by Lindy Zart
Rivers Young was the popular guy untouchable by reality. He was like a star—bright, consuming, otherworldly. The thing about stars, though, is that they eventually fall, and Rivers Young was no different.
He fell far and he fell hard.
Delilah Bana was the outcast enshrouded in all of life’s ironies. Alone, in the d…ark, like dusk as it falls on the world. When Rivers fell from the sky, she was the night that caught him. In the darkness, they found one another. Together they melded into something beautiful that shone like the sun.
Only, the greater the star is, the shorter its lifespan.
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“You could always come work at the flower shop with me. I’m sure your flower arrangements would be extraordinary.”
“You’re really not as funny as you think you are, you know that?”
“I’m funnier,” I say, poking his stomach. A tiny light blinks above his shoulder and I grab his arms and whirl him around. “Look! It’s a lightning bug.” I bounce on the balls of my feet.
He looks over his shoulder at me. “You act like you’ve never seen one before.”
“I love lightning bugs,” I breathe. “I used to spend hours every summer catching and releasing them.”
“Like a true fisherman of bugs.”
I squint my eyes at him. “Come on—let’s catch some.” Without waiting for his answer, I skip forward, turning in a circle as I catch blips of glowing orbs in that magical time between partial dark and full. I spy one in the grass by my feet and reach a hand down, holding still as the bug lands on my fingers. “Go on, little buggy, go home before the storm comes.” It flies away, lighting up as it goes, and I smile as I straighten.
His breath tickles the side of my neck as he says, “You are the sweetest version of quirky I have ever had the pleasure of seeing in motion.”
I laugh softly. “Thank you. Glad you got to see me in action.”
He wraps his arms around my midsection and rests his chin on my shoulder. “Don’t ever change.”
“I do what I want,” I say, just to say it.
Rivers’ hold tightens. “That’s the exact thing I don’t want to ever change about you.”
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