Back To You

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Chapter 19 - Sophie & Keefe

I wake to soft lips on mine. It takes me a moment to process what is happening. I just kiss back but eventually; the person pulls away. “Good Morning, sleepy-head.”

My eyes flutter open to see Keefe leaned over me, I can feel my head resting on his arm. I stretch while yawning. “Keefe?”

“Yeah.” Keefe leans down to kiss my cheek.

I smile at him before realizing that the sun is barely starting to rise. “W-what time is it?”

Keefe grins. “Well, I don’t know but the only reason I woke you up this early is that...” Keefe’s voice trails off as his eyes cling to mine. He looks up at me.

I grin while all my sleepiness just vanishes. I press my lips to his. Keefe grins, kissing me back with his hand on my waist. Keefe pulls away to let out a breathy moan. “Dang, babe, who knew you were such a good kisser?” I blush a little. I push my lips against his again not caring that Keefe is grinning.

He pulls away, smirking. “God, Foster. Desperate much?”

My eyes and surprisingly not blush. I guess when I’m with Keefe I don’t get embarrassed much. I’m just... confident. “Maybe,” I say with a grin.

Keefe laughs before pressing his mouth against mine.

I pull away, smiling and I pull myself to sit upright while my back is feeling strangely sore from sleeping on solid ground. “We slept here?”

Keefe grins, leaning back. “Well, not in that way-”

“Keefe!” I push him with one hand on the shoulder while my face is a little red.

He just laughs. “Sorry. But yeah.”

I stand up. “Maybe we should go back inside.”

“Wait, babe.” Keefe scrambles up. He clears his throat and says. “I think you’re cute.” He tucks a loose strand of hair behind my ear despite the fact his cheeks are red.

I laugh, leaning up to kiss his cheek but my face is nuclear. “You’re cute, too.” Keefe’s eyes cling to mine, like magnets.

“I know. But it’s nice to hear it from you.”

I melt into Keefe’s eyes, he stares back. A little bit of his hair is covering his eyes and I lightly brush it away. His eyes are like... the sky and I’m the bird soaring in them.

Keefe leans in while I close my eyes, he kisses the space between my eyebrows, he lightly kisses both of my eyelids as my lips lightly brush his chin. He whispers, “I love your eyes.”

I smile and I slowly open my eyes. I lean up and kiss his hair. I whisper back, “I love your hair.”

Keefe gently rests his hands on my waist, smirking a little. He leans to kiss my ear, and I rest my hands on his back, bringing us closer, I rest my head on his collarbone, Keefe’s warmth making me feel at home whenever I’m with him. Keefe rests his head on my shoulder. He leans back and I lean back too. “I love your lips.”

I smile and I pull his bottom lip down with my thumb. “Me too.”

Keefe smiles. He tilts his head and he parts his lips before fitting his lips between mine like puzzle pieces. I bring my hand to cup Keefe’s cheek. We pull away from each other and Keefe laughs softly. “If only we had some music.”

I laugh a little. “If only.”

We lean in again, our eyes closed until Biana interrupts, “There you guys are!” Me and Keefe jump and turn our heads to see Biana running down the bridge- she sounds out of breath. “Thank goodness you guys are together.”

“Um, why? What happened?” Keefe asks, almost as confused as me.

“The...” Biana takes a deep breath, blinking hard. “Council is coming.”

It takes me a minute to process her words and when I do I depreciate against the bark of the tree.

“What!?” Keefe asks, running his hand in his hair looking wry.

“Yeah, they’re coming. Fitz hailed.” Biana sighs.

“Fu- frick.” Keefe groans, running his hand down his face- so hard that his features stretched. “Do they know that-” His voice breaks.

I pinch my eyes shut, looking away when Biana says, “They think that Sophie is here so yes.”

“Holy-” Keefe lets out a steam of not-so-friendly words under his breath before turning to me. He grabs my hand, looking at me with hopeful eyes. He stares at me for a minute, chewing his lower lip.

“Sophie...” Keefe takes an immense breath and grabs both of my hands before proceeding, “I know this may sound just a little crazy but we can go back to the forbidden cities and live there... together.”

My breathing suddenly races as I stare into Keefe’s huge hopeful eyes, his hair brushing against his eyelashes. I quickly brush a little away.

