No Ordinary Billionaire

By: J.S. Scott

CHAPTER 1





It was completely annoying that it had been sunny and bright on the day of Patrick’s funeral. Not one single cloud in the sky as a sea of men in uniform, their badges all covered with a black horizontal stripe to mark the loss of one of their own, milled around a cemetery. Their expressions were solemn, and many of them were visibly sweating from wearing heavy uniforms in the Southern California heat.

Detective Dante Sinclair’s eyes were riveted to the screen as he watched the video on his laptop computer, a huge lump in his throat as he listened to the customary last radio call go out for Detective Patrick Brogan, unanswered. Patrick was officially proclaimed to be 10-7, out of service, and the dispatcher declared how much he would be missed.

Dante gulped for air as he slammed the laptop closed, wishing like hell that it had been a shitty, rainy day during the funeral. Somehow it didn’t seem fair that the services had been held on just the kind of day Patrick had loved, and he hadn’t been there to enjoy it. It was the sort of weather that would have had Patrick itching to be out fishing. Instead, he’d been dead, entombed in a casket covered by a US flag, unable to enjoy one single thing he loved ever again.

Casting the laptop off the bed, not caring whether it shattered into pieces, he sat up, unconcerned with the pain it caused him to do so. Christ! He hadn’t even been able to attend his own partner’s funeral because he’d still been in the hospital. But he’d been compelled to watch it. Patrick had been his partner and a member of Dante’s homicide team for years. He’d also been the closest friend Dante had ever had.

It should have been me who died. Patrick had a wife, a teenage son who was left behind without a father.

Hell, Karen and Ben, Patrick’s wife and son, had practically adopted him, having him over for dinner almost every night when he and Patrick could actually manage to catch dinner—which wasn’t often. Their jobs kept them out at all hours, especially in the evenings. Murder rarely happened during the daytime hours in his district.

Karen and Ben will never have to worry about money. It won’t make up for the loss of Patrick, but it will help.

Dante had resolved any financial problems for Karen and Ben by donating several million dollars to a fund for the Brogan family anonymously, but it wouldn’t bring back the man they loved, the husband, the father. It seemed like a pitifully small thing to do considering he had plenty of money and would never miss it.

Although he and Patrick had gotten promoted to detective at the same time, Dante’s partner had been well over a decade older, and a hell of a lot wiser than Dante had been back then. Patrick had taught a hotheaded new detective patience when Dante had none, and he’d helped Dante become a better man in more ways than he could count.

Christ! It should have been me! Why wasn’t I standing where Patrick was standing when the shooter opened up and fired?

He and Patrick had been so close—so damn close—to nailing a murderer who had raped and killed three women in their rough, gang-populated division. They had been tailing the suspect on the street, waiting for backup to arrive to arrest the subject. The murderer had gotten sloppy on his last victim, leaving behind enough DNA evidence to finally arrest the bastard.

Swinging his legs painfully over the side of the bed, Dante relived the last few moments of Patrick’s life, flashing back to the instant when he’d lost his best friend.

He and Patrick staying close enough to keep the suspect in their sight.

The piercing sirens nearby screeching through the air.

The suspect suddenly panicking and pulling out a semiautomatic pistol and starting to shoot.

Why the suspect had suddenly cracked at that moment was still a mystery. The sirens had probably spooked a murderer who already knew the law was on his tail and closing in. Ironically, the sirens had had nothing to do with them taking down a murderer. They’d been wailing for a completely separate incident. Like the police were really going to announce they were coming for the asshole? Still, it had been enough to send the suspect over the edge, shooting at anyone or anything behind him without warning.

Patrick had been the first to fall, with one bullet through the head. Dante had pulled out his Glock as he took several bullets from the shooter at close range, shielding Patrick with his larger body until he’d managed to get a kill shot in on the asshole shooter. At the time, Dante hadn’t realized it was already too late for Patrick. The bullet through the head had killed his partner instantly. Luckily, the few civilians who had been hanging around on the street during the early morning hours had scattered, leaving Dante the only one injured—Patrick and the suspect both dead.

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