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Authors: Cerise Deland

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recall? Quiet. Never said a word, this one. Didnt that seem odd? I mean, werent they there to share ideas? True, they were. I didnt think much of it at the time. I did point that out, but my control dismissed it. Im not! What do you think explains his lack of communication? Grant asked in a tone that was almost rhetorical. He cant talk. He shouldnt. Or he cant speak Arabic well. I wondered if Arabic is his second language or he grew up in another culture. Grant nodded. Like Italy. Right, she agreed. Do you know anything about these two suspects in Naples? Yes, one is a lawyer. International tax law. The other one owns an import-export company. In Naples, Grant said wincing, export-import can only mean one thing. A connection to the mafia who control all trade in southern Italy. Even the garbage collectors belong! If this guy is connected to the other radicals in the desert, this means we have a hookup between terrorists with Italian gangs. Not good. Damn awful, in fact. And so similar to a situation I just helped Tate Ryder out of in Mexico. Give me these two names. Ill see if I can get Todd to get a fix on them. 73 Cerise DeLand No need. I have addresses. She gave Grant a comforting smile. I have to take a look at all three. Closely. Again. Try to decide if one of them might be this man who threatens me. If I made a mistaken ID, I have to correct the error. As a woman I was kept well back at the beginning of that meeting in Egypt. When introductions were made, I wasnt able to approach closer. I heard no names. After we began to serve refreshments, I did hear much of the conversation. Enough to be alarmed by the five who were fanatics. This Hakim the Judge, I cannot place which one he might have been. I go by faces. She admired Grants, so solemn now, so attentive. I see character in faces. Like I see in yours. Gratitude to him once more flooded through her. She slipped out of her chair and crossed the aisle to Grant. Falling to her knees, she meant only to kiss him, show him that in his features, she found strength and integrity. But when her mouth left his, he gathered her up to him and smoothed her hair from her cheeks. Were going to find this guy. She tried to smile. Knew there were two things she wanted in this life. Freedom from fear. And Grant. She adored him. Shed known it instantly three years ago when theyd met. She couldnt tell him then how she loved him. Had no right to tell him that now either, unless and until she was rid of Hakim and the terror of him stalking her. Grant, if we dont find him Dont say that, babe. Dont even think it. He sank his fingers into her hair, then seared her lips with his own. Her fingers were busy pulling his polo shirt out of his trousers and unclasping his fly. I need something else to think about. Something scrumptious that feels and tastes like you. He pushed her off his lap, stood and grabbed her hand. Striding toward the rear of the plane, he yanked open the far door and pulled her inside. Whirling her back against it, he pressed her to the cool wood and sank his tongue inside her mouth. He broke away, both of them gasping. You want mindless? 74 Carried Away Her answer was to hook a leg around his thigh and nibble her way down his throat. Her hands yanked at his zipper and felt their reward when they filled with his cock. She would not be the only one without a thought in her head. And hed been prepared for her, too, because Mr. Security Guy went commando. Humming her delight, she stroked his length. You are so wonderfully hard. She pressed her lips to the pulse at his throat and found the head of his shaft already wet for her. Ready, too. He dug in his jeans pocket and produced a foil wrapper. She giggled as she thumbed the pre-cum around his tip. I like a man whos prepared. He tore the packet with his teeth as he dragged her forward. Babe, with you I walk around hard 24/7. In her peripheral vision, she realized this was a bedroom. She beamed at him. At the foot of a bed, she tugged at his shirt and whipped it up and off. She rubbed her nose in the hair of his chest. The gray is here, huh? He snorted as he rolled on the condom. She stopped him. Give that to me. She played one hand through his chest hair and hung onto the latex. What did you have in mind? She tilted her head, coy as a teenage girl with her hunky boyfriend. If I told you, she crooned as she pushed his trousers over his hips and felt them fall to the floor, Id ruin the fun. She licked her lips as her gaze traveled down the glory that was Grant. Beautiful pecs, yeah. Tapered waist, hard abs. Sinew and might all the way to his groin. No gray there. She grinned and wound her fingers in his black curls. Then cupped his balls with one hand, and wrapped the other around his thick rod. I think youd better lie down for this. His silver eyes flashed wickedly at her. I get a reward? The sooner you go down, she