Chapter ten, here it is! I hope it's satisfying and I hope the end is somewhat sad. Everything belongs to their rightful owners.

Kit moved towards the couch that night, trying not to think about it all, but it obviously wasn't working. She tried to fall asleep, but that didn't work out so well. All she could really do was toss and turn, failing to find a comfortable spot on the old couch. She finally just gave up and looked at the ceiling, mind finally clearing up.

But of course, she heard footsteps and she closed her eyes, only trying to fool herself more than anything else. I'm just dreaming, I'm already asleep. But a shaky hand tapped her on wrist; instinctively she opened her blue eyes. In the dark she could barely see who it was, but when he spoke she knew. "Kit," he whined, his accent breaking slightly. And just by hearing his voice her mind was sent diving straight back into the water, but she swung her legs over the side of the couch and looked up at him. Obviously he couldn't see either, because he just stood there.

Which is when Kit realized something was wrong, so she said, "Is something wrong?" The red head paused before taking her by the hand and pulling her up off the couch and into his arms. And again it was like being struck by lightning – both were dazed but it didn't matter because they were already kissing and both were letting their emotions take control because neither had ever been held or kissed by anyone before, so it was a new feeling.

Finally they broke the kiss and the red head was running off back down the hallway, leaving the brunette with no company and an empty feeling.

In the morning, Kit decided that Stanford kissing her was only a dream, so she wearily headed to the kitchen. Of course it was still early and only Sherman was the only other one up. The brunette sat down at the table, a hard realization coming to her.

Even if Sherman wouldn't admit it – and even if Stanford blurted it out in front of everyone – she'd have to choose one or the other, and that made her feel guilty. If she'd stayed away, she wouldn't have to choose and nobody would get hurt, but she would've come back anyway, whether or not Sage wanted her to.

And the only hard part for her was that she already knew which one she was going to pick, it was just she didn't know how to go about breaking a boy's heart – she'd never done that before. But how could she be sure she was making the right decision? They say you know, when you know, but she didn't know anything anymore. And then, only a part of her knew, the other half was still waiting in the darkness for an answer.

"Kit," Sherman started, looking over at her.

"What? Oh, sorry," she replied.

"Don't apologize if you didn't do anything wrong."

"Sorry – I mean, alright." The brunette grinned, but there was no heart behind it. Sherman rolled his eyes and wrapped his arms around her, having to get on his knees just to be at her level. And again she was thunder-struck, just looking back into those olive green eyes. Sherman could say so much without even saying anything at all, and the empty feeling disappeared. It was a feeling she'd forgotten about, the feeling that someone actually cared about her. She used to cry whenever she felt like someone cared, but now she didn't see the need to cry. Sherman stood up and ruffled her hair before walking out of the kitchen, and Kit was empty again, the feeling of belonging barely lingering.

Don't apologize if you didn't do anything wrong.

But Kit felt like she had screwed a lot of different things up, and part of her was sorry.

The red head didn't know what Kit wanted, but he didn't care. He entered the diner where Grace practically pushed him into the booth. The brunette across from him waited for the black haired waitress to leave, and when she finally did, she looked at Stanford with a thoughtful expression. It was hard to figure out which one was sincere and which one wasn't.

Stanford waited impatiently, emerald green eyes moving to the floor. "What do you want from me?" His eyes snapped back up to meet Kit's dark blue ones after she asked that question. What in the world did she mean by that? "I don't get it. First you hate me and then you care so much as to come looking for me in the middle of the night, only to leave me confused because I don't know what anybody wants from me anymore."

"I want you to pick me over Sherman."

"So that's it? That's all you want."


"Well then what am I supposed to do after that? If I picked you, you'd just leave me about a week later when you got bored with bragging about "winning," right?"


"I highly doubt that."

"I'm serious!"

"Then why don't I believe you…?"

"Because I've done some stupid things…"

"That's not a – wait, what?"

"Don't make me spell it out," the red head snapped. "I made a mistake last year and I've had to live with myself. I don't know why I didn't help you – it was a pride thing, I suppose. But afterward, I realized just how worried I had been that I might never see you again." Kit was lost again, swimming in an endless ocean that she had no way of getting out of on her own. "You look lost."

"I am lost," the brunette replied, rubbing her left temple with her index finger. Stanford stood up and took her by the hand again, pulling her into his arms. This time he just held her there, resting his chin on the top of her head.

