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Na’iidzeeł; Private
Topic Started: Aug 4 2016, 07:47 AM (941 Views)
The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"I think I'll actually miss it a little. The view's always been something else, out here."

They'd gone east into the desert, off the main road and beyond a hill away from Kingman's blazing lights, almost specifically for this view. The Challenger wasn't strictly designed for desert paths but it had done the job just fine and when she kicked him out so she'd have room to put some clothes back on he'd gotten decent and had a seat on the bonnet to enjoy the chill of nighttime desert air. A nice change from baking in the midday sun, especially when his torso was bare other than the letterman jacket hanging off his shoulders, his shirt left in the Challenger. The windows were still fogged up, but he'd left the car running and the A/C on low for once they were driving again, hoping it'd clear the windows and do something about the smell of sweat and passion.

It was worth it, though, both what they'd just been doing and seeing Nadia as happy and excited as she'd been over the past few days. She was like him in that she often walked around almost as if the city of Kingman were throttling the life out of her every second she spent in it; the light in her voice over the phone as she gave him the news almost made her sound like a different person entirely from the Nadia he knew. It showed on her face and in the afterglow, rivalling the moon that shone down on them. Though she might laugh in his face if she heard him thinking that. Oh well.

The Mojave at night really was something, almost enough to make living out here worth it, all the stars in all their glory stretching out before them with hardly anything clouding them. You couldn't see most of these over in Los Angeles, whatever else it had to offer. Was the sky why people chose to stay here, those who could afford to get away? There was something to be said for peace, even if staying here couldn't satisfy the roaring ambitions in his heart.

Idly, he patted a space next to him on the bonnet with his hand, inviting her to take a seat if she wanted, once she was done taking as many shots as she liked. Far be it from him to get between Nadia and her photography, any more than he'd appreciate her jumping onto the mat during one of his practises.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 14 2016, 04:28 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Been for years."

Assuming she meant Kingman and not the specific stretch of desert they were sitting in at that moment. Which she probably did given they still smelled of sex and they'd hardly left themselves any time to enjoy the desert or the stars. They'd both be headed to cities, soon, the air wouldn't be as crisp and the starlight wouldn't be as bright and peace wouldn't be so easy to come by. There would just be the pursuit of their dreams, and hopefully each other. He'd swept his gaze up and down her body as she approached and as she nestled against him his arm snaked round her waist, holding her close to his side.

The silence marched on comfortably, Roderick's world temporarily the seas of red earth and black-and-silver sky before them and the warmth of Nadia's body pressed against him. It was only a few seconds taken to contemplate the reality that they both existed, before he raised his free hand to gently brush a bit of hair from her face.

"We wouldn't've met if one of us grew up somewhere else, though, so it wasn't all bad."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Love you, too."

Though she knew that, as much as she probably knew how his heart was thrashing around in his chest from those words despite how gently he continued to play with her hair. He'd wondered about that now and then, during long nights staring at his ceiling or lifting weights or driving off into the desert: did he really? Would he be as happy to wake up next to her in twenty years, for example, as he was right now? Who could say. Hopefully so, but the heart was a fickle thing and years could pass like grains of sand falling through one's fingers. Still, they'd been together a bit over a year now and they were still happy together; that was a good sign, wasn't it?

The desert was always beautiful, to him. It had been home to his people for centuries upon centuries after all, and he'd been taught to cherish it. How could someone find it boring? Well, he could actually understand the argument, but he couldn't see it himself. She was right about one thing at the very least - there was far too much to see out there to be content.

"You'll do great in LA, and you know I'm in your corner."

LA chewed people like Nadia up and spat them out daily, but he was still pulling for her. How could he not?
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Why would you feel like a failure?"

What an odd thing to say. He could name a bunch of failures here off the top of his head, but Nadia wasn't one of them, and he didn't just say that because she was his girlfriend. She had passion, drive, talent, the tools needed to get out of this sand trap and make something of herself. He laid back on the hood of the car, propped up on his forearms as he regarded her. Maybe he'd missed something, but then, hadn't he felt like a failure himself, when that one little slip made him miss his senior season?

"I don't see it. You've got a picture in Photo Vogue, you're getting out of Kingman, and UCLA's a great school, isn't it?"

Wrestling didn't allow for doubt. You got on the mat and you fought your heart out, and if you lost faith for even a moment you were screwed. Maybe you'd win, maybe you'd lose, and Roderick hadn't lost a match in years, but you had to step into the arena every single time as if your victory were assured. That wasn't arrogance, it was fighting spirit.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"I think I get it. It's not really something I can afford to think about in my sport, but I see where you're coming from."

