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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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“My shoulder is fine,” Kaden answered. “You nursed it well.”

Rafe pushed back his chair. “Thank you, Berdi, for—”

Fire shot through my temples. I knew what he was doing. One of his quick cold exits. I cut him off, jumping up before he could, and threw my napkin on the table. “I’m not so hungry after all. Excuse me!”

Kaden tried to get up to follow, but Pauline grabbed his arm and pulled him back down. “You can’t leave yet, Kaden. I wanted to ask you…”

I didn’t hear the rest of her words. I was already out the door charging for our cottage, humiliated, my frustrations doubling back in searing fury. I heard Rafe on my heels.

“Lia! Where are you going?”

“A bath!” I yelled. “I need a good cold bath!”

“It was rude of you to leave dinner so—”

I stopped and spun toward him, my rage so complete it was fortunate I didn’t have my knife strapped to my side. “Go away! Do you understand me? Go! Away! Now!” I whirled back, not waiting to see if he listened or not. My head throbbed. My nails dug into my palms. When I reached the cottage, I threw open the door. I grabbed soap and a towel from the wardrobe, whirled around, and slammed into Rafe.

I stepped back. “What’s the matter with you? You say one thing to me with your eyes and another with your actions! Every time I think we’ve connected, you stomp off! Every time I want to—” I fought back tears. My throat tightened. “Am I that repulsive to you?”

He stared at me, not answering, even though I stood there waiting for something, and I was struck with the horror of the truth. His jaw clenched. The silence was long and cruel. I wanted to die. He took a slow, calculated breath. “It’s not as simple as—”

I couldn’t stand any more of his evasive platitudes. “Go!” I yelled. “Please! Go away! Permanently!” I pushed past him and took pleasure watching him stumble against the bed rail. I charged on toward the creek.

I heard noises, half scream, half animal growl, foreign even to my ears, though they were coming from my own throat. He still followed. I turned on the trail to face him, spitting out my words.

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