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And it had been me—only me. Losing my brother had been a re­ sponsibility I’d never shirked, not even to myself. So, as a sinner did penance, I looked for him; I always would. But not for one moment did I imagine I would find him. Searching for Lukas had kept my mind occupied. It kept me from thinking of things that couldn’t be changed, past and present. Now my excuse might dis­ appear. It had my fingers tightening on the water glass, the rough cut-diamond pattern pressing into my flesh. Hope was a four-letter word all right; the most profane I’d ever heard.

They have the eyes of eagles and the boredom of the ages driving them. The second best are people working at the schools or hospitals. ” He didn’t have to elaborate; I understood all too clearly the hospital reference. Tilting his head slightly, he said honestly, “It was a long shot, Smirnoff, you know? I had no idea it might turn anything up. ” He drained his glass, eyes gleaming with the thrill of the chase. ” I liked Skoczinsky well enough, I did. I didn’t have any particular urge to do the man harm .

That’s what I thought at first, but . ” The waitress chose that moment to come back for a second round of water and flirting. The black scowl and flash of bared teeth I turned on her had her rethinking that in a hurry. Saul watched her go with a wistful glint in his eyes, but he knew better than to complain. “We might finally be there, so don’t lose it, okay? ” If anything was ever easier said than done . . Never mind the world had disappeared beneath my feet and left me in dizzying free fall. Swallowing against the chunk of dry ice burning in my throat, I consciously unclenched my fingers on both hands and uncurled my fists.

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