PM from a reader

I just read “My European Summer Vacation,” and the “knob gobblin'” reminded me of a joke.

A guy is going down the street and he sees a little green man with pointy ears. The little green man is sitting on the curb with his head between his knees. The guy’s never seen a little green man before, and he asks, “Are you a goblin?” The little green man says, “No, I just put my head down because I’m feeling a little faint.”

I loved the story.

Thoughts on sequels

I’ve gotten comment after comment on particularly “My Sister Set Me Up on a Blind Date” requesting a sequel. I think as an author I should take that as a big compliment. Readers loved my characters so much that they want to read about them more. The story leaves them wondering, “What happens next?” and they want me to tell them.

From my little experience, sequels are really hard. I started on a sequel for “Heather and Michael” and stopped. after publishing one chapter. I started on a sequel for “My Sister Set Me Up on a Blind Date” and I think it is rotten and would leave fans of the original dissatisfied.

In my stories, I hope that the reader sees the characters change and grow in such a way that they come together. At the conclusion, their relationship has matured to love. And readers want them to stay in love like that. But if they stay in love like that, there isn’t room for the characters to change and grow. When I published “Heather and Michael Ch 03”, one of the common complaints was that nothing happened. Which was true. I didn’t want to change Heather or Michael and without them changing, nothing really happens.

Todd’s original story about Mandy

I said in my Extended Author’s Notes on “My Sister Set Me Up on a Blind Date” that I completely redid the Mandy character. Here’s initially described his time at college:

“Let me start by saying that I had totally unrealistic expectations about college. I thought I would look across the classroom and make eye contact with a girl, we’d talk after class was over and then I’d take her up to my dorm room for some wild sex. Freshman year at a big university is nothing like that. It’s a lot harder to meet girls there than in high school. The classes are huge. The dorms are huge. I had number of good conversations with girls that I then never saw again. Though my roommate and I were very different, the easiest thing to do was to hang out with him and some of his friends from high school. They were like, ‘Freedom! I can do anything I want!’ We went to a lot of parties, drank a lot and got drunk a lot. We stayed up all night playing video games then slept through our classes. I kept thinking that I was a good enough student that I could make up for my slacking off by bursts of superhuman effort. I pulled all-nighters to write all of my papers. I crammed like crazy for exams. But I wasn’t good enough to pull it off. I got one B and the rest C’s for that semester.”

“Mom and Dad were very disappointed with you.”

“They expressed that disappointment to me at length every day I was home for Christmas break. And I had no defense. I was disappointed with myself. I knew I should have been going to classes and studying more. Still, I didn’t appreciate Mom and Dad putting me through hell to make sure I wouldn’t screw up again.”

I sighed. “Next semester, I buckled down and studied hard. I didn’t miss any of my classes. I stayed on top of all of my homework. I started papers as soon as they were assigned and worked steadily on them so I had plenty of time to get them just right. I only partied or played video games when all of my homework was done. My roommate and all of my friends continued to party hardy. They couldn’t understand why I was studying all the time. My roommate and I started fighting. I wound up ditching all of the friends I made first semester and hating my roommate. I got good grades second semester, but otherwise it really sucked.” I had been looking down, but I then looked at Ashlynne. “Is that detailed enough for you?”

“Yes.”

“Anything more you want to hear about?”

“No. I can see that it sucked and I understand why you didn’t want to talk about it.”

“Okay. Sophomore year started a lot better. I got a new roommate and while he wasn’t my best friend, he was pretty cool. I only had one general ed class. In the rest of my classes, I kept seeing the same students, mostly engineers like me. I started talking with them and made some friends. One of them was Mandy. Mandy is good-looking, smart, fun and has a great personality. We started dating at the beginning of October and we were soon inseparable. She got me working out again. She had had a bad fall in gymnastics in grade school which messed up her back and she had to work constantly to keep her back in shape. Most days, we went to the gym together. We’d do cardio together, then I’d go lift weights while she did a variety of things to keep her back strong and pain-free.”

Ashlynne was giving me her undivided attention. “College is great when you’re a part of a couple. It’s so easy to get privacy. I’d ask my roommate to go study somewhere else for a while and Mandy and I were naked shortly after he left the room. He went home every other weekend and as soon as he was gone, Mandy moved in. But it was much more than the sex. It was really great just being a couple. We had a good-size group of friends and I loved cuddling with Mandy while hanging out with them. I’ve never been so happy.”

