Character Naming Competition
You can play a character In Stephen Bentley’s next detective novel titled Wolfie Jules, a Detective Matt Deal Thriller. In other words, have the character named after you. Your name will live in print forever!
Of course, I cannot guarantee you will be a good guy or gal. That’s part of the fun. There are already two characters named after real people with their permission and one is the name in the title – not her real name. I will reveal the story about that nearer publication time.
Enter and Win!
I am looking for one more character name. The winner will receive a signed paperback of the Wolfie Jules book and an Amazon Gift Voucher worth $50. The Wolfie Jules in the title will also receive a signed paperback.
If you are not an existing subscriber to my Reader’s Club Updates, signup below to enter but please ensure you leave a comment below with your first and last name or if you prefer, email me with first/last names at the address below after you signup so I know the name for the entry.
Existing subscribers may email their entry to me at sbATstephenbentley.info or leave a comment in the comment box below the post.
The cut-off date for entries will be March 31, 2019 and the winner will be announced on April 30, 2019.
The choice of winner is entirely at my discretion and the decision will be final.
Signup below to enter and read the first few chapters of Wolfie Jules, a Detective Matt Deal Crime Fiction Thriller – a work in progress (WIP).
A Detective Matt Deal Crime Fiction Thriller
©2019 Stephen Bentley
Florida Panhandle 2024
Mercy had begged and pleaded. Finally, her father Matt Deal gave in, “Right Miss Mercy. Go, but these are the rules. No alcohol, no smoking, no drugs, and no boys. Got it?”
“Thank you, daddy. I love you,” said fifteen-year-old Mercy.
Matt Deal knew there was no point arguing with his daughter. She was fierce in her determination to do as she wanted. A trait inherited from her mother and her grandfather, Jack Hughes, an obscenely wealthy self-made man. Besides, Matt and his wife, Lorey, were fighting again. Lorey was drunk, taking a breather by relaxing in the tub before she started up on round two of the fight. Matt thought it best for Mercy to go to Destin with her friend, Mary.
Of course, he worried about that. They were both fifteen going on twenty judging by the way they looked and clothes they wore. Mercy with her long strawberry blond hair and Mary with her cute black urchin style cut. He would have been more worried if he had known their secret. Earlier that Saturday, they had met a group of guys, young men on vacation – a long weekend break from college. Naturally, the two girls were interested in the invitation to a beach party that night. They were flattered.
“Mer, one more thing,” Matt Deal said.
“How are you getting there? It’s twenty miles into Destin.”
“Mary’s dad is giving us a ride,” Mercy lied.
“And back home?” Matt said.
“Yes. Of course, dad. Stop worrying.” Mercy lied again.
“Tell him no later than midnight, you hear? In fact, why don’t I call him?”
“Dad. Trust me.” Mercy bluffed, adding, “trust me to tell him, right? I’m not a little girl anymore.” She hugged her father to reinforce the ruse. It worked.
“Okay then, but no screw-ups, right? Where is he picking you up?”
“At the Tom Thumb gas station.”
“Dunno really. He said something about filling up and saving time so meet him there,” the lies rolled off Mercy’s tongue.
“Just take care, okay?”
“Definitely, mate,” Mercy said in a cheeky imitation of her father’s British accent.
“Be off with you before I change my mind.” Matt said, smiling.
Mercy grabbed her purse to make for the front door, pausing to look at her reflection in the long hall mirror. She liked the long legs, short denim skirt, pink shirt, and her long strawberry blond hair. She skipped through the door like a spring lamb. Mercy walked briskly to the end of her street in Navarre Beach to the beach front road. Conor O’Rourke was waiting, sat parked in his father’s BMW. He was the alpha male of the Kappa Alpha fraternity from Georgia Tech. There was no Mary and no Mary’s father. They were part of Mercy’s deception.
Mercy got in and sat in the front passenger seat. As she fumbled for the seat belt, Conor put his hand on her thigh, sliding it up until he touched her panties. “Can’t you wait?” Mercy said. Truth was, she didn’t want him to wait. He was twenty, deep brown eyes, black hair, with a gorgeous smile. She already felt wet between her legs.
“I can wait … a while,” he said smiling at her. Three minutes it took for the BMW to reach the deserted boardwalk at Navarre Beach. It took another four minutes for Mercy Deal to lose her virginity. It was nothing like she had expected. Conor was rough and there was no finesse to his love making. She felt disappointed and angry at herself. He just fucked me, she thought. She felt like crying and going home.
Conor put the BMW in gear and drove off over the bridge spanning the Santa Rosa Sound. Turning right on Highway 98 towards Destin, he handed a bottle to Mercy. “Drink this. It will make you feel in the party mood,” he said.
