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Subject: CHAPTER 88

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Date Posted: 08:29:17 06/19/06 Mon

Chapter 88

Michael grabbed the keys from the dresser and shoved them into his pocket. Might as well get it over with. Anyway, he wanted to get an early start. He glanced at his Rolex. Three-thirty-five a.m. Damn.

Of course, there were procedures to follow, explanations to make, papers to fill out. You didn’t accuse someone of a crime and then say, “Oops”, and it was all over. Life was never that simple.

She would be mad -- livid. The thought pleased him. Why? Truth was, he barely knew the woman, but at the same time, he felt like he’d always known her and on some level, understood her. Odd. How could you understand someone you barely knew?


“Wake up. You have a visitor.”

The guard’s words woke her out of a sound sleep. What time was it? Surely it wasn’t morning already. Had someone come in during the night? She rubbed her eyes and turned toward the officer who was already unlocking the cell door. Behind him stood Michael.

“Come to gloat? Immediately, she wished she could take back the words. Why give him the satisfaction? She should have refused to speak to him at all.

“I was hoping you might have learned your lesson.”

The officer closed the door behind Michael with a parting, “When you’re ready,” and went back to the front office.

Niki uncurled her legs and sat up. “My lesson? Throwing me in jail was your idea of a lesson?” Her voice became increasingly louder, but she didn’t care. “I’m not a child.”

“No, you’re not, but your actions sure don’t prove it.”

“Fine. Why didn’t you just let me go?”

He took a step toward her. “Because you’re my wife -- a position you wanted so badly, I might add, that you blackmailed me into it.”

“Well, I’ve changed my mind.”

His lips formed an unpleasant smile. “If only it were that simple.

“What do you mean?”

“We have a contract, remember?”

She tossed her head in a gesture of dismissal. “I’ll dissolve it.”

“No. You won’t.”

“You can’t stop me, Michael. I drew up the contract. If you didn’t notice my “out” clause, then you didn’t read the fine print.”

“You won’t be using the “out” clause, because if you try, I’ll file real charges. Being married to me has to be better than prison.”

She felt a sharp pain as if she’d been punched in the gut. It was a bluff. He wouldn’t do that. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Her words had been more about bravado than a declaration of innocence, but when she saw his reaction, she wished she’d held back.

Anger darkened his face and in two strides, he’d moved close enough to grab her roughly by the arm and pull her to her feet.

“You framed me for kidnapping and murder. You set me up to spend the rest of my life behind bars. I could step aside and let the system deal with you, but that wouldn’t be much fun for me.”

During his speech, his grip on her arm had tightened painfully. She tried to pull away, but she was no match for his strength.

“Let me go.”

Again, the twisted smile. “Not now -- not ever. At least, not until after you’ve given me heirs. Then, you can go. Isn’t that what you had planned for me?”

She couldn’t stop the blood from rushing to her face. How did he know? Did he know about her father, too? Would he hurt him to get to her? Of course, he would.

“I’m tired, Michael, and I don’t want to argue. You win. So, now what?”

He let go of her arm, and she rubbed the spot with her free hand.

“First, you’re going to write a statement explaining how Cassandra kidnapped you. Then, we’re going home.”

Home. How could the once comforting word strike such fear in her heart?


Nicadea swam toward the light, her arms aching with fatigue. Just a little farther. She knew she’d found the way out, even though no opening was yet visible. Help me, Lugos. The simple prayer accompanied her every stroke.

By the time her head finally did break into the sunlight, she was exhausted. Using her last remaining strength, she pulled herself on the rocks and rested. When she woke up the sun had almost set. The howl of a lone wolf pierced the air, reminding her of her vulnerable position. She looked around for cover.


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Both stories back at once. Goodie!Jan06:37:56 06/21/06 Wed
I'm really enjoying this story! (NT)signme119:28:32 06/22/06 Thu

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