Perfect Circle by A.R. Hadley

94

The Physical Collection Book 3

What happens when two longtime friends decide to take things a little further than planned?

When acrophobic Meg ends up suspended at the top of a Ferris wheel with her sassy friend Ava Hawks, she gets much more than she bargained for.

However, the bi-curious girls also have boyfriends. Leo and Owen will soon be joining them at the county fair. And in the bedroom.

Will this be a night to remember? Or a tryst the four of them would rather soon forget?

Perfect Circle is a 5,600-word short story.

Part of The Physical Collection.

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Excerpt from Perfect Circle © Copyright 2023 A.R. Hadley

“It’s not moving,” Meg shrieked as she clutched one of the cold metal bars, the force of her grip causing the carriage to rock a little more. “Why isn’t it moving?”

“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of heights?” Ava Hawks grinned and peeked over the edge. Sixty feet in the air, and the two of them were stuck at the very top of the Ferris wheel. The people on the ground visiting the November county fair resembled little figurines in a puppet show. “I never knew that about you.”

“Stop looking down.” Meg planted her hand on Ava’s thigh and squeezed.

“Why?” Hawks turned her attention back to Meg. Eyeing her like a hawk. Her palm to be exact. Her skin was warm despite the cooler temps. “The lights look so pretty from up here.” Ava flicked her gaze again to the ground.

But Meg scarcely moved. Or breathed. She remained glued to her seat, tense but adorable … with that button nose and flushed cheeks.

“Why did you agree to come on this ride with me, silly?” Ava tried to grab her friend’s palm, but Meg stuffed her hands in her sweater pockets.

A few seconds later, Ava waved a hand in front of Meg’s shell-shocked face. “Yoo-hoo Meg… Did you hear me?”

“Huh?” Meg blinked.

“Why did you agree to come … on this ride?”

Meg shrugged, but her shoulders barely moved. “I… I forgot.” She pulled strands of chestnut hair from her lips and feigned a smile. “I forgot that I’m—”

“Afraid of heights?”

“That I hate Ferris wheels.”

“Oh, honey…” Ava glanced at Meg’s hands. She’d pulled them out of her pockets. And now they trembled. “You really are scared. Well…” she teased, quirking a brow while flicking her pink locks over a shoulder. “I could think of a few things that might relax you.”

Don’t move…” Meg ignored Ava’s flirtatious tone and instead shot Hawks a death stare. “Or it will tilt.”

“You mean like this?” Ava rocked in her seat.

The carriage shook.

Meg screamed.

Ava slapped a palm over her friend’s mouth.

Meg’s breath fogged her skin, but Hawks left her hand there until they both started to laugh.

“That’s better.” She pulled another wispy piece of hair from Meg’s lips. And this time, when their eyes met, they locked.

The girls stared at each other for several seconds — the way they sometimes had in the past. The two of them had been friends for a little over ten years, since middle school. And in that time, Meg had become quite adept at denying what it meant. The heated looks, the way her heart thumped erratically against her chest, how her pulse pounded in her ears.

Her reaction was due to the wheel. The heights.

Meg always came up with the perfect excuses whenever she met Ava’s startling blue eyes.

Like this.