Damn Him to Hell

Damn Him to Hell by Jamie Quaid Page A

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Authors: Jamie Quaid
locked chain-link fence protected the entrance to Andre’s lair, but I couldn’t just waltz up to his front door at midnight and expect entrance.
    I wanted company, and I wasn’t above climbing a chain-link just to see what happened. Unlike Acme’s goons, Andre probably wouldn’t shoot me on sight.
    I really should have gone home to Milo, but it was freaking Saturday night. I’d had a bad day and had spent the evening nobly resisting a hottie, and I was hornier than hell. Bad phrasing, but I wasn’t in the mood to edit my thoughts.
    To my surprise, the fence lock opened when I yanked at it. I shoved the gate open a few feet, rolled my bike through, and, keeping an eye on the shadows, closed it again. With Dane’s evilness gone, I shouldn’t have needed to be afraid, but caution had been my motto for long enough to become habit.
    My headlight beam caught Andre leaning against the wall of the loading dock, appearing for all the world as if he’d just stepped out of a 1920s speakeasy for a smoke. Except Andre didn’t smoke. So what was he doing out here?
    He’d apparently showered off the glitter at somepoint and donned a loose pale blue shirt and dark trousers. If he’d had a fedora and a coat swung over his shoulder, we’d have had the setting for a film noir.
    “Don’t you ever lock your gates?” I chirped, parking the Harley and switching off its light.
    “Not when I know you’ll just climb over. Did you get your senator boyfriend out of our hair?” He sounded more bleak than snarky.
    Andre owned the world. He had no reason to be gloomy. I climbed up to the dock beside him, leaned against the wall, and admired the few stars visible above the roof lines. They say misery loves company.
    “Dane has his own troubles. He doesn’t have time for us these days. And no, I don’t tell him what goes down here any more than I’ll tell you what he’s dealing with. Is there a reason we’re standing outside?”
    “Because you won’t go to bed with me?” he asked, back to the usual snark.
    “I’m thinking of becoming a nun,” I taunted. “In Clancy’s world, sex is too complicated, especially when the men are sneaky, deceptive, lying bastards.”
    “My parents are very much married,” he said gravely.
    “Your parents didn’t give you the name Legrande,” I countered. Were we just doing our usual boy/girl dance here, or was he offering more? Given the mood I was in, I needed more.
    “True.” He caught my elbow and opened the door to the warehouse before I could react. “We’re not equipped to deal with nearly a dozen comatose patients.We need to send them where Acme can’t find them.”
    “None of them are coming around?” The news was bad, but at least the subject was safer than anything personal. Although his strong grip on my arm didn’t ease the hormone dance.
    “See for yourself.” He led me back to the room that had been cleared for the patients.
    I gazed at the array of cots in dismay. Thank goodness it was September and not too hot or cold. I doubted the hundred-year-old warehouse was insulated or thermostatically controlled. It certainly wasn’t sanitary.
    Tim was sweeping the floor with a long broom and raising puffs of dust. He’d placed a vase of flowers near Nancy Rose’s cot, which nearly broke my hard heart.
    Apparently the med students had divided into shifts. Only a female one was on duty. I had some vague notion that medical residents worked abominable hours, so I was amazed and grateful that any of them found time for us.
    Leibowitz lay there like a beached walrus with that ratty mustache. Not a single malevolent twitch from his cot.
    I studied Nancy Rose. Mid-fifties would be my guess. Threads of frost in her mousy brown hair, jowls starting to sag, a bit on the plump side. She just seemed to be sleeping. I swallowed a lump in my throat. Tim thought of her as a mother figure. He needed her. I tested her pulse. Beating regularlyas far as I could tell. Could she really be

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