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Gay Parisienne, Unknown publishing date

Fatal Allure

by Robert Leslie Bellem

VIVIENNE LENGLET'S hand fluttered to the delectable region of her heart. Shocked reproach stole into her voice. "Mais—but Hectoire—surely you wouldn't ask me, your own wife, to...disrobe...before a strange man?"

"And why not?" her husband, Hectoire Lenglet, proprietor of the Lenglet private detective agency, rasped through his bushy black beard. His piggish little eyes glittered balefully. "Besides, it will not be a strange man who will view you au naturel. It will be Fernand Falois."

He waited for the effect of his words. Vivienne took a backward step. "Fernand Falois...?" she whispered. Hot color flooded her cheeks to a roseate flush, from the roots of her soft auburn hair to the low neckline of her simple frock.

"Precisement. Fernand Falois, the artist— the man with whom you once were in love before your parents arranged for you to marry me," Hectoire grinned as if enjoying her discomfiture.

Vivienne trembled all over. Her gloriously dimpled knees grew weak. She drew a sharp breath that caused her nubile breasts to stab outward through the fabric of her dress. "I—I refuse!" she panted desperately. "I will not do it!"

Roughly, Hectoire grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. "Non? I think otherwise, my little cabbage. This affair means five thousand francs to me. And if you disobey my orders, I shall take my razor-strop to you!"

"You—you would not dare!"

"Would I not?" he laughed brutally. "Try me and see!"

VIVIENNE CRINGED AWAY from him. Ever since she had become Hectoire's bride, two years ago she had lived in constant physical fear of him. And now he was actually threatening to inflict corporal punishment on her! Tears dimmed her hazel eyes. What a mockery her marriage had been! Instead of the love that Fernand Falois, her childhood sweetheart, might have given...

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