It’s so tempting... so tempting. Keefe smiles, nodding. I try swallowing the huge lump in my throat that forms at lightning speed. Living with Keefe. I bite my lower lip. My eyes roam down to our hands, I see my name on Keefe’s wrist.

“I...” I stare at the ground. I imagine living with Keefe, kissing him whenever... never leaving his eyes... or hands. The corner of my lips twitch upwards and I look up at Keefe who is biting his lower lip still with those same, huge, hopeful eyes. “Ye-”

But what if the council finds us... again?

“Yeah?” Keefe asks, looking vivacious.

I take a shaky breath, looking away. I let go of Keefe’s hand. “No.”

“Wha- Sophie! Please, come on. They can’t take you away again!” Keefe looks distorted. He closes his eyes before opening them again. “Please.”

My eyes suddenly start to burn and I feel like rubbing them until I can’t. “But what about Biana and Dex and...-”

“Don’t worry about us, Sophie,” Biana says, walking forward to rest her hand on my shoulder. “I can’t imagine you in Exile again.” Biana looks back and forth at me and Keefe. “You guys need to go.”

I swallow something invisible. “Are y-you sure?”

Biana chews her bottom lip, her eyes misty, she nods. “Yes.”

“Then... I guess we should.” I have to choke the words out. Is this selfish? Running away with Keefe and leaving all my friends. I sigh and look up at Keefe.

He gives me a slight smile. “Let’s go.”

I freeze. I shake my head. My voice shuddering, “No. I’m sorry b-but nevermind.” I shake away Keefe’s hand.

There’s this part of me who wants to live with Keefe. His powerful drug of love pulling me closer every single day. Knowing his lips with every inch of my heart. Touching his familiar hand.

But there’s this part of me who just wants to... rot in Exile. I mean it’s my destiny- right? I probably ruined the lost cities. I messed up so badly a few years ago. It was so wrong just to blow up people and stuff. Maybe I deserve to be in Exile.

All of sudden everything turns completely cold. Everything turns blue. I shiver and hug myself, closing my eyes. I remember this feeling... guilt. I swallow bile down my throat.

The nausea swirled freely in my stomach. My head swam with fully formed regrets. My number one regret is still living. My heart felt as if my blood had become tar as it struggled to keep a steady beat. My melancholy mood hung over me like a black cloud, raining my personal sorrow down on me wherever I go. Even the colors of the forest around me were drab to me now and the birdsong like so much noise on a child’s glockenspiel, grating my nerves.

“Sophie, it’s okay. You’re not going to leave us alone. You and Keefe need to go,” Biana says.

Someone clears their throat from behind, and I open my eyes. “I guess we should’ve restrained the moonlark.”

Alina.

(A/N- Okay so I don’t really hate Alina in the books but I needed an antagonist, so I chose her. Which is basically the only reason she’s acting super EVIL.)

Keefe curses under his breath, he clutches my hand, pulling me back while I chew my lower lip.

“I-I-” I struggle for words but I just give up like how I’m giving up on life. I sigh and step back.

Fitz won’t meet my gaze as Alina continues but I don’t pay attention to her.

“Let’s go- make a void,” Keefe hisses into my ear.

My heart races. Now or never, Sophie. “I...” I close my eyes and concentrate on a void- Keefe sucks in a breath, pressing his left hip.

“Keefe? You okay?” I place my hand on his shoulder, hoping that the Council doesn’t see.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Keefe says, shaking his head, straightening. I grab his hand, entwining our fingers but Keefe won’t grip my fingers. “I-I can’t... control my fingers,” Keefe whispers under his breath.

“What?”

Sophie?

I jump, rubbing my temples. I look at Fitz who is staring at me. Fitz?

Yeah, uh, I just... wanted to say sorry from like... a year ago. I didn’t mean to almost r-rape you. I’m just... super sorry. I-I can’t live without saying sorry.

Wow... I don’t know what to say. I look at Fitz who is still staring at me. I smile a little at him. It’s okay. Don’t worry sometimes I lose control especially the time I smashed you with that vase.

No, I need to make it up to you. I... I’m going to get you out of this.

And with that Fitz left my mind.

