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Copyright © 2012 by James Hampton

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved.


Chapter One

Crystal Hobbs was expecting dismay from her boyfriend when she told him where they'd be meeting another young couple for dinner tonight. She got it.

"Murl's Famous Country Buffet?" Shane almost choked on the words.

Crystal, twenty-four, was sitting in front of the bedroom mirror. She spent a lot of time there, inspecting her appearance, but not out of vanity. Rather, Crystal was deadly serious when it came to looking her best. She had to make it look as if she had arrived at her beauty effortlessly, when in fact a Herculean effort was needed to maintain it. By most accounts—whether of randy boys or jealous girls—she was successful. Her lustrous blond hair fell on her shoulders in a gentle cascade; her low-cut blouse gleamed white, like a fall of fresh snow, against her superbly tanned skin. Right now Crystal was studying her face for any spots in need of some last-minute attention: Lips good; eye shadow fine; lashes could be better but still passable…

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