Disclaimer: See Part 1


Bless you

Part 14


Lois Kay


“This road didn't seem that long yesterday.” Betty clenched her hands around the steering wheel, while the car was plowing through a thick layer of fresh snow.

“Maybe it grew?” Meg joked in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Betty smiled when she heard Morgan chuckle behind her and she sent Meg a small smile.

“The main road can't be too far away, it just seems that way because of all the fresh snow,” Grace chimed in from the backseat. “Just stay in the middle, though, because if we end up in another snow bank, I swear, I'll never let you drive again.”

“If we end up in a ditch, I'll make sure it's on your side of the car.” Betty's voice was tense as she peered at the road in front of her. Even though the sunglasses she was wearing were protecting her from most of the blinding glare, she still narrowed her eyes against the harsh light. “I feel like I'm driving through a painting,” she said.

“Don't go poetic on us now, old woman,” Grace said in a teasing voice. “This is not the monthly book club meeting.”

“I wish it was, though,” Meg muttered. “Wait. What is that? Is that a car?” The alarm in her voice made Betty lean forward even more to peer through the window.

“Yes, it is. Two cars actually.”

“Oh, my God,” Meg whispered.

“Make sure the kids stay out of sight.” Betty's voice was strained, but clear. “We'll see who is in those cars first, before we do anything drastic.”

“Like what?” Meg wanted to know.

“We'll think of something.”


Carefully breaking trail in the snow-covered woods, Sigrid intently focused on the area in front of her. The hill was fairly steep, with scattered boulders, trees in all shapes and sizes, and blackberry bushes one could easily get tangled up in. A quick glance over her shoulder assured her that Eva was a few steps behind her, carefully setting her feet in the tracks Sigrid left behind. Anyone following the tracks might think it was only one person who had made them.

It had been more than ten minutes since they had left the cabin and as far as Sigrid could tell they were still the only ones trying to make it down to the lake. Somehow she didn't think the men on the snow mobiles would chase them quietly. Just the thought of having to encounter them made her quicken her step. Every minute they were alone on the trail put more distance between them, increasing their chances to outrun the men.

“How are you doing?” Eva's voice was soft, but the woods around them were so quiet, it sounded quite loud.

“I'm doing alright.” Sigrid glanced over her shoulder and felt a warm feeling settle in the pit of her stomach when she saw Eva sent her a wink and a smile. “What about you?”

“Just peachy. We're making good time. Hopefully we'll be able to make it down to the lake unseen.”

“I'll stay as close to the trees as I can.” Sigrid dodged a snow laden branch, easily ducking underneath it and she grinned when she heard Eva mutter something about having no respect for tall people. She carefully stepped around a boulder half her size, using the ice and snow covered rock as support. Beneath the thick soles of her boots she could feel the uneven surface of rocks and branches and for a moment she halted, taking a few seconds to make sure her footing was solid before she took another step. Just as she leaned forward to shift her weight a deafening sound made her throw herself down in the snow. Pieces of granite showered her face and she shielded her head with her hands. “Eva?” Sigrid barely recognized the sound of her own voice. When there was no reply she lifted her head, crawled behind the boulder and tried again, this time with more urgency. “Eva!”

A soft grunt made Sigrid look around her, until her gaze fell on the form of Eva, who had landed in a pile of soft, powdery snow, completely disappearing in it.

“Eva, are you alright? Please, tell me you didn't get hit.”

Eva slowly rose to hands and knees and crawled over to where Sigrid was hiding behind the boulder. “Damn, that was close,” she said, shaking her head to fling clumps of snow out of her hair. Her eyes quickly scanned Sigrid and when they did not find any damage, she visibly relaxed. “We need to keep going. The fact that they're shooting at us tells me they know where we are.”

“Strong work, Sherlock.” Sigrid tried to lighten the mood. “But I believe you're right, so, run?”

Eva nodded. “Run. Don't worry about the tracks we're leaving. We need to put as much distance between them and us as we can manage. And stay under the cover of the trees. Ready?”

Sigrid took a deep breath and nodded. “I'm ready. Be careful, your ankle does not need much to roll again and you're too tall for me to carry.”

