, Fantasy fiction
, Short Stories
, Love Stories
, New York (N.Y.)
, Fiction - Romance
, Romance - General
, Romance: Modern
, Romance - Anthologies
, Romance - Fantasy
, Eve (Fictitious character)
washed down the cruller with coffee. “Roarke bought the team a little something to keep us alert.“
“Yeah, he’s always buying something.“ She wished she had a damn cruller. Better, the coffee.
“You should have worn the beads, Lieutenant.“ Roarke’s voice cruised on. “I think they might have appealed to Bobbie.“
“Yeah, that’s what I need. Baubles and beads. I could use them to – “
“Picking up something,“ Feeney interrupted.
“I hear it.“ Eve went silent, and as she focused, the sound – a humming – took on the pattern of a tune, and a female flavor. She drew her weapon.
“Exits and egresses,“ she murmured to Feeney.
“Undisturbed,“ he said in her ear. “I’ve got no motion, no visual, no heat-sensor reading on anything but you and Peabody.“
So it was on a timer, Eve decided. An electronic loop EDD had missed.
“Dallas?“ Peabody’s voice was a frantic hiss. “You read? I see – “
The earpiece went to a waspy buzz. And the air went to ice.
She couldn’t stop the chill from streaking up her spine, but no one had to know about it. She might have cursed the glitch in communications and surveillance, but she was too busy watching the amorphous figure drift toward her.
Bobbie Bray wore jeans widely belled from the knees down, slung low at the hips and decorated with flowers that twined up the side of each leg. The filmy white top seemed to float in a breeze. Her hair was a riotous tangle of curls with the glitter of diamond clips. As she walked, as she hummed, she lifted a cigarette to her lips and drew deeply.
For an instant, the sharp scent of tobacco stung the air.
From the way the image moved, Eve decided tobacco wasn’t the only thing she’d been smoking. As ghosts went, this one was stoned to the eyeballs.
“You think I’m buying this?“ Eve pushed off the wall. But when she started to move forward something struck out at her. Later, she would think it was like being punched with an ice floe.
She shoved herself forward, following the figure into what had been the bedroom area of the apartment.
The figure stopped, as if startled.
I didn’t know you were up here. What’s it about? I told you, I’m bookin. So I packed. Don’t give me any more shit, Hop.
The figure moved as it spoke, mimed pouring something into a glass, drinking. There was weariness in the voice, and the blurriness of drugs.
Because I’m tired and I’m sick. I’m so fucking messed up. This whole scene is fucked up, and I can’t do it anymore. I don’t give a shit about my career. That was all you. It’s always been all you.
She turned, stood hipshot and blearily defiant.
Yeah? Well, maybe I have lapped it up, and now I’m just puking it out. For Christ’s sake look at us, Hop. Look at yourself. We’re either stoned or strung out. We got a kid. Don’t tell me to shut up. I’m sick of myself and I’m sick of you. Iwill stay straight this time.
The image flung an arm out as if heaving a glass against the wall.
I’m not humping some other guy. I’m not signing with another label. I’m done. Don’t you get it? I’m done with this, and I’m done with you. You’re fucking crazy, Hop. You need help more than I do. Put that down.
The image threw up its hands now, stumbling back.
You gotta calm down. You gotta come down. We’ll talk about it, okay? I don’t have to leave. I’m not lying. I’m not. Oh God. Don’t. No. Jesus, Hop. Don’t!
There was a sharp crack as the figure jerked back, then fell. The hole in the center of the forehead leaked blood.
“Hell of a show,“ Eve said, and her voice sounded hoarse to her own ears. “Hell of a performance.“
Eve heard the faint creak behind her, pivoted. Maeve stepped into the room, tears pouring down her cheeks. And a knife gleaming dully in her hand.
“He shot me dead. Dead was better than gone – that’s what he said.“
Not John Massey, Eve realized. The Bray/Hopkins legacy had gone down another