Then You Look At Me

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Confessions

~I’m going under, and this time, I fear there’s no one to save me. This all or nothing really got a way of driving me crazy. I need somebody to heal, somebody to know, somebody to have, somebody to hold. It’s easy to say, but it’s never the same. I guess I kinda liked the way you numbed all the pain~ Lewis Capaldi.

Chapter Theme Song: ‘Someone You Loved’ by Lewis Capaldi.

°°

Rainey

The Weekend’s Wicked Games is booming off the walls while other people begin to enter the party. The living room does not have adequate space to accommodate everyone, so a lot of persons are chilling on the porch and the lawns. However, the ones inside are dancing, talking, and sipping on vodka from small red cups. The room is dim, mainly illuminated by the neon colors on the component set sitting at the left-hand corner.

Hanging out with Ansel and his brothers is one of the most enjoyable experiences in all my years of living. They are quite hilarious, and I can already feel my face hurting from the impact of my guffaws.

They feel a lot like family; I have not felt this at home in a while. This is a feeling that my mom and Jeff will never be able to give to me.

Arden nudges Alaric’s side and jerks his head in the direction of the door where Sam is entering. She is wearing a cute off-the-shoulder top and large hoop earrings. A snoozing Anthony is perched on her waist, his small head nuzzled in her neck as she scours the room. Her hair is neatly pulled back in a sleek ponytail and her black leggings perfectly display her hour-glass figure. She spots us at the corner and immediately plods over.

"Goodnight, everyone." She greets.

“Woah, you look nice, Sam.” Aiden compliments.

“I didn’t think you’d come.” Ansel smiles at her and she returns a soft one, shrugging her shoulders.

Alaric boldly goes in to plant a kiss on her lips, but she bluntly steers her face away, eliciting roars of laughter from his brothers.

Riley and I are trying not to snicker at his mortification, but the sight of Arden doubling over with his face drenched in tears forces us to emit laughs of our own.

Alaric does not seem to mind and ignores his snickering brothers as he smirks at Sam. “Are you going to be like this, Samantha?”

“Ric, leave me alone.”

“If you wanted me to leave you alone you wouldn’t be here now, would you?” He drags his lip between his teeth, staring Sam in the eyes.

These King boys and looking into people’s eyes.

Sam’s red cheeks prove the effect he has on her, but she frowns, handing a sleeping Anthony over to him. “I’m here only because Tony said he wanted to see you. That’s all.”

She crosses her arms while Alaric lays his son’s head against his neck, planting a loving kiss on his forehead. “I’ll put him to lay in my room.”

Sam just nods as he plods toward the stairs. Sadness crinkles in her eyes as she looks away from his disappearing figure, focusing her attention on me.

“Hey, Rain.”

“Hey.” I smile at her. “I am happy to see you.”

She shrugs. “Yeah, I guess a girl can’t cry forever.” Her eyes land on Riley and surprisingly she pulls her into a tight hug, gently patting her back. “I am happy you’re okay, Riley. I heard about you from Ansel. Congratulations on your discharge.”

Riley smiles, nodding against her shoulder. “Thank you. I’ve been through worse.”

Sam breaks away and looks at her in worry. “You have?”

Riley offers a tight-lipped smile. “Nah.”

Sam picks up on the humor and laughs, patting her shoulder fondly. “You’re cute.”

“So, Sam, aren’t you going to give my brother a second chance?” Aiden asks, leaning against the wall as he waggles his brows.

Sam rolls her eyes. “Alaric doesn’t need a second chance. He’ll be happy with that Bee girl.”

“He won’t be,” Ansel states; his expression implying that he knows something no one else does. “Take it from me, Sam. Ric loves you.”

“He hasn’t convinced me,” she replies. “I came tonight to pack the stuff I have here.”

“No, no, no. Why pack your stuff, Sam?” Arden throws an arm around her. “Come on, give the brother another chance. I am sure he’s sorry.”

“Yeah, he is. I mean, he has been depressed these past few days; he even cried.” Aiden tries to aid but Sam frowns, knowing that Alaric is certainly not the ‘crying’ type.

“You had me then you lost me. Alaric would never cry over someone.”

Alex glares at Aiden. “Dude you just had to go and exaggerate the whole thing. You made it sound so fucking unrealistic. Congratulations.”

