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Aunt Julia never wanted to intrude on Maggie's personal life and never asked probing questions, but seemed to take it for granted that her infrequent calls probably interrupted athletic bouts of youthful sex. Especially since she tended to call very late at night. Maggie pushed herself up on an elbow and rubbed her eyes blearily before peering at her bedside clock. M. "Alone? At your age? Really, Maggie, you—well, never mind. " Politely, Maggie said, "That is true. I just wish you'd get it through your head that I don't have a line of hopeful lovers waiting outside my door.

I was being myself," he said, "earlier. " "You said that, not me. All I said was that you wanted to control the situation," she pointed out in a tone of tranquil innocence. He sighed. " Her smile widened, her exotic eyes holding a gleam of genuine amusement. "I hate to lose," she murmured. " Without a change in tone she added, "There are a couple of blankets in the tent; if you need more, I have a few extra ones. " "Tina's our cook this week; she's fixing a pot of Irish stew, I believe. " Maggie nodded and got to her feet.

Maggie remembered this particular cousin, though it had been years since she'd seen him. That was generally the case with her relatives. A large family and long-lived, they were spread out over the globe and rarely got together for clan gatherings. Which was, Maggie had privately decided, all to the good. To say that most of her relatives were peculiar was to understate the matter. They ranged from mildly eccentric to certifiably mad—though none was, to her knowledge, dangerous. The undisputed heads of the clan were Aunt Julia and Uncle Cyrus, and both were...

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