Double Play XXXVIII

By Cruise

Chapter 44

            Since arriving in New York Dakota’s time had been consumed with television interviews, parties, and visiting with her family.  She had attempted to reach Cass, but both were playing phone tag.  The previous night, her brother Rex had filled her room for an unexpected party with his teammates and women they had picked up along the way.  On Saturday, she was finally able to get some uninterrupted and much needed sleep for most of the morning into the early afternoon.  After dressing, she joined her family in the lobby to leave for the presentation,

            “Buenas tardes.  Alejandra.” Angélica greeted her only daughter with a smile and a kiss on the cheek.

            “Afternoon.”  Dakota smiled half heartedly and kissed her mother’s cheek.

            “How did you sleep after I kicked everyone out last night?”

            “Much better, thanks.”  Dakota chuckled remembering how her mother had ordered everyone out of her room, including the large football players who were no match for her tall, but petite mother.

            “How do you feel, you look very pale mi amor.”  Her mother placed her hand over Dakota’s forehead. 

            “I could be better.  I have some pain in my abdomen, but I’ll be fine.”  She smiled reassuringly.

            “You feel warm.”

            “What’s going on?” Dakota’s grandfather asked as he approached.

            “She is not feeling good and she feels warm.”

            “There’s nothing to worry about papi, I’m fine.  Thanks for your concern, but really I’m fine and we should get going.  We don’t want to be late.”  Dakota smiled comfortingly and walked outside as the limo pulled up.  She climbed inside and leaned her head against the window.



            After Brooke and Michelle entered the room, Cass woke up and grabbed her head from the previous night’s overindulgence with alcohol.  “Keep it down.”  She said in a whisper, grimacing when the sound of her voice made her head pound.

            “What?” Brooke asked loudly as she approached.

            Cass moaned in pain, waving for her to keep it down.  “Hang over…quiet.”  She mustered and hid her head under the pillow.

            “Oh, sorry, but it’s almost evening! You’ve been sleeping all day.” Brooke said with a chuckle.

            “Like I said, hang over.  Remind me to strangle Penny and Brenda for dragging me out to the bar.”  She mumbled swallowing hard as her stomach churned to the memory of all the beer she drank the previous night.

            “How does your arm feel?”

            “It’s fine why?” Cass asked, peaking out from under the pillow, furrowing her brow at the question.

            “Oh, I figured it would be painful from them twisting it to get you to the bar.”  They chuckled.

            “Very funny.”  Cass put the pillow over her pounding head, hoping it might help.  It didn’t.

“Hey, are you going to watch the Heisman presentation? I’m sure it’s started already.” Michelle asked as she approached Cass’ side of the room and clicked on the TV, sitting at the end of her bed.

            “It looks like I don’t have a choice.”  Cass chuckled and rolled onto her side to see the TV.

            “Hey, there’s Kody.”  Michelle pointed out as the cameras followed Chad and Owen who entered the building followed by his family.

            Cass placed her attention on Dakota who briefly glanced up at the camera.  “Wow that blue suit looks good on her, but she doesn’t look well.”  She said softly.

            Michelle and Brooke leaned closer for a better look.  “You’re right, she looks pasty white.”  Brooke added.  “What’s wrong with her?”

            Cass sat up worried.  “I’m not sure.  She wasn’t feeling well the last time I saw her.  She’s probably getting the flu from being run down with finals and everything.”  She sighed when they went to a commercial break. 

After watching most of the show, which recapped the nominee’s football highlights and interviews from the players’ families, Cass was happy to see they would finally be talking about Owen and Chad, and she would get to finally see Dakota.  She smiled proudly as they showed clips from an interview with Dakota talking about her brother’s regarding the Heisman trophy.  Once the interview was over they scanned the crowd and Cass sat upright when she saw Leila standing off to the side.  Anger, hurt, betrayal and jealousy instantly filled her.

            “Is that Leila?” Michelle asked, squinting to see the woman.

            “Yep.”  Cass sighed as she stared at the woman.  “You know, can you two watch it on your TV?” Cass asked as she lay down on her bed fighting the nausea and anger that boiled in the pit of her stomach.

            “Sure.”  Brooke said worriedly and turned off the TV, then walked to her side of the room.

            Michelle looked at Cass, seeing the disappointment in her eyes.  “Don’t read into that Cass.”

