Another Notch in the Beltway
how it goes.”
    He gently took her wrists and held them above her head and eased her back on the overstuffed couch, each plundering the other’s mouth.
    â€œI want you,” she managed.
    â€œYes,” he said almost unintelligibly.
    He let her arms go and started to undress her and she him, frantic desperate movements.
    The doorbell rang.
    â€œIgnore it,” she pleaded. “I’m not expecting anyone. It’s probably the UPS man or something.”
    He didn’t need to be told twice and continued on his mission.
    Seconds later, the bell rang again, followed by pounding.
    â€œJesus, I’ll get rid of whoever it is,” he said.
    She let out a sigh as the weight of him left her.
    He was buttoning his shirt as he left the office and padded down the stairs. When he looked through the sidelight, he saw it was the guy who met Lenore at her attorney’s office. He uttered an oath and opened the door.
    â€œCan I help you?” MP asked.
    The man took in MP, and then smirked.
    â€œSorry if I’m interrupting something. I’m Gerald Morris. I’m looking for Lenore.”
    â€œMs. Held is unavailable at the moment. If you’d care to leave a message or card, I’ll make sure she gets it,” Michael Patrick said.
    â€œI’m pretty sure she’s here, and what I have to say is important and time-sensitive.”
    â€œAs I said—”
    â€œIt’s okay, Michael Patrick, I’ll talk to him. We’ll never have any peace otherwise,” Lenore said from the top of the spiral stairway, neatly put together. But it was plainly obvious she’d been recently ravished.
    She came down the stairs, and MP stood waiting for her, placing a possessive hand on her back.
    â€œMichael Patrick, this is Gerald Morris,” she said by way of introduction.
    The two men shook hands, and Lenore ushered Morris into the entryway. When the door was closed, she rounded on him. “I told you to call my attorney. I have never invited either you or your boss to my home, yet both of you think you can show up here. What would Maxwell have to say if I showed up on his doorstep?”
    â€œI should have called first,” Morris said, eyes sliding between Lenore and MP.
    â€œYou should have called my attorney as you were instructed.”
    â€œI wanted to see you again and tell you what Byron had to say.”
    â€œI don’t want to see you or your boss. You can call my attorney.”
    â€œAll right, I will, but can I talk to you for a moment… alone?” Morris asked, looking pointedly at MP.
    She let out a big sigh and turned to MP. “Will you give us a few minutes?”
    He nodded and went into the kitchen.
    She motioned for Morris to follow her into a small den off the entry.
    He moved to close the doors behind them.
    â€œNo, leave them open.”
    He looked at her oddly but left the doors as they were.
    â€œTalk, you wanted to talk. Obviously you stayed somewhere local last night, but I don’t know why, and I understand even less why you’d be here when Philadelphia is an hour closer to D.C.”
    â€œI had other business in the area last night and thought I’d take a chance and drive out to see you today. I wanted to invite you to lunch with me.”
    Lenore laughed.
    â€œI see I’ve disrupted your day.”
    â€œYou have, as a matter of fact. What is it you wanted to tell me?” she asked with an edge.
    â€œByron has agreed to your terms. So—”
    â€œYou can call my attorney and arrange some possible dates. I will talk to Nate and see if he even wants the meeting and testing or if he wants to tell his father to go to hell. At this point, that would be my preference, selfish as that may sound to you.”
    â€œByron’s desperate. If he had other options, he’d use them but he doesn’t.”
    â€œIsn’t he worried his long-ago dalliance could become public? What if Corrine found

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