Chapter 8

By Anj (A.k.a. Azurenon)

Introduction: At the age of seventeen, Darby Jennings is once again running away from a very abusive home life. This time, however, she's dressed as a boy. Along her rather short journey she meets up with a "call girl" or "lady of the evening". This story follows the early trials and tribulations of their rather unique relationship, as well as, their struggles with the malevolent human forces attempting to tear them apart. It is part romance, part drama, with an attempt at suspense and/or mystery. This is NOT an Uber story. Although I love the daring duo (and written fan fiction with a partner, under the pseudonyms "Azurenon and Savanna Mac" posted on this very site) you won't find them here.

DISCLAIMERS: No copyright infringement is intended by the use of titles, artist's names and/or lyrics of the songs contained herein. These have merely been used for entertainment value and possible storyline continuity. All the characters are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or deceased is purely coincidental.


Violence: This story contains scenes and/or references to physical, emotional and sexual violence.

Sex: It centers on an explicit sexual relationship between two women. It is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES. So if you're under age 18, this is illegal where you are or this just isn't your cup of tea, then you have been forewarned, please exit stage left. If you are mature enough and I've captured your attention, then moving right along here...

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Be it known the author has no firsthand knowledge concerning physical or sexual violence. Nor does she even pretend to know anything about "call girls" or "ladies of the evening". Therefore, I ask that the reader please forgive any mistakes and/or oversights. Especially so in the area of giving the healing process of such aforementioned experiences the in-depth attention they so richly deserve. This story is complete fiction, written merely for entertainment. In its entirety, it contains 23 chapters: at around 10 pgs per chapter.

Thanks go to all my friends for their support and encouragement over the years.

(Written 1993. Revised 2001)

        Thanksgiving came and we spent the better part of the day in the kitchen. We cooked a juicy hen because neither of us liked dry turkey meat. With this we prepared dressing, giblet gravy, potato salad and opened a can of sweet peas and cranberry sauce. She had invited her employees, as she always did, but only two showed up. Candy, who had no family to speak of and a new girl, Leena, a pretty redhead not quite 21, whom she'd hired after one named Tracy had split on her.

        Candy and I were already friends, of a sort. I liked her because she wasn't a big flirt and because she seemed to like me. She'd been with Anna since she'd opened the club. She was grateful to her for taking her off the streets and she'd already told me that whatever made Anna happy was fine by her.

        Leena, however, was very standoffish with me, although she was playing up to Anna like crazy. Whether it was gratitude, admiration or just plain brown-nosing the boss, I wasn't sure. It never even crossed my mind that there may be more to it than that, until I walked into the kitchen where she was helping Anna wash dishes. What had brought me in there was Candy, who was watching football with me in the den, had asked me to get her a toothpick and I was obliging. What I saw shook me right down to my Reebox.

        Anna was bent over putting a pot in one of the cabinets and Leena was standing close behind her, staring at her butt. Neither had noticed that I'd entered the room. When Anna stood up, Leena made her move. Her hands went to Anna's waist and she said something very softly that I couldn't make out. Anna turned and noticed me, standing there with my mouth wide open. Leena saw me then and turned away. I ran out and went upstairs, forgetting all about the toothpick. I flung myself across the bed; my heart feeling like it was going to break into.

        Anna was in the room in no time flat. "Darby, it's not what you think," she said.

        I'd heard that line on TV before and usually it was exactly what the hurt lover thought it was. She started approaching the bed and I turned my head away so she couldn't see my tears.

        "It had nothing to do with us," she said, climbing on the bed behind me. "I promise."

        "Bull... shit!" I shot back.

        "I swear, baby," she consoled, moving over next to me. "She's just playin' up to the boss. She wants me to move her sets to later in the show," she explained, sets being the routines the girls performed.

        This didn't make sense to me. "Why?"

        "Because they make more tips, use'ly. The boys get a few beers under their belts and get freer with their money. She's asked for it before. I didn't know she'd be so bold, but... that's all it is, honestly." She ran her hand over my back. "Come on, baby, don't be this way. Don't you trust me, hmm?"

        "But you... you just... stood there!" I whined.

        "What would you have me do, hmm, slap her? I didn't really have time to do anything. I was about as shocked as you were. I never had one of my girls come on to me before." She paused, her hand moving over my back. "Besides, you can't honestly believe I'd want her, can you?"

