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In Death 10 - Witness in Death

In Death 10 - Witness in Death

Titel: In Death 10 - Witness in Death
Autoren: authors_sort
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fingers, and flicked it on. "Thanks. Okay." Areena took a deep drag, blew it out slowly. "I'm sorry. I'm not usually so... fragile. The theater smashes the fragile to bits, and quickly."
    "You're doing very well." Mira kept her voice low, calm. "Talking it through with Lieutenant Dallas will help."
    "I don't know what to say." Areena stared back at Mira with the trust Eve had wanted to see radiating in her eyes. "It just happened."
    "When you picked up the knife," Eve interrupted, "did you notice anything different?"
    "Different?" Areena blinked as she focused on Eve again. "No. It was exactly where it was supposed to be, hilt toward me to make the movement fast and smooth. I swept it up, to give the audience that one shocked instant to see the blade. The lighting's designed to catch it, to glint off the edges. Then I charged. It's only two steps from the table to Richard. I take his right arm, between the elbow and the shoulder, with my left hand, holding him, draw back with the right, then... the impact," she said after another long drag, "of the prop knife against his chest releases the pack of stage blood. We hold there for an instant, just two beats, intimately, before the others onstage rush forward to pull me away."
    "What was your relationship with Richard Draco?"
    "What?" Areena's eyes had glazed.
    "Your relationship with Draco. Tell me about it."
    "With Richard?" Areena pressed her lips together, her hand running up between her breasts to massage the base of her throat as if words were stuck there, like burrs. "We've known each other several years, worked with each other before -- and well -- most recently in a London production of Twice Owned."
    "And personally?"
    There was a hesitation, less than a half beat, but Eve noticed and filed it away.
    "We were friendly enough," Areena told her. "As I said, we've known each other for years. The media in London played up a romance between us during that last work. The play was a romance. We enjoyed the benefit of the interest. It sold tickets. I was married at the time, but that didn't discourage the public from seeing us as a couple. We were amused by it."
    "But never acted on it."
    "I was married, and smart enough, Lieutenant, to know Richard wasn't the kind of man to throw out a marriage for."
    "Because?"
    "He's a fine actor. Was," she corrected, swallowed hard before she drew one last time on her cigarette. "He wasn't a particularly fine human being. Oh, that sounds vicious, horrible." Her hand lifted to her throat again, fingers restless against flesh. "I feel vicious and horrible saying it, but I -- I want to be as honest as I can. I'm afraid. I'm terrified you'll think that I meant this to happen."
    "At the moment, I don't think anything. I want you to tell me about Richard Draco."
    "All right. All right." She drew in a breath, sucked on the cigarette as if it were a straw. "Others will say it in any case. Richard was very self-interested and egocentric, as many... most of us are in this business. I didn't hold it against him. And I jumped at the chance to work with him in this play."
    "Are you aware of anyone else who, believing him not a particularly fine human being, might have held that against him?"
    "I imagine Richard insulted or offended everyone attached to this production at one time or another." She pressed a fingertip to the inside corner of her eye, as if to relieve some pressure. "Certainly there were bruised feelings, complaints, mutters, and grudges. That's theater."
    The theater, as far as Eve was concerned, was a screwy business. People wept copiously, gave rambling monologues when any half-wit lawyer would have advised them to say yes, no, and shut the hell up. They expounded, they expanded, and a great many of them managed to turn the death of an associate into a drama where they themselves held a starring role. "Ninety percent bullshit, Peabody."
    "I guess." Peabody crossed the backstage area, trying to look everywhere at once. "But it's kind of cool. All those lights, and the holoboard, and there're some really mag costumes if you're into antique. Don't you think it'd be amazing to be standing out front and having all those people watching you?"
    "Creepy. We're going to have to let some of these people go before they start whining about their civil rights."
    "I hate when that happens."
    Eve smirked, scanned her memo pad. "So far, we're getting an interesting picture of the victim. Nobody really wants to say so, but he was well disliked.

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