whispered, the sooner you will. 75 Cerise DeLand His face went stark. Putting one calf to the mattress, he fell backward. Wow. She knelt and noted the length and girth of his cock, tall and proud. Rocket material. She pushed his thighs wide and nestled between them, placing the latex on the bedspread for later. Her lips almost touching his hot skin, she whispered, Lets see if I can make it go off. His eyes on her, he uttered nonsense as she put her lips to the base of his shaft and ran them up to his purple head. She licked off his pre-cum and reveled in his guttural praise. Sweet stuff, she commended him with a wink. Im gonna take all youve got. He gulped. She rolled one of his balls while she sank her whole mouth over him. He said something like un-hunh! and flung himself out against the mattress. Three years ago, shed had him in her mouth. Often. As much as hed let her, when he wasnt burying his cock deep inside her pussy. But shed never been able to keep him in her mouth long enough to make him come. Today, she was determined to give him her all and take everything he had inside her. It was the least a girl could do for a guy who treated her kitty so well. She opened wide and sank her lips down over his soft torrid skin. Beneath her touch, she felt his shaft pulse and jerk. She delighted in the way she heard him smack his lips as she sucked him with hers. She was good at it, too. For a woman who hadnt ever given a blowjob to any man but this one, she was impressed with how she was able to swallow most of him. Opening her throat, breathing deeply, she tried for lower and harder. The way he groaned, she figured she was doing okay for a gal still learning the ropes. She rubbed her breasts against the edge of the bed, loving the friction. Giving him some of her own, she sent the edge of her teeth up to the crown of his cock. He cursed beneath his breath and she concluded she got the technique down. 76 Carried Away He leaned up on his elbows and locked gazes with her. You do that again, Im gonna lose it, babe. Good, she tossed back and went about her business of making him happy. One hand squeezed his balls tenderly, but her mouth pumped him hard and fast. Then slowly and sweetly. She licked his length, powerful, red and hard beyond her sexiest dreams. Shivering, she smiled and preened, defined him with the tip of her tongue again up one side and down the other, then swirling over his tip. Making him groan. She was proud of herself. Spurred on by her success, she gave him a repeat performance. This time, her little licks became sucks and her adoration of his red helmet was punctuated by her own groans of delight. He sank his fingers in her hair and held her head steady. Then he growled and exploded in her mouth, the warm cum darting to the back of her throat. She swallowed over and over. He tasted wonderful. She caressed his balls and his root, then eased her mouth up off him as he sighed, spent. She felt drugged with his response and her own was to press her lips along his beautiful veined length and kiss his tip. Hands of steel hauled her up and rolled her to the mattress. Wrenched her tee shirt up over her head. Vied with her own hands to unhook her jeans and peel them down her legs. God, he muttered as he placed a full moist palm over her pussy, no panties. Such a smart cookie. She spread herself out on the bed. So eat me. Beneath them, she felt the engines go from a purr to a roar. Just like her body did as he pressed the sides of her knees to the mattress. Like your women spread out wide, huh? she teased him. I like my woman totally open to me, he corrected her, so I can put my hands all over her. He snapped on the condom, then demonstrated by putting his palms to her moist tissues and rolling her wet lips open. Prettiest pussy Ive ever seen. Pink and drenched in juice. 77 Cerise DeLand If this is what youre doing for takeoff, sweetie, she told him as she felt him expose her tiny bundle of nerves to the air. I am so ready. He sank a finger inside her core and she purred. He pressed her clit with his thumb and followed it with a suck of his mouth. She wiggled closer. He stroked her G-spot with his finger and she felt her pussy get wetter. Ive got lots of fuel for your rocket, sweetie. The engines revved higher. So did hers when Grant grabbed her ankles and put them over his shoulders, then slipped his cock deep inside her pussy. She inhaled, wild to watch him in his passion. Honey? His hands cupped her ass and he was focused on how they fit together. Yeah? The plane began to rumble down the runway. She bounced along, Grant inside her. Whoa, she laughed as Grant smoothly pumped away. Hang on! he was chuckling, too, as he braced two arms to the headboard and held her in place with his hips and his cock, buried tightly inside her. As he rocked them both, she clenched his shaft with her vaginal muscles. Hanging on to Grant Warwick was her only ambition in life now. And she caressed him and hugged him, her pussy claiming the part she craved. He shuddered and buried his fingers in the flesh of her hips. She clamped down on him until finally he drove her up against the headboard with three huge pounding strikes that took her over the edge of consciousness. I thought the foreplay added new meaning to the term cabin fever, she told him minutes later when the plane leveled. Takeoff was terrific. But you know, she whispered as she curled her fingers in his chest hair, Ive never been a member of the mile high club. 78 Carried Away I take it thats an invitation, lady. He beamed at her. Lets make certain you never want to fly commercial again. 