.The Eyes Of A Fetch 1-20

The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 20) Neatly Packed

Lyla mixes and matches several items trying not to pack more than is necessary. As she grabs a dark green dress and tosses it on top of the pile of clothing, she stops and looks at it. “Now, where did I last wear this?” She picks it up holding it out in front of her. “Hum, you look great green one, but I don’t think you are needed on this trip.”

She hangs it back in the closet pushing it to the far corner and out of the way. Finally, everything is neatly packed and zipped up ready to be tossed into the belly of a plane. Lyla has been so busy she has not had time to think about the house or the fear and sadness that she always seems to feel while being here.

Most of her makeup and toiletries are already in a bag at Marcus’ loft so with one last look around she is ready to lock things up. The time on the clock near her bed reads twelve o’clock noon. “Okay, this is great, everything is set. I’ll just stack this up at the front door and wait on Marcus.” She says as she grabs the two heavy bags.

With one bag draped over her shoulder and the other on wheels, Lyla proceeds along the hall and down stairs to the front door. Once in the foyer, she sets the bags on the floor and goes to the kitchen for a drink of water. As she enters the kitchen, she pushes the swinging door open and flips on the light switch.

As the door swings back it causes a slight suction in the room and the short pantry door, which accesses the long ladder to the attic, pops open. Lyla immediately freezes in place.

Excerpt 20

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 19) Let’s Do This

Now Lyla is getting mad. It angers her that something unknown can have this much control over her emotions. To someone as levelheaded as herself, this entire experience has left her drained of energy and she is losing patience with her own self. “Okay, let’s do this,” Lyla mumbles as she forces herself to walk up the stairs to the second floor.

With each enraged footstep, she pushes herself through the fear. Within seconds, she finds herself stepping onto the landing of the second floor.  Immediately she turns left toward her bedroom and stops at a door on the right. From this closet, she pulls out her luggage set and without hesitation continues down the hall to her bedroom, angrily tossing everything on the bed.

With a little grin that grows into a smile, she realizes she beat it. Whatever it is was that was forcing her back, she just overcame it. Well, that is, at least for now she has won this battle. “I always work better with a little music.” She says happily to herself as she turns on one of her favorite songs. She is doing all she can to make herself remain at ease. Soon she is dancing around to the tunes as she begins to rummage through her closet pulling out various outfits and shoes.

Excerpt 19

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 18) Composure

“Okay Lyla, you’re a big girl.” She says to herself as she places her foot on the first step of the staircase. She quickly pulls it back leaving a dust free mark in the shape of her shoe. Looking down for a few seconds at the smudge exposing deep colored wood, she places her foot back on the exact same spot.

“If you want to get to Madrid, you better make more tracks than this.” She says aloud as she takes another step. Visibly shaking, her hands are trembling and she feels as if she is going into some sort of panic attack. “Good God stop it already!” She stomps her foot loudly.

The sound echoes throughout the foyer and the sheet that is covering the huge mirror on the wall near the foot of the stairs, drops to the ground revealing Lyla’s reflection. Startled, she immediately turns toward the mirror backing up against the railing of the staircase. Holding on with both hands to keep from falling, she stands very still as she suspends her breath.

Slowly and gently, she releases her grip and exhales with a heavy sigh as she rubs her sweaty palms together. Looking down at her unsteady hands, she closes her eyes to gain her composure.

Excerpt 18

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 13) Still Need To Pack

“Hopefully she’ll get along with my sweet dog Oliver.” Marnie says about the cat as she looks at her through the holes in the crate. “Oh don’t you worry about her Lyla, I’ll make sure she is safe and sound while you’re away.” Marnie slides the carrier off the counter holding it tightly. “Oh my! She is a heavy one isn’t she?”

Struggling to walk as she weaves her way back to the door, Lyla follows Marnie holding the crate steady so Smokey will not have such a bumpy ride. Once Marnie reaches the door, she yells. “You two be safe and Marcus, congratulations on your success! I’ll talk to you both later!” She steps out onto the sidewalk and to her parked car.

“Goodbye Marnie and thank you!” Says Lyla as she follows her to the door. She watches as Marnie places the cat crate into the backseat of the car and drives off. Quietly she closes the shop door and walks back to where her laptop is sitting.

“Am I doing the right thing Marcus?” She asks. “Smokey will be fine, Marnie will warm up to her.” He assures. “Okay, I hope so.” Lyla bites her bottom lip.

“I need to head over to the house and get things wrapped up there, plus I still need to pack.” She looks at the time on her laptop. “It’s eight thirty; we need to hook back up by one so that gives us four and a half hours, right?”

