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.“A child would make a tie we couldn’t break,” he said, not giving an inch.“Divorce would be impossible.”“Why?” she asked.“Don’t you think I could raise a baby on my own? I’m not helpless.”He turned slowly and looked at her.“There won’t be a child, Brianne,” he said.“I don’t want one with you.”That was the hardest blow of all.He wasn’t risking his heart again, either with a woman or a pregnancy.His emotions were going to hibernate.He’d already withdrawn from Brianne in most respects; now he was fortifying barriers.He didn’t want anything that would bind them, least of all a child.It was an interesting comment, when she knew quite well that she wasn’t taking the pill and they’d been intimate at the very best time for a child to be conceived.Well, he didn’t know that and he wouldn’t know it.He didn’t want a child with her, so if one happened, he’d be the last person in the world to know about it, she decided.It would be her baby.Hers alone.“I’ll remember that you said that,” she replied quietly.She even smiled.She turned away with a long sigh.“Are we going straight to the Capitol?” she asked pleasantly.He pondered her question, which temporarily diverted him.“Near enough.All we have to do is get to the Senate office building without being shot.”She laughed.“What a reassuring way to put it.”“Tate and these guys will get us there,” he said.“I hope you’re right.” She went to the porthole and looked out.There was only miles of ocean to see, but even that was preferable to having to look at her husband’s closed face.Pierce was feeling guilty about what he’d said to her.But it wouldn’t have been fair to let her hope that anything was going to change.She’d go to college and he’d go back to work.A child would only…complicate things.His eyes narrowed as he looked at Brianne and had a sudden, shocking picture of her with a nursing baby at her breast.She’d be a perfect mother, he thought irritably.She’d do all the right things for it, cherish and love it.It would be a wanted child, a needed child.He closed his eyes.He couldn’t afford to let himself think that way.She was too young to make that sort of commitment to a man, he was certain of it.He wasn’t risking his heart on a gamble.He gave her one last, lingering look and went to find Tate.The shrimp boat pulled into a little marina near the river inlet that led to Washington, D.C.A long black limousine was waiting for the three passengers who came up on deck when the boat docked.A lean, dark man in a suit got out and approached the boat, flanked by two of Tate’s men who’d met them in Savannah.“Lane,” Tate said, shaking hands with the newcomer, who was almost as tall as himself.“Good to see you, boss,” Colby Lane answered with a brief smile that was more like a grimace in Pierce’s direction.“You can drop the sweet talk,” Pierce muttered.“My fist has almost healed.”Colby rubbed his jaw.“So has my jaw,” he mused.“I won’t make that mistake again!”“See that you don’t,” Pierce replied pleasantly.“Have any trouble getting here?”“A minor skirmish at the Maryland border,” he replied.“Two of Brauer’s men are now in federal custody.”“Good for you.”“Let’s go,” Colby said.“We’re still being followed, but I think we can outrun them.”“Everybody inside,” Tate said, motioning his companions into the car.Mufti grimaced as he compared his sweats to the dignified suits of the people with him.“I look not very convincing in such clothing,” he murmured uneasily.“You look quite convincing to me,” Tate replied, and smiled at him.“Nobody is going to expect any of us to look bandbox fresh.” He wrinkled his nose at the way they all smelled.“Good thing, too.We smell like a cheap shrimp dinner.”“And many days old, too,” Brianne murmured with a subdued chuckle.“We’ve tracked Senator Holden to his hot tub,” Tate told them [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]