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Amusing Amanda [Amusing Amanda Series Book 1] [MultiFormat]
eBook by D. J. Manly

eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: Amanda knows what she wants, and she has the means to get it. Scott came to her from 'The Agency' years before. She took him in and gave him everything, on the condition that he amuse her with a variety of men. Bored with the endless stream of Los Angeles Muscle boys, Amanda goes on a quest. She is looking for the most beautiful man on earth, and she finds him! Ciel is a down on his luck writer in Paris who wants to come home to America, his birth place. He is just what she's been looking for and she figures that Scott will be thrilled with Ciel as well. But when Ciel finally arrives on Scott's birthday, things don't go exactly as Amanda plans.

eBook Publisher: Atlantic Bridge/Liquid Silver Books, Published: 2006
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2007

58 Reader Ratings:
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Chapter One

It was time to go home.

She would call Scott now and tell him. She'd been traveling six weeks and she was almost as bored as when she'd started. Kicking off her high heeled pumps, she flung herself on the bed, and picked up the phone. She was expected to attend a lavish dinner party tonight for an old acquaintance of her late husband. Just the thought of it made her yawn with boredom. An early flight would provide a convenient excuse for not staying late. The phone rang three times before the maid answered, sounding as if she had a stick up her ass, as always. "Martindale Residence."

"Yeah ... yeah ... Daisy, be a dear and put Scott on."

"Mr. Franklin is in the pool, Ms. Martindale."

Um, she thought, briefly indulging herself with an image of his flawless physique. She loved watching him coming out of that pool, water dripping off that caf´┐Ż au lait skin of his. "Bring him the portable, Daisy. Don't be dense," she muttered. Sometimes she swore that woman was dropped on her head as a baby.

"Of course, Madame," Daisy replied.

After a few minutes, Scott's voice came on the phone. "Amanda," he said, sounding a little breathless. "How are you?"

"Fine, darling. You sound out of breath," she laughed. "I hope you're saving your energy."

"You found him then," he said. She could hear the towel moving over his skin.

"Well, not exactly, no. It looks like we'll have to find another local. I hope you're not too disappointed."

His silence told its own story, and it was a moment before he responded. "I was hoping for something exotic, but if no one caught your eye..." He trailed off, his voice sounding restless.

"I'm as disappointed as you, sweetheart. This time was supposed to be special, but no matter how close to perfection they came, there was always something."

"So, you're coming home?"

"Tomorrow. I have this perfectly boring dinner party tonight with one of Ken's ex-business partners ... the French connection," she laughed. "I can't get out of it, I'm afraid. Are you still upset with me because I didn't bring you with me this time?" There was no answer.


"I heard you, and no, I've been fine on my own."

"Actually I regretted not bringing you, especially to Paris. It is the city of love! There were some fine opportunities to play, and you know I don't trust leaving you on your own too long ... well ... it's not you I don't trust ... it's all those L.A. muscle boys on the beach."

Scott laughed; his voice deep and male.

"Okay, lover," she purred. "Is there someone you can invite over for tomorrow night? I'm ready."

"I have just the one," he replied.

She hung up without saying goodbye. She closed her eyes, thinking maybe she'd rest for a few hours before getting ready for the dinner. She had traveled to Europe for one purpose--to find the most beautiful man alive.

She had failed.

* * * *

Scott handed the phone back to Daisy and wrapped the towel around his waist. Amanda was coming home. He told himself it didn't matter one way or another. Since she'd been gone, he had broken every single rule. Although she'd act surprised by that if he told her, deep down she knew what he'd do the minute she left.

In the bedroom, he dropped the towel and studied himself in the mirror. He was five foot eleven, and one hundred and seventy pounds. His personal trainer and a large dose of discipline kept him in excellent shape. He'd been blessed with a face that Amanda often said was the mirror of male beauty, and a seven and a half inch cock that completed that beauty, at least for Amanda. His father had been African American, his mother white, and their shared genes had given him skin the color of coffee laced with rich cream. His hair was black with just a slight wave to it.

When Amanda had found him, he was eighteen, selling his ass at a high-class exclusive escort agency for the rich. She had come in with an interesting request. She didn't want one man for the night, she wanted two. The price was no object.

