Conspiracy of Swords
by Shadowriter

(See Part 1 for Disclaimers)

Shadowriter can be reached at

Chapter Twenty-nine


Teren caught a cab to a car rental agency the next day. After signing for it under a new alias, she took the rental car back to the hotel and picked up Alex. Together they loaded their bags into the trunk. It would be better, the two agents decided, if they didn't stay in the same place two nights in a row.

They drove to an office building near the middle of the business district. After parking, they entered the building through the lobby doors, and took the elevator to the seventh floor.

They stepped out into a small foyer with white walls and no ornamentation. There were no windows. On either side of the room there was a solid white door, with no handle or knob. The pattern of the linoleum consisted of alternating black and white squares, and was polished enough to reflect the overhead flourescent light.

Across from the elevator stood a counter, also white, with black trim. The seat behind it was filled by a large bald man in a blue suit who reminded Alex of the stereotypical thug from the gangster movies. He looked up at them, and glared.

"This is a private company, we do not accept visitors, unless they have passes."

"We're here to see Gerd Heinrich. My name should be on your guest list."

"And you are?"

"Teren Mylos."

He glanced at the screen of the computer on his desk, and shook his head. "Nothing there."

Teren frowned, and clenched her fists. "He forgot to inform you we were coming in today. Fine." She nodded, trying to keep control of her temper. "Please call him."


One dark eyebrow rose. "Excuse me?"

"No. I don't have to call anyone. If your name is not on the list, then you can't see anyone, and you can't come in. It's as simple as that."

Teren rolled her eyes. "Whatever happened to Franz? He was someone I could deal with."

"Franz retired. Now, leave, before I get angry and make you leave."

Alex didn't understand a word of what was going on between Teren and the man at the desk, so she was surprised when Teren reached over the desk and grabbed the man by the lapel of his jacket.

The tall woman pulled her adversary across the counter, then slammed him into the elevator door. He reached under his coat, but Teren stopped his movement by grabbing his wrist and twisting. She put her other hand against his throat, holding him in place, and planted a knee firmly against his crotch. He stopped moving.

"Now," Teren growled, "you are going to tell me Gerd's extension, correct?"

He tried to shake his head, and Teren tightened her grip.

"I'm in no mood to play around, little man. I've had a bad month, a really bad day, and I'm about to make yours even worse. So, you tell me Gerd's extension, and you do it quickly, or I'm going to begin removing pieces of your anatomy. Am I being clear?"

The man nodded, and gasped for a breath when she eased her hold on his throat.

"Now. The extension?"


"Alex, go dial one-four-one-two on the desk phone, and tell Gerd that you and I are here, alright?"

Her partner made her way around the desk and dialed.


"Gerd, this is Alex Reis."

There was a pause, and then, "Uh -- Alex, hello. Um, how did you get this number?"

"Teren gave it to me."

"How did she get it?"

"Well, the man out here in the lobby was kind enough to give it to her. Now, I think she wants you to come out here, and you might want to do it before she drops this poor guy down the elevator shaft."

There was a click from the other end of the phone, and a moment later the door to the left of the elevator opened.

"Teren, would you please let go of Karsten? I'm sure he meant no harm."

She immediately released her hold on his neck and arm, and pulled her knee away. After steadying him on his feet, she reached up to straighten his collar. Karsten stayed still, his eyes still bulging in fear.

"Good morning, Gerd. You forgot to add our names to your visitors list."

"I didn't forget. I wasn't expecting you so early. Did you have to scare the hell out of the man?"

She shrugged. "Maybe next time he'll be a bit nicer to a visiting agent, hmm?" She walked past him into the hallway.

Alex sighed, and followed after her. She stopped for a moment, looking up at Gerd. "Sorry. It's been a really bad morning, and she's been wanting to beat someone up for hours." Then she stepped past him.

Gerd glanced back at Karsten who was beginning to gingerly rub his throat. "I'll write it in the log later. Get some ice on your neck, eh?" Then he followed Teren and Alex back down the hall.


Teren waited by the door to Gerd's office, which was closed. He approached her and shook his head, leading them a little further down the corridor, and into what appeared to be an unused office. There were a couple of chairs, and a desk with a phone on it.

"Alright, Teren. I've set up a secure line to your office. You know, of course, that Alex cannot go anywhere else? I'm breaking the rules by allowing her past the desk. She's not a cleared agent."

