None of these characters are mine, they all belong to Shannon. This fanfiction already has 53 parts but I have to transfer them to the computer. I hope you all are enjoying the story so far, I would love some feedback! This fanfiction is also not finished, I still have to resolve it, so in the end it's probably going to be as long as one of the actual books in the series.
Sophie was nervous, despite the many times Alden had reassured her that there was no reason to worry. She'd leaned long ago that no matter how sure he sounded, the words never really meant much.
Keefe walked up behind her and whispered in her ear, "you ok there Foster? I could feel your worry across the room."
Sophie twirled around, well at least she tried to twirl, the long layers of her dress caught on her heals and she fell forward into Keefe's arms. She was pretty sure her face was as red as his was. Keefe helped her stand up again and she muttered a quick thank you.
"Anyway are you ready for your Foxfire graduation?" Keefe asked.
Sophie was still as nervous as ever but the sight of Keefe had eased her nerves. Which was surprising considering he had nearly given her a heart attack. "I hope so," she whispered.
He took her hand and she leaned into him. Then realized what she doing and stood up straight, but she left her hand were is was since she was sure she was about to blackout. Especially when Magnate Leto, their principal, called her name. Sophie started to wobble.
"Easy there Foster,' Keefe said, wrapping an arm around her waist to steady her. "You got this!"
Sophie reached for an itchy eyelash but Keefe took her hand before she could tug on them. "Foster,' he said, and waited until she met his eyes. "You are the bravest, strongest, most amazing elf I know, well other then me," he said with a smirk. He turned serious again and added, "I know you can do this! Think about all the times you've told me and everyone else the same thing, where you ever wrong?"
Now that Keefe had mentioned it she hadn't been wrong whenever she'd convinced her friends that they could do it. Unless she counted the time with Biana... or Alvar... or when Ald...
"Foster I can feel your mood plummeting, trust me, you've got this!" the confidence in his eyes was evidence that he meant it.
She turned away and walked onto the stage
Keefe watched as Sophie walked, more like hobbled, onto the stage. She looked gorgeous in the long poufy red dress that Biana had lent to her.
He shook his head to clear his thoughts. He made sure that he hadn't missed anything. Luckily the ceremony hadn't started yet. Keefe continued to watch her, until he realized that he was blocking the doorway that lead out to the stage and had to move.
He moved behind the long curtain that had lights flashing on it from flashers through out the room. He walked to the opposite side of the stage so he could meet Sophie on the other side when she walked off.
As he walked he thought about how much Sophie had changed. From when he first met her in the level six hallway when she got lost while trying to find the healing center. To when he'd run off to join the Black Swan and gotten banished, to now when she was graduating out of Foxfire. He liked her then and he still did.
He knew that today he had to do something. Something he'd dreamed of and dreaded, for 7 years. He hoped it would go well, he didn't honestly know how she would react. All he knew is that he had to try.
Sophie thought she would trip as she stepped down from the platform. She was glad she didn't because all eyes were still on her as she left the stage. Along with the cheers and whistles she could hear a murmur that she couldn't make out.
She didn't even want to know what they were saying now. She was tired, she hadn't slept in over a week because of this graduation. Grady and Edaline had both told her that every graduation was a huge ordeal. She now realized why.
She stumbled as she reached Keefe and would have fallen if it wasn't for him. This time she didn't even have the energy to care. She stood up slowly with his help and walked in the direction of a place she had gone many, many times. The Foxfire healing center.
"Foster, why don't you just sit for a minute. You look like you just saw your skin melted off!" Keefe said stopping her.
"I need to go to sleep," Sophie said, she knew she sounded pitiful. "I just need some sleep Keefe, I'll be fine. You should go back and watch the rest of the graduation."
He shook his head, "not a chance, you look like you'll collapse id you take one step by yourself."
They made their way slowly to the healing center. Keefe jokingly asked her a few times id he should just carry her, but Sophie could tell by the worry in his ice blue eyes that it was a serious offer.
Elwin didn't look surprised when Sophie and Keefe arrived, since they'd been residents in the room many times. "So, the two celebrities of the healing center return. Again," he said with a laugh.
"You know it!" Keefe said giving him a fist bump.
"I already know that you are here because you're exhausted," Elwin said turning to Sophie. "Edaline has been begging me to give you something to make you sleep."
"Yeah... I'll take that something to make me sleep now please." She said laying down in the cot that should've had her name on it. Considering it was the one she used every time she came.
Elwin sighed, "Sophie you can't just keep depriving yourself of sleep and expecting one sedative to help you fully regain your energy."
"I agree with Elwin on this one Foster. If you keep doing this you're going to be fainting on a daily basis. It's not like I can be around all the time to catch you," Keefe said the last part as a joke but Sophie wondered through her grogginess if he wanted to be there.
"Ok, I'll sleep. Happy?"
"Very," they said together.
"Good," she replied as she closed her eyes and drifted into a fitful sleep.
Keefe watched as Sophie lay quietly sleeping. He moved to the cot next to hers and leaned back in it. He had been in the room almost as many times as Sophie.
He sighed knowing he should go back to watch Biana’s graduation, but he didn’t want to miss Sophie waking up.
“You should get some rest too Keefe,” Elwin said from the doorway of his office. “Watching her isn’t going to wake her up faster.”
“Nah, Foster’s the one who needs the sleep, not me,” Keefe replied.
“Fine, well at least let me check you over really quick,” Elwin said as he walked over.
