Feb 102014


Noah Milano used to work for his mobster father but now tries to find redemption for his dark past working as a security specialist. Minnie is his best friend and works at the Medical Examiner’s office. When an old friend of Minnie (a gossip columnist) is found dead at a club’s toilet stall the cops think it was an overdose. Minnie is not so sure however and asks Noah to investigate. The investigation soon endangers Noah and Minnie’s lives as they try to uncover Hollywood’s dirtiest secrets.

“Noah Milano is all too human, which makes him more appealing.” Les Roberts, author of the Milan Jacovich series.

”Noah Milano walks in the footsteps of the great P.I.’s, but leaves his own tracks.” Robert J. Randisi, founder of PWA and The Shamus Award.

Jochem’s deep and abiding love for classic pulp fiction comes through on every page, and his stories continue the time-honored tradition of the hardboiled American PI.” Sean Chercover, author of Trigger City.

”The writing is fresh and vivid and lively, paying homage to the past while standing squarely in the present.” James W. Hall, author of Silencer.

”Great pop sensibility with a nod to the classic L.A. PIs.” David Levien, author 13 Million Dollar Pop.

Protector (Trask) by Jochem Vandersteen

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Jan 022014


 PROTECTOR  a piece of flash fiction by Jochem Vandersteen

I’d done what I’d been doing for a few years now. I became the kid’s friend, got him his patch, rode around with him on my bike. I was there next to him during the court case. I made sure everyone knew he was under my protection. It’s what I do with a big group of bikers around the world.

Joshua was a good kid, eleven years old and heavily into baseball. I got a referral from the local cops, telling me he’d been abused by his baseball coach. The sonofabitch sodomized him on three separate occasions. He’d told the boy to keep quiet, or else he would kill his mother. The boy loved his mother more than anyone in the world, already having lost a father to that dreaded decease called cancer. When the kid started to shit blood he became worried enough to tell his mom and together they went to a doctor where the whole story came out.

Joshua was in bad need of a father figure and a protector, and I became just that. I ached to be more for him. I ached to be an avenger for him, to kick the shit out of that evil bastard that raped him. To send him right to the hell where he belonged. But that wasn’t the way of my group. We were protectors, not avengers.

The phone call came in the middle of the night. I’d fallen asleep behind my laptop, writing a story about the best way to maintain your bike. I’d been making my money as a freelance writer for as long as I’d been riding a bike.

Joshua’s voice was shaking, the fear clearly audible. “He’s here, Trask. The coach is here. You gotta help me.”

“Wait, what do you mean? He’s in your house?” I asked.

“Yes, he…” That’s when the line went dead.

I was as wide awake as anyone can be, adrenaline giving me an energy boost no Monster or Red Bull could ever hope to give. I didn’t even really think about calling the cops. Joshua lived very close to me and on my Harley I’d be there before any cop could. I left my trailer and jumped on my hog.

The devil himself couldn’t have ridden faster than me. I was like a missile, targeted for the kid’s home. In my hurry I almost fell off my bike when I arrived.

The door was open, the lock broken. Splinters of wood covered the floor. I ran inside.

Joshua’s mom was on the floor. On her knees, bleeding from her nose and mouth. She tried to talk to me, but the fear or the blood in her mouth prevented her from it. She just pointed to the stairs.

I understood and ran up them. I prayed the kid was okay. I felt the anger course through my veins at the thought of what that evil bastard might do to him.

The kid’s bedroom. Joshua was sitting on the floor, the coach standing in front of him, dressed in sweats. Big, fat and bald. His fist was frozen beside his temple, ready to strike.

“Asshole,” I said.

The coach turned to face me. He didn’t look happy to see me. I wouldn’t be happy to see a six foot tall guy full of tattoos in biker gear either when I was just beating up a little kid. “What the fuck?”

“Yeah. That’s right. What the fuck. What the fuck are you doing here.”

“I need to teach this little shit a lesson for telling on me. Fucking pretending he didn’t like it.”

Two steps and I was in front of him. One punch and he was on his ass.

I stood over him like he’d been standing over the kid. “You’re the one who’s going to be taught a lesson.”

“Fuck you! You hot for the kid, is that it?” I could hear from the odd way his voice sounded I’d probably broken his nose.

I time traveled like that fucking British ponce does in that TV show. Instead of in a phone booth I traveled back in time with my mind. The man who was supposed to protect, care and love me was on top of me as I was lying on my chest, bent over a chair. I could hear him breathe as clearly as if I was really there.

