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*****

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul;

And sings the tune without the words;

And never stops at all.

- Emily Dickenson

*****

CHAPTER ONE

THE SOUTH FLORIDA night was steamy, the music sizzling as the young couple exited the Rum Runners Club. It was too early to leave the trendy night spot and the girl lagged behind her date, sexy as she could be in her micro-mini dance outfit.

She did some impromptu bumps and grinds to the music, trying to entice her boyfriend back inside. But all it did was inflame his already overheated libido and he coaxed her deeper into the parking lot.

"I wanna dance some more," the girl said, sulky and so drop dead gorgeous she drove him crazy.

"Sure, baby, sure," her boyfriend said, soothing as he could. "But let’s rest in the car for awhile first, okay?"

"Rest. Ha!" the girl said, knowing what was up.

But the kid persisted and the girl let herself be drawn onward until they reached a flashy new Jeep. The boyfriend got the door open and started pulling the girl in after him, putting a liplock on her to end all liplocks. At the same time his hands were groping under that fabulous micro-mini. The girl started to – what the hell – go for it. Thinking that he was her boyfriend after all, and if she made it quick they could get back to the dance band.

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