Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb Read Online (FREE)
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Which would you rather be—
A conqueror in the Olympic games,
Or the crier who proclaims who are conquerors?
True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.
While swords of lightning slashed and stabbed murderously across the scarred shield of sky, Bart Minnock whistled his way home for the last time. Despite the battering rain, Bart’s mood bounced along with his cheerful tune as he shot his doorman a snappy salute.
“Howzit going, Mr. Minnock?”
“It’s going up, Jackie. Going way uptown.”
“This rain could do the same, if you ask me.”
“What rain?” With a laugh, Bart sloshed his way in soaked skids to the elevator.
Thunder exploded across the island of Manhattan, midday commuters sulked under overpriced umbrellas bought from enterprising sidewalk hawkers and maxibuses spewed up walls of wet. But in Bart’s world the sun beamed in golden rays.
He had a hot date with the sexy CeeCee, which in itself was nothing to sneeze at for a self-proclaimed nerd who’d been a virgin until the somewhat embarrassing age of twenty-four.
Five years later, and largely because of the success of U-Play, he could have his pick from a bevy of eager women—even if the eager was mostly due to the money and media his company generated.
He didn’t mind.
He knew he wasn’t especially good-looking and accepted his own awkwardness in romantic situations. (Except for sexy CeeCee.) He didn’t know art or literature, didn’t know a good vintage from a bottle of home brew. What he knew were computers and games and the seduction of technology.
Still, CeeCee was different, he thought as he turned off the locks and security on his trilevel apartment with its four-star view of downtown. She liked gaming, and didn’t care about vintage wine or art galleries.
But even the evening with the sweet and sexy CeeCee wasn’t the reason for the whistling or the big, bright grin on his face as he reset the door locks.
He had the latest version of Fantastical in his briefcase, and until he tested it, played it, approved it, it was all his.
His in-house intercom greeted him with a cheery Welcome home, Bart, and his server droid—custom-made to replicate Princess Leia, classic Star Wars, slave-girl mode (he was a nerd, but he was still a guy)—strolled out to offer him his favorite orange fizzy with crushed ice.
“You’re home early today.”
“I’ve got some work to do in the holo-room.”
“Don’t work too hard. You need to leave in two hours and twelve minutes to arrive at CeeCee’s apartment on time. You’re scheduled to pick up flowers on the way. Will you be staying the night?”
“That’s the plan.”
“Enjoy. Your shoes are very wet. Would you like me to get you a fresh pair?”
“No, that’s okay. I’ll grab some on the way up.”