PROLOGUE <

CHAPTER 01 <
CHAPTER 02 <
CHAPTER 03 <
CHAPTER 04 <
CHAPTER 05 <
CHAPTER 06 <
CHAPTER 07 <
CHAPTER 08 <
CHAPTER 09 <
CHAPTER 10 <
CHAPTER 11 <
CHAPTER 12 <
CHAPTER 13 <
CHAPTER 14 <
CHAPTER 15 <
CHAPTER 16 <
CHAPTER 17 <
CHAPTER 18 <
CHAPTER 19 <
CHAPTER 20 <
CHAPTER 21 <
CHAPTER 22 <
CHAPTER 23 <
CHAPTER 24 <
CHAPTER 25 <
CHAPTER 26 <
CHAPTER 27 <

EPILOGUE <






Barry Hoffman's HUNGRY EYES

Chapter Seventeen

Shara was angry with herself. She had promised herself she'd maintain her daily morning routine and not hurry out to get the News to read Deidre's story about her mother. But curiosity gnawed at her. She threw a half-eaten bagel in the trash, and decided to splurge at McDonalds while she read the paper.

She lost her appetite for the second time that morning over an egg-McMuffin as she read, then re-read Deidre's distortion of her past.

" . . . Loretta Barrows believed in tough love, but love was the operative word here," Deidre had written.

-- love, Shara thought. Her mother didn't know the meaning of the word.

" . . . cooperative to a fault with the media, Loretta Barrows became embittered as she saw her words twisted."

-- became embittered. Hell, Shara thought, her mother was born bitter, and just got worse with age.

" . . . while the papers pounced on big money to be gained from movie and book deals as the motive behind Loretta Barrows attempt to regain custody of her daughter, it was conveniently ignored she had agreed to a court appointed trustee to oversee dispersal of any forthcoming monies."

-- That was a good one, Shara thought. Her mother would agree to anything, because if she regained custody she would figure a way to turn a profit.

" . . . at their last supervised visitation, Loretta Barrows claimed Renee was eager to be reunited with her family."

-- A lie. A baldfaced lie, and Deidre knew it.

Shara's hand shook as she picked up a cup of coffee, spilling the now-cold liquid on the article she had just concluded.

Anger welled within her, and she had to fight for control. She had thought Deidre was pulling her chain the night before to throw her off balance. Surely her mother hadn't conned Deidre into believing she had been misrepresented by the media. Deidre was too smart; her mother too transparent. Lies. Vile lies. Lies that made her mother appear to be the victim.

Deidre had gone too far, Shara thought. And what else had she said? -- her interview with Costanzo's sister would make for a fascinating story.

She wouldn't allow it. Deidre was rewriting her childhood. She must pay. Would pay. Pay dearly. Today.

Shara's body was no happier with the story than her mind. At work, despite having drank nothing but a half-a-cup of coffee, she felt the urge to pee every half-hour. She felt claustrophobic, and waves of nausea attacked her on three occasions. Her body demanded action, and she acquiesced. Her fingers on auto pilot, as she entered records into the computer, she formulated a plan. Every so slowly her body relaxed.

Yes, Deidre would pay, Shara thought smiling at the computer screen.

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