Dirty Money – Denise Grover Swank

Author’s Note: If you haven’t read Come Rain or Shine, Rose Gardner Investigations #5, released on May 6, go back and read that now. Dirty Money will will contain major spoilers if you haven’t read it. If you missed the release of Come Rain or Shine be sure to sign up for the Denise Grover Swank newsletter so you don’t miss future surprise releases. “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOİN’ here?” I asked my best friend, Rose Gardner, as she walked through the front door of the RBW Landscaping office with her dog Muffy trotting next to her. “You were supposed to stay home today.” Rose lifted her chin and gave me a defiant look. “I spent two hours moping around— alone, mind you—and decided I’d go crazy if I didn’t have something to do. Besides, I was comin’ to town anyway since we have that appointment at the attorney’s office this afternoon.” I understood why she wouldn’t want to sit around in an empty house. Her sister Violet’s funeral had been two days ago. Carly, who’d dropped into our lives by accident and proved a godsend, was also struggling with loss. After taking care of Violet for the past two months, she’d gone back to work at the nursery today. She hadn’t wanted to sit around either. “Well, just take it slow,” I said, turning to face Rose as she sat at her desk. “You’ve been through a lot in the last week.

” Talk about an understatement. She’d found out she was pregnant, only to discover Skeeter Malcolm, the man she loved, had betrayed her and the rest of the county by ushering the Hardshaw Group, a crime syndicate from Dallas, into Fenton County. She’d been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, which had freaked out half the criminals in the county, and then persuaded the same criminals to join forces against Hardshaw, effectively making her not only the new queen of the Fenton County underworld but her lover’s enemy. Last, but not least, her sister had died in Rose’s bed. Rose shook her head. “No. It just gave me too much time to think. Besides, now that we have the Sonder Tech job, I need to make sure Bruce Wayne has everything he needs for the install.” I almost argued with her, but she had a point. She’d do better to keep busy until her appointment with Violet’s attorney in a few hours, especially since she was nervous about what she’d hear.

Violet had warned me that she’d be leaving Rose with a difficult task— I’d promised to help without having any idea what it was about. Rose was equally clueless. “The window’s fixed,” she said in surprise, looking at the glass to the left of the door. It has been busted by a messenger from Denny Carmichael, a criminal worried about Rose’s grand jury testimony the week before. “Jed made sure it was taken care of.” Relief filled her eyes, then guilt—likely from the fact she’d let someone else take care of it. “Jed’s your friend, Rose. Last week was a mess. You’re not a lesser person because you accept help from your friends.” She gave me a tight smile.

“You’re right, but I’m still learnin’ that lesson.” I smiled back. “And knowin’ you, you’ll still be learnin’ that lesson until we’re rockin’ together in the old folks’ home. But I’ll still be there remindin’ you it’s okay.” Tears swam in her eyes. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Neely Kate.” “Good thing you don’t have to find out,” I said in a mock-smug tone. Then my worry for her took over. “Are you hungry? Thirsty? I can run over to Merilee’s Diner to get you something. Or a muffin from the Daily Grind.

” She shook her head as she booted up her computer. “I ate a couple of scrambled eggs and some toast this morning.” She flashed me a weak smile. “Not only did I eat it all, I even kept it down.” “That’s good,” I said in an encouraging tone. “You’re near the end of your first trimester. Soon you probably won’t be sick at all.” She gave me a worried glance, looking for signs that I might be upset. I’d lost my own babies at thirteen weeks last January, and the doctors had discovered I was unlikely to ever get pregnant again. She knew how much I wanted babies of my own and within ten minutes of finding out about her own surprise pregnancy, she’d been more worried about my reaction than her own.

That wasn’t lost on me, and I vowed to give her all the love and support Violet would have given her and more. Without a word, she turned to her computer, although I suspected she was doing more staring than she was working, while I returned to the bookkeeping. I’d spent the better part of the last month at the nursery, filling in for Violet and Carly, and while Rose had tried to keep up with the receipts and invoices, there was still a mountain of work for me. Things felt like they were returning to semi-normal, even if I knew they weren’t. We’d been at work for nearly an hour when the front door dinged. I glanced up to see my brother Joe walking in with two coffee cups from the Daily Grind. Muffy, who had been asleep on her dog bed under Rose’s desk, hopped up and took off running toward him, sniffing around his ankles, then jumping up on his legs. “Rose,” Joe said, stopping in his tracks when he saw her. “I thought you were stayin’ home today.” She gave him a smile that looked like it took too much effort.