        I didn't respond.

        She leaned over me. "For your information, I don't like red-heads with pointy tits and flat asses. I like brunettes with nice round tits..." Her hand moved over to my left side, grazing my breast. "And firm, tight asses." Her hand quickly moved down to my butt, while her leg eased over between mine. "Now if she had an ass like this, I might just give her the prime spot in the show."

        I still didn't respond.

        "Come on, baby, please don't be this way," she breathed in my ear. "It hurts me when I know you're hurtin'. What else can I say?"

        "What... did she... say to you?" I asked, my diaphragm muscles still spasming. The tears had subsided, because her version of the incident sounded believable. She really hadn't had time to do anything about it. And she hadn't exactly responded to it, either.

        She cleared her throat. "She... said I was beautiful." She paused. "Now you see why I was so shocked."

        I slowly rolled over to face her. "Why should that... shock you? You are beautiful."

        She shook her head and lowered her eyes.

        "Yes, you are... dammit. You are very beautiful."

        She looked up at me with those big, soulful, mesmerizing eyes and I knew I'd been had. "I love you, Darby," she said, touching the side of my face. "I love you more than anything in this world. Baby, you are my world. My sun rises and sets in your eyes and my world... turns on... your emotions. It's sunny when you're happy and it pours buckets when you're sad.

        "Don't ever, ever doubt that I love you. You mean more to me than anyone ever has. You've given me so much, so very much that I've always wanted and needed. I don't think I ever even knew what true love was, until I met you. If I hadn't found you that day, I would have missed out on the best thing that ever walked into my life."

        She was curled up in my arms now and purring like a kitten. "Do you still doubt me? she inquired.

        "I have one question," I said, staring up at the reflection of our naked bodies in the mirrored tiles.

        "What's that, baby?" she asked, kissing on my neck.

        "Would you really give me the prime spot in the show?"

        She stopped abruptly and I felt her tense up. Then just as quickly she relaxed. "You already have the prime spot in my show."

        "But, I don't do any dancin'."

        "Oh, yes you do. You been dancin' on these sheets all afternoon."

        On Saturday, Rick showed up to get his things. Anna wanted to be alone with him to talk, so I went upstairs. When she called me back down, I thought he was gone. But I found him in the kitchen drinking a beer.

        "Uh... Hi," I said, a bit hesitantly.

        "Hello Darby," he said, lowering his eyes. "I... I wanted to apologize for all those names I called you. It was... rotten of me to..."

        "Forget it," I interrupted. "So, you see that game yesterday?"

        "Huh?" He looked up at me, bewildered.

        "Saints clobbered hell outta Atlanta," I went on. "I'm gonna stop routing for'em, if they can't do no better'n that."

        "Um..." He glanced over at Anna, then back at me. "Well, hell yeah, I know what you mean. Atlanta's got a baseball team now, but football... sh-h-it."

        "Maybe Ted Turner oughta buy the Falcons, huh? Make a team out of 'em like he did with the Braves."

        "Now ya talkin'. Get some money in there and get some good players."

        "Can you believe their salaries?" This time I glanced over at Anna, who was smiling slyly.

        "Hell, don't I know it. They make more'n one year than I make in... ten. Fuckin' millionaires all of 'em. Did I tell ya I used to play football in high school?"

        The friendship was reborn. He still moved his stuff out, however. Wasn't much there but an old duffle bag, some clothes and a small TV. And as Dora had predicted he'd used getting it out as an excuse to come around, but I was glad he did. I liked him. Even if he could be foul-mouthed and bad-tempered, he was good-hearted. I'm sure I had been a real kick in the pants to him. But, I assumed he'd recovered.

        My birthday rolled around on Friday, December 10. Anna had been acting strange for days. I assumed she had somethin' up her sleeve, but wasn't sure just what. Dora had already talked her into renting the overly large storage room to her and the former had her plans for it in motion. I thought maybe Anna's strangeness was due to this, for she was worried about how Dora's business might affect her own. The latter was shelling out big bucks on the renovation to cash in on the "line-dancing" craze sweeping the country. She said it would help Anna's business, but the latter had her doubts. Nightclubs attracted unattached females. "And where there's one givin' it away, there's little need for one who's sellin' it," Anna had said.

