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MY NAME IS KARMA

By


G.A.HAUSER


Smashwords Edition

Copyright © G.A. Hauser, 2018

MY NAME IS KARMA

& a bonus short story from RR Monroe

Copyright © G.A. Hauser, 2018

ISBN Trade paperback: 978-1975-6778-4-8

© The G.A. Hauser Collection LLC


This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events or locales is coincidental.

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


WARNING

This book contains material that maybe offensive to some: graphic language, homosexual relations, adult situations. Please store your books carefully where they cannot be accessed by underage readers.


First The G.A. Hauser Collection LLC publication:

January 2018

MORE THAN ENOUGH


Copyright © 2014 by Robert R. Monroe

eBook

Second eBook Publication: January 2018


Editor: Kelly Small

Photo by DD Photos


Copyright © 2014 RR Monroe


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is strictly coincidental.

This book is written in US English.

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Prologue


Left for dead.

There was no doubt he had been beaten near death.

But.

Lucas regained consciousness. He had no idea how long he had been out.

The earth was damp from morning dew. Above him the tree canopy shaded the fern and moss-covered forest floor. Fresh scents of pine and wild jasmine tried to encourage him to function.

He moved his fingers, ran his tongue over his teeth inside his mouth.

He should move. Should try to move.

No.

With his eyes closed, he listened.

Birds. Wind. No vehicles. No voices.

He kept still. It was easier than moving.

Left for dead.

Chapter 1


Yves Le Corre relaxed in the back of a stretch limousine. He brushed lint off his black trouser leg and glanced out of the tinted glass. The car pulled in front of a towering high-rise. His driver, Jai, opened the door for him.

He was handed his valise.

In Cantonese, he said, “Keep an eye on the car.”

“Yes, sir.”

Yves patted his chauffeur/body guard on the shoulder and entered through the wide glass double doors. He rode the elevator to the twentieth floor, checking his watch as he did.


Yves had met Jai while in Beijing.

The young man had been hired by Yves’ prospective Chinese business partners as a driver/translator for Yves. Of course, upon Yves arrival, Jai realized Yves spoke fluent Cantonese.

After Yves spent time with the thirty-year-old man in a private limousine, Yves was impressed with everything about Jai, including his demeanor, which was calm, to the point of emitting power, which is how Yves lived his life.

After his week of negotiations, Yves offered Jai a position with his staff. The handsome young man eagerly accepted and now lived with him in the United States.


The elevator’s brass doors slid open to a posh office suite. Expansive views of the City of Angels below and surrounding hills created a floating sensation.

“They’re in the conference room, sir.”

“Thank you.” Yves took the mail and messages his secretary handed him. He entered his private office and set his briefcase on his desk.

Before he attended the meeting, Yves stood at the glass wall of windows with the panoramic view. The days had become shorter, the temperatures cool, and clouds gathered like military troops before a storm.

~

“I find it interesting.”

“It does seem too good to be true.”

“Have you ever heard of him previous to this meeting?”

“I had my people research it. He’s funded mostly schools and hospitals here and abroad.”

“My team found this on him.” He slid a piece of paper across the conference table.

After a whistle, he said, “He’s worth over ten billion?”

“So it seems.”

“I don’t see why we all can’t benefit. No need competing.”

“That’s my attitude. We’re in this together.”

“Just like old times?”

“Ha! Yes. Just like that.”

~

Yves sent a text on his phone, ‘They are all in the conference room.’

Copy.

He touched the button on his intercom. “I’m ready.” He straightened his tie and left his office, walking to the meeting room. Two of his assistants followed, one with a pad and pen, the other holding folders with files.

The door was opened for him.

The three men in the room stood.

“So nice to meet you, Mr Le Corre.”

“I’m honored, sir.”

“Thank you for inviting me.”

Yves walked to the head of the oblong table. He took a seat and as the others sat down, he whispered to one of his assistants, “Coffee, please.”

“Yes, sir.”

A ceramic mug was filled with coffee from a carafe on a side table. The mug was placed before him.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Yves sipped the strong black coffee, unbuttoned his suit jacket, and looked at the three men at the table.

To him they appeared to be rabid hounds. He hid his disdain. “You need money. I have money. Why should I give any to you?” Yves straightened his dark blue silk necktie.

