Chapter Twenty-Three

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Unedited.

"Sophie." Sophie jerked back to her own reality as Fitz walked in her room. "Hm?" She asked as she returned to her book. "I need to talk to you." He said closing the door. "I'm right out here." Sandor called from the other side of the door. "Good thing we're telepaths." Fitz replied. Sandor growled, and Fitz grinned at the door before becoming serious and turning back to Sophie. "Seriously, I do need to talk to you." He said. His tone made Sophie set her book aside and look up at him.

Fitz seemed to struggled for his words, before he crossed the room and sat on the bed across from her. "I'm sorry." He transmitted. "I broke my promise and kissed you, when that was the last thing you needed...the last thing you wanted. I'm ashamed of how I acted, and I should have never done that without your permission." He said. His eyebrows were drawn down, and he continued. "I'm sorry I forced that on you. I should of never done so, and....and you can hit me if you want." He said. Sophie raised her hands, showing her wrists, the simple cuffs on them made Fitz freeze. "You sure about that?" Sophie asked, trailing her finger over one sucker punch.

She had three pairs of sucker punches. One bejeweled one, another glow in the dark, and the plain cuffs she wore now. Dex was working on mixing the three to see if he could make them glow in the dark at will, and he was working on embedding home crystals in the cuffs. The crystals could also be used as a weapon of sorts, but by then Dex was rambling, and Sophie had left.

"Yes." Fitz nodded. Sophie smiled but pulled her hands back to her. She wouldn't hit him. "You aren't going to?" Fitz asked. Sophie shook her head, as she pushed Alvar's journal under her pillow before Fitz could see it. "I shouldn't have done that without your consent." Fitz said, "It was rude and ignorant, and I'm sorry." He said. "Apology accepted." Sophie said. Fitz's shoulders relaxed as he let out a relieved breath. "Thank you." He said. Sophie gave a tight lipped smile. Fitz glanced at her before speaking quietly. "I know you might not want to, and we understand if you won't, but Dad and Mom have invited you over for dinner." He said.

Sophie nodded. "Yeah I'll come....I just have to clear some things up with....other people." She said reaching for her imparter. "If you have other plans we can reschedule." Fitz said quickly. Sophie shook her head, "No, it's fine." Sophie said waving him away as she punched in her message. "Are you sure?" Fitz asked. "Of course." Sophie was more than relieved to get a break from the lessons, Charles and Lady Gardenia were giving her.

Cancel tonight's lessons. I can't make it.
Sorry - Sophie Foster.

"Sophie, if you already had plan-" Fitz cut off as Sophie's imparter buzzed. Sighing deeply, Sophie took a deep breath before looking at the message.

Negative. Lessons will be scheduled and you will be there. -Charlie.

Sophie did her best to hide her frustration, as she made her message. Sophie repeated her first message and shoved her imparter in the nightstand before it could buzz again. "Tonight. I'll be there." She nodded. Suddenly her imparter started buzzing so loud, it made a rattling sound in the nightstand. Sophie ignored it like it wasn't even happening. Fitz's eyes were drawn to the nightstand. "Are you going to get that?" He asked.

"Get what?" Sophie asked. "Nothing." Fitz grinned. "I'll see you tonight?" He asked. Sophie nodded. "Yeah." She agreed. Fitz smiled and looked like he wanted to reach forward to hug her, but stopped himself. "Alright. See you then." He said ads he stood. "See you then." Sophie agreed. Fitz left, Sophie pulled out Alvar's journal from under her pillow, and decided to read it like he asked.

'Sophie,
It's weird trying to write to nobody, so I am addressing this to you. You always seemed to listen to me. You understood me, and saw me for who I was. No matter what I did to you.

I wonder if you'll read this someday. I wonder a lot of things...and lately you've been the person I wonder about most. Was it wrong for me to leave you in the cabin? Are you alive? Are you hurt? Are you home? Are you safe?

Are you happy?

Yes, as strange as it may seem, I care about how you feel. Especially if you are happy. That is one of the many questions that keep resurfacing in my mind. I worry about your wellbeing. The first day I met you, you seemed to be shy and sad, but you put on a smile when you met me, those eyes of yours, like pools of darkness, it felt like they were staring at me. I don't mean Alvar Vacker, the guy who was balancing three girlfriends, had more bramble injuries to keep count of, and it wasn't the side I myself don't remember. It felt like you were looking at me, the guy I kept hidden from everyone.

The one that wanted to become a mentor, the one that wanted to be looked at with respect and the one people looked to for help. I felt like you seen straight past my façade, and into my heart. I had seen you once -I knew that then- I had looked at you and instantly wrote you off, because those eyes were different. But when I looked across the dinner table at you, I had never felt so, so translucent. For that I was afraid.

I don't know why. Now that I look at you, sitting on the bed glaring at your own journal like you want to rip it in half, now I want nothing more than for you to look at me like you did then, I don't want to see the burning hatred in your eyes, I don't want to see the sadness, the anger or the glint of revenge. I'd give anything for you to see me for who I am. That I am trapped here. Just as much as you. Right now you are weak, you are vulnerable, and you look as innocent as innocent can be. I want nothing more than to protect you, to be strong for you. Yes you may hate me now, and you may never see who I am again, but I hope one day. Even if I don't deserve it, even if I am as terrible as you think, I hope that you will forgive me for what I've done.

Not for me, but for you. I'd hate for you to be angry for so long, I'd hate for you to be upset over something I did. I hope you will forget all the pain and suffering I've put you through, I hope one day that amazing heart of yours will forgive me.
My best regards and wishes,
Alvar Vacker.'

Sophie had forgiving him, long ago, but as she read the journal she found a side of Alvar she had never known. He had wanted to be a mentor, he liked kids, he loved helping people. He was, he was a good guy.

(Sorry it's short.)

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