Never have I seen Taylor go so pale. He gives me a long stare, narrowing his eyes before he lets out a slow breath, letting it whistle through his teeth. “I can’t say for sure but my gut tells me it was meant for Christian.”
I hear my blood thrumming through my ears, a sound not unlike that of a cicada insect’s singing. The sudden rush of oxygen forces my head into a swim; the woozy feeling making my belly squirm in the worst possible way. I don’t know if there was an answer I would have preferred but I can say for sure this is not it.
He presses his lips together at the sight of my ashen face, “Mrs Grey.” For a beat he pauses, brow quirked. “Ana. Are you sure you want to hear this?”
I can only blink my assurance as I wonder the same thing and battle to keep down what little I ate today.
After his signature short nod he looks into the distance, getting lost in his own analytical thoughts, “That’s not to say I don’t think that you’re not involved, in fact, I have a feeling that this whole thing is deeply personal for the perp. The type of personal you can only get from scorn.”
His words rip a gasp from my breath, “You mean someone who thinks we hurt him?”
“Hhm, yes, but it’s more than that. If I were to profile this person I’d guess that this behaviour would be outside of his normal character. He’s being driven to extreme measures by something that’s touching him deeply. He feels the need to set something right in his world and his perception is that Christian and to some extent you, skewed it.”
Like watching a car wreck I find the conversation oddly fascinating, Taylor speaks with such eloquent certainty that it’s hard not to follow the story he weaves. “Like a crime of passion, a temporary blind rage that makes you do things you won’t normally do?”
Still thoughtful, he doesn’t meet my gaze, “Yes. Exactly like that. Look at the bullet as an example. Dr Trevelayn said that it lodged and mushroomed, that it wasn’t consistent with a hard copper jacket projectile. Usually a sniper would use a copper jacketed round. It would have to be a decent calibre because of the distance that it would need to travel in order to reach the target, like this one obviously did, but because they’re excellent shots they don’t need fancy additions to their rounds to make the kill shot. Things like softer hollow point bullets that tear through the skin making a big exit wound and rip everything in between to shreds because of said mushrooming head are unnecessary.”
Briefly he focuses on me, maybe to ensure that I’m keeping up with his explanation or maybe to check on my pallor. “I’m with you.” I say licking my dry lips. I sit on my hands to stop them fidgeting.
Seemingly satisfied that I’m not about to faint he picks up the thread of our conversation, “A hard projectile like the copper jacket would’ve travelled straight through a fleshy part like Christian’s upper arm but instead it got lodged which means that a soft tipped round was used. I’m fairly certain that wasn’t a hollow point either, not enough damage for that.” He winces in sympathy as he imagines what harm a vicious bullet like a hollow point would do.
“My guess is that it was a lead and copper mix, making for a much softer head like one would use for hunting.”
“As in animals?” The incredulous note underscores my surprise at his statement perfectly. Why would someone use a hunting rifle to shoot at us?
“The very same. The guy is clearly bright but he definitely doesn’t have a police or military background and he’s no professional sniper. We’ll be able to make some reasonable assumptions once we see the piece embedded in Christian’s arm, unfortunately we can’t match the bullet with the weapon unless we have the actual rifle to match the barrel striations on the bullet but we’ll know the calibre for sure.”
Okay. Most of that went over my head but I think I get the gist of it, we’ll have some clues. “I still don’t understand the part about this person acting out of character.”
“Doing what he did today isn’t normal for him; he doesn’t know enough about taking a professional shot at someone, he’s made too many mistakes. The bullet, I’m almost sure, is going to prove that the shot was fired from a hunting rifle. The scope he used glinted in the sun, because he was out in the open, on the roof. It gave away his position and ultimately cost him the kill. That’s what tipped Christian off just before he fired.”
He speaks in such a matter-of-fact manner, the terms kill, projectile, scope all suddenly part of the terms jostling around in my head. “So that’s how Christian knew what was coming? He saved our lives.” My hoarse whisper brings insight and with it a fresh batch of what-ifs, if this psycho was just a tad more professional one or both of us would be dead right now.
Mother fucking fucker!
I skid through the stages of anger, hardly stopping at annoyance, frustration or infuriation and go straight to hostile, jumping right off my blue plastic, standard issue hospital chair, the metal legs clanging against the floor in protest of my speedy rise. “He could’ve been killed! No husband, no father for Chris. Who is this crazy fucker? Why haven’t we caught him? He’s still out there!” I yell at Taylor as if he didn’t know, my arms flailing madly.
