Darkest Fear Page 16

“I know,” she said.

He wanted to say something more, but she was still at a place where words were either superfluous or they stung. He stayed quiet and stroked her hair.

“This relationship,” Terese said. “It’s bizarre.”

“I guess.”

“Someone told me you’re dating Jessica Culver, the writer.”

“We broke up,” he said.

“Oh.” She did not move, still holding him a little too tightly. “Can I ask when?”

“A month before we met.”

“And how long were you two together?”

“Thirteen years, on and off.”

“I see,” she said. “Am I the recovery?”

“Am I yours?”

“Maybe,” she said.

“Same answer.”

She thought about that a little. “But Jessica Culver is not the reason you ran away with me.”

He remembered the cemetery overlooking the school yard. “No,” he said, “she’s not the reason.”

Terese finally turned to him. “We have no chance. You know that, right?”

Myron said nothing.

“That’s not unusual,” she went on. “Plenty of relationships have no chance. But people stay in them because it’s fun. This isn’t fun either.”

“Speak for yourself.”

“Don’t get me wrong, Myron. You’re a hell of a lay.”

“Could you put that in a sworn affidavit?”

She smiled but there was still no joy. “So what do we have here?”



“I always overanalyze,” Myron said. “It’s my nature. I meet a woman, and I immediately picture the house in the burbs and the white picket fence and the two-point-five kids. But for once I’m not doing that. I’m just letting it happen. So, to answer your question, I don’t know. And I’m not sure I care.”

She lowered her head. “You realize that I’m pretty damaged.”

“I guess.”

“I have more baggage than most.”

“We all have baggage,” Myron said. “The question is, does your baggage go with mine?”

“Who said that?”

“I’m paraphrasing from a Broadway musical.”

“Which one?”


She frowned. “I don’t like musicals.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Myron said.

“You do?”

“Oh yeah.”

“You’re in your mid-thirties, single, sensitive, and you like show tunes,” she said. “If you were a better dresser, I’d say you were gay.”

She pressed a hard, quick kiss to his lips, and then they held each other a little more. Once again he wanted to ask her what had happened to her, but he wouldn’t. She would tell him one day. Or she wouldn’t. He decided to change subjects.

“I need your help with something,” Myron said.

She looked at him.

“I need to break into a bone marrow center’s computer system,” he said. “And I think you can help.”



“You got the wrong technophobe,” she said.

“I don’t need a technophobe. I need a famous anchorwoman.”

“I see. And you’re asking for this favor postcoital?”

“Part of my plan,” Myron said. “I’ve weakened your will. You cannot refuse me.”



“And if I refuse?”

Myron wiggled his eyebrows. “I’ll once again use my brawny body and patented lovemaking technique to make you succumb.”

“ ‘Succumb,’ ” she repeated, pulling him closer. “Is that one word or two?”


It took a shockingly short time to set up. Myron told Terese his plan. She listened without interruption. When he finished, she started placing calls. She never asked why he was looking for the donor or how he and the donor were connected. The unspoken rule again, he guessed.

Within the hour a news van complete with a handheld television camera was delivered to the Dakota. The director of the Bergen County Blood Center—a nearby New Jersey bone marrow center—had agreed to drop everything for an immediate interview with Terese Collins, anchorwoman extraordinaire. The power of the idiot box.

They took the Harlem River Drive up to the George Washington Bridge, crossing the Hudson and exiting onto Jones Road in Englewood, New Jersey. After they parked, Myron hoisted up the camera. Heavier than he thought. Terese showed him how to hold it, how to lean it against his shoulder and aim. There was something bazooka-like about the whole thing.

“Do you think I should wear a disguise?” Myron asked.


“People still recognize me from my playing days.”

She made a face.

“I’m rather famous in certain circles.”

“Get real, Myron. You’re an ex-jock. If someone by some miracle recognizes you, they’ll think you got lucky and didn’t end up in a gutter like most ex-jocks.”

He thought about it. “Fair enough.”

“One other thing,” she said. “And this will be nearly impossible for you.”


“You have to keep your big mouth shut,” Terese said.


“You’re just the cameraman here.”

“We prefer to be called ‘photographic artists.’ ”

“Just play your part. Trust me to handle him.”

“Can I at least use a pseudonym?” He put the camera to his eye. “You can call me Lens. Or Scoop.”

“How about Bozo? No, wait, that would be a synonym.”

Everyone’s a wise guy.

When they entered the clinic’s lobby, people turned toward Terese and did that surreptitious stare again. Myron realized that today was the first time he had been with her in public. He had never quite thought about how famous she was.

“You get these stares wherever you go?” he whispered.

“Pretty much.”

“Does it bother you?”

She shook her head. “That’s horseshit.”

“What is?”

“Celebrities who complain about people staring at them. Want to really piss off a celebrity? Let him go someplace and not be recognized.”

Myron smiled. “You’re so self-realized.”

“That a new way of saying cynical?”

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies