GRACE WATCHED HER LIFE FLASH BEFORE her eyes. Was this a dream? Or a nightmare? Part of her wanted to touch Lenny, to stick her hands in his sides like a doubting Thomas and prove that he was real. But something made her hesitate.

"I saw you! I saw your body." She was shaking. "I went to the morgue, for God's sake."

"Why don't you put down the gun?" Lenny's voice sounded soothing. Hypnotic. "We can talk."

Grace was about to do as he asked when John Merrivale took a step toward her. Instinctively she swung the gun in his direction and stepped back, her finger hovering over the trigger. "Don't move!" she shouted.

John stepped back.

"Sit down on that chair. Put your hands where I can see them."

John did as he was asked, sinking down into the lawn chair beside Lenny's.

Grace looked at Lenny. "You, too."

Lenny raised an eyebrow, in admiration as much as surprise. He, too, put his hands on his lap. Keeping the pistol trained on the pair of them, Grace reached into her backpack and pulled out the Dictaphone. She pressed the record button and set it down on the ground between them.

"Talk," she commanded.

Lenny couldn't take his eyes off Grace's face. So beautiful. But she's changed. I suppose she had to. She's stronger. That sweet, trusting little girl could not have survived.

"What do you want to know?"

"Everything. I want to know everything, Lenny. I want to know the truth."

Lenny Brookstein started talking.




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