“You suggested that I should do whatever made me feel better. This makes me feel better.” Sympathy filled his eyes as he smiled back. “Then bein’ here with Neely Kate seems like the place you should be.” Funny, I hadn’t looked at it that way, but maybe he was right. Maybe Rose wanted to be with people who loved her. And who she loved. That shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but I still struggled to believe I was worth anyone’s love. Even hers. But that thought was fleeting as I took a closer look at the two of them.

Joe had been living with Rose since the middle of August—an arrangement they’d settled upon because she’d needed protection from Denny Carmichael. While Joe and Rose’s romantic relationship had ended—badly—over a year ago, they’d settled into a comfortable friendship over the last few months, one that was bound to become more complicated since Joe was now telling the world he was the father of Rose’s baby. Skeeter Malcolm wanted nothing to do with her pregnancy, and the baby would be in danger if the wrong person found out he was the daddy. In my opinion, a few too many people knew their story to be false. Rose’s phone rang. When she glanced at the phone, she announced, “It’s Maeve,” then proceeded to answer. Joe walked over to me, holding out one of the cups. “I got your current favorite.” “Half almond milk, half soy, chai latte with a pump of mocha?” He tried to hide his look of disgust. “Tony said that was the newest on the list.

” “Thanks,” I said, smiling up at him as I took the cup. Joe couldn’t keep up with my ever-changing drink order so he’d asked Tony and the other baristas to keep my current favorite written on a notepad by the cash register. He shot a glance to Rose, who was still on the phone talking about an order for an upcoming install, and lowered his voice. “How’s she doin’?” “I think she’s in the zombie stage of grief.” It wasn’t a shock, especially since I was sure she was grieving Skeeter Malcolm’s betrayal as well as Violet’s death. “Do you think she should be here?” Concern filled his eyes. “She said she hated bein’ at the house alone, but she just seems to be starin’ at her computer screen. Maybe I should encourage her to go over to the nursery to work for a bit. She loves workin’ with the flowers.” He stared at her with a worried gaze.

“She said Violet’s attorney is reading her will this afternoon.” I nodded. “I’m goin’ with her.” Joe looked relieved. “Good. I realize Violet was a pretty simple woman, so there aren’t likely to be any bombshells, but Rose is still hurtin’. I’m sure she can use your support.” His statement almost made me laugh out loud. “Simple” wasn’t a word I would ever have used for Violet Beauregard. His smile faded.

“What?” “Let’s step outside for a moment,” I said low enough that Rose couldn’t hear me in case she was half-listening. Anxiety washed over his face, but he didn’t hesitate. “Sure.” He took a step back and followed me to the front door. Rose looked up with a questioning glance, her phone pressed to her ear. “I have to show Joe somethin’ on my car,” I said brightly. “We’ll be right back.” Not the best excuse, given that my boyfriend and cousin were both mechanics, not Joe, but she wasn’t liable to question me just now. Sure enough, she nodded and returned to her call. Joe followed me outside and we stopped on the sidewalk just outside of Rose’s view.

“What’s goin’ on?” he asked, his voice full of dread. “There’s something in Violet’s will.” His face blanched. “What are you talkin’ about?” “I’m not sure what’s in it, but I do know Violet had Rose take her to her attorney’s office not long after she came home from Texas. She told Rose she was leavin’ something for her but wouldn’t tell her anything more about it. Vi’s attorney said he was available to help Rose when the time came.” “Things weren’t good between Vi and Mike at the end,” Joe said, mulling it over as he stared absently down the street. “Do you think she tried to give Rose custody of the kids?” I asked. He made a face. “Mike took care of them while Vi was gone for months, which more than proves he’s a fit father.

I don’t see how Rose would have grounds to get custody. Surely Vi’s attorney would have told her that.” “Seems likely, but Violet said she was askin’ Rose to do something hard after she died. I promised to stand by her and help.” “Well, damn,” Joe said with a frown. “Vi always did love to stir up shit. Shouldn’t surprise me that she’s still doin’ it from the grave.” I hated that he was talking ill of her at all, let alone two days after we’d buried her. Months ago, I might have agreed with him, but now… I’d gotten to know Violet over the past couple of months. “I guess we’ll find out soon enough,” I said.