“No but honestly, Alaric hasn’t been himself lately.” Aiden amends. “He’s been spacing out like he has a lot on his mind.”

“And I am sure that, that ‘a lot’ is you,” Arden says. “It’s all you, Samantha! All you. Just give my brother another chance. Pretty pretty, please? Don’t let me have to go all ‘Katy Perry’ on you. Pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel—”

Alex cuts his brother’s crooning off. “Dude, Katy Perry isn’t the one who sings that, you stupid idiot. It’s Pink.”

Arden looks to ceiling deep in thought as if Alex’s words just changed his whole perspective on life. “Damn…and the whole time I thought it was Katy Perry…”

“I’ll see you guys another time; I need to get my stuff…” Sam begins to walk away but Ansel hastily grips her arm, sliding in front of her.

“Sam. Listen, it’s complicated but just trust him okay? He is just…doing some things right now. I wish I could explain it.”

She sighs. “I just think it’s best if Ric and I take a break. If he loves me, he will try harder. But so far, I do not see where he wants to be with me. He’s not trying hard enough and that hurts.”

She walks away and the brothers look defeated as Riley and I exchange glances of melancholy.

°°

Alaric

While my little junior is snoozing against my pillows, a soft smile appears on my face. I love my son and I love Sam; more than anything in this world. It is just immensely difficult right now. I do not have feelings for Bee, but I must stay close to her so I can keep my tabs on Ron’s drug truck and other private information. If I say that to Sam, I am almost certain she will not understand.

She is aware that I sell drugs, but she does not know how I attain the supplies. If she does, she will want to stop me; saying it is too dangerous and she does not want me to get hurt. I get that, but if I stop doing this how do I provide for my family? I have plans and I will not be selling drugs forever, but I need this as a head start. I wish Sam would just trust me, although I understand that it is confusing for her right now.

A sound at the door pulls my attention as she strolls into the room assertively. Her face is emotionless as she moves over to my drawers, tugging the top section open.

“What are you doing?” I ask softly, careful not to wake Anthony.

She does not respond and my brows furrow when I realize that she is grabbing her clothes from the wooden space, flinging them onto the bed.

I clench my teeth and get up, nipping over to her. “What are you doing, Sam?”

“Taking my stuff,” she mumbles. Her voice slightly breaks but she maintains an unresponsive expression.

I shut my eyes, heaving a sharp sigh. “Why?”

She says nothing and instead keeps yanking her clothes in haste. I curse under my breath and pull her arm, tugging her to face me. “I said, why?”

“I am leaving!” She whisper-yells. “So, you can go be with Bee now!”

She turns away and I glance heavenward before grabbing her arm again, spotting tears in her eyes.

“Will you stop this, Sam? Why can’t you just trust me?”

“I can’t. Not after that text I saw.”

I run a hand over my face. She has no idea what the hell she is doing to me.

“I have been nothing but loyal to you, Ric. I don’t deserve this.”

“Sam, I know. Look…I do not want to do this, okay? Fuck, I don’t.”

“Then stop…stop doing this to me, Ric.” Tears spill from her eyes and her words are a desperate plea. The sight of her crying causes sharp pains in my chest, but I look at my son and I realize why I have been doing this shady deed in the first place.

“I can’t stop…I can’t stop right now—”

Her slender palm collides with my cheek and though my head barely moves at the impact, a stinging pain shoots through my jawline. I swallow hard. “You’re going to wake Anthony.”

“You’re full of shit,” she whispers. “Why the hell did I meet you? I hate you.”

A vortex of sorrow swirls inside me at her words. She has no idea how agonizing those words are for me.

“I hate you, Ric.”

“Stop that. It fucking hurts whenever you say that.” I hiss.

“Well that’s exactly how I feel, okay? It’s just as painful to know that you are being disloyal!”

Anthony groans in his sleep, causing us to remain still before he gradually settles back into a deep slumber. We pull our eyes away from him and back to each other.

“You can go be with that girl. I’ll move on,” she says, and I frown, running a hand through my hair. “Fucking hell, Sam. You are stressing me the hell out. Jeezus.”

“I’m stressing you out?”

“Why can’t you understand? I told you I must do this right now, why on earth is it so hard for you to just trust me? Why? You know what, do whatever the hell you want. You wanna go? Go!”