I look at Keefe who is glaring at Fitz before looking back at me. “Did he honestly just-” Keefe interrupts himself, groaning, pressing his left hip. “Foster, I-I’m not feeling well.”

~Keefe’s POV~

I can’t feel anything and my arm feels like jerking up... like I don’t have any control. I can’t even hold Sophie’s hand which is a HUGE bummer. Another bolt of lightning feels like piercing through my left hip. I feel like hurling and no control over my brain- wait did I already say that? I also have this random metallic taste in my mouth.

I try to clunch Sophie’s hand when another sharp pain shoots up through my left hip like a muscle cramp. “Foster, I-I’m not feeling well.”

“Yeah, you don’t look so well,” Sophie says, gripping my hand.

I search my memory for anything I learned in Foxfire about... this. Tried, weak, muscle cramps- I search deeper in my mind- and it’s all symptoms of... kidney failure. Can result in seizures or coma and will ultimately result in death.

I squeeze my eyes shut, collapsing to my knees, grinding my teeth. “Get me...” I look at my hand trying to flex it but fail. “To Elwin.”

I feel two arms pull me up but I can’t tell who. My eyes slowly start to drip while I try to open my eyes.

***

“Keefe, Keefe, open your eyes.” I don’t recognize the voice- wait no- it’s Elwin.

I put all my energy into my eyes and force them open. I groan, trying to rub my temples. I force my hand up, barely rubbing my temples- as my strength disappeared.

“So, what happened,” Elwin asks as I try to look at him but my eyes close again.

I force out a small laugh. “Aren’t you flasher? Or am I too flashy for you?”

Wow, Keefe, that was lame- even for you.

“Keefe. This isn’t a joke. Tell Elwin what is happening,” I recognize that voice... Sophie.

“Foster?” I try moving up but stop when Sophie grabs my hand.

“Yeah, Keefe, I’m here. Just tell us what happened.”

“Well, I don’t know a lot of um... medical stuff.” I sigh, trying to conceive. “Um, my left kidney is probably failing- so like... not filtering my blood. Which is why I don’t have any... uh- good? Yeah, good blood,” I say, trying to turn to Elwin with my eyes clear. “Did I get that right?”

“Yes, you did. Your depression affected your k-”

“Depression!? Wait Keefe has depression?!”

Has or Had?

I genuinely don’t know anymore.

“Oh, right. I forgot to tell you about that. Surprise!” I say, debilitated.

“This. Isn’t. A. Joke!” Sophie pulls her hand away, brutally.

I force my head to look at Sophie, my hands twitching. “Right. Sorry, but I’m probably going to die anyway-”

“Keefe don’t say that,” Sophie pleads, grabbing my hand again.

I clear my throat before continuing to Elwin. “So what now?”

Elwin grabs a vital from his colorful apron. “You need to rest. I’ll be right back with the right elixir.”

When Elwin is out of earshot I look over to Sophie, getting up with my arms outstretched. “Look, Sophie, I’m sorry I said the whole dying thing... I’m just really tired. But can I have a hug?”

She smiles. “It’s fine and of course.” Sophie leans forward and wraps her arms around me and I wrap my arms around her waist. “You’ll get better, right? Promise you won’t leave?”

I move my lips upward. “Promise.”

Sophie smiles, the side of her face on my chest. “Pinky promise?”

I grin a little. “Pinky promise.” Sophie grabs my hand, lacing our pinkies together and I try to, weakly.

Sophie looks up, leaning a little in. She presses her lips against mine and I force my hand up to cup her cheek.

She pulls away too quickly so that my hand is still hovering where her cheek was. I get a hold of myself and pull my hand down. “Promise you won’t go off to Exile while I’m gone?”

Sophie laughs a little, pulling away. “Promise. Fitz said he’ll-”

Relief floods me when she says promises but then when she says his name- I interrupt my thoughts. “Fitz? If he touches you or even comes near you without your permission- I swear I’ll destroy him.”

Before Sophie can respond Elwin comes and she starts to shake.

“Hey, babe, I’ll be fine. Okay?”

She takes a shuddering breath before looking at me. “I just can’t help but think that your depression is... my fault. And this is my fault.”