“Fiiiiiiine,” he said as he sighed dramatically.
Light flashed all around Keefe as Elwin did his examination. “You’re right for once!” he laughed. “You don’t need sleep.”
Keefe pretended to look hurt, “I’m only right… this once?”
Elwin laughed again, “Here drink this.” He handed him a bottle of youth and Keefe drank it in one gulp.
He laid down in the cot again. Then, without meaning to, he drifted to asleep.
Next thing he heard was Sophie crying out. He jumped out of the cot and saw her sitting up, her eye wide, a panicked look on her face. He walked to her and took her hands.
“Easy Foster, its ok, it was just a dream,” Keefe said in a calming voice. “Nothing is going to get to you with me and Elwin around, I promise.”
Sophie looked around quickly as if to make sure, looked at him and started crying. Keefe didn’t know why she was crying, but he sat down beside her. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.
Sophie didn’t know how long they sat like that, but she didn’t care. For once all her worries, a least for a little bit, floated away.
She heard someone clear their throat, she opened her eyes to see Grady and Edaline watching them. Edaline was smiling that ridiculous smile and Grady was glaring holes into Keefe’s head.
She pulled slowly away from Keefe, and once he was looking at her, she made a motion for him to look behind him. Keefe turned slowly around and when he saw Grady he jumped off the cot.
Elwin came and said jokingly, "finally, I though you guys had forgotten about her!"
"Sorry, Alden and Della wanted us to stay and watch Biana graduate and I took a while," Edaline replied.
"Well we better get going," Grady said eying Keefe.
"Can she stay for just a few more minutes?" Elwin asked. "I want to make sure that her short nap gave her enough energy for her to leap back."
"Of course, come on Grady, Sophie knows how to get home," Edaline said while giving Sophie and Keefe a dorky smile. Grady started to protest but Edaline had already pulled him into the light.
Elwin walked over to Sophie and flashed some light around her. "Well at least your cells are less exhausted, but you are going to need more rest when you get home. Here drink these." He handed her a bottle of youth and a vial of something that looked like swamp water.
She drank them, she knew that she didn't want to know what was in the swamp water vial. As she drank them her mind wandered to a detail that she'd just realized. "Keefe have you been here the whole time?"
Keefe had been standing and looking at his feet ever since he had jumped off the cot. He looked up at the question. "Yeah I stayed here. I was going to go back but then I decided it was more fun to watch the Mysterious Miss F sleep,' he said with a wink.
Sophie felt her face go red.
"He's kidding, he fell asleep," Elwin interjected with a laugh.
Sophie smiled as Keefe glared at Elwin for revealing his secrets. "So, Foster, do you want to go get some Prattles from the secret pantry?"
"Sure! I have Prattles in a while," she replies. She jumped out of bed but the motion made the room spin. She swayed and had to put a hand on the wall to keep herself from falling over. Keefe reached for her hand and sent a breeze through her mind.
"Thanks," she whispered as she took a deep breath.
"Anytime. Are sure that you're up for getting Prattles? I can bring you some if not," Keefe whispered back.
"I've got this," Sophie said with want she hoped was a look of determination. "Plus it's not like we can't stop if I need to."
"Alright, let's go," he replied.
They headed toward the doorway still hand in hand.
Sophie was sure that she would die from embarrassment, she had already had to stop twice and she was starting to think she would have to again. She vowed there and then that she would never again go a week without sleeping.
"Foster, I..." Keefe started, but he was cut off when they heard someone call their names.
Fitz, Biana, Tam, Dex, and Linh all walked up. Sophie felt a headache coming on and had to lean against the wall to steady herself.
"Are you sure you're ok?" Keefe whispered to her as everyone else was congratulating Dex and Biana on graduating.
"I'm sure," Sophie whispered back as everyone started congratulating her.
"I wasn't so sure you would make it to graduation considering that Bronte was set on having you expelled!" Fitz said with a teasing smile.
"I wasn't so sure myself," she replied with a quiet laugh, that wouldn't waste the little energy she had left.
Biana walked over to her and her a big hug, "you did great and you look amazing in that dress you borrowed," she whispered.
"Hey Biana, dad said that we have to go. Mom planned a big dinner for you and she's going to kill up if we're late," Fitz said as Sophie was released from the crushing hug. "Bye Sophie."
"Bye," Sophie said.
Tam and Linh left next. Linh and Sophie said their goodbyes as Tam Keefe exchanged insults with each other. Linh and Sophie shared a look as Linh pulled Tam into the light before it got out of hand.
Dex gave her a knowing glance as he left that said you're-not-ok-and-I-know-it. Sophie smiled to herself, he knew her too well.
He was upset and relieved that they had been interrupted. He still wasn't quite sure how he should tell her.
"So, what were you saying?" Sophie asked as they started to make their way towards the pantry.
"I'll tell you when we get to the pantry," he replied with a smirk that he was sure looked nervous. Luckily Sophie didn't notice.
They made their way quicker now. It seemed like the swamp water stuff was finally working. They arrived at the pantry and Keefe went and got them both Prattles while Sophie sat in one of the giant chairs that were meant for teachers.
Keefe made his way slowly back towards Sophie, he was dreading it more and more. What if she didn't feel the same, what if he lost one of his best friends, what if... he stopped the trail of thought that rolled through his mind.
He had to do this. He had to stop hiding the secret he'd had for seven years. He had to tell Sophie Fost...
