Boomerang (Boomerang #1)

Alison’s not psychotic.” 

“See? She’s already breaking down your defenses.” 

“She is not. We’ve—accepted each other in a new way. We put the past where it belongs.” 

Rhett’s scowl deepens. “She has you speaking in greeting card , bro. You can’t reduce life to a pithy statement.”

“You sound a lot smarter when you’re pissed.” 

“You commit to stupid shit when you go to sushi with your ex.” 

“I retract my last statement.” 

A towering blond woman in an emerald-green suit with lapels sharp enough to slice cheese stalks toward us, her expression set somewhere between rabid and murderous. 

“You have got to be kidding me!” she shrieks as she comes alongside us and casts a tundra-cold glance in my direction. 

Immediately, I think she’s talking about my clothing, which, while not precisely appropriate, wouldn’t seem to merit a Teutonic hissy fit. But her eyes bounce away from me again, and she presses her hand to her ear. “If this guy doesn’t work out, I will have no problem jamming an ice pick up your skinny ass, Paolo,” she says, and I finally notice the Bluetooth device tucked up next to a chignon tight enough to give her cat eyes. 

She clips away, leaving flowers to shrivel and birds to drop from the sky in her wake. 

“Jesus,” Ethan mutters, and I realize I’ve actually grabbed onto his arm in terror. “Here’s hoping she’s not the HR rep.” 

I allow myself a moment’s enjoyment before releasing him. “Here’s hoping she doesn’t even work here.” 

He smiles. “Here’s hoping she’s leaving on a ten-year cruise.” 

“To Antarctica.” 

“To reunite with her clan, the snow beasts.” 

Do or do not. There is no try.

Do you chase dreams, or do you actually catch them? 

I already was yours, Ethan. The minute you put my panties in the toaster oven, I knew you were the one.” 

“Yeah? I’ll admit that was an inspired move.” 

I’ll start.” I open the laptop in front of me and find the Boomerang Profile icon, clicking it open. “Last name?” 

“Galliano. Two L’s. One N.” 

“You’re Italian?” All morning I’d been thinking she’s Greek or Brazilian. 

“Half Italian, half Jewish,” she says. “Guilt is my Kryptonite.” 

I’m calling a meeting in my suite tonight for all employees—and interns. I’ll see you both there.” 

Then he’s gone, the crowd parting before him as he moves through the booth. 

“Jesus,” I say. The guy’s truly in his own category. 

“A bit more like Moses at the moment,” Mia says.

Isis is an aspiring horror novelist, with plenty of ink and pink-streaked hair. Jason was my teammate. We ruled the pitch together for a few years, as left and right strikers, but he graduated a year ahead of me. Now he’s in his second year of med school at UCLA, on path to becoming an ER doctor. They seem like this really normal couple on the surface. Then you hear them talking about viscera and bodily fluids with true unbridled passion, and you realize they’re made for each other

Mia: You keep rendering me textless. 

Mom tugs off the lid of the serving dish, and I gasp. A surprised what-kind-of-freakin’-alchemy-is-this? -kind of gasp. Because the food looks, and smells, normal. Tantalizing, even. As a plus, it also resembles actual food—chicken in some kind of sauce. Things I actually recognize as root vegetables. 

Mouths drop open in surprised “O’s” all around the table. Except for my mom’s, which presses into an exasperated line. My dad’s in trouble, but dinner’s saved. 

“Wow, that smells different,” Ethan blurts. He flushes and tries to recover. “I mean delicious.” 

Nana laughs and pats Ethan on the arm. “Nice try, young man.” 

No one should look this good in a pair of bowling shoes, but of course Ethan looks like a god. Like he should be in a loincloth, flinging a discus instead of hefting a sapphire-blue bowling ball and staring down the pins as though they’ve personally insulted his mother. 

Oh, God,” I whisper. “Cookie and Candy.” Never in the history of procreation have two less apt names been bestowed upon a set of human beings. 

Se devi dimostrare i tuoi punti di forza, gli occhi vengono prima delle orecchie. Non dire che sei bravo, dimostrarlo.

The chatter in the apartment stops. For a second, we all just stand there. Me and Mia, half-naked. Skyler, at the kitchen table. Isis, about to crack an egg against a mixing bowl on the counter. Beth, by the couch—which is covered in dresses and pants and shoes. Jason in the middle of everything like a startled animal that doesn’t know where to flee. 

“What is this?” Mia tugs her towel higher. “What are you guys doing here?” 

Skyler lifts a coffee carrier from the kitchen table. “I brought lattes.” 

Beth spreads her hands like she’s presenting the couch. “The usual for me. A fabulous assortment of clothes for you.” 

“I’m making pancakes,” Isis chirps from the kitchen. 

Jason shrugs, the corner of his mouth lifting in an embarrassed smile. “I just live here.” 

 I pull up Mia’s contact information and engage in a very competitive bout of mental tug-of-war, in which I kick my own ass and win the prize of doing what I shouldn’t do.