She stares at me in disbelief then quickly begins to stuff her clothes in a bag. “Sure, Ric. I will leave. I’ll come back for Anthony tomorrow…”

I bury my hand in my hair as she begins to move toward the door. I curse under my breath and grab her arm firmly, pulling her back to me.

“No, baby. Don’t go.”

I wrap my arms around her, and she tries to fight me off, but I tighten my hold on her, burying my face in the sweet scent of her hair.

“Don’t leave…please?”

She slowly relaxes against me and I tilt her head up, staring into her wet eyes that are still filled with love for me. She allows me to kiss her forehead before I plant my lips on hers. She opens her mouth and grants me access as I slip my tongue inside, our mouth claiming each other’s like we have not kissed in ages. I missed her so much. I love her so much.

Immediately, my phone begins to ring from the bed, and she moans in my mouth as she breaks away. “Your phone…”

“It’s probably no-one.” I pull her back to me, but she giggles softly as she shakes her head. “Get your phone; it’s probably important.”

I frown. I am going to kill whoever that is.

I gawk at the phone screen, and my eyes widen when I notice Bee on the caller ID. I attempt to pull Sam’s head back to me, but she spots the name and all the color drains from her face.

Fuck.

She pushes me away from her and I shut my eyes in acceptance. She will never forgive me now. I have no idea what to say.

“I don’t want to see you anymore, Ric.” She cries, reaching for her bag as I stare at the floor remorsefully.

Fuck. That is all I can say.

“Stay away from me. Do not call me or text me; I am going to block you! I don’t want to see you anymore…” She sobs as she leaves the room and I sigh heavily, putting my head in my hands.

Damn.

°°

Rainey

Sam chases down the stairs with tears rolling down her cheeks. Without glancing in our direction, she storms out of the party with her palm clutched to her face.

“Oh my God, is she okay?” Riley looks at me worriedly as the brothers exchange curious glances. Alaric descends the stairs immediately after, pushing a hand through his hair while he sighs heavily.

“Alaric, what’s wrong with Sam?” Ansel asks, his brows furrowing in question.

His brother shrugs, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I fucked up again.”

I see the guilt in his eyes as he stares at the carpet, and Arden shakes his head.

“Damn, bro. It was so hard to influence her to take you back, Ric.”

“It’s whatever…” Alaric mutters. “This way is best for now.”

Ansel sighs, patting his brother’s shoulder. “I’ll talk to her, alright?”

I feel extremely sorry for Sam. Just when she has finally moved past crying her wound has reopened once again. I am not sure what happened between them upstairs, but Alaric’s culpable expression tells me that he may genuinely love her.

“Alex!” A petite brunette suddenly rushes over, jumping into Alex’s arms. He stumbles back while she giggles, tightening her hold around his neck.

Riley squints her eyes and I spot the look of jealousy on her face while Alex attempts to peel the girl’s hands away.

“Shanelle. What are you doing here?” He successfully unhitches the female and swiftly glances at Riley, who is now staring at her boots in feign nonchalance.

The girl is short in stature but has broad hips and her hair is shiny and long, cascading down her shoulders. She has a baby-face and is dressed in a pair of leggings and an oversized sweater.

“My friend is here.” She jerks a thumb behind her. “So, I decided to stop by. Woah, you look nice, Alex. Black always looks so good on you.”

Riley curls her lips in annoyance while Alex rubs his nape awkwardly. “Yeah…thanks. Uh, I’ll see you at school on Monday, yeah?”

He seems to want to get rid of her but Shanelle is oblivious to this as she grins, nodding her head. “Okay.” She bites her lip and does not take her eyes off him as she walks away. Alex looks uncomfortable but his brothers are giggling at the scene that just took place.

“Who’s that, Al?” Aiden queries, his eyes following the almost disappearing female. I glance at Riley and she looks quite unnerved.

“A girl in my Chem class. She likes me but I don’t see her that way.” He looks at Riley now as if she is the one who he wants to relay that message to. “She just won’t leave me alone though. She’s trying really hard…”

Aiden grins, nodding his head. “Well, don’t worry, I’ll help you out. What are brothers for? I’ll take her attention off you.”