She had taken them both home and up into the bedroom of her mansion. She told them to undress as she sat in the corner of the room. They were expecting to service her, but she surprised them when she told them that she wanted them to service each other. She watched them, even instructed them, but she never joined in. For three nights they returned to Amanda's mansion, then one night she sent the other man home and asked him to stay.

For awhile they had sat in silence, her secure in the luxury of her bedroom, him nervous of what was coming. Then she began talking. She made her proposition to him very clear. "Scott, you like men. You enjoy their bodies, don't you?"

There was no point in denying that. He adored men's bodies.

"And you have no aversion to fucking them in front of me, do you?"

"No," he'd told her.

"Well, I have a proposition for you." Her eyes were focused on his face, watching his reaction to her words. He did his best to appear cool and nonchalant. "If you move in here with me, I will give you all that your heart desires. In exchange, you will do as I ask of you sexually with other men." She had paused to let him absorb her words before continuing. "Of course, there a few rules."

"What rules?" He had asked her, unable to hide his shock.

"You're not to fuck anyone without my presence, and you're to do anything, anything I sexually desire, even if it doesn't please you."

He had gone away to think about it, but not for long. The chance to live in this beautiful house, dress in fine clothes, drive expensive cars, and satisfy his kinkiest desires at the same time ... what was to think about? He accepted, and six years later, he was still here.

Next week was his twenty-fourth birthday. He had been so sure Amanda was going to bring him someone from Europe. Her intention had been to bring him the most beautiful man on earth, but it looked like he'd have to pick from among the men here in L.A. It couldn't be the one he'd been fucking for the last little while. Amanda was home now, so, that had to come to an end. It didn't matter. He had no particular feeling for him.

He had long ago learned that desire and love were two different things. The latter emotion was foreign to him and he had little use for it. He had never known love growing up in the various foster homes he'd been raised in. In some of the homes he had been treated well, almost like a guest, not unlike his current situation, he mused. In others, well, his mind shifted away, some things were better left in the past. No, love was not something that interested him, and he had no intention of introducing himself to it at this point in his life. Besides, why eat only one kind of candy when you could sample the entire candy store?

* * * *

Ciel kept his face expressionless. It was quite unnerving the way the American woman was staring at him. At first, he found it curious, even flattering, but now it was becoming downright embarrassing. When he came back into the kitchen with the tray, he found the rest of the staff sniggering. He lowered the empty tray onto the counter, and swore, glaring at them with his coal black eyes. Pierre, another waiter, came over beside him while he was waiting for the desert tray and nudged him.

"She wants you. She's hot for you, Ciel," he guffawed, leaning in, leering suggestively.

"Not you too," Ciel growled, shoving him away.

"I didn't even think you liked women. If you don't want her, let me have her, I love women of that age. They are so grateful and ah ... experienced."

"Switch tables with me then," Ciel pleaded. "I will take two of yours in exchange and let you keep one of the table's tips." He could hear the desperation in his own voice.

One of the chefs shoved the fully loaded desert cart at Ciel. "Allez," he was told gruffly.

He cast one long look at Pierre, and muttered something under his breath, as he pushed open the door that led to the private dining room of the five diamond hotel. He adjusted his black vest, and positioned his eyes straight ahead; vowing not to look at the middle aged woman with the flaming red hair and eyes that stripped him naked each time he appeared in front of her.

The woman was sitting with the host, a monsieur Jean Lemay and one of his business associates, an older man with a reddish face and bloated stomach. She looked bored with the conversation. Ciel glanced at her politely when he arrived at her table. "Desert, Madame?" he asked stiffly, indicating the array of French pastries displayed tantalizingly on the cart.

Her green eyes, expertly done up with black liner and mascara, and dolloped with a slash of tastefully applied mocha eye shadow, met his. "You speak English," she said softly.

"Yes, Madame," Ciel replied. "My mother was American."

"Ah," she looked at him in that way again. "What is your name?"

"Ciel," he replied with a brisk nod, hoping to convey with his body language his total lack of interest. He glanced at the two men at the table who were still deep in conversation and sighed. "Would you like to choose a desert?"

She reached over suddenly, and handed him a small piece of paper folded into four. "Tonight, after you are finished here. My room number."

Ciel cleared his throat, having no choice but to take the paper from her hand. He couldn't afford a scene. He was barely hanging onto this job as it was. He shoved the paper into his pocket.

