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Ghostboo

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Alaska
Kind of a tame chapter, but the story comes first! There’ll likely be one or two updates after this one, then I’ll be looking forward to different stories! Thanks everyone for your support of my first endeavor on this site :)

Chapter 20

The rest of the performance passed in an understandable blur. The finish line was in sight after River and Sam’s scene, and before they knew it, they were returning onstage for bows to thunderous applause. Each performer was paired up and bowed in a set before the entire group bow, including River and Sam as one unit. With the brighter lights of curtain call illuminating the first few rows, it was impossible to miss Jason refusing to clap, glowering at the couple.

Breathless with excitement (from the first audience, and, well, everything else) River didn’t let go of Sam’s hand as they exited backstage. Sam didn’t pull away, either. But before they could speak to each other, the stage manager appeared; an extra layer of nerves was obvious.

“Great job, everyone! Notes will be e-mailed out tonight, make sure you read them before opening tomorrow. And, um...Sam and River, Sister Margaret wants you in her office after you get out of costume.”

The pair exchanges the quickest of side-eye glances before Sam began nodding and River responded.

“No problem boss.”

As the rest of the cast filed out after changing to greet friends and family, Sam and River walked back through the now silent theatre to shortcut their way to Sister Margaret.

“You killed it tonight,” River said quietly as they walked, in an uncharacteristic show of reticence. Sam smiled, his hands stuffed in his pockets.

“You too, kid.”

The door to Sister Margaret’s office was shut. After only a brief hesitation, River reached out and knocked, loudly.

“Come in!”

They entered, this time with Sam leading the way. Their director had half-moon glasses on, and was sitting behind a desk that faced two chairs. It felt uncomfortably like a principal’s office. Even more uncomfortably when the arms of the stiff chair didn’t want to allow Sam’s love handles to slip through at first, and he ended up “thud”-ing into his seat after giving a quick squirm. River shot him a concerned look, but he waved her off and kept his attention at Sister Margaret. The nun finally looked up from the papers on her desk and peered down her nose at them, clearing her throat. She flipped the papers over and put them down, pointing to the words at the top.

CODE OF CONDUCT

“Do you recognize this?”

“Yes, Sister,” Sam said. River gave a slight nod while the nun waited.

“And do you recognize these - your signatures?” She tapped the bottom of each page.

“Yes, Sister,” Sam said. River, unable to help herself, sighed a little. The nun’s head turned specifically to her.

“Do you not understand where exactly you broke this contract?”

“No, I do, but - Sister, we’re volunteers. It’s not like-“

“Oh, I see. So your morality is tied into monetary gain?”

River exhaled a long, slow breath that sounded like the end of an “ugh” exclamation.

“No, Sister. It’s not.”

“We’re really sorry,” Sam chimed in. River glanced at him.

“Sam shouldn’t even be here, Sister. It was my - I did it all, not him.”

“Samuel didn't seem to exactly be fighting it,” Sister Margaret replied primly. Sam’s coloring flushed a light red.

“I was a willing participant, Sister,” Sam agreed.

“But anyway,” River said, her own voice picking up heat, “when are you having this kind of ‘talk’ with our ushers? Where were they?”

“The...ushers?” Sister Margaret replied with a frown, not understanding.

“We were being heckled, Sister. They should’ve been thrown out by the ushers. Instead, I had to take matters into my own hands to regain everyone’s focus!”

“What were they saying?”

“It was -“ but River cut herself off as Sam shook his head. His blush had deepened and his round face was pained. He didn’t want to relive it again. “It doesn’t matter. They were being loud. I did what I had to do.”

It was Sister Margaret’s turn to sigh.

“That may be, River, and I can talk to them. But that doesn’t make this public display any more acceptable.”

“Honestly, Sister? I see other couples in the cast doing way worse backstage. Nobody ever talks to them,” River shot back. The nun began to speak, stopped herself, studied the pair, then began carefully:

Other couples? Are the two of you...involved?”

Realizing she had spoken out of turn, River looked at Sam, eyes wide. She may have kissed him very publicly, but they could still claim to be in character. She hadn’t confirmed he was OK with being “out” yet. But to her relief, Sam just smiled back and took her hand.

