HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 70

Ji-soo smiled and glanced at Nila.

“Should we get back to work?” she asked. “We still need to write up a report on this thing.”

“Sure,” Nila said. “I’d just, um, like to talk to Fred for a minute. Alone.”

She glanced at Josephine apologetically. Josephine laughed and took Ji-soo by the arm.

“Come on,” she said. “Let’s wait outside.”

They stepped out into the hallway and closed the door behind them. Nila stood quietly for a long moment, not quite meeting Frederica’s gaze. Finally, she took a deep breath and looked up.

“I want to apologize for last night,” she said. “I knew how much you wanted to hang out with your sister and I dragged her out to the club anyway. I was totally out of line.”

“It’s not your fault,” Frederica said. “Jo has a way of getting what she wants.”

“But I let it happen,” Nila said. “I shouldn’t have encouraged her.”

“Seriously, it’s not a big deal,” Frederica said. “You couldn’t have stopped her if you tried.”

“I just don’t want things to be awkward,” Nila said. “Nothing happened between me and her, but… it almost did. I wanted it to. Which is unusual enough for me as it is, but it’s worse because she… you know.”

“Looks just like me?” Frederica asked.

Nila nodded.

“It’s so messed up,” she said. “I’m not even into you that way—no offense. There’s just something about her that I couldn’t resist. But I don’t want you thinking I’ve had some kind of ulterior motives with you this whole time and I was just, like, using her.”

“I would never think that,” Frederica said. “Honestly, I was more worried about her hurting you than anything else.”

Nila chuckled.

“Not much chance of that happening,” she said. “I’m a tough girl.”

“I can’t argue with that,” Frederica said.