Home > Golden in Death (In Death #50)(9)

Golden in Death (In Death #50)(9)
Author: J.D. Robb

“We’ve met their circle of friends, Dallas,” Charles continued. “I wouldn’t say we know them all intimately, but there isn’t anyone we do know who I can believe would hurt Kent. I know you said it was addressed to him, but could it still be random? Like, Jesus, a name pulled out of a hat.”

“Yes.”

But she didn’t think so.

“Is there anything we can do to help? I could work with Morris if—”

“Not my call. And not a good idea.”

“I’m a doctor. I’m a scientist. I can be objective.”

“He was a friend, and he gave time to your clinic. Better if you keep a step, several of them, back from the investigation. I’ll tell you what I can when I can,” Eve added. “It’s the best I can do.”

“A man suffered a loss,” Roarke said gently, “from what I’ve heard here, a great one, a deep one. I would think he would welcome the comfort of good friends at such a time.”

“He’s with his family,” Louise murmured.

“Isn’t it only blood, just DNA, that separates good friends, true friends, from family?”

Louise’s eyes filled again. “Yes. Thanks. Yes. We’ll contact him in the morning. I know you probably told us more than you wanted to,” she said to Eve. “It won’t leave this room, I promise you. I’m really grateful. You know my complicated relationship with my own family. Kent—well, Martin, too—they’ve been surrogate fathers to me. Roarke’s right. It’s just DNA.”

When they left, Eve sat back. “She looked steadier when she walked out. What you said helped.”

“It all helped. And, as tragic as it is for our friends, it’s a help to you to know and trust two people who appear to have known your victim so well.”

“It doesn’t hurt.”

“Now, how can I help you, Lieutenant?”

She smiled at him. “I thought about that when I was driving home. Not what you could do, but that you’d ask. That you’d make me eat something, probably get some wine into me. You’d listen and offer to help.”

She angled her head. “Do you think we’re sweet together?”

“It would entirely depend on what level of sweet, wouldn’t it?”

“The right level, for us. I say we sometimes hit that. I need to set up the board and book. If you want, you can poke around in the financials—the vic, the spouse, the practice. It’s not going to be the lever, but we need to cross it off.”

“Poking about in other people’s money? A sweet reward for me.”

She did all she could do—lab and sweeper and ME reports still pending. And since Peabody had the interviews at the victim’s office set for seven-thirty, she had her schedule for the morning in place.

Interview, morgue, lab—all before she got to Central. Hopefully, some of the answers she drew in that mix would start clearing a path.

Who targets a well-liked man, a valued doctor, a loving and loved husband and father for fast, ugly death?

She’d damn well find out.

But since she’d done all she could for the night, she decided both she and Roarke had earned one more sweet reward.

She walked to his adjoining office, where he sat at his command center studying something that might have been written in Greek (nerd qualified, in her opinion).

“Done, are you?” He glanced over. “As I found nothing helpful, I didn’t interrupt.”

“What did you find that’s unhelpful?”

“They’re comfortable—very—as Charles and Louise assumed. The victim’s practice did quite well, and his spouse draws a fine salary with solid benefits. They’ve invested wisely, have a smart estate plan in place. It looks to me as if they planned to retire in about ten years. They enjoyed traveling, and traveled well, and lived within their means. They give a fair and generous portion of their income to charities of their choosing—and I have to say I feel they chose well.

“No hidden accounts, for either,” he continued, “no nefarious gambling debts or strange purchases. They have trusts set up, as I said, for their children, grandchildren, some generous but not outlandish bequests for people who work for or with them, and have for some time. They’ve left a particular piece of art to Charles and Louise. Other specifics—like a set of cuff links, an antique shaving kit, and such—to people I assume are close friends and would appreciate the memento.”

One hip cocked, Eve leaned on the doorjamb. “I didn’t ask you to look at his will.”

“Ah well, once I started, I wanted to do a thorough job. I think I would have liked Dr. Abner.”

“You wouldn’t be alone. I’m calling it for the night. You?”

“With you, as always, Lieutenant. I’m just dabbling here—not case related.”

“It doesn’t look related to anything human,” she said as he disengaged the comp.

“It is, and isn’t.” He rose. “A Mars Colony thing.”

“Mars.” She shook her head as they walked out. “You really are trying to corner the universe.”

“And wouldn’t that be fun? We could spend a weekend on Mars.”

“Not in this lifetime or any other. Italy worked fine.”

He slid an arm around her. “It did, yes, and very well.”

“Your hotel thing there. It’s going to be pretty great. The way it looks old, like it hasn’t changed in a thousand years, but it’s going to have everything.”

“That’s the plan. Still cool enough for a fire at night,” he said as they walked into the bedroom, and ordered it on.

The cat already stretched his bulk across the bed as if he owned it. Eve calculated he’d soon stalk away in disgust.

She sat, pulled off her boots. “You remember how I kept my word on the shuttle to Italy? Banged you like a drum?”

“I have a very good memory.”

“Yeah, you do.”

She rose, unhooked her weapon harness, peeled it off. “I think it’s time for a repeat performance.”

He’d paused in the act of taking off his shirt, smiled slowly. “Do you, now?”

“I do. Despite ugly death, or maybe due to same, I realized today you need to appreciate what you’ve got when you’ve got it. More, you should grab on to it.”

She hooked a hand in his waistband, yanked him to her. “I’m grabbing.”

She took his mouth, dived deep, added a quick little bite at the end. And smiled. “Being an investigator who recognizes evidence, I don’t have to ask if you’re up for it.”

With a pivot, her foot moving behind his to shift the balance, she had him on his back on the bed.

The cat, as predicted, leaped off the bed and stalked away.

“Nice move.”

After straddling him, she curved down to him. “I got more.”

And took his mouth again to prove it.

She wanted heat, and speed, some quick and reckless abandon for both of them. The man who’d waited, worried; the cop who carried fresh weight.

Here she could show him what she couldn’t always find words for. That her love was boundless, furious, blazing through her so fierce she would always, always fight to hold it, hold him.

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