I place my hand over hers on my lap, forcing her to meet my eyes. “It’s not your fault. I can assure you that, baby.”

“I...” Sophie nods. “Okay.”

But I’m not convinced.

“I’m guessing something changed between you guys,” Elwin says, looking at Sophie. “Since you kissed him and Keefe just called you ‘babe’ and ‘baby’.”

Sophie’s face goes on fire while I grin. “Um, yeah.”

Elwin just laughs before turning to me. “Here, Keefe, drink this,” Elwin says, handing me the elixir. I grab it but I can’t get a good grip on it so it falls but luckily Sophie catches.

′“I’ll help,” Sophie says, turning to me as she opens the elixir or a sedative’? I don’t know but I’m honestly really tired of caring.

Sophie brushes my hair out of my eyes as I open my mouth slightly. Sophie presses the top of the elixir to my mouth, tipping it a little so that the cold liquid pours down my throat while the metallic taste in my mouth stays.

My eyes slowly start to close. I look at Sophie who is biting her lower lip.

′Yep, definitely a sedative’.

My body goes limp and my head droops forward. Sophie’s warm hands pull my head back but my eyes are already closed. Before my conscious slowly drifts away I open my mouth, “I love you-”

Sophie.

Hopefully, Sophie knows I’m talking about her not... well, Elwin- that would be weird. But before I can finish my sentence I’m already in a deep trance.

~Sophie’s POV~

“I love you,-”

Keefe falls, limp but I hold him up, putting him back so that he lays on his back. I lean toward his ear so that Elwin won’t hear, “I love you, too.” I don’t care if he can’t hear me or not but I still press a kiss to his cheek. I brush some of his hair to his side.

I clear my throat before turning back to Elwin. “So what now?”

“Now we need a new kidney for Keefe.” Elwin runs his hand through his hair, messing it even more. He sighs and I brace for the worst. “Which... since he doesn’t have a sibling there’s a small chance that someone will have an ‘exact match’.”

My heart breaks while I blink hard. “And if we don’t find him a kidney?” My voice breaks and I hope Elwin doesn’t notice.

“Sophie... he-he won’t...” Elwin’s voice trails off while I feel like bursting into tears.

“And there isn’t any other way?” I ask, trying to keep my voice strong.

“I’m afraid not, Sophie,” Elwin puts his hand on my shoulder.

“Oh.” I bore my eyes away from Keefe to look at my hands. The heartache is like a lump of red hot coal placed in my chest, it glowed and burnt me at the same time, but it does not cool quickly like a lump of coal in water, it throbs and tortures me and no relief is found. “Can I test for it...?”

Elwin sighs, shaking his head. “You’re a female and he’s a male.”

I let out a shuddering breath before getting up from Keefe’s cot, hot tears threatening to drop from my eyes. “I... need to be alone.” Before Elwin can respond I’m already heading towards the door.

Biana had left a few minutes before Keefe opened his eyes because she needed to tell Linh, Tam, and Dex what happened.

It looks like the middle of class because the halls are empty and the classroom doors are closed but you can still hear muffled noise coming from the inside.

My eyes burn as I remember when I used to walk these halls- I was so innocent. Right now, I’m anything but innocent.

When I arrive at the familiar white wing, I see the place where Keefe was laying when we first met. I smile and head over to the same bench, sitting down at it like it’s the most important thing in the world.

What if... Keefe doesn’t...

I push the thought to the back of my head, shoving it in a box and locking it with a key and then throwing the key away.

“Sophie! There you are!”

I look up to see Fitz walking towards me. I straighten. “Fitz?”

“Yeah, um, hey,” Fitz says, awkwardly.

I bite my lower lip, hesitating before scooting to make room for him. I pat the space next to me. “Y-you can sit... if you want.”

“Thanks.” Fitz sits next to me, twisting his fingers before looking at me. Making as much room between us as possible. “Are you sure you’re not mad?”

I smile a little at him. “Yes, Fitz I’m sure.” I hesitate before placing my hand over his which is in the place between us. Fitz flinches at my touch and I quickly pull my hand away. “Sorry-”

“No, it’s fine,” Fitz interrupts, grabbing my hand again.