“Yep, so get going!” Says Marcus as he tips the bar stool forcing her to stand up. “I’ll pick you up at your house at one.”

Excerpt 13

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 12) To Make A Point

“Oh my, I am Lyla. I am fine with watching your cat.” Marnie waves her hand around as if Lyla is being silly. “I was just thinking out loud, that’s all.” She looks at Smokey and says, “Hey, kitty kitty.” Marnie wiggles her wrinkled finger at the cat as if scratching the air.

I should probably get out of your way and take Smokey over to my house. She and my sweet dog Oliver need to get to know each other. How long do you think it will take for her to feel comfortable there?” Marnie quizzes as she looks in the crate at the cat as if Smokey is on display.

“Smokey is pretty quick to get used to new surroundings, she should be relaxed within twenty-four hours or so but it can vary due to how comfortable she feels.” Lyla says as she tries to make a point. In other words, it all depends on how Marnie treats her.

Excerpt 12

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 17) Disheartened

Lyla realizes her most recent memories are diluted and unclear but she remembers a few days of Marcus popping by to help unpack. Yet it is obvious she has lost a considerable amount of time somewhere. What is she missing? Why can she not remember something as simple as a few days?

An intense feeling comes over her as she stands there exposed and waiting. What exactly is she waiting for? She thinks again about the storm. After the house sustained damage, Lyla and Smokey started staying with Marcus so they would not be in the way while repairs were underway.

A few months later, even after the structures restoration brought it back to its true essence, she was afraid to come back. She could not sleep, felt uneasy at all times, and experienced moments of crying. To this day she does not understand why.

Lyla simply could not get herself to a comfortable state of mind nor could she move past a deep disheartened feeling of loss. She does not feel that it was all due to Penny’s death. Yes, they were friends but not to the level of causing this much anguish and emotional pain. What she is experiencing is far greater.

Excerpt 17

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 16) Afraid Of It Now

To protect the antiques, artwork and mirrors from construction debris, Lyla and Marcus had covered them with drop cloths. In fact, they are the same ones the previous owners left on the belongings when they sold the property. Once Lyla decided to stay at Marcus’ loft, she left the coverings in place and they remain draped throughout the house now. She never came back long enough to justify uncovering everything.

Slowly she walks down the long dark hall that runs under the main staircase and alongside her home office and kitchen. She glances into her office, then peeks in through the side door of the kitchen, and slowly approaches the foyer and the exquisitely ornate grand staircase.

Standing alone in the wide-open foyer, she looks up at the second floor landing. The morning light is shining in through the windows exposing the dust that has collected on the beautiful wooden floors, stairs, and railing. She has not lived here for six months and has not stepped foot in the house for the past eight weeks. It seems to have aged due to the lack of proper care and attention. This causes Lyla distress as she looks around at the dusty floors and coverings.

It has always been her dream to live here. She fell in love with the place as a young child while walking past it on her way to school and town. So why is she suddenly afraid of it now?

Excerpt 16

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 15) Eerie Essence

It is odd. Ever since Lyla was a little girl, she always loved this old house and wished that some day it would be hers. Yet, now when she is here for very long she feels strange, as if in a state of depression.

Unable to put her finger on any particular reason, she simply does not understand why she becomes so extremely emotional. She does not recall feeling this way when she moved in, but then again, her mind has dismissed the majority of the details from that week in general.

Why is she not able to remember anything from that period? It is as if her memories have been manipulated in some way. Maybe this is how she must cope with what happened here. It was supposed to be a happy time with friends but Penny died while throwing the welcome home party. Has this caused her to feel guilty in some way?

Several of her friends, including Marcus, have fragments of time missing as well. No one wants to talk about it for fear of obtaining a label as a crazy person. Unfortunately, this mystery may never come to a resolve.

Standing perfectly still in the threshold of the doorway, Lyla notices it is very quiet inside the house and cold. It feels even more so now that Smokey is not here with her. There is an eerie essence about the place and to make it worse, everything looks much as it did the day she moved in. To her one word comes to mind, abandoned.

Excerpt 15

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 14) Decorative Allure

Grabbing a jacket, Lyla switches out of her slippers to short boots, and steps outside. The morning sun is warm as it shines down on her while she strolls along. Looking up through the bare trees at the sky’s brilliant blue color, she notices tiny light green leaves are trying to emerge from the tree branches. This makes her smile for it is a sure sign that winter is over.

As she rounds the corner and opens the garden gate, she looks up at the large elegant house. Its tall glass windows are sparkling and shiny as if recently washed. The sharp peaks and pitches of the multi-angled rooftop add interest to the homes decorative allure. No one would ever know that a good portion of the attic was destroyed less than a year ago from a very powerful tornado.

