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Hey everyone! I'm Lorelei, proud member of the Strange Ducks, friend of CHARLOTTE O. CATS KOTLC, whom I thank for demanding that I read KOTLC years ago, and currently accountless. Please read this fic and comment! I will gladly accept outright critisism helpful feedback (within the rules, of course). Don't worry, it is actually Solinh, just keep reading! I am not Shannon Messenger, and I do not own any of these characters, this is my own work, all that good stuff. Thanks for clicking on this link! Also, if you are still reading this, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? GO READ THE FANFIC!!!

-- Lorelei

Chapter 1

Glimmering lights flickering on strings illuminated the Vackers’ expansive backyard. Sophie yawned and pulled her tight-fitting dress down for what must have been the hundredth time that night. There were girls in gowns of all shapes, sizes, and colors everywhere she looked, giggling excitedly about “his list”.

Sophie’s heart sank as she remembered again what she had been trying to forget for months.

His list.

Which she wasn’t on.

She should have expected this. If no one was on Sophie’s list, if she was unmatchable, then she couldn’t be on anyone’s. She sighed. Not like the Golden Boy of the elvin world would want me, anyway. Sophie scuffed her shoes on the patio, wishing she could disappear. Useless.

It still stung.

Sophie felt a delicate hand on her shoulder. Her mom was beside her, looking regal in an elegant black dress that only showed the tips of her statement heels. “How are you doing?” Edaline asked.

Sophie mumbled something along the lines of “fine” as she glanced down at her own feet, which were dressed in silver ballet flats -- borrowed from Biana -- that suddenly seemed very plain. Edaline smiled. “The man of the night wants to see you.”

“Where is he?”

“By the fountain. I told him to wait there.” The woman frowned. “Took me long enough to find you, better hurry!” She gestured in the direction of the four fish spouting crystal-clear liquid. Sophie speedwalked off as fast as her slightly oversized flats could take her. Darn shoes!

By the time she arrived, Sophie was panting -- but then the breath was sucked out of her once more as Fitz glanced up and flashed her a perfect smile. Sophie couldn’t help grinning back, what with Fitz Vacker in his navy blazer and perfectly curled hair.Then, remembering why she was here, Sophie composed herself, tugged at her dress once more, and asked, “You wanted to see me?”

Fitz gave her a smaller, nervous smile. “This way,” he replied, without so much as a hello. He motioned to Sophie to follow him down a dark, narrow passageway. She reluctantly complied, stealing glances back toward the gala that she had been so eager to escape from. Suddenly, she slammed into a hard surface that turned out to be her friend. Sophie stumbled backward, but Fitz caught her hand inches before she hit the cobblestone surface. “Thanks,” she said, pulling away when she felt his hand resting on hers for a moment too long. What is this?

“No problem.” Her friend beamed. “As I was about to mention, we’ve arrived.” He gestured upward to a soft light.

Sophie followed his gaze and gasped. Pink flowers floated softly to the ground from an immense cherry tree that seemed to consume everything. The cobblestone gave way to soft, green grass underneath her feet as she stepped forward out of the claustrophobic alley. “And where exactly is here?”

“This is my mom’s garden,” Fitz answered. “Now, c’mon! Here, is this okay?” He grabbed her waist and without waiting for an answer shot up into the branches. Sophie hadn’t realized his levitation was that strong. She braced for impact, but the pink flowers only brushed her skin, which made her giggle audibly.

Fitz brought them to rest on a sturdy branch, then leaned back and flipped around it. Sophie shrieked, and now it was Fitz’s turned to laugh. His laugh was like hot chocolate on a winter day, warm and comforting, and Sophie didn’t want this moment to end. But it did, quickly, and Sophie was suddenly completely aware that they were alone together.

A few minutes -- seconds? Hours? -- later, Fitz transmitted a simple hey, almost jolting her out of the tree.

Warn me when you do that!

Okay. Is it okay if we transmit?

Sure, she thought. So why exactly did you bring me here? Fitz stared at his swinging feet. Don’t say nothing. I know something’s up.

He sighed, barely audibly. I saw you were thinking about me the other day in Cognate training. Sophie’s heart rate picked up to that of a hummingbird’s. So I looked at the feelings surrounding that memory.


That’s the secret.

It wasn’t a question, but a statement. “Yeah,” she mumbled. He took her hand.

“Sophie, you should have told me earlier. I wasn’t sure you’d ever like me back.”

Chapter 2

Fitz dropped Sophie’s hand like it was a burning coal, looking at her like she had slapped him. “What?!”

“What, what?”

“What does Linh have to do with anything?”

Sophie tilted her head in bewilderment. How could he know? There’s no way... “You tell me! What about Linh?”

“Your mind...when I told kind of threw the word Linh at me? So what is that supposed to mean?” He ran his fingers through his hair, now pacing the thick branch.

Sophie felt her jaw drop. She felt her stomach free-fall. But...

Fitz was thinking aloud under his breath, murmuring to himself. Sophie could only catch snippets of his jumbled speech. “... her unconscious...gain access to her mind...Linh...”

She gasped. Of course! Her mind began debating the logic to this.

It all makes sense now.

No, it doesn’t. She can’t like another girl. That’s never happened before.

“Why must I be the first at everything here?” Sophie groaned quietly to herself as she began to shakily levitate to the ground.

Fitz glanced over at her. “Where are you going?” he asked suspiciously.

“Just! Going. Um. To. Getadrinkofwaterthanksbye!” Sophie replied innocently as she sped up her levitation. I can’t stay here. He can’t know. No one can know.


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