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longer; and the headache which had been plaguing her from the moment she'd woken up that morning. She had taken some medication, then had lain back down, and so had managed to reduce the pounding to a dull roar before business forced her out of bed again.

"Sorry I'm late..." she began, making excuses as she took her seat at the table.

"It's all right, perfectly all right," Leo assured her. Although he was addressing Lyta, his gaze never wandered from his brother's face. "I've been waiting for this a long time, I can wait a few more minutes."

"Oh, so now he's patient," said the annoyed Alex, clearly exercising restraint by not getting up and walking away. "Twenty years ago you weren't so patient."

There were some people who suffered personal misfortune and dealt with their mishaps in a stoic manner. Leo wasn't one of those. He was the type to take his difficulties and throw them in the face of anyone who would listen in order to garner sympathy or force a reaction. "Twenty years ago I had twenty years, now I'm sixty-five, I've got Felmar's Syndrome, and who knows how long I've got left," he declared, waving his mortality like a banner. "I want some satisfaction before I die."

Leo was her client, yet Lyta looked at him as if he were some strange single-cell life-form that had just popped into existence under a microscope ... and a particularly homely single-cell life-form at that. Rather than continue to talk to him, she quickly decided to try her luck with the other brother. "Mr. Rosen..." she said to the elder.

"Alex, call me Alex," he told her with a ready smile. The kind of smile that had, in his younger days, always had a way of charming the young ladies. He'd been quite the rake, once upon a time, and vestiges of that man lived in him still. He pointed
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