Tiny patches of frost are sparkling on the shingles here and there and are in danger of becoming consumed by the morning light. Lyla looks toward the back of the yard where they discovered Penny’s body after the vicious storm.

No one really knows why she was outside that night and it worries Lyla to think that Penny may have been frightened and alone. Saddened, she looks down at her feet as she steps under the cover of the large veranda. Unlocking the glass French door, she steps into the sunroom of the house and pauses for a moment.

Excerpt 14

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 11) Watching The Cat

“How long do you two think you’ll be gone?” Marnie winks at Marcus as if asking him to play along with her deception but he merely frowns and replies as he normally would.

“We have three separate shows in different cities with various times slotted for my art to be displayed. I think each one lasts a couple of days.” Marcus says calmly. “So with all the packing and moving and then finally getting things in order to ship back to the states, we could be gone a little over two weeks. We’ll have exact details once we get there.”

“What?” Marnie crinkles up her nose and looks down at her hands as if she is counting on her fingers. “So I’ll have the cat that long as well?” her voice trails off.

“I thought you were okay with watching Smokey.” Lyla says as she walks back into the shop area carrying her cat in one arm, the travel crate in the other. Shocked that Lyla overheard her, Marnie turns around and tries to cover up her true feelings.

Excerpt 11

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 10) Makes Me Feel Odd

“Our flight leaves here at two o’clock and we have a short layover in New York before we board the plane for Spain.” Marcus then raises his voice directing his next comment to Lyla who is now upstairs. “I can tell you right now we are going to have to force ourselves to sleep on the plane. We will need to be alert when we arrive.” He grins as he aims the next statement to Marnie. “The crates will be picked up in an hour but we still need to pack and make sure Lyla’s house is secure.”

“That is unless you prefer to house sit as well.” Lyla yells from the loft above. Smiling, she leans over the rail to look down at her friends for a reaction. “Oh my, no! I’m perfectly fine with bringing the cat to my home while you’re away.” Marnie fiddles with her hair pulling on it, flipping it around, sticking a clip in to hold it in a bun, and then out again as if she just cannot get it in a comfortable spot. Almost in a whisper, she starts talking to Marcus as she continues to fuss with her hair.

“I don’t like being at Lyla’s house much.” Marnie says as she tugs at her hair and clips it up in another twist. Then with one hand near her mouth, she lowers her voice even more. “It makes me feel odd, it’s not a good place and I don’t care if I never step foot in it again.”

Excerpt 10

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 9) Dramatic Overacting

“I told you the worst was yet to come.” Marcus says in a flat tone. “It’s Marnie.” He points in the direction of the shop entrance just as there is a knock at the door. In a boyish way, he hops off the stool to go let her in. “Good morning, Marnie!” Marcus says in an exuberant style as he unlatches the lock and steps aside allowing her to enter. She squeezes in between the door and crates but in a very tight manner.

“Well, I suppose it is a good morning.” She says in her typical down in the dumps snobbish way. She enters the shop slowly dodging the boxes and crates with her body as she attempts to avoid touching them. It is not that she is trying to take care to avoid dislodging or damaging Marcus’ work. No, Marnie is merely acting out her role as if she is afraid something might rub off on her. Weaving in and out of the grouping, she frowns and mumbles under her breath until she steps out where Lyla is sitting.

“Hey Marnie, how’s it going?” Lyla asks in an upbeat tone. The last thing she wants to do is acknowledge Marnie’s sour actions. For if she does, a long drawn out and dramatic story will surely ensue. “Well, I’ve been better.” Marnie replies huffing and puffing as if she just ran a mile. She looks around for a place to sit then plops her purse on the counter. She is always stylishly dressed, but taking away from this in a very distracting way, she fiddles constantly with her hair.

True to form, she grabs a long curl and starts twisting her finger around it. Standing directly in front of Lyla, she looks at her and then glances at the stool Lyla is sitting on. The next phase of dramatic overacting soon begins as Marnie tips her head and frowns slightly. She will continue with this routine until someone inquires about her demeanor for she fully expects Lyla to give her the stool she is sitting on. Much like a spoiled child, she will keep this game up until she breaks her down. The result will be that she gets her way.

Excerpt 9

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 8) The Worst Part Is Yet To Come

“I think you two would make a cute and artsy couple, Marcus.” Lyla says with a sly grin and a low tone. “You and I will always be best friends, you know that, I know that, and we both deserve to find our soul mates.” She then smiles and taps him on the chest. “But they’ll just have to learn to deal with our friendship.” Looking at Marcus with a serious tone, she grabs his arms with excitement to break the tension.

