“I always liked Olga. She was a good kid.”
“Too good for some.”
“Yeh, my brother said you told him she was in with a bad crowd from the old country and that my son Lou was tryin’ to help her out. If there’s anything I can do, you just name it.”
“Lou came into my office wantin’ me to find his girl and left five hundred grand in cash—as a retainer, I’m supposing. My usual fee is a lot more.”
“Yes, I am, but I waive my fee in special cases. That’s not one of ‘em, but Olga’s is.
I didn’t count on her, or her pleading with me to help her. Karl told me that Lou did a ten year stretch in Sing Sing an’ he wanted to put it behind him and get himself straight. I’m thinkin’ he wanted to do Olga the favor of gettin’ her slate clean too. That way you’d be one happy family again.”
“Bless the poor schmuck’s heart. I use’ta tell him how close me an’ his uncle Karl use’ta be.”
“Thick as thieves.”
“That’s right, but Karl, you know, he, eh, frowned on certain business practices—practices that made me a lot of gelt, I might add. We hadda blow up when our mother died and hadn’t spoken until he called me today. Can ya believe it?”
“Sure, but meanwhile Lou and Olga were pals who wanted to mend the fence between you and your brother. Karl tells me he met Olga at your daughter’s wedding.”
“I’m thinkin’ that’s where she and Lou cooked up their scheme. Olga was a friend of your daughter I take it.”
“Yeh, that’s right too. What are you gettin’ at, shamus?”
“Maybe nothing. How’s your daughter these days?”
“Lorsha’s doin’ okay. You wanna talk to her? Find out if she knows anything about any of this.”
“Would you have a problem with that?”
“Nah, I guess not. Sounds like pretty dirty business. I hope she don’t know nothin’, but I guess you gotta look into all your angles. And it ain’t like you’re the bulls.
Look, Brady, I’ll put you on my ticket. How’s that? I hate to see a guy workin’ for nothin’. What’s your usual fee?”
“My last job pulled in forty million.”
“You are expensive! You guarantee results?”
“I’ve never had any complaints.”
“Tell ya what, Brady, since you come by way of my brother, I’ll talk to him about payin’ ya that forty mil. Me an’ him can go halvsies on it—as long as you guarantee results.”
“I’ll take it from him, but I won’t take it from you. The fee is twenty mil and you can count it as a favor to Olga an’ Lou. I’m all for happy family relations.”
“My money ain’t good enough for ya?”
“Your money’s got blood on it. No offense.”
“That’s what my brother says. None taken, I guess. Okay, I’ll give ya Lorsha’s address. You go an’ talk to her about Olga.”
“Thanks. I will.”
“Oh, eh, Brady.”
“I’ll see ya at our family reunion.”
Lorsha was an upscale yenta who wasn’t content with just using her husband’s money to look as good as she could with what she had. She’d had a few parts removed and added a few others. It came together in a brunette bombshell that’d already gone off a few times.
“Are you Mister Brady?”
“Tatteh called and said you were coming. You wanted to ask me some questions about Olga.”
She had a broad gracious smile and her father’s shifty brown eyes. Fortunately, the resemblance stopped there, for her and for me.
“Come inside. I’m not sure I can tell you much.”
“How’s that? I thought Olga was a friend of yours.”
“She was friend of my husband’s. I should say her boyfriend at the time was a friend of Donald’s.”
“Olga had a boyfriend when she met your uncle?”
“She didn’t tell you that part of the story.”
“She didn’t have time.”
“I’m not sure she would have even if she had. Olga liked to keep things secret about herself. She was very selective about what she let people know. I thought it was weird. My uncle apparently thought it endearing in some strange way.”
“She couldn’t keep all her secrets from him. He had her checked out before he married her.”
“That’s uncle Karl for you, protecting his investment.”
“Whatever happened to this old boyfriend? Your husband still friends with him?”
“I don’t know, but after Olga dumped him for Karl, he became kind of scarce. I haven’t seen him. I don’t know if Donald keeps in touch with him. I think he thought it a bit embarrassing—you know, that his girl threw him over for a rich old coot living in a penthouse.”
“Olga didn’t think it was embarrassing.”
“Are you kidding? You’d think she’d died and gone to yeneh velt. Where are my manners? Can I get you something to drink, bubee?”
“That’s right. You didn’t come to socialize.”
“Where is your husband?”
