- Crowning Achievement
- Part 1
- by Jan Hedblom
I do not own the characters in "The Thomas Crown Affair"
remake, nor is it my intention to infringe on the work of all
the very talented people associated with the production. Any
quotes or situations used in the production belong to their respective
authors and are mentioned here only to further the plot of my
story. This story is written for entertainment purposes only,
and is intended to pay homage to both the movie and the pioneering
spirit of Irish Dreamtime Productions, Inc.
After their escape from New York, I wondered what Tommy and Catherine
might do with the rest of their lives. This story is one outlet
for all that pent-up energy. Note that this story has adult
"You'll break both my arms, huh?" Tommy whispered,
barely managing to suppress a chuckle. His little firebrand.
GOD how he loved her!
"You damn well KNOW I will!" she purred, lips poised
at his right ear.
"Now WHY would you want to do that? Then I wouldn't be able
to do THIS!" he crooned, slowly sliding both hands up her
ribcage to rest at the bottom of her breasts.
"I'm WAAARNING yooooou!" she hissed seductively. His
thumbs found her nipples, brushing gentle circles against the
fabric of her coat.
"The world is watching?"
"Yes, they are!"
"Relax my sweet. I am nothing if not discreet," he
said with mock gallantry.
Catherine's breathing quickened. "The bastard knows I'm
a sucker for that move and he's playing it for all it's worth,"
she thought. "OoooKaaaay, you wanna play?"
Her tongue snaked out, caressing his earlobe. "Aaaaaah,"
he groaned, closing his eyes, enjoying the feeling. "If
I can just keep him busy," she reasoned, reaching casually
toward the seat she'd occupied moments before, "I might
be able to get" She took his lobe between her lips,
running her tongue along the lower edge. Rewarded with his deep
sigh, she pressed on. She began a slow nibble-tug cadence, her
teeth massaging the soft area dead center.
He'd abandoned thumbs for a full court press with his fingertips,
enveloping her sides, sending shock waves down to her toes.
"Get away, get away!" she said, with a decided lack
"You don't think we're finished do you?" he said sweetly,
throwing her own words back at her.
Her fingers found the tray table. "NOW!" she
thought. Giving his ear a sharp nip, she quickly secreted her
prize by her left side.
"OW!" he yelped softly, drawing odd looks from fellow
passengers. "You little." Grabbing a handful of her
hair, he pinned her head to the seat back. "There's only
one way to muzzle a vixen," he said, his voice husky.
"VIXEN is it!"
"Yes. My own personal, veeery lovely, veeeery sexy red fox."
His lips dwarfed hers, shutting off breath as they found their
"Is he trying to get into the Guiness Book?"
she wondered, dizziness beginning to take it's toll.
He had her. He could feel it. Just a tiny bit more and he'd win
Her left arm began a slow arc, cresting above his head. All she
needed was a little wrist action and..BINGO!
"WHAT THE!" Warm liquid dribbled down his face.
Startled, he abruptly broke his hold on her mouth, trying not
to sputter as he inhaled. He flicked out his tongue and tasted
"Told you I wouldn't back off," she smiled. She reminded
him of a Cheshire cat. A very self-satisfied Cheshire cat.
"Where did you get..?" he asked, dumbfounded. So much
for Plan A.
"Shouldn't leave your flank unguarded. For a corporate raider,
you're awfully slow. Now, if you were a bounty hunter-"
"I think this is where I came in."
"Come on ahead." She gave him a sweltering look.
The jet hit turbulence, throwing them forward. All arms and legs,
they tried in vain to disentangle themselves. The more they struggled,
the more their efforts took on the look of a game of "Twister"
"Not quite what I had in mind," she puffed after a
bit, pulling her coat into some semblance of shape. She attempted
a ladylike slide back onto the seat.
"This NEVER happens on MY jet!" he said with emphasis,
affecting wounded dignity. He joined her, attempting to smooth
his now wet and spikey hair.
"That's because YOUR jet is too well bred," she cackled,
tears streaming down her cheeks. Her laughter was infectious
and he found himself giggling uncontrollably.
Spontaneous applause burst out. Caught up in their game, they'd
failed to notice that the world was indeed, watching. To whistles
and cries of "Encore!" and "Beats the hell outta
the movie!" they sheepishly waved to their newfound fans.