79 Cerise DeLand Chapter Eight The late afternoon rain in Paris darkened her mood. Dreary and chilling, the drizzle made Coco shiver even in the new trench coat she had bought in the boutique near their hotel. She pulled the lapels higher as she and Grant waited in a tiny caf in the Marais sector of the old City for his contact at the embassy. The man was half an hour late. She sipped her thick hot chocolate, then scooped up a forkful of her raspberry gateau to offer to Grant. His dark brows knit together in appalled delight as he swallowed and licked his lips. I can feel my arteries clog as we sit here. My thighs are spreading, too, she added and had to warn him with a grin at the intimate suggestion that made his brows arch. Down, boy. Poor phrasing. Wheres your man? Got hung up, I guess. If hes not here in ten minutes, Ill call. Been to Paris often? he asked and sipped his coffee. Four, five times when I was young and I came along with my parents when my dad was a delegate to one peace conference or other. But as an adult? No. She covered one of Grants hands atop the table. Ive only passed through Paris on my way to some war or other. He gazed into her eyes. Well come back and stay for a week when this is over. Well play tourist and go to the Louvre and Malmaison. Have you ever been to Versailles? She caught his enthusiasm for the diversion. Well take the Metro. Its so fast. I know a scrumptious bistro, open all day, dark with lots of French lace at the windows and china as thin as your skin. Best of all, they serve escargot, in a huge bowl, drowning in butter and garlic. He laughed. Woman, you love to eat! 80 Carried Away Yes! She feigned dismay. And its a problem too. Whys that? Ive had no time to learn how to cook, but worse, no one to share the bounty with. He stared at her lips. I can help you on both counts. She held her breath. When this is over? If it ever is. A promise, he whispered and turned to look through the front glass. Here he is. From the American Embassy. Whats his name again? Nerves were making her memory dull. Nick Chekov. Nice Irish boy, huh? Yeah. We were in the service together. Hes the assistant to the military attach at our Embassy here. That did mean something to her. So many attachs had a second job. For Langley. One look at Chekov and she had to blink. If ever there was a body double for Grant it was this tall, muscular man with a hearty handshake and a gravelly voice. But there the similarities ended. Where Grant was dark, Nick was fair. Where Grant was bald, Nick had a wild crop of curls. Where Grant seemed patient, Nick talked in clipped patterns, bounding over issues as if he were on fire. He seemed to personify what Grant called him Check. Whos investigating the murder? Grant asked him soon after he sat down and refused a drink. French police. Interpol came in, too. Theyre finishing up the DNC now. Lucky I could learn about the note. Whats a DNC? Coco asked Check. Jargon. He grinned. Means forensics, you know, dust and clean up. 81 Cerise DeLand Grant leaned forward, lowered his voice against the six other patrons. Anything you can tell me about the note? The paper it was written on? The pen or pencil used? The note? Written on a phone book page. Torn out of the directory right there in Suleiman s apartment. The writing implement? A blunt black magic marker. Must have taken it with him. Police havent found it. Grant paced. What about the nature of the room? Nick shook his head. Looks odd. Whys that? she asked him. Nothings disturbed, except the body. He was badly beaten. But the room wasnt tossed. Odd for a murder scene where the perp wanted to extract info. And so far, no latent fingerprints. I made a few inquiries and we can go there, if you like. Ahmeds apartment? We can get in? Coco was astonished. Nick nodded. Its about two blocks away off the Rue de Rosiers. Grant examined her features. I think we should. She grabbed her purse. Lets go. The apartment was on the top floor of a huge home with low mansard roof of red tiles. Nick had a key, removed the French police tape across the door frame and let them in. Dont touch anything, he advised. Just look. Ahmeds entire living space was only as large as her living room back home in D.C. Dust over the flimsy table and kitchen counters. Carpet that was stained and curling at the corners of the walls. A mattress flung on the floor, bed linens threadbare and rumpled. One big hole in the
