quote, because I picked it up and opened to this and it doesn't spoil anything. Josh and Sloane are children, about ten.
So why do the stars disappear when you look at them?" Sloane asks.
"Try it." She squints. "Pick a faint one in the corner of your eye and then stare right at it."
He tries it. "Oh."
"See? Why is that?"
"Well, probably it's . . ." And then Joshua stops, because he had been about to lie, which is unscientific. Instead he says, "I don't know," feeling that he has failed.
She gives him that sly look again, pleased. Her smile goes through him like a shiver on the surface of the glowing blue pool.
A long time later he's almost asleep in the patio lounger next to hers when he feels the dry brush of her fingers against his hand. He lies very still, not knowing what to do, afraid the smallest movement might scare the hand away. He can feel his heartbeat at the base of his thumb; it's like his whole being is concentrated in the skin of his left hand. Her hand creeps farther into his. Their fingers lace together. Laughter comes from the mansion behind them like wind moving through the leaves of the magnolia trees.
"Let's not tell the others," she whispers.
He squeezes her hand and nods, his heart tight in his chest, and stares up at the stars until the sound of her breathing slowly changes, and her warm fingers relax inside his own. He is half-asleep, blue and wavery, lit inside. Gone to water.
~Galveston, Sean Stewart