Irrefutable Evidence Part Five
By CN Winters
See part one for disclaimers. Write the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Angie offered to guard Sara at her place earlier that week but Sara wanted to put herself up at a hotel. Angie didnt argue. This way it wouldnt be obvious to the bounty hunters where she was staying since she was using a false alias. Denise and Angie had deduced that DeVittem had contracts out on Sara all over the city. So everyone looking to make a few grand would be searching for her. Tucked away in the suite with Tiffany vases and fine rugs from the orient, she was safe. It was her own personal ivory tower.
A week had gone by without any incidents. Angie was siting in one half of the suite reading a magazine when she heard the 6:45 p.m. knock. Denise always came 15 minutes early and Angie was getting used to seeing Denise standing in front of the door when she peered outside. Although no disturbances had taken place, Angie still continued to check who was out front. This time was no different.
"Hows it been?" Denise asked as she walked inside.
"Quiet," Angie responded. "Saras taking a nap . . . again." Angie looked to Denise with suspicious eyes.
"What?" Denise asked defensively.
"The woman sleeps all day and shes up all night, isnt she?" Angie asked.
"I dont know what youre talking about?" Denise answered with a sly grin.
"Yeah. You do," Angie smiled back. "Im gonna get going. Call if you need anything," she added putting on her coat.
"I will," Denis said walking to the door and checking before opening it. "Take care."
"You too," Angie said as she left. Denise closed and locked the door. She heard Sara, stirring on the other side of the suite. It was had two spacious rooms with everything you needed for survival living quarters, a full kitchen with dishwasher and a bedroom that put the Ford mansion to shame. Hell, Denise mused, its bigger than my damn apartment.
After a few moments Sara appeared in the doorway.
"Good morning," Denise teased.
"Good morning. How has your work day been?" Sara asked.
"Lets see. I went home this morning. Went to bed. Came back here," Denise answered.
"You hate the night shift?"
"Actually when I was a rookie that was my first duty assignment. It wasnt bad. Im just out of practice."
"Not me," Sara replied. "Im a very nocturnal creature. I love the night."
"Oh really," Denise said sarcastically. "I couldnt tell from all the hours youve stayed up talking to me." She gave Sara a coy grin. "As a matter of fact, Angie thinks Ive been keeping you up all these nights."
"No offense to your partner in the slightest but youre much more . . . stimulating . . . to talk to." Sara replied with a grin.
Sara nodded and held her grin. "Much more," she added.
The way she tilted her head slightly when she grinned, the way she accented her words by using her hands, and the way she admired Denise silently in every conversation were little details were adding up to a grand attraction for both of them. Long after Angie began her shift each day, Sara was still on Denises mind.
The image of that short blond hair bouncing as Sara walked through the suite haunted Denise every afternoon as she tried to sleep. Every afternoon Denise would close her eyes and see Saras charming grin and shapely hips. Denise never felt so captured by another. Only one ritual would lull Denise to sleep and it wasnt a cup of warm milk.
Denise hummed a moment breaking the silence. "Have you had dinner yet?" she asked.
"I was thinking," Sara began slow, testing the waters, ". . . maybe we could go out for dinner?"
"You asked me this two days ago and you know what my answer is," Denise answered obviously frustrated with the request.
"Please," Sara begged. "Its been a week and nobody has tried anything . . . Besides there are some very important papers I have to pick up at work that my secretary left for me."
"What?" Denise asked. "Im not sure I heard that right? You want to go to dinner . . . and stop by your office? The answers no."
"Why not?" Sara pled.
"You know why Sara! There are people out there who want to kill you!" Denise answered sharply.
"But I already spoke to Kathy. She has everything all ready to go. I just have to pick it up . . . Then afterward we can stop at the fast food joint."
"You called Kathy?" Denise exclaimed in disbelief. "I told you to have NO contact with anyone in the city . . . .No! Were staying here," Denise added firmly.
"Come on! One manila folder and one greasy cheeseburger . . . Thats all I ask."
"Thats too much Sara," Denise stated again.
"Fine!" Sara said looking around the floor for her shoes. "Ill go without you!" she shouted as she picked them up.
"No you wont!" Denise retorted, grabbing the footwear from Saras hands.
"You cant stop me!" Sara challenged, taking the shoes back.
