“Just a Little Nudge” by Jesi Lea Ryan
Blurb: Marley Sexton never aspired to be a stripper. She even chose the stage name Misty Showers as a joke, thinking she’d make a few quick bucks and move on to greener pastures. Three years later, Marley’s still stripping. It’s the only job she can land that will put a dent in her mother’s mounting medical bills.
It’s also the only job where she feels justified parting fools from their money with a little talent she calls nudging.
As psychic powers go, nudging isn’t impressive. Marley can’t get people to do anything they’re not already inclined to do. Useful for making a seedy customer grab a larger bill from his wallet, but not strong enough to ditch a drug cartel that’s on her tail.
Marley is in over her head. She’s not big on trusting people, especially a strange man with a gun, a badge, and a story that doesn’t quite add up. JC Moreno figures out that Marley may have taken the nudge a little too far. But how? Whoever the guy actually works for, one thing’s for certain. He has a history with the cartel and an agenda of his own. Although the suspicion between Marley and JC runs both ways, maybe they can work together to both get what they want…if they don’t get killed in the process.
**Recommended for ages 17+. Contains naughty things like f-bombs, violence and sex.**
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MAMA ALWAYS SAID, “Some people so bad they just need killin.’”
’Course she was referring to the most villainous characters on her daytime soaps, and not about the corpse lying at my feet, but I figured the sentiment applied.
“Oh, holy Jesus!” sobbed my co-worker, Destiny, from where she knelt in the back-alley grime, ripping the hell out of her thigh-high stockings and poking the dead man with her talon-like fingernails. Then she gave a half-hearted shove on his chest in what I assumed was a bastardized version of CPR. I could’ve told her there wasn’t anything she could do that would be bringing that man back, but it seemed to make her feel productive until the ambulance arrived. I’d called them ten minutes before, but in this neighborhood? Even emergency personnel paused to draw straws before sending the losers out on the call.
I should’ve felt bad for killing the guy, but the truth was I didn’t. He was a new face at the gentlemen’s club where we danced, and trust me, he was no gentleman. In fact, when I’d stepped out back to make a call to the home to check on Mama—the club didn’t get cell reception for shit—that man had Destiny half-beaten to death and was all set to force himself on her. No, I didn’t feel bad for ridding the world of a violent, despicable person. But I was plenty freaked out at my ability to kill him from ten feet away with only the power of my mind.
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