Teren dropped carelessly into a chair and stared at Gerd. "Yes. I know the rules." She pointed at the phone. "You're sure this is secure?"

He nodded.

"Good. Why don't you and Alex go get something to drink? I'm sure the cafeteria isn't top secret, is it?" She frowned at him. "Of course, if you still make that deadly coffee, then I can see why it would be."

"Oh, very funny. First you're looking like you're going to kill Karsten --"

"Karsten? Oh, you mean monkey boy out front."

"and now you're joking about coffee." Gerd shook his head. "I'd forgotten how changeable your moods can be, Teren."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "You've forgotten a lot, haven't you, Gerd?"

"What does that mean?"

Teren waved a hand in dismissal and picked up the phone. Alex took Gerd's arm.

"I don't know about you, Gerd," she said as she gently urged him toward the door, "but I'm parched. I could use a cup of something. Will you show me the cafeteria?"

With a last glance at Teren, Gerd let the door close behind him. He stopped and shook his head. "Alex, I'll never admit it to Teren, but our cafeteria has been voted worst coffee in the world by the agents who visit here. I'm not sure you wouldn't be happier by the desk."

"Oh, no. I'm not much of a coffee person, I like hot chocolate or hot tea better. But right now, I'd take just about anything." She chuckled. "And I don't think Karsten would be too happy with me hanging around out front."

Gerd smiled. He had to agree with her. "Fine. But I don't know that the hot chocolate will be much better than the coffee."

"Is there chocolate in it?"

"Of course."

"Then it'll do."


Teren finally finished her call, and hung up with a sense of relief. For the first time in days something had gone right.

It was just so ludicrous that the best news since they'd left the states had come from the same man that had gotten her involved in this mess.

Ron Graves had been the one to insist on George Mather accompanying her and Perry to Lithuania. He had chosen him against the wishes of the other two agents involved. Teren had never known what his reaction was to hearing of Mather's betrayal, but when he had come to see her in the hospital, he'd had a cast on his hand.

When he had called her to tell her about Alex, and the finding of Perry's id, she had threatened the man with serious bodily injury. Now, however, she couldn't find it in her to hate him, even though she wanted to. He had, after all, introduced her to the blonde woman with whom she traveled. And Alex was . . . .

Important. And growing more so.

Teren had to admit that scared her.

Before she could dwell on further thoughts, the door opened, and Alex preceeded Gerd back into the small office.

"Did you finish your call?" Gerd asked her.

"Have I hung up the phone?"

He looked at her. "Yes."

"Then I guess I'm finished." She reached for the cup that Alex handed her. After a sip she raised an eyebrow. "This isn't their coffee."

"Sure it is. I threw half of it out, though, and mixed it with hot chocolate."

"Oh." Teren took another sip and nodded. "Good idea."

"Thanks." Alex sat down in the other chair.

Gerd seemed content to lean against the wall. He was watching Teren very carefully. Teren was acting differently towards him today, and he thought he knew why.

"So, Teren, I heard from our surveillance team that you found the bugs."

She looked up at him. "You never could hide them worth a damn, Gerd."

Alex and Teren had found several tiny listening devices in their hotel suite. The CIA agent had grown angrier with each one she found. Alex had no wish to step between Teren and her intended victim, and she stayed silent for the moment.

"Want to tell me why you were so interested in our dinner conversation?"

Gerd shrugged. "I know what you've been trained to do for the last few years. If there's going to be an assassination on German soil, I want to know about it."

"I told you it wasn't an assignment."

"So you said. I have only your word on that."

"And since when isn't my word good enough, Gerd?"

"There were rumors you were off on your own, Teren, but then we got a call that said you still had CIA clearance. What were we to think? Besides, the bugs were planted before our conversation last night."

Teren nodded. "I see." She sat up straight in her chair, and pinned him with her gaze. "It won't happen again, will it." She wasn't asking, and Gerd knew it.

"No." She didn't blink, or speak for several minutes, and Gerd began to sweat. "No, Teren, it won't."

"Good." She drained the last of her chocolate coffee, and set the cup down with a thump that seemed louder than paper could make. "Now. Tell me what you know about Jurgen von Odbert."

His eyes widened at the name, and both blonde eyebrows went up. "He is the retired leader of St. Luther's Evangelical Church. Why?"

