Delusion in Death by J. D. Robb Read Online (FREE)
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And I looked, and behold a pale horse:
and his name that sat on him was Death,
And Hell followed with him.
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war.
After a killer day at the office, nothing smoothed those raw edges like happy hour. On the Rocks on Manhattan’s Lower West Side catered to white-collar working stiffs who wanted half-price drinks and some cheesy rice balls while they bitched about their bosses or hit on a coworker.
Or the execs who wanted a couple of quick belts close to the office before their commute to the ’burbs.
From four-thirty to six, the long bar, the high-tops and low-tops bulged with lower-rung execs, admins, assistants, and secretaries who flooded out of the cubes, pools, and tiny offices. Some washed up like shipwreck survivors. Others waded ashore ready to bask in the buzz. A few wanted nothing more than to huddle alone on their small square of claimed territory and drink the day away.
By five, the bar hummed like a hive while bartenders and wait-staff rushed and scurried to serve those whose workday was behind them. The second of those half-price drinks tended to improve moods so the laughter, amiable chatter, and premating rituals punctuated the hum.
Files, accounts, slights, unanswered messages were forgotten in the warm gold light, the clink of glasses and complimentary beer nuts.
Now and again the door opened to welcome another survivor of New York’s vicious business day. Cool fall air whisked in along with a blast of street noise. Then it was warm again, gold again, a humming hive again.
Midway through that happiest of hours (ninety minutes in bar time), some headed back out. Responsibilities, families, a hot date pulled them out the door to subways, airtrams, maxibuses, cabs. Those who remained settled back for one more, a little more time with friends and coworkers, a little more of that warm gold light before the bright or the dark.
Macie Snyder crowded at a plate-sized high-top with her boyfriend of three months and twelve days, Travis, her best work pal, CiCi, and Travis’s friend Bren. Macie had wheedled and finagled for weeks to set CiCi up with Bren with the long view to double dates and shared boy talk. They made a happy, chattering group, with Macie perhaps the happiest of all.
CiCi and Bren had definitely connected—she could see it in the body language, the eye contact—and since CiCi texted her a couple times under the table, she had it verified.
By the time they ordered the second round, plans began to evolve to extend the evening with dinner.
After a quick signal to CiCi, Macie grabbed her purse. “We’ll be right back.”
She wound her way through tables, muttered when someone at the bar stood up and shoulder bumped her. “Make a hole,” she called out cheerfully, and took CiCi’s hand as they scurried down the narrow steps and queued up for the thankfully short line in the restroom.