I smile at him and Fitz smiles back, my heart finally not fluttering when he does which makes this even less awkward. “Are we okay? Like... Friends?” Fitz asks.

I smile wider. “Friends,” I repeat, letting go of his hand to wrap him in a hug.

Fitz tense for a minute before hugging me back.

I pull away when a minute passes and... yes I counted. “We should probably head back to Elwin.”

“Um, yeah, of course,” Fitz gets up, awkwardly offering his hand.

I take it, ignoring the awkwardness.

***

“I’ll do it,” Fitz says after Dex and Tam try out for a match for a kidney.

The weight lifts from my shoulders as if an overly large child had just leaped off after a satisfying piggyback ride when I process Fitz’s words. I just don’t know what to say. I let out a breath. “Are you sure?”

Fitz looks back at me. “Yeah. I was his best friend and I still WANT to be his best friend. I lost him because of a stupid mistake I almost made. And I want to do this...” Fitz looks at Elwin. “Can you check if it matches...?”

He nods, making a ball of light in front of his left hip. I can feel my pulse pounding in my temples as Elwin’s eyes shift back and forth at the ball of light. My stomach is filled with butterflies that won’t stop flying with possibilities.

Elwin makes the ball of light disappear and he heads over to Keefe making the same ball appear near his left hip. I clench my fist tightly until my nails dig into the palm of my hand, but I barely notice. The only thing I really am aware of is the sound of my heart throbbing against the cage of my chest.

Elwin’s eyes brighten with hope. “It’s a match.”

My eyes curve into a slow smile. I press my palm to my heart. “Match,” I repeat, savoring this moment whole.

Fitz let out a breath of relief. “Thank goodness.”

Elwin smiles, making the ball of light disintegrate. “Let’s get this started.”

***

“Sophie?” I feel a hand on my shoulder. My eyes slowly adjust to the pitch-black room. It takes me a moment to remember where I am. I wipe some of the droll that’s trickling down my chin. Then I remember that I probably fell asleep on the cot next to Keefe’s cot after his transplant.

I gasp. AFTER his transplant.

“Keefe?” I bolt up, sitting on my knees as I scramble the covers off of me.

“Yeah, it’s me,” Keefe says, leaning back.

I reach forward to touch his cheek, making sure this isn’t a dream. “Are you okay?”

Keefe’s lips stretch to make a crooked smile. His pearly white teeth gleam in the dark. “Yeah, just like I promised.”

“Just like you promised,” I repeat.

He leans forward to press his lips on mine and surprisingly he doesn’t even have morning breath. But I’m sure I do so I pull away, scooting back to make room for him. “I’ll get E-”

“No, Foster. I’m really not in the mood for elixirs and sedatives’. Can we just sleep?” Keefe says, laying down next to me.

“Then go to your own cot,” I hiss, careful not to wake up Fitz who is sleeping in the cot across from us. I push him playfully.

“Nah,” Keefe pulls me down and I restrain myself from yelping. “I didn’t get to touch you in how many days?”

I clear my throat, a blush creeping up my cheeks. “Uh, three days.”

“Three?” Keefe hisses. “I was out for three days?”

I nod but Keefe probably can’t see it so I say, “Yes.”

“So you see? I can’t go back over to the cot.” Keefe wraps his arm around me.

I inhale sharply and snuggle closer, letting his warmth corrupt me. “Okay.”

Keefe smiles and presses his lips on my hairline. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” I say.

Keefe leans down to press his lips against mine but I press my finger to his lips, keeping him from kissing me. He looks confused. “Sorry, Keefe, I probably have horrible breath and-”

“No, babe, you don’t, and even if you do I wouldn’t care,” Keefe whispers, cupping my cheek, pressing his lips against mine. He tilts his face to deepen our kiss. “When you’re with me, no judgment.”

(A/N- Uh, who’s listened to No Judgement by Niall Horan? Cause that ⇧ is from the song. Great now I have to go and listen to it.)

I smile, nodding as Keefe drags his lips down to my neck, my stomach fluttering with butterflies but I press myself against him.

He pulls away to take a very needy breath. Suddenly I have this desire to rip the clothes which are separating us from each other. It’s pretty embarrassing but so so true. Keefe’s empathy is so strong he might as well read my thoughts. He grins at me and leans closer to my ear before whispering, “Later. Not here, though.” My heart decides to race but I nod with ease. Keefe leans back with a smile that can light the world.