"The hell I can!" Denise answered, stealing the shoes once more.
Sara growled, storming off into the bedroom, making sure to slam the door.
Denise threw Saras shoes on the sofa. She ran her fingers through her hair in frustration. She wanted to give Sara what she wanted. She truly did. But Denise also realized how dangerous it was for Sara to be seen in the city and didnt want to take that chance. In a few moments Sara emerged from the bedroom. Denise didnt look at her at first.
"Im sorry," Sara offered, "I know youre just doing your job."
Denise looked up and realized how childish and asinine the argument had become. "Apology accepted," Denise began. "Im sorry too . . . I wish I could help you."
"Thats okay," Sara said softly. "So please dont be too upset . . . Im leaving anyway."
The door was unlocked and opened before Denise had the chance to look down at Saras feet. The broker had on another pair of shoes.
"Wait!" Denise yelled as Sara bolted out. She watched as Sara ran to the closing elevator doors. By the time, Denise reached them the car was starting to make its descent with Sara waving goodbye from inside. The detective tried to open the doors with the button but it was too late. Denise slammed her fist on the door in anger, looking frantic to her left.
She took to the stairs, hoping to catch up to Sara before she left. Denise moved as fast as she could, taking them two at a time. When she was a few yards to the bottom she lurched over the rail, judging the distance. Sara would be stepping out any second so she made a quick decision.
Denise landed hard, sending a shooting pain up her leg. It was much further than she assumed and gravity worked against her. Denise hobbled as quick as she could back up one flight to reach the lobby. The stairway doors burst open as Denise hopped wildly to reach Sara. She heard the elevator bell around the corner but she waited. The last thing she wanted to do was play elevator tag all night. If Sara cleared the doors she wouldnt have the chance to go back up and lose Denise all over again.
Casually Sara started to walk by - a satisfied smirk on her face. Denise grabbed her by her tan dress jacket. She swung Sara around forcefully to face her.
"Dont ever do this again," Denise panted in a firm but exhausted breath.
Saras happy go lucky expression turned to one of shock. She never thought Denise could catch up to her. And judging by the look on Denises face, Sara knew Denise meant business. But somewhere in that sudden fear came an overwhelming respect. Denise had the strength and the smarts to outwit her. Sara didnt dare speak upon seeing that look in Denises eye. She simply nodded in approval to Denises comment.
Denise felt Sara tense. She saw the genuine fear in her eyes. And she regretted her knee-jerk reaction to catching Sara. She also realized that Sara was so stubborn, so mind set in going out that she couldnt stop her. She only had one choice.
"Lets go get your papers and your cheeseburger," Denise added, still trying to regain her breath.
As much as Saras actions had enraged Denise, she also had to admire them on some level. Sara was by all means an all or nothing woman. They walked along to the car and Sara noticed Denises limp.
"Are you okay?" Sara asked concerned.
"Oh yeah," Denise replied sarcastically, "I just jumped about four floors trying to catch you . . . Im okay . . . Just dont ask my leg how its doing."
Sincerity consumed Saras eyes, "Im sorry. I didnt want to see you get hurt."
"Just get in the car Miss Langforth," Denise said in disgust.
Sara did as Denise ordered. Hearing her last name spoken, Sara could it wouldnt be a usual night together stolen glances and innuendoes. Romance was certainly not in the air this evening. Denise drove in silence. It was only when they came to a strip of fast food restaurants that Denise spoke.
"Pick something," Denise ordered sternly.
"That looks okay," Sara said softly, pointing to the left.
Denise went to the drive-thru and stopped. Coldly, she turned to Sara.
"What do you want?" Denise asked, the hostility spilled into the words.
Sara looked at her for a few seconds. Denise was so angry and Sara felt so guilty. "Im sorry," she tired again.
"What do you want?" Denise repeated, ignoring the apology.
Sara paused, unsure if she should press the point or back off for the moment. "Cheeseburger with everything, small fry and a coke," she replied.
Denise placed the order. She pulled up and paid. After she handed the food to Sara, Denise pulled into traffic.
"Wheres your office?" Denise asked frigidly.
"Take a right at the second light," Sara instructed.
They continued in silence, except when Sara directed Denise where to turn. Her office was only five minutes away but it seemed like an eternity in the quietness of the car. It had never been this reticent between them before. And Sara hated it.