“Yes, we are,” Sam said, mostly to River. But he then directed his attention to Sister Margaret. “But we can promise nothing like this will happen again on your property.”

River nodded slowly. “Yes, I...shouldn't have been so intimate publicly, after agreeing not to. And I’m sorry.”

The nun, for the first time since they had met her, seemed uncertain. Taking in the held hands (appropriate in the Code of Conduct) and the seeming sincerity of their words, Sister Margaret finally exhaled.

“All right. Don’t let it happen again, or your days performing here are numbered. Now, go enjoy your fans.”

River hopped up, grinning, and turned to leave. Sam stood up too, more slowly, as his body squeezed out of the chair - which let out an offending squeak.

“Samuel, stay behind for a moment, would you?” Sister Margaret asked. The couple exchanged a brief glance, then Sam nodded, and River exited, shutting the door behind her.

“This relationship can go a couple different ways, Samuel,” the nun said, firmly but gently. “River can keep roping you into her ways - or, I hope, you can be a positive influence on her.

“Yes, Sister,” Sam replied. But deep down, he’d never trade the spirit that fought back at fat shamers with an improvised make-out session. It was exactly why he loved her.

“Okay,” Sister Margaret said, finally with a small smile. “Go.”

And he did.

River was waiting a little ways from the door, her hands deep in the pockets of her slightly oversized, high waisted trousers belted over a black long sleeved bodysuit. Sam, on instinct, tugged his mustard colored Henley away from clinging to his belly.

"Is it OK if I'm not really that sorry?" She quietly asked her partner. He chuckled.

"Nah. I'm not sorry you did it either, to be honest."

"Ready for Pop's?" River's question was lighthearted, but did have deeper implications. Their friends would likely be there - all of them. Were they ready to face Jason? Were they really, officially, out about their relationship?

"Definitely," Sam replied, taking River's hand as they began to walk towards the parking lot and his reliable old Honda.
 
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Ghostboo

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Alaska
Chapter 21

Occupying the drive to Pop’s with dancing and singing along to an upbeat playlist, Sam and River did their best to scrub the dressing-down from Sister Margaret from their minds. Even with how nerve-wracking it can be, it’s hard to beat the high of performing a show in front of an audience for the first time. Especially when it goes so well - heckling aside.

Pulling up to the little restaurant, River spotted Frank and Joe’s car, with Jason’s right next to it. Her heart thudded a little faster, but she ignored it as she got out of the car. Sam was next to her a minute later, and took her hand in his. This time, he was the one who asked:

“Ready?”

“Yep.”

For a late Thursday night, the restaurant was decently packed. The line at the counter to order was several teenagers deep, and most of the tables were taken. River and Sam both cast a gaze around for their friends, and at that point, several things happened at once.

For one thing, Frank and Joe spotted them from their table about midway to the back of the restaurant and began clapping. Also at the long table, Bill and Iola joined in, but Jason on the end stayed stock-still. He said something to the table that they couldn’t make out.

At the same time, at a table at the other end of the restaurant, Sam and Helen caught each other’s gaze at the same time. It only took a second for Helen to take in Sam holding hands with River, at which point she got up from her table and rushed past Sam and River to get to the exit. Her friends, still at the table, turned their heated glares at Sam, rivaled only by Jason’s.

“Shhhhhit,” Sam growled, following Helen’s departure with his eyes. River turned from doing a mock-bow in the direction of Frank and Joe to catch the door closing behind Helen. She cringed, and they let each other’s hand go at the same time.

“Do you mind if…?” Sam asked, gesturing after Helen. River raised her eyebrows and shook her head, but added,

“Just think about what you’re hoping to get out of it.”

“This wasn’t right, I should’ve told her,” Sam said. River shrugged, but gestured towards the door as if to say then go. And he did.

It took Sam a second, but he heard a furious “goddammit” drifting out of the dark in the parking lot. He followed it, and found Helen tugging at her car door that didn’t seem to want to listen to her slamming the “unlock” function on her keys.

“Helen,” he called. He watched as his ex-girlfriend’s form (round, but even less so than when they’d broken up) visibly stiffened and turned towards him. She kept a firm hand on her car door.

