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Rush by daylight

Format: Novel
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 49,438
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Humor, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Albus, Hugo, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, Scorpius, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing, Rose/Scorpius, James/OC, Lily/OC, OC/OC

First Published: 10/14/2014
Last Chapter: 03/05/2018
Last Updated: 03/05/2018


"We fight crime now, Josie. We'll be wearing catsuits. Ergo, the two of you need to sort out your sexual tension before you jump each other's spandex-clad bones."

Josie Deetrin's universe of daydreams comes crashing into reality in a cracking cacophony of mysteries, madmen (also women, if you count Dom - which Josie absolutely does), and magnificent displays of shameless adolescence.

Josie's story will continue on HPfanfictalk ~

Chapter 8: alight

I can’t stop studying the freckles that dot the tops of Rose Weasley’s arms.

Those tiny brown smudges, contrasted against the palest skin, each one a reminder of some gloriously hot day — as if the sun didn’t want to be forgotten on its way back to space. And it’s funny, even though this situation is serious, and Rose has pushed up the sleeves of her jumper as part of a nervous habit that she hasn’t quite kicked, I can’t help but stare at those little dots, those personalized constellations, galaxies tattooed on her skin.

“Josie, are you listening to me?”

I jump a little in my seat, the unyielding wood of the back of my chair digging into my spine. My eyes cut upwards to meet Rose’s gaze, “Yes, of course. Sorry.”

I can feel their eyes on me. Feel Eric’s gaze from one side, and Al’s from the other. I fidget, crossing my legs again, pulling down at the knot of my tie around my neck.

Rose looks me over quickly, her gaze filled with both the friendly concern I’ve grown up seeing from her, and a new, slightly suspicious glint that’s brand new to me. Something her position as Head Girl has instilled in her — some steel casing that’s hardened around her spine.

If this didn’t feel like I’m about to be put in detention by my primary school principal, I’d actually be feeling quite proud of her.

I look around the tiny office, the air too warm, the walls too close, the ceiling too low. The only decorations adorning this dark stone space clutter the wall behind Rose and Henry’s heads, with every inch covered by the moving photographs of Head Girls and Boys of years long past. All of them sat behind this very desk, smiling stiffly, a moment frozen in time again and again in this ridiculously small room.

“Right,” Henry says, leaning forward and clasping his hands on the scuffed wood of the Head’s desk, his pose mirroring Rose’s, “We just want you all to know that we’re on your side, yeah? We trust you implicitly as Prefects. I just want to make that clear from the start.”

Al makes a noise in the back of his throat that sounds a little like a scoff, his expression a mix of condescending amusement and a little suspicion. He leans forward, elbows resting on his knees, and looks between Rose and Henry, “Guys. C’mon. What’re we doing here?”

Rose rolls her eyes at her cousin’s tone, “We’re trying to be as fair as possible in this situation. Don’t you think that’s the right thing to do?”

Al rolls his eyes right back, “Of course I do. But you haven’t told us anything — we’ve been sitting in this shoebox of a room for at least twenty minutes, the two of you looking like someone’s died and not saying anything.” Henry and Rose flush under Al’s steady gaze, and as their silence stretches on, Al’s face darkens and his tone has an edge, “Like, seriously, what the fuck are we doing here Rose —“

Rose finally snaps out of her ‘professional’ face, the ties that bond cousins and old habits that die hard filling the air, “Okay, god, Al, you don’t have to swear at me. I thought you were working on the whole impatience thing.”

Al shrugs, leaning back, “I am. Like I said, it’s been twenty minutes.”

Eric and I exchange a look, a slight widening of the eyes and a twisting of the eyebrows that causes the makings of a nervous laugh to bubble up in my chest.

“It has not been that long—“ Rose starts, the coloring in her cheeks starting to match her hair, but Henry places a hand on her arm — a touch that isn’t inappropriate at all but has me staring anyway. And I’m suddenly analyzing how closely they’re sitting, noticing with a start how she responds to his gentle touch, her shoulders collapsing in a huff, her flushed cheeks settling down.

“Listen, we’re not supposed to say anything until McGonagall gets here, alright?” Henry says, his expression a little flustered behind his glasses, “I don’t know what’s taking her so long, I’m really sorry about the wait.”

Eric swallows, “McGonagall’s coming? Why?”

