Home > Brotherhood in Death (In Death #42)(2)

Brotherhood in Death (In Death #42)(2)
J.D. Robb

Spaghetti and meatballs, she decided. That’s what she wanted on her plate. Maybe she’d beat Roarke home, and actually put that together for both of them. With wine, a couple candles. Right down in the pool area—no, she corrected as she started out. Maybe at the dining room table, like grown-ups, with a fire going.

She could program a couple of salads, use a couple of his half a zillion fancy plates.

And while the ice snapped and crackled outside, they’d—


She turned, spotted Mira—the department’s shrink and top profiler—all but leaping off a glide and rushing toward her, pale blue coat flying open over her deep pink suit.

“You’re still here. Thank God.”

“Just leaving. What’s the deal? What’s wrong?”

“I’m not sure. I . . . Dennis—”

Instinctively Eve reached up to touch the snowflake hat, one Dennis Mira had snugged down on her head in his kind way on a snowy day in the last weeks of 2060.

“Is he hurt?”

“I don’t think so.” The normally unflappable Mira linked her fingers together to keep them still. “He wasn’t clear, he was upset. His cousin—he said his cousin’s hurt, and now is missing. He asked for you, specifically. I’m sorry to spring this on you, but—”

“Don’t worry about it. Is he home—at your place?” She had already turned away, called for the elevator.

“No, he’s at his grandparents’—what was their home—in SoHo.”

“You’re with me.” She steered Mira into the elevator, crowded with cops going off shift. “I’ll make sure you both get home. Who’s his cousin?”

“Ah, Edward. Edward Mira. Former Senator Edward Mira.”

“Didn’t vote for him.”

“Neither did I. I need a moment to gather my thoughts, and I want to let him know we’re coming.”

As Mira took out her ’link, Eve organized her own thoughts.

She didn’t know or care much about politics, but she had a vague image of Senator Edward Mira. She’d never have put the bombastic, hard-line senator—sharp black eyebrows, close cropped black hair, hard and handsome face—on the same family tree as the sweet, slightly fuddled Dennis Mira.

But family made strange bedfellows.

Or was that politics?

Didn’t matter.

When they reached her level in the garage, she pointed toward her slot, strode to the unremarkable-looking DLE her husband had designed for her. Mira hurried after her, hampered by spike-heeled boots and shorter legs.

Eve moved fast—sturdy boots and long legs—slid behind the wheel, a tall, leanly built woman with choppy brown hair currently under a watch cap with a sparkling snowflake emblem she, cop to the bone, wore because it had been an impromptu gift given by a man she had a helpless, harmless crush on.

“Address?” she asked when Mira, in her elegant winter coat and fashionable boots, got in beside her.

Eve plugged the address into the computer, pulled out of the slot. And bulleted out of the garage, hitting lights and siren.

“Oh, you don’t have to . . . Thank you,” Mira said when Eve merely flicked her a glance. “Thank you. He says he’s fine, not to worry about him, but . . .”

“You are.”

The DLE looked like your poky uncle’s economy vehicle—and drove like a rocket. Eve swerved around vehicles whose drivers considered the sirens a casual suggestion. She hit vertical to leapfrog over others until Mira simply closed her eyes and hung on.

“Fill me in. Do you know why they were at the grandparents’ house—who else would be there?”

“Their grandmother died about four years ago, and Bradley—Dennis’s grandfather—just seemed to fade away. He lived about a year after her death, putting his affairs in order. Though knowing him, most of them already were. He left the house in equal shares to Dennis and Edward—the two oldest grandsons. That maxibus—”

Eve whipped the wheel, sent the DLE up. And took a corner as if in pursuit of a mass murderer. “Is behind us. Keep going.”

“I can tell you Dennis and Edward have been at odds over the house. Dennis wants to keep it in the family, per Bradley’s wishes. Edward wants to sell it.”

“He can’t sell it, I take it, unless Mr. Mira signs off.”

“That’s my understanding. I don’t know why Dennis came down here today—he had a full day at the university, as one of his colleagues is ill and he’s filling in. I should have asked him.”

“It’s okay.” Eve double-parked, turning the quiet, tree-lined street into a battlefield of blasting horns. Ignoring them, she flipped up her On Duty light. “We’ll ask him now.”

But Mira was already out of the car, running in those treacherous heels across the slick sidewalk. Cursing, Eve bolted after her, grabbed her arm.

“You run in those things, I’m going to end up driving you to the ER. Nice place.” She let Mira go as they went through the gate and onto cleared ground. “In this neighborhood, it’s probably worth, what, five or six million?”

“I imagine. Dennis would know.”

“He would?”

Mira managed a smile as she hurried up the steps. “It’s important. He knows what’s important. I don’t remember the code.” She pressed the buzzer, used the knocker.

When Dennis, disheveled gray hair, baggy pine-colored cardigan, opened the door, Mira grabbed his hands. “Dennis! You are hurt. Why didn’t you tell me?” She took his chin, turned his head to study the raw bruise on his temple. “You angled this away so I wouldn’t see it on the ’link.”

“Now, Charlie. I’m all right. I didn’t want to upset you. Come in out of the cold now, both of you. Eve, thank you for coming. I’m worried about Edward. I’ve been all through the house. He’s just not here.”

“But he was?” Eve prompted.

“Oh, yes. In the study. He was hurt. A black eye, and his mouth was bleeding. I should show you the study.”

When he turned, Mira let out a sound as much of frustration as distress. “Dennis, your head’s bleeding.” He hissed when she reached up to feel the knot. “You come in the living room and sit down, right now.”

“Charlie, Edward—”

“You leave Edward to Eve,” she said, pulling him into a big space that had either been decorated in a severely minimalist style, or several pieces of furniture had been removed. What remained appeared comfortably used and cheerful.

Mira took off her coat, tossed it carelessly aside, then dug into her enormous purse.

Eve got her first real clue why so many women carried handbags the size of water buffalos when Mira pulled a first aid kit out of hers.

“I’m going to clean up these lacerations, and ask Eve to drop us off at the nearest emergency room so you can have this X-rayed.”

“Now, sweetie.” He hissed again when Mira dabbed at the wound with an alcohol wipe, but managed to reach back and pat her leg. “I don’t need X-rays or other doctors when I have you. I just have a bump on the head. I’m as lucid as I ever get.”

Eve caught his smile, sly and sweet, when Mira laughed at that.

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