“More like two o’clock this afternoon to be exact.” Joe shot a glance toward the office door. “Maybe I should go with you two. Technically, I might be involved since I’m one-third owner of the nursery.” I studied him closely. “What are you doin’, Joe?” He looked startled by my harsh tone. “What are you talkin’ about?” I checked to make sure no one was around to overhear us. “Do you love her? Are you wantin’ to get back together? Is that why you offered to be the daddy to her baby?” We hadn’t had time to talk about it, what with the funeral arrangements, but I’d been meaning to pull him aside. He could have gotten mad, and I was prepared to deal with his defensiveness, but a soft smile spread across his face. “I fell in love with Rose Gardner, a sheltered woman who was burstin’ at the seams to live her life.

Now she’s…” He shook his head as though he didn’t quite believe what he was about to say. “Now she’s queen of the Fenton County crime world and nothin’ like the woman I loved.” “So why in Sam Hill did you make the offer?” “We’re still friends, and obviously I respect the hell out of her, or this would never work.” He looked me in the eye. “I’m no good at relationships with women, but when I found out Hilary was pregnant and I got over the initial shock, I realized that while I didn’t want to be with Hilary, I really did want to be a dad. So when Rose told me she was pregnant and that Malcolm tried to bribe her into gettin’ an abortion…” He paused. “I know she had a shitty childhood. When we were together, she always said it was important to her that her children have two loving parents. So she wanted a father for her baby and I wanted to be a dad.” He shrugged.

“I’m not deluded enough to think this will be easy, but I believe we can make it work.” “For what it’s worth,” I said, my voice hitching, “I think you’ll be an amazin’ father. Rose’s baby is lucky to have you.” “Why do I hear a but in there?” “I just feel like maybe you two should have thought this through a bit more before makin’ such a big decision.” Again, he could have gotten angry, but a sad look filled his eyes. “Maybe you’re right, but when I made the offer, I partially did it because of the whole grand jury testimony. We all know that information was bein’ leaked. What if they’d asked her who the father was? If word got out that it was Malcolm, she might as well paint a bull’s-eye on her back.” He hesitated as though weighing his words, then said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have jumped in so quickly when she accepted, but it just feels right, Neely Kate. I’m not tryin’ to hurt her and I’m not tryin’ to control her, but part of the woman I loved is still in there, and that woman told me what she wanted in a family.

” His voice softened. “She’s definitely capable of raising that baby on her own, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what she wants.” I lowered my voice to a whisper. “And what if the real father wants to be part of this baby’s life?” His jaw tightened. “Do you really think he’s father material?” “It doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t, Joe,” I said in a firm tone. “What matters is that he’s the baby’s biological father and he has a right to stake a claim.” “That would put Rose and the baby at risk. Especially after she’s pitted herself against him.” Joe only knew so much about what had happened in the Fenton County crime world. Whereas the criminals usually pledged allegiance to a king, Rose had offered them something else.

She wanted no say in their criminal doings. Her role was to unite them so they stood a better chance at protecting the county against Hardshaw. To that end, she’d serve as a mediator, peacekeeper, and—based on their first official meeting the night before—babysitter. She was wrangling massive egos and stubborn prides, not to mention a good third of the members still didn’t respect her. She’d come home with a massive headache, and I’d told Carly to make sure she took a long warm bath to unwind. Joe would have probably preferred not to know any of that, but he was currently living with Rose and Carly, and he’d overheard Rose and me discussing her new role. His mouth parted as a new thought seemed to hit him. “Do you think he’d lay claim to the baby to hurt her?” I gasped. I hadn’t considered that. “He tried to bribe her with twenty thousand dollars to get rid of it and he had to know that would kill her.

” I paused. “If he sees her as a threat…especially now…” My stomach turned. “He might blackmail her into backing off by threatenin’ to sue for custody.” Horror filled Joe’s eyes. “We need to talk to Jed about this,” I said. “He knows Skeeter better than anyone.” The set of his jaw told me he didn’t like the reminder of my boyfriend’s previous job as Skeeter Malcolm’s right-hand man, but he nodded. “Good idea.” I reached up on tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. “What’s that for?” he asked in confusion.

“Because you’re a good friend, Joe, and I meant what I said. Rose’s baby is lucky to have you in his or her life.” His face flushed, and he pulled me into a hug. “Thanks, Neely Kate. I really needed to hear that today.” He hugged me tighter then released his hold. “How are you doin’ with Rose’s pregnancy?” I knew why he was asking. I leaned back to smile up at him. “I’m not gonna lie—it hurts, but Rose will let me be part of it. And it helps that it’s Rose, you know?” I gave him a tight smile.