The flight attendant that had been so concerned for their safety
hurried to help them clean up the aftermath of their fling with
the champagne. They started to apologize, offering to pay for
any damage to the plane's upholstery. Handing Tommy a towel,
she leaned in close to the couple. "Not to worry. These
planes are built to take it. Will you be needing anything else?"
Thanking her profusely, they declined. "You're a joy together.
Don't lose that," she said, giving them a warm smile. They
watched her walk back to the galley.
"Nice lady," she said.
"Very," he agreed.
Sobered by her words, they pulled themselves together. Tommy
leaned against the bulkhead, gazing out at the darkness. Catherine
curled into a ball at his side, her head resting on his shoulder.
He reached for her hand and she placed it in his. The cabin lights
had been secured for the night, so she tried to keep her voice
low. Sex with him was a dream, but she needed straight answers
to some very hard questions if their relationship was to come
out on solid ground.
"I should be furious with you. You literally left me holding
the bag back there. A very LARGE bag. But all I could feel was
hurt. Hurt that I'd been had, hurt that all it was to YOU was
Tommy felt the increasing pressure as she squeezed his hand tighter.
"How can I explain this to her? And still keep her? Better
let her take the lead." He continued to stare at the
skyline, taking refuge in the darkness.
"Was that meant to be a consolation prize? Nice try, too
bad, better luck next time? Or did your little trinket serve
to assuage your conscience?" she said pointedly. "Why
won't he TALK to me!" she thought, tears starting to
mist her vision. "I WON'T let him see me cry! He sees
weakness and goes for the throat!"
- She blinked rapidly and drew a deep ragged breath. Hoping
to goad him into a response, her voice took on a sarcastic tone.
"All that talk about trust, was that just all it was, TALK?
Gentleman jockey's won the Derby, now he has no further need
for the horse?" She pulled her hand away.
He felt her starting to shake, whether with hurt or anger he
wasn't sure. Reaching over her head, he slipped his left arm
around her shoulders, pulling her close. She tried fighting him,
but he effectively pinned her arms with his grip. "I told
you once before, take your hands off me!" she fumed, tears
streaming. She knew it was futile to try to escape. He had her
in a boxer's clinch.
"Shhhhh, calm down now, just calm down luv," he said
soothingly, gently wiping her face with his free hand. Rocking
her against him, he let her cry herself out. Feeling her relax
a bit, he loosened his hold somewhat.
"I swore I wasn't gonna do this, she sniffled. I HATE being-."
"YES! I never felt this way before you turned my life upside
down!" She backhanded his chest, catching his nose on the
fly. Blood flowed, staining his jacket. Grabbing the towel the
flight attendant had left, he pressed it to his face.
"One boxer in the family is quite enough, thank you very
much," he said nasally, tipping his head back and pinching
off his nostrils. "Forgot the first rule. Never take your
eyes off your opponent."
"You had it coming!"
"Yes, I did," he said softly.
Geared up for an argument, she did a double take when she heard
his words. "Did you just say FAMILY?"
"As in you and I?"
"And did I ALSO just hear you admit you were wrong? I mean,
I'm not hallucinating or anything?"
"No, you're not wrong or no, I'm not hallucinating?"
Bringing his head forward, he gingerly checked his nose. "You
DO know I'm getting too old for this? Blood doesn't clot the
way it used to. Tend to bruise easily in midlife and all that".
"Bullshit! You're fitter than anyone I've ever known. Answer
"Ah yes, the question," he said, absently rubbing his
left eyebrow. "Or was it questions? No my luv, you most
definitely are NOT hallucinating. I know I've given you a rough
time. But I'd like the chance to explain. Preferably BEFORE I'm
too comatose to speak!" She sat in total silence. "I
sense hesitation," he said cautiously.
"That line's getting old."
"Wasn't very effective last time was it?" he asked
"No." She waited a beat, just to let him know she had
the upper hand. He was not yet back in her good graces. "Oh,
all RIGHT! But this better be good!" she said forcefully.
His eyes, downcast through the last few minutes, slowly met hers.
She stared back intensely, not letting him off the hook. "Why
do we manage to rub each other the wrong way?" she said,
"It's a porcupine thing."
He gazed steadily back at her, his expression soft. "I've
always been driven," he sighed. "Always had to know
the how and why of everything. It's like my mind had a mind of
"And you were just along for the ride."
