She groaned and sat on the edge of the bed, flopping onto her back.
“Hey, how come your clothes grew with your body instead of staying the same size?” Griffith asked.
“I don’t know, magic?” Frederica replied. “You’d have to ask the guy I took the power from. He’s a bouncer at Valhalla Club.”
“Valhalla?” Griffith said. “I didn’t think that would be your kind of place.”
“It’s not,” Frederica said. “But somehow I keep ending up there. I usually don’t mind, but….”
“But tonight was supposed to be just you and your sister,” Griffith said.
“Yeah.” Frederica sat up. “Be honest with me: am I a total jerk for ditching her?”
“Well, I can’t claim to be an expert on your family dynamics,” he said, “but it sounds like she kind of ditched you first. It’s your birthday too. You deserve to enjoy it.”
“But she came all this way,” Frederica said. “And I never asked her to. She was just being nice. And this is how I’m repaying her. By running off and spending the night with you.”
“For what it’s worth, I won’t be offended if you want to go back to her,” he said. “I get to see you all the time anyway. She doesn’t.”
Frederica shook her head.
“No, I’m here to stay.”
“Are you sure?” he asked. “Because—”
“Just take your pants off before I change my mind,” she said.
He hesitated a moment, then said, “Yes, ma’am.”
In the morning, Frederica slipped out the window as usual. Griffith didn’t give her a hard time about it today, but she could tell that he wanted to, even without reading his mind. She flew back to the dorm and crept slowly upstairs. Josephine sat cross-legged in front of Frederica’s door, eyes closed.
“Hey,” Frederica said.