~Keefe’s POV~

The whole next day is just filled with reunions. Like: I can’t believe that Sophie broke out of Exile! And all the other cringy stuff. I barely paid attention except when it came to... Fitz. I still can’t believe he- HE- gave me his kidney. The past year I just ignored him because of what he did to Sophie. And his apology went like this:

“Keefe, are you ever going to talk to me?” Fitz asks, sitting at the cot across from me. I’m sitting there next to Sophie.

I immediately ignore him, pretending that he doesn’t exist. I run my fingers through my hair.

“Keefe,” Sophie says, nudging me with her elbow. “Fitz.” She glares at me.

I stifle my groan before looking at Fitz. I answer his last question, “Maybe.”

Sophie raises her eyebrows. I sigh. “Yes, Fitz, I will totally talk to you.” I hope Sophie didn’t catch the sarcasm in my voice but obviously, she did.

Sophie sighs, getting up. “You guys need to sort things out. So, I’m going to go to Biana.” Before I can call her name, she’s already out the door.

I cross my arms, looking anywhere but Fitz.

“Keefe-”

“What?” I interfere, narrowing my eyes at Fitz.

“Will, you just hear me out?” Fitz snaps, aggravated.

“Uh, with that attitude, probably not,” I return, rolling my eyes.

Fitz takes deep breaths, his fists balled together like he’s about to punch me which I honestly don’t recommend, I’ve been working out pretty stimulating lately.

I wait for him to continue, knowing that I’m exaggerating about this situation but I’m still exasperated at him. I honestly don’t know why. It’s not because of the whole Sophie thing, it’s about something else but what? I don’t know.

Fitz sighs, meeting my eyes. “Look, Keefe, I’m sorry about the way that I acted in front of Sophie a year ago and what I was almost about to do. You have been my best friend since year one and... I can’t just give up on you. It’s honestly been very boring not talking to you. It’s like... I’m friendless.” Fitz stops to look at me. “I mean everything I said, you can even check.” Fitz holds out his wrist and I try to narrow my eyes at him but fails. I sigh and reach over to check his feelings and pulse.

He’s telling the truth.

I let out a breath and lean back, squeezing my eyes shut. “Fine.” I hesitate before pouring out my feelings. “I don’t know why I’m mad at you, to be honest,” I start, shrugging. “It’s just that ever since we’ve met you’ve gotten the perfect family, the perfect grades, you almost even had the perfect girl... just everything... perfect.” I look at my hands and add temerariously, “Well, except I have the perfect hair- I have that.” I shrug again. “So what I’m saying is that I was sick of you having everything that I couldn’t so I took this as an... an excuse to let out my anger that I had in store for you for... who knows how many years.”

Fitz got up and sat next to me. “Keefe, I’m sorry. I had no idea.”

I laugh a little. “Yeah, I know.”

There’s this awkward silence that stretches between us.

I look up at Fitz, ready to break this silence. “I’m sorry, Fitz. This isn’t fair. I shouldn’t be mad at you for being... you. And you shouldn’t apologize, this whole being-mad-at-Fitz thing is stupid. So can we pretend like it never happened? So bros?”

Fitz looks up at me, smiling a little. “Bros,” he agreed.

Woah, I honestly thought he’ll say: No, I’m sorry. Or something like that but I ignore it and pat his back, smiling crookedly.

Sophie groans as soon as she steps outs of her closet. I sit upright as I see her, my jaw on the floor. She is wearing a red, inadequate nightgown and when I say inadequate I mean there’s more skin than cloth but it outlines her hourglass form perfectly. With a deep neckline and the fabric looks like silk. And it’s very thin, someone might have just painted her and added lace. “Biana somehow came into my closet and traded all my clothes for small scanty ones like this one.”

Sophie walks closer and I seem to get lost in her action. “I don’t mind,” I choke out, my eyes not leaving her.

“Keefe, your staring,” Sophie says, relaxing next to me.

I blink hard, meeting her eyes. “Guilty.” My eyes trail down to her perfectly glossed, luscious lips.