His sport was much easier than her career path, in a way. You just showed up to practise every day, you just got on the mat and did it. No second guessing, no panicking. He sat there and listened, just like he'd done for similar talks in the past, just like he might do while psyching up a nervous freshman for his first time on the mat, because that was the right thing to do and she obviously needed to get this off her chest. What could he really offer that he hadn't already, though? That wasn't his world or his area of expertise.

For a moment, he looked to the moon as if hoping it would offer some kind of answer. It couldn't, of course, it was just a huge rock a couple hundred thousand miles away from Earth, but the light centred him at least. And, of course, Nadia would still probably want to hear what he had to say. If it would be helpful at all, that was another question.

"Way I see it, this is your passion, what you want to do with your life, yeah? So you have to fight for it, give it all you've got. You're not going to lose all your individuality or anything, but all this second guessing is just setting yourself up to fail. You know what I mean?"
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"I've pretty much narrowed the offers down to three."

Two, really, because even though American University was a good school and a good wrestling team, he didn't particularly want to up and move to the other side of the country from her. Staying in Arizona was right out, and Iowa was almost as bad. He just hadn't taken that last step. Stanford was, well, Stanford, but had he really earned that? And wouldn't that just be following the same path his father had walked? How much of their offer was just his dad being an alumnus?

Wouldn't he be a fool to pick UCLA over that, though, even if it did mean being five hours away from LA and Nadia? What did he even want to do, as degrees went? Idly, he went back to running a hand through her hair as she nuzzled against his shoulder and he continued mulling on it.

"I've been talking to all three coaches. I know they won't wait forever, but there's still some time to decide for sure."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Hard to say. I mean, Stanford and AU have offered full rides, but I'm not sure who I want to pull the trigger for. It's a huge decision to make, you know?"

And one of them had the shadow of Vernon Kanuho looming over it. Roderick loved and respected his father, but he didn't want to spend his entire academic career as "Vernon Kanuho's son". Who would? Roderick was his own man, with his own dreams. His fingers still busy with her hair, he kept his gaze on the stars, letting the thoughtful silence remain for a moment.

"They're good schools, but I don't know if I like the idea of moving all the way to Washington DC, and even Stanford's five hours away from where you'd be."

He could drive it, and Skype and Facebook and phones and the like were still things, but it still bugged him. Was their relationship one that could survive suddenly being long distance?
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 10 2016, 07:33 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"It would help if I knew what the hell I wanted to study. Pre-med, maybe? From what I hear American's more of a political school."

It was nice to know she'd be willing to tough out the distance, though, either way. That he was worth the effort. He gave her an appreciative little squeeze when she settled against him again, left arm wrapped around her, as he nodded along with what she had to say. She was right about one thing, when had he ever given up? Even during recovery he'd never thought about just calling it all quits. He'd wondered, now and then, if he really had what it took, if one state title in Arizona would really hold up to NCAA Division I wrestling, but Nadia had a way of making him feel like he could do anything. What were a few hundred miles next to the power of the human spirit? If all else failed, it was what, a bit over a hundred bucks for a plane ticket to LA from Stanford?

The desert winds blew on, as apathetic to his questions and concerns as they had been to his ancestors'. He'd need to take his car in for washing tomorrow, caked with sand and dust as it was.

"Stanford's right outside San Fran though, if I went there and you visited me we could have some fun there. I might prefer being somewhere it's always sunny anyway, I've been out east before and it gets a bit cold for my tastes."
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 11 2016, 05:54 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"That's the idea. Besides, if I became a doctor, I could go back to the Nation now and then and help people there, kind of like Dad does."

He had no idea what kind of doctor he wanted to be, of course, if he even wanted to be one at all. Probably wanted to be one more than he wanted to be a politician, though. It was a tossup really, one could help people directly, with their own hands-on work, the other could force changes in the status quo to make things better for everyone. Both appealed in their own ways, though fixing people tried his patience less than endless paperwork and legal jargon did.

"We could hit the road or grab a plane ticket over summer break, too, if you'd like to go up there."

It wasn't like he'd never gone on trips with the family, or brought her along during one of the school breaks. A few days in San Fran or DC could do them some good, let them let their hair down so to speak.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Then it's a date."

Who knew, maybe he could even talk his parents into a trip to Japan and surprise her with an invite. That'd have to be cleared with the Rivas though, and even though his and Nadia's parents knew about their relationship, maybe that'd be a bit of an awkward talk to have. They were adults now though, or near enough, so what was the harm in thinking about it?