carpeting. All of it covered in transparent plastic sheeting to preserve whatever evidence remained that the police had not yet picked up for analysis. Whats that from? Coco asked Nick, pointing to it. 82 Carried Away Police cut out the carpet where the body was in a chair. They wanted to test the rug for fibers and blood. See if they could get anything to lead them out to a suspect. Grant crossed his arms. Did they take anything to the lab besides the carpet? Not as far as I know, no, Nick responded. So then, this is all he had? she asked Nick as she pulled open the only closet door. Did they take his clothes? I would assume. All his furniture, too? There were no major pieces of furniture except that table there. As you can see from the surfaces of the counters and some of the items spread on the floor, the forensics guys dusted for fingerprints on what was here. But theyve gotten only Suleiman s prints. Coco was troubled about Ahmeds possessions. What about a computer? Coco pressed him. Have the police looked at his files, his emails? Nick shook his head. No computer. Grant turned to Coco. Do you know if he had one? She shrugged. He got in touch with me by email. I just assumed he had a computer. Grant and Nick stared at each other. The two of them fixed on her at the same moment with almost the same question. Could he have had a laptop? She walked the perimeter of the tiny room. The only way to know that, minus the hardware itself, is to see if he had a hard-wired internet connection. She stopped and pointed. Here. Coco had a deeper feeling of foreboding and looked at Grant. Ahmed contacted me via email. If he accessed his email account through his own computer desktop or laptopthen he may have other info on there. About me. Others who attended the Stars of the Desert meeting. This murderer is a radical, that much I know. And if he has a list of 83 Cerise DeLand people from Ahmeds computer that he wants to act on, so many more people could be in danger from him. Grant bent to the floor and peered at the cut wire through the plastic layer. Forensics should check the fingerprints on that cable. Nick agreed. If you two know special facts about this case, you need to talk to the Paris police yourself. She caught Nicks golden gaze. I cant. Im with the Agency, too. And what I know is very top secret. The embassy mans stiff demeanor wilted a little. He smiled. I see. That changes things. She tipped her head. Meaning? Ill let you know what else develops in this case. Coco nodded. Good of you. But she didnt feel good at all. Not about the cable or the fact that the police had missed its significance. The hair on her arms stood up and she clasped her arms together. Was she just cold? Grant stood. Have the police gotten any ideas about why his tongue was cut off? Nick glanced at Coco, and she knew he was deciding if she could take the ugly answer. Either he told them what he wanted to know...or he didnt. Do you both have any idea what the murderer wanted from Suleiman? Yes, Coco admitted and hated to. Grant said, We need to learn before he hurts anyone else. Nick inhaled. I hear you. Let me do a hustle on the cable analysis. How long you both here for? Tomorrow, Grant told him, grabbing his hand. Thanks for this, man. How do I get in touch with you? Cell phone, Grant told him and gave him the number. Its a secure line. 84 Carried Away * * * * * Grant hailed a taxi to take them back to their hotel. Their ride was a silent one. He was reviewing the interview with Nick and making a list of items he had to investigate on his own. Without Nick. More work for Todd. Grant wondered if Coco was assessing the same issues. She was certainly quiet enough and he decided to let her be. Minutes later, he took her arm as they climbed the steps of the George V to the reception area. Let me check the desk. I expect a package. Sure enough, he had the small special delivery that Todd had sent from Washington this morning. This would brighten Cocos mood. He grinned. Ill make certain of it. As they took the elevator up to the tenth floor, he asked her what shed like for dinner. Hed take her out to one of his favorite restaurants, ply her with all the foods she loved, fish, cream, butter and sugar. Wed better work out in the gym in the morning or well be able to wiggle the flab! Agreed. What do you have in the box? she asked him as he opened the door to their suite. Surprise, he told her deadpan. Really? Im intrigued. She spun in front of him to walk backward past their living room to their bedroom. She dropped her purse to the floor and widened her eyes at him. For me? None other. But you have to work for it. She opened her coat, unbuttoning it and loosening the sash. What kind of work? She let the coat drop to a chair as he backed her to the wall and nuzzled that special spot behind her ear. Take your clothes off and Ill show you. She reached to the hem of her tee shirt to rip it off, but he caught her hands. 