Take another look at the sentence:

The message light on the phone was blinking. Eight appointments and an afternoon meeting filled the calendar. A stack of top-priority work _________ in the middle of the desk. Valerie knew that lunch would be a bottled water and a handful of antacid tablets.

The stack of work rested in the middle of the desk. Thus, you need a form of lie. Since the sentence is past tense, you need the simple past form. Consult the table below or review the rules.

Infinitive Definition Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle Present Participle
to lay to put something down lay(s) laid laid laying
to lie to rest or recline lie(s) lay lain lying

You have finished Exercise 6.

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