“At work, of course. He won’t be home for hours. Sure you won’t have a drink? I’m having a Sea Breeze. I can make you something stronger if you like.”
I ignored the second offer and kept talking while she mixed her drink. She kept shooting me designing glances that made me grateful she had her father’s eyes.
“Well, if you won’t have a drink with me, at least sit with me on the couch. I won’t tell my father.”
“What about your husband?”
“I won’t tell him either.”
“Is he still in touch with Mitch?”
“I told you I don’t know—how did you know his name was Mitch?”
“Olga mentioned it. Seems she was still in touch with him.”
“I knew it! She was cheating on uncle Karl! The nafkeh!”
“I don’t think it worked that way.”
“How else could it have worked?”
“Mitch was blackmailing Olga to keep her past secret from Karl, but Karl had already found out about it in the course of protecting his investment, as you put it, but he loved Olga, so he never let on that he knew. That’s how Grasso was able to get his hooks into her.”
“You know his last name too.”
“I know everything except where he is right at this moment, and I’d know that too if Olga hadn’t taken a bullet in the face before she could take me to him.”
“No. And neither is your brother. He was gonna help Olga get out from under Grasso’s thumb, unfortunately the only way he knew how to go about it was the wrong way.
He got a slug in the back for his trouble.”
She gulped down her Sea Breeze and sputtered, “I’m sorry, Mister Brady—I had no idea. I thought this was about Olga sneaking around behind my uncle’s back—you know, having an affair. I never dreamed—”
“Why should you suspect a friend of your husband’s of anything more than routine hanky-panky?
It’s hardly typical, but considering your uncle’s dough, well, it’s only natural. Grasso’s a rat and Olga’s no saint. They weren’t in it together but she couldn’t get out of it. He’d had his hooks in her for a long time. He wasn’t her boyfriend. He was her pimp.”
“I’d like to believe you’re as shocked as you pretend to be, but I don’t think growin’ up with your old man would allow you to be that naive. Let’s get back to your husband. Just how did long he know Mitch Grasso—and how well?”
“I need another drink. She got one, making it a double as she said, “Are you sure you, no, I guess not. Surely you’re not suggesting Donald has anything to do with what you’ve just told me?”
“What if I am?”
“Neshtu gedacht! I hope to god you’re not. If my father even thought for a minute that Donald—I’d be a widow, Mister Brady, in no uncertain terms. How much is my father paying you?”
She calmed down and parked her plump tush on a barstool.
“He’s not. I wouldn’t take his gelt.”
“Let’s me sleep at night.”
“And what keeps you awake?”
“Dirtbags that keep other people from sleepin’ at night. About your husband’s friendship with Grasso—”
“I told you, bubee, if my father ever thought that Donald a hand in taking advantage of Olga to extort Karl, he’d kill him. What part of that don’t you understand?”
“I understand all of it, but if your husband doesn’t have a hand in it, he shouldn’t mind telling me where I might find Grasso to straighten the whole mess up, should he?”
“No—no, I guess he shouldn’t. Are you going to—kill Grasso?”
“Not unless he tries to kill me first.”
“After talking with you, I know you’re not a foolish man. You wouldn’t just walk up to Grasso and accuse him to his face.”
“Mister Brady—are you foolish?”
“I like to think not.”
“I’ll call Donald and ask him if he knows how to get in touch with Mitch. Should I make up some excuse so as not to put him onto you?”
“Yeh. At this point, I don’t really know who I can trust.”
“Mister Brady—bubee—have you got a first name?”
“Duke—that’s a strong name, the name of a man who fights for what he believes in. What we Jews call a kamfer. Duke—my father sent you here and you’re working to protect my uncle’s shiksa wife. By doing that you will also alleviate a lot of grief for my uncle and by extension the entire Loeman family. You’re not doing it because you love Jews and not because you want to see us prosper and multiply. You mentioned something about Lou coming to you to find his girl. That’s how all of this got started, but what does it have to do with it? That must be some special girl.”
“Is she a Jewish girl?”
“Do you know anything else about her?”
“I used to. Maybe she’s changed since I’ve seen her last.”
“You’ve seen her?”
“I use’ta see her every day. She was my secretary until a short time ago.”
“Mister Brady—Duke, I would have to say that makes this case rather personal for you.”
“I assure you Donald won’t be home for hours. Are you sure you won’t have that drink?”
