Round Four!

June 26, 2006 | Karin's Blog | 41 comments

I apologize for the delay today. After experiencing technical difficulties this morning (and thanks to Justin my puter guru for jumping on the problem and solving it), a frustrating round of not being able to cut and paste the entries (thank you for your help Michelle), and your basic life interruptus I am now able to post the 35 who make it on to round four.
Here we go. You ladies know the drill, post line four by midnight this Friday. And good luck!

1.”Great Odin, I demand retribution against this beast!” Freyja gestured toward the dark shiny mass writhing before a large fiery hearth, twisting and turning, as it tried to find a way to escape its bonds. Her voice shook with repressed anger, “He dare defile my sacred stone.”
2. I haven’t had sex with my husband in almost four months. And frankly, I don’t miss it. But the really crazy part?
3. At the crack of dawn, my nine year old niece Sophie decided to forego the toilet and poop in her pajamas while standing in the middle of the upstairs hall. Vaguely acknowledging her predicament (size10 Barbie panties full of a walloping load of crap) she kicked off her PJ bottoms and underwear, stepped into the poop and proceeded to clomp down the hall toward her mother’s bedroom, leaving a trail of fecal footprints across the new, beige Berber.
My first inkling of the crisis was a guttural growl, followed by a “whoops!” and a thud from my usually calm and mostly coordinated sister.
4. I could not believe my good fortune. A car pulled away just as I was within twenty feet of it and I was only one block from the address I was seeking. This was a great start, a sign, an omen.
5. I killed myself for Anton Romanek–literally. Not out of love–out of necessity. I had ulterior motives, other reasons.
6. Every woman considered stealing a horse and running away on her wedding day, didn’t she?
Isabel of Thornwyck glanced around at the guests, hoping there was still time for a miracle. She smoothed her crimson kirtle, and took a step forward.
7.”Hell, I’ve got kids myself, Deborah, so I can see how something like this can happen—what with you being a single momma and all. It’s a hectic, overwhelming day and then the kid starts to whine.” Stuart Albright, Jamesville’s chief of police, leaned forward in his wood chair, bracing beefy forearms against the scarred surface of the interrogation table.
8. The hot black coffee burned as it soaked through Cindy’s business casual Docker slacks.
“Excuse me,” said a deep baritone voice.
The apology barely penetrated the zillions of voices in her head telling her how stupid she was to wear light colored slacks; hitting the snooze button three times was a huge mistake; she couldn’t change before the meeting–the one she was now going to be late for; and dear Lord, couldn’t he have picked a better day to make an introduction?
9. She had wondered how long it would take before she could actually hear them speaking to each other…her mother had warned her eventually the lesions would dig deep enough, grind themselves so far in her brain that it would happen.
Now it had…her ears rang with the deep chatter of their kind, the vampires, and it nearly drove her crazy. Nothing concrete, just a constant buzz.
10. Have you ever had one of those “best sex you could ever imagine” dreams? You think you’re hearing angels on high, singing the Hallelujah Chorus and sounding their trumpets for you just as you are about to have the most incredible orgasm of your life. You’re about to hit that high note with them when you realize those aren’t trumpets you’re hearing; no, they’re car horns, introducing Arny the traffic guy, on the morning wake – up show you have your alarm clock set to.
11. Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Nick Winters decided to live. There was something about lying in a pool of his own blood that made him think God wasn’t finished with him yet. Maybe it was the floating sensation of hanging on then letting go, or the woman.
12. I sell time.
I’ll do just about anything for just about anybody.
Unfortunately, Max Vanderbur won’t be buying time from me anymore because last night he bought the farm.
13. Dani Perez stepped away from the revolving door and walked toward the hotel bar, her four-inch heels clattering like a “Riverdance” audition on the black marble floor. The desk clerk glanced up with a knowing smile.
“What in the hell are you looking at?” she wanted to scream, but she knew exactly why he was looking.
14. I am justice.
I am vengeance.
Is there any difference?
15. “So, are you ready for some wild sex?”
Julia leaned forward, elbows on her knees, understanding for the first time the true meaning of the term ‘no brainer’.
He spoke with a hint of amusement, sprawled low in the comfortable leather chair in a dark corner of the hotel bar, his head back and eyes closed, whiskey glass held loosely in his grip.
16. Bubble bath made terrible camouflage.
Myra St. James tilted her legs, trying to get the disappearing bubbles to better cover her lower half.
“Come on, love, there’s nothing there I haven’t seen before.”
17. Jane Ryan gently placed the phone on the counter, tidied her already neat hair, and screamed at the top of her lungs, “I am the rock between the fruit loops.”
Her anger rose like an imminent eruption of Mount St. Helens. Lee press-on nails popped as her fingertips bit into the granite countertop, ricocheting off the wall and cabinet front to become deadly plastic ammunition.
