A Lone Wolf’s Vampire

Kansas City Vampires, Book 6

G.R. George

Chapter 1

For Alex Gibbs, the intoxicating energy of Corazon de la Muerte—an exclusive vampire club in downtown Kansas City—sang like Chef Bobby Flay ringing the dinner bell. He’d staggered in, ragged and beastly, sick with blood hunger. A redhead stood at the hostess podium inside the front door. The woman wore latex and leather—a combo of hot pink and midnight blue. Her expression mimicked her hairstyle, tightly bound and severe. A man, large, nearly seven feet tall, blond and imposing, walked up behind her and squeezed her shoulders.

“Nadine, when you get a chance, Gui wants to see you in the back.”

The hostess nodded, gave the blond man a wink, then stamped Alex’s hand, giving him a wry look when he passed through the blacked out interior glass doors.

Strobe lights flashed, making everyone and everything in the club a staccato mimicry of real life. He watched the pulsing blue lights as they matched the equally fast beat of the hard-driven techno music. The scent of sweet booze, sweaty bodies, and raging hormones wove around the room like strands of a spider’s silk. It tethered the dozens of bodies littering the floor, along with the erotic acts cages and bar and barstools, connecting them all in a unique collective. Alex inhaled deeply.

A voluptuous brunette, human for sure, drew his attention. He watched her get up from the bar and follow a vampire, decked out in full-on black latex, including a partial mask, into one of the back rooms. Alex sat on the barstool before anyone beat him to it. It didn’t take long to become acutely aware of several people staring at him. His disheveled and slightly dirty appearance attracted unwanted attention.

A striking man, dark hair, brown eyes, deeply tanned skin, sat down beside him. His face had both sharp and soft edges—a straight Roman nose, angular narrow jawline, prominent cheekbones, and full lips. Warmth radiated from him like an electric heater—at least ten degrees hotter than the normal human temperature. The man swiveled to face him.

The tone of his low voice held a slight timbre. “Stay out of trouble, pup.” He got up and walked away from Alex to a corner in the back. The man leaned against the wall, crossed his arms—his biceps bulging with the small effort—and cast one last glance at Alex before scanning the room.

Alex shook his head, wondered who in the hell, and what in the hell the guy was. He certainly didn’t read human.

“What are you looking for tonight?” A dark-haired girl, around Alex’s age, maybe twenty or twenty-one, sidled up next to him, her breasts brushing against his arm. She leaned in close and turned her neck up to him slightly. “I have what you need, baby.”

Alex wanted to drain her, to empty her until every drop of blood in her veins flowed into his. The man across the room was still staring. Alex gestured toward him and asked the girl, “Who is that?”

“Oh, honey. You are barking up the wrong tree there.” She laughed. “Get it? Barking! He’s a werewolf.” She laughed even more. “Besides, I’m a tasty treat. Trust me, darling.”

To emphasize her point, she placed her fingers on his lips, then slid a tip into his mouth. His fang dropped down and punctured her fragile human skin. Smiling, she pulled her finger out from between his lips and placed it in her mouth and sucked. “Let’s go somewhere private.”

Alex didn’t fight the urge. He couldn’t. He’d stopped being in charge when he’d chosen to try once again to deny his vampire. Between the blood hunger and the stomach cramps, he couldn’t put off his need any longer. He followed his willing victim to the back of the club, out a service entrance, and into a deserted alleyway.

* * * *

Rafir Caras stood back and watched the young vampire. The werewolf had been working security for Guillermo Diaz, the club’s owner, for nearly eight years. He’d learned to recognize trouble when he saw it sit down on a barstool, and this vampire was trouble. His dirty, disheveled appearance hadn’t been what put Rafir onto the boy. There were several of the vamps in the city who liked to play homeless. People went out of their way to avoid eye contact with the street people.

The kid had been in his early twenties when he had died. No telling how old he was in vampire years, but Rafir figured him to be fairly new to the game. He had sandy brown hair, shaggy, just below the ears. Up close, his eyes had been a startling hazel-green with rust and gold flecks. He had the sharp lines of an athlete. Probably an All-American type. The idea made Rafir wonder how the young man had managed to get himself in this situation.