“What do you want, Sam?”

“I -”

“Nothing, right? You don’t want anything. You’ve finally got everything you ever wanted. Right? So why are you out here, with me?” Helen’s tone took on a harsh mocking as she cut her ex off. Sam blinked, still unused to this side of Helen that seemingly only appeared during their breakup.

“I want to apologize. I should have told you before you saw me and River like that. I’m sorry.”

Helen let out a harsh laugh.

“Of course! So you’re here to make yourself feel better. Load off your conscience.”

Sam was quiet for a moment. Helen began to look back at her keys.

“What do you want me to say, Helen? I don’t want us to be on bad terms. I care about you and we had a nice time together overall, I thought,” Sam finally said, a little desperately. He was starting to understand what River meant by her statement before he rushed out.

“What do- ” another harsh, getting-more-familiar-but-still-unpleasant laugh emitted from Helen. As it faded, she looked Sam in the eyes for the first time. He saw pain. As she spoke again, her voice got significantly quieter. “I want you to say you made a mistake. You weren’t supposed to go to her, Sam. You were supposed to realize that I was what you wanted, and come back. Without that bitch in your life.”

“Ahh, Helen…” Sam’s voice dropped to a similar volume as Helen’s. He dropped his gaze from her eyes as he thought, his hands in his jean’s pockets. Finally, he looked at her again, and spoke carefully. “I never wanted to hurt you. It’s nothing personal, you’re an incredible girl - this is just - where I’m supposed to be. This is it.”

“Oh, my God,” erupted Helen. “Are you serious? You think this is it? With her? You really think she’ll stick around after the thrill of stealing someone else’s boyfriend goes away? Come on, Sam."

“Helen - I’m not here just to have to defend River, okay? I’m happy, and I want you to be happy too. That’s all.” Significantly regretting his decision to follow her out, Sam took a step back.

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s great. Let me know how long that lasts. I mean, look at Jason, and then look at you, Sam. You really think a girl like that is going to stick with a fat guy for the rest of your lives? I’m the most patient girl out there, I’m plus sized too and get the struggle, but even I could barely handle it.”

“Really?” Sam found himself uttering before he could stop himself, staring at the furious girl in front of him.

“Of course, Sam, Jesus. I didn’t say anything about it directly because you clearly have issues, but why do you think I kept asking for your updates during my diet? The one you were supposed to be doing too, to ‘help keep me accountable’? I obviously don’t actually need someone else’s support,” Helen said, gesturing to her smaller body. “Meanwhile, you’re up - what, another 20 pounds since lockdown ended? It’s not ‘quarantine weight’ anymore, at this point it’s just ridiculous.”

“Well, shit,” said Sam. “So I was supposed to abandon River, and lose a bunch of weight to make you happy? Turning into kind of a lot, don’t you think?” His flippant words disguised true stinging at Helen’s outburst.

“Fuck off,” Helen shot back, her eyes filling with angry tears.

“Yeah, okay,” Sam said. “I just wanted you to know. Take care.” At that, he turned and strode off back to Pop’s, heart pounding.

I was right.

She
was hinting that I should lose weight. They always are. Shit. Shit.
 
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Ghostboo

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Alaska
Chapter 22

Feeling a little lightheaded from the exchange and, honestly, from hunger (he had kept his meals comparatively light all day in order to ensure he could squeeze into his costume), Sam re-entered Pop’s. His gaze found his friend’s table, where he saw River sitting with a mountain of food in front of her, presumably for him. He felt an ache that he tried to brush off as he noticed her having a heated discussion with - oh, great. Jason had switched spots with Bill to get next to River, and the rest of the table was looking on uncomfortably as the two exchanged words.

Approaching the table, Sam couldn’t help but feel a little lighter at the prospect of moving forward no longer having to worry about hiding their relationship. The worst had already happened - or, by the look of things, was currently happening. He reached out a hand and rubbed the side of River’s neck comfortingly as he reached the table, leaning down and giving her a light kiss on the head. River turned and smiled at him, as Jason continued to stare in disbelief.

“No. No way. River, you’ve got my attention, okay? Call this off. Whatever kinda sick joke you’re playing, call it off,” Jason said.