"Now," she said, sitting back in her seat, "if you please ... although this kind of desert is not so good for my figure, I would like to taste..." she paused, pointing with her finger at his groin. Then raising her hand higher up to the deserts on the cart, she smiled at him, "...that pastry there, the one with lots of cream oozing out of it."

Ciel felt the color mount in his face. He bobbed his head a little too hard, and reached for the plate. He set it down in front of her as steadily as he could, and turned to the two men who seemed to take an inordinate amount of time choosing, now that they had come up for air from their conversation. All the while, the American woman ran her eyes over him, the tension building in him by degrees. Finally, with relief he walked away, disappearing into the kitchen where he felt like he could breathe again. He unfolded the little paper she had handed him and read what she had written. "I know you hate your job. I can make all your dreams come true. Room 516. Midnight. We'll talk." Dreams. Ciel smiled cynically. The attractive older woman was barking up the wrong tree if she thought she knew anything about his dreams. He quickly put her out of his mind, falling into the rhythm of his work.

* * * *

Back in her hotel suite, Amanda changed into her lacy pearl-colored peignoir. It was one of her more modest of evening wear. She sipped a glass of champagne and waited. She couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe that on her very last night here, she'd found him. Not only did he appear to be absolutely physically perfect, he spoke English with the most charming French accent. Scott would adore him.

He was the perfect compliment to Scott, a little more muscular, taller, with a touch of cocky machismo. She closed her eyes, picturing him and Scott together, taking off each others clothes. Umm ... the juices were flowing between her thighs already.

When midnight came and went, Amanda grew restless. Would he have the audacity not to show up at all? Okay, there was arrogance and then there was rudeness. Her eyes narrowed with irritation as she tapped the phone, weighing her options. With decisiveness, she picked up the phone, and called down to the front desk. "Yes, I'm looking for one of your waiters. I believe his name is Ciel."

"Oui, Madame, we have a Ciel, Ciel Durand. Is there a problem?"

"Yes, there is. I would like to see him immediately."

"I'm afraid he has left, Madame. Would you like to speak to the concierge? If there is any complaint about the service..." The voice on the other end of the phone stuttered with nervousness.

Amanda smiled to herself. "I would rather speak to the young man personally. I don't want to get him into trouble. Perhaps we can clear up the misunderstanding without involving the manager."

"I can call him at home; ask him to call you immediately. Would that be satisfactory, Madame?"

"I'm leaving early in the morning. Please tell him that if he doesn't get in touch with me tonight, I'll have to leave my complaint with the manager in the morning."

"Oui, Madame. I will try and reach him."

"Thank you," Amanda said with another smile, and hung up the phone.

* * * *

The phone rang several times before Ciel picked it up. "Yeah," he growled into the receiver.

"Finally," the voice said. "Ciel, it's Marie-Claire."

"Marie-Claire?" He mumbled sleepily. "It's one o'clock in the morning. Mon Dieu, what's the matter?"

"Don't grumble at me, Ciel. I'm trying to save your job. What did you do to piss off that American woman tonight ... the one who was the personal guest of Monsieur Lemay?"

Ciel sat up now in his bed. "I didn't do anything. Why?"

"Ciel, you're in trouble again. She told me if you don't contact her tonight, she will lodge a complaint tomorrow with Monsieur Beaumount."

"Merde," Ciel said. "That devious bitch..."

"Stop muttering in English. I don't understand. What do you want me to do?" Marie-Claire sounded frantic.

"Calm down," Ciel told her. "I will call her."

"Tonight, right away."

"Oui, oui, okay," he replied, and hung up.

He rubbed his eyes, and got up, switching on the small lamp beside the bed. He couldn't afford to lose this job. The manager had already chastised him a few times for being rude to the hotel guests. He had to accept that in this job he was expected to put up with their shit and say nothing.

As he pulled on his pants, he glanced over at his laptop computer. The extra shifts he'd been pulling hadn't allowed him to work on his novel at all. He wasn't even sure how he'd pay his university tuition next term, and now this bitch was threatening to complain against him.

He shoved the keys to his motorcycle into the pocket of his jeans. With his helmet in hand, he left his small room near the Champs de Elysees and headed back to the hotel which was situated near the Fauboug St. Honore and the Palais des Congres.