"Do you know how old he is?"

"No. I believe probably in his eighties or so."

Teren nodded. "So, that would mean he was, what, in his twenties, early thirties, during World War Two?"

Gerd nodded, a frown line forming between his eyebrows. "Where are you going with this, Teren?"

"Well, I just thought it was really interesting that the first record of anyone named von Odbert appears in 1950. The same year that a Nazi named Werner Hoppe was last seen, in Zurich, Switzerland."

The blonde man leaned over, his meaty hands planted firmly on the desk in front of Teren. "Are you insinuating that von Odbert, one of the most respected men in Munich today, was a Nazi?"


"Absolutely not."

Teren stood up, her face inches from Gerd's. "Then tell me why, in 1950, Werner Hoppe turned over to Jurgen von Odbert a Swiss bank account worth millions of dollars?"

Alex could see the shock in Gerd's eyes.

"That's a lie."

"I have a copy of the signed bank records. That's why we were in Switzerland. A CIA contact in the Swiss banking industry was able to provide us with copies of the original papers. Hoppe signed the account over to von Odbert, who placed it in the hands of the Evangelische Kirche des Heiligen Luther in 1985, with himself as the principle signer."

Gerd relaxed slightly. "So, if what you are saying is true, then he is turning money he made illegally into something that will do good for the German people." He shrugged. I see nothing wrong with that."

Alex couldn't believe she'd just heard that. "Nothing wrong? That money doesn't belong to the German people. It was stolen from the Jews of Europe, and other --"

"Spare me the sanctimonious garbage of how the Jews were wronged. I know what happened, I am German."

"And I'm Jewish, and if you--" Alex stopped when Teren's hand dropped onto her shoulder. She clenched her fists and sat down.

"Gerd. I can prove that the account was an illegal one, started by a Nazi war criminal. And I can prove that it's being used to fund Neo-Nazi activities."

Gerd laughed, but nervously. "Impossible. Absolutely impossible."

"I have the records. Odbert passed the reins of the account to Franz Eisenbein."

"That's natural. He is the new leader of the church."

"I know. He is the principle signer, and he has a co-signer named Stephen Radcliffe. Radcliffe is an American, and he signed off on a bank transfer that gave five million dollars to a man named John Treville. Treville used part of that five million to pay George Mather to kill me and Perry."

Gerd's mouth was hanging open, and his lips quivered, but he didn't say anything.

"Now, Alex and I are --"

"I am a member of St. Luther's."

Teren stared at him. "You're what?"

"I am a member of St. Luther's Evangelical Church. I have been for two years."

Alex started to jump back up, and it was only Teren's firm hand that kept her in her chair.

"Gerd, what are you going to do?"

He wouldn't look at her. "There is nothing I can do. My orders are that I am not to interfere."

"Right. But that's direct interference. What about indirect?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know very well what I mean. One word of this in the wrong ear and Alex and I are dead."

Gerd straightened up fully, and started to turn away. "I don't --"

Teren was over the desk and shoving him against the wall. "You don't what, Gerd? Don't believe me?"

"Let go of me," Gerd growled between his clenched jaws.

"I should kill you right now." Teren's voice was flat and emotionless. "Give me a good reason not to, Gerd."

"If you do it, you won't leave here alive."

She smiled at him, but there was no humor in it. "Of course I will. It's what I've been trained for these last few years, Gerd, or did you forget that?"

Teren's hand had begun to press harder against his throat and his words came out with a higher pitch and a gasping breath. "Teren, let me go. I won't repeat anything that has been said in here. You have my word."

She stared at him, watching his struggle to breathe. His hands remained still, one on her arm, and the other flat against the wall. Teren had expected, almost hoped, that he'd go for his gun, but he knew better. Finally, she began to ease the pressure off of his windpipe. He stayed still as she backed away.

Keeping her eyes on him, she opened the door and waved Alex through.

"Don't make me sorry I left you alive, Gerd."

Then she left the room.



"D you trust Gerd?"

"Fuck no."

Teren was driving their rental car as they headed for the address of one Florian Kirchner.

"So, what's the plan?"

"Same as before, but not as much time. If possible, I want to be on a plane back home tomorrow afternoon."

Alex's eyes went wide. "Really? That fast?"

"Yeah. We just need to send a telegram when we're about to get on the plane. We'll be met at Dulles by two CIA operatives. They'll take us to a safe house just outside D.C."

