i would like to be the hamster wheel spinning in your head

Widow to the Businessman

Originally posted by mvnghaos

Member: Vernon ft. Jungkook
Genre: Mafia AU
Word Count: 1.2k

TW: Mentions of death

A/N: a mafia au (??) thing that idk if i’ll ever continue


The mourning lilies his mother gave you the week he died didn’t live long enough to reach his funeral. You let them sit out on the front porch until the July heat sweltered them into a mess of brown leaves topped off with pitiful flowers that hung dependently on weak stems. It was pathetic; it was a perfect representation of how a widow like you should feel, some sort of tragic beauty. Pathetic tragic beauty, more or less.

If you would have known when you first met Hansol Chwe (or as he referred to himself, Vernon) in your sophomore year that he would have drug you through all this shit, you would have never introduced yourself. But when you thought back to that day— the way he looked as a lifeguard, how he seemed the most carefree out of anyone you had ever seen, how easily all your problems seemed to drift away when you were around him— it seemed your love was inevitable. You knew in the grand scheme of life in this galaxy, neither of you mattered and his death did not even mean enough to be a blip on the radar of importance, but you couldn’t help but feel there was something bigger that willed the two of you together. Which is why you were so surprised when he decided to go off and die.

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Sex and Vandalism (Jared Kleinman x Reader)

WARNINGS: heavy smut, a teacher body shames Jared, swearing and exhibitionism

You raised your head out of the water and pushed the hair from your face. Fuck, there had always been something really cathartic about swimming, even in the pool your school rented out once every two weeks. You thought a lot about living by the ocean and being near the beach, completely away from the claustrophobia of the city. You saw Jared swimming over to you- or maybe swimming was the wrong word; ‘unsuccessfully drowning’ was more accurate.

“You will definitely get pink-eye by putting your head under there.” He noted when he got close enough. You saw under the water he was wearing a black t-shirt as well as his trunks. You didn’t say anything, knowing full well that one day he would come to his senses and realise how gorgeous his body actually is. You roll your eyes, “don’t borrow my mascara and we should be good.” He narrows his gaze and moves closer, “I make no promises.”

You kiss him on the cheek and hear the swim coach blow his whistle, “Kleinman, (Y/L/N), break it up!” He shouts. You blush hot enough to boil the water around you and Jared smirks, “not always an exhibitionist, then?” He whispered and you turn beetroot, “Don’t just… bring up kinks when I’m not expecting it.” You bite. It was playful and he wriggled his eyebrows enough to break you false-anger as you let a smile form.

“Kleinman! What’ve I said about wearing t-shirts in the pool?” The coach snapped. The humour left both of you. Jared looked down and you watched him go red, not in the cute way that you could make him blush, but in a way that took over his whole body. It made him small and washed over him like a tidal wave, “sorry, coach.” He muttered quietly turning around and taking his shirt off. You watch him lower himself into the water further. The coach blew the whistle again, “if I see you with a t-shirt on again, you’ll be wearing speedos- not sure (Y/N) will be seen with you then.” He laughed and you watched Jared turn scarlet. You had the same reaction, but for a much different reason.

Rage boiled inside you like it never quite had before. You felt yourself driven almost by an outside force as you kissed him again, just as chaste but with a lot more meaning. He wasn’t making eye contact as he shrugged, “what is it people say? Those who can’t do; teach?” He asked quietly. You flashed a grin, “and those who can’t teach; teach gym.” You watch him ease a little as he laughs. But it’s not enough, you want that asshole to pay.

“You’re doing that look.” Jared noted quietly and you look back at him a little insulted, “this is just my face.” He laughed and shook his head, “it’s a thoughtful face. Your nose sort of creases in a way that makes you look like a really stressed out hamster.” He was smiling again, but still slightly red around the ears. You splash him absentmindedly, “gah! Oh if I get pink-eye you’re so dead.” He wraps his arms around you and you both hear the whistle again, followed by some laughter of a few kids, “Jesus Kleinman, do I have to put a wall between you?” You both instantly separate but the coach continues, “no one wants to see that. No one. I’m gonna have to burn my eyes out.”

You see Jared go into his shell once more, and every time you try and coax him out he just makes a sarcastic little remark or stays silent. It’s driving you mad. How could any teacher talk to a student like that? Asshole deserved to be taught a lesson.

