Hi! This is Dawnfire's (me) first fanfic, and I hope you like it! But please do not edit it, and ignore any spelling mistakes I may have made. Note: This story takes place in a parallel universe where Sofitz never existed and Grady actually likes Keefe. Kinda.

Disclaimer: ALL characters belong to Shannon Messenger

A NOTE TO ALL COMMENTERS: Thank you for supporting me and giving me the courage to write another fanfic (A Warrior's Blade, I hope you'll like it). For some reason, my computer will not allow me to comment or reply to anyone, so just know that I'm grateful you took a little time out of your day to read my fanfics. Sometimes I won't write for a while, but only because I'm busy with school and whatnot (or simply because my parents keep on telling me to get off the computer), but I usually edit my fanfics every two days or so, mostly because I take a break on the weekends. Sometimes I will write a little bonus at the end of a good day, so keep an eye out for a little caption titled "EXTRA". And if any of you have any suggestions, I'll be happy to take them into account. So sit back and enjoy! And most importantly, thank you to Shannon Messenger, and all the authors I love, for making me believe anyone, no matter how young or old, can make a story come to life. Thank you!!

Chapter One

"Oh, Foster!" Keefe sang, knocking on Sophie's bedroom door at Havenfield. "You know, the Blood Moon Ball isn't going to be here forever if you don't hurry up!"

The Blood Moon Ball was a celebration to honor the new blood moon. When night falls and the moon takes on a deep, hazy crimson coloring, the light reflects onto the huge crystal in the middle of Eternila. Elves then light leap to Mysertium to party until midnight. And, to Sophie's extreme embarrassment, it's required to have a date to escort you there. Of course, Keefe offered. And of course, she said yes.

"I AM hurrying!" Sophie called through her door, nervously looking at the flaming red, ankle-length dress that Edaline, her adoptive mother, had bought. She wasn't even close to being ready.

Keefe grumbled something about girls always taking their time. "Well, when you're actually done, I'll be outside playing with Verdi. Don't worry, I won't let her get any dinosaur drool on me. I'd hate for you to dance with a slobbery Lord Hunkyhair."

Sophie blushed as she listened to his receding footsteps pad away from her room. If she was being honest, she'd liked Keefe ever since she'd met him. And now, at the Ball, she would tell him how much.

Which she was totally freaking out about, by the way.

Sophie grabbed the dress and pulled it on. She messed with the long sleeves before putting on a scarlet cloak, and pinning it with her Ruewen crest. She slipped on velvet red ballet flats and styled her hair into a twisted crown. She secured a star-shaped hair pin in her long blond hair that flowed freely down her back, and applied some red makeup.

When Sophie was done, she stepped in front of her spectral mirror to gaze at herself. She was more dressed up than she had been in years. And she actually looked kind of pretty.

Vertina looked at her in shock. "Wow", she said, raising her eyebrow. "You look...nice. What's the occasion?"

Sophie reddened and played with her cloak as she shyly said, "For the Blood Moon Ball. I want to look my best."

Vertina giggled. "You're going with that Sencen boy, aren't you?" she asked, and laughed even harder when Sophie flushed bright red. "I knew it. Well, have fun...Sophie."

It was Sophie's turn to look surprised. Vertina had never called her by her name. The spectral mirror that had onced belong to Jolie, Grady and Edaline's deceased daughter, had preferred to call her "the freaky human girl with the freaky human eyes". It was a day for surprises.

"Thank you, Vertina", Sophie said, grinning.

Vertina shrugged. "You're welcome."

Sophie clutched her registry pendant and walked down the stairs, where her adoptive parents were waiting by the door.

Edaline wiped her teary eyes as she beamed at her adoptive daughter. "You look gorgeous, Sophie", she said. Grady nodded. "You're growing up faster than I thought", he added.

"Thanks", Sophie said bashfully. "I hope Keefe likes it, too."

Edaline gripped her shoulders. "I know he will." Grady just rolled his eyes and muttered something about "That Boy".

After promising her parents that she would be home after the Ball, Sophie timidly ambled over to where Keefe was petting Verdi's nose. She snuck up on him and tapped his shoulder, laughing when he jumped and whirled around.

Keefe's jaw dropped. "You look beautiful, Foster", he said in a strangled voice as he stared at her. Sophie blushed again. "You don't look so bad yourself", she teased, waving a hand at Keefe's clothes.

He was wearing a blood-red tunic and slightly darker pants. He also was wearing red knee-length boots, and as usual, his hair was a mess.

Keefe shrugged, color streaking his cheeks. Sophie thought he looked adorable when he said, "Sorry about the hair. I didn't think to put any gel on it."

