Kindred in Death:In Death 29

By: J. D. Robb

“I did. I dumped everything on you.”

“I believe you had a couple of murders on your hands.”

“Yeah, I did. And of course you don’t have anything to do but sit on your giant piles of money.”

He shook his head and spread a bit of jam on a triangle of toast. “We all do what we do, darling Eve. And I happen to think we do what we do very well.”

“I wigged out on you, pissed you off, the night before the wedding.”

“Added a bit of excitement.”

“Then got drugged and kicked around at my own drunk girl party at a strip club before I made the collar, which was fun in retrospect. But the point is, I really didn’t do the stuff, so I don’t know how to do the stuff now.”

He gave her knee a friendly pat. For a woman of her sometimes terrifying courage, she feared the oddest things. “If there’s something she needs you’ll figure out how to do it. I’ll tell you, when you walked toward me that day, our day, in the sunlight, you were like a flame. Bright and beautiful, and took the breath right out of me. There was only you.”

“And about five hundred of your close friends.”

“Only you.” He took her hand, kissed it. “And it’ll be the same for them, I wager.”

“I just want her to have what she wants. It makes me nervous.”

“And that’s friendship. You’ll wear some sort of yellow dress and be there for her. That will be enough.”

“I hope so, because I’m not tagging her every day. That’s firm.” She looked at her plate. “How does anyone eat a full Irish?”

“Slowly and with great determination. I take it you’re not determined enough.”

“Not nearly.”

“Well then, if that takes care of breakfast, I’ve had my thought.”

“On what?”

“On what to do next. We should go to the beach, get ourselves some sand and surf.”

“I can get behind that. Jersey Shore, Hamptons?”

“I was thinking more tropical.”

“You can’t want to go all the way to the island for one day, or part of one day.” Roarke’s private island was a favored spot, but it was practically on the other side of the world. Even in his jet it would take at least three hours one way.

“A bit far for an impulse, but there are closer. There’s a spot on the Caymans that might suit, and a small villa that’s available for the day.”

“And you know this because?”

“I’ve looked into acquiring it,” he said easily. “So we could fly down, get there in under an hour, check it out, enjoy the sun and surf and drink some foolish cocktails. End the day with a walk along the beach in the moonlight.”

She found herself smiling. “How small a villa?”

“Small enough to serve as a nice impulse holiday spot for us, and roomy enough to allow us to travel down with a few friends if we’ve a mind to.”

“You’d already had this thought.”

“I had, yes, and put it in the if-and-when department. If you’d like it, we can make this the when.”

“I can be dressed and toss whatever I’d need for the day in a bag in under ten minutes.”

She leaped up, bolted toward her dresser.

“Bag’s packed,” he told her. “For both of us. In case.”

She glanced back at him. “You never miss a trick.”

“It’s rare to have a Sunday off with my wife. I like making the most of it.”

She tossed the robe to pull on a simple white tank, then grabbed out a pair of khaki shorts. “We’ve had a good start on making the most. This should cap it off.”

Even as she stepped into the shorts, the communicator on her dresser signaled. “Crap. Damn it. Shit!” Her stomach dropped as she read the display. Her glance at Roarke was full of regret and apology. “It’s Whitney.”

He watched the cop take over, face, posture, as she picked up the communicator to respond to her commander. And he thought, Ah well.

“Yes, sir.”

“Lieutenant, I’m sorry to interrupt your holiday.” Whitney’s wide face filled the tiny screen, and on it rode a stress that had the muscles tightening at the back of her neck.

“It’s no problem, Commander.”

“I realize you’re off the roll, but there’s a situation. I need you to report to Five-forty-one Central Park South. I’m on scene now.”

“You’re on scene, sir?” Bad, she thought, big and bad for the commander to be on scene.

“Affirmative. The victim is Deena MacMasters, age sixteen. Her body was discovered earlier this morning by her parents when they returned home from a weekend away. Dallas, the victim’s father is Captain Jonah MacMasters.”

It took her a moment. “Illegals. I know of Lieutenant MacMasters. He’s been promoted?”

“Two weeks ago. MacMasters has specifically requested you as primary. I would like to grant that request.”

“I’ll contact Detective Peabody immediately.”

“I’ll take care of that. I’d like you here asap.”

“Then I’m on my way.”

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