85 Cerise DeLand Come over here, by the mirror. He led her to a six-foot-tall cheval. Do it now. He whipped off his trench coat, loosened his tie and positioned one of the chairs to face her. Then he sat, toed off his shoes, dispensed with his socks and unbuckled his belt and his fly. Hard as hell for her in an instant. The package in his fingertips, he crossed one ankle over a knee. I like to watch. I remember. She winked at him. Lets see if I can inspire you. She began to move in slow motion. A lift of her tee shirt here, a slow unzip of her jeans there. A bump. A slither. A flash of material as she flung her shirt up over her head and threw it at him. He laughed as he peeled it from his face. She twirled to face the mirror and there in the glass, her deep purple gaze met his. Her mouth was open, her lips plump and wet. She shimmied out of her jeans, her hips and her thighs and her blonde pussy in his view. No panties. She was his woman all right. She was into the dance of it now, away from her troubles, her eyes half closed, her cheeks pink and her breath picking up tempo. Like his. She did a little bump and grind and her jeans slid slowly as molasses down her trim legs. He swallowed hard on desire. He loved her knees, he hadnt lied the other day. He liked her calves, too. Hell, even her toes were a turn-on. He was so damn lost in her. She whirled around. Her fingers of one hand lifted a breast, like an offering to him. Her nipple pointed at him. Yeah, that was his, too. One of her hands drifted lower, swept down her waist and paused at her navel. She knew he liked her outie bellybutton. Come here, pretty lady, he beckoned her in rough voice, Ive got something for you. I did well? she asked as she straddled his legs and sat, her pelvis tilted up, her lush labia open and sending up a musky aroma of her need. His cock strained at the fly of his trousers and he could feel the surge of cum that demanded he fuck her soon. He sank two fingers inside her sopping wet cunt. Very. 86 Carried Away She licked her lips. Gonna let me see whats in the box? He found her clit and rubbed delicately around the swollen nub. Before or after? Hmmm. How about during? He barked in laughter. Sent his fingers up inside her higher, harder. She bucked. On the bed, he ordered her. As she climbed off and took his hand, he grabbed the package. And where the hell was a condom? When she got to the bed, she sat. No, he instructed, on your knees. He ripped open the brown wrapping paper, slid the string off and had to pause to appreciate the sight he was offered. Coco had slipped onto the golden coverlet, her forehead to the satin, her arms before her as if she were praying. The soles of her feet pointed at him, but so did her lovely ass. Straight up in the air, her cheeks really did look like they formed a heart with the point composed of the deep pink petals of her pussy. From here he could smell her. He inhaled, his nostrils flaring with the heat of her. He almost dropped the blue box. He caught it, and sent his gaze back to the luscious sight of her. The long, frilly edges of her cunt were swollen and hanging in sweet invitation from her channel. What made him swallow and had his cock jumping was the cream that coasted her tissues. Come closer, sweetie, she pleaded, petulant. And for gods sake, will you please take your pants off so I can play with your cock? He grunted as he stripped. Play with me? Oh, no, you had me in the jet. Now its my turn. He thumbed open the box, admired in a glance the workmanship of the gold ring on the stud, encrusted with five tiny diamonds. He extracted it. The box fell to the floor. He put the ring over one knuckle of his index finger and climbed up on the bed behind her. She wiggled back against him. 87 Cerise DeLand He smacked her on one buttock. Then bent to lick her and bite her in the same place. My party, babe. She mewled in objection. But she halted. He smiled and went back on his haunches to admire the pretty picture and full fragrance of her lacy pussy ass-up for him. He covered her glistening pink core with an open palm. She felt like molten satin. Nice and warm, she whispered. He dropped his third finger inside her core. Juicy and hot. Pet me, she pleaded. He stroked her slow and easy. She was swelling against his flesh in sweet response. She pressed back, a cry in the back of her throat. You want me to beg? Maybe later, we play that game. He slipped his index finger inside her and let the diamonds massage her clit. Oh! God! she crooned. What is that? You like it? he continued to caress her with the diamonds and rub of the gold against the big mound of her ball of nerves. I do, I do, she groaned and moved with him, drenching her channel and his fingers in more hot juice. He fucked her with his fingers then, rhythmically, forcefully, until he had to have a taste of her, pulled his fingers out and bent to eat at her sweetness from behind. This way, he got his tongue inside her in a new angle that thrilled him and made her scream. He nipped at her delicate edges over and over, then licked her to soothe her. She was panting, groaning when he flipped her over and spread her legs wide. Lucky for him, he had dumped a fistful of condoms in the nightstand drawer right after theyd checked in. He yanked the drawer open, tore one off and snapped the latex on. In the next second, he buried his cock deep inside sweet, hot pussy. 