His thoughts were cut off by a scream.
Keefe dropped the boxes of Prattles and rushed to where he’d left Sophie. She better be ok, or someone was going to pay.
When he got there Sophie was crumbled on the ground. He rushed to her side, “Sophie!” he cried. “Sophie! Are you ok? Can you hear me?”
He heard a sound behind him, and he whirled around to find Gethen standing across the room. “What did you do him?” Keefe shouted at him.
“Nothing she won’t survive,” Gethen said calmly. Too calmly.
“What do you want?” Keefe said scowling at him. “If you aren’t going to kill us you must have a reason to be here.”
“I simply want some information, inside information that no one knows,” Gethen said then smiled evilly, “Well no one expect someone in the Black Swan.”
“What information?” he asked coldly.
“Oh, maybe some information about where Alvar is,” Gethen said with a sneer.
“I don’t know,” Keefe said calmly now, knowing it was the only way to get out of there alive.
“Oh really?” Gethen said, he stared at Sophie and she stared to scream. “That’s right, I know how to get into your little friend’s mind.”
“How…” Keefe started. Then realized that only to people knew how to get into her mid. Mr. Forkle and, he gasped.
Sophie could hear voices shouting back and forth, she slowly opened her eyes. She tried to sit up, but her brain told her not to. Her head throbbed and a groan escaped her her lips.
Keefe whipped around to look at her, saw she was awake, and knelt down next to her. “You ok there Foster?” he whispered worry flooding his voice. He smoothed her hair out of her face. His touch soothing the pain.
She tried to say she was fine, but she couldn’t move without it hurting so she transmitted, “Not really, everything hurts. What’s happening?”
“Gethen wants information about Alvar,” Keefe said with a sigh that shook his whole body. “Here’s your home crystal, you have to get out of here, please. I can handle Gethen, but you’re hurt, you have to go to Havenfield.”
“I’m not leaving without you!” Sophie argued, “Come with me, I can’t move, let alone lift a crystal into the air and light leap.”
“Alright, let’s go, but we have to be fast,” Keefe whispered. “Come on.”
Keefe scooped her up in his arms and held up her home crystal, but as soon as he stepped into the light Sophie knew something wasn’t right. She couldn’t feel anything except pain. She tried to control it, but it grew stronger.
Keefe was terrified, Sophie was screaming again. Grady and Edaline had been feeding the T-Rex when they had gotten there. Sophie had been thrashing and screaming. Keefe had to set her down. The screaming hadn’t stopped until Elwin hadn’t gotten there and given her a sedative.
The sedative had worn off multiple times and it had just worn off again, so now she was screaming again. He was at a loss. Elwin wouldn’t let anyone in the room, he had to give Edaline a sedative too because she kept pacing and whenever Sophie started screaming she broke down.
Grady had been drilling Keefe with tons of questions trying to figure out what happened, but Keefe couldn’t think about anything other than Sophie and how his best friend was evil.
Over the next hour their friends arrived. Fitz and Biana arrived last. When Fitz walked over to him Keefe’s hands clenched into fists. He wanted to hurt him, like he’d hurt Sophie.
“Why’d you do it?” He whispered through clenched teeth.
“Do what?” Fitz asked, confusion in his voice.
“You know what you did!” Keefe shouted, shoving him against the wall. “You betrayed her! She never did anything to you, she trusted you!”
“Keefe, what are you talking about?” Fitz shouted back. Tam and Dex pulled Keefe away from him and Biana grabbed Fitz’s hand so he wouldn’t go after him.
“You’re seriously going to play that game? Gethen knows how to get into her mind!” There was a gasp from everyone in the group as Keefe spat these words. “There are only two people who know how to get into her mind, you and Mr. Forkle. I know Forkle wouldn’t do it, so that leaves you Fitz. You better have a very good explanation or else I’m telling Grady it was you.”
“Keefe,” Elwin called from Sophie’’s room. “Sophie is awake, and she wants to talk to you.”
All she felt was pain, but it finally lessened to a dull throbbing. She heard someone calling her name. Who was it?
“Sophie, you have to wake up,” the voice was getting clearer, it was a voice she’d heard a lot, who… “Sophie wake up, it’s Elwin.” Elwin, she knew that name. Her eyes slowly opened.
“Good, now just hold still for a minute,” he said as he flashed some lights around her.
That wasn’t going to be a problem. She could barely talk let alone move. Elwin helped her drink about fifty different elixirs. After all of them he sat her up, it didn’t hurt as much as she thought it would. He handed her a bottle of youth and she managed to drink most of it but some of it spilled on the dress she was still wearing.
“Can you try and tell me how you’re feeling?” Elwin asked. “It’ll help me know what other medicines to give you.”
She opened her mouth and tried to say that it was mainly her head but the only thing that came out was, “Keefe.”
“I’ll tell Keefe you want him,” he said smiling, “but that doesn’t tell me that hurts.”
“Head,” she said with a groan.
“Here drink these while I get Keefe,” he said handing her five different vials.
“Hey Foster,” Keefe said from the doorway as she finished the last elixir. He looked as tired as she felt.
“Hey Keefe,” she whispered as he walked over to her and sat next to her.
“How are you feeling?” He asked brushing a strand of hair out of her face.
“I’ve been better,” she replied with a shaky breath. “What even happened?”
“I don’t know,” Keefe said running a hand through his hair. “But Gethen knows how to get into your mind.”