“What is it?”
Mercy swigged back a couple of mouthfuls, the taste disguising the presence of the date-rape drug.
Wolfie Jules was on her usual beat. Prowling, more like beachcombing, the white, fine sand of the beach at Destin close to the boardwalk. There was a light breeze blowing in from the Gulf causing the nearby fishing charter boats’ rigging to clang and clatter. The stink of fish pervaded the air despite the boats having been washed down hours ago. But she ignored that. It was part of Destin.
She didn’t ignore the drunken laughter. Wolfie Jules was a loner. She had been so since her husband died four years back. He had been a Special Forces sergeant. Walked into an IED in Afghanistan. It killed him outright. Now, she lived in a wooden shelter somewhere in the backwoods north-west of Northwest Florida State College. There was no power, no running water. Nothing except her one treasure – a 2019 model Harley Heritage Classic. It had belonged to her late husband. The locals were wary of her. That’s the way she liked it.
The sound of the raucous laughter from a bunch of college guys would normally have ensured she gave them a wide berth. But it’s what else she heard that disturbed her. The shout was distinct. She was sure of the words used and they made her shudder inside.
“Roly! You’re the fucking fag. She wants it up the ass. I got two in the pink and one in the stink. She’s begging for it. Come here and plug her butt. I’ll carry on fucking her tight pussy. Yay! Double penny time.”
Wolfie snuck under a small dinghy. She lay there watching through a small crack in the rotten timbers of the boat’s hull. It was dark but she could make out shapes on the beach a few yards away. She could see several young guys standing, watching something. About three of them, she thought.
She could also make out the three shapes on the beach just in front of the three guys. It was clear what they were doing. Not the girl with long hair. She was naked. Just laid there, motionless. One guy under her and another behind her ass. The two men were pumping away. She seemed limp, lifeless. It seemed they were fucking a corpse. In contrast to the two men were making plenty of noise, she was silent. Nothing. Wolfie sensed something was badly wrong.
The other three watchers were holding their pricks, tossing themselves off. They called out in turn, “Me next, me next.”
Wolfie Jules had seen enough. She slipped out from under the boat then crawled for a hundred yards until she felt safe. She stood and ran fast to the main road, Highway 98. Gathering her breath, she pulled out her cell and dialled 911.
Matt Deal’s cell phone rang. He was expecting it to be Mercy.
“Mike. What is it? What’s wrong?” Deal said after the caller identified himself as Captain Stevenson of the Fort Walton Beach police department. He knew the voice anyway. The cop was a regular at Deal’s Destin-based Thai boxing studio and gym.
“I’ll tell you when you get here. It’s not good news. Mercy is alive but she’s in a bad way. You drive easy, hear me?”
“I hear you but where?”
“It will take you thirty minutes this time of night. I’ll wait close to the crime scene near the boardwalk. You know it. Your gym is close. You’ll see my SUV.”
Voice croaking, hand shaking, Matt Deal croaked, “Still got the white Chevy, Mike?”
“Yeah. See you soon, Matt.” The phone went dead.
Deal picked up his car keys and threw on a light windcheater. He knew there was no point waking Lorey. She’d be drunk.
It took Matt Deal twenty-three minutes to reach the boardwalk at Destin. He pulled over and parked behind the detective’s white SUV.
As Deal got out of his car, he saw Mike Stevenson standing close to the beach. He was talking to a woman he had seen before but knew nothing about her. Deal approached them.
“What Mike? What happened? Where’s Mercy?”
“Slow down Matt. One thing at a time. Mercy is at the ER. At Sacred Heart. Wolfie here saw her being assaulted and called 911,” Stevenson said nodding towards Wolfie Jules.
“Assaulted? How? Is she okay? Sure it’s her?” Deal said, his mind in turmoil.
Stevenson took hold of Deal’s arm and said, “She’s in a bad way, Matt. Suppose I’d better tell you now than some stranger at the hospital. She was raped. Battered over the head too.” He held up some clear evidence bags. “These her clothes?” Deal nodded.
“Raped!” Deal shouted.
He turned to Wolfie and said, “Fuck’s sake! Why didn’t you stop them?”
“What the hell am I supposed to do? There were five of them. All college brats. As soon as I realised they were raping her, I ran and called 911.”
Deal looked her up and down taking in her five-foot nothing stature, slim build, her leather biker jacket, and the fierce look in her eyes, partly shielded by a wild fringe of black hair. She looked late thirties, maybe early forties. Olive-skinned, kind of Spanish looking. Her most striking feature was a black eye patch over her right eye. She looked like an extra out of Pirates of the Caribbean.
“Yeah. Sorry. I’m pretty worked up.” Deal said.