"You think they'll try to kill us even on American soil?"

"Possible, but doubtful."

"Then why would we need to be at a safe house in the States?" Alex asked with confused look.

"Well, I may not. All charges against me have been dropped. Seems I made enough of an impression on the cop I kidnapped in Philly. When Davies wouldn't listen to him, he took his story to the media, telling them I was with him when the cops were killed, and he had stayed in visual contact with me throughout the firefight."

"So, you're clear?"

"Yeah. Unfortunately, you're not. FBI has named you a rogue agent."

"We knew that before we arrived in Zurich."

"Sure, but what we didn't know is that they've upgraded it to fugitive status, subject to immediate arrest. Without protection, you'll be arrested before you can step off the plane."

"Oh, wonderful, just what I wanted to hear." Alex was silent, staring out the window. "Anything else?"

"Nope. Except that David's back in Washington. They transferred him on a medicopter a day or so ago."

"Ken said he was going back. That's good news. Sounds like he's doing well, and I'm glad."

"Me, too." Teren pulled to the curb and turned off the engine. "Okay, Kirchner's apartment is in that building. Third floor. I think we should go in the side entrance," she pointed to the left of the building where a glass door could be seen, "and take the stairs."

"Right. Why don't you --"

"We are not splitting up, so don't even ask about it."

"No kidding." Alex's sarcasm made Teren glance over at her. "Look, I'm not stupid, Teren. This isn't the same situation as Zurich and Meinhard. So, we stay together, and if someone comes after us, we cover each other's ass. Okay?"

Teren nodded, a sheepish grin curling her lips. "What were you going to say, then?"

"Why don't you let me take the lead? When we knock on the door? You have to admit I'm less intimidating, and your eyes are sharper."

"Sounds like a plan." She took a good look around the area, noticing where cars were, and who was on the street. There didn't appear to be anything out of place, and her internal alarms were quiet. "Let's go."


Florian Kirchner was the man who sold several items of Nazi memorabilia to Otto Keppelmann. He had also sold art pieces to the Altbusser Galerie, which Alex had eventually matched to the list of art works stolen by the Nazis and never recovered. His father, Helmut, had died the previous year, according to the report that Alex had found on the internet. While they didn't actually have anything to connect Florian to their case, his father's obituary had listed him as a former deacon in St. Luther's Evengelical Church. The younger Kirchner was not listed as being a member, but it was a connection that neither Alex nor Teren wanted to ignore.

There was no answer to their knock on the door. They waited for a few moments, then Teren pulled out her kit, and worked on the lock while Alex stood guard. Within seconds the door was open, and they entered.

The apartment had been trashed.

Furniture had been knocked over, and the cushions from the sofa were strewn haphazardly across the floor. Books from the shelves lay on the floor by the bookcase. The glass coffeetable had been shattered.

"Got a pair of gloves?"

"Sorry, didn't bring them with me."

"Me neither. Don't touch anything with your hands."

"No kidding, Teren."

Cautiously they picked their way through the clutter on the floor, trying to disturb it as little as possible.

"What the hell happened here?"

"Don't know, Alex." Teren gently pushed on the door to the bedroom. It was as bad as the rest of the apartment. "Doesn't look like anyone's here."

"Doesn't look like anyone's been here for days, either."

"Why do you say that, Alex?"

The shorter agent was in the open kitchen, looking at the dishes on the table.

"There's still food in the dishes. Half-eaten." She pointed to an overturned glass. "This looks like it was at least half-full."

Teren put her hands on her waist and surveyed the damage. She sighed. "Damn. Looks like they got to him before we did."

Alex nodded solemnly. "I don't think, where ever he went, that he went willingly."

"Neither do I."

There was a noise at the door, and they both froze. The clear sound of a key in the lock made Alex pull back and pin herself against a wall in the kitchen, drawing her weapon as she moved. Teren crossed the room quickly, and ended up in a corner, a .45 in her hand. When the door opened, she was hidden behind it.

Whoever was there, gasped at the mess in the room, and stepped forward. Teren shoved the door, and put an arm around the person's throat, her gun pointing to a temple. She pulled the person with her as she put her back against the door. Teren leaned on it until she heard it click closed.

Alex spun out of the kitchen area, her gun in the ready position, her left hand under her right. As she saw Teren's captive, she relaxed just slightly.

