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.Duplessis, andMike Abadie about the usefulness of theexamination of stomach contents insolving murder cases.I finally excusedmyself to check on drinks, only to besurprised as all hell when I saw Pietroand Jane Pennington enter followed byBrian in his black suit and looking everyinch the personal security guard.I gave Brian a smile and wave.Heresponded with a slight nod and thenreturned to checking out exits andpossible threats and whatever the hellelse someone in his position did. Pietro! Jane! I said, grinning. I didn t think y all would come.Thanks! We almost didn t, Jane admittedafter giving me a quick but warm hug ofgreeting. My flight was delayed anhour, and we literally came straight fromthe airport. I m really glad you could make it,I said fervently.I hadn t spent much timewith the woman, but she was alreadyone of my favorite people. It s not amansion, I continued, gesturing aroundme,  but it s definitely a step up from theold place. It s a nice house, Pietro said withan approving smile. And thelandscaping turned out well. Yes, thanks so much for that.I havea lawn! And an actual driveway! Grinning, I looked to Jane. Not even ayear ago, the driveway was paved withcrushed beer cans.I had quite the trashylook going on.She wrinkled her nose, chuckled. Yes, I can see the appeal of pavement.I gave a mock shudder. I m almostrespectable! Angel, I m sorry, but we can tstay, Pietro said. Jane has a heavyschedule.However, we wanted to atleast stop by. That s cool, I said. I appreciatethat you came at all.We made our goodbyes, with Pietrosurprising the hell out of me by givingme an honest-to-god hug and a kiss on the cheek before heading to the doorwith Jane.Brian stepped up to me before theyexited. I m with them, so I can t stay,but I wanted to congratulate you on yournew home. He smiled, and I had thesense he was referring to more than justthe physical house. Thanks, I said automatically, but Icouldn t help but feel another twinge ofworry and angst about being so muchdeeper into the Pietro  home now. Ihope it all works out for the best.Brian was sharp enough to catch myslight hesitancy. That s pretty muchwhat we re all shooting for in the end,he said, then gave me a smile. Enjoy theparty. I watched him go, then frownedslightly when a woman I didn t knowcame in.At least I thought I didn t knowher until I caught her eye and she gaveme a bright smile and cheery wave.Ismiled back in delight. Heather! I cried out.She had hazelcontact lenses in, and her once loose,blond hair was now a deep chestnutpulled back in a flattering twist.Herface was subtly different as well, andafter a few seconds of peering I decided,at the very least, she d had cheekimplants and a nose job.She was stillquite pretty, but she d be able to blendinto a crowd easily. Angel! she cried. This is so great! I m so glad you made it, I told her. Wouldn t miss it, she said,  eventhough my social calendar is sooo jampacked. She rolled her eyes.I laughed. You re way too busykicking ass and taking names. I can t help myself, she said with asnort, then glanced back, frowned. Dammit, I lost Kyle.Where the hell didhe go? He was right behind me. He s probably scouting theperimeter, I pointed out.Her mouth curved into a fiercescowl. This is a parrrrrty.He isn tsupposed to be working. I think he s always worrrrrking, Ireplied. She laughed. True.Not even goingto try to argue that one. How s everything going for you? Pretty damn good, she said with asmile, then cocked her head toward aquiet corner and headed that way.I got the idea she wanted a privateword and followed. What s up, chick? I m dead! she said with amischievous glint in her eye. Yes, I know, I replied with a grin. I even went out on the scene, thoughthere wasn t much body to recover.Two days after Philip s meltdownon the movie set, the burnt-out shell ofHeather s Jeep had been found at the endof Shore Road.When the sheriff s office investigated, they discovered a bodyor rather they discovered teeth from abody, since the fire had been hot enoughto burn the bones to ash.Between dentalrecords that convinced authorities theteeth belonged to Heather, and asignificant amount of blood near theburned car that matched her DNA, therewas no doubt in the eyes of the law thatshe was quite dead.Heather hooked a finger into hercheek and pulled it away to show threemolars that looked a little too perfect tobe real. New teef!I shuddered. Oh my god.I can tbelieve you let them pull your teeth.She dropped her hand, winked. That s what anesthesia and Percocet are for! But then she grimaced. It wasthe best way, short of chopping off abody part, to convince everyone I mdead. I guess it s worth it if it helps keepyou safe from Saberton.A wince flashed across her face. And my brother. Do you think he ll believe you rereally dead? I asked.She gave a slow nod. I ve thoughtabout it a lot, and I m fairly positive hewill.After all, I can t imagine he dbelieve that Pietro Ivanov wouldactually welcome Julia Saber into hisfold. She shrugged. The story that wasleaked is that I tried to come over to your side, and that when Mr.Ivanovfound out who I really was, she smiledand spread her hands,  shit got ugly. Well, you look damn good for adead chick, I told her, smiling.Andnow I understood why Brian had wantedthe Saberton man to get a good look ather on the movie set.Had to let thembelieve she d been brought on board. Thanks! Oh, and I have a new name.Naomi Comtesse. And a new hair color too.Looksgreat, I said with a grin [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]