“You’re not in trouble,” Rose says, her fingers tapping an uneven beat on the tabletop, “She just wants to observe and listen to our discussion, okay?”

I nod quickly, my heart thumping a little too fast. I can’t remember the last time I was within six feet of the Headmistress.

Al rakes a hand through his hair, “Sorry I snapped at you, Rose. That was rude. It’s just — the past couple days have been tough.”

Rose softens, “I know. I’m just trying to help.”

Al nods back, smiling, and I wonder for the hundredth time why he doesn’t spend more time with his cousins.

The silence stretches on, my gaze cutting over to Al, and he looks over at me. His lips lift up to form that smile, the one that makes me feel like we’re in on some private joke. I smile back, wishing I could scoot my chair closer to his.

There’s a short rap on the door before it opens swiftly, Headmistress McGonagall sweeping into the tiny room with a swish of billowing robes. Her presence is even more intimidating in the small space.

“Sorry I’m late,” she says, perching stiffly on the edge of the only spare chair — a tiny stool in the corner that’s usually the home of a potted plant. “Peeves thought it would be amusing to stuff the bedsheets of the Second Year Slytherin boys down the toilet.”

I stare at her, wanting to laugh but not sure if I’m allowed to. McGonagall’s silver hair is pulled back in a severe bun, glasses perched on the bridge of her nose, her gaze steady and inscrutable. Al has no such qualms, however, his lips stretching into a broad grin.

“How unfortunate,” He says, eyes crinkling at the corners.

McGonagall gives him a look that’s a cross between disapproval and amusement, “Quite. Now, shall we begin?”

Rose gives McGonagall a sharp nod before turning towards us, her eyes scanning each of our faces in turn. “I’m sorry about all the secrecy, but what we’re about to tell you is fairly serious, and we really need you guys to work with us, okay?”

The three of exchange sidelong glances, the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. For some reason, my mind jumps to a wild conclusion and I can’t stop thinking of Charlie Kline’s deranged grin. Something’s happened to Charlie, I can’t help but think in a panic, He’s done something, maybe hurt someone and I never said anything about my scar oh god

Rose takes a deep breath, “Sally Hanseth is claiming she never gave Al a love potion.”

I’m left reeling at this news that would have felt so huge this morning, but now feels utterly mundane in the wake of thoughts on Charlie Kline. Have I seen him here, at Hogwarts, at all this term?

I don’t think I have.

Al scoffs, his expression irritated, and I expect him to make a retort to Sally’s claim, but to all of our surprise, it’s Eric who speaks up first. “Well of course she’s saying that, she’s up to her neck in it, isn’t she?” My wide-eyed gaze turns to look at him, and he’s beet red with his adam’s apple bobbing, but he goes on, “I mean, she’s in pretty big trouble here, right? Makes sense she would lie about it.”

Henry’s nodding, “It does make sense, but we have to treat this fairly, and consider every avenue. Potter, did she personally give you anything to eat or drink?”

Al shifts in his seat uncomfortably, and I can tell by the way his eyes dart around the room at all of us that he doesn’t like having to talk about this in front of so many people. “No. She didn’t.”

Rose and Henry share a significant look before Rose turns to me, her eyes gleaming with a determined look that I expect detectives get when they’re on the trail of something, “What did she say to you, Josie? When you found her in the passage?”

I flush, feeling Al’s eyes on the side of my face, “She — she, well, she talked about wanting to keep their relationship private, because of the er — press, I guess.”

I cut my gaze over to Al, inhaling quickly at the dark expression on his face. “Of course she did,” Al mutters to his hands in his lap, “It’s always about the press, isn’t it?”

Rose holds up a hand to interrupt, “Anything else? Anything that pointed to her knowing that Al was under the influence of a love potion?”

I think back, sifting through the memories of a secret passage hiding the actions of a couple wild teenagers. I cut my gaze nervously over to Al before speaking again, “It seemed - normal enough, I suppose. Honestly, they seemed like any other couple caught out by Prefects, really.”

Henry’s nodding, “Eric said the same thing when he came to talk to us. He reported Potter and Hanseth were abusing their power as Prefects, and it wasn’t until we spoke to Madame Pomfrey later that it all came together.”