“While this baby wasn’t planned, I think she needs it.” I looked up at him with love. “I think you both do.” He hugged me again before pulling away, his eyes glassy. “I need to get back to work. Let me know how this afternoon goes. With any luck at all, Violet’s big announcement is that she gave her third of the nursery to Mike and Rose and I will be stuck dealing with him.” Somehow, I didn’t think we’d get off that easy. R C H A P T E R 2 ose and I continued working until a little after noon, when I announced we needed to get lunch at Merilee’s, just like we used to. I’d expected her to protest, but she reached for her purse and said, “That sounds good.

” We walked across the courtyard square to the diner and were lucky enough to grab the last table by the front window. Rose was quiet and I knew she wasn’t feeling like herself when she picked up the laminated menu and looked it over. It may have been a while since we’d been here, but she knew the menu by heart. I reached over and placed my hand over hers. “I know we’re behind at the office, but after our meeting at Mr. Gilliam’s office, how about we drive up to Magnolia and get mani/pedis?” I gave her an ornery grin. “I don’t know about you, but my feet could be mistaken for troll feet.” She released a short laugh. “I saw your feet just the other day, and they didn’t come anywhere close, but I like that idea. A lot.

” Tears swam in her eyes, but she quickly blinked them back and glanced down at the menu again. The waitress came and took our order. Rose tried to get by with ordering a house salad, but I added an order of chicken fingers and gravy to my club sandwich with fries. We sat in a comfortable silence while we waited, Rose staring out the window, lost in thought, while I racked my brain for a way to help her with her grief, just like she’d helped me work through mine after I’d lost my babies and then my husband. But that experience had taught me that sometimes the only healing salve was time. The best thing I could do was simply be with her. The waitress brought out our food, and I was pleased when Rose picked up a chicken strip instead of picking at her salad. But only a few bites in, I heard a voice from behind me that set my nerves on edge. “I can’t believe you have the nerve to show your face in public,” Dena Breene snarled. Rose may have been distraught before, but Dena’s snide comment lit a fire in her.

She dropped her chicken strip onto the plate and looked up at Joe’s ex-girlfriend with narrowed eyes. “And why would we be hidin’? Last I heard mournin’ family members weren’t required to walk around in black after the funeral and hide in their houses.” I’d shifted in my seat to look at Dena. Her flushed cheeks proved her comment hadn’t gone down as planned. She’d likely forgotten all about Violet in her haste to shame Rose about her pregnancy. Dena quickly recovered. “You couldn’t stand the fact that he’d moved on and forgotten you, but I still can’t believe you’d stoop to the oldest trick on the book—gettin’ pregnant to chain him to your side.” Rose held her gaze, without any sign of guilt or embarrassment. “He must not have forgotten me at all if he moved into my house less than twenty-four hours after breakin’ up with you.” Rose’s retaliation caught me by surprise, but I recognized it for what it was—she and Joe were selling their pretend relationship with gusto.

“You’re disgustin’, Rose Gardner,” Dena said, her voice breaking. “A monster.” “Have you no shame, Dena?” I asked in disgust of my own. “Rose buried her sister less than forty-eight hours ago. Who’s the monster now?” “I’ll show you,” Dena said, taking a step backward. “I’ll win Mason Deveraux over, just you see, and he won’t take you back.” Rose gave her an expressionless gaze. “I have no intention of trying to win Mason Deveraux back. Not while I’m carryin’ Joe Simmons’ baby.” Dena sputtered and was about to say something else, but I gave her my best condescending look.

“Dena, Joe broke up with you over two months ago after datin’ you for four weeks. You need to let it go. You’re startin’ to look like a stalker.” Her face reddened and she spun around and raced out the door. Rose pushed out a heavy sigh, then shoved her plate away. “That went horribly.” “She’ll get over it,” I reassured her. “I swore I wouldn’t let anyone besmirch my baby, and I was quick to jump on her, but she wasn’t insultin’ my baby. Not really. I was just plain ugly.

” “Rose,” I said insistently. “She’s been ugly to you time and time again, and you’ve let her get away with it, and here she is, months later, still ventin’.” I paused. “For what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing. You gave her the benefit of the doubt for long enough. You were far more gracious than most people would be.” I pushed her plate back toward her. “Now eat.” She picked up her half-eaten chicken strip and took another bite, staring at the plate like it held the secret of life. After she’d eaten half her food, she said, “I need to go to the restroom.

