Dirty Work - Regina Kyle Page 0,1

anyone—least of all me—considered the possibility I’d book something while they were gone. And certainly not something that was going to take me out of town for so long.”

Brie’s practically bursting with excitement, and I’m reminded what brought me here in the first place. I push aside my aversion to PDA—and Roscoe—and step back toward her to give her a quick squeeze. “Have I told you how jealous I am? Six months doing my absolute favorite musical—Les Misérables—in one of my favorite places, sunny San Diego? You’re going to kill it, girl.”

She totally is. Brie may be one of my newest friends—I’ve known her only a few months—but I had the pleasure of catching her semi-autobiographical one-woman show at Studio 54, and she’s damn good. I’ve seen enough Broadway musicals to know she’s got what it takes to make it on the Great White Way. That was one of the few perks of being a junior associate at Dwight, Kearns & Goodwin, attorneys at law. Free theater tickets when the partners didn’t need them to wine, dine and entertain clients. Yankees and Rangers, too, which Dale sure didn’t seem to mind.

No. I’m not going to think about Dale. And I’m not going to think about DK&G. I’ve left all that in the rearview mirror, on the side of the highway covered in road dust.

Brie blushes and returns the squeeze, pulling me back to the present. “Thanks, but I’m only in the ensemble. If it’s anything like either of the Broadway productions, the lighting will be so subdued I’ll be in shadow the whole time.”

“You know what they say.” I shake my finger at her. “There are no small parts...”

“Only small actors,” Brie finishes, and we bump fists. That much PDA I can deal with. Although I’m not sure fist-bumping in front of a dog counts as public.

She lets go of Roscoe’s collar and gives his head a pat, and he flops down onto the floor like a drag queen doing a death drop. He’s way more chill than I expected. Maybe not all big dogs are high maintenance. I’m going to have to read up on the breed. Research is key to everything we do at Odds & Errands. Like I always tell my army of two—Aaron and Erin, and yes, I really did hire two people with pretty much the same name, albeit different spellings and different sexes—preparation is more than half the battle.

“So.” Brie rocks back and forth on the soles of her Vans pink glitter high-tops. “What happens now? Is this a handshake agreement or is there some sort of paperwork we have to sign?”

This is the part I hate. The business part. At least with friends. It’s awkward and icky and it’s why I tend to shy away from mixing work with my personal life. But Brie seemed so desperate when she asked—no, begged—me to bail her out. She’d had a mini-freak-out worrying how her brother would react when she told him she was leaving him with the responsibility of caring for a dog the size of a small pony. Made him seem like a borderline tyrant.

Unfortunately, since the tyrant is the one paying my tab, he’s the one I need to be dealing with.

“There’s paperwork, but since I’m on your brother’s dime, he’s the one who has to sign.”

“Well...” Brie rocks faster, twisting the hem of her Florence and the Machine T-shirt in her fingers. “That might be a problem.”

Great. Not five minutes in, and already a wrinkle in this half-baked plan.

I plop myself down on a retro-chic chair that’s more comfortable than it looks, figuring this has the potential to be a long, drawn-out discussion. Roscoe takes this as an invitation to join me, lumbering over and sprawling across my feet. Christ, he’s heavy. He must weigh close to two hundred pounds. Still, I humor him, scratching behind his ears, which earns me a tail thump.

“How so? You said your brother’s a grade-A workaholic who doesn’t have time to deal with a dog on his own, right? And money’s not an issue for him.”

Brie perches on the arm of an equally uncomfortable looking sofa. “Yes and yes, but he’s in South Beach scouting a location for a new club. He doesn’t get home until late tomorrow night, and I have to be on a plane to California first thing in the morning.”

I frown. This definitely throws a wrench into the works. “I thought your contract didn’t begin for another couple of weeks.”

“The girl I’m