Who knew with vampires; sometimes they were willing, sometimes victims. This boy definitely felt like “victim.” Rafir watched as Sue Strattman picked up the kid. The brunette vampire-junkie was probably biting off more than she could chew with the young man. He was hungry, and not just in a “daily feed” kind of way. He smelled sick and strung out.

No, it was something else about the kid. He clenched like a heroin addict jonesing for a fix. Rafir was under strict orders not to interfere with vampire business though, unless one of the bloodsuckers stepped over the line from player to killer.

This boy had a look that said the line was a big ol’ wallflower who wouldn’t get asked to dance. He’d given him fair warning, but his kind of vamp—the desperate kind—never listened.

* * * *

The blood surge tongue-fucked Alex inside out. In biology class, he’d learned the human body circulates blood through the entire vascular system in about a minute—which is how long it took the richly oxygenated blood in the girl’s system to turn brass and thick, not as tasty, but still delicious. Alex wanted to stop, but his beast wouldn’t let him. It was starved, and it didn’t like being starved. This was Alex’s punishment for denying the monster inside him. It would take and take until there was nothing left of its victim. She would be a hollow husk. An empty meat sack.

The gush of the girl’s life-force rushed wildly through Alex’s veins. His body tingled with the sheer pleasure of her body going limp in his arms. He held her tightly as her skin turned pale, while his flushed pink. Slowly he returned to the forefront of his consciousness—the vampire, satiated, relinquishing control.

He looked down at the dying girl in his grasp as he pulled away from her neck. Not a drop of blood ran down his chin. His vampire was efficient if nothing else. The girl’s head lolled to the left, and the smile on her face, even as the last breath left her lungs, told him that his vampire, in the very least, had not been cruel.

“Son of a bitch!”

Alex heard the cry about the same time as he felt the smack against his head. He dropped the girl and staggered sideways toward the Dumpster.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, not bothering to fight back when another blow drove him to his knees.

He blinked up and saw the werewolf from inside the club. It seemed fitting. A monster to kill a monster. The man held up a bludgeon of some kind and smacked Alex again, connecting with his shoulder, then his jaw. It brought him down onto the pitted concrete. His cheek pressed into a small puddle of water left over from an early rain.

The guy dropped the club and stared down at Alex. “What’s wrong with you?” he yelled. “You have a fucking death wish?”

“Yeah, I kind of do,” Alex mumbled. “She’s not the first I’ve killed. I deserve death.” He gazed at the man through his puffy eyelids. “Kill me.”

Unexpectedly, the man sat on the ground next to him and pulled Alex’s head onto his lap. He smoothed his hair. “Someone did a real number on you. Huh, kid?”

Alex turned his upper body to face him. He could feel his injuries already healing, in large part to the fresh feeding. The warmth of the man radiated even through the fabric of his jeans. The heat made Alex feel nearly human again, as if he wasn’t a cold, dead thing. He licked his lips, the girl’s blood still fresh in his mouth. “You’re not going to kill me?”

“Don’t be disappointed.” He caressed Alex’s cheek. “I still might.”

Alex’s cock grew semi-hard, partly due to the fresh blood in his system, but mostly due to this man’s kindness. “Who are you?”

“Just a dude.”

The off the cuff reply wasn’t what Alex expected.

“I’m Rafir,” he answered, as if saying his name said it all.

“Alex,” he replied back, snuggling his face against Rafir’s groin, rubbing his cheek along the densely zippered cloth. He felt the man’s cock grow large beneath the fabric. Now that his vampire had been fed, he was a mixture of ashamed, content, and horny. A wicked combination, Alex thought, considering Rafir might pummel him to death.

“Stop,” Rafir said.

Alex snaked a hand between his face and Rafir’s groin. He squeezed the growing bulge. “Make me.”

Rafir snatched Alex’s hand, a firm grip serving as an anchor on reality for the young vampire. “Stop.”

Alex pursed his lips, then relaxed them. He developed a plan of action, a way to permanently put an end to his uncensored desires. “Kill me. Put me out of my misery. Then I’ll stop.” He pushed his palm against the outline of Rafir’s bulging shaft. “Kill me,” Alex whispered.

Chapter 2

Rafir moaned, a small escape of pleasure. He gazed down into Alex’s eyes and felt like he was drowning in quicksand. A vampire can’t roll a shape shifter, but it didn’t stop Rafir from thinking the experience had to be similar. This scruffy, dirty street urchin had triggered an animalistic need in Rafir—a need to protect Alex and make him his own.