I look over at Headmistress McGonagall to gauge her opinion on all this, but she looks as impassive as ever, her gaze slowly scrutinizing each of us in turn. And I can’t help it - I cast my eyes down to my lap when she turns to look at me.

“Are there any other details you think we should know?” Rose presses.

I shake my head, “Not that I can currently think of.”

McGonagall nods her head once, “Very well, then. Ms. Hanseth’s punishments will stand for now.” She turns to look at Rose and Henry as she rises, “I trust the two of you can handle the rest of this business?”

“Yes, Professor,” they say at the same time.

Headmistress McGonagall nods at the rest of us before sweeping out of the room, the door gently shutting behind her.

Rose releases a huge breath I hadn’t realized she’d been holding, her face relaxing in relief. Her eyes seek out mine, a little beseeching, “I really am sorry for all the secrecy and weirdness, guys. It’s the first time we’ve had to deal with a punishment of this magnitude. I mean, stripping someone of their badge, and two months of detentions - ” She cuts off with a shake of her head, and tucks her hair behind her ears. She’s transformed back into the Rose I know so well.

“I get it,” I nod sympathetically, smiling at them both. It’s a relief to have them smile back at me.

Eric starts fidgeting in the chair next to me, and Rose sits up straight again. “Right,” She begins, looking over at Henry before continuing, “There’s one other thing to go over.”

Henry cuts in, clasping his hands on the desk, “So, Potter, you’ve surely realized that you’re without a partner.” Al nods slowly, looking between the two Head’s as Henry goes on, “And last night, during our discussion with Eric, he expressed an interest in leaving his position as a Prefect.”

Even though I know how much Eric hates being a Prefect, and the fact that he’s sort of a lousy partner, I can’t help but shoot him a scandalized look. He’s done with being my patrols partner?

Eric sinks a little lower in his chair under my gaze, his attention focused on his knees.

I can’t stop myself from saying, “So you’re just done, then, Eric?”

He shoots me a sheepish look, “I’m sorry, Deetrin, I just - I’ve told you before. It isn’t for me.”

My annoyance evaporates. I just can’t hold it against him when he looks so embarrassed about it all.

Rose clears her throat, going a little red in the cheeks, “Josie, I know you and Al have some - history - ” I could just about die, oh god - “But if you’re willing to accept the fact that you’ll have to patrol twice the amount of routes, yours and Al’s, we trust the two of you will make capable Prefect partners.”

The only sound, for what feels like an eternity, is the ticking of the clock on the wall.

Al finally clears his throat, “So - so you’ve fired Hanseth, Gallahan’s quitting, and Josie and I have to double the lengths of our patrol routes? Is that right?”

Henry nods, “Yeah, that’s right. We realize this is a bit of a shake up, and twice the work. But under the circumstances, we would really appreciate it if the two of you could step up and take on the extra responsibility as we sort out a better, long-term plan.”

Al and I shoot a look at each other, both nodding slowly, “Er - sure, then. That’s fine.”

Henry exhales with a smile, “Great. Thank you, both of you. This will be a huge help.”

Rose pushes her chair away from the desk with a smile, “I think that’s everything, then. Josie, Al, you can start your routes, and Eric, thanks for the time you’ve put in, I suppose.”

Eric nods vigorously, seemingly pleased no one appears too upset, and gets to his feet quickly. Al, Henry and I also get up and gather our things.

Rose scoots around the desk, nearly upending the potted plant on her way to throw her arms around me in a tight hug. “You’re the best, Josie, you really are. Can we please catch up soon?” She pulls back to look at my face and I nod, smiling.

“Of course, love. We miss you! Your fancy new position has stolen you away.” I smile at her.

My teasing causes a real frown to tug at her features, “I know. I feel like I’m sort of - drowning in all of this, honestly.” She waves a vague hand at the tiny office and all the papers stacked against the walls. The boys have made their way out into the hall, chatting idly.

“Oh, lady,” I say, squeezing her shoulders, “You don’t have to do it alone. We can help you! Ravenclaws love busywork, y’know,” I wink at her, and she laughs. I guide us out of the office, and feel like I can breathe easier under the high ceilings of the corridor.

“Right, Deetrin,” Al says, clapping his hands together, his face full of amusement, “Shall we?”

I turn to make a face at Rose in farewell, and she makes one back at me, and I laughingly turn away to head down the corridor with Al.