“Where should I start?” P. Bennun from a pharmaceutical company touched his promotion pamphlet, ready to pounce.

“I have a feeling you’ll like what I came to share with you.” E. Trence, the politician, grinned at him.

And of course, the banker, D. Regan had his say, “There are no wrong answers to any of your questions.”

Yves pointed to the door of the room. His assistant closed it for him.

“Let’s begin.” Yves held his coffee, dying for these hounds to beg.

~

‘Lucas’ turned off his motorcycle engine. He dismounted and kept his black enamel helmet on.

City crews were stringing Christmas decorations from the trees and light poles in an attempt at making the holidays festive.

On the face of a city overwhelmed with pain and anxiety, fire and drought; wreathes, stars, and a spectrum of color were hung to mask the seedy underbelly.

Lucas entered the dim parking garage and kept to the concrete walls as cars entered, their rubber tires making exaggerated screeching noise on the cement flooring.

Lucas reached into his pocket and removed a tracking device. One more look around, and he slid under the passenger’s side of a luxury sedan, slapped the GPS tracker onto the undercarriage, and crawled out. Once he’d attached three devices to three cars, he crouched down until an unrelated vehicle left the area, and then made his way to the elevator.

He sent Yves a text, ‘done.’

copy.’

~

“I look forward to hearing from you. You’d make a good member of our board.”

“Let me know if you need any more information about my campaign.”

“We have a great future ahead of us. We would love for you to be an investor in our new research and development of experimental drugs.”

Yves shook hands with the men in suits and then entered his private washroom. He scrubbed his fingers as if he’d dipped them in shit and then gazed into his own green eyes in the mirror.

Drying off on a soft white towel, Yves dropped the cloth into a basket, and removed his phone. He put it to his ear.

“Yes?”

“Where are you?”

“Waiting for your call. I’m in the parking garage.”

“They’re on their way out.”

“Copy.”

Yves disconnected the line and gave himself a last glance in the mirror’s reflection before returning to his desk.

~

Lucas hid behind a parked pickup truck. One of his targets was on his phone, talking into an earpiece as he made his way to his car. The yammering was filled with bravado. A snicker ricocheted in the sterile parking area.

The car’s security system chirped and its lights flashed.

Lucas waited.

“…I don’t care what we have to do. I want that money.”

Lucas, still wearing his helmet and face-shield, stayed put. The cement parking facility echoed as the elevator door closed behind the three men.

“I couldn’t tell from his answers.”

“I hope he’s not just blowing smoke up our asses.”

“I think we need to do more research on him before we give up.”

“He’s dangling a huge amount of money. I’m not giving up.”

Lucas watched the three men stand at the rear of a black sedan.

“I’ve dealt with jerks like this before. We just have to keep up the pressure. He’s looking for tax breaks, not income.”

“Not income? Bullshit. Even rich bastards want more money.”

Lucas caught one of the men spy him. He touched the other two and made a slight gesture in his direction.

Lucas didn’t move, staring at them, his face obscured.

They disbanded and sat in their cars, starting them and driving to the exit one by one.

~

When his office door opened, Yves stood from his desk.

On his way towards Yves, Lucas set his helmet on a chair and advanced.

Yves opened his arms and the two men embraced. He caressed Lucas’ soft brown hair and stared into his blue eyes. “Did you see them?”

“Yes.”

Yves cupped Lucas’ jaw and kissed him.

~

Lucas inhaled the scent of Yves’ cologne. He dropped his black leather jacket onto the floor and urged Yves to sit on his desk. The handsome man did, running his hands over Lucas’ chest. The kissing was rough, their coarse jaws scratching soft lips.

Yves submitted to his dominance and when he did, it was sublime.

~

He’d sold his soul to this man.

Yves was so deeply in love, he would never utter the word, ‘no’, in his presence.

Lucas opened Yves’ belt and then his designer slacks. He urged Yves to lie back on the desk, his trousers pulled down his thighs.

Yves dug his fingers through Lucas’ hair as Lucas took his cock into his mouth. Yves ran his hands along Lucas’ neck and broad shoulders as he was coaxed to a climax.

~

Lucas held the base of Yves’ erect cock in his two fingers, jerking it into his sucking mouth. When Yves gave up his seed, Lucas held the cum on his tongue. He urged Yves to face the desk, and then spat the cum into his hand, using it to make his dick slick.