“I’m so envious. I want that so much. But obviously something happened.”

“Yeah. During Christmas break, Mandy was driving in her neighborhood when a little kid ran into the street in front of her. She slammed on her brakes to not hit him. She stopped in time, but she got rear-ended by a cable company van that was following her.”

“No!”

“Yes. Major whiplash. Really messed up her back. She came back to school on pain pills and she hoped her back would get better. Instead it got worse. She couldn’t sit in classroom chairs for the length of a lecture. She had frequent appointments with her spine doctor at home, which was an hour and a half away and she couldn’t drive herself home because she was on pain pills. It wasn’t working and she withdrew from school.”

That was probably the saddest day of my life.

“At first, twice a week I’d drive to her house and spend the night. But it was nothing like at being at the university. Mandy has a younger brother and sister and her mom stays at home. We didn’t get much privacy and we were never that comfortable even when we did. I slept on the couch when I stayed there. Her family was great to me, but it wasn’t like being with our friends. There were lots of other changes. Talking about classes wasn’t as much fun as she wasn’t taking any. She didn’t want to talk about being in pain or her doctor appointments. She and her family decided to sue the cable company, which was another thing that took up a lot of her time but that she didn’t want to talk about. And because of the suit, there were lots of things I couldn’t do with Mandy.”

“Like what? Rough sex?”

I snorted. “No. I couldn’t drive her to the library. What if I had an accident which messed up her back some more? The only time Mandy left the house was to go see her doctor or her therapist and her mother always drove her.” Her mother had never had an accident or even a ticket. “I was still crazy about Mandy, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun as it had been. After a while, I cut back the trips to once a week. At the end of the semester, I stopped going all together.”

I got up and started pacing the room. “I’m going to be working six days a week this summer” – I had a job lined up at a fast-food place that I’d worked at before – “ and Mandy is two and a half hours away from here. Mandy had been hoping to avoid back surgery, but her back is at the point that she needs it. She’s going to have extensive surgery in three weeks. The plan is for her to spend the summer and fall rehabilitating and return to the university for the spring semester. She might not even return; she might transfer to a college near her home so she can regularly see her doctor and her medical support team.”

I sat down in my chair and took a deep breath. “A week ago, I broke up with Mandy. I hated doing it. I want to support her through her tough summer, but at the same time I want to go out on dates and that’s not happening with Mandy for the foreseeable future. I feel like we had something incredible, but it was stolen from us by some stupid little kid who didn’t know to not run out into the street.” I bowed my head and cried.

Ashlynne got off the bed and wrapped her arms around me. “I’m so sorry, Todd.” She held me for a long time, then wordlessly left the room.

Random thoughts

I’ve been surprised to not get any comments on “European Vacation” from an Irish reader
Before the story was published, I was really concerned that some Irish reader would rip me a new one for bungling the Irish characters. So far, not a peep from anyone Irish. Ireland is not a popular setting for incest stories – here is all ten incest stories tagged “Irish”. I’d think someone from Ireland would be strongly motivated to say something. The closest I’ve gotten is a PM where the person said, “I has an Irish Governess as a boy and she talked and acted much the same as your heroine.”

I’m not a heavyweight on LitE
I had a back-and-forth with someone who called me a “heavyweight” author. I’m not. If I go to the Incest/Taboo page, scroll down to the Popular Authors box and click on the “7 days” tab. Keep in mind that this is the best 7 days of my writing career with two extremely popular stories recently published. On the list, I’m sixth. silkstockingslover and lovecraft68 are #1 and #2, no surprise as they are great authors which a huge number of great incest stories. standingstones, Chris7sw and BrettJ are #3, #4 and #5. I don’t recognize any of them. I checked out standingstones and BrettJ submissions lists and they don’t have a lot of stories with a red H, but they have lots and lots of stories.

Whoops!
I got a PM from a reader:

My European Summer Vacation. Like many others, I enjoyed the story. My ‘nitpick’ is that Sinead’s name was used on page 1 before she was actually ‘introduced’ in the story.

Not sure what story I’ll work on next
A strong possibility is a re-write of “Heather and Michael”. Chapters 1 and 2 were really one story and I shouldn’t have split it into chapters. I started on a sequel (chapter 3), didn’t like the reception and didn’t continue with the sequel. I’d re-write Chapter 3 and finished the sequel. I’m still waiting to hear back from beta-readers.

