For the most part, Kirby Shelton is content with her life. She's building a new law practice in Colorado Springs, after losing her first in a bitter divorce, and loves to skydive in her spare time. Then she meets Leah Dalton, the computer software queen, and her world is suddenly turned upside down.
Leah, facing a losing battle with cancer, comes to Kirby with a plan to end her life on her terms. Inviting Kirby, and five of her closest friends, to her estate, she offers to make one of them a multi-millionaire. All they have to do is kill her and make it look like an accident.
It sounds like something out of the Twilight Zone, but Kirby gives into her morbid curiosity and takes Leah up on her invitation. After meeting Leah's friends and sensing the love and dedication they have for this woman, it's easy to assume one of them will go along with her absurd plan.
Good, let's get right to the point. Leah already liked the woman. "I'd like you to help find someone to kill me."
Kirby's eyes widened. "Excuse me?"
Leah smiled. "You heard correctly. I want you to help find someone to end my life."
"You must be joking. I'm an attorney. I--"
"I'm well aware of who you are. I've spent the last two months and a considerable amount of money to find the right person to help me, and you are that person."
"I'm afraid you've wasted both your time and money then, because whatever you have on your mind, I don't want any part of it."
Leah watched her get up and walk past her toward the door. This consultation was well on its way to being the shortest she ever had. "When your father was eaten up with cancer, and you took him into your home to care for him, didn't you ever wish there was something, anything you could do to end his suffering?"
"How do you know about my father?"
Leah turned in the chair to face the young attorney. "I know just about all there is to know about you, Kirby. You don't mind if I call you, Kirby, do you?" When she didn't answer, Leah continued. "You would have graduated in the top ten percent of your class at the University of Washington School of Law had you not taken off a year to care for your father, Bill. You moved here two years ago, leaving behind a husband of six years named Darrel. During the divorce settlement, he got the law firm you were partners in, and you got squat. You've no children, and not much of a social life aside from some intriguing outdoor activities. Shall I continue?"
"No. I'm sure your private detectives were very thorough." Kirby folded her arms across her body, her eyes leveling on Leah. "I take it you've been diagnosed with terminal cancer."
"Six months ago. And unlike your father, I'm not a brave person. Not only do I have a low threshold for pain, I can't stand the sight of needles."
"I'm sorry for your situation, but there's nothing I can do to help. Even if I did know where to find the type of person who would kill you, I wouldn't for a number of reasons."
Leah's eyes steadied on the woman who now sat beside her. She was somewhat taken back by the compassion in her eyes. "I'm having five old friends join me for a week at my estate. All you have to do is help me choose th
e right one to complete the task. You will be generously compensated for your part."
Kirby laughed. "You're nuts, lady. If these are really your friends, what makes you think one of them would be willing to kill you?"
"Because I intend to make them an offer they can't refuse.
One of them, who m ever we choose, will walk away with three hundred million dollars."