"Exactly. In school, I always knew the answers before they
asked the questions. But it was a working class town."
"And that little trait didn't endear you to your peers?"
"Not by a long shot. They thought I looked down on them."
"So your fists became your fortune," she said, beginning
to warm to him again.
"Yeah, the man with the golden gloves. Boxing gave me a
"And you've been fighting ever since."
"After a while it became a habit. The haves against the
have not. I knew I had a head for finance, but I had to show
everybody the wee lad had a brain," he said, lapsing into
a Glaswegian accent.
"Defend the family honor?"
"Something like that."
"When we were on Martinique I noticed a woman's picture
next to your antique locomotive. Was that your mother?"
She had to strain to hear him. "Yes." She was surprised
to see the warrior she knew, the man that gave no quarter, start
to cry. "She was a wonderful woman. Fought my battles when
she could. Worked like a dog to support the two of us. It's not
easy for a single mother in a small town." She nodded, remembering
life in a house without a mother. "She never lived to see
me graduate." He hung his head, letting emotion take him.
"Sometimes I think she would have been disappointed in me."
"How could she be, you've come so far!"
"Yes, but at what expense? I told you the hard part was
learning how to talk."
"I remember. At the time, I thought you were kidding."
"I'd never kid about a thing like that. I KNEW I could make
it if I got the chance. And I GOT that chance. I made a conscious
decision to turn my back on my heritage. She would have been
"You're in good company. People have done that since civilized
"She didn't raise me to be a deserter!"
"She raised you to be a survivor! She would have understood."
"I'm not ashamed of where I come from. I've NEVER been ashamed
of where I come from!" he said, his voice breaking.
"I'm so sorry," she soothed, reaching up to stroke
his face. Her fingertips brushed tears off his cheek. She opened
her arms to him, inviting him inside. He snuggled close, unable
to get enough of her touch.
"My therapist says I have a problem trusting women,"
he stated, in a matter of fact tone.
"Your therapist is an idiot."
"I rather thought that myself after she ridiculed me last
time I saw her."
"She what! I thought therapists were supposed to be objective."
"So did I. But I guess I had it coming. I usually blew her
off during each session. Sat there wrapped up in my own head
games. I don't know why she bothered. I guess she'd just had
a belly full," he said contritely.
"What kind of rapport did the two of you have?"
"She knew I wasn't serious about therapy. She'd try to get
me to focus on my issues. I think I was too scared."
"That trust business."
"Yeah, that trust business. I'd only trusted one woman in
my life," he said.
"Yeah." He looked at the floor.
"What happened at your last session?"
"She knew I was seeing someone as dynamic as I was. She
thought it amusing that I could be serious about anyone, let
alone someone with my..inclinations," he said, trying to
choose his words carefully. "She laughed in my face. Called
me Peter Pan. Made some unkind remarks about the future of our
relationship. And I didn't even see it coming. I guess it's true
what they say. What goes around, comes around."
"Like I said.idiot," she said, as if to dismiss the
woman as the quack she perceived her to be. "That's a no-no.
You could have her brought up on disciplinary charges."
"Why bother? The damage is done," he said dejectedly.
She attempted to lighten the mood. "Maybe you were with
the wrong women," she said, trying her best to be objective
and failing miserably. He caught her tone and smiled. "I
mean, who else could give you a run for your money? Not to mention
the fact that I have the key to your hard," she giggled.
"Oops, sorry. Freudian slip."
"You'd say more, but modesty forbids. Freudian slip, my
ass!" he laughed.
"I'd be happy to slip your ass any day of the week. It's
so CUUUUTE!" She reached around and squeezed his cheeks,
making him lean into her caress.
She had to keep probing. Never had she wanted to know so much,
so fast. "Tread carefully Banning. One wrong word and
you'll spook him big time," she chided herself, as she
prepared to drop the big one.
"Or maybe your mom was a tough act to follow. She left you.
She didn't mean to, she couldn't help it, but she did. You never
got to make amends for the times you felt you'd failed her. Maybe
it was too risky trying to love someone else, knowing she could
leave at any time."
His languid body at once became tense. But would it be fight
or flight? She didn't have a clue. His expression gave nothing
away. "No wonder he's so good in a boardroom,"
"Care to let me in the game? That's one great poker face
you've got on," she said softly.
