Fiction Warren Adler Random Hearts

ISBN 13: 9780345436122

Random Hearts

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9780345436122: Random Hearts

What the author of The War of the Roses did for hate,
he now does for love.

He's a happily married man. She's a happily married woman with a little boy and a good life. Or so they both believe. There's absolutely no reason why they should ever meet.

Until a commercial airliner crashes into the Potomac River. Two of the victims are linked by a clue that at first stuns and baffles, then draws together their surviving spouses.

The explosive discovery leads them on a journey that forces them to confront the mysterious and random nature of love--and the transforming power it wields over men and women caught in its relentless maelstrom.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

L'autore:

Warren Adler is the author of several novels, including The War of the Roses, which was filmed with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he was educated in the New York City school system and graduated from New York University with a B.A. in English. He is married and has three sons.

Estratto. © Riproduzione autorizzata. Diritti riservati.:

1

It began to snow at dawn. By noon, Washington looked like a toy village in a department store Christmas window, the people like tiny rosy-cheeked dolls bundled in their winter clothes. The world was shrouded in white, clean and silent. Only the roar of the low-flying planes groaning as they labored to lift themselves through the heavy layer of gray snow clouds brought Lily the message of a harsher reality.

She paid the taxi driver and moved quickly into the airport terminal, her carryall slung over her shoulder. She kept her head down, looking neither right nor left, heading directly toward the Southair gate. After the silence of the snow-covered streets, the terminal was alive with sound.

She could not deny the anxiety that gnawed at her. This journey was a new move, outside their accustomed pattern. She thought of Edward, and her stomach knotted. What she dreaded most was being recognized by someone they both knew. Not now. Not before she was ready. Their objective was to be in control of their lives. Hadn't they managed successfully for more than a year?

Through the crowds, near the numbered Southair gate, she saw Orson leaning against a wall, the collar of his trench coat up, his wavy brown hair moist with melting snow. Like her, he, too, seemed tense. Yet the sight of him calmed her, quickening her heartbeat with anticipation. It had always been that way. From the first moment, his effect on her had been powerful, life-changing.

He did not move forward but stood waiting, gathering her into his arms when she came close enough. He was a head taller, and the heavy coat, smelling of damp as she nuzzled close against it, affirmed his great comforting presence.

"God, I'm scared," she said, her voice muffled as he patted her woolen hat, which was pulled to the eyebrow line over her dark deep-set eyes.

From the pocket of his trench coat he pulled out a single pink sweetheart rose. She took it and smiled.

"Feel better?"

She nodded, inhaling the scent.

"We're delayed. Damned snow. About half an hour at the gate. Another half an hour on the ground."

Picking up his suitcase, one of those compact leather ones guaranteed to fit under the airline seat, he led her to the counter where he produced his tickets for the clerk. They passed through the security check. In the boarding lounge they found seats alone near the window wall, which looked out on a mass of swirling snow. Outside, the Southair 737 was parked like a hoary ghost at the mouth of the passenger chute.

"A few hundred feet up and it's nothing but sun and blue skies," he said. She lay her head on his shoulder and felt the caress of his fingers against her cheek. Reaching up, she stroked the back of his head.

"Four days alone. Imagine," she whispered, her eyes moistening with emotion. "Days." For them, time was always a gift. They were used to measuring their time together carefully--they had only the morning hours at the apartment, their clandestine hideaway. Yet, Lily thought, wrapped in the safety of Orson's arms, even time itself seemed enriched.

"And Edward?"

"He thinks I'll be in L.A. A round of fashion shows. I told him I hadn't found a place to bunk. Besides, he's absorbed in work. They're all busy jockeying for power when the session opens. He'll barely have time to think, much less miss me." Edward was an Administrative Assistant to Congressman Robert Holmes of Iowa, a man with a thirsty ego and soaring ambitions. No. Edward would not be a problem. Poor Edward, she thought sadly. But how could he possibly understand?

"Will he call the store?" Orson asked.

In his mind, she knew, he was the principal creator of scenarios. "No. He rarely does."

"And will you call him?"

"I told him not to expect me to." She had been hesitant on that point but did not expect it to be a problem. Besides, she wanted to strike the worry from her mind. "Let's

not think of them. Not for four days." She sighed. "Can we try?"

"We can try. Unfortunately, it's inescapable."

"Where were you six years ago?" she asked.

"Married," he answered softly. "Safe."