        Friday morning I was awakened by the sound of her voice saying, "Pack a bag, we're going to New Orleans for the weekend."

        "What? I can't go anywhere. I got a job to..."

        "It's already been arranged. Now get up and get movin'. I wanna show you New Orleans."

        "How? When?"

        "How is in the blazer. When is as soon as you get dressed and packed. Why is because it's your birthday and I love you and the where... well you already know that. Now, get your buns in the shower." She hit me on the butt.

        By seven o'clock that night we were rolling into New Orleans. I had been antsy as hell going across Mississippi, even though my father was way up on the northern end. Yet, when we reached New Orleans, I had all but forgotten about that particular nervousness. I had a new one to deal with: meeting an old friend of hers and staying at her apartment.

        "We'll stay with Flo tonight," she had informed me. "Tomorrow night, we stay in a hotel room. I've already booked us a reservation."

        Flo was a tall black woman with orange-brown hair, who wasn't much older than Anna. Of course she was a hooker, but she was nice.

        "Make yu'self at home now," she said, headed for the door. "I gots to go out and make a livin'." She winked at me. "You's a cute one. Bet you's pullin' in the money, huh, honey?"

        "She's not in the business," Anna explained.

        "Oh, you's just one of them dancers, huh?"

        "No, she don't dance, either," Anna corrected.

        It was evident she had not informed Flo of our relationship.

        "She's... my roommate," Anna said, then frowned. "Ah hell, what am I lyin' to you for? Sit down for a minute, Flo, there's somethin' I gotta tell ya."

        Flo hesitantly eased down in the chair by the door.

        "Now, what I'm gonna tell ya, Flo..." Anna began, "well, you may want us to leave and that's alright, I'll understand, but I hope you can see your way clear to do... that other thing for me."

         "What is it, Anna? You in some trouble with the law or somethin'."

        "No, nothin' like that. But, you will handle this other if you don't like what I tell ya, right?"

        "Yeah sure. I mean, he's comin' over tomorrow and bringin'..." She glanced over at me. "Well, you know. I ain't gonna call it off, if that's what you mean. No matter what you tell me, honey, cause they ain't much I ain't heard. Just don't like to harbor criminals. Long as it ain't that, it's fine."

        Anna cleared her throat. "Darby's... she's my lover."

        Flo glanced over at me. "Well, hell, is that all?" She chuckled. "Shit, I thought you was gon' really tell me somethin'. Hell, I knowed you was time I see'd you two lookin' at each other." She chuckled again, as she got up out of the chair. She glanced back at me when she got to the door. "She's a mighty pretty one, Anna. Best keep that on a short lease and I do mean short. Or somebody'll come 'long and steel that little blue-eyed jewel." She winked at me again. "She ever get tired of ya, honey chil', you come on back down and look me up, ya he'ya."

        "Florence!" Anna scolded.

        "Jest teasin' ya, Anna." She chuckled loudly. "Thought you was gon' tell me somethin' good fo' shor'. I see ya'll later, he'ya." She winked again and was gone.

        Anna breathed a sigh of relief. "First one that ever thought it was funny. Now that I think about though, Flo always did like takin' care of some of the younger ones. Showin'em the ropes and all. Humph, maybe I'm not so different after all."

        "You never did tell me who that madam was that told you men were her business but women were her pleasure. Who was she?"

        "Um... I lied," she admitted. "I just heard it somewhere. I thought it made a good come on, though. And I ain't one tiny bit sorry for what I did, either. I'd jump at the chance to seduce you outta your pants again." She moved closer on the sofa.

        I put my arm around her. "You didn't seduce me outta my pants. I was already undressed... takin' a shower, remember? How soon they forget." I rolled my eyes.

        "You know what I meant. And I do remember, too. You were a scared little rabbit and I felt just like a... a wiley old she-wolf on the prowl for her next meal." She sank her teeth in my neck.

        "Well, if that was any indication of how you stalk and devour your prey, please,... by all means, devour me again."

        She growled at me. "Maybe later. Right now, I'm hungry. For real food," she added, knowing what I was gonna say. "Come on, let's raid the fridge. Flo was always a damn good cook."

        "What's this about somebody bringin' somethin' over here?" I asked, following in behind her.

