forty

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The next morning Sophie made sure to put the box of panakes blossoms she had gathered for Fitz in her bag before saying goodbye to Edaline and Grady. When she reached Foxfire she made her way over to the amphitheatre. Fitz was already there waiting for her and she could see he was nervously playing with his matching bracelet. Reaching over to touch her own, she wondered if anyone would notice them, or if they would even care.

“Hey Fitz, have you been here long?” Sophie asked as she walked closer to him.

“Nope just got here a few minutes ago.” Fitz said while standing up to make his way over to Sophie.

Fitz had sat up last night replaying the kiss and was hoping for another chance before school but didn't want to expect anything. He was excited to see her again and pulled her into a hug.

Fitz’s hugs were the best but after last night Sophie knew a kiss from him was even better. Her heart started racing and she went up on her tiptoes and looked at his burning teal eyes hoping he would get the hint that it was ok to kiss her again.

He did.

Their second kiss wasn't nearly as electrifying as the first. They each had a little more confidence in what was happening and held on a little bit longer. Sophie felt his arms tighten around her waist pulling her in, she didn't feel worried or stressed, with Fitz she just felt safe. Her heart slowed and after breaking apart she looked up at his eyes that had changed from the burning to a twinkle as he gave her his best smile.

“I wish I could kiss you everyday.” Fitz mumbled under his breath causing a familiar pink to cross Sophie’s cheeks.

Sophie nervously bit her lip not sure what to say, she wished she could too but knew there was no guarantee they would even see each other until midterms were over. Then something came to her mind.

“Fitz, what kind of cologne did Keefe knock over in your room?”

“Uh, it's called Bramble Blue. Why?” Fitz was kind of confused.

Sophie looked a little embarrassed before admitting “Mr. Snuggles doesn't smell like you as much anymore, I miss it. Last night I was getting some panakes blossoms for you and I thought maybe I could get some of your cologne for my room.”

“Oh,” Fitz smiled shyly thinking of her wanting to make Mr. Snuggles keep smelling like him, he almost missed the part about the panakes blossoms. “You got some blossoms for me?”

“Yeah we had planned to get them yesterday but then we ended up just going to Mysterium, so I went and got you some after I got home.” She replied pulling the box out of her bag and handed it to Fitz.

He opened the box, the familiar rich but still sweet smell filled his nose, he loved that smell. It smelled like Sophie. Hopefully they would last until midterms.

The couple sat on the soft purple grass facing one another holding hands and decided that it would probably be ok to talk telepathically a little more as long as it didn't disrupt the other person studies. Then conversation turned to her new ability training sessions.

“Did Magnate Leto say anything about when your training sessions would be?”

“No I am guessing it will probably rotate based on who is coming to teach me that week.”

“But it will be in the towers each week right?”

“Yes,” suddenly the gold flecks in her eyes lit up. “What if I could have lunch in the towers those days? Or maybe I could even stay and study after school? We could see each other!”

“Do you think Lady er Master Cadence would really let you?” Fitz asked excited at the idea.

“Probably not if she thought I was just there to see you, but I am sure we can think of ways to make it happen. I mean we are pretty good figuring things out together when we need to be.”

“The best.” Fitz said grinning.

They continued trying to figure out ways to see each other when they noticed other prodigies starting to arrive and decided to head to the pyramid for orientation. They made their way to the usual spot that their friends met surprised to see them all there already.

Dex was the first to notice their matching bracelets, he had gotten over his crush on Sophie and now enjoyed teasing her almost as much a Keefe. “Nice bracelets, let me guess another cognate thing?”

“Nope that's a couple thing!” Biana exclaimed smugly before Fitz or Sophie could answer. Linh and Marella squealed. Tam rolled his eyes, Dex gave an encouraging nod and Keefe muttered something under his breath about couples these days. Sophie was just about to say something when an announcement came over the speakers for all Elite level prodigies to return to the tower except for Fitz Vacker who should report to Magnate Leto's office. Fitz never had to go to the principal’s office and the prodigies around them started staring at him. Keefe excused himself still more quiet than usual. He didn't even tease Fitz about getting in trouble.

“It's probably just about having joint sessions again.” Sophie said giving him a reassuring nod. “He did want you to come last week, remember?”

“Yes but then why wouldn't you need to come also?” Fitz reasoned. He wasn't ready to say goodbye to Sophie yet but it didn't seem like he would have a choice.

“Well on your walk back to your room you can reach out and let me know how it goes.”

Fitz nodded and leaned in to give her a hug. He wanted to sneak one more kiss before he left but didn't want to make things awkward for Sophie. Instead he whispered in her ear, “remember it's an us thing now, you can transmit to me anytime, I'm always here for you.”

Sophie nodded and let him know the same applied to him and she would be waiting to hear from him what Magnate Leto wanted. She couldn't take her eyes off him until he disappeared in the crowd of students. Sophie slowly turned to face three very eager girls who had a lot of questions for her.

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