Welcome to EFNB 10th Anniversary Week! This entry is a sequel to one posted ten years ago on February 26, 2010.

“Look, Graham, I don’t expect you to like it, but I do expect you to get it,” Allison said. “We’re all using somebody for something. You’re a smart guy, you would’ve used me to get ahead in your little bookstore before finding somebody your mom wouldn’t mind bringing home. I did the same.”

The .38 was trembling in Graham’s hand. “Maybe you’re right,” he said. “But I wouldn’t have left you in the gutter with two slugs from a cop in your gullet.”

“Yeah? Well, now’s your opportunity to do just that,” Allison said. She slid her hands up around Graham’s wrists and pulled the Colt up to her sternum. “Go on, shoot. If you’ve got in in you.”

The librarian hesitated. Allison saw his grip slacken, and with a deft move she plucked the .38 from his grasp.

“Just like I thought,” she said. “The difference between you can me, Graham, is that I’m willing to make things happen, and you just let things happen to you.”

Graham’s hands went up. “Are you going to shoot me then, Allison?” he said. “Even a known communist and ne’er-do-well like me isn’t going to look good dead on your expensive floor.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said. “I have people for that. Charlie?”

‘Bullshit’ Charlie, still in his officer’s blues, stepped out of the shadows, with his friends Smith and Wesson leveled square at Graham’s back. “Thanks for not shooting her, pal,” he said with that infuriating shit-eating grin of his. “You saved me a ton of paperwork.”

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