The coach become that man then. I was so full of hate I boiled over. My right boot connected with his nose so damned fucking hard I thought I’d kick his head from his neck.

It took two cops to peel me off him. When I was done it was clear he’d be a vegetable for the rest of his life.

I’d done what I’d sworn to do. I’d protected the kid, just more permanently then I’d at first set out to do.





 free, My Writings, Noah Milano  Comments Off on FREE PI FICTION
Dec 062013

The Noah Milano stories have been praised by authors like Ace Atkins, Sean Chercover, David Levien and James W. Hall. PI-pulp fiction for Y2K and great for fans of Robert Crais and Robert B Parker. The latest novella can be found here for FREE
 Please tell your friends!

OUT NOW: The Color of Blood (A Mike Dalmas short story)

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Nov 272013

While I am busy writing the newest Noah Milano novella I figured it would be good idea to give you all some more Mike Dalmas… It is out now:


Husband, father, vigilante… Mike Dalmas left Special Forces to become a dedicated family man, but when his daughter gets molested he had his revenge, killing the pervert who committed the crime.
Now the Bay City cops keep him out of jail if he takes care of their dirty work. The things their badge won’t allow them to do but for which Dalmas has the right skill set.
The Bay City gangs are forging an alliance. If they unite the police won’t be able to stop them anymore. That’s why Mike Dalmas is blackmailed into disrupting the gang alliance… With deadly force…

‘An action hero with a liking for justice rather than law – Mike Dalmas is my kind of guy.’ Zoë Sharp, author of the Charlie Fox novels
Loyal fans to this blog will have read it online already but this is your chance to add it to your Kindle collection OR do me a favor and help me spread the word.


Sep 272013


An anthology full of exciting PI fiction written by popular names like Reed Farrel Coleman, Bill Crider, James Winter, Fred Zackel, J.L. Abramo, Keith Dixon and some newer names like Kit Rohrbacher, Peter DiChellis and others.
Of course there’s a Noah Milano story in there as well.
It is edited by me and formatted by the talented Sean Dexter, who has a cool story in the anthology as well.
The Shamus Sampler will be available next week and will only cost you 99 cents.

Free Fiction: The Baby Trade part 3 (A Summer Black Serial)

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Jul 042013

Here’s the third chapter of my new free serial of hardboiled fiction, starring Summer Black, the woman the streetwalkers of LA call when they have no one else to turn to…

