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A Novel
Ralph Zeta

More tears.

I handed her a tissue from the box on the coffee table.

“I promise you this much, Elizabeth,” I said softly. “With your help, I know I will find him. And when I’m done with him he will no longer be able to prey on anyone else ever again. That’s a promise. Do you understand?”

Just like that, the tears stopped flowing.

I must have touched a nerve somewhere deep within her. Her eyes looked fierce and her gaze was square on mine, a fixed cold stare I had not seen before. I grabbed a couple of fresh tissues and offered them to her. She dabbed her eyes and took care of her nose, while her unblinking eyes remained set on mine the entire time as if probing my most private thoughts for something, maybe sincerity?

“He’s not going to give in to you; you know that, don’t you?” she asked.

“I don’t expect him to.”

“He’s a very dangerous man, Jason. In the same way a cornered boar is. Do you know what I mean?”

I nodded.

“He’s going to put up a fight, and he knows how to handle himself.”

Her red eyes studied my face, then my shoulders and upper body, then the rest of me. She seemed to be weighing me, taking my measure. Was I up to the challenge? Did I have a chance against Baumann?

“You’re gonna have to kill him. You do know that, don’t you?”

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