“What!” Sophie exclaimed. She sucked in a sharp breath as a headache exploded.
“Here,” he said gently taking her hand and sending a soothing breeze through her mind. The headache dulled immediately.
“Thanks,” she said softly. “How does he know?”
Keefe only said one word, but it was enough to make her headache return at full blast, “Fitz.”
Sophie’s face contorted in pain as he said the name. He grabbed both her hands and sent a breeze in every color of the rainbow trying to clear the pain from her head. None of them worked so as he kept sending breezes he called for Elwin.
“Lay her back down,” Elwin commanded. Then seeing his concern, he added, “she just has to rest, it’s been a rough day for her.”
“Should you give her a sedative?” Keefe asked quietly, knowing that Sophie hated them almost made him wish he hadn’t suggested it, but she was in so much pain.
“We might have to. She’s exhausted and we don’t know what Gethen did to her,” Elwin said in the same quiet tone. “Maybe we should hail the Black Swan first.”
Keefe nodded, “I can do that.” He went downstairs to hail Terigan who would alert the rest of the collective.
“Sophie isn’t reacting to anything I try to do, and I tried everything.” Elwin said when the collective when they got there. “I had to sedate her; I think it’s mental not physical.”
“Let me check,” Mr. Forkle said reaching for Sophie’s temples.
“He’s been in there for a while, so I don’t think she’s broken,” Terigan whispered.
A sigh of relief filled the room and Keefe felt like he could breath again. Another few minutes passed before Mr. Forkle moved away from Sophie. “She’s not broken, to be honest I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s almost like she’s remanifesting some of her abilities.”
“Which means what?” Keefe turned around to look for who’d said it, it was Edaline. She’d apparently woken up from her sedative.
“It just means that she’s going to manifest her abilities again. It won’t hurt her,” Mr. Forkle reassured her.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief again. Keefe watched as Sophie took each breath. He was worried, she hadn’t been this sick since they had reset her inflicting ability.
“Keefe,” he tore his gaze away from her to look at Fitz.
“What?” he growled at his former best friend.
“I promise I didn’t do it,” Fitz said quietly. “I wouldn’t ever think of doing this to her.”
“I believe you, but someone had to have told him how to get into her mind,” Keefe whispered with a sigh.
“You should all go to sleep,” Elwin said. “It’s been a long day for all of you.”
Keefe reached for his home crystal, but it wasn’t there.
“Is something wrong?” Edaline asked Keefe when everyone else had leapt away.
“My home crystal is gone; I must have dropped it at Foxfire. Can I use your leap. . .?” Keefe started but Edaline stopped him.
“Keefe I don’t think it’s safe to go back to your house, if Gethen got your crystal. . . it could be dangerous,” she said softly. “You can stay in Jolie’s bedroom.”
Grady cleared his throat, but Edaline elbowed him before he could protest.
“Ok,” Keefe said, he was too tired to argue, and they must care if Edaline was offering him Jolie’s room.
She led him downstairs, to the second floor. Keefe collapsed onto the bed in the corner of the room and fell asleep.
Sophie didn’t know how long it was before she woke up, but when she did the sun was shining through her windows. People were scattered though her room, even Sandor had come from Gildingham, where he’d been ever since he and Grizel had been married.
She smiled and sat up. Keefe caught sight of her and gave a smile that ever Fitz couldn’t top. Just the name of her friend. . . now that she remembered what had happened she didn’t know if he really was her friend at all. For all she knew he could be her enemy.
Edaline looked over at Sophie’s bed and saw she was awake. She got up and walked over, drawing her friend’s eyes towards her. When they saw she was awake they rushed to her bed. She smiled when she saw Fitz among them. Sophie didn’t like Fitz anymore, but she didn’t want her first friend to be her enemy.
She moved her eyes among all her friends, making sure that each and every one of them were there. They all were. However, her eyes kept going to Keefe’s.
Almost everyone had something to say to her, but she couldn’t concentrate on them. The only one she could concentrate on was the blond boy next to her. Finally, everyone had left, and the only people left were Edaline, Grady, Keefe, and herself.
“I’m going to go get you guys something to eat,” Edaline said with a wink and pulled Grady out as he protested.
“Are you going to tell me why you’re staring at me, or am I going to have to guess,” Keefe asked with a smirk. “If I have to guess I’d say it’s because while you were asleep you missed my stunning good looks.”
She blushed and whispered to quietly she thought he couldn’t hear her, “I would be lying if I said I didn’t.”
Keefe couldn’t believe what he’d just heard. The beautiful girl he’d liked for years just said that she’d missed his good looks. His breath caught as she smiled shyly.
“You’re joking aren’t you,” Keefe said with a sad laugh.
Sophie shook her head, met his eyes, and whispered, “I wouldn’t joke about soothing like that.”
He was sure that his face said all he wanted to say, but he had to make sure. “Foster, I have to tell you something.”
Her eyes locked with his as she whispered, “I’m listening.”
“I’ve liked you since the moment I found out that you exploded Lady Galvin’s cape,” he whispered then held his breathe and waited to see what she would say.
Sophie could barely breath. Did Keefe Sencen, who’d been her friend since day one, just say that he liked her?!
She searched his ice blue eyes for some kind of hint that this was one of his jokes. There wasn’t.
“I like you too Keefe,” she whispered back as she blushed furiously.
Keefe gave her the best smile she’d ever seen. He helped her slowly out of bed and stepped so they where so close she was sure that they couldn’t stand any closer.