Taylor’s rounded eyes betray his shock at my outburst only for a second before his look turns bewildered. “Uhm…,” he says to my glaring face.
My hostility quickly gives way to hysteria, both hands fly to my face, covering the gut wrenching sobs. My shoulders shake with the heave of my juddering breaths as I wail my frustration and fear. Suddenly I feel violated, like something very private and dear was taken from me. I feel exposed, like danger is lurking around every corner when I realise it’s my peace of mind.
Until today, in the back of my mind, I believed that Christian was overreacting in his usual, overbearing way. That the threat wouldn’t encroach on our lives in such a personal manner. Now I’m wondering if staying in Seattle for the time being is a good idea.
With my new constant companion of dread I gasp, “Taylor, Chris is alone with Grace! We have to find him!”
Taylor gets up from his chair to grip me by the shoulders, his even baritone and quietly composed words forcing me to calm down, “Mrs Grey, I would never leave Chris unguarded; I am a professional after all. Grace has her own security detail. She’s with Grace all the time, you just didn’t notice her. She’s with them now.”
Oh, of course.
“O… okay,” I say my voice still stammering from my heavy tears. I blow out a long breath through the circle of my lips, feeling my equilibrium returning. “Why haven’t we caught this guy yet?” now my gaze is pleading as I pose the question to Taylor and the universe in general.
He drops one hand, fisting it into his side. Two fingers of his other massages his forehead while he looks down at his shoes. “I don’t know Ana. Nothing fits. My first thought was Mr Lincoln.” Moving back he sits down again, lacing his fingers behind his head as he looks to the ceiling, as if asking Divinity for help.
My brow knits with a surprised frown. “Lincoln, as in Elena’s ex-husband?”
“Yep. This is really Christian’s story to tell but he screwed Linc over in business not too long after you left. He bought his company’s shares right out from under him. He dismantled the company, selling off the pieces. I think he made some good money off it but his motive was certainly more than just plain profit.”
I nod, recalling Christian mentioning that Linc beat Elena to a pulp when he found out she was having an affair. I don’t know why but the news shocks me, Christian is a lot of things but vindictive isn’t how I know him. I guess it must mean that he still feels something for her.
He is married to you. Again! My subconscious is wagging a stern finger at me; her eyes are slits as she looks over the rim of her winged glasses.
“So you thought that Linc was getting back at Christian?” I prompt as I sit down, my legs all jellied from the emotional ride I’ve been on for hours now.
“Yes, I did but after checking and re checking it didn’t add up. Obviously we have him under surveillance, just to be absolutely sure but I’d bet anything that it’s not him.”
Now he meets my gaze, a flash of hesitance jolts in this eyes before he continues, “With Linc out of the picture I thought maybe Jose.” He lets the statement hang, giving me time to adjust to the idea. “Forgive me Ana, obviously Christian shared the details with me when he ran into you in Miami. With the level of security he needs we don’t have the luxury of secrets.” He shrugs his shoulders; momentarily I glimpse the weight of his responsibility bearing down on him. I can see the toll our threat is taking on him.
My face awash with a shameful blush I break the contact of our eyes. If Jose was indeed involved in this it would be all my fault. Looking back that e-mail I wrote on the plane and sent to him straight after we landed seems like a pitiful excuse for an apology now.
“And what do you think now?” my heart is beating so hard I hear it in my own ears, that cold shiver of anxiety stealing across my skin as a clammy sheen of sweat coats my lame limbs.
“Honestly? He also doesn’t fit some aspects of the profile. I certainly can see him being mad, bitter and resentful but attempted murder?” he strokes his chin, thoughtful. “Unless… Ana are you sure you told Christian everything? No other major things go down between you two that can help us here?”
Startled I shake my head, vehemently. “I told Christian everything and I never, not once disclosed any of Christian’s secrets.” I swallow, hoping to get some relief from the sandpaper that’s lining my throat. “Look, Jose can be very passionate about things, that Latin fire is in his spirit and I can attest to the change in him after I… After I did what I did but…, but I just don’t see it. My dad still sees Jose senior, by all accounts Jose has been happier, even started dating again.”
