“Damn, you’re gorgeous,” he said.
“Thank you. But, so help me, David, if you come inside, I won’t get any work done.”
At that, he laughed. He leaned over, brushed his fingers down the side of her face, slowly moving over the curve of her cheek, along her jaw to her mouth, where he ran the pad of his thumb over her lips. “If that’s meant to scare me off, it’s not working.”
She dipped her head, rubbed her cheek along his fingertips. “It is your condo. I have no right to tell you when you can be here.”
“I’m not staying,” he said. She pushed the door open but didn’t move.
A gust of wind blew her hair into her face and she shoved it back. “Okay.”
“Unless you want me to.”
ADRIENNE GIORDANO, a USA TODAY bestselling author, writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the wheaten terrorist (terrier). For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit www.adriennegiordano.com or download the Adrienne Giordano app. For information on Adrienne’s street team, go to facebook.com/groups/dangerousdarlings.
“Come on, boy. Another quarter mile and we’re done.”
Larry McCall whistled for Henry, his black Lab, who needed exercise more than Larry, to move along. Sunrise illuminated the sky, streaking it in shades of purple and orange that made even a grisly homicide detective marvel at the beauty of nature on an early fall morning.
With Henry busy sniffing a patch of dirt, Larry paused a moment, tilted his head back and inhaled the dewy air. Another two weeks, all these trees would be barren and the city would come in and scoop up the leaves. At which point, his body would make excuses to stay in bed rather than hoof it through ten acres of fenced-in fields on Chicago’s southwest side.
Half expecting Henry to trot by him, Larry opened his eyes and glanced to his left, where the dog always walked. No Henry. Since when had he gotten subversive? Larry angled back and found Henry still at the spot he’d been sniffing a minute ago. Only now he was digging. Hard. Terrific. Not only would he have dirt all over him, but he’d also probably snatch a dead animal out of the ground and drop it at Larry’s feet. Here ya go, Dad.
Not happening. He whistled again. “Leave it,” he said in his best alpha-dog voice.
His bum luck was that Henry had alpha tendencies, too, and kept digging. He’d have to leash him and pull him away before a dead squirrel wound up in his jaws.
Years earlier the city had torn down three low-income apartment buildings—the projects—because of the increased drug and criminal activity surrounding the place. All that was left was the fenced-in acreage that made for great walking. Problem was, there could be anything—rodents, needles, crack baggies, foil scraps—buried. Needles. Dammit. Larry hustled back to the dog before he got stuck. Or stoned.
“Whatever you found, Henry, we don’t want any part of. Leave it.”
He snapped the leash on, gently eased Henry back and was met with ferocious barking. What the hell? His happy dog had gone schizo.
“What is it, boy?”
Holding the dog off the hole he’d started, Larry bent at the waist to focus on something white—dull white—peeking through the dirt.
Henry barked and tugged at the leash.
“Okay, boy. Relax. Let me look at it.”
He led a still-barking Henry to a tree, secured the leash around it to keep him at bay and СКАЧАТЬ