When they arrived at the office, night had already begun to fall. Denise studied the surroundings as Sara unlocked the door. The office had two large bay windows, including the glass door. The street looked vacant, which was a good sign. The four lane road had a few parked cars on it but nothing near the office. Except for the usual passing car, the street, for the most part, was quiet. Once inside Sara broke down, distracting Denise from her observations.
"Are you going to talk to me at all tonight?" she asked angrily.
"I havent decided yet," Denise grumbled.
"I wish you would stop being immature," Sara countered, placing her hands on her hips in defiance.
"Immature?" Denise said raising her voice, walking closer to Sara. "Im immature?"
"Yes. Youre being immature by not speaking to me," Sara argued, not backing down.
"Look here lady! Im not the who took off like a spoiled child who didnt get her way . . . And if you do it again Ill kill you myself." Denises breath was growing quick and ragged, her anger getting the better of her.
Sara could see the fury in Denises eyes but it didnt stop her from continuing. "I told you I was sorry."
"Thats not good enough," Denise answered firmly.
"Well what would you like Denise?" Sara offered. "Should I sign it in blood for you?"
"Promise you wont do it again and perhaps Ill consider your apology!"
Sara couldnt bring herself to offer Denise a promise and released a frustrated sigh.
"I feel like a goddamn prisoner locked up in that hotel room!" Sara shouted.
"You think I like it anymore than you do?" Denise asked raising her voice again.
"At least you get to leave," Sara attested. "Im stuck there 24 hours a day Hell, DeVittem probably has more freedom than I do and hes a fucking murderer!"
Denise could see Saras point. She was just as much a prisoner of the police department as the man she was to testify against. And Denise knew that for the time being there wasnt anything she could do to change it.
The pain in Denises leg began to ease as did her temper and Sara noticed the change.
"Look," Sara offered. "I really am sorry about your leg. And I promise from now on to do what you say."
Denise nodded. "Apology accepted . . . as long as you accept mine." The comment caught Sara off guard and her ears perked up. "I should have realized you were going stir crazy and Im sorry I just didnt agree to take you here in the first place."
The tension began to disappear and Sara found herself grinning again. "Hows the leg?"
Denise smiled and rubbed it. "Looks like this old war-horse will be okay this time."
Sara was relieved to see the expression on Denises face. It was a sign of truce that both women accepted. Sara walked to the desk and picked up the folder. She thumbed through it quickly; getting a glance to make sure everything was in order.
"Okay," Sara said, waving the folder. "Im all set."
They turned to leave but Denise suddenly stopped. Her face turned ghostly white in an instant.
"What?" Sara asked.
"Oh no," Denise whispered.
Sara followed Denises eyes outside to the windows before she felt Denise twirl her behind the desk. Sara crashed against the steel file cabinet as she heard the sound of shattering glass. Denise pushed the desk over, giving them cover from something outside. Denises strength surprised Sara. It usually took two girls in the office to move the big oak desk even an inch yet Denise flung it over as if it were made of paper mache.
"Keep your head down," Denise ordered, as she peered over the top. She saw the broken glass, but the man who was standing there moments before in the trench coat and the sawed off shot gun had disappeared. He was gone . . . or at least out of sight. Sara watched from below as Denise scanned the area.
"Where is he?" Sara whispered, knowing that someone was trying to take her out of the picture once more.
"I dont see him," Denise admitted in frustration.
"Maybe he gave up," Sara replied. She knew it was improbable but she liked the reassuring feeling it gave her by saying it.
"Maybe," Denise said, as she began to rise. "Maybe not . . . You stay down."
Denise slowly crept forward. She could hear the wind whistle through the fractured door. Broken glass crunched beneath her feet as she started her journey through the office. Suddenly from the corner of her eye she saw a gun barrel from outside. She leapt fast. More glass exploded, cascading to the floor. Without hesitation, she returned fire toward the corner of the building where she saw the barrel.
When things got tough for Denise and Angie they always joked with each other. They figured if they were going to die, it might as well be with a smile on their face. Sometimes their humor was the only thing that kept them sane in a dangerous situation. "In case you didnt know," Denise said with a nervous giggle to Sara, " . . . he didnt give up."
"So I hear," Sara replied.
It was an old habit and Denise was glad that Sara was willing to play along.
