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The Hot Afternoon: Part 2
After popping multiple bubbles, Lilac noticed she was wasting precious minutes; Granny and Wanda could come back and interrupt her bath time. Soon enough, she dipped a toe in to test the water and then slowly sank into the warm, yet refreshing, bath. As she took another sigh of relief, Puck finally got to the door. Lilac didn't know this, but the door was unlocked. As the gentleman he is, he softly knocked on the door, making sure no one was inside. Lilac popped in her bath, making loud splashing sounds. It was over; they'd come back. She still had a small will to speak. "Yes?"
Puck blinked. "Lilac? What are you doing?"
Lilac took a big sigh. "James Thank God it's you."
He raised a brow, not sure what she was expecting. Never the less, he still wanted to take that bath. Frowning, he calmly said, "Lilac, what are you doing?"
She blushed a bit, not sure what to say. Hesitating, she let out with the truth. "I I'm taking a bath, James."
Puck's eyes widened and he blushed a bit
The Hot Afternoon: Part 1
It was almost 6 months after the royal wedding, and life had been so much better for Lilac. Puck became her long-term boyfriend, she got a higher paying maid job, and she also stayed in contact with Henry and Hermea. She still had to do a lot of work at the house, but it wasn't much that she wined over it. Nothing had seemed like it was out of place. This was the life she wanted.
On one of these fine days of her life, it turned very humid in the forest she lived in. Even the animals tried to find ways to cool themselves down. It was almost noon until Lilac had enough of the heat. After moments of consideration, Lilac decided to take a long bath while Granny and Wanda went into town and Puck was sleeping. Lilac went into her bathroom, stripped down, and turned on the faucet. Water began pouring down as she plugged the drain up before any of it could wash away. The steam arising from the hot water made Lilac sigh in comfort, as she needed this.
"Finally, I could take a well-ea
A Turning Point in the Clockwork WarA war of attrition
depends on supply and drawdown,
how much you have and how much you use up.
With personnel, the balance concerns
the influx of recruitment versus
the outflow of casualties, deserters, invalids.
There is only so much loss
that a fighting force can sustain
and still fight.
Pilot Claude Archer was the first
to challenge his invalid discharge.
"I don't need legs to fly," he said,
patting the healed stumps of his thighs.
"My Osprey runs on elbow grease."
The members of the discharge board
paused and looked at each other.
What he said was true.
The Osprey-class fighter jets
relied on hand controls,
and a sharp eye and iron nerve.
Fingers flicked through the stack
of discharge papers -- so many, many pages.
So many soldiers lost, never to fight again.
They could not afford to let slip even one
who might be retained, somehow,
to face the front line once more.
Far less could the war effort spare
one of its best pilots.
So they put Pilot Archer back on the roster,
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