Hi ya all, I know I haven’t written a post in a long time. So here is the first one.
+ DAY ONE +
“Look! I’m all better!” Keefe promised, waving his arms and almost knocking over the ugly lamp on the table next to the bed. Not that he cared—he had big plans to trash all of Alvar’s stuff as soon as he was done hiding out there.
“I might be willing to believe you,” Elwin told him, “if you weren’t gritting your teeth every time you move.”
“What? This is how I smile now!” Keefe tightened his jaw and raised one eyebrow. “See? It’s my brooding, mysterious look.”
“Is that what you’re calling it?” Ro asked, plopping next to him and bouncing the mattress so hard that Keefe almost let out a yelp. “All I’m getting is wannabe bad boy.”
Elwin snorted a laugh.
Keefe glared at both of them, wishing he still had some of his favorite elixirs handy. He’d managed to slip some Hush Slush into Ro’s dinner the night before and wiped out her voice for eight glorious hours. But somehow she’d managed to find all of his stashes—even the extra well-hidden ones.
The princess was good.
He was pretty sure she’d also put Gurgle Gut in his breakfast for payback—though if he was right, at least she’d suffer as much as he would when the gurgles broke free.
“I’m fine, okay?” he told Elwin. “I can live with a little pain.”
“It’ll be a lifetime of pain if you don’t listen to me,” Elwin corrected. He flashed a red orb around Keefe’s torso and squinted through his glasses. “Just like I thought. You’re worse today.”
Keefe tossed back his covers. “Fine. Then the bed rest isn’t helping, so I don’t need to—”
He managed to get one foot on the floor before Ro bodyslammed him back to the bed, triggering a throbbing spasm that felt like a gremlin was chomping on his lungs.
“Both of you need to take it easy,” Elwin warned, “or I’m bringing Keefe to my house and putting Bullhorn on guard duty.”
“Um—he’s, like, two pounds of fur,” Keefe told him. “I think I can handle him.”
“I’d love to see you try.” Elwin dug through his satchel and pulled out a deep purple elixir. “But I’d rather you just take another dose of tissue regenerator and get some rest.”
“I can always pry those pouty lips open and pour it down your throat,” Ro added with a smile that showed every single one of her pointed teeth.
Keefe reached for the vial. Years of dealing with his dad had taught him it was easier to pretend to cooperate. So he chugged the medicine, even though it stunk worse than Alvar’s stuffy apartment.
Side note on that: He was pretty sure he didn’t want to know why the whole place reeked like rotting toenails. Or why Alvar had felt the need to cover every surface with mirrors.
“Try not to look so miserable,” Elwin said, taking the empty vial. “It’s only for a week.”
“Uh, do you realize how many times Foster can almost die in a week? Especially when my mom’s the one calling the shots?” Keefe countered.
Elwin sighed. “I know. But you need to get your strength back.”
“Plus, she doesn’t want to see you,” Ro reminded him. “Hey, don’t look at me like that—you know it’s true.”
It was true.
And it made Keefe queasier than the Gurgle Gut.
He couldn’t stop thinking about the burst of emotions Sophie had hit him with as she left the healing center. There hadn’t just been anger. There’d been hurt. And a deep, overwhelming disappointment that had made it hard to breathe.
Elwin patted him on the shoulder. “Give her a chance to cool off—”
“I don’t have time,” Keefe interrupted. “She could be heading to Nightfall right now.”
“If she is, I’m sure she can handle it,” Elwin told him. “I know we love to tease Sophie about all of her emergencies, but the truth is: She’s a survivor. And she has lots of powerful family and friends to back her up.”
“I’m supposed to be one of them,” Keefe argued.
“Then take care of yourself. The more you rest, the faster you’ll recover. And if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll check on her every day and give you updates—but only if you promise to stay in bed.”
“Fine,” Keefe mumbled, slumping down under the covers.
“Oh good!” Ro said. “We’re moving from denial mode to sulky boy. This’ll be fun!”
Keefe shot her a glare.
He wasn’t sulking.
Okay, fine, maybe he was a little—but he was also scheming.
First chance he got, he was sneaking out of Alvar’s apartment and heading straight to Havenfield.
He didn’t care what anyone said. Sophie needed his help.