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Chapter 15

I thought I’d be up for the rest of the night after Devin and I came back. I thought I’d be thinking and wondering and stressing over nothing at all. I thought I’d get into my head and make myself miserable like I usually did.

I didn’t.

The last thing that flashed through my mind before I fell asleep was Devin’s smile in the dark and the echo of his laugh in my ears. It had been so long since I’d heard someone laugh so freely.

I woke up late the next morning, opening my eyes to see feet walking near me. I stiffened before forcing myself to relax a bit and push myself up.

“Good morning.” A girl chirped.

I looked up to see Zoe smiling down at me, looking overly perky. I didn’t answer out of a mixture of stubbornness and grumpiness.

May laughed from next to Zoe. “She’s like Adrienne in the morning.”

I turned my disgruntled stare from Zoe to May. I still didn’t say anything, but I didn’t need to. May elaborated on her own.

“Adrienne always stares at us in the morning like a zombie,” she said. “It’s really funny, but if she has to talk to you for some reason before she’s ready to, she gets really grumpy.”

Zoe cringed. “Yeah... don’t do that. She’s grumpy for the rest of the day and that’s just not nice for any of us.”

Now, I just raised an eyebrow.

“We all get paired up to go do stuff once we have jobs to do and the time someone made Adrienne talk before she was ready, Adrienne was Zoe’s partner for the day,” May explained.

Zoe shuddered. “Just don’t do it. Or if it happens, try not to interact with Adrienne.”

I rolled my eyes instead of nodding. Again, I was a grump. It was weird because normally I woke up ready for a fight; getting up and feeling like going back to bed normally meant I was sick. Since I knew I wasn’t, it was just... odd.

“Girls!” Someone called.

All three of us turned to see Edmond coming over. “Russ has jobs up.”

The two girls perked up, but I narrowed my eyes, bristling. I didn’t want a job; I already had a job.

“You don’t need to,” May assured me, somehow reading my expressions. I hadn’t realized I was being obvious. “Russ doesn’t force us to take jobs. It just gets boring staying here all day and we all need to be taken care of somehow.”

Was she trying to guilt me?

Zoe smiled at me, “I’m going to go see what I can snag before all the good assignments are gone.” She bounded off with May following her, leaving Edmond and me alone together.

Edmond looked awkward for a moment, thinking. I just watched him, feeling too close to falling asleep again to care that I was doing it so blatantly.

“You were funny, challenging Don yesterday.” Edmond tried finally.

I studied him longer, almost enjoying his uncomfortable shifting. “You thought it was funny?” I asked, saving him.

Edmond smiled slightly, “No one ever challenges Don. Nick and Dev tease him all the time and he takes it, but challenging him?” Edmond let out a low whistle. “Good luck.”

The way he didn’t seem overly concerned for me was refreshing.

I raised an eyebrow at him. “Either you don’t care what happens or you aren’t concerned about Don’s strength.”

Edmond grinned an almost devilish grin. “Oh, Don’s pretty strong, I’m just too excited to see what happens to warn you that you might be crushed.”

I grinned back at him, pulling myself off the floor and haphazardly folding the blanket. “Well, then. Good to know where your loyalties lie.” I made to walk off before looking back and casting him a coy smile. “Or rather, where they don’t.”

Edmond smiled, saluting. “Good luck, Calypso.”

I nodded back and walked off. I slid out the back door, trying to avoid the people that I knew were watching me. It was a wonder how well you could feel stares.

I took a deep breath and launched myself up the wall, landing with my arms hanging over. Slowly, I pulled myself up, my arms shaking with effort. When I reached the top, I paused, frowning at myself. The lack of normal meals was starting to get to me more than I’d like.

“Are you disappearing again?” Devin’s voice came.

I turned around to see him standing only a short distance away on the same wall I was. I raised an eyebrow and gestured towards him. “Apparently, I’m that predictable.”

Devin grinned, “Only to your tail. Everyone else still thinks you’re a mystery, promise.”

I laughed, shaking my head. “I’ll be back,” I promised.

Devin raised an eyebrow. “Are you expecting me not to follow you?”

I crossed my arms. “It was a subtle question about whether or not you would, yes. I have no problem losing you if you try to tail me, but I’d prefer not to use my energy up on that if it’s not necessary.”

Devin looked at me calculatingly. “If I let you take off alone, you’ll stay out of trouble, right?”

I smiled innocently at him, “Of course!”

Devin sighed, “You aren’t, are you?”

I snorted. “To be fair, I don’t know what’s qualified as ‘trouble’ here. I’m not quite lying.”

Devin smiled ruefully. “Of course, sorry. You aren’t quite lying.”

I waited, looking at him. He stayed silent to the point of breaking me.

I sighed, “Can I go now, or are you going to follow me?”

Devin shrugged, “I didn’t see you leave.” He went to jump back off the wall and head back into the warehouse but paused, looking back. “Just be back before nightfall, okay?”

Aww, he cares. I couldn’t stop the inner snark before it said something. My heart did soften a bit against my will, though.

I smiled at him, nodding. “I will.” I saluted and ran off towards the middle of the market. As I hopped off the wall and landed on the main street, I broke into a grin.

Sometimes life’s just too fun.

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