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Sequestered

Excerpt

Maggie can’t make up her mind, but Zach says the boy’s guilty, fry the son-of-a-bitch. Maggie finishes drawing on her lipstick, blots her lips on a tissue and says you can’t jump to conclusions like that, so much of the evidence is circumstantial. She glances at Zach in the mirror, who stands at the foot of the bed tugging on his pants. She drops the lipstick tube into her purse and appraises herself, turning her head from side to side and fluffing up her hair.
    Zach says the guy has guilt written all over him and he’d personally flip the switch himself, and she swivels on the vanity bench to face him. I wish you wouldn’t be that way, she says, we haven’t heard all the evidence yet. I like you better when you’re not so mean. Which is not exactly true, she kind of likes that brutish thing about him, that gruffness. Like the way he growls sometimes, not necessarily at her but sometimes at inanimate objects, such as an unruly room key or a menu that doesn’t have what he wants to order.
    He has moved to the bed where he sits in his undershirt and pants tugging on his socks. Watching him from the vanity bench, she notices this, the rough way he stabs his feet into his socks. Not the way Roger does, by first rolling them up then rolling them on, the way women used to put on their nylons. But that’s Roger, not exactly feminine, but finicky.