+ DAY FIVE +
“You are never going to figure that out!” Ro screamed as Keefe continued the plink-plink-plinking.
“You’re just mad because you couldn’t figure it out either,” Keefe shouted back.
She’d been so smug when she’d wrenched the pieces from his hands to give it a try that Keefe had laughed himself hoarse when she’d failed. And since then, he’d managed to fit three of the four pieces together. But the last piece was ridiculously stubborn.
Ro stalked into his doorway with a bottle of blue nail polish in one hand and half-painted claws on the other. “No, I’m mad because you’re only doing this to try to fix things with your little girlfriend and it’s not going to work.”
Keefe jingled the pieces extra loud.
But after several seconds he had to ask, “Why isn’t it going to work?”
Ro snorted. “Wow, you really have it bad, don’t you? Nope, no need to deny it. It’s so obvious it’s actually adorable. Especially since she’s totally clueless about it. You know that, right?”
Keefe rolled his eyes.
And he was all set to argue—but for some reason “Yeah, I’m an Empath,” slipped out.
“Ohhhhh, that’s true. Wow, I didn’t even think about that.” Ro giggled as she crossed the room and sat beside him on the bed. “That must drive you crazy.”
“Pretty much,” Keefe mumbled.
It wasn’t even the worst part—but he managed to stop himself from bringing up that.
“You get why, though, right?” Ro asked, slicking blue paint across another claw. “Why your girl doesn’t get how much you liiiiiiiiiiike her?”
He sighed. “Because she grew up hearing every less-thanawesome thought anyone ever had about her—even from her parents and sister and stuff. So now some part of her always assumes that everyone has those kinds of thoughts about her, even though she can’t hear them anymore.”
Ro blinked. “Okay, I was not expecting you to get all deep on me.”
Keefe shrugged. “It’s true.”
“Not saying it isn’t. Huh, I never thought about how brutal your elf-y abilities could be. Add it to the list of reasons I’m glad I’m not one of you. But that’s not what I was talking about.”
He had a feeling she was never going to let him live it down if he asked, but . . . “Okay, Miss Smarty Pants, what’s your theory for the Great Foster Oblivion?”
She held up her hand, blowing on her blue claws. “That’s your problem right there. You make everything a joke. It sends way too many mixed signals—especially for a girl with all that complicated stuff messing with her head.”
“Maybe. But Foster’s not ready for more than that—trust me.”
Once again, he stopped himself from cluing Ro into the whole square-that-was-now-a-triangle mess. But with how observant she seemed to be, she’d probably figure it out on her own soon enough.
“Well, all I’m saying is: If you’re looking to earn her forgiveness, ‘Here, Sophie, have this creepy thing from my mom’ isn’t going to do it. Especially if you parade in there like you just saved the day. She doesn’t need a hero. She needs a friend. So if you want to say you’re sorry, get her a real present.”
He really hated that she had a point.
And somehow he managed to stop himself from saying presents are Fitz’s thing. Instead, he admitted, “I don’t know what to give her.”
“Then maybe you should figure that out.”
Yeah, maybe he should.
“And don’t look at me,” she added as she sauntered for the door. “Unless you want weapon advice, I have no idea what makes you elves swoon. But please, for the love of all that’s breathing, don’t let it have sparkles!”