He crumples the letter and looks around frantically. He’s there somewhere, Mito knows he is, he would have to be nearby to have slipped him that note.

A pebble bounces on the wall beside his window, and another, and another. He rushes over, his hands brace against the sill as he leans out. There he is, the boy from the festival, who held him up on the road two days ago and kissed him before making off with a cart and three weeks’ allowance.

Yosai holds out his hand. “Well?”

He doesn’t hesitate, he just jumps out the window and runs. Their fingers twine together.


Come with me.


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