“I understand.” Wolfie said, as she turned around to face the ocean, lighting a cigarette. There was a patch on the back of her biker’s jacket – a wolf, maybe a German Shepherd with an eye patch over the canine’s right eye.
“She thinks she knows them.” Stevenson said.
“Good. Who the fuck are these bastards?”
“Frat kids from Georgia Tech. They come here every year.”
“So, you going to bust them?” Deal said.
“Bet your ass. We know they are staying in a condo in Sandestin. Shouldn’t be too hard to locate.”
“Right. I’d better set off for the ER.” Deal said, adding “how did you know it was Mercy?”
“We found her purse.” Stevenson said as he held up another evidence bag. “That’s how come I called you.”
Deal wheeled around and to go back to his car for the five-minute drive to the ER. As he opened the driver’s door, Mike Stevenson called out to him. “Matt, one more thing.” He walked up to Deal and clasped his hand, “You’ll find out anyways, these guys gang-banged her. You don’t wanna know the details, believe me.”
Deal was pissed. He gave the engine gas, roared down Highway 98, his pulse racing and a bitter bile in his throat.
At the same time Matt Deal was talking to a brain trauma surgeon at Sacred Heart Hospital, Destin, Captain Mike Stevenson and three of his detectives were breaking down the door of a condo in nearby Sandestin.
They soon called for backup when they found Conor O’ Rourke, Roland Fenney, Brett Angus, Paul Greenslade, and Gareth Winstanley in the three-bedroomed full-service unit. All five were awake, drunk, and smoking marijuana.
The alpha male O’ Rourke on hearing the door splinter and seeing the detectives, shouted “Holy fuck!”
“All of you, stand against the wall. Slowly. Hands up against the wall,” Stevenson ordered.
“Is this to do with that whore on the beach?” O’ Rourke said.
Stevenson pistol-whipped him on the back of the head. “What the fuck!” the kid yelled.
The detective ignored him and shouted, “Roly!”
Roland Fenney said, “Yes?”
“You a faggot, boy? Yes or no?”
“No,” Fenney whispered.
“I can’t hear you,” Stevenson yelled, close to Fenney’s ear.
“No, sir,” came a firmer reply.
Fenney fidgeted with his jeans back pocket. Stevenson saw it. “Okay, boy. Take it out. Show me.” Fenney pulled out pink panties from his jeans back pocket.
“Bag that, Ted,” Stevenson said to one of his detectives, “make sure it is swabbed for DNA as soon as we get back.”
O’ Rourke muttered some gibberish. It sounded like, “Kakoo.”
“Stevenson said, “Quit that Kappa Alpha fraternity code crap or I’ll crack your skull open.”
“What you busting us for? Weed has been legal in this state for years or haven’t you heard?” O’ Rourke said.
“Rape and first-degree homicide,” Stevenson said.
Fenney said, “She’s dead?”
“Shut the fuck up, Roly,” O’ Rourke said.
“She’s not dead … yet. You better pray she lives but that still leaves the gang-bang rape.” Stevenson said, ignoring O’ Rourke.
A silence followed, broken only by Stevenson giving the five suspects their Miranda rights. Then a further silence as all five exercised their right to remain silent.
Four police units had arrived at the condominium block with six uniformed police officers. On entering the rented unit, they saw Captain Stevenson and the other two detectives as well as the five arrested suspects. They were sped off to Destin police station where they were booked and processed. The taking of DNA swabs and fingerprints of all five was a part of the process.
At the suspects were being processed, Mercy Deal was about to undergo major surgery brain trauma. The medics had soon diagnosed she had a blood clot inside her brain. They were not slow to pinpoint the other signs of trauma to her body. Following normal practice in rape cases, they took swabs from her vagina, anus, and her mouth. They also swabbed her hair and breasts as it appeared there were patches of seminal stains in these external parts of her body. On responding to the 911, the paramedics had found her unconscious and she remained in that state throughout.
Photographs were also taken of her injuries: the traumatic blow to her head, the lacerated tears to her vagina and anus, and the bite marks to her breasts. The paramedics and the medical team all reached the same conclusion: it was the worst case of rape they had encountered. The neuro surgeon spoke to his team before commencing surgery, “Someone needs to pay for this.” No one present dissented.
“No, Mike. I’ll come in. Don’t come here.” Matt Deal said. It was now midday Sunday. He had checked with the hospital to be told Mercy was recovering after surgery but still in an induced coma.
Deal had no wish for Captain Mike Stevenson to come to his home. He’d had the fight of all fights with Lorey, his wife. She blamed him. He should never have let her go blah di blah. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, he thought, at the same time inwardly agreeing with her. To make matters worse, Lorey’s father got in on the act. He was being blasted with both barrels.
