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On the ninth day...

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Pembleton stood in quiet contemplation. Bayliss stood a step behind him, looking over his shoulder.

The ladies on stage writhed rhythmically. Three stages, three ladies each.

"Should you be watching?" Bayliss asked. "You're married." Once he said that, he realized Pembleton could just go to confession and be absolved, but still.

Pembleton didn't bother to turn around. "There is no lust in my heart. None of them compare to Mary. No lust, no sin. No sin, no foul. I can watch in perfect safety, because I know my own heart."

"Oh," Bayliss said. "I... don't."

"You're just lonely. You need a woman." Pembleton turned. "A very, very patient woman."

"I don't know if they make women that patient, Frank. They haven't so far."

"Then you be patient. Patience attracts patience." Pembleton looked back at the strippers.

"I don't know if I can just change myself like that."

"If you're not getting what you want, you change who you are or you change what you want. Simple," Pembleton said.

It's very simple--I want what you have, Bayliss was about to say, when their interview walked through the door and Pembleton took off. Bayliss took a last look up and followed him.

THE END.

 

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