He aimed his cock at Yves’ ass and pushed inside.

~

His hands gripped to the edge of the desk, Yves was pounded from behind, his polished black shoes digging into the carpeted floor. Behind him, a powerful male grunted, climaxing inside him.

Yves exhaled and unwound his tense muscles.

Lucas pulled out and Yves could hear his loud breathing fill the office.

Yves made his way off the desk and the two men faced each other. Lucas gave him one last kiss before he left.

~

His helmet on his head, Lucas straddled his motorcycle and dropped the face-shield down. He walked the bike back, away from the wall of the parking garage tower and headed to the spiral exit ramp.

With the leather of his knee nearly touching the pavement, Lucas corkscrewed his way to the ground level, then rolled his motorcycle towards the barrier. He slid a security-pass into the slot and the arm elevated, allowing him to pass. He took a look at the travel lane and accelerated into traffic.

Once he was out of the congested downtown core, he left the city and headed east. Splitting lanes, Lucas flew around slow moving cars, and hit the highway, his patience tried. He was fed up with waiting. But…Yves was close, so close.

~

After he’d cleaned up in his private bathroom, Yves fixed his necktie and brushed his hair, then emerged from the marble tiled space.

Before he continued working, he stood at the glass window and stared at the horizon.


Ten years ago, nearly to the day, Yves wore a uniform.

With an assault rifle in his hand, he patrolled the dark forest of the demilitarized zone. Birds scattered, taking flight for the tree canopy. He stopped moving. Listening.

From his kit he removed night-vision goggles. Dropping them down over his eyes, Yves searched the forest.

Something was here. It had scared the birds into flight.

He cocked the rifle, loading a bullet into the chamber.

One step at a time, he approached. When he came upon a man lying prone in the leaves, he watched for movement. There was none.

He removed the goggles and used an infrared sensor to scan the surroundings for other men. He was alone.

Crouching down, Yves inspected the battered man. His clothing had been stolen or scattered. He appeared dead.

He touched the man’s neck to check for a pulse.

With lightning speed, his wrist was grabbed.

Yves reacted, ready to defend himself, when he heard the man whisper, “Help me.”


Yves chest expanded with his deep breath. He picked up the phone on his desk and said into the receiver, “We have them on the hook.”

“Yes, sir.”

He disconnected the call to his private investigator, and resumed his work.


By late that afternoon, Yves began to wrap up a conference call with his brokers.

“Your father’s continued reinvesting in fuel-efficient-green energy has paid off, Yves.”

“Use ten percent of the profits to set up grants for research.”

“Nationally or worldwide?”

“Both. Screen top candidates from my website’s application process, then give the top one hundred names to me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“How’s our progress on the new hospital in Uganda?” Yves tapped keys on his computer keyboard.

“On target.”

“I want the updated budget as soon as you can get it to me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“David, are you still there?” Yves touched his earpiece.

“I am, Yves.”

“Send Uri to Khartoum. I want him to inspect the status of our aide program.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Any decision, Yves, on the board meeting you convened this morning?”

“No. I’ll advise. I’m still in the process of research.” Yves felt his cell-phone vibrate in his jacket pocket.

“Very good, sir. Our company is here to assist.”

“I’ve recruited a private individual to help me with background checks. I’ll let you know what she finds.”

“Yes, sir.”

Yves disconnected the call. He removed his earpiece and pushed a button on his intercom. He said in Punjabi, “Did you get all that, Kalinda?”

She answered in the same language, “Yes, sir. Would you like a transcript of the conversation?”

“Please.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And, when you get a chance, I need you to do more research. I want to see current tax returns on each of the individuals. Can you manage that? They have signed a release.”

“Yes, sir. I have a contact in the IRS.”

“Thank you.” He disconnected the call. Yves sat back in his leather chair and stared at the computer screen.

~

Lucas was not a patient man.

Called reckless, hot-headed, wild, he hoped he never would be labeled ‘predictable.’

A decade back…

He had opened his eyes to a young man in uniform who stood over him, touching his neck for a pulse.

Death looming, ready to take his soul, Lucas trusted the enemy more than his own men at the moment. But, this man was an ally from the peace-keeping force.

“Help me.”

Those haunting green eyes stared at Lucas as if they couldn’t bear what they saw. “Je t’aiderai.”

