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In Exchange

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Soo-jin looks around, eyes nervous, and slides a new paintbrush through the cell window and into Sun’s waiting hand. “How are you holding up?”

“Don’t worry about me,” Sun says, accepting the gift. Her knuckles brush against Soo-jin’s. “How are you?”

“Don’t worry about me, either,” Soo-jin says, flashing Sun a small smile. She lowers her eyes for a moment, suddenly shy. “Sun, do think that when you get out of solitary…you and I could become friends?”

Sun furrows her brow for a moment. Soo-jin’s the closest thing she’s got to a friend here, and she’s pretty, with kind eyes. And no matter how much Sun loves her Cluster, they’re not there with her, cannot touch or be touched in the ways that matter most to Sun. Before she can respond, Wolfgang clucks his tongue from the far side of her cell where he’s leaning against the wall.

“This is prison, Süsse,” he says, a smarmy grin on his face. “Friends are different here. Trust me.”

Sun doesn’t spare him a glance. She whispers “I know” under her breath before curling her fingers around Soo-jin’s.

Sun always knows exactly what Soo-jin wants from her, and she wants it too.