The ButtonEdit

The Button makes its first appearance in Naked in Death just after Eve and Roarke share their first kiss. When they first met at Sharon DeBlass’ funeral, Eve was wearing what is now known as "the ugly gray suit". Roarke offered her a lift back to New York. The Button fell off Eve's suit while they were in his limo, on their way to the airport where Roarke’s transport waited.

When Eve got called to the Lola Starr crime scene in the middle of an argument with Roarke, he thought of The Button for the first time.

"We'll see each other again"

She (Eve) nodded. "Count on it."

He let her go, knowing Summerset would slip out of some shadow, to give her the leather jacket, bid her goodnight.

Alone, Roarke took the gray fabric button from his pocket, the one he'd found on the floor of his limo. The one that had fallen from the jacket of that drab gray suit she'd worn the first time he'd seen her.

Studying it, knowing he had no intention of giving it back to her, he felt like a fool.[1]

Roarke told Eve about The Button when he admitted he loved her:

...Perhaps it was time to take a risk. He dipped a hand into his pocket, drew out what he carried there.

Baffled, Eve stared down at the simple gray button in his palm. "That's off my suit."

“Yes. Not a particularly flattering suit -- you need stronger colors. I found it in my limo. I meant to give it back to you."

"Oh." But when she reached out, he closed his fingers over the button.

"A very smooth lie." Amused, he laughed at himself. "I had no intention of giving it back to you."

"You got a button fetish, Roarke?"

"I've been carrying this around like a schoolboy carries around a lock of his sweetheart's hair."

Her eyes came back to his and something sweet moved through her. Sweeter yet as she could see he was embarrassed. "That's weird."

"I thought so myself." But he slipped the button back in his pocket. "Do you know what else I think, Eve?"

"I don't have a clue."

"I think I'm in love with you."[2]

Since then, The Button has become a symbol of Roarke's love for Eve. As one "In Death" fan put it:

It is his talisman. We love it because we all wish that our guys felt that same kind of romantic need. It's like the knights of old who carried a ribbon from their True Love; the soldier who carries his darling's love letters into battle with him; the guy who has stolen a scrap of something belonging to the woman he loves -- perhaps a handkerchief that still carries the scent of his beloved. We are touched by his need to have the talisman, the ever-present reminder that the one he loves truly exists and belongs to him. Conversely, when he is away, Eve frequently wears one of his shirts to bed and finds comfort in it. I think all of us want something -- anything -- that belongs to the one we love. It's like a touchstone, it grounds us, reminds us of what is truly important.

Scenes from other books where The Button makes an appearanceEdit

Note: To add a quote, please use the BookQuote template.

Glory in DeathEdit

Still thinking about their argument over committing to each other, Eve pulled out the gray suit for Cicely Towers' memorial and noticed the missing button.

The damn button on the jacket was still missing, she realized as she stared to fasten it. And she remembered Roarke had it, carried it like some sort of superstitious talisman. She'd been wearing the suit the first time she'd seen him--at a memorial for the dead. She ran a hasty comb through her hair and escaped the apartment and the memories.[3]

Later Eve disrupted a meeting and demanded to talk to Roarke. When he entered the room where she waited, he fingered The Button in his pocket. After she left, he took it out...

...he toyed with it, studied it as though it were some intriguing puzzle to be solved.

He was an idiot, Roarke realized. It was humiliating to admit what an incredible fool love could make of a man. He stood, slipped the button back in his pocket. He had a board meeting to complete, business to take care of.[4]

Ceremony in DeathEdit

Eve lost a bet with Roarke and paid up in the form of an IOU.

Scowling at him, she engaged the memo. "I owe you, Roarke, fifty credits. Dallas, Lieutenant Eve." She shoved the memo at him. "Satisfied?" In every possible way. He thought, sentimentally, that he would tuck the memo away with the little gray suit button he'd kept from their very first meeting..[5]

Vengeance in DeathEdit

Feeling sentimental at Jennie O'Leary's funeral, Roarke approached Eve and Brian Kelly.

As Roarke walked toward them he remembered that the first time he'd seen Eve they'd been at a funeral. Another woman whose life had been stolen. It had been cold, and Eve had forgotten her gloves. She'd worn a hideous gray suit with a loose button on the jacket. He slipped a hand into his pocket now, idly fingering the button that had fallen off that baggy gray jacket.[6]

Purity in DeathEdit

Roarke readied himself to test the computer virus created by the Purity Seekers.

He slid his hand into his pocket, rubbed a small gray button between his fingers for luck. For love. It had fallen off the jacket of the very unflattering suit Eve had worn the first time he'd seen her.

"You're good to go." Feeney told him.

"Booting up then. Start the clock."[7]

Portrait in DeathEdit

In Ireland, after he’d met his mother’s family, Roarke went out into the gardens to think alone.

With his hands in his pockets, he walked beyond the back gardens with their tidy rows of vegetables, their tangled cheer of flowers, and fingered the little gray button he carried.