She guided a thick painted fingers across a hefty set’a bubbles. I remembered what I’d come there for before she got too stewed to remember who I was.
“If Grasso was at your wedding that means he was sent an invitation. Which means your husband has his address, which means you have it too. Can you put your hands on it right now?”
“I—I think I can. I must have it in an old address book. It’s in my bedroom upstairs. Come with me and I’ll get it.”
“I’ll wait here.”
“Mister Brady—I’ve noticed that you’ve managed to stay at arm’s length throughout our entire conversation. Is that because you’re afraid of me—or my father?”
“Get the address.”
She got off her bottom, making sure I got a good look at it as she made her way up the stairs.
Bradshaw and his bulls were going were up to their usual routines, the DA with a cheroot in his yap going over the what-fors with his top dick.
“We’ve got the ballistics from those two that were shot over at Metro Hospital, sir. It was two different guns and only one’a the slugs match Shlomo’s piece. The girl was shot with a .22. If it’d been any more powerful, it’d have taken her head off. She got lucky.”
“I’m sure she doesn’t feel lucky, Detective Ryan and why hasn’t Shlomo been arrested?”
“We can’t find ‘im, sir. He must be hidin’ out but we haven’t figured out where.”
“Yes, thanks to the press hovering like ghouls over at his mother’s he knows he’s wanted in that shooting at the hospital.”
“He’s gotta know he’s through. He shot the poor sap in the back in front of witnesses.”
“Yes, including Brady—,” Another one of the DA’s men came in and got his attention. “What is it, Detective Cotton?”
“We got the warrant to search Shlomo’s place, sir.”
“You and Miller take care of that, Cotton. Report to me at once if you find anything pointing to corruption or to Detective Shlomo’s whereabouts.”
“Ryan, have you got men staking out Brady’s office like I ordered?”
“What have they reported so far?”
“Brady’s been gone most of the day. It’s just that leggy blonde he’s got working for ‘im comin’ in and out. She never goes far.
She went to the diner up the street for lunch an’ then stopped in at a clothing boutique an’ later went to the nail salon on the corner, and—”
“Did you assign men to watch Brady’s office or his secretary?”
“Never mind. I’ve seen her. Good work.”
Mitch had sent two of his clowns who knew how to take care of things and little to nothing else besides. These jokers lived for this stuff and were revolted by the sight of the fat bull’s headless corpse surrounded by drunken flies.
“Ohg, god! Kasimir, you cannot be serious! The blood! The stink!”
‘What are you talking about? We saw worse than this in Kosova.”
“I haven’t. There’s too much. This guy must weigh over three hundred pounds—an’ there’s a woman in dis room an’ dat room. Is dere any more you gotta tell us about?”
“Mitcth sent you’s here to do a job. What’a ya yakkin’ for? Get it done!” Kasimir angrily insisted.
“Nah, fuhgit it. Le’s torch the buildin’.”
“Whatever. I’m getting’ out’a here. This place stinks.”
“No kiddin’. Say, Stan, go out’a truck an’ get a can a gas. We’z gotta burn dis dump to the ground. Ain’t gonna be no fat guy an’ no stupid tramps needer.
Anybody else in’a buildin’, Kasimir?”
“What if there is? Girls are partyin’ in the other rooms. They go too. They could end up goin’ to the bulls with what they heard.”
“All right, all right. Stan! Move it, ya slug!”
Reporters were makin’ a mob scene of City Hall, greetin’ miller on the front steps. Miller looked snappy in her new dress blues. She’d been given her promotion and could choose to wear her uniform, the better to keep away from undercover work. She even had her own brigade of rookies that kept their eyes on her stilettos to see where she put her foot down. No fools these guys, slavishly following her every move so they’d get to know every curve.
“Captain Miller! Captain Miller! How many shots did it take to kill Detective Shlomo’s mother?”
“Was she killed on orders from the DA?”
“Officer, keep these snoops out of our way. We’ve got an investigation to conduct.”
“Detective Miller! Detective Miller!”
“All you snoops! Back! Back! Captain’s orders!”
“Captain Miller! “
Miller walked on ahead of her boys and the yelling snoops towards the DA’s office. Cotton met up with her outside the door.
“Why are these birds callin’ my name?”
“‘Cause you’re famous from your run-ins with Brady,” hearin’ the racket.
“You’ve had run-ins with Brady too.”
“Yeah, but I don’t wear pencil skirts and stilettos.”
