Only You (Red Hook 5) - Page 23

Noah cleared his throat loudly and said through the curtain, “As the sheriff, I did not hear that.”

“Hear what?” Drake joked.

“He wore a mask,” Alicia said in a low voice, looking straight at him. He noticed her T-shirt was lifted up and her side was exposed. A long, jagged cut ran along her side about five inches long. He swallowed down his curses and continued to hold her hand. It could have been so much worse. She could have been seriously injured or killed. Whoever did this must have been scared and nervous. He doubted Novak would dirty his hands himself.

The doctor gave him a nervous look. “Holly will give you care instructions and some pain pills. Take care, Miss Garcia.”

With those words, he made a quick exit.

Tony leaned over Alicia and tilted her head toward him. Holly was placing a large white bandage over the wound. “I’m sorry about not being with you tonight. I was feeling guilty for ruining our dates.”

She smiled softly, her eyes droopy. “You were an ass.”

He heard Holly snicker but he ignored her. “I was. I am not good at romance. Matt told me to watch girl movies. If the guys found out, though, I’d be kicked out of the man club.”

“Don’t take romance advice from your brother, Tony,” Holly advised him with an amused smile.

Alicia smiled and gripped his hand harder. “Third time is a charm?”

He nodded. “I will do better.” He kissed her lips lightly, although he wanted to devour them. That was probably not romantic, though. He was good at the physical part, just not the tenderness women liked. Alicia was worth it, though. For her, he would learn, after he smashed whoever had stabbed her into pieces.

“I am going to talk to Noah.” He looked at Holly. “Don’t leave her alone, okay?”

“I won’t.” Holly was putting everything away in the drawers.

He headed straight toward his boss. Before he could ask Noah any questions, Matt walked in the glass doors and headed toward them. “I talked to a few people, but all they saw was a tall, slender man in dark clothes and a scary clown mask. He went by so fast and that saved her life. I think he was an amateur.”

Noah nodded his head. “I figured it was too dark for anyone to see much. Even Alana only saw a dark blur walk by and bump into Alicia. I could kick myself. I should’ve seen this coming. With all the costumed people, it was a perfect opportunity to get to her.”

“We thought Novak was gone,” Drake spoke up. “We all let our guard down.”

“But no more.” Ray had joined them when Matt walked in, and he looked furious. “She is going to have a shadow at all times.”

“Doesn’t my opinion count?” They all turned to see Alicia leaning against Holly. Her shirt was torn and had a huge bloodstain. Tony swept her off her feet and sat with her on a chair. “Did the doctor say you could get up so soon?”

Holly answered for her. “He told her to go home and rest.”

Holly shook a small brown bottle of pills that was in her hand. “She can come home with us tonight. I can take care of her.”

Tony jumped at the chance to have her back in his home. He always thought he would hate having someone in his space. He never understood before, but now he did. He liked hearing her breathe as she slept and having her arm on his stomach. “I agree. Our house is the safest place for Alicia.”

She leaned her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. Her voice was slurring already. “He has land mines all over the property.”

“What?” Alana gasped.

Noah laughed and shook his head with amusement. “She’s kidding, babe. I told Tony he couldn’t do it.”

“Yeah. He likes to ruin my fun.” Tony tried to look mournful. Everyone laughed. He looked down at Alicia and she was making snoring sounds. He smiled at her tenderly. He looked up at Ray, daring him to argue. Ray looked at him. “You know I don’t like you. Alicia likes to act tough, but she is sensitive, and you have done nothing but hurt her lately. Noah tries to defend you, but I am not convinced you’re good for my sister.”

Tony couldn’t deny that. “I know I have messed up things, Ray, but no one loves your sister as much as I do. That is a promise.”

“You take care of my little girl. Promise me,” Carlos Garcia said, looking serious. He was holding his grandson in his arms, but he was looking at Tony. “My wife thinks you truly care for our Alicia. I have faith in my wife’s judgement.”

“I swear I will. I will die before I let someone else harm her.” He spoke seriously. He meant the words coming out of his mouth. He didn’t want to cause a rift between her and her family, but he was not walking away from Alicia again. It had been a huge mistake and he always learned from his mistakes. “I failed her tonight, but I won’t again.”

“This was not your fault,” Mrs. Garcia told him gently. Her eyes were watery and she bent to kiss her daughter on the cheek. “We had all relaxed too much and forgotten the danger. Now we know and we can all be observant. I can see you truly care for my daughter.”

“That’s right, Mama. We won’t forget the danger again,” Noah added. “Novak is going down one way or another, and for good. His reign as Mr. Big League drug dealer in Red Hook is over.”

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