"You move and you're dead." Teren's voice was low and angry. The person nodded.

"Um, I think you can ease up a bit," Alex said. "She doesn't look like she's going to be a threat."

Reluctantly, Teren pushed her captive forward and released her chokehold. The woman fell to the couch with a short cry.

She was about Alex's height, with dark wavy hair, which was cut short. Her glasses had ended up slightly askew on her face, and she twisted them back and looked up at Alex and Teren.

"Who are you? What are you doing here?" She asked as she looked around. Though her accent was very strong, she spoke in English. "What have you done to Flori's apartment?"

Alex slid her weapon back into her holster, and put a hand up. "Whoa, easy there. We didn't do this. We were looking for Florian Kirchner, and the place was like this when we came in."

"What do you mean, you were looking for Flori? He is dead. He was killed in a car accident three nights ago."

Teren turned away, cursing under her breath. Alex glanced at her, but kept her focus on the woman on the couch. "My name's Alex," she said. Teren went stiff with the use of her real name, but Alex chose to ignore it. Something was telling her that this woman was harmless. "My friend Terry and I just came in from Zurich. We didn't know Florian was dead."

"He is. And my gir -- um, my friend and I were asked if we would clean out his apartment, since he was our friend."

"Wouldn't his family normally do that?"

"He had no family. His mother died when he was just a boy, and his father died last year."

"Weren't there brothers or sisters?"


Alex nodded and glanced at her partner. Teren was still facing the door, her jaw clenched tight.

"Okay." The shorter woman sat next to the stranger. "Can I ask your name?"


"Well, Ariane. We needed to talk to Florian about his father. But I guess that's not going to be possible now." She bit her lip. "I don't suppose you knew Helmut Kirchner?"

"Well, I met him once. He came to visit Florian while Verena and I were here. Flori and he got into a terrible row."

"Really. Over what?"

"I don't know. They were always fighting. Mostly over money. Flori liked to spend, and his father would get so angry about it."

"What did his father do for a living?"

"He was an investment banker. Mr. Kirchner always wanted Flori to be a banker as well, but he wanted to study music instead."

Teren seemed to have gotten control of herself, and she turnedback around to join the conversation. When she did, Ariane pulled away from her slightly.

Holding up a hand, Teren tried to calm her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you when you came in. But we didn't know who you were, and we weren't taking any chances."

"How did you get in?"

A shrug. "I picked the lock. Sorry. Didn't want to stand in the hall."

Ariane glanced back and forth between them, a puzzled look on her face. "I don't understand any of this. Was Flori in some kind of trouble?"

"Possibly. Ariane, do you know if Flori was ever involved in neo-Nazi activities?"

She shook her head emphatically. "Never. Flori hated anything to do with Nazis. That was one of the things he and his father fought over."

"What do you mean? Was his father a Nazi?"

"No, but his grandfather was a member of the Nazi party. And Flori said his father kept all of his Nazi papers, and even the photographs of him and his Nazi friends during the war."

"His grandfather? Do you know what his name was?"

"Josef. He was a soldier, but was injured, and spent most of the war in the office of the Minister of Finance."

Teren raised her eyebrows. "When did Josef die, do you know?"

"Oh, it must have been the late fifties, I believe. Flori's father was a teenager, I think." She frowned. "What does this have to do with Flori? And why you are in his apartment, and why has it been -- destroyed?"

Giving a deep sigh, Alex leaned forwad, her elbows on her knees. "I'm not sure why the apartment was messed up like this -- but I think someone was looking for something. As for us," she motioned to Teren and herself, "well, we're investigating some missing money and we think Helmut Kirchner was involved. We were hoping to ask Florian about it."

"But he's dead, so it looks like this is a dead end for us." Teren shook her head. "Come on, Alex. We might as well get out of here."

"Give me a minute or two, Terry. I want to look around a little. That is," Alex looked at the German woman beside her, "if it's alright with you, Ariane?"

Ariane nodded. "As long as you don't pull your guns anymore. I thought I was going to be dead or worse."

They spent several minutes helping Ariane straighten the worst of the mess in the living room. Nobody even hinted at clearing the kitchen table. Ariane had taken one look and turned away, a green tinge to her face.