Taylor leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees, his hands clasped together. “He never liked Christian and he was desperately in love with you, any fool could see that he wanted you but I agree. If there’s no other motive I don’t see him going this far.”
“Are you having him watched too?”
“We try to cover every possible angle so yes, we are. He travels a lot for work, when he’s shooting on isolated locations it’s not always so easy to keep tabs on him but at least then we know he’s out of the country.”
“I take it we’ve correlated his travel dates with the things that have been happening to us?” I watch him from the corner of my eye, nervously biting my lip.
He bristles slightly, sitting up a tad straighter, “We have Mrs Grey, some of them correspond but for others he was definitely away.” After a pause he continues, more to himself than to me, “Of course he could be working with someone, the same goes for Linc but in a case like this it would be very unusual, especially considering how personally this person seems to be taking it.” I watch his brow knit with a frown of concentration; mentally I see him trying this way and that to make the puzzle pieces fit.
Ah, now I’m Mrs Grey again, I realise that I’ve overstepped a mark in questioning his professionalism.
We fall into a brooding, restless silence, leading my thoughts neatly back to my husband still in surgery. When will we get some news?
Minutes later Grace appears with Chris in hand, I’m inordinately relieved to see him; and her for that matter. This time I also take note of their shadow, a young, sharp looking black woman that does very well blending into the background but by her bright eyes, no less observant.
“Hey buddy, how was the ice-cream?” Dropping to my haunches I catch him in a bear hug, burying my nose in his hair, eternally grateful for the vital warmth of his healthy little form. My precious son.
“It was good mommy, can we see daddy now?” The flatness in his tone and spirit is disturbing, gripping my heart into a worried crush.
I hold him in the hug, picking him up as I push through my knees to heft his weight. When I catch Grace’s eye I see my concern reflecting there. Pressing her lips together she shakes her head, looking at Chris as she rubs his back with the flat of her hand – reassuring.
Her expression and my thoughts are the same. He’s already being affected by today’s ugly turn. I look to her for an answer to his question, lifting a gentle brow.
“Are you okay to have him while I check on Christian or do you still need some time?”
“No mom, we’re done, for now. Thank you for taking him and please… Bring us some good news.”
Her nod has her looking to the floor, I’m almost certain it’s to spare me the worry in her stare. She pivots smartly, striding off, her gait professional and controlled.
Sitting down I let Chris straddle my legs so I can talk to him face-to-face. “Buddy, do you understand that daddy will be sore for the next few weeks. We’re going to have to be very gentle with him. Only soft hugs.” I lift his chin with my finger, searching his sad little face.
Unwilling to look at me he agrees but his heart isn’t in it, “Mm-hm.” It’s clear that he’s finding this hard to understand.
Grace’s return interrupts our mother-son chat, “Ana, Jason, he’ll be awake in a minute or so. The surgeon said it all went well. Apparently it took forever to find all the tiny little splinters of bone but he’ll regain full use of the arm once it’s healed.” The earlier chalk-white tone of her skin has reclaimed some of its usual rosy glow.
I close my eyes and tilt my head to the heavens, thanking God for answering my hasty, fervent prayers. I’m beginning to feel like I owe Him a debt. “Can we see him now?”
“I think he would want that,” she smiles kindly at me. “You go first; I’ll bring Chris in a minute.” I read between the lines of her offer: check to make sure Christian looks well enough to see Chris before we upset him more.
With a heavy sigh and a shake of my head I feel the tears prickle behind my eyes. I’m so grateful for her strong hand and guidance right now. “Thank you,” I mouth at her, inclining my head to punctuate my gratitude.
“Buddy, I’ll go check on daddy to see if he’s ready, will you stay with grandma for a minute or two?”
Without a word he bunches his small fist into my shirtsleeve, his head finds the crook of my neck where he lodges it in that very stubborn manner he’s inherited from his father. “Huh-uh.”
Just like dad he’s unmovable when he gets like this. “Chris, honey.” I sigh as I try to put a little distance between us so I can reason with him. “I’ll only be a minute baby; can you give mommy a minute?”
He burrows deeper, only pressing himself closer. This time the huh-uh is muffled as he mumbles it against my skin.
I give Grace a resigned look but she misses it as her eyes crinkle in the corners with her mirth. She has her mouth covered with her hand, despite our circumstances she has to stem her giggles as she recognises the mini version of Christian on my lap.
