

“You are aware it’s a face to face. I can’t just call and expect them to talk to me.”

Varin nodded again. “I am aware of that. The boys will accompany you.”

“I’m ex Special Forces, I don’t need bodyguards.”

“It would make me feel better knowing you had company.”

Fiddlestix cracked an uncharacteristic grin, running her fingers through her short, platinum blonde, spiked hair. “I’m touched, really. But I can handle myself.”

He shook his head, adamant. “Since your last contact with the Harlichs, things have changed. Château Noir now owns most of the nearby territory. They have an open contract on you.”

“Château Noir, huh? Interesting development. When did they change the name from Black House Anarchy?”

“Two years ago,” Buzzard replied.

“You want us to go now, chica?”

“As much as I hate to admit it, Blacksmith, yes. Bad Ass Baker and his boys would like to grind me into dog food, alive.”

“Bad Ass Baker?” Buzzard looked confused. “Our intel says a guy by the name Shogun Corbett runs Noir.”

“Skinny guy with black, greasy hair and covered in tattoos with multiple piercings?”

“Yeah.” Buzzard said.

“That’s Bobby. He must have upgraded his moniker when he changed their name to Château Noir. In my day it was Bobby Alvin Baker.”

“I understand you two used to date?” This from Blacksmith.

“He had much better hygiene in those days,”was her cryptic reply. “He also was pretty bad ass in bed.”She winked at Blacksmith, who chuckled.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan Part 22 by Dellani Oakes

among the shine clan coverFiddlestix has left the military and is now freelancing as a solo. Her path leads her to Daytona Beach, where she’s sitting in a bar, waiting for something to happen.

As if on an unspoken signal, the three men approached her table, in a non-threatening manner. The bodyguards kept their hands well away from their weapons, moving in to flank the corp. He stopped by her table, asking permission to sit with a gesture of his hand. A sharp inclination of her spiked blonde head indicated he could. Taking a seat on the rickety chair, he leaned across the table in a conspiratorial manner drawing unwanted attention. Fiddlestix pressed her thick soled boot against his seat, pushing it away from the table, tapping his testicles in the process. Getting the idea, he moved back.

“Is there somewhere more appropriate we can talk?” Even his voice was medium range and uninfluenced by an accent.

Fiddlestix was formulating a snide, snappish reply when he reached up to remove his glasses. For the first time, she saw something of him that wasn’t dull brown. His eyes were a startling, vivid green. The expression in them was one of desperation. Her manner changed rapidly from sarcastic to curious.

“Sure.” she said softly.”Low’s got some private conference rooms downstairs.”

The tall, ugly one nodded slowly. The short one looked around quickly, assessing the room before Fiddlestix and the corporate rose from the table.

“Lead the way,” the short man said with a thick Hispanic accent.

Remaining wary, she strutted toward the stairs leading down to the private, secure conference rooms. They were the only aspect of Low Blow Gonzalez’ dive bar that was high tech and sophisticated, laced with a security system that made Fort Knox look like it was made from Tinker Toys. They entered one of the rooms, locking it with a code that Fiddlestix tapped in. The room would remain sealed until she released it.

The corporate took a seat in one of the broken down chairs, inviting Fiddlestix to sit. Knowing the instability of the furniture, she chose to stand instead.

“How can I be of assistance, Mr…?”

He had failed to introduce himself. Fiddlestix refused to deal with people whose names she did not know.

“Smith,” he replied with a furtive look at his bodyguards.”These two gentlemen are Blacksmith and Buzzard.”

“Your real name. I don’t deal with people who hide things from me. You want my help, be honest.”

“Donnan Varin,” he admitted quietly.

“The contractor king?”

Varin had forged an empire by building substandard housing for the poor. Dozens of lawsuits were pending. To avoid controversy, he went into hiding. Now here he sat bold as brass, begging for her help.

“Yes,” he muttered. “But it’s not what you think.”

“Mr. Varin was indisposed for awhile,” Blacksmith explained.

“A lot was done in my name,” Varin said fixing her with a commanding gaze. “My affairs were mishandled by people I thought I could trust.”

Fiddlestix propped one foot on an unsteady chair, lighting a cigarette while she waited for him to continue. Instead, he turned to Blacksmith, eyes pleading.

Blacksmith stepped forward. “What Mr. Varin is trying to say, is that while he was indisposed, things went wrong in his business and his wife disappeared.”

“Define indisposed. How could all this happen without his knowledge or consent?”

“I was medically incapacitated.”

Fiddlestix was getting annoyed, which usually meant she got violent. “That didn’t explain at all. I want plain English, Varin, or I walk.”

“Well, I was dead.”

“Dead?”

He nodded nervously. “For a period of five years, I was dead. This body is a replacement, the first one died of a rather dreadful disease.”

“You’re a clone?”

“Yes. You see, I had my former body held in stasis until I could reunite my body with my psyche.”

“Spare me the details. It sounds like it’s bordering on metaphysical, let’s not go there.” She turned away, waving her hand, ending the discussion.

“I badly need your help, Miss Braun.”

Fiddlestix whirled on him, grabbing his shirt. “Don’t ever use that name! Hannah Braun is dead.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from After Midnight by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-imageYou’re not like any other cop I ever met.”

I hope that’s a good thing.”

A very good thing. And your lieutenant. He’s a good man.”

One of the best. Scott is the reason I became a cop.”

Older brother?”

Cousin. Only two boys in a long line of girls.”

Gotta stick together.”

Do you have any family we can call for you?”

If I did, I wouldn’t be on the street,” Amos snapped. Inhaling slowly, he pushed away the anger. “I’m sorry. No one. I was an only child. Never knew my grandparents. I don’t know if I have any aunts or uncles. None I ever met.”

