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Unformatted text preview: him; he felt Stolov's hand on his shoulder. There at the top of the stairs, across the landing blocking the door to the rear of the house, stood Julien once more, and Lasher, seeing him, backed up, almost falling, then ran down the second-floor hall and thundered up the next flight of stairs to the third floor. "Let me go!" Michael roared, shoving at Stolov. "No, you are not going to kill him. You will not." Michael spun round, left arm rising in the proverbial hook, knuck- les connecting with the man's chin and sending him out and over backwards down the entire length of the steep stairs. For one second, he stared in horrible regret at the figure of Stolov, twisted, smashing to the floor. But Lasher had reached a haven, the third-floor bedroom, and Mi- chael could hear him sliding the bolt. Rushing up after him, Michael slammed his fists against the door. He barged into it with his shoulder, once, twice, and then stood back and kicked hard against the wood, splintering it from the lock....
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- Spring '10