Alex was picking up books from the floor, stacking them on the book case. Several of them were in English, and she smiled to see some work from fantasy authors she herself had read. One of the books had what appeared to be an old photo sticking out of it and she gently pulled it from its hiding place.

Two young men smiled back at her from the photo. They were dressed in Nazi uniforms, and Alex guessed that one of them was Florian's grandfather, Josef. Turning the photo over she read the inscription: Grossvater und sein Freund Werner Hoppe, 1943.

"Hey, Ariane? Do you know who this is?"

Ariane took the picture from Alex's hand and studied it. "I believe that's Florian's grandfather on the left. He looks a little like Flori."

Alex turned the picture over. "What does this say?"

"Grandfather and his friend Werner Hoppe, 1943."

Teren immediately came to their side, examining the photo. "Josef Kirchner knew Werner Hoppe?"

"Looks like it." Alex nodded. "Ariane, do you mind if we take the photo? It could help us a little."

The German shrugged. "It's okay with me. I would just have thrown it out, probably."

"Thank you." Teren slid the picture into the inner pocket of her jacket. "Alex, we should really get going."

Alex nodded. "Ariane, it was nice meeting you. Wish it had been under better circumstances, though."

"Yeah, and I'm sorry I scared you, Ariane."

Ariane chuckled. "You certainly make an impression, Terry. And you are forgiven." She grinned. "Life must be very exciting around you, I think. You certainly made my day a little less boring."

Alex laughed, and Teren just looked at the floor.

"Come on, Alex, let's go."


Alex stared at the picture in her hand while Teren drove them cautiously through the city.

"So, Josef Kirchner knew Werner Hoppe."

"And Hoppe changed his name to von Odbert." Teren checked the rear view mirror again. "I'll bet anything Helmut Kirchner worked for the bank that's listed in the transactions for Odbert's account."

"No bet." Alex finally looked up. "You think Florian's accident was an accident?"

"With the way that place looked? Not likely. He was taken from the apartment, and they probably killed him, then put him in the car."

"Mm. But why? Because he sold those things in Munich? Doesn't seem like much of a reason."

"Maybe he knew what his father was involved in, and threatened to blow the lid off the operation."

Alex turned to look at her friend. "And what do you think he was involved with?"

"I don't know. But I got a feeling von Odbert can tell us."

"And we're headed there now?"

"Well, kind of. Right now I'm headed to a restaurant I know. It's not a classy place or anything, but we can get something quick, and eat it as we drive."

"You think we're being followed?"

"Haven't seen anyone." Teren pulled up to a stop light. "But I wouldn't be surprised if someone was watching the hotel."

"Gerd, you mean?"

"Maybe. I think it's good that we decided to find another room somewhere."

Alex shook her head. "I hate not knowing who we can trust and who we can't."

"I know the feeling." Teren's low words barely reached Alex's ears.

Reaching out, Alex stroked the hand on the gear shift. "Glad I've got you around, Teren."

Teren smiled. "Same here, Alex." Checking the mirrors again, she put the car in gear and went through the intersection. "Okay, dinner, then we go to Odbert's place."

"Is it a long drive?"

"About an hour, I think, depending on traffic. It's just outside the city. According to the address it's in a pretty well-to-do area."

"Why doesn't that surprise me?"

Teren grinned, but kept her eyes on the road.

"Are we going to knock on the door at Odbert's, or use other means of entry?"

"Good question. I haven't decided." Teren shrugged. "I think it'll depend on what we find when we get there."

"Right." Alex's stomach growled. "And how long until dinner?"

Laughing, Teren pulled the car over to the curb. "About five minutes, okay?"

"Sure. Shall I come in with you?"

"Absolutely." She turned off the engine. "By the way, do you want to try a true German delicacy?"

"Sure. What do you have in mind?"

"Eisbein mit Sauerkraut."

"Umm, I'm not really a fan of sauerkraut. What's eisbein?"

"Pickled pork knuckles."

Alex wrinkled her nose. "Ewww. Do you actually eat those?"

Teren shook her head. "Perry tried to get me to try them once, but they look as bad as they sound."

"They why'd you ask me if I wanted them?"

"I thought I'd offer, in case you were feeling adventurous."

"Yeah, well, if I'm feeling adventurous, I'll try sneaking up on you and see if I get shot or not. I like my food a little safer."

Teren chuckled as they entered the restaurant.


Continues in Chapter Thirty

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