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Kindred Hearts - Chapter 4, Ice and Fire - Left Turn at Westchester Fan Fiction

About Kindred Hearts - Chapter 4, Ice and Fire

Previous Entry Kindred Hearts - Chapter 4, Ice and Fire Nov. 14th, 2005 @ 09:05 am Next Entry
Written by shadowd (Lejla) and tru_blue_angel (Piotr), this is the next installment of Kindred Hearts, our collaborative fanfic detailing the romance of Piotr and Lejla.

Ice and Fire

Chapter 4 is a direct continuation of chapter 3. As the title implies, Lejla coerces Piotr to go outside and play in the snow. They return to the mansion with more than they ever dreamed.



Chapter 4 – “Ice and Fire”

Lejla

Once in her room, Lejla took her time getting ready to go out in the cold. One of the things Doug made sure she purchased on their first trip to the mall was warm outdoor clothing. She opened her dresser drawer, which was no longer completely empty, to pull out a padded pair of leather gloves. The tips of the fingers had been removed to accommodate her claws. They would certainly keep her hands warmer than the leather strapping on her palms.

She’d also wanted something to keep her ears warm, but knew a traditional hat wouldn’t last long on her spiky hair. Jeanne-Marie had suggested ear muffs. They’d found some lovely fur-covered ones lined with suede in one of the mall boutiques. Lejla purchased three pairs knowing that one probably wouldn’t last long. She deposited the items on her bed, where she’d already set the two bags of cookies, before carefully getting her coat from the closet.

A couple minutes later Lejla slipped out the front door, fully prepared for a romp in the snow. She’d snagged one cookie from each bag before leaving her room. Munching happily on her own chocolate-chips, she patted the Oreo she’d tucked into her pocket.

Nibbling away at her treat, Lejla turned to behold the beauty of her surroundings. A dusting of snow covered everything, turning even the tree branches a ghostly white. Fat lazy flakes still drifted from the swollen gray sky, otherwise the wind had died and the storm nearly abated. Lejla knew Kurt’s lady had nothing whatsoever to do with this Advent snowfall. The pair of lovebirds had gone somewhere else for the holidays. Clean and glistening, no one yet had a chance to mar the flawless white carpet. It seemed almost a pity that they would be the very first, although that wasn’t enough of a deterrent to make Lejla forget her plan.

The red girl sighed, breathing in the frosty air. Mildly surprised she’d beaten Piotr to the porch, she was a little afraid that stealing his precious snacks wasn’t enough incentive to get him outdoors. The thought no sooner passed through her mind than she noticed the doorknob turn. She pulled the single Oreo from her pocket, holding it out as a peace offering for the disgruntled Russian.


Piotr

Piotr made a dash up stairs to his room in order to retrieve a coat before coming outside. He didn’t don his heavy winter jacket, instead he simply grabbed the first coat he saw which happened to be a bit light-weight, but would keep him warm enough until he found Lejla.

Shutting the door behind him, Piotr zipped up his jacket as he walked out on the front porch. Why was he outside in all this snow? Piotr sighed quietly. Oh, da, that’s right, I’m out here in the freezing cold for bag of cookies. He could have easily gotten another snack from the kitchen, but nooo, he decided to follow Lejla outside. For some reason, beyond his comprehension, he wanted to come out here to be with the impish girl who stole his cookies.

Speak of the devil’s daughter, there she was, standing on the porch with a smug look on her face, holding ONE of his cookies.

A slight smirk played upon Piotr’s lips, now realizing why Kurt often referred to Lejla as ‘little red devil’. Walking away from the mansion’s front door, Piotr looked around at his snowy surroundings of white trees and bushes. Putting his gloved hands in his pockets, he took a step closer to Lejla, “Okay, I’m outside like you said…. Now, can I have my cookies back?”

Piotr exhaled deeply, his warm breath visible in the wintry air. “It’s cold,” he said, stating the obvious. “It is only snow,” he continued, “Nothing new.” Though his words were soft-spoken, his lack of enthusiasm was obvious in his tone. He could almost feel the warmth of the den’s fireplace. Now if he could just coax Lejla into coming back inside, or at least giving him his cookies…


Lejla

Piotr didn’t look very happy, but she expected that. She was determined to have some fun out here and she wasn’t going to let him dampen her excitement. Who’d have thought a Russian from Siberia would be so adverse to the snow?