“For the last time, Jason, this isn’t about you,” River spat, turning back to the lean boy on the other side of her.

“I’m just not sure what kinda point you’re tryin’ to make,” Jason continued, ignoring her words completely. “Bill wouldn’t go along with it? Or did you pick Fatty over here to make some kind of... feminist statement while getting back at me?”

“That’s my brother you’re talking about, y’know,” Iola chimed in from across the table. She didn’t often speak up in the group of loud friends, but the irritation in her voice was clear.

“Seriously, Jason, it’s not a joke,” Joe added from next to Iola, arm slung around the back of her chair.

“We can personally attest to it,” Frank said. Jason looked at each one of them, his face not comprehending. Clearly, he wasn’t just being a dick. He just did not see a world where this was happening.

“Are you fucking serious?” He said to the table, turning towards River and Sam, and then the others. “You guys knew?”

“We live together,” Iola said dryly at the same time as Joe shrugged and Frank said,

“We’re family.”

“I figured it out. You’d have to be actively trying not to otherwise, honestly,” Bill chimed in. Jason turned his glare to him, and Bill lifted his eyebrows but fell silent.

“I’m sorry, but there is no way that you walk away from me - who ran a 4 minute mile last week - to a guy who needs to be rolled down the stairs and still gets winded,” Jason insisted. Sam rolled his eyes. That wasn’t a point worth arguing. He may not be a marathon runner, but he was very nearly as active as Jason between his farm work and casual team sports.

“Jason, we’ve been broken up for over 6 months,” River cried, frustration cracking her voice at the end.

“Yeah, but we always get back together,” Jason replied. “Why would this time be different?”

“Maybe because I’m learning I don’t give a shit about the mile time of my partner? That maybe I want somebody who values me enough to - wait for it - always treat me with respect?”

“River, my family owns the best restaurants in Bayview. Sam could eat an entire restaurant. It’s not even a contest.”

Not unaware of the irony, Sam took a bite of a french fry out of the pile in front of him while River sputtered. Jason loved to drop that his family owned a Greek restaurant and an Italian restaurant in town. When he was feeling generous, those were his date nights with River. It helped that they ate for free.

“I don’t care how much of a cool girl you are, nobody wants to end up with a fuckin’ elephant. It’s human nature,” Jason continued.

“Dude, I’m pretty sure River knows I’m fat,” Sam chimed in with a confidence he didn’t necessarily feel as he ate another fry. “But here we are.” Jason ignored him.

“We were together for years, baby,” Jason said, his voice changing to a low, soothing attempt at convincing. Also ignoring the fact that they had broken up over 11 times in those four years. He then leaned in slightly and put a hand on River’s knee. “You don’t just throw that away. Not for My 600 Pound Life waiting to happen over here.”

“Don’t fucking touch me,” River hissed, brushing his hand off her knee. Sam brushed some salt off his fingers and took her other hand in his.

“Jason, you can say whatever you want about me. I’m used to it,” Sam said, leaning slightly across his girlfriend to catch Jason’s attention. “But if you touch River again without permission? We’re going to have an actual problem.”

“Yeah? You gonna hit me, fatass?” Jason finally responded to Sam, his tone mocking.

“Nah,” Sam said with a grin after exchanging a quick look with River, leaning back and sipping out of the fountain drink she’d gotten him. His stomach briefly lurched, but he kept going. “But I won’t hold her back from coming after you. We both know which of us is capable of more damage.”

At this, River turned again and kissed her round boyfriend. Her hand that had swatted Jason off came up to Sam's soft cheek, pulling him in as they lingered. When they broke apart, Jason was gathering his things.

“Whatever, man,” he said as he got up to leave. “Just don’t fuckin’ call me when he dies of a heart attack in a few years. I’m out.” And with that, Jason stormed out of the restaurant. After a brief pause, a few people spoke at once.

“Think he really means it?” River asked with a slight laugh of relief.

“What an asshole,” Iola muttered.

“Good riddance,” Frank said.

“The fuck’s his problem?” Joe asked no one in particular. Sam stayed quiet for a moment, fingering the straw on his soda, before turning to River and asking quietly:

“Diet?” He nodded at the fountain drink.