Kit was sitting on the couch in the dark – again – and she was digging through her bag, trying to find something that had been eluding her all day. The locket that her father had given her was gone. She dropped it on the floor next to the couch and pushed the covers away, getting up. The last place she had seen it had been...well she couldn't remember.

Diesel barked, so Kit turned towards the hollow sound. She quirked an eyebrow and then dove for the dog, which had the locket in his mouth. "Diesel!" she scolded, following the dog down the hallway. When he finally stopped and sat down, she took the locket away from him, and making sure it was OK, she turned to head back to the main room.


She turned around and flicked Diesel on the muzzle as she realized she had been led right into the Cortez brothers' room. "Sorry," she said quickly, looking back up at Sherman, "but Diesel took something and I had to get it back, obviously."

"You don't have to apologize y'know."

"Right, sor – I mean, right." Kit nodded and turned to walk away, but Diesel barked again and she sighed.

"Are you mad at me?" Sherman questioned.

"No, of course not," Kit replied, turning around and looking back at him in surprise. "Where would you get an idea such as that?"

"I dunno, you just haven't talked to me in a while."

Kit walked over and sat down on the bed next to Sherman, so he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. She smiled slightly, half-heartedly, and closed her eyes. The younger Cortez brother sighed and entwined his fingers with hers. "You're too good to me," she murmured, burying her face in his shoulder.

"What d'you mean?"

"I've been acting like a selfish jerk," she replied with a sigh, glancing up at him. "And I'm sorry."

"I'm not asking you to pick between me and Stanford."

"I never said you were and see, that's what I mean," she replied softly.

"And he shouldn't force you to pick, either," Sherman added.

"Thank God…"

For Kit, it was like being drugged up on Dramamine; there was really no way to get past that feeling. She couldn't be left alone with herself, or else her thoughts would get to her. The question kept calling from the back of her mind and when it surfaced, she couldn't get it to leave her alone; it was like being haunted. She tried endlessly to convince herself that the question just wasn't there, but it was, and it scared her a little bit.

Being attached to one person was hard for her – being attached to two people was worse. She couldn't decide. And for a moment, just a moment, she contemplated the thought of leaving. It would be easier for everyone that way, wouldn't it? Maybe not for herself, but she'd acted selfish enough already. Sherman was strong and he'd forget and move on, while Stanford…well Stanford would probably just forget about a week later.

"What am I missing?" Stanford asked. Kit looked up at him, quirking an eyebrow.

"And I should know what you're talking about because…?"

The red head gestured to his body – he was neatly dressed in black pants and a purple button down shirt. "I'm bloody perfection, and you're still debating."

For some reason, she chuckled, shaking her head. "It's not all about looks."

"It's not?"

Kit looked up at him. Was he serious? And those emerald green eyes of his looked genuinely confused and bewildered at the statement it's not all about looks. "It's not," she responded decisively. And she laughed to herself because she should have known that Stanford wouldn't understand. This was Stanford Isaac Rhodes IV, 189th in line for the throne. Of course he thought looks were everything. That's all he'd ever based things on.

"If looks aren't everything, then…then…aww…" Stanford scratched the top of his head thoughtfully.

"If looks aren't everything, why'd you pick me?"


"I'm average," Kit replied, shrugging. "I wear baggy pants and hoodies that are three sizes too big. I wear my hair down and it's frizzy half the time, not that I care. And you're a piece of work; you dress like the big-shot you think you are."

"Hey, I should take that offensively."

And the brunette found herself chuckling again, because she knew he'd never change. Not that she wanted him to, but he didn't understand what love was, obviously. At least, he didn't show that he knew what it was.

"You're not terribly ugly," Stanford replied. "Well, you're not ugly, but you're not beautiful, either."

"And if I looked worse? Would you still care?"

There was a long pause.

"Probably not. Unless I knew you like I know you now."

"IF I was "terribly ugly" if you will, would you want to be seen with me in public, regardless of what other people would say?"

"Honestly? No."

"Even if we were meant to be together."

"Again, honestly? No."

Kit blinked and looked at the floor. This could just be Stanford, because Stanford didn't understand that looks weren't everything. But then again, this could be some seed of truth. "What I look like now – would you want to be seen with me in front of your…uh, royal family?" The red head paused and looked the other way before giving his answer.

"Really? If we're being honest here, no."

Which Kit had figured he'd say no, but she had been hoping he'd say yes. She looked down at the floor again, angry and disappointed. It wasn't just about looks, she thought to herself. But maybe for some people – like Stanford – it was.

And she just wasn't stunning like he believed he was.

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