the gale tag

2

without even thinking, i jumped up and threw my arms around him, making some weird sound that combined laughing, choking, and crying. he was holding me so tightly that i couldn’t see his face, but it was a really long time before he let me go.

3

Alone in the kitchen with Gale, I sit on Hazelle’s stool, holding his hand. After a while, my fingers find his face. I touch parts of him I have never had cause to touch before. His heavy, dark eyebrows, the curve of his cheek, the line of his nose, the hollow at the base of his neck. I trace the outline of stubble on his jaw and finally work my way to his lips. Soft and full, slightly chapped. His breath warms my chilled skin.Does everyone look younger asleep? Because right now he could be the boy I ran into in the woods years ago, the one who accused me of stealing from his traps. What a pair we were—fatherless, frightened, but fiercely committed, too, to keeping our families alive. Desperate, yet no longer alone after that day, because we’d found each other. I think of a hundred moments in the woods, lazy afternoons fishing, the day I taught him to swim, that time I twisted my knee and he carried me home. Mutually counting on each other, watching each other’s backs, forcing each other to be brave.

3

Without even thinking, I jumped up and threw my arms around him, making some weird sound that combined laughing, choking, and crying. He was holding me so tightly that I couldn’t see his face, but it was a really long time before he let me go..

2
10

“We gave them a prom they’ll never forget.”
Me neither. It’s the best night of my life.
“Even if it was ridiculously romantic?”