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"So this army I'm fighting, the mage just cast this Bless spell. It increases attack or something for all Life units. But I'm Life. So she Blessed me, too."

"Was that a knock?"

"Yeah." Jill went back to the virtual battle as her husband, Jack, got up to answer the door of their rural home.

"It's the police," he called from the kitchen before exiting to the foyer.

Jill paused the game and leaned back in her chair to look into the kitchen. Sure enough, she could see the blue-white lights flashing through the window. It was 9:30 pm. Well after dark. A bear sighting, perhaps. A fire. A break-in. Some nondescript whatever brought them here.

After a minute or so, Jack returned with two uniformed officers in tow. She joined them in the kitchen. "They received a 911 call," her husband explained, "from our house."

"From here?" Jill asked, stupidly. "How?"

"It happens," one of the officers responded, all nonchalance. Obviously, Jill gathered, Jack had informed them at the door that only he and his wife were in the home and neither of them had dialled 911, but the officers couldn't simply take his word for it—had it turned out the wife of the man they spoke with had attempted to call for help before her husband ripped the phone from her hand, smashed a plate over her head, lied to the police when they showed up, and then murdered the crap out of her, well, the officers would catch hell.

"But how can a call be made from our number?" she pressed, giving a backward glance at the phone hanging on the kitchen wall, as if inviting them to bear witness to the fact of its inanimateness.

The second officer stopped her short. "You'll have to ask your phone service provider," he said with a practiced tone of finality.

Jill studied him. As she stood in her kitchen—her brightly lit, comfortable kitchen, her turf—facing the two men in head to toe black, both coldly cordial, with all authority, bulked up in their gear, literally filling the room with their presence, she... almost moaned. This is so hot.

The first officer, pen and notepad in hand, asked her name. "Jill." She watched his hands intently as they scripted the letters of her name. J-i-l-l. It thrilled her.

"What's your date of birth?"

"September 17, 1979," she recited. Heaven help me, I'll tell you anything.

"Phone number?"

Reach out and touch me.

"Kids?"

I want to have your baby.

"Okay." The officer closed his notepad. "Mind if we take a look around?"

Jill's mouth formed a devilish crescent. Take me. "Not at all," she replied, and followed him out of the room, leaving her husband with the second officer. He could watch the video later.


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