* * * *

Marie-Claire spotted Ciel striding through the lobby twenty minutes after she had called him. He looked pissed. He removed his helmet, letting his shoulder-length black hair fall down around his broad shoulders and scowled. "What room is she in?"

"Ciel," Marie-Claire cautioned. "She's a special guest of this hotel. You can't afford to ... it would have been better if you'd called and apologized. She sounded as if..."

"It's not an apology she wants from me," Ciel said between barred teeth.

Marie-Claire looked stumped. She lifted a dark eyebrow. It was clear from her expression, she didn't want him to get fired. He suspected she had the most wicked of crushes on him.

Before she could say anything else, Ciel demanded the room number again. He had thrown away the paper that woman had given to him in the dining room earlier.

"516 ... but really Ciel," she began, her eyes pleading, telling him what he already knew, his temper would be his undoing.

Ciel reached over and patted her hand. "Don't worry, cherie, it will be fine." He didn't wait for the elevator. He took the stairs two at a time and wrenched open the door to the fifth floor. He strode down the carpeted hallway, came to a standstill in front of 516, and knocked three times.

* * * *

Amanda smiled with satisfaction as she heard the knocking. She walked into the living room area and went to the door. She peered into the little hole which allowed you to see who was on the other side, and took her time looking at him. He seemed restless, he was looking around impatiently, and was about to knock again when she undid the lock and opened the door wide.

"Mr. Durand, how nice to see you again."

Without hesitation, he brushed by her and stood in the middle of the living room. "Okay," he said in English. "What in hell is going on? Why did you tell the desk clerk you were going to complain about me to the manager?"

Calmly Amanda closed the door. "Take a seat, Mr. Durand," she invited with a smile. His chest was heaving with suppressed anger, and his beautiful dark eyes were positively glowing. It was funny how closely an enraged man resembled an aroused one.

"I'll stand thank you," he said stiffly.

Amanda walked over to the bar, and poured two glasses of whiskey. She held out one of the glasses to him, as she began to sip hers.

"No thank you," he replied.

"Come now, Mr. Durand, surely a drink between us can help to smooth over our differences. I apologize for using these kinds of tactics but there are some things in this life too good to let get away."

He narrowed his eyes.

"Your English is impeccable, Ciel. May I call you Ciel?"

He shrugged. "If I say no, you'll do it anyway."

She laughed. "You are very shrewd, Ciel. I like that in a man. Tell me more about your background," she invited, sitting down on the sofa and tucking her bare feet up under her.

"I didn't come here to talk about my background. I came here to find out what kind of complaint you could possibly bring against me."

A pulse was throbbing at his temple. Amanda ran her eyes over him. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans, a white t-shirt and a rather tattered looking black leather jacket. His running shoes were probably fairly fashionable when he purchased them but were wearing badly. His clothing however was not a distraction. It merely served as a crude covering for a positively gorgeous masterpiece.

Broad shoulders, muscular torso, great bubble ass and a definite heavy load between the thighs ... oh yes ... and that was not to mention his face. His face looked as if it had been sculptured, and along with big, beautiful black eyes, the beauty of it would have blasted the male fashion models of the day right out of the water. His mouth was exquisite with just a hint of sensual cruelty. Surely, someone along the way must have taught him how to use it. She was growing weak now looking at him, thinking of that mouth and its capabilities, imagining what it could do with Scott's cock.

"Please sit," she pleaded softly, "I can't talk to you like this." He took the seat opposite her, sitting with his legs apart, hands resting on his thighs. She licked her lips. "Before we go any further Ciel, you're going to have to take off your clothes."

His nostrils flared. He sucked in some air and stood up. "What did you say?"

She laughed. "You're far too touchy, but I like it. I like it a lot. I love your bold manly pride. You must be sensational in bed."

"Madame," he said, sounding French again, "what is it exactly you want from me? I have no intention of sleeping with you in exchange for my job so..."

She laughed. "I wasn't going to ask you to sleep with me, Ciel. I was going to offer you the chance of a lifetime, but before I do I have to find out what it is you keep under those clothes ... then if I approve, I will make the offer."

He looked mystified. He stood still, waiting.

"Since you haven't left yet, I assume my offer intrigues you."

He sighed. "What is your offer, Madame?"