            “How can I not? She couldn’t take me because she was taking Leila.”

            “I’m sure that’s not true.”

            “Then why is she there?”

            “She’s a cheerleader and they did show them doing a cheer at a few of the functions.  Maybe that’s all to it.”

            “Before Dakota left, I saw her give Leila an envelope.  I’m sure it was her ticket.”  Cass rubbed her face frustrated.

            Michelle sat next to her and glanced up seeing Brooke look at them.  She winked and Brooke moved to her side.  “Listen; give her the benefit of the doubt.  Call and have her explain what is going on.  Don’t jump to so many conclusions.”

            Cass looked at Michelle and smiled slightly.  “Thanks.”

            Michelle patted Cass on the leg and moved towards Brooke’s side of the room.  She looked back.  “Give her a chance to explain.”

            Cass looked up just as Michelle winked and disappeared around the wall.  Cass lay back on the bed and sighed.  She closed her eyes trying to calm her thoughts and opened them when she heard Michelle yell that Chad won the award.  She put the pillow over her head and closed her eyes.


After partying through the night with his brothers and fellow players, Chad stepped onto the elevator still clutching the coveted trophy he had won earlier in the evening.  He proudly looked down at the trophy and smiled remembering the memorable evening.  ‘Finally, the wide receivers get the respect we deserve.’  He chuckled inwardly and looked up, catching the eye of stunning long haired blonde woman who had stepped on.  He nodded and smiled as she settled next to him. 

“Hello, I was hoping I would finally get to talk to you alone.  It was crazy in the bar.”  She flirtatiously smiled as she looked at him.

“Very crazy.” Chad smiled in agreement.

“So, care for some company?” She batted her eyes enticingly and stood in front of him.

Chad chuckled, flattered by the attention.  “Hmmm, well I’m seeing…well, I’ve got a girlfriend.” He stammered, wondering inwardly how foreign that girlfriend statement sounded to him.

“That’s okay, I have a girlfriend too.”  She smiled and ran her finger down his chest through his open shirt.  “We just won’t tell them.”

“What is it with me and lesbians?” He laughed and looked away briefly, then punched the number on the panel.

“I play for both teams and I would love to see what it is like to sleep with a heisman trophy winner.” 

“A football fan huh?” He chuckled, enjoying how far down her hand was moving.

“Oh, big time.”  She said sultrily and lightly kissed his chest as she unbuttoned his shirt.

Chad placed his hands on her shoulders and stepped back, staring at her contemplating his next move.  He was lost in the moment.  “You are gorgeous.”

“So are you.”  She smiled flirtatiously and moved in closer, licking then kissing his chest as her hand moved below his waist.

Chad’s eyes closed from her touch.  When the elevator doors opened he guided the smaller woman down the hall to his room.  Growing harder as she nibbled on his neck, he opened the door.  She circled around him and rubbed her hands between his legs.  Once inside, he placed the trophy on the counter and lifted her up in his arms as he carried her to the bed.


Cass jumped startled when she heard the door close.  She grabbed her head that still throbbed and looked at the clock.  ‘Damn.’  She sat on the edge of her bed and looked at the window.  ‘What freaking time is it or should I say what day is it?’  She turned on the TV to the local news station.  ‘Man, I slept straight through to Sunday! Let me see if I can get in touch with Dakota… finally.’  She sat on the edge of her bed and checked her phone hopeful for a message from Dakota…no such luck.  She leaned forward and rested her head on her hand as she punched in Dakota’s number.  She looked up at the door when she heard a knock and closed her phone, walking to it.  Sighing when she saw the person before her she said softly, “what are you doing here?”

“Can I come in?”

“From the look on your face it doesn’t look like I have much of a choice.”  She said worried and closed the door.  “What’s going on? I haven’t seen that man skulking around me lately.” Cass asked, walking closer to the man who stood staring at her with his hand on his hips.

“It’s time.”  He said with a slight smile.

Cass stared at him stunned and inhaled deeply trying to process the feeling that ran through her.  “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I received the call earlier to bring you back.”

Cass had been waiting for this moment for a long time and had gone over how she would feel once it finally happened, but her emotions were different.  She was torn and wondered if she was doing the right thing now.  “Dakota.”  She said softly, walking past him.