18. “Wearing red to their mother’s wake.” A woman’s voice behind Eli Webster sharpened with disapproval–and was that a hint of envy he heard?
He glanced around, spotting two splashes of red in a sea of dark clothing…and his mouth curved.
19. Alcohol doesn’t take away the pain of career rejection, but it does dull it a bit. I shift on my cushy green couch and take a sip of my liquid tropical paradise, pretending to listen to the woman beside me. She’s talked nonstop for the past half hour.
20. Tony Solomon did not plan to die that day. No way in hell was he going to go up that thing. It’d be just his luck to fall and kill himself.
21. Trust–in the single breath it took to speak the word, one could be betrayed.
With alert trepidation, Griffin Vaughan awaited the return of his page from the enemy’s lair. He’d sent the boy on a mission of peace and could only trust he would return unharmed.
22. Vayden, Wyo., was not a place Laura wanted to call home. A controlling husband and two needful teenagers had left her feeling trapped. She sat alone in her garden, as she often did these days, and began to daydream.
23. She really had to stop thinking about screwing her boss.
Being at a sex toy party wasn’t helping.
Celia St. John sipped at an ironically virginal strawberry daiquiri while around her, women giggled and squealed over the array of adult playthings – everything from lotions, oils and powders to vibrators and dildos.
24. She should have kept running.
Lia Brown slammed the door of her ancient Nova a little harder than was necessary, cringed, and shot a glance over her shoulder. All she saw were the two other cars in an otherwise empty parking lot: her friend Jay’s Mustang and an unfamiliar white sedan.
25.The alley stretched ahead, dark and ominous…yet Antoinette moved forward, one deliberate step after another. Perspiration beaded on her upper lip and she ran a hand across her face to wipe it away before the saltiness slipped unwelcome to the corners of her mouth.
Damn this heat.
26. The second his century long reprieve ended, the Devil set out to destroy his soul again. Unfortunately the Evil One had the advantage because Derek Ramsey’s soul tended to gravitate to the road to perdition. If he’d just listen to his spirit guide this time…
27.After all this time, it was finally happening–that quiet, maddening tumble into insanity.
Annie closed her eyes, fully expecting that when she opened them, the man sitting at her kitchen table–the man who looked like Joel, but couldn’t be Joel–would be gone.
Unfortunately, when she looked again, he was still there.
28. I believe “long” and “term” are the two worst four letter words out there, at least when it comes to relationships. Being committed for the long haul is fine, if you’re insane; if you’re not, why weigh yourself down with one anchor of a man?
My best friend Maggie, a hopeless romantic, is convinced that it’s possible to find one man and settle down for the rest of your life.
29. Men lie.
As a dues-paying member of the species, House depended on this fact, subscribed to it—gloried in it.
They lie about who they are, what they do, and how much liquor they can handle.
30. Special Agent Jason McCall’s life fell apart the day he found out that the love of his life was not, in fact, a lesbian.
And now there was a red faced bureaucrat inches away from his face, screaming at the top of his lungs, “How the fuck could you not realize the chick you’ve been shackin’ up with for the last 2 years was a goddamn spy?”
The question rolled through Jason’s mind as he contemplated full breasts, a tight luscious ass barely clad in mini shorts rounding down long surfer girl legs, and the thought of Angie frolicking with her lesbian lover Emily, and he realized: yup, that’s exactly how he missed it.
31. “Fuck you,” Susan Deluca screeched, lobbing her favorite Jimmy Choo pump at her soon-to-be-ex husband’s Lexus.
It bounced against the car door with a satisfying ‘thunk’ that brought the vehicle to a jerky stop and prompted Dale to lower the window.
“Oh, no!”
32.Two things hit Ryan the second he stepped into the kitchen-someone had cleaned the place up, and there was a strange half naked woman smacking the hell out of his coffee maker. The fact that she didn’t belong there would have registered if he hadn’t been too busy staring at the red panties hugging her ass like a second skin.
His briefcase hit the floor with a thump and he wouldn’t have been surprised if his jaw followed suit.
33. There comes, in everyone’s life, a defining moment, where something so monumental happens that it will irrevocably alter your life forever–for Emeline Baxter, this was one of those times.
She had been about to snuggle under the covers of her very large, miserably empty bed when the sound first pierced the quiet night. The bright light that followed, brought tears to her eyes, and all around her, pictures and knickknacks began to vibrate.
34.Where did I go right?
The thought flitted through Carly’s head as she tunneled under her covers to look at Owen’s fabulous backside just one more time. Slinking out of bed to come up for air, she stretched her five foot eight inch frame another inch to get a peek at the traditional beach scene spilling through the hole in her condo’s dysfunctional blinds.
35. I taste their magic in the air. I came here to get away from it. They should have stayed away from me.