Eventually the bell rang, and all the students got changed and started walking home. You waited for Jared outside the boys changing room doing some research on your phone. As usual he was the last one out. You hooked your arm with his and started walking, “you know this school doesn’t actually close for another hour for members of staff?” You start slow, trying to gage his reaction. So far all you can glean is a mildly uninterested “huh.”

“And,” you continue, “as I’m always prepared to be mugged or whatever- I carry a Swiss Army knife with me all the time. Even to school.” This gets his attention, he looks at you a little worried, “are you threatening to stab me?” He asked and you give him a horrified stare, “what? No. These are just random facts that I just happen to be telling you.” You try to sound as innocent as you can as you drag him down a slightly unfamiliar walk way without him noticing.

There’s a pause before you continue into a shaded area, “did you know that due to teachers wages they usually only get basic car insurance, which doesn’t cover things like vandalism… Like, I don’t know, tire slashing? Especially and most commonly if it’s not all tires- hey isn’t that coaches Toyota?” You finish, stopped dead in front of the car that you fully knew was his after looking at his Facebook wall. Jared is staring wide eyed at you, mouth slightly agape, you feel your throat dry up a little as you glance at him, “I honestly can’t tell if you’re scared or impressed.”

“Neither can I.” He looks back at the car, “are you suggesting we slash his tires?” He asks and you shake your head, “what? Don’t be insane… I’m suggesting I slash his tires and you stand watch.”

“What?!”

“Or I could stand watch?” You offered. He shook his head, “we can’t!” You look around, “no ones coming out this way for an hour. There’s no CCTV, no way of knowing it was us. Don’t you want to get back at him?” You ask. He looks behind him and bites his lip, “can I do one?” He sounds sheepish and you pull the pen knife from your bag. It’s small but it should do the job. He takes it from you and cautiously pulls the blade out. You don’t actually see him do it because your trying to vigilantly watch your surroundings, but you hear a slow sound of air pressure escaping and a triumphant little “ha!”

He taps you on the shoulder and hands you the knife, which you drive into the left front wheel, and quickly move to the back left. You both watch the car sink before you hide the knife back in your bag. As you do so, a small foil square catches your eye and you smile mischievously to yourself. You shouldn’t. It would be far too risky. Fuck it.

You spin Jared by his shoulders to face you and kiss him. He instantly pulls you closer to him, but you push away and lead him by the scruff of you collar to the hood of the car. He instantly turns pink and gulps, “on his car?” You nod, “I think it’s a good idea. But we don’t have to…” You can’t finish your sentence before his lips crash into yours. You bite his lower lip as his tongue snakes in and his hands run up your skirt. You watch him hungrily part your legs as you start palming the tent in his pants that’s already started forming. You unzip his pants and pull his dick out. You lightly trace a finger along the bottom of the shaft and watch him quiver.

You turn, pushing him against the car as you drop to your knees. You suck lightly on his dick at first, letting your lips drag along and pressing your tongue against the bottom of the shaft. You manage to ease yourself almost to the base of his cock before it hits any sort of gag reflex. You let one hand reach around and grab his ass, pulling him deeper into you. You start picking up speed as his hands tangle on your hair and push you. The other hand leans against the car and you hear his breath begin to quake. You press your lips tight against him and he lets out a small whine, “n-no. I want to f-f-fuck you against the c-car.” His voice rasps and you pull yourself away, wiping your mouth and rolling the condom down his shaft.

You stand slowly with hooded eyes as he pushes you against the car and draws himself into you. You wince a little and bite your lip before he starts slowly rocking back and forth. He runs his hand up your skirt to your hips to grip you as he gains speed. It’s hard and rough as he knocks against your g-spot, sending convulses down your spine. He felt like some sort of animal that ought to be stopped and as his free hand held your legs apart to get a better angle; you lay sprawled on the hood and grasped for bedsheets that didn’t exist.

He eased your legs up as he crashes into you with such force that your almost bouncing, and the idea of setting off a car alarm should be frightening, if it wasn’t turning you on more. There was no romance, no tenderness that usually accompanied your sex life with him. It was pure animalistic carnage, and you could barely breath. His thrusts were deeper and lasted longer until your knees and dignity bucked at the same time, “fuck baby, yes!” You moan. It only drives him on as he sees your breasts bouncing slightly underneath your vest top.