Stevenson was the head of the detective division at Fort Walton Beach police station. Nearby Destin has no detectives. The drive felt like an escape. Deal had two thoughts on his mind. He prayed for a full recovery for Mercy and retribution for those bastards who had done this terrible thing to her.
The officer on reception duty was expecting Matt’s arrival. “Go straight through, Mister Deal,” he said, pointing at a double door leading through to an open plan detective office.
Mike Stevenson rose from his chair to shake Deal’s hand. “Thanks for coming in, Matt. I only wanted to appraise you of what’s happening.”
“Sure, I understand. Those fuckers admitted anything?”
“No. They lawyered up. Rich daddies, you know. All Georgia businessmen with dollar power.”
Stevenson saw Deal’s jaw drop. “Hey, no worries. We have them dead to rights. The DNA evidence will convict them.”
“Do you have that now?”
“No. It will take about four weeks for all the testing to be completed and the evidence served.”
“What happens next?”
“They will make their first appearance in court tomorrow. I’ve spoken with the DA. She will oppose bail.”
“Matt, there’s always a chance of them posting bail even if the judge sets it as high as one million dollars. These guys’ fathers have that kind of dough.”
“Doesn’t seem right though. Better they are locked up and get the same in jail as what they did to Mercy.” Deal said and sobbed.
“Look. Matt. I can only imagine what you are feeling. Trust me these guys are going to spend a long, long time in the joint,” Stevenson said as he leaned forward to pat Deal’s forearm.
“I know. I know. I just can’t get rid of the scene in my head.” Deal said.
“Those fuckers doing what they did to my daughter. Tell the truth, they deserve to die.”
On Monday morning after visiting the hospital, Matt Deal decided to go to the gym he owned and ran on Harbor Boulevard and Melvin. He felt like the pits. Mercy was still in a coma and life at home was intolerable owing to Lorey and Jack Hughes’ constant vitriolic attacks. For fuck’s sake, he thought, it’s the perps who are the bad guys. Not me.
He was tempted to go see the bastards at court. He decided against it. For some inexplicable reason, he wanted to talk to Wolfie. She was the last person to see Mercy before the rape. He needed to talk.
Matt Deal was stood at the window of his office. It overlooked Harbor Boulevard giving a great view of the highway, beach, and the Gulf beyond. The slight figure of Wolfie riding a Harley caught his eye. He willed her to stop but she didn’t. Sighing, Matt kept her in sight for as long as he could; a deeper sigh escaped his lips when he finally lost sight of the Harley.
Turning away from the window, he heard the unmistakeable potato-potato-potato sound of the Harley exhaust. Swivelling back to the window, he saw she had parked up outside his gym. He waited until she turned off the ignition and banged furiously on the window. Wolfie looking up, saw Deal motion with his hand. She entered through the front door to see Deal stood at the top of a flight of stairs.
“Come on up, please,” he gestured with one hand.
Deal watched her as she nimbly ran up the stairs. He was once more struck by her waif-like appearance, but a waif dressed as a tough-guy biker. He could not prevent himself thinking there was much more to this woman than met the eye. As she neared the top step, Wolfie held her hand out. Deal shook it, again taken by how small the hand but he was taken aback by its firm grip, reinforcing his thought about the incongruousness of this tiny woman.
“Please, sit down,” Deal said pointing at a chair next to his office table, “coffee?”
“No, don’t drink caffeine. Water will be fine.” “You got it.” Deal went to the small refrigerator at the back wall of the office, removed two bottles of water and placed them on the office desk, pushing one over to Wolfie.
“Thanks. So, what can I do for you, Mister Deal?”
“Please, Matt. What do I call you?
“Wolfie it is then. You were the last to see Mercy … my daughter. I’m curious. What did you see exactly?”
“Same as I told the cops. I didn’t see much. I hid under a boat on the beach. I heard them and I knew the girl was in deep shit … so I ran off and called 911.”
“Thanks for calling it in.”
“The least I could do. I knew she was in a bad way. How is she, by the way?”
“Not good. Still in a coma.”
“Was she …”
“Not as sorry as the creeps responsible.”
Deal looked at Wolfie. Her face registered a flicker of disapproval.
“I know that sounds bad. Vigilante stuff. But you don’t know the twisted things they did to her.”
“I know more than you think. I was in court this morning when the Assistant DA sketched out the allegations. They made bail too.”
“Fuck! Fuck! No!”
“Set bail at quarter of a million. They were freed right away. Rich parents.”
Slumping in his chair, Deal put his head in his hands. “They’re not going to get away with this.”[/emaillocker]