Comparing first day response of “European Vacation” to “Blind Date”

Score – 4.83 for “My European Summer Vacation” vs 4.78 for “My Sister Set Me Up on a Blind Date”
Votes – 668 for “Vacation” vs 1162 for “Blind Date”
Views – 41540 vs 55269
Comments – 19 vs 37
Favorites – 63 vs 104

“Blind Date” was by a wide margin the more popular story even though “Vacation” wound up with the better score. (The score for “Vacation” started at 4.33 early, early in the morning, was up to like 4.65 by mid-morning and kept rising steadily). Why?

I think some of the difference is because “Blind Date” was published while the Incest/Taboo category had been in a drought for top-drawer stories. I think only one other new story had a red H and many of them had sub-4 scores. If you came to the I/T category the day “Blind Date” was published (and even the day after), it was clearly the story to read. “Vacation” on the other hand was published on Day 3 of the Summer Lovin’ contest with a highly-rated story published on Days 1 and 2.

That doesn’t explain all of the difference. I feel that “Vacation” is a more compelling emotionally story. Why would “Blind Date” almost twice as many comments? I wish I knew.

A major section that was cut out of “My European Summer Vacation”

This all got chopped and replaced with one paragraph about saying “I love you” for the first in Salzburg, Austria.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The subject came up one night when we had gotten a private room in a hostel and were in bed together. I was on my back as usual with Sinead’s head on my shoulder. She was playing with my chest hairs.

“You’re the best flatmate I’ve ever had,” said Sinead.

I chuckled then shook my head. “I’m not your roommate yet.”

“You more or less have been. We’ve spent more time together than I ever spent with a flatmate.”

“Well, you’re having sex with me and you didn’t do that with your roommates.”

“I did with one. I’ve roomed with two wans and a fella. The wans were my first two years at university. We ending up fighting all the time. The fella was during my last year of university. He had been a great boyfriend until I moved in, then things quickly fell apart. I was a little worried that I couldn’t live with someone else.”

“Sinead, you’re easy to be with.”

She was. She was almost always in a good mood and ready to laugh. Physical hardships didn’t bother her at all. One time we were biking and a sudden rainstorm soaked us both. When we finally got to the next town, she had been more upset with the inaccurate weather forecast than being wet. She was always up for a little adventure and when things didn’t work out, she’d laugh and chalk it up to experience. She was easy to talk with. I couldn’t imagine a better traveling companion.

“For you. Thinking it over, I’ve decided that I’m terrible at negotiating. I want my way and I get pissed when I don’t get it. I get that from Maeve.”

While we’ve traveled, Sinead used “Mam” to refer to our mother and “Maeve” to refer to her adoptive mother.

“Having two people like that in a family is an explosive combination.”

“Aye, it was. But unlike Maeve, I always get your input first and I get your agreement to the big picture, then I make my plan and I expect you to follow it.”

“You’re in charge.”

“I am. And I like how when you want to change the plan, you don’t say that you’re going to do something else. You always ask my opinion on doing something else, letting me be in charge again.”

“It took me a few trial and errors to figure out how to get my way while making you happy. Fortunately, you always made an Erin lemon face when I did something wrong, so it was figure out when I screwed up.”

“An Erin lemon face?”

“When Erin was six or nine months old, we went to a restaurant that put a slice of lemon into our waters. I gave mine to Erin to bite. When she bit it, she made this wonderful face of total revulsion. Then five seconds later, she bit it again and made the same face. She probably spent five minutes biting that lemon.”

Sinead laughed.

“But seriously, you have an expressive face and don’t hide how your feelings, so it’s easy for me to figure out when I did something that made you unhappy.”

“Then you stop doing that.”

“Because I want you to be happy. When you’re happy, I’m happy.”

Sinead raised up and gave me a kiss. “And you make me very happy.”

“And you told me this to let me know that I’m doing okay?”

“You’re doing perfect.”

Another kiss, a little longer and with a little passion.

“When you make me happy,” said Sinead huskily, “I want to make you happy.”

Sinead came down for an opened-mouth kiss.

Another thing I had learned was to let Sinead initiate sex. She was more into it when she initiated it. And she initiated it often – we had sex more often that I had ever had with any other girlfriend.