You want me to check?”

Amos shrugged. “If they wanted to know me, they’ve had twenty-two years to do it.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Lone Wolf Tales by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-image“Which one of you sorry, low life bastards is Wallace?”

The Marine next to him pointed and Billy Wallace took a step forward, saluting smartly, even if he was in his skivvies.

“That would be me, sir!”

Ben eyed him critically. “You always watch a vid in your underwear, squid?”

“No, sir, First Lieutenant. It’s just wash day, sir,” he concluded lamely.

“At ease.” The men relaxed into their stance. “Wallace, get your gear, you’ve been tapped for a special ops. You’ll be picked up at 1800. That gives you forty-five minutes to pack and get to the shuttle pad. Pilot has your orders.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir!” He saluted again, relieved when the comlink clicked off. “Special ops?” He scratched his head. “I knew I shouldn’t have taken those specialty classes.

Throwing his gear together, he grabbed his only clean uniform, wondering how to cope with his wet laundry. “Hell, y’all send that to me later, okay?”

One of the others nodded agreement. “Hey, Red Neck,” he called after Billy. “Be careful, man!”

Billy turned and grinned, his shiny shaven head reflecting a small puddle of lamp light. “Will do! Don’t wanna mess up my hair! Their laughter followed him as he walked quickly into the night.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Technically Love by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-image“We moved quite a bit when I was a kid.”

“Military?”

“Academics.”

“Ah,” he nodded knowingly. “Professors move almost as much. My dad’s a college professor. I sympathize.”

“Dude,” she said seriously. “We academic kids have to stick together.”

Chet eyed her with mixed admiration and seduction. “Like glue, Honey.”

“Behave!” She thumped his arm playfully.

“Oh, telling me to behave after a lead in like that?”

“It wasn’t a lead anywhere but your mind,” she tossed her curls casually as if giving him the brush off.

“All right,” he said in a sarcastic, disbelieving tone. “It wasn’t.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Ben Drexel by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-image“Not completely hopeless, I see.”

“They’re good men, sir.”

“I meant you, Drexel. Them, I could give a shit about. At least they’re neat. It will make going through their effects simpler.”

“Excuse me?”

“We don’t live long,” VanLipsig said without really listening to Ben. He seemed lost in his own little bubble. “Our life expectancy is the shortest in the Corps, but we keep going because it’s really all we can do.” He glanced up at Ben, his eye holding sorrow. “I never wanted to do this to any of you, kid. I want you to know that I had no choice. You’d come up on the radar. I kept you under wraps as long as I could…. What they’ve done to us isn’t right, but there’s no going back now.”

“Us? You mean your team?”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from First Love by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-image“Breasts were mentioned, Dad,” his son, Daniel, who had been silent before, commented from the rear. He was happily ensconced with the luggage and his own copy of The Hobbit.

“Breasts? Not your mother’s!” Craig was appalled.

“No, sir, Maddie’s,” Daniel explained.

“Someone tell me what happened. Be fast.”

Brad gave a 30 second account of the exchange. At the end, Craig was laughing.

“Understood. Okay, new car rule. No one mentions breasts unless in reference to poultry. Are we clear?”

“Yes, sir,” they said in unison.

“Good.”

“Maddie has a very tasty turkey on her chest,” Richard teased as he settled for another nap.

All the boys hit him—hard—while he laughed.

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Character Quotes from Portrait of Love by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-imageVik spotted the sketch book. “Is this her?”

“Yeah.”

“Wow.” He inhaled sharply. “Dude, how do you not love her? She’s the most beautiful woman I ever saw.”

“And she’s glorious. Smart, funny, talented, sweet, naïve, pure. It’s that innocence, that purity that I love most. If I fall for her, take her to bed, she’ll lose that.”

“So instead,” his friend said slowly. “You want to paint her picture… not fall in love with her… not have sex with her…. Just paint her.”

“Yeah.”

“Dude, you’re whack,” Vik concluded, tossing the sketch pad on the chair.

“I’m aware of that.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from For Love of Katie B by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-imageThe reminder also filled my brain that I was also freshly dumped and I should probably take it slowly, not getting involved again too soon. Slow and steady. Slow and—oh f**k. It’s easy to say that when the man sitting across from you isn’t built like some sort of hot Asian deity. If he was sloppy or had a beer belly, or maybe a little flabby, I could resist. Resistance is useless! Oh, for god’s sake, shut up, Kathleen!

“You okay, Katie B.?”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Deserted by Dellani Oakes

character-quotes-imageMarvin hit the button summoning Shelly. She slipped into the office, barely opening the door.

“Yes, Mr. Beard?”

Barry smiled, talking quietly. “I’m sorry, I don’t know your name yet. I’m Barry Sebring.” He held out his hand to her.

“Yes, Mr. Sebring. I’m Shelly, what can I do for you?”

“Shelly, neither of us particularly wants to talk to that woman right now.”

“So I gathered. I’ve delayed her with coffee as long as I can. Pretty soon she’s going to pull up the trebuchet and assail the bastions.”

The men exchanged a look. They liked this girl.

“This is what you tell her,” Barry said quietly, taking a step toward her and speaking in a conspiratorial fashion. “I’ve set aside time for her tomorrow at five. It’s the earliest I can see her. She’s to go through my assistant, Grace, from now on for anything she needs. Make it sound like it’s a privilege. She’s no longer to trouble Mr. Beard. He can’t see her right now either, he’s—what was the excuse?”

“On the phone with a director in the Mojave,” Shelly said.

“Do we have a crew in the Mojave?” Barry asked his friend.

“It sounded important and remote,” Shelly replied with a shrug. “Not something she can check easily.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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