The Baby Trade part 3 (A Summer Black serial)
by Jochem Vandersteen
Back home in my apartment I traded my waitress uniform for a short leather skirt, red tank top and stiletto-heeled fuck-me shoes. I filled a sock with a roll of change that I put into a clutch. I applied way too much make-up to complete the look I’d sported for years, plying my trade on the Hollywood streets.
With that look I walked into the sleazy Hollywood bar Tina told me Donnie Brooks had turned into his office of sorts.
I spotted him at the bar, nursing a whiskey. He was easily identified by his expensive leather jacket and the amount of jewelry around his neck and fingers. He dressed the part of his job.
I sat down next to him. He glanced at me. I saw him go over my face, his eyes travelling down to my breasts. He smiled a dirty grin, gold teeth showing.
“Hi sugar, you want a drink?” he asked.
“Sure, Rusty Nail.”
“Coming up.” Brooks ordered my drink.
I took a sip after it was handed to me and told him in a breathy voice, “I hear you’re always looking for talent. You’re Donnie Brooks, right?”
“In the flesh, baby. You’re right. And you sure as hell look mighty talented, sugar.”” He put a hand on my knee. Part of me shuddered, another part of me wanted to break his fingers. The part of me that was buried deeper, the part that I used on all my johns, prevented me from screwing up my plan and just made me smile at him.
“Can I audition?”
I brought my lips close to his ear and whispered, “Do you want me to suck your dick so I can show you what I can do?”
He almost choked on his drink. “Yeah, yeah sure. Sure baby. Whoo-hoo. You’re one hell of a girl, ain’t ya.”
“Oh yeah, I sure as hell am. Let’s go the john. I will take you all the way to heaven over there.”
I slid down the barstool. Brooks got down so fast you’d think his barstool was on fire. I exaggerated the way my hips moved, making him think I was just the sexiest, horniest woman alive. He was going to be mightily disappointed.
We entered the men’s room. His hands were on my ass as soon as we entered.
“Let’s get in here,” I said and opened a stall’s door. The asshole was already breathing heavily out of anticipation.
Inside the cramped stall I told him to drop his pants. Hurriedly he did. The moment his pants hit his shoes I had a hand on his balls. He smiled. A second later he screamed as I twisted his testicles around. To shut him up I hit him in the head with the coin-filled sock. Dazed he sat down on the dirty toilet floor.
“Huh? What the fuck?” He was barely conscious and trying to make sense of what had just happened.
I swung the sock around in front of his face. “I want to know where Charlene is.”
“Tina’s baby. Where is she?”
“Fuck that, I don’t know what you’re talking about, bitch.”
I hit him again with the sock. I heard his nose break. Blood trickled down his chin. He whimpered like a wounded animal.
I took off my shoe, bringing the stiletto heel close to his left eye. “I already broke your nose. Do you also want me to take out your eye?”
“Who the fuck are you?”
“That doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the answer to my question.”
“Relax, relax. Fuck. Man my fucking nose hurts. Okay. I can’t tell you where the kid is. I don’t know.”
I brought the heel closer to his eye. “What do you mean? I know you took the baby.”
“Yeah, yeah. I did. But I sold her to this lawyer guy.”
“What? Which lawyer guy?”
“Let me think,” he said. It turned to be his idea of a distraction. His hand went inside his jacket pocket and came out with a knife.
I slapped the knife out of his hand with my shoe. I kneed him against the chin to punish him. I think he bit his tongue, blood started to seep out of his mouth.
“Don’t try anything cute like that anymore. Just tell me which lawyer.”
He had trouble speaking with his tongue and nose both hurt. I managed to understand he wanted to get a business card from his jacket and hoped I wasn’t going to hurt him before he got that out.
“If it’s not another knife coming out of your jacket you have nothing to worry about.”
Slowly his hand went inside his jacket. I was ready to pounce on him some more, but he was really holding a card in his hand when it came out of his jacket.
I took the card. Marcus Ecclestone, attorney at law, it said. “So let me get this straight. You fucking SOLD that kid to this guy?”
“He doth iwwegaw ado’tiuns. I needeth the munnie.”
“Illegal adoptions, huh? Well, I will have to visit this asshole then. You just stay away from Tina or I will really fuck you up, understand?”
Donny nodded. I told him goodnight and whacked him in the head with the sock again, hard enough for his lights to go out.
I walked out of the toilet stall, into the bar. The barkeeper saw me walk in and seemed to wait for Donny to follow. When he didn’t he just shrugged and decided to focus his attention on my legs all the way until they walked me out the door.


Fiction: The Baby Trade part 2 (A Summer Black serial) by Jochem Vandersteen

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Jun 262013

Here’s the second chapter of my new free serial of hardboiled fiction, starring Summer Black, the woman the streetwalkers of LA call when they have no one else to turn to…

The Baby Trade part 2 (A Summer Black serial)
by Jochem Vandersteen
Tina was leaning against my car when I walked up the parking place. She was smoking a cigarette. I used to smoke too, until I decided if I was going to quit my addictions I’d really quit them, booze and cigarettes included. I really didn’t miss them either, luckily preventing me from becoming one of those ex-smokers that became some kind of smoking Nazi’s, scolding anyone for lighting up in front of them.

“Thanks for the wait,” I told her.

“Thanks for telling me where to wait,” she said.

I grabbed my keys and opened the car door. “Get in, it’s cold.”

She put out her cigarette and sat down in the passenger seat, right next to me.

“So, what’s the story. Why do you need my help?”

“It’s about my baby… A year and a half ago I got pregnant. Busted rubber in combination with being too sick to keep the pill in my stomach. Should I have been working that day? Of course not. My pimp doesn’t tolerate sick days though. He demands I bring home the bacon every day, no matter how I’m feeling.”

“Just as much an asshole as most pimps I know. What’s his name?”

“Donnie Brooks.”

I knew him. “He’s been in the business for a long time. Fucking prick.”

“Yeah… Anyway, I decided to keep the baby. Didn’t want anything from the daddy, wasn’t going to put any effort in convincing a john to take care of the kid or help me out with the money. I tried to combine my work with taking care of my little baby, my dear Charlene, for a few months but decided that wasn’t a good idea. The lifestyle I was leading was leading me straight to hell and I didn’t want Charlene to grow up without a mommy like I did.”

“Good for you. So you quit hooking?”

“Yeah. Kicked the habit. Tried to find a job. Found one too, callcenter work, but I could do that from home so I could take care of Charlene. Donnie wouldn’t put up with it though. He beat me up twice.”