In big cities, we rarely could afford a private room. Sadly, most of the sights we wanted to see were in big cities. Consequently, we had to be creative when it came to having sex. When we got the least bit of privacy, we were all over each other. Sinead was happy to give me quickies and “knob gobblin’” when there weren’t any other choices. She definitely knew how to make me happy.

* * * *

As we traveled together, Sinead worked on adopting an American vocabulary. It wasn’t something we ever discussed, but I noticed one day that she used guys and girls instead of fellas and wans. People who couldn’t do their jobs were idiots, not gimps. Sinead was familiar with lots and lots of American terms from TV, movies, books and music; so I think it was mostly a matter of her switching to terms that she knew but didn’t use. Once I noticed that, whenever she used an Irish term that an American would find confusing, I’d reply with a sentence that had the American term in it. Frequently, that was the last time I heard the Irish term. She kept “aye” and “mam”. And I wanted her to never stop saying “kmob goblin’”. The Irish vowels, rhythm and mannerisms remained.

Sinead surprised me by speaking fluent German. Well, she seemed fluent to me, but I had trouble learning how to say “Hello”, “Thanks” and “Goodbye” in any language besides English. “I was ready to work for our financial overlords”, Sinead said when I asked her about it.

I found it surprising how many other young people were traveling around too. We didn’t encounter any Italian millionaires that might take Sinead away from me. The more Sinead and I traveled together, the closer we got and the idea that we might break up before we went to Boston died on the vine. The young people we encounter were from all over the world and seemed a lot like us. Sinead and I were quick to strike up new friendships. Coming into one city on the train, we had made friends with an American couple, Cindy and Derek, and a Dutch couple, Lars and Isa.

As the train was slowing, Lars told us, “I’ve heard that this youth hostel has six-person rooms and if six people rent one out, they don’t care if it’s both boys and girls in the room.”

We all agreed to get a six-person room together.

By now, I knew Sinead better than I had known any prior girlfriend. In lots of ways, she was very conservative, very prim and proper. She usually wore a skirt and a blouse. She always wore a bra. In public, we never did anything more affectionate that a quick kiss. If we talked with strangers, it was my job to do the talking. If we had a disagreement with somebody like where we should go next, it was my job to do the disagreeing. But if we had any privacy, Sinead was quite assertive and up for anything. There’s a line between crazy and reckless about having sex outside of a hotel room, and somehow we both naturally drew that line in the same place. And we both loved the crazy. Sinead had her girlfriends giggling regularly.

The room in the youth hostel had wooden units along each wall that contained cabinets, drawers and two beds, one high and one low. It looked like the upper bed wouldn’t rock like an upper bunk bed. There was a narrow walkway between the units, one unit on the left close to the door and two units opposite each other at the far end. There was a small window on the far wall that was high up. Sinead and I got into the upper bed on the far left, while Cindy and Derek got into the lower bed in the unit across from us while Lars and Isa got into the lower bed closest to the door. We all were wearing night clothes when we got into bed, but as soon as Lars turned off the light, I could hear everyone taking off their clothes. There wasn’t much light coming through the window, so I could only hear the other couples.

It was the first time that either Sinead and I had had sex in the same room as another couple. We were both very intimidated. We whispered very quietly to each other. While we were having sex, I think we were quieter than when we had had sex in Sinead’s parents’ house. It was very uncomfortable for both of us and though we enjoyed having sex, it was one of our less enjoyable sessions. We put our clothes back on.

The other two couples weren’t intimidated as we were. Cindy had the highest pitch voice of the three women and I heard her “ah, ah, ah” across from us for a while. Isa had the lowest pitch voice and I heard her “uh, uh, uh” even after Sinead and I had stopped. Sinead and I snuggled up and fell asleep.

The next day, we explored the city with Cindy, Derek, Lars and Isa. They were a lot of fun to be with, but Lars kept doing something that annoyed me – he kept staring at Sinead, obviously taking her clothes off in his mind. I confess that I checked out Cindy and Isa – Cindy was curvy but a little overweight while Isa was very pretty, thin and flat-chested. But I didn’t do so blatantly like Lars did.

At the end of dinner, I found out why Lars had been staring at Sinead. The six of us had decided to splurge and have a dinner at a nice restaurant with some wine. We were all feeling good once the meal was finished. Lars leaned forward and said, “For a little special fun tonight, how about we switch partners when we get back to the youth hostel. I have plenty of condoms to share. What do you think, Derek?”