“You didn’t tell her anything did you?”

Cass turned to him.  “I hate lying to her.”

He grew worried and moved closer to her.  “Tell me you didn’t tell her.”

Cass looked up at him.  “No Larry, I didn’t tell her, but I need to.”

“No…not now.  Not until it is all over, you can’t risk it in case everything doesn’t work out.”

“Don’t tell me that.  I want this to be over and done with so I can get on with my life.”  Cass said nervously.

“We are closer than ever before.  Get packed, I’ll move the car around to the front, I had to park way down the street.”  He smiled and walked to the door.  “It’s almost over.”  He exited and closed the door behind him.

Cass paced the room.  What am I going to tell Dakota? I’ve been judging her about her secrets with Leila, but I’m no better.  I’m hiding so much from her; I need to speak to her.’  She lifted her cell phone and dialed Dakota’s number.  She paced faster waiting for Dakota to answer, wondering what she was going to say.  “Dakota.”  She said excitedly when she heard the ringing stop.

            “No, this is not Dakota.  Who’s this?”

            She stopped in the middle of the room.  “This is Cass who are you?”

            “Oh, hi Cass it’s Leila.”  Cass could hear a smile form on the other side of the line.

            Cass felt like someone had punched her in the stomach.  She began pacing the floor again.  “Where is Dakota and why are you answering her phone?” Cass asked angrily, her eyes filled with tears.

            “She’s here, but she’s sleeping right now.”

            The tears that streaked her face fell unchecked and the pain in her heart constricted her throat.  Her racing heart made it difficult to breath, she felt lightheaded and flopped down on her bed.  ‘NO!’ She screamed inwardly.  Her devastation was replaced by fury.  “Put her on the phone, I want to talk to her.”

            Leila looked at Dakota who lay sleeping in the bed.  Smirking, she walked across the room lowering her voice.  “Sorry, I’m not going to wake her.”

            “What in the hell is going on?” Cass yelled into the phone.

            “Isn’t it obvious Cass? You are just not the person for Kody.  I told you that before.”

            “Oh, and you are right? Bullshit, she told me she didn’t want to be with you that you were just a fuck buddy.”

            “Hmmm, that’s funny because that’s exactly what she told me about you last night.  I warned you that once she got what she wanted from you that would be it.  She told me all about her fucking you with her dildo.  I can’t believe you really thought you could satisfy her.  She needs a woman, not a stupid girl.”

            Cass covered her mouth to stifle her emotions that spilled out.  She inhaled deeply to compose herself and calm the betrayal she felt within.  “Then have a happy life with her because I will not be with someone who fucks trash like you!” Cass clicked off the phone and threw it as hard as she could against the wall, smashing it to pieces.  “Why?” She screamed and flopped on her bed crying uncontrollably.  ‘How could she tell her about us having sex with the dildo? That was to stay between us! What else has she told her? How could she betray me like that? Why was I so stupid to believe that she wanted to be with me? She’s been playing me from the beginning.’  She stood up and walked over to her closet, grabbing her suitcase.  She threw it to the ground and began to pack.  ‘She’s not going to make a fool of me anymore.  This makes my decision to leave so much easier.  Fuck you Dakota!’


            Brooke entered the room and tossed her keys on the desk.  “Cass!” She walked over to Cass’ side of the room and paused surprised to see none of Cass’ belongings.  “What in the hell?” She said softly, in a state of shock.  She looked at the desk, seeing a note on top that had her name on it.  She picked it up and read it.  She sat down dismayed and angry.  ‘Fucking Kody! I knew she would hurt her!’ She picked up her phone and called Michelle.  Sighing frustrated when she got the voicemail, she stood up and paced the floor.  “Hey, call me as soon as you get this message.  Cass has left, fucking Kody hurt her. I knew she would do this to her.  Call me ASAP!” She clicked off the phone, reading further down the note and smiling slightly where Cass apologized for leaving the room a mess particularly her demolished cell phone.  ‘Oh, Cass you shouldn’t let that bitch get the best of you.  I hope you call me soon so I can talk you out of this decision.  Man, I wish I didn’t have finals the next couple of days.’  She picked up the letter and grabbed her keys hurrying out of the room. 

Brooke pounded on Michelle’s door and hurried into the room when she opened the door.

