Ah. It’s going to be one of those types — the kind that say ‘no’ with their bodies, but not with their words, and it’s left to her to decide which answer is correct. (It’s always what the body says. Bodies are subconscious.) Summer shifted back a little, just enough to concede the silent argument.

“If there were, I guess you would just have to wait for that inspection,” she says back, over her shoulder, making sure to give him his arm’s length of space as she slips outside.

There’s no one out there, of course — nobody here smokes, they all vape because that’s more trendy and can be done inside out of rain or cold or heat. She’s seen them, comparing their e-cigs and insert-flavour-here in dark corners lit by the LEDs in their tools. So she drapes herself backwards over the railing, hair tumbling over the edge in a cascade weirdly coloured by the neon and streetlights, and waits to see how the game will play out.


Ace overlooked her with narrowed eyes as she analyzed his rigid movements. People didn’t usually do this for him; but, then again, he isn’t very open when it comes to his discomfort. When she took a step back, he let out a breath, and turned around sharply to look towards the balcony.

“You should be so lucky.” He gave a dry snort, following her suit to the balcony once he caught her movement through the corner of his eye.

As she drapes herself backwards over the railing, he sucks in a deep breath, and yanks off his mask, not being one for anticipation anyhow. “Guess how many security guards they would sic on me if I walked back in there like this.”

She fiddled with the delicate edges of her mask as he ripped his off, choosing to ignore his comment about her luck. He was clearly way out of her league. She made sure no hint of that showed on her face, and lounged a little more obviously. “Honestly,” she mused, “I shouldn’t think any of them, unless you try to start something. I don’t think it’s that kind of party.”

Dear gods, his cheekbones are unfair. Of all the places to meet someone, it had to be here, where it would never mean anything and never go anywhere. Summer arches one eyebrow, superior and amused. “Did you gatecrash? Are you expecting to be thrown out?”

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