Holly Wood Files #6
Brody Bond. The youngest homicide detective in Holly Woods. My best friend’s younger brother.
Off. Freaking. Limits.
I’ve told myself that for the past five years, and I’m going to keep telling myself that. Besides—I’m kind-of dating Jason. I don’t need Brody. I shouldn’t even want him, but want him, I do.
Not that I have time to think about it. With Noelle and Drake in Mexico for two weeks, I’m holding down the fort at Bond P.I. Or I was… until I stumbled upon a young woman who’d been attacked while walking my dog.
Jason thinks it’s the latest in a long line of gang-rapes happening across three states. Brody thinks I’ve added a target to my back. Getting to the bottom of it is at the top of my to-do list.
Two men, both determined to protect me.
I think I could love one. I’m almost certain I’m in love with the other.
Ride or die just got a whole lot realer.
“Danger! Danger! Danger!” Gio screams. “Danger! Neenaw neenaw neenaw!”
“Jesus Christ, Nonna!” Brody yells, rubbing his ear. “What the hell is that?”
Nonna stops. “He-a likes CSI.”
I blink. Gio watches CSI?
“You let your parrot watch murder TV shows?” I ask.
“Si. He-a likes it.”
“Neenaw neenaw neenaw!” Gio flaps his wings.
“What is the neenaw about?” I say quickly when he stops.
“He-a is-a a police-a car,” Nonna says in the kind of dry tone that says I should know that.
Like it's totally fucking normal for a parrot to pretend to be a police car.
“Nonna, you need a quieter pet,” Brody tells her. “That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.”
She snorts. “He will-a learn-a a fire engine next!”
“I'm leaving.” I grab my purse and stand up.
Nonna grabs my arm, stands me up, and spins me toward the dining room—and away from the wannabe siren with a heartbeat. “No. You-a must-a help me.”
“Nonna,” I say gently, hoping to placate her and trying not to think about the fact that I dropped my purse on the floor. “They haven't set a wedding date. This can wait until they're home.”
She shakes her head. “No. She-a does-a not-a care about-a napkins!”
I don't blame her. I'm not gonna lie. I don't care about napkins, either. At least, not right now. There are far bigger things to worry about.
“Neenaw!” Gio cries through the house.
Brody slams the dining room door, cutting him off. “That goddamn bird, Nonna.”
Nonna clasps her hand to her chest. “Take-a it-a back!”
“I'm going to damn you if you don't get on with this. I'm supposed to be on a lunch break, not a torture break,” he grinds out. He grabs the samples and, flicking through them halfheartedly, selects the most god-awful pattern I've ever seen. “Here. This is nice.”
“If you're blind,” I say sarcastically, reaching across and taking them from him.
It's even uglier at closer look. I don't know what Nonna was drinking when she picked these, but it must have been Moonshine or something. I can't even describe the vile mixing of lace and satin on that swatch.
“One of these three.” I pull them from the clip and put them on the table. “Trust me. I'm not being responsible for Noelle having to wipe her mouth with a napkin that looks like it lost a fight with a paper shredder and a glue stick.”
“What's wrong with the one I picked?” Brody asks me indignantly.
I cast my gaze upward. “It looks like it lost a fight with a paper shredder and a glue stick,” I say slowly so he gets every word. “No. I'll be held responsible, and it's not happening.”
Nonna wrinkles her nose as she puts her glasses on and examines the swatches I've handed her. Honestly, if she brings them any closer to her face, she'll be able to feel them. Then she selects a fourth.
“I like-a this one.”
“No,” I say firmly. “One of these.” I hand her the best three.
Brody groans. “Why can't she just use paper napkins?”