Denise rose again and waited for the assassins next move. The attacker blew out the far right window. It was perfect. It gave Denise the option of traveling with her back against the wall to look out. She wouldnt have to use the doorway. Now she could see perfect if he was on her left. And if he was to the right she had the wall as cover. Slowly she slunk along the office wall to the edge.
She looked out the left window. He wasnt there so there was only one other place he could be standing next to her on the right perhaps only inches away. She couldnt fire blindly around the corner. Protecting Sara was her first priority but she didnt want to create an innocent victim who could be on the other side if the attacker decided to back off. So she waited. And she listened.
Her right hand gripped her .38 so hard her knuckles began to turn white. She stood against the wall quietly and slid to a crouched position after a few more moments. She wondered how much longer he was willing to wait until he came back around. Thats when she heard some glass crackle outside under the shifting of weight. Paydirt she thought.
Denise swung herself around the corner, just as he was making his move. Two shots rang out. Expecting her to be at her full height the attacker never got a chance to fire. His body tumbled back like a fallen tree and Denise scrambled to get out of the way. He went face first into the broken glass. After the sounds died down Sara peeked her head up.
"Is it okay?" Sara asked, seeing the man lying outside.
Denise checked the man for signs of life and found none. The words she spoke to Sara earlier that week haunted her. No one deserves to die by another persons hand . . . but it happens.
Denise jumped a little when she felt Saras hand on her shoulder. "Are you okay?" Sara asked, seeing the grief on Denises face.
"Son of a bitch wouldnt give up," Denise said. She was angry. Angry with the dead man for his disregard of his own life. Angry with herself for being the one who had to take it. Her sense of duty and her sense of morals collided.
Sara could see Denises pain. "Its not your fault," Sara said, "You did what you had to do."
Denise would have started to sob if her reflexive police nature hadnt taken over.
"Get back behind the desk," Denise quickly ordered, leading her back to the hiding place. "He might not be alone."
Without haste, Denise dialed 911 giving the operator the rundown. Within two seconds of hanging up she dialed again - this time to Angie.
"Its Denise . . . All hell broke loose tonight," she said into the receiver.
Sara listened as Denise talked to Angie. She noted how Denise kept observing her surrounds even as she spoke of the incidents that transpired. Sara couldnt help feeling guilty for all the problems that she caused by one little trip to the office. Her heart ached for Denise. She could see how shaken Denise felt but even within that tremble there was a great deal of confidence and courage. Soon Denise hung up with Angie.
"Shes on her way," Denise said looking down at Sara. Thats when Denise saw the tears. "Its okay," Denise said kneeling next to her on the floor, reassuring her. "Youre all right."
"I dont care about me," Sara sobbed. "Look at what I put you through. All because I acted like a spoiled brat."
Denise gathered Sara in her arms and held her close. "Its okay," Denise said comforting her. "You shouldnt live like a caged animal. You should have the right to come and go as you please. Thats why youre leaving the city . . . tonight . . . this way if you want to go out you can."
Sara looked up into Denises consoling eyes. "Im not leaving without you," Sara insisted.
"Then well leave together," Denise agreed with a smile.
"Really? What about Angie?" Sara asked.
"Shell stay and run the precinct. Besides I feel much better with her running the squad than Det. Benner . . . Hes okay but a bit of a himbo if you know what I mean."
"No . . . Actually I dont," Sara said looking for an explanation.
"Male equivalent to bimbo a superficial airhead . . . but hes a nice guy."
"Ahhh," Sara nodded in understanding.
Thats when Sara noticed Denise hadnt let go of her. Denise still had Sara tight in her arms, looking down at her. Saras head was level with Denises bosom and Sara rested her head there and let out a long sigh. Denise stroked Saras hair, letting her fingers travel though the long strains until they came to an abrupt stop. Denise did it over and over again. Soon Saras relaxed state turned into one of arousal. The combination of Denises perfume and perspiration quickened Saras pulse. There was no stopping her this time. Sara had to fell those luscious lips on hers.
She turned her head up to Denise and rose to her knees so they could be face to face. Sara studied Denises expression. Sara knew their thoughts were similar and equally powerful. Sara took Denises face in her palms and pulled her closer. Sara grinned and took one last look in Denises eyes before closing her own.
