Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ANNE'S OGRE -- Excerpt #16

"Go sit in the hot tub for ten minutes, no more, then dress up warm and take a couple laps in the greenhouse to keep your muscles limber. The worst part of a lousy workout like you had is when your bruises stiffen up."

"Sadist," Nikki said, and stuck her tongue out at him.

Vincent managed to pretend to take a swing at her. She would worry about him if he didn't respond with the rough affection she needed to help her keep healing. Before she had managed to get to her feet, he was heading up the stairs from the workout room to the first basement level, and hitting the redial button for Josh's number.

"What's the emergency, brother?" he said as soon as Josh picked up the phone.

"You don't read America's Voice, do you? I'm sending a link for the electronic copy."

"No…" He stopped halfway up the stairs between the first basement level and the ground floor. "If they were going to write something about us, they're the kind of people who would let us know, ask for our input or at least give us warning. Su-Ma ran into one of their reporters back in December, and she was really impressed."

Josh muttered a couple curses in Arabic. Vincent looked around, half-expecting to find someone approaching, because that was always how it happened -- when he least needed someone to overhear a conversation, he found himself surrounded. He turned and put his back to the stairwell wall and braced against the chill settling in his belly. What among the things he had just said could make Josh break like that?

"Was hoping I was wrong, and I didn't recognize her. That it was all a big mistake." Josh's voice cracked on the last word.

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