“You could start.”
“Who do I look like? Hoover?”
They left the precinct out the back to avoid starting a riot. Bradshaw had his hands full too. He had one guy in his face that stood in for a bigger gang than the unruly bunch out front.
“District attorney Bradshaw, I demand that you suspend the detective responsible for this outrageous killing!”
“I’ve already placed the officer on desk duty, rabbi. That’s all I’m going to do. The way my detectives explained it to me, the shooting of Mrs. Shlomo was entirely justifiable. She threatened captain Ryan’s life.”
“And how could an elderly woman do that?
“With a meat cleaver, rabbi. That’s how.”
“And they had no alternative but to shoot?”
“That’s correct, now if you’ll excuse me, in case you haven’t heard detective Shlomo is wanted on conspiracy and corruption charges, coupled with aggravated assault and attempted murder.”
“And that justifies gunning down his mother?”
“The two things are not related.”
“Oh, they’re not? Didn’t the detectives go to Shlomo’s home looking to arrest him? And when they couldn’t find him, they took revenge on his poor helpless old mother? And I understand detective Shlomo, a distinguished member of your own special detective squad, is in fact wanted for the shooting of Louis Loeman, a notorious underworld figure being aided and abetted by none other than Duke Brady in the commission of god knows what felony! Why, Detective Shlomo should be honored as a hero. Instead, he’s vilified and reviled! Hunted like an animal by the very same officers he’s worked side by side with for years! Shlomo is being accused by Brady, isn’t he?”
“Witnesses include the surgeon that treated both shooting victims along several nurses, orderlies, patients, visitors and even other doctors. Why, I heard the shooting myself over the telephone!
The act was so brazen and foolish, the only reason Brady didn’t gun him down was that Shlomo fired suddenly out of the blue and took off like a coward. He got Loeman in the back but didn’t wait to see if the shot was fatal. Fortunately, it wasn’t.
He’d be the first officer on my watch to get the chair and that would not make me proud, but it would be justice.”
“Justice! A man’s mother is murdered and you talk about justice!”
“Crime may not pay, Rabbi, but it has its’ price.”
“Me ken brechen!”
“Here’s the address I have for Mitch.” She said, rubbing her big cjest on my arm when she handed it to me.
“Thanks,” I said, glancing at the arm.
“Ir gefelt mir zaier. It’s a shame, really.”
“Me bein’ married and you bein’—”
“I’ll see ya at the family reunion.”
When I came out of the house, there was a guy standing at the curb. He had on a sharp tailor made suit but the jacket was cut too tight to conceal his rod. He also had the same shifty glint in his eyes. “Hello, Loeman.”
“Spotted me right off, did ya?”
“Did ya think I wouldn’t? Which one are you?”
“Name’s Leonard. Call me Lenny. My old man said you was sharp.”
“You’re old man bein’?”
“Karl. I know what you’re thinking. This is the kind’a play you’d expect from my uncle’s boys, but it ain’t like that. My dad told me about that dirty copper—thought maybe you’d find yourself up against some heavy hitters. He sent me to shadow you, you know, like a guardian angel. You was in there talkin’ with my cousin Lorsha for a long time. You, eh, you was talkin’, weren’t ya?”
“Should I have been doin’ somethin’ else?”
“In a noveneh! Ya could’a. She’s kinda easy. Everybody knows it.”
“Donald know it?”
He laughed so hard it nearly killed him, then he said, “Donald? He’s a lemeshkeh.”
“Ain’t got the sense god gave him. She runs around on him like he ain’t even there, throwin’ that big k’nish of hers all around. Didn’t you take a good look at her?”
“She’s got her father’s eyes.”
“You ain’t human, Brady. My old man won’t let ‘er up the place ‘cause’a the time she schtupped the butler in the pantry. I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason ol’ Howard even sticks around.”
“Your father said that Donald’s family was Orthodox.”
“Yeh, real four cornered squares.”
“Then why would they let their son marry a slut?”
“He wasn’t complainin’, the shmuck. My uncle put up the gelt for Donald to start his business. He thinks he’s doin’ okay, the shlub. He puts up with Lorsha’s yentzen an’ my uncle funnels gelt through the business. Ah, nifter-shmifter, a leben macht er?”
“My father told you he an’ my uncle ain’t spoken since Lorsha’s wedding?”
“That’s the truth.”
