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He tightened his finger on the trigger and focused his gaze on the exact spot he was going to hit, the spot he had the right to hit. Damn it all to hell. Never mind facing a murder charge for a boot-wrecking nincompoop, what if this wasn’t a boy?

He tilted his chin. A woman at a man’s chess tournament though? She’d be arrested for fraud.


He cocked his eyebrow. He had a clear shot, and he must take it. Now.

This damned jackanapes had made him look a complete fool, and not content with that, had proceeded to almost shoot off his toe. Indeed, the shot could have taken off anything.

A woman might very well fire off a shot like that, though. A complete bamboozler that might take a better shot down by chance. Yesterday’s visitor and this cousin had the same hair coloring, the same disconcerting habit of talking as if he was an idiot. They required patience to deal with too. Then there was the matter of the scent.

One more sadness at the bottom of a glass.

He had never shot a woman. What kind of man would?

Oh, for God’s sake, if the shirt outlined soft, swelling breasts, he’d stop, stop right now, stride from this field, and let this go.

It didn’t. What other choice did he have?

He narrowed his gaze, fully cocked the pistol, and taking a deep breath, squeezed the trigger.