She smiled, swallowing some more of her whiskey. "You must sit down and relax, have a drink, then, I will tell you. I don't like to rush these things. I have searched long and hard, I must make sure."

Ciel reached down for the glass of whiskey she had sat on the table. He swallowed it in a few gulps and sat back down, moving the glass around in his hand.

"My husband died seven years ago. He left me a very wealthy woman. When he was alive, I played the role of the dutiful wife. I entertained, I joined committees and I remained faithful. My husband was a sex addict. All he wanted to do was fuck me, but he never knew how to satisfy me. I hated him fucking me. The man couldn't have made an emotional connection if he tried. It was all mechanical. After he died, I decided I was going to fulfill all the desires I had repressed for so long. I had seen the pretentious people in that world putting on airs, pretending to be what they weren't. I decided that I was finished with illusion. I have the money to buy what I want. No bullshit. So, I'm going to be upfront with you, Ciel."

He was looking at her intently.

"You hate your job, and I can tell you are much too intelligent to be a waiter all your life. What is it exactly you want to be when you grow up, Ciel?"

He laughed shortly, and she watched as a wistful expression flitted across his face, quickly replaced by his normal expression of arrogance. "I write. I'm trying to finish a degree actually. I thought I could teach while I..."

"Do you write in English or French?" she asked, interrupting him, as she refilled her glass, her hands caressing the bottle briefly before releasing it.

"English," he said, "although I have written a few short pieces in French for magazines here in Paris. Before my mother died, we lived in New York so the first language I learned was English."

"How long have you been living in France, Ciel?"

"My father came home to France when my mother died. I was ten years old." He shrugged, his beautiful face expressionless.

"Umm. You want to return to live in America."

"Eventually, but first I need..."

"You'll finish your degree at U.C.L.A., be mentored by Malcolm Dewitt ... you do know Malcolm Dewitt, don't you?"

"Of course," he said, "Malcolm Dewitt is the winner of the most prestigious prize in literature. He..."

"That's right," she said curtly, sitting up now. "Are you interested or would you rather stay here and wipe rich people's asses?"

Ciel shook his dark head. "I don't understand. You want to take me back to America?"

"Yes. I'll pay for everything and you'll live like a king." She met his eyes.

"What's the catch?" He lifted an eyebrow.

"I prefer to call it an agreement."

"I suspect it has to do with sex. You want me to...?"

"Are you gay or straight, Ciel?"

"Decidedly gay." His chin went up a fraction indicating the pride he felt in his sexuality. No, this was not a man who hid from who he was.

"Does the idea of fucking a man in front of a woman repulse you?"

"I don't know, I suppose not," he shook his head.

"You like to fuck men, right?"


"Good," she smiled.

He looked surprised. "I don't understand."

"You will, but first," she said, standing up, "you must take off your clothes. You aren't modest I hope because there is no room for modesty in this agreement."

"No," he said. "I'm not modest."

"Good, then go ahead, let me see you."

Amanda watched as Ciel removed the leather jacket, then the t-shirt. When his naked chest came into view, she sucked in some air. She liked the confident way he undid his pants, pulling the belt aggressively out of the loops, zipping off the jeans and letting them fall down over his hips. He glanced at her once before pulling off the white briefs he wore, then, stood there boldly in front of her.

"I feel rather foolish," he said.

She kept her distance, her eyes raping his flesh thoroughly. "Turn around," she said.

He did without hesitation. She sighed. His ass was perfect. It was round and firm with just the slightest indentations on the sides. Her eyes moved up his spine to the broad shoulders. She came closer and moved around him.

She took her time assessing him, pausing at his mouth as she worked her way down. He had perfectly shaped pectorals with taut brown nipples, with just the slightest path of hair leading down to his navel which sat in the middle of the flat waves of his stomach. She followed that path of fine dark hair again, her eyes caressing the rounded head of his cock, with its promising looking shaft, shadowing two perfectly almond shaped balls. Powerful thighs worked their way down to muscular calves and feet around the same size as Scott's, ten perhaps, ten and a half.

"Make it hard for me," she said, raising her eyes to his. "Think of your wildest fantasy. Pretend you are fucking the perfect man. He wants you desperately, wants you to violate him, fuck him hard. Go ahead," she urged. "Touch yourself."

