by Michele N. Zugnoni
Lorin leaned back on his palms, scanning the starry night. “So are you ever gonna give me back my jacket?”
“Maybe,” Kylah said, staring at the North Star. Hidden behind a bank of grey clouds, its brilliant sheen flickered between sporadic states of darkness and light. “Or maybe I’ve decided to keep it for collateral.”
“Yeah, collateral. Y’know, just in case you decide to steal another one of my sketches.” She pushed her hands into his jacket’s pockets, remembering the time in question; attempting to block the memory of his smirk as he’d admired the existence of her creativity: the proof that emotions swelled beneath her tough exterior, yearning for acknowledgement upon a canvas blank before he’d punctured her convoluted life.
Her heart skipped a beat, and she breathed in deep. “Or . . .”
“Or in case you decide to take my advice and leave this stupid town.”
“Oh, I see.” He swiveled to face her; the North Star emerged from its hiding place, turning his eyes a liquid sheen of hazel. “So you’re giving me a reason to come back then?”
Lorin pulled her hand from his jacket’s confines. “I think I might have already found one, Ky,” he murmured, entwining their fingers. A flicker of shadow skirted across the surface of his hand, but his eyes danced bright beneath the star.
Caught within his luminous gaze, Kylah’s breath hitched and her eyes slipped shut.
Lips met lips. Another canvas found new life.
(Michele is an ex-demon -- er, attorney -- who walked away from the legal field to embrace her twin passions in writing and swordplay (also known as teaching). Since that time, she's enrolled in a graduate program in English, and almost finished her first novel (a young adult urban fantasy). In her spare time, she finds adventure outdoors, cooks anything that stays still long enough, and travels to as many places as she can manage. She goes by "Mikki" on the blogs.)