"Kiss me," she whispered.
Denise felt helpless to resist. She began to make her descent to Saras waiting lips. That was until she heard the car out front. Instead of the lip lock she was hoping for Sara felt herself being pulled down snuggly behind the desk as Denise peered above.
"The backups here," Denise said as she got up and began to walk outside to greet them.
"Great," Sara mumbled to no one but herself. Well this proves the theory, Sara thought. Theres never a cop around when you need one, yet they always manage to show up at the inappropriate moment.
Sara watched as Denise spoke to the uniformed officers outside. She knew Denise would be busy for a while so she walked back to a large Monet poster on the wall. She took it down and opened a hidden door. Inside sat a safe. After three turns of the lock cylinder, the safe door was open and Sara pulled out a black satchel. She returned everything so nothing looked disturbed. She walked quickly to the front of the office where the demolition occurred. Angie had arrived now and Sara watched as she held Denise tight. As Sara looked on, she couldnt help thinking there was more to their relationship much more than just a compassionate partnership. Sara suddenly felt threatened as she watched the two embrace. Immediately she chastised herself she and Denise didnt have a relationship of any great magnitude. Sara was a witness. Denise was her protector. End of story.
Sara also tried to tell herself it wasnt worth getting too emotionally involved with Denise. She swore to herself that she would only be with a woman who loved woman. Yet Sara couldnt sway her attraction to Denise. She knew a select few of her friends would ridicule her for getting so worked up over a part time dyke; someone who couldnt make up her mind what she wanted. But Denise seemed as if she had made her mind up. She loved women and she loved men. Even if Sara couldnt understand the latter, she certainly understood her attraction to woman. She knew Denises attract to the fairer sex wasnt just an experimental urge. It was a bona fide sentiment of the heart. Sara had met many game players in her time. She realized Denises sexuality was a reality and maybe, like the world, nothing is every in black or white, just different shades of gray.
"How ya doin ?" Angie asked Sara as the broker made her way to Denise.
"All right I suppose," Sara replied.
"So when are you leaving?" Angie said turning back to Denise.
"Tonight. Im going to take Sara back to the hotel and gather up her things. Then Im going to go home and do some packing."
"Where are you going?" Angie whispered, not to be overheard.
"Ill call when I get there," Denise replied. Angie simply nodded in understanding.
"Why dont you get outta here," Angie offered. "Ill take care of it from here."
"Are you sure?" Denise asked, knowing Angie was probably tired from the 12-hour shift.
"Yeah . . . You told me the story . . . Besides its best if you leave now before the press shows up."
"Good point," Denise agreed.
"Just call me on the private office line tomorrow and let me know where you are okay?" Angie said, plotting the strategy. Denise nodded in agreement. "Good luck," Angie added in support.
"Yeah you too. Youre gonna need it when you go to Capt. Genar with this story," Denise smiled.
"No kidding . . . Im always saving your ass from the boys upstairs," Angie joked. A moment passed and the smile left their faces. Angie looked into Denises eyes with deep sincerity. "Take care," she added softly.
"You too," Denise nodded. Angie pulled Denise into another tight hug. The feeling of never seeing Denise again swept over her but Angies logical side took over. Denise was intelligent and quick if anyone could face DeVittems thugs and live to tell about it, it would be Denise.
"Go on . . . Get outta here," Angie said shooing them away with her hands. She watched as Denise and Sara got into the car and drove down the street passing the arriving news crews. Time to play ringmaster to the media circus Angie thought with a growing grin.
Denise eyes never rested the entire trip back to Saras hotel. She observed everything as a potential threat and didnt keep her guard down for a minute. Sara found herself looking around too; watching for something unusual.
Once at the hotel, Denise escorted Sara quickly inside. Her head, in a perpetual state of turning, was making sure they werent being followed. She scanned the area - quick but thorough. The bellhop, the man in the hotel bar, the clerk behind the counter all of them fell under Denises scrutinize eyes as they made their way to the elevators. Once inside Denise flashed her badge and prevented an older couple from occupying the car with them Denise was taking no chances tonight.
"Once we get upstairs start packing your bags," Denise ordered as they stood in the vacant, rising elevator car. Sara nodded quietly.
"Do you have any suggestions about where we could go?" Sara questioned.
"Maybe north to Pontiac or south to Toledo," Denise said considering a location.