We can’t quite seem to work out what to say to each other once we’ve turned the corner and find ourselves alone. The torches along the hallways have dimmed as time has carried us deeper into the evening, and we light our wands to peer into empty classrooms and dusty broom cupboards. Every so often I cut a look over at Al, at his wild hair and strong jawline.

“The stars have aligned,” Al finally says after several hallways of semi-comfortable silence, “We’re actually Prefect partners.”

“So it seems,” I reply, grateful he’s the first to say something. The quiet between us had felt dense, like a semi-opaque veil I couldn’t quite get through. It stretched on for so long I was almost wishing for the small talk with Eric back.

“Fate has a weird sense of humor,” he sighs dramatically, shaking his head, and I laugh.

“The weirdest,” I agree. The scar on my neck suddenly gives the tiniest twinge, and as I rub at it, a thought occurs to me. “Hey,” I say, “Have you seen Charlie Kline at all since we’ve been back?”

Al looks a little surprised, but thinks it over, running a hand over the shadow stubbled along his jaw. “I did a few weeks ago, at the start of the term. He seemed fine,” He says slowly, “Why?”

I shrug, trying for casual, “Just wanted to make sure he was doing okay, is all.”

Al shoots me a warm smile, and I try to smile back. I must not have gotten it quite right, and his smile falters, his eyes shooting to the furrow that’s settled between my brows. For a moment it unnerves me just how observant he is, how apparently attuned he is to his surroundings and the littlest details of others. He swallows, putting his hands in his pockets as he looks at the ground, and I can tell he wants to ask what could be wrong. I’m thankful that he doesn’t — I can’t really explain, even to myself, why the little scar on my neck has become such a closely guarded secret.

The slightly tense moment forgotten, the following hallways pass with easy conversation, neither of us particularly interested in deep discussions as we patrol familiar passages. Al and I keep catching each other’s eyes, offering awkward smiles before we glance away. The situation we’re in is new, and a little strange to introduce to the delicate balance we’ve constructed with each other. I’m sure we’ll eventually find our sea legs, but right now, my knees are a little wobbly.

The castle is quiet, restful, and though the route is now twice as long, the hours don’t feel particularly painful with my present company.

The only other person we come across throughout the many twists and turns of the castle is Matt Belkin exiting the library, his arms laden with huge textbooks.

“Oi,” Al calls out genially to his dorm mate, “Just what do you think you’re doing out of bed?”

Matt rolls his eyes, obviously exhausted from a long bout of studying, “Bugger off, Al, you know we’ve got Vector’s essay to finish.”

Al claps him on the shoulder with an easy smile, “I do, Matty. Don’t worry about it.”

Matt shoots me a tired smile as he shuffles off, “Deetrin.”

I nod back at him with a smile, noticing the bags under his eyes before Al and I turn the opposite direction down the hall, heading towards the Great Hall.

“And now to finish up your route,” Al announces, shooting a smirk in my direction.

Our route, now,” I grin back.

We pass by a bank of windows that showcase the grounds below, and I can see through the old glass that freshly shed leaves are being carried by a sizable breeze. The moon hangs heavy and full above the Forbidden Forest in the starlit sky.

I frown as we descend the marble staircase to the Entrance Hall, “I suppose the wind’s pushed away all the rain, then.”

Al looks down at me, his expression amused, “And that makes you sad?”

He holds open the door for me, and he follows me out onto the covered walkway by the greenhouses. I sigh, “No, it just means we’ll be patrolling the grounds tonight.” I cast a wary look at the tall trees of the forest, like dark sentinels against the horizon.

“What’s wrong? Scared?” Al’s grin is crooked and sure of itself, and the glint in his eyes spells out every way he is making fun of me. 

I fix him with a look, but unfortunately - and it’s one of those misfortunes that makes a girl want to roll her eyes and sigh alas - Albus Potter is the worst in the best way, and my withering stare loses its potency when diluted with that smile. And it’s a tragedy, it really is, for what’s this girl to do - when faced with a statement that holds too many embarrassing truths - without an effective glare?


The back of his hand brushes against mine as he shakes his head, still amused, “I never thought I’d see you afraid of something.”

I’m taken aback by this, but it still feels like he’s teasing me, so I scoff, “Oh, I’m sorry, brave, valiant Gryffindor - ”

Al’s gaze is steady, “I’m serious. You have a dangerous streak in you, Deetrin.”