“Yeah, I figured...to help with your vest, y’know?” River responded, offering her boyfriend a grin and a quick kiss. He smiled back, but felt his heart sinking.

They're right.
 
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Ghostboo

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Alaska
Chapter 23

The group settled into chatting about the show and life after Jason’s departure, and a couple of hours and many burgers later, Sam asked River if she was ready to head out. She nodded, and the friends parted ways.

Outside of the restaurant, Sam waited until River got into the car before he gave his stuffed stomach a subtle rub with his hand furthest from the Honda. He was even more full than he had been on their first date, and with greasy, heavy food to boot. He was already deeply regretting it as he squeezed into the car with a sigh.

“So…” River said hesitantly. “Can I ask what happened?” Sam paused, thinking.

“Yeah,” he said, as he reversed out of the parking lot. “Um...you were right. It wasn’t a good idea.”

River stayed quiet, watching him.

“I just wanted to apologize, but...she pointed out that I was only doing it to make myself feel better. Which isn’t what I thought I was doing, but - I don’t know. She was really upset.”

She broke up with you,” River said gently, after a few more moments of silence.

“I know. It all clearly worked out for the best, I mean...I’m the luckiest guy in the world, no matter what an ex girlfriend thinks.”

“Still not my biggest fan, huh?”

“Ahhh…” Sam exhaled a slight laugh. “Not exactly.”

“What’d she say?”

“Just...lashing out. I made the wrong choice, yada yada…”

“Poor thing. I’d miss you too. She say anything else?” River asked. Sam hesitated.

“No.”

River didn’t buy it, but she didn’t push it, either. The dismay she’d first seen bloom in Sam’s eyes during Jason’s heckling hadn’t gone away all night. If anything, it’d intensified, culminating in an overall look of exhaustion in her boyfriend’s form. So instead of asking again, she rubbed Sam’s closest shoulder as they drove.

Back at the farmhouse, it was dark and still. Iola had gone home with Joe for the night, and their parents were long asleep. River and Sam took the side entrance to his room, avoiding the front door. Once inside, River flicked on the overhead light, and Sam leaned against the wall, breathing deeply.

“Feeling okay, big guy?” River asked as she started unbuckling her belt. Sam looked at her and smiled a little, determined to put his current poor body image out of his mind.

“Yeah.”

“God, I’m beat,” River groaned as she pulled her trousers off, followed by her bodysuit. Sam stayed leaning against the wall, interlacing his fingers and resting them at the apex of his round stomach. He watched his girlfriend head to the drawer with her pajamas, noticing that she was a little more filled out since lockdown had ended, too. But she had needed it, and looked incredible in her all-black undergarments.

“How beat?” He found himself asking as his eyes traced her body. River paused as she held up her pajamas, then slowly turned around with a grin and put them back.

“Not that much,” she said coyly as she crossed back to him. As River leaned fully into his soft body for a kiss, Sam felt a flood of arousal and regret. He was so, so full. And so round. Which was unavoidably called attention to when River slipped a hand underneath his henley, first stroking along the side of his gut and love handle before turning her attention to his belt. Which was, of course, mostly covered by soft belly. These are the kinds of things that have to be contended with when you’re a big guy welcoming intimacy into your life, and Sam rode out the embarrassment internally and stayed quiet, but tonight he flinched as River lifted at his full stomach to get access to the belt hook.

“Hold on…” he said, seeing her eyes on the abundant flesh flashing visible under his shirt. Reaching next to him, Sam flicked the light off. The room immediately went dark, with only a very light glow from his bedside alarm clock casting a few shadows around the room. Sam felt relief, but he also felt River stiffen and let go of his belt, stepping away. Mostly undone now, Sam felt his belly fall back onto the cold metal of the belt buckle, and shivered involuntarily.

“What was that?” River asked, her voice with a cold edge.

“It’s just...so bright,” Sam said lamely. He felt overwhelmed and very, very fat.

“Maybe we should just get it all out in the open, right now. Huh?” River turned on the bedside lamp, which cast a much calmer light than the overhead while still illuminating most of the room, then sat. “I mean, this night has already been fucked six ways to Sunday. Why don’t we just talk about it?”