        "It's a surprise and... don't bug me about it, 'cause I ain't gonna tell ya. Case closed." She opened the refrigerator. "Well, looky here. Dinner for two." There was a note on the inside of the fridge, dangling over a plate full of fried chicken and a bowl of cold slaw. It read: Knew you loved chicken, Anna. Knock yourself out.

        "Ain't you gonna warm this up?" I asked, when she put the chicken and slaw on the table.

        "And ruin it. Hell no. Sit down. I'll get the tea."

        "But, this is... cold as shit," I said, touching it.

        "Shit ain't cold, sweetie and it's better this way, you'll see."

        She was right, it was. And I crawled into Flo's extra bed, with a belly full of cold chicken.

        Anna put her arm around me. "Where the hell did this come from?" she asked, referring to the T-shirt I had on.

        "I don't wanna do anything in her..."

        "Who the hell said we was. But, I damn sure don't wanna sleep next to a T-shirt all night, when I'm used to bare skin. Now, take it off." I pulled it off. "And them, too," she added.

        "What's the surprise?" I asked.

        "I ain't tellin' and I ain't makin' deals. Off with 'em."

        "You're a hard woman."

        "Yeah, but I'm soft in all the right places. Cum'mere."

        "But, you said..."

        "I lied."

        The surprise came the next morning around ten. A black man in his early 30's rode up on a shiny, but used red Honda 250. I was shocked and excited.

        "How's she run, Jasper?" Anna asked him.

        "Good. Had to do a little work on the brakes, but she's a good 'un."

        "Mind if we take her out? I know Rick already checked her out, but I wanna get my hands on her myself, okay."

        Rick? I thought. So, that's how she'd found out about the motorcycle.

        "Sure. Be my guest." He handed her the keys.

        "Come on," she said to me.

        "Anna, I don't know how to..."

        "No, but I do. Come on."

        She kicked the starter and the motorcycle roared to life. She handed me a helmet and put one on herself. "Hang on," she called over her shoulder. She wheeled it around and we were off. I was holding on for dear life. She'd never mentioned that she knew how to ride a motorcycle.

        We got on the interstate and breezed by the traffic. Anna was good. She knew what she was doing. I found out quickly there are few things that can compare to the freedom of riding a motorcycle. Or having your arms wrapped around the one you love while doing so. It was indeed an exhilarating ride.

        "Not bad," she told Jasper later. She reached in her front pocket, where she always kept her money and a credit card in a silver clip inlaid with turquoise, when she didn't want to carry a purse. She counted off four hundred dollars and handed it to him. He handed her the pink slip. "Thank you, Jasper." He nodded and stuffed the money in his pocket. Then she turned to me. "Happy Birthday, Darby."

        I patted the seat and smiled broadly. "Let's go for another ride."

        "Not even a thank you," she said, shaking her head as she walked over to me. "Kids today, I swear."

        "Nice doin' bid'ness with ya," Jasper called, as he started away.

        "Get on," Anna said, kicking the engine to life.

        I got on behind her and wrapped my arms around her. "Thank you," I whispered in her ear, before she put the helmet on. "You know I can't thank you properly here. Not in front of him and... all these apartments."

        "Yep, and that's why we're stayin' at a hotel tonight. I expect moo-cho thanks."

        "Oh really?"

        "Moo-cho moo-cho," she added, with a chuckle.

        She took us down to the French Quarter where we rode slowly down the small narrow streets. I liked the stunning architecture. The beautiful white wrought iron balconies with their many intricate patterns were a sight to see.

        After a while she parked the bike and we walked to a few shops. One contained some things I'd never seen before. I knew what they were supposed to be representative of, but one of them had to be a foot and a half long; over exaggeration in the extreme. Anna and I both got a kick out of that. Then she turned her attention to some of the other "party" items in the store. She asked to see the pasties.

        He brought out two different colors and glanced between the two of us. "Bet the blue would look good on you," he said to me.

        Anna cut her eyes over at me. "Umm... here, Darby." She pulled out a five-dollar bill. "Go... get us somethin' to drink over there." She pointed to a shop across the way.

        I knew she was getting rid of me, but I didn't mind. I didn't like the way he was looking at me, or her for that matter. But I knew she could handle herself. I'd just be embarrassed as hell.

        She met me outside a little while later, with a bag in her hand. "I thought you had a shit load of those things," I said, referring to the pasties.

        "Who said that's what I bought. He had T-shirts too, you know."