A shiver works its way down my spine when he says my surname. I shouldn’t like the way he says it so much.

The wind whips through my hair and slaps my cloak around my legs, the whole world condensed to the glowing circles cast upon the ground from our lit wands. Al’s foot kicks out at a rock in our path, and for a moment its skittering trajectory across the cobblestones is the only sound between us.

“Can’t believe you were the one to walk in on it,” Al finally mutters to the darkness, his head shaking, “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad someone found Hanseth at it, but the fact that it was you -” he cuts off with another disgusted shake of his head. “Can’t imagine what it must’ve looked like.”

I try not to picture the ripped buttons from his shirt, or the lipstick stained upon his face, or the glazed look in his eyes.

“Can you remember it at all? How it felt to be in love with Sally?” I ask, the darkness around us providing an avenue for bravery, this strange, suspended place where I can ask this boy I fancy the questions I’ve always wondered about love potions.

Al pauses, and I can feel his gaze on me, “Why do you ask?”

My heart starts to beat faster, just like it always does when I’m on the edge of saying something personal, “Well, I’ve never really been in love. At least, I don’t think I have. Not in the way that people describe it, anyway.” His silence spurs me on, his gaze like a hot brand on my burning cheeks, “And I’ve just always kind of wondered if a love potion provides that answer for you. Like, here it is, this is what love is supposed to feel like. Like it shows you that you’re supposed to look at a person you love this way, and think about them this much, and just the mention of their name does this to your heart - ”

“It’s not love.” He interrupts, his voice taking on this edge that I can’t quite define, can’t exactly catch what whetstone I’ve said that sharpened his tone. “What a love potion does to you. It’s - it’s not like that. It’s more of a synthetic kind of obsession. An addiction. Like - like someone’s injected you with a type of drug that’s taken a physical form in a specific person.”

I think about this as I stare with blank eyes at the ground in front of me, only vaguely registering the distance we’ve managed to cover, and how very deserted the perimeter of the castle is on this brisk, blustery evening. And it catches my notice, as we take the measure of each other in this cloaked silence, how his feet don’t shuffle along like Eric’s had, his heels scuffing the ground with every step. Al’s footsteps are solid, the sound unmarred. I can’t exactly figure out why this difference in their gaits feels like it carries more meaning for me than it probably should.

“So that’s probably why you remember so little from that night,” I guess aloud, “Like a drug, it clouded your mind, focused your attention on Sally and that addiction to her.”

Al nods, though his gaze is far away, his eyes following the moonlight cast upon the lake. “Something like that, sure.” He seems to shake away an errant thought, his tone taking on an affected, breezy air, “I don’t blame her, of course. Tabloid rags like Witch Weekly have been filling people’s heads for years that my brother and I are these - these Prince Charming types.” His smile is wry, his free hand reaching up to rake through his hair, “What they don’t seem to understand is that we’re still so young, and genuinely the stupidest people I know sometimes. There is no perfect sunset waiting at the end of the Potter surname, unfortunately.”

My eyes trace what I can make out of his profile in the moon-touched darkness, and tug my cloak closer around my waist. Al is, of course, totally right that he’s not a perfect person. From what I know of him — what I can say with the smallest degree of confidence — he’s got an impatient streak in him, and he tends to mask his concern for a person in a gruff sort of way. But Al really is so charming, and quick-witted and observant. He’s also so warm, so kind and bold and a little brash.

Al cuts his gaze over to me while I’ve been studying him, and his lips quirk up in the tiniest smile, “What? Disappointed that I’m not a fairytale?”

I flush, tucking my hair behind my ears as I look straight ahead, “Not at all. In fact, I always found Prince Charming to be a little bland, really.”

I can see his grin from the corner of my eye, “Good.”

We’ve almost made our way back to where we started, the greenhouses just a little ways off in the distance. I trace the silhouettes of various exotic plants through green-tinted glass, an ethereal glow cast within the transparent buildings. “So you really think she did it, then?” I ask.

“Who? Sally?” He asks, surprised. I nod, and he goes on, “You don’t think she gave me the love potion?”

“Well,” I say, measuring my words carefully, “I just think it’s smart to consider all the possibilities, like Rose and Henry said.”

