Hand out (without being literal)

There was a reason that Dahlia didn’t want to go anywhere.

Her head swam. There were people, people everywhere. And that was okay, it really was. But between how many of them there were and the fact that they were moving and she was not… Dahlia didn’t remember where she was. Where she had come from. Where was the orphanage? Where had she thought she was going?

The desire to curl up in a corner was overwhelming, but Dahlia knew that wouldn’t get her back home. She took a few steps forward and tried not to veer into the darkness.

“What are you doing?”

She gasped, wheeling about. There he was, Golden. The boy who pretended he didn’t want to be around them. That didn’t stop him from always being around.

He stared down at her with those sharp eyes. “You’ll be late for dinner if you keep going that way. Suit yourself.”

Golden walked away, likely back to the orphanage. Dahlia trailed after. Part of her wanted to reach out and grab his sleeve. Part of her never wanted to do that, because it reminded her of the travels to get here.

Despite his gruffness, despite not caring, he led her home.

Dahlia could breathe.

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