“Understood.” Eva smiled and reached out a gloved hand to touch Sigrid's cheek. “Let's go.” She took a deep breath and followed Sigrid who darted away from the boulder they were hiding behind, heading for the trees. Speed was essential, but so was safety and it was impossible to see the surface they set their feet on. Eva could only hope they'd be lucky enough to not break a leg.

Sigrid was grateful she knew the terrain well. It gave her the opportunity to at least evade the deepest ditches and holes. She could Eva right behind her and without looking over her shoulder she knew she had positioned herself between Sigrid and whoever had shot at them. That knowledge made her all the more determined to stay within the safety of the trees. It made their descent more hazardous, but at least it would keep them out of sight. For now. In the distance she could hear shouting. The words were unclear but the tone of the male voice belayed anger. It fueled her determination to put distance between her and Eva and their pursuers. Even though they both had a weapon and knew how to use it, she would try and avoid a shoot-out at any cost.


Charles Benoit had heard a lot of colorful language during his career as a police officer, but when Casey hit the brakes and realized they were sandwiched on a narrow, snow-covered road between two cars with no way to escape he heard some expletives that made him raise his eyebrows. “Down, Fido,” he said with amusement. “We only have to worry about the one behind us.” He pointed at the SUV in front of them. “Those ladies are the good guys and they have the kids with them.” He opened the door, gun in hand. “Keep an eye on them, while I handle the guy behind us.”

Casey nodded, unclasped her seatbelt and grabbed the Beretta, glancing in the rearview mirror to see no movement in the car behind them. “Be careful.”


“Don't worry, I still plan on retiring,” Chuck answered, before stepping into at least four inches of snow. He made sure his footing was secure when he slowly walked to the car that had been following them. Its engine was still running and the driver was sitting behind the steering wheel, his face obscured by the big cross that was dangling from the rearview mirror. Without taking his eyes off the still figure, Chuck slowly moved toward the car, hearing Casey talk in a soft voice somewhere behind him. As he approached the car he got a better view of its occupant. It was a man who looked to be somewhere in his twenties, with brown, shaggy hair that desperately needed a trim. His face however was clean shaven and when he stepped even closer, Chuck noticed he was wearing a hooded winter jacket, perfect for hunting because of its white, brown and grey camouflage design. If his pants were of the same fabric, and Chuck expected that to be the case, he would be almost invisible in the snow covered woods. The thing that struck Chuck the most when he was only a few steps away from the car was the serene expression in the driver's large, brown eyes. For a moment it threw him off and he wondered if maybe Eva had been mistaken when she had sent him the email about Donald Brothers. Maybe this was someone different. Chuck relaxed a little although the grip on his weapon remained firm. He had too much experience to assume anything.

“Why don't you get out of the car, son?” he said loudly, motioning for the driver to open the door.

With a smile, the young man nodded and he slowly opened the door, his gloved hands clearly visible. “Do you need any help, sir?” he politely asked as he stepped out of the car.

“I might,” Chuck answered. “It seems we're all stuck here.” He took another step closer, his eyes trained on the young man's hands and face, but before he could say anything else the sound of a gunshot shattered the silence. In a reflex Chuck's head moved into the direction the sound had come from, realizing his mistake too late. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the man he assumed was Donny Brothers pull a shotgun from the inside of the driver's door and for a split second Chuck froze. “Casey!” he shouted. “Get down.” He raised the hand that held his weapon, but before he was able to take aim, the dry crack of a shot filled his ears and a searing pain tore through his shoulder. Years of training and pure instinct had kicked in as soon as Chuck had seen the shotgun and the only reason he was not hit in the chest was because he had already started to move out of the line of fire. In spite of the pain he was able to raise his weapon, but the shooter had already disappeared between the trees, leaving behind deep tracks in the snow.

“Damn, damn, damn,” Chuck cursed, aware of the blood that was seeping through his clothes.


“Chuck! Are you alright?” Casey fell onto her knees beside him and shot him a frightened look. “You're hurt.”

“I know. Little bastard. Grab my cell phone, Casey. I need to warn Eva.”

Obediently Casey reached inside the pocket of his jacket and pulled out the requested item. A quick glance at the display of the phone made her scowl. “There's no signal here.”


“Did you hear that?” Sigrid panted, knowing Eva was right behind her.

“I did and that was not behind us. It came from the road. God, I hope everyone's okay up there.”

“Maybe we should make our way back up there.”

