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Olivia Cai

United States

We Won't Fall

November 26, 2018

    He sits in silence with the grave, emotions tumbling through his heart until they burst out of his mouth in a torrent of speech.

    “Right before you left, you told me that it was okay and I'd find somebody else to share the weight of the world with. I was devastated. I cried the entire night, I didn't get to sleep at all, but you were right all along. I found him.”        

    And it’s true. Ever since the night he had confessed, Felix had taken some of his uncertainty, bit by bit, until the day came that they tossed the remainder into the wind with reckless abandon. Felix is the wind, and Louis is a dandelion.

    “He has the most beautiful brown eyes and hair, and skin that looks like it could be woven from pure gold. I love him, Solace. And I don't care that everybody thinks it's wrong or that we're not perfect, but I want to know if you approve. The last year of my life I had to live without you to guide me, and I want to know if I did okay. I miss you so much."

    He doesn’t realize he's crying until he feels warm tears dripping onto his hands. Wind whistles through the trees, and Louis isn’t sure if it is his imagination, but he can hear it whispering quiet reassurances, prompting him to continue.

    "Felix didn't give me the stars, or harness the moon for me. He didn't change the world, or make me whole again, but he listened, and I guess that's all I needed. All along I thought my heart was missing a piece, but there isn't a thing wrong with my heart. ”

    And with that, Louis leans forward, pressing his lips to the rough words engraved into the slab of stone. IN LOVING MEMORY: Never had children but loved them all the same. The rock feels gritty under his skin, but he ignores it, pulling away with one final remark.

    “You would have made a great father.” He stays with the tombstone until the marks his mouth left had evaporated and the sun advanced quite some ways in its journey across the sky, then gets up, brushes the dust and grass off his pants, then turns and heads back up the hill.

    As the ivory castle comes into view, he grins at the sight of a familiar silhouette, haloed by the sun setting behind the building. He looks magical, with the sun at his back, ringing his slim figure with a golden aura as if light radiates from his very skin. He looks unreal, angelic, if not more. Felix sprints down to meet him, crashing into his arms and sending them both tumbling across the grass. When they roll to a stop, Louis is poised above Felix, shadowing him from the sun, arms on either side of the taller boy’s head. Felix closes his eyes, propping himself up on his elbows and leaning forward to kiss him, but when his lips meet nothing but air he opens them, confused.

    “No kisses for you. That’s what you get for tackling me and getting grass stains all over my shirt.” Felix groans, throwing a hand over his forehead in mock distress.

    “Oh, woe is me, whatever shall I do without your affections?” He whines, squirming beneath Louis, who doesn’t realize what’s coming until it’s too late. Felix grabs Louis’s forearms, twisting, and in a heartbeat, they switch positions, except Felix’s hand has found its way around Louis’s wrists, which are pinned tightly above his head, and his knees are spread on either side of Louis’s thighs. Felix laughs smugly, gazing directly down into his eyes, brown on hazel.

    “You’re mine. I’m getting as many kisses as I want.” He says, before locking lips with Louis. Felix feels vibrations in Louis’s chest as he groans in exasperation, but also feels the younger’s lips curl into a smile against his. He moves to Louis’s neck, leaving a trail of small kisses down the side, each one punctuated with a single word.
 
    “Mine.” Louis shivers at his touch, electricity bouncing through his skin where it comes into contact with Felix’s. He can hear the servants and guards cooing and wolf-whistling but pays them no mind as he playfully shoves the taller boy off him, then laces their fingers and climbs to the very top of the hill, where the sun is almost completely under the horizon. They stand in silence, hand in hand, marveling at the view they thought they’d never get to see again. A soft breeze tickles the back of Louis’s neck, and as the sky darkens, he sits down on the grass, breathing in the rapidly cooling air as Felix comes down to join him.

    Soon, the sky takes on a royal blue hue and Louis shivers slightly. Felix notices immediately, wrapping his arms around Louis’s shoulders and pressing a feather-light kiss to his cheek. Louis turns at the same time Felix does, breath catching in this throat as he freezes under Felix’s deep brown stare. “I’ve never fallen in love, you know? I don’t believe in it.” Louis comments, breaking the silence with his hushed words.

    “But you've been in love?” Felix returns. Louis blinks, giving Felix a look with something dark yet hopeful, happy-sad, as if he was drunk on a corner of the galaxy itself.

    “Yeah, but it wasn't like, love at first sight. Life isn't a fairytale, yeah? It was more like, leaning in. Falling makes it sound accidental, but with leaning, you have a choice. Love should always be a choice.”

    “Leaning in.” Felix echoes, almost reverently. “I like the sound of that. Leaning in and out of love.” Nothing is said for over a minute, until Felix asks, “Kiss me?”

    Louis offers a soft smile.

    And they lean in.
 
This is an excerpt from a longer work.

Synopsis: Louis is a young prince with no care in the world. His mother pays him no attention until she informs him that he comes from a cursed family line. His ancestors have only birthed girls for generations, so the royal family always betrothed them to neighboring kingdoms in exchange for a promise of peace. He is betrothed to Prince Felix from a powerful nearby kingdom, and despite his unusual situation, finds himself in love all the same.

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