Sophie laughed. "That's fine. I like it better this way", she said, reaching up and rubbing his head playfully. Keefe bypassed red and turned maroon.

"So, ready to go?" Sophie asked, pulling out her pathfinder, spinning a clear crystal into place, and holding it out into the light.

"Ready", Keefe answered, wrapping an arm around Sophie waist and pulling her close. Sophie blushed as they stepped into the light and glittered away.

Chapter Two

When they reached Eternilia's front gates, they joined Fitz with Linh, Biana with Dex, and Tam with Marella. Linh was wearing a dark blue outfit, Biana in a pale pink one, and Marella in violent purple clothes. The boys were, of course, matching their dates. It was tradition, after all. It also made it a lot easier to spot them in the crowd, thanks to the Song twins' hair.

The group was arguing about whether or not they should get snacks before dancing. Sophie and Keefe looked at each other at the same time, with identical are you kidding me? expressions on their faces, and burst into giggles as they walked towards their friends.

"Sophie! Keefe!" Linh smiled, waving at them in that shy way of her's. The others offered their hellos as Sophie and Keefe greeted them all.

"Finally, someone to settle the tie", Marella whined. "We at half and half here deciding if we should eat before we hit the dance floor at Mysterium, which I personally think is a terrible idea, because I know someone's going to barf. All. Over. The. Place."

Sophie for one felt especially queasy thinking about it, but Keefe shook his head. "Why shouldn't we eat? I'm with the others", he said.

Fitz grinned at him. "Best friends always got your back, huh?"

Keefe grinned back. "You got it, bro."

All the girls gagged. "No", Biana said firmly, tossing her chocolate brown hair over her shoulder, and nearly nailed a passing elf in the face. "I'm not risking it", she said, completely ignoring the elf's protests.

"I agree", Sophie said. The boys made frowny faces at her, but she snapped, "Those eyes don't work on me, so quit it."

Tam sighed and shook his head. "Girls are impossible."

"Well, boys are relentless", Marella shot back. Linh smothered her laugh by burying her face in Fitz's cloak.

Dex, ignoring Tam's spluttering, said, "We just need one more vote for the tie. Anyone brought an extra friend?"

Sophie looked around when she felt a little creature fly out of her cloak pocked and onto her shoulder. "Iggy!" she exclaimed.

"He must've snuck into my pocket when I was putting my cloak on", Sophie said, rubbing the imp on his furry little head. Iggy purred like a chainsaw, and Sophie gagged from the Iggy breath.

"He can make the final vote", Keefe said in delight. "Come on, Iggy. Do you want to eat or dance?"

Everyone held their breaths as the tiny imp considered Keefe's question. He flew over to sit on Keefe's shoulder, tummy rumbling.

The girls groaned as the boys cheered. "Guess that means we're heading over to Solar Lane", Tam said, grabbing Marella's arm and dragging her down the street.

"Uh, what is that?" Sophie asked, as all the boys did the same.

"Only one of the best restaurants in all of the Lost Cities!" Keefe said with a hint of obviousness, proceeding to tow her into a bright and merry shop.

After a delicious supper, the group headed over to Eternalia's village square.

The Blood Moon Ball was at a large domed building, with sparkling decorations and glittering air. The group of friends stood at the entrance, under the shimmering, golden arch. There was a blond-haired elf standing at a desk, and exchanging tickets for lusters.

Sophie panicked. "I didn't know you had to pay!" she whisper-shrieked. "I am so, so sorry, Keefe. I don't have any money on me!"

Keefe reached into his cloak pocket and pulled out a small bag of lusters. "Don't sorry, Foster. I've got you covered", he smirked, handing the elf a significant amount of money as their friends quickly handed over theirs as well.

Sophie let out a sigh of relief and gladly took the ticket Keefe offered her. "Thank you", she said. "How much do I have to owe you?"

Keefe looked at her stangley. "You don't have to owe me anything. I'm just glad you could come with me."

Sophie mentally smacked herself on the forehead. Of course he didn't expect her to owe him anything; here in the Lost Cities, everyone has a ridiculously large amount of money. Why would she pay him back if he already had enough to spend in fourteen lifetimes?

Keefe took Sophie's hand, and led her to the snack table. "I can almost hear you worrying", he said in a low voice, as their friends headed onto the dance floor. "What's up?"

Sophie tried her best attempt at a fake smile. "Everything's fine", she lied. In truth, she was actually going hysterical over the fact that she planned to tell Keefe that she liked him.

Right here.

At the Ball.

With hundreds of elves watching them.

Why was love so hard?

Keefe shrugged, and grabbed Sophie's hand, leading her to the middle of the dance floor. "Well, in that case", Keefe smiled. "Let's have some fun."