            “Hey, what’s going on?” Michelle asked flabbergasted by her knocking.  She pulled the towel from around her body and dried her hair.

            “Freaking Kody, that’s what.”

            “What are you talking about?” Michelle asked perplexed as she approached Brooke.

            “Didn’t you get my message?”

            “No, I’ve been in the shower.  What’s going on?”

            “Cass has left.  Remember that we saw Leila in New York, well I bet it is that they are back together.”

            “What? No way.”  Michelle shook her head in disbelief.

            “It has to be.  Why would Cass just up and leave?”

            “That can’t be.  I don’t believe it. What did she say in her letter?”

            “Just that she wasn’t going to be made a fool of and that she wasn’t going to put up with Dakota’s crap anymore, that she was leaving.”

            “No, shit.”    

            “Have you spoken to Chad; does he know what is going on?”

            “No, I’ve been trying to get in touch with him, but he hasn’t called me back.”

            “Keep trying, I want to find out what in the hell is going on.”

            “Why don’t you call Cass?”

            “She trashed her cell and said she would call me when she gets a chance.  We need to stop her from making a terrible mistake by leaving school.”

            Michelle placed her hands on Brooke’s arms to comfort her.  “Hey, Cass knows what she’s doing.  Maybe she has just left for the holidays and once she cools down she’ll be back.”

            “I knew Kody would screw her over, that bitch.”

            “Let’s not jump to conclusions until we hear both sides of the story.  Maybe this is just a huge misunderstanding.”

            “Oh, I’d love to hear Kody’s explanation for all of this and hope our paths cross…soon.”  Brooke said angrily.

            “Come on, calm down I’m sure everything will work out.”  Michelle pulled her in, hugging her.  “I’ll try to get in touch with Chad to straighten this out.


            After her finals, Brooke stopped by her dorm to pick up her bags for her trip to her parent’s house for the holidays.  Over the past two days, she hadn’t heard from Cass and Michelle hadn’t heard from Chad.  She heard a knock on the door and hurried towards it.  “I know I’m running late baby, but I’ll be ready shortly.”  She called out as she opened the door expecting to find Michelle standing there.  She was surprised to find Dakota instead.  “Kody.”  She inhaled deeply trying to calm her temper…it didn’t work.  She clenched her fist.

            “Is Cass here?”  Dakota asked softly, looking past Brooke.

            “Of course she’s not thanks to you.”  Brooke reared back and punched Dakota in the mouth.  She stood staring at her, surprised that she fell so easily to the ground. 

            “What in the hell are you doing?” Dakota asked astounded, wiping the blood from her mouth.

            “Exactly what I told you I would do if you hurt Cass.  She’s gone thanks to you.”

            “To where?” Dakota slowly sat up.

            “You need to leave her alone.  Why are you here anyway…to rub in your New York weekend with Leila to Cass?”

            Dakota looked up shocked at Brooke’s comment as she gingerly stood up.  She slowly moved, grimacing with each step, face to face with Brooke.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I wasn’t with Leila in New York.”

            “You’re a liar, we saw her at the presentation and Cass mentioned that she spoke to her on the phone in the letter she left me.”

            “Yeah, so it doesn’t mean she was with me.”

            “Give me a break Kody, she was talking on your phone.  You and that bitch Leila have been playing Cass for a long time.  I’m glad Cass finally came to her senses about you.”

            “Fuck you Brooke.  This is really none of your business anyway.”

            “Cass made it my business when she left her goodbye note and you decided to play with my best friends’ heart.  Why don’t you just leave her alone and stop causing her so much heartache?  Go to Leila, you two snakes are made for one another.”

            “You can believe what you want Brooke and actually, you will.  No matter what I say.  What matters is what Cass believes.”  Dakota turned saddened and walked away.  ‘How could she leave me, again?’ Dakota inhaled deeply, trying to settle her emotions that fought to spill out.  She flashed back to when she was sixteen and Cass left softball camp, then remembered the pain she felt when her letters to Cass had been returned to her saying, ‘return to sender’.  She felt the same pain deep within, but this time she was unable to check the tears that fell down her cheeks as she walked to her car.  She climbed into the passenger’s seat, without looking at Owen she said, “Let’s get to the airport.”

            “You okay?” He asked concerned, looking at her.