"Maybe we should go to another country," Sara offered.
Denise smiled. "Sounds great but I doubt Genar would spring for that kind of protection, I was lucky I got him to approve the roach motel earlier this week."
"I own a beach house in the Bahamas. All we have to pay for is airfare and food."
"Are you serious?!" Denise asked astonished. "You actually own a house in the Bahamas?"
"Yes. It was my parents home. It was bequeathed to me much to my older brothers disappointment . . . The Florida estate, ski lodge in Aspen and townhouse in New York werent enough for him I guess . . . But thats neither here nor there so what do you say?"
"I dont know," Denise said leery of the idea.
"I can pay for our tickets and it will be more inexpensive in the long run. We can stay at my beach house a thousand miles away or we can spend as much (if not more) money on hotels in another city only hundreds of miles away."
"I still dont know," Denise said, shaking her head.
"Look at it this way. Toledo and Pontiac are both within driving distance. It will be easier for anyone to follow us. But if they tail us to City Airport or Metro they would have to search thousands of destinations."
Denise paused. Sara had a valid point. An excellent point. But being trapped in paradise with this beautiful captivating woman could be too much temptation to stand. She thought of all the options and reached her decision.
"Alright," Denise began, "Well go to your beach house."
Sara grinned wildly at the news.
"However," Denise continued authoritatively. "I call the shots. You have to promise to do everything I say without question. Understand?"
"Whatever you desire Lieutenant," Sara cooed, leaning closer to Denise.
"Im not kidding," Denise said trying to change Saras seductive tone.
"Neither am I," Sara whispered up to Denises ear.
The elevator doors opened to an empty hallway. Sara opened her palms to the hallway as a gesture for Denise to exit first. Denise crept out with Sara behind her. As Denise unlocked the door she asked, "Whats in the black bag?"
"Survival gear," Sara responded with a smile as she walked into the room. Denise watched her walk back to the bedroom. She listened as dresser drawers opened and closed. Within minutes Sara emerged.
"All set?" Denise asked.
"Yes, I should have everything . . . Wait . . . My passport."
Sara opened her purse and thumbed through until she found it.
"I dont have a passport," Denise said concerned.
"Do you have a birth certificate at home?" Sara asked.
"Yeah . . . Someplace."
"Thats all youll need. I keep this passport because I travel often but your birth certificate will be sufficient."
"Okay then. Lets get going before more folks decided to pay you an unwelcome visit."
"Thank you," Sara said stopping in front of Denise. "You saved my life . . . again."
Saras attraction oozed from her words. Denise slipped an arm around Saras waist as she studied Saras eyes. Denise knew it meant trouble even as she did it. Saras gentle request earlier in the evening came back to her. Denise pulled Sara to her and gently took possession of Saras lips, feeling the softness against her own. Sara sighed in Denises embrace and she couldnt tell who was more captured as Denise tugged on her bottom lip. As they broke away, Denise pulled back away slowly, securing her eyes on Saras lovely face.
"Youre welcome . . . and please . . . dont ask for a repeat performance of this kiss. The attraction needs to end here. Agreed?"
Saras mind was still cloudy from the kiss but she mustered a nodded and a soft reply. "Agreed."
"Good . . . Now lets get back to business and get my things," Denise said leading Sara out by the hand. Sara, wordless in her wonder of what just transpired, followed silently.
Just as silently, DeVittem watched the news report that flashed over the TV screen in the jail rec room. Reports were sketchy the newswoman announced. An unknown assailant. A witness in protective custody.
Yadayadayada . . . Looks like round two went to the good lieutenant . . . again, he mused silently. He let out a long sigh and rubbed his temples. Fucking bitch.
He looked up to see Sgt. Michaels of the Detroit Police Dept. answering some reporters questions as evasively as possible. Ahh, thorn number three in my ass. Wonder how long it will take her til she pays me a visit? he chuckled.
Suddenly the television went off and he turned menacingly toward a guard behind him. "Something you find funny DeVittem?" he asked.
"No sir," he replied in a patronizing tone. "Not at all."
"Its lights out. Back to your cell," the guard pointed with his nightstick.
DeVittem looked up to the blackened TV screen and blew a kiss. "Sweet dreams ladies."
Ive got options . . . lots of options.
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