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By D. W. St. John

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We’re in good shape as far as the contract goes. We’ve filed all the necessary papers notifying him of his deficiencies and let the appropriate time pass and so forth. What I need from you, my dear, is what you do best-document no improvement. ” Placing bifocals on his nose, he peered down at his calendar. “I’m penciling it in for next Thursday’s board meeting. That gives you three days. ” Rising painfully, he came around the desk to lay an icy hand affectionately on her shoulder. “You’ve always been able to help me out with these things, but I have to tell you, this one’s special.

That’s great, Anna”. She followed him, notebook clutched to her chest. “And I’m trying really hard in school this year, and I’m going to pass all my classes. ” He stopped, dropping the booklets in his case. ” She smiled proudly. ” Shocked, Solange looked up to see her gently caressing her swollen abdomen through the jumper. O’Connel held his face carefully neutral. ” She nodded, beaming. ” “Well,” he said, “ I’m glad to hear you’re working hard, Anna. ” She breezed to the door. ” When she had gone he looked up at Solange, then away.

She smiled sweetly, eyes diamond hard. ” “Hey, don’t give me that look, I don’t blame you. ” He planted a noisy kiss on the ends of gathered fingers. ” She swung her foot impatiently, high heel dangling loose on a toe. ” He turned his head to look at her, ear to the mat, thinking it over. ” He sat up with a groan, his hands braced behind him on the mat. “What’s nuts, what’s really nuts is without the kids, there wouldn’t be any reason to be here. Why not just work in an insurance office, hang out with the gals at the water cooler?

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A Terrible Beauty by D. W. St. John

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