        "What'd you get?"

        "Uh-uh, you have to wait."

        "Somethin' else for me?"

        "Maybe... for both of us."

        We went back to Flo's thanked her and said goodbye, Anna leaving some money Flo didn't know about yet. We then headed for the hotel, me driving the blazer and she driving the motorcycle. As I followed in behind her, I could hardly take my eyes off her. She was something else. Always coming up with surprises. And I loved them. If there was anything she wanted to surprise me with, I'd let her and not bug her, because I'd found out it was more fun that way. I could hardly believe she'd bought me a motorcycle. Now, I'd have some freedom.

        At the hotel, we ate and then she took me out and taught me about the hand brakes and shifting gears. I buzzed the motorcycle around the parking lot quite a few times, getting the feel for things. I'd already told her I was not about to drive it all the way home. She agreed she'd drive it and seemed almost enthusiastic about it.

        Then we got in the blazer and toured the town some more.

        That evening dinner was delivered to the room: steak, baked potato and a slice of white icing cake, which she whipped out a candle for.

        "Make a wish," she urged.

        I did. I wished we'd be together forever.

        She put the tray outside the door, the do not disturb sign on the door and we crawled in bed and fed each other cake. The icing came in handy.

        While I cat napped later on, I heard her get up and go in the bathroom. She stayed for quite awhile then came back all smiles. I had forgotten all about what she'd bought at that shop, until a little while later.

        I had finished a second "moo-cho thank you", when she asked, "Aren't you curious about what I bought?"

        "Okay, let's see it."

        "Not yet. Cum'mere."

        The flags were flying and the band, playing in my mind, was headed for the crescendo, when she abruptly stopped.

        "What's wrong?" I asked.

        "Nothin'. Just close your eyes and wait right here. Keep'em closed now, until I tell you to open'em."


        She went to the bathroom and came back, then climbed onto the bed, very carefully or so it seemed. She moved one of my legs farther over and maneuvered between them.

        "There's somethin' I've always wanted to know," she said, softly.

        "What's that?" I asked.

        "What it would be like to have my hands free."

        I frowned. "Wha...?" She silenced me by attacking my lips. I felt something cold between my legs. My eyes flew open. "Anna... what's..." She put her hand to my mouth.

        "Just listen, hmm?" She took her hand away and stared down at me. "I... I've been wonderin' what it would be like to really... fuck you."

        I frowned, not understanding at all and didn't honestly like the "f" word in relation to us. "But, I thought that's what we..."

        She shook her head. "No, we make love. There's a difference. I mean, at least there is to me." She took hold of both my hands, lacing her fingers around mine. "What I mean is... I wanna... do you, like this. When you move with me, it's so very good, baby. You follow my every move and... I wanna know what it would feel like to... ride you like that."

        "What are you sayin'? And what has that got to do with whatever that is down there?"

        "It's... well, here..." She drew one of my hands down between us.

I felt the cool synthetic appendage, as well as a leather strap going around her waist. "What the hell?" I screeched.

        "Yeah, well... that's what I wanna do."

        "Jesus Christ, Anna! Why?"

        She shrugged. "I don't know. I just do. I've thought about it... a lot. I just... I wanna know what it would be like. Just this once, baby. I promise... I'll be very gentle. You know I will. Please, Darby."

        I sighed heavily. "You really want this, don'cha?" She nodded. "Is this what you had in mind when you said Moo-cho thank yous?"

        She nodded again. "Please, baby. If you want, you can be on top, at first. That might make it easier on..."

        "Anna I... I ain't so sure about this."

        "Just let me try, hmm and... and if you don't like it, well... that's okay. I'll... never ask again."

        "I can't believe you want to do this."

        "Me neither, but... I do. I might not even like it, who knows, but... please, just this once, hmm."

        I finally agreed and true to her word she was very gentle. She had me at the edge of the precipice before she had her way with me.

        "Oh yeah, baby, you move so beautifully. I'm not hurtin' you am I?"

        I shook my head, totally immersed in her slow rhythm. If I hadn't known better, I would have sworn she had done this before. And she was damn good at it, too. I had thought I would be reminded of my father, but that was the furthest thing from my mind. Anna was ever present, hovering over me, her hair engulfing me; lips soft and moist; tongue probing and tantalizing.

