Life Blood: Cora's Choice Book 1 (Chapter Three, page 1 of 7)

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Shadows crowded in the corners of Mr. Thorne's office, spilling toward the center of the room. The marble tile of the rest of the office gave way to elegant parquet here, scattered with rugs that were worth every penny of my student loans and more. Oils of hunting scenes hung on the paneled walls, and the ceiling, at least a dozen feet above my head, was intricately coffered.

No, it didn't seem much like a biotech company at all.

"Ah, Ms. Shaw." The voice came from the shadows at the far end of the room. It was rich, low, and dark with some private humor.

I stepped forward, feeling the heat rise in my cheeks. "Cora," I offered.

"Yes, I know. Please, take a seat."

I could make out the shape of the man behind the enormous, gleaming desk, but the discreet lighting seemed designed to conceal his face. Two massive armless chairs crouched on lion's paw feet in the center of another thick rug. Cautiously, I took one, sitting on the very edge of the brocaded seat. The recessed light above me shone directly into my eyes. I squinted to see beyond it and could only get the impression of wide shoulders and dark hair.

"Mr. Thorne, I'm sorry. I think there must have been some kind of mistake," I began.

"There has been no mistake." That voice again-warm and amber. It was effortlessly intimate while being entirely polite.

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