Page 91 of Coercion

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“I know jokes.And lies.That sounded like the truth.”

Even in this light, her eyes are a crystal blue.“Is that how you write your articles?By making assumptions and writing them as fact?”

“I write my articles by being absolutely unreasonable in my pursuit of the truth.Because you have to be.Nothing’s ever right there on the surface.It’s always several layers deep.That’s just the average person, but you?”

She gives me a cool, false smile.“I’m simple as pie.”

That makes me laugh.“Like I said, I’m always interested when someone tries to convince me there’s nothing interesting.”



“And perverse.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“You know what I think, Mr.Leblanc?”

“You’re thinking I could take you behind one of those pillars and show you what none of these manscaped gentlemen ever could.”

She blushes, but rallies.“I think you like to ask questions because it keeps people on the defensive.It keeps them from asking aboutyou.”

Fuck.It feels good to have someone turn the tables on me.Like an itch that hasn’t been scratched in years.“Do you want to ask me something, Vivian Constantine?Maybe you want me to kiss you.”

The scent of her is both sweet and cool in the bar.I don’t move an inch.I don’t give her any of her space.

She doesn’t give me any of mine, either.

“Not likely.”She tips her chin up.Two inches between us.

I lean close and make it one.If she kisses me right now, I’ll cover her mouth with my hand and drag her somewhere dark and fuck her.The charge in the air says she’d like that.

“Where does that plane land, Vivian?”

She pushes up on her stilettos.Half an inch.Vivian releases the softest sigh.A single note of a whimper.“As far away from you as possible.”

Her words land on my lips, and then it’s just miles of empty air.She turns her back on me and returns to the crowd.I stare after her, the heat of her lie on my lips.

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