Write a Review

The Businessmen's Club

All Rights Reserved ©


Detective Enoch Payne's world is shattered when his daughter is murdered. When a mysterious woman enters his life, he discovers a secret club exclusively for the wealthy who's corrupt business deals control the city. He soon discovers their filthy fingers reach into the highest ranking officials leaving him with no choice but to take matters into his own hands.

Thriller / Drama
P.J. Van Cleave
Age Rating:

Chapter 1



June 21, 2013

Friday Morning

Chapter One

I like it here. This place gives me the freedom to let myself remember. Sometimes you’re here with me—like now. You’re running past me, looking over your shoulder, calling for me to follow. I take another swig and you disappear.

I pray every night for help to find the bastard that took you from me and when I do, I promise, I’ll kill the son-of-a-bitch. My head drops to the bottle. It’s going to be a long weekend.

There’s a street musician in the park today. Not a one-man-band. The kind that has instruments strapped all over his body. He’s alone, playing a guitar. Rather well. Better than most who play here. The tunes are upbeat. The kind that make you smile even when you don’t want to. Across from him, a pair of pink sneakers stand alone. My cop instincts kick in and I wonder who they belonged to? How did they get there? What happened to the owner?

The park keeper opens the gates at 7 a.m. and closes them at 10 p.m. It’s a popular place. Most days I sit and watch them. The children play tag while new mothers fuss over their chubby babies and joggers finish their morning runs.

Couples stroll hand in hand the way Lillian and I did when we were first married. That was before you. Before my job as a cop. Oh, the ignorance of our youth. We’d come to the park most evenings after I’d finished work. We’d sit on the top of the hill and watch the sunset. It was Lillian’s favorite time of day. She loved the colors. Lillian always said I wasn’t a people—person. Tate said I was just an asshole. Sometimes I think they were right. These days I fail to see the purpose in human interaction, though I do find their occasional kindness comforting.

A boy’s playing alone on a swing away from the other kids. The pure delight of a child’s laughter rings across the lawn as rope unwinds and spins him round and round. Another child is crying. I squeeze my eyes together and Libby’s voice rings out. We used to come here together. I’d push her in the swing—that was her favorite—sometimes until dark.

A dog barks then another. Dax joins in and now there’s a chorus of howling dogs. Dax reminds me of the dog we got for Libby on her sixth birthday. He was a mutt like Dax, not too large, not too small with short, wiry hair. He was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen. Libby loved that dog. We’d come to the park and she’d throw the ball over and over and he’d fetch it again and again. They never seemed to get tired.

Trainers bring their dogs to the park on Tuesdays. It’s that odd day of the week when the park is not so busy, and they can work without distractions. It’s entertaining. The dogs are young. Some obedient, others not so much. It’s comical at times watching the standoff between master and pet. A tug-of-war of wills proves the winner.

The park is an easy outing. Especially for some poor office manager stuck in a drab cubicle anxious to get away from the madness of their daily routine. Looking for anything to take their mind off the next meeting—something I don’t miss. For moms and dads looking to get out for a weekend alone—even if it’s just a walk in the park. While others are looking for a patch of green grass to feel like they’re away from the city. Even if it’s for a short while.

A welcomed breeze rustles through the trees. The summer days can be long and smothering at times. Today is defiantly going to be a scorcher. I lift the bottle to my mouth and swig. The beer is not cold but still cool. I lean against the rock wall of the bridge and let the alcohol run through my body. I like the bridge. It’s a pleasant change from the arch. The need to get away is overwhelming at times with the traffic, the noise, the chaos. Not many pass this way—which I like—but it’s the perfect spot to watch the people as they cross through. It gives me some comfort to see their smiles. To hear their laughter. A sense of hope in my despair. At least here I can settle back into a cozy corner. Alone.

Friday Evening

I watch the people as they pass by. I see her. She passes me without a glance. I can’t blame her though. I know I look God-awful. Filthy clothes, my hair long and dirty, face unshaven; I stink of sweat and beer. She reminds me a little of Lillian. Maybe I miss her. Maybe I just miss the life we had. You, me and your mother. We were so happy then.

I’ve been coming here for a year now and I’ve seen her pass me most every day. Some days she seems rushed like she’s running late. She’s always alone but she doesn’t seem lonely. Just preoccupied. Maybe she’s on her way to work or to a meeting. The camera she carries makes me think she’s a photographer. Maybe she works at a studio or news office. Other days she’s in no hurry at all.

I watch her stroll through the park. She wanders from one side to the other. The camera’s in her hand. She stops. She’s taking pictures of random things. Again, my instincts make me wonder, are they random? Sometimes I follow her. I’m not a creeper or anything. Curious maybe. I just want to watch her take the pictures.

Her favorite is the pond across from the bridge. She will snap a few shots then just stand there looking over the water like she’s waiting for something to happen. Maybe for someone to show. But no one ever comes. It makes me wonder what she’s thinking or what’s she waiting for. If anything.

The sun’s low but it’s still hot. The clock tower of a nearby church chimes. I count. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. I reach for my green army bag, the one they sent me home with after the war. I carry a picture of you. My sweet Libby. You’re dressed in the royal blue dress I bought you. The one with the lace trim. You’re spinning that white parasol over your soft blonde curls—it’s my favorite. I keep it pinned to the side of my bag. I want it where I can see you. Remember you the way you were. My sweet and innocent Libby bug.

Sometimes I try not to remember. Because the loss, the guilt I feel is just too much to bear. But then I do. I smile to myself. I breathe deep to hold the tears. The war broke a lot of men. Some of them live at the arch now. But that’s not what broke me. You did. I reach into the bag and dig for the last bottle of beer. I wrap my fingers around it. It’s no longer cold or cool. It’s just hot, but I don’t mind if it makes me numb for a little while.

My stomach rumbles—I ignore it and twist open the bottle. The hot brew fizzes and runs over. I stick it to my lips and let the froth fill my mouth. I swallow it down hard then chug a little more. The people are starting to thin out now. The playground is bare, the pathways are empty, the music has faded. My stomach rumbles again and I swig down the last of the hot beer.

Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

gracepatinvoh: J'ai adoré les scènes de baise intense cela te fait perdre tes sens, mais on attend de la suite qu'elle soit plus hot🥵🥵.Je vais proposer cela à mes potes

potlako2003: I love everything about this story, it’s intriguing and make you want to read again and again.❤️

Darling yuvixza: Me encanta todo le salio perfecto y la historia es hermosa de principio a fin 😘🥰

Fiona Walker: Absolutely bloody loved it. A very well written slow burn romance that will I think, be continued in subsequent books. It leads nicely into the next one

Johanna: La historia me han encantado como todas las que he leido, me encantan todas, te quiero felicitar por tener una mente tan inteligente y creativa.

Ess: Love the story and plot. Loved the characters and the spicy writing.

Sara: A great story! I look forward to more chapters and updates to this one.

Diana: Me gusta la trama. Se la recomiendo a todos. Ya dejen el hace nl hace nada bien a nadie.

More Recommendations

Paraschiv: It's a really good book. Thank you!

Bambi : Me gustan los personajes, espero terminen juntos, jwbfiwndi, necesito que tengan un hermoso final

Nicola: Wow wow wow.. fantastic.. story lines.. and plot twists. I love it

CharlieM: I love college stories and this one is good!Small grammar and tense mistakes but they are not too distracting.I can’t wait for the next one!

lmurray01234: It was drawn out nicely

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.