“I could feel it, you know? In my toes. I was just waiting for you to decide to tell me.”
Eva studied the boy in front of her for a few minutes.
“You’ll be eighteen in June.”
“That’s what being a witch tells you?” Having it out in the open seemed to relax Robbie. He was smiling, at least.
“No, that’s what having an extended family of snoops, busy-bodies, and gossips tells me.”
That, on the other hand, made him flush, frown, and turn away. “Chalce is your niece, isn’t she?”
“So is Beryl. And Stone is my nephew.” She could guess, from Chalcedony’s message, what Robbie thought she’d learned from her family. “Among others.”
His shoulders didn’t release any tension. “So you know I’m a punk. Mrs. Cunningham, she’s one of your cousins, isn’t she?”
“She is. But I grew up with Eliza, Robbie, which means I know when she’s full of shit, too.”
He peeked up at her through a fringe of hair. “So…?”
“So.” She folded her hands. “So, you’ll be eighteen in about six months.”
“At which point, what, you’ll turn me into a frog?” He found his smile again. “Yeah, I’ll be legal, then. Is that what has you worried?”
She tilted her head. “Well, I’ll admit it does complicate things. Single woman, single older woman…”
“You really don’t count as older.”
“And you’re sweet to say that.”
“No, I mean it. You’re, what, twenty-two?” He leaned forward. “Besides, nobody cares about that.” Just as quickly as he’d leaned forward, he pulled back, staring at her. “Wait. Wait, are you seriously considering…”?
Eva found herself smiling. “Well, were you?”
“Well, yeah. I mean, you’re hot, you’re single, and you’re a witch. How cool is that?”
“Flattering.” She sounded, she knew, like her Aunt Rosaria. She thought Robbie might deserve it.
His face fell. “Well, and you were nice to me. Shit, you weren’t, were you?”
Eva licked her lips. “I was. I am. However…”
He sank even further back into his chair. “You can’t send me back. You can’t. I was going to run, you know. I am going to run. Just needed a place to sleep for the night.”
“In June…” She knew it wouldn’t work, but it was the first solution.
“I won’t make it till June. And if I did, what does a calendar date mean?”
“It means me not getting arrested. All right.” Eva leaned forward. “This is what we’re going to do.”
After all, if she couldn’t use her power, what good was it being a witch?
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