88 Carried Away Oh, yes! she shouted as she gripped his hips and held him to her. Wild to take her fast and hard, he pumped into her at a clip that stunned him and had her groaning with each stroke. He slammed into her, holding her as if hed never let her go. She arched her hips, offering up her cunt to his relentless claim, until he felt her pussy clench and throb, milking him with a feral pulse. She tumbled into a fast, hard orgasm and he followed an instant behind. His cock as stiff as granite, his hips pounding against her juicy core, he felt himself drained of every ounce of strength. He sank to her side and pulled her against him. His lips against her forehead, he caught his breath and stroked her back. What is that? She caught his hand minutes later to look at the ring. For your bellybutton. He displayed it, then put a finger to her navel and pressed. Could he impress her that she belonged to him? He meant to keep her until she admitted it. Tomorrow, well go to the souk and have a jeweler pierce it and put this in. He held it up and in the sunset drifting through the sheers against the windows, he saw the diamonds sparkle. She took it from his finger and put it on hers to hold this way and that. Your eyes on me, she said and reached up to pull him down for a spellbinding kiss. In more ways than one, babe. When their breathing had returned to normal, he strode into the bathroom and took down from their hooks the white terry house robes. He encouraged her to put hers on and he donned the other. Sitting on the bed, he pulled her next to him. What bothers you? she asked. Nick? Something at the murder scene? The cable cord, yes. Im surprised they didnt find that and check it out. He caught her puzzled expression. What about Nick? I dont know. I didnt like him. And I have always liked your friends. Mark. Cord. Tate. She was frowning. Then she shook her head. Sorry. I need to blow that off. He just rubbed me the wrong way. Too stiff. I dont know. Weve got bigger problems. 89 Cerise DeLand Her big purple eyes were sad. Lots of them. If Ahmeds murderer took his computer, then the culprit probably also has my email. My website. My ID. My She sat straighter and looked at him in horror. I never thought, but of course, they have my office address, too. And with your real name, they can easily reference your father. Grant hated to say it. And also Oh, my god, Grant! My mother! She rose up on her knees on the bed. Ill get Todd to put a detail on her now. He turned, in search of his phone. The house! And her office! Right, both. Where the hell had he put his phone? Ah. The living room in his trench coat. His distinctive ring led him right to it. Fishing it out of his pocket, he read the caller ID. Nick. Hey, whats happening? Found out from the Paris homicide squad that there was no computer in the room when they went in. Oh, Christ. Grant rubbed his eyes with the heel of his hand. Okay. Do you have them analyzing any fingerprints on the cable cord? I suggested that would be a good idea. They wanted to know where I got the idea there might have been a computer in the apartment when the man died. And you said? A little birdie told me. The usefulness of being on the embassy staff, eh? Grant scoffed. Let me know what they say. Where are you staying in Dubai? The new Oasis hotel is supposed to be decadent. Heard of it, but we have a change of plans. Oh? 90 Carried Away Were taking a detour to Jerusalem. The King David then? Something about the query didnt sit right with Grant. Maybe. Working? Nick joked. Or praying? A little of both. 91 Cerise DeLand Chapter Nine She pulled the draperies open to view the solemnity of the gray Old City walls, capped by the golden Dome of the Rock and a Russian church tower within the confines of Jerusalem. She had lived in the newer part of this ancient city for two years when she was a teenager and her father was an American envoy. This hotel, small but elegant, didnt exist then. In her travels here since her dads posting, Coco had always stayed near the American Colony compound outside the Old Citys walls. But she knew the city well, its weaving roads, its busses and bustling markets. Its people. But when Grant had changed their reservations from the famous King David Hotel one block away to this one, his action left her wary. Were still so close to the Old City that we can walk in New Gate, he had explained, where the four-lane ring road around the fourteenth-century ramparts assured a visitor of hailing a taxi quickly. And close as they were to the Arab quarter and the souk, theyd easily

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