K*

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41 Comments

  1. Theresa

    “Hell, I’ve got kids myself, Deborah, so I can see how something like this can happen””what with you being a single momma and all. It’s a hectic, overwhelming day and then the kid starts to whine.” Stuart Albright, Jamesville’s chief of police, leaned forward in his wood chair, bracing beefy forearms against the scarred surface of the interrogation table.

    He was so close now Deborah could smell the hint of onions on his breath, hear the smoke-raspy catch to his breathing.

  2. Cheryel Hutton

    She should have kept running.

    Lia Brown slammed the door of her ancient Nova a little harder than was necessary, cringed, and shot a glance over her shoulder. All she saw were the two other cars in an otherwise empty parking lot: her friend Jay’s Mustang and an unfamiliar white sedan.

    “You’re paranoid,” she muttered, as she started toward the currently empty nightclub.

  3. Margaret A. Golla

    “Great Odin, I demand retribution against this beast!” Freyja gestured toward the dark shiny mass writhing before a large fiery hearth, twisting and turning, as it tried to find a way to escape its bonds. Her voice shook with repressed anger, “He dare defile my sacred stone.”
    “Aye, Odin, the worm’s putrid trail wound its way through my blest glen atop my mountain.

  4. Margaret A. Golla

    Uhm, there should be a space (paragraph break) before “Aye, Odin…”

    Sorry, my oopsie.
    Margaret:oops:

  5. Rae Monet

    She had wondered how long it would take before she could actually hear them speaking to each other…her mother had warned her eventually the lesions would dig deep enough, grind themselves so far in her brain that it would happen.

    Now it had…her ears rang with the deep chatter of their kind, the vampires, and it nearly drove her crazy. Nothing concrete, just a constant buzz. It wasn’t enough to see their psychic trail light up like the annual Christmas tree in New York City or have her neurons constantly screaming at her, *there’s one, there’s another one*…no, now she had to hear them, too.

  6. Kim Stagliano

    At the crack of dawn, my nine year old niece Sophie decided to forego the toilet and poop in her pajamas while standing in the middle of the upstairs hall. Vaguely acknowledging her predicament (size10 Barbie panties full of a walloping load of crap) she kicked off her PJ bottoms and underwear, stepped into the poop and proceeded to clomp down the hall toward her mother’s bedroom, leaving a trail of fecal footprints across the new, beige Berber.

    My first inkling of the crisis was a guttural growl, followed by a “whoops!” and a thud from my usually calm and mostly coordinated sister. I dragged myself out of bed and rubbed my eyes, then threw on a robe in case my brother-in-law Vince actually decided to come up and help Gina with whatever catastrophe the kids had dished out today.

  7. Linda Winfree

    She really had to stop thinking about screwing her boss.

    Being at a sex toy party wasn’t helping.

    Celia St. John sipped at an ironically virginal strawberry daiquiri while around her, women giggled and squealed over the array of adult playthings ““ everything from lotions, oils and powders to vibrators and dildos. Each item she selected only fueled her fantasies about Tom McMillian.

    (Thanks again, Karin! This is fantastic! :hello2: Good luck, everyone!)

  8. Kristi Knight

    Bubble bath made terrible camouflage.
    Myra St. James tilted her legs, trying to get the disappearing bubbles to better cover her lower half.
    “Come on, love, there’s nothing there I haven’t seen before.”
    Drawing her knees to her chest, Myra shifted uncomfortably as her ex-fiance grinned and tilted his head as if to get a better look.