“Let’s just hope Grady doesn’t come in,” Keefe whispered as he wrapped his arms around her waist.
Sophie looked up into his eyes as he leaned toward her, she closed her eyes, and felt his lips on hers. She put a hand in her hair as he pulled her closer.
Everything clicked; Everything was right.
Keefe pulled away slowly and Sophie opened her eyes, “That was the best kiss I’ve ever had.”
“Mine too,” he whispered back as he lowered them onto the bed. He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer.
There was a knock on the door and Grady walked in carrying a tray of food. Edaline followed right behind him and Sophie a smile when she saw Keefe’s arm around her.
“I think they’re fine Grady,” Edaline said as he started to sit at Sophie’s desk. “Aren’t you?”
“Yeah, we’re good,” Sophie said she walked over to Edaline and gave her a hug, “Thanks for lunch, mom.”
“You’re welcome, let me know if you need anything,” she replied as she walked over to Grady and tugged him after her.
Sophie turned back to Keefe and smiled. Slowly she made her way back to him but halfway there she stopped and turned around again. “Biana, I know you’re in here. The floorboard you just stepped on creaked.”
She heard a laugh came from the corner that she was talking toward and Biana appeared.
“Biana!” she said, “how long have you been here?”
“Long enough to know that you’re definitely not getting back together with my brother,” Biana laughed as Sophie blushed.
“No one else is in here right,” Sophie asked looking around the room suspiciously.
“I don’t think so. . .” she said looking around to check. “Wait, I think that’s Tam!” She pointed to the corner across the room that looked slightly darker than the others.
Sophie heard Keefe groan as not only Tam but also Linh and Fitz appeared. She felt like groaning too, but instead she walked back Keefe, grabbed his hand, and pulled him up beside her.
“So, I take it that Keefe finally told you,” Fitz said.
Sophie looked at him, “You aren’t upset?” she asked, even though she wouldn’t care even if he was.
“Nope, Keefe is better for you,” he replied. Then added with a sigh, “I’ve hurt you too many times.”
“You can say that again,” Keefe muttered under his breath and Sophie smiled.
“So, no one has any objections? Because it would be crazy if no one did,” Sophie said with a laugh.
“Nope,” they all said in unison.
“I do,” she turned toward the door and just like she’d expected, there was Grady.
Keefe had twined his fingers though Sophie’s and now he tightened his grip. Grady had always been a major concern about confessing to Sophie. Now, here he was. He was about face it.
“Yes, Dad?” she asked with a confidence that made Keefe admire her even more.
“When were you actually going to tell us about this,” Grady asked, his face was unreadable.
“We were just about to come and tell you,” Sophie replied as she squeezed Keefe’s hand, he took the hint.
“Yeah, it’s not like we could’ve hidden it anyway,” he added with his best innocent smile.
“Uh huh. . ." Grady said, he didn’t seem convinced. Then we walked over to Keefe and patted his shoulder. “As long as you promise to protect her with your life, we’re good.”
Keefe didn’t even hesitate, “I already promised myself that I would a long time ago.” He smiled at Sophie and she leaned onto him, neither of them caring that everyone was watching them.
Sophie looked tired, then he realized that she was still recovering from her last brush with death.
“You should lie down,” he whispered. “Just because I helped you out of bed for a couple of minutes doesn’t mean you’re healed.”
“I’m fine,” she whispered. “It’s not like I had to take a whole ounce of limbium.”
That reminder made him realize that she still didn’t know what happened to her. He was about to explain but at that moment Edaline and Grady walked in, followed by Elwin, Mr. Forkle, and Dex, who looked rather upset when he realized he missed something.
Elwin immediately scolded Sophie for being out of bed. She tried to protest, but a yawn interrupted her response. Sophie sighed as she realized she was outnumbered. Even Keefe wouldn’t meet her eyes. She walked to her canopy bed, sat down, and pulled the covers up to her chest.
“There, happy?” she said. She was tired of everyone babying her just because she’d been attacked. Every one of her friends had been attacked at one time or another. Why did she have to be the only one who was treated like a delicate flower who couldn’t do anything.
Keefe had followed her and now he took her hand. She wished everyone would go away and let them have at least a few minutes together. They hadn’t even had their kiss by themselves.
“Promise you’ll actually leave this time?” Sophie asked as Biana gave her a hug.
“Fiiiine, I guess I’ll actually leave this time,” Biana laughed.
Dex was the last of her friends to leave. He hugged her and whispered, “If you ever need someone to talk to you’ve always got your best friend.” Sophie smiled at him as he leapt away.
Elwin left next, but not before giving Sophie a check up and many, many instructions that Sophie only half hear. Grady left after a lot of persuasion. Despite the fact that he’d approved Keefe, he still didn’t quite think leaving them alone was a good idea.
“Finally,” Sophie whispered. “I thought Grady was going to camp on the ground tonight.”
“Me too,” he laughed as he sat beside her on the bed. Their fingers twined together as Sophie leaned her head on his shoulder.
Keefe looked at the beautiful girl, whose head was on his shoulder. He smiled to himself, a couple of years ago he never thought he had a chance with Sophie Foster but here he was.
It was like a dream; he was sure that he was going to wake up at any moment and Sophie would still be oblivious to the fact that he liked her. It didn’t happen. Slowly they both drifted to sleep.