You suddenly lose all physical control, whine and resting your head down on the hood of the car as you cum, you hands grip his t-shirt as your vision blurs. Jared follows very quickly behind, pawing helplessly at you as he does. He watches you slowly grind on his dick as you both cum and lets out a muffled shout, clapping his hand over his mouth before anything can get out. He pulls out of you and peels off the used condom. You take it gingerly from him and place it on the front window of the car.

Jared breathlessly looks at you as you adjust your skirt and smooth out your hair, “won’t they know my DNA?” He asks and you let out a quiet laugh, “you have to be in the system. Plus it’s two teenagers fucking on top of a car. No ones calling CSI.” You take his hand, “now come on before some see’s us.” He pulls you in for a light kiss, “it almost scares me how good you are at that.”

“I can’t tell if you mean mindless vandalism or sex?”

“Neither can I.”

Questions Answered (Part 2)

Title: Question Answered 

Prompt: @fangirl-faye : In response to “Questions Answered” OHHHH THAT WAS SO FREAKIN’ CUTE! Can I have a second part? How Deanie-Beanie and Samshine react to it? The jacket and stuff

 Pairing: Gabriel x Female!Reader

 Summary: The boys hated TV Land, when Gabriel threw them in…but you had a different experience.  

 Warnings: Language. Yelling.

 Part 1 

Masterlist of FanFiction

Originally posted by lucifersagents

The boys were still asleep when you got back in, so you just snuck in and crawled right into bed.  Gabriel’s warm jacket you left wrapped around you like a second blanket, enjoying how it smelled of him and how warm it made you feel.  A small part of your brain said to hide it, but you were too tired to listen.

You should have listened.

“Where the hell did you get that?!”  You woke to Dean shouting loudly as he glared down at your sleeping form on the couch.

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You clear my sky. 

This is a follow up to this thing i wrote last week.   Little bit of angst, little bit of non angst and that’s all I’ll say. Hope you enjoy it.  The title is taken from the lyrics of another Ward Thomas song, Dirt and gold. 

Its set several months on and this time in Liam’s POV.   It looks at the recent past initially and then present day. (some is under the cut as its fairly long). 

**

It’s the sun that shines through the small window that wakes Liam up.   

Yesterday it was the birds, or a bird to be precise that had plonked itself on top of the chimney and if there’s a bird alive in Timbuctoo or on the North and South Poles that didn’t hear its call and squawking, Liam will be amazed.

Still though, despite that, despite everything country life brings where the absence of noise and sheer quiet except for birds and well more birds, where the hustle and bustle of city life is nowhere to be seen, sometimes feels maddeningly loud. 

Despite all that, without this sanctuary and all it brings, this little piece of the world that’s just theirs alone, he doubts he’d be here. 

And not just here in this little cottage, no, here.  Someone living and breathing. 

He’d be a memory.  And the rate he was going at, he’d only be a memory of those last months.  Of pain. 

Sometimes he thinks back to those days where he’d put one foot in front of the other somehow, where he’d flash his ID badge at security on reception and where even pouring a boiling water into his mug felt like one act too far as his hands would shake. 

Where he had to tell himself, will himself not to flinch when Zayn touched him because every touch felt like a shock, made him realise he was alive when all he wanted to do was pretend he wasn’t, that somehow it was all in his head, his imagination.

That it was some kind of nightmare and that with a click of his red sneakers, he’d wake up and be back in reality once more. The old reality where everything was fine. 

Till the new reality came crashing down around him, when the mug had crashed onto the floor for the last time, and somehow he’d made it home, where all he wanted, all he craved was Zayn’s arms.

Zayn’s comfort.   

And where he got exactly that, but it made no difference and the next morning, he did flinch.

Left to his own devices, left to lie on the bed in that apartment in the city, that apartment with all the latest mod cons, where the delivery of a single piece of steak was possible with just one telephone call, he thinks that perhaps he would’ve got better or thought he was.

But the cycle would’ve repeated over and over, till one day Zayn would’ve walked away and all Liam’s hopes and dreams would disappear out the door with him. Wither and die.  Till he’d die. 

But then Zayn saved his life for the millionth time.   Okay, he can’t count to one million, or not without getting distracted but its lots of times that’s for sure. 

He brought him here. 

He can barely remember anything of the first days.   Just that sleep came easier. Sleep was all he did.   Dreamless sleeps, no more panic, no more being trapped in a tube tunnel trying to escape the train that descended closer and closer on him the faster he ran. 