The boy had surrendered unconditionally. Alex wanted Rafir to shred him into ribbons of flesh and blood or to fuck him, to claim victory over his body and soul. The problem was, Rafir knew what claiming the boy meant. He’d been there once before, and his pack would not be happy with him bringing a vampire into the fold. Better to kill Alex. Better to end it now.

Rafir used his free hand to grip Alex’s throat. He clutched tightly and yanked the young man off his lap and brought them both to stand. Alex let it happen. No protest. No fight.

Rafir turned him away, then pushed him into the brick alley wall. He couldn’t look in his eyes as he ended the vampire’s existence.

“Do it,” Alex said, encouraging him to take action. “Do it. It’s what I want.”

Rafir kicked a nearby crate, reached down for a broken wooden shard, then wrapped his arm around Alex from behind. He put the makeshift stake against the young man’s chest just over his unbeating heart. “I don’t want to do this,” he whispered in Alex’s ear. “But I can’t keep you.”

Alex shivered under his touch. He leaned his head back against Rafir’s shoulder and reached his hand around to the werewolf’s cock. He groaned as if he were in the throes of passion. “Do it, you fucker. Just stop talking about it and fucking do it.”

Confused, angry, and excited, Rafir pushed Alex’s hand away and drew both his arms up and over his head. He pinned them to the wall with one hand, then with his other, he dropped the wooden stake, reached around, and unbuckled the vampire’s pants. Savagely, he shoved at the waist until he exposed Alex’s pale and perfect ass.

“You want to be fucked?” he growled, pressing his jean-clad groin against Alex’s buttocks, knowing that Alex’s cock would be shoved against the brick. He wanted to punish the young man. Punish him for making him feel protective, and most of all, punish him for making his heart race with desire.

Alex cried out, but still he didn’t struggle. “Yes.” He sagged forward, yielding to Rafir, giving himself over to the werewolf to do as he pleased.

The fear of being trapped, emotionally committed, constricted Rafir’s lungs. This kid, his complete submission, tugged at every alpha impulse and intuition ingrained in Rafir’s DNA. His breath caught in his throat as he grappled with the decision. Keep Alex or kill him.

Rafir leaned forward. He blew out a hot breath against Alex’s neck. Leaning in close, no space between their bodies, he murmured into the vampire’s ear, “You’re mine.”

“Yes,” Alex replied.

“Tell me,” Rafir demanded.

“Anything,” Alex said.

“Tell me you’re mine.”

“I’m yours.”

It was all the ritual Rafir needed. He scrambled to unzip his jeans, laboring to free his cock from its prison of blue denim. His expression was a combination of lust and anger. Rafir understood the lust; he felt it thickly in the air around the two of them, but the anger pushed him further than it should have. He could feel the change inside him—his bones trying to reform and shape into his other.

He cocked his head to the side and placed both hands on Alex’s shoulders. He pushed the vampire to his knees. Without hesitation, Alex pulled Rafir’s cock from the slightly opened jeans. He tilted his head down to watch Alex place the tip to his lips. Deftly, the young vampire flicked his tongue over the pearl of precum nesting on the head. The coolness of his mouth jolted Rafir, pushing him to the edge. He wanted in Alex, had to be inside him, possessing him. He rammed his cock between the vampire’s lips. Both his hands on either side of his head, pulling him, guiding Alex as he fucked his mouth.

“Oh, shit,” he moaned, his breath coming fast and hard, just like his thrusts. He could feel the change even more. He knew his eyes were slipping to a pale, pale green, and his fingers were getting longer, his back growing slightly hunched. Claws grasped at Alex’s shoulders and yanked the vampire to a standing position. Rafir’s wolf wanted to dominate Alex, to make him completely his, to bring the young man into his pack.

He kicked Alex’s legs apart as far as the vampire’s pants would let him, bent him over slightly, then licked his fingers and slid two thick digits between Alex’s butt cheeks.

The vampire didn’t protest.

Rafir’s fingertips brushed against the tight ring, feeling it spasm in resistance. Alex shuddered with pleasure and pressed his ass back, begging for more attention. His desperation aroused Rafir even more, making the claiming more urgent.