“But your father met Olga at the wedding.”
“Yeh, but that’s got nothin’ to do with Donald, other than that she was datin’ a pal’a his at the time.
“A pal named Mitch Grasso.”
He pulled a couple’a hand rolled importeds from his pocket and passed me one. I struck us both up with a lone match.
He inhaled and he let go of the smoke saying, “Yeh, that was his name. He in on this?”
“He’s what this is all about. He’s blackmailing Olga and has her terrified.
She was willing to stick me up to force me to help her out. Lou was helping her behind your father’s back, but what I can’t figure is how they got one of the DA’s top dick to throw in with them. There has to be more to it than the dough.”
“Uh, what’re you sayin’, shamus?”
“Just thinkin’ out loud,” I said, breathing out the sweet tobacco. “Why don’t you knock off for the day, Lenny?
I’ve gotta head back to my office. My secretary worries.”
I drove back to the city without catching sight of a tail. I was surprised I didn’t see the Corvette race past me out of Brooklyn. It would’ve Lorsha in a red scarf and dark cheaters moving like a bullet.
She found her husband alone in his office.
“What brings my loving wife to the place where her husband grinds for his daily bread? How are you?”
“Not well. A man came to see me today. He made me realize what a fool I’ve been.”
“What? What man is this? Did he bring—bad news?”
“Yes and no. I’ve been a fool, but you have been a bigger fool.”
“What are you saying, Lorsha? What did this man say to you?”
“He asked if you were still in touch with Mitch Grasso.”
“Grasso is parech! A paskudnik! I spoke to him not long ago. He called here asking for money! Can you believe the nerve! Said I owed it to him for ruining his life!”
“Hmmm—it seems Mitch and I have something in common after all,” she pondered.
“You’re talking in riddles. Did you come here simply to annoy me? Past nit.”
“No—to kill you.”
She pulled the gun from her purse and used it to spit in his face.
“They sound like they’re talkin’ with a mouth full’a rocks. For a bunch born in the good ol’ U.S. of A. it’s like they come from another planet. Half the time I can’t make heads or tails out’a—”
She clutched the receiver as it started to ring but didn’t pick it up, keepin’ her eyes on me an’ sayin’, “Hold that thought.”
“No. What’a think’a my new skirt?” she said and flashed me a pair of thighs. I didn’t see a skirt.
It rang a couple more times and we ignored it.
“Don’t you ever catch cold?”
“Not with them nice warm hands’a yours.”
It rang again and this time she put the thing to her ear. A second later would’ve been too late.
”Duke Brady Private Investigations,” she said with a wink.
“This is Joseph from the DA’s office. I need to talk to Brady.”
“Joseph from the DA’s,” she said, extendin’ the receiver.
“Ya don’t say.” I traded places with her and I reclined at her desk while she put her new skirt in my lap. “Joseph, Brady.”
“Brady, I’m glad I caught ya in. Bradshaw’s got me sidelined handling the reports of officers investigating the death of that girl we found in your secretary’s apartment.”
“I thought Shlomo was on that case.”
“He ain’t no more an’ you know why. ‘sides, his initial report was full’a holes.”
“I know that too.”
“Well, we’re fillin’ ‘em in. One of the investigating officers found pamphlets from a mail-order bride outfit. Why would a dame lives alone have somethin’ like that around?
Then I thought about you sayin’ that the dame we found wasn’t your secretary.
We still haven’t figured out who the hell she is, other than you saying it was her sister, but there’s no proof’a that either. Get me?”
“Sure. I’ve been, so busy that I haven’t had time to look into the sister. I just assumed that’s who it was ‘cause some broad called me to say that Sarah was missing, but I never actually met her.”
“You must be slippin’.”
“I must be. You think the dead broad is some mail-order bride—just off the boat maybe.”
“Could be—but it gets better.”
“When me and Ryan were at Shlomo’s place, we found a pamphlet for the same kind’a racket. Of course, Shlomo bein’a big fat schlub it didn’t occur to us that there was anything strange about it. We asked his old lady about it but she went nuts and came at us with a cleaver. Eh, that’s how I ended up desk jockey. She would’a cut Ryan’s head off wit’ it if I hadn’t plugged ‘er.”
“You’re full’a all kinds’a surprises, aintcha?”
“Sure I am. Miller an’ Cotton went out to finish tossin’ Shlomo’s place.”
