GENRE: Young adult dystopian
The girl is in the hospital; the boy's come to visit. The pain meds are about to knock her out.
Her voice trailed off into a breathy whistle, and he was sure he'd lost her. But then three faded words managed to sail out on a sigh: "Except about you."
His cheeks were already close to scalding, and yet they found a way to ratchet up the temperature another few degrees. "Well," he squeaked, then cleared his throat. "You were always interesting." He scooted his chair a little closer. Gently, very gently, took her hand. "To me."
She smiled a wispy smile that lingered around her mouth, gave his hand a feeble squeeze. "You'll stay?"
He squeezed hers back. "For as long as you'll let me."
"I'll let...you," she replied, and then sleep carried her away.
And so Seth sat like that, her hand cradled in his, until the night nurse kicked him out--and then he stayed one minute more. Long enough to coax one of the lilies from the bouquet (the plastic's crackle-crackle made him wince), and lay it across the extra pillows. Long enough to raise her warm hand to his lips and brush her knuckles with a kiss.
That was the sound that stayed with him as he tiptoed from the room: the swishing whisper of his kiss upon her skin.