Spoiler Level: Exile
(Not the best I've written because I don't think I quite captured Keefe's perspective, but I hope it's enjoyable anyway!)
Keefe stepped into Havenfields’s kitchen, forcing his nervous smile to change to a smirk.
Sophie hummed to herself as she mixed ingredients for Mooncakes in a silver bowl, her hair falling softly around her shoulders.
Keefe stepped silently toward her, tiptoeing as dramatically as he could while still being quiet. Sophie hadn’t noticed him yet.
A soft giggle came from the arch leading to the sitting area, and Keefe spun around, making shushing motions towards Edaline exaggeratedly, a smile tickling his lips. She smiled at him gently and pretended to toss her lips in the batter.
Sophie was still oblivious.
Keefe took the last few steps in one bound and threw his arms around Sophie.
“Miss me, Foster?” he asked, winking and sticking his finger in the batter for a taste.
“Keefe!” The smile that lit up Sophie’s face was beautiful.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Keefe decided. “And your batter is delicious.” He took another taste, moving to lean against the counter edge.
“Keefe,” Sophie repeated, this time reprimanding, the smile still on her face.
Sophie would never speak to him like Cassius did.
Keefe pushed the thought away. He was with Sophie. He could be happy without a thought about his… father.
The word was sour.
“So, what are we putting in the batter next?” Keefe inquired. “Edaline, perhaps?”
“If you try to cook me, young man—” You’ll kick me out, Keefe mentally finished “—you’ll end up in the batter yourself!” Edaline finished.
The joke in her voice lifted Keefe’s spirits.
“Besides, Keefe-Edaline Mooncakes sound somewhat… disgusting,” Sophie informed them. “And I’m not sure Grady would approve.”
“Approve of what?” Grady entered the kitchen, looping his arm around Edaline’s waist.”
“Well, we were considering Keefe-Edaline-Mooncake batter,” Sophie told him. “But I think a Grady-Edaline-Mooncake batter would be better…”
“It’s decided!” Edaline declared. “Tonight, we are cannibals!”
The four laughed, and Sophie ran to give her parents a hug, the batter forgotten. A lump rose in Keefe’s throat.
The three turned to him, smiling, and Edaline and Sophie opened their arms.
Keefe walked over and joined the hug.
He had found a family.