He sets me down gently, and the cold concrete floor beneath my feet is both a welcoming feeling because of its familiarity and also an unpleasant shove back into my reality which the man towering above me is not—and cannot—be a part of.

I start to speak. “Listen—”

“I know why you were there,” he says, cutting off my attempt at an explanation. I’d be pissed that he just cut me off if his voice wasn’t so calm—gentle, even.

I raise an eyebrow. “You…you do?” I blink a few times, unsure of his sudden change of tone on the matter.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you obviously need the money,” he says. “I saw how desperate you looked when I told you about the endoscopy. When I saw you tonight, I knew it had to be the reason why.”

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