I noticed I clenched my fist. Assholes like that had beaten me up a lot times as well. In the Army they taught me how to fight back though.

“I wouldn’t give in though. I took the fucking beatings and stayed at home with my baby. Then, one day he came in and just took my little girl. I fought him like a tiger but he’s just too big and strong. He took my baby, Summer!”

“Did you go to the cops?”

“How could I? You know what would happen. They know I used to be a hooker. They’d take my baby from me. They wouldn’t believe I’m clean now.”

“I guess you’re right. Sounds better than her being with Donnie, though.”

“He told me he will give her back to me if I start working for him again. I can’t do that… I don’t want to go back to that.”

I squeezed her hand. “That’s brave. What do you want me to do?”

“I’ve heard stories about how you can stand up to the pimps. You’re not scared of them… Can’t you go to Donnie and get my baby back?”

I combed my hair with my fingers. Thought about it. Donnie was a pretty tough and mean sonofabitch, he wouldn’t hand over the baby to me without a fight. That could mean bruises, maybe a broken nose or something for me. Fights are like that. It wouldn’t look good, showing up at work looking like that. I couldn’t allow that baby to stay in his hands though. And I did feel the urge to kick that asshole’s ass. For what he did to Tina, but also for what guys like him did to me in the past. If I wasn’t going to stand up to the guy, who would.

I said, “Sure. Sure, I’ll get Charlene back for you.”

Tina gave me a hug, saying a thousand thank-yous. I just hoped I’d be able to make good on my promise.


Scoundrel available for FREE

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Jun 122013

For just a few days SCOUNDREL (A Noah Milano novelette) is free!
Check it out here

A pregnant woman hires ex-mob fixer and security specialist Noah Milano to track down the man who got her pregnant. When it turns out this man is quite the scoundrel Noah gets involved with Russian gangsters and a murder case.

”The writing is fresh and vivid and lively, paying homage to the past while standing squarely in the present.” -James W. Hall, author of Silencer.

”Great pop sensibility with a nod to the classic L.A. PIs.” – David Levien, author 13 Million Dollar Pop

‘Noah Milano walks in the footsteps of the great P.I,.’s, but leaves his own tracks.” – Robert J. Randisi, founder of PWA and The Shamus Award

“J. Vandersteen takes us back to the glory days of pulp fiction. And I mean the genre, NOT the movie. His Noah Milano character rings completely true as a tough, lone-wolf private.” – Jeremiah Healy, author of TURNABOUT and THE ONLY GOOD LAWYER

Fiction: The Baby Trade part 1 (A Summer Black serial) by Jochem Vandersteen

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Jun 122013

I am proud to start a new free serial of hardboiled fiction, starring Summer Black, the woman the streetwalkers of LA call when they have no one else to turn to…

