The Worry Curse, Part Twenty

Simmy curled his long-nailed fingers around the chain at her neck. The fiery metal burned against her skin as he drew the amulet out. "What do you want with it?" Laina pressed the chain against her chest and recoiled. He let it slip from his grasp and slowly lifted his gaze to…

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The Worry Curse, Part Seventeen

"Thanks for the ride." Laina entered her apartment and turned to face Rory. "Goodnight." "You sure you don't want me to stay a while?" The starched collar of his indigo shirt gave a faint rustle as he leaned against the inner frame of the doorway. The scent of his musky-pine cologne…

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The Worry Curse, Part Fifteen

"Don't be afraid." The detective laid his hand on her shoulder as a door opened in the adjacent room. Beyond a pane of smoky glass, a troop of surly men marched onto a platform. Laina slid her icy fingertips inside her collar and itched under the medallion chain. "Like we told…

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The Worry Curse, Part Eleven

Laina knocked beside the mosaic welcome plaque. She shifted her stance to face Arden. "Thanks for walking me to their apartment. I feel like I've inconvenienced you--" "No gun to my head." He stuffed his hands into the pockets of his frayed jeans and shrugged. "I like elevator rides." "Preachers shouldn't…

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The Worry Curse, Part Seven

Coats swished into the hall as hours robbed natural rays from the cubicle hive. Electronics and clicking keys fell silent, leaving her alone under the intensifying hum of bile-hued lights. Laina pecked away at her report until the screen blurred. She blinked and strained her eyes to type the conclusion. Send. Tight…

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The Worry Curse, Part Seven

Coats swished into the hall as hours robbed natural rays from the cubicle hive. Electronics and clicking keys fell silent, leaving her alone under the intensifying hum of bile-hued lights. Laina pecked away at her report until the screen blurred. She blinked and strained her eyes to type the conclusion. Send. Tight…

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The Worry Curse, Part Six

Laina pressed her shoulder against the engraved plaque directing the way to marketing and editorial departments. She peered around the corner. Beyond the central hive of grey cubicles, fluorescent glare crowned the windows walling in the corner office. Mr. Ellison raised a cell phone to his ear and turned in his…

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The Worry Curse, Part Six

Laina pressed her shoulder against the engraved plaque directing the way to marketing and editorial departments. She peered around the corner. Beyond the central hive of grey cubicles, fluorescent glare crowned the windows walling in the corner office. Mr. Ellison raised a cell phone to his ear and turned in his…

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The Worry Curse, Part Five

Bitter chills swept over Laina's skin. She tightened her scarf for the fourth time as she strolled down the deserted sidewalk. Gusts howled through the alleys and rippled across inky street puddles. She snapped her attention to scuffling behind her. Litter tumbled and skidded across the concrete. She quickened her pace…

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The Worry Curse, Part 4

Earthy scents of sandalwood and spices wafted from the shelves. The heady odors clawed into her nostrils and down her throat. She coughed and blinked away tears blurring her view of the storage room. A fluorescent bulb flickered overhead, threatening to join its dead twin. Rory's voice echoed from the bend in…

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