The sands swirled around the Challenger just a little, and somewhere off in the distance there was the group yip-howling of a coyote pack. The barking chorus made it sound like an army of the creatures was about to crest the hill, but there were probably only a few, a little family of the great trickster's descendants declaring this stretch of the Mojave their own. When he was a child the sound might have kicked up some primal, instinctive fear, but now it had no power over him, just another song of the west he'd say he was glad to be rid of but would miss deep in his bones.

As long as they didn't go off and disturb the den, the pack probably wouldn't bother them, so Roderick didn't visibly acknowledge the howls except with a little smile Nadia might not even see in the moonlight, relaxing against her.

"Maybe they're congratulating us," he told her, the faintest hint of mischief in his voice. "You know, 'good job, you won, you're getting out of here'."
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 11 2016, 08:19 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"You know it."

Probably something to do with her photography, the way she held that camera as she said it. Roderick didn't mind though, he'd been happy to support her passion in any way he could in the year they'd known each other. Any time he'd brought her to the reservation, for instance, he'd gone ahead and made sure of what people would and wouldn't be okay with her photographing. The genuine interest in and respect for Navajo culture she showed endeared her to those he knew in the Nation and, if he reflected on it, probably played no small role in him feeling so much more seriously for her than any of the other women he'd been with during his time in Kingman.

The rippling howls and barks continued, and with their ebb and flow it was almost as if the pack were cheering on whatever she had in mind.

"Go on, lay it on me."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Magic, huh? He couldn't help a chuckle, soft at first and a bit louder when she mentioned what had just happened in his car, his grin showing teeth. Not mocking at all, just good spirits, especially as he respectfully but very openly looked her up and down while she stretched. She liked to photograph him and he liked to appreciate her, but all in good fun. In the Kanuho residence's living room, there was a fireplace, and among the decorations on its mantel were numerous photographs she'd snapped of him over their time together. In some he was "racing the sun" out in the desert or through Kingman's streets, in others he was practising, partaking in ceremonies on the reservation, just standing around and goofing off, and there was even one of a more recent visit they paid to the Nation together. Roderick had been teaching some Diné kids a little bit about how to wrestle, and she'd taken a shot just as he was walking them through a hold, firm but caring and encouraging. Pictures of himself doing things always seemed like an odd gift, he preferred the ones she sent him of them together, but the thought was definitely appreciated, and she was a far better photographer than he could ever be. Far be it from him to discourage her passions, either way, especially when she phrased her offer almost like a challenge.

If you asked Rod if he was "up for" something, he was going to show you he sure as hell was. You could break him but you couldn't make him back down. With another grin, he bounded to his feet from the sitting position he took on the bonnet in a second flat, kicking up sand from the impact and a little tender jolt from his ankle that he ignored. It was working after all, just still a bit sore now and then.

"Sounds like fun to me. Anything you'd like to start with?"
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 12 2016, 08:52 PM.
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Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Fine by me."

Or maybe she just wanted him to walk around without a shirt on, wouldn't be the first time. That was also fine by him, so no loss there. Roderick shrugged off his jacket and let it fall onto the bonnet, stretching a little as he walked over to the indicated rock. In the darkness, he made out a silhouette on a hill a bit away; one of the coyotes had gone to the summit and seemed to be staring curiously at them. Or possibly the light of his car, it was difficult to tell at this distance. For something to focus on, he stared back at it, head high, one foot going on the rock, hands going on his hips.

When in doubt, go all Captain Morgan.

"How's this?"
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 13 2016, 11:16 AM.
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Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"All right."

He knew the drill, they'd done this often enough, and he moved as she told him to move and looked where she told him to look. Simple enough really, and it wasn't like he was incapable of holding still. He even managed to avoid blinking when the flashes started to come, one after the other. Just keep looking off into the distance and holding his position. Like a living statue.
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Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
What, did she want him to wrestle the coyote? If it didn't run away, its friends would join in and that wouldn't be a fair fight. That rather silly thought aside, when she gave the word he finally relaxed, letting out the breath he'd been holding and loosening his muscles just a little with the rush of air. Little trails of sweat ran down his skin, from the warmth of the desert and their exertions earlier. The crispness of the air kept him alert at least, and he finally looked away from the coyote off in the distance to regard Nadia again. He'd learnt to keep an open mind, because when she "had an idea" it was usually a really good time.

"What've you got in mind?"

They were already enjoying themselves, after all, so no harm in indulging her.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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