The Baby Trade part 1 (A Summer Black serial)
by Jochem Vandersteen
I’d never seen her before but I made her the second she stepped into the diner. She was a streetwalker, just like I used to be, years ago.
She wore stiletto heels, faded jeans and too much make-up. Her hair had been colored red but there were still some remnants from the previous color she’d been coloring it, a pornstar-shade of blonde. She’d tried to dress down for the occasion, but her entire gait and her prowling eyes gave her away. This was a woman who constantly used her manner to entice men into sex but was also wary of her surroundings because someone out there always might be more interested in slapping the cuffs on her than getting a blowjob.
Before I got clean, before my time with the Army and before waitressing right here in Lowinski’s diner I used to act just like that.
She sat down in a booth. I walked over and said hello.
“What can I get you?”
She peered at the label above my right breast. She made out the name. “Summer?”
“That’s right.”
“Summer Black?”
“Have we met?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No, no we haven’t. But I’ve heard of you. I’ve heard you sometimes help out working girls like me when we’re in trouble.””
She was right. After my return from Iraq old friends sometimes asked me to help them when their pimps got a bit too violent, when they owed a dealer more money than they had or sometimes when they just needed some minor medical help. I was loyal to my friends, even though I quit living their destructive lifestyle. Word got around and sometimes I was asked to fix things for a friend of a friend. These ladies needed help sometimes. They couldn’t run to the cops and had little to no family. I’d learned some handy skills in the Army and had lead the same tough life they had. I was glad I could be useful to them sometimes.
“I can’t talk to you now. In half an hour I get my lunch break. I can talk to you then. I’ll get you some pancakes in the meantime. Don’t worry about the bill, I’ve got it covered for you.”
“Thanks. Thanks a lot,” she said. “I’m Tina.”
I gave her a nod. “Nice to meet you, Tina.”
I headed back to the kitchen to order the food. The cook, Vincenzo, an Italian guy with a head as bald and smooth as an eight ball and a paunch that showed he appreciated his own cooking told me the pancakes were coming up, even though he felt about that his culinary skills had to be wasted on such a simple dish once again.
“I’m sorry, you’re just not working at a five-star place,” I told him.
“You got that right. I’m not paid like I am neither.”
“I know what you mean,” I told him and left the kitchen.
Michael Lowinski was behind the cash-register. Michael is the owner of the diner, a guy at the south end of sixty with a white handlebar moustache and arms full of tattoos he looks like an old guy you don’t want to mess with.
“Saw you talking to that lady,” he said. “Do you know her?”
“No, I was just being friendly.”
“Right. I’ve seen girls like her before. She’s a hooker, Summer. I’m pretty sure of it.”
Who the fuck was he supposed to be? Sherlock Holmes? How did he figure it out? Or was it just more obvious than I thought, even to someone that hadn’t been in the life.
“You’re kidding me.” Lowinski was unaware of my past and I wanted to keep it that way for now.
“I’ve been around, Summer. I know what a hooker looks like. She might have traded in her fuck me-skirt for jeans, but she can’t hide the attitude. Matter of fact, seems this place is getting to be a favorite hangout for streetwalkers these days. More and more of them seem to pop up in here.”
“Is that right?” I tried to play little Miss Innocence.
“Assamatterafact, they’ve been coming in here ever since you started to work here. You seem to be always giving them a little extra of your time too.” He gave me an inquisitive stare. The kind of stare the cops used to give me.
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about, Mike.” I grabbed the coffeepot. “I think someone needs to have their coffee topped up a bit.”
Lowinski put a hand on my shoulder. “You ever want to tell me something, don’t hesitate to.”
That made me uncomfortable. Michael was a good guy. I hated lying to him. “Sure, I won’t.”
I walked over to an older couple that was having waffles and poured them some more coffee. They told me they appreciated it.
I walked past the booth where Tina was sitting. I eyed Lowinski. He was watching me. Dammit. This was crazy. I was starting to feel like a superhero guarding a secret identity or something.
I brought Tina some coffee and told her softly, “I won’t be able to talk to you right now. Meet me after work at my car. It’s parked in the back, a black Mini Cooper.”
“Okay, sure.”
“Good, the pancakes are still coming up, though,” I told her and walked off again.
I wondered what she needed me to do. This whole thing with Lowinski made me worry about what I’d been doing for the working girls. This way I was never going to really get out of that life. How far was I removed from going back into that lifestyle, back to the drugs, the fast money? Shouldn’t I cut my ties to my past more permanently if I wanted to really lead a new life?
“Hey, Summer! Stop daydreaming! There’s a guy at table five waiting for you to take his order,” Lowinski told me.
I told him I was sorry and headed over to the table.

Free Fiction: Girl Gone Wild part 8 (A Lenny Parker serial) by Jochem Vandersteen

 Fiction, free, Lenny Parker, My Writings  Comments Off on Free Fiction: Girl Gone Wild part 8 (A Lenny Parker serial) by Jochem Vandersteen
Jun 052013

Some more free fiction, part 8 of our serial starring roadie / PI Lenny Parker which concludes the story… Be sure to let me know if you want Lenny to return!