Then his eyes met Lejla’s and she couldn’t help noticing the sly grin that curved his mouth. It made her wonder if there might be a different reason for him to follow her outside than just her cookie extortion.

Putting his gloved hands in his pockets, Piotr took a step closer to Lejla, “Okay, I’m outside like you said…. Now, can I have my cookies back?”

Lejla returned Piotr’s smirk as she crossed the remaining distance between them to place the lone Oreo in his gloved palm. She carefully brushed her hands together, dusting off the cookie crumbs before signing. < One now, rest later. > She didn’t quite trust that he wouldn’t bolt back in the house as soon as she returned the entire bag of cookies.

Piotr exhaled deeply as his warm breath became visible in the wintry air. “It’s cold.” he said, stating the obvious. “It is only snow,” he continued, “Nothing new.” Though his words were soft-spoken, his lack of enthusiasm was obvious in his tone.

Lejla repeated the big-eyed look she’d effected earlier. She was beginning to understand exactly how much her irresistible solid blue eyes could change a boy’s behavior. That look even worked on heartless Jean-Paul, but she’d found Piotr especially susceptible.

< Please Piotr, for me? See how pretty. > Her hand swept out over the background of brilliant whiteness. < It not that cold. > And it wasn’t. Why where men such babies about a little inconvenience?

Lejla shrugged her shoulders to bring the faux-fur collar of her new coat next to her cheeks. So what if her merciless skin might cause it damage. It still felt wonderfully comforting. The Bosnian had never been afforded the delight of playing in the snow because she’d never owned anything that was able to keep her warm. Now that she did, she was resolved Piotr wouldn’t spoil her fun.

Giving him another pleading look, Lejla signed < I never play in snow >. That was pretty much the truth. Snowfall was only plentiful in the mountainous parts of her country, and in the city it rapidly developed a layer of very uninviting grime. Coupled with her lack of adequate outerwear, Lejla never experienced the fun she’d only glimpsed in Kurt’s movies. < Show me how? >

In case he could resist her one last bid for fun, Lejla wrapped her gloved hand around Piotr’s muscular arm, tugging him stubbornly down the steps and onto the snowy walk. She smiled up at him despite how the cold bit into the uncovered talons on her feet. Once they got more active, she was sure her mutant metabolism would be enough to keep them warm.


Piotr

< One now, rest later. >

“Hmpf. Why do I have the feeling you planned this?” Piotr huffed. Accepting the lone cookie, he twisted the two chocolate sides apart to reveal the cream filling that matched their icy white surroundings.

< Please Piotr, for me? Look how pretty. > Her hand swept out over the background of brilliant whiteness. < It not that cold. >

Dear God, if her eyes had gotten any bigger she’d look like one of those animated Japanese characters in Shiro’s comic books. What was it about her eyes that made Piotr smile so goofy around her? She closed the gap between them, staring up at him with those milky blue eyes. They were so beauti...

< I never play in snow. >

His drifting thoughts were interrupted by the Lejla’s revelation.

“Never?” He suddenly wished he hadn’t sounded quite so appalled, remembering the bits and pieces of her past that Lejla had revealed to him. “I’m sorry. I did not mean it in that way…”

< Show me how? >

Tugging stubbornly at his arm, she didn’t seem the least bit offended by his statement. Piotr smiled softly at her as she lead him down the steps of the porch and onto the walkway… Or rather, where the walkway would have been underneath all that snow.

Walking slowly on the school’s whitened grounds, Piotr began to take in the beauty of his surroundings. No matter how much he griped and complained about the snow, deep down inside he couldn’t deny the comforting feeling it often gave him, reminding him of the good times he and his family shared on their farm during the several months of wintry weather. He always fussed about the cold weather, when in fact he lived for it every year in Russia; for the coldest of seasons often felt the warmest around his family.

The pair continuing their stroll arm in arm, a small snowflake floated down from the gray sky and kissed Piotr’s nose, leaving it wet and causing him to wrinkle it slightly. He looked up to see more scattered snowflakes lazily dancing in the air, drifting slowly to the blanket of snow on the ground.

“Did you know that no snowflake is the same? They all have different patterns and shapes; they are all special in their own way.” Piotr said, looking back down at Lejla, who was still wrapped snugly around his arm.