I cup her cheek and bring her lips to mine and Sophie spontaneously kisses back, scooting closer. I wrap my arms around her waist, meeting my hands at the middle, pulling her closer as she intensifies our kiss, parting my lips. Her hands rest on my back under my shirt pulling it upwards until Biana interrupts. “Oops, am I interrupting something?” We pull away to see Biana in the doorway.

“No, totally,” I grumble, annoyed a little as Sophie pulls her hand out of my shirt.

Sophie scoots a little away from me, looking at Biana with the tips of her ears red. “No. But what do you need?”

Biana grins. “Just checking on your outfit choice. By the way, your welcome for cleaning up all the rose petals.”

Sophie sighs. “Thanks and for the new clothes.”

Biana smiles wider. “No problem. And your welcome, Keefe.”

I grin at Sophie before looking back at Biana. “Thanks.”

“Wh-”

“Well, I’ll leave you guys... alone,” Biana interrupts Sophie. “With Sophie in a small dress and-”

“Okay! Time to go!” I laugh nervously, my face red from what she was obviously referring to. Sophie’s face can probably be red as a tomato as Biana grins at us before closing the door.

“Sooo,” I draw out when the door is thoroughly closed. “Where were we?”

Sophie smiles at me before pressing her lips to mine, her lips closed but I force them to part. Sophie laughs and kisses me back. Sophie falls back on her bed, I grin and lean above her, kissing her roughly. I place one arm under her head and other hand trailing down her arm while Sophie has her hand on the back of my neck.

We pull away from each other and I stare into her eyes, memorizing all of the small gold flecks in her eyes, the soft brown. Sophie drags her nose back and forth of mine, slightly. Our heavy breaths mingling together, Sophie’s chest rises and falling against mine. She’s gorgeous- everything about her is and I love her like crazy.

“I love you,” Sophie whispers.

“I love you more,” I whisper back.

“Maybe I love you more,” Sophie replies, smiling.

I arch an eyebrow at her, playfully. “Do you want to bet?”

“Sure. I hope you won’t be a sore loser when you lose,” Sophie says, playfully.

I laugh a little. “Only a loser would call someone a loser.”

Sophie raises her eyebrows. “Are you calling me a loser, Mr. Reckless?”

My eyes go wide. “N-no, sorry. I didn’t-”

Sophie’s grin interrupts me. “It’s fine, sweetie.”

I smirk. “Okay, darling.”

“Baby.”

“Babe.”

“Honey.”

“Bae.”

“Pumpkin.”

“Hot Stuff.”

“Handsome.”

“Gorgeous.”

Sophie lets out a laugh, looking towards the large window at the back of her room. And it’s pitch black with stars sprinkled everywhere. “Are you going to stay?”

I grin, trailing my hand down her arm, resting my head on her shoulder, basically hugging her. “Hell, yeah.”

Sophie’s laugh vibrates through me. “Good.”

I grin. “Sleep?”

“Yeah,” Sophie says, scooting up to her pillow and I can’t help but stare at her when she’s not looking. She’s just so irresistible.

She has a kind of understated beauty, maybe it is because she is so disarmingly unaware of her prettiness. She is all about simplicity, making things easy, helping those around her to relax and be happy with what they have. Perhaps that is why her skin glowed so, it was her inner beauty that lit her eyes and softened her features. When she smiled and laughed you couldn’t help but smile along too, even if it was just on the inside. To be in her company is to feel that you too are someone, that you have been warmed in summer rays regardless of the season.

~The next morning~

“You know what I’ll miss the most in the forbidden cities?” I ask Sophie. “What?” Sophie asks, turning to her side, facing me.

“The pizza,” I say, I turn my head to grin at her.

Sophie smiles back then her face brightens. “Do you want to go to get pizza?”

It takes me a minute to take in her words. I honestly don’t expect Sophie to be this... mischievous. “Wait really?”

She smiles, getting up. “Yeah, come on, it’ll be fun.”

I laugh, sitting up as well. “I have a feeling I’m a bad influence on you.”

Sophie laughs, pinching my cheek. “You are, but it doesn’t stop me from loving you.”

