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  • Max reflected that this whole case started with the cowboy from Kansas, Smitty Johns, who wanted his girl back. At least, he thought she was his girl. He still called her Rose even though Max told him the story over the phone and that her name is Irene. He told him everything, secretly hoping he would abandon her, leaving Max to be her hero.

    But those midwestern cowboys can be tough. And the truth is, Irene and Leah were really not involved with the Mafia except in a peripheral way and if they disappeared, there was no reason for anyone to look for them. Except maybe, ... Officer Barney, who thought they knew something, but they really didn't. So when Smitty offered to pay their way back to Kansas and let them stay at his ranch, there was really no better plan than this, no reason to
  • Max met the girls at the bus station. Leah sensed Max's nervousness and made an excuse to go buy a cup of coffee.

    Max looked at Irene and immediately felt the electricity he had felt each time he saw her. He knew she felt it too. Suddenly he felt overwhelmed. He felt consumed with both pain and desire simultaneously. Before she knew what was happening he had taken her face in his hands and his lips pressed into hers and pure feeling of an unearthly nature passed between them and time became an eternity.

    From that moment on everything moved in slow motion. Leah returned, the bus arrived, and Leah and Irene took their seats.

    Max moved like in a dream in black and white, shadows and light, mystery and magic.

    Max looked up to see Irene's face pressed against the window. He squinted his eyes to see better.

    Was that a tear? Was it?
    Was it?
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