Taylor surprises us both by being the one to have a go at prying him away from me. “Hey champ, look what I have here. It’s a stop watch and I’ve got it set on 60 seconds. That’s exactly one minute.” I watch him tap at the face of his smart phone but he stays seated, speaking to Chris in a conversational, no-pressure voice.”
I feel my boy respond by turning his head toward Taylor as his interest gets piqued but he’s not ready to go yet. I give Taylor an encouraging smile over Chris’ shoulder.
Looking very interested in his phone Taylor continues to draw him in, “So I’ll just set it like this. And then if I press this button it will start to count down. It will make a big noise when mom’s time is up then I can race in there, only I have to find someone to race with me.” Thoughtfully he taps his chin with a finger.
Chris is suddenly upright as he sucks in a breath, “Let me see then I’ll race you.” Without so much as a backward glance he’s off my lap and onto Taylor’s, completely taken in.
I seize my chance and dash to Christian’s side, more than anything I want to be there when he opens his eyes. My strained heart is thumping manically as I push open the doors to his private suite. His magnificent bare chest is only just visible from beneath the flimsy blanket. Both his arms are resting along the sides of his body, on top of the blanket, the left one heavily bandaged.
Seeing him laying here, still pale has me reeling about the possibility of losing him. Involuntarily I bite my lip, drawing blood from the barely healed split in an effort to stem the swelling tide of fear and desolation.
My heart, my love.
Tenderly, reverentially I stroke over his forehead, down his sculpted jaw, along his beautifully turned shoulders and bicep of his right arm before his eyes flutter open. “Baby,” he breathes and smiles. Only Christian can look heart stoppingly gorgeous waking up from surgery after a gunshot wound.
I lean over to kiss his forehead, lingering and loving that my lips are pressed to his warm, reassuring skin. “Husband of mine I …” My murmur is interrupted by an appreciative purr. It may be the drugs talking but then again, it may very well just be him, he’s obviously feeling well enough to nuzzle into the hollow of my throat and cop a sneaky feel of a convenient breast squashed against the underside of his face.
I giggle then straighten instantly as I hear the unmistakable rush of an excited toddler. “Daddy, daddy, did you get a Band-Aid? Is it a big one? Did they give you some ice-cream? Ice-cream always makes it better.” The tumble of his chatter is followed by a quick clamour onto Christian’s bed, his face shining with excitement.
Wow, his mercurial shift in moods tops even his dad’s. “Buddy, remember that you need to be gentle with daddy okay?”
After a solemn nod his attention is back with Christian, expectant. “Hi baby boy.” Christian says raking his fingers through Chris’ hair. There’s a definitive awe and wonder in his slightly croaky voice, happy to be alive and here with his family around him. “I don’t have a Band-Aid but I have a bandage, look how big it is.”
Regardless of the pain it might cause him he lifts his left shoulder, showing off the pristine bandage. “Wow!” Chris is suitably impressed, now intent on comparing battle scars. He rolls up his pant leg to show Christian a two inch scar that sits just to the right of his knee. “This one needed three Band-Aids!” he holds up four fingers making us all smile.
“I was okay after that fall,” he says to Christian as his brow furrows with his thoughts, then places his small hand on his dad’s shoulder. “You’ll be okay too,” the earnest delivery is adorable and earns him a one armed hug from his slightly overwhelmed father.
I’m grateful for Grace’s timeous arrival just then; it will keep my boys from seeing how close I am to breaking down. “Darling,” her tone conveys so many different things; relief, love and a good measure of annoyance.
I couldn’t agree more, waiting to be treated was a senseless thing to do.
She grabs his hand and rubs the back of it against her cheek. “I hate it when you scare me like that. You silly man, you really should know better!” her lilt is only mildly scolding. I guess it’s because he’s just been through surgery; under different circumstances I think she would’ve been much harder on him.
My turn to chip in and I’m not feeling half as sorry for him as she is, “Silly doesn’t begin to describe it, you have a family to think of, I can’t believe that you put yourself at risk like that!”
My darling, maddeningly frustrating husband does what he always does, he takes the wind right out of my angry sails, “Why Mrs Grey, I’m delighted to see that you care so much about me. Am I to surmise from your little outburst that you’d miss me?” As if the panty dropping smile isn’t enough he gives it to me in full HD with a lascivious wink.
