Title: I Like ‘Em Pretty by Michael Mandrake
N’awlins Exotica Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 69,236
New Orleans is supposed to be the big easy. One night changes everything for Frankie Choteau.
New Orleans. A city rich in tradition, diversity, and on the comeback trail from hurricane Katrina. Francois “Frankie” Choteau, a resident of this town, a cop with a hot temper and low tolerance for bs. Kajika Fortier, a transplant from Oklahoma came here looking for a dream and unfortunately it’s turned into a nightmare. On a hot summer night, they meet and cross paths during a very difficult situation. Despite this, the attraction between them is evident and loneliness for both men is a fate worse than death. They’d both like a chance at happiness but will the circumstances and Frankie’s uneasiness prevent their happy ever after?
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
“Damn!” Francois Choteau yelled at the top of his lungs. His favorite coffee cup—the one that read ‘My job is to find the killer’—slipped from his tight grip. It was his mother’s last gift to him before her passing. She always knew exactly what to get him for Christmas.
“Ah, Frankie, can’t you do anything without dropping stuff? Ya klutz!” Kenina Porter rushed to his side. She bumped him with her large frame as she attempted to assist him in the cleanup.
“Damn, woman, you’re dressing kind of sexy these days. Who you going after?” Frankie noticed the low-cut black blouse underneath the same color blazer showed ample pale cleavage.
“Someone who works here with me and claims to play for the other team.” Kenina wrinkled her lips. Her nasally New York accent came out whenever something angered her. “You’re lucky this didn’t break into a million pieces, Frankie. Your mama might’ve came out of the grave haunting your ass!”
Frankie grinned and tilted his head to the side. “You’re right about that, Kenie. My mama always gave me grief about having butta fingers. Wasn’t really my fault, though. It’s hot as hell in this mother! My hands feel like they been drenched in water!” Frankie wiped his brow and sighed. The air conditioner was running full blast, but it didn’t seem to do a thing about the summer heat in New Orleans. Temps in the low hundreds and high humidity made living in the Big Easy practically unbearable.
“Yeah, it is, but you still drinking hot coffee.” She grimaced and shook her head. “Not even iced, Frankie!” She dropped paper towels on the floor and smeared them over the spilled beverage. While toeing the rags with her heel, she handed Frankie his most prized possession.
Frankie set it inside his desk, out of harm’s way. “I got to, baby. It’s the only thing keeping me awake. We been working on this fucking Metairie murder case nonstop for over a month with no damn leads. Nobody’s talking so we can bring these fuckers to justice.”
“Nope.” Kenina nodded and knelt to pick up the trash from the floor. “Be more careful with your drink next time, man. Leslie just scrubbed these floors, and you know she’ll curse you out in her native tongue if she finds out you spilled something.”
“Yeah, I know.” Frankie rubbed the nape of his neck, attempting to get out the kinks. Homicide cases were piling up quicker than detectives could keep count, especially since the precinct was located in the middle of a crime hotbed. Due to the amount of work and the low pay, most detectives moved on to another line of investigation or left altogether, but not Frankie and his partner Kenina, who’d started at the police academy together. They’d been through thick and thin for the past ten years. Frankie considered the redheaded vixen to be his best friend, his girlfriend, and at times the momma he didn’t have. Kenina Porter showed more loyalty than any man he’d ever had and he’d always stick by her side.
“Well, yeah, you know, but…” She stood with her hands on her hips. “You still aren’t being all that careful.”
“I was, woman!” Frankie frowned in her direction and propped his feet up on the corner of his desk. “You right, you right, I’m a klutz but I’ll have you know, I’m tired as hell, ain’t fucked anyone in over three months and, on top of that, I’m not getting a lot of sleep!”
“Shhh!” Kenina glanced from left to right and scolded him for being so loud. “What the fuck’s wrong with you, Frankie! You wanna get found out? You can’t say shit without people calling you on it in this department.”
Frankie waved his hand. “I know, Kenie, I’m just…” Frankie leaned back and blew raspberries. His head slipped down from the top of the chair and tears welled up in his eyes. “I’m so tired of hiding, babe. It’s hard being…” Frankie mouthed gay. “And not able to tell the people you work with.”
“Well, you could, but it might be more trouble than it’s worth. I don’t mind keeping up the charade for you, love. You know you my boy and I’d do anything for you!” Kenina sat on the edge of the desk and stroked his shoulder.
“I appreciate that, Kenie, I really do. Too bad you ain’t got the right equipment, woman, because I’d date you for real!”
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters who are already comfortable in their sexuality. Thorough these characters, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com.
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