“Snowflake – it is what I call my sister.” Not only was her skin as fair as snow, but just like a snowflake, Illyana was one of a kind to him. He smiled at the winter scenery suddenly glad Lejla had coaxed him out here.

“Illyana and I used to make snow angels when we were little.” Piotr smiled at the sweet memory of playing with his younger sister. Stopping in his tracks, he looked at Lejla with a genuine smile. “Do you want me to show you how to make a snow angel?”


Lejla

“Did you know that no snowflake is the same? They all have different patterns and shapes; they are all special in their own way.” Piotr said, looking back down at Lejla, who was still wrapped snugly around his arm.

Lejla nodded, watching the sleeve of Piotr’s coat as a large flake fluttered serenely down and clung to the dark fabric. Her smile spread at the truth of what he’d just spoken. And this, walking together, it... well... it made her heart feel so incredibly light. There was nowhere she would rather be than with Piotr, right here, right now.

“Snowflake – it is what I call my sister.”

Piotr’s voice and eyes gentled at the mention of Illyana. Lejla knew he missed her terribly and was thinking about how he would see his sister soon... and soon he would go back to Russia and leave her. Suddenly she was reluctant to loosen the hold she still had on his arm. What if he decided he didn’t want to come back? The thought made her unexpectedly melancholy.

“Illyana and I used to make snow angels when we were little.” Piotr smiled at the sweet memory of playing with his younger sister. Stopping in his tracks, he looked at Lejla with a genuine smile. “Do you want me to show you how to make a snow angel?”

Lejla’s head jerked up when Piotr halted, momentary sadness forgotten. Snow angel? She had never heard of such a thing. The red girl was fond of angels, God’s messengers and guardians. She would dearly love to know how one made an angel out of snow. Looking up curiously at the tall Russian, she finally released her grip on his arm.

< Show me > she signed, a huge grin spreading over her face. Delighted that Piotr had dropped his opposition to being outside, Lejla was eager for more than just a walk in the snow.


Piotr

< Show me > she signed, a huge grin spreading over her face.

Piotr’s smile grew wider at Lejla’s enthusiastic response. “Okay, well, first you must lie down.” Piotr demonstrated his words with directional actions as he sat, and then lay down in the unmarked snow. He suddenly wished he’d worn his thicker coat when he felt a shivery coolness crawl up his back. But the coldness was forgotten when he noticed Lejla’s blissful excitement.

“And then you stretch your arms and legs out like this,” Piotr spread out all four of his limbs until he looked like a big human star. “Now pretend you are doing jumping jacks.” He put action to his words again, moving his arms up and down and his legs out and in. “See?”

Once he was certain he had made evident impressions in the snow, he carefully rose to his feet as not to ruin his creation.

“And now you have a snow angel.” Piotr smiled affectionately at Lejla. Being here with her made his body fluttery and warm, in spite of the nippy winter air.


Lejla

“Okay, well, first you must lie down.”

Behaving like he’d completely forgotten he had fussed about the cold and the wet mere minutes ago, Piotr launched right into explaining all about snow angels...

By lying down on the snow he supposedly disdains?

Lejla watched in rapt attention. She’d imagined a snow angel to be a construct of packed snow similar to that animated Christmas special she’d seen about Frosty. Apparently it was something completely different.

“And then you stretch your arms and legs out like this,” Piotr spread out all four of his limbs until he looked like a big human star. “Now pretend you are doing jumping jacks.”

Jumping jacks? What where jumping jacks? Lejla moved a little closer while Piotr began to demonstrate. He moved his long arms and legs, shoving snow aside as he brought them up and down.

“See?”

See what? Lejla wondered, her brow wrinkling in confusion. What she saw was Piotr half covered in white. Was that what he meant by creating an angel - coating yourself in snow?

Piotr carefully stood up and moved away from the impression he made in the snowbank. “And now you have a snow angel.” Piotr smiled affectionately at Lejla.

The Bosnian looked at the place where her friend had been and suddenly saw the image. Yes, she clearly recognized it now – wings and wide bottomed robe. Her smile beamed out her understanding. Clapping her gloved hands together, Lejla almost started jumping up and down like a little kid.