None of that. 

Then one day a few weeks later he’d woken up and he’d walked from the bedroom into the small living room, next to the kitchen with the tea cosy shaped like a cockerel, the blue and white checked cookie jars, and the one concession to luxury, the range, which filled the space.

Zayn wasn’t anywhere to be seen and as Liam had glanced at the small clock on the side table in the corner of the living room, he’d realised he was probably out buying bread, buying groceries from the village 30 minutes down the road. 

He’d walked to the front door, opened it and stepped outside and the sun was shining through the trees and he’d breathed in the air, the freshest air you could imagine, no bus fumes, no cloying aftershave, no raised voices, no tannoy systems intruding on his need for quiet, nothing.  Just the smell of pine and the sound of birds.  

And he realised then.  Despite the fact that it was all so new.  He knew.  His mind was made up, and so he’d stepped back into the cottage, reached for his jacket, and slipped on a pair of shoes that might have been his, might have been Zayn’s and he’d grabbed the keys from the side, and shut the door behind him.

And he set foot along the path that he somehow remembered from the 8th day after they got here when Zayn had coaxed Liam out of bed, dressed him and guided him outside, and they’d walked for what felt like miles, till Liam’s calf muscles felt like they’d explode.

Just along a path, the one way in, the one way out where once you walked past all the trees, and just before you found the nearest village, you walked past a river. 

Zayn had bought some French bread, and then he’d bought some pasta and some minced beef and some garlic cloves, and other stuff Liam had lost track off and then they’d turned round to walk home.

Those weeks later when Liam walked along the path on his own, he realised that he wasn’t walking with his head down anymore, he walked with it held high, and he’d seen Zayn before Zayn could see him swinging the shopping bag and whistling, looking for all the world like a teenager rather than this man Liam loved with all his soul. 

The words had come out of Liam’s mouth before he could stop them. 

“I don’t think we should go back, I mean I don’t want to go back, not there, not anywhere, just,”  he’d bowed his head then, stopped and expected Zayn to be concerned, to grab his hand and drag him back to the cottage and mutter about calling the doctor. 

To say they’d talk about it when everything was clearer, when Liam was ‘himself’ again.

Instead he’d heard.

“Okay, I’ll make a few enquiries and we’ll decide whether to let or sell the apartment, and yeah we’ll make a go of it,”  Zayn’s hand had found its way to Liam’s then and it squeezed it, gently, so carefully like Liam was made of glass.

And then they’d carried on walking in silence till they were 2 minutes away from the cottage and Zayn said softly.  “We won’t just make a go of it either, we’ll make this work Li, you and me.”

Liam had wondered then, if Zayn was put on this earth just to constantly make Liam re-evaluate how much love he could feel for another person.

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Pregnant (MMFD, Rinn one-shot)

@ch1darkcy @tinakegg @mariamirallegro @mmfdblog @mmfdfanfic  @girl-looking-out-window @lau-vm @raeonashadowcaster If you want me to tag you, then please say so :D