    P.S. This is such fun, Karin! And I still have 1 fingernail left!:jumping:

  9. LaDonna

    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Nick Winters decided to live. There was something about lying in a pool of his own blood that made him think God wasn’t finished with him yet. Maybe it was the floating sensation of hanging on then letting go, or the woman.

    Nick had pulled her from the wreckage and now, lying on the soaked ground, both cars disappeared into the Cumberland River below.

  10. Amanda Murphy

    Jane Ryan gently placed the phone on the counter, tidied her already neat hair, and screamed at the top of her lungs, “I am the rock between the fruit loops.”

    Her anger rose like an imminent eruption of Mount St. Helens. Lee press-on nails popped as her fingertips bit into the granite countertop, ricocheting off the wall and cabinet front to become deadly plastic ammunition.

    Why did she let her mother do this to her, every . . . single . . . time they talked?

    Karin, thanks for this great contest. :typing:

  11. Michelle

    Every woman considered stealing a horse and running away on her wedding day, didn’t she?
    Isabel of Thornwyck glanced around at the guests, hoping there was still time for a miracle. She smoothed her crimson kirtle, and took a step forward. Her father had told her nothing about her bridegroom, not even his name.

  12. LaDonna

    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Nick Winters decided to live. There was something about lying in a pool of his own blood that made him think God wasn’t finished with him yet. Maybe it was the floating sensation of hanging on then letting go, or the woman.

    Nick had pulled her from the wreckage and now, lying on the soaked ground, he watched as both cars disappeared into the Cumberland River below.

    (KARIN, I had left out two words in last sentence. This is my corrected one. Sorry for any inconvenience.) :elephant:

  13. Gigi George

    I haven’t had sex with my husband in almost four months. And frankly, I don’t miss it. But the really crazy part? We’re trying to get pregnant.

    g.

  14. Kim Finnegan

    The hot black coffee burned as it soaked through Cindy’s business casual Docker slacks.

    “Excuse me,” said a deep baritone voice.

    The apology barely penetrated the zillions of voices in her head telling her how stupid she was to wear light colored slacks; hitting the snooze button three times was a huge mistake; she couldn’t change before the meeting–the one she was now going to be late for; and dear Lord, couldn’t he have picked a better day to make an introduction?

    “Did I do that?” asked Mr. French roast–no cream, sounding more like Sam Elliot than any man had a right to.

    Karin–Thanks.:smile: Can’t wait til next week!

  15. Karin

    Y’all are doing great!! :party:
    Keep them coming!

  16. May

    I taste their magic in the air.
    I came here to get away from them. They should have stayed away from me. They must know what I did to his killers.

    FYI, please read through the entire list. I used the Ctrl + F function, and it didn’t work, but I decided to look through it and there I was, the last one on the list.

    Thanks Karin!

  17. Tracey

    The alley stretched ahead, dark and ominous…yet Antoinette moved forward, one deliberate step after another. Perspiration beaded on her upper lip and she ran a hand across her face to wipe it away before the saltiness slipped unwelcome to the corners of her mouth.

    Damn this heat.

    Sweat trickled down her back, robbing her of more precious moisture and she tugged the damp t-shirt away from her sticky skin.
    :jumping: Thanks again Karin

  18. Amy Atwell

    Trust–in the single breath it took to speak the word, one could be betrayed.

    With alert trepidation, Griffin Vaughan awaited the return of his page from the enemy’s lair. He’d sent the boy on a mission of peace and could only trust he would return unharmed.

    Griffin’s breath rose on the cold still air as he recalled how long ago, in the aftermath of a momentary madness, such trust had ensnared his future.

    Thanks, Karin–I’m thrilled to still be at the party! :party:

  19. Rhonda

    Alcohol doesn’t take away the pain of career rejection, but it does dull it a bit.

    I shift on my cushy green couch and take a sip of my liquid tropical paradise, pretending to listen to the woman beside me. She’s talked nonstop for the past half hour.

    “””and they don’t ever read their assignments,” the woman hollers above the sweet sounds of Prince, who, unlike me, gets to party like it’s 1999.

    (Thanks Karin!)

