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Valmiki's Daughter

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10 On Tuesday, Asa was up early. He ran, showered, and was eating his second bowl of cereal when Sarah came down. “I made your coffee,” he said. “I see that,” she said, ruffling his hair. ” “Today. ” She peered into his cup. ” she said, surprised. ” she asked, pouring herself a cup. “Awful. ” “Not at all,” Sarah replied. ” Asa stood up and put his dishes in the sink. ” “There’s still some leftover steak if you want to make a sandwich,” Sarah replied. “Sounds good,” Asa said, opening the refrigerator and taking out what he needed.

It seemed ages ago that he had gone running and to church. It had been another busy day, and he was worn out. When the sand had rinsed away, he peeled off his swimsuit, rinsed it, wrung it out, and hung it over the old wooden shower wall. He lathered up his hands and quickly washed his hair and then ran a bar of soap over his arms and chest. When he was almost done, he just stood there with the water beating down on his back. He looked at the white skin of his upper thighs and hips, rubbed the soap into the dark mass of curly hair, and, as he rinsed the suds away, allowed his hand to linger.

Noelle looked around. “Mmm . . I’d love to. . ” Her eyes sparkled, and Asa stepped closer. “You aren’t making this easy,” she said quietly. ” The sound of the screen door made them quickly step apart. Samuel and Nate came into the kitchen looking for the limes, and Nate gave Noelle a puzzled look. Samuel, seeing that Asa hadn’t left yet, repeated his warning. ” “Yes, Dad,” Asa replied. “And let me know about that extra work,” Nate reminded him. “Don’t let your father tell you otherwise. ” Asa laughed.

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