Rae paced in front of a wooden door, the white plastic bag hooked around her wrist swaying from side to side. Glancing at the door, she breathed out and bit her lip, her hand ascending in a voluntary movement and pressing the buzzer.
A few moments ticked by before the brunette heard rushed steps nearing and the entrance door was swung opened in one swift movement.
“Rae…” Chloe said, her hand falling to her side. The dark strawberry blonde hair was captured in a bun atop of Chloe’s head and she was dressed in shorts and a flimsy top that Rae could only dream of fitting into.
“Can I come in?” Rae’s voice trembled and the blonde nodded quickly, getting out of the way, allowing the brunette to enter.
“What’s wrong, love? Did you have a fight with Finn?” Chloe inquired, closing the door after Rae. She glanced at the taller woman and saw her shaking her head briefly, before throwing herself on the couch. Chloe followed suit.
“Then what happened?” The question came as a whisper, the blonde’s voice bare audible.  Rae’s mouth opened several times, the full lower lip red from all the biting, but no sound exited. Finally, encouraged by Chloe’s soothing back rub, Rae dumped the contents of the bag she had onto the hardwood coffee table.
“I-I… missed my period this month…last month too.” The brunette mumbled, pausing to take deep breaths of air in between words. Chloe gasped as her widening eyes settled on three different pregnancy tests piled on her table.
“Fuck.” She swore loudly and Rae winced at the word, remembering that that exact activity brought her in the situation she was at the moment.
“Ok, do you… do you know how to use them?” Chloe asked, raising from the couch and pulling Rae up as well. Rae nodded, whispering something about having read the instruction and the blonde responded with a nod of her own.
“Well, you know where the bathroom is. I’ll be waiting here, but if you need me, just call.” Chloe helped Rea take off her leather jacket, her movements fluid, and her touch gentle. Rae entered the bathroom and resurfaced 5 minutes later, holding the used pregnancy tests in her trembling hands.
Laying her curvaceous form on the brown couch, Rae placed the pieces of plastic on the paper that Chloe prepared.
“How long do we have to wait?” Chloe asked, her thin arm coming round Rae’s shoulders, bringing the brunette’s head on her considerably smaller chest and playing with the long locks.
“5 to 20 minutes.” Rae murmured. Chloe nodded, her hand coming to caress her face in a loving manner.
“You know that whatever happens, Finn, the gang, and especially me…we’re all here for you. Everything is going to be okay. After all, you and Finn, you’re engaged.  I think he can’t wait to have a little bugger running round his house.” Chloe chuckled, trying to break the tension, while her hand continuously ran over the brunette’s luscious curls.
“Listen Rae.” Chloe said after a gravid pause.“  If… if you’re pregnant, I think that keeping the child would be the best decision you ever made.  You have the potential of being a fantastic mother. You could actually offer your child proper conditions, rise and love it like only you can , give it a proper education. I know you won’t fuck this up… like I did.” Rae felt the blonde’s body tensed at the memory of her abortion and Rae raised her head to see her friend fixing a certain spot on her immaculate wall, a few tears blurring her brown eyes.
“I think you would have been a great mother, Clo.” Rae said, grabbing Chloe’s hand in hers and bringing it to her lips.  The blonde’s eyes fell on Rae’s pale face and Chloe smiled sadly, shaking her head.
“I think the time’s up. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?” Chloe suddenly said, releasing Rae from her embrace, but still keeping a reassuring hand on her back.
“Go on.” was whispered and Rae reached out for the tests, bringing each one of them near her hazel eyes under closer inspection. Two pink lines marked each test and Rae put the last stick down.
“Well?” Chloe asked, looking at the tests, hoping to see something.
“They are all positive…Cho… I’m pregnant.” Rae said, covering her face with her palms.

Rae returned to the flat she had been sharing with Finn since she finished university late at night. Chloe insisted that she had stayed,  but Rae said she had to think and that some fresh air would do her good.
Entering their one room apartment, she found Finn sleeping on the couch, the muted TV illuminating the otherwise dark room. ‘He must have waited for me.’ Rae thought, while covering the sleeping body with a woolen blanket and turning off the TV.
Rae went to their room, changed and slipped into a dreamless slumber. The next few days passed by in a nervous blur, filled with outrageous food cravings, followed shortly by morbid sickness that made her vomit everything she had eaten.
Finn became more confused by the copious amounts of food that Rae was making him buy on his way from work and by his lover’s nonchalant and secretive attitude. The man had enough, and so 7 days after Rae’s behavior started acting up, he finally confronted her.
“ Rae. What’s happening?” Finn suddenly asked, the question haunting his mind for awhile, robbing his nights of sleep. The man turned towards Rae exactly when she reached for another slice of pizza from the box  laying in her lap.
“What do you mean? Everything’s fine.” The woman’s voice grew fainter, and the pizza slice was dropped in the box and the carton was removed from her lap.
“Bollocks. You have been acting strange for the past week, and I wanna know what’s going on with me girl. Why won’t you talk to me? ” Finn demand and Rae cringed, remembering all the times she had locked herself in their bathroom, ignoring the knocks and the 'Are you okay’s.
“I’m fine, Finn, it’s just…” Rae couldn’t continue her string of words.  Her stomach muscles contracted violently and a bitter fluid filled her mouth, making it close shut. Her pale hand came over her mouth and Rae got up, rushing towards the bathroom, followed closely by a terrified Finn.
Rae couldn’t bother closing the door after her, blocking Finn to enter, because the second wave of fluid was ready to be regurgitated and she still had the first batch in her mouth. The woman dropped to her knees and gripping the fine porcelain tightly, she released the vomit into the toilet.
Finn carefully held her hair back, his nose scrunching at the foul smell and at the pieces of semi-digested pizza floating in the WC. After a few minutes of paused barfing, Rae finally got up and wobbled to the sink, to wash the thin sheen of sweat glistening on her skin and the nasty flavor that invaded her taste buds.
“Fine. You want to know what’s wrong?”  Rae asked, rubbing  the water out of her eyes and feeling around for a plush towel to wipe her face with. Finn, who hasn’t moved from the doorway, nodded fanatically.
“I’m pregnant.” Rae said much more smoothly that she had previously anticipated. Finn remained motionless, his hands hanging limply by his body.  Then his jaw slacked and his mouth opened up, while he blinked several times slowly.  Rae could practically see the hamster living in Finn’s head running like crazy to spin the wheel and process the information and Rae would have burst into laughter if the situation was not this serious.
“Wha…?” the man could only say while he took a step closer.
“I’m pregnant..?” Rae said, watching him inch closer to her curvy frame until just a few millimeters separated them.
“You mean…we’re going to have a baby?” Finn whispered, his hand cupping the sides of Rae’s oval face. “I’m going to be a father?” he continued, and the woman wanted to nod, but his hands kept her in place.
“Yea… are you angry?” Rae finally answered, her eyes avoiding Finn’s and falling to his chin instead.
“Rae, look at me” she did, and Finn offered her a reassuring smile, as his thumbs started making circular patterns on her skin. “This is the best news you gave me since you said you’d marry me. And I couldn’t be happier, that right now…  We’re going to be parents Rae.”  Finn laughed, wiping the tear that escaped from Rae doe like eyes and kissing her forehead gently.
“I love you, Finn.”  Rae whimpered, her arms finally coming round Finn’s waist, bringing his body into hers.
“Love ya more, Rae.” The man said, nuzzling his nose into Rae’s dark locks and playing with the ends of her hair. “It’s all going to be great, you’ll see Rae.”
“Yea, try sain’ that when you clean the barf off the toilet.” Rae said and they both looked at the one white porcelain, before bursting into laughing.  It would all be all right. Rae was now certain of that.