“Be warned, she’s clingy,” Alex tells him, and Aiden just laughs. “I can deal with the needy ones, bro. I’m a pro in the area.”

“Yet you’re still ditching Simone in our AP Literature class.” Arden chuckles, earning a playful slap in the head from his twin brother.

“I got this.” Aiden rubs his palms together. “What’s her name again? Shontelle?”

“Shanelle. And she has a friend too.” Alex points his head to the petite girl who is now talking and laughing with a friend at a corner of the room.

“Damn. One for Aiden, one for me.” Arden smirks, as he and his twin brother plod their way down to the two girls. We watch as their faces light up with blushes at the sight of the twins. Then Aiden and Arden each take one of the girls’ hands and begin to move with them toward the stairs, subtly shooting us mischievous grins as we laugh.

“Those two horny fuckers.” Alaric shakes his head.

Ansel simpers. “They move so fast. I hope they don’t plan on using my room.”

“Or my bed.” Alex titters.

“Ansel?”

The soft voice of a female interrupts our chuckles as we turn our faces to see none other than Lea. She is dressed in a red summer dress and her hair is tied up into a neat bun. Her presence never fails to make me uneasy and I dig my fingers in the flesh of my palm.

“What a night.” Alex mumbles while Alaric sighs, his lips pressing together.

“Who invited you? Traitors aren’t allowed here.”

Once again, my curiosity piques. Why does everyone keep calling her a traitor? Riley is just as equally curious as she glances at me.

“Relax, Alaric. Ansel told me to come.” She frowns.

My eyes slightly widen as I look at Ansel, desperately hoping that he will deny what she just said.

He will, right?

“Let’s talk outside,” he tells her to my utter dismay. My heart goes numb as I watch him walk away with her, Lea giddily tugging her arm through his as they step through the door.

Well, that hurt.

I stare at the floor, feeling a stab of heartbreak piercing at my heart as I struggle to keep my emotions in check. I can feel everyone’s eyes on me, but I keep my head hung. I feel vastly vulnerable right now that maybe one pitiful glance will have me burst into tears.

I feel a gentle pat on my back as Alaric’s comforting voice sounds in the air. “Knowing Ansel, it’s probably something important. He’s over her, don’t worry about it, alright?”

“Alaric!” A guy beckons to him from the door and he gives my shoulder a light squeeze before he walks away.

“Hey~” Riley bounces my shoulder playfully. “Smile, Rain. Please? It’s probably nothing. You heard Alaric, he’s over her.”

“Yeah.” Alex aids. “Don’t worry about it. Even if he were not over her, I would have never allowed them to get back together; I’d fuck up the relationship so bad.”

I smile just a little and they mirror the gesture.

“Come on, let’s go sit on the couch, drink some beer and chat the night away,” Alex suggests.

I nod my head. “Yeah, let’s do that.”

°°

I fight the feelings of jealousy that is gradually brimming inside me, poking at my every being.

The people around me are laughing, drinking, and enjoying the music but I am pathetically sitting here with my eyes glued to Ansel and Lea. It does not aid my case that the song Favorite Clothes by RINI is playing in the background.

I think agreeing to sit on the couch was a bad idea, owing to the fact that from here I can see a perfect view of the yard where Ansel sits on a bench with his ex-girlfriend; the two indulging in a conversation for almost two hours now.

I am without a clue of what they are chatting about since Ansel is upholding an inscrutable expression whereas Lea has a clear look of endearment on her features. It is obvious that she is not over him and I cannot know for sure if the feeling is mutual between them since it is so hard to read Ansel.

Having feelings for someone hurts and I did not know how Sam felt until now. It feels like someone is hauling my heart from my chest, their fingers jamming into it, and ripping it apart. I know I am getting ahead of myself and I know my feelings for Ansel are probably one-sided and unrequited. Yes, we intensely kissed but what if he was only proving a point again?

My thoughts traverse back to that night I hugged him during my drunken state. He embraced me in his kitchen the morning after then proceeded to say that it was okay to hug someone and that we were now even. What if the kiss was just like that? What if I kissed him and he felt pity for me, so he just returned the gesture so that we would become even?

The notion is heartbreaking, but it is logical.

My insecurities surge through me like a rush of waves, washing away all prior confidence and replacing it with a feeling of inadequacy. I feel my eyes begin to sting as the painful realization dawns on me.