  20. Mary

    Vayden, Wyo., was not a place Laura wanted to call home. A controlling husband and two needful teenagers had left her feeling trapped. She sat alone in her garden, as she often did these days and began to daydream. Suddenly, as if on queue she was yanked back to reality, the husband (as she called him) was home early and not in a good mood…Gee what a shock!

    (I am just in total shock and overjoyed to be a part of this) Thanks Kars

  21. Edie Ramer

    “Wearing red to their mother’s wake.” A woman’s voice behind Eli Webster sharpened with disapproval–and was that a hint of envy he heard?

    Eli glanced around, spotting two splashes of red in a sea of dark clothing…and his mouth curved. A tall, slender blonde clung to a short, curvy blonde, oblivious in their grief to the well-dressed men and women nibbling on hors d’oeuvres inside the great room of their stepfather’s Gothic Revival.

  22. Liz Lipperman

    Dani Perez stepped away from the revolving door and walked toward the hotel bar, her four-inch heels clattering like a “Riverdance” audition on the black marble floor. The desk clerk glanced up with a knowing smile.

    “What the hell are you looking at,” she wanted to scream, but she knew exactly why he was looking. The stupid dress her sister had chosen damn-near showed the cheeks of her ass.

    I’m having more fun reading all these. It’s amazing how many different ways the stories can go. At least in my mind! Thanks again, Karin.

  23. Michelle Diener

    “So, are you ready for some wild sex?”

    Julia leaned forward, elbows on her knees, understanding for the first time the true meaning of the term ‘no brainer’.

    He spoke with a hint of amusement, sprawled low in the comfortable leather chair in a dark corner of the hotel bar, his head back and eyes closed, whiskey glass held loosely in his grip.
    With his tawny hair he looked like a lion, in control of his power and vaguely entertained by the rest of the world.

  24. Cynthia Clark

    I could not believe my good fortune. A car pulled away just as I was within twenty feet of it and I was only one block from the address I was seeking. This was a great start, a sign, an omen. I was going to be early, but to get a great parking space, and a free one at that in San Francisco was worth it.

  25. Poppy

    I am justice.
    I am vengeance.
    Is there any difference?
    The whimpers, the cries–those I could have ignored.

  26. raine

    Men lie.

    As a dues-paying member of the species, House depended on this fact, subscribed to it””gloried in it.

    They lie about who they are, what they do, and how much liquor they can handle. About their women, their prowess, their dicks.

  27. Sharon Cullen

    After all this time, it was finally happening–that quiet, maddening tumble into insanity.

    Annie closed her eyes, fully expecting that when she opened them, the man sitting at her kitchen table–the man who looked like Joel, but couldn’t be Joel–would be gone.

    Unfortunately, when she looked again, he was still there. Joel with hair as dark as sin and eyes of the devil.

  28. Bianca Miller

    Have you ever had one of those “best sex you could ever imagine” dreams? You think you’re hearing angels on high, singing the Hallelujah Chorus and sounding their trumpets for you just as you are about to have the most incredible orgasm of your life. You’re about to hit that high note with them when you realize those aren’t trumpets you’re hearing; no, they’re car horns, introducing Arny the traffic guy, on the morning wake – up show you have your alarm clock set to.

    “Please, not yet,” I yelled into the open air of bedroom.

    :writing:

  29. Repeater

    I sell time.
    I’ll do just about anything for just about anybody. Unfortunately, Max VanDerbur won’t be buying time from me anymore because last night he bought the farm.

    Even before the newspaper hit the streets I knew the headline would read, “Professor Murdered.”

  30. Elisa

    Two things hit Ryan the second he stepped into the kitchen-someone had cleaned the place up, and there was a strange half naked woman smacking the hell out of his coffee maker. The fact that she didn’t belong there would have registered if he hadn’t been too busy staring at the red panties hugging her ass like a second skin.
    His briefcase hit the floor with a thump and he wouldn’t have been surprised if his jaw followed suit. “Can I…ah…get you a bathrobe or something?”

  31. Jan

    The second his century long reprieve ended, the Devil set out to destroy his soul again. Unfortunately the Evil One had the advantage because Derek Ramsey’s soul tended to gravitate to the road to perdition. If he’d just listen to his spirit guide this time…

    In a seedy bar on the south side of Kansas City, Derek Ramsey slouched in a back booth and kept an eye on the gang of hell-raisers and the front door.