            “No, Cass has left.” Dakota looked out the window, discreetly wiping away her tears.

            “Where do we need to go to pick her up?”

            “We’re not.”  Dakota said flatly.

            “I’m confused, what in the hell is going on?” Owen swallowed hard seeing his sister’s tear streaked face.

            “She’s gone.  I don’t want to talk about it, please.”  She looked away from him. “Let’s just go.”  She covered her mouth with her fist, staring out the window.

            Owen patted her leg comfortingly and drove away.


            Brooke held her hand under the cold water.

            “Hey, Brooke! Are you here?” Michelle asked as she entered the room.

            “Yeah, I’m in the bathroom.”

            Michelle stopped at the door.  “What happened?”

            “I think I broke my hand.  It’s killing me.”  Brooke whined, as she opened and closed her fingers gingerly.

            “How did you do that?”

            “I punched Kody in the mouth.”

            “What? When?” Michelle chuckled slightly.

            “What are you laughing at?” Brooke took offense to her chuckle.

            “You punched Kody?” Michelle asked sarcastically.

            Brooke stood upright, holding her throbbing hand. “Yes, I did and for your information she dropped like a brick!” Brooke poked her in the chest with her good hand.

            “Ouch, okay Laila Ali, don’t punch me!” Michelle laughed.

            Brooke mockingly growled at her then laughed.  “Would you please make this pain go away?”  She grimaced holding her hand.

            “Seeing as how it’s your throwing hand I think I can help you out.  We need it.”  Michelle winked, gently placing Brooke’s hand in hers and raising it to lightly kiss it.

            “As much as I love your kisses that is just not helping.”

            “Okay, let’s stop by the clinic and get it checked.”  Michelle walked towards the door holding Brooke’s hand in hers.  “So, what did Kody say?”

            “She lied and told me she wasn’t with Leila”

            Michelle looked at Brooke.  “You don’t know that she was lying.”

            “Then why didn’t she deny it?”  Brooke said as they exited the dorm.

            “I don’t know.  What else did she say?”

            “She told me it wasn’t my business and that I wouldn’t believe what she said anyway.”

            “Which is true…on both accounts.”  Michelle put her finger up when she saw Brooke’s head snap around to her.  “Don’t even think that I’m taking sides, but it’s true.  This is none of our business, it’s between her and Cass.”

            “That’s true it is between them, but they are our teammates and Cass is my best friend so, I think it has become our business. Did you hear from Chad yet?”

            Michelle grinned slightly knowing Brooke was not going to budge.  “No, I’m sure his new found fame and girlfriend is keeping him busy.”  Michelle rolled her eyes and sighed, then smiled.  “We’ll see what we can do to help our friends.”

             “Okay, but she still deserved the punch in the mouth for not telling Cass Leila would be there!”

            Michelle coughed nervously.


            “You make me laugh.”  Michelle chuckled and opened the door to the clinic for her.



            Dakota sat to the middle of the plane, staring out the window.  ‘Why did she leave? Why won’t she answer my calls? I’ve only left a hundred of them.  My brothers have left ten messages.  It’s the same shit as before.’  She glanced to her right when her thoughts were interrupted by Chad and Jana walking onto the plane.  She shifted in her seat and glanced back out the window hoping they would not talk to her.  She had met the woman earlier and thought she was nice, but she was not in the mood for socializing. 

            Jana sat in the window seat to the back and Chad sat in the aisle seat.  He glanced over at his sister. “Hey Kody, where’s Cass?”

            “I don’t know.  I suspect she’s in Maine.”  Dakota glared out the window.

            “What? I thought she was going to Daytona with us.”

            “Well, she’s not.”  Dakota said, perturbed.

            “Why? You have been talking about her coming with us incessantly.”

            “She’s not going.”


            Dakota snapped her head around towards her brother.  “Cállate coño!” She stuck the iPod buds in her ears and turned the music on, loud.

            Chad sat staring at her stunned.  She had never yelled at him so angrily before.

            Jana was appalled by how Dakota spoke to Chad, she didn’t understand what she said in Spanish, but from the look on Chad’s face she knew it wasn’t good.  She rubbed his arm comfortingly as he looked at her.  “What did she say?”

            Chad looked back at his sister, and then looked at Jana.  “She told me, basically, to shut the hell up.”

