Home > Golden in Death (In Death #50)(6)

Golden in Death (In Death #50)(6)
Author: J.D. Robb

“We’re working on it.”

Out on the sidewalk, Eve considered the next steps. “The victim’s office is closed by this time. You head home, and on the way contact Abner’s office manager or whoever’s in charge.”

“Seldine Abbakar’s listed as office manager—I pulled up the website.”

“Good. Contact her, set up a meeting with the full office staff for the morning, as early as you can make it. Just text me the time, and I’ll meet you there. You can keep McNab on tap—we’re going to need to go through the electronics.”

“Medical records,” Peabody began.

“That’s why I’m going to start working on a warrant on the way home. Hell, they can cull out the patient records. If this is an angry patient, the office staff’s going to have an idea who. The spouse would have had an idea who.”

“Technically his patients are babies and kids up to the age of sixteen.”

“I’ve seen a lot of pissed-off babies,” Eve countered. “And don’t get me started on kids and teens. And they’d have a parent or parents. Anyway, set it up. I’ll get the board and book started at home, write it up.”

“I get the easy part.”

“This time. If you can’t get the interviews before eight, we meet at the morgue, seven A.M., go from there.”

“Always a fun way to start the day.”

“Get the interviews,” Eve repeated and, still ignoring the vehicles and drivers blasting and cursing, slid into her car.

She flipped down the On Duty light, zipped out in front of a guy who was already giving her the finger.

She programmed coffee on the in-dash, tagged APA Reo.

“Please no,” Reo answered. “I’m on my way home, stuck in stupid traffic. All I want is an alcoholic beverage and quiet.”

“You can have both after you get me a warrant. I’m just heading home myself—so too bad for us.”

Reo sighed, tossed her head so her fluffy blond hair shimmered and swayed. “I’m getting out of this cab and walking. Pull over,” she ordered the driver, and Eve went to blue holding mode while she assumed Reo paid the fare.

When she came back on-screen it bobbled as she strode along. “It’s the as-yet-unidentified-substance case, isn’t it?”

“They better have that as identified soon, and yeah. Victim was a doctor—baby doctor—and I’m interviewing his staff first thing in the morning. I need the electronics.”

“You’re not going to get medical records in a walk, or by morning.”

“Just get me the rest—they can hold off on the privacy stuff for now. I need to know if he had any record of someone threatening him, any correspondence that sends off an alarm. Or if anyone on staff had issues.”

“I can work that. I heard you were exposed. You don’t look exposed to a deadly toxin.”

“Whatever it was, it was as dead as Abner by the time we got there.”

“Well, that’s a bright side. I’ll get back to you on the warrant.”

“Appreciate it.”

“You still owe me a drink from the last one.”

“I’ll make good. Later.”

Eve clicked off, drank coffee, pushed her way uptown.

And as she pushed, it occurred to her that only a week before she’d been sitting on a terrace in Italy, drinking wine under the stars after a day of basking in the sun.

Eating pasta, sleeping late, having a lot of sex.

And no one had been murdered in the general vicinity—at least that she knew of.

Life since Roarke, with Roarke, never quite ranked as ordinary. Routine, maybe, for them—which probably wouldn’t meet most people’s routine level.

But it worked—really worked, she thought. And one of the reasons it worked, so well, was knowing she’d come home—and there was a glittering word—with this fresh weight on her shoulders, and he’d be there.

He’d look at her the way he looked at her that always, still, probably forever, brought a skip to her heartbeat. He’d make her eat something, even if she didn’t want to, which was both annoying and precious.

And he’d listen. No bitching about her being late, no guilt trips. He’d listen, offer to help and, with all of that, with all of him, bring her a peace of mind she’d never expected to have in her life.

So when she drove, at last, through the gates, she felt that quiet click. Coming home. Under the night sky, the house Roarke built stood and spread and towered with its fanciful turrets, its grand design. Dozens of windows, so much light to welcome her, glowed out against the dark.

When she pulled up, got out of the car, some of the weight shifted. Work to do, yes, but home.

Because she was late—really late—she didn’t expect the looming Summerset.

But there he stood, tall and bony in black, his cadaverous face set, his dark eyes arrowing their stare at her face.

She reached into her bag of insults, but he spoke before she could pull one out.

“He’s worried. He’ll pretend otherwise, but he heard about your exposure to a toxic material.”

“I told him I was fine. I’m fine.”

When Summerset only continued to stare, she had a bad feeling the former Urban War medic intended to do his own exam. Big no.

“Have they identified the substance?”

“I don’t know. I’m going up to check. I’m fine.” Irritable now, she dragged off her jacket, tossed it on the newel post.

“Make sure he knows.”

She started to snap she already had, but that seemed pointless. Instead she paused on her way up the stairs. “Do you think I’d come home if there was any chance, any, I carried something with me that could hurt him?”

“Absolutely not. Which is why, as it’s after nine, he worries.”

Damn it, damn it, of course he did. “I had to— Shit. Where is he?”

“Your office, of course. He knows you’re home. He set an alert.”

She jogged up. She’d followed the Marriage Rules, she thought. And still she felt as if she’d screwed up somehow.

He sat on the sofa in her office, the fire going low, the fat cat across his lap. He had a book in one hand, a glass of wine in the other.

And yes, he looked at her in that way—but she saw relief bloom over it.

“And there she is,” he began, with that wonderful whisper of Ireland in his voice.

“I’m sorry.”

Even as he put the book aside and rose, she walked to him, wrapped around him, held hard. “I’m sorry.”

“For being late?” Now she heard surprise as she burrowed into him. “Come now, Lieutenant, that’s part of the job, isn’t it?”

“For not making a hundred percent sure you knew I was okay. For not making sure you weren’t worried I wasn’t.”

“Ah.” He brushed his lips over the top of her head, drew her back. “That’s part of the job as well. My part. There will be worry, darling Eve. But now…” He skimmed his thumb over the shallow dent in her chin, leaned in to kiss her—long and warm. “You’re home. So sit a moment with the cat, as Galahad’s had some concerns of his own. I’ll get you some wine.”

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