He guided both fingers into Alex, pushed through the tight circular muscle, and widened the opening with every stroke and caress. The hungry pleas from Alex made it hard for Rafir to be gentle, especially with his wolf in charge. The last claiming had been gentle. She had needed him to be kind. Maybe kindness wasn’t what Alex needed. Maybe Rafir’s wolf-side knew more than his human side.

“Goddamnit!” Alex’s voice was harsh and breathy.

He’d answered Rafir’s question without being asked. The werewolf grasped his thick cock, leaking and hard. He rubbed the tip over Alex’s hole for a brief moment before burying his shaft completely inside the young man.

“Oh, shit.” Rafir fought to keep his knees from buckling. Alex was unbelievably tight. He used both his hands to grasp the young man’s hips for leverage.

He pushed forward and pulled back, pumping his cock into Alex. His eyesight sharpened. He took in every inch of the vampire’s back, tightly muscled, veins bulging, wide shoulders leading to a narrow waist, to the perfectly shaped ass. He watched his engorged shaft slide in and out, so dark against Alex’s white skin.

An anxious plea followed by a low moan from Alex nearly made Rafir come. He bit his lip to stave off his orgasm. Even in his need, he wanted Alex to come first. It was all part of “taking care” of Alex. He slid his hand around to Alex’s cock, taking the hefty weight of it in his hand. The size impressed Rafir. Alex was tall and muscular, but something about him had made Rafir think soft. And soft had somehow translated to small. But small, Alex was not.

He stroked and tugged, gliding his palm against the shaft in a smooth up and down motion. He fucked Alex with the same rhythm. Every stroke was met with a thrust. Alex responded in kind, rocking his hips back and forth, fucking Rafir’s hand with the same intensity until he cried out, bucking and squirming as he shot cum all over Rafir’s hand.

“Fuck, oh, shit. Oh, fuck!” Rafir bellowed as the orgasm took him down, his thighs shaking, his body quaking, and his cock spurting as the pleasure exploded, then ebbed into a deeply satisfying afterglow. Rafir howled. Literally.

After, Alex sagged against the wall. “Holy crap.”

Rafir’s cock softened to semi-hard as he pulled himself out of Alex. “Yeah, something like that.”

Alex turned around, not bothering to pull up his pants. He leaned forward and kissed Rafir on the mouth—brief, but soft, sensual. “You’re one fucked up fucking good lover.”

Rolling his eyes, Rafir sighed. “It takes one to know one.” Without a second thought, he pulled back his arm and landed a punch squarely into Alex’s throat, right about the carotid artery. The vampire hit the ground, unconscious. It was a technique he’d learned from his boss. Worked on vampires every time.

From several feet away, he heard a girlish giggle, then felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Alex hadn’t killed Sue. She’d be weak and confused for a while, but nothing a little orange juice and cookies wouldn’t heal. Soon, she’d be back to her regular blood donations. Some people never learned.

Rafir lifted Alex over his shoulder and carried him to his car in the back parking lot. It was well lit, but if anyone asked, he’d tell them he was taking a drunk out to sleep it off, all part of doing his job. He jangled his keys in the palm of his hand before starting up the old LTD. Bringing Alex home was probably the worst idea he’d ever had, but the kid was his responsibility, and he’d just have to face the consequences like a big, bad werewolf should.

Chapter 3

Julia Deihl woke up in Rafir’s warm embrace. She’d heard him come in, shower, and crawl into bed. His usual routine. He was her own personal heated blanket. She felt safe and protected in his arms. A feeling that hadn’t changed in the ten years they’d been together.

Julia had met Rafir in Saudi Arabia. She’d been a damsel in distress, and he’d been her knight in shiny fur. The whole werewolf thing had initially freaked her out, but he’d saved her from a worse monster, a vampire, who’d bought her when she was sixteen years old. She’d been sex and food against her will for nearly a decade before he’d rescued her. Thanks to being in the wrong place at the right time, she’d been liberated from her master. The vampire had been visiting a sheik at a desert compound at the same time Rafir had been ordered in to retrieve stolen weapons as part of a black ops military operation.

