Sudan fires foreign ministry spokesman following Israel remarks Youngstown, Ohio, mayor gets probation in corruption plea deal

I know, I repeated. And I did know. It didn’t change the fact that this still hurt.

   I’m trying, Lydia assured her. Grabbing the bull by the horns and all those other things they say to do as a fearless, modern female.   Oh, I think you’ve grabbed on to something, Crystal sniggered, but it looks like more of a stallion. They were both still giggling like teenagers when they reached Suzy’s home. She lived only a few miles away from Jake’s house in Garden City Beach.

   As they left the car and made their way up the steps, Claire, the wife of Jason Danvers, the CEO of Danvers International, opened the front door. She was a stunning blonde who always had a ready smile for everyone around the office. Lydia had heard that she’d actually been Jason’s assistant at one time. If that didn’t have fairy-tale romance written all over it, she didn’t know what did. Hey, guys. Claire smiled brightly. I’m so glad you could make it. Lowering her voice, she whispered, Little John just barfed all over Suzy so there’s a bit of a commotion. She hasn’t quite gotten used to being drenched when you least expect it.   I’m not sure anyone adjusts to that, said an amused voice as Beth Merimon joined them. I think it’s pretty funny, though. Because every time Henry spits up or poops, she hands him off as if he’s on fire. Rubbing her hands together in obvious glee, Beth added, Those days are over for my sister, though. She gets to experience all the delights that motherhood has to offer!   As they made their way into the foyer, Ella hustled up with her daughter, Sofia, in her arms. Lydia had always thought that Crystal’s sister was gorgeous, and today was no exception. A certain innocence about her made her even more appealing. She could see why Ella’s husband—former playboy Declan Stone—was intrigued by someone so opposite from him. Lydia knew that an overbearing mother in a very restricted environment had raised both Ella and Crystal. It had taken a lot of courage, but they had managed to break away and, in doing so, had found their soul mates. I was wondering where you were, sis, Ella called out as she stepped forward to wrap an arm around Crystal. I missed you so much.

   It sure doesn’t look like she was pining away for any of us on her honeymoon, Emma Davis inserted as she joined their group. Emma was engaged to Declan’s brother, Brant, and was soon to be part of the Stone family. If that satisfied expression on your face is any indication, then you and Mark had a great time. Did you ever actually leave your room?   Oh, good Lord, here we go with the sex talk, replied Ava Powers, a sleek blonde. Truthfully, it had taken Lydia months to match all of the women with the men at Danvers that they were either married or engaged to. Ava was married to Mac Powers, who ran East Coast Security, along with Dominic Brady and Gage Hyatt. Dominic was engaged to Gwen, who was also close friends with Crystal and Mia. Funnily enough, Gwen had once dated Mac before he finally landed the woman he’d loved since childhood—Ava. It was enough to make Lydia’s head spin just trying to keep the details straight. The fact that they all seemed to be a big, extended happy family was equal parts amazing and downright crazy.

   Oh, come on, Ava, everyone here likes to talk smut except for you. And I see the way you roll into the office some mornings, so I know that you and Mac aren’t sitting around knitting in the evening. Emma was Ava’s assistant at Danvers, and Lydia thought it was hysterical how they bickered like sisters.

   Ava looked down, studying her nails as she said, Not all of us kiss and tell, Em. You could take a page on discretion from my book. I’m sure my brother would be happy if you stopped telling the world how big his—er, equipment is.Before Jack could stop me, I dove at Bear. I jumped onto his back, clawing and biting at him. Dodge came towards me, but Jack managed to fight him off. Milo bit into Bear’s wrist, and in a bold move, started drinking his blood. Bear howled, and even though he was weakened, I could do little against him.

Stellan was on me instantly, pulling me off Bear. He threw me onto the ground and sat on top of me, pinning my wrists back. His mouth was stained red, and he bared his teeth at me, showing his bloodied incisors with bits of flesh still clinging to them.Stellan! Don’t kill the girl! Gunnar shouted. We need her! Just scent the ground with her blood! Keeping his dead black eyes locked on me, Stellan yelled something back at Gunnar in Finnish.

I tried kicking at Stellan, but he refused to budge, and he had my wrists locked into the cold slush. Dodge and Jack were still fighting, but now Dodge was holding Jack back from getting at Stellan. Milo had managed to get Bear to the ground, but he wasn’t free yet.Through it all, Gunnar didn’t enter the mix. He just stalked around, observing our futile attempts at escape. Bobby was screaming at us, but I doubted that Leif was hurting him.