I can’t help but laugh, he should be groggy and slow but instead he’s playful. “Yes Mr Grey,” I wag my finger at him in my best schoolmarm impression. “I care! I care a whole damn lot!” My voice wobbles then falters as reality chooses this moment to hit me fast and hard. A great hacking sob issues from my lips and a gush of hot, scared tears follow in its wake. I rush to Christian’s free side, flinging my arms around his neck, none too careful.
Talk about mercurial.
“I love you so much,” I mumble through the sudden flood.
“Hey baby, please don’t cry. I’m fine. I love you too.” His pleading whisper penetrates my veil of misery, reminding me that I have to be strong for him and our son.
Still in the nook of his neck I supress the effusive waterworks, eager to be the one my family can lean on in this crisis. With a trailing row of smacking kisses down the side of his face I pull away putting on my mommy-in-charge face. “Right, you need some rest Mr Grey so when Taylor and later the boys come back you can talk. I’m sure you’re anxious for some answers. Chris and I will go have a bite to eat at the cafeteria downstairs and give you some peace. We’ll be back a little later. I’ll just unpack your things.”
Keeping my mind off this horror is going to help me cope. I throw myself into the menial task of unpacking Christian’s toiletries and clothes, put his laptop on the bedside table then leave to find someone to organise more beds for the night. There’s no way I’m leaving my injured husband alone in this hospital. I know he won’t let us go home so we might as well stay here instead of some random hotel.
With Grace’s clout it’s easy to arrange two extra cots for the night, no doubt Chris will be thrilled – to him this will seem like an adventure. The room is slightly too small to accommodate three full beds but I plan on pulling mine right up to Christian’s.
I find Chris where I left him, still on Christian’s bed, chatting away and rubbing his tired eyes. “Come angel boy, let’s leave daddy to rest. We can eat something and then we’ll get to sleep here tonight!” Christian opens his mouth to object but Chris is already bouncing on the bed, howling his joy.
My husband sends me a dark look, savvy to my scheming plan but I ignore him. Nothing in the world will drag me away from him tonight. After another kiss he waves us off, “Take Taylor with you.” His last command as we leave the room is delivered in his Dom voice, not to be discounted.
Yes sir, I think to myself and smile as I lead my boy to find food. In the passageway we meet Taylor who’s in deep discussion with another security type. We stop a little way away, waiting for him to finish. A moment later he calls us over to introduce us; “Mrs Grey, I’m sure you remember Sawyer.”
The broad shouldered guy swivels round; a wry smile twists his mouth. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t the infamous escape artist. Good to see you again Mrs Grey.” His voice is dripping with sarcasm and mercifully, with mirth as well.
The heat of my face feels like a furnace blast, cheeks, ears, neck, every showing bit of my skin is bright red. I spot the pink tinge on Taylor’s ears; he too is sensing the awkwardness of the situation. “Luke. Good to see you,” I splutter in recognition.
I shake his hand, hoping in vain he doesn’t notice the blaring scarlet of my face. Taylor’s explanation is on hand, “Just a quick private job for us while we wait for the other three, I needed someone who already knew the drill and Sawyer happened to be free.”
Luke is the obvious choice but no less embarrassing for me. I shove Chris in front of me, keen to get off the subject. “This is Chris,” I say bluntly.
Sawyer’s eyes light up with recognition and understanding like he’s already been filled in. He extends his big hand, dwarfing Chris’, “Hi there little man, I’m on duty at your daddy’s door tonight.”
Chris shakes his hand, nodding again then saves me. “Mommy can we eat now?” he asks, looking over his shoulder at me. Boy I love him. Good timing buddy, I think.
They pass a look between themselves before Taylor leaves Sawyer to guard the entrance to Christian’s room.
“I’m sorry about that Mrs Grey; I didn’t have time to warn you.” He appears genuinely contrite, but even if he wasn’t I can’t hold it against him. I brought that awkwardness on myself.
“I understand, don’t worry about it.” I can be gracious now, away from Sawyer though he seems not to be holding a grudge.
“How is Mr Grey? I missed checking in on him, had to get that bullet to a ballistics buddy of mine.”
“He’s fine, just like himself. I’m so mad at him though, that he took such an unnecessary risk with his life.”
