Flash Fiction: Bouquet (213 words)

There was an old bookstore on the corner. Dev saw it, noted the stacks of colored spines in the window, blinked and laughed to himself. He had found Kaylee. Whether he could see her or not, he knew she was tucked away somewhere inside.

He crossed the street with his hands in his pockets, careful of the crowd that wandered one way and the other. Then he slid through the door, beneath the bell that announced him to the shaded, quiet shop.

The air smelled like yellow paper, and wood, and shut windows. His shoes scuffed against the floor. Bending his head, he glanced down the first row of shelves. There were two people, heads bent over some precious word, but not Kaylee.

He moved on.

In the sixth row, she stood, shoulder leaned into the shelf. She held three books, one open, two comfortably bundled in her hands beneath it. She held them close to her chest, close to her eyes, not really reading, but idly turning pages to scan down the lines. She paused, and breathed, then looked up to see Dev smiling at her.

She smiled back, caught.

“Sweeter than roses,” she said, with a shrug that was only half an apology, and she flicked through the next few pages.

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