Sophie laughed as he twirled her around, and for once, everything seemed perfect. She danced with her (very handsome and funny) date, not having a single care in the world, and just simply wished that this moment would last for eternity.

When slow music came on, everyone paired up with their escorts to waltz. Sophie was 99.9% sure that her face was on fire when Keefe wrapped an arm around her waist, and used the other one to hold her hand in his. Fingers trembling slightly, she slid her hand into his, and wrapped her free one around Keefe's neck.

They began to sway in time with the music, staring into each other's eyes as if there was no one else in the room. Sophie lost herself in Keefe's gentle gaze, and found herself mentally screaming, DO IT NOW! TELL HIM YOU LOVE HIM, BEFORE SOME RANDOM GIRL TRIES AND GETS HER LICKS IN.

"Keefe", Sophie said, fumbling for her words. "I--I have to tell you something."

Keefe smiled slightly. "Yes?"

Sophie licked her dry lips, trying to muster up the courage. Why, oh why, was it so difficult to say three simple words?

"Um", she choked, suddenly very aware of the way everyone was looking at them; they were in the middle of the room, after all. "Er--I--why don't we go outside or something?"

Yup. She was definitely not going to tell him with people staring at her. Uh-uh. No way.

Chapter Three

Keefe looked mildly surprised as he nodded. Sophie followed him out the back door, shooting Marella and Biana a I'm-so-going-to-kill-you-later glare as they wiggled their eyebrows and smiled at her.

Outside, the pair sat on a sandy beach, looking at the star-filled night sky. They had pulled off their cloaks and were now sitting side-by-side on them.

Keefe brushed sand off his boots as he gave Sophie a side-eye glance. "So", he said. "What was so important that you apparently needed to drag me outside for?"

Sophie shivered in the slight breeze, and Keefe wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer so that he could share his warmth with her. Sophie blushed pretty pink, and leaned against him, resting her head on his shoulder.

"Keefe", she said quietly. "You know how much you mean to me, right?"

He looked at her. "Yeah...?"

"And you're always there for me", Sophie continued, her heart beating faster and faster. "Even when no one else was."

She turned to him, her brown eyes sparkling. "You are everything to me, Keefe. I can confide to you more than anyone else. Even though I keep rejecting you, you're still there with a shoulder to cry on."

Keefe looked confused, but understanding slowly dawned on him. He looked at her, his lips slightly apart.

"Now that I've actually dated Fitz for a while", Sophie said, her eyes flickering down to stare at her hands in embarrassment. "I found out that everyone isn't what they seem. Someone who looks and acts like a prince can be a complete jerk sometimes. Now I know. It's not Fitz I fell in love with when I first came to the Lost Cities."

Sophie placed her hands on top of Keefe's. The look in his eyes wasn't possible to describe in words. But Sophie tried anyways.

Shock, then something tender, and sweet. Wait. She knew what it was.

It was love.

"Sophie", Keefe whispered. "I--you have no idea how long I've been waiting for you to say those words to me."

He caressed her cheek, his eyes softening. "The truth is, I've liked you since the moment I saw you", he said. "When I saw you go through everything you did, I saw how strong you were. You held on, not for yourself, but for the people you love."

Sophie smiled. "The only reason I held on", she said. "Was because I knew how it would shatter my friends if I let go. Especially you."

She leaned closer, her eyelids half-closed. "You were the one who told me I was perfect. I never heard anyone else say that."

Keefe smirked. "What about the words 'I love you'?"

For a second, Sophie's heart threw itself against her ribcage, making her suck in a sharp breath. Keefe looked alarmed, and started to mumble "I'm sorry, I'm sorry", but stopped when Sophie grabbed his hand and forced him to look at her.

"Keefe Sencen", she said earnestly. "You are not ditching me. After all these years, after all the broken hearts, I finally found the person I love. And I'm never letting you go."

Keefe looked at her with eyes full of lust. "And I'm not going anywhere", he promised softly.

He leaned even closer, until they're noses barely touched. Feeling the need to break the silence, Sophie blurted out, "Did you know, in Greek mythology, humans used to have four arms, four legs, and two faces? So, fearing their wrath, Zeus split them into half, condemning them to a life searching for their...other...halves..."

Keefe smiled. "That's my beautiful, clumsy, out-of-this-world Foster", he whispered. He closed the space between them, meeting her lips in a soft, sweet kiss.

Sophie was surprised at first, but then kissed him back, never wanting to let go.

How long they sat there, kissing the other under the night sky, Sophie didn't know. But when they finally broke apart, they grinned at each other, then wordlessly stood up, and arm in arm, went inside to tell their friends the good news....


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