He seemed to come back to himself. "Boy, you don't screw
around do you?" he said, still in shock at her words.
"Yes, I do actually."
"Do what?" he said, still a bit confused.
"Screw around." She rubbed his thigh, trying to take
the sting out of her bombshell.
He couldn't help laughing. "What a wild ride. If I'd
known a woman could be this much fun, I've given up my catamaran
long ago!" he thought.
"You know me too well," he said tenderly, relaxing
She let out the breath she'd been holding. "Thank God
he's got a head on his shoulders!" She knew at that
moment that he was hers.
"Takes one to know one. I do the same thing. I just never
knew it until I met you. If I HAD known it, I wouldn't have admitted
it, even to myself."
Sensing she wanted to talk, he said, "Tell me about it."
"I don't know. I never needed, never wanted, anybody serious.
My life was my job. The almighty JOB," she said, with a
hint of disgust.
"Men make women messy?"
"What a memory!"
"Mind like a steel trap, remember?" he said, touching
a finger to the side of his temple.
"They had. They sure had. When I knew you'd pulled that
heist my only goal was to take you down. I was going to use any
and every trick to put you away. You were the symbol that threatened
everything I'd been raised to believe." She paused, looking
at the opposite bulkhead to avoid his eyes. "Only you beat
me at my own game," she admitted, her voice taking on a
childlike tone. "You knew I'd try to break into your house
"I had a small inkling, yes," he teased.
"Sorry. Yes, I knew it. I relished it, wanted the challenge.
NEEDED the challenge. I was running out of options," he
said with a note of defeat.
"How do you mean?" She couldn't imagine this man running
out of anything.
"At first it was great."
"Hurrah for the underdog?"
"Yeah. But I got too good at what I did. Just steam rolled
over everybody. After a while it wasn't enough. Didn't fill the
empty places. But I kept on. Like if I stopped moving, started
thinking, I'd die."
"You became the Evil Knievel of Wall Street."
"I saw that little thrill show you put on with that boat
"You mean the cat? When?"
"When I was checking you out. Nice gentleman and his wife
were kind enough to offer the use of their yacht for the afternoon."
"How DID you get onto me anyway? I thought I'd covered my
tracks pretty well."
"Oh, you did. But you counted on dealing with ordinary investigators."
"And YOU are anything but ordinary,"
"Nice of you to notice."
"You're welcome. So, how DID you home in on me?"
"You left a paper trail."
"You're on record with every auction house in this city.
Bid on Monets on several occasions."
"Ah, it's the little details."
"That spell our downfall, yes."
"That.and the fact that I knew no rank amateur could have
planned something so elaborate. Ooooh, there was a mind behind
it all right. I just had to find him."
"Him? For all you knew, it could have been a her! Admit
it. You'd still have been grasping at straws.."
"If you hadn't come barreling out of police headquarters,
throwing your arms out like you were about to break into a chorus
of "The Sound Of Music!" she said triumphantly.
He rubbed a hand over his face, letting out another sigh. "See,
that's just what I mean."
"What are you talking about?"
"I told you once you like the chase. No, I take that back,"
he said, holding up a finger. "You damn well LOVE the chase!
Every time you take somebody down, you feel vindicated."
"I don't need to feel vindicated! I'm good!"
"Very good. But you're still not opposed to giving as good
as you get once in a while are you?"
"Do my job," they finished in unison.
After a while he continued, "I'd become jaded. Been everywhere.
Done everything. Could buy anything."
"When you're in MY tax bracket it is. No matter what I did,
there was no joy left."
"So you decided to try for the ultimate brass ring?"
"And it would have worked too, except..."
"Except I dealt myself a hand?"
"You sure came out of nowhere. Any woman brazen enough to
buy a man a drink AND call him a thief in the space of ten minutes
deserved a second look. I knew you liked a good game as much
as I did. If anybody could crack my code it was you. And just
to make it a sporting proposition--"
"You just HAPPENED to take me on that little museum tour
before our first dinner."
"Can I help it if I love to show off a good painting?"
he asked, all innocence. She rolled her eyes.
"And just HAPPENED to leave your house keys in the pocket
of your suit coat?"
"I had to put them somewhere," he said, a self-satisfied
smirk lighting up his eyes.