Sinead slipped her fingers through mine as we kept our hands down low. Derek was a good first choice as both Isa and Sinead were better looking that Cindy and Lars and I were better looking than Derek. If they said yes, both of them were going to spend the night with a better looking partner.

Derek looked at Cindy, apparently found acceptance, then said, “Sounds like it’d be fun.”

Lars turned to me. “And you, Noel?”

Sinead squeezed my hand tightly, which wasn’t any kind of a clue.

“Sinead and I haven’t been together that long. It’s still exciting being with her, so we’re going to pass.”

Sinead let go of my hand.

Lars turned to Derek. “Are you still okay with switching?”

Derek looked at Cindy. “Yes. Yes, we are.”

When we got back to the room in the youth hostel, it was much like the night before except just before Lars turned off the lights, the girls switched beds. As Sinead and I stripped naked, I heard the others taking off their clothes as well.

Once we were naked, I pulled Sinead to me and whispered, “Did I make the right choice saying no?”

“Yes. You noticed I was holding your hand when you answered. If you had said yes, I was going to yank you to the floor and start kicking you.” I chuckled softly. “And I kick hard. Just ask my brothers.”

I hugged Sinead. “It was an easy decision to make. No woman appeals to me like you do.”

“You’re the only man I want to make love to.”

“You’re the only woman I want to make love to.”

“I love you, Noel.”

“I love you, too.”

We kissed. Part of me said that I shouldn’t have told my half-sister that I loved her; that it was wrong, just like making love to her was wrong. I easily pushed that thought away. I loved Sinead. I loved her as a woman, not like I loved my sisters. I was only telling her the truth. When we got to Boston and I told her that I was her half-brother, we would have to put that genie back into its bottle. But for now, I was in love with her and was going to enjoy it.

We continued kissing. The kisses were more passionate than last night. Then we started with the caresses and they seemed more excited than last night. The ah’s and uh’s started, but we continued our kissing and fondling as if they weren’t there. The bed was too narrow for me to eat Sinead out, so I slid my hand between her legs and she opened her legs to give me access. I took my time, stroking the inside of one thigh, up and around her slit, then back down to the other side. We had been kissing but now I slid down the bed and sucked Sinead’s nipple into my mouth. She normally moaned when I did so, but not tonight. I changed the path of my hand to be up the thigh, up one side of Sinead’s slit, a rub on one side of her clit, a brief stop at the top of her slit and then same thing down the other side. Sinead was pushing her crotch hard against my hand as it neared her clit. I sucked her other tit into my mouth, then ran my tongue over and under her nipple.

I moved up for some more kisses. Our tongues dueled as I now kept my fingers inside her slit. Sinead was wet now and I used her fluids to make my fingers slide better. I ended the kiss and switched to concentrating on Sinead’s clit. Sinead was on her way now, mouthing her oh’s instead of saying them like she usually did. We were silent while the ah’s and uh’s continued in the background. Occasionally, Sinead whispered directions – “harder”, “up higher”, “a little down”.

Finally Sinead made some noise as she started gasping. Four, five, six gasps then she slammed her mouth shut as she came.

After a few moments, Sinead whispered to me, “That was a good one.”

“I wanted to make the woman I love happy,” I whispered back.

“You did. Now fuck me.”

I moved on top of her and she spread her legs. Sinead grabbed my cock and guided me to her hole. I pushed and retreated, pushed and retreated, pushed and then I was all the way in.

“I love you,” I whispered. Sinead smiled at me.

I wanted our fuck to be a special one, but the small bed limited what I could do. We both preferred fast and hard, but I decided for long and slow tonight. I pulled back slowly, then push back into her slowly. I kept up the slow cycles. I could feel Sinead’s legs wrapped around mine. There was enough light that I could see her beautiful face. Sinead recognized that I was looking at her and she gave me her dazzling smile.

Then I had a crazy idea.

I slowly pushed forward until I was all the way in her, then I stopped.

“Do you enjoy fucking me?” I asked quietly.

“Yes,” Sinead whispered back with a confused look on her face.

“Then tell me how much enjoy fucking me.”

“How?”

“Just say ‘I love fucking you’.”

“I love fucking you,” Sinead whispered.

“Louder.”

“They’ll hear us.”

“So? Do you enjoy fucking me or not?”

“I do but…”

“I’m the one you love. They aren’t important.”

Sinead wasn’t buying it. I made one last try. “Please humor me this once.”

