In Death 22 - Memory in Death

In Death 22 - Memory in Death by authors_sort

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    “Yeah, we’re good. In fact, she wanted me to stop by today, and I was thinking maybe I would.” She
    slid her fingers into her pockets, gave a little shrug. “Maybe talking to her about all this will put it to
    bed. Figuring that, you really don’t have to come with me to the hotel. If they’re still at the hotel.”
    “As of an hour ago, they were. And haven’t indicated they plan to check out today. I’m going with you.”
    “It’s really okay if you”
    “I’m going,” he repeated, and swung his feet to the floor, rose. “If you want to speak with Mira alone,
    I’ll drop you there afterward. I’ll either come back for you myself and we could go have ourselves a
    nice meal somewhere, or I’ll send a car. Are you ready now?”
    No point fighting this either, she decided. Better to save all the energy for the face-to-face with Trudy. “As I’ll ever be.” She stepped up, put her arms around him, and squeezed. “In case I get all worked up and pissed off and forget to thank you later.”
    “So noted.”
    * * *
    It wasn’t a fleabag, Eve decided when she studied the facade of the hotel. In a city of five-diamond hotels, it maybe earned a half carat. It didn’t run to parking, so Roarke had paid an obscene amount
    in a private lot a block east. But then his ride was probably worth more than the building that housed
    the hotel and some souvenir shop called Tokens on Ten.
    It didn’t run to doormen either, and what passed for its lobby was a double-wide alcove with a counter. Behind it and a security screen was a droid clerk fashioned to resemble a man in his forties suffering
    from male-pattern baldness.
    He wore a tired white shirt, and as bored an expression as a droid could manage.
    “Checking in? Luggage?”
    “Not checking in. No luggage. Try this instead.” Eve drew out her badge.
    Bored became long-suffering. “Was there a complaint? No one filed a complaint through me. All our licenses are in order.”
    “I need to speak to one of your guests. Lombard, Trudy.”
    “Oh.” He swiveled to his register comp. “Ms. Lombard has a Do Not Disturb on her room. She hasn’t taken it off yet today.”
    Eve kept her eyes on his, tapped a finger on her badge.
    “Yeah, well… She’s in four-fifteen. Do you want me to call up, let her know you’re here?”
    “I think we can find four-fifteen all by ourselves.”
    She eyed the single elevator with some distrust, but her feet were still a little achy from her diamond slippers.
    “Voice activation’s broke,” the desk droid called out. “You have to push for your floor.”
    She stepped on, pushed four. “This thing gets stuck, you can get us out, right?”
    “Not to worry.” Roarke took her hand. “Look at her the way you looked at the clerk, and you’ll be done.”
    “How’d I look at the clerk?”
    “Like he was nothing.” He lifted their joined hands, kissed hers as the elevator groaned its way upward. The droid wouldn’t have registered the nerves, Roarke thought, and he doubted Trudy would. But
    they were there, under the surface. “If you’re up for it after Mira’s, why don’t we do a little shopping?”
    “Have you lost your mind?”
    “No, seriously. We’ll stroll around on Fifth, look at the decorations, wander over to watch the skaters.
    Be New Yorkers.”
    She started to point out that no sane New Yorker would hassle with Fifth on a weekend this close to Christmas, much less stroll. But suddenly, it seemed like just the thing.
    “Sure. Why not?”
    The elevator squeaked open on four. The hall was narrow, but it was clean. A maid’s cart stood outside the open door of four-twelve, and a womancurvy, blond, mid-twentieswas knocking lightly on four-fifteen.
    “Come on, Mama Tru.” The woman’s voice was soft as cotton. As she knocked again, she shifted from foot to foot, nervously, on simple canvas skids the same quiet blue as her pants. “We’re worried about you now. Come on and open the door. Bobby’ll

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