42. The Million Dollar Kiss

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A/N: Correct version

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A/N: Correct version. I accidentally published the skeleton outline of this chapter yesterday, (yes, again) so my apologies to the eight of you who read that mess. ^_^

As the goat auction dwindled down, the contestants were told to form a single file line behind the last animal. Sick with nerves to the point of nausea, I barely registered the instructions, and by the time I got with the program, I was last.

Then Kylie, who'd been first in line, decided that she wanted to be the grand finale, so I let her. I mean, who cared?

Not trusting my wobbling knees to hold me up for too much longer, I pulled out a folding chair and sat down. My hands were ice cold, my mouth dry, my lips trembling.

Not good.

"You should be nervous, Trayla. Why would anyone pay to kiss you when they can fuck you for free?" Kylie sneered.

There was a hole in her logic somewhere, but I didn't have the presence of mind to figure it out. So I settled for giving her the finger and focused on breathing and staying alive.

"Trash," she hissed before turning to whisper into Miranda's ear. But she was too stubby to reach it and Miranda was too absorbed in her search for the perfect selfie angle to notice and help her out.

Hideous audio feedback screeched from the loud speakers, making the audience wince collectively. The melody of a Spanish guitar filled the arena, quickly followed by Enrique Iglesias' too smoldering, too sensuous panting as he and Whitney sang 'Could I Have This Kiss Forever'. The orgy-tastic music video appeared on the white screen behind the auctioneer's podium.

The audience looked confused.

"Oh my god, I can't!" cried Taylor Wright, before bursting into a fit of laughter. "What is this? I don't want to kiss my daddy to music like this! Gross!"

"Lucinda has a massive crush on Enrique Iglesias," said Mary Beth Petracca. "He's literally all she plays at Walmart. Y'all, she's got a framed picture of him on her desk and she just stares at it while she eats her lunch."

Giggling along with everyone made me feel slightly better.

"Oh shit, it's starting," said Taylor, scrambling back to her place in line.

Wyatt Reed and the Mayor took the stage. Wyatt owned the feed and supply store, was the president of the Rotary Club, and the head of the bowling league. He was a really nice guy but always clueless, and today was no exception - he was the only person genuinely happy to be involved in this travesty. The Mayor knew better and looked embarrassed.

Wyatt stepped up to the microphone and gave it a few taps. "Lucinda, where you at? Shut that music down, will ya? We're 'bout ready to get this show on the road."

Abruptly, the music shut off and Lucinda's silent resentment settled into the atmosphere.

Somebody coughed.

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