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"Then go! Leave-me-here-just-leave-me-here." A long pause for a long, deep inhalation. "My-dealer's-I-mean-my-boyfriend's-going- to-be-here-any-minute-now-so-just-GO!"

Belova was up off her made bed and across the disheveled hotel room the two teenage models shared, then out the door with her twin luggage set rolling behind her down the thickly-carpeted hallway. A balding man with chest hairs exposed beneath a heavy gold chain stepped off the elevator to turn in the direction of her room, and then the fifteen-year-old fresh from Moscow was descending to the hotel lobby, where the most insistent of her suitors awaited her.


"So how many girls have vou taken to this little 'country weekend place' you've told me so much about?" Svetlana asked with her too-perfect English.

Hans brushed at his locks of blond hair before shifting the gear of his Porsche, per his unwavering habit. "Zero, 'til you."

Svetlana smoothed out her longest skirt, which came within six inches of covering her kneecaps. "Then how do you know so much about this place?"

"My mother used to take my sister and I there for long weekends after my father died," Hans replied with a brush and shift that sent them zipping down the highway even more swiftly than before.

His younger companion didn't question him again.


First Star by W.R. Hammons:

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