It was dawn when he opened his eyes. His first thought was: she’s so cute when she’s sleeping. His second was: I spent the whole night with my girlfriend and her father is going to kill us.
He tried to slowly move away from Sophie without waking her up. It failed. Sophie’s face told him that she had realized the same thing he had. Grady was going to kill them.
“Morning Foster,” Keefe whispered to her.
“Morning,” she replied with a yawn. “So, who do you think Grady will kill first; you or me?”
“I think me,” Keefe said jokingly.
She smiled, “probably.” She stood and must have realized she was still in her dress because she rushed to her closet to change.
Keefe didn’t blame her; he was still wearing the same clothes too. He hadn’t been able to get any clothes to change into. He looked over at the desk and saw a pile of clothes and a note that said: “For Keefe. From Fitz.”
Keefe smiled, it felt good to change into the clothes that Fitz had brought him.
He turned around when he heard the closet door open and saw Sophie. She’d changed into a red tunic and a pair of leggings that Flori had altered to hide weapons. She looked. . . perfect.
“Want to see what Edaline made us for breakfast,” Sophie asked.
“Foster, you know if food is involved then I’m in,” he said with a smirk.
He offered his arm, and she took it. Keefe was ready to start another day with his Sophie Foster.
Sophie was nervous as they walked down the stairs to the kitchen. She hoped that Grady didn’t find out that her and Keefe had spent the whole night together. It would be seriously awkward. Especially since Grady had barely approved Keefe in the first place.
Keefe reached for her hand as she reached for eyelashes, “it’ll be ok Foster. It’s not like you’re facing the council.”
She sighed; he was right. It wasn’t like Grady would have Keefe exiled. If he did find out he would probably just ban him from the room, which Sophie could handle.
“Good morning!” Edaline said as she saw them coming down the stairs. She handed each of them a plate of food. Each had a small piece of mallowmelt along with some assorted foods that must have been an experiment food that the gnomes had been working on.
They went to the dining room where they sat across from each other. Sophie realized that she hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before. They finished and sat in peaceful silence. Thinking about how much had changed in the last day.
“No one had really explained what happened after we light leaped. All I remember is that as we leapt I could only feel pain,” Sophie noted breaking the silence.
Keefe reached for her hand across the table. She took it and he explained how Mr. Forkle thought she had thought she had remanifested. Sophie’s forehead wrinkled as she tried to understand what it meant.
“So basically, it’s like I got my ability all over again?” she was still rather confused by the whole thing, but if Mr. Forkle and Elwin thought she would be fine, she knew she would be.
Her head was still trying to understand what she was hearing when someone cleared their throat. Sophie turned, thinking she would find Grady, but instead she saw the Collective.
“I’m assuming that Mr. Sencen has already explained our theories to you?” Mr. Forkle said. When Sophie nodded he continued. “We’re pretty sure we know what Gethen did.”
She stood quickly, “are you going to explain, or am I going to have to wait just like all the other times?” She questioned.
“We’re going to tell you,” Mr. Forkle said with an exasperated sigh.
Edaline came in at that moment and saw they had guests. She snapped her fingers and a tray full of custard bursts appeared in her hands.
She lead them to the living room. Sophie turned back to make sure that Keefe was coming. He was right behind her and when she stopped he ran into her. She almost toppled over but Keefe shot out a hand and caught her.
Sophie looked up at his eyes and they smiled. Keefe took her hand and together they went into the living room. Everyone was sitting down and helping themselves to a custard burst.
She and Keefe sank into one of the couches. He released her hand and put his arm around her waist; she leaned into him and soaked up his steady strength. She had a feeling that she might need it.
“So . . .” Sophie said when the silence became unbearable.
Mr. Forkle swallowed the custard burst he was eating, “I’m assuming that you remember when I triggered your enhancing ability?”
Sophie nodded. “He either retriggered your telepathy or he triggered a new ability,” he said.
Sophie felt herself starting to sway as Keefe took her hand. A pale pink breeze rushed through her mind reminding her to breath. “I have other abilities that can be triggered?” she finally managed to ask.
“Yes,” Mr. Forkle sighed.
“How do we know if he triggered a new ability or retriggered my telepathy?” she asked. “If he retriggered my telepathy will it be stronger or weaker?”
Keefe spoke up, “why would they want Sophie to have more abilities?”
“You have to try to do things that you could do before, like read someone’s mind, transmit long distances, transmit to Silvenly, track thoughts to the exact spot, or heal a mind. We’ve never encountered anything like this before, for all we know it could be so weak you can’t even enter anyone’s mind,” Mr. Forkle said. “To answer your question Mr. Sencen, we don’t exactly know.”
“Sophie try to read my mind,” Granite said, speaking for the first time since he’d gotten there.
Sophie stood and walked over to him, since she didn’t even know if it would work she reached for his stony temples. She opened her mind to his and almost immediately she saw memories of herself playing throughout his mind.
Sophie let out a sigh of relief as she stepped away. “It worked; I’m going to try reaching out to Silvenly.”
She second she called out to the alicorn Silvenly’s voice filled her head, “FRIEND! VISIT! FRIEND! VISIT!”
“I promise I’ll visit soon,” Sophie transmitted. She felt herself smiling.
“KEEFE! KEEFE! KEEFE!” Sophie blushed at the sound of her boyfriend’s name.
“Keefe will come too,” she promised. “I have to go now, take care of Luna and Wynn. We’ll visit soon!”
