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We hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day.
Love and Starlight, Jasmine & Sophie
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Timeline: This chapter takes place after Chapter 30
💋💐Bonus Chapter – In Which Timothée Takes a Risk on a Day of Love💋💐
Please be aware Wicked Academia is an adult novel and this scene is intended for audiences 18+.
Timothée walked up beside him. “You should take a break. When’s the last time you slept or ate?”
“Well, because, I thought we might…” Timothée ventured. He took a deep breath. He was going to ask Val, or he wasn’t.
“Spit it out, Greywick.” Val sprinkled a dash of herbs into a boiling potion. “I’m busy.”
Busy being insane.
“I just thought, if you haven’t eaten, maybe you’d like to…I mean—” He cleared his throat. “I packed some sandwiches.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I was thinking you’d maybe like to go outside with me, and we can eat them on the meadow, y’know with all the other students, and watch the sunrise?”
The vial slipped from Val’s hand, red liquid spilling over the counter. Val ignored it, picked up another one.
“No.” Val whirled. His eyes were so wide, hair wild. “Of course, you heard about that dumb Starling tradition. Do you think that’s what we are? Who I am? Really? Someone to sit with in the sun's glow and whisper sweet nothings to each other about a wonderful year to come?”
Timothée stepped back. “I thought maybe you might actually want to do something. And maybe it would be nice for us to—”
“Stop looking at me like that,” he snarled. “Your face shouldn’t look that sad.”
Timothée wiped his eyes with the heel of his palm. “Why are you acting this way?”
“If I’m acting this way, it’s your fault.”
“My fault?” Timothée heard his voice rise. “For trying to stop whatever insanity you’ve started in here?”
“Because I can’t give you what you want from me!” Val’s breath was heavy, voice hoarse, eyes glassy.
Timothée reached out and touched his face. “Val, your skin is so warm. I think you’re sick.”
“I’m not sick,” Val sneered. But now Timothée could recognize it: the rasp of his voice, the flush of his cheeks. Val pushed Timothée’s hand away.
“Can you stop being angry at me for one moment?” Timothée sighed.
“Just leave me alone. Go watch the sunrise with one of your devoted disciples.”
“I don’t want to.” Timothée stepped closer. “I’d rather be here, in this disaster with you. Today you’re supposed to spend it with someone you lo…because it’s Prince V—”
“I hate this holiday. What a stupid tradition, to watch a sunrise for someone who never can. And I hate Andúrigard, and I hate this school, and—” Timothée reached for him, but Val pushed against his chest, snarling, “And I hate you.”
And then Val turned and stormed into the bathroom, curtain swinging shut behind him.
But he hadn’t left. And that was how Timothée knew that maybe, maybe, Val hadn’t meant it.
At least he hoped he hadn’t.
Timothée let out a long shaking breath, then tilted his head back. He looked to Yvaine, perched on the windowsill, backed by the glimmering night sky. She gave a soft meow. There were no clouds out tonight…it would be a beautiful sunrise.
No doubt he could find someone to watch it with, even a group of friends at Selene Crescent.
They’d never celebrated these holidays at the lavender farm, and in Wolfhelm, they’d spent every day worrying about Vivian. But here, he wanted to make a tradition of his own.
He wanted to spend this day with someone he really cared about, that he…
Slowly, he got to work. He hated cleaning, but this room was beyond a mess even he could tolerate. Methodically, he scrubbed the potion station, wiped spilled liquid, and swept up herbs and flowers. He scoured the floor for all the tokens admirers had brought Val today. There were lots of them. Timothée lined them up on his bed. Little stuffed animals, loads of chocolate, lengthy love letters. Then he lined up all the things he’d received as well.
There was even a small treat for Yvaine, a gift from Fiona: a tin of sardines. He fed them to her one at a time as he looked at the unmoving curtain of the bathroom.
Val said he hated this holiday, but it might be sort of fun to look at all these things together later. He wondered if Val had changed his mind about hating him.
Finally, he straightened. The room looked better; the floor was swept, and he coaxed the crystals in the fire to a gentle glow.
Now for the hard part.
Gently, he knocked the wall beside the bathroom. “Val?”
Timothée knocked again. “I’m coming in.”
He stepped into the bathroom. Val sat in the corner, knees up to his chest, head cradled in his arms. Timothée knelt in front of him. “Hey.”
Val lifted his head. His eyes were red and tear-stained, and a gross liquid dripped from his nose. He really was sick. “I don’t…I don’t hate you.”
Timothée tucked a stray strand of hair behind Val’s ear. “I know.”
Something about this day upset him. Maybe he’d had his heart broken before. Timothée didn’t want to think about that. But Val clearly needed a distracted today, and that was okay. He could be...he could be a distraction.
He ran a hand along Val’s face. “You’re kind of disgusting right now.”
Val’s face scrunched up. “Is that you trying to make me feel better?”
“Let me run you a bath. I know you like that.” Timothée stood and looked down at the copper tub.
END OF PREVIEW
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