She smiled up at Piotr, hands dancing eagerly < I try now >. Sitting down in the snow near Piotr’s rather large angel, Lejla carefully lowered her body onto the cold bed of white and copied what she’d seen Piotr do. She ignored the snow that worked its way through the wrappings on her legs to kiss the red of her skin and almost marred the image with an extra hand in her haste to leap up and view her own creation.

Right next to Piotr’s was a much smaller but perfect version of a snow angel. For not the first time this morning, Lejla was relieved she’d chosen to braid her hair. She didn’t think it would look all that attractive with a halo of spikes.

Giggles ringing through the crisp winter air, Lejla bouncily returned to Piotr’s side. She took on a more imperious attitude, commanding < do another > before pointing at the untouched spot on the other side of hers. Piotr’s snow angels could guard her much smaller delicate one.


Piotr

Despite the coldness outside, Piotr’s cheeks felt warm. Lejla’s beaming smile graced his presence and made his day. Watching him demonstrate how to make the snow angel seemed to confuse her a first, but she quickly understood the concept, clapping her hands excitedly after Piotr finished.
< I try now >

Piotr nodded, observing his red friend move with the careful precision of a small child making a snow angel for the first time. Lejla practically leaped off the ground to view her creation. She had it to a perfect ‘T’.

“It is very nice.” He complimented her sincerely as Lejla giggled happily at his side. He liked the way she clung to him so affectionately; it made him feel important, like she needed his companionship, or maybe something more...

< Do another >

Piotr arched a smirking brow. Demanding little thing aren’t you?

He did not voice his teasing thoughts. Instead, obeying Lejla’s command, he followed her pointed red finger to the untainted ground on the other side of her snow angel. He didn’t quite understand why she wanted him to do another. She was the one who had never played in the snow before. Repeating his previous movements, Piotr stood up to view the three angels. He nodded with approval at the pattern of the angels imprinted in the snow. It almost looked like the two big angels were protecting the smaller between them.

Lejla

Lejla’s grin grew even larger at the look Piotr gave her, but he did as she directed, framing her snow angel with another of his large impressions. Someone watching from a window might have thought their activity ludicrous – the strapping form of the tall Russian flailing his arms and legs in the snow while a small red-skinned girl looked on.

Lejla didn’t comprehend it from that perspective. As her eyes followed him, she saw something entirely different and it momentarily struck her with awe. A handsome boy – almost a man – was doing something he hadn’t really wanted to do, for her. True, it might have started with coercion, but in a few minutes time it had turned into something entirely different.

Her eyes traced him from head to toe – his raven hair and piercing blue eyes, the strong thick muscles of his neck, arms, and shoulders hidden by his winter clothes, long legs that made him tower over her petite figure. She’d only seen him barechested once... and the sight of his broad, well-defined muscles almost took her breath away. Just before her roommate left with Doug, Jeanne-Marie told her how gorgeous she thought Piotr was and how lucky Lejla was to have him.

Have him? The red girl nearly snorted at that thought. She didn’t have him. They were just friends, weren’t they? He could have any girl in the school. Why would he want her – untouchable, mute, war orphan, ‘Queen of Freaks’ Lejla Mrnjavcevic? The thought was uncomfortable. In her customary fashion, Lejla buried it deep, drawing on something else as a replacement.

Piotr rose with a smile, his back to her while he surveyed his second snow angel. The imp in Lejla came screaming forward, smothering the unpleasant feelings with gleeful mischief. She shifted nonchalantly backwards, hands behind her, until she stood directly in front of a snow-covered shrub. Long supple fingers questing out, she gathered up some of the icy material in her hands. It was the perfect kind for making snowmen, wet thick flakes that packed together very nicely. Just right for...

When Piotr turned back to her she brought her arm quickly forward again, launching a small missile that hissed rapidly through the air, splattering white over Piotr’s left shoulder.

Lejla didn’t pause to watch the Russian’s reaction. Giggling loudly, the red girl took off down the walk, rounded a line of hedge and sprinted across the snowy lawn towards a small grove of trees.


Piotr

Approving the trio of snow angels, Piotr turned to face Lejla, “So what do you th—“

Before Piotr could ask Lejla her opinion, a small white mass splattered his left shoulder. “Hey! What was that for?” Before Piotr could display a full-fledged grimace, Lejla took off in the opposite direction giggling all the way. “So, you want to play, hmm?” Piotr said, bending to scoop up a handful of snow from the ground before taking off after Lejla.