"And now?"

"We'll have four days to talk it out," Orson said.

"I know."

Her stomach lurched as she projected the future. Poor Edward, she thought again, helpless, innocent, so perfectly secure in their marriage.

"Viv thinks I'm on the Concorde to Paris."

"Won't that be trouble?" She looked up at him to search his face but could find no trouble there.

"So we're in the clear," she said, relieved.

"For the moment." He sighed, surely thinking of what was impending, of what they still had to go through, perhaps hurting others and themselves. Then, inexplicably, he chuckled.

"What's funny?" she asked.

"On the flight we're Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Marlboro."

"Who?"

"At the ticket counter I saw these signs--Calvin Klein and Marlboro cigarettes. Not very original, but I can't think of anything. Anything but you."

"And I, you."

"Is it possible to love someone so completely?"

"Yes ..." She paused. "Unfortunately."

"Unfortunately?" he asked, showing a mock pout.

"An error in timing but not in intensity." Lifting her face, she kissed him on the tip of his nose.

"How do you feel?" he asked suddenly.

"Fine. It's too early yet."

Suddenly a voice blared over the speaker: "Fifteen minutes to boarding. Sorry for the delay, folks."

"Good," Orson said. "If things go well, we can be having a cocktail on the beach by five. You'll love the place. The unit looks out on the water."

"Were you there with her? With Viv?" She had wanted to ask him before but had hesitated, knowing he had been to Key West before with his wife.

"Of course not. This is ours. Once we went there for a party. I remembered the name: Fulton's Beachside."

"Just you and me, kid," Lily said. "Well, almost." Her fingers touched his eyes, which closed automatically. She loved to touch him there, to caress his long lashes.

"Oh, that." He smiled, opening his eyes and showing little nests of happy wrinkles. She started to draw his head down for a long kiss, but he held back, his eyes furtive.

"Coward," she said.

"Cautious."

Above all caution, she thought. It had underscored everything from the beginning. Honored in the breach, she thought wryly. Passion was more powerful than caution, they had learned.

"I know we're ready. We've got to resolve it somehow," she said with exasperation.

"We'll have four days to mull it over."

"And over and over?"

"No. We'll have to decide."

"Until you called, I had resolved not to tell you. To take"--she paused--"well, measures. Then when you said it's time, I knew you had to know."

"When I called you at Trudie's cocktail party, I was certain. Exactly then."

"You took a chance. Edward was still working."

Even telephone calls between them were deliberately rare. She remembered that his voice had frightened her.

He moved his hand along her sleeve until their fingers entwined. Between them, there was never enough touching.

"I was standing there, looking through the fog of smoke, watching the people. I had had three martinis, but I was dead sober. Viv was off in a corner talking to some woman. In the background I heard this buzz of conversation. Someone was saying something to me, but I couldn't hear what he was saying. I just wanted to be with you. Just with you. Always. I ached for you. No point hiding it forever. It must be confronted. We have to think of ourselves, of our love. We'll go away. With clear minds, just the two of us, we'll plan what we must do and how. I remembered Fulton's Beachside, and I called you."

"Here I am."

"I told you I'd always know when the time had come."

"And I'd know."

"Well, it's time."

"You may get sick of me in four whole days. Ninety-six hours. We've never had such continuity."

"And you may get sick of me."

"Never. I'll never be sick of you. Never in ten lifetimes. Because I'll love you through ten lifetimes. No. Through ten eternities."

"There can't be ten eternities."

"Stop being a lawyer."

"That's another thing. I'm going to change that, too."

"What will you be, then?"

"Something I can do that means I'll be around you all day long. Day and night. Something. We'll figure it out at Fulton's Beachside."

"Maybe we can be paid to make love." She laughed. "To each other. Then we don't have to go anywhere, do anything."

They were silent for a moment. She nuzzled a kiss on his neck.

"I'm being overly demonstrative."

"The hell with it."

He bent down and kissed her on her lips. Opening one eye, she saw a woman smile and quickly turn away.

"You electrify me, you know that."

"Uh-huh."

From the very moment she had sat down beside him on the Eastern shuttle, he electrified her. A strange, powerful feeling had surged through her body, a feeling that he, too, admitted experiencing. Like two chemicals in separate containers reacting by osmosis. Was it random selection? Or did it have an inevitability about it, a design? Had it lain embedded, just beneath the level of conscious thought--some life-chang...

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