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Copyright © 2009 by Stuart Woods
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Published simultaneously in Canada
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Kisser / Stuart Woods.
eISBN : 978-1-101-15993-4
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Stone Barrington and his former NYPD partner, Dino Bacchetti, were dining in the company of herself, Elaine, who, as usual, was making her rounds. “So?” Elaine asked as she joined them.
“Not much,” Dino replied.
Stone was deep into his spaghetti alla carbonara .
“Nice, isn’t it?” she asked. Elaine had a good opinion of her food.
“Mmmmf , ” Stone replied, trying to handle what he had stuffed into his mouth and speak at the same time.
“Never mind,” Elaine said. “Enjoy.”
Stone swallowed hard and nodded. “Thank you, I am.”
The waiter came with the wine and poured everybody a glass.
Stone began to take smaller bites, so as to better participate in the conversation. As he took his first sip of wine, he froze.
Dino stared at him. “What’s the matter? Am I gonna have to do a Heimlich?”
Stone set down the glass but said nothing. He was following the entrance of a very beautiful woman. She was probably five-eight or -nine, he thought, and closer to six feet in her heels. She was dressed in a classic Little Black Dress that set off a strand of large pearls around her neck. Fake, probably, but who cared? She had honey-blond, shoulder-length hair and a lot of it, cascades of it, big eyes, and plump lips sporting bright red lipstick. Dino and Elaine followed Stone’s gaze as the woman turned to her left and sat down at the bar.
“She can’t be alone,” Dino said.
“Who is she?” Stone asked Elaine.
“Never saw her in here,” Elaine replied, “but you’d better hurry; she’s not gonna be alone long.”
Stone put down his glass, got up, and walked toward the bar, straightening his tie. Normally, the people at the tables didn’t have much to do with the people at the bar; they were different crowds. But Stone knew when to make an exception.
“Good evening,” he said to her, offering his hand. “My name is Stone Barrington.”
She took the hand and offered a shy smile. “Hello, I’m Carrie Cox,” she said, and her accent was soft and southern.
Stone indicated his table. “My friends Dino and Elaine agree with me that you are too beautiful to be sitting alone at the bar. Will you join us?”
She looked surprised. “Thank you, yes,” she said after a moment’s thought.
Stone escorted her back to the
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