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Secrets And Lies

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Secrets And Lies

Abby is next to Susan, leafing through a copy of Entertainment Weekly. She and Susan small-talk about Susan's past, and why she moved to Chicago from Scottsdale. "I needed to be back where the sun doesn't come out for weeks," Susan cracks, noting that the bitter cold and overcast skies better fit her temperament. And better reflect it. Abby wonders if something else fueled her departure, so Susan confirms that, yes, it was a guy, with whom she shared a "tanker-truck full" of chemistry. "Charlie Dixon," Susan says. "Dix. A cowboy. Can you believe it? The horse, the truck, the whole deal." Abby wants to know what happened between them, but Susan isn't ready to rehash the long story, and Abby backs off politely. "A cowboy," she murmurs under her breath. Susan darts her a sidelong glance, then both girls get the giggles because Susan is in a country song and she done left her boots on the welcome mat of his heart. It's about time the two most acerbic characters become friends, except I'm semi-nauseated by how tirelessly cutesy it's been.

Gallant walks up to Luka and tries to start a conversation about the army. "Did you see any action?" he asks eagerly. Luka flinches, and Gallant apologizes. "It's not what you think it is," Luka says gently. "Noble, romantic, a crucible on which to test your young manhood...." Gallant's all, "The uniform is pretty!" He shakes his head and bristles a tad at Luka's lack of faith in him. "I'm not that naïve," he insists, leaving. "Sure you are," whispers Luka emptily. Because he's deep, too. And thoughtful. And insightful. And battle-tested, mother-approved.

Abby and Susan decide to up the junior-high factor of this episode, so they turn around in their seats practically exploding with mirth, and demand to know when Luka lost his virginity. "We're playing a game," Abby explains, adding that they wagered on who was youngest. "Who'd you pick?" Carter asks, glaring at them, certain no one picked him. "She picked Luka," Abby giggles. "No, I didn't!" Susan giggles back. Then they give each other makeovers and gush about Todd Hairy-Legs from gym class and swear to be BFF. Luka refuses to play, flushing adorably. Slurp.

Since nobody wanted to know, Abby tells her tale first -- Howie Thomas, age sixteen. Susan makes fun of Howie's name. "He sounds like a plumber!" she snorts. Luka laughs in spite of himself. Carter just watches and waits. "Okay, my turn," Susan says. "Mark Greene." Ha! That did get a genuine laugh from me. Carter stabs the desk with his highlighter as Susan waves off her little joke and confesses she gave it up at age fifteen to Lloyd Walker in the shed behind her father's radiator-repair shop. Up next is Gallant, who glances uncomfortably at his senior doctors. "You don't need their approval," scoffs Abby. "Give it up." Gallant, evidently, got naughty at age fourteen in the balcony of his church after choir practice. He exalted God's goodness and then rode the pony at a sin carnival. Abby and Susan are impressed. They like him better dirty.

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