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“Goddam it,” Rita O’Neill said as she let the curtains slide back into place. She stomped out of the kitchen and met Rodney in the driveway, her nails biting into her palms.

“Hey, baby,” he slurred then stumbled. Rodney reached to Rita to catch his balance but she stepped aside, letting him fall face first in the gravel.

“You can’t come here, you drunk bastard. She ain’t here.”

Rodney grunted and stood. Bits of gravel and dirt clung to his clothes and ruddy cheeks.

“I have every right to see our daughter.”

Rita slipped her hand into the pocket of her wool sweater. It still smelled of her daddy’s pipe tobacco, so many years later. Her daddy’s gun felt cool and heavy.

“You’d better leave, Rodney.”

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