Merci.


By late afternoon, Lucas, wearing sweatpants, sat on a mat as his Swedish massage therapist, Lars, helped him stretch. The pain was excruciating but he pushed beyond it. His workout was finished, and he had to keep limber.

“Breathe.”

Lucas inhaled and exhaled. Pressure was placed on his back as he stretched over his right leg. The hamstring muscles ached under his knee. He reached out front, then to his left leg. His skin cooled quickly, the sweat drying.

Coaxed to lie flat, Lucas’ legs were massaged briskly, loosening up the tendons and stiff muscles. Both legs were attended, then his arms. Last, his neck, rolled side to side, and pulled for slight traction.

Soothing pressure was applied at his temples. He took several deep breaths and relaxed.

“All done.”

“Thank you.” Lucas kept his eyes closed as his trainer/therapist left him alone.

Chapter 2


Jai waited for the iron-gate to swing back on their driveway.

Yves gazed out of the rear passenger’s window as winter’s early night darkened the Southern California sky.

The car stopped and his door was opened.

With his valise in hand, Yves exited the car, giving his driver/security guard a smile. In Cantonese, he thanked him.

He was given a playful salute in return.

Yves patted Jai’s shoulder and made his way to his front door. Cameras activated as he tapped a code into the security panel. At his entrance he was greeted by another personal guard.

Shalom, Ari. Ma shlomxa.”

Tov, toda.” Ari took Yves’ briefcase from him.

In Hebrew he asked Ari, “Is Lucas home?”

“Yes. He’s in your study.”

Yves loosened his necktie as he made his way down the marble hallway, his leather soles echoing in the open space.

Handsome, tall, Ari. Yves had the pleasure of meeting him while he interviewed for bodyguards. Ari had trained with the Israeli military and was hungry for work in the U.S. It was Yves pleasure to hire him.

He rounded a bend in the white wall and there was Lucas. He was tapping on a computer keyboard. Yves made his way behind him, bending down to nibble his earlobe and neck.

Lucas’ fingers hovered over the keys as he leaned into the nuzzling.

Yves ran his hands down Lucas’ chest, chewing on his neck and growling.

~

Hot chills washed over Lucas. He swiveled in the chair and held Yves’ hips, kissing his zipper flap. He looked up at him and admired his handsome features, his high cheekbones and angular jaw line.

Yves dropped his suit jacket and tie on the floor, opening his dress shirt cuffs.

Lucas picked him up in his arms and carried him to a couch on the far wall of the room. Over it was a map of the world as it was in 1997. Pushpins dotted the cities they had explored together, but not the places they had been alone.

Yves toed off his black leather shoes and loosened his belt.

Lucas worked on Yves’ shirt buttons as the stunning man removed his lower half of clothing.

Once the costly designer suit was on the floor, Lucas shed his own clothing and lay on top of Yves. They devoured each other’s mouths, running their hands over each other.

Lucas couldn’t get enough of him. Enough of his silky skin, his masculine scent, his deep voice…

~

Yves drew Lucas’ tongue into his mouth to suck like a cock. He pressed his fingertips into Lucas’ broad back muscles, feeling them ripple and move. They parted mouths to breathe deeply and Yves bent his knees, opening himself up to the only man on the planet who owned him, consumed him, obsessed him.

Lucas braced himself on the couch and looked down at Yves’ body. Showing his teeth in his sensual snarl, Lucas pressed their hips together and ground down on him.

Yves touched a scar on Lucas’ chest, running his finger along it, then he sucked on Lucas’ nipple.

~

Lucas felt his cock pulsate as they teased and touched.

He inched his way down his lover’s fabulous body and enveloped his perfect, cut, cock. He drew to the tip and then knelt upright, admiring him before he claimed him.

Yves pointed his cock towards Lucas playfully.

Lucas used both hands to jerk him off, pushing his wet finger into Yves’ ass to get him to climax.

With a hiss of air between his teeth, Yves arched his back and raised his arms over his head, the perfect submissive.

Lucas worked Yves’ cock strongly, going crazy. “Come, you gorgeous fucker.”

Yves’ brows knotted and his teeth showed from his grimace of pleasure. The gorgeous man gasped and threw back his head as he came.

Like he’d done earlier in Yves’ office, Lucas used the spent cum as lube and thrust inside Yves’ body. His lover gasped and his arms stretched towards the door. No one would interrupt, no one would dare.

