Home > Brotherhood in Death (In Death #42)(9)

Brotherhood in Death (In Death #42)(9)
J.D. Robb

“This is about investigating a reported attack on Edward Mira and the fact that he subsequently went missing.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Then you can contact him right now, prove that, and we’ll be out of your hair with sincere apologies for the interruption to your evening.”

“Hank!” She actually snapped her fingers. “Contact Senator Mira.”

“Ma’am, I’ve attempted to do so, on all numbers. I can’t reach him.”

“Give me that thing.” She snatched Hank’s ’link out of his hand, strode off with it on sky-high, sky-blue heels.

“Wow, she must be a joy to work for,” Eve commented.

She stuck her hands in her pockets, took a measure of the living space.

A lot of chilly blues, selected, Eve deduced, because they matched Mandy Mira’s eyes. And everything slick and sleek and shiny.

Just as well they hadn’t been asked to sit, as every chair looked like an ass-bruiser.

Another huge display of white roses sitting on a glossy white piano—and white drapes framing the wall of glass leading to a terrace. By the time she’d gotten to the portrait of the senator and his wife over the unlit fireplace, Mandy’s outrage shot back at her.

“What do you mean you don’t know? You’re paid to know. If you want to continue to be paid, you’ll contact Senator Mira now. Is that understood?”

She stormed back, shoved the ’link at Hank. “The senator is currently incommunicado, which should be no concern of yours. However, I want an explanation. Why are you here, suggesting something has happened to him?”

“Are you aware your husband had an appointment today with a Realtor regarding his grandfather’s home?”

“I am.”

“Do you have the name and contact of said Realtor?”

“I have no interest whatsoever in that property or its disposition.”

“I take that as a no. Your husband’s cousin Dennis Mira—”

“Oh, for God’s sake.” Mandy waved that away as if it were a vaguely unpleasant odor. “If Dennis contacted you, he’s wasted your time as well as mine. He’s a foolish and befuddled little man, and one strangely attached to that property. I’d say he arranged all this to complicate the sale, but that’s far too much complex thinking for Dennis.”

Roarke laid a hand on Eve’s arm, squeezed lightly. He spoke before she could so she only imagined—vividly—plowing her fist into Mandy Mira’s face.

“Dennis Mira was assaulted seconds after he tried to rush to the aid of your injured husband. If you’d stop interrupting,” Roarke continued in a tone cold enough to freeze the balls Eve imagined Mandy sported under her white silk lounging pants, “the lieutenant could give you the details.”

“And who are you?”

“Roarke, and at the moment, Lieutenant Dallas’s civilian consultant.”

Those cold eyes narrowed. “Of course. Yes, of course. I know who you are—both of you. Riffraff. And here, no doubt, at the instigation of Dennis and Charlotte Mira. You can go back and tell them I’m not interested in their pitiful ploys, and my husband will do whatever he chooses to do with that ridiculous old house and everything in it. If you come here again trying to stir up trouble, I’ll have something to say about it to the governor—and we’ll see how long Charlotte continues her embarrassing association with the police. Hank, put these people out. Now.”

Eve leaned forward, just a little. “You can kiss my ass.”

Color flooded Mandy’s face. “How dare you. You can be sure I’ll contact your superior and report your behavior.”

“That would be Whitney, Commander Jack. Cop Central.” Eve took out her badge. “Make a note of the name and number. I cleaned up some of your husband’s blood in that ridiculous old house today—you think about that. You think about that and the fact that you can’t find him. And you remember Dennis Mira ended up unconscious on the floor, shedding some of his own blood because he tried to help. And you—”

“Eve,” Roarke murmured.

“No, bullshit, not done. And you think about the fact a cop came to your door to inform you, to gather information in the investigation of your husband’s whereabouts, and you stonewalled. As a cop I’m now looking right at you, right straight at you as my chief suspect.

“You got anything hiding in your closets, sister? I guarantee I’ll find it.”

Astonished outrage stripped Mandy Mira’s face of color. “Get them out. Get them out of my house.”

She stalked off as Eve turned back to the entrance foyer.

Hank closed the doors behind them.

“Lieutenant? Sir? I want to apologize for—”

“You got your job, I’ve got mine.”

“Are you certain Senator Mira was injured, and is missing?”

“Yes.” The change in tone had her glancing back at him. “Do you know who he was set to meet at the brownstone today?”

“I don’t, but I’ll try to find out. I do know he was due home more than an hour ago. I should be home myself, but Mrs. Mira insisted I stay until he got home.”

“Is that usual?”

“It’s not unusual. If I find out anything that can help, I’ll contact you at Central. Just FYI—she will contact the governor and your commanding officer.”

“She can contact God as far as I’m concerned.”

When the elevator doors shut, Roarke slid his hand down to take hers. He could all but feel the rage vibrating off her skin.

“I’ll be Riff,” he said.

“What?”

“I’ll be Riff, which leaves you with Raff.”

He saw the momentary confusion on her face, then the quick glint—a reluctant humor—in her eyes. “Why do you get Riff? Because it’s first?”

“Because I like the sound of it. I think it suits me. You’re more a Raff, definitely. My Raff.”

“That’s Lieutenant Raff.”

“As you like.”

“You’re trying to calm me down so I don’t bust up the elevator.”

“It’s a by-product of calming myself. I don’t often have an urge to strike a woman—it’s just against my nature. But I had a powerful one up there.”

“When I mentally punched her, blood exploded out of her nose.”

“Well then, that will have to do us both. And yet . . .” He brought her fingers to his lips. “We’ll go home and work into all hours trying to find the breathtakingly rude bitch’s husband.”

“He has to be a dick. Nobody would stay married to that unless he was a dick. But yeah, we’ll work on it.”

He kept her hand in his as they crossed the lobby. “Maybe he faked an abduction to escape her.”

“It would be hard to blame him, except he’s a dick.”

She contacted Mira as Roarke drove home, let her know she’d notified Mandy Mira.

“How did she take it?”

“She claims it’s bullshit you and Mr. Mira cooked up, insulted me, Roarke, both of you, and intends to contact the governor and Whitney to report me. I told her to kiss my ass.”

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