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Careful Connections

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“You and Victor are very close, right?” Echo asks over breakfast. She keeps her voice at a whisper. “Talk quietly, if you can. Like me.”

“Sometimes,” Sierra whispers back, smiling. Victor was waiting for her when she came back from her treatment, and they lay close together until it was time to wake up again. His arms were warm, and she liked the sound of his heartbeat. “Is that wrong?” she asks, because Echo isn’t smiling back.

“I know it’s not wrong.” Echo looks back over her shoulder. “But other people might think so – bad people. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

Sierra nods. “There are bad people everywhere,” she says, even though she isn’t sure how she knows that. “Should we be scared of them?” When she and Victor are together, she feels like she doesn’t have to be afraid of anything.

“You should both be careful.”

Victor sits down next to them. “Good morning, Echo. Good morning, Sierra.” He reaches for Sierra’s hand, and she finds his. Maybe she can make him feel like he doesn’t have to be afraid, either.