"Keep it up and I'll think of a few places you can put
them!" she thought, exasperated. "I cracked your
code all right. Then YOU cracked ME! I didn't like being played
for a fool. After you pulled that "Dogs At Cards" stunt,
I called you a sack of shit."
"You were right". He took her face in his hands, turning
it slowly. "Look at me" he said softly. She raised
her eyes to his. "It's no accident you chose to become a
bounty hunter. You've been trying all your life to be a better
man than your father." She started to protest but he held
a finger to her lips. "He did his daughter an injustice.
Took a perfectly beautiful, intelligent, passionate lady and
systematically stepped on her spirit. AND, to add insult to injury,
he had the willing cooperation of her brothers."
He sensed she needed some breathing room. Getting up from her
lap, he braced himself for the explosion he knew was coming.
"You know what? You're absolutely RIGHT!" Her self-revelation
energized her. "All my life I busted my ass trying to get
a break in that house."
She became more agitated, waving her arms for emphasis. "If
I don't watch it, she'll nail me again," he thought,
ducking to protect his already battered nose. "Didn't
see this much action when I was in the ring!"
"He didn't even know I was alive! Sonofabitch didn't even
care when I left home. And FORGET my brothers. Assholes all."
`Why don't you forget all this shit and learn to cook? No one's
gonna take a woman seriously. You're not smart enough.' She aped
them with saccharine sarcasm, venom pouring out with every word.
"That LAST one used to REALLY get to me. They'd start in
just because they knew it bugged me. Like THEY"RE any great
shakes. NONE of them bills more than $50,000 a year gross! Know
what I CLEARED last year?"
"You've been busy again."
"Just helping to set the record straight," he shrugged.
"Thank you. I wish you'd tell THEM!"
"I'll send them a telegram."
"You would too," she laughed. Emotion spent, she paused
for breath. The old feeling of inadequacy, a feeling she'd fought
so hard to conquer, came unbidden. "He wouldn't let me in,"
she cried, her voice small.
"He couldn't. Your father was a hard man. There was no room
for a woman in his life. Any woman. In his world, a woman's place
is to give a man sons, then do a fadeout. You were the sacrificial
"I just wanted his respect."
"I know. And maybe a bit of his love too?" he asked,
drawing her to him. She nodded slowly. "But you've proven
you're worth more than all of them combined. Especially to me."
He kissed her, his feather soft lips on hers. "I knew you
from the first time I met you. Knew what drove you, because I
saw myself in you."
"I knew you too."
"I sensed that. I'm not the only one that did the cracking;
you did a fair bit yourself," he said humbly.
"What do you mean," she asked, puzzled.
"I've always been the aggressor. I'm used to it. Hell, I'd
have been dead in the water fifty times over if I wasn't a ball
"Hit and run?"
"You got it."
"Enter you. The master safecracker. You cracked my house..and
you cracked my heart. And do you know the best part?" She
shook her head. "You never took any of my shit. Threw it
right back at me."
"And I must say, it was considerable. I was beginning to
wonder if I should invest in a pair of hip boots. It was getting
deep!" she crowed. He laughed, throwing back his head in
delight. "I played it straight you know."
"Yes, you did. And I played down and dirty. I'm sorry for
that. I thought you'd caught on, were with me. When I saw you
cry tonight, it tore me to pieces."
"Then what was with all that elaborate crap at the museum?"
"That night in the park, when I asked you to join me in
exile, you hesitated."
"I represented the law!" she yelled, but he calmed
her, stroking his hands on her back.
"I know luv. That's just the point. I knew you couldn't
come away with me then. It would have gone against everything
you believed. I had to set it up so you could do your duty. Get
you off the hook with the cops, AND square with your conscience
"You did that for me?" Her eyes began to tear again.
"So the second painting was just a forget-me-not? You KNEW
I'd return it?"
"But why couldn't you let me KNOW? Why leave me hanging
out to dry at the heliport? My world came to an end right there!"
"I had to keep you in the dark, so you'd come across as
believable. At that point in time, my only thought was to protect
"Like you protected Anna? Made sure she was in the clear
before you left?"
"You know about Anna? ALL about Anna?"
"Yeah. Mike & I had gone to see her father in prison,
trying to track down your forger."
"It was YOU who made the connection wasn't it?"
"I'm almost sorry now that I did. At the time, I was angry
with you for rubbing my nose in her every time I turned around.