I resumed fucking Sinead. A slow in and a slow out. I was disappointed that our first fuck after we said “I love you” was going to be so boring. When I tossed out a crazy idea, Sinead usually said yes but not always. It was always her choice. As all of our conversation was in whispers, no one else would ever know that she had rejected my idea.

Sinead pulled me down to her and kissed me. We frenched for a while with me buried in her. As I had to support my weight with my arms, it wasn’t the most comfortable position to kiss in nor was it one of our more passionate kisses. But if she wanted to kiss, I’d kiss all night.

Sinead ended the kiss, smiled at me then whispered, “Just this once.”

I smiled back at her and resumed fucking.

“I love fucking you,” said Sinead at a conversation volume. I smiled even bigger.

“It feels so good,” she said even louder. I silently chuckled and then increased the pace.

“Noel, you’re the best. Give it to me,” said she even louder. I was having a great time. If she wanted me to give it to her, I would give it to her. I start fucking her even harder.

“Oh, God! Oh, God!”

Sinead was loud enough now that people in the hallway might hear her. She was driving me crazy and I was pounding her hard and fast now.

“Oh! Oh! OH!”

Sinead was making even her moans extra loud.

I moved up higher so I would be in a better position to fuck her hard. I was pounding her so hard now that I had a faint worry that the bed would collapse.

“Don’t! Stop! Fucking me!” Sinead yelled.

Thank you, Jerry Maguire.

Fucking Sinead was so much fun that I didn’t want to stop, but I knew that I was close to cumming. I slammed into her hard and fast over and over again. Her tits bounced up and down delightfully. Sinead stopped talking and merely moaned “oh, oh, oh” loudly. I felt myself getting closer and closer to cumming, then I went over the edge.

As I was spurting into Sinead, I heard her cry, “OHHHHHH!” and cum as well. As I released a few more shots into her, I slowed and then stopped. It had been a great, wonderfully memorable fuck.

I was grinning uncontrollably when I collapsed next to Sinead.

“That was so wicked,” she whispered fiercely, then poked me in the ribs. I started laughing silently. “You’re so evil,” she added then gave me another poke. That made me laugh even harder. “If I didn’t love you, I’d be so pissed off right now.” I doubled over in silent laughter. Tears came to my eyes. Of all the crazy things I had done with Sinead, this was the one I found the funniest.

When I finely caught my breath, I whispered to Sinead, “You were magnificent.” I gave her a kiss. “You were awesome.”

“I noticed that you didn’t say anything.”

In a loud voice, I said, “I love you, Sinead, with all my heart and soul. You’re the only one I want to make love to.” Then I whispered to her, “Better?”

“Better.”

We then started talking about other issues, primarily our plans for tomorrow. I felt that Sinead had enjoyed the dirty talk, but that I had pushed her way, way out of her comfort zone. I tried to make it up to her by being extra affectionate and agreeing with all of her suggestions for tomorrow. I told her I loved her a lot, partly to be affectionate and partly because of the novelty of acknowledging that I loved her. After a while, we talked less and kissed more. The kisses got more passionates, the touches got more eager and once again I mounted her. During this fuck, Sinead made her “oh, oh, oh” at her usual volume. After we had cum once more, we put on our night clothes and snuggled, then slowly drifted off to sleep. As I drifted off, I continued to hear Cindy’s high-pitched “ah, ah, ah”.

The next morning when I awoke, I dropped out of the bed to floor. Sinead dropped to floor shortly after me. The noise we made woke up Lars.

“Hey, Lars,” I said quietly. “Sinead and I are going to shower and then go somewhere to rent bikes. We’re going to spend the next few days riding. So we’re going to be saying goodbye to you four in a little while.”

I noticed that Isa was sleeping with Lars, though she was at least topless as I could see her tits as I talked with Lars. Perhaps she had intended the free show to lure me and Sinead into joining in tonight?

When I got back to the room, the other four were stirring. I started packing and Sinead soon joined me. I eavesdropped on the others as we finished our packing.

“Lars, do you know of another city where six people can get a hostel room like this one?” asked Cindy in an excited voice. “Or even better, where we can get an eight-person room?”

Someone sure enjoyed their first night of swinging.
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When I wrote the above section, I thought it was great stuff. But a beta-reader said that what he was interested in at this point is what was going to happen in Boston and this was boring. I could see his point and cut it.