Page 39 of The District

Or maybe it’s because she’d gotten the information she needed about Vivi out of him.

“Report, yeah.” He strode to the laptop and woke it up. The neat report with its bullets and columns and pictures flashed on the screen. “Knock yourself out. I’m going to look at the room service menu.”

The words on the plastic menu blurred before his eyes. What kind of game was she playing with him? Why was nothing ever as it seemed with Christina?

“Great job, partner.”

Okay, she’d just officially put him back in the friend zone. “Thanks, partner. Maybe I should give Olivia’s file the once-over. You could be missing something because you’re too close to this case now.”

“Maybe.” She wedged her hip against the desk, keeping her distance. “What looks good on the menu?”

“Depends. Do you want something like a sandwich or a real meal?”

“If we’re going to be fighting off witches tonight, I’ll take the meal. Steak? Potatoes?”

He waved the menu in the air. “They have both. Salad, too.”

“The works.”

He ordered the food to be delivered to her room. Seemed safer over there.

By the time the cart arrived, he’d gained control of his senses and his libido. He needed to keep his distance and his sanity.

He’d ordered the stuffed pork chops and garlic mashed potatoes. Lots of garlic—a remedy for both vampires and romance.

“How’s your steak?”

“Good. How’s your chop?”

He stabbed a piece of meat. “Great. Is pork really white meat, and does that mean it won’t go with this red wine?”

She cupped the half bottle of wine in her hand and read the label. “It’s a cab. It goes with anything.”

“Your impressive wine knowledge is really coming in handy.” He waved his hand across her body. “What are you wearing tonight, a black hat and robe?”

“You’re very funny, Brody.” She swirled her wine in her glass. “I’m sure witches come in all shapes and sizes and walks of life. Look at the killer’s victims.”

“We should at least try to blend in, and that means black, just like your nails.”

“I can manage that, can you?”

He tossed his napkin onto the tray. “Absolutely. Ever since Judd got me into motorcycles, I’ve been adding more and more black to my wardrobe. It’s hard to ride a bike in beige khaki.”

“The next time you talk to Judd, thank him for me. I feel a lot better knowing my sister is probably with my dad, although I wish one or the other of them would’ve called me.”

“Is your dad in the habit of calling you?”


“Does he favor Vivi?”

“Of course. She took up the family line of work, but she needs him more than I do. Her own mother died when she was a teenager.”

“Was her mother a bruja, too?”

“No, just another groupie.”

Eric held up the bottle of wine. “Do you want the rest?”

“As long as we’re not driving.”

She held out her glass and he rose from his chair and poured. “How come you never told me all the details about your family before? I never realized their powers went so deep.”

“I wanted to marry you, not send you screaming for the hills.”

“And my background with a suspected serial killer for a father is so much better?”

“That doesn’t reflect on you.”

“Neither does your family.” He gathered his silverware and dumped it onto his plate. “I think if you had told me, it would’ve helped me understand where you were coming from regarding your interest in serial killers. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so upset about the notes.”

“Yeah, you would’ve. It was a bad time for you, Eric. I just wish...” She crossed her own fork and knife on the edge of her plate and glanced up brightly, blinking her eyes. “I wish you would’ve stuck around longer to give me a chance to explain everything.”

She didn’t trust him not to run out on her again. Is that why she was holding back? He’d had his trust issues. It never occurred to him until this second that she had her own with him. He’d ended their engagement and had escaped to parts unknown—unknown to her. He’d made sure she had no way to reach him.

He had to be alone to grieve the loss of Noah Beckett and his own urges to recover what was taken from him as the result of his own kidnapping. If he had been able to bring home every kidnapped child to their parents, he believed he could’ve filled that hole in his soul. But he’d failed.

He had given himself a big mountain to climb and he’d slipped off the edge.