Taylor shrugs, acknowledging my right to be angry but also knowing Christian well enough not to expect anything else.
At the hospital canteen Chris takes a few bites and promptly falls asleep with his head on my lap while Grace and I make small talk, not ready to tackle the ugly issue of our threat. After the crappy meal we head back to Christian, tired and stressed.
Just as we arrive at Christian’s door the quiet corridor fills with the sounds and bulky forms of Collins, Brandon and Carl. “Wow, you back from Portland already? That was quick.” That’s a five or six hour round trip.
“Yes ma’am. We did some low flying to get back here.” Brandon shoots me a droll grin. “Any news?” He looks to Taylor who’s bearing a distinctly stern frown at his junior colleagues disregard for their own personal safely and the speed limit. I find it comforting that in spite of his burly appearance the edge of concern in Brandon’s deep baritone is obvious. Christian has a way of inspiring respect and loyalty in people.
Except for this crazed, shooting maniac! The uncharitable thoughts and choice expletives I have for this faceless asshole who’s threatening my family is endless.
All three of them manage to look sheepish at Taylor’s glare. “Mr Grey came through the surgery just fine. Join us, we’ll brief him now.”
Brandon is at my side, “Let me take him for you ma’am.” He holds out his arms for Chris as he’s draped over my shoulder, out for the count.
“Thank you,” with as much care as I can muster I pass him to Brandon. “I’ll check on Christian to see if he’s up for visitors.” As I pass Sawyer I lift my fingers in a tentative wave, I see the sardonic smile hasn’t left his face.
The sound of my entry alerts Christian, making him turn to me as he looks away from his laptop, rubbing his eyes. “Hey baby, where’s Chris? How was dinner?”
“You should be resting Mr Grey.” I admonish but really not surprised that he’s up. “Brandon has him, he’s fast asleep and dinner was terrible.” I wrinkle my nose and Christian chuckles.
“Is Taylor outside?”
“Yes, and all the others. They want to brief you before we all go to bed.”
“Okay, but before then come here.”
His eyes follow me as I walk toward him; he beckons me with his uninjured arm. When I reach his side he curls a strong arm around my waist. “You okay?”
I feel like curling up into his nook and crying my heart out but I don’t. Instead I put on a brave face. “As good as I can be, under the circumstances. I’ll be even better if you take your injury seriously and take it easy.” I give the laptop a pointed stare.
After a moment’s hesitation he concedes, “I’ll try. I just… Fuck Ana. If it was you or Chris instead of me…” His grip pulls me closer.
“I know.” In fact I know exactly how he feels because what he fears has happened to me, to us. He was shot, almost killed. I just wish he could see it from my point of view.
After our moment alone I let the security team in. I turn down a cot and Brandon lays Chris down. For such a big guy his gentleness is touching. With loud scrapes they all rearrange some chairs to fit their big frames. I perch beside my husband on his bed. No way am I going to let him keep this from me.
“Glad to see you in one piece sir.” Taylor’s attempt at being dry fails miserably as his voice cracks at a critical moment, giving away his sentiment. He cares for Christian; I don’t think he would ever forgive himself if Christian got killed.
“Glad to be in one piece.” Christian smiles, telling Taylor in his own way that he got the message. “What have you found out?”
He clears his throat, “Undoubtedly a .308 round sir. No surprise there, it’s very reliable in longer distances and if the target is hit correctly, very effective.” He pulls out his phone and swipes a picture into view, turning it to Christian. The retrieved bullet tip comes into view and suddenly I understand what me means with mushrooming. What I assume is the back of it is still intact but the front looks like it splattered against something flat. It’s almost double the size of the back and completely distorted.
He continues, letting his phone make the rounds amongst us. “The interesting thing though is that it mushroomed. It means that the round was soft tipped but I suspect heavy for the calibre. Maybe 160 grains or so would be my guess.” He catches Christian’s surprised watch and nod, the unspoken understanding already in place.
“I’ve no doubt sir, that the shooter used a hunting rifle. It explains the soft tip, the effective traveling distance, the neat entry hole through the glass wall at Escala and ultimately why you haven’t suffered a more severe injury with an exit wound the size of a soup bowl.”
I watch the grey in Christian’s gaze turn almost black as his anger from this morning resurfaces. “A fucking hunting rifle? What the fuck does that mean?”
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