She was a fast little imp, zigzagging down the walk she took a sharp turn at a row of hedges. Despite his size, Piotr wasn’t exactly a tortoise either. “I’ll catch you!” Piotr yelled out, visualizing his victory in tagging Lejla with the snowball still ready in his fist. Oh, yes, he was catching up to her now, or so he thought as he rounded the hedges only seconds after Lejla.

She disappeared into the small woods ahead. Piotr slowed his running to a jog as he approached the grove of trees. His boots sunk a little in the snow, slowing his pace.

“Lejla, I know you are in here.” Piotr said through light panting breaths, “You should just come out now and get it over with.” Tone a bit cocky, he skillfully rolled the lump of snow in his gloved hands, forming it into a perfect ball.

Piotr walked slowly through the maze of tall trees trying to spot the easily noticeable red girl. The Russian had years of experience in snowball fights from the times he played in the snow with his sister. He was an undefeated champ and Lejla didn’t stand a chance.


Lejla

Lejla knew Piotr was hollering something at her retreating back. However, the muffling of the snow and her own panting breaths served to make his words inaudible, and she certainly wasn’t going to stop and ask him to repeat them.

Keeping away from Piotr was harder than she’d expected. He could move fast for a guy his size, far faster than she thought possible. Oh ho, but that size would only serve as his handicap in this game. Not only was Lejla more agile, but Piotr’s larger mass presented a much broader target.

The red girl knew exactly what she was doing when she chose to head into the copse of trees. She’d wandered this grove when she first came to Xavier’s. There were also some rather large boulders, with nooks and crannies just big enough to hide a petite teenage girl. If Piotr were smart, he would track her through her prints in the virgin snow. Not that Lejla doubted the Russian’s intelligence, but she assumed he’d be so bent on getting revenge that he might not think of that. Besides, there was nothing in this spot that was broad enough to hide his rather bulky form.

Ducking down in the cleft between a pair of larger boulders, Lejla found protection on two sides. Even before he opened his mouth, she could hear Piotr’s approaching footsteps. Bah, the big Russian would never make a good hunter. She could have heard the tromping of his over-sized boots a mile away.

“Lejla, I know you are in here.” Piotr said through light panting breaths, “You should just come out now and get it over with.”

Lejla had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from giving her hiding place away. Get what over with, his burial by snowball? She had a perfect natural fortress here behind these rocks. If he wanted her, let him come and get her. Packing snow together quickly into hard little globes, she began to make snowballs until she had a sufficiently large pile.

A short time later Lejla poked her head over the top of one boulder, the natural brown rabbit fur of her earmuffs against the backdrop of tree trunks helping to hide the garish red of her hair. Snowy branches of several oaks arched above her, the resulting shade and overcast sky, working with her mutant capacity to blend into shadow, provided the perfect cover.

Piotr was armed, but that didn’t bother Lejla in the least. It was obvious he didn’t know where she was concealed. When he turned his back to her, she popped up from her hiding place and tossed another snowball, hitting him squarely between the shoulder blades.

Quickly crouching down, she couldn’t see what he was doing but she could hear the result of her attack. The sounds of his movements were getting fainter, apparently he couldn’t quite judge her location so she slowly peeked over the rocks. With the tall Russian still not facing in her direction, Leli took a chance and lobbed one of her largest snowballs up in the air. It descended on target, catching Piotr at the base of his neck, right above the collar of his coat.

The thought of snow finding it’s way down his back was so amusing that Leli couldn't contain herself. Giggles erupted into the cold air along with little puffs of vapor. She clamped her hand over her mouth trying to stifle her laughter, but it was too late. Knowing she’d already betrayed herself, the red girl gathered up as many snowballs as she could reasonably carry and prepared to make another run for it.


Piotr

It was quiet. Too quiet. Piotr was beginning to have the feeling that finding Lejla was going to be harder than he previously thought. She was very skillful at quietly creeping in and out of rooms in the mansion, so finding her within the twists and turns of the woods might be a bit of a challenge. He stood perfectly still, listening for any sudden movement. His eyes scanned over his surroundings – tree…boulder…boulder…tree…tree… Piotr sucked his lower lip, growing more determine to find the red girl. Eyes widened, his head snapped in the direction of a few trees clustered rather close together—a perfect hiding place for a petite girl. Tiptoeing toward the group of trees, Piotr’s lips quirked into a one-sided smirk.