~

Throughout their passionate embrace Yves forced himself to open his eyes. He watched Lucas’ chest tighten, his biceps roll as he hammered into him.

“Fuck.” Lucas shivered visibly and stilled his hips.

“That’s it.” Yves reached for him. “That’s it…”

Lucas huffed for air and dropped down on top of him. Yves squeezed him tight. “That’s it…” He felt Lucas’ body recovering as it lay on him. He ran his hands down his broad back to his ass, and tasted his skin at his shoulder.

“So good.” Yves inhaled Lucas’ scent. “So good.”

~

Mixed with gratitude and love, Lucas savored the afterglow of their sex. Each time they made love Lucas felt their bond strengthen. For as long as he could, with every cell of his being, he would serve and be served by Yves.

~

Yves cradled Lucas in his arms, feeling their hearts beating as one.


In the pitch darkness of the forest, Yves managed to hoist this injured man into his arms. Only a few kilometers from where he lay was a bombed-out stone structure. Boarded up windows without glass panes, roof tiles open to the elements, birds making nests in the crumbling chimney, but it was shelter.

He removed his uniform jacket and gave it to the wounded soldier. He wasn’t a medic but he had training for basic first aid. Once he cleared a space on the leaf-covered floor, Yves took a flashlight from his kit. He inspected him for damage, beginning at his scalp.

“What is your name?” Yves wiped blood from the man’s face.

“Lucas. Trace Lucas Scott.”

“Who did this to you?”

Lucas showed his teeth, but didn’t reply.

Yves ran his fingers down Lucas’ neck, then under the jacket to probe his chest. The injured man flinched, and Yves wondered if his ribs were bruised, or broken.

He inspected the man’s filthy hands; his damaged knuckles. He couldn’t determine if he’d broken bones. But the knobs were skinned and swollen. He had put up a good fight.

“How many did you come up against?”

“Three.”

Yves held the flashlight on the man’s stomach, using gentle pressure to determine if he had internal injuries. Lucas winced when he pushed near his pelvis. Deep crimson bruising was everywhere on this man.

He shifted his exam to the man’s legs, seeing cuts and abrasions. With a soft touch, he brushed lightly over his flaccid cock, then bent his knees and asked him, “Wiggle your toes.”

Lucas did, and then winced as if pain was coming at him in waves.

Yves held the mini flashlight in his mouth and rolled Lucas over so he could inspect his back. Blood and more bruising appeared. Yves was devastated to see signs this man may have been raped.

He allowed Lucas to lie flat and then searched his kit for first aid supplies. Then, in the deepest of night in an isolated decaying cabin, Yves patiently cleaned and dressed his wounds, struggling not to become emotional as he did.

“Do you know who did this?” he asked again.

Lucas’ mouth formed a tight line in response.

~

Lucas could fall asleep right here, lying on top of his lover. He roused himself and sat up, touching his chest. Yves shifted his position on the couch, his hand resting on Lucas’ lap.

Gathering his strength, Lucas stood, reaching down for his lover. Yves clasped his hand and was hauled to his feet. They embraced and rocked tenderly, nuzzling each other for comfort.

Yves led Lucas to their luxurious master bathroom. A sunken tub with water jets was surrounded on three sides by glass, offering a view of the hills. Italian white marble flooring and walls, brass fixtures, a double-basin sink, and gold-framed mirrors, accented the tasteful design.

A separate shower stall with a large head protruding on one side, opened with frosted glass doors, the pattern a fleur-de-lis.

Yves started the water in the shower. While it warmed he held Lucas and they moved in a slow dance, sharing music in their minds.

~

Yves swayed with the love of his life, rocking to the silent beating of their hearts. He smiled as he stepped back, inviting Lucas to wash with him.

Lucas followed him into the shower stall, wetting down.

Yves used soap on a soft sponge and ran it over Lucas’ neck. Pink scars slowly faded but didn’t vanish. Yves had memorized each one. Lovingly he ran the soapy sponge over his man.

~

As he was tended, Lucas felt like a king. He held onto Yves as he scrubbed his skin. Broadening his stance, Lucas inhaled deeply as his cock and balls were lathered. Urged to turn around, he pressed both palms on the wall. With consideration, his back and bottom were washed, then his legs.