I crookedly grin at her pressing my lips against hers and Sophie melts into me, leaving no space between us. Sophie’s hand trying to tickle me under my armpits. I grin, pulling from her lips. “Are you trying to tickle me?”

Sophie grins. “Maybe.”

I lean back, smirking. “Good luck with that. I’m not ticklish.”

“We’ll see,” Sophie says, still trying.

I grin when she fails. “You see?”

“Hm... take off your shirt,” Sophie says, blushing even though she’s seen me shirtless numerous times.

I smirk at the sight of her blush. “Sure.” I pull off my shirt in one simple motion. Sophie grins at me before running her hands down my stomach, lightly but not even a small laugh comes out of me. She raises an eyebrow at me. I grin. “Mission imposs-” I burst out laughing when she lightly runs her hand over my chest to my neck.

Sophie grins. “Not ticklish, huh?”

“Nevermind,” I say as she tickles me more. I laugh even more so that my sides hurt. “Babe... stop.”

“Nope,” Sophie says, trying to tickle me but I grab her hands.

She raises her eyebrows. “Do you want to go?” Sophie whispers.

“I guess we can wait a few minutes,” I whisper back, smiling crookedly. Sophie smiles, understanding me. She leans forward to press her lips against mine. “Just let me adore you,” I whisper when we pull away.

Sophie laughs. “You’re so cheesy.”

I grin. “But you love it.”

She laughs. “Yeah, I do.”

***

“Uh, just the vegetarian pizza,” I say, and I think for a minute before adding, “Make it extra spicy.”

The waiter nods and I grab Sophie’s hand pulling us to a table for two.

“Extra spicy?” Sophie asks as she sits down and I sit across from her.

I grin. “Why? You don’t like spicy food?”

Sophie grins back. “Hm, you’ll see.”

~Sophie’s POV~

“And here we go!” Keefe drops the pizza box on the table.

I grin at him, opening the box and the delicious aroma of pizza fills my nostrils and I can’t help but let out a sigh.

Keefe sits across from me, grabbing a slice of pizza and taking a huge bite. I look at the food like I haven’t eaten in weeks. “Do you like it?” he asks, his mouth full.

I look away. “Keefe, talk with your mouth close!”

“Sorry,” Keefe says, his mouth still full.

I roll my eyes, grabbing a slice, and taking a bite. And it’s honestly very very spicy. My eyes start to water but I blink the water away, I can handle the spice. I look at Keefe who is eating the pizza like it’s the sweetest thing ever.

Keefe meets my gaze and raises his eyebrows. I clear my throat. “Yeah, it’s good.”

“Not even spicy?” he asks.

I nod. “Not even spicy,” I lie.

Keefe smirks. “Sure.”

I roll my eyes, finishing the crust while Keefe is almost done with his second. Wow, he’s a fast eater. Well... he does have a big mouth. I laugh a little to myself. Keefe looks up at me and says in a cheery voice, “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing,” I say, shaking my head.

“Alrighty,” he says, taking another bite. “I’ll be back.”

“Okay.”

The pizza base is an inch thick and as white as paper. The sauce tasted as it came out of a can, a cheap one, and the topping was generous but greasy. Overly thick slices of vegetables sat in pools of grease from the cheese.

Keefe sat back down with a medium-sized paper cup of a soft drink. He takes a huge gulp before looking at me with the straw. “Do you want some?”

I reach over to cup from his hand. “Sure.”

Our hands touch and we lock eyes, my heart fluttering at his adorable gaze. Keefe puts the cup on the table to grab both of my hands, gently massaging them with his thumbs. We stay like that, staring at each other.

His eyes were blue. Not the ordinary sky blue, or the color of the paint flaking off of the old shed in the back of the field, or even the little flowers that spring up by the side of the road. His eyes were blue like the sea, crystal clear blue- shimmering and crashing and churning.

Looking into his eyes you could hear the waves falling against the shore, see the foam flying into the air. His eyes were blue like the sky right before the sun disappears- dark rich indigo, with specks of wild colors here and there.

His eyes were blue like that warm wool sweater that you put on when the air gets that chill- comfortable, warm, familiar. His eyes were that kind of blue. Whenever I’m with him I feel free and I know every single moment I’m with him, kissing or not, I will always come back to him.


~The End~


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