He could’ve left her behind. He didn’t. Her moving in with Rafir had initially stemmed from gratitude and a need to feel safe. Rafir seemed to need Julia as much as she him. It didn’t take long to fall madly and passionately in love with him. Rafir had a rugged beauty. He’d been injured in battle more than once. His wounds would have killed a normal man. Rafir didn’t even have a scar. He was forty years old, though he didn’t look it. To Julia, Rafir was kind and gentle—the most compassionate man she’d ever known. To Rafir, Julia was pack. His pack. A pack of two. And she loved having him all to herself.

Julia rotated in Rafir’s arms until she faced him. His mouth curved in a bow, and his breath “pah’d” from between his lips as he slept. She leaned in close, her soft lips brushing against his. His eyes opened with a startled flutter, then softened at the edges when he gazed at her.

She knew what she saw when she looked in the mirror—a middle-aged woman, a few extra pounds around the middle, short auburn hair—not styled—and the silvery bundles of scars on her throat, inner arms, and inner thighs. But when he looked at her, he made her feel young and perfect—even after all these years.

“Morning,” he mumbled. She felt the spark of passion ignite into a bonfire. She gripped Rafir’s shoulders and pulled herself closer to him. His cock, rigid and ready, pushed against her stomach. The kiss between them grew intense and heated as their tongues danced along teeth and lips. Her heart hammered in her chest as his rough calloused hand slid under her nightshirt to cup her breasts.

His other hand slipped between her thighs, hooking his index finger under the elastic band of her pink cotton panties. She inhaled sharply as he fingered her slick, swollen pussy.

“Hot damn, Julia. I want to smell you, taste you…” Pulling his hand from her underwear, he brought his glistening fingers wet with her fluids to his mouth and sucked them, his eyes never leaving hers.

Julia drew a ragged breath as she watched. His eyes nearly rolled into the back of his head as he fed himself.

“Amazing. You always taste so good, baby.” He dipped his hand once again, fingers playing along her sex, flicking the tip of his middle finger against her enlarged clit as she moved against the pressure, hips moving forward. Again, he brought his fingers to his lips to taste her.

He smiled, then put one finger to her mouth and slipped it into her parted lips. Taking his finger to the knuckle, Julia watched his eyes glitter with hunger and savage lust. Raw and unbound, the way she liked him.

With a growl, Rafir pushed her until she was lying on her back beneath him. He kissed down her neck, her breasts, stopping on each one to lick, suck, and nibble her taut nipples; then he moved to her stomach, and finally his head dipped between her legs.

“Ah!” She cried out as his tongue slid between the wet folds of her pussy. His hand slid up her abdomen, resting on her breast as he moved up the length of her body and pressed his lips to hers. His tongue fought for occupation in her mouth, then back down between her legs to lick and suck the tender flesh. He curved his other hand under her thigh, lifting her legs for a better angle to delve his tongue deeply into her pulsing heat.

She grasped his hair, squeezing her hands against the coolness of his soft mane while he worked gloriously between her legs. She yanked a handful of hair and pulled him up for another kiss. Rafir’s chest rumbled, vibrating Julia’s entire body as he took two fingers and plunged them into her pussy while his teeth grazed her lower lip.

“Fuck, oh fuck,” she moaned into his mouth. She thrust her hips against his hand as he drew his fingers in and out. His free hand moved to steady his rigid cock. He rubbed the thick head against her swollen clit, causing her to beg, if not with words, then with movement, for him to enter and take her.

Julia wrapped a leg around his back, trying to force him inside, but Rafir was stronger, much stronger, and he played with her to the point of near insanity.

“I’m going to come,” she whispered harshly, her breath ragged and labored.

“Good,” he said, his voice low and guttural. “I plan on making you come again and again.” With that said, Rafir moved down once again between her legs, kissing his way to the sensitive skin of her inner thigh.

His tongue swept between the folds, feasting and feeding on her sex like a man who’d just called off a long and painful hunger strike. Julia squirmed under the exquisite pressure, moaning her pleasure as he plunged his tongue, thick and impossibly long, inside her, fucking her with his mouth.

She arched and cried out his name as the mounting energy exploded, sending her into a shuddering quivering ball of pleasure. The waves of ecstasy continued as he sucked hard on her blood-engorged clit, making Julia cry out once again. Only when he eased his ministrations did the shaking subside. Rafir glanced up from between her legs. The thick fringe of dark eyelashes framing his hazel eyes, the color of a country landscape, thrilled Julia. Pupils dilating, Rafir murmured softly against her skin, “And again and again.”

