Exclusive Excerpt from Hard Earned Cash
by K.L. Hiers
Cold was standing by the open door with Jerry, patiently watching them with a small smile.
“Right! Come on!” Jimmy said, grabbing his father’s arm and his bag for him. “I can’t wait for you to meet him!”
David let Jimmy lead him, smiling as he offered to shake Cold’s hand, saying, “Roderick Legrand? I’m David Poe. I understand I have you to thank for my freedom. Thank you.”
“The pleasure is mine,” Cold assured him, giving his hand a firm shake. “Anything for Jimmy.”
“That’s what a father likes to hear,” David nodded with approval.
Cold gestured to the limo, asking politely, “Shall we?”
“Please,” David said quickly. “I have no desire to stay here any longer than necessary.”
Jimmy climbed in first, eagerly grabbing a bottle of champagne that had been chilling. David sat down across from him, and Cold took his place back beside him.
Jerry shut the door and got behind the wheel to drive them back home. Cold took the bottle from Jimmy to open it, pouring them each a bubbly glass.
“Congratulations on your freedom, Mr. Poe,” Cold said, his voice holding a subtle purr as he raised his glass to David’s.
Jimmy shivered at the formal title, but he tried not to think much of it. Cold was talking to his father, after all.
“I will gladly drink to that,” David laughed, clinking his glass with Cold’s and Jimmy’s. He took a long sip, coughing softly and clearing his throat. “Sorry, it’s been a little while since I’ve had anything to drink.”
“Quite all right, Mr. Poe,” Cold assured him, giving Jimmy a sly smile.
Cheeks flushing, Jimmy narrowed his eyes suspiciously at the gangster. He only ever called Jimmy that when they were being intimate.
Cold winked, looking back at David as he said, “I have a room ready and waiting for you. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you, Mr. Poe.”
Oh, that dirty rat was doing it on purpose!
“Please, call me David!” David insisted, tipping his glass back with more success.
Thank God, Jimmy sighed to himself in relief. He didn’t know that his body would behave itself if he heard Cold say ‘Mr. Poe’ one more time.
“Are you sure?” Cold asked, raising a brow. “I’m not usually so informal with people I’ve just met…” He paused, slowly licking his lips as he added huskily, “Mr. Poe.”
Jimmy nearly choked on his champagne.
“Seriously,” David chuckled warmly, “you’re offering me your home, your hospitality, and you’ve made my son a happy man. Call me David.”
“Very well,” Cold relented. “You may call me Roderick.”
“No ‘Boss Cold’?” David laughed.
“No,” Cold replied with a smirk. “Rod is also fine, if you so wish.”
“I can live with Roderick.” David hesitated, a moment of emotion warring on his face as he added breathlessly, “Thank you again. For everything.”
“My pleasure,” Cold said, finishing off his champagne with a rare and genuine smile.
“Are you hungry, Dad?” Jimmy asked, grabbing the bottle of champagne and refilling all of their glasses. “Jerry, the driver, super nice guy, he’s also a fantastic chef! He can make you anything you want.”
“I wouldn’t mind a steak the size of Texas and a cold beer,” David said thoughtfully, smiling brightly at his son, “and a scalding hot shower to wash all this prison funk off.”
They continued to chat all the way back to Cold’s compound, and Jimmy was proud when his father let out an impressed whistle as they drove through the gates up to the mansion.
“Not bad,” David said, nodding in approval.
As they pulled up front, Jimmy saw they had people waiting outside for them. Rowena Legrand, Cold’s younger sister, was there, plus Roger Lorre and Mickey Tamerlane, two of Cold’s top Gentlemen.
Jimmy worried for a moment that his father would be put off by so many people, especially since neither Tamerlane nor Lorre exactly screamed friendly. He knew he and Tamerlane had met while in prison, but he wasn’t sure if it would be a happy reunion. To his surprise, David was all smiles as they exited the limo.