I’ve got you now….

*splat*

Piotr’s muscles flinched, tensing at the slushy ball that made contact with the back of his coat. “Aha!” Piotr exclaimed. He turned around with presumably expert speed, whirling his only snowball right into... the trunk of a tree. Piotr ‘hmfphed’ with a disappointed pout. He thought for sure he nailed her with the white ball of wetness.

Piotr walked quietly toward the snow-splattered tree, or rather, as quietly as a two hundred and fifty pound seventeen year old could walk. His large feet continued to make slushy crunching noises in the snow. Piotr put his hands on the front of the tree and quickly peered behind it. “Ha!”, to find nothing but untouched snow. His shoulders slouched with disappointment, realizing he was slipping from his champion snowballing status. There was nothing abnormally ‘red’ near the tree – nothing but two large boulders. Irritated, Piotr dismissed the rocks and moved in the opposite direction.

She is only buying time until her defeat. Piotr thought smugly. I will find her and show no mercy. He stooped down, scooping up a mound of snow. Standing again, he rounded the snow into a ball, arming himself against any more—

*splat*

“GAH! Coldcoldcold!” Piotr’s teeth chattered, exclaiming his discontent. Dropping his snowball, he clawed at the back of his coat and shirt trying desperately to shake the icy cold slush from beneath. One would think he was performing a rain dance ritual by his awkward hand and foot movements.

Piotr shoulders sunk again once he relieved himself of the coldness of the snow down his shirt. He still shivered every few seconds from the wet spot on his back. Suddenly a burst of giggles erupted from the set of boulders he had walked by just seconds ago. His eyes narrowed, staring daggers into the laughing rocks.

Piotr piled up a large mound of snow at his feet, molding it into a humongous snowball. His devious smile grew as he slowly approached the place where he was certain Lejla lay hidden.

Throw a snowball down my shirt, will you? Well, I’ve got you now you little imp…

He inched his way over to the boulders holding the bulky blob of a snowball over his head. He would claim his revenge, dropping the large ball of snow on top of the red girl. Yes, revenge would be cold and oh so sweet…


Lejla

“GAH! Coldcoldcold!”

Self-satisfied chuckles continued to shake her chest despite her best intentions to be absolutely silent. Lejla crept around the end of the larger rock just in time to catch the big Russian’s gyrations. Cradling several snowballs against her chest, she wasn’t about to stay in one place now that she was “made”.

Finally able to contain her humor, she darted away from the far side of the twin rocks, finding shelter behind one of the widest trees. Piotr was so intent on the pile of snow he was fashioning that she was sure he didn’t see her.

Sneaking peaks around the trunk, she almost laughed again at his stealthy antics, creeping up on her previous hiding place with a gigantic snowball hefted above his head. Didn’t he realize how wide open he was leaving himself? He couldn’t possibly throw that thing very far, could he?

Lejla took a chance the almost snowman-head sized snowball was too heavy for even Piotr to toss very far. Zigzagging between the trees, not caring if he saw her now, she tossed three snowballs in rapid-fire succession. The first whistled by Piotr’s ear before landing in a bush. The second brushed his hip, leaving a snowy streak on his jeans. The third, however, connected with his thigh and clung like a small white tumor. Ooh, I bet that hurt, Lejla thought, not at all feeling sympathetic after perceiving what he had been about to do to her.

She danced away until she had enough distance on him, making sure that she was out of even his range before halting in plain view. Raising one hand (the other arm still cradled a couple of remaining snowballs), she stuck her hand next to her ear and wiggled her long fingers in a time-honored taunt.

Knowing that she better move quickly or he’d be on her in a heartbeat, she intended to make for the statue garden. She sprinted out of the grove of trees and across a portion of bare lawn.

Lejla thought she was keeping well ahead of Piotr, but in looking back to see how far behind he was trailing she misstepped. Her foot landed in a depression, spilling her headlong on the ground and squashing her remaining snowballs. Panting heavily, the red girl picked herself up and darted away. He was gaining, and the cold coupled with the numbness of her bare toes was beginning to take its toll.



Continued on page two
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