14 Fearless Fourteen

14 Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Book: 14 Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich Read Free Book Online
Authors: Janet Evanovich
I'm bringing Zook back to my house,”
Morelli said. "He's persona non grata with your mother. He
spray-painted his name on your mother's sidewalk and front door,
and then your grandmother spray-painted Scorch on everything,
including your parents' ninety-two-year-old neighbor, Mrs.
Ciak.
    They said it was to throw the griefer off.“ ”You need to talk to
Zook. He needs a father figure.“ ”I know nothing about being a
father.“ ”You're good with Bob. Just pretend he's Bob. Remember
when Bob ate all your furniture? How did you get Bob to stop?“ ”I
didn't. He still eats the furniture. He has me trained to live with
it.“ ”You're just a big softy,“ I said to Morelli. ”Don't tell
anyone, okay? I don't want that to get around. I have to go. I
can't let Zook wander away from me. I'm afraid he'll redecorate the
men's room.“ Ranger strolled in at ten after seven. ”Where were
you?“ I asked him. ”Meetings with house security and checking the
building.“ He glanced across the hall to Lula, who was taking
pointers from the makeup lady. ”I understand I have a new
employee.“ ”I needed someone to help persuade Brenda to come with
me.“ ”Looks like it worked.“ ”How's Tank doing?“ ”He's confused. If
this goes on much longer, I might have to kill Lula.“ ”You're
kidding, right?“ Ranger didn't answer. ”Right?“ I asked him again.
He hooked an arm around my neck, pulled me to him, and kissed me on
the top of my head. ”I'm kidding. But it is tempting.“ ”So what's
going on out there? Bomb threats? Animal rights
activists?
    Stalkers? Women against boobs?“ ”No bomb threats. All the other
crazies are in full force. Never have a rock concert on a full
moon.“ ”How were ticket sales?“ ”She sold out. Not a lot to do in
Trenton this week. And Brenda still has a lot of fans. Mostly your
parents' generation.“ Truth is, I liked Brenda's music. She had a
brassy way of combining country and rock, and she could really belt
it out when she wanted. At least, that was true of her last album,
but that was a bunch of years ago. I suspected that, in spite of
all her efforts, she wasn't capturing the kids. And the kids were
the ones who spent money on music. The kids bought sex, and Brenda
was good, but she wasn't sexy to a sixteen-year-old. Even the
Stones were struggling with that... and they were the Stones]
Brenda spotted Ranger and blew him a kiss. ”Sorry,“ I said to
Ranger, ”you can't kill her, either.“ ”I'm getting nervous,“ Brenda
said. ”I'm gonna throw up. I need a drink. I need a pill. Somebody
get me something.“ ”You'll be fine,“ Nancy told her. ”I need a
pill.“ ”Last time you took a pill before a performance, you fell
off the stage.“ ”Yes, but it was a lot of pills on that occasion.“
Lula stood hands on hips. ”You don't need no pills,“ she said.
”You're a professional. Get a grip on yourself.“ ”You don't know
what it's like,“ Brenda said. ”I had a chili dog for
dinner.
    Suppose I fart?“ ”You're in Trenton. No one would notice a
fart,“ Lula said. After the concert, we immediately hustled Rrenda
off the stage, through the maze of corridors, out the door to the
secure lot. ”I was hot,“ Brenda said. ”I remembered all the words
to the songs. And I didn't knock any of the dancers down.“ ”You
were great,“ Nancy said. ”The concert was fabulous.“ We wedged
Brenda into the SUV's backseat between Ranger and me. Nancy and
Lula were behind us. We rolled out of the lot with a police escort.
We didn't need the police, but the concert promoter wanted the
flashing lights. ”So what about it?“ Brenda asked Ranger. ”No,“
Ranger said. ”I swear, you aren't any fun at all. What's the deal
with you? I know you aren't gay. You aren't nice enough to be gay-“
The caravan pulled up to the front entrance of the hotel and
photographers rushed out to take pictures. Local television was
inside, plus a handful of journalists. And scattered

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