Stone cold

Parker Robert B.

Stone Cold - Parker

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Stone Cold - Parker

Stone Cold

By

Robert

B. Parker

FOR JOAN:

everything started to hum

1

After the murder, they made love in front of a video camera.

When it was over, her mouth was bruised. He had long scratches across his back. They lay side by side on their backs, gasping for breath.

“Jesus!” he said, his voice hoarse.

“Yes,” she whispered.

She moved into the compass of his left arm and rested her head against his chest. They lay silently for a while, not moving, waiting for oxygen.

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you too,” she said.

He put his face down against the top of her head where it lay on

his chest. Her hair smelled of verbena. In time their breathing settled.

“Let’s play the video,” she

whispered.

“Let’s,” he said.

The camera stood beside the bed on a tripod. He got up, took the

tape from it, put it in the VCR, got back into bed, and picked up the remote from the night table. She moved back into the circle of his arm, her head back on his chest.

“Show time,” he said, and clicked the remote.

They watched.

“My God,” she said. “Look at

me.”

“I love how you’re looking right into the camera,” he

said.

They watched quietly for a little while.

“Whoa,” she said. “What are you

doing to me

there?”

“Nothing you don’t like,” he

said.

When the tape was over he rewound it.

“You want to watch again?” he said.

She was drawing tiny circles on his chest with her left forefinger.

“Yes.”

He started the tape again.

“You know what I loved,” she said.

“I loved the range of

expression on his face.”

“Yes,” he said, “that was great.

First it’s like, what the

hell is this?”

“And then like, are you serious?”

“And then, omigod!”

“That’s the best,” she said.

“The way he looked when he knew we

were going to kill him. I’ve never seen a look like that.”

“Yes,” he said. “That was pretty

good.”

“I wish we could have made it last

longer,” she

said.

He shrugged.

“My bad,” she said. “I got so

excited. I shot too

soon.”

“I’ve been known to do that,” he

said.

“Well, aren’t you Mr. Dirty

Mouth,” she said.

They both laughed.

“We’ll get better at it,” he

said.

She was now rubbing the slow circles on his



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