Confessions After Dark

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Authors: Kahlen Aymes
It’s just stupid.”
    Tears filled her eyes as they slammed shut, then seeped from the corners to fall softly on her pillow as he echoed her feelings with his words. She brought his hand to her mouth and placed a series of butterfly kisses on his knuckles. She drew in a steadying breath. “No, it’s not stupid.”
    “I’ve been summoned for brunch with my family this Sunday. My mother won’t take no for an answer, and I’d like you to come with me. I think even Allison and Josh will be there.”
    Iron bands of emotion wound tightly around her chest making it difficult to breath, and she struggled to could keep the tears out of her voice. “What about your brother?”
    He knew that couldn’t happen right now, not if Cole was to be successful watching over her. The repercussion would bite him in the ass, he knew, but it was a price he was willing to pay to make sure she was safe. “No. No, he won’t be able to make it.”
    *****
    “Angel?” Elizabeth’s voice interrupted her attempt to concentrate on the report she was working on. Her heart was heavy and her mind wasn’t focused on work. “Mark Swanson is on line one. Do you want to take it?”
    Angel pushed the pause button on her handheld tape recorder and threw it carelessly on her desk. It landed with a dull thump.
    Shit , she thought. Her heart skipped a beat. Just the mention of that fucker’s name made her skin crawl. “What does he want?”
    “He didn’t say. Should I ask?”
    “No. I’ll talk to him.” She hesitated only briefly, her hand pushing the soft tendrils of hair behind her ear, before she picked up the phone. “Good morning, Mr. Swanson. What can I do for you?”
    A harsh laugh fell into her ear. “I’ve got a surprise for you, sexy doctor.”
    “A repeat performance?” she asked stiffly.
    “Ah. Well, whatever. Did you enjoy that as much as I did?” His voice slithered through the phone and wrapped around her.
    Her back stiffened and her hand clenched around the phone until her fingers hurt. “Yeah. It was a barrel of laughs. Sick motherfuckers like you fascinate me. If I were a man, my dick would be hard.”
    She was chilled by the low chuckle that followed. “Come now, Angel, play nice. I know where it hurts, so remember that.”
    “You’re not taking into account that I’m a cold bitch and I have a purpose here. It doesn’t matter what you do, my agenda will not change.”
    “I love your defiance, but we both know the tests show nothing.”
    “Your crystal ball needs adjusting.” Anger flooded her until she thought she’d burst, and she knew this was the time to push his buttons. When he called her office, he gave her the opportunity to engage his rage without initiating contact. “I’ll do what needs to be done.”
    “As will I. Accidents befall important men all the time.”
    A chill ran over her skin like lightning. “Well, you might have a point, but you’ll come up empty.”
    “I know you’re involved with Alex Avery.”
    “Not involved, exactly. I was fucking him. We had an arrangement, but it’s over. I got bored.”
    “I’m not convinced, but maybe you need a real man.”
    She rolled her eyes in disgust. “Well, let me know if you run into one. Until then, I’ll just concentrate on putting your sorry ass behind bars. Have a nice day.”
    Somehow, Angel had ended up on the far side of her office to stare out of the window and didn’t notice that she’d inadvertently knocked her latte over with the cord from the phone. The tan liquid was dripping down the side of her desk, and the reports she was working on were ruined.
    “Oh, crap!” she moaned, returning the phone to its cradle and pulling tissues from the dispenser near the corner of her desk; she began to frantically mop up the mess.
    “Mr. Gant is here.”
    “Thank you, Liz. Send him in.” She glanced up as she threw the tissues away. He looked anxious as he entered her office. “Hi, Kenneth.”
    Kenneth deposited himself in one of the

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