Flash Fiction: Virtues of Gravity (261 words)

“Can I lean on your shoulder?” Lyn asked. She was already tucked in against Ket’s side, knees tucked up underneath her on the long couch, and her head had started to lean toward him.

Ket glanced at her sideways. “I suppose,” he said, and he turned back to the book propped against his knee.

She smiled apologetically. “I’m sorry,” she murmured. Pushing herself away from him, she almost pulled her head up again, but just ended up looking at her lap. She ran one hand back through her hair tiredly. “You don’t have to–”

“I said yes,” Ket interrupted. He shrugged.

It took her a moment to read his expression and decide that he meant it. Then she settled back against him. Her hair fell against his neck, and she looped one arm through his. She left his hands free, but locked her fingers around his elbow, and the warmth of her sank into his skin.

“I just want to close my eyes for a moment,” she whispered.

He snorted. “Sure,” he said, but he kept his voice low too.

She laughed, near silently. “I’m not going to sleep.” The words came out indistinct and untrustworthy.

In a moment, her breathing shifted, turned deep and steady. Ket awkwardly put the book down to flip the page with the same hand that had been holding it, realizing he wouldn’t be able to move for a while. He let out a breath that was almost a sigh. Then he stayed perfectly still, feeling ribs move gently against his arm.

He had been knowingly trapped.

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