Home > In Death #19 - Visions in Death

In Death #19 - Visions in Death
Author: J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb - In Death #19 - Visions in Death

Visions in Death (In Death #19)
J.D. Robb




Chapter One

She'd gotten through the entire evening without killing anyone. Lieutenant Eve Dallas, cop to the bone, figured the restraint showed enormous strength of character.

Her day had gone smoothly enough. A morning court appearance that had been as routine as it was tedious, paperwork both extensive and mind-numbing. The single case she'd caught had involved pals and their dispute over who had dibs on the last of the illegals —a party mix of Buzz, Exotica, and Zoom—they'd been toking on while lazing around on the roof of an apartment building on the West Side.

The dispute had been resolved when one of the afternoon partiers had taken a header off the roof, clutching the last of the illegals in his greedy fist.

He probably hadn't felt much, even when he'd splatted onto Tenth Avenue, but it sure as hell had broken the party mood.

Witnesses, including an uninvolved Good Samaritan from a neighboring building who'd called in the nine-one-one, all stated that the individual who'd been scooped off the sidewalk and into a bag had leaped of his own volition onto the roof ledge, danced an energetic keep-away boogie, lost his precarious balance, and taken flight with a giggling wee-haw.

Much to the surprise—and possible entertainment—of the afternoon passengers on an airtram who'd also witnessed the last dance of one Jasper K. McKinney.

One inappropriately delighted tourist had managed to capture the entire incident on his pocket vid.

It all jibed, and the books would close on Jasper as death by misadventure. Unofficially, Eve labeled it death by stupidity, but there wasn't a place on the sheet for that particular observation.

As a result of Jasper and his eight-story dive, she'd clocked out of Cop Central barely an hour past end-of-duty, only to get bogged down in ugly midtown traffic because the temporary vehicle some sadist in Requisitions had tossed at her limped along like a blind, three-legged dog.

She had rank, for God's sake, and was entitled to a decent ride. It wasn't her fault she'd had two units destroyed in two years. Maybe she'd forget strength of character and go maim somebody in Requisitions in the morning.

It sounded like fun.

And after she'd gotten home—okay, almost two hours late—she'd had to transform herself from kick-ass murder cop to fashionable corporate wife.

She was a good cop, she reminded herself, but more than a little shaky in the corporate-wife arena.

She supposed she'd been fashionable, since her husband had the entire getup—down to the underwear—set out for her. Roarke knew clothes.

She just knew she was wearing something green with sparkles all over it, and where it wasn't green and sparkly, it showed a lot of skin.

There hadn't been time to argue about it, but only to dive into the outfit and shove her feet into shoes—also green and sparkly. With high enough, needle-thin heels, she'd been nearly eye-to-eye with her man.

It wasn't a hardship to be eye-to-eye with Roarke. Not when his were that wild, unearthly blue in a face drawn by artistic angels. But it was tough being social with strangers when you were worried you might tip over and fall on your ass any second.

But she'd gotten through it. Through the quick-change, the quick shuttle trip from New York to Chicago, through the cocktail hour where her brains were nearly bored to suet despite truly excellent wine, and the corporate dinner with Roarke entertaining about a dozen clients, with her playing hostess.

She wasn't quite sure what kind of clients they were since Roarke had his fingers in every pie known to man or beast, so she didn't attempt to keep up. What she did know was that most of them could take the prize for most tedious during the four-hour ordeal.

But there had been no casualties.

Points for her.

What she wanted now was to get home, get out of the sparkly green thing, and fall into bed to sleep for the six hours she'd have before the clock started ticking again.

The summer of 2059 had been long, hot, and bloody. Fall, with its cooler temperatures, was coming. Maybe people wouldn't be as inclined to kill one another.

But she doubted it.

She'd barely settled into her seat on the plush, private shuttle when Roarke lifted her feet into his lap and slipped off her shoes.

"Don't get any ideas, pal. When I finally get out of this dress, I'm not getting back in."

"Darling Eve." His voice was a purr that echoed of Ireland. "That's the sort of statement that gives me ideas. However lovely you look in that dress, you'd look even lovelier out of it."

"Forget it. No way I'm dragging this thing back on, and I'm surely not getting out of this shuttle wearing what you laughingly call underwear. So just... Oh, sweet baby Jesus."

Her eyes crossed, then did a slow roll to the back of her head when he pressed his thumbs into her arch.

"I owe you a foot rub, at the very least." He smiled as she let her head fall back and moaned. "For services above and beyond. I know you detest the sort of thing we did tonight. And I appreciate you not pulling out your weapon and stunning McIntyre over the canapés."

"The guy with the big teeth who laughed like a donkey, right?"

"That would be McIntyre. He's also a very important account." He lifted her left foot, kissed her toes. "So thanks."

"It's okay. Goes with the package."

Hell of a package, she thought, studying him through barely open eyes. All gorgeously wrapped six feet two inches of him. Not just the lean, muscled build or the heart-stopping face framed with the sweep of black silk hair. But the brains, the style, the edge. The whole shot.

And best of all, he not only loved her, but he got her. Of all the things they fought about—and it was never hard to find something—they never butted heads over this.

He never expected any more of her in the corporate-wife area than she could give. A lot of people would, and she got that. Roarke's enterprises included holdings, properties, factories, markets, and God knew, on and off planet. He was absurdly rich, with all the power that went with it. A lot of men in his position would expect a spouse to be at their beck, to drop everything and drape themselves over his arm at a moment's notice.

He didn't.

For every business event or social occasion she managed to attend as his wife, there were probably three she missed.

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