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Dune Armor

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Jeff’s arms are folded over the edge of the pool. Spencer can see his back, his spine, the plastic tubes running from under his hairline until they puncture through skin just above his swim trunks. They’re transparent, narrower than a cocktail straw.

“Have those always been there?”

“Yes?”

But Spencer and Jeff were on a tour bus together. He would have noticed.

“Are you sure?”

“I don’t know.” It’s the tone Jeff uses when he does know, but Spencer thinks he really doesn’t.

He leans closer. Beads of liquid roll down inside one of the tubes.

“You’re nervous.”

“Not anymore.”