Girl Gone Wild part 8 (A Lenny Parker serial)
by Jochem Vandersteen
I stormed into the motel, right at the reception desk. There was a lanky guy smoking a cigarette behind it. He was reading an X-men comic book.
“The old guy and the young girl coming in, which room are they in?” I asked him.
He looked up from his comic, cigarette dangling from his lips. “Why should I fucking tell you that?”
I slammed a meaty fist on the desk. “Because if you don’t tell me you’re going to be an accessory to a crime. That girl is clearly underage and you know it.”
“Huh? So what?”
“Don’t fuck with me, boy. I know they didn’t act like a father and his daughter. Tell me where they are and hand me the damn key.”
“Who the fuck are you anyway?”
I flashed him a badge I’d picked up at Toys-R-Us. I put it away before he could see it was as fake as a porn star’s boobs. “Detective Munch. Vice. Now give me that key or I put the fucking cuffs on you.”
“Jeez, alright man! Don’t get your fucking panties in a bunch, alright?” He handed me a keycard. “Room 203.”
I took it from him and walked off. I walked back and pointed at the comic he was holding. “Forget about that Scott Lobdell stuff. Claremont was the guy who wrote the real good issues.”
“Uh. Right.”
I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit, walking to room 203. That plan worked out just perfectly. Playing poker with the other roadies night after night taught me to bluff pretty well it seemed.
I inserted the keycard and opened the door. Beck stormed towards me, a bottle of whiskey was swinging above his head, held in his right hand. He was naked aside from a pair of boxer shorts. Melinda, dressed in just red panties. Her breasts were small and full of freckles. Her hips were practically non-existent. She was nowhere near a woman and it made clear to me again why I was so eager to put an end to this. She was screaming.
Beck had been expecting me. That damned receptionist had called him I was coming. Guess the bluff didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.
The bottle smashed against the door behind me. I was lucky as hell to duck away from it, that could have been my head.
I pushed him. I’m not much of a fighter, but dragging around amplifiers every night is sure to add some muscle to your fat, so Beck landed on his ass.
“Get away from him, you monster!” Melinda screamed. “Get out!”
“Not yet,” I said and grabbed my phone. Quickly I snapped a few pictures of Melinda in her undies and Beck in his shorts. That should show her dad what was going on.
Beck stood up and went for my phone. I bumped my hip against him, keeping him away from my phone long enough to send the pictures to Mikey’s phone.
Beck went for the phone again. “You sonofabitch! Those pictures will ruin me!”
“That’s the idea,” I told him. Then his fist connected against my chin. I went woozy and fell flat on my ass.
He kicked me against the head. It hurt like hell and I went down on my belly. He kicked me again, this time in the ribs.
“I’m going to kill you!” he shouted.
“No, don’t kill him, sweetie! You’ll go to jail.”
“And they won’t like him in there,” a different voice said. I could hear a slap of skin against skin and I saw Beck fall against the coffee table in the middle of the room.
I managed to sit up on my knees and saw Mikey and Mohawk had entered the room. Mohawk was nursing bruised knuckles with his lips.
“Mikey heard all the screaming and figured you could use the help. I was on the way already, sure that you would get your ass in trouble without me,” Mohawk explained their presence.
“I’d like a crack at that fucking pedophile,” Mikey said.
“Don’t hurt me,” Beck pleaded, protecting his bleeding nose with his hands. Mikey and Mohawk look a lot more dangerous than I do.
“Listen to the guy. Don’t hurt him. He’s an asshole but the sex seems to be consenstual as awful as that sounds,” I said.
“You bet it is. He takes care of me. Listens to me, buys me nice stuff. And he’s turning me into a woman. Go away before I call the cops,” Melinda said.
I shook my head sadly. “Poor kid. You just don’t understand that he’s just taking advantage of you… Here’s the deal, Beck… You never see Melinda again and these pictures will remain a secret. You strike up the relationship again and they go to every newspaper in the city, not to mention the cops. And even worse, Melinda’s dad. He’ll probably kill you.”
Beck thought about that. “How can I be sure you will keep your word?”
“You can be sure I will keep my word if you keep seeing Melinda,” I told him.
“Okay, you got a deal.”
“If I ever find out you’re pulling this trick with another underage girl the same will happen, dig?”
“Yeah, yeah. Dig. Melinda, get your clothes on. I’m going to call you a cab. It’s over.”
“What? Just like that? But you told me you loved me? How can you just end it like that?”
“Jesus Christ, kid… You’re even dumber than I thought. Did you really think I loved you? You were just a tight piece of ass, don’t you understand? How could I really love you? You’re just a kid!”
Melinda walked over to Beck and slapped him in the face with all the power she could muster.
“Ow. She hits like a grown woman, though,” Mohawk remarked.
Mikey winced. “Sure does.”
“Melinda, please put on your clothes. I will get you home. Your dad won’t ever hear about this, but I really don’t want you to get back with this asshole.”
She spat in Beck’s face. “I sure as hell won’t!”
After she put on her clothes we left the room. I gave the receptionist the finger as we walked past his desk.
We got Melinda in my car and dropped her off at her home. She told me she hated me. I told her she was too young to know what hate was and drove off.
I never told her old man what happened. It wouldn’t help him, it wouldn’t help Melinda and it probably wouldn’t really do much to stop Beck. He’d lawyer up and try to rip apart Melinda on the stand. Better to let Bagley think I was an inept loser. He wasn’t the only one to think that. It was time to get on the road again soon. Get away from the city for a few weeks.
Sure enough, I got a call to go on tour with Trivium a few days later.