“We are going to Spain! Can you believe how amazing it is that your art is in such demand? Ahh!” She turns and walks back to the stool at the counter. “I knew you’d make your mark on the world!” Marcus watches Lyla then grins again as he thinks of meeting the very attractive and artistic Destry Boucher in person. Time ticks by while he inspects his crates and tinkers on a few things around the shop.

Lyla is hard at work on her laptop making repetitious ticking sounds with each keystroke. Aside from the occasional yawn or clearing of the throat, no other words are spoken for nearly half an hour. “Okay Marcus, I’ve answered a few inquiries that have come through and I will get the last few photo’s uploaded.” Says Lyla as she breaks the silence. “Have I missed anything?” She looks in the direction of the shop door but cannot see out due to the large crates blocking the view.

“I don’t think so, but the worst part is yet to come.” Replies Marcus as he quickly runs over and joins Lyla at the counter. “Oh yeah, what’s that?” She asks slightly worried that something very important may have slipped past her. Marcus tips his head sideways and starts grinning.

Excerpt 8

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 7) The Art Coordinator

“Everything will be fine, Destry Boucher is taking care of all those arrangements and she seems to be tremendously organized.” Lyla states without hesitation. “She said everything is already on display except for this last shipment and it’s leaving today hours before we are.”

Destry Boucher is slightly younger than Marcus and Lyla but only by a couple of years. She is of Spanish and French decent with thick dark black hair that she keeps twisted up on her head allowing loose curls to cascade down from the top. She was born and raised in France but her work brought her to Madrid and closer to her Maternal Grandmother, Arrosa Valente.

Destry is an art coordinator in Spain and she will be overseeing the entire project for the tour, which leaves Lyla more free time to explore the various cities they will be visiting. From the video conferencing Marcus and Lyla have had with Destry, it is obvious she is very articulate and structured.

“What? You don’t have a comment about Destry?” Lyla asks to Marcus in a teasing manner. She hears him moving around behind the crates like a big rat. “Should I?” He says while hidden in the maze of boxes. “I just thought you’d have something to say about her. You two seem to have a bit of chemistry going on, aren’t you kind of excited to meet her in person?” Lyla grins as she waits for his delayed response.

“Yeah. . . a little.” Marcus pokes his head around a crate to look at Lyla. He then turns trying to conceal his smile. “Oh! I saw that!” She laughs as she gets up from the bar stool to go after him. As she peeks around a tall box, Marcus turns around to look at her. He is adorable with his boyish charm and it is obvious his eyes are smiling as he thinks of Ms. Boucher.

Excerpt 7

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 6) Up To This Point

Working alongside Marcus is now a full-time job for Lyla and she could not be happier. After all, she spends her days with her closest friend. Another benefit is that when Marcus must travel for a show, she is welcome to go along.

Up to this point, all of Marcus’ shows have been in the United States but now he is preparing for the biggest one yet, Madrid Spain. As Lyla takes a sip of her coffee, she notices something extremely interesting on his page.

“Oh wow!” She says aloud and with much excitement. “What?” Marcus questions as he comes down the staircase of the loft. He enters the gallery where he joins Lyla as she sits perched on a tall stool at the sales counter. He watches her face for a reaction to his question and she slowly breaks into a wide smile.

“You’ve had 2125 hits to your site since last night!” She says as she looks at the tracking data. “This means your name is really getting out there for the Madrid show.” She looks at him and smiles. “Marcus Originals is about to set sail in a big way. You ready for all that fame and fortune?” She quizzes eagerly.

“Yeah, well. . . guess I have to be huh?” Marcus says as he slips his hand through his disheveled hair and then smiles nervously. “I’m not going to complain about it, that’s for sure.” He walks over to the stack of packing crates and checks two of the labels. “I hope nothing happens to any of my work during all the setups and shipping.” He then disappears behind one of the big crates.

Excerpt 6

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 5) Missing Recollections

It has been six months since the large destructive tornado tore through Lyla’s home taking Penny’s life with it. Even though all repairs are complete, it just seems different somehow, and she is not able to pinpoint the uneasiness she cannot dismiss.

Maybe it is because she does not recall many of the events that led up to that night or the night of the storm itself. Both Lyla and Marcus suffered injuries during that frightful experience and both have difficulty remembering much from that timeframe.

For being such a vicious storm, it is amazing that there was only one fatality. To this day, Lyla feels obsessed by the vanished memories she cannot seem to evoke. During this span of missing recollections and time, she lost several of her well paying clients. However, one positive outcome of that terrible evening is that Lyla and Marcus decided to team up and work on expanding his client base.