  32. Nikki S.

    “Fuck you,” Susan Deluca screeched, lobbing her favorite Jimmy Choo pump at her soon-to-be-ex husband’s Lexus.

    It bounced against the car door with a satisfying ‘thunk’ that brought the vehicle to a jerky stop and prompted Dale to lower the window.

    “Oh, no!” The minute she started across the lawn that window went right back up and Dale, who sat protected by steel and shatter-proof glass, mouthed obscenities right back at her.

  33. Karin

    Since we experienced a bit of technical difficulties toady and the blog was off line for awhile and then the comment section was iffy, I am extending the deadline to noon tomorrow. There are 5 4th rounders who have not posted a fourth line.

  34. April O.

    Where did I go right?
    The thought flitted through Carly’s head as she tunneled under her covers to look at Owen’s fabulous backside just one more time. Slinking out of bed to come up for air, she stretched her five foot eight inch frame another inch to get a peek at the traditional beach scene spilling through the hole in her condo’s dysfunctional blinds.

    An anxious lifeguard blew his air horn at a pink-floated swimmer out past his comfort zone, and the voice from the bed had its own sharp quality”””Coming back over here soon?”

    Thanks a bunch, Karin. I’ve been trying to get through for hours.

  35. Charlene Conlon

    I killed myself for Anton Romanek–literally.
    Not out of love””out of necessity. I had ulterior motives, other reasons. An Ancient Greek philosopher had said he could move the world, if only he had a big enough lever and a place to stand; like that ancient philosopher, I was trying to move the world, with the country of Toural as my place to stand, and Drakonis as my lever.

    —-
    I’m so glad the blog is working again–because when I tried to e-mail you my entry, it was bounced back. The e-mail address didn’t work.

  36. Racy Li

    Special Agent Jason McCall’s life fell apart the day he found out that the love of his life was not, in fact, a lesbian.
    And now there was a red faced bureaucrat inches away from his face, screaming at the top of his lungs, “How the fuck could you not realize the chick you’ve been shackin’ up with for the last 2 years was a goddamn spy?”
    The question rolled through Jason’s mind as he contemplated full breasts, a tight luscious ass barely clad in mini shorts rounding down long surfer girl legs, the thought of Angie frolicking with her lesbian lover Emily, and he realized: yup, that’s exactly how he missed it.
    Spittle and curses bombarded Jason as the bureaucrat leaned in roaring, “Fuck, McCall, your career is over, and if you don’t start talkin’ now, you’re heading to prison for the rest of your useless life.”


    Thanks Karin. I’ve been trying to get through for awhile too.

  37. SandraBarkevich

    There comes, in everyone’s life, a defining moment, where something so monumental happens that it will irrevocably alter your life forever–for Emeline Baxter, this was one of those times.

    She had been about to snuggle under the covers of her very large, miserably empty bed when the sound first pierced the quiet night. The bright light that followed, brought tears to her eyes, and all around her, pictures and knickknacks began to vibrate.

    Ignoring her better judgment–when had she ever listed to it anyway–Emeline threw back the covers and raced toward the rattling window in time to see a blaze of fiery-orange streak past and hit the ground with a deafening roar.

    Thanks,
    Sandy 🙂

  38. Tracey

    Yay Karen 😀

  39. Heather W

    I believe “long” and “term” are the two worst four letter words out there, at least when it comes to relationships. Being committed for the long haul
    is fine: if you’re insane; if you’re not, why weigh yourself down with one anchor of a man?

    My best friend Maggie, a hopeless romantic, is convinced that it’s possible to find one man and settle down for the rest of your life. After seeing how her last relationship ended, I agree with her: she’s hopeless.


    Thanks for extending the deadline – I was freaking out last night. 😥

  40. Karin

    Yay! Everyone made it!
    Calling my judge now to take a look. Good luck everyone and have a safe weekend. 8)

  41. Sharon Cullen

    After all this time, it was finally happening–that quiet, maddening tumble into insanity.

    Annie closed her eyes, fully expecting that when she opened them, the man sitting at her kitchen table–the man who looked like Joel, but couldn’t be Joel–would be gone.

    Unfortunately, when she looked again, he was still there. Joel with hair as dark as sin and eyes of the devil. Eyes that were watching her with a mixture of amusement and sadness.

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