Laurence, known as Laurie to his friends, but otherwise Laurence to everyone else, drops the dented suitcase on the counter top. Dallas stands opposite him and coughs at the dust that sifts through the air. He never removes his eyes from Laurence’s. The day is long. It’s hot. Both men are parched for completely opposite reasons. The temperature in the room hangs around like a third party to a two-way deal. Neither blink. Both men fail to see that this ritual extends beyond mere formality. “Does it open?” Dallas asks. He allows a glance down at the goods that likely…

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