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It was the first time he had seen her close up. She was younger than he,  in her twenties to his forties. A long brown pony tail swept her hair up away from her face, giving her high cheekbones even stronger lines.

"What now?" Neddy asked, wondering why she had bothered. She went up to him with her bow still in one hand and dragged his head down to her lips by the neck. The kiss was strong and so savage that he flinched as he tasted his own blood. She'd bitten his lip.
"Gotta get the passion back, big man." She winked. I was here long before you came, but I've been watching you. You gave them a run for the money. It was a help when they were after me. I owed you." 

Neddy nodded, licking the blood from his lips and grinned. "What gratitude."

"That's better, my man." She grinned. Her teeth were straight and white as a model's. "Come help ... or they might get curious." She reached down to take both wrists of the dead man and began tugging him towards the railing before Neddy realized what she was doing.

"Keep low," he murmured. 

She looked at him like he was insane for thinking otherwise. They heaved the dead man's body onto their backs and lifted as one ... shots riddled the corpse as it rose above them and flew into space ... arching down toward the dirty fire below.


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Shades of Fantasy
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Revised: March 6, 1999
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