Love on the Run #1

Always a Groomsman

by Michel Prince

Always a Groomsman

There’s no reason to let a little thing like death get in the way of a good vacation.

World travelers Serena and Conner Love have been married for years and are always up for a bit of adventure. The Loves have only two constants, their devotion to each other and their ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Never having put detective on their resumes, they aren’t crime fighters, at least not professionally. When Serena’s cousin decides to have a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic the stage is set for beachside romance, a little bit of family drama, and a corpse before the couple can say I do.

When a groomsman is found on the beach two days before the wedding, Serena and Conner can’t help themselves from trying to solve the mystery. The Loves believe they’ve uncovered the guilty party using deductive reasoning, a pinch of hacking into security footage, and not missing a beat. When they present their evidence to the police, they discover there might be a block at the local level. Can they find the real killer before the locals sweep the tourist’s death under the radar and blame a local teen they’ve befriended?

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Release Date: May 23. 2023
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Pink Satin Romance



Could rage burn through your veins like acid? A mix of flames and stinging blades cutting their way through the pipelines of your body. My palm heated up from a sharp stab answering my question. The pendent on her necklace imbedded into my flesh. No permanent branding to seal me forever with the trinket around her neck. Her gaze cried out to me as if she’d done nothing to bring this upon herself. Against my hand her heartbeat thudded, the artery along the column of her neck thick as fear forced the thick liquid throughout her body.

From behind me, hands clutched my shoulders, yanked me backward, and tossed me to the floor. Three men, if that is what they considered themselves, acted as if they’d done something to stop me. No one will stop me from punishing the woman responsible. The one who tortured me for hours only to deny me access. As if I was not the reason they were all here. She cowered, being consoled by the succubus beside her. The women acted as if they were the victims when we both know who was wronged in this moment.

Lies permeated the air thicker than the humidity on this island choking me. The men formed an arch, trying their best to manhandle me down the stairs. Sending me away as if I were the interloper and not them.

The pressure lingered like a ghost in the center of my palm where I pressed tightly to her throat until I no longer had to hear her excuses and lies. Cracking my knuckles, I wondered if they were stiff from how long I held them, locked, fingers digging into her flesh. My heart seized in my chest, reminding me that the acidic rage still coursed through my body.

The world around brought my senses to a fevered pitch. The buzzing of the light in the sconce irritated the last of my nerves. The last flutters of a trapped insect, suffocating, dying, for what? An unnatural yellow light, luring them in, teasing it with promises only to be cut off from all reality. A position all too familiar to me in this moment. The light distorted the true color of the wall as anger dropped a haze of red over my eyes.

Their words lost on me, the echoed mumbles disappeared into the crashing waves, nullifying unnecessary excuses. As if I hadn’t seen with my own eyes. My touch, not alone on her body, the smell of him lingering on her skin. She was mine and mine alone. Her hair wasn’t right, the shampoo not the one I had used when I massaged her locks, taking the care needed for them to shine. Only I knew how to properly care for her and yet when I arrived to get my room key she was not there. Not where she belonged, waiting for me to arrive.

Instead, she thought she could go out, half-dressed in front of those that were less than me. Flaunt what was mine without me there to claim and protect. Glancing up the stairs, the smug look on his face as his friends did the dirty work. Tossing me around. Slamming me into the wall with their cheap shots. Keeping me from making it up to the top of the stairs. All because of her. Eyes narrowed, lips pursed. Glaring at me. Keeping me from what I had claimed as my own.

“Go to your room,” one of them said.

“Not without her,” I snarled, reaching for my bag only to find my luggage was gone. Glancing down the cobblestone path, I could see the glint of silver as it disappeared around a corner.

Taking off, my pace caught up to the little shit stealing my luggage, his dark eyes glanced over his shoulder before breaking out into a run.

“Get back here you little shit,” I called. “Security, security.”

Surely this resort had to have someone watching it. By the time I caught him by the back of his shirt, he stumbled a bit, then twisted and got away. His hands clutched my bag and tossed it over a wall. It landed with a thud as he faced me. His gaze darted around, trying to find an escape as if in this moment I’d let the little shit go. Catching his rumpled polo with two hands, I tossed him against the wall with what I hoped was enough force to knock it down. His body arched and crumpled like a discarded candy wrapper.

The kid scrambled, his legs flailing as I caught him again and he swung at me. Turning to avoid the contact had him spinning fully. The force used sent him in a whirlwind as his fist grazed the concrete wall and had him in an almost full turn. Fear had his eyes wide and mouth agape. The power escaping him flowed into me. Egging me on to teach the kid a lesson he would soon not forget. Lunging, I dove toward him, only to smash face-first into the wall as he darted away, disappearing faster than I could turn around.

As if my week hadn’t been shit, month really, with her testing her boundaries as if I hadn’t put them fully in place. She agreed and now was reneging. All of it sent my blood boiling. I didn’t know which room they were staying in and when I turned to the pathway realization slammed into me that my room key, phone, and wallet had all been tucked away safely in my luggage when I was at the party. Only a shitty-coated paper wristband acknowledged I was where I was supposed to be. I needed to regroup. Attack this in the morning, with fresh eyes.

Right now, even the air hurt me as I cut through the pathways and made it to the cabanas on the man-made part of the beach. The resort was quiet, staff wasn’t lingering which explained why my damn luggage was stolen. Crashing on the plastic mattress of the cabana, my mind swirled. My heart pounded, fury bubbled up and tipped the scales. Minutes, hours, days might have passed for all I could focus on. Tugging down my baseball cap, I tried to block out the light bursting forth from the cloudless sky. The moon mixed with security lights, melding into me needing help, as I lay out undisturbed, not even a random security guard patrolling to toss out the man lying in a cabana.

I didn’t need my phone to see the images sent to me over the last twelve hours. The ones of her and him had been branded into my brain. Fueling my need to track him down, to beat him for touching what everyone knows is mine. His hand brushed along the velvety skin of her neck. Brushing back the satin locks and—

A sound echoed in my ears, the light movement of sneakered feet on stone. Rolling to the side, I stayed low in the cabana. Peering over the edge to see the kid from the night before. Probably going to get my property from where he’d hidden it. Mine, the word slamming into me from a dozen directions. Why were people trying to take what clearly belonged to me?

Arms and legs moved of their own power, my ability to calm myself left behind at customs as I tackled the kid. Wrestling him to the sand before he tossed a handful into my eyes. Stabbing bits of grain irritated and blinded me temporarily. Through blurred vision I chased him, scrambling down the steps to the real beach. Stumbling, my feet tripped on the last few steps, twisting my ankle and sending a shock of pain along the outside of my leg.

My eyes watered as I tried to find him in the early morning sun, grains of sand mixing with my tears that tried to clear away the foreign bodies lingering there. Wiping at my eyes, trying to clear the sand as figures moved and voices called to me in the distance. I turned only to have pain shear its way through my skull. Sending me flying backward, pounding sent another fission of pain, knocking out whatever I had left of light around me. My heart thudded and crashed into the center of my chest as thick wetness poured down my face. Gasping, I breathed in coppery liquid, the saltiness not from the sea air, but my blood as I swallowed back. Choking me as it caught in my throat, cutting off my ability to breathe as I began to drown. Exploding bones in my face made it impossible to see who was behind the voice I heard rising up between the waves crashing into the beach. My hands unable to move as the last sensations I could acknowledge were sea slime, sand coated leaves beneath my fingers. No longer could I feel her flesh or smell the other man on her. All of my senses were calculating and acknowledging the fact I had lost everything, including my life in a matter of hours.


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