“Let’s consider them, then,” Al says, his footsteps slowing to a halt next to Greenhouse Three, his voice carrying a renewed energy. “Why would someone else do it, and make it about Sally?”

I shrug, leaning against the side of the greenhouse, looking up at him, “To cause trouble? Or, maybe to get back at Sally for something we don’t know about?”

Al nods, leaning against the wall beside me, his shoulder brushing mine. “Okay. But what about the simplest option usually being the correct one - I mean, Sally made it no secret that she was interested.”

“Yes,” I agree, getting into the discussion, turning to face him and speaking with a vigor that any Ravenclaw would have in an interesting conversation, “But, like you said, it was obvious she was into you. Anyone with a pair of eyes could see it. So if someone wanted to make a fool of Sally, or maybe even a fool of you -”

“Then why make it a spectacle for after dinner?” Al asks, also animated by the discourse, our bodies naturally gravitating towards each other, “If the purpose of the action was to cause a scene, then why wait until the end of the day when everyone’s off to bed? Surely, they would have slipped me the potion sooner. Sally, on the other hand, would have wanted as little attention as possible, so the end of the day during patrols was perfect timing -”

“Maybe the person didn’t get the opportunity until the end of the day,” I interrupt, “You’re a popular guy, Al. You’re not on your own very often. But, in the window of the shuffle at the end of the meal, but before you’ve finished the dregs of your pumpkin juice - ”

“That’s the thing,” He says eagerly, his eyes alight with interest, “I didn’t have pumpkin juice. I didn’t drink anything at all.”

“Nothing?” I ask, as we eye each other.


“You should really drink more water.”

“I know. One of my fatal flaws.”

“Huh,” I say, leaning my head back against the wall, thinking, “In your food, then…”

“Then why didn’t it kick in sooner?”

I turn to look at him, at the way our conversation has animated his face, and loosened his lips into an easy smile. “You love a good mystery,” I surmise.

“I really do,” He agrees, his smile crooked, “Not necessarily at my expense, though.”

I laugh, “That’s fair.”

“Should we head in?” Al asks after a moment, cocking his head towards the castle.

“Oh,” I say, surprised that for a second I’ve forgotten my surroundings, “Yes. Yeah. Let’s.”

Al, as he so often does, places a steady hand on the middle of my back as we head inside the doors to the Entrance Hall. I study the high ceilings, the stone pillars, the golden glow from the torches that paint long, dancing shadows upon the walls, lost in thought. I’m still stuck on how quickly I lose myself to the pleasure of being in his company — like the unconscious way I seem to take in his movements, or notice the way he notices things. His thought process is fascinating to me, and I kind of adore the way he speaks — a mixture of boyish charm, intelligence, and a maturity I’m not sure he’s quite aware of.

I’m just not used to him — he’s just so… unexpected.

“I have to say,” Al starts, looking at me with mischief in his eyes, “You really are a much better Prefect partner.”

“Is that so?” I say, bringing myself back to the present, my voice lilting in a teasing (fine, yes, flirtatious) tone.

“Absolutely. Very professional.” His eyes are so green, the corners crinkled to match his smile.

I laugh with delight, our footsteps echoing up the marble staircase, “Why thank you, Mr. Potter. I take my role as Prefect very seriously.”

“It shows, Ms. Deetrin.”

We find ourselves at the landing where the pathways to our common rooms split, and I turn to him with a grin and a hand outstretched for a handshake.

He laughs, and takes my hand in his, his grip warm and firm.

“Mr. Potter,” I say as seriously as I can, trying not to laugh.

“Ms. Deetrin,” He replies, his smile equally as stupid. I can’t stop myself from studying the smattering of faded freckles upon his nose, or appreciating that his ears are the littlest bit uneven.

“Sleep tight.” I finally say, a little breathlessly from the fact that we’ve stopped shaking hands but are still holding hands in the space between us.

“Sweet dreams.”

“Later, alligator.”

“In awhile, crocodile.” He winks at me in a way that makes me roll my eyes and grin as we take a step away from each other, and I will myself to be the one to turn away first.

I only take one look over my shoulder as we go our separate ways.

Okay, fine, maybe two.







Thank you all for your patience, and to those of you who have reviewed - your amazing encouragement has brought me back to my favorite plot and cast of characters.