Eve's button. One that had fallen off the jacket of a particularly unattractive suit the first time he'd seen her. One he'd carried like a talisman ever since.

He'd be steadier if she were here, he was sure. Christ, he wished she were here.[8]

A few moments later...

He needed to call Eve. He looked across the field, across the silvered mists and gentle rise of aching green. Rather than pull out his pocket 'link he continued to toy with the button. He didn't want to call her. He wanted to touch her. To hold her, just hold her and anchor himself again.[9]

Visions in DeathEdit

Getting dressed, early one morning...

”Darling, not that jacket." More resigned than appalled, he rose to take the one she'd yanked out of her closet, and after a quick study, drew out one with pale blue checks over cream. "Trust me."

“I don't know what I did before you were my fashion consultant," she told him.

"I do, but I don't like to think about it."

"I know a dig when I hear one." She sat to pull on her boots.

"Mmm." He slid his hand in his pockets, and fingered a small gray button. One that had fallen off possibly the most unattractive, ill-cut suit he'd ever seen. One she'd been wearing the first time he'd laid eyes on her.

"I've a 'link conference shortly, then I'll be in midtown most of the day." He leaned over, laid his lips on hers. Left them there for a long, satisfying moment. "Take care of my cop."[10]

Origin in DeathEdit

Roarke was trying to assure Eve that, in spite of breaking the law, she still stood for justice.

Roarke: "...Do you remember the day I met you?" He reached in his pocket, took out the gray button that had come off the only suit she'd owned before he blasted into her life. He rubbed it between his fingers as he watched her. "You struggled then with procedure, the book of it. But you had then, and always had, I think, a clear sense of justice. Those two things will always be true. You'll struggle, and you'll see . Its what makes you as much as that badge makes you. Never in my life have I ever known anyone who has such a basic dislike of people, yet has such unstinting and bottomless compassion for them. Eat your oatmeal."[11]

Innocent in DeathEdit

Roarke considered the tension between them over Magdalena as he left for Channel 75’s studio to meet Eve for her recording of Now.

Bugger it. He was going to demand trust, he thought as he rose to stand at his wide window. That was non-negotiable. Almost everything else was, he admitted, and slid a hand into his pocket to finger the gray button he carried with him. Hers. As she'd been his, somehow, from the first time he'd seen her. Nothing and no one had ever struck him as she had, standing in that truly deplorable gray suit with her cop's eyes on him. Nothing and no one had ever held him as she did and always would.[12]

Memory in DeathEdit

Roarke waited for Trudy Lombard to be escorted into his office.

"He wished he knew the name of the gods who'd looked down on him the day he'd met her. If he could stack everything he owned, had done, had accomplished, on one side of a scale, it still wouldn't outweigh the gift of her. As he waited for time to pass, he slid a hand into his pocket, rubbed the button he carried, one that had fallen off her suit jacket the first time he'd met her."[13]

Roarke to [[Trudy Lombard: "There's nowhere in or off this world you could hide from me if you do anything more to hurt my wife. Nowhere I wouldn't go to settle with you for it." He waited a beat, smiled, and said: "Run." She ran, and he heard a thin scream, like a wheezing breath as her footsteps pounded away. He dipped his hands in his pockets, closed one over Eve's button again as he walked back to study the dank gloom of the December sky.[14]

Creation in DeathEdit

Roarke watched Eve direct a briefing immediately after her tussle with Billy Kolbecki.

Took a hell of a knock, he thought now, but temper had been riper than pain. He'd seen that, too. Just as he'd seen her compassion for the distress and confusion of a scared little boy inside a man's body.

And here she was, moments later, taking charge of the room, putting all of that behind her.

It was hardly a wonder that it had been her, essentially from the first minute he'd seen her. That it would be her until his last breath. And very likely beyond that.

She hadn't worn a jacket for the briefing, he noted. She looked lean and not a little dangerous with her weapon strapped over her sweater. He'd seen her drape the diamond he'd once given her over her neck before she'd put on the sweater that morning.

The priceless Giant's Tear and the police-issue. That combination, he thought, said something about their merging lives.

As he listened to her brisk update, he toyed with the gray button -- her button -- he always carried in his pocket." [15]

Salvation in DeathEdit

Eve and Roarke were discussing how the law is often transitory.

He reached in his pocket, took out the gray button that had fallen off her suit the first time they'd met. When she'd viewed him as a murder suspect. "And I have my talisman to remind me." It never failed to baffle her—and on a deeper level delight her—that he carried it with him, always.[16]

Ritual in DeathEdit

Isis asked Roarke to carry a protection charm with him when they entered Suite 606 together.

He slipped [the charm] in his pocket, felt it bump lightly against the gray button he habitually carried there. Eve's button, he mused, and wasn't that a kind of charm?[17]

Missing in DeathEdit

Roarke slid his hands into his pocket where the disc bumped up against the gray button he carried for luck, and for love." [18]

Fantasy in DeathEdit

Roarke was thinking to himself on his way into Cop Central.