“No, not yet. We don't want those goons anywhere near the kids. And if we track back up and they'll follow, we just lead them there. Let's keep moving, away from the road. Maybe we can cross the lake somewhere.”

“Not for a few miles,” Sigrid said, ducking underneath the trunk of a dead tree that was leaning precariously against a neighbor.

“Can we make it there without giving up our tree cover?”

“We can.” Sigrid cast a quick look over her shoulder. “But it won't be an easy hike.”

Eva chuckled at the attempt of a joke. “Don't worry about that. I'll need a challenge after this stroll.”

“Tell me about it.” Sigrid's foot slipped and she had to quickly grab the icy surface of a boulder to stay on her feet. “I'm ready to trade this for a walk on a sandy beach, somewhere sunny and warm.”

Eva took a large step, balancing on her injured foot. She tried to ignore the pain by focusing on Sigrid's words. “We will,” she said. “Blue ocean, white, sandy beach and plenty of sunshine.”


“Promise.” Eva grimaced when a small branch hit her square in the face, thankful it missed her eyes. Warm wetness trickling down her cheek told her it had broken the skin. She wiped at it impatiently, almost colliding with Sigrid who unexpectedly halted.

“What's wrong?” she asked, unconsciously keeping her voice down. She was standing so close to Sigrid her chest was pressing against her back. For a split second Eva regretted the thick layers of clothing that separated them, but she immediately scolder herself for such a trivial thought at a moment like that. “What?” she repeated when there was no answer.

Sigrid had tilted her head to the side and was listening intently. “I heard something.”

Eva trusted Sigrid's senses and she took deep, slow breaths while listening to the woods that surrounded them. The wind rustled through the trees, moving small branches, which made a familiar sound. Every now and then snow fell from the trees, creating a dull whooshing sound. Behind them all seemed quiet and she wondered if their pursuers had given up the hunt. Part of her hoped they had, but another part wished they were still there, so their friends and the children would be safe.

“Sigrid I…” Eva paused in mid-sentence and felt her body stiffen. A sound that was not native to the surrounding woods had reached her ears. “There's someone coming down the hill somewhere in front of us.” Frantically Eva's brain went through a few different scenarios, trying to figure what options they had.

“Up?” Sigrid asked, her voice nothing more than a whisper.

“Yes, up.” Eva put a hand on Sigrid's shoulder and gently nudged her around until she was facing the steep incline. “I know it's a pain, but get out your gun. You might need it. Keep going until you reach the road. Chuck should be there and hopefully some reinforcements as well.”

“What are you going to do? You can't...”

“I can and I will,” Eva interrupted. “See that big boulder you'll pass in the next minute? I'll be behind it, waiting for whoever is after us. If they want to find us they need to track us, which means they'll be coming right through here.” Eva saw the troubled look in Sigrid's eyes and allowed herself a moment to kiss her surprisingly warm lips. “I will see you soon.”

“Eva, you can't…”

“Sigrid, I have to. Now go. Find some reinforcements and for God's sake, stay safe.”

Eva saw the anger flash in Sigrid's expressive blue eyes and silently braced for a confrontation. But as fast as the heat had surged, it seemed to die down.

“We'll fight about this later.”

Eva nodded. “Yes, we will.”

With a small smile Sigrid turned around and began her climb up the steep hill, bracing herself with one hand in order to prevent sliding down. Eva was right behind her, but as soon as they had reached the large boulder she had pointed out, she halted, aware of Sigrid rapidly climbing the hillside. The separation was almost physically painful and Eva was tempted to call Sigrid back, but she knew she had made the right decision, no matter how difficult it was to know that every step Sigrid took put more distance between them. “You're getting sentimental in your old age,” she muttered to herself, aware that the feelings she had for Sigrid were growing stronger by the day. “Not the right time, Eva Clemente. Focus.” She checked her gun and spare clip and stood quietly behind the granite boulder; waiting.


“O h, my God, Chuck, you're hurt,” Casey exclaimed while kneeling down in the snow, next to his bulky form.

“Where did he go?” Chuck groaned, trying hard to ignore the pain in his shoulder.

“He ran off and disappeared in the woods. He's like a ghost, the moment he stepped between the trees I lost sight of him.”

Charles stirred and struggled to sit up, knowing he would not be able to lift his weapon, let alone fire it. “Then he could still be around.”