* * * *

Amanda watched Ciel as he got dressed. Nothing about him disappointed her. His body was incredibly beautiful. He wasn't modest and when he was erect, his cock was substantial. "May I ask you something?" Amanda said suddenly as Ciel pulled his t-shirt on.

"Go ahead," he replied.

"How big is your cock, eight or eight and a half?"

"Closer to nine," he said with a smirk. "Will that do?"

"It will do nicely I should think."

"I'm surprised you don't want to..." he began hesitantly.

"What? Try it on for size?"

"Something like that. You're willing to take a strange man to America to satisfy you, and you don't even know if I can..."

"Fuck? First of all I've had enough fucking to last me a lifetime. I prefer to satisfy myself with a little help. It's not me who will judge your fucking ability, Ciel. If you are judged inadequate, I'll pay your way back and give you something for your trouble."

"I still don't understand," he murmured. "I thought that...?"

"Sit down Ciel," she smiled softly. "I'll explain everything and then you must make a decision."

He sat, meeting her eyes.

"At home waiting for me right now is Scott. Scott has been with me for around six years. He used to be a male escort. He's beautiful, sensitive and sweet as sugar. He's my soul mate, but we don't actually fuck. Men turn me on, Ciel, but men who love men, turn me on even more. It's not me you will be fucking, it's Scott. I'll be watching."

His mouth hung open. "I ... this is beginning to get weird."

"Why?" She smiled. "I satisfy myself vicariously watching Scott take it up the ass, get his nipples stimulated ... he loves nipple play ... and blowing his load. You can think of me what you will. I really don't give a damn. I know that many people would love it too, but they are too damn prudish to ever admit it. Scott loves men as much as I do. I came to Europe looking for the most beautiful man, and I found him. If you think that's wrong, then you're free to refuse my offer."

"You mean I won't be fucking you at all?"

"No. Have you even been tied up, Ciel?"

"You mean as in bondage?"

"That's what I mean."

"Yes ... some light stuff. Nothing heavy."

"Good. I don't get off on pain, or peeing on people, or animals. Nothing that extreme ... but some bondage ... definitely. Scott likes to submit but I enjoy watching him dominate sometimes, especially with strong virile men such as yourself."

He was silent.

"Ciel, I'll pay your university and hook you up with all the right people. In return, you agree to amuse me with Scott, and take no other lover outside this arrangement unless I decide otherwise."

"Is this twenty four hours a day?"

She laughed. "Good heavens no. Mostly on the weekend ... unless it's a special request. If you're open to it, I promise you won't regret it. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of Scott to show you but you won't be disappointed."

"For how long?"

"Long enough for you to finish your degree. Then if you want to leave, you will be free to. Given the delicacy of the situation, there are no legal binding contracts. All I will say is this, if you leave before your time is up, I have enough influence to ruin you. You'll never sell a book in my country. Do you believe me?" He nodded.

"Fine. I leave tomorrow. You have a week to clean up here. A ticket will be waiting for you at the airport in seven days from now. All you have to do is leave a message for me. I'll give you my home number in L.A. You'll be notified as to when your flight leaves. You'll arrive on Scott's birthday."

"I haven't agreed yet," he said mildly, folding his hands together.

"Oh I know that," she smiled, "but you will."

* * * *

Pierre listened to all Ciel said in silence, then, he reached over and grabbed one of his muscular forearms. "What in hell are you waiting for? Call the woman. Tell her you'll be there."

Ciel cradled a cup of coffee in his hands, and sighed. "It sounds too good to be true ... and besides isn't it a bit like prostitution?"

"Ciel," Pierre rolled his eyes. "With all the kinky sex you've had, this is probably the most elementary; so, the old lady gets off watching two men fuck. Big deal. She's loaded."

"She's hardly an old lady. She's probably forty."

"Go, Ciel. Don't pass this up ... a chance to live in L.A ... to write without having to work ... to meet that famous author you're always going on about. You don't even know if you'll have the money for school next term. You can study at a great American university. Shit, man, go."

Pierre's echoing of his own thoughts had convinced him. The next day he phoned L.A. and left a message for Amanda. He was coming. Two days later, the airport called confirming his reservation on a seven o'clock flight. Ciel stared at the phone dumbly for a moment. There was nothing more to think about, no turning back. The decision was made.

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