Meet the best friend

The best friend excerpt from clean romantic suspense novel Baker's Dozen on sale for $2.99 until May 25. Buy here.

Carla Vehemia is the daughter of a wealthly manufacturing tycoon in St. Louis. She likes lower-class men and supports Andy in her vigilant-ing. 

Sweat dripped down Andy’s brow as she tucked into a corner of the dojo to undress from her Master’s gi at the end of class.
“Thanks for a great session,” Carla said over the din of kids preparing to line up on the mats. “Going for dinner?”
“I have something to tell you,” Andy said when she had finished tucking her pants into her bag.
“You finally applied for the CIA?” Carla’s deep brown eyes lit up. Her dark skin contrasted with her white uniform. Only Carla could still be feminine in a gi built for a block.
“How far did you get last time?” Carla asked, admiring her luminous black hair in the wall of mirrors behind a row of chairs surrounding the perimeter of the dojo.
“I decided on careers I was qualified for and placed them in the Job Cart. But that’s not what I was going to tell you.”
“Next time, hit the Apply button.” She smoothed her soft curls with the palm of her hand, her perfectly placed lipstick unsmudged by her physical exertion. “Hey, when do I get my BMW back? Was it in the sting op for that car repair shop? I read your blog this morning. Amazing.”
“Thanks,” Andy said. “Yeah. Sadly, it’s no longer in perfection condition. Jack jimmied with the powertrain; the drive shaft is broken. It’ll probably get confiscated as evidence, now.” Andy wrinkled her nose. “It was my fault. I got a ride instead of insisting we go to the shop. Sorry.”
Carla shrugged. “Daddy will buy me another. Scott wrecked the McLaren 650S he got for graduation, and he didn’t even get into trouble. But of course, he is the golden child so he gets away with everything,” Carla said, still focusing on herself in the mirror. “Now, what did you want to tell me?”
Andy leaned closer as Carla faced her. “Somebody detected my disguise,” she whispered.
Carla’s glossy lips parted in surprise. “Nobody recognizes you, ever. You even fooled Sandra.”
Andy smiled remembering her first test run. Dressed as a FedEx man, she delivered a package to Sandra at work. Disguised in a short red-headed wig and prosthetics, Andy had a fifteen-minute conversation with her about begonias. Sandra never suspected. Andy was that skilled.
“Who was it?” Carla asked, her perfectly shaped brows gathered in a furrow.
“Some guy,” she said, tugging her yoga pants over her spandex.
Carla leaned close. “Was he cute?”
Andy didn’t reply. She wrapped up her belt and stuck it in the bag, slipping on her shoes.
Carla continued through Andy’s silence, giving her a sly smile. “What scares you more? A guy noticing you or him seeing through your disguise?”


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