It had taken time, but Lucas didn’t shrink back from Yves’ touch. He allowed him to do as he pleased.

The soft cleansing ceased, and Lucas took the sponge to reciprocate. Yves dropped his arms to his sides and his intelligent green eyes were bewitching as they took in every nuance and movement.

Lucas ran the soap over Yves’ bronze skin, between his legs, and up his ass crack. As Yves was pampered, he parted his lips and closed his eyes. Lucas drew him into his arms and pulled his wet body against his own.

“Be patient. Even now,” Yves warned.

“You read me too well.”

“I know every thought in your mind.”

Lucas dropped the sponge to the tub floor and squeezed Yves closer. “You do.”

~

In their formal dining room, Yves sat with Lucas as their meal was served. Silver dishes with domed lids were raised to reveal delicacies that had been prepared by their expert chef, Giorgos.

Sipping white wine, Yves watched his lover carefully.

Lucas sat back as he was given a helping of the Moroccan delicacy Berber Tagine, a slow-cooked stew. Khobz, Moroccan bread, made a perfect complement to the aromatic dish.

They used the bread to scoop the meal right from the clay pots.

“Perfection.” Yves smiled at his chef, repeating in Greek, “Teleiotita.”

Poly kala. Very good, sir.” Giorgos bowed and left them to enjoy.

Yves wiped his mouth on his cloth napkin. “Lars told me your physical therapy went well.”

Lucas finished chewing before he answered, “Not well enough.”

“You push yourself too hard.”

“That’s ironic.”

“Why?” Yves tore another piece of the bread to dip.

“Because I’m intensifying my workout.”

Yves paused before he took the next bite. “I don’t understand why you won’t allow me to—”

“Yves.” Lucas narrowed his eyes at him.

Yves finished the wine in his glass. Ari offered to fill it. He stood by their dining room doorway, sentry and servant. Yves nodded for him to pour the wine. “Toda,” he said in Hebrew.

Ari replied in English, “You’re welcome.”

~

Lucas did not know a dozen languages, like his lover did. Yves had been born to wealthy parents. His father worked for the French government until his mysterious death in 2016.

Yves enlisted in the military at age eighteen, and had served for ten years as both a foot soldier and commander.

He didn’t enjoy the fruits of his family fortune until his father’s untimely death. Listed as a suicide, Lucas and Yves suspected it was not.

When you work for the intelligence agency of a foreign government and you fall from a roof, your death becomes a matter of suspicion, not fact. Yves and his mother were convinced this was no suicide.

Having eaten just enough to sate his hunger, Lucas sipped bottled sparkling water.

Ari approached him. With his thick accent, he asked, “Are you finished?”

Lucas squeezed Ari’s forearm affectionately. “Yes. Toda.”

Ari gave him a wry smile, since Lucas did not speak Hebrew fluently. He took Lucas’ plate from the table.

Lucas studied Yves as he continued to enjoy the rich food. He ate a few more bites, and then wiped his mouth. “We’ll have dessert in the sunroom.”

“Yes, Yves.”

Lucas stood from the table and Yves hooked his elbow, walking with him to the back of the large mansion. A solarium with white rattan couches and recliners overlooked the panoramic view of the Los Angeles skyline. As night fell, stars began to illuminate the sky, and the new moon showed its darkened face.

Yves ran his hand down Lucas’ back to his bottom and guided him.

Lucas opened a golden inlaid box and removed a cigarette from it. He lit it with a table lighter and stood to peer out at the view.

~

Yves watched Lucas as he smoked. Since he did it rarely, Yves didn’t express an opinion. It wasn’t up to him what vices Lucas enjoyed. When you’re lucky to be alive, you do as you wish.

They were brought a dish of Moroccan orange cake and almond cookies, as well as spiced dark coffee.

After a few puffs, Lucas put the cigarette out.

Ari handed him a white porcelain cup. Lucas smiled at him, taking it.

Yves was offered one as well. In Hebrew, he said, “Thank you, Ari. That will be all for tonight.”

Laila tov.” Ari bowed his head.

“Goodnight, Ari,” Lucas said as Ari left.

After sipping the coffee, Yves sliced the orange cake and took a sliver to his plate. Tasting it, he hummed. “So good.”

Lucas glanced over his shoulder at him.


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