        "Wrap your legs around me, baby," she requested. "Uh-huh, yeah, Oh yeah...."

        "Anna... baby... oh God... no... oh... yes... uh-huh, uh-huh...." I swallowed hard and heard her whimpering, but I was too far gone. I was hardly even aware that she was sucking on my shoulder. "Oh, Anna... mmmmm-m-m-m."

        She continued moving and whimpering, until she sank her teeth into my shoulder, then went limp as a dishrag.

        "Un...believable!" she breathed in my ear. "I came... I fuckin' came! I can't believe it! Just... listenin' to you and... Oh, holy hell, I'm... so in tune to you, that.... Oh god, you were good. Just like I thought you'd be. I didn't hurt you, did I, baby? Oh god, that was..."

        "You bit me," I answered, though I didn't feel any real pain at the moment, I just knew she had.

        "Oh, Jesus, did I?" She raised up and looked down at my shoulder. "Oh shit, Darby, I'm sorry... god, I'm so sorry." She kissed my shoulder. "I didn't even realize... please forgive me, baby. God,... I.... What the hell's wrong with me? I've hurt you. Such a fuckin' idiot!" She quickly rolled off me.

        "It's alright," I offered, reaching for her hand. "It didn't hurt... much. Now that I know why... and that you weren't just being rough, I don't mind."

        "Don't mind!" she screeched. "Shit, Darby, you got my fuckin' teeth marks on you."

        I cut my eyes over at my shoulder. Her teeth marks were there all right, along with a very large hickey. But she'd only broken the skin in a few places. Mainly with her incisors and front teeth. I knew it would fade.

        I rolled over on her, glancing down at her new acquisition. She was turned away, as if unable to look me in the eye. I maneuvered on top of her.

        "Wh... what are you doing?" she asked, watching me.

        I eased down on top of her and grimaced slightly. "Would you... feel better if I bit you back?" I whispered, moving against her.

        "Oh yes, baby... revenge is sweet. Or so they say."

        I don't know what happened to her that night, but she acted different afterwards. Although in dress, I appeared to be the more dominant one in our relationship, looks were ultimately deceiving. In reality, and in as far as aggression and possessiveness normally attributed to males went, she was the "butch". And began acting more the part, now.

        We returned home with a renewed sense of each other. The role assignments had been irreversibly cemented that weekend, or so it seemed.

        I learned to drive the motorcycle and it came in handy. Now that I was mobile, Rachael, my boss, shuttled me back and forth between her two stores, after an employee suddenly quit. The week before Christmas, I logged in 52 hours to Anna's dismay and disapproval.

        "She's workin' you too damn hard," she had said. "Takin' advantage of you. I hardly ever see you anymore."

        She was right. I was working more days now. "It's only until she finds a replacement at the other store," I had told her.

        Christmas came and we exchanged gifts in the bedroom that morning in front of the fire. I gave her a ring. It wasn't expensive or anything, just an etched band, inside which I had engraved: I L U - D. To my surprise, she'd had the same idea. The one she gave me, however, was fancier and more expensive, with small diamonds embedded in the band. Inside it read: Love, A.

        We placed these on one another's right ring fingers, since she said she didn't want to answer a lot of questions about why she was wearing a wedding band, but wasn't married. I agreed with her logic. Nothing was really said about marriage or anything of the sort. But, we both knew what the rings signified.

        She also bought two rather long necklaces, the gold charms of which fit together like a puzzle piece: Mizpah: May the lord watch between me and thee while we are apart one from another, it read when the two were placed together. She put my half on me and I did the same to her. I stared down at hers, which lay between her breasts in the opening of her robe.

        "You're a part of me, Darby," she began, "A part I never want to lose. And though we may have to be separated from time to time..." She took her charm in her hand, then reached over and got mine. "...we'll always know that this is the perfect fit." She then put the two charms together.

        I was speechless. There was a lump in my throat. I leaned over and kissed her lightly.

        She eased back, then pulled on the front of my low cut, V-neck T-shirt and dropped the charm underneath, placing her hand over it. "Let there be nothing between us," she added, almost reverently.

        There were tears in my eyes. And the lump in my throat was hurting and burning. "God... I love you!" I croaked out, grabbing her around the neck.

        Although she'd said virtually nothing about the two rings, these said it all. "The perfect fit."

Continued in Chapter 9

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