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Sugar Daddy


Every time Gage Travis looked at me, you could tell he wanted to tear me limb from limb. Not in a fury, but in a process of slow and methodical dismemberment.

The day we moved in, our possessions crammed into cardboard boxes, I thought Gage would throw me out bodily. I had begun to unpack in the bedroom I had chosen, a beautiful space with wide windows and pale moss-green walls, and cream-colored molding. What had decided me on the room was the grouping of black and white photographs on one wall. They were Texas images; a cactus, a bob-wire fence, a horse, and to my delight, a front shot of an armadillo looking straight into the camera.

As I opened my suitcase on the king-size bed, Gage appeared in the doorway. My fingers curled around the edge of the suitcase, my knuckles jutting until you could have shredded carrots on them. Even knowing I was reasonably safe--surely Churchill would keep him from killing me--I was still alarmed. He filled up the doorway, looking big and mean and pitiless.

"What the hell are you doing here?" His soft voice unsettled me far more than shouting would have.

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Tags: Travis, Daddy, Libertyand, yearold, eight