Ansel does not like me. He pities me.

A drop of water slaps my jean-covered thigh and I reach a hand up to quickly wipe my eyes, staring at the salty fluid on my fingertips in awe.

Am I crying right now? I have never cried over a guy before; this is so weak and pathetic.

I sweep my eyes with the sleeve of my hoodie and drag my gaze to Riley who is currently laughing with Alex, the two oblivious to my silent sorrow.

“Ry…I am going home.” I announce despondently, conjuring up from my spot. Another moment here will only have me appearing like a weak teenager who is ridiculously mewling over her crush.

Riley gets up behind me, analyzing my doleful expression. “Is everything okay, Rain?”

“Yeah. I just want to go.”

Her face softens with sympathy and she nods knowingly. “Okay, we can leave right now, okay?”

“No, it’s okay, Ry. You can stay and enjoy your party; I will go alone. Alex, could you drop her home for me later?”

He nods, looking slightly perturbed. “Yeah, but are you sure you’re okay Rain?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Only tired.” I try to smile. “Riley, I’ll see you later.”

She frowns. “No way, why would I let you go alone? I’m coming.”

“No, it’s your party. Enjoy yourself.”

“I’m not allowing you to go alone, Rain.” She tucks her arm in mine, and I sigh at her persistence as Alex stands from his seat.

“I will take you guys home then, alright?”

“It’s fine, Al. We can just walk tonight; it helps to clear my head.” I provide a tight-lipped smile as I turn away and Riley waves to him as she follows me out the door.

She watches me intently as I descend the steps. “Rain…you seem down, are you alright?”

I nod, glancing swiftly at Ansel who is now looking at me quizzically from the bench. He identifies the sullen look on my face and his brows knit together while I grab Riley’s hand, speeding up my strides.

“Let’s just go.” I feel the tears coming as I frantically try to wipe them away. Riley has a look of horror on her face while she stares at me.

“Are you crying, Rain?”

The cold night air stings my cheeks as I suck a breath in, shaking my head. “N-no.”

“Rain!”

I glance around and my eyes slightly widen when I notice Ansel jogging up behind us. The light from his porch shines on my wet orbs and I swiftly turn my face away as I hasten my footsteps; I do not want him to see me like this. Especially when he is the reason.

His footsteps get closer as I scurry through the wooden gate but as soon as I make it onto the sidewalk, his palm clutches mine firmly, successfully ceasing my strides. I shut my eyes and warm tears bleed beneath as he releases a tired breath.

“Why are you leaving, Rain?”

I refuse to meet his gaze, wiping my eyes instead while Alex scurries down to us, gripping Riley’s hand. “Come here, Ry.” He pulls her with him as she continuously glances back at me with concern.

“Rain? Look at me.” Ansel grips my shoulder, but I haul myself from his hold, pressing a palm over my face while I turn my back to him.

It is quite humiliating for him to see me like this.

He steps in front of me and I hang my head, tears leaving my eyes uncontrollably and blurring my vision.

He uses a hand to grip my cheek, tilting my head up to meet his gaze. His forehead puckers while he searches my glossy eyes.

“Will you tell me why you’re crying?” His voice is soft, his eyes crinkling with unidentifiable emotions.

My lips quiver and I pull away from him, taking a step back while I dab my eyes with my wrist. However, the annoying salty water just keeps seeping from them, and I give up the fight, allowing them to fall freely while Ansel watches me in trepidation.

“Talk to me, Rain…”

“It’s nothing…” I manage to say, sniffling right after.

God. I look so ridiculous right now.

“Don’t tell me that. You’re crying…” He reaches out for me, but I pull away.

“Just go back to Lea, Ansel.” I softly pule and his face softens entirely.

“What-what do you mean go back to Lea?”

“Ansel?” The voice of my competition prompts my head up as I see Lea a few feet away, inquisitively gawking at us. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, just give us some space, Lea.” There is a slight peeved edge to his voice and that makes two of us. Lea nods slowly but keeps looking at me pryingly as she moves toward his doorsteps.

“Tell me why you’re crying, Rain.”

Refusing to speak, I softly cry instead. I am so mad at myself. Firstly, for allowing people to see me this vulnerable and secondly; for developing feelings for someone and becoming such a weak person. I am not a weak person.

