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The Hard Price: Sample

The bare trees did nothing to filter out that brilliant, heavy orange-red light from the setting sun. They stood black against the streaming rays. Everything else was soaked in that scarlet glare. Kristin rubbed her arms in an unconscious gesture to remove the light's stain from her skin. Clark's Chevy LUV sat parked between two of the trees. Its flame-orange paint made it almost disappear into the air's vermilion glare. The assuredly bloated sun providing that garishly tinted radiance was hidden behind the stygian bulk of the house.

The house was a huge monolithic three-story block of inky darkness that seemed to almost waver at its edges. Steve and Tammy, and Kevin and Rachael were emptying Steve's station wagon onto the back porch. Rachael was tossing items at Kevin like they were bizarre footballs. She grabbed up something particularly heavy and slung it at him. He caught it but it bowled him over. They all started to laugh. Kristin was laughing too, but jumped when Clark came up from behind her and ran his hands down from her shoulders to her elbows.

He kissed the side of her neck. She closed her eyes and smiled. Clark slipped his arms around her. She squealed as he picked her up and spun around twice, and then a third time before setting her down and turning her to face him. She could feel the world reel around her as Clark kissed her long and hard. She melted into him. He held her for a long moment before letting go and stepping to stand beside her. She remained where she was, eyes closed.

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