It's Chicago vs. The Super Villains: America's Second City will never know what hit it.
Bootleggers, drug dealers, crooked cops, and dirty politicians... Chicago has always had a reputation for indulging in the finer vices of life. That’s why Doctor Charm’s favorite daughter found America’s second city so appealing—criminals are never boring. As second in command for the powerful Subrosa Security group, Delilah Samson finds opportunities to use her superpowers at every turn. Whether it’s stealing a priceless French painting from a mobster or stopping a drug deal, she’s game.
In fact, the only thing she doesn’t care for is Chicago’s favorite native son, Deputy Mayor Alan Adale, the man who made Lucifer jealous. Sinfully handsome, or possibly just sinful, Adale has been pursuing Delilah since she first arrived, and she’s been dodging.
When she finds ties between the new kingpin in town and a drug The Company wants to buy so they can create more superheroes, Delilah takes the gloves off. Teaming up with the spooky Spirit of Chicago, she aims to take down the dealers, the mobsters, the kingpin, and The Company. All without falling in love with the one man capable of capturing her heart.
Snow crunched under Delilah's boot as she stepped out of the cab on East Jackson Drive. "Park down by the university," she told Freddie as a voice on the police radio confirmed an ambulance was en route to collect the final remains of Mayor Arámbula.
Buckingham fountain was beautiful, even late on a winter night. Past the skeletal trees, golden lights illuminated the sparkling water—the strobe of blue and red from the waiting squad cars rather ruined the romantic affect.
The cab pulled away. Delilah walked through the fresh-fallen snow, drifting across the icy sidewalk with the calm demeanor of someone exactly where they belonged.
At the edge of the square, one of the officers noticed her. "Ma'am, can I help you?" he said stiffly, shining a flashlight at her face.
He squinted, trying to make out her face under the black top hat she wore. "Did you hear anything? See anything?"
"I didn't." She watched as the ambulance pulled up and paramedics hurried to the body. They lifted the dead mayor onto a stretcher and a scrap of paper fell out of his pocket. The wind caught it, lifting the paper up out of the snow and blowing it toward her.
"Hey!" one of the officers shouted. "Somebody grab that! Gelphi! Catch that!"
Delilah snatched the paper out of the air with a gloved hand. "Here," she held it out to the policeman she assumed was Officer Gelphi. Three barely legible words scrawled across the paper: Kalydon - 77 Wacker.
"Thank you." Gelphi took the paper back with obvious hesitation. "Ma'am, I'm going to ask you to move along. This is a crime scene."
"Of course." News vans were already parking on Lakeshore Drive and she didn't need to be on camera. "Have a good evening." Pivoting on her heel, Delilah strolled back along the snowy streets until her nose was numb. Seventy-seven Wacker was an office building that had been on the market for several months. It wasn't somewhere the mayor would have gone for a party, but a black market business deal? That sounded plausible.
A warm breeze alerted her to company. "Fancy meeting you here," The Spirit of Chicago said.
Delilah stopped, watching him from the corner of her eye. "How did you hear about this?"
"I have friends at the police department. You?"
She shrugged. "I know all the good gossips." She turned to face him, or as much as there was of him. The festively lit streets twinkled through his gossamer body. "Where were you tonight, superhero?"
"Where were you, do-gooder super villain?"
With a grimace, she shrugged again. "Busy. I have an airtight alibi. Over a hundred people saw me flirting with a handsome man tonight. We didn't get as far as drinks. Disappointing, overall. Your turn."
"I was trying to attract the attention of devastatingly beautiful woman."
Delilah almost laughed. "Oh? How'd that work out for you?"
"She looked right through me."
They turned side by side to watch the paramedics cover the late mayor's body. A chill that had nothing to do with the temperature and everything to do with the muted pallor of death wound its way up her spine, leaving her feeling isolated and angry.
Liana Brooks would like to SCUBA dive Europa (that moon around Jupiter), but with the NASA shuttle program shut down she’s resorted to writing science fiction instead. She likes southern beaches, warm weather, sharks, and striped socks.
Her superhero romance series started with Even Villains Fall in Love and continues with Even Villains Go to the Movies and Even Villains Have Interns. For those who prefer their romance without a side order of spandex she’s written Prime Sensations (part of the Tales From the SFR Brigades anthology) and Fey Lights.
You can find Liana on the web at www.lianabrooks.com, on Twitter as @LianaBrooks, or on Face Book under the same name.