Casey rested a hand on his good shoulder and shook her head. “I heard him through the trees, away from us. Besides, those friends of yours have our back,” she added, pointing to the car in front of them where Grace had exited the vehicle and was standing behind the SUV, her eyes focused on the spot where Donny Brothers had disappeared into the woods, and a gun clutched in her hand.

“God, I hope she has a permit for that thing,” Chuck groaned. “Can you help me up? I should be fine once I'm upright.”

“Let me guess; it's just a scratch, right?” Casey muttered, but she grabbed Chucks arm and let him lean on her while he was getting back on his feet.

“Believe it or not, I've never been shot before,” Chuck breathed, feeling a little light-headed as soon as he was vertical again. “So close to retiring and I don't duck fast enough. Eva's never going to let me live that down.”

“I hope so, because I'd like to see her and the pastor make it back in one piece.”

“Check the phone again,” Chuck urged, watching over Casey's shoulder when she pulled out his phone first and then her own.

“Nothing. No signal.” Casey let out a soft expletive. “Welcome to New Hampshire.”

“Not a country girl, I assume?” Chuck tried to keep his voice light, but it was obvious he was in pain.

“Can you blame me? Where are the police when you need them and where is the closest phone?” Casey grabbed Chucks arm and guided him to the SUV, where he was greeted by anxious faces.

“We need to get him to a hospital,” Meg exclaimed when she noticed the slowly spreading patch of blood on his jacket.

“We need to get out of here all right,” Betty said. She turned to Meg, making sure to keep her voice steady and calm. “Think about the children, Meg. Try to stay calm.”

“You're right.” Meg cast a look at the children in the backseat and winced when she noticed the fear in their eyes. Anjuli was softly whimpering, while Danh had his hands clasped over his ears and his eyes shut tight. “It's going to be alright, sweetie, these people are here to help us,” she said, reaching out to Anjuli, who immediately grabbed her hand with a strength that was amazing for such a little girl. “Just hang in there. We'll be fine, I promise.”


Sigrid forced herself to take slow, even breaths, so her panting would not get into the way of listening what was going on around her. It wasn't easy. She was fighting her way uphill through knee deep snow, very aware of the fact that somewhere close there were unscrupulous individuals who were more than willing to use the firearms they were carrying. Added to that was the knowledge that Eva was on her own until Sigrid would be able to return with reinforcements, her friends and the children were somewhere on the road, hopefully driving away from the shots that had been fired, and there was no way she was able to contact Chuck. All Sigrid could rely on at the moment was herself, her ability to rapidly climb a snow-covered, steep hillside and her determination to make it back to Eva as soon as possible. The sound of something heavy sliding down the hillside made her stop dead in her tracks. Tilting her head to the side, Sigrid listened intently. The sound had come from somewhere on her left, downhill from her. Someone was in a hurry to make it down the hill. She knew that eventually the tracks she and Eva had made would lead straight to the huge granite boulder. As she tried not to think about what could happen if Eva's hiding place was discovered, Sigrid resumed her track up the hill, her weapon firmly clenched into her hand.” Please be safe,” sounded like a mantra in the back of her mind. She knew that in the short period she had known Eva something important had grown between them. Not one to fall in love easily, Sigrid was honest enough to acknowledge that falling in love was exactly what had happened to her. From the moment she had first met Eva, life had been stressful and frightening. It would be easy to explain that her feelings were caused by circumstances, after all she and Eva had shared some dangerous moments even Quantico could not have prepared her for. However, even though the murder and investigation had thrown them together, there was something that seemed to be the core of Eva that had called to Sigrid from the beginning. Her quiet self -confidence, gentle sense of humor, friendly demeanor and caring nature had made Sigrid feel at ease from the moment they met. Of course there was the physical attraction as well. Even though Eva was not a classical beauty, the combination of her skin tone and color of her eyes coupled with an easy smile and the way she carried herself had attracted Sigrid from the very beginning. Sigrid was aware of the brief fluttering in her stomach and in spite of the situation she chuckled softly when realizing that even the current situation, combined with more than two feet of snow could not put a damper on her attraction. “I'm almost there, Eva, hang in there.”

Sigrid looked up to see she was rapidly approaching the road. With every step she took the snow bank on the side of the road became more visible. As long as she would stay behind it, keeping the wall between herself and whoever was on the road, she would be relatively safe. The main thing was to stay out of sight and try to get help as soon as possible. Her first priority was to find Charles.