His life had taken a sharp and strange turn the first instant he'd laid eyes on a cop, his cop, in an ill-fitting coat and a truly ugly gray suit. He fingered the button from that suit, one he kept for luck and sentiment in his pocket.[19]

Indulgence in DeathEdit

Dr. Mira and Roarke were considering the possibility that Eve may be targeted by the murderers.

"I’m obliged to accept what she does. What she is,” he added, reminding himself that she, in turn, accepted him. Hardly realizing he did so, he slid a hand into his pocket, found the button he carried there. That tiny piece of her. “That obligation started when I fell in love with her, and was sealed when I married her.”[20]

Treachery in DeathEdit

After Eve and Roarke argued about using the unregistered computer to find Renee Oberman’s secret accounts, she left to speak with Lilah Strong.

"He stood for a moment, studying the best part of a pizza, and toyed with the button he kept, always, in his pocket. Trust, he reminded himself, was a two-way street. So he'd trust her to do her job, her way." [21]

Indulgence in Death Edit

Dr. Mira and Roarke were considering the possibility that Eve may be targeted by the murderers.

"I’m obliged to accept what she does. What she is,” he added, reminding himself that she, in turn, accepted him. Hardly realizing he did so, he slid a hand into his pocket, found the button he carried there. That tiny piece of her. “That obligation started when I fell in love with her, and was sealed when I married her.”[20]

Concealed in Death Edit

Eve tells Roarke about the time she went ice skating with Mavis.

“She zipped around pretty good. God, she had this pink coat with purple flowers all over it, and she’d done her hair in Christmas red and green.”

“That hasn’t changed. I’ve wondered how Mavis came to have that ugly gray coat you borrowed.” He drew out of his pocket the button he always carried, the one that had fallen off the unfortunate coat the first time they’d met.

“Holdover from her grifting days. A blend-and-be-dull deal, she called it.”

“That explains that.” He slid the button away again. “And how were you on the ice, Lieutenant?”

“It’s just balance and motion. I stayed on my feet. She would have, but she kept trying to do those fancy spins, and she’d face-plant or fall on her ass. She had bruises everywhere, but I still had to drag her off the damn ice after an hour or something. Ice is freaking cold.”

Festive in Death Edit

Roarke on his Christmas gift from Eve:

“It couldn’t mean more to me. The thought, or the symbol. The day you carried these flowers is one of the best days of my life.”

She gave him a smirk. “One of?”

He drew a gray button out of his pocket. “The day I met you, the day this dropped off that hideous suit you wore, is another.”



“Me, too.”

Brotherhood in Death Edit

While Eve is reviewing the video of one of the Brotherhood Rituals:

Roarke said nothing, but his hand slipped into his pocket, and his fingers closed over the small gray button he carried there, always.

Dark in Death Edit

Eve dresses in all black, at Roarke's suggestion, for her interview with Nadine. Her ultimate goal is to intimidate her murder suspect.

She came out. “Now?”

“Now? Lethal. You’ll worry her, darling Eve. I have no doubt. See that you, at some point, slip a hand into your pocket in a way that shows the camera a hint of your weapon.”

“That’s good. That’s a good one. I’m going to get started.”

He rose, walked to her. Skimmed a finger down the dent in her chin. “Take care of my lethal cop.”

“Count on it.” She kissed him, walked out.

“I do,” he murmured, slipping a hand into his own pocket to rub his fingers over the button he carried there. “I do count on it.”

Connections in Death Edit

Summerset and Roarke:

“Speaking of the lieutenant, I did a bit of laundry as well. The sweatshirt, or what’s left of it, from the Academy—”

“Isn’t worth your life,” Roarke interrupted.

“It’s a rag.”

“A sentimental one.” He sipped his whiskey, lazily scratched the cat’s belly with his other hand. And thought of the gray button he kept in his pocket. “We all need our talismans, don’t we?”


  1. Naked in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3406-4), p. 80
  2. Naked in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3406-4), p. 222
  3. Glory in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3407-1), p. 78
  4. Glory in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3407-1), p. 101
  5. Ceremony in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3412-), p. 45
  6. Vengeance in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3413-2), p. 251
  7. Purity in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3441-5), p. 149
  8. Portrait in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3442-2), p. 271
  9. Portrait in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3442-2), p. 272
  10. Visions in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3499-6), p. 27
  11. Origin in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3634-1), p. 284
  12. Innocent in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3807-9), p. 167
  13. Memory in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3685-3), p. 33
  14. Memory in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3685-3), p. 38
  15. Creation in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-3871-0), p. 200
  16. Salvation in Death (ISBN 978-0-399-15522-2), p. 303
  17. Ritual in Death (ISBN 978-0-425-22444-1), p. 52
  18. Missing in Death (ISBN 978-0-515-14718-6), p. 84
  19. Fantasy in Death(ISBN 978-0-425-23589-8), p. 172
  20. 20.0 20.1 Indulgence in Death (ISBN 978-0-399-15687-8), p. 342
  21. Treachery in Death (ISBN 978-0-7499-5385-0), p. 27
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