Frederica wiped a tear from her eye and leaned in to kiss Melody on the cheek.
“I love you,” she said.
Melody’s eyes widened for a moment, then she threw her arms around Frederica and squeezed her tight.
“Love you too, babe,” she replied.
Hours later, Frederica kissed Melody and hugged Sam and took off from the roof. As she soared across the night sky, a goofy grin spread across her lips. She still couldn’t believe she let those words tumble out of her mouth. She’d meant what she said but she was surprised she actually said it.
And that Melody actually said it back.
Frederica touched down on the front step and phased inside. She heard voices coming from the next room. She crept forward. Josephine, Nila, and Julian sat around the kitchen table, talking quietly. Frederica knocked on the doorframe and all eyes turned in her direction. Nila cringed slightly as Josephine stood from her chair.
“We need to talk,” Josephine said.
“Yeah, I guess we do,” Frederica said.
Josephine came around the table and out into the living room. Nila and Julian made a beeline for the stairs. Frederica watched them go.
“What’s going on there?” she asked.
“Turns out Julian doesn’t mind sharing,” she replied. “Not that it’s any of your business.”
“Oh,” Frederica muttered. “I, uh, hadn’t even thought of that possibility.”
“Yeah, well, you didn’t expect to fix everyone’s problems by yourself, did you?” Josephine said, then quickly added, “Don’t answer that. I’d rather talk about that stunt you pulled this morning. Using Nila to distract me while you broke into the place where I work, on my first day. That’s cold, even for you.”
“I know,” Frederica said. “And I’m sorry. It probably won’t make a difference but I promise it was for a good cause.”