Paranoia (077 of 170)

—of —
by Joseph Finder
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Macmillan: Paranoia

Paranoia by Joseph Finder. Copyright 2004 by Joseph Finder.
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Part Four: 38 (Cont'd)

"Sure." I'd been debating calling down to the hotel to send up a cook to make us dinner, because I thought Seth might be impressed, but then I came to my senses. It would not have been a good idea. It would have sent Seth over the edge. Relieved, I called down to the valet and asked them to bring my car around.

It was waiting for me by the time we got down there.

"That's yours?" he gasped. "No fucking way."

"Way," I said.

His cynical, aloof composure had finally cracked. "This baby must cost like a hundred grand!"

"Less than that," I said. "Way less. Anyway, the company leases it for me."

He approached the Porsche slowly, awestricken, the way the apes approached the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and he stroked the gleaming Basalt Black door.

"All right, buddy," he demanded, "what's your scam? I want a piece of this."

"Not a scam," I said uncomfortably as we got in. "I sort of fell into this."

"Oh, come on, man. This is me you're talking to—Seth. Remember me? Are you selling drugs or something? Because if you are, you better cut me in."

I laughed hollowly. As we roared away, I saw a stupid-looking car parked on the street that had to be his. A huge blue-silver-and-red can of Red Bull was mounted on top of a dinky car. A joke.

"That yours?"

"Yep. Cool, huh?" He didn't sound so enthusiastic.

"Nice," I said. It was ridiculous.

"You know what it cost me? Nada. I just gotta drive it around."

"Good deal."

He leaned back in the supple leather seat. "Sweet ride," he said. He took a deep breath of the new-car smell. "Man, this is great. I think I want your life. Wanna trade?"

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