             “Well, that was uncalled for, you should say something to her or I will.”  Her tone was defensive.

            “No, you’re not going to say anything to my sister.  It’s not your place to do so.” He stared at her emphatically, and then looked forward.  ‘What is up with Jana? She has no right to say anything to my sister.’

            Jana quietly sighed, not expecting that reaction from Chad.  She looked out the window as the plane took off.  ‘Why did he speak to me that way?’  She looked back at Chad whose expression saddened her and leaned over to kiss his muscular shoulder.

            He looked back at her and smiled.  “Thanks.”

            Jana smiled and leaned in to kiss him. “I’m sorry I said that, you’re right it’s not my place.”

            “Thanks.  I’m sorry too; it’s just that I’m pretty protective of my sister no matter what she might say to me.”

            “I understand.”  She smiled comfortingly and kissed him.  She broke the kiss.  “I’m going to miss you.”

            He smiled as he looked at her.  “Me too, but we have a day together before you head home.”

            “That’s true, when do you have to go back to Gainesville to practice for the bowl game?”

            “Owen and I fly back on Thursday.”

            “You won’t be home for Christmas? Oh, baby that’s not enough down time for you.  Why do they make you go back so early?”

            “We are there for two weeks and our schedules are jam packed with practice, dinners, events, autograph sessions and tons of other stuff.  You and the rest of the band come in a couple of days before right?”

“Yeah, but I’d love to fly back with you.”  She smiled flirtatiously.

            “Well, I would really like that, but the coach won’t allow you to come along.”  He winked.

            “I want to be with you, besides; I don’t think I can be away from you for that long.”  She leaned to his ear whispering, “I miss having you inside of me already.”

            He felt an instant throbbing sensation between his legs and smiled as he turned to her, pressing his lips against hers.  He broke the kiss.  “I think we can remedy that.”

            “I was hoping you would feel that way.  That’s why I wore this dress.” She smiled, sliding her hand up his inner thigh stopping between his legs.  “Ooh, baby.”  She kissed along his neck as she rubbed her hand up and down his crotch.  She chuckled when he lifted her up onto his lap.  “I take it your brother and sister won’t mind?”

            “Nah, Dakota is in a trance and Owen is dead to the world from too much partying.”

            Jana glanced over at his siblings noting Owen was sound asleep in the front and Dakota could not be seen.  “Hmmm, well put a bigger smile on my face baby.”

            “My pleasure.”  Chad grinned flirtatiously and kissed her deeply.


            Cass entered the house weighted down with her luggage, struggling to navigate the furniture in the living room as she walked towards her room.

            “Honey, hi.  What is all of this? It looks like you’re moving back in.”  Her aunt greeted her with a kiss to the cheek as she took one of the bags from Cass’ shoulder.

            “I am.”  Cass said flatly as she walked past her.

            Her aunt stood watching her walk away, surprised by her comment.  She walked into Cass’ room and placed the bag on the floor next to the closet.  “Did you leave school? What happened?”

            Cass looked at her aunt.  “You mean who.”

            “I’m lost honey.  What do you mean who?”

            Cass pointed to the poster on the wall.  “That’s who.  Dakota, she’s the reason I left.”

            “I thought you two were dating.”

            “Yeah, so did I, but you see Dakota can’t date just me she has to have others.  Actually, one in particular that I just can’t stand and I…” she paused inhaling to calm her anger, “I’m just not going to be a part of it any more.”

            Cass’ aunt saw the pain in her niece’s green eyes and pulled her in for a hug.  She whispered in her ear, “I’m here when you’re ready to talk about it.  Despite the circumstances, I’m happy you’re home.”  She broke the hug smiling and pushed a lock of Cass’ hair behind her ear.  “I’ve missed you.”  She kissed Cass on the cheek and patted her shoulder.  “I’m going to make you some hot chocolate just like you like it, with plenty of fluff.”  She smiled and winked as she walked to the door.

            “Thanks aunt Maymo.  I missed you too.”  Cass smiled, happy that she actually felt like doing so.  She turned, seeing the poster of Dakota on her wall.  Her conversation with Leila resonated through her head as infuriation with Dakota filled her.  She walked over and ripped the poster off the wall, dropping it to the floor.  She sat on the edge of her bed and cried.

To Be Continued...


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