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eBooks are not transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.

    This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

    Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
    512 Forest Lake Drive
    Warner Robins, Georgia 31093

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    Copyright © 2007 by Mary Wine
    Cover by Anne Cain
    ISBN: 1-59998-574-8

    All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

    First Samhain Publishing, Ltd. electronic publication: June 2007

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    Mary Wine
    Mary Wine
    Chapter One

    “This is mean, cruel and I think prosecutable.”
    Brenda only laughed as she offered up a glass mug as a peace offering. Antonia wasn’t willing to settle so easily. Okay, if it was a really good ale in that frosted mug, she might be willing to negotiate, but only if they were talking stout ale, on tap and brewed by a company that wasn’t located in the United States. And chilled. The August night was blistering. Even her slip-on sandals made her feet sweat. The sun had set hours ago but the air was still warm, promising another night of eighty-plus-degree weather.
    “Stop whining, Toni. You used to love this place.” Brenda batted her eyelashes as she pressed the mug into Toni’s hand. “You need a drink and a little fun. So stuff it, sister, and chill out.”
    Antonia sent her friend a sour expression before closing her hand around the mug. Her fingers tingled from the tiny ice crystals clinging to the glass as she lifted it to her nose. A little mutter of delight rose from her lips as she took a sniff of the brew. There was nothing quite like a true ale.
    So what if she had odd habits? The rest of the Saturday-night crowd could drown in their beer, she wanted ale. Not that drinking her problems away was any sort of favorite pastime. But enjoying a cold mug would be a pleasant moment in between the bitter hours of heartbreak. The overhead fan at least moved the air around. A thin draft of air conditioning blew past, but the bar-slash-restaurant was too crowded for any machine to keep pace with the weather and the crush of people. Besides, the power had been going on and off for most of the week as
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    residents flipped on the air conditioning in order to fend off the heat wave. It was Southern California at its best.
    She fingered the menu but the only thing that appealed was the ice cream. With a little shrug of her bare shoulders, she laced her fingers around her mug. Who needed food when you had good English ale?
    “You need to get laid.”
    Toni choked on her ale and slammed it down onto the table.
    Brenda rolled her eyes and smirked. “Well, you do and…” She held up a finger to keep Toni from blurting out another response. “And…you know it too. Getting dumped by one guy does not put you out of the game. Sexual tension turns even the sweetest gal into a bitch. Just admit you’re in the grip of a storm of hormones. That way, you can keep your friends. You shouldn’t let one guy spoil the whole relationship thing. Find someone else.” Brenda’s eyes closed to slits as she pointed a long, blood red polished nail at her. “Just don’t let him turn you into a bitch. You know, bitter, pitiful.”
    “Depends on the guy.” Toni wasn’t impressed with her response. It sounded lame, even to her ears.
    Brenda pushed the ale back towards Toni before giving a delicate wave of her hand. “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
    Toni lifted her mug to her lips to hide her frustration. Fish? Yeah, sure, but she wasn’t interested in

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