“Is it because…I was talking with Lea?”

I sniff, pressing my palm over my eyes and he tries again.

“Please tell me why—”

“I like you,” I mutter, shutting my eyes as tears squeeze beneath them. I prefer not to see his face after those words. I cannot believe I just uttered them, but it is too late to take them back; they are already out.

“I like you and I am jealous when you’re with her. It hurts to see you two and it hurts more when I think about the fact that I know nothing about you. She seems to know a lot which is probably why you called her here tonight. Maybe she knows you so well that you can confide in her and not me. You prefer to spill your heart to her and not to me. And that hurts.” I cry softly, warm tears traversing down my face.

I smell the fresh scent of his body as he moves closer to me. “Rain—”

“You don’t have to say anything. You do not have to say it back to prove a point. You always do that; you always return the favor so I can feel less embarrassed and so we can be even. I don’t want you to do that; It keeps getting my hopes up, Ansel. I know you do not feel the same about me but when you keep smiling at me, hugging me and looking at me the way you do, you make me start overthinking. The night I kissed you, it might have meant nothing to you, but it was my first kiss and it meant the world to me.” My voice breaks and I snivel softly, finding a bit more courage to go on.

“And when you kissed me back it had me all in my head, Ansel. Wishing and hoping that you feel the same about me. But I realize you don’t…because you told Lea to come here and you spoke to her for half of the night, totally forgetting about my existence and—”

I feel warm lips press against mine and my eyes spring open in awe. His eyes are closed, his dark hair shadowing his long lashes as his mouth softly moves against mine. My eyes flutter shut, and I begin to kiss him back inexorably. His lips feel so gentle and warm and a teardrop escapes my eye and slaps his cheek as he encircles his hand around my waist, pulling me into his sculpted body. I shiver unavoidably, but I cannot tell if it is because of the cold night or the way Ansel is making me feel.

The kiss remains slow and gentle and the warmth of his mouth spreads through my whole body as he parts my lips with his, carefully slipping his tongue inside and claiming my mouth. Claiming all of me.

He caresses by back as he slowly breaks away and my eyes slowly open, my lips still indented from the blissful pressure of his. Our frozen breaths mingle together as we stare at each other, the moonlight shining on his unerring features and highlighting the intense emotions whirling in his eyes.

My breathing is erratic as I search his face, my brown orbs filled with tears as he gently pulls my face between his palms. His forehead puckers as his eyes soften, peering deeply into mine as if they are seeing my naked soul.

“How…how can you say that?” He whispers, and I scour his face for clarification. He presses his forehead against mine and I shut my eyes; his breathing is just as irregular as mine. “How can you say I don’t feel the same, Rain?” His tone is anguished as he caresses my cheek with his thumb. “I like you so much…”

My breath hitches in my throat at his words and I feel my eyes welling with fresh tears.

“I like you so much…I thought my actions told you. I thought my actions showed you how much I need you, Rain…I thought I made it clear to you. I am sorry…I am sorry that I made you think I didn’t feel the same.”

I sob softly and he lifts his head, tilting my face to look at him. “I am sorry I made you cry.” He sweeps his thumb under my eye, and I close my eyes for a second at his gentle touch. “I am sorry I didn’t make it clear enough. I like you…always have.”

I can only cry silently at his confession as he wraps his arms around me and pulls me into his warm embrace, pressing his lips against my hair. “When I called Lea here…it’s not for what you think. She used to be a part of Ron Moretto’s camp and considering the proposal he brought to you the other day I just wanted to find out some information. I know there is a lot of things I haven’t told you…”

He tilts my head back to look me in the eyes. “But I will tell you it all tonight, okay?”

I nod my head against him, and he kisses my forehead. “Do you want to go up to my room where we can talk privately?”

“Yeah…” I smile a little at him, using my palm to wipe my eyes.

“Don’t cry. I hate to see you cry.” He kisses a lingering teardrop on my cheek, then takes my hand in his as he gently pulls me with him in the direction of his house.


^A/N: Hi😊Thank you so much for reading!💜If you love my story don’t forget to hit that heart/like at the bottom and follow me (if you want lol) so that you can get instant notifications of when I post updates❤Lots of love, keep safe and stay tuned for more!💜

-Tiffanyluvss❤

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