“We need to get you to the hospital as soon as possible.” Casey ripped open one of the packages that came out of the first aid kit. Even though she had no medical training it was easy to see that Chuck was bleeding profusely. A steady stream of blood saturated the sleeve of his jacket and drops of blood were landing on the snow he was sitting on.

“I'll be fine, Casey. Just shove that wad of gauze against the hole. Did the bullet to go through?”

“How would I know? I am a journalist not a freaking Physician or nurse.”

“Is there blood on the back of my jacket? Did the bullet go clean through my shoulder?”

“Let me see.” Casey leaned back in order to inspect Charles' shoulder. “How bad is it when the bullet goes all the way through?”

“Not bad at all. It's what you would hope for when getting shot, because it means that the bullet did not take a detour, which means less damage inside. It hurts like hell though.” Charles took a deep breath and cast a look at Casey who nodded in understanding. “So, what do you see?”

“Well, it seems this is your lucky day.”

“I wouldn't say that.” Charles groaned when Casey pressed the gauze against his shoulder. It was hard to breathe, because the pain was so intense. Even the slightest movement felt like being stabbed with hot pokers. The pain extended all the way down to his fingertips. Spasms made it worse and Charles had to fight back waves of nausea. The last thing he wanted however was to pass out. There were three terrified children in the car, as well as three elderly women and a reporter he needed to keep safe. In addition to that, he knew Eva and Sigrid were in trouble and needed help.

“Casey, you need to take everybody out of here. As soon as you can get a signal call the police station, or 911. Do not stop for anybody, until you reach the police station. I know the roads around here suck, but drive as fast as you can. We need some help out here.”

“I can't leave you here, you're bleeding all over the place, you need help.”

“There's not much time, we need to keep those children safe and the only way to do it is to take them out of here. Listen to me Casey, you're the only one who can get help fast. I need you to do as I tell you. Please.”

Just as Casey opened her mouth to respond the sound of snapping branches could be heard behind the snow bank. Charles mentally braced himself, knowing full well that any confrontation would be his last one. He clenched his teeth and tightened his grip on the gun. Turning toward the sound he thought about his wife and children, feeling a deep sadness settle in his chest. He never would've thought he would never see them again. And even if it would be the last thing he did, he'd made sure those children in the car would be safe. Even if that meant he would die trying.


Eva had lost all track of time. Although Sigrid had just left a few minutes before it felt like it had been much longer than that. It was quiet. The thick blanket of snow that covered everything around her seemed to absorb most of the natural sounds. From somewhere in the distance, probably around the frozen lake, came to sound of a snowmobile. The high-pitched sound of the engine seemed completely out of place within the quiet stillness of the snow-covered woods.

Eva shifted, careful not to make any sound. The granite boulder she was hiding behind was tall but still only barely managed to hide her from sight completely. She tried to focus on what was happening around her. It was important to pick up on any sound that seemed out of place, ready to react whenever it was needed. She had no idea how many people were actually tracking her and Sigrid. There had been three snowmobiles and three riders up at the cabin, but that was before one of them crashed. If Eva had to guess she would say that one person was tracking her and Sigrid's footsteps in the snow, while a second person was probably sent after the car. At least that was how Eva would have done it. That meant she had to deal with her pursuer and whoever was making his way down the hill somewhere beside her. Even though that person tried to be very quiet, the occasional sound of snow gliding over snow and barely audible snapping of twigs gave him away. Eva was very aware of the fact that someone with a gun was approaching from the left, while an unknown person was trying to sneak up on her right. Even though the situation she was in was dangerous, she was glad Sigrid had left to get help. Even though the FBI agent had gone through only appropriate training, she was more a consultant than a field agent and Eva wanted her out of harm's way.

A small smile tugged on the corner of Eva's mouth when she remembered when Sigrid had joked about her clumsiness with a weapon. She knew it had been exaggeration, because Sigrid would never have been able to complete her training had she not known how to use a gun. Still, Eva would do anything she could to prevent Sigrid from having to use a gun.