I gave him the border photographs of the Monet. I thought he'd
dropped that angle. I had no idea of her true relationship to
you. He hit me with it at the museum. I felt like a heel."
"It's OK. She's safe. I'll never let anyone hurt her. I
made a promise to her father. She's like my own daughter."
"She loves you, you know." It was a statement of fact.
"I'm like her surrogate daddy, she HAS to love me,"
"No. I mean she REALLY loves you. Couldn't you feel it?
She shot daggers at me every time she looked at me. I just hope
someday she'll forgive me."
He seemed taken aback by this news. "Why would she be mad
"I took her man."
"She never had me."
"Ooooooh yes she DID. Every time you needed an escort, every
time you allowed her to share your home."
"She always knew-."
She cut him off. "Did she?"
"I mean, she's my ward for God's sake! I'm twice her age!
It would have been like incest! She had to know it could never
"Know WHAT? That you cared for her? That you'd invited her
to share part of your life? Was it that much of a stretch to
presume you felt as she did?"
"I never intended to hurt her," he ventured.
"But you did."
"I never knew!" he said, feeling self-defensive.
"That's because you refused to see," she countered.
"You're saying I used her?"
"But if she felt this way, why did she agree to leave?"
"Simple. You asked her to. The only reason she didn't claw
my eyes out is because she knew you were happy with me. She was
willing to give you up to insure that happiness." She paused
a beat to let the force of her words sink in. "And you can't
love anybody more than that."
"Forgive YOU? Seems I'm the one that should beg her forgiveness."
He slammed his fist on the upholstery.
She knew her insights had taken the starch out of him. Shoulders
slumped, he folded his hands between his knees, lost in a moment
of private grief. "Well, when we see her, we can both tell
her how we feel," she said, laying a soft hand on his back.
"You'd like to do that?"
"Yes, if she'll have me. I owe her that. We both do."
"As soon as I'm sure the bloodhounds have lost her scent,
I'll arrange it."
"Speaking of bloodhounds, we may need a few moves ourselves
when we get off this plane. We're not exactly unknowns you know.
I'm sure Interpol would like to have a nice fireside chat."
"Didn't I tell you?"
Suddenly suspicious, she treated him to her best bounty hunter
manner. "Tell me WHAT?"
"This plane's going to Rio."
"But I distinctly saw the gate sign ..."
"A slight alteration. Didn't think I'd chance either of
us in Europe right now, did you?"
"How did you manage to, shall we say, "divert"
"Piece of cake. This airline's CEO is a golfing buddy of
mine. He owes me one. I dropped a hundred grand to him on a bet
right after I took the Monet. I told him the whole story last
night and, voila!"
"Well, no..I had a little help from my pilot. He's in the
cockpit actually. The chief air traffic controller is HIS buddy.
"But what about the other people onboard?"
"I picked up their tabs."
"And the flight crew?"
"They're officially on paid vacation."
"Courtesy of Crown Acquisitions?"
"I reiterate. DID YOU SET THIS UP?" Totally unrepentant,
he grinned like a jackass eating briars. "Just how many
wayward souls were in on this little scheme of yours?"
"Just tonight, or from the beginning?"
"You've got TWO crews working this thing?" she asked,
unable to believe her ears.
"NO, no, no!" he laughed, enjoying her reaction. "Just
one. Consisting of Anna, Jimmy, Paul, Wallace, my pilot and the
"And a cast of thousands."
"Thousands?.Oooooh, you mean the unknown businessmen?"
"The very same."
"Some of my top execs."
"And the lone unknown?"
"That's the one."
"My personal manager."
"They ALL knew?"
"They're my friends. I have no secrets from them. I'd trust
them with anything I've got."
"Even your freedom?"
"ESPECIALLY my freedom. Wallace used to be a crack criminal
attorney before he came to work for me."
"And THEIR freedom?"
"Assured. They'll be joining us."
"What about the houses. Your holdings?"
Knowing it was useless, she uttered a final feeble protest. "I've
got appointments in Monaco."
"Wanna keep `em?"
"I guess not, seeing as I'd rather not bail out at 35,000
feet!" He chuckled.
She continued giving him her lock-`em-up-and-throw-the-key-away
look. He favored her with a hooded gaze and cunning smile, guaranteed
to get her back up. Lunging for his shoulders, she yelled "But
I DO wanna break both your arms!"
TO BE CONTINUED