It was the sort of event that should have appalled Lynley. Had his father been there—doubtless dressed to the nines with one or two touches of ermine and red velvet lest someone doubt his position in society—he would have lasted less than five minutes. He was still rather vague on the purpose of the pivot— although he knew who she was by the striped cap she wore stretched over her helmet—but he was definitely getting the idea that roller derby was a sport of strategy as well as skill. She, he discovered, was quite a jammer. She skated aggressively, like a woman to the roller skates born.
He knew she was practically unbeatable at darts. But this. He never would have guessed it. His pleasure in the wild sport had been interrupted only once, in the middle of a power jam. His first thought was that the Met was calling him back to work. For the caller was his usual partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers.
The noise was far too intense. The Electric Magic won the bout twenty minutes later. The two groups of skaters congratulated each other. Athletes mingled with spectators then, cheerleaders mingled with athletes, referees mingled with each other.
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No one was in a hurry to leave, which was all to the good since Lynley intended to do a little mingling himself. Make it school chums.
And call me either Thomas or Tommy. Together, then, they approached Kickarse Electra. She would have been an imposing presence anywhere, and she was particularly striking next to Kickarse Electra, who, even in her skates, was some seven inches shorter. Leaning Tower of Lisa first saw Lynley and Denton. I claim the smaller one.
She kissed his temple. He became the colour of pomegranate seeds. Daidre Trahair turned. They now held back wisps of her sandy hair, which had escaped from the French braid that contained it. She was wearing her spectacles beneath her goggles, but they were badly smudged. She could see through them perfectly well, though, a fact Lynley ascertained by the colour that her skin took on when she looked at him.
He could only just see this colour through her makeup, however. Like the other skaters, she was heavily painted, with an emphasis on glitter and lightning bolts. Brilliant, by the way. You do this as well as you throw darts, I see.
Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George
Lynley extended his hand to the other skater. Are you sweet in character as well as in looks, Charlie? Daidre Trahair had apparently used the duration of this exchange to come to her wits. He took it out and gave it a glance as before.
As before, the caller was Barbara Havers. Tonight Charlie and I would like you to join us for a postgame. Would you like to join us?
Can you possibly break with this tradition for once? It would be rather difficult. I have to return to Bristol. Daidre looked from him to Denton and back to him. She fingered back some of the hair that had come undone from the braid. Perhaps it was the use of her name. Perhaps it was the change in his tone.
She thought for a moment and then said all right. But she would have to change and perhaps she ought to get rid of the glitter and the lightning bolts as well? Daidre laughed. Where shall I meet you? How old is it? He opened the door for her. Daidre glanced over her shoulder at him, then looked at Lynley. Early hours at the bank tomorrow. Board meeting. Chairman all in a dither about a Chinese acquisition. You know.
Just One Evil Act: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 15
Lynley mouthed. Board meeting? He half expected Denton to lean forward and give him a wink-wink, nudge-nudge next. Duty calls and all that.
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And what about you, Thomas? He was definitely going to have to speak to him. The Voice was bad enough. The vocabulary was worse.
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Denton seemed to bounce as he walked. He was, Lynley reckoned, entertained by his own performance. A wine bar on Wilbraham Place stood three doors away from a pricey boutique on the corner. They ordered wine. Something to eat? Lynley offered Daidre. She demurred. He said he would do likewise.