Copycat: Part III

Prompt:  can you write a fic where in the reader try to steal the baby from dean?  (Yes. Baby. The Baby.)

Word count: 3,400

Warnings: none for this part, I don’t think

Author’s Note: Idk how many times I’ll say I thought this part would be the last but apparently stuff are still happening? Without it sounding fake. Do you want another part, though? let me know what you think?

(btw, that part about Google is true)

Part 1, Part 2

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Fic: A Day at the Fair (Emily Grey)

Oh, you’ve probably seen the ads on TV: Visit the FUNtacular temple FUNfair! FUNnel cakes! FUNdamentally inexplicable gravitational phenomena! It’s fun fun FUN for the whole family!

Minor spoilers for 13x03. Written for this week’s rvb60min challenge: “Once, she knew kindness.”

[AO3 | FFN | 2015 Fic | 2014 Fic]

The temple floats.

Emily stands with her hands behind her back, rocking on her heels, and cranes her neck to try and see the cloud-obscured top. Are those clouds coincidence, or micrometeorological phenomena induced by the heat radiating from the thing? She’s seen Mom’s scientific footage of a volcanic eruption on the coast, the surging clouds flaring with lightning, the soot-stained hailstones dropping miles and miles downwind. Emily cocks her head to one side, then thinks, sadly, that there probably isn’t enough energy coming off the artifact to create its own cloud cover. If there were, more people would be reporting radiation poisoning. Probably just coincidence, then.

“Bummer,” she mutters, out loud. Ma hears and rests a hand on the top of her head. Emily presses up into the touch, then remembers that she’s eight years old and it’s well past time for her to move on from her childhood need for physical reassurance and pulls away. “Can I explore?” she asks.

Mom and Ma exchange glances. Mom rolls her eyes, but she’s grinning. Ma just rolls her eyes. “Emily,” she says, “you’re a very bright young girl, but there are big crowds here, and we don’t want you to get separated from us again.”

Emily knows exactly which incident they’re referring to and relents, kicking at a pebble as her sole concession to the wave of disappointment. Logically, it makes sense. There are a whole lot of people swarming the festive fairgrounds, and despite the vanishingly low probably of abduction or other harm, her mothers’ worry is in itself an undesirable outcome. She needs to introduce additional variables. She needs to—

She pauses, then points. “Those girls are in a group by themselves. Can I go with them?”

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