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And then he went away, saying he was going for weeks. Her family came the next day to visit; she did not know how they knew he was gone, but she didn't ask.

The boy came too. He took her away from her duties as hostess, took her into a tiny room into which she had never looked. He held her carefully, whispering, "What do you desire?"

She thought of her mother's book. At first she saw nothing*. Then its pages looked yellower than they once had. She looked him in the eyes and said, "I want you."

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