Julia wasn’t sure she could survive any more “agains” this morning, especially since she had to be to work in—she glanced at the alarm clock. “Shit!” She scrambled out of Rafir’s embrace and headed for the kitchen to start the coffee.

She could hear Rafir shout for her to wait after she bolted from the room, but Julia didn’t have time. It was seven-thirty, and she was supposed to be to work by eight.

She stumbled past the couch on her way back from the coffeemaker and headed to the bathroom to wash and brush the appropriate parts of her body. She was a social worker, and it set a horrible example to her clients if she couldn’t bother to be on time. Plus, her boss was a total A-hole who would dock her thirty minutes pay for every five minutes she was late. It surprised her to find Rafir standing in the bedroom door. He was looking at her, then to the couch, then back to her. She tracked the direction of his glance. There was a man on the couch, a stranger, sleeping in nothing but a pair of navy blue boxer briefs, and Julia was walking around the apartment naked! She eeked and went running past Rafir to the safety of the bedroom.

“Why didn’t you tell me we had company?” she exclaimed, pulling on a purple terry cloth robe.

She could count the number of times Rafir had let someone crash at their apartment on one hand. Slumber parties didn’t fall into his wheelhouse of activities he was comfortable with. She peeked around the bedroom door before stepping out into the living room. The guy on the couch was fast asleep still.

She’d made enough noise to wake the neighbors, but apparently not enough to wake up Rafir’s guest. “How drunk was he when you brought him home?”

Rafir’s eyes looked almost hollow, empty of emotion. Julia had never seen him try this hard to hide what he was feeling. The wonderful thing about Rafir was his honesty. What could he possibly be hiding now? Julia crossed her arms and tightened them around her body. Rafir’s expression changed from blank to concerned.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“Sorry?” Julia didn’t understand why. Why would Rafir be sorry? Because he’d let someone sleep on the couch? Had he taken another lover? A sick feeling swirled in Julia’s stomach. Of course he had! Why else would he be apologizing? The guy on the couch was obviously young, good-looking, and full of vigor she was sure. Besides, she’d never expected her and Rafir to last. She was always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“I know I promised…”

Right shoe meet left shoe. Julia threw her hands up in surrender. “You brought him home? To our apartment? I knew this day would come. I can’t count on anyone, ever. You think I would have learned my lesson a long time ago.” She tried to push past him, but Rafir grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back.

“Julia…”

“No.” She shook her head. “It’s okay. Look, I never thought this would be forever. I mean look at you.” She gestured to his face and body. “Now, look at me.” She turned her face away in shame. “You still look like you’re in your twenties, while I’m what I am. A thirty-five-year-old woman. A bit of sag here and there, and—”

Rafir tucked his finger under her chin and tilted her face up toward his. “You are beautiful. Every bit of you.” His smile was sad and grim. “I’m not leaving you, but I’m afraid you’ll choose to leave me. It would be well within your rights.”

Julia shivered beneath his gaze. She didn’t understand what he was saying or why he was saying it. “Why are you talking like this?” The man on the couch was still unconscious. He slept like the dead. “What is wrong with him? Why isn’t he waking up?” She brimmed with questions—questions she might not want answered.

“He is vampire.”

His words felt like a cold slap in the face. She would have been less surprised if Rafir had told her the man was a serial killer or a rapist, which being a vampire incorporated both of those traits and much, much worse. How could Rafir do this to her? Especially knowing what she had gone through. The worst years of her life, and they all played out in seconds with those three words… He is vampire.

Julia struggled to stop the screaming in her mind. She’d been a blood puppet for a cruel master. Once Rafir had rescued her, she had vowed to never allow herself to be in a position for it to happen again.

And now? Now! He’d brought the monster right to her door. Into her home. Tears welled in her eyes. “I have to get out of here.”

“Julia, wait. Please let me explain.” He tried to pull her back, but she turned and slapped him hard across the face.

The pure rage she felt surged through every nerve and muscle in her body. She focused, using anger management techniques to calm herself before she exploded. Calmly, but still seething, she said through gritted teeth, “I have to go to work. We’ll talk about this when I get home.”

“Does that mean you’ll come home?”

She glared at him. “I haven’t made up my mind.” Brushing past him, she added, “You’d better make damned sure he isn’t here if I do come back.”

~

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