Sophie had been smiling ever since she had said she was going to transmit to Silveny.
Keefe knew that her telepathy was fine, but he was still wondering what her new ability was, if Gethen had really triggered another ability.
He turned to Mr. Forkle, “What other abilities could she manifest?”
“That is something I am unwilling to share,” he answered.
Keefe sighed. He should have known that the Black Swan’s openness would only last so long.
Sophie must have finished her conversation with Silveny because she told Mr. Forkle, “Silveny was just as easy to reach. Does that mean I manifested a new ability?” She looked nervous as she said the last part.
“Maybe,” Mr. Forkle replied looking thoughtful. “I’m going to go check some things. You should get some rest.” He lept away followed by the rest of the collective.
Sophie was annoyed, why would Mr. Forkle not tell her what her power was. Unless it was a bad power. She started to pace.
Keefe stood up and when she came back around he grabbed her hands and pulled her slowly toward him. “It’s ok Foster, Forkle has yet to fail us.”
Sophie sighed and sank into the couch pulling Keefe down next to her. “I know,” she whispered. “But he normally tells me stuff like this, so I can’t help but wonder if it’s a bad ability.”
“Well even if it is, we can deal with it,” Keefe whispered taking her hand, “together.”
“Together,” Sophie repeated softly. She scooted closer to him, leaned her head on his shoulder, and fell asleep.
Keefe didn’t know how long she slept but he was glad Grady hadn’t walked in. Edaline had already come it and that was awkward enough. She had taken one look at them and left, closing the door quietly behind her.
Keefe looked down at Sophie and brushed a hair out of her face. She looked so peaceful when she slept. He shifted slightly so that he could put an arm around her.
He glanced around the room and saw the painting he had done of her with a smiling Grady and Edaline. He’d forgotten about that painting.
He continued looking around the room but then he saw Grady. Not painting Grady, the real Grady, who was definitely not smiling.
Keefe didn’t want to wake Sophie, he could tell she was tired, but the look on Grady’s face made him want to stand up. He gently shook her awake and when she opened her eyes he whispered, “Foster I think we’re in trouble.”
Sophie looked over at Grady and jumped up. Keefe stood up next to her.
Grady moved into the room with Mr. Forkle following behind. Now that Keefe looked closer at Grady he realized that he didn’t look mad, he looked... nervous.
Sophie reached for Keefe’s hand. Grady looked scared, or was he nervous? She couldn’t tell because at that moment she was scared. Edaline came in a few seconds after them.
“Keefe I think it’s best if it’s just family when I explain this,” Mr. Forkle said.
Keefe looked reluctantly at Sophie and she squeezed his hand, “I’ll be fine. I promise.”
He slowly turned and left the room. Sophie turned back to Mr. Forkle. “What is it?” Sophie asked taking a deep, shaky breath.
“We know what your ability is,” Forkle said looking her in the eye. “You’re a Mesmer.”
Sophie’s world seemed to collapse around her as she felt herself sinking down. Everything was a blur, and nothing made sense. She tried reaching for Keefe’s hand. It wasn’t there.
She needed to breath, she needed to think. She felt people hugging her from both sides. She opened her eyes and saw Grady and Edaline. She knew that no matter what she had them to help her.
Keefe paced back and forth in front of the door. He could feel her fear from inside the room and he was concerned. What if it wasn’t about her ability?
Keefe tried to be patient, but it was taking a lot longer then he’d thought it would. Why had Grady looked to scared? He knew that Sophie had been scared too, he had felt it.
Keefe felt his imparter buzz, he answered, and Fitz’s face popped up onto the screen.
“So, how’s it going?” Fitz asked.
“Great, but right now Forkle, Edaline, Grady, and Sophie are talking, and apparently I’m not allowed in.” Keefe replied, the last part bugged him.
“Huh... weird,” Fitz said. “Any idea what they’re talking about?”
“At first I thought they were going to talk about her new ability, but a little bit ago I heard Sophie crying and now I’m not sure,” Keefe said with a sigh.
“I’m sure she’ll be fine,” Fitz reassured him. “Oh yeah! So, I was searching my memories with my dad and we came across a blank spot, it was from about a week before the graduation. I wonder if I was mesmerized into telling him the way into her mind, and then Gethen erased the memory?”
“I thought Grady was the only Mesmer?” Keefe asked.
“Well Brant was an unregistered Pyrokinetic so they could have a unregistered Mesmer.” Fitz answered with a shrug.
“I guess that makes sense,” Keefe said.
The door to the living room opened.
“Got to go!” Keefe said quickly to Fitz.
“Alright. Tell Sophie I said Hi,” Fitz answered, and his face disappeared.
Keefe stuffed his imparter into his pocket. Mr. Forkle, Grady, and Edaline all walked out. Edaline gave him a small nod and he went through the door they had just come out of. The door shut behind him.
She had her face buried in her knees when she hear the door close. She slowly looked up and saw Keefe standing in front of her.
She flung herself at him. She cried into his shoulder, hoping he didn’t mind. The short lesson Grady had given her had been draining.
She felt Keefe wrap one arm around her, and with his other hand he stroked her hair. He lowered them slowly onto the couch. They sat there holding each other. She knew she had to explain why she was crying, but she was so tired.
“It’s alright,” he whispered, “It’s going to be ok. We can do this together.”
Those words gave her enough energy to stop crying. Once she was sure she wouldn’t cry anymore she sat back so she could tell him everything Mr. Forkle had told her.
