Betrayal in Death
it to Magda's son.
    "Oooh." Liza gave a little shudder, but Eve caught the bright lust in her eyes. "Isn't it dangerous?"
    "Not in its present state." Roarke spared her a smile and showed her another case. "The little one there, the one with the jeweled grip. Designed for a lady's hand and her purse. It once belonged to a wealthy widow who, in the unsettled days of the early part of the century, carried it with her whenever she took her morning walk with her Pomeranian. She's reputed to have shot an unlucky mugger, two looters, a discourteous doorman, and a Lhasa apso with carnal intentions regarding her Pom."
    "Goodness." Gilt lashes fluttered over Liza's violet eyes. "She shot a dog?"
    "So they say."
    "A far different time." Mick studied a semiautomatic in gleaming chrome. "Amazing, isn't it," he said to Eve, "that anyone with the price in his pocket and the desire in his heart could pick up one of these over the counter, or under it, before the Gun Ban?"
    "I always thought more stupid than amazing."
    "You aren't a defender of the right to bear arms, Lieutenant?" Vince asked, turning the dueling pistol in his hand. He imagined himself looking very dashing.
    She glanced back at the mean little automatic. "That's not designed to defend. It's designed to kill."
    "Still." With some reluctance, he replaced the pistol in its slot and wandered over to where she stood with Mick. "People continue to find a way. If they didn't, you'd be out of a job."
    "Vincent, that's rude."
    "No, it's not." Eve nodded. "You're right, people find a way. But it's been some years since we've had disturbed children slaughtering other children in school hallways, or half-asleep spouses shooting their partners when they stumble in the dark, or neighborhoods under siege from gangs who carelessly shoot bystanders while they try to shoot each other. I think the old slogan was, Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People. And it's true enough. But a gun gives them a hell of a lot of help."
    "I can't argue with that," Mick put in. "Never did like the ugly, noisy things myself. Now a good sticker -- " He strolled away a bit to a display of knives. "At least a man's got to get close enough to look you in the eye before he tries you with one of these. Takes more courage to stand toe-to-toe and stick a man than it does to blast away at him from a distance. But me, I'll stick with my fists."
    He turned away, grinned. "A good, sweaty brawl solves most disputes, and mostly everyone can limp away from it and have a pint. We broke some noses in our day, didn't we, Roarke?"
    "Probably more than our share." He relocked the case. "Coffee?" he said smoothly.

    Eve strapped on her weapon and eyed her husband. He was enjoying a light breakfast in the sitting area of their bedroom. The morning news was playing on the wall screen and the stock reports skimmed by in a puzzling series of codes and figures on the tabletop unit.
    The cat, Galahad, lounged beside him, with one of his dual-colored eyes aimed hopefully at a slice of Irish bacon neglected on Roarke's plate.
    "How can you look like you've just come home from a week's vacation in some pamper spa?" she demanded.
    "Clean living?"
    "My ass. I know you were up till after three, drinking whiskey and telling lies with your pal. I heard his looney laugh as the pair of you stumbled upstairs."
    "He might have been a bit unsteady at the end of it." He turned to her, his eyes blue and clear and rested. "A few fingers of whiskey's never been known to set me under. I'm sorry we woke you."
    "It couldn't have been for long. I never heard you come to bed."
    "I needed to pour Mick into his first."
    "What are you going to do with him today?"
    "He has business of his own, and will make his way about well enough. Summerset can tell him where I'll be if he wants to know."
    "I thought you'd probably work from here today."
    "No." He watched her over his coffee cup. "Not today. Stop worrying about me, Lieutenant. You

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