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It’s Chicago’s favorite city son vs Delilah, daughter of Dr. Charm. 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.
Just because Mom mentioned she liked Claude Monet’s ‘Grand Canal’ painting does not mean she wants a copy of it for the house. I know it doesn’t mean she wants the original. And telling me not to steal the piece while it’s on tour at the Art Institute here in Chicago is not going to convince me to pick it up in time for Christmas. Reverse psychology stopped working when I was twelve.
In other news, you will be happy to learn that Peter Manigault, as painted by Allen Ramsay, mysteriously appeared at the Art Institute this weekend. The curator was very surprised. Personally, I think his shock was more over the two-dollar price tag left on the picture frame than the return of the old painting. It’s possible I’m biased.
DELILAH WATCHED IVAN PETROVICH step toward her on the pier made ghostly by the nighttime gloom. “Don’t take it personally, Miss Samson,” he said, broken nose still purple from where she’d punched him a week before. “It’s not that we don’t like you.”
“A lot,” his companion added. She’d never learned his name. His file was marked ‘Snail’ because he was always trailing the rest of the gang. “I’d get your autograph if you weren’t handcuffed.”
A freezing wind whipped the snow at her feet as Delilah smiled. “Take ‘em off, big boy. I bet we can find a pen.”
Snail stared, confusion clouding his round face.
Ivan shook his head in frustration. “No. You stay handcuffed, we stay alive. We’ve been over this.”
“This is overkill,” Delilah said as icy spray from Lake Michigan bit her ankle. If they pushed her in the water it would be merely waste disposal. With the arctic front that had moved in, all they needed to do to kill her was to leave her outside for another hour.
“You’re asking the wrong kinds of questions. Hanging with the wrong kind of people,” Ivan said. “I bet your parents warned you about talking to strangers.”
“Not as such, no.” The shackles around her feet were making life difficult. Ivan had welded them shut before she woke from whatever drug they’d used to give her such a stupendous headache. If she wasn’t careful, she was going to lose both her feet tonight. Or her life. She glanced over her shoulder at the water and tried to figure out if the heat from the broken shackles would be tempered enough by the chill of the water to escape with only third degree burns. Physics had never been her favorite subject. “I really think this is a bad plan, boys. If we go through with this, what will we have to do next time we meet? You’re escalating the problem. All I want to know is what hit the street. I hate being left out.”
Ivan grabbed the lapel of her woolen dress coat, pushing her back so she balanced on her Miu Miu heels. “You should have stayed out of it.”
“Don’t make me kill you, Ivan. You know what the dry cleaners charge. We go to the same place. Mr. Way is not going to be happy about this.”
“But the boss will be. Goodnight, sweetheart.” He moved to kiss her and Delilah kicked back, pulling him down into the water with her.
Cold wasn’t the right word. Cold was snowflakes, or iced tea, or the look in her mother’s eyes when anyone mentioned Colorado. Lake Michigan in mid-December was a crypt. Death circled, numbing her to the bone. Water poured down her throat as she reflexively gasped for air. Be a mutant freak. Try to save the world. Die of drowning.
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