After the murder, they made love in front of a video camera.
When it was over, her mouth was bruised. He had long scratches
across his back. They lay side by side on their backs, gasping for
"Jesus!" he said, his voice hoarse.
"Yes," she whispered.
She moved into the compass of his left arm and rested her head
against his chest. They lay silently for a while, not moving,
waiting for oxygen.
"I love you," he said.
"I love you too," she said.
He put his face down against the top of her head where it lay on
his chest. Her hair smelled of verbena. In time their breathing
"Let's play the video," she whispered.
"Let's," he said.
The camera stood beside the bed on a tripod. He got up, took the
tape from it, put it in the VCR, got back into bed, and picked up
the remote from the night table. She moved back into the circle of
his arm, her head back on his chest.
"Show time," he said, and clicked the remote.
"My God," she said. "Look at me."
"I love how you're looking right into the camera," he said.
They watched quietly for a little while.
"Whoa," she said. "What are you doing to me there?"
"Nothing you don't like," he said.
When the tape was over he rewound it.
"You want to watch again?" he said.
She was drawing tiny circles on his chest with her left
He started the tape again.
"You know what I loved," she said. "I loved the range of expression
on his face."
"Yes," he said, "that was great. First it's like, what the hell is
"And then like, are you serious?"
"And then, omigod!"
"That's the best," she said. "The way he looked when he knew we
were going to kill him. I've never seen a look like that."
"Yes," he said. "That was pretty good."
"I wish we could have made it last longer," she said.
"My bad," she said. "I got so excited. I shot too soon."
"I've been known to do that," he said.
"Well, aren't you Mr. Dirty Mouth," she said.
They both laughed.
"We'll get better at it," he said.
She was now rubbing the slow circles on his chest with her full
palm, looking at the videotape.
"Ohhh," she said. "Look at me! Look at me!"
He laughed softly. She moved her hand down his stomach.
"What's happening here?" she said.
He laughed again.
"Ohh," she said. "Good news."
She turned her body hard against him and put her face up.
"Be careful," she murmured. "My mouth is sore."
They made love again while the image of their previous lovemaking
moved unseen on the television screen, and the sounds of that
mingled with the sounds they were making now.
Excerpted from STONE COLD: A Jesse Stone Novel © Copyright
2003 by Robert B. Parker. Reprinted with permission by Putnam, an
imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.