Grady and Edaline

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"She's alive!" Fitz teased when Sophie wandered into the living room the next day. He sat in an overstuffed armchair reading a book called Twenty-Five Ways to Catch the Wind. "You do realize you slept through breakfast and lunch, right?"

"Sorry, it must of been a later night than I thought." Sophie gave a small shrug in return. Marty slinked down the stairs and wrapped his furry body around her leg.

"Trouble sleeping?" Della wondered, materializing in the middle of the room.

"You could say that." She yawned almost on beat.

Biana strode into the room in a fitted dress with intricate gold embroidery that shimmered with every step. She looked way more glamorous than any twelve-year-old had the right to look. "Aren't those the same clothes you wore yesterday?"

"Oh, yeah. That's the thing about suddenly being ripped from one world to the next with little warning- you don't really think about taking your clothes." It came out harsher sounding than she intended.

The room went silence in response. Biana looked embarrassed and Fitz was trying not to laugh.

"Oh! Guys, I'm kidding! It's fine." Sophie reassured everyone. She forgot how new she was to everyone, they wouldn't have realized she was being sarcastic. Biana let out a huge sigh.

Della pretended nothing had happened, "I'm sorry. I should've sent something up for you. I've been shopping all morning." She waved her arms at the explosion of clothes. "Behold. Your new wardrobe."

Sophie looked at the array of clothing that she probably hardly wear. She tended to stick to the more natural colors and simpler outfits, but she was grateful nonetheless.

"Thank you, Della. This means the world to me." Sophie began looking through her outfits, all felt so familiar. She recognized a few and there were even some that she had never worn in her... past life. She wasn't quite sure what to call it.

Della winked "I got you everything you'll need, plus a few extras. The only thing I didn't get was a new nexus. I figured you'd want to pick your own. Unless you want to keep Fitz's old, beat-up one."

"I'll keep it, I like how it isn't that noticeable and it matches everything." She tried to sound casual. "I'll have to get used to all the colors you guys wear, I'm used to blending in."

"Trust me, you'll stand out here," Fitz placed his book down. "In a good way of course...." His voice slowly died out.

"If that's what you want," Della agreed with a smile. "I should be done packing all of this in a few minutes, and then I'll get you some lunch."

"Thank you, but I'm not really hungry. It's the nerves." Sophie shrugged.

Alden entered the room holding her backpack and Ella. "I hope you're ready, we're about to take you to your home. You'll love Edaline and Grady. They're two of the most wonderful people I know." He offered her his hand. "Come on. Let's go meet your new guardians."

———

"Havenfield is one of the rehabilitation centers for our Sanctuary," Alden explained. "The animals are brought here first for training, before we release them into their protected home—and they're not easy to catch. We're still trying to trap Nessie. She's quite the escape artist."

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