Chapter 13

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After going back to our rooms to change clothes and rest, Team Terrarium gets back together for dinner in the dining hall, and somehow Isla convinces me to let the guys come over and watch the first two episodes in our room that evening. This ruins my plan to use it as a reward to get Brown to study for his test on Friday, but I can just hold back the next episodes.

Isla produces a bag of popcorn direct from the farm, so we pop it down in the kitchen while the two guys are gone fetching whatever they need to watch TV.

"Are you and Brown dating?" I ask Isla once I've decided that no one else is passing by the kitchen.

Isla gives me this really false innocent look. "No, of course not."

I frown at her. "I'm serious."

Her wide eyes go back to their normal size. "No, you and I both know it wouldn't work out in the end. But he's fun to hang out with. That's all it is. Hanging out."

I pull the super-hot paper bag out of the microwave. "Has he put two and two together on the not working out thing?"

She sighs. "He asked me if I'd dated anyone here and I told him why I don't. So... he knows. That we can only be friends, I mean."

Her mouth is turned down at the corners like she's trying not to cry, so I put down the bag and give her a hug. This is the first time I think something is more tempting for her than becoming the keeper. Sucks to be the Chosen One, sometimes.

She sniffles, but steps back. "I think they just want someone other than the elf-squad to hang out with."

So with that cleared up, we go back upstairs and, after trying to find a comfortable spot for each of us where no one is touching anyone else, we put the first disc into Isla's computer and start watching the series.

Sunday is greenhouse day for Isla again, so I head back to the library

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Sunday is greenhouse day for Isla again, so I head back to the library. I'm about three-quarters awake because somehow two episodes of The Expanse turned into four, and I finally had to kick the guys out near midnight.

Things I learned last night: Brown does get what Isla told him about no dating, but that doesn't mean he likes it. Neither does Isla. And Mitchell is into science fiction. It wasn't until between the first two episodes that he admitted he's read all the books, and he knows what every little bit of dialog means, where the show deviates from the books, and what is going to happen in the end. He didn't talk during the show unless asked, but there were times I could tell he wanted to point something out. He does this little thing where one corner of his mouth turns up, a kind of secret smile.

It was a good distraction though, and I enjoyed it. More bonding for Team Terrarium. And fortunately, I'm not sunburned. I have a pinkish tint, but it's not the bright red I've sported in the past after a cross country meet.

Today I stop and get another recommendation from Moreno that takes me back up to Special Collections. I find Mr. Jackson, and he walks me back to the right aisle. "I thought you were a fire girl," he notes while shifting his glasses up his nose.

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