Stuart Woods 6 Stone Barrington Novels
The Short Forever
“Alive with action and humor . . . so delightfully, typically Woods, it will send his fans into paroxysms of joy. . . . Entertainment novels can't get any better than this.”
âThe Associated Press
“One of the smoothest writers in the pop-literature biz and always a pleasure to read. . . . A stylish whodunit.”
âThe Detroit News
“Barrington's fans will likely welcome the detective's newest California-chic adventure.”
“[A] nerve-racking thriller.”
The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News
Praise for Stuart Woods and His Bestselling Novels
“An action-packed puzzler.”
“Keeps you turning page after page.”
The Washington Post
“A whale of a story.”
The New York Times
“Blackmail, murder, suspense, loveâwhat else could you want in a book?”
“A fast-paced thriller.”
Rocky Mountain News
“Another gem. . . . A book to read and get chills from on even the hottest day.”
San Diego Union-Tribune
“Woods delivers a marvelously sophisticated, thoroughly modern, old-fashioned read.”
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Published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Previously published in a G. P. Putnam's Sons edition.
First Signet Printing, September
Copyright Â© Stuart Woods, 2000
copyright Â© Stuart Woods, 2001
All rights reserved
eISBN : 978-1-101-10013-4
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This book is for Barbara Danielson and Lewis Moore.
Table of Contents
LAINE'S, LATE. STONE BARRINGTON AND DINO BACCHETTI sat at table number four, looking grim. Elaine joined them.
“So, what's happening here? You two look like you're going to start shooting any minute.”
“I'm getting married,” Stone said. “Congratulate me.”
“Congratulations,” Elaine said. “Anybody you know?”
“Hilarious,” Stone said.
“It would be, if it weren't so insane,” Dino added.
“You and Dolce are really going to do this?” Elaine asked, incredulous.
start,” Stone growled.
“He won't listen to me,” Dino said. “I've been telling him for a year to stay away from her.”
“What've you got against your sister-in-law?” Elaine asked him.
“First of all, she's my sister-in-law,” Dino replied. “Second, she's evil. Her old man is the devil, and Dolce is his handmaiden.”
“Don't start that again, Dino,” Stone said. “I don't want to hear it anymore. We're in love, we're getting married, and that's it. What's wrong with that?”
Elaine shrugged. “You're still in love with Arrington,” she said. “Everybody knows that.”
“What do you mean, âeverybody'?” Stone demanded.
“Me and Dino,” Elaine replied.
“Right,” Dino chimed in.
“She's married; she has a child,” Stone said.
“So?” Elaine queried. “So, she's married to a movie star; nobody ever took a girl away from a movie star? Happens all the time.”
“I'm not breaking up anybody's marriage,” Stone said, “and Arrington knows it. I've told her so. Anyway, there's the boy.”
“Wouldn't be the first kid raised by a stepfather,” Elaine said.
“I think it's Stone's kid, anyway,” Dino said.
“Dino, I told you, the blood test was done; I saw the lab report. The boy is Vance Calder's, and that's all there is to it. I'm not taking a kid away from his father. Besides, I like Vance.”
“What's not to like?” Elaine asked. “He's handsome; he's the biggest star in Hollywood; he's the most charming man I ever met.” She sipped her drink. “Present company included,” she added.
“Thanks,” Stone said. “I needed that.”
“So, when's the happy day?” Elaine asked. “You going to be a June bride?”
“Monday,” Stone replied. “In Venice.”
“This is Thursday,” Elaine pointed out. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“We're leaving tonight,” Stone said.
“I got news for you. It's after midnight, all the flights have departed.”
“We're taking a private jet, belongs to some friend of Eduardo.”
“Not bad,” Elaine said, looking impressed. “That way, you get to your hotel late enough tomorrow, so you don't have to wait for the people in your room to check out.”