Leverage in Death (In Death, Book 47)(149)

By: J. D. Robb


“Why the hell not?”

He got up for a bottle, for flutes. Popped it. He poured, then settled back in again. “I’m going to think more seriously about putting in that home theater.”

“This is nice.”

“It’s very nice, but so would that be. Dear Christ.” He sat up, gulped champagne after absently eating some of the popcorn. “Why the bloody hell do I do that? Every bleeding time.”

“I don’t know what your problem is. It’s delicious. But more for me.” She ate a handful.

“You’d eat cardboard if it was covered in butter and salt.”

“Corn’s better.”

“That corn? Marginally. Ah, Nadine’s category’s in the next segment.”

“It is?”

“Best adapted screenplay.”

“Right. I wish it was over with. What are her odds?”

“According to the buzz, it’s mixed. Stiff competition in both writing categories.”

“Both?”

“Original, and adaptation,” Roarke explained, and caught himself before he reached for more popcorn. “She’s adaptation—screenplay based on her book.”

“Got it. Still wish it was over. Getting this far’s a big, right?”

“A very big. Here come the presenters. There are six in her category nominated.”

“How do they . . . Shit, they said her name. There she is. Mavis is back, that’s good. And she’s got everybody else right there, so . . .”

She narrowed her eyes, studying Nadine as the other nominees came on in adjoining squares. Looks calm, Eve thought, but she’s not.

Get it over with. Why don’t they stop talking and get it—

“And the Oscar goes to, Nadine Furst, The Icove Agenda.”

“Holy shit. Jesus, she won? She won?”

“This is a moment,” Roarke exclaimed.

Eve watched, dumbstruck as Jake planted a big one on Nadine, as Mavis bounced and squealed, as Peabody actually jumped up to dance.

And Nadine, elegant and sleek—hands shaking some—walked to the stage, climbed the stairs. Hugged two people she probably didn’t know. Clutched the gold statue.

“Oh,” she managed. “God. I’m just . . . I wrote something in case—and I left it in my purse. So here goes.”

“She’s crying a little,” Eve noted. Nadine was thanking the Academy, the cast, the crew, the director, her friends. “And talking really fast.”

“She only has so much time.”

“Now . . . We gave you a shout-out, Dallas and Roarke, on the red carpet. Here’s another. You’re the reason, both of you. But, Dallas, as much as you’re going to hate this—being Dallas—this is as much yours as mine. I’m putting it in my place, but it’s yours, too. I’m sharing this amazing award with the smartest, bravest, most dedicated cop and frustrating person I know. Thanks. Holy crap! Thanks!”

“And that,” Roarke said, “is my very favorite acceptance speech in the history of them.”

“Jesus.” Eve scrubbed at her face. “Between her and Mavis, they’ve got me dripping. I’m glad for her, I really am. I have to be. But, Christ on a tricycle, Roarke, this is going to be a pain in my ass. As if it wasn’t enough of one before.”

He laughed, hugged her in. “Just think what a pain in your ass it’ll be if it wins best picture.”

“Don’t say that. Don’t think that. Don’t put that out there.”

“To Nadine,” he said. She huffed, but clinked.

“Okay, but that’s it. One’s enough. No more.”

“Well, we’ll wait and see, won’t we?”

The Icove Agenda took five Oscars, including best screenplay, best director, best cinematography, best actress, and the big guns. Best picture.

A little shell-shocked, Eve dragged herself into bed.

“It’ll never end now. Never end.”

On a laugh, Roarke snuggled her in, kissed the back of her neck. “There, there.”

“Bite me,” she muttered.

She closed her eyes and, consoling herself that the job would keep her too busy to worry about it, willed herself to sleep.