Eva tensed when she heard a muted thump followed by a muttered curse. The sound came from the left and was most likely the man who was following her. He must have slipped and fell or hit his head against a branch; either way he had given away his position and Eva knew he was very close. She crouched down a little more, all her senses on high alert. Her ears pick up a sound from the right and she briefly wondered what would happen when her pursuer would run into the person who was making his way down the hill. If they knew each other and were working together, she could be in big trouble. If both of them would come after her she would have to react fast. The best chance would be to get behind one of them so she wouldn't be in the middle. Just in case someone would start shooting. Getting shot was not on the list of things to do, besides if she'd get hurt Sigrid would be extremely pissed off at her.


Running up a snow-covered, steep hillside that was littered with granite boulders in varying sizes and covered with a dense forest had Sigrid gasping for air when she finally made it to the road. Cold air was burning in her lungs and more than once she had to suppress the urge to cough. The sound of voices had made her stop dead in her tracks, briefly taking shelter behind an old tree. She wasn't sure but thought that one of the voices have been female, which was promising because none of the people in the snowmobiles had been a woman. Still, not knowing who was on the other side of the snow bank was risky.

Sigrid stuck her hand inside her pocket and pulled out her cell phone, quickly checking if she had a signal. She didn't. She would have to glance over snow bank in order to see who was on the other side and if they would be friend or foe. There was no time to waste, Eva needed help. Rising up, crouched position Sigrid carefully extended her neck in order to visualize the road. There were two cars she did not recognize, but the third one she did and without giving it much thought she clambered over snow bank and slid down the other side.

"Sigrid." The surprise in Meg's voice was evident. "Quick honey, the inspector got shot."

Immediately Sigrid ran toward the cluster of cars. As soon as Charles became visible she gasped. "Oh my God, Chuck, what happened? Did anyone call for help?"

"Good to see you Sigrid, where's Eva?" Charles said lowered his hand that was holding his gun. He sounded slightly out of breath and Sigrid immediately went into EMT mode.

She knelt beside him in the snow and reached for the zipper of his jacket, tugging it down. "Who shot you?"

"That little punk who was following us in that car," Charles said. He weakly gestured with his good hand and Sigrid glanced over her shoulder.

"I know that car," she said. "It's Donald's. Is he here? Is he the one who shot you? Where is he now?"

"Yes, yes, on the way down the hill." Charles grimaced when Sigrid put pressure on his wound. "Damn, that hurts."

"Do you know if help is on the way?"

"I'm not sure, I'm afraid not. Where's Eva?"

"She's down that hill somewhere hiding behind a boulder. There were three guys at the cabin, they are armed. We were able to take out one by making his snowmobile crash, but that leaves two. One of them was following us."

"Is that where the shots came from?"

Sigrid nodded while packing more gauze against Charles' wound and applying pressure. "You need to get out here. And get us some help."

"Eva needs help, I can't just leave. Just stop me from leaking over the place and I will be fine." Charles struggled to sit up and both Sigrid and Casey gave him a hand.

"I'll help you get up and get into the car, but then I need all of you to leave and get me some help." Sigrid looked up at Casey. "Take Chuck and the children out of here."

"No, I'll stay Sigrid," Charles said in a weak but determined voice. "Eva needs me, dammit. I'm her partner."

"Right now you'd be more of a hindrance than a help. If you really want to help you get out here and as soon as you get a cell phone signal you'll call the local police station."

"Sigrid, you can't ask that of, she's my partner."

"I am not asking you, I am telling you. As an FBI agent I outrank you, Chuck. And I am telling you to get yourself and these children out of here. Now."

"She's right Chuck, let's go." Casey grabbed Chuck by the arm in order to lead him back to the car, her eyes met Sigrid's and she nodded. "We'll go as fast as we can. Stay safe."

Sigrid turned to her friends in the other car and sent them a small smile. She could tell just by looking at them but they were pretty shaken. But she had known them for years and knew how tough they were. They would do anything to keep the children safe. "Save me some hot chocolate," she smiled.

"Sweetie, make it back in one piece and I will give you enough hot chocolate to bathe in." Betty blew her a kiss from within the car. Anjuli and Danh looked terrified, while the expression on Morgan's face was pleading.

"I'll see you later," she mouthed, smiling when the teenager nodded. She turned back to Betty motioning for her to start driving.

"What will you be doing?" Betty wanted to know.

"Eva needs me. I'm going back down."


Continued in Part 15

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