“Ryan? He’s, eh—look, I just thought I’d throw ya that bone. Maybe you can me a solid one day—ya know, like ya done Miller, gettin’ ‘er that promotion an’ all.”
“Miller didn’t get that promotion ridin’ a hard chair. She earned it. But sure, thanks for the tip. It’s a good one. “
“Yeh, well, eh, so long, Brady—if anything else comes up, I’ll feed it to that blonde’a yours.”
“You do that. So long, Joseph.” I hung up the phone the better to bounce her on my knee an’ say, “Ya ever get the feelin’ you’re bein’ watched?”
“All’a time—by who this time?”
“The bulls. Joseph’s never seen you, but he knows you’re a blonde and he couldn’t tell me what Ryan was up to. I think it’s time we knock off for the day an’ get a fresh start in the mornin’.”
“I don’t wanna go home, Duke. I’m scared. That girl that was murdered at Sarah’s place an’ Sarah disappearin’ an’ the bulls playin’ both side’s’a the fence an’—”
“All right, you can stay at my place—again.”
“Whew—Thanks, boss. I was runnin’ out’a excuses.”
“Baby, long as I got a pulse, you don’t need any excuses.”
“Yeh, well, you just hang onto your pulse. Some folks ain’t so lucky to have one.”
Kasimir turned up at Grasso’s where the smell’a burnt gunpowder an’ blood like cologne.
“You take care’a that business?” Grasso asked, unbothered.
“Turn on the radio an’ you’ll find out.”
“The news? I tol’ya ta—”
“Don’t worry, Mitch. That dumb cop ain’t gonna give us no more trouble. Here, I’ll turn on the set.”
“Firefighters continue to fight a suspicious five-alarm blaze at a building long thought abandoned. The fire is believed to have started sometime late this afternoon and spread quickly, soon growing out of control. It is not known whether anyone was in the building at the time but with the intense heat and flames surely no one could have survived.”
“He was in there?”
“Hehehe—we used his body to start the fire. He went up like a log. We got out the back way into the alley so no one spotted us.”
“That’s great. What about that nosy dick?”
“We sent Princess to care’a him. I guess we’ll find out how that turned out too when the press gets hold of it.”
“Think Brady’ll go for it?”
“Who wouldn’t go for Princess? She’s as sweet as Olga, ain’t she?”
“Olga—dat reminds me. I gotta make a phone call.” Mitch picked up and gettin’ the tone, spun the rotary until he connected. He sat there while it rang a few long times.
“Say, Mitch, how ‘bout I pour us a couple’a drinks?”
“What? Oh, sure, sure.”
Kasimir poured straight vodka into two tall glasses. He handed one to Mitch, saying, “Here ya go.” He drank down his own in a single swallow.
He wanted to wash away the sickening aftertaste of death in his mouth, but he was so used to it, gasoline wouldn’t have made a dent. “You look worried, Mitch. What’s up?” he said, once his eyes focused.
“Ah, it’s probably nothin’,” the boss mumbled sourly.
“Here’s to that fat yid bull! May he burn in hell!”
He poured himself another and drank ‘til his eyes crossed.
Ryan was on my street prowling around for anybody looking like they were up to no-good. Princess climbed from the back of a hack up the same street and started looking for my address. She was a pro that looked like nothing but.
She had his rapt attention and must’ve thought she looked good. She had make-up on her blouse an’ her blouse was barely on her body. Her short tired skirt revealed enough to give away her whole act.
When she passed the plainclothes bull for the third or fourth time, he put a make on her, “Lookin’ for somebody, sister? You been wanderin’ up an’ down the block all mornin’.”
‘What makes that any business’a yours?”
“This badge is what.”
He flashed his ticket and that only made her mad. “Oh! A copper—well, eh, you ain’t got nothin’ on me.”
“What’s a tramp like you doin’ in a nice place like this?”
“You ain’t a gen’leman!”
“You ain’t a lady. State your business or I’m takin’ you downtown.”
“I don’t gotta tell you nothin’,” she dismissed with a surly flip of her hair.
“That’s it—come on, you!”
He grabbed one of her skinny arms and pulled it behind her back while she struggled.
“Getcher hands off me! Masher! Masher!”
She teetered around on her six-inch points and mewled thickly, “I said—”
“Aagh!”Ryan went down and the girl to trembled, “What the—oh-no! Now I gotta find this Brady!”