” “You’re not feelin’ sick, are you?” “No,” she said with a soft smile. “But I need to pee something fierce.” I popped a fry in my mouth as she headed to the back, then nearly choked on it when I heard Mason Deveraux say, “Do you mind if I take a seat for a moment?” Was it Drag all the Villains out of the Closet Day? “You sure as Pete better be talkin’ to someone else,” I said in a dry tone, refusing to turn around to face him. “You’d think my reflexes would be better given the number of times people have tried to snatch me.” He came into view as he moved to the edge of our table, wearing a suit and tie. “I assure you this isn’t a kidnapping attempt. I’ll only take a moment of your time.” “Rose is in the restroom, and you don’t want to be over here when she comes out. After your stunt last week, you need to haul your booty someplace else.” I narrowed my eyes.

“And the day before her sister died, no less.” Contrition washed over his face. “I had no idea Violet was that ill or I would have postponed her appearance.” To be fair, none of us had expected her to go so quickly, but I wasn’t about to admit that. “You knew she was dyin’,” I said. “So perhaps you should have checked.” “You’re right,” he said, shifting his weight, “and I feel horribly. But it’s not Rose I want to speak to you about.” I held my breath, trying to hide my fear. Was he here about Jed? Although he’d officially left the crime world three months ago, he’d worked for Skeeter for years.

The statute of limitations was far longer than that for some of the crimes that I was sure Jed had committed. “Then what do you want?” “I need to speak to you about Ronnie.” He couldn’t have caught me more by surprise if he’d announced I’d won the lottery and he was here to hand me a ten-million-dollar check. After a couple of seconds, I pulled myself together enough to say, “You’re barkin’ up the wrong tree. I don’t have anything to tell you about Ronnie.” “No, Neely Kate,” he said. “I have information to give you.” M C H A P T E R 3 y heart sputtered from the shock, but I shot a glance to the short hall that led to the bathrooms. “I don’t want to discuss this here. Rose will be back any minute.

She’s dealin’ with enough right now without pilin’ this on the heap.” He nodded with a grim look. “I hadn’t planned on discussing it here. I think it’s prudent that we speak in private. Do you want to come to my office?” I didn’t, but I would have walked across burning coals if he had information about my wayward husband so I could serve him divorce papers. Joe and Jed excelled at finding people who didn’t want to be found, but they had neither seen nor heard anything about him for months. “Rose and I have an appointment at two. I’ll come around one.” I made a face. “I guess if you have time then.

” “I’ll make time,” he said, sounding like he meant it. A war waged in my heart. Mason had been a good friend when he was with Rose, and I’d even tried to give him the benefit of the doubt when he’d come back to Fenton County with the purpose of cleaning out corruption…until this whole grand jury mess had exploded… A small part of me recognized that if Rose weren’t involved I’d probably be cheering him on. The county was full of corruption. But she was my best friend and she’d stuck with me through loads of crap. I owed her unflinching loyalty. Was I breaking that loyalty if I met with Mason? She’d be the first to tell me to go, but to be careful. “Okay,” I said. “I’ll meet you then, but Rose can’t see us talking to each other now.” He nodded.

“I’m here picking up my lunch. I’ll head over to the counter now.” When Rose emerged from the bathroom a few moments later, Mason was paying for his food at the takeout counter. She didn’t catch sight of him until she sat back down. Her eyes widened as he turned around with a to-go box. “Rose,” Mason said, approaching our table as I silently cursed him. “I know things are tense between us, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you how sorry I am about the loss of your sister. Violet and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but she loved you fiercely and I know she’ll be missed by many, including my mother.” Rose’s eyes filled with tears. “Thank you.

” He looked almost wistful as he studied her, and I couldn’t help wondering what he was thinking. Did he wish he’d handled things differently so the baby she was carrying was his? Or was he just sad that things had gotten to this point between them? Whatever he was thinking, he abruptly turned and walked out of the restaurant. Rose was silent again, staring at her plate while lost in thought, and I wondered what she needed from me. Did she need me to rake Mason over the coals for daring to speak to her? It would have helped if I knew how I felt about it myself. She reached for her wallet. “I want to get back to the office before we encounter any more surprises.” Pulling out some cash, she set it on the table, then looked me square in the eye. “Would I be a terrible friend if I leave and let you settle the bill?” “No, Rose,” I said, my voice thick with emotion. “You go. I’ll deal with this.

