The Memory Agent & Fool Me Once

The Memory Agent & Fool Me Once by Joany Kane Read Free Book Online

Book: The Memory Agent & Fool Me Once by Joany Kane Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joany Kane
find out.”
    Claire does not want to hear this, neither Claire does: neither the
Claire on a "Get Riker" mission who is trying desperately to stay
focused on playing Duke for information or the Claire who's falling in love
against her better judgment.   “You
most certainly will.”   Claire
encourages.
    “I hope you're right.”
    “I'm counting on you to prove me right.”
    Duke appreciates her comments, but he still looks big time worried; he
doesn't look like he's ready for a fight for his life.   He does, however, look exhausted.
    “You really should get some sleep.” Claire encourages.   Duke squeezes her hand as if he doesn’t
want to sleep and he doesn’t want her to leave his side.   I'll stick around if you’d like,”
Claire offers.
    “I’d appreciate that.”   Duke
says shyly.   His eyes close as he
drifts away.   Claire remains in the
chair, her hand in his, as a peaceful look creeps into his sleeping
expression.  
    Claire storms into her condo, a flurry of energy and emotion.   She tosses her shoulder bag near her
desk.  
    She tears down a few of the photos of Duke on her presentation
board.    She replaces the
photos with photos of: Brent, Riker, the store owner Riker killed.   She looks intently
at the photos as if trying to exorcise her feelings for Duke from her being and
to remember what her goal is.
    Claire puts on shorts, a sports bra and sneakers and hits her
treadmill.   She gives her workout
every ounce of energy she has in her, trying to sweat out all of her conflicted
feelings.   Once she feels satisfied
that she's released the demons and is back on her mission, she leaves the
treadmill and takes a seat at her desk.
    She flips through Duke's dossier, focused on his time spent in prison.
    From close-ups on specific pages, she learns that Duke was a voracious
reader, checking out at least two books from the prison library a week. He read
all of the classics, from William Shakespeare to Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce
to Arthur Miller.   He read biographies
of historical figures and history books.
    She reads over a list of items that were in storage when Duke was in
prison.
    The list includes his mom's jewelry box decorated with seashells.   Inside the box is a photograph of
Duke's parents on their wedding day, a couple of wedding rings and one of William
Shakespeare's sonnets - Sonnet 116 - handwritten on a piece of paper.
    She flips through more Duke information learning that his mom died from
cancer just months before the liquor store robbery that landed Duke in jail.

 
    *****

 
    Claire, dressed as a nurse, enters Duke’s room.   She’s pushing a wheelchair with a book
bag resting in the seat.   Duke is
no longer hooked up to monitors, but he is still handcuffed.
    “Good morning.”
    “Jasmine.”
    “I guess the nickname's sticking.”
    “Do you mind?”
    “No. I like it.”
    “How come you’re back so soon?”
    “Tired of me already, Duke?
    “Not at all,” he quickly counters with serious conviction.
    “I asked for extra shifts until we get you safely through surgery.”
    “I appreciate that,” he whispers, heartfelt.
    Claire wheels the chair next to the bed.   She takes the book bag and places it in the pouch on the
back of the chair.   She then
unlocks the handcuffs.   “We are
getting you out of the room today.   The doctor okay’d it.”
    “Are we running away together?” Duke asks flirtatiously.
    “Not until at least after the operation,” Claire deadpans.  
    Claire puts her arms around Duke to help him out of the bed.   Duke, with his face close to her neck
breathes in her scent and smiles letting out a faint “hmm.”   She moves catching his cheek on her
neck, his scuff momentarily rubbing her neck, which sends tingles down her
spine.   It’s a highly erotic brief
encounter.  
    With her help, Duke lowers himself into the wheelchair.   Their lips are close, and desperately
want to meet, until Claire pulls away, flushed.   She

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