She took a deep breath to calm herself, “I know what my new ability is. I’m a Mesmer.”
Keefe took her hands. “It could always be worse, but I understand why you’re scared. Especially after what you saw Grady do to Brant.” He whispered.
“I think what scares me the most is that I already have one ability that I can use to harm people, but I could kill people if I lose myself in anger. Then I would have to live with that guilt.” She whispered back, her hands trembling in his.
He reached for her face and lifted her chin, so her eyes met his. “I’m going to get you through this. I promise.”
Keefe wasn’t surprised that Sophie didn’t want to eat dinner, he didn’t feel like it himself, but he forced himself to eat something anyway. He needed to be strong, for Sophie.
Sophie barely made it to her bed before she collapsed into it. Keefe could tell she was exhausted, so he pulled her covers up to her chin and went downstairs to the second floor where Jolie’s room was.
Grady was waiting for him. Keefe didn’t really want to talk, but if he was going to get Grady to not hate him he could at least cooperate.
“How’s Sophie?” Grady asked.
“Tired, but she’s not as bad as earlier.” Keefe replied with a yawn.
“You should get some sleep too,” Grady said.
“You actually care?” Keefe had to ask, wondering if he had heard wrong.
“Well, I know there’s no getting rid of you,” Grady said with a smile.
Grady turned and went into his and Edaline’s room. Leaving Keefe in the hallway. He walked into Jolie’s room and saw all of his things in the room.
Sophie woke up to a nightmare. She hoped she hadn’t screamed, Keefe needed sleep just as much as she did.
She waited a few minutes to see if anyone would come. No one did. She tried to go back to sleep but she kept thinking about her nightmare. She got out her teal memory log and projected her nightmare onto one of the pages.
She sat staring at the image of her controlling Keefe and making him walk off the cliff. She felt tears come to her eyes.
“Couldn’t sleep either Foster?” Someone whispered.
Sophie closed her memory log and turned to look at Keefe who was standing in her doorway.
“I was but I had a nightmare,” Sophie said, hoping he wouldn’t ask what it was about. Her hoping didn’t help.
“About what?” He asked, walking over.
“I- I don’t really want to talk about it.” Sophie whispered, and Keefe took her hand.
“Alright, well maybe you could show me what you where projecting in your memory log?” Keefe whispered.
He looked so desperate to help, that she slowly opened her memory log to the page with that had the nightmare on it.
Keefe looked at the picture and looked back at Sophie. He squeezed the hand he was holding and wiped a tear the had started rolling down her cheek without her knowing. He pulled her towards him, “you aren’t the the bad guy Sophie. It was just a dream.”
“I know but my abilities still scare me,” she whispered back wrapping her arms around him.
“They shouldn’t, you’ve done so many great things with the abilities you had before. So, I’m sure you’re about to do even greater things with your new one.”
Keefe lay awake for a long time. He thought about the picture he had seen in Sophie’s memory log. It didn’t scare him, but he worried that Sophie’s nightmare would scare her into being too afraid to use her ability.
That hadn’t gone well for the pyrokinetics when their ability had been made illegal. Maybe being a Mesmer and not using the ability wasn’t as bad as that but Keefe knew you couldn’t just pretend the powers didn’t exist.
As Keefe rolled over he saw light start to shine though under the blinds of the window. He shut his eyes anyway. Suddenly he felt exhausted.
He must have slept for a while because the next thing he knew Sophie was gently shaking him and saying, “Come on Keefe wake up, I brought you some lunch.” He felt something lightly brush against his cheek.
He opened his eyes and looked at Sophie, who was standing above him smiling. He sat up and smiled back at her. She set the tray in his lap and sat beside him.
“I thought it would be best to let you sleep,” she said. “You stayed up with me for like the whole night.”
“I did?” Keefe asked trying to remember.
“Yep,” Sophie answered. “It will be a miracle if Grady doesn’t really kill you.”
“Why would I kill him?” Grady asked from the doorway.
“Uh...” was all Sophie could say. What was she supposed to do? She looked at Keefe for help, but he was busy stuffing his mouth with Mallowmelt. She sighed.
“Well?” Grady asked when she still didn’t answer.
Sophie knew that there was no way to get out of this one. “He stayed up with me when I had a nightmare, in my room, for a few hours.” She finally said.
Grady just smiled. Now Sophie was concerned. Had something happened that she didn’t know about? Why was he so calm about this?
“Dad? Should I be concerned about how well you’re taking this?” Sophie asked.
“He was just calming you down so why would that upset me?” Grady asked.
Sophie was so confused at this point but at least he wasn’t threatening Keefe. Grady turned and left the room.
After Grady had left, Sophie had sat messaging her temples. Keefe set aside his tray and moved next to her.
“Is it a headache,” he asked.
Sophie nodded. “I should have expected this. Every time I’ve manifested I’ve gotten a headache but this one is the worst.”
Keefe reached for her hand and sent a breeze through her mind. “Thanks,” she whispered.
Keefe wrapped an arm around her waist and kissed her forehead gently. Sophie leaned into him.
Biana appeared in the doorway, “Are you guys going to come out and join the rest of your friends? Or should I tell them that you guys are ignoring us now?” She said with a laugh as they jumped.
“You two go ahead, I have to get out of my pajamas or Fitzy is going to tease me for a thousand years,” Keefe told them as they left. Keefe smiled to himself and got ready to start the day.