“Talk about what?” Sam knew how unbelievably lame he still sounded.

“I told you I don’t care, that I want you as you are, but you still push for having the light off most of the time. Why? Why do you want to hide?”

“I - shit, River, I know you’re just being nice -”

“Oh. So you don’t believe me.”

“It’s…” Sam searched for the right words, taking a hesitant step towards his scantily clad girlfriend on the bed. “It’s not you. It’s…” the insulting words that had been hurdled at him all night were on the forefront of his mind, and it was hard to not just echo their sentiment. “The hammer has fallen about my size in all my relationships, River. I guess I was just trying to...postpone it.”

“I didn’t know that,” River said, cautiously.

“Well, with Helen it didn’t happen until...tonight,” Sam said with a slight, uncomfortable laugh. “But it was just confirming it. Every girl I’ve been with hints about dieting together, or...y’know... ‘are you sure’ when I go for seconds, or...and it’s because my weight really bothers them. Understandably.”

“Sam,” River said, staring at him. “Have you ever known me to be the passive aggressive type? Do you really think I wouldn’t just...hit you over the head with something that was actually bothering me?”

“No, but...this is a touchy subject for just about everyone,” Sam said, giving his girlfriend a tired smile. “And...well...you got me diet coke tonight.”

“Oh, jeez,” River said. “I’ve seen you drink it off and on, and I figured, just, for your costume’s sake...but it’s not because I want you to do anything. I mean, I bought a fuckton of food too, remember.”

“Yeah,” Sam said, glancing down as he stuffed his hands in his pockets. His toes were only occasionally visible beyond mustard-clad belly. “But...Helen and Jason...they have a point. I’m over 300 pounds, River. Probably well over, at this point. I haven’t checked in...awhile. I’m not a naturally small guy, but that’s still a lot. I haven’t been thinking about it much, I’ve been so wrapped up in how great this is...y’know, you and me...but if I can slow down to keep a costume vest from bursting I can try a little harder to actually shed some of all this for you.” He gestured at his middle in embarrassment.

River sighed.

“Fuck no they don’t have a point, fuck those assholes,” she muttered. “And doing anything 'for me' will never work. It’ll just breed resentment.”

“Well, it’d be for me, too. Our relationship. But I want you to feel like you can be honest with me about it,” Sam continued.

“Sam...is there anything you can’t do at your current size?”

“Ahh...you mean like easily fit in and out of restaurant booths?” Sam replied wryly, calling back to their first date. Both blushed a little at the memory.

“That was clearly an issue of engineering,” River said, waving the answer away. “I mean, is there anything your body can’t do...not in relation to other, poorly designed objects or spaces, but...you, physically?”

“Um,” Sam said. “Run a four minute mile?” River cocked her head to the side and gave him an exasperated look.

“Do you want to run a four minute mile?”

“Not particularly.”

“Okay. So, anything else that you actually want to do?”

“Not...really,” Sam admitted, thinking over his favorite physical activities. He may not be the fastest guy out there, but he lasted on the field. And sex with River, other than needing some extra handling sometimes, was also never out of the question.

“So that’s my answer too, Sam. I’m attracted to you...all of you. Just because I’ve mainly been with skinny guys doesn’t mean that’s all I’m into. I love that you’re so strong, and so comfortable. As long as you can still move around and do what you love, I’ll go shopping with bigger clothes with you any day of the week. And that’s me being fully honest. I don’t give a shit what anyone says.”

Sam closed the gap between them and sat next to his girlfriend on the bed. She leaned a head onto his shoulder, and he wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close. She wrapped an arm around his belly and gave it a defiant squeeze. Sam laughed a little.

“But if that changes, you’ll tell me outright?” He asked.

“Yes, you fuckin’ weirdo. Can we do it with the lights on now?”

Sam pretended to think hard, then pushed River back onto the bed while tugging off his henley with his other arm over his shoulder. His burgers had digested a little, and while he still felt huge, it wasn’t uncomfortable. He could sit with it and still be fully here, with River, with the lights on.

“Definitely.”

“Then come here, big guy.”

The End...?

I have other ideas for different stories I'd like to get started on, but damn do I love these characters so no promises they won't turn back up at some point.
 
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