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Kira finds an impromptu photo session comes back to bite her.
It barely lasted a few minutes. When she was at her car, she thanked him, released him, and got into the driver's seat. Then she waved at him.
Vlad Dalca stood there and watched her drive away.
Time went on. Eventually, Ana got a phone call from her father. He suggested a summer vacation, planned in advance, at a popular lake in one of the southern states. It would feel just like a coastal beach, at least that was his opinion, and at an overall cheaper cost than going to the destination from their previous year.
Instead of staying at a hotel, they could rent one of the "cabins" or "cottages," but they were actually manufactured houses/trailers. If they were ordinary residences, a lower income family might call such a building a house. The interiors were apparently very nice, though.
The lake wasn't the only attraction in the area. There was a very small amusement park with childish, small rides and no roller coasters. There was also a video game arcade with a little food shop. A few playful mini golf parks were around. So were quite a few restaurants and gift shops. A few minutes away from the lake, there were various other things to lure a tourist's interest.
The main issue would be the distance, around five hundred miles with air travel.
If money was truly a problem, Ana thought, then why don't they just go to one of the beaches in their home state?
Her dad soon confessed that this was actually Mihai Dalca's idea. He had seen rednecks on the Internet eating boiled peanuts (how and why was that even a thing?), barbecue (wait, so that's a food and not just a cooking method?), thick and fluffy biscuits (the sort that look like they could choke you), and fried green tomatoes (why would anyone even do that to a tomato, and why green ones?). Instead of patiently making these things himself or ordering some canned varieties, Mihai said he'd love to go to a southern state to get food from the locals.
So the Dalcas wanted to come too?
Would it even be wise for her to go, then?
Ana wasn't sure. She certainly liked the Dalcas, at least. They seemed like okay people. They never did anything to hurt her.
But she was worried about several things, all of them involving Vlad Dalca.
She didn't want to see him in a bathing suit.
She didn't want to play games with him.
She didn't want to eat charcoal grilled burgers and hot dogs with him.
And she didn't want many other things like that.
Because they all seemed highly enjoyable and peaceful, far too much fun.
"It sounds like a good time," Ana told her father, "but I'm not sure if I can go. I've been on a roll lately, you know? Been cranking page after page out."
"Oh, Goosey, you'll burn out by the time it's time to go."
That was true, but Ana wouldn't directly admit it.
"I guess I'll go with you guys, then."
Sitting on a bar stool in a luxurious, traditional kitchen with brown, white, and cream colors, Mihai Dalca was calmly reading the local newspaper. The sun was warm and cheerful, but the room had a powerful air conditioner running on high and all the windows were covered by old fashioned, flowery curtains. He was taking a sip from a glass of chocolate milk when he heard footsteps slapping against the shiny tile flooring. The feet were bare, apparently.
Excited, yet also flat.
Putting his glass down, he turned to look at the person.
Bouncy, untamed hair, curled and red, on a woman that was taller than quite a few men.
Mihai answered, "Yeah?"
There was a large lollipop in her mouth, big enough to cost fifty cents or more, but she spoke clearly. "Did you make your vacation plans yet?"
No matter what language she spoke, she always sounded like a foreigner.
Mihai nodded. "Yeah. We'll be really far away."
One of her hands swept up and into her hair. Her blue eyes were annoyed. "I need some scissors."
Mihai gestured towards one of the drawers in the room. "There should be some in there."
The woman went to that drawer immediately.