” I slid the money back to her. “I’ve got lunch today. My treat. Use this to buy something for the baby.” Surprise filled her eyes, followed by joy. “Okay, but only if you’ll come with me.” “I like that idea,” I said, with a smile. “You head back, and I’ll be along in a short bit. I have some errands to run around the square.” I was prepared for her to ask questions, but she simply nodded and then left.

I took a few moments to pull myself together. Did Mason really have information about Ronnie or was he tricking me to his office in an attempt to get information out of me? I considered calling Jed, but I suspected he’d tell me not to go. I definitely couldn’t take him with me. While Jed and I were becoming bolder about being seen together, if Mason knew I was living with Skeeter Malcolm’s former right-hand man, he’d grill me mercilessly. No, I had to do this alone. I paid the bill then left the café, wondering how to fill the next fifteen minutes before my appointment with Mason. It struck me that he’d just picked up his lunch. I’d bet my favorite knock-off Kate Spade wallet that he had time to meet with me. Rather than wait, I decided to march right on in and get the upper hand. Once I got through the courthouse security, I realized I didn’t know where to find Mason’s new office.

He was here in the capacity of his new role as the state special prosecutor, not the Fenton County assistant DA, but I headed to the second floor anyway. The staff in Mason’s old office would likely know where to find him. After a long ride on the notoriously slow elevators, I walked into the DA’s office and stopped at Mason’s old receptionist’s desk. She’d been his personal assistant back in the day, so I figured she was my best bet. “I’m lookin’ for Mason.” “Mr. Deveraux is eating his lunch,” she said with plenty of attitude. “And I don’t recall you havin’ an appointment.” So she remembered me from the few times I’d stopped by to see Mason when he was with Rose, and apparently those memories weren’t warm and fuzzy. Still, she’d all but confirmed she was working for him again.

“He knows I’m comin’,” I said. “Just tell him I’m here early and let him decide if he wants to see me.” Reluctantly, she picked up her phone and placed a call. After a short exchange, she hung up and said, “You can go on back.” “I’m not sure which office.” Her mouth pursed. “Three doors down on the right.” Sure enough, Mason was sitting at a desk, eating a sandwich while absorbed in something on his computer screen. He glanced up when he saw me and put the sandwich down. “I thought you were coming at one.

” “I was free now, so…” He gave me a weak smile as he stood. “Why don’t you close the door? We don’t want people overhearing our conversation.” I did as he asked, worried when he picked up a folder and walked around the edge of the desk. What was in that folder? He gestured to a round table with four chairs. “Why don’t we sit at the table?” My hand shook as I reached for the closest chair, but Mason pulled it out for me, giving me a sympathetic look as we both sat down. My eyes were on that folder as he set it on the table, crossing his forearm on top of it. “Before I show you this,” he said, “I need you to promise me something.” My brow shot up. “After what you did to Rose, you expect me to give you something?” I was starting to have second thoughts. Was I betraying Rose just by being here? Pushing out a soft sigh, he sat back in his chair.

“Do you want to discuss my situation with Rose first, or would you rather skip to what I know about Ronnie?” I lifted my chin in defiance. “Who says I’m gonna tell you anything about Rose?” “Neely Kate, we seem to be getting off on the wrong foot.” “You think?” I snapped. He gave me a look of frustration, then a hint of a smile lifted his lips. “I’m not here to entrap you or Rose. If anything, I’m the one who could end up in trouble, which is what the promise is about.” My gaze landed on the folder again. Was he inadvertently resting his arm on it or was it some kind of subliminal message? I pierced his eyes with my own. “I’m not talkin’ about Rose, so you might as well get to what you know about Ronnie.” He was silent for a moment.

“I’m not sure what Rose told you about her grand jury testimony and I’m not allowed to talk about it, but it wasn’t personal, Neely Kate.” I shot him a glare. “Someone paid for a police department, and those rogue officers nearly killed Rose,” he said. “Whoever did that is still out there.” He shook his head in exasperation. “Why would you not want them put away?” When he put it that way, it made sense, but I knew there was more to it. “You and I both know part of it was personal. You made the whole thing stressful for both her and Violet.” Regret filled his eyes. “Like I said, I didn’t realize Violet was so close to the end. How’s Rose handlin’ her death?” “How do you think?” I asked in a hateful tone. His face softened. “If she needs anything…” “Then Joe can handle it,” I said to shut him down.


PDF | Download

Buy me a coffee (;

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

PDF Kitap İndir | Pdf Libros Gratis

Forum.Pictures © 2018 | Descargar Libros Gratis | Kitap İndir |
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x