Since she makes her living creating and maintaining websites, Lyla built a beautiful site for Marcus and issued marketing materials to promote his work. They hoped to increase his business and that is exactly what happened. Soon he was receiving more calls and requests than he could manage to keep up with.

Excerpt 5

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 4) This Arrangement

“Good morning,” says Marcus as he leans over the railing from above. His hair is a mess and his face is puffy, it is obvious he just woke up. Lyla looks up at her best friend and smiles. “Good morning to you.” She raises her cup to him. “Did I wake you?”

“No, I was already coming around but once Smokey curled up on my head I decided I probably needed to get moving.” Marcus states sarcastically as he walks out of view. “Oh,” Lyla laughs, “that’s a new one. Smokey is usually a little more subtle than to plant herself on your head.” From above she hears Marcus laugh as he steps over to the coffeepot, he too pours a cup and stirs in creamer.

Lyla and Smokey spend a lot of time at Marcus’ loft. In fact, they practically live there. This arrangement has been in place ever since their friend Penny passed away.

Excerpt 4

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 3) Proceeds Silently

Quietly emerging from the bedroom, Lyla carefully places each step she takes on the wooden floor. Her long creamy white sweater hangs in a loose fashion over dark blue pants and big fluffy slippers. Freshly brushed, her shiny brown hair dangles to one side as she tiptoes out of the room.

Smokey, in her typical loud lumbering way, darts out of the room ahead of her. Each paw step creates a heavy thumping sound on the floor as she runs toward the tiny kitchen. Marcus moans and pulls his thick burgundy blanket up over his head covering his tousled sandy brown hair. He mumbles something unrecognizable and then turns over. Lyla smiles in his direction as Smokey runs to the small kitchen nook and meow’s loudly for her first meal of the day.

“Shhhh, little girl,” Lyla says to her portly cat, “You don’t want to wake Marcus.”

“Meow,” replies Smokey louder than before, for she knows she has the upper hand in this daily routine.

Promptly filling a little crystal bowl with dry food, Lyla quietly sets it down on the floor. As is the usual protocol, Smokey dives in as if she has not eaten in months.  The automatic coffeepot clicked on an hour earlier filling the room with the smell of its rich warm contents. Lyla pours herself a cup and quietly stirs in two spoons of creamer.

With mug in hand, she tiptoes over to the narrow spiral staircase and proceeds silently downstairs to the art shops gallery. Setting her cup on the counter, she pulls a bar stool up close, opens her laptop, and begins working. Several minutes later, she hears a creaking sound coming from the loft.

Excerpt 3

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 2) Soft Glow Of Morning

The fluffy gray cat begins to purr as she rubs against Lyla’s arm waking her from the troublesome trance. With a raspy meow, the overstuffed feline continues to nudge at the hand that feeds her, knowing her mistress will soon give in. As soon as Lyla pushes the covers back, Smokey jumps off the bed with a heavy thud and runs to the closed door of the small bedroom.

Golden rays from the rising sun begin to appear on the eastern horizon reaching upward until they fade into a turquoise blue sky. The bare branches of the large aged trees stand quietly still and motionless casting cold gray shadows on the ground. Those dark shades gradually grow shorter as daylight breaks pushing the light forward. Young yellow blooms have emerged on the forsythia shrubs announcing that spring has finally arrived in the small town.

Marcus is sound asleep on the deep green sofa as the soft glow of morning filters in through the skylight of his loft apartment. The beams find their way over the rail to the art gallery below and slowly proceed along the wall as if trying to touch every inch. Many large wooden and cardboard crates are stacked near the front door as if waiting to scamper outside when the delivery truck arrives.

Excerpt 2

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 1) Hall Of Smoke

A frightful tension radiates down the obscurity of the smoke filled hallway. Dread is all Lyla can feel as she stands there watching and waiting. With a faint whistling sound, a slight breeze touches her long dark hair ever so softly as it flows past.

She is aware that something has slipped by her but she is not able to move or react to the sensation. In her hand is a lantern made of multicolored glass and it is the only source of light that she has.

As if frozen in place in another time, she does not respond to or recognize her surroundings. The angles of the hall seem distorted and unattached as she tries to see deeper into the haze. What is it that beckons to her and why does she find herself in this ambiguous corridor, over and over again?

With a jerking motion, Lyla awakens as the nightmare suddenly stops, just as it has for the past two months. It is always the same. The hall, the smoke, flickers of colored glass, and the fear that overcomes her. The odd thing is that she does not suffer for herself, her worries and qualms are for someone else, but who?

Excerpt 1

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